The Paper (old TSN) Chase.
But what is now lost from the game is the mystical feel of our pastime, found in the greats who once played the game. Sure, we still have legends. But even those are diminished in some respects. Take Derek Jeter, for instance. Many call him one of the greatest players to wear a uniform. But now, through advanced statistics, picking him apart for his below average UZR (which, in case you were wondering, measures the amount of space a fielder can cover). With sabermetrics, names like Ben Zobrist are thrown into the conversation as some of the most important players in baseball, while the Rays’ utilityman sports numbers that wouldn’t strike any onlookers as otherworldly.
The art of the sport is mostly lost, as the scientific backing for greatness is what many now look towards, rather than the intuitive feeling of watching good players play a sport.
This is not supposed to be a bitter, nostalgic rant against a movement that may indeed be improving how we think about baseball as a sport. Baseball is still America’s pastime. It is imbedded in the past, present, and future of our culture. That being said, it’s still worthwhile to embrace the beginning of spring and the sport the starts with it. Just know that it won’t be what your parents and parents’ parents were watching.