There was a time I loved talking baseball.
It was easy to spend hours discussing the relative merits of Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ted Simmons, George Hendrick, Mark McGwire and Adam Wainwright.
However, thanks to sabermetrics, those days are past. The concept of sabermetrics, a pure mathematical analysis of baseball, first surfaced in the mid-1960s. The science of sabermetrics, and it is a science, tells us that batting average and RBIs don’t reflect the true value of a player.
And, I understand that … to a point. A great hitter in a weak lineup is going to have fewer RBI opportunities than an average hitter surrounded by great players. I get it. On the other hand, don’t try to convince me that someone with 150 RBIs didn’t have a good year.
...I know the importance of tendencies and playing the percentages, but taken to an extreme, a person can get bogged down by analysis.
For instance, if I’m enjoying some exotic dish, don’t give me the recipe. I don’t want to know.
If I’m looking at a beautiful photo of Mount Rainier, don’t spoil the moment with a geology lesson.
The sheer analytical nature of some of these statistics removes any shred of romance from the game. Baseball isn’t played by robots. It’s played by human beings on fields of grass.