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Old 05-10-2019, 11:23 AM   #1
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How does baseball measure up in terms of watch-ability?

Sorry if this is frowned upon, but I posted this response in another thread and it got me wondering what everyone thinks. I'm presuming most people in here are huge baseball fans so let me know your thoughts. This post was in response to someone saying they haven't paid attention to the MLB in a while as they don't find it nearly as fun to watch as it was 20-30 years ago.



This is what worries me for the future of baseball. Of the 3 major sports (I don't count hockey) baseball is the only one where the most effective way to win includes 2 of the most boring outcomes. Follow me on this...

In football the game has changed to where a quick passing attack on offense and a vicious pass rush on defense are the most efficient ways to win. What does this lead to? More TD passes (Exciting), more sacks (Exciting), more long plays (Exciting), more interceptions (Exciting), more incompletions (Not Exciting). That's 4-1 exciting. Plus it indirectly leads to fewer hand offs to the rb who trips after two yards. Remember 3 yards and a cloud of dust? No? That's because it doesn't work in today's game.

In basketball the game has changed to where the 3 point shot and layups/dunks are the most efficient ways to win. What does this lead to? More 3's (Exciting), more dunks (Exciting), more layups (Mixed), more fouls (Not Exciting). That's 2.5 - 1.5 (Depending on how you count the mixed) for exciting. Plus, since basketball is the easiest sport to see the actual players while the game is going on it makes the dunks and the emotions all the more exhilarating.

But baseball...ooh my poor love baseball. The game has changed to the TTO is the most efficient way to win. What does this lead to? More homeruns (Exciting), more strikeouts (Not Exciting), more walks (The most insufferable god awful Not Exciting event in sports). That's 2-1 not exciting. Granted the home run is probably the most difficult single thing to do in all of sports, but for the lay person they don't know/care. Plus the TTO leads to more pitching changes and longer games. I'm sorry, even as an avid baseball fan I have no interest in watching 5 pitchers per side and 3 hour 35 minute games.

You can try the pitch clock (Dumb), you can try runners on 2nd in extra innings (Meh, still pretty dumb), you can try anything. But until the most effective way to win generates more exciting outcomes than boring ones...baseball won't get out of it's own way. I still love the game and watch my White Sox every chance I get, but the game is going the wrong way when it comes to watch-ability.

Obviously, this is my opinion so I'd love to hear dissenting voices/agreements from the community. Unless you're a Cubs fan.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
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Wait. Strikeouts not exciting? Says who? I love watching Hader rack up K's. I also love watching Sherzer strike out 300 guys a year. Maybe that's the little league pitcher in me talking. Mostly everything else I agree with. There are plenty of ways to speed up the game without adding stupid rules (like the 3-batter minimum).
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:36 AM   #3
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This really belongs in the Talk Sports forum, not in the OOTP 20 forum.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #4
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I'll say K's are exciting when the pitcher blows someone's doors in or buckles knees with a nasty curve. But most K's nowadays are because guys don't look to make contact at all. Or just watch a fastball go bye on the outside corner because even with two strikes they were looking to crush something middle in.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BIG17EASY View Post
This really belongs in the Talk Sports forum, not in the OOTP 20 forum.
Sorry, I'll copy it over to there.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:56 PM   #6
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The only time I watch MLB is during the playoffs. I use to be an avid watcher but it has gotten boring to me. Maybe it is because I am older now. Most at bats seem long and drawn out. I got tired of all the pitching changes. Batting averages and stolen bases now have a lot less value. Baseball is now a game of homeruns, strikeouts, pitching changes and delays. (And the money part is now constantly talked about and that has turned me off too).
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:12 PM   #7
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all pro sports have devolved into watching grass grow. maximizing profits and pandering to the lowest common denominator in order to do so is the likely cause.

if you can look past the utter lack of talent at the college level, maybe you can enjoy that a bit more. a slightly disengaged pro is still 10x more talented than some enabled sports brat in college.

going to a baseball game used to be fun. now, it's just like football with lots of standing around for commercial breaks, lol. self-absorbed people with weird time-consuming idiosyncrasies -- think nomar or sergio -- are a big part of 3-hour+ games in addition to packing in as many commercial breaks as humanly possible.

sports without a lot of stop-and-go are probably more enjoyable to watch. i can't follow soccer, so i guess hockey is the most entertaining? but, that league is so watered down and spread thin. plus, 2/3rds of the league gets into the playoffs... does everyone get a trophy for competing too?

basketball is only relevant to watch the last 3-5 minutes of a game. unless it is the playoffs, it seems teams take long stretches off ... i guess picking their butts.

too many commercials, and a drastic reduction in sophistication of at least the american populace over the last 4 decades has affected gameplay too -- i can't say that about other countries i am not as familiar with, but i'm fairly certain it's a common problem based on various current events around the world the last few years. horrendous choices with a plethora of historical examples as to why they are so horrendously ignorant and backward.

