CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Are sabermetrics sucking the life out of America’s past time?


Recently on these pages, a new stat was introduced to followers that apparently is “all that” in ranking pitchers. Over the past decade, sabermetrics and sabermetricians have become as popular as flies on a cow’s tail, and while many of those stats may have merit, those of us old schoolers are often pessimistic, skeptical and hesitant.

It all started with the Oakland A’s and Moneyball, but has taken the baseball world by storm. Most recently, the stats came home to Houston with the Jeff Luhnow train and created new non-traditional positions in the front office.

With the stats available today, it’s almost possible to know how many times a player blinks between pitches and how many times he thinks about going to the bathroom on a 2-2 count in a night game with the roof open. But this is America’s past time. It’s different from any other sport, the only game where managers where uniforms and where every field has different dimensions. Umm, and the only game without a clock.

Now, I’m quite sure I’ll start a fray, and I’m prepared to take the hits. Before I delve into the abyss, though, let’s be clear: I’m not suggesting that teams shouldn’t use everything at their disposal, including stats, data and technology. But where is the old school hunch from a manager who spent time getting to know the players, their tendencies, their psyche and makeup? Baseball has become something of an automaton. I fear that soon balls and strikes will be the job of 5-6 cameras, taking away one of the final “judgment” calls in the game we have come to love.

As some pointed out in Luhnow’s early days, he didn’t get to know the players, it was all about the numbers. Now, in the last couple of years, his tactics and approach have, in many ways, been borne out while he seemingly has also put a more human face on his position.

But consider this. Back in the 1988 World Series, would Tommy Lasorda have inserted Kirk Gibson into the lineup against Dennis Eckersley if he’d had all the stats, matchups and sabermetrics at his fingertips? Closer to home, remember the OMG Homer? In that scenario, would Brad Lidge have ever seen the mound in that crazy playoff game in 2005 if Jeff Luhnow had been in charge?

The sabermetricians seemingly take the game out of baseball, if that makes sense. They remove the mystique and the old-style strategy of two managers matching move for move based on something they saw during batting practice or a player simply saying “coach, I got this!” or some little twitch from a pitcher that gives away a particular pitch.

Now, it’s just “what does the computer say?”  Or, “Hey coach, just give me the longitude and latitude numbers for where Jose Altuve should play when Barry Bonds is at the plate.”

Okay, maybe a little over the top, but you get the point. Where is the human part of the game anymore? Do the numbers and human factor actually meet anywhere?

Yes, stats provide a guide for the game. But they shouldn’t guide the game and change the game, they should only be a mirror of what’s happening in the game, right? Yes, it’s important to know that Jeff Bagwell hit .300, though the real baseball ministers can watch him and easily recognize he can hit. They don’t need to know he’s successful 3 out of 10 times he steps up.

Give me Tony Larussa, or Jim Leyland, or Sparky Anderson, maybe even Bobby Cox. Or maybe even Don Zimmer, but certainly Yogi Berra. Tell me, what would those guys do if you asked them to trust the next game to all these new-fangled stats? These new guys know their job and they’re just doing what they’re hired to do, but the job has changed. The game has changed.

But it’s me who’s changing more slowly. And maybe that’s the problem.

So, with those thoughts in mind, here are a few more questions for you to ponder before you begin to pound your computer keyboard into oblivion.

  1. What is your favorite pitching stat?
  2. What is your favorite stat for hitters?
  3. Your most despised stat?
  4. Has baseball gone to far with statistics, sabermetricians, shifts and odds?
  5. Over/under for the year baseball begins to use cameras and computers for strikes and balls?
  6. At its current pace, where will the game be in 50 years?
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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

59 comments on “Are sabermetrics sucking the life out of America’s past time?

