Putting the Ball in Play

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Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Putting the Ball in Play

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Wed May 12, 2021 10:12 am

Oh Boy.
Where do I begin.
You know what line I am hearing most from Major League Managers after winning a game?
Here it is.

Baseball has become home run derby. It is all about the three outcomes. Home Runs, Walks, Strike Outs.
Players are concerned about launch angles and how to hit more homers.
Coaches show them how to do it.
Managers oversee this. And GM's have their organizations tuned to the home run.

Hit and run? Screw it.
Stolen base? Who needs it.
Bunt? What's that?
When was the last time you saw a game and heard the word, 'spray' ?
Spraying the ball has become a lost art. Spraying the ball implies that a home run will not be struck.
It's too bad.
Rod Carew, Pete Rose, Ichiro, Ty Cobb.
Screw them.
Today, it is all about the Bobby Dalbec's of the world.
No offense, Bobby, I'm sure you're a good kid.
But, you couldn't hold these players jocks.
But take solace, Bobby, you're a wonderful Spring Training home run hitter.

Yes, each time a game is won, a Manager credits a player for "putting a ball in play."
It's almost as if the Managers are old enough to remember how baseball SHOULD be played, but are trapped and bound to the current system.

You know how you get players to put balls in play?
Start drafting those type of players.
Nick Madrigal is fun to watch. So is David Fletcher. We want more!
I'd much rather watch their at bats than somebody like Gary Sanchez who moves like a wounded pigeon and swings like a rusty gate.

YES. Put the ball in play. We want to see the ball put in play.
But, until these stupid Ivy League GM's get tired of solo home runs, we will not see it as much as we want.
In war time, all strategies are used to win a war. The same thought process should be used for baseball.
Please GM's, find another way to get rid of the shift.
Going OVER a shift is only one way to beat it. Go AROUND the shift with spraying. Go UNDER the shift with bunting.
Sign and draft players who can bunt, steal, go to the opposite field, and, you know, put the ball in play.
Look at the stats. Pitchers are kicking hitters ass.
The shift is kicking hitters ass.
Yet, the bright minds of Harvard and Princeton do not change their strategies.
Thanks God, they are only baseball GM's ruining our game for a generation and not Generals for our military.
We'd all be in real trouble.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Re: Putting the Ball in Play

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Thu May 13, 2021 8:02 am

Please stop, RotoWorld.
You're just plain making asses out of yourselves.
Like you, I look at these blurbs every day to get updates.
The updates are fine.
It is some of the writers opinions or opinions 'hidden' in supposed facts that infuriate me.
Today's was really stupid. Here it is....

Kyle Seager went 0-for-3 against the Dodgers on Wednesday.
The hitless game brings Seager's batting average to .237 over 154 plate appearances. On the bright side, he's hit seven homers and driven in 26 runs. With a strikeout rate of only 19.5 percent, hard-hit rate of 45.4 percent, and barrel rate of 14.8 percent, there's plenty of reason to believe better days are ahead. With the quality of contact he's made, his expected batting average sits at .270 while a .572 expected slugging supports the power output.

Just who in the bloody Hell set Seagers 'expected batting average at .270?
None of us.
I own Seager in a Main Event. I don't expect .270
The Forecaster projected a .244 average.

Remember the Steve Martin gag where he does some stupid stuff, then looks into the camera and says with a smile, "I get paid for doing this!"
So do RotoWorld writers! For doing stupid stuff!
Seager hasn't hit .270 since 2016!
And it was the only time he's ever done it.
Take some pride in your work!
Quit suggesting that 'barrels' or 'quality contact' has a lot to do with batting average.

Back in the day, Matty Alou won a batting title.
I know, I know...I'm old.
I reveled in Alou. The guy never seemed to hit the ball hard.
He bunted. He led the league in infield hits. He was the modern day Willie Keeler.
Even as a kid watching him, I didn't think his luck would hold all year.
But it did. And beyond.
In fact he would lead the league in hitting with a .342 batting average without seemingly hitting the ball hard.
He would also AVERAGE hitting .335 over a four year span.
He had a lifetime batting average of .307
Alou was a revelation.
He averaged two home runs a year over his career.
In fact, hitting more triples (50) than homers (31) over his 15 year career. (more than enough to dismiss him from today's game)

