Sunday, March 7, 2021

Searching for meaning amid the meaninglessness: Spring's first bad omen is the Yankees' reliance on homers

Yesterday, the Yankees scored twice: Jay Bruce and Clint Frazier hit solo shots. 

Friday, they put up one run: Gleyber Torres homered. Solo, of course.

The previous day, no homers... thus, we didn't score.

The team HR leader is Gary Sanchez. He has two, both solo shots.

This spring, the Yankees have scored 20 times, 15 via the HR. (They have hit 10, including a grand slam by minor leaguer Chris Gittens.) Three Yankees have driven in a run without homering: Frazier (1), Luke Voit (2) and Mike Ford (2). 

Overall, the team has 36 hits, 18 walks and 53 strikeouts - OF Mike Tauchman with 5 Ks  (seriously, Tauchy, WTF?) tied for the team lead with roster-invitee Michael Beltre.

As my IIH cohort, Doug K, pointed out yesterday, we are witnessing the slow death of baseball, as games deteriorate into canasta tournaments. Hitters march to the plate, take furious, Kingmanesque swings - then walk the bases or back to the water cooler. And that's China Town, Jake.

Over two decades now, this de-evolution has seemed impossible to stop. 

I blame Moneyball, that once-celebrated revolution of advanced metrics, which handed the game to one-testicled office wonks. On the spreadsheet, a solo HR equals a run from three surgical singles - even if we dumb fans know otherwise. The beauty of a "manufactured" run takes takes a psychic toll on opposing pitchers and defenses. I speak of wondrous, vanishing moments: the bunt, the slap single, the sac fly, the opposite field hit that ruins an over-shift... skills that stress defenses and, well, win world championships. 

For the Yankees, the three-outcome offense brings a year-end bonus: Our inevitable post-season collapse against quality pitching. (Have I mentioned that the Yankees are 2009 World Champs?)

Of course, it's too early to blare the sirens. Thus far, pitchers are ahead of hitters, and maybe that's all it is. We're hitting mistakes out of the park - nothing more to see, everybody move on, go back to your White Claws. Any day now, we'll put up an eight-run inning full of singles and bloop doubles, and all will be right with the world, right? We're far too smart for homeritis, right?


ranger_lp said...

And adding to this, we've been told that the baseball is not as lively this year. Some of last year's home runs become outs to the warning track. We'll know by the end of April once we get some metrics.

Anonymous said...

I'm Back in Black from my hiatus ... to deliver divine retribution and punishment upon unworthy sinners ....

Yes, I noticed the "homeritis" too. Can't help but feel "here we go again".

And what's up with the comment approval? Must have been too many penis doctors selling their wares with those stupid ads. As usual, a few bad apples spoiling it for all.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

A-fucking-men, Chief. I've been saying this until I'm blue in the face, for years now. Baseball boiled down to its (supposed) algorithmic essence is not the baseball I fell in love with. It will kill the sport—which, as it stands now, would be a mercy killing.

13bit said...

Same shit, different year.