Putterman: For sabermetric crusader Brian Kenny, the argument over baseball stats will never be over

From Alex Putterman at Awful Announcing on May 30, 2018, on SABR member Brian Kenny:

At first, it isn’t quite clear what Brian Kenny is so excited about. The MLB Network host has stormed into a production meeting waving a handful of papers and hollering about Sergio Romo starting for the Tampa Bay Rays. There is no “hello,” no “good morning,” only delighted cries of, “they’re doing it” and, “it’s happening.”

Then, as a dozen producers, researchers and analysts stare with raised eyebrows, Kenny explains. By sending Romo, a middle reliever, to the mound in the first inning the following day, the Rays will not merely attempt a “bullpen day.” They will instead debut “The Opener,” an entirely new strategy that Kenny and others have touted for years. Romo, a righty, will face the top of the Los Angeles Angels’ order, which is stocked with right-handed hitters, before the Rays turn the game over to lefty “starter” Ryan Yarbrough, who will then pitch as long as he can.

It doesn’t matter to Kenny that World Series-winning manager Joe Girardi, seated across the conference-room table, is skeptical of the idea or that veteran reporter Jayson Stark, also on hand, is uneasy about it as well. Kenny is stoked. The Rays’ embrace of The Opener is, as he will later declare on air with tongue only somewhat in cheek, “the vanguard of the revolution.”

In addition to being the host of MLB Network’s afternoon studio show MLB Now, Kenny is a full-time sabermetric crusader, and with modern analysis already having won the day in front offices and much of the online baseball community, he has devoted himself to conquering one final frontier: television.

Read the full article here: http://awfulannouncing.com/mlb/for-sabermetric-crusader-brian-kenny-argument-never-over-mlb-network.html

Originally published: May 30, 2018. Last Updated: May 30, 2018.