2023 MLB General Chat

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I figured I’d start a thread for general MLB discussion that doesn’t fit into the Reds or Guardians threads.

In the wake of all the discussion of football officiating, just a reminder that we have another year of Angel Hernandez and C.B. Buckner to look forward to. The MLB umpires’ union must be the strongest in world history for these guys to remain on the job after years of horrific performances.

Plus 10 pretty well-respected umps retired this offseason, so there’s going to be a lot of new blood this season, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.




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Outside of politicians, no one gets more grief than professional officials/ umpires. I'm sure the new guys will do just fine. We put way too much emphasis on who the officials are.
The new rules are silly and just a way for baseball to be in the headlines. It's unfortunate that the leaders in these sports allow TV networks, fans and media to run their leagues.
 
Outside of politicians, no one gets more grief than professional officials/ umpires. I'm sure the new guys will do just fine. We put way too much emphasis on who the officials are.
The new rules are silly and just a way for baseball to be in the headlines. It's unfortunate that the leaders in these sports allow TV networks, fans and media to run their leagues.
You kill me. MLB is a business, right? The two largest sources of revenue are what? TV networks and fans.

So you are saying it is unfortunate that a business lets their two largest revenue sources influence their business decisions. That is amazing! Thanks for the laugh.
 
You kill me. MLB is a business, right? The two largest sources of revenue are what? TV networks and fans.

So you are saying it is unfortunate that a business lets their two largest revenue sources influence their business decisions. That is amazing! Thanks for the laugh.
To me, it's a business - secondarily. It's sports. First, there was sports, then networks found out people wanted to watch the games, so they put them on, more and more. We have more games on than ever. But NOW, the networks want to CHANGE the rules of the games that's been played for decades to make it fit into the TV box better??? To me this is wrong.
 
To me, it's a business - secondarily. It's sports. First, there was sports, then networks found out people wanted to watch the games, so they put them on, more and more. We have more games on than ever. But NOW, the networks want to CHANGE the rules of the games that's been played for decades to make it fit into the TV box better??? To me this is wrong.
TV networks have nothing to do with the 2023 rule changes.

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TV networks have nothing to do with the 2023 rule changes.

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What....you don't think the networks want more attractive games to watch? That's the whole point of the pitch clock, the ghost runner on 2nd for extra innings, etc.
 
What....you don't think the networks want more attractive games to watch? That's the whole point of the pitch clock, the ghost runner on 2nd for extra innings, etc.
The whole point of the rules is that the league office and team owners are tired of losing fans because the games take too long to be played and are too slow-paced for many viewers.

(As an aside, if TV networks want more attractive games, they should push MLB to implement a salary cap and salary floor so they’d have a wider pool of competitive teams to choose from instead of going to the well with the same dozen or so teams every year.)

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To me, it's a business - secondarily. It's sports. First, there was sports, then networks found out people wanted to watch the games, so they put them on, more and more. We have more games on than ever. But NOW, the networks want to CHANGE the rules of the games that's been played for decades to make it fit into the TV box better??? To me this is wrong.
But you keep telling us on the Reds thread that the Castellini's have a successful franchise because they make money. So is it a business first, or a sport first? Be consistent in your arguments.

The networks aren't changing the rules. The MLB is changing the rules because they are losing fans and viewers every year because the games are too dam slow and too dam long. If the ratings keep dropping, so will their TV revenue. It is just good business to try to improve your product to match your customers' demands.

Which is why your original post on the topic was so dumb. As a reminder, you said: It's unfortunate that the leaders in these sports allow TV networks, fans and media to run their leagues.
 
Remember when the Regional Sports networks were among the most valuable cable assets? It was only a couple of years ago. Now they all are bankrupt. Insane.
 
Past couple days at Grapefruit League games. I tell any fan that will listen that nothing beats spring training games. All spring training parks have diamonds out back where they warm up and take BP. For most teams/parks you can show early and stand at fence and watch BP and usually have conversations with the players. I spoke to a couple big leaguers and a coach for a half hour today just standing at the fence. It beats regular season by far IMO.

