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Another analytics lover in the Bronx would be disastrous move for Yankees – New York Post



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I’m not Pythagoras. I’m more like Moronicus. In math, once I have to carry the one, I’m in trouble. But if I were to spin a wheel that carried 30 numbers and all were, say, the number 12, I’d conclude that chances are the wheel will stop on a 12.
So the speculation has begun on who will replace Yankees manager Aaron Boone next season, when and if the team humanely releases him from his and fans’ misery.
And that’s where the wheel stops on a 12.
Who, in 2023, manages baseball teams any better or worse? Who defies the absurd code of modern analytics and pregame scripts to instead play winning, here-and-now baseball based on what’s happening rather than perfect-world, spread-sheeted robotics?
Already, Craig Counsell’s name has come to the fore. The Brewers manager’s teams have been fairly successful, as they’ve qualified for the playoffs four times in the past eight seasons. And his contract is expiring.
And someone has to win more than they lose in battles to find illogical ways to lose.
But is Counsell fundamentally different from Boone or, for that matter, any other current MLB manager?
Boone and Counsell have much in common. Both first made their MLB livings playing hard, advancing runners and taking advantage of their opportunities and in-game circumstances. But neither of them manages their teams that way.
In fact, over the past nearly nine seasons, the Brewers, with Counsell at the wheel, have pitched a total of just five complete games.
Counsell was a teammate of starting pitchers such as Livan Hernandez, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson and others who regularly threw stacks of complete games per season.
Counsell, as does Boone, yanks effective relievers after they go 1-2-3 in favor of the next scripted pitcher.
Last week at Yankee Stadium, the Brewers, in the 10th inning, had runners on first and second with none out. No better time to bunt the runners over. Instead, Andruw Monasterio swung away the whole at-bat and grounded into a double play. The Brewers lost in 13.
Though such “strategy” is no longer surprising, the difference between Counsell the player and Counsell manager is impossible to miss or dismiss.
But ’round and ’round we go, where the wheel stops, well, we already kinda know.
Sean McDonough has been among my favorite play-by-players. His candor — his inability to ignore conspicuously ugly stuff that broadcasters regularly and intentionally ignore — has made him a valued companion to viewers who prefer the truth.
That’s why, on ABC and ESPN’s college football telecasts this season, his willingness to play the blank-headed “graduate transfer” game has been disappointing.
In what graduate program, masters or doctoral, is the “student-athlete” graduate enrolled? Or is it just another NCAA eligibility con?
If a school refuses to reveal the player’s graduate major, then simply report it: “A university spokesperson wouldn’t say.” Let the schools behave as if they’re hiding something, not the broadcasters.
If the player is seeking or even seems to be seeking a legit post-grad degree, report that.
But why would McDonough, or anyone else on these broadcasts, choose to be party to what seems a malodorous loophole that’s obscured by lofty-sounding academic baloney?
Gary Danielson, once CBS’s clear-speaking lead college football analyst, has now sacrificed basic, instantly understandable football language to hip, but silly and confusing expressions.
Exactly what does Danielson mean when he says a team’s offense “wants to stay ahead of the chains.” If you “stay behind the chains” you’re losing yardage, no? If you gain 6 yards on first down, you’re within the chains.
And unless you score a TD you can’t “stay ahead of the chains,” as the chains move to mark a first down.
But it’s among the latest spoken artificial intelligence fads, a senseless substitute for both sense and let-TV-be-TV silence.
The compromises that decent-headed folks must make to remain sports fans are becoming more like capitulations.
Last Sunday on CBS, the overstated brilliance of Browns QB Deshaun Watson was heard from thousands of patrons, and Ian Eagle and Charles Davis, who must’ve been under the impression that he was some other Deshaun Watson — certainly not the one who settled with 23 women who sued him for sexual harassment and sexual assault.
In what other business could someone survive even one such settlement and remain employed? Watson signed a $230 million deal to be employed by an NFL team.
And throughout that Bengals-Browns telecast, end zone and helmets carrying social virtue messages were on conspicuous display, as if we watching at home, not the NFL, has a serious problem.
SEC Network play-by-play man Pete Sousa last week was hammered for gross insensitivity when he said of a Kentucky RB:
“Nine months ago, when he jumped in the portal, everybody wanted him. Eleven years ago, as a foster kid, really nobody wanted him. And now, here he is. Found some love, found football, and he has had an amazing journey.”
In a world gone nuts, that qualifies as insensitive.
Adam “Pacman” Jones was arrested again last week. Some might recall a pandering exclusive interview CBS landed with him many years ago. Jones and CBS declared he’s “a changed man.” He was, he grew worse.
They don’t make doubleheader sweeps like they used to. The Yankees took two in Boston on Tuesday, 3-2, then 4-1 — a two-admission, day-night number. The Yankees totaled 14 hits and 29 strikeouts.
NYU now includes sports betting classes as part of its Entertainment, Media and Technology parlay, er, program. Here’s hoping that its teacher, Stephen Master — who said he has received support from FanDuel (Ya don’t say?) — emphasizes that sports betting is a business fully reliant on investors losing their investments.
In another artificial additive, postseason-qualifying “must-win” game last Sunday, how were the Marlins able to beat the Phillies, 5-4, despite 14 strikeouts? Well, for starters, the Phils K’d 13 times.
Designated Hitter of the Week is awarded to ex-Met and current Diamondback Tommy Pham. In four at bats against the Cubs in a “must-win,” he struck out four times.
ESPN’s filterless Jets fan Mike Greenberg was dramatically disconsolate on the air Tuesday in response to Aaron Rodgers’ injury the night before. Greenberg became the first sportscaster to sit shiva live on the air. At 56, it might be time for him to grow up.
Newly appointed New Jersey lieutenant governor Tahesha Way is the wife of former Giants RB Charles Way.
A very special thanks to the 49ers, who blew out the Steelers early last Sunday, thus liberating us from having to suffer Daryl “Moose” Johnston suffocating another game on Fox.
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