Hold on to your shorts.
Here is something we will NEVER see from ANY modern day player.
Alou is a 21/24/2 player.
Over his career, Alou averaged 21 BB, 24 K, and 2 HR. The ANTI-three outcome player!
As of now, after just a month of baseball, four players are hitting over .342
None are expected to keep it up for a year.
No matter how much 'quality contact' they have.
It's a different game.
Quality contact is fine. But just plain contact is better.
Behind the 'quality contact usually lurks no contact.
No contact never wins batting titles or in this day and age, hardly makes for a .270 hitter.
Alou showed us that some contact can do wonders over no contact.
Or, as some Managers are lamenting now....Alou put the ball in play.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Re: Putting the Ball in Play

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Tue May 18, 2021 7:06 am

Last night, I went to dinner with my wife and a friend of my wife who was visiting from out of town. I dislike having to go out somewhere on Monday, Friday, or Sunday. As you know, those are the important days for our game with lineups and FAAB involved. I 'suggested' that we go to dinner at 6:30 (After all the lineups are shown) and I also 'suggested' that we go to a restaurant that had several tv's that I knew would be showing baseball games.
It all worked out. At least as far as being fantasy-ready.

My wife's friend is one of those loud, talkative, and very chatty type of women. And since we hadn't seen one another for years, she had a lot to say.
A LOT to say.
Over her shoulder, the Mets-Braves game.
Consumed in the game while she gabbed, I noticed that Taijuan Walker did not come out for the fourth inning. A quick check of my phone let me know that he left with an injury. Since I have Walker on a Main Event team, I was annoyed. My wife's voice broke me from my fantasy haze, "Yeah Dan, it really isn't polite to get on your phone while Barb is telling a story". I had no idea what the story was. All I knew was that I would be out a pitcher.
"Sorry, force of habit....you were saying, Barb?...."

Over dinner, Barb kept talking...and talking. Over her shoulder, from my same Main Event team, Max Fried was leaving the game with a trainer.
You know, when we have two of your pitchers throwing against each other, we hope for two things. A low scoring ball game and a Win.
I guess I have to add now that I want both pitchers to be healthy afterwards!
I want to check my phone to see how bad both injuries are. But I have no idea if Barb is in the middle of a story or not.
Her voice has become like Charlie Brown's teacher to me. I'm really not listening to a word.
When I hear a break in her droning, I let them know that I need to use the restroom.
Away from the constant yakking, I catch up on Walker, Fried, and the other scores.
It's not a good night for me. Another injury will hurt some DC teams. A pitcher in my DC's is getting blown up.
A fantasy night from Hell.

Going back to the table, I decide that I will start engaging in conversation to take my mind off Fantasyland.
I ask Barb about her politics. She tells us that she's a Republican who hates what Trump has done to the party and blah, blah, blah.
Suddenly, it was if the air went out of the restaurant. A loud groan went up from the people sitting at the bar.
I looked at the tv screen over Barb's shoulder.
I could see that a Met had been hit by a pitch. And that it looked bad.
As a human, the first thing we think is, 'I hope he's ok'.
As a fantasy owner, we want to know who it is and how many teams we have him on.
After a minute or two, I could tell it was Kevin Pillar.
I have Pillar. Of course, I have Pillar.
I shook my head.
Barb looked at me and said, "That is horrible, right Dan?"
"You have no idea, Barb."

My wife and I dropped Barb off.
"You did pretty well tonight", my wife said. "Barb probably thinks you were actually listening to her conversation".
"Can you tell me anything she said?"
I smiled. I really could not think of one thing she said except for when I asked her about her politics..
"She's a Republican who doesn't follow Trump."
"Not bad! Now tell me about the game that was on behind her."
"I had both pitchers going. It was great. They were putting up zeroes. But then one of them left after three innings with an injury.
Then my other pitcher leaves with an injury! They pitched well before leaving.
Then, my hitter from another fantasy team gets hit in the face with a pitch. Horrible stuff.
It was like saying goodbye to to old friends. My two pitchers gave me great innings before leaving and even my hitter got an RBI for his troubles".
The Mets won the game 3-1."
My wife chuckled.
"Did you know that Barb is getting a divorce?"
"That she's thinking about moving back here?
"That she's looking for a place here in town already?"
Sheepishly, I said no.
She smiled and said, "I kind of figured that."
And with her letting me off the proverbial hook, I wondered how the injuries of Walker, Fried, and Pillar would turn out.
We all have our own dramas.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

Posts: 12941
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Re: Putting the Ball in Play

Post by DOUGHBOYS » Thu May 20, 2021 4:44 am

I can't remember a year where fantasy baseball has been less fun than this year. There are some days when I only think about our hobby a few hours a day instead of almost every waking moment. Tedium and frustration have replaced excitement and exhilaration for me this year. At first, I thought it was my teams not doing well after having a good year last year.
But, it isn't.
Even when my teams performed poorly, early in the season in the past, the excitement was still there to turn it around.
This year, I believe my teams have a chance to be better over the rest of the season.
But, the excitement that comes with that thought has been replaced by blase and meh.

