Podcast: Trying to Look Forward to Spring Training

Matthew Carruth · February 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The title sums it up. After nothing baseball-related happening in January, and a bunch of emotional other things happening, we attempt to focus on the future. It’s hard.

Podcast with Jeff (@based_ball) and Matthew (@msea1): Direct link! || iTunes link! || RSS/XML link!

Thanks again to those that helped support the show and/or StatCorner in general last week, and in the past, and hopefully in the future. It’s truly appreciated. And thank you to our sponsor for this episode, TodayIFoundOut!


9 Responses to “Podcast: Trying to Look Forward to Spring Training”

  1. LongDistance on February 6th, 2015 2:39 am

    Good to have you guys back.

    Since it was asked for, here’s some HOF feedback, for whatever it’s worth.

    If they absolutely have to have that as some sort of ultimate honor for players—which when you think about it is fraught with all sorts of insulting aspects for those great team players who made an impact on and shaped memories about how fans, whether parents of kids, felt about their team or the game or whatever, but who maybe didn’t rack up record-breaking stats—it should also involve a fan-based element. And, uh … no, I don’t know how that would work. Because if it was strictly fan-based and didn’t have some extremely complicated demographic adjustment built in, the HOF would look like some souvenir stand a block off Yankee Stadium.

    In the end, I totally agree that we could do without the HOF. Maybe just have each team, with the help of their fans, select or elect, and send memorabilia to the museum on some sort of alternating five or ten year basis. And that way—as you guys pointed out, but which would make it official—an “inductee” became someone who was somehow remembered in the permanent exhibits.

    Another disconnected thought. Was thinking about all that Seahawks fan energy that still … must … exist. And wonder whether, when the M’s begin moving into the season and actually begin having the season we’re thinking and hoping they just maybe might have a shot at having (is that tentative enough?), that the usual mix of die-hard and bobble-head fans will be swollen by some sort of bandwagon 10th Man. For me, personally, whatever reason people want to show up is fine. Whether it’s for a bobble head, or because they suckered themselves with a full season ticket package (yes, that’s leftover snarkiness from 2013 … I’m afraid I still have some lying around), or they’re there for the Fun Family Atmosphere … whatever. Be glad to have them. But would it help? Would it have an impact if Safeco’s looniest fervor wasn’t mainly reserved just for King’s Court nights?

  2. greymstreet on February 6th, 2015 8:46 am

    You were thinking of the Endowment effect

  3. Jeff Sullivan on February 6th, 2015 11:32 am

    Yes! That’s the one, thank you. That was bothering me.

  4. greymstreet on February 7th, 2015 8:35 pm

    Anytime. Thank you for the podcast!

  5. Dennisss on February 7th, 2015 8:51 pm

    Three things about the Hall of Fame:

    First, I strongly disagree with the idea of a Hall of Fame that does not honor players directly. The Hall is like the Academy Awards; it’s there to promote the game, and the players are the faces of the game. The fun of the Hall of Fame is seeing what players are in there, comparing them to current players, watching to see if the best players of this era make it in. The off-season announcement of the inductees keeps baseball in the news for awhile. The voting isn’t perfect, but then nothing ever is.

    Second, the Hall of Fame is (mostly) not about the physical location of the building or what’s in it. To me, the Hall of Fame is primarily names and statistics on the Internet — who’s in the club, who isn’t. The point is, the decision to have a player section of the Hall is really separate from whether it would be interesting to walk through that section.

    Third, I would put Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame because of what he did before he started hitting lots of home runs at about age 36. The problem with recognizing all those home runs at the end of his career is that we really want to recognize especially great athletic performances. So 73 home runs in a year is pretty great, right? Only…is it? My answer is “No,” or more accurately “I don’t know.” We have a small amount of data from the steroid era (which suggests that if everyone could take steroids, that record would fall in a short time), but we just have no idea whether 73 home runs, or 762, would be all that impressive if every player ever had been able to take the same drugs Bonds took. Personally, I am unimpressed. Bonds’ history suggests that he hit around 40 home runs per year, and he turned 37 the year he hit 73, so it’s a fair guess that maybe 40 of those 73 homers came from PEDs. I just don’t see that as some great accomplishment any more than hitting them with a corked bat would be, and I would think the idea is to reward actual accomplishments.

  6. djw on February 8th, 2015 8:07 am

    Completely and totally agree with you guys about the HOF–in general, but even moreso now that the voters have made it more about their preening moralism than the game.

  7. okinawadave on February 11th, 2015 1:22 pm

    In talking about the pitching staff, why is nobody mentioning Chris Young? I realize we haven’t resigned him, but why not? Wasn’t he pretty good for us? I’d love if you talked about this, however briefly, in the next podcast.

  8. Shoeless Jose on February 11th, 2015 7:08 pm

    Matthew is annoyed by the term “advanced bat.” Is he equally annoyed by “arms in the bullpen” for relievers or “pennants” for championships? I ask because that kind of metonymy is as old as literature itself: in the Iliad Homer used “sails” as a shorthand for ships and sometimes for the Greek forces themselves. (And yes, “arms in the bullpen” is more precisely a synecdoche, though that is generally considered a sub-type of metonym). And it’s not surprising it is as old as literature (or older, really), since it’s really just another way to use one thing to represent another, which is symbolic language, which is what all literature (and higher math!) is, and fundamentally the essence of what we humans do.

    Meanwhile, back on earth, the Rock n Roll HoF is in Cleveland because of Alan Freed — which, granted, makes only a little more sense than Cooperstown: cultural artifacts like sports or styles of music develop over decades thanks to the contributions of hundreds or thousands of people. But that just means the location for a museum celebrating it is going to be arbitrary, with some locations just a little less arbitrary than others. If some rich guy wanted to start a rival museum somewhere else, it would be just as arbitrary (and we’d call it the Experience Music Project).

    And speaking of that: I’m tired of talking or even thinking about the Baseball HoF. While I agree I’d be interested in seeing the artifacts, I don’t expect to ever visit Cooperstown and in all honestly don’t care who is in it. I did once, when I was younger and looked at baseball cards, but the controversies of the past decade — and maybe just the jadedness that comes with age — have drained me of it. When I’m talking with friends about great baseball players of the past we’re comparing stats or eras or memorable games; who is or is not in the HoF simply never comes up. Greatness is a spectrum, and we roughly know who lies at the ends of it, whether a bunch of writers have anointed them or not.

    (That said, given there is going to be a HoF, I like the idea of giving the voters two kinds of “yes” votes: the simple “yes” they have now, and a “yes, but with misgivings” — essentially formalizing the asterisk that is already attached to guys like Bonds. If the sum of both kinds of “yes” votes is high enough, the player gets in; but if the percentage of “with misgivings” vote is high enough, they have to address it on the plaque. No, the HoF would never go for this idea, but they wouldn’t go for turning the HoF into a museum primarily of history and artifacts either.)

  9. Jay Yencich on February 11th, 2015 7:17 pm

    Made it to the end and appreciate Matthew’s little rant about external validation.

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