April 30, 2010

ESPN Makes You Dumber

Daniel Moroz (Beyond the Box Score) was watching Baseball Tonight
during the marathon Boston-Toronto game, and the hosts were opining on the causes for Josh Beckett's struggles so far in 2010 - notably in that 13-12 game, where he gave up 8 runs in just 3 innings pitched. Bobby Valentine suggested that Beckett has three quality pitches - a mid 90s fastball, a curve, and a change-up - but that he's fallen in love with a mediocre cutter and that's hurting him. Not one to take claims made by people on TV at face value, I thought I'd check it out.
And what did Moroz find?

For one thing, Beckett has allowed exactly ZERO hits off his cutter this year. In fact, batters are swinging and missing it more often than they did last year.

This data is easily available and it's free.

So you have baseball reporters with absolutely no interest in accurate information and media outlets content to present easily disproved statements as fact -- both during BT and its regular game broadcasts -- and people still wonder why more and more serious fans are relying solely on blogs and alternate sources of information?


redsock said...

Having to listen to Pat Tabler on the Jays broadcast on Wednesday was painful. Just an absolute moron.

When Tek batted in the 7th, Tabler noted that among 38-year-old Boston catchers, Tek was only the 3rd one to have a game in which he had 3 hits, 3 runs and 4 RBI (Monday), then said:

"So you know he's still producing."

About a guy who, in about 900 PA in 2008 and 2009, batted .215 with a 76 OPS+. ... But one good game nullifies all that!


When Martinez struck out in the eighth and argued that the ball had hit the ground and had not been caught by the catcher, Sportsnet showed the replay. It was more than obvious that Victor was right, the ball clearly bounced. And Tabler right away says "Yup. See, he caught the ball!" Buck Martinez burst out laughing -- whether at Tabler or the clear evidence that the umpire had blown the call, I don't know -- and said "Well, Martinez was absolutely right -- good job of Molina selling the call to the ump."

9casey said...

Curt Schilling commented once on the radio, at how amazed he is how many times the broadcasters call the pitch wrong.

Especially with a cutter , if thrown wrong it can resemble a fastball, or a slider, so I call bullshit on Valentine and Moroz.....In other words a cutter is a fastball, just thrown with different pressure points.

Woti-woti said...

Martinez and Tabler are incorrigible gasbags and to make matters worse, they feed off each other--which I detect Rogers thinks is a good thing ("chemistry" and all that). Rogers are not good owners--the baseball team's losses have been described as insignificant as a "rounding error" for their overall corporate earnings. As a Sox fan, I couldn't care less--would that the Steinbrenners were such shitty owners. But as a proud Canadian, I hate to see the franchise go the way of the Expos (you can trace the Expos woes to when the Bronfmans sold them). Lots of Toronto media are crying over the lousy attendance and still tracing its beginnings back to the strike. They neglect to mention that Labatts--who were excellent owners--were taken over by a Belgian brewery at that time and the Jays were suddenly a corporate after-thought. With Rogers, they're simply programming fodder. Having Buffy do the pregame for the Jays almost makes me feel sorry for him--canned from the PBP, but ya can do the pregame. Sweet zombie jeezus.

L-girl said...

Lots of Toronto media are crying over the lousy attendance and still tracing its beginnings back to the strike.

The better not to upset their own corporate bosses.

Thanks for the insight, Woti.