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Friday, April 10, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: What in baseball do you simply not care about?

One of the things sports fans like to do is argue.

“Shlabotnik should be in the Hall of Fame!”

“Not before McGillicuddy!”

Or maybe it’s the DH. Or a rules change. Or whether someone deserves to be suspended X number of games or Y number of games over a given transgression. They there are simple rivalry things and all of the trappings of fandom which cause people to get their blood up.

In my case, it the “unwritten rules”- I can’t bring myself to care about whether or not anyone follows a vague set of concepts that frequently seem to exist largely as an excuse to pick fights.

 

QLE Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: frankly, my dear, i don't give a damn, questions

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5938147)
The Hall of Fame
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:36 AM (#5938150)
Players’ excuses for all the dicking around.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:19 AM (#5938156)
Steroids.
   4. TR_Sullivan Posted: April 10, 2020 at 03:29 AM (#5938160)
WAR
   5. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: April 10, 2020 at 05:48 AM (#5938167)
Whether or not players use cannabis.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 10, 2020 at 07:17 AM (#5938170)
Over-celebrating. Sports radio. Stealing a base with a big lead. The San Diego Padres.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:03 AM (#5938177)
How much of whatever substance players were using in the late 1990s.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:17 AM (#5938178)
Most gains in player evaluation methods.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:29 AM (#5938182)
In/Out of the Hall of Fame
Spin rate, exit velocity, launch angle
Amount players pay in state income tax
Voting/voters for the HOF, MVP, CY Young etc
TV Ratings
Minor league contraction
Baseball movies
The loss column
   10. catomi01 Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:40 AM (#5938185)
Steroids. Launch angle. Length of Games. Whether or not the DH belongs in 1 league, both leagues or neither league.
   11. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:49 AM (#5938186)
Hall of Fame and awards in general
Steroids and sign stealing
Deferred compensation, really anything regarding the business of baseball
   12. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5938191)
Who the manager of my team is. I mean, it never seems to matter.
   13. villageidiom Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5938199)
Your argument.
   14. Itchy Row Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5938201)
FIP
   15. AndrewJ Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5938204)
Bat-flipping.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5938205)
Watching live games.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5938207)
pre- and post-all-star game stats. I like the narrative value of the all-star break as the symbolic mid-point of the year. But when talking about statistics, I'd rather see some date when teams have played an average or median of 81 games as the midpoint.
   18. salvomania Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5938209)
pre- and post-all-star game stats.

Me too, especially when they're phrased as "first half" and "second half," when there have been seasons with a 90-some-game "first half" and only a 60-some-game "second half."
   19. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5938210)
Your fantasy team.
   20. Blastin Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5938211)
Steroids. Bat flipping and any other celebration that is..... usually an excuse for older white folks to get mad. Anything older white folks get mad about, really.

   21. reech Posted: April 10, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5938212)
WAR
DWAR
Curt Schilling's big mouth keeping him out of the HOF
AROD
Joe Buck's hairline

   22. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5938213)
So apparently murder and rape are fine with Blastin.
   23. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5938215)
Statcast. I worry this makes me seem like a crotchety old man. I'm a big math guy; love stats (I created my own all-encompassing stat for fun, for goodness sake). But I really don't care about launch angles and spin rates and catch probabilities. I mean, I understand their value: coaches and players should of course care about launch angle and spin rate; general managers should care about expected performance as much as actual performance. But man, I just don't care as a fan about statistics that go beyond what actually happened.

And assigning retroactive value based on what should have happened rather than what did happen - "sure Player A had an OPS 100 points higher than player B, but player B was actually the more valuable player because his xwOBA was .358 while player A only had an xwOBA of .352" - is wrong. That one I guess I actually care about, because it's not that it's an opinion or way of looking at performance that I just don't get or agree with; I would argue that it's objectively wrong; value is a function of what actually happened; full stop.

Okay, that last paragraph doesn't help with trying not to seem like a crotchety old man. (To be clear: that could be a reasonable argument that player B will likely be better than player A in the future; I just don't care about that, whether it's right or wrong.)
   24. Jaack Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5938229)
Stealing signs
   25. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5938234)
“Shlabotnik should be in the Hall of Fame!”

Well, he did make some spectacular catches on routine fly balls, and threw out a runner who fell down between first and second!
   26. Rally Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5938237)
Uniform numbers. Not completely, I like #5 since it was Brian Downing's number. I'm aware of some of the greats with single digit numbers (mostly Yankees). It's cool that Hank Aaron hit exactly 44 homers a bunch of times. #27 for the Angels was cool 15 years ago and still today for a different player.

