Et tu, baseball?

Is there no end to this seeming worldwide conspiracy to make me feel old?
From the bass of the car behind me at the red light rattling the lug nuts on my wheels and the fillings in my teeth, to the guy next to me at the fine restaurant wearing his baseball cap (backwards, of course) right through dinner, to sidestepping young people on the sidewalk because they are staring at their smartphones and not watching where they are going, I feel more and more a dinosaur every day.
And, now, even my beloved baseball has turned on me.
It started a few years ago when my newspaper colleague and friend Jack Smiles posed the question: What’s with this talk of offense and defense on the baseball diamond? In our day, wasn’t it just hitting and fielding?
Then along came WAR.
Wins Against Replacement.
I guess it means how many wins you give your team as opposed to a player replacing you.
I chose early on to ignore this.
But it didn’t stop there.
All I ever needed to know about Willie, Mickey and The Duke, along with all the others, was batting average, homers, and RBIs (yes, with an “s”). The Triple Crown was enough for me.
But now we have OPS, whatever that means. Along with exit velocity, launch angle, and apex.
I do know what those last three mean, however.
They mean strikeouts.
When all you care about is exit velocity, launch angle and apex, all you care about is home runs.
And when all you care about is home runs, you are going to swing and miss, and swing and miss, and swing and miss.
I remember reading Mike Schmidt, during the height of his career, saying he went up to the plate every time just trying to hit the ball hard on the ground. And he hit 548 home runs.
So much for launch angle.

Ed Ackerman