Rolling Stones has a series in which Dan Epstein — author of the fantastic “Big Hair and Plastic Grass” book about baseball in the 1970s — asks various musicians who happen to be baseball fans about the issues of the day. Among the many panel members: Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Pete Yorn, , Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Steve Earle, Alice Cooper and Scott Ian of Anthrax.
Today’s issue: pitching is up, offense is down. R.A. Dickey and the no-hitters and perfect games of this season seem crazy. So what gives?
I think, overall, this group addresses it pretty darn reasonably. In fact, more reasonably than a lot of baseball fans and writers do. Only a couple of them go to the all-too-easy and none-too-accurate explanation that it’s all a function of steroids being out of the game. Most of them couch in terms of the multiple factors I suspect are in play: fewer PEDs, better defense, better scouting, better pitcher development, etc. I’m particularly taken with Steve Earle’s response, if only for the way he put it.
And then there’s Joe Pernice of the Pernice brothers:
What are pitchers doing in 2012 that they weren’t doing in 1995? Better scouting, better training and physical maintenance? Probably, but should that add up to more ridiculously good pitching performances? Who knows? The game is capricious. It’s similar to the duality of light: it is both particulate and wave-like. Try figuring out an electron’s position and the wavelength at which it travels. I dare you.