But for most players, even some of my favorites, I have no idea what number they wore, I have to look them up.
   27. Rally Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5938241)
Classic games.

It's hard for me to keep my interest, no matter how significant the game was, when I already know (or could easily look up) what happened.

Right now we don't have anything else, and I've tried, but I just can't stay interested in these games for 2-3 hours. I watch a bit and then want to do something else.
   28. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 10, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5938242)
The 2ingular greatne22 of Derek Jeter.

   29. SoSH U at work Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5938247)
The obsession with calling the rulebook strike zone. The personalized zone is not an invention of today's umpire trying to leave his mark - it's baseball as it's always been played.

   30. JJ1986 Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5938249)
I care some about cheating, but I do not care at all about players/coaches/front offices being punished.
I used to care about seasonal awards, but they have completely lost interest for me.
I used to care about the HoF, but Harold Baines broke me.
I have found that, if it's not the Mets, or a team where there's at least an interesting story like the 2016 Cubs, I don't care who wins the WS. I think that's why I can't get worked up about the Astros.
I don't think anyone cares about this, but when the news reports players changing agents, that's the equivalent of a report on golf or NASCAR for me. 0% interest.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5938256)
Spin rate, exit velocity, launch angle

This one. How fast some guy ran 40 meters in making a catch. Etc.

I can see how remarkable and exciting a play was. Trying to quantify it with meaningless numbers doesn’t add anything to that for me. Statistics are great for quantifying things I can’t observe directly, like a player’s performance over the course of the season, but they have less relevance for individual plays I can see with my own eyes.

Maybe if I had historical context for those numbers it would be different. It’s interesting to know how hard a pitcher is throwing because I that number conveys real information.
   32. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 10, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5938274)
steroids; who wins the games; the post season; baseball stories/narrative/mythology

I don't claim to understand them, but this group really shouldn't complain about spin rate, exit velocity, etc. Those things are (apparently, like I said, I don't claim to understand them) useful for predicting future performance. The people working with those things are doing what we were doing with fielding independent statistics fifteen or twenty years ago.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5938278)
I don't claim to understand them, but this group really shouldn't complain about spin rate, exit velocity, etc. Those things are (apparently, like I said, I don't claim to understand them) useful for predicting future performance. The people working with those things are doing what we were doing with fielding independent statistics fifteen or twenty years ago.


There's one: Predicting future performance.

   34. Rally Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5938296)
I used to know who led the league in a bunch of categories. Like Wade Boggs won the batting title a bunch of years in a row, but not 1984. Mattingly did, in a close race with teammate Winfield.

I can’t remember who won it last year. In either league.
   35. Rally Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5938298)
Tim Anderson? Seriously? The guy who’ll swing when outfielders are taking between inning warmup throws 300 feet away?
   36. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:00 PM (#5938305)
Pitch framing. Seems like a whole lot of snake oil to me.

TV ratings.
   37. Baldrick Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5938313)
Uniform numbers is a great one. Don't care a bit. Have almost no idea what anyone's number even is. I probably couldn't identify the number of ten players from my lifetime.
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5938320)
Junk trivia, pitch framing, "East Coast bias", bat flipping, spitballs, Hall of Fame complaints, players' salaries, draft day, college or minor league baseball, fantasy leagues, and obsession with individual statistics over team accomplishments.
   39. Rally Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5938325)
I get the sense here that many have interpreted "things I don't care about" as "things I don't like"
   40. TJ Posted: April 10, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5938337)
The political views of anyone in the game- just entertain me, baseball donkeys!

And sportswriters. Especially sportswriters.
   41. Astroenteritis Posted: April 10, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5938408)
Whether or not Pete Rose ever gets in the HOF.
   42. Snowboy Posted: April 10, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5938437)
The rule that allows pitcher's to bat in half (or less) of the games, I'm over that now.
   43. Snowboy Posted: April 10, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5938447)
I don't think anyone cares about this, but when the news reports players changing agents, that's the equivalent of a report on golf or NASCAR for me. 0% interest.


This reminds me of a moment I had about 25 years ago. Standing in a bar in the USA with a bunch of Americans watching playoff hockey (note: I am not American...not that there's anything wrong with that) and trying to explain why the FoxTrax puck was the wrong way to watch hockey, because you should be trying to figure out where the puck is going to be, not where it is now. (And the players were reporting that the new pucks were behaving differently. And some minion had denied goalie Corey Hirsch the long traditional right (right, I say!) to carry home the puck from his first ever NHL shutout and put it on his mantle because Fox needed to take it to the lab for testing.)

