I recall hearing on sports radio in Seattle last season one of those baseball ‘experts’ say Houston was two years away, would not be in the playoffs , and yada, yada , yada. I also heard the same statement made at the all-star game. Houston will fall, they are too young, blah, blah, blah. It was said by many. Based on what?
My question is what sabermetrics, what algebraic calculations made Houston two years away. First off the statement is vague. Two years from what? The playoffs, the World Series, moving to Tahiti? What will happen in two years? That is what I wanted to know, but nobody thought to ask.
Did this person, and he was not the only one, have a crystal ball? Or did he read tea leaves, or perhaps it was tarot cards.
In an era when talking heads say any dumb thing to get Twitter followers and more gigs on radio and TV sports shows in order to get a higher profile, there are many who simply repeat the prevailing thoughts of the day without questioning what everyone is saying.
Does it occur to anyone to wonder what it is in two years that would make a difference. Are there more young players in the minors to put them over the hump? What happens to injuries of minor leaguers, injuries to major leaguers, trades, off seasons by those who were highly touted, and oh no, suspensions.
The facts are that teams expected to win will lose, teams expected to lose will win, teams two years away are relevant now. In sports nothing can be calculated over a period of time because each year is different, each season presenting surprises.
What is consistent are talking heads whose hot air blustering sounds like Rosanne Barr singing the National Anthem.
My fictional account of Charlie Faust and the 1911 New York Giants is found here in E-Book form on Amazon.
I promised myself I would wait until the baseball season was over to watch it and last night I finally viewed the show I taped March 13 during spring training. It was the MLB Network show, “30 clubs in 30 days,” and this hour long episode was devoted to the upcoming 2010 Mariners. So lets take a look back.
John Hart, former Cleveland GM and frequent analyst on the show said Mariner manager Don Wakamatsu was a young Mike Scioscia. Old Mike is still with the Angels, young Don is currently unemployed. Maybe he will get to be a young Scioscia somewhere else.
There were some quotes from players that have new meaning now. Milton Bradley said everyone was having fun and that “when in doubt make fun of people.” Jack Wilson said the team was like a family and a loving group. Cliff Lee said everyone was loose and there was fun in the clubhouse. As it turned out the family was dysfunctional and the fun in the clubhouse did not carry over to the field.
But everyone is happy in spring training, no matter what team. It is like a new romance where everything looks rosy, an endorphin high with warm, fuzzy feelings about the future. But that is before familiarity begins breeding contempt. Losing takes the fun out of the clubhouse.
Despite both Mitch Williams and Hart being upbeat on their analysis, they both predicted the Mariners for third and Baseball Prospectus also picked them third with an 82-80 record.
Williams was right about one thing. He said the M’s had a power shortage and would have trouble scoring runs. Too bad Jack Z, the Mariner GM, could not see the obvious.
They were also right about 2010 being Griffey’s last year; they just did not see it would be a short year.
I look forward to spring training as I need the romance again; I need the optimism, the hope, the warm fuzzy feelings, and all the feel good optimism that in my heart I know is just blushing.