MLB Writer: Some Truth To What Werth Said

Jayson Werth believes analytics is ruining baseball. He's not entirely off base, Chris Cwik said

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August 10, 2018 - 9:11 am

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Jayson Werth has retired from baseball, and he gave the game some parting shots on his way out. The 39-year-old said that “super nerds” who “know nothing abut baseball” are ruining the game with their over-reliance on analytics and numbers. 

Is Werth right?

“I think it’s a little half-and-half for me,” Yahoo! Sports MLB writer Chris Cwik said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I am definitely into all the nerd numbers, I generally enjoy them, and I think there’s maybe some truth in what he said – and I think we’re maybe seeing a little bit of that now. A lot of these teams are built to maximize profit. We had that really slow free-agent period last winter. I think partially sabermetrics played a role in at least how teams started to view players, and I also think the Rays’ experiment with relievers as starters has been part of that, too. It’s not really something I’m a fan of. It makes for a less enjoyable game. While I think five years ago I probably would have made fun of Jayson Werth, I have to say I see a few kernels of truth in what he said.”

Baseball has been under the microscope in recent years and criticized for pace of play and length of games. Scott Ferrall, however, doesn’t think length of games is an issue. Neither does Cwik.

“I don’t know why (Rob) Manfred has made that his big point,” Cwik said of the MLB commissioner. “He looks at it as the younger generation maybe wants a faster game, and I don’t really know that that’s borne out. I think a lot of the younger fans I know have kind of echoed the same sentiment you have: they don’t care. They find it to be a fun, enjoyable experience. Length of game is, I don’t think, high on their list of complaints. So it is puzzling to me that he’s made this his crusade.”