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Hump Day Hot Takes: 6.21.17

No-nos, cycles, and pace of play issues.

Max Scherzer by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hump Day Hot Takes: 6.21.17

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

I got a real late start on this weeks Hot Takes but it means I can start with this:

No No-No for Max
Max Scherzer has been straight up nasty the past few weeks, striking out nearly everyone in sight. In 15 starts he has 9 games with 10+ Ks.  And this morning was no different.

That’s Ichiro, one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen, looking absolutley foolish on a Max slider. He took a No Hitter into the 8th inning which is when this happens.

Now, I know the caption for that tweet says its brutal, and it is, but Max HAS to make that play. Or get out of the way and let your defense back you up. But a mental error not only blew the No-No, it would lead to the inning spiraling out of control. And due to Dusty Baker having less than zero confidence in his bullpen, he left Max out there to rack up 119 pitches, ending with 11 Ks, one walk, 2 ER, and a loss. No one said this game was fair.

Tiger’s Pitcher thinks signs are slowing down the game.
One of the biggest issues with MLB lately has been the pace of play. Games simply take too long for the casual fan to watch a game on TV. And that is counterproductive for a Commissioner trying to grow the leagues fanbase. The Detroit Tigers know all about this as they are in the top 3 for longest average game time this season. Their star ace, Justin Verlander, has a theory as to why that is. JV thinks that signs are slowing the game down. Not fans holding signs, but the signs between pitchers and catchers. He claims, and I’m paraphrasing here, that due to the way in which teams are trying to steal signs, the signs between the battery mates have had to get so complicated that it takes for ever for a pitch to be relayed and decided upon. It’s certainly an interesting theory and has some weight coming from one of the league leaders in innings pitched over the last 5-10 years. How do you feel about this theory. Sound off in the comments below.

Nolan Arenado is having quite the season. The latest highlight came on Father’s Day as he hit a walk off HR, giving the Rockies a victory and himself a cycle. Which as I keep saying, is an impressive feat.

Also of note, his cycle marks the 17th cycle to happen at Coors’ Field. That ties it with Fenway Park for the ballpark with the most cycles hit. Fenway opened in 1912, Coors’ opened in 1995. Do the math.

MLB Outreach
Next season, the Twins and the Indians will play a 2 game series in Puerto Rico. The series will take place in the middle of April and will count as regular season games. We’ve seen a similar approch to cultivating a more global market from the NFL recently, with their London games. I think this is a great idea, especially when you consider how much of MLB’s talent comes from Puerto Rico, as well as other Caribbean nations. I hope that this is successful and slowly expands. And I think as long as the games are early season games, there is little to complain about, especially if the teams playing are from more northern regions that regularly have to delay and postpone those April games due to bad weather anyways.

I would like this column to turn into more of a discussion so I’m going to start trying a question of the week type thing. Let’s get some lively, but civil, discussion going in the comment section. This week’s question: What do you think causes baseball’s pace of play issues and how should they go about correcting it. Or is it much ado about nothing?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm is a professional Sound Engineer/Designer, and amateur photographer, writer, musician who recently relocated from California to Rochester, NY. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit has made Andrew an avid fan of all things Detroit but nothing more so than his beloved Detroit Tigers. Every year he tells himself he won't drink the Lions Kool-Aid, and every year winds up heartbroken come January. A Spartan by heart, and a Golden Grizzly by degree, you can catch his (almost) weekly Hot Takes every Hump Day here at The Turf.

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