Where the Science Meets the Arts

Baseball is science. Baseball is art. Baseball is all about heart.

Author’s note: This is the next in an ongoing, semi-regular series of musings about baseball done lyrically or poetically. The title of this piece has been taken from a line from the previous, as it shall continue to go. This is intended to be a conversation; a back-and-forth between two baseball fans both like and unlike-minded.


Baseball’s a painting, a gorgeous sculpture
No, baseball’s only math, data, and numbers
It’s more about the skill and all the instincts at play
Wrong; it’s about the info, succinctly displayed

There would be no information for the quanty reformation if the players on the field had no talent integration
But it all would be a mess if the skills were just a guess expressed without the power of what the math suggests
Then how come when you say there is a statty certainty that a thing will surely happen it may never come to be?
What the numbers say is likely doesn’t mean it’s absolute, but it matters nonetheless even though you say it’s moot

Baseball’s a carving, a masterpiece made
It’s a game where the context’s statistically conveyed
But you can’t measure “clutch” “gut” “feel” or “grit”
It measures performance and outcomes, to wit

Is that what makes the fun for all the dedicated fans, the stans that love the game despite declined attention spans?
Baseball would be dead right now without the interaction of the fantasy engagement and their mathematical abstractions
That’s absurd to say out loud with no factual basis, just hyperbole establishing an echo-chambery oasis
Ridiculous you say well then ridiculous you are in your opinions of the landscape, analytics set the bar

Baseball’s a statue, intricate and pure
On that, we can agree, inured by the nerds
It endures despite, our differences held
It endures despite, points of view dispelled

Though I somewhat see your point I find my nose still out of joint that science is the king this generation now anoints
To be fair I understand that how when it all began, the scientific integration had repercussions on command
And the shock of how the game has changed in all these newfound ways might make me somewhat blind to the all good that should be praised
Even RBI and ERA are based on math, if you embrace them having value then there’s convergence in our path

I suppose it’s not so hard to see we stand on common ground, based on love for a game with meaning deep, profound
I don’t believe we need to say agree to disagree, the way we each enjoy this thing requires no decree
It’s hard for me to see the good in something that has changed the way the on-field players choose to act and then engage
It’s fair to take a moment for a time that’s now gone by, but the beauty of the game persists despite the changing tides

Baseball’s a poem, flowing and in time
With numbers and words, and moments sublime
The players are knights, the fields battlegrounds
Human emotions, statistical bounds

So if I can embrace those analytics have a place, am I still allowed to feel that three true outcomes hurt the pace?
Well that’s a matter of opinion, friend, and one that I don’t hold, but your views are yours to have for sure, your story to be told
It’s hard to reconcile that the value of the stats outweighs the fact that no one steals or bunts or swings to make contact
Small-ball comes in fits and spurts, in moments that it suits, but they’re fewer and more far between, of that there’s no dispute

And that is what I miss so much about the slow-burn inning, the build-up and excitement as the spider’s web is spinning
Is there anything more fun than majestic home run blasts? That moment is exciting, who cares how long it lasts?
Everyone loves dingers, I feel we’re getting further, from a point of understanding and back into a fervor
Well the passion bubbles up like a cup overflowing with enthusiasm for the things we believe most in promoting

I appreciate your point of view and willingness to share, and I think we both agree that it’s a game beyond compare
We may enjoy the thing in completely different ways, but we share a bond because of how we spend some summer days
It will always feel to me that baseball’s far more of an art, full of heart and talent of the players playing smart
Smart to me means having a statistical reliance because the truth is that this game is far more of a science

Baseball is a chess match, it’s like nothing else
It makes you feel things, learn about yourself
Love it for its strength, love it for its parts
Love it for where the science meets the arts


Photo by Kelly Sikkema | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Matt Goodwin

Husband. Dad. Teacher. Writer. Podcaster. Baseball Fan. Quippy. Makes up words. FSWA. IBWAA.

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