Billy Beane, speaking on behalf of Commissioner Rob Manfred who could not be reached, has made a stunning announcement today. Baseball has solved all of its problems! No longer will fans be able to complain about the nets impeding their vision or poor officiating. Player injuries will be a thing of the past. Concerns about the pace of play will also be eliminated. Never again will a pitcher live in fear that his opponent will - through baserunner or technology - somehow anticipate the pitch he is about to throw. Heck, they’ve even eliminated concerns about parking costs, ticket costs, and whether or not a downtown stadium is a good idea. About the only thing left to solve is whether a hot dog is a sandwich.
How did baseball to accomplish this amazing feat? Well, just read it in Beane’s own words:
“Baseball is in a time of crisis. Never before in the more-than-a-century history of this great game has the sport faced such dire straits. Fortunately, as they ever have, the Sabermetricians have stepped in to save us. They have provided for us a proposal that was voted on and passed late last night. Bill [James] convinced me when he asked me, “If fans aren’t coming out to the games and we can’t trust the results, then let’s just rely on the stats.” So we have made the decision to stop playing games on the field and play them on paper, instead.”
Yes, that’s right. There will be no more physical baseball games played in MLB. Instead, the outcomes and statistics will be calculated using advanced projection models. Sean Forman and David Appelman have already agreed to make their databases and formulas available to MLB in order to help this scheme come to fruition. Dan Szymborski was approached with an offer to update and improve his own projection models and is rumored to have agreed to it on the condition that he be allowed to futz with the data to ensure the Kansas City Royals lose at least five more games than they otherwise would to satisfy his long, extreme hatred of the team.
Shortly after the announcement was made Tony LaRussa held a press conference to declare his displeasure with the new direction of the sport. He resigned his post with the Angels effective immediately and announced his intention to create a competing league where players would still play and the use of advanced statistics would be banned.
“With the new, disgusting direction of Major League Baseball, I see now that we’ve been on a slippery slope for a very long time. When I started in baseball the only stats we cared about were pitcher wins, batting average, home runs, and RBIs. And those are the only official stats that LaRussa League Baseball will track.”
Details for LaRussa’s league are still extremely sparse at this time but he promises that it will come together with at least four teams in time to compete with MLB’s Spring Training activities.
In the meantime, MLB’s move is drawing universal praise. Among the players, optimism for a perceived reduction in seasonal injuries and the amount of necessary travel. The media expects to be able to get better interviews from players who haven’t been standing in 100 degrees Fahrenheit weather for three-plus hours. Fans anticipate that there will be fewer negative surprises for their teams and have begun making plans on social media with all the money they will save by not forking over for season tickets.
Yes indeed, the future is looking bright for baseball. Thanks once again to the tireless efforts of those in the advanced statistics communities and their dedication to improving the game until it is as efficient as it can be.