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October 14, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

ALCS Game Two Recap: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5

by Zachary Levine


It’s 2033, and baseball has seen better days. What’s good for a team has been harnessed so effectively that it’s become bad for the game.

Teams have all but mastered proper usage of their pitching staff so that nobody’s going much more than 75 pitches and nobody’s saving much of anything. The trend toward higher velocity that became a big topic in the early 2010s isn’t really slowing down. The average starter, to the extent that there are still starters, is throwing 96. The average reliever is throwing 97.

The average pitcher has blown by 9 strikeouts per 9, once thought the realm of only record holders, and the double-digit barrier will fall soon. And nobody swings any more. Why bother? There have been more walks as the arms race has prioritized more and more velocity, and power hasn’t gone down when there is contact made, so really, why bother? Wait the guy out and hope for the best. You probably weren’t going to hit it anyway.

Games are averaging 3 hours and 20 minutes mostly because there are no quick outs. There’s terrible defense in this baseball dystopia as well, since there are so few balls in play that there’s almost no reason to bother putting competent defenders out there. No base-stealing either. Mexico City led the American League with just 53 as a team last year.

The product has become a little tougher to watch, but it’s baseball so we watch it. For the chance that we’ll get to see one of the 15 no-hitters per year (12 or so per year combined) or see what could be Raul Ibanez’s final home run.

Baseball has seen much better days, though.

***

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<< Previous Article
Baseball Therapy: Does... (10/14)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/14)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/15)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Car... (10/15)

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