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Summary[]

Ben and Sam answer listener emails about the Hall of Fame, preparing for interleague play, the 162-game schedule, and methods of preserving parity.

Topics[]

  • Hall of Fame - Adjusting for hypotheticals
  • Hall of Fame - Hypothetical new Hall
  • Interleague play
  • Season length
  • Preserving parity

Banter[]

Sam is sick. As he says, "there is a deadness in my body".

Email Questions[]

  • Matt (Chestnut Hill, MA): "When we look back at player statistics for Hall of Fame posterity purposes, we account for things like disadvantageous ballparks, extenuating non-baseball factors (military, racism, etc). Should we also credit players for poor management due to what was not known at the time? For example, Orel Hershiser was crazy overworked in the 80s because that's what you did back then. As a result his numbers aren't what they could have been. But really, he was just playing by the rules of the time, which didn't include things like pitcher abuse points, etc. Within that realm he was extremely successful. What he was being asked to do was only going to last for so long without blowing a rotator cuff. Should we add to his legacy for this in the same way we would a pitcher who put up good not great numbers in a good hitters park, or something like that?"
  • James (Sarasota, FL): If we blow up the Hall of Fame (not literally) and start over how would we define the criteria for membership and who would be our first ten inductees?"
  • Michael: "In reading and listening to the various offseason podcasts, articles, etc. quite a bit is being made out of teams such as Cincinnati and Arizona having too many outfielders. I am wondering if the media is not properly factoring in the effect of the new schedule. With the Astros moving to the AL interleague play will go on every day. As a result, NL teams in AL parks such as the Reds and the DBacks will be able to play their fourth outfielders (Ludwick, Kubel, Ross) at DH. Given that everyday DHs seem to be becoming a thing of the past, is this not just NL teams taking advantage of the schedule change to get competitive advantage and quality at bats in that spot?"
  • John (Detroit, MI): "The dearth of baseball news which characterizes this part of the offseason got me thinking about the MLB schedule. I love how long the season is but why 162 games? Needless to say no other major sport plays nearly as many and sometimes I wonder if baseball would be better off with fewer games spread out over the same six month period. I know this is tantamount to heresy and there is 0 chance of it ever happening, but what do you guys think? What ramifications might there be to, say, halving the number of games? Would the quality of play improve? The average attendance go up? The amount of money in the sport drop dramatically?"
  • Nick (Canberra, AUS): "As a Giants fan I look with wonderment and horror and the Dodgers' spending since the new ownership took over. Does this mean the mechanisms for promoting parity in baseball's collective bargaining agreement are now obsolete? It seems MLB has achieve parity in spite of, rather than because of, the incentives in the current agreement. No other sport outside of European soccer has the same disparities in salary, and yet the playoffs are far from predictable. If the Dodgers become a dynasty spending $300 million in annual salary, will this lead to more harsh penalties to promote parity?"

Notes[]

  • Should minor league performance be included or factored into the Hall of Fame case for players?
  • James' first 10 inductees to the Hall of Fame would be Alexander Cartwright, Harry Wright, Ban Johnson, Honus Wagner, Charles Levitt Jr., Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Branch Rickey, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Walter O'Malley.
  • Ben had not given extensive thought to his 10 inductees but thinks they would all be players.
  • Sam's first 10 would be Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Ricky Henderson, Barry Bonds, Pedro Martinez.
  • Ben & Sam think that shortening the schedule would significantly increase offensive production.
  • Sam, after Ben kept reading emails: "Remember when we started this show and it was gonna be 10 minutes every day? That's how we were gonna pull this off. 10 minutes. We could do 10 minutes? That's easy."

Links[]

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