  1. 1oldpro
    December 7, 2016

    My favorite pitching stat is: Number of World Series MVP Trophies.
    My favorite stat for pitchers is WHIP.
    My most despised stat is whichever one they think is most important at TCB.
    Yes, baseball has gone too far with everything.
    Baseball will begin to use technology for balls and strikes when an AL East team gets ripped off by Jim Joyce and it costs them the playoffs.
    In 50 years the game will be in video form only and you play and pay with your card.
    The games will last 5 minutes, the average attention span of an Adult. An Adult is anyone between the ages of 12 and 35. Anyone younger than 12 is a developmental citizen and anyone older than 35 is a Silver non-voting citizen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 1oldpro
      December 8, 2016

      OK. Question 2 was changed to favorite hitting stat.
      wRC+

      Like

  2. astrocolt45
    December 7, 2016

    1. Wins. 2. Same as #1. 3. Losses
    4. No. 5. 4 years. 6. Yep, same game and still played on the field. Seriously, the stats don’t determine who wins or loses
    Execution on the field determines that. Technology only gives more stats quicker. It is up to the players to make the plays. Just as a football coach watches tons of game film, it can put you in the position to win ONLY.

    Like

  3. The Amazin' Billy C
    December 7, 2016

    I’ll answer the questions later, but I think the reason why Dierker didn’t last with the Astros and why he was forced out was because he too was a sabremetrics guy and he was ahead of his time.

    I see a lot of him in Hinch, for what it’s worth, except Dierker had a better balance.

    Like

  4. The Amazin' Billy C
    December 7, 2016

    What is your favorite pitching stat?- For starters, ERA. For relievers, k/9.
    What is your favorite stat for pitchers?- Uhh…didn’t I just answer that?
    Your most despised stat?- Wins.
    Has baseball gone too far with statistics, sabermetricians, shifts and odds?- no, except when it comes to shifts.
    Over/under for the year baseball begins to use cameras and computers for strikes and balls?- A year too late. I’m a traditionalist in many ways, but these umpires are idiots and getting worse every year.
    At its current pace, where will the game be in 50 years?- Dunno. I’ll be worm food by then in this life and on my next existence.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      December 7, 2016

      I think someone stuck an edit on #2. Now BC we must have read #3 differently.

      Like

      • The Amazin' Billy C
        December 7, 2016

        Wins for relief pitchers. They mean little to nothing. Even for starters, well, they can be an overrated stat.

        Like

      • astrocolt45
        December 7, 2016

        I probably misread the question. I took it to be overall, not just a pitcher stat.

        Like

      • The Amazin' Billy C
        December 7, 2016

        Looks like the wording was changed, so let me re-do it…

        1)For starters, ERA. For relievers, k/9.
        2) I’m old school, so I still prefer higher BA guys, but these days it’s OBP..and for me a big one is K/AB (which is why coming up my favorite players were guys like Tony Gwynn).
        3) For pitchers- Wins.Completely overrated, esp. for relief pitchers. For hitters? DWAR. In general? Some of these “new” stats…I don’t what in the blue gravy hell ERA+ is, or this RC, or WZ or whatever the hell some of these other stats are.

        Rest of my answers are the same.

        Like

  5. Dan P
    December 7, 2016

    I’m going to skip the questions and instead just rant for a bit instead. One of the things I loved about baseball growing up was the stats. But much simpler stats in a much more simpler time.
    Thoughts:
    – I don’t like the extreme defensive shifts, because it used to be that I could watch a ball come off the bat and be about 80% sure what was going to happen. Now a liner up the middle is about 80% likely to have a fielder standing there. And a squib grounder to 3B by a LH batter is likely to be an infield double.
    – I do like the fact that I can get any stat on any player at any time and don’t have to wait until some weekly like the Sporting News prints it.
    – I don’t like that the overwhelming availability of stats brings with it goofy impatience. The advantage of the old days was that you were not constantly analyzing and overanalyzing small samples of baseball.
    – I don’t like that the eyeball test does not carry any weight any more. Over on my Battle Red Blog on the Texans I get people telling me that I’m wrong when I say the play calling stinks – that if I replayed every game with the end zone camera that I would know that the play calling was perfectly fine based on the defense and the number of offensive line injuries and on and on. I’m sorry when a team barely ever gets 20 points its offense stinks.
    – I like some of the newer stats like OPS, but I just don’t have the time or the stomach for too many of these stats and whether they really mean anything. Pitch framing – did Jason Castro seem to be better about it last year – I don’t know but stats say so.
    – I do feel a little old fashioned at times. Do I care if some guy’s curve ball rotates faster than another guys? Not really if he still gets knocked all over the place when he does throw a fastball.
    – I think fantasy baseball / football have brought more people into the sporting arena, but many of them are “odder” fans. They are not Astro or Texan fans but fans of certain players off all sorts of teams.

