Right Field

Reveille 9/24/12

Good morning!

With a mere nine days left in the regular season, here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:

First of all, I didn’t realize people still cared about the batting title. I thought we all had agreed that batting average is a laughably antiquated statistic?

Second of all, of course Cabrera is eligible. If we’re going to start legislating he record books based on the notion of statistical integrity…holy cow, what a train wreck that would be. What do you do about Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron, the two leaders in all-time home runs – one of whom is highly suspected of using illgal PEDs and the other of whom confessed to doing so?

Even if we limited such legislation to people who have failed drug tests since 2005…how do we do this? Do you take away hits from Melky? Do you therefore adust the records of the pitchers who surrendered hits to Melky? And if we’re just taking away the “title” of batting champion…what is that accomplishing? Does the batting champion actually get anything? A free bowl of soup?

  • On Friday afternoon, Cabrera, his union, and Major League Baseball agreed to a “one-time amendment” whereby the player would no longer be considered eligible for the title. Agreeing with Davidoff, Sport Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe wrote that the decision might have set a troubling precedent:

The move is an odd and unsettling one. Again, the batting title isn’t a subjective honor voted on by the media or uniformed personnel, it’s simple mathematics, a statistical record of what actually happened, and to make an exception to precedent opens up a can of worms that is destined to spill everywhere. We don’t have any real idea what impact PEDs have on player performance; despite the home run records that fell at the feet of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds in the late 1990s and early 2000s, dozens upon dozens of other alleged users appear to have seen little to no performance gain, and even the gains of the tainted players may be distorted by the era of rapid change that included expansion, new ballparks, rule changes, and changes in the baseball itself that took home run rates to unprecedented highs.

 

 

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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