NY Sports Day
William Coppola

Coppola: The Baseball War on WAR

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

Everyone in the baseball world seems to be obsessed with WAR, spin ratios, WHIP, BBD, BBE, and DCOVs among other mind boggling stats being thrown at us. I think it is time to go to war with WAR.

Mark Newman of MLB.com recently wrote: “Will we keep seeing more curveballs? With the help of Statcast™, Mike Petriello explained in November that there were 7,732 more curves thrown in 2016 than in the previous season. That’s an increase from 9.9 percent of all pitches to 10.9.

Spin rates were up as well on all those curves, and batters hit only .196 against curves above 2,600 rpm last year compared to .225 for spin rates below that. Dodgers lefty Rich Hill symbolized that increase, becoming the top free-agent starter after last season. Will the trend continue?”

My God, what about, “See the Ball Hit the Ball?” I am so done with all this Statcast information that is needed by fantasy league players, more than big league players. Granted there probably are a few of these stat gathers who played some ball, but I get the feeling from the euphoria they have about the numbers in their writing that,“See the Pythagorean theorem, Read Pythagorean theorem”, is more exciting to them.

Just too much information being shoved down our throats, when all we want to do is watch a ballgame and eat a hotdog. If I sat down with 10 pitchers and 10 hitters in the big leagues and started asking questions about this stuff, I would probably get that tilt of the head and look your dog gives you when he realizes, you don’t speak Dog!

The scoreboard at Citi Field is a plethora of information and sometimes it’s tough to find the score. For stat guys, it must be like free candy to a kid for life. They must watch that scoreboard and get goosebumps as it floods them with all of that information on what just happened down in front of them on the field.

How about watching the game?

I challenge these stat guys to sit with me and really watch a game, without having to think about all the statistical algorisms or what ever they want to call it, that they see at a ball game. Sit and watch the game for all it’s simple beauty. Look at the field and how the diamond is cut so perfectly in the amazing green grass. Marvel at the amazing athleticism of these ballplayers. Smell the peanuts and beer.

Matter of fact, go stand on line and get a beer and hot dog and while on line, start a conversation with a real fan and let them know about some of those spin ratio numbers, But don’t be surprised if they don’t speak Dog.


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