Seeking Rock Bottom: Pitcher K’s

Ahh… the Hendry Era. The Cubs were always winning, the best players were beloved by the media and treated with respect by the front office, player acquisitions were always based on sound analytical wisdom, and Order prevailed in its eternal conflict with Chaos. Wait, what’s wrong with these…?

/cleans fogged up sepia-tinted Transitions Lenses

It’s all this damn Texas sunlight. I can’t keep all these pages straight on my laptop.

/closes Baen Library fantasy ebook and goes back to spreadsheet

Oh, right. None of those things were true, but at least the pitching staff struck people out. Even after the utter destruction of the ’04 “OMG, Best Pitching Staff Ever”, the Cubs managed to remain solidly above average every year through 2009. All the names from those staffs are familiar, so I won’t bother going through the all the Lillies, Gorzelannies, and lack of Dolises. I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to talk about the trend. That ominous trend. From a peak in 2003 to a valley from which purchase may never be gained. That horrible, encroaching darkness that has been slowly stretching its tentacles over the land. Dammit. Why does this ebook keep popping up? Must be some kind of fantasy-hobbit virus. Here is what I’m trying to lay out for you:

And you might not have heard about the minor leagues, I guess, if your wifi has been spotty lately or something. Mine has been great, though, so I don’t know what you are complaining about. I guess not everybody gets my kind of coverage. I’ve been there, though. Hell, I remember a time when “broad band” was a nothing but a musical genre. Groups of upstarts playing swing and the like. It was like big band, but instead of trombones they had Moogs. Gave it a prog feel, like ELP playing a Vegas high school prom. Never really took off; it was mostly a regional thing. Anyways, if you haven’t been paying attention, the minor league pitching sucks now, too, so it’s probably not getting better any time soon. Iowa is doing OK, but DJ told me I shouldn’t pay attention to them. And I trust DJ, even though he never links to his posts in the old thread…

All that wouldn’t even matter if the league would just get worse, but strikeouts are way up elsewhere. In fact, I’ve identified a key factor which indicates that they will stay up.

I reached out to Tom Ricketts for comment, but he was in a meeting with some sort of personal statistical guru. He emailed me later, though.

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