Many a face-wasted night at the Mi Sueños Bar I would randomly yell out…” Where did the home runs win?”
Cuban baseball is in the middle of an inexplicable slump. Barely two weeks after the beginning of the 52 National Series and already worrisome signs jump at you when you a peek at the statistics. None of the experts I approached with the simplest of questions had an answer at hand: where did the homeruns win?
In the first 65 games, batters had only hit 45 homers, for a meager 0.66 per game. When you check on how many at-bats are needed to hit a ball over the fence, you will find a staggering 95.24. Very low figures when you compare them to those of the previous season, even though they were using the same Mizuno 200 ball.
...It is totally impossible that the average pitching stats improved from 4.35 ERA to 2.80 like is happening now, because neither are the hurlers any better nor the batters worse. Actually, they are the same!!! Pitchers havent included any new pitches to their repertoire; their speed is barely 80 some miles per hour. The new strike zone umpires have been forced to use might have certain positive influence in the pitchers´s performances, true, but is not the key factor for the plummeting of 30 percentage points in the offensive average: 0.281 last season for 0.251 now.
The abuse of the use of bunts, a bad copy of the Asian way of playing baseball, is also attempting against the much needed blasts, but this “vice” keeps the same pattern that in previous seasons. The lowering in the height of the mound, now it rises 12 inches instead of 15, actually benefits batters. Then, what’s going on?
Official sources confirmed the use of the Mizuno 200 the entire season and not another baseball as some people were speculating about (we still have in our memory the Batos and the Conexion, with hardly any bouncing properties) though today we are playing with what was left of last season stock, a fact with no influence whatsoever in the performance.
It is mandatory to find the causes of the slump, the sooner the better, and bring back Mr Homer to Cuban baseball parks because the III Baseball Classic is there around the corner and to get there with false expectations can certainly smash our players minds. In the Classic they will play with extremely “live” Rowlings, made exclusively for this tournament.
Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
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