    Bottom line – I like the access to instant stats, but I am not sure I like the “future” of sports that we live with today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • roadthriller
      December 7, 2016

      Another thing with us traditionalists with the stats, Dan. They used to be easy to figure out. ERA was about the most complicated math to deal with. And Sundays were kind of special when all the players stats were listed in the paper at once, for the whole league.

      And the shifts..don’t you know Wee Willie Keeler would laugh at ’em. That’s one of those things that may be a big catalyst for changes in the way hitters approach the game, giving more value to batters that can beat the shifts. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more Pete Rose/George Brett/Tony Gwynn/Wade Boggs kind of hitters

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Roadthriller
    December 7, 2016

    1. WHIP
    2. OBP
    3. All this pitch framing crap
    4. Have we gone too far with cell phones and drones and social media? The technology explosion has finally come to baseball, technology that produces so much more data than ever before. I don’t blame teams for using it to get an edge. And there’s no stopping it anyway.
    5.I think it will be sooner rather than later. Maybe as soon as the end of the current CBA, probably by the end of the next one. It would speed up the game, which I think is a plus. Automating balls and strikes doesn’t obviate the need for umpires.
    6. Gosh, who knows. If you had asked the question in 1910, the result in 1960 would have been “not much”. If you asked it in 1960, the answer would have been “quite a bit”. So I tend to think the answer now is “a lot”.

    Like

  7. 1oldpro
    December 7, 2016

    Chip, thanks for all the new stuff. You are on a roll, baby.
    The Yankees signed Aroldis Chapman for 5/86million tonight. I have checked the stats, but I like the eye test when it comes to a 103 mph fastball.
    Would Jansen really pick the Marlins over the Dodgers? Really?
    The Nats did not get McCutcheon because the Pirates wanted more for him than the Sox did for Eaton, if that’s possible.
    After I commented in the previous blog about Martes and what the Astros think of him, there was an article in the Chron about him perhaps being ready this summer and comparing his path to LMJ’s.
    Hinch says he likes Springer in the leadoff spot. I sure hope he is blowing smoke. Altuve is the perfect leadoff guy. He hardly ever strikes out, gets more hits than anyone in baseball, is a much better OBP guy, is a much better base stealer and is so much less streaky than Springer. Now that we have a few more guys who can hit, how about we put Altuve back where he belongs?
    Jake Kaplan say the Astros are not willing to give the Sox what they want for Quintana.
    I quote a lot of stats to make a point, but I like the feel of baseball, the thought, the gut, the sense of knowing what is the right move to make in an instant. Baseball is a love affair with history. When a golfer is about to hit the most important shot of his life, he and the crowd knows exactly what he needs to do for him to be successful. But in baseball, any one of a hundred outcomes can ride on the next pitch, or exactly nothing can happen on the next pitch. It could be a foul ball and you do it all over again. Baseball will change and probably not for the better. But its history is good enough to satisfy me now and forever.
    I could pass tomorrow, but Babe pointing to CF, a ball rolling through Buckner’s legs, Gibson limpingly fist-pumping around second base, Aaron slowly trotting toward home, or Yogi jumping into Larsen’s arms, would be enough for me.

    Liked by 4 people

    • daveb7
      December 8, 2016

      Speaking of Quintana, I’d give our 1,5,8,28 for him.

      Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2016

        Based upon mlbpipeline.com that would be Martes, Fisher, Teo and Jason Martin. I think most of us could live with that trade (although I hate losing Martes), but I don’t think the White Sox would do it. I do think something will get done by the end of January for a pitcher, but I just don’t know who that pitcher is.

        Like

  8. Steven
    December 8, 2016

    My favorite stat depends on the player. If its a starting pitcher thats been around a minute, check games pitched. Sounds simple, but taking your turn is as important a stat as there is.

    To the point, I like my stats predictive, not a result. ERA, BA, OBP, they are all a result. After a few years, if they are consistent, they can give you an ideal what to expect. Early on, I pay attention to swing and contact rates. Sometimes a hitter just gets some bad results, but you can see that he doesn’t go out of the strike zone often, that he makes good contact in the zone, and you can kinda guess a jump in BABIP and average coming. Sometimes good LD rates are predictive of power – Altuve was a perfect example, the year he hit 6 I knew power was coming because his LD rate suggested it.

