Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe
says the science of baseball is ruining the game. I tend to agree with him.https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/...astime/q5p4CBE51aEtNUvP5Gj2IP/story.html
Red Sox vice president of pitching analysis Brian Bannister inadvertently explained what is killing baseball when he told the Globe’s Alex Speier, “Essentially, baseball has become a game full of data scientists. We’re finding ways to get better at what we do, and to provide the players with better information and better recommendations on everything we do on a daily basis . . . The biggest change in the game is the mind-set of ‘Get a hitter out in three pitches or less.’ Efficiency was the most prized thing in baseball. Now the whole art of pitching is the science of the swing and miss . . . When we control all the variables with a ball not being put into play, as opposed to a ball being put into play and all the chaos that causes, it’s worth our time.’’
Swell. Unfortunately for viewers, the “chaos” Bannister abhors is actually what made the game entertaining in the first place. Remember great defensive plays and triples in the gap? Bannister’s smart and winning philosophy is a classic explanation of how analytics is sucking the life out of the national pastime.
Case in point: Friday night’s 1-0 Sox win over the Tigers. It took 3 hours and 31 minutes to play a 1-0 game! Thanks to the stellar/winning philosophy of keeping the ball out of play we got 10 pitchers and 317 pitches in a game with one run and one extra-base hit. Sox reliever Matt Barnes needed 23 pitches for a shutout eighth and Craig Kimbrel threw 23 for his shutout ninth. It is unwatchable. Nothing happens.
Former MLB pitcher Ron Darling agrees. He was quoted in Phil Mushnick's column in the New York Post
June 24 may have provided the most telling game and broadcast of the season, if not the era. It was the clincher, the one containing indisputable evidence that The Game has lost its heart, soul, good senses and mind.
On SNY, Ron Darling watched the Mets play more fundamentally bereft and bullpen-senseless losing baseball, an 11-inning game of modern home-run-or-whiff ball against the home-run-or-whiff Dodgers. With both teams pulling effective relievers as if they’d arrived at their one-station stops, 14 pitchers appeared.
Darling: “It seems teams now try to win games through some math algorithms in real time, when the game is calling for you to do something to win the ballgame.”
And it was Darling who last season said what logical fans have for years been saying to one another: “They pay the big money to the starters, then expect the relievers to win the games.”