Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baseball's Silly Season - For Commentators

So the offseason baseball grades are starting to come out. Which teams helped themselves, which teams hurt themselves, which players made bank for their agents - you get the idea. Many, many thousands of words and column inches are going to be devoted to these Solonic analyses of where exactly Seattle is going to stick all their immobile DH-1B types, or if they're going to simply stack them at first base like cordwood.

Except.


Pitchers and catchers report in February. The season opens around the beginning of March. And it is the middle of December.

The observant among you will notice there is roughly a three and a half month gap between where we sit on the calendar at the moment of composition and the first "Play ball!" of the new season. The extremely observant will also note that it has been roughly a month and a half since the Red Sox and their beards vanquished the Cardinals and won the World Series.

The really mind-numbingly clever among you will then do a little math and realize that 3.5 is greater than 1.5, which is another way of saying "we're not even halfway through the offseason yet." So handing out an "offseason grade" the way, say, Jim Bowden is doing is a little like giving a rating to Star Wars based purely on the stuff that happens on Tatooine. It's like rating "Bohemian Rhapsody" without ever getting to the guitar part. It's like reviewing a Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie by walking out after the mandatory Bruce Campell cameo. You're not getting the whole picture. And while I understand hits need to be hitter and column inches need to be filled, some of us can still read calendars.

Wake me up when pitchers and catchers report. And you can maybe - MAYBE - discuss offseason winners and losers then.
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