Monday, May 05, 2003

Off-Day Chatter

First, the Tigers Watch. Saturday they tied their season high by scoring six runs, then Sunday they broke it with seven in their 4th win of the season. Could this be a new trend for the woeful Tigers???

Current Record: 4-25
Winning Percentage: .138
Projected Wins: 22
Odds of Finishing Worse Than the '62 Mets: 40/60

Batting Avg: .195 Opponents: .275
Runs/game: 2.6 Opponents: 5.2
Total Bases: 257 Total Strikeouts: 192
Team HR's: 15 MLB Leader: 11 (Juan Gonzalez)

Idle Thought: Having watched an array of various teams this year, there seems to be one constant in ballparks throughout: the official scorekeeper is full of crap. Every single close play is ruled a hit or an error solely based on what will help the home team. I have seen balls go right under gloves but ruled hits; I have seen players beat the throw but be denied a hit because the pitcher was flirting with a no-no (in the 4th inning). This is cockamamie and warrants league intervention. In a sport where statistics dominate to the point of "stats gurus" now being hired in front offices (see Sox, Red), how can you let the whimsy of glorified Superfans skew the numbers of the game? It seems a minor point, but it's now so blatant it forces me to balk. For everyone helped by this apparently insignificant form of corruption, someone is negatively impacted. Sure, you save the star third baseman the humiliation of an error, but you just bumped the pitcher's stats in the wrong direction and you gave the hitter a freebie. Yes, you saved the pitcher by giving the fielder an error, but you hurt that fielder's percentage and you screwed the hitter. In an era where the stats are already in need of asteriskal (the official scorekeeper of this site rules: a real word!) addenda from the league's historical figures, this is further removal from numerical validity. It's an embarrassment to the sport. All the league has to do is scrap a few official scorekeepers for egregious home-cookin' and the problem will work itself out. But then again, this is a league who requires a nationwide mandate before it can enforce the rules of its strike zone and time limits.

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