For the past five years or so, I have been an outspoken critic of the direction I thought Baseball was headed. Pitchers just throwing as hard as they could and not really “Pitching.” Hitters only swinging for the fences. Pitch counts and innings being more important than a complete game. Sabermetrics, spin rotations, exit velocities and the almighty “Gun Times.” All having replaced the hit and run, sacrifice and stolen base. I have written many articles about how the new thinking in the development of players was flawed. I began to watch High School games and saw how young players were being trained. I could see that they could damage their arms by just throwing for the gun. I was told I was way off, didn’t know what I was talking about, a dinosaur and didn’t have a medical license to make that evaluation. Weight lifting until their muscles were about to explode and throwing for the gun? I thought in these cases, common sense out weighed a Doctors degree from John Hopkins.
Today I am hearing for the first time on the radio sports talk shows and TV, how all these things are not good. All of a sudden these experts are seeing the light. Wonderful. Just my luck that people in the “Know” are seeing things my way just when I have had a change of heart. Yes I have gone over to the dark side. I now see what it is all about. I am onboard now with spin rotations, exit velocities, angles of trajectories and gun times. I want to see a pitcher throw 106.3 mph. I want to see a batter hit a ball 465.8 feet with an exit velocity of 112.4 mph. and a launch angle of 29 ± 5 degrees. I love dots between numbers. Kind of makes the numbers seem mystical.
I am now seeing the whole picture so clearly now. I was a fool to be old school and resist change. Who cares if a pitcher blows his arm out at twenty five years old. Who cares if these players in high school can’t throw 99mph as a sophomore. They can play some other sport. I want to see these guys throw as hard as they can, until their arms explode or they rip a quad. Then bring in another guy and another and another. Make that radar gun blow a fuse. I want to see a batter hit home runs not singles. Who cares how many times they strike out. Today it is all about power and we should never go back to small ball.
There will always be those fans who will live in the past and resist change. I was one of those fans. Now count me in on the new and improved sport of baseball. It is better than ever, just watch MLB tonight and they will tell you, for 24 straight hours, just how great everything is. Over and over and over again. Matter of fact, I don’t even have to waste three hours of my time watching a game anymore. I now look forward to highlights of great plays and booming home huns. I can’t get enough of pitchers getting 8 strikeouts in six “quality” innings. I have no problem with teams striking out 12 times in a game as long as they hit five home runs. I could care less if they won or lost. Just give me those numbers!
Last night Yankee starter Luis Severino pithed what is being called a brilliant game. Going seven innings, one run, no walks and 12 strikeouts. I beg to differ. If he threw less 99 to 100 mph heaters and only struck out 8 batters, he probably could of pitched a complete game and the Yankees would of won. But today baseball fans seem to be more interested in Severino’s gun times for 7 innings than their team winning. I challenge someone to show me that I am wrong.
Sometimes I get frustrated and angry at what I see happening in the game I have always loved. Deep breath, deep breath. Ok, I feel better now.