Monday, September 28, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, September 28, 2020 -- "The End of Baseball Exceptionalism"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

"That shift ramped up the intensity of the playoffs. The postseason, which should build slowly to the World Series, became a grind from the start. We saw Division Series games routinely running far past three hours, with tactics once reserved for big spots, like starters coming out of the bullpen, now appearing in October’s first days. As baseball’s gameplay changed, the effects were felt in the playoffs. The absence of lesser starting pitchers in October once made the games run cleaner; now, with even the best starting pitchers held to 100 pitches, kept from facing their opponents a third time -- the win-maximizing decision, to be sure -- even Division Series games became a grind. There was no longer a buildup, just one high note held for five weeks. I’d imagine that works for fans of the team that wins, and even for many neutrals who love baseball. I think all it really does is teach people to check in halfway through the semis to see how it all ends."