Oh yeah the weather ain’t bad either. 😆
 
So the Padres give 30-year-old Machado an 11 year, $350 million extension. Insane. It better pay off with a couple WS titles in the next 4-5 years, because the tail end of this contract will be the worst.

Add this on top of the contracts for Tatis, Darvish, Bogaerts. Paying Soto $23M this year also, and they will need a huge LT contract to avoid him leaving after this season. And San Diego is a similar sized market to Cincy...
 
So the Padres give 30-year-old Machado an 11 year, $350 million extension. Insane. It better pay off with a couple WS titles in the next 4-5 years, because the tail end of this contract will be the worst.

Add this on top of the contracts for Tatis, Darvish, Bogaerts. Paying Soto $23M this year also, and they will need a huge LT contract to avoid him leaving after this season. And San Diego is a similar sized market to Cincy...
Those deals won’t age well, you’re right. I guess they figure Bogaerts and Machado can be their 1B and DH once they reach 2030 or so.

The Tatis deal ends at age 35 after 2034, so that looks like a good deal comparatively speaking.

Soto has two seasons left before free agency, and I think they’re almost pot-committed to extending him unless things go totally south this season.

I still can’t believe they extended Darvish through 2028, during which he’ll turn 42. He’s still pretty good right now, but he might be done pretty quick once it starts to go downhill.

Like you’ve told 14Red re: the Reds, scared money doesn’t make money. The Padres as recently as 2018 had a payroll of $94 million and were drawing 26,000 fans a game, many probably at relatively low ticket prices since they were on Year 8 in a row of being sub-.500. After 2018, they went out and got Machado, then Tatis came up in 2019 and it’s been uphill since then.

Last year they drew just under 37,000, and that was with four months pre-Soto and now they’ve added Bogaerts to the mix. I’d be surprised if they average less than 39,000 this year.

Let’s say they get $80 per head between ticket, parking, and in-game concessions/merch, and let’s say that number was more like $60 per head when the team stunk.

So that’s 13,000 extra fans at $80 each x 81 games = $84.24 million

Plus 26,000 existing fans at an extra $20 each x 81 games = $42.12 million

So that’s $126 million added revenue right there. Maybe you toss in a conservative two home gates for the playoffs at around $8 million total at least. Plus an extra $20 million in apparel being bought. Plus in-stadium advertising deals can probably fetch more money if you’re demonstrating more people in the park and more watching on TV.

So all of that revenue ends up supporting going from $94 million to $230 million in payroll over a relatively short period. I wish the Reds ownership group had the guts to bet on their ability to put a winning team on the field.

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Those deals won’t age well, you’re right. I guess they figure Bogaerts and Machado can be their 1B and DH once they reach 2030 or so.

The Tatis deal ends at age 35 after 2034, so that looks like a good deal comparatively speaking.

Soto has two seasons left before free agency, and I think they’re almost pot-committed to extending him unless things go totally south this season.

I still can’t believe they extended Darvish through 2028, during which he’ll turn 42. He’s still pretty good right now, but he might be done pretty quick once it starts to go downhill.

Like you’ve told 14Red re: the Reds, scared money doesn’t make money. The Padres as recently as 2018 had a payroll of $94 million and were drawing 26,000 fans a game, many probably at relatively low ticket prices since they were on Year 8 in a row of being sub-.500. After 2018, they went out and got Machado, then Tatis came up in 2019 and it’s been uphill since then.

Last year they drew just under 37,000, and that was with four months pre-Soto and now they’ve added Bogaerts to the mix. I’d be surprised if they average less than 39,000 this year.

Let’s say they get $80 per head between ticket, parking, and in-game concessions/merch, and let’s say that number was more like $60 per head when the team stunk.

