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Ideas to Improve MLB

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Snake Diggit, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Tired of waiting on a big move, bored to death this week. Thought it might be fun to discuss ideas for improving the game. Here are some of the problems I think face the league:

    Labor relations: free agents aren't getting paid anymore, other players never have been paid. Minor leaguers are exploited and people have started to notice. Revenues and profits are up and the players % of the pie has shrunk.

    Fan experience: attending games is too expensive, and many people would like the pace of play to speed up.

    Competitive balance: Tanking is en vogue, 1/3 to 1/2 of the teams begin each season with no chance to win, while only 4-5 teams are truly in the mix. The draft structure is easily manipulated and the best players aren't always chosen first due to the bonus pool restrictions.

    My ideas:

    League minimum salary should be reset each year, based on a % of league revenue from the previous season.

    All players become part of the union upon signing a contract with a major league team (i.e., drafted players who sign become union members).

    Minor league minimum salary established at $40k per calendar year (prorated to when the player signs); players are paid to train in the offseason.

    All players under age 25 enter the league via a single draft. The draft is shortened to 25 rounds and the bonus pool is allocated across all 25 rounds. Draft eligible players who are not chosen become free agents. Any player over age 25 who has never been drafted is a free agent.

    No penalties for signing Qualifying Offer free agents. Teams who have a player reject a Qualifying Offer receive a draft pick after the 1st round. QO amount remains based on current calculations (average of top 120 player salaries).

    Luxury tax threshold set to double the league average payroll. Teams over the threshold lose their 1st round pick and the overage taxed at 100%. Tax collected gets distributed evenly to all teams who stay under the tax.

    "Tanking Tax" threshold set to half the league average payroll. Teams under the threshold are fined at 50% of the amount under the threshold. Teams under the threshold for 5 consecutive seasons must be sold, moved, or contracted.

    Eliminate revenue sharing among teams.

    Eliminate arbitration, service time calculations, the 40 man roster, the Rule 5 draft, and the waiver process. Players receive the league minimum salary for 6 seasons from the 1st season they are placed on a team's 25 man roster as long as the team tenders them a contract, after which they become free agents. If they are non-tendered they become free agents. Players not placed on a team's 25 man roster within 5 seasons of being signed are granted free agency. (Basically, the team can keep you in the minors for up to 5 seasons, and the team controls players for 6 seasons from the 1st day they are added to the 25 man roster, and players on the 25 man can be outrighted/optioned freely until they reach free agency.)

    Each team is allotted 3 pitching changes during the 1st 9 innings and 1 pitching change per extra inning. Pitchers should be warmed up prior to signaling for the change and will receive 2 minutes on the mound prior to the 1st batter taking the box. Additional pitching changes result in the next batter awarded a walk. Batters have 15 seconds from when the umpire calls the previous play over to step into the box. Pitchers have 15 seconds from the moment the batter steps in the box to deliver the pitch. A batter late to the box or stepping out of the box receives a strike. A pitcher exceeding the pitch clock is charged a ball. Intentional walks are requested by the pitcher and awarded to the batter without the pitcher having to throw pitches.

    Each team must price at least 5000 seats to every regular season game equal to the current federal minimum wage.

    MLB partners with a soft drink company, a beer company, and a food company to sponsor/subsidize those products at big league parks; every park must offer a combination of food and drink equal to the current federal minimum wage.

    Thoughts? Ideas?
     
    #1 Snake Diggit, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    For me, alter the ball or the mound. Pitchers throw harder and are throwing less fastballs. We've had ten straight years that each year sets the record for average fast ball velocity (fastball velocity is more a proxy for arm strength as arm speed gives hitters less time to determine difference between fastball and secondary pitches). We've had 8 years that 4S and 2S fastball rate has decreased each season to the lowest recorded. We've had 9 straight years that MLB has had set the record for lowest contact percent. Sure hitters are swinging more for homers, but that is partly because singles are worth less.

    Game is headed to more Ks as we get more high velocity and high spin sliders and curves. Hitters are trying to get more HRs to counter this. It all leads to less contact.
     
  3. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Good point; I agree the continued increase in k rate would be generally bad for the game. I would rather alter the ball than the mound. Maybe shrink the seams to make it harder to spin. Alternatively, they could shrink the strike zone. But I also think the pitch clock and other pace-of-play changes I outlined would serve the dual purpose of speeding up the game and reducing strikeouts (since pitchers would have less time between pitches and there would be fewer pitching changes strictly for matchups).
     
