Craig Calcaterra is one of my favorite baseball writers. I read his “Shysterball” blogspace at The Hardball Times regularly, and I was pleased that he found himself a home as a full-time baseball blogger at “Hardball Talk”.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests a way of boosting attendance at A’s & Rays game: contract the Royals and the Pirates and move the A’s back to KC and the Rays to Pittsburgh.
I’m not going to slam Rosenthal over all of this because on the most basic level I don’t think he’s serious about it. He makes the points that must be made about the state of the Rays’ franchise, but the contraction plan is kinda nuts and I’ll bet he’d freely admit that. He just wants to get people talking, and I have no problem with that. In this way it’s much like his realignment proposal from back in February. It’s much like a lot of what I write too.
But apart from their audaciousness, Rosenthal’s posts have something else in common: they’re solutions in search of a problem. Or at least in search of a problem large enough that it calls for such radical solutions (though it should be noted, Rosenthal obviously thinks otherwise).
Yes, the Rays have trouble drawing, and yes, that makes it harder for them, but (a) as Rosenthal himself notes, their TV ratings are improving (and TV ratings are where the real money is); and (b) it’s obviously not impacting how they’re doing on the field.
Here’s a great post about how Pitch F/x data is being used to scout umpire tendencies on ball/strike calls…graphical fun included!