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Baseball's Shrinking Gap Between Worst and First
Wall Street Journal ^ | 6/19/14 | Brian Costa

Posted on 06/21/2014 5:07:02 AM PDT by foreverfree

A league that was once divided between the haves and the have-nots has become the united realm of the mediocre. Twenty teams have won between 45% and 55% of their games, nearly double the number that fell within that range at this point in 2013. And if the sport's hierarchy seems clear, try waiting a week. It may change.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: baseball; sportsparity
Notice "Phil Collins"' (not that one IDT) comment under the article...

hhhm...surface gain. Without a few "super" teams average sporting fan will lose interest. Baseball lost the young fan when it moved their playoff games later into the night. This continues the trend. Soccer will continue to gain ground vs baseball

Is parity in baseball (or any sport) a bad thing?

ff

1 posted on 06/21/2014 5:07:02 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: foreverfree

T ball?


2 posted on 06/21/2014 5:09:42 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: foreverfree

They need to speed the game up. 3-4 hours is just too long.


3 posted on 06/21/2014 5:14:16 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: foreverfree

As a sports fan I think parity is OK — but not if it’s “legislated parity” where free agency and salary cap rules result in a revolving door of players on every team and no continuity from one year to the next. The NFL is the most absurd application of legislated parity — to the point where teams that do a poor job of drafting and signing players can still manage to succeed.


4 posted on 06/21/2014 5:15:41 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: driftdiver

Seems to me games are a little bit quicker these days. Pitching is beating hitting - especially in the NL obviously.


5 posted on 06/21/2014 5:18:01 AM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: foreverfree

It’ll probably end up like pro football where it seems like the playoffs don’t mean as much, because so many teams get in. Who knows, someday they might even have multiple Superbowls/champions. I think it’s a combination of the ‘everybody gets a trophy culture’, combined with the drive for more money. Mostly the latter. Eventually it will all be so cheapened, people will lose interest. (as we’ve seen with our government at all levels and so many other things)


6 posted on 06/21/2014 5:21:11 AM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: foreverfree

——try waiting a week-—

Or, alternatively, disregard the whole thing


7 posted on 06/21/2014 5:21:19 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Obama is public enemy #1)
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To: FlJoePa

I dunno, I’m sitting here in my vacation rental beachfront condo watching fishing boats go by on their way to the Gulf. Considerably more interesting then watching baseball.

Could be because I’m a Rays fan though.


8 posted on 06/21/2014 5:22:05 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Alberta's Child
“legislated parity”

I suspect baseball was the testing grounds for Common Core. It's worked so well for baseball, now lets use it in the schools.

9 posted on 06/21/2014 5:28:11 AM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: driftdiver

I think it’s time the Rays re-tool. I don’t know much about the prospects they have in the system, but it might be time to make some trades.

Don’t get down on Madden though. What he has done over the years is nothing short of remarkable.

I’m a Fish fan and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it gets here quick. I like the job Redmond has done.


10 posted on 06/21/2014 5:34:07 AM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: C210N
If anything, pro football was the testing ground for Common Core.
11 posted on 06/21/2014 5:40:10 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: Alberta's Child

People have the remember that the leagues as a whole are a business. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own a team in a small market if their destiny is only to be a whipping boy for big market teams. The fans in the those markets aren’t really big on it either.

The league as a whole (as in the owners in all regions) are better off when everyone has a shot at being competitive. That is the current state, and it is an improvement over the Yankees owning baseball for stretches at a time.

A salary cap was instituted in Hockey about a decade ago, and I believe it has done a lot for the league. Now if they could get rid of the awful officiating and sharp change in rules between regular season and playoffs, they might get somewhere.

Honestly I don’t understand why people actually think this is some kind of lefty plot to ruin the purity of competition or dumb down the sport. It is a way to make each franchise into a profitable business. Again, the league as a whole is a business, and each team is merely a franchise. Things have to be structured so that each franchise can be profitable or it hurts the business as a whole.

Do people object to McDonalds having restrictions on how their franchisees operate and in what density?


12 posted on 06/21/2014 6:00:00 AM PDT by drbuzzard (All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.)
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To: foreverfree
Both extremes are bad. If one or a few teams dominate a sport year in and year out, many casual fans lose interest. Like when the Yankees always won. Of course, it was always fun to root against them.

But if any team has a shot at winning a title, the same thing can happen. Fans like to see great teams. If winning a title is not too hard, that trivializes the sport as well. Personally, I like to see any sport have four or five exceptional teams for the other teams to try and emulate.

13 posted on 06/21/2014 6:00:37 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: driftdiver
Maybe some games are too long, but I would rather watch 3-4 hours of baseball than 3-4 minutes of soccer.

Yesterday the Blue Jays were down 8-0 but came back to win 14-9, scoring 5 runs in the 9th. The Yankees and the Padres were both trailing in the 9th inning but won by scoring 4 runs and 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth.

14 posted on 06/21/2014 6:13:49 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: FlJoePa

Madden is great, couldnt ask for someone better.

The Rays lost their starting pitching to injury and the rest of the team appears to have given up.


