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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

2/13/22 : Just Sayin

The MLB lockout is tiring and very likely disinteresting to most folks, it’s an bad image perception all around. Sometimes I’m asked which “side” I support … to be honest I don’t view it with such one side or the other acrimonious divide. It remains incredible to me that folks with such a common purpose, their combined livelihood, can’t determine a way to agree on a collective contract. All details and differences aside that remains the one common thread - it’s in everyone’s best interest to get the game back on the field and in front of their consumers. So, spare me the details - just let me know when the bickering stops.

Brett Phillips of the Rays has enlisted a brand he’s entitled “Baseball is Fun”. He possesses the type of energy that the game needs. The days of stoic conservatism in sports have long passed. It’s also been a very long time since actually playing sports via pickup games, etc. were the activities of the day for the majority of kids. Hopefully that still happens in some communities but it’s most likely that the primary access to “playing baseball” is via the online video gaming methods. If Baseball is to continue as a passion for future generations then the realization that most folks aren’t like me ( a person who looks forward to watching a coach hit ground balls to infielders or side bullpen sessions ) with an ingrained love of the game because they grew up playing it, constantly thinking about it and romanticizing it’s existence that will represent the majority of future fans. The folks who look forward to games each night is becoming a smaller crowd, just a quick look at attendance ( including in Philly - home of the “passionate” fans ) is very telling. “Baseball is Fun” needs to be a revitalized theme and it can’t be locked into an “old school” approach. The promotion of baseball needs to evolve with life itself - if we can’t see that then the sport will subside as a past memory - that would be a true shame.

Another tiring discussion is the use of “analytics” not only in Baseball but in all modern day pro sports. Statistics and tendencies have always been a part of sports, it’s probably been the focal point of most discussions of athletic endeavors since forever 🧐 - stats are how we have generally always measured performance. The extension of data to identify trends and subsequent decisions such as where to shift a hitter, lineups, etc. hasn’t been an overnight thing - it’s been used and has evolved over a course of years. The reliance on data and analysis shouldn’t be seen as an overwhelming “obstacle” but rather a supportive tool. The beauty of Baseball and all sports is the performance of the athletes - we can’t lose sight of that. I’ve watched baseball my whole life - it’s repetitiveness can be mind numbing but it’s grace is encapsulating. We can never lose focus on the grace in identifying and isolating the repetition. To play this game is hard at any level - that’s what makes it special and those who do it at the highest level elite. From my perspective the bickering of game analysts, broadcasters, players, coaches, fans, etc. on the use of “analytics” is too focused on the repetitiveness and not the true grace of the game. For love of the game should always be the focus - just saying.

Most teams are holding minor league mini camps either now or soon at their training complexes. The Phillies will do the same this coming week. This old fan will attempt to watch as much of the camp as is allowable - I truly enjoy the intricacies of Baseball - watching practices actually enhances my interest - go figure 🤓.

Happy Super Bowl - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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