July 24, 2018

The Amazing Mookie Betts Gets Hits In Games Even When He Doesn't Play - And NESN Resurrects A Stupid Stat Which MLB Wisely Killed Off 30 Years Ago

In the top of the third of Tuesday's Red Sox/Orioles game, NESN provided evidence that Mookie Betts is more awesome than anyone could have imagined:

Even when you give Betts the day off - he will still get a hit!

Betts has played eight games against the Orioles this year, but he has hit safely in nine games against the Orioles!* (NESN did spell his name correctly.)

If you are wondering about those nine "game-winning home runs", you are not alone. (I checked the Red Sox's Game Notes for Tuesday and, sure enough, it's there on page 3.)

Older fans may remember an especially moronic stat from the 1980s: the "game-winning RBI". It was credited to the batter who knocked in the run that gave his team a lead it did not relinquish for the rest of the game. It did not matter in which inning the special RBI occurred. If a batter drove in a run in the first inning and his team held that lead for the rest of the game, that batter would get the GWRBI - no matter if the final score was 1-0 or 8-3 or 21-20. The stat was finally abolished in 1988 after almost a decade.

Betts has not hit a game-winning, walkoff home run this year. In fact, looking at his home run log, we can see that he has not hit a homer beyond the eighth inning in 2018. (Betts also has yet to go deep in the second inning.)

I looked at his 23 home runs (before last night) and there are indeed nine of them that gave the Red Sox a lead which they held through the end of the game. Those home runs were hit on April 17, April 25, May 2, May 19, May 22, June 13, June 26, July 6, and July 12. Seven of them were hit in a tie game (0-0 five times (all in the first inning), 1-1, 3-3). In two instances (April 25 and July 12), his home run erased the opponent's lead and put Boston ahead.

So ... NESN is putting its support behind a worthless statistic that was ridiculed by most fans from the day it debuted until MLB finally threw in the garbage - 30 years ago. But NESN also boosts fielding percentage several times during every single game, so I'm not all that surprised.

*: The graphic should have read "Hit Safely in 8 of 9 Games vs Orioles".
The Big Question: Will tomorrow's graphic say "9 of 10" or "10 of 9"?


Jim said...

Speaking of NESN, I'm not sure which is more annoying--the steady procession of guests in the broadcasting booth on home games or the increasing number of gimmicks that are popping up in the booth on the road. Remy singing Beatles tunes to the delight of all, plus the number of shots of Eck et al doing sweet fuck all back in the NESN "Green Room" were pathetic. I thought the pathos of the whole "Jerry eats grasshoppers" episode would put an end to this shit but they seem to be getting worse. Is NESN getting some kind of feedback that folks actually like this? Doesn't anyone just want to watch and listen to baseball, and if there's nothing to say, simply enjoy shots of the skyline or the ballpark?
PS-I get that it was raining but silence is still golden.

allan said...

O'Brien is allergic to silence. How many times did he say that JDM had hit his 30th homer? A dozen, maybe? Does OB think he's somehow failing if he isn't running his mouth about something? Whenever he rushes to obliterate the quiet, it's always some useless tidbit from the Game Notes that is irrelevant to the situation (like giving a bases-loaded stat when no one is on base or giving a batter's splits against lefties when a right-hander is on the mound).

If NESN has to air these stupid segments -- their obsession with a fan sitting by himself in the stands last night meant we missed at least one pitch - then how about shooting some video of the ACTUAL RED SOX PLAYERS before the game? In BP or whatever? Show that. It would be much more interesting than watching Steve Lyons scribbling on a piece of paper.

They showed a clip montage of the grand slams last night. That was something new and it was good. But they still screwed it up because (a) they had to cut it short because the game was going on and (b) the extreme closeups of the pitch meant that in at least one case, neither the ball nor the batter nor the catcher was in the picture! We just saw the green grass behind the plate! ... Did anyone look at those clips before they put them together?

Jere said...

"simply enjoy shots of the skyline"

From 2010.