The Problem with Baseball

Is actually the same reason baseball is beautiful.  It is our past time as a nation.  We’ve all played baseball.  Usually the first thing a five year old remembers doing is traveling to tee-ball games.
This is also the problem with baseball; everybody played it.
So everybody thinks they’re an expert.
If you think I’m wrong, you’re proving my point by reading this at all.  Every blog in this network is a living, breathing, typing testament to that fact.
We’re all experts, just read what we’re writing.
But this is absurd.
Because we’ve all played baseball and because we’re all experts there is never any short of opinions when it comes to anything.  Just ask around; all your friends know exactly what the problem and solution is with your favorite ball club.
Colby Rasmus’ father needs to shut his mouth and take a good look at what the organization–a professional organization and probably the second most recognizable organization in the league–is actually trying to do.
I know that Rasmus’ father probably taught him how to play baseball (his father, of course, is a baseball coach) and there is undoubtedly a bit of pride at stake here, but there is a reason Mr. Rasmus coaches at an amateur level and Tony LaRussa and his staff are paid to coach.
Because the Cardinals and their staff know what they’re doing.
For his father to criticize the organization and allude to the organization trying to make his son perform more like Skip Schumaker (widely viewed as one of the least productive major leaguers) is almost unbelievable.
Aside from the fact that I can’t imagine any team anywhere trying to make somebody perform more like Schumaker, let alone a team that already has Schumaker on their roster, I don’t know where he’s getting his idea from.
Looking at Rasmus’ stats, though his Major League time isn’t great, he’s had two full seasons to look at.
What the Cardinals are suggesting Rasmus do is become more contact-oriented and have made no mention of hoping his power numbers decline.  Though .270 and less than 30 homers isn’t hard to find, it isn’t bad either.  And there is room for growth.
His rookie season he only belted 16 dingers and hit .251.  
So he’s improving and steadily.  Power numbers, OB%, OPS, all are moving in the right way. But his strikeouts are climbing at a Mark Reynolds-esque rate.
Which is what I think the Cardinals were looking at when they dicussed a more contact-friendly approach.
Not to hope he never hits more than 23 homers in a season (though with a lineup of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday you don’t need him to club thirty a season).
The problem is the same reason the game is great.  
We all love it.
We all played it.
But we all need to realize that very few of us are experts.
–RM
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4 comments

  1. Hot Tub Baseball Machine

    There’s no such thing as an expert in sports. You can read everything baseball, watch everything baseball and have played baseball at some level, but experts do not exist. Historians, however, do.
    I agree, too many people walking around that love baseball as much as we do think they know exactly how to fix our favorite club. Beleive me, if I could fix the Braves I would. But I can’t. I think that they need to steal more bases and get a lead off hitter on the club. Even some of the experts say the same thing. Does that make me an expert? No and neither does it to those analysts on sports radio, and Fox and espn. They just get paid to express, what we are currently doing, on what they think.
    If the experts were truly experts in baseball, then how come no one saw Cliff Lee going to the Phillies?
    Good post by the way!

  2. alexdureich@yahoo.com

    you do realize that just cuz they’re professionals, that they’re not infallible? they’ve been involved for a long time, but they’re not…you know…perfect? and there’s ample evidence that guys like larussa…are a lot more fallible than the media portray them as, since the media and professional organizations have a symbiotic relationship?that the entire idea behind the new stats…is to answer questions that old school pros…thought were a mystical mystery, rather than being something you can actually quantify?

    if they’re telling a guy like colby rasmus to become a contact hitter? they’re idiots. you don’t become the best you can be, by hitting line drives at the expense of power. that’s the whole problem with kevin seitzer’s approach as a hitting coach in KC…he has big beefy billy butler hitting fifty doubles a year, with no loft in his ******* swing.

    wrong wrong wrong…

    colby rasmus shud be developing, naturally with experience, what he’s already displayed. not….going for better damn contact. what is he, david eckstein?

  3. alexdureich@yahoo.com

    if the pro’s are so…above us. what the hell did the cardinals do finishing at just above .500…with pujols, wainwright, and holiday having such good seasons? in the nl central? must have had some real problems with the design or execution, eh?

    and dude…larussa has a long history of having problems with kids…particularly talented kids who just dont march to his particular drum beat.

    is his drumbeat the only rhythym? really?

  4. alexdureich@yahoo.com

    btw…u know i was in a strat league with schilling? and he took it seriously his first season, and then…not so much. cuz he found out that he didn’t know dick about strat. lots of IM and such, commenting about how the stats didn’t reflect reality. i asked him if just maybe, being in it and all, he wasn’t falling into the ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ sort of thinking.

    he actually tried to bitch slap me for even suggesting such a thing.

    but, you know…i’ve done a lot of different stuff over the years…and one thing i’ve found out…there’s a whole ******* lot of the forest for the trees thinking going on out there.

    sometimes…an outsider can see more clearly than lifer insiders can.

    that’s not just baseball…but, at the same time…it’s certainly true of baseball, too. if it’s not…tell me why the old boy network’s kept regurgitating morons into field level management posts…or nepotism rears it’s ugly head in baseball so often…(randy smith, anyone?)…

    or you continue to have guys like jon heyman embarass themselves with their specious HoF voting and explanations that make no sense at all, on any level…

    they’re no different than u and me, or any number of semi serious guys who cud probably do it better, given a shot at it.

    then again, it takes a certain mindset to get a degree or three…and then take a job making thirty grand, grinding out eighty hour weeks, doing all the stupid **** no one else wants to do just to break in….

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