During this long move, I’ve passed some of the time by listening to baseball games on the radio. On Sunday, during the longest portion of the drive, I was motoring through the interminable stretch of Pennsylvania along I-80 between nothing and nothing* listening to the Pirates-Phillies game, also known as the last great game of Raul Ibanez’s career**.
I listened to something like the 1st half of the game on the Pirates affiliate and the 2nd half with the Phillies broadcaster. There may be exceptions to this, but I was again astounded at how blindingly stupid the level of analysis from most major league radio teams remains.
It seems to me that baseball radio broadcasts are the ideal time and space to introduce people to more complicated statistics than RBIs. With so much time, you could hire a guy to explain somewhat more advanced analysis slowly and repeatedly so people could gain some level of knowledge that would help them understand the game better.
But no. These Phillies guys were far more interested in how clutch a guy is and how many walk-off home runs he has than even the most basic level of understanding. I mean, they were really, really, really into walk-off home runs. Every time a batter came up in the last 2 innings, that’s all they talked about.
I’m not talking about using UZR or WAR here. Heck, I’m not even talking about WARP. But is something like OBP and SLG that hard to use? At least those are now standard on baseball stadium scoreboards. Maybe something about how taking a walk is a good thing.
But no. At least for the broadcast teams I have heard, the level of analysis hasn’t moved beyond stage 1. I wonder if this has anything to do with the age of radio listeners as opposed to those who follow online. Or the announcing teams are staffed by lazy ex-jocks who see no value in newfangled numbers. Or for that matter, doing any kind of work to make themselves better announcing. Or all of the above.
If there are exceptions, let me know so I can listen to them when I’m on the road.
* I actually love driving backroads and can do it day after day, but long stretches of interstate make me sleepy.
** Though at this point, has anyone’s predictions about Ibanez ever come true? Except for predictions of extremely crappy left field play. Those always come true.