During my Saturday evening of scrolling through Marlins Twitter, I was forced to revisit the saber nerd vs. diehard fan battle. The “diehard” fans were gushing over Adeiny Hechavarria’s recent hot streak, and proclaiming that the saber nerds shut their pessimistic mouths in regards to his skillset. The analytic channeling “saber nerd” fans on the other hand, cautioned that this hot streak was fueled by a high BABIP, and that Hech is bound to crash and burn down the road.
Now, this sample is an indication of a much larger war that currently wages amongst baseball fans: New wave analysis vs. traditional logic. This is a war that manifests internally as well, my gut pushing against my brain. During an Hechavarria hot streak, I want to believe that maybe he really has adjusted his approach and is becoming a better hitter. That’s my inner diehard fan talking, before it’s countered by “remember 2013 when he was the worst hitter in baseball?” We aren’t so far removed from those dark days. In all honesty, I lean towards whatever is more convenient, and whatever makes more sense in the current situation.
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On a larger scale, but still the Marlins’ lense, is the bloggers vs. beat writer war. Our good friend, MLB.com Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro, for example, employs traditional logic when he evaluates players and assess the team. He openly frowns upon those who utilize advanced metrics, and use them to criticise the Marlins. I mean no disrespect whatsoever by saying that; everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That’s the reason I’m writing this.
My largest issue with the “opposing sides” is this: We both root for the same team, and we love the same sport. Whether or not you choose to embrace advanced analysis is completely your decision. However, it’s completely unnecessary to use social media as a platform to criticise those who are just enjoying the game in a different way. I believe that sabermetrics are a useful tool in keeping an even keel, over a long season we experience the same ups and downs as the team on the field. Numbers can help bring us down, or keep us afloat during a stretch of bad luck. You can still enjoy Hechavarria hitting home runs, but you can also remember that he probably won’t be doing this in a month!
One thing we can all agree on, is that baseball is beautiful, and for one reason or another you likely enjoy baseball if you’re reading this. All I ask is that you let the next person on Twitter enjoy it anyway they please.
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