Friday, October 17, 2014

Your Handy Dandy Guide To Stupid Baseball Think-Pieces

Now is the season when writers and talk show hosts who have paid absolutely no attention to baseball for the last six months suddenly develop Very Important Opinions on things, and share those opinions with the world. It should not come as a terrible surprise, however, that most of those opinions are about as finely considered and well thought out as your average episode of Challenge of the Superfriends.

Fortunately, we're here to make sense of all this newly minted brilliance, largely so you don't have to. Just sit back and let us translate pundit to English by way of baseball:

The Pronouncement: The Royals are the future of baseball because their style of play is working
The Translation: Suck it, stat geeks!
The Analysis: The Royals were one in-game injury to an Oakland catcher from getting soundly thumped in the Wild Card game. They won less than 90 games. It's very nice that they're on a hot streak, and it's a great story that they haven't been to the playoffs since people were self-identifying as Men At Work fans, but this is a run by a hot team that matched up well against a couple of opponents. That's all, and that should be enough.

The Pronouncement: Teams are better off without stars! St. Louis has been better without Albert Pujols! Look at the Royals!
The Translation: I don't like the fact that some baseball players get paid a lot of money.
The Analysis: Teams with stars whose salaries are integrated into their budgets tend to be better than teams without stars. That's because stars are the most talented players. Anyone who tells me the Orioles were a better team with Nick Hundley, Steven Pearce and whoever the heck they had at third than Matt Wieters, Chris Davis and Manny Machado does not understand how this thing we call "baseball" works. As for Pujols, the Cards won one World Series with him and lost one with him. The won one World Series without him and they lost one World Series without him. Seems pretty even to me.

The Pronouncement: This Year's World Series Is Going To Be Boring
The Translation: There's nobody from the East Coast or L.A. so the hell with it.
The Analysis: From the Royals' miracle comeback over the A's to the 18 inning epic to last night's walk off from Travis Ishikawa - yes, THE Travis Ishikawa - that sent the Giants to the World Series, this postseason has been an utter delight. It has been filled with magnificent, exciting baseball. It may not pull quite the ratings in NY, but that's a failure of the baseball media to promote new stories more than it's an indictment of the ball being played. And if you can't get a story out of the Royals' return to the postseason for the first time since "The Sure Thing" was a date movie, or the Giants' quiet dynasty, you're just plain lazy. Enjoy the baseball, folks. That's what it's there for.

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