Megalomaniac Scott Boras is pushing for a new baseball stat to recognize strong defensive skills. Now while defensive skills do tend to be overlooked in judging baseball players’ worth, the attempt to quantify them through such an ill-defined metric as “exceptional play” does not really indicate anything beyond a player’s ability to show up on Baseball Tonight’s Web Gems.
The official scorer would be asked to distinguish between an exceptional play and a routine one in the same way he is asked to distinguish between a hit and error.
Now, the distinction between a hit and an error is usually clear-cut. The fielder misjudged, dropped, or bobbled the ball. Difficult to mistake one for the other. But what makes a fielding play “exceptional”? Distance? Style? Degree of difficulty? Should we have fielding judges giving out scores like in diving? If player A makes a diving catch, but player B is fast enough to already be in position to make an “ordinary” catch, don’t they deserve the same amount of praise?
Other comically stupid ideas mentioned were the nine-game world series with the first two at neutral sites. I don’t see how this would make anybody happy, and I have no idea why anyone would want to do this. Scott Boras needs to stick with inflating contracts and stay away from how the game is actually played.