Friday, September 3, 2010

FJM Friday: The AT&T Myth

I try not to read Ray Ratto that much. It's not that he's a terrible writer, it's simply that I can get discouraged when he is able to pen such hilarious lines like:

" would think that Oakland's 4-gamer in NY would cause some local buzz. One would also think that the Easter Bunny is a Teamster."

That's good stuff, folks. So good, I decide to avoid Ray's blog most of the time, because the last thing I want to do is unintentionally start copying his literary style. That would be like one thinking the Tooth Fairy is none other than Doctor Samuel Johnson (huh?).

Anyway, here's a 'lil piece from Ray's CSNBA blog. In this article, he's talking about the explosion of offense we saw in the recent Reds series, and how the extreme (for SF) heat that week turned AT&T Park into U.S. Cellular Field. He proposes that the Giants, if they knew what was best for them, would move their home park to a place that is more conducive for hitting. I know that this piece isn't completely serious, and was written mainly so Ray could craft some humorous gems, as you'll see below. But still, I feel that he is at least SOMEWHAT serious about what he is saying, and what he believes about AT&T Park.

Remember: his words in bold, mine in regular text. Because we use white instead of black for our letters on this blog, sometimes it can be hard to distinguish bold from regular. Hint: the bold stuff is the stuff that is 100% wrong.

Aha! The problem with the Giants' offense finally reveals itself. The ballpark is in the wrong place. Way the wrong place.

The ballpark is in a beautiful location. Every time I sit in the last row of the upper deck, I feel like I have the best seat in the house because of my view of the Bay. It's the best ballpark in baseball. Way the best.

After beating the Cincinnati Reds twice in 3 days by scoring a preposterous 38 runs in 3 games, it can be the only explanation left in a season full of explanations.

There are many explanations for the Giants still having an offense that struggles this season. It could be that they are 8th (out of 16 NL teams) in OBP. Same with slugging. The ONLY explanation is certainly not that it just isn't hot enough in SF. This becomes very clear when we look at the team splits and realize that they slug higher at home than on the road.

The heat...has turned The Thing on King into a veritable bandbox, as verified by manager Bruce Bochy after Tuesday's 16-5 win.

The Thing on King. I like that. I couldn't have thought of something that insanely clever. But I have one question, Ray: why? Oh, it's hilarious, but why say it?

"Most hitters like this kind of weather," he said while walking back to his office. "Days like this, the ballpark plays pretty fair." The intimation, of course, being that it typically isn't, and actually never was. It was, is, and until they lower the right field wall to, say 2.5 feet, a place for pitchers to do their best work. and hitters? Pfah!

More like: research? evidence? science? Pfah!

Nearly all research has concluded that AT&T Park is neutral for the most part. Yes, it can be tough with HRs for left handed hitters. But when it comes to hitting, scoring runs, or what we call "offense", it is right in the middle. Baseball Reference's park factor score for AT&T Park in 2010 is 104, where over 100 favors batters. I could end this right here, because the main point of your article has been proven wrong, but instead I'm gonna keep going and make this post unnecessarily long. It's what I do.

In other words, the Giants need to move the park. To, say, Livermore. Or Morgan Hill. Or Paso Robles.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it can get a 'lil hot in those places. Too bad you didn't give a few more examples, though, maybe 5, or even 7! I wasn't quite sure where you were going with that.

It's either that, or listening incessantly to more years of sports talk radio topics like "Brian Sabean can't develop hitters and he hates math." And I think we can all agree that we've had as much of that heroin-laced idiocy as we can stand.

Heroin? Really? If you were gonna go with the unoriginal, obligatory drug reference, couldn't you have said something better than heroin? Dope fiends just fall asleep when they shoot up, not call sports talk radio. When I read Thomas de Quincey's "Confessions of an Opium Eater" (I actually haven't read it yet, but let's pretend I have for the sake of the awesome 1821 reference), I don't remember him writing editorials in the Westmoreland Gazette about how overrated a cricketer William Clarke was. Oh, and Brian Sabean can't develop hitters for the most part, and he does appear to hate math.

39 runs in 3 games by the home team has never happened in this park. It didn't happen in the Barbie Fun House that was Candlestick Park, either. In fact, it hadn't happened since 1933.

Hasn't it been that hot at AT&T Park at SOME point in the last 10 years? And they didn't score 39 runs. You act as if what happened against the Reds wasn't what it was: just an anomaly, a freak occurrence. Not to mention the Giants franchise played their home games at the Polo Grounds from 1933 to 1958. The Polo Grounds, except for deep center field, was a hitter's paradise. In other words, your point is completely invalid.

While Giants honks will bathe in the comeback, and eternal pessimists will rage over the 5 errors, the secret truth here is that the solution to the offense doesn't require attacking the free agency market. It requires attacking the real estate market.


Will this happen? Not while Baer lives, and not while the housing market remains flat. But watching the gentlemen seriously rake against what is, despite the current evidence, a good pitching staff demands an explanation, and the only thing different about this series was that it was played in Fresno conditions. Hot, with night and morning going to be hot.

Why are we talking about this? We should move the Giants home park as soon as possible because they scored a lot of runs on 3 hot days? And the housing market? Huh? I realized something just now that I hadn't when I started: this is one STUPID FUCKING ARTICLE!

(Hmmm. Maybe that explains how hitters who play in SF tend to stagnate but go down to Central Cali and hit like Tony Gwynn on crank).

Let me say there is NOTHING funnier than saying a person is like someone else "on ______". Gets me EVERYTIME. And it's one of those comedic tricks that just never gets old. Kinda like sarcasm.

1 comment:

  1. great read. Those ratto commercials on CSN get so fuckin annoying, too.