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Thirteen

Small Ball is dead

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http://www.espn.com/blog/buster-olney/insider/post/_/id/18564/olney-parts-of-baseball-are-disappearing-before-our-very-eyes

Interesting article.  Swinging from the heels is the new norm all around.

I read this quote in Buck's voice:

“There’s almost nothing for me to do [during a game],” another longtime manager said recently. “You change the pitchers, and you wait for somebody to hit a home run. You’re not doing nearly as much stuff as you used to. You don’t even think about doing some of that stuff.”

 

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1 minute ago, Thirteen said:

http://www.espn.com/blog/buster-olney/insider/post/_/id/18564/olney-parts-of-baseball-are-disappearing-before-our-very-eyes

Interesting article.  Swinging from the heels is the new norm all around.

I read this quote in Buck's voice:

 

 

 

I agree.

Wouldn't it be neat to hire a manager that "bucked" the trend and built his team around small ball again?  These kind of wouldn't be a high demand (at least not most of them) for those kind of players (at least initially) so it would also be cost-effective.

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Didn't the Royals win a World Series a few years ago with pitching, defense, speed, hustle, and passion?

I know there was some manufactured ill will when they beat the Orioles, but that was one of the most enjoyable teams to WATCH in my opinion of the last many years... and one that had they worn an Orioles cap would have been absolutely IDOLIZED by fans here for a long long time...

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This piece focuses primarily on the bunt and stolen bases, but "small ball" doesn't include just bunting stealing. 

Small ball can also include working counts, hitting to the right side to advance runners, sacrifice flies, etc. In other words, finding ways to score runs without the benefit of a base hit. In close games, in particular, the goal should still be to get the runner to third with less than two outs. There are a number of ways to get that run in, and the chances of getting it in with a hit are only about 30 percent.

The decline of the stolen base I can understand--it's simply a casualty of "Moneyball." The basis behind this thinking is a failed attempt not only gives up an out, but a baserunner as well. Even if a steal isn't attempted, a prolific baserunner can help his team simply by distracting the pitcher. The more attention the pitcher pays to the baserunner, the more the advantage goes to the hitter. The pitcher may not throw as many breaking pitches, or he may bounce a pitch and allow the runner to advance that way. Sometimes the interplay between pitcher and runner is more important than an actual stolen base itself.

I agree with the overall premise of the article, but I would say that small ball is still viable as a situational weapon. 

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8 hours ago, Ravens2006 said:

Didn't the Royals win a World Series a few years ago with pitching, defense, speed, hustle, and passion?

I know there was some manufactured ill will when they beat the Orioles, but that was one of the most enjoyable teams to WATCH in my opinion of the last many years... and one that had they worn an Orioles cap would have been absolutely IDOLIZED by fans here for a long long time...

Yup.  When the Royals got someone on base, they made the most of it.  Meanwhile the Orioles just swung hard and didn't hit any home runs.

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There's so many nuances of the game that have been reduced or completely eradicated that for me, has become an excruciatingly boring thing to watch. It's sad what's happened.  But I guess the younger fans have come to enjoy watching either a homerun or strikeout and if they're the ones buying the tickets, that's what will dictate which direction the game goes in.  Not my cup of tea, that's for sure.  The only saving grace is that for the most part, baseball is a sport of cycles and I do believe that eventually, we will see a trend back to small ball.  Maybe not in the foreseeable future but perhaps 10 years from now or so.  I can only hope so. 

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6 hours ago, mdrunning said:

I agree with the overall premise of the article, but I would say that small ball is still viable as a situational weapon. 

Just not in Baltimore.

I watched Chris Davis successfully bunt down the third base line a few times in spring training. That was a viable situational weapon. I haven't seen him try it once so far this season. But then again, I haven't had the stomach to watch every game.

Anybody know when Buck's contract with the O's is up?...

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30 minutes ago, Gentile said:

Just not in Baltimore.

I watched Chris Davis successfully bunt down the third base line a few times in spring training. That was a viable situational weapon. I haven't seen him try it once so far this season. But then again, I haven't had the stomach to watch every game.

Anybody know when Buck's contract with the O's is up?...

Buck once famously said, "Chris Davis isn't here to bunt". I think it was last season. I heard he tried to bunt once. Those who saw it, said it was embarrassing. Buck's contract is up, at the end of this season. But it's been reported that he has already been told that he can stay if he wants. And he can choose the role he wants. So unless Buck really wants to retire, he'll be back in 2019. 

