Why This Is Baseballâ€™s Golden Age - The Daily Beast
Geege Schuman stashed this in Baseball
"Advanced statistical analysis has given us greater depth of insight into the players and the franchises themselves. But at the same time we donâ€™t have to be intimidated by the spreadsheets. Some self-designated â€śold schoolâ€ť writers like Murray Chass complain that the new stat-freaks think the game is simply a clash of abstracted probabilities. But the geek view of the game has not penetrated the experience of the ballpark or even the way the game is portrayed on television. During a televised game, weâ€™re not told a playerâ€™s VORPâ€”his Value Over Replacement Playerâ€”which would add nothing to the narrative drama of a televised game. But weâ€™re still informed of his batting average, giving us a sense of what is about to happen. The fanâ€™s experience of baseball has not become an embodied math problem, it is still a game of leather, ash bats, cleats. It remains an athletic endeavor. We just understand it better."
And it's a Golden Age for ESPN, who will second-screen the deeper data for those who desire it.Â
So was baseball ALWAYS made for data? Or did the data people take over baseball?
Chicken / Egg?
I LOVE this Sports Illustrated article from 2011.Â
"Baseball is a game out of time. This is the sport's defining quality, its badge of honor. The people who love baseballâ€”the poets, the stat geeks, the bleacher bums, the second-guessers, the former pitchers, the collectorsâ€”we love baseball for its timelessness. It is a game without a clock. "Keep the rally alive," the marvelous Roger Angell wrote, "and you have defeated time."
The people who do not love baseball feel its timelessness too. They lampoon a game that feels ... so ... yesterday. They mock baseball for not having a clock, for its interminable pauses, for sparking so little violence and motion, for struggling to adapt (No replay? Really?), for being measured by numbers well to the right of decimal points."
It's that "measured by numbers well to the right of the decimal points" that draws the data geeks.Â
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1188482/Â Â <--- ya gotta read it!
Favorite quote:Â "You made me love baseball," Lisa told Bart on The Simpsons. "Not as a collection of numbers, but as an unpredictable, passionate game beaten in excitement only by every other sport."
I did love that Sports Illustrated article, Geege:
What's the meaning of baseball? "Dreams and escape," says Vin Scully.
Another great article:
"And youâ€”will you ever forget youâ€”tossing a ball with your mom or dad in the yard, the two of you connected by nothing but a baseball? You played â€ścatch,â€ť not â€śthrow,â€ť because in no other way were you so completely catching each other."
WRT to data people taking over baseball, they've done it before, except without the computers.Â If data = =the golden age of baseball, then "small ball" was the golden age of data.Â They played for every single advanced base, hit, run, position down to the most minute strategy, much to the chagrin of the fans.Â This is also known as the dead-ball era of baseball typically encompassing 1920-1960.
So the dead era of baseball lasted from Babe Ruth until Mickey Mantle? Fascinating!