it's like banging your head against the wall and expecting a different result than a headache, or telling some person they are looking up on their golf swing and they reply adamantly, "no, i'm not." (young or old, doesn't matter much anymore).

it's no fun to watch because everything from the behaviour of individuals to how the business is run is indicative of ignorance and inflated self-confidence, lol... it's just the mob strolling down to the local colosseum.

if you don't (or did) play the games, it's probably difficult to care much. in another thread i mention something somewhat erroneous about how many actualyl spectate sports... i said "25%", but phone surveys say ~75%, which is just as insane. why does the best local ratings of an MLB team only hit ~9-10. that's 9-10% of all households equipped with a tv. it's just popular to say you like watching sports, but most just use it as an excuse to drink with friends, lol. few actually watch the games if you look at behaviour while at the bar.

conclusion - fun to play, but horrendously boring to watch. the novelty of going to a park, stadium or arena has certainly worn off for me. i sit there thinking the traffic and lack of entertainment is not worth the money expended each time. so, i stopped doing that.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoOne View Post
all pro sports have devolved into watching grass grow. maximizing profits and pandering to the lowest common denominator in order to do so is the likely cause.

if you can look past the utter lack of talent at the college level, maybe you can enjoy that a bit more. a slightly disengaged pro is still 10x more talented than some enabled sports brat in college.

going to a baseball game used to be fun. now, it's just like football with lots of standing around for commercial breaks, lol. self-absorbed people with weird time-consuming idiosyncrasies -- think nomar or sergio -- are a big part of 3-hour+ games in addition to packing in as many commercial breaks as humanly possible.

sports without a lot of stop-and-go are probably more enjoyable to watch. i can't follow soccer, so i guess hockey is the most entertaining? but, that league is so watered down and spread thin. plus, 2/3rds of the league gets into the playoffs... does everyone get a trophy for competing too?

basketball is only relevant to watch the last 3-5 minutes of a game. unless it is the playoffs, it seems teams take long stretches off ... i guess picking their butts.

too many commercials, and a drastic reduction in sophistication of at least the american populace over the last 4 decades has affected gameplay too -- i can't say that about other countries i am not as familiar with, but i'm fairly certain it's a common problem based on various current events around the world the last few years. horrendous choices with a plethora of historical examples as to why they are so horrendously ignorant and backward.

it's like banging your head against the wall and expecting a different result than a headache, or telling some person they are looking up on their golf swing and they reply adamantly, "no, i'm not." (young or old, doesn't matter much anymore).

it's no fun to watch because everything from the behaviour of individuals to how the business is run is indicative of ignorance and inflated self-confidence, lol... it's just the mob strolling down to the local colosseum.

if you don't (or did) play the games, it's probably difficult to care much. in another thread i mention something somewhat erroneous about how many actualyl spectate sports... i said "25%", but phone surveys say ~75%, which is just as insane. why does the best local ratings of an MLB team only hit ~9-10. that's 9-10% of all households equipped with a tv. it's just popular to say you like watching sports, but most just use it as an excuse to drink with friends, lol. few actually watch the games if you look at behaviour while at the bar.

conclusion - fun to play, but horrendously boring to watch. the novelty of going to a park, stadium or arena has certainly worn off for me. i sit there thinking the traffic and lack of entertainment is not worth the money expended each time. so, i stopped doing that.

You live in the US? But you're from somewhere else, correct?
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:21 PM   #9
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I don't know why you exclude soccer and hockey -- which are probably the two most exciting sports to watch either live or on TV. They both have continuous action with less insufferable commercial breaks (NFL is the worst at this). The Champions League just served up one of the most crazy tournaments ever -- if it was a script it would seem fake.

Baseball is an interesting case -- I think sabermetrics have made baseball simultaneously more interesting and boring. Interesting because it serves up a whole host of new stats and ways of looking and analyzing the game. More boring because of TTO like you've stated. I think baseball is more fun with a heavier dose of contact hitting and baserunning. Things go in cycles though, you never know what the next era will bring. I'd like to see a limit of 10 pitchers per roster as a means to change up the game.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:30 PM   #10
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I agree that baseball has become less exciting to watch, but I also have to say that I was never a big "watcher" of baseball. I love it on radio, because I am doing other things, or live, but only watch it sporadically on TV, usually while doing other things, so that it is mostly like radio with video replay.


I also prefer a game with more base running, more contact, and fewer strikeouts and home runs. I don't dislike home runs, per se, but the focus on them has increased the strikeouts and, frankly, for me a home run is a very boring highlight, one big swing and then a slow trot.


I attended a high school game last year and was amused at how fast the game goes when you don't have to work in kisscams, sausage races, etc. and just go from the end of one half inning to the start of the next with a few throws and get it going!
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:13 PM   #11
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I don't know why you exclude soccer and hockey -- which are probably the two most exciting sports to watch either live or on TV. They both have continuous action with less insufferable commercial breaks
I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But many of us would agree soccer is more "continuous". But "action" is stretching it. Some of us find 30 or so fake ankle injuries eye roll inducing. And sitting through 90 minutes to spy the only 10 actual real scoring chances a reason to turn the channel.

