Wednesday, August 8, 2007
What would it be like?
Top of the morning to ya! The Twins lost again last night to the Royals. Mediocre starting pitching. A power-outage. No, a real power outage, as in the lights at Kaufmann Stadium went out in the 8th inning, delaying the game. Although, you could describe the Twins offense with the term 'power outage' as well. They did alter the lineup, pushing everyone in the lineup up one spot. Jason Bartlett led off, followed by Joe Mauer and so on. I like that lineup. It makes a lot of sense. But on this night, the offense still did nothing. And most blogs will be filled with negative comments about the team, the offense and the specific players. That got me thinking...
What would it be like if there wasn't the internet full of baseball blogs and message boards? What would it be like if we weren't able to watch basically every Twins game on Fox Sports North or Fox29? What if SportsCenter wasn't around to show the highlights and the lowlights from every game. What if there wasn't an MLB package?
What if heroes such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson and others would have played under the scrutiny that today's players have to live under? Back then, people basically found out how their players did through box scores and some stories in magazines such as Sport or The Sporting News. They were maybe able to listen to their local team on the radio and try to envision what was happening. When we do see some of those old videos of ball from long ago, do we really see greatness in those highlights? It's hard to know because the highlights are few and far between. How would bloggers have talked about these players from those less technologically advanced days had they been around at that time?
The 1927 Yankees are lauded as Murderers Row. What would the Blog Talk have been for that team? Babe Ruth's OPS+ of 226? Lou Gehrig's 221 OPS+? Or, would they be spending a lot of time complaining about wasting so many at bats with the left side of their infield? (3B Joe Dugan's OPS+ was 79 while SS Mark Koenig's was just 84.) How about in 1923 when Lou Gehrig hit great in nine late-season games for the Yankees but played really bad defense, would there been bloggers saying that Gehrig was a flash-in-the-pan who the team should trade on a high note to bring in a better pitcher?
If there was a 1965 version of SethSpeaks, would we have been complaining about Zoilo Versalles winning the AL MVP with an OPS of .781? Would we have complained about the low batting average of Harmon Killebrew or praised his Isolated Discipline? Would there have been a Free Dick Stigman campaign because he struck out a batter an inning? Would fans have been pining for the GM to trade Cesar Tovar because in his 25 at bats with the team that year, he only hit .200/.259/.240? Would we have questioned playing Joe Nossek in five of the World Series games in CF over Jimmie Hall, or would we have looked at the stat splits and realized that Nossek had a better chance against Koufax and Podres?
Those heroes of the '60s were around before bloggers and their commenters could discuss how seven out of ten times, he didn't come through in the clutch. Fans would see 2-5 with a HR in the box score and it would be another great night for the player. Today, bloggers would question why the batter was batting fourth instead of third, or that when he came up with runners on second and third with two outs, he didn't get a hit.
How would players of today be viewed if we didn't have so much media coverage and blog coverage and television coverage and baseball talk radio coverage of each and every game for each and every team? How much more would Justin Morneau be appreciated? Would Matt Holliday be more respected for his numbers or more forgotten because he plays in Colorado?
What would it be like if the media was still willing to 'hide' certain things of the players the way they did for Mickey Mantle and others? What would Mantle have been like if he had had his issues playing today? Think about it. It was only five to ten years ago that the media was willing to look past steroids. So, how would Barry Bonds' home runs chase have been viewed 10-15 years ago?
I am sure that you can come up with other such scenarios of what would it be like. But to bring it all sort of together, I have one more question. Do blogs and blogging help people/fans enjoy watching baseball more... or does the sometimes over-analysis end up taking away some of the joy of the game? Baseball is a great game. It is a game played and officiated by humans. Sometimes I feel that the stats and such make the game almost too scientific. It makes a fan question his team's manager on everything from lineup construction to what he says to the media. It makes fans question every single decision a General Manager makes in live time. And yet, sometimes I think it is a good thing to question what we are being told. Twins fans listening to Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven, John Gordon or Dan Gladden have to be especially careful not just to take everything that they say as gospel. Yesterday's example was Marney Gellner telling the TV audience how well Jason Tyner was adapting to the leadoff spot when in fact, he was hitting just .131/200 in the six games since his 3-4 game in his first game replacing Luis Castillo at the top of the Twins lineup.
