Thursday, April 04, 2013

“Who Owns Baseball?” An explanation for a subjective title.

On my podcast, The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast (available on iTunes), I have been keeping track of a title of my creation. It is the title of “Who Owns Baseball?” for a given day.

Essentially it is the star of the day, with an American League and National League hitter and pitcher being honored. Its origin stems from the Opening Day heroics of Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw. I wrote on Twitter that they “owned baseball today.”

And I thought why not keep track of that?

Why not follow an entire season, as I am going to do anyway, and declare a pitcher and a hitter from each league as the “Owners of Baseball.”

Sure, I could just say “The Player and Pitcher of the Day”. But I enjoy the lofty title. It reminded me of Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” label.

What are the criteria for the title?

Anyone expecting an advanced mathematic formula will be disappointed. Anyone who thinks it simply rewards the most dramatic moments will be let down as well.

The season’s lone walk off home run, a blast by Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce, did not earn the title. Instead it is a combination of numbers and drama. It is a meeting point of hard stats and emotions. And in the end, it is my call.

The April 3rd marathon between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks that last 16 innings had a seemingly obvious emotional recipient. Cliff Pennington’s third hit of the day was a walk off RBI single.

But Gerardo Parra came within a double of the cycle. And when he came to bat in the 12th inning, a double would have given him the cycle and the game ending hit.

 Instead he was called to bunt and did so perfectly.

 It is a subjective metric. It relies on my analysis. If you do not agree with me, you are welcome to do your own version of this (similar to the two versions of WAR.)

But at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see if the eventual MVP and Cy Young winner would have been the one who owned the most days.

Here is the tally, in alphabetical order, through the games played on April 3rd. Each of these players can say “For at least one day, I owned baseball.”

Clay Buchholz – 1
Madison Bumgarner – 1
Yu Darvish – 1
Jacoby Ellsbury – 1
Carlos Gonzalez – 1
Gio Gonzalez – 1
Bryce Harper – 1
Felix Hernandez – 1
Adam Jones – 1
Clayton Kershaw – 1
Jed Lowrie – 1
Justin Maxwell – 1
Bud Norris – 1
Gerardo Parra – 1

Who will own baseball tonight?
Who will own the month? The season?

We'll find out soon.

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