Baseball has become an exercise in math, and don’t bother attempting to discuss the sport unless you come armed with a protractor and calculator. (I stole that one from Ryan Zimmerman.) The numbers obsession has roiled math-averse, old school columnists for the last few years, and the latest to angrily toss his hands in the air is Mac Engel of the Star Telegram.
Math has made us all paranoid that our favorite player is going to get hurt the moment he reaches a certain figure, or be reduced to trash if he goes a little too far.
There is no better example of this than Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who threw 99 pitches against the Royals on Sunday.
So that’s terrible because he only threw 99, and he was “gassed,” according to his manager.
A few weeks ago, Rangers manager Ron Washington was the second coming of noted arm destroyer Dusty Baker, when he had the audacity to allow Yu to throw 130 pitches against the Detroit Tigers.
Let the man pitch the baseball on the baseball field.
Let them play baseball and quit being a prisoner to all of these bleepin’ numbers.
Engel ropes in Orel Hershiser to help his argument, but it doesn’t matter – two of the five commenters to his column still called him an idiot.
It’s actually a very lazy, navel-gazing column that offers little to the reader, who surely has heard this Just Let ‘Em Play! argument before. But what does Engel care? He’ll get 381 people on the web clicking to read his dopey lunacy, and his online editor will pat him on the back for a job well done. People clicked! Sports radio was calling you a clown, which is better than not calling you anything!
Pitch counts. WAR. It’s all here to stay, Mac. Don’t like it? Immerse yourself in the Mavericks and Cowboys, where numbers are very germane to the discussion, but not nearly as much as they are in baseball.