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Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh! Mass Media, how doest thou annoyest me?

I spent a random 20 minutes watching some popular sports network today while I was sitting at a local establishment and oversaw the scattered brainplops of those participants/employees within the media conglomerate. Their conversation started on a simple premise: Randy Johnson is likely the last 300 game winning pitcher we will ever see. They went into the logistics of how difficult it is for a pitcher today to tally enough decisions per season on top of the needed longevity it takes to become a 300 game winner.

It bored me to death. Kneejerk reactions are no longer commonplace these days - they are EXPECTED!

They gave reason after reason why it is so tough to amass 300 wins in a career under baseball's current conditions - specialized relievers, pitch counts, etc - where starting pitchers receive less than 69% of their start's decisions. They jumped the sheer cliff of - there's no one on the immediate horizon to win 300 games (save Jamie Moyer from pitching well into his 50's) - to "No one will ever do it again!"

Gee, brainiacs a mere 30 years ago, that number was all of 74%. So apparently we should expect 5% less 300 winners to make the cut based on that fuzzy math leap of logic, right? My guess is that 5% is the same as ALL with today's economy...

Furthermore, they neglected to note that two of the winningest pitchers EVER recently retired (or were "shooed away") - Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens both eclipsed 350 wins! Another pitcher with 300 wins still thinks he's active (Tom Glavine). How easy is THAT to do with a 5 man rotation and specialized relievers.

They neglected to note how Randy Johnson sucked for a LONG time before he became a winning pitcher. They noted that it takes a pitcher many seasons of 20+ wins to make a 300 win career yet blatantly refused to note RJ had all of THREE 20-win seasons in his lengthy career! THREE!

Let's disregard the overwhelming realism that the Big Unit became only the 24th pitcher in the HISTORY of the GAME to accomplish the feat. So it's not exactly an easy bar to leap in the first place... Over nearly 150 years, we should average a 300 winner about twice a decade. We've had 4 this decade. And it's even more interesting to note that nearly HALF of the 300+ wins pitchers have won their 300th game SINCE the advent of the 5 man rotation, designated hitter and the arrival of the closer and specialist relievers.

NONE of this is my point, though.

The next two stories after this great debate are what really irritated me:

1) Roy Halladay won his 10th game of the season yesterday.

It's JUNE 7th and he has 10 wins... me thinks he's going to make a solid run at 20 wins this season. Gee, that would give him his third 20-win season in his career - the same number as Randy Johnson had! Wow! And get this... Oh yeah, that win yesterday gives him 141 for his career... or 49 more wins than Randy Johnson had at the very same age!!! Hello!

2) Stephen Strasburg is a "Once in a generation talent", blah, blah, blah. Gee, let's not tell him that he has NO CHANCE at winning 300 games, right?

I won't get into the whole "Magic are down 2-0 so the series is obviously over", "Brett Favre is trying to come back so let's not speculate how much he obviously will suck because he's old" or "Let's disrespect Roger Federer because he didn't beat the #2 player to win the French Open title."

When Television was invented there were debates over whether they would lead to the downfall of society. I must say is it's not the TV's fault. All I'm saying is - Educate yourselves people! Sports information disseminated for the masses should be consumed for entertainment purposes AT BEST! Laugh at your buddies who think they have a clue because they saw two morons debate the topic on TV. If they foul sports information up this badly, you can only guess what the real story behind the nightly news might be... From now on, I'm only watching the commercials... that way, I might ACTUALLY learn something useful!
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