I used to be one of those kids who watched SportsCenter on repeat until 1 in the afternoon on the weekends and in the summer. ESPN was always on in my house when I was younger, but as I've grown up I, along with many others, have become less and less enamored with the Worldwide Leader. Of course, there aren't many options for getting Twins highlights and it is a sports network after all, but tonight's example is just one example of many of why I don't watch it as much any more.
The setting: Chris Singleton, ESPN baseball analyst, is talking about how Zack Greinke is pitching so well this year. His explanation (paraphrased): "Greinke's fastball used to be 86-90, but this year he's hitting 94-95." His evidence: two or three highlights from this season that show the radar gun at 94 or 95 (and then a freeze frame where they zoom in and highlight Greinke's eyes to show his extreme concentration). Now to start, using common sense, it seems pretty ridiculous for a 25 year old's velocity to suddenly jump that much in one offseason. Sure enough, a quick check of Greinke's player page at FanGraphs shows that his average fastball velocity this season is exactly the same as it was last season, with both years coming in at 93.3 MPH. In fact, two years ago in 2007, his average fastball velocity was all the way up to 94.0 MPH. There's just no logical basis for what Singleton said. Did he just make it up, or did he really think it was true based on his own (obviously faulty) memory? Either way, it was clearly wrong, and these factual inaccuracies and illogical arguments pervade the whole network, which is a big reason why I've been watching less and less ESPN.
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