    Same with pitchers. I’ve always known Peacock was never going to be really successful because he doesn’t do a good job of getting guys to swing outside the zone. You can also see this in the old eye test – when he misses the zone, he misses it by a foot, and doesn’t fool anyone. This is why I love Joe Musgrove so much. That 4-4 and 4.06 kinda makes you say he needs to earn it – but if you look at those 60 innings + you see a guy that gets hitters to swing out of the zone a little more often than most major leaguers (at 23), meaning he gives them just out of the zone pitches that are tempting – the hallmark of a good pitcher. His inside the zone contact rates are also good. His results were very average, but his predictive stats show promise. Now its just 60 innings, and pitch trax doesn’t do the minors (yet), but its promising.

    I don’t think you have to be either the OTBG or a stat geek, you can be both. You learn where the stats help you recognize what guys do well, what they don’t help you make match ups, but in the end don’t just simply rely on either one. That’s what makes me appreciate this blog so much – there are so many wonderful minds on here simply doing just that – using both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Amazin' Billy C
      December 8, 2016

      I definitely remember you saying Altuve was gonna develop power very clearly, because I disagreed with you and thought he was just going to be a (very good) slap hitter!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tim
    December 8, 2016

    I think this blog article was meant for me. 🙂

    I am a numbers guy. I always have been that way. I loved math in high school and college and I love crunching numbers. It is one of the many reasons I love baseball more than any other sport as it is a numbers game. With that being said I find myself overwhelmed with some of the stats out there. A couple years ago I had no idea what BABIP, wRC+ or UZR/150 meant. I would see people use them in their arguments when evaluating a player and I felt embarrassed that I could not provide an educated response. I have brushed up on learning the importance of these statistics, but I am by no means an expert. My favorite baseball website is Fangraphs as I am sure most of you can tell by now since I link many articles from there or use the statistics from that website to help me when evaluating a player. I am still trying to learn more, but I am afraid I will be called home before that happens. There is simply just too much information to absorb.

    I told my wife I would like Brian Kenny’s book “Ahead of the Curve” for Christmas. This book discusses how advanced metrics has taken over baseball and the usefulness of these statistics. I have a thirst for learning as much about this great game that I can and I will continue to research and attempt to learn as much as I can, but it can be intimidating at times.

    Like

    • Steven
      December 8, 2016

      I’m with you Tim, I started on this blog YEARS ago as “the stat guy.” I learned over the years, especially after finding myself wrong a time or two (or 50 – but who’s counting?), that sometimes those stats are the result of something going right for a player that doesn’t always happen a second time.

      I still buy that most stats should be predictive. But who would have projected Keuchel’s results would be so bad last year? Who thinks that he will be that bad again this year? What is telling us this? I think the guy who sees him throw 90 again in ST and the guy who points to some of his swing rates when his velocity recovered some last year, they will see the same thing.

      I also know that stats can be cherry picked to fit a narrative, much like politics. There are just so many out there, and these players are the very best at what they do in the world, they will have something they do well, that I can find a positive reason to give Eric Anthony 500 plate appearances next year if I really want too.

      I’m just happy that this crew gets to argue the merits of Keuchel and McCullers and Correa and Springer and Altuve and Beltran and so on and so forth, and we don’t have to resort to arguing over Jake Marisnick vs. Robbie Grossman. What a time to be an Astros fan.

      Liked by 3 people

      • daveb7
        December 8, 2016

        Steven, even today, I’ve got no idea what to expect from Keuchel.. Do any of us? Tim, come to the rescue! What is Fangraphs telling us about Dallas for 2017? And alas, I don’t think we’re done debating the merits of JFSF. But it’s looking like a much tougher 25 man for him to crack in 2017.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 8, 2016

        OMG, Steven, did we have some fun with JFSF and Grossman!
        We have moved on.

        Like

      • Steven
        December 8, 2016

        Marisnick reminds me of CJ too much. You know they can have these spurts of success because they are both just big, strong dudes. The ball comes off their bats differently than it does for someone like Marwin.

