Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The Rising Strikeout Rate
Early in 2014 a continuing trend can be seen across Major League Baseball.
Forget the roof being on fire, strikeouts per game blew through the roof in the mid 90s.
Mid 90s roid rage led to viscious hacks by the ultimate long ball hitters, that for a long time focused on putting one on the porch. For that era I understand the risk of not putting the ball in play verse an immediate run on the board.
My immediate reaction is that pitchers are getting better steroids than hitters. I am not convinced that baseball wants out of steroids. Baseball needed to get rid of the WWE wrestler types because everyone's mother was up in arms about athletes cheating. So they slim the guys down, get the cross fit sized steroids instead of the meathead ones and hopefully guys go back to mashing. In the meantime, however, pitchers are mowing people down.
Reaction number two is the way balls and strikes are called. The height of the strikezone seems to have changed dramatically. At one point in time a high strike was at the belt buckle, now it seems to be moving back up toward the letters. Obviously a bigger zone will increase K's but the thing is we have the technology to fix this. Let a computer call the balls and strikes. We have all seen k-zone, yea some times they aren't that accurate but with an investment from Major League Baseball they could be and at a minimum they would be consistent. Consistency is what fans want from umpires and yes it would take away from part of the charm of the game, the workings a pitcher may put on an umpire to stretch the zone but baseball has already forgone that idea in allowing replay. For all this garbage about instant replay it has mainly led to the manager getting out of the dugout so the team replay guy can stick his thumb up his ass twice to signal to call for replay.
Reaction number 3 is pitchers are flat out cheating, Pineada was just shown with hand and hat covered in shit, Lester was flagged by Cardinals fans in the World Series, seems to just be allowed now. Stop it or allow it and lets just play wiffle ball instead and see what the ball can do.
High Heat Stats twitter account has been all over this and I strongly suggest a follow for baseball junkies