RR: You post regularly at Baseball Think Factory, a sabermetric-oriented forum. Do you follow any of today’s modern stats and what do you think about their infiltration into the game?
At first I was not amused by the new statistical methods, connecting their origins and logic to the geniuses that brought down Wall Street via derivative trades. But upon further reflection, it is merely another way for fans to enjoy the game of baseball and a useful tool to try to quantify player production. In any business, you want the marginal revenue generated by an input to be greater than the marginal costs associated with it. As salaries increase, teams have to run themselves like an actual business and not as a charity, and these are useful tools in the process.
People at BBTF can take themselves too seriously, but fans can take the game too seriously as well.
RR: Do you have any thoughts about how teams handle pitchers today and is there anything they could be doing differently to increase stamina and/or avoid injuries?
I wonder of we have reached the physical limit of how hard (and for how long) a pitcher can throw nearly 100 mph. Look at a picture of a pitcher’s arm just before they deliver a pitch. laying flat and snapping forward. The body is not meant to do that repeatedly during a game and over twenty years.
A minor league teammate, Gorman Heimueller, is the Phillies’ minor league pitching coordinator, and his methods to try to maximize results are interesting. Each of the fifty to sixty pitchers has their own program - it is not one size fits all. They are evaluated by modern statistics and visited every month to check on their progress, given “homework” and interviewed about their successes and failures. It is almost like a Montessori school curriculum!