FLUSHING, NY – I was at Shea Stadium (Citi Field to you youngsters) the other night where the NY Mets were playing the Texas Rangers. The new gigantic scoreboard out in left-center field displayed the Mets lineup with eye-popping numbers following the batter’s name. Stats included Nimmo .792, Lindor .792, McNeil .682, Alonso .835.
At first glance any old-school baseball fan would think, “With batting averages like this how could the Mets not be playoff bound?” On further observation those comic book numbers were OPS. In a game that prides itself with numbers, on-base plus slugging is another added metric that has been shoved down our throats by the geeks that have ruined this once great game, by way of ANALytics.
Nowhere on the scoreboard was the players batting average because for these geeks batting average doesn’t matter. As a Topps baseball card collector the stats OPS was never on the back of my cards. The numbers anyone cared about were runs scored, hits, and r.b.i.’s. For the sluggers on the team the home run stats were also studied. For players who consistently hit under 10 home runs a season, why would an OPS even matter? Their jobs are to move the base runners over or prevent them from scoring, when they’re fielding their positions. These players are the true unsung heroes.
Another number on the big screen was EXIT VELOCITY. Every time the player connected his bat to the ball, which was rare, a number would pop up showing the miles per hour the ball was hit. The number would appear even when the batter fouled a pitch to the backstop, or simply tapped it foul.
The question here is, do we really need to know these mindless figures? A message to the throwers, who portray themselves as pitchers: No one cares how hard you throw ball four!
The time is now for these owners to hire personnel who played the game on the professional level and eliminate these morons, who never played any type of competitive ball, yet portray themselves as baseball men.
Leave those formulated numbers back in the lab and bring back the numbers that matter to the fans back onto the playing field.