If you can navigate your way through the obligatory (and clunky) references to VCRs and record players at the beginning of this column from Jayson Stark, you’ll get a great insight into the way that technology is changing the game of baseball. Most specifically with reference to just how easy it is for players to review video and research tendencies of opposing batters and pitchers via iPads and stuff.
And a fun provocative bit: the notion Stark sets forth about how the pitchers may be ahead of the hitters in using this stuff so far, which leads to this observation:
We’d bet that if we polled all American baseball fans on why runs per game and batting average have dropped five seasons in a row, 99 percent of them would answer “steroids” — or the lack thereof. And you know what? They wouldn’t be wrong. But there’s another force at work that we now believe may have been nearly as powerful: information.
There are actually many forces at work, I believe, and I think that fans would be wrong if they cited steroids testing as the overwhelmingly biggest reason why offense is down rather than just one of many factors. This article strongly suggests that small adjustments matter. And that there are all manner of small adjustments available to baseball players now. Stuff we rarely think about.