        I’ve also been able to tell though by just how much they go chasing pitches outside of the strike zone that neither has the hand/eye they need to tell a strike from a ball fast enough to make consistently good decisions in the zone. I figured out Marisnick through stats. Same thing that Beane talked about in Moneyball – why he was a 6’2, 200 lb dude that could hit a ball a country mile, but he was so far behind a guy like Youk who was a Tyler White look alike, yet just posted these phenomenal seasons. He quit chasing “the look” and started chasing the results. Stats have changed the way GM’s draft and give opportunities.

        I think its all of our attraction to White. We know the guy can hit, regardless of how he looks.

        Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2016

        Here you go Dave because I aim to please.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=9434&position=P

        Like

  10. Mr. Bill
    December 8, 2016

    * What is your favorite pitching stat? *

    For each of the hundreds of pitchers I coached over the years, I kept the stats meticulously and relied heavily on the percentage-of-pitches-thrown-for-strikes-in-each-count, number of pitches per out obtained, and percentage-of-pitches-resulting-in-swings-and-misses in each count. I then added in WHIP, K/9, and EBH/9 to measure the quality of the results the pitcher obtained with this combination of pitches. These factors combined told me pretty much all I needed to know about not just how the quality of the pitcher’s stuff translated into real game situations, but also his level of control, his degree of command of his pitches, and how capable he was of keeping hitters off balance/guessing and thereby making them swing at his pitch. For the major leagues, not having access to all the ‘per pitch’ information, I tend to rely most heavily on WHIP, K/9, BB/9, and HR/9, realizing I am not getting anywhere close to the whole story the way I did on the guys I coached.

    Like

  11. daveb7
    December 8, 2016

    Admittedly, I’m one of the dinosaurs here. Stats involving projections don’t impress me very much. For instance, Dallas Keuchel had much better projections than actual stats last year. But I also know enough to know that these stats are invaluable for determining how to build a team, to get a handle on value and to make a line up too, using historical data in an effort too reduce guess work as much as possible.

    But I still like intuitive decision making too. Sometimes the manager in the dugout simply has better information at his disposal. For instance, he knows when a guy has a hangover. We don’t have that information, nor do the stat geeks in the cave.

    I really appreciate old stats. I was looking at Yogi Berra yesterday after someone had mentioned his name. The son of a gun, one of the great free swingers in history, walked 704 times and struck out only 414 times during a career spanning 18 plus years. He finished with a .348 OBP and an .830 OPS, a stat not invented until many years later.

    Yes, stats are a wonderful part of our pastime, and I appreciate them as much as ever. I’ve even learned to embrace a few of the new ones. But I simply ignore the ones that I find frivolous, or those that flummox me. Yeah, there are a few that I could live without.

    Like

  12. astrocolt45
    December 8, 2016

    I want to comment on 2 stats. 1. Spin rate:. Smoltz (I think) during the WS pointed out that spin rate is a stat but if it is not on the proper plane, it just spins. So to have any importance, you need an engineer (your up Dan) or an 4th grade math genius to give us the spin rate at each angle to calculate potential movement. 2. Pitch Framing:. There are 3 people involved in each taken pitch. It is absurd to calculate the result and attach to one person. Now if you want to calculate it by each pitcher and by each umpire and by the reputation of each batter – you might have something. It can cause you to trade for people like Conger.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 1oldpro
      December 8, 2016

      Paying too much attention to pitch framing leads to blindness. That’s what Dad told me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • daveb7
        December 8, 2016

        Is that what happened to Conger?

        Like

  13. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2016

    The Rangers just took Mike Hauschild from the Astros in the Rule 5 draft.

    Like

    • Dan P
      December 8, 2016

      Has had very solid stats the last two seasons – only drawback is that he is about to turn 27.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      December 8, 2016

      Dam-it!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Chip Bailey
    December 8, 2016

    Yes, guys, sorry, no you aren’t going nuts! For clarity, I did make an edit on question #2. In my haste to add the questions I hit “pitcher” twice. Obviously, I was wanting to know your favorite pitching (Q1) AND hitting stats (Q2).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Devin
    December 8, 2016

    Statistics can be great fun. The problem is very few people interested in baseball AND statistical analysis are open minded. There is almost always an agenda. We’re not doing research on the players for academic purposes but rather to support our argumentative posts, comments, etc.