Overall, I believe there are two reasons for the malaise.
One is injuries. Injuries have been so bad across the board this year that our game has changed. It's not as much of a question in who has the best players but who has the most players. Taking zeroes, always a worst case scenario in the past, has become a weekly occurrence.
Players are pulling hamstrings more than a 17 year old boy pulls his wanker. Two players have been hit in the face by a pitch. Others hit on the hands resulting in broken bones. We've had an inner thigh abscess, broken pinkies, broken fingers, forearm soreness, elbow problems, shoulder fatigue.
Heck, we've had two hands broken by pitchers after slamming it after a bad showing in a baseball game and a bad showing in a video game.
Five of the top six players taken overall this year, have already hit the injured list.
And, of course, there is the sudden occurrences of Covid. This could be from having symptoms, to testing positive, to associating with somebody who tested positive, to having a reaction after a vaccination.
It never stops.

In the past, injuries were a challenge in our game. It added intrigue to FAAB. It was a part of our game where we wanted to be better than the others who play our game.
This year, it's not about that. It's about survival. We are trying to avoid zeroes instead of trying to be better than the other guy.
An opponent in a DC League of mine seemed pretty set at first base to begin the year.
He selected Jose Abreu, Keston Hiura, Joey Votto, and Wilmer Flores at the position.
For Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, he'll be taking zeroes at a position where injury occurs the least.

Because of injury, lineups are a lot easier to maintain.
Simply, the injured players are benched. The healthy players, play.
There is little of which player will have a better week.
More of which player will have a week, period.

Injuries aren't the only reason for boredom in our game.
Boredom in the game of baseball itself, is the main reason.
All the players are swinging for home runs.
This makes it easier for pitchers to get outs.
There have already been six no-hitters.
The record for no-hitters in a season is seven.
That could be broken tomorrow.

We have the perfect storm of hard throwing pitchers with a lot of movement and hitters going to the plate with only one thing on their minds.
There are no more singles hitters. No more judys.
Rallies are made up of walks more than singles.
62 players are averaging a home run a week.
Just 21 players are hitting .300 or better.

The poster boy for the modern game is Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal is averaging a strike out per game. He is also averaging more than one walk per game.
PLUS, he has missed 16 games.
Bryan Kenny insists that he is having a great year.
You know what Grandal's Batting Average is?
The standards have been set so low that a guy hitting .139 but reaching base because of walks is said to be having a great year.
Isn't analytics and sabrmetrics grand(al) ?
By fantasy standards, Grandal sucks.
He has missed more games (16) than has hits (11).
The saving grace being his five home runs.
Grandal is part of a growing list of players who have more extra base hits (7) than singles (4).

There is no buzz in crowds any longer when even a supreme power hitter comes to the plate.
Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, Giancarlo Stanton, even Shohei Ohtani this year. Nothing in the crowd. No buzz, no clamor.
What are they going to do, hit a home run?
Big deal.
Baseball has gone from home runs being a 'mistake' for hitters to singles being a mistake for hitters.
And worse, batters are striking out by the bunches to notch those home runs.
Movement on the field has been reduced to walking to the dugout after a strike out, to walking to first base, to trotting around the bases after a home run.
YET, injuries are going through the roof!
It's so hard to comprehend.

I've already heard from some NFBC folks who say they are already tired of our seasonal game.
Some say they will reduce their teams for next year. Some say they will not play at all and may join more of the daily games to avoid the injury part of the game.
Putting this mindset in place and coinciding that with the owners and players potential of bad collective bargaining negotiations and we have a formula for less teams next year.
Fantasy baseball is a slave to Major League Baseball.
And Major League Baseball is a slave to the three true outcome game, has too many injuries, and must endure contentious negotiations.
Our game and certainly, their game, are not in a good place.
On my tombstone-
Wait! I never had the perfect draft!

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