Thursday, March 31, 2011
We're Talkin' Baseball!
Ah, opening day in MLB! That usually means spring has sprung, but not this year. It is still winter where I live, and where most games will be played today. Opening day used to be sometime in the middle of April, but the MLB pooh-bahs, in their wisdom, moved it to the end of March. It would seem they would hold opening day in places like Florida and California where it is still warm. Playing in cold conditions after being in warm, sunny Florida and the desert of Arizona cannot be good for the players. I'm willing to wager there are many more injuries playing in the cold weather in lieu of warmer temps. I bet the sabermatricians have studied the issue; they have studied everything else! Don't get me wrong; I love the stat-heads, having read everything Bill James, the guru of stats, has written. This morning with my coffee I read an article in the NY Times by Seth Schiesel, A Game for Opening Day, With Stat Lovers in Mind, (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/arts/video-games/sonys-mlb-11-the-show-review.html?_r=1&ref=arts)which begins, "Pro football may be the nation’s top spectator sport, but serious baseball nerds are the most frightening fans in the country" and I thought he was talking about me! He continues with, "The guy I find terrifying is that geeky-looking dude in the stands — or, even scarier, on his couch at home — who keeps a scorecard to tally every play. Home runs, strikes and runs batted in aren’t enough for him. Oh no. This guy wants to talk about WHIP, O.P.S., WARP, DIPS, LIPS and VORP. I’m not joking; those are all actual baseball statistics for the committed (if you know what I mean)." Of course they are, and I can give you a soliloquy on each one to prove it! I am reminded of an email I received from the Discman in reply to my email lamenting the fact that I was not in Atlanta for the SABR40 meeting last summer. He wrote, "I have to say they were the biggest bunch of geeks I’ve ever been around – even worse than a bunch of chess players…" Now that's saying something!