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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Non-pitchers hardly ever have arm troubles. So have pitchers behave more like them and improve the game.

Ruth and Ohtani work loads at age 23 one hundred years apart. Thursday, June 7, 2018

Babe Ruth and Shohie Ohtani: 100 years apart starting pitchers  and batters in games when not pitching.

Few still think that pitchers back then were iron men. It's generally understood that old timers threw fewer pitches and that the pitches were less stressful on their arms. But the stark difference between Ruth and Ohtani and the fact that Ohtani is now on the disabled list and may require major season ending surgery leads to some common sense issues.

A right fielder may stand out there in chilly, even downright cold weather, for several innings and then suddenly throw the ball about 250 feet as hard as he can.

The third baseman may make multiple throws of more than 130 feet as hard as he can.

The catcher may come out of his crouch and fire the ball to second base as hard as he can, about 125 feet.

The catcher also makes about 150 throws each game that are the same distance as those thrown by his pitchers.

The sudden max effort throws are all done with no immediate warm up. Only the pitcher warms up at his own individual pace and doesn't throw as hard as he can until he is really ready.

Neither the number of throws nor the distance nor the effort of the throws seems to be what causes arm troubles. So what's left?

- a high number of throws as hard as possible
- non fastballs.

If pitchers threw as if they were playing catch, like the catcher returning the ball to the pitcher, the pitcher would probably not have arm trouble.

If the pitcher were forced to throw fewer pitches but as straight as he could, not as hard or as unusual, the pitcher would probably not have arm trouble.

How could this be achieved?

1. Start the count at 3-2.
2. Have a speed limit, say 90 miles per hour.

The speed limit is now feasible with each pitch timed. If the pitch exceeds the speed limit, it's a ball. The batter may swing at his own risk, like swinging at a pitch out of the strike zone.

A secondary benefit would be to greatly reduce the work load of the catcher:
- fewer pitches to catch
- hardly any "Bugs Bunny" pitches that bounce in the dirt
- fewer pitches at super velocity.

It might also mean that ball players could be pitchers.

Designated FIELDER! Pitchers are not ball players. Saturday, June 9, 2018

Oh, and the games would have much more action in much less time at a better pace.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Designated FIELDER! Pitchers are not ball players.

Read this entire article:

Let’s Stop Pretending That Pitchers Can Hit
Sadly, not everyone is Shohei Ohtani: Pitcher hitting has never been worse, and it’s time to evolve beyond MLB’s vestigial limb and bring the DH to the National League
By Ben Lindbergh Jun 7, 2018

It's way too long but it's chock full of historical quotes about pitchers not being ball players. Then read my post, which has a much better recommendation:

Designated FIELDER, 8 batters! Now that's entertainment! Sunday, December 27, 2015

What kind of idiot wants the pitcher to bat?

Intercity/Interstate tournament: Yankees/Mets, White Sox/Cubs, Pirates/Phillies, etc.

From 1903 through 1952 the American and National Leagues each had eight teams. That's 16 teams that played in only 10 cities, half of which had multiple teams. 11 of 16 teams played in multiple team cities.

Boston: Red Sox, Braves
Chicago: White Sox, Cubs
New York: Yankees, Giants; Brooklyn Dodgers
Philadelphia: As, Phillies
St. Louis: Cardinals, Browns

Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Senators

 In 2018 only New York and Chicago have multiple teams.

A hundred years ago or so sometimes when no teams in a city were in the World Series, they would play an intracity City Series. For instance, if neither Chicago team was throwing the World Series they might play against each other.

That's still a good idea. But here is another. All star teams from a city or state play. Something would have to be done about California because it has five teams, maybe two teams. But here are eight combinations, enough for a tournament.

California central: Giants/As
California south: Dodgers/Angels
Chicago White Sox/Cubs
Florida Marlins/Rays
New York Yankees/Mets
Missouri Cardinals/Royals
Pennsylvania Pirates/Phillies
Texas Rangers/Astros

Combining any two teams should probably result in a competitive team.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Randomness of Wild Cards.

