ENTERTAINMENT > FANCY STATS

posted by Mark Madden -

Whenever batting average is brought up, baseball snobs put their hand over their mouth and snicker: “You still pay attention to batting average? It’s not the ‘40s.”

Those remarks are followed by a flurry of fancy stats, which presents three options: Socking him in the face, falling asleep, or fleeing.

When a player comes to the plate, my preferred outcome is him getting a hit. I like to see the ball in play, fielders moving, and runners on the bases.

I don’t buy a ticket or turn on the TV to see an infield shift, or a dozen pitching changes, or managerial brilliance, or advanced metrics being used.

I like to see the ball get hit.

Walks are useful. They’re just not fun to watch.

A ground ball or line drive into the teeth of three infielders stacked on the diamond’s right side is brilliant tactically. I’d prefer to see a single.

If mastering fancy stats means you know more about baseball than I do, you’re more than welcome to that wisdom.

Here’s a significant number: MLB attendance is down 6 percent. Baseball just isn’t fun to watch often enough.

Houston’s Jose Altuve is hitting .333. So, when Altuve bats, he entertains me at least one-third of the time.

That’s what matters to me. Perhaps launch angle is what makes you tumescent.

Baseball snobs are sad. Witness the non-stop campaign to “ban the DH.” These nimrods make it into a holy crusade, like Roe v. Wade.

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Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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