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Old 08-25-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
ForeverRoyalKC
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Did you leave baseball? Why did you come back?

The title of this thread explains itself. Have you ever left baseball for a reason, or two, or three and what made you come back? I left it after the last strike and when the whole Bonds, Sosa, McGwire steroids thing was happening. Plus I hated how the unis went from tight down the legs to these, what I call "baseball slacks." Especially Manny Ramirez. His unis always looked two sizes too big. Like a kid wearing his dad's uniform. And...interleague play. That really set me off! I loved seeing the strange sights of teams in a stadium they have never been in before!

But...the passion of the game was still in me and I came back about 2011. My wife and I got a TV package with MLB Network and I started to watch highlights and something re-sparked. I have been with it again ever since. Several things have really captured my interest. The baseball cards today, some of the merch like the postseason gear, the "multi colored" players weekend and players that have emerged like Trout, Harper, Ohtani, Acuna, Vlad Jr. and others. I'm glad I came back. If I didn't, I wouldn't have found OOTP and this forum!

What's your story?

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Old 08-25-2019, 10:54 PM   #2
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Without sounding like a fanboy OOTP 11 brought me back to baseball. I had stopped watching completely after coming back from Iraq and didn't have much interest in most anything. I was doing some mindless internet surfing and stumbled into OOTP.

Long story short I've since graduated from college, got married and had two beautiful girls who now sit with me to watch both the real Cardinals and my OOTP Cardinals struggle for October baseball.

FWIW I fired Matheny long before the real team.

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Old 08-27-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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This is a bad time to be asking this question ("Did you leave baseball?") because at any time in my long life, this would be the closest I ever came to doing so. In addition to the simmering decades-long disgust with what money had done to the professional game - the high cost of just watching it caused by greed exemplified by Bryan Harper turning down a $300 million offer because he wanted more - add these:
  1. The ubiquitous advertising such as the selling of stadium names and popup ads during telecasts. Sure, advertising has always been part of the game but now it's getting constant and obtrusive. I have a feeling that wearethisclose to seeing commercial names and logos on uniforms.
  2. The steroid era and the fact that the records that were set still stand. Even more distressing is that over time, the men who set them are gaining more respectability and their chances of entering the Hall of Fame are increasing. They cheated the game and their fellow players.
  3. The stupid gimmicks employed by MLB out of fear that it's not exciting enough. Things like pumping up the crowd noise during telecasts so that it's hard to hear what the announcers are saying. Things like blasting music at the ballpark to the point where you cannot even hear what you are saying.
  4. The relentless publicity. It used to be that people were drawn to the game because they liked it. Now it's like they are being dragged to it. If you go anywhere near it, it's in your face, tooting and blaring.
  5. The introduction and overuse of sabermetrics which require blind faith in how they are calculated even though we know that they can be arbitrary and variable. Too many stats takes away from the humanity of the game.
Those were ongoing. Now add these most recent irritations:
  1. The juiced-up baseball this year. What were they thinking? "Duh, what we need are more home runs to liven things up. People love home runs." Except that they are ruining one of the great things about MLB: the consistency of the game so that the greats of today can be compared to the greats of the past. It seems like every day that some home run record is being broken and the sheer number of them, hit by guys who shouldn't be doing so that often, is getting boring.
  2. Tinkering with the game because there is this idea that it runs too long, that it should fit into a two-hour time slot like a movie because people's attention spans are too short and they need "thrills a minute" provided by punching buttons on their smart phones.
  3. Tinkering with the game because it is not precise enough, such as this "Robo Ump" for calling balls and strikes. Human error on the edges of the field has been part of the game forever, just as human error on the field. But no, we have to automate parts of it to make sure that it is perfect. It's a game; played, managed, and umpired by human beings and it should remain that way.
  4. Last, and least but still fresh, is the silliness and disrespect for the game exhibited by Players Weekend. Ego is already way out of proportion these days but there has to be this further expression of it by allowing players to dress up like Halloween. So far, the idea of dressing down entirely - weird costuming or none - has not taken hold but wait a while. For this time, though, we had these monochrome black and white uniforms which looked like softball league and added nothing to either player individuality or fan enjoyment (and, by the way, you couldn't read the names and numbers on white-on-white uniforms). But allowed were dumb nicknames, garishly colored sweatshirts, gaudy shoes, and gaily painted bats. It looked like a clown show.
Well, that was quite a rant. Thanks for the opportunity to get it off my chest.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:48 AM   #4
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This above is my new favorite post of all time not made by myself.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:31 PM   #5
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Stopped watching baseball after the 94 strike. Started watching again after the 98 homerun record deal, and also at the same time found Hardball 4 in a dollar bin at CompUSA that rekindled my love of baseball and baseball games.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:24 PM   #6
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I left baseball when the steroid scandal hit. I remember being excited about the McGwire/Sosa home run chase, and to find out later that it was all tainted, along with baseball as a whole was awful. The last World Series I remember watching was the Diamondbacks taking down the Yankees and some great performances by Schilling and the Big Unit.

