Well, it’s Groundhog Day… again. Yesterday I penned an article (which, by the way, is an incredibly outdated expression) highlighting the increasing number of no-hitters thrown in MLB, and how we are growing desensitized to them. Two nights ago, it was Spencer Turnbull no-hitting the Seattle Mariners. Then, six hours after the article ran, Corey Kluber repeated the feat against the Texas Rangers.
Kluber’s was the first of his career, and was the sixth no-hitter (excluding Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-no), meaning that as of May 19, the 2021 season is only one no-hitter shy of the record for a single season.
I feel like the baseball fan version of Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) from Groundhog Day. I wake up, and the day is just as it was yesterday, with no end in sight. Maybe there’s some magical lesson to be learned about how time only truly advances in the presence of love, or something. But for now, I’m just the bitter Phil in the middle of the movie, searching for anything that happens in baseball to make me feel. Feel something. Anything.
Even Kluber, who had just thrown a no-hitter, seemed kinda bored in his postgame press conference yesterday.
Baseball has no energy. Baseball has no passion. Baseball has no superstars, or culture, or creativity, or movement, or base hits, or runners, or anything. It is devolving into a robotic conveyor belt of strikeouts and no-hitters. MLB tried to change the baseball for the offense’s benefit. Clearly that hasn’t worked.
The record is seven no-hitters. How many will we have this year? 15? 20? We still have four more months of baseball.
Even Clayton Kershaw, who I happen to believe is in fact a pitcher, and therefore would be happy about this, is not happy about this.
The entire responsibility cannot be on MLB and the changing of the baseball and their attempts to tweak the rules, however. It’s a complex issue with many layers. Pitchers are throwing 100 miles per hour with ease, and throwing sliders that break a foot at 91 miles per hour. Batters are approaching the game using launch angle as one of the hottest metrics in the game, with the higher launch angle providing the greater probability of a home run, but decreased batting average.
I will save fully diving into the can of worms that faces baseball for another day. Maybe tomorrow, if tomorrow ever comes. But what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.