So that’s 13,000 extra fans at $80 each x 81 games = $84.24 million

Plus 26,000 existing fans at an extra $20 each x 81 games = $42.12 million

So that’s $126 million added revenue right there. Maybe you toss in a conservative two home gates for the playoffs at around $8 million total at least. Plus an extra $20 million in apparel being bought. Plus in-stadium advertising deals can probably fetch more money if you’re demonstrating more people in the park and more watching on TV.

So all of that revenue ends up supporting going from $94 million to $230 million in payroll over a relatively short period. I wish the Reds ownership group had the guts to bet on their ability to put a winning team on the field.

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We are in total agreement about spending money to make money. I'm just floored by the length of the contracts that take players into their 40's.
 
We are in total agreement about spending money to make money. I'm just floored by the length of the contracts that take players into their 40's.
Agreed. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there are private conversations among team owners fuming about what in the world some teams are doing giving extreme long-term contracts like the Machado and Bogaerts deals, among others.

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TV networks have nothing to do with the 2023 rule changes.

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I'm not too sure that is 100% accurate. Those marathon games between the Yankees and Red Sox weren't so appealing to viewers, unless they might have been a die hard, strict rules baseball fan. But for the average, ordinary fan who might flip on the channel, watching a batter step out of the box like Nomar Garciappara did or a pitcher that threw lazy pickoff throws, then it probably didn't catch their eye. I liked the chess games played, but I guess the new rules are just going to speed that up.

Its also no secret that fans love offense more than they do defense in baseball. Getting rid of the defensive shift might generate more offense. It is also going to make defense a more important part of the game. I remember watching Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar making these amazing double plays because there wasn't much of a shift.

Speaking of offense, its kind of crazy they made the bases larger, shortening the distance between bases (makes Ricky Henderson's record even more amazing) but it increases the number of opportunities to score with more base runners.

I can't say I 100% like the rules. They are kind of minor-leaguish, but we'll see what happens. As for networks, shortening up the game time, while increasing scoring is a win-win. Less dead time broadcasted, but more runs scored.

As long as games don't end like this:

 

The Pirates, Astros, Rockies and Mariners are the next to see their RSN situation crumble, as Warner Bros. Discovery looks to get out of the RSN business ASAP. They own the AT&T SportsNet/ROOT Sports channels in those markets.

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I'm hoping Scripps picks up as many of these RSNs as possible in the TV markets where they already have a station. Scripps is possibly interested in picking up the scraps of Bally Sports and AT&T sports networks, then airing games over the air on their ION networks as well as a DTC component. From a fan perspective it would be the best of both worlds, since you could technically watch every game for free with an antenna. Whether or not Scripps would actually take this on and turn it into a profitable venture remains to be seen.

If I had to watch every game thru the internet and deal with these lousy streaming sites, I would probably watch far fewer sports. IE: MLS
 
A day late, but I’ll make some predictions for this season:

AL East

1. Blue Jays
2. Yankees
3. Orioles
4. Rays
5. Red Sox

AL Central

1. Twins
2. Guardians
3. White Sox
4. Royals
5. Tigers

AL West

1. Mariners
2. Astros
3. Rangers
4. Angels
5. A’s

NL East

1. Braves
2. Mets
3. Phillies
4. Marlins
5. Nats

NL Central

1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Brewers
4. Reds
5. Pirates

NL West

1. Dodgers
2. Padres
3. Giants
4. D-Backs
5. Rockies

AL Playoffs:

Seeding:

1. Mariners
2. Blue Jays
3. Twins
4. Astros
5. Yankees
6. Guardians

Wild Card round:

Guardians over Twins
Yankees over Astros

Divisional round:

Yankees over Mariners
Blue Jays over Guardians

ALCS:

Yankees over Blue Jays

NL Playoffs:

Seeding:

1. Braves
2. Dodgers
3. Cardinals
4. Padres
5. Mets
6. Phillies

Wild Card round:

Phillies over Cardinals
Mets over Padres

Divisional round:

Mets over Braves
Dodgers over Phillies

NLCS:

Mets over Dodgers

World Series:

Mets over Yankees in 7 games

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A quick bit of appreciation for Shohei Ohtani:

After throwing 7 innings of 1-hit, no-run baseball against the Nats last night, Ohtani is now sporting a 0.47 ERA through three starts this season. That’s in addition to hitting .300 with a .979 OPS, 3 HR and 8 RBI so far.