2012 was the first season with two wild card (WC) teams in each "league". Having five teams in a division playing 162 games is moronic. Thank you former commissioner Allen Huber "Bud" Selig, who has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame for his many bad policies over two decades. His successor, Manfred the A-Rod Slayer, does not seem inclined to change for the better.

Judge for yourself. Below are the top teams in order by wins for each season 2012-2017. Bold WC indicates which won the do-or-die game. Bold team name means pennant winner, i.e., played in the finals, a.k.a World Series. Bold team name in red means the finals winner.

Yankees951Red Sox971Angels981
Blue Jays931Indians941Astros1011
Rangers881Red Sox931Red Sox931
Astros86WCBlue Jays89WCTwins85WC


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ruth and Ohtani work loads at age 23 one hundred years apart.

Babe Ruth and Shohie Ohtani: 100 years apart starting pitchers  and batters in games when not pitching.

Their ages on April 1:


How much did Babe Ruth pitch and bat at the same time? Monday, April 9, 2018

The question has become more pertinent as Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani shows his doubters that it may be possible to be a modern Babe Ruth, a player who can excel at both pitching and batting at the same time. Prior to 2018 Ohtani had played only in the Japan Pacific League...

The DH rule started in the old American League back in 1973. The old National League never adopted it. So when Babe Ruth was a full time pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in 1915, 1916, 1917 Ruth would bat in all games in which he pitched. Ruth never played another position until 1918 when he led the AL in home runs for the first time with 11, tied with Tillie Walker, who had been Ruth's teammate the previous two years and was playing center field for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1918.

Prior to modern expansion in 1961 there were eight teams in each of the two major leagues. They played only in league and 22 games against each of seven opponents. That's a 154 game schedule, which was not always completed and which could contain ties. Also, in 1918 and 1919 the schedule was shortened because of U.S. involvement in the first World War.  The Red Sox played these number of games during Ruth's years with them:
1914 91-62 (2) = 153
1915 101-50 (1) = 151
1916 91-63 (1) = 154
1917 90-62 (2) = 152
1918 75-51 (1) = 126
1919 66-71 (6) = 137 ...

Ruth clearly transitioned from a full time starting pitcher through 1917 to being mostly a non-pitcher. Ruth's percentage of team games played in 1918 went from under 30% to 60%, more than double. Then in 1919 Ruth played in 97% of Red Sox games. He also set a new season record for home runs: 29.

So 1918 and 2018 are the first major league seasons in which Ruth and Ohtani respectively were both a starting pitcher and a full time batter in other games.

Ohtani is often his team's DH in his non pitching games but has not batted in his pitching games. Because there was no DH in 1918 Ruth batted in his pitching games.

Through June 7, 2018 Ohtani's team, the Angels, have played 63 games. Ohtani was the starting pitcher in Angels game 63 last night and left after four innings with a blister, which he may have gotten from rubbing it on the bench this season.

Summary data is at the bottom with Ruth quite a bit ahead in both PA and Innings despite not playing at all in Red Sox team games 29-38. When he returned Ruth was pretty much a full time player.

Using current criteria of 3.2 PA per game to qualify for leading in batting average, after 63 games they should have at least 202 PA. Both are below: Ruth 152, Ohtani 128. To qualify for ERA lead, the criteria is one inning pitched for each scheduled game: 63 innings. Ruth has 62, Ohtani 49. The 1918 Red Sox played 126 games. 3.2 PA * 126 = 404. Ruth had 382 PA for the season. Ruth's 1918 innings pitched: 166, well above the 126 criteria for ERA.

Click link to view matrix below in more readable form.

The table below for their respective team games shows:
Plate Appearances (PA)
Innings pitched
BOP: batting order position
Pos: fielding positions

