More Ranting About a Dumb Kid’s Game

Bow at the feet of Dick Mountain, he of the perpetual blister and fellow jizz user.

“Baseball opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one and most of ’em stink.” — Harry Caray

Baseball “agitprop” continues as the Houston Asterisks became yesterday’s news, (bad timing for the hot new book exposé, Cheated) and the new squabble concerned pitchers using a goo/sunscreen/coca-cola/spider-tack jizz concoction on their fingers to have better control and higher spin rate. Of course, MLB was impartial until the media fired shots about baseball being “boring” due to the 3 true outcome trends, no-hitters becoming run-of-the-mill and baseball’s collective batting average dropping quicker than a high school girl’s panties on prom night. It wasn’t uncommon to hear the game’s old coots/heroes spewing nonsense about “going the other way” and “choking up” when they never had to face the otherworldly velocity and wicked breaking shit day to day that the modern-day players have to face, essentially making their points void and out of context. (Ty Cobb floated the same criticism Babe Ruth’s direction, and on and on and on…ad nauseam

It’s the stale old case of baseball being better “back in the day” when in reality it probably wasn’t. The strike zones in the 70’s/80’s were more horrendous than today with the zone changing arbitrarily from AL to NL, and pitchers getting called strikes a foot off the plate from East to West. Banjo-hitters were playing daily and barely batting above .220 with little power, and pitchers were also proving their “toughness” by losing games in the later innings when it was obvious to everyone in the ballpark that they were barely throwing above 90 at that point while a bullpen guy who could throw peas sat on his ass and stared at a blonde in the front row. (Tony LaRussa is now hearkened as a “genius” for being able to compute basic math and daring to challenge the norms) These same standard-bearers are also nostalgic for .300 batting averages (a stat that is not as relevant as it used to be) even though Tony Gwynn, he of multiple batting titles, didn’t score a seasonal 100 runs after his 27th birthday. Do you smell what I’m dishing here? The key to winning is runs, not hits, and being stuck in the Mesozoic Era doesn’t necessarily mean better unless you enjoy beating the shit out of a dinosaur with a bone and dragging your significant other by the hair into a dingy cave. 

In the end, organizations are trying to win, not look aesthetically pleasing to old farts who should probably take a trip to the ballet if they are looking for dainty and pleasing visual cues that remind them of their younger years–which begs the question: if baseball is a dying sport, why has attendance averaged (roughly) 30.000 asses in the seats when it barely reached 15-25 in the ’70s and ’80s? The “get off my lawn” argument just doesn’t hold water and sounds just as ridiculous, pious, and nonsensical as a wrinkled, childish, dunderhead spit-spewing while wearing a red cap that states, “Make Baseball Great Again.” These people want the facade without the meat and potatoes even though they claim to want both. They hate the numbers just because they’re not the right numbers. Didn’t we just endure a blazing hot point of discussion about moving the mound back a few months ago? Or banning the shift? Quit tinkering! Leave the goddamn game alone! This game was here long before you and your cultural heroes were enjoying their lives and the fruits of their labor and will be here long after this generation and the next are in the ground rotting aeternum


16 thoughts on “More Ranting About a Dumb Kid’s Game

  1. Ken Dowell

    At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I always look at a players batting average. That, home runs and RBIs are the only stats I care about amidst a swarm of new statistics expressed as acronyms that I don’t understand and don’t care enough about to bother to figure out.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      I’m a proponent of ALL the numbers having some sort of relevance as it tells you the full story, but if I want a quick gauge of a player’s worth I’m probably going to look at OPS first with OBP being a close second. If a player has a high OPS he’s probably stinging the shit out of the ball regardless of the RBI’s or runs he did or didn’t get due to the anomolistic nature of the game.

  2. cheaphill44

    Good stuff. I often think of Cobb whenever these arguments about the modern game crop up. Cobb hated the home run and liked to say anybody could hit home runs. My question to him would have been, “Then why don’t they?”

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      That’s my argument, Hugh. Is Cobb trying to say he wasn’t trying to win in order for the game to be more aesthetically pleasing? Sounds like horse manure to me. Thanks for stopping by and commenting my friend.

  3. Patti Aliventi

    I know I am not looking forward to the DH in the National League. I like seeing pitchers bat. I think it’s an important strategic element of the game, and some of them do just fine in the batter’s box.

  4. FTB1(SS)

    I actually see some valid points here, however you will never convince me that the Rockies are trying to win anything. Their commitment to mediocrity is legendary. And as someone who has watched the Seattle Marines since 1982, I feel like I recognize mediocrity.

    The “Burn It Down” Baseball as engaged in by the Astericks (and now the M’s) a few years ago was bad enough. At least I was concentrated on the Cal League and I could see that they had some future going on, even though they later threw all of that that… in the trash can.

    I was there when the Rockies fired Lynn Sakata – the winningest manager in Cal League history – for trying to win games in Modesto. They said that the wanted “player development,” not “wins,” which could be true if they weren’t the Rockies Organization and were actually building a competitive, pennant chasing organization(at any level).

    Winning is the name of the game. I am just not convinced that a lot of these organizations are trying to win as much as they are trying to to look like they are trying to look like they are trying to win…

    P.S. I HATE the Rockies. I grew up in Denver and I’m a Broncos diehard, grew up with the Denver Bears/Zephyrs, love the Avs. From day one the Rockies have been all hat, no cattle. If not for one inexplicable winning streak, they’d be a footnote in the Baseball Encyclopedia history. And they aren’t as lovable as the M’s who also suck, but at least I could afford tickets to see.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      I really don’t think much about the Rockies, they’re just kind of hanging around. It’s been said they are trying to trade Trevor Story, so let the hate fester even more!!!! 🙂

  5. badfinger20 (Max)

    The game evolves…it will correct itself and it usually only skips when MLB tries it’s best to change or destroy it.

  6. Steve Myers

    Gary, you’re one of the most, if not the most, succinct, tell it like it is, intuitive, creative baseball writers I read. ok i’m gushing but i mean it and i’m shocked to read tony gwynn didn’t score 100 runs after his 27th year. total surprise.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Thanks, Steve! George Carlin used to say, “Bullshit is the glue that binds us together as a country,” and that bullshit isn’t just relegated to the political world–religion and baseball take a close second and third.

      1. Steve Myers

        i always thought or maybe it was something i picked up at an old man’s bar that ” today, like everyday is one foot in the grave, the other foot on a banana peel. That always struck me as a good way to start a culture. Beat the shift bumper sticker?

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      So true. It’s gotten to the point that if your opinion (unless subjective) doesn’t have scientific merit then I just don’t have time for your nonsense.


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