  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I think making ball spin less may be good as long as it doesn't cause blisters. I just don't know if changing the ball will affect contact that much, though, without drastically changing the game (I.e., breaking pitches need to break). I see moving mound back less intrusive than changing how the ball moves. They can make it bouncier very easy, but I'm more concerned with contact than I am with homers.

    I'd be against shrinking strike zone as we'd likely be trading Ks for BBs, and batters would swing less.

    Pitch clock would help. Keep batters in the box should be done first. I think this would speed up game a little. I don't think pitching changes will be limited based on pitchers getting hurt. I do worry that speed up the game measures will only work with strict enforcement and will only set back pace of play (time between contact) a few years.
     
  5. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    1. Automated strike zone so that umps will stop screwing it up and we can finally get some consistency when it comes to what is a strike and what is a ball.

    2. Get rid of the DH and go back to everyone playing real baseball, the gimmick is no longer needed. (I know, I'm on my own here)
     
  6. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I like the idea of an automated strike zone. I think MLB's system right now still has issues on some pitches. MLB Pitchers are insanely good, and there would be a lot more strikeouts if hitters didn't get the benefit of the doubt when a pitcher is ahead. There would be more walks as well as the reverse is also true. As someone that likes contact, I worry about how few balls in play we would have without umpires actively extending ABs.
     
  7. sealclubber1016

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    I would really like MLB to do away with one out relievers.

    If a pitcher comes in he should be mandated to face 3 batters. I wouldn't be opposed to a daily pitcher limit either, but it doesn't bother me as much. Seeing 3 pitching changes in one inning drives me up a wall for some reason.
     
  8. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    To me, it's more important that they get the calls right than to achieve any other specific outcome. Over time, I think the league would adjust and we'd be left with a better product. There's nothing I hate more than a hitter being struck out on ball 4....or a batter getting a walk on strike 3. The league has come a long way towards more consistency by adding replay to get calls right on the bags, I think it's a natural progression to now try to get the calls right at the plate.

    If a pitcher really is amazing enough to truly "paint the black" time and time again, he deserves those strike outs, if umps are merely giving him the benefit of the doubt and striking people out on balls off the plate, he does not deserve those strike outs.....and I say this as a former pitcher.
     
    #8 Bobbythegreat, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. bobrek

    bobrek Not a liberal, regardless of my posts
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    I’d go with a rule that the reliever has to face at least two batters or finish an inning.
     
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  10. donkeypunch

    donkeypunch Contributing Member

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    Firing Joe West and angel Hernandez.
     
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  11. Ariza4MVP

    Ariza4MVP Member

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    I'd create a free agency deadline that would make all players sign a few weeks after free agency starts.

    The nba and nfl offseasons are so much fun when deals start rolling in, where the mlb is boring.
     
  12. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    Player eligibility to get their big contracts at an age where many are at or near their declining years.

    This is related to the FA glut IMO.
     
  13. boomboom

    boomboom Contributing Member

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    In general, I like these suggestions...or something close to them. No need for a pitcher to throw 35 pitches in the bullpen and then come in and throw 15 more. They should be ready to go once they hit the mound...maybe 2 or 3 to get a feel for the environment...but definitely not the amount they get right now.

    Another thing that drives me nuts (and I know MLB has tried to cut down on this), there's a ton of batter re-adjusting during pitches. Not necessary (most of the time)...just grip it and rip it. (Very similar to basketball players shooting free throws...always having to slap five after the first free throw, make or miss)

    Ban Florida Marlins Guy from non-Florida Marlins games. (personal desire)
     
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  14. Robert Snyder

    Robert Snyder Contributing Member

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    I'll take a swing at some of your points:

    How to put more action into baseball, in response to higher strikeout rates and lower averages?
    Two radical ideas to start: 1) Move the pitching rubber back from 60' 6" to 62' or 63'. 2) Allow bat diameters to increase to 2.75" inches. Moving the pitching rubber back would provide a slight mitigation against increased pitch speed. In Select Leagues and High School, players are hitting with 2.75" inch diameter bats, and then are moving to smaller bats in professional baseball. Keep the larger bat diameters and it will allow for more contact on swings.

