With spring training, endless analysis by baseball journalists, baseball bloggers and baseball fan sites on all things baseball heats up. With the advent of podcasting, live streaming, YouTube and the internet, the discussion by fans and commentators alike takes on a Saberesque passion. Every aspect of baseball during the preseason will receive scrutiny and everyone will speculate on the shape of the coming season. That is a good thing. It is fun to prognosticate.
However, many commentators and bloggers base "expert" opinions on something unconfirmed that someone else said and not on firsthand knowledge. This brings me to my request. Please refrain.
I listened to some commentators this weekend talking about players who were at Hadlock last year and the year before. What I heard was shocking. I was in the press box at every Sea Dogs' home game last year and the year before. I pay particularly close attention to the game and keep an extremely detailed score sheet. Can not say that I saw either one of these gentlemen at Hadlock one time the whole year. Yet there they were on television making what sounded like authoritative comments that had no basis in reality.
Can Workman take control of the major league mound? Yes. I've seen him dominate a game when it was so cold he probably could not feel his fingertips. Can Bogaerts be the everyday shortstop? Absolutely he can. Can Jackie Bradley Jr. hit major league pitching? You bet he can. I know because I watched them create magic at every home game. I was there paying attention and keeping score. Those two "expert" commentators? I can not say where they were, but I know it was not at Hadlock.
I want to encourage conversation about baseball. I would ask the "experts" not include a discussion of a player's limitations until you have watched them play more than once.