Larry 'N Atlana

Old Baseball

Is baseball getting too scientific?

Science is getting in the way of baseball

When I was a kid carefully attempting late at night to tune in baseball games from St Louis or New York on my AM radio that I rigged to have “stereo” speakers in the headboard of my bed, I would hear Harry Caray or Mel Allen talk about a players “batting average” or a pitcher’s “ERA”. But they would always focus more on the game and the activity surrounding it first. Now baseball is getting too scientific.

Harry Caray
Harry Caray (from Wikipedia)

Now we have ESPN

Now normally when watching a game on ESPN (because there is no local broadcast) I let what the the announcers say go in one ear and out the other because they seem to talk just to hear themselves talk. They go on and on taking about everything but the game at hand. Mostly they just yap about each other.

But watching the Atlanta Braves play the Washington Gnats one night I started paying attention to the statistics that kept popping up.

OPS
Slugging percentage
Expected batting average
Exit velocity
Launch angle
Apex
WHIP
Shift Metrics

Drafting table and tools

What the hell? Do we need a slide rule and a protractor to watch a game now?

“Back in my day…”

Yeah yeah. I know I’m taking on a “back in my day” stance, but are all these stats really necessary? Do we have to use the Pythagorean theorem to tell if it was a good hit or not?

Baseball should be fun, not like going to school

Baseball player arguing with umpire

Baseball has many nuances, the secret communications between a catcher and pitcher. or a third base coach and a runner. The battle between the pitcher and the batter. Arguing the umpire’s call (oh, and I hate that little square they impose on the screen to represent the strike zone). Keeping the runner in check so he doesn’t steal second. Now it’s too scientific. like watching a science lecture instead of a baseball game.

Too many announcers

This is all just fluff so the announcers can justify having three or 4 people in a booth yammering on, and ignoring those of us that just want to enjoy the game without having to calculate the drag coefficient of a base steal. After all, regardless of all these stats, the team with the most runs wins. Every time.

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