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4 hours ago, weird-O said:

Buck once famously said, "Chris Davis isn't here to bunt". I think it was last season. I heard he tried to bunt once. Those who saw it, said it was embarrassing. Buck's contract is up, at the end of this season. But it's been reported that he has already been told that he can stay if he wants. And he can choose the role he wants. So unless Buck really wants to retire, he'll be back in 2019. 

What is Chris Davis here to do?

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16 minutes ago, NCBirdfan said:

What is Chris Davis here to do?

In theory, he's here to drive in runs. And it seemed to be implied that those runs are best driven in by the long ball. 

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1 minute ago, weird-O said:

In theory, he's here to drive in runs. And it seemed to be implied that those runs are best driven in by the long ball. 

I just thought winning ball games was more important. Apparently grounding out, flying out, and striking out are preferred to a bunt against the shift. 

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15 minutes ago, NCBirdfan said:

I just thought winning ball games was more important. Apparently grounding out, flying out, and striking out are preferred to a bunt against the shift. 

You are absolutely correct. Buck doesn't believe in the "wins" rule, he believes in the "stubbornly stick to my guns, until I am eventually proven right, even if it takes several losing seasons" rule

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6 hours ago, jamesdean said:

There's so many nuances of the game that have been reduced or completely eradicated that for me, has become an excruciatingly boring thing to watch. It's sad what's happened.  But I guess the younger fans have come to enjoy watching either a homerun or strikeout and if they're the ones buying the tickets, that's what will dictate which direction the game goes in.  Not my cup of tea, that's for sure.  The only saving grace is that for the most part, baseball is a sport of cycles and I do believe that eventually, we will see a trend back to small ball.  Maybe not in the foreseeable future but perhaps 10 years from now or so.  I can only hope so. 

Agreed, I really cannot watch baseball games anymore.  Orioles' performance only compounds things.  I feel like the number of foul balls has risen significantly, too. 

This critical issue HAS to be on MLB's front-burner, much more so than speeding up the game.  Baseball is only a cyclical sport due to adjustments made to the rules, equipment and fields.

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1 hour ago, weird-O said:

You are absolutely correct. Buck doesn't believe in the "wins" rule, he believes in the "stubbornly stick to my guns, until I am eventually proven right, even if it takes several losing seasons" rule

When I coached if any player on my team did not execute a bunt properly it meant laps either after the game or at the next practice. I'm not sure if coaches can do that these days.

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4 hours ago, NCBirdfan said:

When I coached if any player on my team did not execute a bunt properly it meant laps either after the game or at the next practice. I'm not sure if coaches can do that these days.

The inmates have a hold of most of these asylums.  Yeah, can you see Chris Davis running laps around Camden Yards because he couldn't lay down a bunt?  I think what would infuriate me more than bunting are these guys(Davis especially) being incapable of hitting the ball the other way with a shift on.  It's almost like they give these guys a free hit and they just can't pull it off.  Amazing. 

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I hope this is a fad that goes away soon. Baseball in general is going down the drain quickly.

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On 5/31/2018 at 10:19 PM, Ravens2006 said:

Didn't the Royals win a World Series a few years ago with pitching, defense, speed, hustle, and passion?

I know there was some manufactured ill will when they beat the Orioles, but that was one of the most enjoyable teams to WATCH in my opinion of the last many years... and one that had they worn an Orioles cap would have been absolutely IDOLIZED by fans here for a long long time...

The Royals were a contact hitting team. They put the ball in play and over time, good things tend to happen when you put the ball in play. It is what a lot of people liked about Kim.

As for the article, there's a lot of people on here who hate the bunt because, 'it gives away an out', and from a purely analytical standpoint, that is true.

A hard look at the numbers seems to back that notion up.

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7 hours ago, JoyinMudville said:

 

As for the article, there's a lot of people on here who hate the bunt because, 'it gives away an out', and from a purely analytical standpoint, that is true.

 

So does a strikeout.  The Orioles would probably be better off bunting those 12 times per game.  They might at least get one or two bad throws out of it.

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2 hours ago, Thirteen said:

So does a strikeout.  The Orioles would probably be better off bunting those 12 times per game.  They might at least get one or two bad throws out of it.

I used to get lambasted on this board for saying that good things happen when you put the ball in play

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9 hours ago, JoyinMudville said:

I used to get lambasted on this board for saying that good things happen when you put the ball in play

I agree with you 100%.  I really don't get this whole, "so I strikeout?  Big deal" mentality.  When you put the ball in play, there's so many things that could happen.  Sure, you could hit into more double plays but mostly, there's potential for positive results.  If you grew up loving Nolan Ryan, be happy no one throws 300 innings anymore.  His 383 K's would have been shattered several times by now. 

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