    The advanced and conglomerate stats should be right up my alley based on my degree and professional experience. The problem I have with most of these predictive stats is that they forget one of my favorite software engineering tenets : Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      December 8, 2016

      Argumentative posts? I am not familiar with that term. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Mr. Bill
    December 8, 2016

    * What is your favorite stat for hitters? *

    I personally like to review a hitter’s ‘slash line’ stats – especially BA, OBP, and OPS.
    To get further info, I compare his Ks to BBs, and divide his runs scored, EBHs, and RBIS by the number of his Plate Appearances, to see how valuable he has proven, in actual game situations, to be to the team’s offense. Unless he is a lead-off hitter, I then look at his B.A.R.I.S.P. If he is a lefty, I want to know [a] what his BA and OBP are against lefties, and [b] how many times he has beaten the shift by going to the opposite field.

    I could care less about velocity-off-the-bat, and I see W.AR. as totally useless.

    Like

  17. Diane
    December 8, 2016

    Enjoyed reading these comments, especially OP’s, Dan’s, Steven’s. I’ll always be a Berra-jumps-Larsen type of fan, but highly emotional and somewhat superficial is better than nothing. Just no good with numbers, never was.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2016

    It’s very early, BUT, Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell have been named on 88% of the ballots turned in so far in BBHOF voting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      December 8, 2016

      Chip or Dan really needs to add a ‘love’ option instead of the ‘like’ option we currently have.

      Those are the 2 players I want to see elected this year. I am fine if others join them, but if only 2 get in I want it to be Bagwell and Rock.

      Like

  19. Mr. Bill
    December 8, 2016

    *Has baseball gone to far with statistics, sabermetricians, shifts and odds?*

    As long as real boys and men play nine innings with a real little white ball, a real leather glove, and a real wood bat on a real [or astroturf] field, and somebody keeps score, I’m in. I may be a purist, but I can tune out the nonsense as long as there is a real game being played.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Dan P
    December 8, 2016

    1.What is your favorite pitching stat?
    I’m so old school …. I still like ERA as a stat though over a decent time period for starters on ly. For relievers I like to look at inherited runners scoring
    2.What is your favorite stat for hitters?
    I really like OPS – I understand it and I think it really ties almost directly into runs for an offense.
    3.Your most despised stat?
    Never been big on this pitch framing
    4.Has baseball gone too far with statistics, sabermetricians, shifts and odds?
    I have no problem with all the stats being available but I don’t like to have to be too wonk-ish myself in talking about baseball.
    5.Over/under for the year baseball begins to use cameras and computers for strikes and balls?
    2025
    6.At its current pace, where will the game be in 50 years?
    All players will have little headsets surgically implanted in their brains and will receive instructions (next pitch, fielding position, whether to steal, whether to take a pitch, etc.) from the I-Mac Balliac 2066. There will be no coaches or managers, and no fans in the stands as everyone will be on-line and paying for the privilege to choose the next pitch or play American Idol style on terminals connected to the Balliac 2066.
    At the end of every game, fans will vote for who will be sent down to the minors. Twice a year the top two players to be voted off will be put in a cage and fight to the death with their choice of balls or bats.
    They will add naked virtual cheerleaders atop the dugouts that can only be seen by those clicking the “over 18 year old” check box on their computers.
    All baseball fans will eventually be doomed to Hell or to live in the south side of Chicago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45
      December 8, 2016

      Your last sentence is redundant😂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tim
        December 8, 2016

        That has to be the best reply I have seen on here in a long time. Well played, AC, well played.

        Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 8, 2016

      You don’t have to tell him twice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gov
        December 8, 2016

        Op, you should submit your question to Hinch tonight on #Astroline re: Altuve and Reddick in the 1,2-hole!

        I really like your explanation but nobody is reporting anything other than Springer..

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        December 8, 2016

        Gov, this is my birthday night. Mrs 1op is cooking my favorite dinner and there will be loved ones and grandkids galore. The Christmas decorations are rockin’ and there is a fire with Christmas carols on the TV. There are two new good jobs in the immediate family this week so everybody is celebrating.
        I am truly blessed, but the leadoff discussion will have to wait for the organization to wake up and realize what they have in the batting champion and do the right thing. Maybe the team will realize that the guy with highest K rate in the lineup should not be leading off.

