Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Glove No Love

Baseball teams are businesses, and all conventions of business apply. If one "thinks outside the box" and shows a positive return, the rest scramble to discard their existing box and get into the new and more fashionable box. The steroid scandal will push the current trend of defensive statistical analysis from the fringes of the statistical community to standard operation procedure for all clubs.

As the preceding paragraph sadly details, defense ain't sexy. Pouring over Zone Ratings, comparing and contrasting the various and sundry evaluation systems, there is only so long you cazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Frankly, it is boring as hell. Interesting, but not sexy. Sexy is Jim Edmonds slowing up and taking bad routes to ensure a "spectacular" diving catch and his salt & pepper mug all over Sportscentre. Sexy awards Derek Jeter multiple Gold Gloves while he is statistically one of the worst shortstops in the league. Sexy is a lie. Making the easy look difficult might get you into the highlight pack, but it doesn't win games. Neither does missing time and losing power because you ruined your back bouncing off the old turf at Busch. True defensive quality brings you out of your seat sometimes, but others it leaves you shaking your head. It has you replaying things in your head thinking "That was a crazy doubleplay to end the game" two days later.

I love defense, it was always my favorite part of playing the game and something I certain appreciate when I'm at the game. In the era of the incredible shrinking slugger, teams are going to look for ways to take runs off the board rather than hoping to bludgeon opponents into submission. I am legitimately excited to watch Scott Rolen play everyday, a brick shithouse sucking up ground balls with impeccable footwork. Even Hey Brah-don League will benefit from Jay's infield defense, which will be amongst the best in the league. Hell, it was the best in the league last year and that was with LurchGlaus. Competent as he may be, he doesn't lead the mind directly to images of Brooks Robinson.

1 comment:

  1. Devo's catch = Full out triple play, I don't care what anyone says.


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