Make love, not WAR

The most interesting (old) man in the world! Not sure my wife thinks so!

By Doyle Harcavey

Heh, heh. Of course, I hated hippies in the ’60s and still do, so I never had any real affection for that expression. But I thought it was right clever and appropriate for my return column here on what you young people call a – what is it? — site log? Internet article? Mlog?

Anyhoo, I hear tell there are folks think Derek Lowe is a pretty good pitcher for our hometown nine. Hmmm. Now, I imagine Derek’s a fine fellow. Never met him myself. But certainly got nothing against him personally. Heck, all these ballplayers nowadays make too much money, so that’s not his fault. And I’m certainly not one to start squabbles, tiffs, dust-ups, rhubarbs or any other sort of disagreement.

But I’m afraid I just can’t go along with this notion that Lowe hasn’t been such a bad moundsman this season. These computer fellas like to talk about lots of statistics and abbreviations I know nothing about. Don’t want to know. Do they think baseball’s space travel? The stock market?

Heaven knows, a fella’s got enough to worry about without having to learn VORP and OPS and PECOTA. It’d take something near a Philadelphia lawyer or a chap with no hobbies or job to decipher all that and still enjoy a ball game. And if it’s all gonna tell me Derek Lowe’s a pretty good pitcher, then well, sir, I’m going to have to call bull hockey on that.

By the way, I just busted out of a so-called assisted livinig center, where I had a hard time finding a dadgum computer I could use. Glad to be back amongst the living. Hah!

I’m tired. I’m going to rest for awhile.

OK. I’m back. Where am I? I mean, where were we? Mercy. Oh, yeah. We were talking about all these newfangled statistics. How the heck do you figure out the magic number? And what’s the consumer price index?

Wee doggie! I’m just now coming around on ERA. Still haven’t figured out slugging percentage. Called ole Skip one time to ask him about it. Didn’t turn out well. Heh, heh. But Lowe’s ERA stinks, folks. Anyhow, in my day, we looked at a man’s won-loss record. After all, what’s more important than winning in baseball? Ole Mr. Lowe ain’t won many. Even an old head like me knows that. And he doesn’t pitch a whole lot of innings, either. Now don’t even get me started on this pitch count business.

Lawdy, Miss Claudy. In my day, a man aimed to finish what he started. This business of set-up men and middle relievers and five-man rotations. Poppycock. Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson or, hell, (sorry for the cussing, ladies) Bob Gibson to name one you young fellas know today — these fellas didn’t need any damn relief pitchers or four days of rest. They finished games. They won games.

It comes down to W’s, fellas. As Casey Stengel once said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s the only thing that beats the alternative.” Or some such thing. Neither he nor Yogi Berra nor Bobby Cox nor Billy Martin nor Vince Lombardi said anything about VAR or WAR, far as I know.

You all be good, now. See ya in Branson!

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3 Comments on Make love, not WAR

  1. Thing about taking a look at the “big picture” is that it doesn’t take situational pitching into account. If a pitcher gives up three doubles in one inning and no other hits (and loses 2-1), his #’s are going to look better than the guy who gave up a single an inning (and only a single per inning) over nine innings (and wins 1-0).

    (DIPS only differentiates between home runs and non-home runs)

    I took a brief look at Lowe’s #’s on baseball-reference and his walk rate is WAY up. (3.5 BB/9 – his highest since 2004 when he had a 5.42 ERA) Also, he’s given up more doubles (34) and triples (5) this year than he did in all of 2010. (33 doubles, 3 triples).

    Some pundits will say that the doubles and triples are a factor of “luck” (debatable, but fair enough). But the walks are all on Derek.

  2. The problem with the internet is that it empowers ignorant fans to express their opinions. Lilke Lowe isn’t as good as Hudson.

  3. Doyle, CAC could muse circles around you if they could only get past their headaches… /s

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