The Rays Tank: Gomes to Durham, Cobb back Thursday

Joe Robbins

Plus, the Bob Ryan commentary continues.

The Rays had yesterday off before beginning a six-game homestand against the Athletics and the Red Sox today, but still kept things interesting:

With the moves mentioned above, Alex Cobb is scheduled to come off the DL on Thursday, after throwing five shutout innings in his rehab start this past Saturday in Single-A, where he struck out nine and tossed 46 of 64 pitches for strikes; and having a solid bullpen session yesterday afternoon. A sight for sore eyes this Rays pitching staff, indeed.

***

Quite the discussion was sparked on Twitter yesterday after Bob Ryan posed the following question in the Boston Globe, "Do baseball fans care about new breed of stats?"

Now, I know the fanbase here probably has quite the commentary concerning the aforementioned ask, but if you didn't read Ryan's piece, here's the gist:

Where I'm going with all this is that I'm wondering if all this, to borrow a phrase, Inside Baseball is just, well, Inside Baseball, of interest to the working baseball people and to the new breed of baseball writers and analysts who are perfectly comfortable micromanaging every game they encounter. I read some of these people, and, yes, I learn. But I feel like I have to follow them because I don't want to be perceived as a baseball Luddite.

My question is, does the average person care? Is the average fan still content with batting average, runs batted in, and earned run average being the Holy Trinity of baseball stats, even though the modern Smart Guys have discredited all three? Oh, and - how could I forget? - wins. Speak not to the modern baseball analysts about a pitcher's wins, those being the most circumstantial of pitching developments, at least in their eyes.

He continued on, remarking that he guesses "most fans are oblivious to all the new statistical stuff...they just want to enjoy a game."

Well, okay. Not everyone gets giddy over stats or analyzing baseball numbers, sure, I get that; we're all lucky to have one another. But as Ryan continued, his words started some conversations, and prompted Dave Cameron to pen a spectacular response to Ryan's take, post reading one paragraph in particular:

I'm guessing that most fans are oblivious to all the new statistical stuff. They just want to watch and enjoy a game. They will continue to evaluate players and teams by giving everyone the Eye Test, just as their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did. If this means they are then wallowing in some kind of statistical ignorance, then so be it. I think the average fan really didn't understand the recent fuss over whether Miguel Cabrera was worthy of an MVP. He won the Triple Crown in 2012, didn't he? Isn't the Triple Crown supposed to be baseball's crowning offensive achievement? Hadn't we been waiting since 1967 to see another one? Of course, Miguel Cabrera was worthy of being MVP. Next question.

I'm not going to share what Cameron's reaction was, as he told it quite eloquently and it warrants your time, especially as a reader of DRaysBay. But he did call out the "Holy Trinity" of baseball stats, and the responsibility this new era of number-adoring writers has in relaying the truth and telling the honest story of what occurs on the field.

I'll leave you with his closing paragraph:

We're not replacing the "Holy Trinity" of baseball statistics because we can't enjoy the game. We're pointing out that these statistics breed false narratives, and we value the truth. This isn't about replacing old numbers with new numbers, or attempting to dissuade anyone from enjoying the aesthetics of the game. It is simply about telling the average fan about the reality of what actually happened on the field. The "Holy Trinity" of baseball statistics fail at this most basic task, and so they are not worth deifying any longer.

Links:

- ICYMI, the Tigers dominated Zubaz Sunday night, so much so that their plane broke attempting to leave Boston. But MAN, did they look good:

(I really enjoyed that, if you couldn't tell.)

- Want to watch some dudes risk life and limb (not theirs, of course) for some baseballs?

Exhibit A: An Angels fan destroyed a poor little old lady for a fly ball.

Exhibit B: A gentleman named Cameron Wright caught his second home run at the Diamondbacks game, but not before elbowing his fiancee.

- Because the links are just super-serious and full of deep content on this fine Tuesday, here's a Vine of Alex Avila getting nailed in his lower regions on Sunday night prior to donning his Zubaz.

- Jeff Francouer, pitcher. It's actually happening.

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