Pre-ASG Break records? Gimme a break!
I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent assault on existing pre-All-Star-Game records. We’re in record-pace overdrive. We’re bombarded daily with so-and-so setting such-and-such records for first-half production.
Nothing against the truly unique performers doing these deeds — but what a crock.
Record productions before the All-Star break? Gimme a break! Talk about arbitrary.
The date of the annual All-Star Game is a variable, and because the 2013 Midsummer Classic comes unusually late, 93 games will have been played before the sport goes on brief hiatus. So all these benchmarks are taking advantage of far more games than typical.
I’ll give you just two examples, but the relative unbalance holds for every instance of “record” performance:
Baltimore’s truly gifted third baseman Manny Machado is up to 122 hits. Which, we are told, ties Al Kaline for most prior to the All-Star Game by a player in his age-20 season.
Fine. Machado has already played in 90 games, with a week to go. When he set that record in 1955, Kaline’s first-half consisted of 81 games.
Another, also featuring Machado: He has 39 doubles, within three of Edgar Martinez’s pre-break record set in 1996 — when the Seattle DH played in 85 games before the break.
You get the idea. For the most part, we’re comparing apples and oranges. They are both round — about all they have in common.