        Liked by 2 people

      • daveb7
        December 8, 2016

        I don’t need to tout Altuve for getting back to the lead off slot where he belongs. OP usually voices my thoughts before I do.

        Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2016

        Happy birthday, young stallion. Many blessings to you and your wonderful wife. I hope you and your family really enjoyed your night together.

        Like

  21. daveb7
    December 8, 2016

    Happy Birthday 1OP. May you continue to be blessed, late into the night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gov
      December 8, 2016

      Here, here!

      I’ll ask him myself then 😉

      Like

  22. Becky⚾
    December 8, 2016

    The only numbers I’m ever concerned with are era’s, and batting averages. I pay attention to who’s up, and who’s on deck. You guys can to all that other abc’s, and 123’s……I’d just like to actually SEE the games, other than when that despicable team in arlington is on TV.
    Happy birthday my friend!! Glad you have so much to celebrate this week! Stay warm and enjoy all of the people you love best tonight!
    P.S. Man I hate to lose Mike Hauschild…..ESPECIALLY to the creeps in arlington 😢

    Liked by 2 people

  23. sandy
    December 8, 2016

    Happy Birthday OP.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 9, 2016

      Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes.

      Like

  24. astrocolt45
    December 9, 2016

    I would to make a proposal to Chip, DanP, and our own Deep Throat back in the shadows, Brian. First get an email for Chipalatta. Then ask all of us to submit a post to take some of the load off you guys. Of course Tim will submit one so full of stats and charts that it will be unreadable. Then Steven will submit the same data drawing the exact opposite conclusion. Then RJ will say he agrees with both conclusions. Bopert’s will be called Money Bawl II. Op and I will look up stats and stories from the black and white TV era. However before hitting “Send” we both will both forget what we were doing and delete them. Devin and Dave will send there’s, but both will need to be translated into Latin to have any value. Finally the ladies will submit several that are clear and concise. However we will need to ignore the part about “color of curtains”. And the Bill twins will write theirs on the Rangers. And after you asking 5 times for the articles, Billy C will comment that he wants to know why he was never asked. By that time, it will be Spring Training. 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Amazin' Billy C
      December 9, 2016

      That’s awesome!

      Like

  25. astrocolt45
    December 9, 2016

    I would to make a proposal to Chip, DanP, and our own Deep Throat back in the shadows, Brian. First get an email for Chipalatta. Then ask all of us to submit a post to take some of the load off you guys. Of course Tim will submit one so full of stats and charts that it will be unreadable. Then Steven will submit the same data drawing the exact opposite conclusion. Then RJ will say he agrees with both conclusions. Bopert’s will be called Money Bawl II. Op and I will look up stats and stories from the black and white TV era. However before hitting “Send” we both will both forget what we were doing and delete them. Devin and Dave will send there’s, but both will need to be translated into Latin to have any value. Finally the ladies will submit several that are clear and concise. However we will need to ignore the part about “color of curtains”. And the Bill twins will write theirs on the Rangers. And after you asking 5 times for the articles, Billy C will comment that he wants to know why he was never asked. By that time, it will be Spring Training. 😆

    Like

    • Tim
      December 9, 2016

      That was a comment worth posting twice. Kudos, AC!

      Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      December 9, 2016

      You don’t have to tell me twice!
      Didn’t I do this already?

      Like

      • The Amazin' Billy C
        December 9, 2016

        I say that to myself every morning when I get up

        Like

  26. Simon Davey
    December 10, 2016

    As usual I am late to the party but here we go ….

    1. Pitching fave – WHIP closely followed by GO/FO. Definitely not wins.
    2. Batting fave – OBP or OPS. Definitely not BA.
    3. Least liked – RBI. They are poor as a measure of a hitter.
    4. Gone too far? A touch, yes. FJM was my favourite site for good but not excessive use of stats and the put-down of eyeball tests or other irrelevant things. Now that FJM and JM himself have gone it’s a touch too much in the excessive stat and shift direction.
    5. 2017
    6. It will still be played as it was 50 years ago as we all go back to low CO2 vegetarian organic palaeo basics.

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 7, 2016 by in Astros.
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