Since then I only really watched when the Rangers made the World Series.

I came back to it after playing OOTP 18, and watching and reading Moneyball. Sabremetrics has made the game more exciting for me, combining analytics and sports in a way that's just so good. On the other hand, it's made it less exciting because the stat-driven style of play is boring. Juiced baseballs and 3 Outcomes is no good, and I definitely prefer the Tony Gwynn balls-in-play style.

Thankfully there's a lot of historical baseball to dig in to.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizon View Post
Stopped watching baseball after the 94 strike.
same. 94 strike was the final straw for me after how many work stoppages MLB had been having. that combined with the retirement of George Brett and the Royals trading away or not being able to keep any single star player for the previous 6 or 7 seasons, I had just had enough.

I regained my interest when Zach Grienke had his magical start during his Cy Young season. by 2013 i found that my local cable company was carrying all the Royals games. I was back for good then

the one thing about the game I really dislike now though, is how the home run and the walk have become the king and queen of baseball. I could be ok with the home run stuff, but the amount of walks reminds me too much of U9 baseball
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:25 PM   #8
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I've left and am gone. I don't like what the game has morphed into. It's all homers and strikeouts. I'm strange, I've always enjoyed pitching duels. Nothing like watching a masterful performance. I miss complete games.

I don't like baseball where pitcher wins, rbi's and other statistics are considered inferior to the modern metrics, and don't get me wrong, I enjoy many modern stats.

I understood the value of On-base-Pct long before MLB caught on. In the 70's when the Pirates had Frank Tavares leading off with his sub .300 OBP, only because he had blazing speed, made no sense to me. In those days, I would argue that Joe Morgan was the best style of player to lead off, a solid bat, blessed with speed, and 100 + walks a season...and I was a Dodger fan to boot.

But when I see starting pitchers sometimes only going 2 or 3 innings, and that's by design...and each team using 5+ pitchers per game...and games are 3+ hours. I just don't have the time and patience for that.

It saddens me...in some ways. MLB was everything to me growing up. But truly, I just don't care anymore.

Now...can we talk about the NHL...that is my love these days.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:28 PM   #9
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I would never deny anyone the right to get upset about how much money players make, or anything else for that matter. If something bothers you, so be it.

But please don't blame the cost of tickets, etc. on the players' salaries. Supply and demand drive ticket prices, not player salaries. Owners, like any other businessman, sell their product for as much as they can. Don't think for a minute that an owner would say, "I can sell out the stadium at $100/seat, but I will only charge $50, because I don't want to make so much money."

