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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Seeds of destruction in amateur baseball.

Virginia is playing Vanderbilt tonight in the third and deciding game of the College World Series finals in Omaha, NE.  Batters step out after every pitch.  Old guys dressed in baseball costumes instruct the teams.  I am told that they are coaches.  Wouldn't that make them teachers?  Why are teachers helping students pass their exams?  Shouldn't students run the team, either the players or other students as coaches?

Homer Happiness Lives Only in Memory
By PAT BORZI June 23, 2014  The New York Times

home runs are nearing extinction ...

The decline in offense that began with the N.C.A.A.’s switch to less lively bats in 2011, for safety and competitive reasons, continues...

For the first time since the introduction of aluminum bats in 1974, there were no home runs in the first eight games of the series, according to the N.C.A.A...

There were no home runs in Vanderbilt’s 9-8 victory on Monday in the opener of the best-of-three championship series against Virginia. This year’s total is at this point the fewest in a C.W.S. in the metal bat era, one fewer than last year. Teams hit 32 homers in 2010 ...

The new bats accomplished their purpose, eliminating the 15-14 slugfests that typified the so-called Gorilla Ball era while re-emphasizing fundamentals and manufacturing runs...

Teams averaged 0.39 of a home run and 5.1 runs a game in the regular season, according to the N.C.A.A., down significantly from 0.94 of a homer and 6.98 runs in 2010, the last year with the old bats.

Help may be coming next season with a different baseball, the same type used in the minor leagues, with slightly flatter seams for less drag...  flat-seam ball should fly 20 feet farther on average...

Games on June 16, when the wind whipped in from center field at more than 20 miles per hour, illustrated how the ballpark affected play and managerial decisions...

Asked how someone manages a game from behind in conditions like that, (coach) McDonnell said: “I haven’t figured that one out yet. We’re down three, it’s first and second, and I’m sac-bunting. I think that says it all.” ...

That night, Vanderbilt bunted three times in the first inning — a sacrifice, a safety squeeze and a drag bunt single — while scoring twice to beat California, Irvine, 6-4...


So, what now? If the new ball is not the answer, the ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson is among those who favor moving the fences.
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Why can't they hit IPHR?

Regular season: five runs per game per team down from seven?  Correct?  Five seems like a lot.

They can't hit line drives instead of bunting?

Changing the seams would seem to mess up the pitchers.

Has MLB tried changing bats or balls?

Eliminating home runs would seem to make PED irrelevant.

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