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(Fox Sports)   1998: The Year of the Homerun. 2013: The Year of the Stolen Base   (msn.foxsports.com) divider line 34
    More: Interesting, Buck Showalter, interception, stolen base, home runs, defensive team, third bases, balks, Camden Yards  
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1250 clicks; posted to Sports » on 18 Feb 2013 at 10:52 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-18 11:04:53 AM  
Interesting points that I'm ashamed to say I hadn't thought of when they announced the rule change.
 
2013-02-18 11:13:06 AM  
Draft and auction accordingly Fantasy players.
 
2013-02-18 11:14:43 AM  
I haven't read the rule change, so I'm curious. Did they eliminate all fake pickoff throws or specifically just the ones to third base?
 
2013-02-18 11:17:18 AM  

exick: I haven't read the rule change, so I'm curious. Did they eliminate all fake pickoff throws or specifically just the ones to third base?


The third-to-first fake specifically.
 
2013-02-18 11:20:35 AM  

RoyHobbs22: Draft and auction accordingly Fantasy players.


Seriously, I didn't realize how far this would go. I had Emilio Bonifacio as a borderline keeper but I may have to keep him if steals are going to be easier.

/he's cheap
//my league has unlimited keepers, but the first three keepers' price goes up by three each, the next three by six each, and so on
 
2013-02-18 11:21:19 AM  
 
2013-02-18 11:27:38 AM  
I'd like to see the exact text of the rule change myself. Here's the old rule, which is still what's available on mlb.com:

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when --

(a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery;

Rule 8.05(a) Comment: If a lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher's rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

(b) The pitcher, while touching his plate, feints a throw to first base and fails to complete the throw;

(c) The pitcher, while touching the plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;

Rule 8.05(c) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.
A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base but does not require him to throw (except to first base only) because he steps. It is possible, with runners on first and third, for the pitcher to step toward third and not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. This is legal. However, if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher, while in contact with the rubber, steps toward third and then immediately and in practically the same motion "wheels" and throws to first base, it is obviously an attempt to deceive the runner at first base, and in such a move it is practically impossible to step directly toward first base before the throw to first base, and such a move shall be called a balk. Of course, if the pitcher steps off the rubber and then makes such a move, it is not a balk.

(d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;


So I'm not entirely sure where the new rule fits in there.
 
2013-02-18 11:28:12 AM  
Yep...this is a nightmare for righty relievers, and will result in fistfights before three weeks of play are finished.  Guaranteed.
 
2013-02-18 11:37:44 AM  
I've been saying this since they first started hinting at the rule last year....

Can someone make the case for it being a *good* idea?  Is this something that had to be stopped, and, if so, why?

To me (and I know very little), if anything, they should take away the advantage lefties have with that "well, he sorta stepped towards first" fake-pitch pickoff.

Why single out this one move?  Is it because pinhead idiots like Joe Buck don't understand it and don't like trying to?  Do they really think it'll make the game noticeably shorter (whether that should even be a goal is a different argument)?  Do they really want to take away strategic intentional walks with guys on third?  Why?

It seems like it happens often enough that we'll see the impact of the change pretty quick.  Could be interesting... is there any precedent for a really quick, "whoops, we got that wrong!" early-season rule change?
 
2013-02-18 11:38:58 AM  
I don't think it's a big deal really.

They will just throw to third and throw it in such a way that the 3rd baseman is coming off the bag ready to throw to 2nd.
 
2013-02-18 11:39:46 AM  
The article implies that the pitcher can't throw to first when there's a man on first and third.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the pitcher can throw to first at any time, yes?  The fake to third, from what I can see, was used to keep the pitcher from being called for a balk, which would have happened had he used that motion to go straight to first.

So what it fundamentally does is restore a lefty's advantage over right handed pitching vis-a-vis holding runners on first.
 
2013-02-18 11:41:55 AM  

SFSailor: Is it because pinhead idiots like Joe Buck don't understand it and don't like trying to?


I hadn't considered that, mostly because there is so much that Joe Buck does not understand about sports it would fill a book.
 
2013-02-18 11:43:04 AM  
Cool. Stolen bases are more exciting than successful pickoffs anyway.
 
2013-02-18 11:43:27 AM  
espn keeps telling me the last few years were "the year of the pitcher."  I'm guessing this is supposed help with runs intentionally.

Rajai davis just found a way into the lineup
 
2013-02-18 11:45:56 AM  
So don't allow any baserunners.
 