    All pitchers must pitch to/ face two consecutive batters before being removed from the game. If a pitcher is removed from a game before pitching to (or allowing intentional walks to) two consecutive batters, and is not ejected, the pitcher shall miss his team's next three games and not be replaced on the 25-man or 40-man roster, unless placed on the Disabled List. This is to prevent teams from "gaming the system".

    Implement the current AAA rules for a pitch clock: 15-seconds with no one on base, 20-second with runners on base. Keep 6 mound visits per 9 innings, with 1 additional visit per extra inning. No Extra Inning rule shenanigans with putting 'free' runners on base.


    Roster / Organization Rules:
    In reality, none of the following rules will ever change because the Players and Owners are both completely dug into their positions. However if I had carte blanche, this is would I would do: Expand the Active Roster from 25 to 27 players, with a limit of 13 pitchers, and instead of expansion to 32 teams, the 40-man roster would be expanded to 44 players per team. In September, the Active Roster would expand from 27 to 31 players.
    [MLB Service Time calculations: current Sept. rules- 15 extra players x 30 days = 450 MLB Service days.
    Proposed rule: 2 new players x 172 full yr. of service days = 344 MLB Service Days, plus 4 Sept. Roster players x 30 days = 120; 344 + 120 = 464 Total MLB Service Days, Players Association could gain 14 Service Days per season] In return for extra roster spots, players would have 4 minor league option seasons, before 5 full seasons (5.000) of Major League Service, with no exceptions (The current rule is 3 Option Years, with a special exception allowing for a 4th option year before 5 full season of MLB Service and 5 professional seasons).

    Finally, I bet the Players Association would fight to get Free Agency reduced from 6 years of MLB Service Time (usually spread out over 7 or 8 MLB seasons) to 5 years of MLB Service Time (spread out over 6 or 7 MLB seasons). Especially, with free agent contracts declining in the number, and value, this could be the next big fight of the CBA.
     
    #14 Robert Snyder, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  15. HatsForBats

    HatsForBats Member

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    I want nothing to do with this pace of play nonsense. Everything else in our lives is decided by a clock, I'd rather my favorite sport not be.

    Not sure we want to mess with the mound/ball/bat's while our pitching is dominant. Maybe after the window closes.

    Electronic strike zone in a heartbeat.
     
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  16. awc713

    awc713 Member
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    - aluminum bats
    - steroids
    - 7 inning games
    - relocate STL to portland
     
    #16 awc713, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  17. ApolloRLB

    ApolloRLB Member

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    Making relievers face min 3 batters or end the inning would be the biggest pace of play benefit to me with no need for a clock.
     
  18. marks0223

    marks0223 Astros 2017 Champions
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    I'm on the electronic strike zone bandwagon. I'm 100% sure it will eventually happen but since this is baseball they will wait until there is a major embarrassment with missed balls/strikes that forces their hand; probably has to involve the Yankees getting screwed out of a championship because of a bases loaded walk that should have been strike 3. An electronic strike zone would also make the in-game experience better. Seeing the placement of the pitches on the scoreboard would be nice. I can enjoy a pitchers duel on TV when pitchers are on their game and you're able to see the precise pitch location but you lose that visual at a game.

    There's 5 or 6 teams that can always afford to have huge payrolls, other teams have to catch lightening in a bottle with good young players to win a World Series. To me that's not a great system but it's been that way for so long I don't think we'll ever seen cap rules and revenue sharing like the NFL. I joke with my Yankee's friend that they haven't won a World Series in my lifetime, they have only purchased them. They've had the highest payroll in baseball for each of their championships and have won zero when they didn't have the highest payroll. Boston bought their Chip in 2018 (salty Astros fan).
     
    #18 marks0223, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  19. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    I think your labor stuff is too complicated this is simpler-
    Mandatory FA at 27 years old, or 6 years of service time, whichever comes first.
    Salary cap (hard) with salary floor at 75 percent of the cap. If you don’t want a strict hard cap I’d be ok with 1 salary exempted for homegrown/hometown hero- anyone drafted or signed with original team could be exempted from calculation and paid whatever.
    This would fix competitive balance, more or less get rid of tanking teams, fix service time manipulation and make guys get prizes for being good right now as opposed to young and cheap.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing a 5 year cap on salary length either- but I’m guessing that the maket probably takes care of that with the other suggestions.
    I love the idea of finish an inning or minimum of 3 hitters for reliever for game play stuff
    Also love lectronic strike zone.
     
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  20. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast
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