Shorten the MLB Season?

An MLB season lasts over 6 months and consists of 2,430 games not including the post season.

NFL Regular Season – 16 games

NBA Regular Season – 82 games

MLB Regular Season – 162 games (OVER THE COURSE OF 6 MONTHS)

Could shortening the MLB season make the sport more appealing? NFL games are so thrilling because each game means SO much.

A baseball team can go on a 20 game losing stint and still make the playoffs while a first place team at the half can lose their playoff bid.  What’s the point of watching early season games?  Once it gets interesting, if your team is way ahead or behind, again, what’s the point?

If the season were shortened, each game would have more at stake.

The problem is that any team can win on any given day, so making the season too short could result in an undeserving team making it to the playoffs or winning the World Series.

Here’s the Stats…

The NFL and NBA have become much more popular than baseball.  Using Google Trends we can see how many times these phrases are Googled.  It has nothing to do with revenue, but it gives us a good idea of how interested people are in each league.

 
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You can see the bump just before 2016 when the MLB made it a priority to speed up games.  (That’s not going to cut it.)

Something more must be done to increase excitement at baseball games.  By shortening the games here are the benefits that I see:

  • Create intensity behind every single pitch
    • With each win being so much more important players would have to bring all their tools to the yard rather than just the ones that prove to be successful over a 162 game season.
  • Fill stadiums (fewer possible games you can attend, more fans want to go)
    • *sense of urgency*
  • Fewer injuries
  • More focus given by fans over a shorter time span
    • People might be losing interest halfway through, a shorter season would fit better with today’s short attention span.
  • MLB won’t share coverage on Sports Center
    • The MLB shares its front end with the NBA and its back end with both NBA and NFL (NFL dominates Sports Center during baseballs most important final months!!!).

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Chase Utley – One of Long Beach’s Best Products

Choosing a Travel Ball Team

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Chase Utley – One of Long Beach’s Best Products

Working at a batting cage gave Chase Utley all he needed to become an All-Star second baseman.

Image result for chase utley
Image Credits

Chase Utley – born December 17, 1978 in Pasadena, CA.  He went to Long Beach Polytechnic high school and moved on to play at UCLA.

In high school Utley spent his days working at a batting cage right next to the Long Beach airport – a batting cage I spent a lot of my days… until it was closed about 7 years ago.

I got the chance to talk to the owner of the batting cage and he told me about how Chase Utley worked at the batting cage.  Yes he got paid, but the main reason he worked there was because he could and would take hacks for free whenever the business was slow.

It’s no surprise he turned out to be such a great hitter!

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Here’s another article you might be interested in… With Trout’s contract right around the corner, the Angels will be looking for a way to get the most out of the best player in baseball!

Who the Angels Could Get for Trout

 

Who could the LA Angels get for Trout?

We all know that there’s no way the LA Angels would ever willingly give Mike Trout away, but what if they did?  Who COULD they get?

We all know that there’s no way the LA Angels would ever willingly give Mike Trout away, but what if they did?  Who COULD they get?

Even now, coming off his worst year… he was only 4th or 5th in MVP voting (boohoo) he is in the top three most valuable players in the league.  It is interesting to wonder exactly who the Angels could get by giving up Trout.

First we’ll take into account the teams that NEED a center fielder.  Yes the Pirates or the Marlins would have a better center fielder if they replaced Starling Marte or Christian Yelich with Mike, but it’s not so worth it for them.

By using Bleacher Report’s power ranking, I’ve identified the 3 teams that need a center fielder the most.  The Mets, Giants, and Indians.  Now, let’s go through the trading power Mike Trout might hold.

We will also be taking into account the Angels need for pitching and the fact that giving up Trout would mean that they would need someone to replace him.

Mets

The Mets have an absolutely stacked starting rotation with deGrom and Syndergaard leading the charge.  Their starters ranked 3rd in ERA compared to the rest of the MLB in 2017 so they could lose one guy if it worked in their favor.

Just imagine this, Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Nimmo for Mike Trout.  Nimmo is a career .264 hitter with little pop, but would be better than Jefry Marte who is the Angels’ only other outfielder right now.  It may or may not be a good trade, that’s for you to decide, but it would give the Angels a dominant ace.

Giants

The Giants have a few guys on their roster who I could never see leaving – Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner.  So we’ll stay somewhat realistic and stay away from those three.

That being said, the Giants also ranked well on the B/R power rankings.  A team ERA of 3.65 spotted them 4th out of all the teams in the league.  I’m going to forget about trying to replace Trout here and go all or nothing – Mike Trout for Johnny Cueto and Mark Melancon.

Cueto had a somewhat tough year last year posting a 4.52 ERA but his 3.33 ERA shows that he is still a valuable pitcher.  Someone with his stuff on the mound will not have two consecutive years like that.  Melancon is a reliever with a 2.72 career ERA.  These additions to the Angels would possibly provide an ace, if not, the second starter and more depth in the bullpen.