15 posted on 06/21/2014 6:16:18 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Verginius Rufus

I got into Hockey and dont think I can go back.


16 posted on 06/21/2014 6:17:30 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Verginius Rufus

Sounds like they were playing the Pirates...


17 posted on 06/21/2014 6:18:47 AM PDT by msrngtp2002 (Just my opinion.)
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To: driftless2
It seems to me, that when the Yankees won all the time (I am not a Yankees fan by any stretch), the TV networks were falling over themselves to shove money at MLB. They were willing to pay more if the Yankees would play the Red Sox in the playoffs every year. The majority of fans like a few super teams, like the Yankees. The Yankees are truly America's team. The NYT published a map showing what team is popular in every area of the US. In every area that doesn't have a local MLB team, the Yankees were the favorites. The Yankees were the fan favorite in places like Nebraska, Mississippi, Montana, etc. Secondly, since parity has come to MLB, the TV ratings have falling off the cliff from late 1990’s early 2000’s high. With the young demographic, MLB is way behing the NFL and the NBA. It is struggling to stay ahead of MLS by a small margin.
18 posted on 06/21/2014 6:23:15 AM PDT by gusty
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To: foreverfree

The articles contention that teams were not making money 15 years ago is bogus. At that time, MLB was engaged in warfare between players and owners over the CBA. The books were cooked by the owners in order to bolster their position vs the players. Now that those issues have been resolved and labor peace reigns, the teams are more willing to show profits in order to attract more investment to the game.


19 posted on 06/21/2014 6:29:07 AM PDT by gusty
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To: drbuzzard
That's an excellent post. I'd sum it up by presenting this as the basic challenge in any sport:

Sports teams must be competitive on the field, but at the same time they have to accept limits on their freedom to do business off the field.

Once a fan understands this, a lot of the complaints you hear should diminish. My single biggest complaint is that parity has become so ingrained in the operations of major sports leagues that the sports themselves have become completely watered down. The competition becomes fabricated to a large degree, and these sports get way too close to that fine line that separates a competitive game from a staged event.

The NFL is the epitome of parity, which in my mind also makes it the worst offender in terms of diluting the product to make it more attractive to people who are far from serious fans.

20 posted on 06/21/2014 6:36:22 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: gusty
In every area that doesn't have a local MLB team, the Yankees were the favorites. ...

Saw that too, interesting map. Perhaps this is more a comment on the Mets, but even around Flushing Queens, the Yanks rated higher than the Mets.

21 posted on 06/21/2014 6:41:13 AM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: gusty
That's an excellent point, and I'd use the NHL as a great example of that. At one time it seemed like a great idea to embark on a major expansion to become an NBA-like sports league with a competitive franchise (there's that "legislated parity" again) in every major North American market, but when you look back over the last 20 years the evidence tells the opposite story. Interest in the NHL as reflected in TV ratings was probably at its lowest when teams like the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning were winning the Stanley Cup, and was at its highest when traditional franchises like Detroit, Boston, Chicago and the New York Rangers were Stanley Cup finalists.

Los Angeles is an unusual case because it's a major TV market and the Kings have been around for almost 50 years, but it's not a traditional hockey market and the Kings have to compete with a lot of other sports/entertainment alternatives for fan interest.

22 posted on 06/21/2014 6:44:08 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: C210N

That’s a pretty common phenomenon in sports, where some teams have a national fan base due to the storied history of the franchise and/or the national exposure over many years. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers are good examples of this in MLB. The Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and (maybe surprisingly) the Pittsburgh Steelers are good examples of this in the NFL. Even the NHL has their versions of these larger-than-life franchises: mainly the “Original Six,” but the Philadelphia Flyers might belong in that group, too.


23 posted on 06/21/2014 6:48:05 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: msrngtp2002

Hey, don’t dis the Pirates, who have as much parity as anyone. Also Grilled Cheese has now been demoted.


24 posted on 06/21/2014 8:20:42 AM PDT by Lisbon1940
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To: foreverfree
I would like to see more home runs in baseball. Juice up the ball. Let the players fill their bats with cork. When there is a pitching change, don't let them warm up on the mound (that's what bullpens are for). Just send them to the mound and keep the game moving along.

I like the shot clock in basketball. They should have a 15 second pitching clock. If the pitcher can't deliver the next pitch within 15 seconds, award an automatic "ball".

I want to see more home runs. Baby Ruth hit 60 one year. I want that to be the new normal. Your average players should hit 60 a year with the superstars hitting 150 or more. If you are a player who can average one homer per game, then you should be considered one of the better home run hitters and you deserve a pay increase.

25 posted on 06/21/2014 8:30:32 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Lisbon1940
Hey, don’t dis the Pirates, who have as much parity as anyone. Also Grilled Cheese has now been demoted.

This Phightin' Phils phan asks, Who or what is Grilled Cheese?

ff

26 posted on 06/22/2014 5:01:50 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: foreverfree

Grilled Cheese is Jason Grilli, gone soggy this season with four blown saves.


27 posted on 06/22/2014 12:14:16 PM PDT by Lisbon1940
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