2013-02-18 11:52:26 AM  
The pitcher can still throw to first and he can still step off the rubber to look a runner back to the bag. I'm not sure if it will increase SB significantly.
 
2013-02-18 11:57:10 AM  
Great article on Fangraphs over stolen bases.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-changing-caught-stealin g- calculus-2/

In 2001, to break even on stolen base attempts, you needed to convert 69.7% of SB since an out on the bases could cost a run due to a subsequent HR.  Since HR have fallen off, the stolen base is worth more to where the breakeven point for SB dropped to a 66.6% success rate.

But that changes per team depending on the home run production.  Yankees with its high HR rate, needs 72% success rate to break even on SB, where the Giants only need a 64% success rate and thus, can be more aggressive on the bases.

The teams in the chart in the article with conversion rates greater than 10% of the calculated breakeven point should be more aggressive and attempt more steals.  In theory, that could be a way to target players that may have had down years last year but could be due for a rebound from a more aggressive strategy.
 
2013-02-18 11:58:48 AM  

Rex_Banner: The pitcher can still throw to first and he can still step off the rubber to look a runner back to the bag. I'm not sure if it will increase SB significantly.


So, a pitcher can still do the third to first move, he just has to do it after moving his back, not front foot.

I'm ok with that.
 
2013-02-18 12:03:25 PM  

RoyHobbs22: Draft and auction accordingly Fantasy players.


So this is the year my drafting Juan Pierre first overall will actually help my team?

Because it didn't do shiat for me the last nine years...
 
2013-02-18 12:08:21 PM  

Old Huntstein: RoyHobbs22: Draft and auction accordingly Fantasy players.

So this is the year my drafting Juan Pierre first overall will actually help my team?

Because it didn't do shiat for me the last nine years...


I also unconventionally hoard saves and steals.  Kept Crisp last year, this year it's Campagna and Motte.

/not really
 
2013-02-18 12:33:08 PM  
Seems like somewhat limited circumstances where this can be used (getting guys thrown out stealing with a man on third and 1 or 2 outs is dangerous game for managers to play), but anything to help out the small ball style of play is OK by me.
 
2013-02-18 01:42:22 PM  
Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.
 
2013-02-18 02:14:29 PM  
The new rule (or actual deletion of the addition to Rule 805(c)) is a measure intended to decrease game time. It is also a rule change presented by the managers, whom a majority of favor eliminating the move, and agreed upon by the umpires and baseball execs. The only thing stopping it from going into effect at the beginning of last season was the players union wanted to take a year to look over the change. MLB allowed them to look over it, but the union rejected it. So during the owners meeting they voted to go ahead with the rule change. The pitchers are not happy, but who cares.

The move had a success rate of 1 in every 400 attempts.
 
2013-02-18 02:36:45 PM  
I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues this year, but if you aren't familiar with Billy Hamilton of the Reds' system, Google around for video.  It's hilarious.  Half the time the catcher just shrugs and lets him do whatever.

Last year, in 132 minor-league (A/AA) games, he hit .311/.411/.420 and stole 155 bases vs. only 37 caught, despite:

1) Everyone in the ballpark knew he was stealing.
2) His technique isn't great.  He doesn't get Rickey jumps.  He just accelerates quickly enough to not care.

He's been a shortstop, but the Reds plan to have him play CF in AAA this year.  He doesn't project as an elite hitter, but he should sneak on base-- he drew 86 walks last year, despite the fact that walking a zero-power Billy Hamilton is the dumbest thing a pitcher could do.  He's a switch-hitter with impressive bunting skills from either side.  He'll scrap out a ton of infield singles.

(You might be better off playing five infielders and two outfielders against him, allowing the occasional triple or inside-the-park homer but taking away lots of singles.)

The plan isn't to bring him up in 2013, but if an injury or a slump comes around, he's in line.  I'm not sure he'll be good (contact problems, zero power, iffy glove), but he'll be exciting.
 
2013-02-18 02:50:07 PM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.


The '85 Cardinals wonder what the fuss is about
 
2013-02-18 02:55:50 PM  

chimp_ninja: I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues this year, but if you aren't familiar with Billy Hamilton of the Reds' system, Google around for video.  It's hilarious.  Half the time the catcher just shrugs and lets him do whatever.

