Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, April 11, 2013

NY Times: Douthat: A Baseball Golden Age?

That’s the bold claim advanced last week by Michael Brendan Dougherty, who just took a step away from political writing to found a baseball newsletter (news-email?) called “The Slurve” [http://www.theslurve.com/], and who gives a great interview about the decision here. His case that baseball is peaking acknowledges the sport’s various difficulties (the Hall of Fame’s steroid problems, the pace of games, the Florida Marlins), but then follows with this:

   But overall the sport has never been better. The league has achieved a wonderful balance of parity and dynastic success, feeding just enough hope to smaller-market teams and just enough resentment of larger, perennially competitive ones. Most of the league’s ballparks have been updated in the last 20 years, and on the whole they are better than the stadiums that preceded them, less claustrophobic, better staffed, safer, and, yes, more expensive.

   And for all the faults of the league office, the sport has effected a revolution in how we find the sport. Online watching allows fans to see every out-of-market game on their computers or on television. The league has opened up the data about itself available to the nerds. You now can quantify the movement of every pitch thrown.

   Advanced statistical analysis has given us greater depth of insight into the players and the franchises themselves. But at the same time we don’t have to be intimidated by the spreadsheets.

   Some self-designated “old school” writers like Murray Chass complain that the new stat freaks think the game is simply a clash of abstracted probabilities. But the geek view of the game has not penetrated the experience of the ballpark or even the way the game is portrayed on television. During a televised game, we’re not told a player’s VORP—his Value Over Replacement Player—which would add nothing to the narrative drama of a televised game. But we’re still informed of his batting average, giving us a sense of what is about to happen. The fan’s experience of baseball has not become an embodied math problem. It is still a game of leather, ash bats, cleats. It remains an athletic endeavor. We just understand it better.

bobm Posted: April 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, pay site

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Steve Treder Posted: April 11, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4411222)
This is an excellent piece.
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: April 11, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4411224)
Well, let's not forget about the game itself, which aesthetically encroaches into the sublimely beautiful.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: April 11, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4411243)
Was the original piece ever posted on here? It's great to see someone writing about the positives of this game. For all the doom and gloom naysayers out there, the simple fact is that the sport is doing extremely well right now. Not just in a profitable way, but in the way pointed out in the slurve article, that it does a good of balancing parity/dynasty and generally putting the best teams into the post season.

edit: I see why it wasn't included... a subscription service...
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4411287)
Well, let's not forget about the game itself, which aesthetically encroaches into the sublimely beautiful.


Like freedom, baseball is that state where energy and order merge, and all complexity is purified into a simple coherence.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4411317)
Well, let's not forget about the game itself, which aesthetically encroaches into the sublimely beautiful.

piffle, or not piffle?
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4411319)
Baseball is the embodiment of the exhilarating tension between being and becoming.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
aleskel
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(11740 - 11:21am, Jan 31)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - January 2015
(1697 - 11:20am, Jan 31)
Last: GregD

NewsblogIs old school Pat Gillick the right man for his new job?
(30 - 11:18am, Jan 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogOT - Politics January 2015 - Mario Cuomo, New York Governor and Minor League Ballplayer, Dies at 82
(4266 - 11:16am, Jan 31)
Last: Joey B.

NewsblogCuban infielder Moncada clears government hurdle | MLB.com
(1 - 11:16am, Jan 31)
Last: eddieot

NewsblogPitchfork: Jack White Gets His Own Baseball Card
(255 - 11:11am, Jan 31)
Last: Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey)

NewsblogOT: Soccer January 2015
(399 - 11:00am, Jan 31)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogJohn D'Acquisto Remembers the Late Charlie Williams
(3 - 10:59am, Jan 31)
Last: Catfish1974

NewsblogWhere does the Mets' future lay? A look at the farm system and prospects | NJ.com
(2 - 9:58am, Jan 31)
Last: GregD

NewsblogPuig says Cardinals are Dodgers' biggest adversary
(1 - 9:52am, Jan 31)
Last: Scott Ross

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2015
(38 - 9:44am, Jan 31)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogHow Has BABIP Held Up as Leaguewide Offense Slides Ever Lower? | Banished to the Pen
(39 - 9:29am, Jan 31)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogBaseball's Choice: Change or Die | VICE Sports
(35 - 7:47am, Jan 31)
Last: God

NewsblogMinor League Legend Rocky Bridges Dies at 87
(14 - 2:41am, Jan 31)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

NewsblogFangraphs: Last Year’s Minor-League WAR Leaders, If That Existed
(20 - 9:57pm, Jan 30)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

Page rendered in 0.1887 seconds
48 querie(s) executed