Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:13 AM
I can appreciate a former player turned color man protecting his own ignorance so thoroughly (but one turned field manager, or coach, or scout must open his mind). It is the player in them. Their ignorance probably helped them as players.
Players see the ball, hit the ball. They have to trust their bodies, and often do so by turning off their minds. (What is a thoughtful reaction to a 6'6" man throwing a hard missle at or near your person at near 100 miles and hour?) Or else, like a pitcher who can't throw to first or a catcher with the yips, things can get ugly.
I wonder if kids coming up now buy into sabermetrics? I know they are aware. Young pitchers have always asked their Physics teachers to explain the effect of their own velocity on the velocity of the ball leaving the bat, for example.
But if a developing player changes his approach based on sabermetrics to change his development trajectory, he might. Perhaps in some unexpected (negative) way. I mean, Babe Ruth ate hot dogs, drank beer, threw the ball and hit the ball. If he had seen research on plate discipline, or studied hundreds of hours of video on his stance, etc., he might have been better. Or worse. He might have ruined something particularly Ruthian.
Is the next great ballplayer, let's call him 'Heisenberg', developing in a way neither old school scouts, or Silver could predict because we've never seen a Great develop in this informational environment?
Maybe its better if the players ignore the geeks?
And Hawk just has Crash Davis' "lesson number one" stuck in his mind-muscle's memory.