While this move would greatly improve the Angels defensively, since the Giants have nobody good to give the Angels to fill Trout’s spot, the cost might be too great.

Indians

The Indians are another team without a dominant center fielder.  The difference is, they could provide the Angels with someone decent to replace Trout.

Lonnie Chisenhall (.288 AVG with 12 HRs) and Corey Kluber (2.25 ERA) for Mike Trout.

Once again, the Angels could get a dominant ace AND a pretty good outfielder in exchange for Trout.  And once again, these are all just my own speculations.

There is absolutely no backing behind these speculations, but it’s fun to think about how quickly the Angel’s identity could change.  The Angels have so much equity in one player right now, they could turn another team’s weakness in the outfield into even more equity for themselves.

Mike Trout’s new future being part of a better line up

Using the overflow of 1st basemen to improve the pitching staff

Credits:
  • mlb.com
  • bleacherreport.com
  • espn.com

Problems Shohei Ohtani Will Run Into

Why is Babe Ruth the Last Good Two Way Player?

Babe Ruth came into the league as a pitcher. He had to prove that he was a good hitter before they put him out there. Obviously it was the right decision, but he was in a different era then Ohtani. First of all, Ruth only played 151 game seasons. Ohtani will be

babe ruthplaying 162 games per season. Also, when Ruth played, 25 people were allowed to be on the roster during the entire season. That counts someone who played 2 games and got injured, so two way players were MUCH more valuable. Now, people can be taken off and put on the roster, and on Sept. 1, the roster expands to 40 people.
the real ohtani stats as picture

Shohei Otani is Legit

Before I get started, I want to say that Shohei Otani is an absolute monster. To be able to get to this level in the first place is incredible. I watched him pitch against a series of the world’s best hitters in 2015 when Japan played against the MLB all stars. I don’t fully remember, but I know he racked up more than 7 K’s in less than 7 innings or less of work and did not give up a run. I know he has what it takes to not only pitch, but be an all star pitcher his first year in the league.

Just like everyone else, I have seen Otani’s highlight tape of him hitting and all I really got from it is that he has tremendous pop to the opposite field. I can only judge him based off his stats and his swing. His stats speak for itself and his swing looks smooth. He does a great job being direct to the ball and loves putting it over the shortstop’s head. On top of that, a lot of people don’t know that he’s got Mike Trout speed. He will be incredible to watch

The rest of the article is about the reason he needs to EXCEL to stay a two way. The game just doesn’t need them anymore, but obviously, if he shoves and rakes… Why not?

otani hitting

Why There aren’t Two Ways Today Explained

The biggest reason there aren’t two ways in the game today is because hitting or pitching, by themselves, are extremely difficult at the major league level. So more times than not, players pick one and get really good at it… If Otani fails at being a two way, it is not for a lack of skill.

I’ve compiled a shortlist to break down the difficulties of playing major league baseball on both sides of the field.

  1. He Needs to Do Well At Both – Unless he excels at both pitching and hitting, they don’t need him to. He only needs to excel at either hitting or pitching to help the team win in the league today. They have the roster space to find someone who can focus on either pitching or hitting to replace his role. By doing both Otani will only make it harder for himself and by taking one of his jobs away he would be able to focus on the other. In order to keep his two way role, I’d say he needs to keep his ERA under around a 3.50 and he needs to keep his OPS above .750. Otherwise, teams will tell him to pick one. It’s just like any regular player. If they don’t do well, they get cut. Only Otani wouldn’t be cut, he would be asked to choose one, and they would probably tell him he’s better off pitching.
  2. They Have the Roster Space – Back when Babe Ruth played, they had 25 spots. Just like today right? No. Back then, anyone that was ever on the roster was on the roster for the whole season. There was no DL and there was no calling people up mid season. So the two way was an incredible asset to have – someone who could fill two roles and take only one roster spot. Today, it’s not even nearly the same. You can send a player to the DL and have him replaced within the week. You can send guys down and bring them up. On top of that, when Sept. 1 rolls around, you get to have 40 people on your roster. On a 40 man squad, you don’t need the two way, you just need everyone to play their absolute best.
  3. Wear and Tear on the Body – Pitchers today get five days between starts. That’s five days of doing nothing but getting ready for their next start. Otani wouldn’t get that time. I play at the Division 1 level, and we have a player who was one of our best pitchers and hitters. We play a 60 game season, and I have never seen someone so physically and mentally exhausted at the end of a season. I can only imagine what almost three times that, with far fewer days off would do to somebody. On the day after he pitches, I would hope he would have it off, but if not, he would be playing in the DH role for sure. Last year Albert Pujols filled the DH role for most of the year, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

shohei Ohtanei