Baltimore Orioles Announcers: Statistical Obsessives

Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D.
    If I may take a moment out from the political wars to opine shortly on Baltimore Oriole announcing, I just want to make a few, I hope, trenchant observations:
    The obsession with non-material stats sometimes is near-comical. Here is a put-together prototype of their announcers’ stats rhetoric:  “In the second half of the season Machado has hit more doubles followed by singles, a differential of 16.72%,  in his second and fourth at bats, whereas in the first half he had hit more singles followed by doubles, a differential of 9.68%, in those at bats.

     This is odd for Machado because typically in his career it has been the opposite in both the first and second half.”

     For some of the announcers it never stops.  I love statistics, and I love an insightful empirical observation, but it has gotten out of hand.  Jim Palmer is an exception to this irritating trend.
     There has always been somewhat of an ennobling fixation on unimportant statistics in baseball — hitting for the cycle is perhaps one of the most insignificant ones — but I never recall its being so consistent.
    I have few observations to make regarding Baltimore Raven announcing, as it is uniformly excellent, with Gerry Sandusky topping off an in-depth exceptional team of the best football announcers and commentators I have ever heard.

    I hope the O’s announcers will get off the statistical obsession, especially when the statistics are uninforming.

Professor Vatz teaches rhetoric at Towson University and is author of /The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion/ (Kendall Hunt, 2013)

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