Will Leitch, writing on Sports on Earth:
The disconnect between the way advanced statistics are used in baseball front offices — the Philadelphia Phillies perhaps being the lone, stubborn exception — and the way they are used in media coverage of baseball is so vast that you’d almost think television is covering a different sport entirely. Inside the world of baseball, WAR and OPS+ and so on are simply the way general managers and team staff talk about their jobs, the way CPAs talk about spreadsheets and financial advisors discuss Roth IRAs, the way any profession talks about anything.
But outside, on our televisions, they’re treated as some wonky dork sorcery, pencil pushers trying to pretend they understand baseball more than those who have far more experience (and who may currently be wearing protective cups). Baseball broadcasters treat advanced statistics like Billy Bush and other red-carpet Oscar idiots would treat an experimental short film about lesbian sects in Uganda. They act like they don’t matter, when, in many cases, they’re almost all that does. It would be as if political reporters said, “Who cares about all those math nerds in their mother’s basements with their ‘electoral college’ charts? I want to know what’s in these candidates’ hearts.”
It’s attitudes like this that keep me coming back to baseball on the radio. Which is not to say that radio broadcasters are throwing around BABIP and xFIP. But that the anti-intellectual, vapid, “go git ‘em boys” locker room atmosphere that you hear on most TV broadcasts is nowhere to be found. Maybe because there’s no room for it with all the play-by-play. Maybe because there is a long, proud tradition of calling baseball on the radio with respect, verve and aplomb. Maybe for other reasons entirely.