I’ve been laying low today. Possibly just tired, possibly have a bug.
I read up a little on the currently first place Orioles (who don’t strike me as a real first place team – not enough pitching), and encountered this analysis of slugger Chris Davis’ season to date by ESPN writer Christina Kahrl:
“Davis is seeing 23.75 percent of all pitches below the strike zone and 25.68 percent of all pitches away and outside: low, high, you name it. Between those two categories, that should amount to a lot of balls (Eric Gregg strike zones excepted), but it means a lot of pitchers are throwing him low and outside. As he waits for cookies that haven’t come, Davis hasn’t been able to resist. He has swung at almost 60 percent of breaking and off-speed pitches below and outside the strike zone, swinging and missing on 56 percent of them while notching just three base hits.”
Does baseball really lend itself to that much statistical analysis? I understand each one of those stats, and on some level they’re interesting, but they sure aren’t poetry. Baseball and a certain fanaticism with stats have always gone hand in glove, and I admit to having done my part. (As an eight year-old, I sat in the bathtub with my sister and reciting the Orioles’ batting averages because, well, they were important.)
But with the advent of “moneyball,” and maximizing the baseball (and financial) utility of every player, it has gotten out of hand.
I think I’m going to try and come up with useful stats for choral singing. Maybe money follows statistics.