Los Angeles: Baseball is so immersed in analytics, numbers and the weight room that it clouds the fact that these players are great athletes and when all is said and done, they have to rely on that God given talent to perform on the field every day. Today these players have to clear their heads during an at bat or when on the mound. Too much information can be detrimental to a player if he forgets that he needs to “See the ball, hit the ball.” Or to a pitcher when he becomes a pitching coache’s robot on the mound.
Yesterday was an example of that when I saw Cleveland’s Cal Quantrill throw cutter after cutter. 9 of the 10 hits off of him were on cutters. Heck, even hard hit outs were on cutters. I figure either the person in the dugout tasked with calling every pitch was asleep or Quantrill was being stubborn.
All at bats and pitching has to be self correcting for a player. He is the last decision maker out there. As for coaches? The Dodgers have 12 on their staff and the Guardians have 17. Here is a short list of their titles. Manager, bench coach, pitching coach, assistant pitching coach, bullpen pitching coach, hitting coaches, assistant hitting coaches, Major League Replay Coach, Hitting Analytics Instructor and things like Performance Coach (Cleveland has 3 of these geniuses).
Bottom line is that players need to have more input into what they are being told. Yes there are experienced baseball men that can share their knowledge of the game but they are disappearing every day as baseball goes more and more into young brilliant college graduates who think players are robots. Shame on the powers that be in MLB who have bought into this.
Trying to get fans to buy into all of this will eventually drive them away. The score boards in the stadiums look like the instrument panel in the cockpit of a 747. Just too much information. Sometimes it is hard to find the score on these monster structures with every piece of analytical stat imaginable up there. It is an exercise in head scratching for most of us trying to figure out what we are looking at.
The game has turned into an event now. Flashing lights and speaker systems that can make your ears bleed. To me it shows how MLB has lost faith in their product on the field. Gimmicks fade fast. They will always need to find new ones to keep the fans coming back.
Here’s the solution fellows, the game has been great for over 100 years. It is the entertainment. Funny how “Let the kids play” has become a mantra today. Well how about “Let the players play.” How exciting would that be? Let the pitcher decide what to throw. Let the hitter adjust between pitches more. Let the players play.
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June 21, 2022 at 12:30 pm
You touch a very important topic. Technology in baseball is not going to improve fan attendance to stadiums. Only watching a game that entertains and having side events to keep the crowd lively will do that.