Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 6, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

As you know I’m not watching baseball this season, but I am participating in my regular fantasy leagues, so I try to keep up with what’s going on. I heard yesterday about a player who a couple of the analysts on the MLB Network said was having a good season. I went through my fantasy leagues and found that this player is on a team that’s not starting him, so I thought I’d do some research and then try to make a trade.

Well, here’s what I found. This player who is having a good season has 16 home runs and 45 RBIs in 61 games this season. So, the power numbers are there and I’m guessing that’s what makes this a good season for this player because he’s hitting just .207 and has struck out 73 times. Now maybe it’s just me, but I don’t consider those numbers to be good. What do you think?

Sadly, this is the evolution of baseball due to analytics. Batting average is no longer important even though it is still good to get guys on base and I’m not sure how they’re supposed to do that unless they have a good batting average.

Home runs are always exciting, but with the way baseball has changed it seems as though the home run is all that matters.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees leads all of Major League Baseball in home runs with 29, but he’s also struck out 86 times. The National League leader in home runs is Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies. Schwarber has 25 home runs, but his batting average is just .219 and he’s struck out 101 times this season. Are these acceptable stats? Judge may have a large number of strikeouts, but he’s at least hitting a respectable .281 on the season.

Schwarber doesn’t even have the most strikeouts in baseball, he’s tied for 3rd with Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Eugenio Suarez of the Seattle Mariners has struck out the most this season, 112 times while Patrick Wisdom of the Chicago Cubs is right behind him with 106 strikeouts this season.

It seems strange, but analytics has taken making contact out of the game of baseball. Even now if a player has two strikes on them, they generally don’t shorten their swing and try to put the baseball in play. Instead, they continue to swing for the fences and that produces a lot of these strikeouts.

I can’t be the only fan who has an issue with an at bat when there’s a runner on 3rd base and one out and the batter can’t even put the ball in play because that batter is swinging for the fences instead of just trying to make some contact and drive the run in.

It seems like the excuse for this change in approach is money. They claim that home run hitters get paid and single hitters don’t. Now wouldn’t a player who hits well over .300 with a solid number of home runs still get paid or does a player have to hit 35 plus home runs to get that big payday? I would think that a player who can get himself on base would still be able to make a decent living in baseball, but apparently that’s no longer the case.

The other problem with this new approach to the game is that it’s made it boring to watch. Yeah, it’s great when a player does hit that home run but watching players strikeout over and over it’s very exciting to watch. How fun do you think it was for fans of the Los Angeles Angels to watch their players strikeout 20 times in a game against the Houston Astros this past weekend?

Now it would’ve been one thing if it would’ve been the Astros starter who was getting these 20 strikeouts in a game on his way to a shutout or even a no-hitter, but it wasn’t. Instead, it was four Astros pitcher who combined to strikeout 20 Angels in a 4-2 victory on Sunday.

Don’t forget that the Angels lineup features two players that are considered among the best in Major League Baseball in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Just for the record Trout and Ohtani each struck out twice in that game.

Now attendance for this game was 36,048 and fortunately for those fans even with all of the strikeouts the game only took 3 hours and 23 minutes to play.

I get that this is the way baseball is now and there’s nothing I can do about it until someone smartens up and makes a change that works. Of course, that doesn’t mean I have to like the way the game is played today.

I know this is a board topic here, but I’d like to know how you feel about the way baseball has changed. Do you like it? Or don’t you like it?

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

Comments
  1. Yes, baseball has changed and certainly not for the better. Some of these guys who have a lot of homers this season along with a decent amount of RBIs would probably not be on a major league roster 25 years ago. Why? Because of their anemic batting averages and huge amount of strikeouts.
    Unfortunately, it makes for a dull, tedious game.
    The Cubs, for example, are one of the worst teams in the majors when they hit with runners in scoring position. Because they don’t adjust their swings to try to put the ball in play.
    As I said many times, even Ted Williams conceded something to the pitcher when he had two strikes on him. He chocked up on the bat a little and sprayed the ball to all fields.
    There are only a handful of major leaguers who will do this one of them being former Cub Anthony Rizzo.

    Like

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