Bates: On children and cheating

From SABR member Mike Bates on The Hardball Times on June 13, 2018:

I never meant for the number of kids in my household to outnumber the adults. That seemed unbelievably daunting. But then it happened. So, as a single dad, I was always looking for an advantage over my children. I perversely enjoyed it when they’d leave their rooms messy so I could put them on the defensive, or when they turned on each other rather than me. When I didn’t find that advantage is usually when I’d have to take everyone out for ice cream or buy somebody a video game or (shudder) let them stay up an extra half-hour after bedtime.

So, believe me when I say that I understand why and how baseball teams are constantly looking for edges on their opponents, and why players are constantly searching for tricks to help them gain a little bat speed or throw a little harder. It’s why, even though I’m against the insidious infiltration of PEDs into the game, I find it difficult to fully condemn those who are just trying to play better. Everything they do is in an effort to win more games and that’s where, as a fan, I derive the most joy from baseball.

If Trevor Bauer is to be believed, we’re seeing this…well, let’s be charitable and call it “gamesmanship”… all over the game today. Not with performance enhancing drugs, as we did in previous decades, but with rotation enhancing substances. Entering into a conversation between Driveline Baseball and a fan, Bauer added to the speculation that the Astros were illegally increasing their pitchers’ spin rates through the use of foreign substances.


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Originally published: June 13, 2018. Last Updated: June 13, 2018.