Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Tragedy That Is Homeritis

There is a consensus among those who love baseball that the scourge of Homeritis, (Recently named by a scribe known only as "El Duque" to avoid retribution from the powers that be.) is destroying the game by making it unwatchable. This post hopes to explore its origins and its effects and offer some ways to end it once and for all and save our precious game.

What is Homeritis and How Did It Begin?

Homeritus is a mental disease that creates a compulsion in its victims to swing for the fences on every pitch.  

As to how it began, we'll let Will James, Evil Twin of the Father of Sabermetrics Bill James and its Co-Creator explain: 

"Basically, it was determined that by maximizing launch angle and exit velocity a player could increase his homerun output significantly. This “true outcome” had a value that outweighed all other outcomes in an at bat. The ability to score a run with one swing. Sounds great right? That's what makes it so insidious.  

To paraphrase my brother, "I made baseball as much fun to watch as doing your taxes." 

That I helped rob the game of its strategy, beauty, and dare I say, humanity, by using pseudo science is something I can point to with pride. 

Well, that and my work with the NBA. Did you know that the 3 Point shot is actually statistically better than a 12-footer if measured over the course of a season because...  Hahahahah. Sorry it's hard to keep a straight face with that one. "

Homeritis Destroys Careers 

More than removing many of the elements that make the game fun to watch, Homeritis destroys careers. Let’s hear from a current Major Leaguer, who for reasons of privacy and anonymity,  shall be known as Gary S. 

Gary S. (Translated from the original Spanish):  

“When I first started out, hitting homers was easy. I set records as a rookie and was one of the most feared hitters in the game. Feared!!  But then the pitchers grew wise and adjusted. They no longer tried to beat me with fastballs. 

I didn't care. I kept swinging hard. Looking for that connection, that feeling of euphoria that only a home run ball can deliver. My batting average plummeted.  It didn’t matter to me. I knew that eventually a pitcher would make a mistake and I would send one, and myself, flying.

I lost my starting job. I lost the respect of my teammates, my manager, the owner, the fans, the guys in the booth...

But still I couldn’t stop.  I... I... I have... Homeritis. 

The worst came in a game that could have clinched the 3rd wild card slot.

The bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. The count was three balls and two strikes.  A walk would have scored the winning run and we could have clinched. I took several deep breaths and said a prayer that this time, just this one time, I would be strong enough to lay off a ball in the dirt.  

But then Homeritis reared its ugly head and I started to think, “What is strong? Is strong not swinging as hard as I could? Is strong not hitting the ball 150 feet further than the fence? I will show them strong! I will show them all what true strength is!"

I swung at a pitch low and away. We lost the game in extra innings. I had hit rock bottom. (The only thing I hit all year by the way.) Madre de Dios! I had let the team down and we were so sad that we lost the next three games. Fortunately, we recovered in time to clinch the 5th, and next to last, wild card slot."  

Homeritis Creates Injuries 

From ballplayers tearing lats while swinging too hard to strained calf muscles incurred on the base paths by players unused to doing anything but trotting, Homeritis leaves the body weakened and injury prone. 

Sadly,  Homeritus Isn't Limited to Current MLB Players 

Homeritis  can strike children as young as eight...

Joey Goodman (OF Menlo Park Tigers): "Singles don’t get you on Sports Center, bitches."

and, untreated, stays with you for the rest of your life... 

We spoke to Former Major Leaguer Rob Deer during a round of golf at the Saratoga Springs Country Club.

Rob Deer:  "I’m still a longball addict.  I’m pulling out my driver on par threes.  I’m full out off the tee every time.  Doesn’t matter how wide the fairway is.  And the worst part? I can never find my ball!

I. Can. Never. Find. My. Fucking. Ball!"

(He breaks down sobbing)  

Can Homeritis Be Cured? 

Possibly.  Ridicule seems like a good way to go.  

But at the minimum, we need a shift in the national consciousness away from the worship  of home runs.  Perhaps along the lines of  a public relations campaign to replace “Chicks Dig The Longball” with “Singles Dig Singles”  

Ultimately it will take a shift in the herd mentality that permeates baseball front offices. 

By lauding players who use the whole field and paying them as much or more than those who suffer from Homeritis, up and coming ball players will see a financial benefit from shortening their swing with two outs or not trying to pull everything and we can get our beloved game back. 

As to the current ball players?  Amazingly today both Gary Sanchez and AnDujar went opposite field after Glyber walked. Bases loaded. Gritty, gutty, Brett Gardner at bat. 

Tragically, he hit a Grand Slam, and the beat goes on. 


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

What does this have to do with Marge Simpson?

Anonymous said...

I didn't see Gary Sanchez's opposite field hit, but that certainly is a very good sign. I did see that home run to centerfield that he launched over the batter's eye a few days ago. It was a moonshot. He seems to have reduced that huge leg kick, shortening up his swing.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

.Great post.
But, it’s Homeritis, with an I. Homeritus was a Greek philosopher who swatted stones with a club.

Dr 3PCo

Anonymous said...


Thanks. I'll switch it.

Doug K.

Kevin said...

"Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, singles hitters drive Fords." This quote has been attributed to a number of players, almost all in the 1950's. They didn't NEED NO STINKING ANALYTICS.

JM said...

I nominate Doug for a Pulitzer for his outstanding investigative work on this.

If he compiles his writings into book form, I think the Booker Prize is in order.

Isn't it weird that the biggest prize for a book is called Booker? It's like the Triple Crown resulting in a Trippy award.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Brilliant, Doug, just brilliant!

And yes, that mentality has afflicted basketball, too—remember the old Knicks with those beautiful weaves, trying to find the open shot or layup?—and football, where half the old plays have just disappeared, and half the players look like sumo wrestlers.

The difference? Football and basketball are still played at such a frantic pace and are so athletic that no one minds as much. Only in baseball do we get the irony of completely jacked athletes...mostly just walking around.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Tomorrow, Doug will try to explain an ailment which is a cousin to and a polar opposite of Homeritis. An ailment perhaps mitigated this year by an inoculation of dead baseball and has spread like wildfire throughout all of MLB, namely, Gopheritis. Please stay tuned.

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