Owners have been selling this lie for a while, but it doesn't wash. Revenue drives what owners can play, not vice versa. There are certainly other things that affect ticket costs, but in the end, it all comes down to maximizing income. Players are certainly the beneficiary of the income that accrues to the sport, but they are not the ones that drive up prices.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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I pretty much gave up on baseball in the late 90's because of the steroid scandals and because TPTB seemed to have rigged things so that the Yankees would dominate. Then I came back in 2016 but left again. You can't tell me that the 2016 World Series wasn't rigged so that the cute little Cubbies would have their first championship in 108 years. It made me sick. I thought at least the playoffs in baseball were honest unlike the NFL and NBA. I enjoy OOTP. I find it stimulating and addicting. Regular baseball will just have to wait a little longer.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
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I don't think I've left baseball as much as I've left sports viewing in general. Seems like as each year goes by, I watch less and less sports. I still follow sports, I just don't watch as much. With football getting ready to start, I'm interested to see how much or how little I watch this year. I ditched ESPN/ESPN2, FS1, CBSSports, last spring and I have no intention of getting them back, so my viewing choices are already limited.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
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Well, looks like I didn't open a hornet's nest, I opened a wasp's condo! You all have some pretty good points! I won't argue any of them. I really understand baseball from your youth and childhood. NOTHING like getting to ROYALS Stadium hour and a half before the game to watch batting practice and those balls sailing through the air. I love baseball and I somewhat still love football and I would still rather watch baseballs sail through the air with a long fly ball than a football being thrown for a 60 yard pass.
I HATED this Players weekend! I'm sorry. I do like the multi colored unis and nicknames, but who ever came up with the whole black and white thing should be fired. AND whoever agreed with the idea should be fired!
I guess, even though things change for the worse, there are nuggets to hold on to. Tatis making that sky high catch to rob a single, Vlad Jr. finding his stuff, Acuna playing like a kid in the backyard, little things like that.
I am breathlessly waiting for this sale of the Royals! I really believe this new owner just might be the big shot we are waiting for as Royals fans! Of all the things I have read about it, I haven't seen ONE thing that says the sale to John Sherman would be a bad idea.
There is good amidst the bad.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:51 PM   #13
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I still follow baseball, and catch snatches of games when I get a chance. I was never a big "watcher" of baseball, it was always more of a radio sport for me. Watched more at playoff time, but otherwise just watched occasionally. I will admit that I find it less interesting as we have over half the plate appearances culminating in BB, K or HR. I like base-running, I like to see fielding and close games. To me a 3-2 or 4-2 game is about perfect.

To echo a previous poster, I watch much less sports today than I used to. In particular, I have trouble watching American football. While I enjoy the actually play of the game, I find I can no longer invest 3.5 hours of my time to watch 15 minutes of action. Baseball has about the same ratio, but I don't watch in more than quick drop in snatches either.

About the only sports I can sit down and watch for the whole game are soccer and college basketball.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:26 PM   #14
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This has been a great thread. The key piece of advice that I can leave with it is this: Get past all the crap that I talked about in my earlier post. Instead, see the game of Baseball itself which hasn't changed all that much in 150 years. It's a beautiful game.

Here's a warning for MLB, though. I can see this beautiful game in an independent league stadium in my county, on the grounds of the nearby university, at the local high school; hell, even in a playground around the corner. And yes, I can see this beautiful game as I play OOTPB, thank goodness for that.

I don't really need MLB. It's only my adult life-long allegiance to the Yankees that interests me in their league, frankly.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:47 PM   #15
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Well said, Deja Bru! No matter the unis, the money or the nicknames, it's always that HR to walk off in the bottom of the 9th, the hot barehanded throw to nail the runner by an eyelash, legging out the double into a triple and the just sick curveball to make a batter go statue. Underneath, it's all baseball!
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:02 PM   #16
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I never left baseball.

I understand the ebb and flow of the game, and how the game can be vastly different from decade to decade.

Someone, somewhere, will build a team with pitching, speed, and defense, and win everything. Like what the St. Louis Cardinals are doing now.
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