I guess you have to be of a certain vintage to understand this moment (and I had played hockey with some who were then in the NHL) and maybe this is a little OT for a baseball board, but allow me to push it even further as I come to my conclusion - whilst watching this game, a note came across the bottom of the screen: Prairie View A&M hires new running backs coach

Well, sir, I momentarily forgot about hockey, and the barroom class I was teaching. My mouth fell open, and beer dribbled out. You see (in case you're a youngster...not that there's anything wrong with that) this was about 1995-1996, and Prairie View A&M hadn't won a college football game since 1989 or so. They would lose 80 in a row or something (I'm sure with good reason, and not solely the fault of the running backs coach) but my point (and answer to the question at hand) is that watching a Penguins playoff hockey game with a bunch of kids from Pittsburgh was interrupted by something I really couldn't give a #### about - the ticker. It shrinks my screen and gives me useless and repetitive information that could wait until after the game, if I need to hear about it at all.
   44. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 10, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5938477)
The greatest ticker update I have ever seen came after the 2007 season. Roger Clemens hadn’t made a decision about returning in 2008 and we were in a bar when the ticker popped up on ESPN with a BREAKING NEWS title and across it streamed “Roger Clemens still undecided if he will play in 2008.”
   45. Baldrick Posted: April 10, 2020 at 08:44 PM (#5938490)
It's not the case that I literally don't care about financing, arbitration, Super Two status, luxury tax thresholds, etc. I care about them because they affect team composition and player movement and all that. But I resent that it's such a huge part of the game when it's fundamentally tedious. I get that it matters a lot for who wins and loses; I just find it so boring that I increasingly find it hard to care that deeply about which team wins and loses.
   46. ajnrules Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:05 PM (#5938496)
The All-Star Game
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:22 PM (#5938503)
The political views of anyone in the game- just entertain me, baseball donkeys!

And yet you discriminate against the baseball elephants?
   48. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5938505)
I don't claim to understand them, but this group really shouldn't complain about spin rate, exit velocity, etc. Those things are (apparently, like I said, I don't claim to understand them) useful for predicting future performance. The people working with those things are doing what we were doing with fielding independent statistics fifteen or twenty years ago.

Yeah, that’s very different from telling me the exit velocity on a random Giancarlo Stanton HR. The latter is what I don’t care about. It would be like telling me a pitcher’s FIP for an individual game or inning. (Game Scores are also something I don’t care about, by the way.)
   49. Booey Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5938508)
PED's, sign stealing, uniform numbers, launch angles, and the one that's always baffled me the most...player salaries. Never understood why how much the players make would bother anyone enough to complain about it*. A 500 ft bomb or a 100 mph fastball are just as entertaining to watch when a player is making 30 million as they would be if he were making 500k.

* I mean in general. I get why it's frustrating if a player on your team is being paid like a star but not playing like it, and it hampers your teams ability to sign better players.
   50. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5938510)
The All-Star Game
This! I thought of three or four things that, on reflection, were actually things I don't like (hat tip [39]) but the All-Star Game never occurred to me. Because I just don't care about it.
   51. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 10, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5938511)
Yeah, that’s very different from telling me the exit velocity on a random Giancarlo Stanton HR. The latter is what I don’t care about. It would be like telling me a pitcher’s FIP for an individual game or inning. (Game Scores are also something I don’t care about, by the way.)


Okay, that's fair. Those things are just nonsense for broadcasters to talk about.

And yet you discriminate against the baseball elephants?


I don't think he's got anything against the Athletics...
   52. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: April 11, 2020 at 02:37 AM (#5938551)
I wish I didn't care about radar gun readings. I look at them. I guess I care about them, because I look at them, it's impossible not to. But I think too much is made of them. And I hate when radar gun readings from now are compared with those from, say, the 1980's, because from what I understand the technology was such that the readings from today are much higher than those from back then.

On a different topic - would it be possible to compare velocities from the past with today using TV broadcast footage?
   53. Zach Posted: April 11, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5938641)
The desire to get every call perfect with instant replay.

Two reasons:
1) I have made my peace with the idea that some calls will be wrong.
2) The calls that instant replay "corrects" tend to be the most asinine and rules-lawyering kind of calls. If the baserunner beats the throw but his hard cleats skitter a millimeter off the hard plastic base, I want him called safe, not out.

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