Saturday, September 29, 2007

Exhibit 1A

Those of you who know me perhaps take my criticism of mainstream sports media with a grain of salt. Perhaps you think that's just John being John. Perhaps you think that the mainstream media analysts, like Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver, the two leading color men in baseball, are actually intelligent baseball minds and that I distort what they say.

Perhaps you think that what they say is probably somewhat or even mostly true. Perhaps you think that I ought to defer to their experience as players and their lifetime in baseball instead of insisting that I am right and they are wrong. Perhaps you think I am arrogant for not really caring what these people think. Perhaps I do think I know more than I really know.

However, I have never been more convinced of their complete and total uselessness as analysts of baseball on the macro level than I am right now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, I give you, from the World Wide Web's leading critics of baseball analysis, Exhibit 1A as to why you never, ever need to pay attention to what the men in the booth think about baseball strategy, roster construction, and valuable baseball skills ever again.

From the mouth of Mr. Tim McCarver:
We had our friends at Stats, Inc. check and see whether more multi-run innings came with a lead off homer or a lead off walk. You would think that a lead off walk would lead to more big innings than a lead off home run. Not true. A lead off home run, this year, has lead to more multi-run innings than lead off walks. It's against conventional thinking.
This is stupidity of the higher order, and you can't even say that it was spontaneous or ill-thought out. Tim McCarver actually did research to see if this was true and then was surprised at the results, so much so that he brought it up on the air because he thought his viewers would also be surprised.

This is why I do not respect what these men say about strategy. This is why I don't care on iota what they have to say about the stolen base and the sacrifice bunt. This is why I don't give a flying f*** about their theories on pitching and defense. If this result surprises you, you don't know the first thing about baseball strategy and the value of baseball events.

Mainstream baseball analysts, especially ex-players, are nothing more than men who have spent their entire lives learning baseball clich├ęs that have no basis at all in any sort of objective truth. Until they can demonstrate that their knowledge is actually valuable, we need not pay attention.


die Amerikanerin said...

Wait wait wait... so you're saying that a team is more likely to score more than one home run in an inning if they begin an inning with a home run rather than a walk? NO WAY!!!!!!111!

But remember, that's only for THIS YEAR!!!

John Lynch said...

Yeah, actually that was my favorite part: McCarver actually qualifies that statement with "this year" as if it weren't likely to be true in other years., Wow.

D.Cous. said...

Yeah, but here's an important question: What is Britney doing with her life?

John, John, John. These people are paid to talk nearly nonstop during a broadcast. Sometimes, by coincidence, they actually talk about the sport and maybe even the specific game that is being broadcast, but that's hardly part of their job. This is why I can only take televised sport in small doses.