During yesterday's game, there was a very annoying exchange in which the Reds announcers went on at length about how a runner should always score from 2nd base on a single to the outfield. He even went so far as to say that if you can't score, you should lose some weight.
Hatteberg is on 2B at the time. Hopper comes up, and after a rough AB, does a nice job of taking a low inside change-up to the right side to move Hatteberg to 3rd. The announcers go on and on about what a great job of hitting it was. Brantley (I think) even goes on to point a game where Larkin came up four times with a guy on 2B and grounded out to second each time, advancing the runner and how that shows how great a hitter he is. I would counter that a great hitter would've gotten some hits and driven in the runner, while putting another run on base, but that's not my primary point. He must've said at least 10 times, "that's how you play the game". I swear, I wanted to punch him in the face. Anyways...
In the next AB, Griffey lines a ball up the middle to score Hatteberg from 3rd base. Woohoo. However, given that Hatteberg is supposed to score from 2B on a single every time anyways, as the announcers told me, is it really that crucial to waste an out advancing him to 3B?
Yes, I understand that if you're going to make an out, a productive one is better than not. However, they pretty strongly asserted that advancing the runner was the primary function of the AB, right on the heels on pointing out that the runner at 2B should NOT need to be advanced in order to score.
Am I missing something? This is what bugs me about the "play the game the right way" crowd. It's often contradictory, emphasizing sub-optimal non-zero outcomes simply because they make people feel better about not producing an actually good outcome. Brantley rambled on, placing emphasis in consecutive points that were not only contradictory (at least in terms of the appropriate level of emphasis) but condescending (as he was clearly ranting against the "anti-small-ball" crowd) as well.
Marty is no better, railing Dunn for his defense and strikeouts constantly, but giving Hopper and Freel a free pass when they misplay balls in to hits or ground out weekly on the first pitch of an AB.
I'm tried of it. I don't ask for a sabermatrician poet to call our games. I'm even fine with somebody who believes in a small ball, pitching & defense oriented team and can defend the point articulately. But is it too hard to ask for announcers to use logic, not rely solely on anecdotal evidence when making sweeping claims, not contradict themselves, and not condescend to fans who may have a point of view developed after 1985?