The Official Baseball Blog of @BaseballBo

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The 2011 World Series Champions better in 2012?

Can the St. Louis Cardinals be better in 2012? As crazy as it sounds, I think they may have improved as a team, even with the loss of Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels. As well as losing future hall of famer Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals lost the legend, Tony La Russa. You'd think they'd be completely destroyed? Wrong. The Cardinals managed to sign extensions with Lance Berkman and Chris Carpenter and re-sign Rafael Furcal but more importantly they will still have their core from 2011 for 2012 - Matt Carpenter, David Freese, Skip Schumaker, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina.

To make up for the loss of Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals added outfielder Carlos Beltrán who is a .283 carrer hitter which is nothing compared to Albert Pujols' . 328 carrer average. It's still an improvement to the lineup for 2012 since Beltrán had a .328 batting average and 7 homers last year in 44 games at the pitching park of the San Fransico Giants.

Who will replace Tony La Russa though? Well Mike Matheny of course. Sound famaliar? Didn't think so. Mike Matheny will have a tough rookie season as a manager defending the World Series Title. Mike Matheny is a former back catcher for the Cardinals. I think he will bring a new attitude and good energy to the club house.

Another reason why the Cardinals could be better in 2013 is because of their division. The Milwaukee Brewers have lost Prince Fielder just like the Cardinals have lost Albert Pujols so this year I think that the Brewers will not be as big competition for the Cardinals. I feel the Cardinals will take first place in their division this season with the Milwaukee Brewers battling with the Cincinnati Reds for second. The Cardinals are revamped and have tones of confidence coming of last season. I wouldn't be surprised if they make another run at the World Series. In 2013, we'll find out if the Cards can take off and fly high.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Is Baseball Too Slow?

Slow is a word that many people who don't like baseball use to describe the sport. Is it fair for them to say that? Yes. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but MLB games average around 3 hours, so you could call the MLB the tortoise and other sports the hare. Other sports such as hockey, basketball, and football are much faster while baseball games tend to be slow and ponderous. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and speedy wins the excitment. In what way could we make baseball games faster so they become more exciting?

I've heard many concepts in finding a solution to speeding up the game of baseball. One of them is the batters and stepping out of the batters box after every pitch. Now I have never asked anyone from the MLB how valuable the act of stepping out of the batter's box is to refocus yourself, think about the next pitch, take a deep breath, and step back in the batter's box. I imagine they would say it's pretty important but it all adds up to making the game a whole lot slower and at times it can be taken to extremes. Let's do some math to see how much time this could take up. There is 9 batters on each team and each batter gets up to bat 4 times. Lets say the average is 5 pitches thrown to each batter and inbetween each of those 5 pitches he steps out of the batters box for 6 seconds. That would be 9x4x5x6 which would equal 1080 seconds. !080 seconds for one team, but theres two teams in a gem so that would be 1080 x 2. That's 2160 seconds which is equivalent to 36 minutes. 36 minutes of a batter just standing around. That is more than half a football or basketball game. Now I've heard a few people say and write about just completely getting rid of the rule so the batter will not be able to leave the batters box. I can't wrap my head around that. The batter not being able to leave the batter box? But that or shortening the time he has outside of the batters box seems like the only option to cut down or elminate the 18 minutes of batters standing around.

There are some other options I've heard about aswell but the one that has come up a lot and the option I like the most is limiting the amount of mound visits by a catcher in a game. Catchers visiting the mound slows down the game immensly. I've looked for stats on how many times the catcher visits the mound and how long he stays there, but I've had no luck. It's just shocking how many times you see catchers running to the mound and how long they stay there. It is necessary to visit the mound, don't get me wrong, but multiple times in innings, tremendous amounts of times in games for a substantial amount of time is unesscary and ultimatley makes the game move more slowly which makes it less enjoyable for the fans. This rule should be imposed where there is a limited amount of times the catcher can visit the mound in a game. It will make the game move faster.

Believe me, I love baseball, but research needs to be done into exploring ways to make the game move faster whether it is eliminating or shortening the time a batter has to leave the batters box inbetween pitches or imposing a limit on how many times the cathcer can visit the mound. Something has to be done to make the game move a little bit faster to make it more exciting and better for the fans.