Granted, his pitching performances were against Oakland and the the Nats along with Seattle, but the results are still great.

Get this guy into the postseason or onto a winning team ASAP.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 
A quick bit of appreciation for Shohei Ohtani:

After throwing 7 innings of 1-hit, no-run baseball against the Nats last night, Ohtani is now sporting a 0.47 ERA through three starts this season. That’s in addition to hitting .300 with a .979 OPS, 3 HR and 8 RBI so far.

Granted, his pitching performances were against Oakland and the the Nats along with Seattle, but the results are still great.

Get this guy into the postseason or onto a winning team ASAP.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
I saw a fitting tweet the other day. Something along the lines of it seems like every 5 days we hear about Mike Trout making an incredible play while going 3-4 with a HR and a triple as Ohtani throws a no hitter while hitting 2 HRs as the Angels lose 3-5 to the Tigers.
 
A quick bit of appreciation for Shohei Ohtani:

After throwing 7 innings of 1-hit, no-run baseball against the Nats last night, Ohtani is now sporting a 0.47 ERA through three starts this season. That’s in addition to hitting .300 with a .979 OPS, 3 HR and 8 RBI so far.

Granted, his pitching performances were against Oakland and the the Nats along with Seattle, but the results are still great.

Get this guy into the postseason or onto a winning team ASAP.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
No doubt. He is an absolute unicorn, and he broke the WAR formula. How can he not be an off-the-charts WAR leader in the MLB? There is no "R" (replacement) for him.
 
A quick bit of appreciation for Shohei Ohtani:

After throwing 7 innings of 1-hit, no-run baseball against the Nats last night, Ohtani is now sporting a 0.47 ERA through three starts this season. That’s in addition to hitting .300 with a .979 OPS, 3 HR and 8 RBI so far.

Granted, his pitching performances were against Oakland and the the Nats along with Seattle, but the results are still great.

Get this guy into the postseason or onto a winning team ASAP.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
He's an absolute freak of nature, and you just wonder if we give up on our (American) kids too early playing both ways. Hunter Greene was originally drafted by the Reds as a pitcher/ shortstop. A phenominal athlete, but was quickly moved to pitching only because that gave him the "best chance" at success. The closest we've seen in recent history was Michael Lorenzen, who honestly was the Reds best defensive outfielder the last few years he was in Cincy. The amazing thing about Ohtani is he does both and stays relativley healthy. Lorenzen tried starting for a bit, but got hurt with the innings load, and it's so hard to mix in an everyday player for a relief pitcher because you never know when you need him.

Sadly, one of the "haves" will likely throw the biggest bone at him and he'll be off to another team, although the Angles are a team who's spend as much as about anyone with little results. The Angels are a team who's wasted alot of money on sub par talent.
 
I saw a fitting tweet the other day. Something along the lines of it seems like every 5 days we hear about Mike Trout making an incredible play while going 3-4 with a HR and a triple as Ohtani throws a no hitter while hitting 2 HRs as the Angels lose 3-5 to the Tigers.
Because single baseball players don't have the impact on the team that they do in football and basketball. It's the nature of the beast.
 
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season and Oakland (8-31) is still performing at a historically poor level, with a run differential of -146 and on track for 33 wins.

I think they’ll win more than 33, but something like the 2003 Tigers’ 43-119 could be realistic. They’re threatening the expansion ‘62 Mets for worst modern-day record ever.

IMG_1284.png

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