Just like what happened around the time of “Moneyball” when a group of nerds from outside the Baseball Establishment figured out a better way to generate offense, two decades of private baseball instruction, specifically with pitching, has changed the way the game is played again. And boy is the Establishment being a bunch of pissbabies over it.
The Washington Post published this article Thursday with some exquisitely whiney comments from Theo Epstein, the guy who previously was the poster child for how using the tenets of ‘Moneyball’ lead to a World Series championship. Instead of taking the most obvious conclusion to the current state of offense — that we’re living in the golden era of pitching and hitters need to simply shut up and get better — Epstein takes the easy-way-out approach that we need to inject more balance to the game…You mean like going back to a juiced ball and steroids?
“The balance between batter and pitcher is really the foundation of the game,” Theo Epstein said by phone last week. “And when it gets out of balance, it’s really important to restore the equilibrium because everything else flows off that.”-Theo Epstein, Washington Post | July 15, 2021
That’s right the balance, Obi Wan. That’s the problem here.
Or could the problem possibly be this is the exact way of playing baseball your group set out to create 20 years ago? It was the analytics nerds that said hitters needed to be more patient so they walked more, stopped stealing bases, and deprioritized bunting and moving runners. It was your group that started the trend of taking “action” out of the game, and now that pitching has advanced to a level that exacerbates that lack of action, you think there needs to be a change?
Or could it be that all of you in the Establishment are so upset that a group of industry outsiders started questioning why organizations weren’t allowing pitchers to lift weights, throw long toss, or took natural high velocity throwers and turned them into sinker-balling drones with shitty swing-and-miss rates, and completely flipped how pitchers are trained on its head?
Major League Baseball cannot, for the life of themselves, get out of their own damn way.
Hitters like Fernando Tatis, Jr.; Vlad Guerroro, Jr.; and Juan Soto — hell, even one of the best pitchers in the world like Shohei Ohtani — don’t seem to have any trouble hitting the elevated caliber of pitching now. The game has never (NEVER!) had such a diverse group of stars from all over the world, and instead of the first day back after an All-Star break putting those stars front and center, we get one of the most well recognized general managers in the game telling us the game needs to be fixed.
The game doesn’t need to be fixed.
Major League Baseball should spend more time promoting what’s amazing with the game today. Pitchers throw 100 MPH smoke on a nightly basis. Tampa Bay and Oakland are good (AGAIN!), which shows there’s more ways to construct an organization than simply having a big bank account. A PLAYER IS DOING SOMETHING THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE SINCE BABE RUTH.
With all that’s amazing with the current state of the game, we get nothing but complaints from people in and around the game telling us what’s wrong with it. It’s exhausting.
Read the WaPo piece yourself and maybe you’ll come to a different conclusion. Maybe I’m just jaded and angry on a Thursday morning. But I can’t help but be a little more than annoyed when this stuff gets shoved in our baseball-fan faces because all the advancements the game has seen over the last few years, like velocity and spin and launch angle, have all been started by training done outside of Baseball Establishment development.
Maybe the real problem with Major League Baseball is executives and staff responsible for advancing the careers of the players they employ are tired of being exposed for their inability to develop players as well as the private industry guys can, and they’d like to go back to the good old days of “balance” when the only people allowed to have input in the game are those wearing a logo-embroidered polo and cargo shorts.