Nationals Baseball: Beware the insipid

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beware the insipid

It's World Series lead up time, and worse yet, it's World Series lead up time with two teams pegged as unlikely to make it this far at the start of the playoffs. While sportswriting has incrementally improved in the past 5-10 years, it's still a bastion of nonsense. I'm sure your various sports pages have been littered with stories about the Rangers and Giants "heart" and that they are a bunch of nobodies that will their way to victory. If you would kindly seek out the writers of such articles and punch them in their respective faces that would be much appreciated.

A quick rundown of what is actually important:

The Rangers were 4th in runs scored (with 2 of their best offensive weapons, Cruz and Kinsler, missing signficant time), and were 4th in runs allowed (with Cliff Lee, only on the squad for less than half a season). In other words the Rangers are a very good team that can hit AND pitch. Outside of Colby Lewis, who is having an out of nowhere Livan '10 type season, it's all talent that could be expected to perform this well. The Rangers are a very good team in all aspects of the game.

The Giants were 9th in runs scored and 2nd in runs allowed. (1st in ERA - lowest by a team since 2003). They have 4 starting pitchers age 27 or younger, and the one with the worst season this year was Lincecum. They have 4 relievers that had ERAs under 2.18 for the season. The offense, while lacking in star talent, would only have one true "hole" if everyone plays as expected. They are a dominating pitching force with a serviceable offense.

That's it. Great pitching and good enough hitting, vs very good pitching and very good hitting. Roll the dice with whatever you prefer.

Whoever you are pulling for remember what Ron Washington likes to say
It's not the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best on that day.
THAT my friends, is the heart of sports and allows for things like Rangers / Giants World Series.

(of course most people immediately forget that and declare the winners the best team in some sort of Calvinist interpretation of athletic endeavor, even Washington said the other day that the "best teams" were playing in the World Series. But hey - whatever. It's just a game right? Let people be stupid, it's nothing important. Right?

Dammit, I'm choking on my bile here.)

1 comment:

Barney said...

As no one has commented yet, I'll volunteer to make some obvious remarks:
a) Due to the small sample size of 5 or 7 games for a series, anything can happen. Poor teams beat good teams sometimes during the season, but the length of the season tends to cancel out luck, occasional super-normal performances, etc.

b) As is said: "Good pitching beats good hitting." so a superior staff of 3 starters can dominate a good hitting club.

Those 2 items mean that you can bet on a series for fun but don't use any serious money.