Taking out Snell in the sixth game of the world series… based on analytics. The Dodgers are so grateful. After all Dodger management has done stuff like that for years now, confounding and frustrating fans so much it is hard to put into words (at least words you can repeat in front of the kids).
Here is a link to that stunning mistake by the Rays’ manager:
I am among those who feel baseball is far more intuition and feel than crunching numbers. Baseball takes a perception, a sense of things. Baseball involves anticipating, baseball involves luck like most things in life, and skill like Mookie Betts sliding past the catcher’s attempt to tag him (scoring from third base in the sixth and final game of the 2020 world series, on a ball hit hard to the first baseman).
But you may protest: What about launch angel? Number of pitches? Bat speed?
Oh great sabermetrics… meet Nerdy Nathan, he’s a statistician for a large conglomerate that is evaluating the pattern of creases in a player’s underwear and its impact on the ability to swing through a cut slider. So far the results are astonishing, I mean, wow! Wow! Just look at what this paperwork shows!
Imagine a game of baseball with some bunts, a complete nine innings by one pitcher, with real focus on the humanity of the players, the fact that chance has so much to do with so much even in this somewhat orderly universe. Imagine checking which way the wind is blowing, and giving a pep talk because inspiration by golly actually comes from the heart?!
If analytics works for baseball why not for romance? Yeah, right…. Romeo oh Romeo, how far art thou in meters from this balcony so that the atmosphere would support my leaping into thy arms without an
injury or bruise?
On the other hand, if you love the game of baseball, and you probably do, then I would ask: Do you count calories when you eat that hot dog, and down that beer?
Isn’t it a whole lot better just to eat drink and be merry? Frankly that seems to work just fine.
Have we modified the traditional song such that now we will sing: Take me out to the lecture hall, take me out to the abacus… buy me some calculators and a big matrix…. We can’t win unless it’s analytics…???
The good news. The really good news. The pendulum is going to swing. The best thing about taking out Snell… the pendulum is getting pushed really really hard.
What a relief it will be when baseball is played from the heart again, where it started, where it belongs. What a relief it will be when the national past time is both played and managed by human beings.