Saturday, May 5, 2012
Intangibles? You talkin' intangibles? Intangibles?
(ed note pt II: sorry for ripping off the pic from your twitter feed, Rick... but I believe it's for the greater good and I'm not pimping anything around here. Hit me up on twitter if you want me to yank it.)
(ed note pt III: yeah, right...)
So this is the post that probably sets me aside as an outcast among hardcore Jays fans. You see... it's not that I'm against advanced statistical analysis. It's fascinating stuff. I'll admit that some of the measurements out there float more than just above my head, and I'll doubly admit that I've invested some time in attempting to understand them all before giving up out of confusion... or boredom.
Here's the gist of it: I want there to be a romantic side of baseball. I want to believe there's more that goes into becoming a successful team than a simple accumulation of the most statistically attractive athletes. We've all heard the argument that "I don't care if it's a roster of 25 unlikeable assholes - as long as they win". I may have agreed with such statements in the past, but my heart wasn't really into it, man.
Isn't it more fun this way, rooting for a team that clearly roots for each other? Isn't it more gratifying to know there's joy in the dugout and locker room after each win, with the boys slappin' backs and dishing out the praise amongst peers? You don't care if the old adage of "25 guys/25 cabs" applies so long as the club wins 95 games? You want to cheer for the 2011 Boston Red Sox?
Well, pardon my language, but fuck all that. Of course I want 95 wins too, but I want the team to want it for each other as well, and not just for contractual purposes.
Am I an old fool for this? I dunno. What I do know is that I chuckle every time I see Brett Lawrie run through his intricate routine of personalized handshakes with each teammate in the dugout, I laugh when Jose and Edwin flex their muscles after a big fly, I enjoy reading Ricky Romero tell Drabek "Shut up Kyle!" over twitter.
I look at and manipulate numbers every day to earn my keep in life; you'd think a stats-based view of this game would be right up my alley. But sometimes it feels like death by overanalysis. I'm not saying I'm right, but I guess I'm saying it's time to get back to fun. I'll leave the advanced metrics to the front office.
Sometimes you run across a post that feels like God's work - whoever your God may be, if you choose to believe in one. And if you don't, just call it full-on nails. You can find such words here. As I type this, my 20 month old boy is wearing his Blue Jays cap with the curved peak pulled down low, just like his dad does. That's just proper parenting, friends.