As far as the OT.......I said the same things earlier this year when talking about how sabermetrics has inadvertently ruined the game. If the new approach really is the way to victory, then baseball does indeed have a problem. If Elvis way back when described baseball as a "whole lot of nothin' goes on", how do you think this instant gratification-raised generation views the current game?

I'll give an example. My mom. She gave me my love of sports. She is a baseball fan first and foremost. She loved the game before every game was televised. She dreamed of being Pee Wee Reese. She waited still while listening to Red Barber call the Brooklyn Dodgers on the radio. And we used to kid her all the time about being so slow in movement. So she isn't the type to want to hurry things up.

Now she is approaching 80. And she hates the way the game is played now. It takes too long for her. The moments between the times when the ball is actually put in play last longer than multitude of commercial breaks. Hitting seems more about strength than skill. She has always loved strike outs. But the past, it was more about the pitcher throwing something the batter couldn't hit. Now it is more about the hitter not being able to hit what's thrown, if you get my point.

If a fan of 8 decades is less drawn to today's game, then how many 8 yr olds do we think are going to have the temperment to sit through a broadcast today?
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:53 PM   #12
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I'm never bored watching baseball. Never. However, I will grant that I do other things at times when "watching" baseball, like crossword puzzles or even OOTPB!

The thing is, comparing baseball to other sports is like comparing apples and oranges. Different intensity, different pace, different level of strategy.

Not that it's a bad question to ask. My fear is that baseball will go the way of intelligent, story-relating film due to the numbing and dumbing down of society so that anything short of mindless, recurring, and immediate gratification of the senses is considered "boring."
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #13
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Greinke taking over two minutes between pitches last night was painful
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:09 PM   #14
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on tv, its not my favorite sport to actively engage in watching. in person you get better angles and context for how these people are good at their jobs.

i have it ranked
football
basketball
soccer
baseball on tv
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:40 AM   #15
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Hockey is ok in person but I do not like it on TV. Most of the the I do not see the puck when there is a score so I miss the most important part. I guess I need a 96 inch Tv that will automatically go into slow motion 10 seconds before a score.
I enjoy college basketball but all the timeouts mess up the flow of the game.
Soccer-I have watched some on TV and went to some pro indoor games (which I enjoyed more). To me outdoor soccer is about the most boring sport on TV along with synchronized swimming. Curling is more interesting. To me it is mostly a couple guys standing around kicking the ball back and forth and every now and then a player running/dribbling the ball about 30 yards until they are tripped. This for 2 hours for a 1-1 tie and then they play a different game called a shootout. Just my opinion
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:10 PM   #16
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Greinke taking over two minutes between pitches last night was painful
Are you sure you don't want to see it again?
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:33 AM   #17
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I'm never bored watching baseball. Never. However, I will grant that I do other things at times when "watching" baseball, like crossword puzzles or even OOTPB!
Yeah, so do I. I will routinely play OOTP alongside an actual baseball game (what did I buy four different screens - TV, two laptops, PC with a huge-*** screen - for after all?), or something else that is not a real-time game, like Civilization, and that will wait for me a few minutes at a time. Or do a Sudoku.

I need that stuff going, and not just because every baseball game has inherently 30 to 45 minutes of scheduled downtime for between-innings commercials, pitching changes, video review etc... It's because MLB.tv will show me the same three clips or commercials every single ****ing commercial break and you go insane by the third inning if you got nothing to do.

And the only other thing I really watch is auto racing, and those two things are hard to compare.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:09 AM   #18
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If baseball were any other sport, they would have noticed that there were too many K's about 20 years ago and done something about it. I'm glad they're taking steps to finally step up the pace of play (maybe, and only about 40 years too late) but there's still too much of this idea that baseball is some sort of perfect machine. Surely it can't be that hard to deaden the balls a little, lower the mound a little, and eliminate most of the in-between faffing around.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:07 AM   #19
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The only time I watch MLB is during the playoffs. I use to be an avid watcher but it has gotten boring to me. Maybe it is because I am older now. Most at bats seem long and drawn out. I got tired of all the pitching changes. Batting averages and stolen bases now have a lot less value. Baseball is now a game of homeruns, strikeouts, pitching changes and delays. (And the money part is now constantly talked about and that has turned me off too).
yup...that is why OOTP will flourish....we love the game hate what it has become
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:21 PM   #20
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This is all kind of sad though. If avid, lifelong fans are getting bored by what they see then why is some 10 year old going to start watching it. These 3 hour games go past his bed time anyway. They'll have to do something.

In the good news department the White Sox/Indians game was over in 2 hr 30 min last night. Both starters pitched into the 7th and yet 6 total pitchers were still used. The only one that really slows it down though is when pitchers are changed between batters which only happened twice. Some MLB exec needs to watch that game and find a way to replicate it. Lol
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