1Mon, Apr 15, 1918499P1Thu, Mar 29, 201858DH
2Tue, Apr 16, 19182Fri, Mar 30, 2018
3Wed, Apr 17, 191818PH3Sat, Mar 31, 2018
4Fri, Apr 19, 19184Sun, Apr 1, 20186P
5Fri, Apr 19, 1918499P5Mon, Apr 2, 2018
6Sat, Apr 20, 19186Tue, Apr 3, 201848DH
7Mon, Apr 22, 19187Wed, Apr 4, 201858DH
8Tue, Apr 23, 191814PH8Fri, Apr 6, 201848DH
9Wed, Apr 24, 191839P9Sat, Apr 7, 2018
10Thu, Apr 25, 191810Sun, Apr 8, 20187P
11Fri, Apr 26, 191811Mon, Apr 9, 2018
12Sat, Apr 27, 191812Tue, Apr 10, 201811PH
13Tue, Apr 30, 1918499P13Wed, Apr 11, 201848DH
14Wed, May 1, 191814Thu, Apr 12, 201858DH
15Thu, May 2, 191815Fri, Apr 13, 201847DH
16Fri, May 3, 191816Sat, Apr 14, 2018
17Sat, May 4, 1918489P17Tue, Apr 17, 20182P
18Mon, May 6, 1918461B18Wed, Apr 18, 2018
19Tue, May 7, 1918441B19Thu, Apr 19, 201846DH
20Wed, May 8, 1918441B20Fri, Apr 20, 201846DH
21Thu, May 9, 191859.664P21Sat, Apr 21, 2018
22Fri, May 10, 191844LF22Sun, Apr 22, 201844DH
23Sat, May 11, 1918441B23Mon, Apr 23, 2018
24Mon, May 13, 191824Tue, Apr 24, 20185.33P
25Wed, May 15, 1918499P25Wed, Apr 25, 2018
26Thu, May 16, 191844LF26Fri, Apr 27, 201826DH
27Fri, May 17, 191854LF27Sat, Apr 28, 2018
28Sat, May 18, 191844LF28Sun, Apr 29, 2018
29Mon, May 20, 191829Tue, May 1, 201845DH
30Tue, May 21, 191830Wed, May 2, 201845DH
31Thu, May 23, 191831Thu, May 3, 201845DH
32Fri, May 24, 191832Fri, May 4, 201855DH
33Sat, May 25, 191833Sat, May 5, 2018
34Mon, May 27, 191834Sun, May 6, 20186P
35Tue, May 28, 191835Tue, May 8, 201817PH
36Wed, May 29, 191836Wed, May 9, 201817PH
37Wed, May 29, 191837Thu, May 10, 201845DH
38Thu, May 30, 191838Fri, May 11, 201844DH
39Thu, May 30, 191818PH39Sat, May 12, 2018
40Sat, Jun 1, 191819PH40Sun, May 13, 20186.33P
41Sun, Jun 2, 1918389P41Mon, May 14, 2018
42Mon, Jun 3, 191853CF42Tue, May 15, 201842DH
43Tue, Jun 4, 191853CF43Wed, May 16, 201842DH
44Wed, Jun 5, 191853CF44Thu, May 17, 201845DH
45Thu, Jun 6, 191854LF45Fri, May 18, 201845DH
46Fri, Jun 7, 191840.334P LF46Sat, May 19, 2018
47Sat, Jun 8, 191844LF47Sun, May 20, 20187.66P
48Sun, Jun 9, 191844LF48Tue, May 22, 201845DH
49Mon, Jun 10, 191844LF49Wed, May 23, 201855DH
50Tue, Jun 11, 191844LF50Thu, May 24, 201855DH
51Wed, Jun 12, 191851Fri, May 25, 201845DH
52Thu, Jun 13, 191844LF52Sat, May 26, 201855DH
53Fri, Jun 14, 191844LF53Sun, May 27, 201844DH
54Sat, Jun 15, 191854LF54Mon, May 28, 2018
55Sun, Jun 16, 1918441B55Tue, May 29, 2018
56Mon, Jun 17, 1918541B56Wed, May 30, 20185P
57Wed, Jun 19, 191844LF57Thu, May 31, 2018
58Thu, Jun 20, 191858Fri, Jun 1, 201845DH
59Thu, Jun 20, 191844LF59Sat, Jun 2, 201846DH
60Fri, Jun 21, 191854LF60Sun, Jun 3, 201835DH
61Mon, Jun 24, 191861Mon, Jun 4, 201819PH
62Tue, Jun 25, 191854CF62Tue, Jun 5, 2018
63Wed, Jun 26, 191844CF63Wed, Jun 6, 20184P