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Because you want to know what rock stars think of the pitching environment these days

Jul 12, 2012, 1:47 PM EDT

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Rolling Stones has a series in which Dan Epstein — author of the fantastic “Big Hair and Plastic Grass” book about baseball in the 1970s — asks various musicians who happen to be baseball fans about the issues of the day. Among the many panel members: Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Pete Yorn, , Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Steve Earle, Alice Cooper and Scott Ian of Anthrax. 

Today’s issue: pitching is up, offense is down. R.A. Dickey and the no-hitters and perfect games of this season seem crazy. So what gives?

I think, overall, this group addresses it pretty darn reasonably. In fact, more reasonably than a lot of baseball fans and writers do. Only a couple of them go to the all-too-easy and none-too-accurate explanation that it’s all a function of steroids being out of the game.  Most of them couch in terms of the multiple factors I suspect are in play: fewer PEDs, better defense, better scouting, better pitcher development, etc.  I’m particularly taken with Steve Earle’s response, if only for the way he put it.

And then there’s Joe Pernice of the Pernice brothers:

What are pitchers doing in 2012 that they weren’t doing in 1995? Better scouting, better training and physical maintenance? Probably, but should that add up to more ridiculously good pitching performances? Who knows? The game is capricious. It’s similar to the duality of light: it is both particulate and wave-like. Try figuring out an electron’s position and the wavelength at which it travels. I dare you.

Yeah, man.

  1. Lukehart80 - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Steve Earle is a Yankees’ fan?!

    Damn, Walon, heroin is one thing, but how are you going to sell out your hometown Orioles like that? Bubbles won’t like that one bit.

  2. nategearhart - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    How does Alice Cooper know the ball hasn’t changed?

  3. darthicarus - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    John Fogerty puts all the pitching success on the defensive plays from today’s superb center fielders.

    • cur68 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Best Baseball Song EVER.

      • schlom - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Actually, this is the best baseball song ever:

      • cur68 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        I’ll give you Runner Up on that one.

      • nolanwiffle - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        “America’s Favorite Pastime” by Todd Snider

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        Hate to disagree with you Cur, but I am partial to the baseball references in Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.

      • cur68 - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Meatloaf???!!!! You’re dead to me, PC. Dead, I tell you.

  4. bigmeechy74 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Yo craig, It’s “Big Hair and Plastic Grass”

    • royhobbs39 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Actually for Craig (and a lot of us), it’s gotta be fake hair.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Lonsome George isa a Yankees fan? Total stake through my heart. though, I guess there is some dichotomy there, with Thorougood copying from the annals of great blues artists and the yankees flat out stealing other people’s players.

    • sictransitchris - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      How do you steal something you pay (mightily) for?

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      Rather than trying to answer with some kind of spaced out rabble about Brian Cashman teaming up with Gollum and the evil one, creeping up and slipping away with them against their will, feel free to substitute *steal* with *acquire* for our purposes today.

    • nolanwiffle - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      There was a great segment on MTV circa 1985 with George Thorogood (Mets fan) and John Fogerty (Yankees fan) talking baseball and the blues while at a spring training game. I haven’t seen it since its original airing, but recall it being very entertaining.

  6. blues1988 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    best baseball song of all!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      Thanks for sharing 1988!

  7. mybrunoblog - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I guess I am really old because I have no idea who Tom Morello, Pete Yorn, Ben Gibbard, and Steve Earle are.
    Alice Cooper? Now him I know.

    • runstraightdown - Jul 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      Never heard of Steve Earle? You’re not old, you just know absolutely nothing about music.

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