Last year, in 132 minor-league (A/AA) games, he hit .311/.411/.420 and stole 155 bases vs. only 37 caught, despite:

1) Everyone in the ballpark knew he was stealing.
2) His technique isn't great.  He doesn't get Rickey jumps.  He just accelerates quickly enough to not care.

He's been a shortstop, but the Reds plan to have him play CF in AAA this year.  He doesn't project as an elite hitter, but he should sneak on base-- he drew 86 walks last year, despite the fact that walking a zero-power Billy Hamilton is the dumbest thing a pitcher could do.  He's a switch-hitter with impressive bunting skills from either side.  He'll scrap out a ton of infield singles.

(You might be better off playing five infielders and two outfielders against him, allowing the occasional triple or inside-the-park homer but taking away lots of singles.)

The plan isn't to bring him up in 2013, but if an injury or a slump comes around, he's in line.  I'm not sure he'll be good (contact problems, zero power, iffy glove), but he'll be exciting.


He may come up but only for a game or two if he is lucky next year. He hit for power at the start of the season, but his numbers fell like a rock as it wore on. He needs more time to work on his CF defense especially since Choo only signed for a year. His ability to adjust to pitchers as they figure him out needs work as well. It was still exciting as hell to watch him go for that steals title.
 
2013-02-18 03:17:20 PM  

chimp_ninja: I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues this year, but if you aren't familiar with Billy Hamilton of the Reds' system, Google around for video. It's hilarious. Half the time the catcher just shrugs and lets him do whatever.


I was sure at first that was going to be a link to the great, but mostly unknown, Billy Hamilton.
 
2013-02-18 04:35:51 PM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.


Rickey Henderson disagrees with everything that isn't Rickey Henderson.
 
2013-02-18 04:39:43 PM  

Skyrmion: chimp_ninja: I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues this year, but if you aren't familiar with Billy Hamilton of the Reds' system, Google around for video. It's hilarious. Half the time the catcher just shrugs and lets him do whatever.

I was sure at first that was going to be a link to the great, but mostly unknown, Billy Hamilton.


I would predict that "Sliding Billy" Hamilton of the Kansas City Cowboys would have a smaller impact on "2013: The Year of the Stolen Base", because historically the ability to steal bases peaks around age 25-30, and drops off rather steeply by age 147.
 
2013-02-18 05:24:06 PM  

chimp_ninja: Skyrmion: chimp_ninja: I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues this year, but if you aren't familiar with Billy Hamilton of the Reds' system, Google around for video. It's hilarious. Half the time the catcher just shrugs and lets him do whatever.

I was sure at first that was going to be a link to the great, but mostly unknown, Billy Hamilton.

I would predict that "Sliding Billy" Hamilton of the Kansas City Cowboys would have a smaller impact on "2013: The Year of the Stolen Base", because historically the ability to steal bases peaks around age 25-30, and drops off rather steeply by age 147.


He hasn't had a good base-stealing year for a century or so; that just means he's due.
 
2013-02-18 05:56:24 PM  

roc6783: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.

Rickey Henderson disagrees with everything that isn't Rickey Henderson.


Rickey Henderson is just trying to be the best Rickey Henderson that Rickey Henderson can be.
 
2013-02-19 08:36:30 AM  

DaintySavage: The move had a success rate of 1 in every 400 attempts.


For sake of argument... while you're right that it worked that rarely, how many of those times was it done to actually TRY to pick the guy off, and not just to be a stubborn prick who's paying way, way too much attention to the runners he's inherited?

\seriously, there are some pitchers who spend more time staring at runners on base than the guy they're pitching to
 
2013-02-19 11:13:08 AM  

WhiskeySticks: roc6783: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.

Rickey Henderson disagrees with everything that isn't Rickey Henderson.

Rickey Henderson is just trying to be the best Rickey Henderson that Rickey Henderson can be.


This is a tautology, because all incarnations of Rickey are the best incarnations of Rickey.  On a scale of 1 to Rickey, they are all equally Rickey.
 
2013-02-19 02:42:28 PM  

chimp_ninja: WhiskeySticks: roc6783: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Rickey Henderson circa 1982 disagrees that this will be the year of stolen bases.

Rickey Henderson disagrees with everything that isn't Rickey Henderson.

Rickey Henderson is just trying to be the best Rickey Henderson that Rickey Henderson can be.

This is a tautology, because all incarnations of Rickey are the best incarnations of Rickey.  On a scale of 1 to Rickey, they are all equally Rickey.


With Rickey all things are possible, Rickey.
 
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