Maybe that's why I so thoroughly enjoy following the Twins minor league system. As of right now, I really have very little access to actually seeing the games. I can just read box scores and stats. My analysis on how they are doing is primarily based on what I see in box scores. It isn't affected positively or negatively by things like "clutch hits" or "quality at bats" and such. It comes from the results. That isn't a fair or complete analysis in itself (and that's why I factor in other things such as age, level of play and some gut feelings from following the box scores so frequently). But in reality, that is how fans were able to follow players back in the old days. And really, that isn't a bad thing!
So what do you think? As with most situations, I like to look at both sides. There are a lot of positives created by blogs and bloggers and the commenters that read those sites. In the same way, I think it would be fair to argue that a person could find negatives as well. So what do you think? I am very curious as to your opinions. Along with that, I am curious as to your thoughts on the Star-Tribune's baseball writers and their blogs. Do you read their 'regular articles', their blog entries or both, and why?
Any thoughts? Send me your thoughts.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the game reports of their minor league affiliates.
Tuesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Garrett Guzman, New Britain Rockcats
Tuesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Jay Rainville, Ft. Myers Miracle
Tuesday - Red Wings 4, Syracuse 1 (6) – Brian Duensing won his 10th game with the Red Wings with a complete game. OK, the game was called in the top of the 6th due to wet field conditions. He went five innings and gave up a run on four hits and a walk. He struck out four. Matt Tolbert went 2-3 with his 23rd double. Jose Morales went 2-3. Tommy Watkins hit his eighth homer.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats 3, Erie 6 – Oswaldo Sosa fell to 0-2 with the Rockcats despite a quality start. In six innings, he gave up three runs on six hits. He walked none and struckout seven. Josh Hill gave up three unearned runs on two hits and two walks in an inning. Tim Lahey pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Garrett Guzman led the offense by going 3-4 with his 13th home runs. Brandon Roberts hit his second homer.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 8, Daytona 1 – Jay Rainville improved to 6-10 with a great start. He gave up just one run on six hits over eight innings. He walked none and struckout two. Armando Gabino pitched a perfect inning. Juan Portes went 2-5 with his fourth triple. Dwayne White went 2-4 with two RBI. Dustin Martin went 2-5. Erik Lis hit his 12th homer.
Tuesday - Snappers 1, Wisconsin 6 – Wilson Ramos ... why wasn't he with the Snappers when the season started? He has been terrific! In this game, he went 3-4 with his 14th double. Garrett Olson went 2-4 with his 14th double. Danny Santiesteban hit his 8th homer. Brian Kirwan took another loss. He gave up five runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings. He struck out nine. Jose Lugo struck out three in an inning. Matt Williams gave up a run in his inning.
Tuesday - E-Twins 6, Bristol 3 – Deibinson Romero went 3-5. Rene Tosoni went 2-4 with his fourth triple and five RBI. Estarlin de los Santos went 2-5 with his fifth triple. Dan Lehmann was 1-3 with a walk and his second homer. Michael Tarsi improved to 4-1. In five innings, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out four. Brad Tippett went two scoreless innings. Then Dan Latham and Blair Erickson each pitched on scoreless inning. Erickson picked up his seventh save.
Tuesday - GCL Twins 4, GCL Orioles 6 – Yangervis Solarte went 3-3, and Ben Revere went 2-4 with his ninth triple! Andrew Schmiesing was 1-2 with a walk. Liam Hendricks went the first five innings and gave up two runs (1 earned). Rodney Gessman came in and gave up two runs on four hits in his inning. Dominique Rodgers took the loss as he gave up two unearned runs on three walks and no hits. Danny Rondon gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs in the inning, to drop his ERA to 0.50.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|
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