I love baseball. Of course i love stupid stuff to like GTLing, Jersey Shore, boozing, & women, but i really like baseball. It's what i think about when i go to bed, it's what i think about when i wake up, & it's what i watch when i have free time. Of course, even though i love it, there is plenty about it that aggravates me. Below you will find a list of what aggravates me about the great game of baseball.
1. Very uneven payrolls
The Yankees payroll is over 206 m this season while teams like the Pirates & Padres sit at 34 m & 37 m. Are the low payroll teams to blame? Are the high payroll teams to blame? It aggravates me that the playing field is not as even as it should be because of spending. You don't see that huge of a difference in other major sports, so why mlb?
2. GM's that should have been canned years ago
I understand it isn't necessarily easy to build a contending franchise, but it baffles me that some teams, for example the Mets or Cubs, continue to stick with piss poor GM's for so much longer than they should. It doesn't take a bright mind to figure out some GM's are failures and shouldn't be in that position.
3. Our reliance on era. Sure era is easy to calculate, gives us some feel how a pitcher is pitching, and is often used in fantasy, but it doesn't tell the story as well as FIP does as to how well a pitcher is really pitching. HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) - This is ugly, but something we should put more weight on than era.
Some examples of pitchers that are benefiting from era as of a couple of days ago...
Tim Hudson 2.43 era 4.34 FIP
Jamie Garcia 1.49 era 3.29 FIP
Ubaldo Jiminez 1.16 era 2.92 FIP
David Price 2.23 era 3.97 FIP
I could go on with plenty more examples, but i think you get the point. There are plenty of examples of pitchers that have deceivingly good era's to the untrained eye. A pitchers greatness or lack there of should be based on things he controls, such as bb rate, k rate, & hr rate. Some pitchers benefit from stranding a ton of runners, get lucky on their balls in play, have line drive rates way off their career norm, have hr rates way off their career norms, or get lucky defense. We need to stop relying so much on era and make a stat like FIP more mainstream.
4. People that like to ignore defensive metrics like DRS or UZR
No defensive stat is perfect, but these are two of the better ones we have. Visually, it is hard for anyone to really tell how good a player is defensively, which is why metrics like this have been created. People have a tough time visually determining a players range, speed, route running, throwing speed, throw accuracy, ect. It helps to visually see a player play defense to evaluate them, but metrics like DRS & UZR should not be ignored, and should be more mainstream than they are.
5. Putting too much weight into a players batting average. Players should be going up to bat with goals of getting on base, getting as many bases as possible when getting on, and driving in as many runs as possible. I remember reading something about a rookie that debuted a couple of decades ago, and i believe he walked in all four of his plate appearances. His teammates came up to him and said, "better luck next time." What a terrible thing to say to a player that got on base in all his plate appearances in his debut.
Again, this kind of comes down to fantasy in a way, but many people value players that hit for high averages without walking too much. The Willinighams, Adrian Gonzalezs, Johnny Damons, & Adam Dunn's of the world are undervalued because they don't always hit for great averages yet walk at solid rates. Lets value players with high obp more.
6. The save statistic
Saves should either be counted as holds, or there should be some other way to keep track of them without drastically increasing a pitchers value. If a closer has a very good track record as a closer as they reach arbitration for the first time, they sky rocket their value. Players like Huston Street or Jonathan Papelbon become pricey commodities once they find success in the closers role. If those players aren't on competitive teams, that are willing to dish out 10+ m a year for them over multiple years, they are goners. Part of what bothers me about this is that often times, they either are A) not even consistently pitching in the highest leverage of situations, or B) not among the top WAR getters of relievers on their teams. Is it easy to close a game out? No. The save stat financially screws things up once a player becomes arbitration eligible and/or hits free agency. Fix this one mlb.
Voters are (mean word). When you give the fans the power to vote on who gets into the all star game in nearly any sport, they act like (mean word). Willing members are left off each season, and undeserving members make it each season. Same goes for other awards such as Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, Cy Youngs, & MVP's, but in this case the voters are perceived educated & unbiased in evaluating talent . Voting on these awards should be a privilege. Those that vote, should have a great understanding of how to evaluate talent, and should be questioned if their votes are way off mark. Voters should be experts, otherwise awards like these hold little weight in my eyes.
I can keep rambling on about this, but am interesting in your views on what is wrong with the game today. Let me know your thoughts on any of the above, or anything else you would want to add to this list.