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I know politics and elections are the topic of the day — as they should be. However, maybe a change of subject might be refreshing. As sports fans realize, the World Series ended Wednesday, and as a senior citizen and longtime sports fan I want to briefly comment on the state of baseball. Frankly, it passed me by years ago with its data-driven method of managing the game. I am lost on launch angle, spin rate, statistics like "first pitch breaking balls in the lower quadrant of the strike zone against left handed hitters during a night game", etc.

I made it all the way through Game 7, but it just added to my old-timer frustration. Zach Greinke was pitching a masterful game for the Astros and into the 7th inning had thrown only 80 pitches. Yes, he did give up a home run and a walk, but he was at the top of his game. His manager saw things differently and made a pitching change. Boom, the lead was lost and the Nationals won.

Later I read where the manager had already identified the pitcher who would finish the 7th inning and who would pitch the 8th and 9th innings. I realize second guessing is easy, and my point is not to ridicule the Astros manager but to point out that sometimes decisions solely driven by statistics aren’t any better than old-timers' hunches or gut feelings.

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I doubt Walter Alston would have made a pitching change.

Jim Hoepner

Davenport

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