The rising strikeout rate in baseball isn't a new story. Yet, last year and so far this year, I've been more tuned to the trend than before. Maybe thanks to Jay Bruce. BaseballTonight today had a piece on it with Tim Kurkjian. He'd written about it as long ago as 2009 here:
Tonight's piece included a bunch of the same, eyebrow-raising stats about the % increase in Ks, year-over-year to 48% in the most recent year, Dimaggio, the good old days and, the one that got my attention, the fact that Jay Bruce wasn't alone in April. He was one of three 40K men.
Here's a more recent piece from fangraphs on the trend heavier on data
I like sabermetrics as a subcategory of using new analytical methods to better understand the world inclusive of sport. But I also find myself growing weary of some debates where metrics are used to support absolute or unyielding opinions. Very much true in politics and the world at large; don't mean to point that finger at RedsZone. Nomar Garciaparra got my thumbs up tonight for declaring he didn't think the big K numbers are ok. In Nomar's words, "Nothing good comes from a K. Nothing that helps your team. Get deep in the count? That's really what you're trying to achieve?!?!"
JB is striking out too much. And, even if he was leading the league in homers, I'd still think that. Does that pov miss the point of modern hitting and new sabermetric thinking?