Brian Kenny, long-time sportscaster and host of both MLB Network’s MLB Now and MLB Tonight will be coming to Montclair State next week. Kenny will be doing a signing of his new book, “Ahead of the Curve” and a discussion following at the Yogi Berra Museum on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Kenny’s book goes where most sportscasters, and sports fans alike, refuse to go. He embraces the analytical side of baseball and moves away from age-old traditions. According to Kenny, a lifelong fan and follower of baseball, the sport has been resistant to good information because it is too set in its ways.
The Montclair native talked about all of the advantages baseball could see if it invites in all of the changes that come with the “sabermetric” era we live in instead of rejecting them. Kenny explained that this era is so involved with asking questions and finding evidence to support the answers to those questions — usually through data.
The changes that have already been made to baseball have angered many traditional fans, but Kenny believes that these are just a taste of what needs to be done to improve the sport. Regarding the controversial debate in today’s world over an automated strike zone, Kenny jumped to say that he’s absolutely for it — not to take away the umpires, but simply to help them out.
Kenny also spoke about how little has been done since the days of our founding fathers of baseball. In the 1900s, when Babe Ruth would step up to the plate, the rules were always changing. “[They] were written in pencil,” Kenny described.
Since then, baseball became very set in stone and everyone became comfortable. This is because, as the MLB Network host said, people, especially in his generation, have a very tough time adapting to change.
His book also highlights the “herd mentality” to which he believes Major League teams fall victim. This mentality is that the teams will do as the others do, for the most part, because that’s how they feel the most comfortable.
“[They] would rather fail conventionally than succeed unconventionally,” Kenny added, speaking more about the herd mentality.
The sportscaster is convinced that these analytical changes can only improve the game. “If we have a chance to do things better, why not?” Kenny said.
However, these are not the only points that Kenny brings up in his book. He speaks of diversity, or the lack of, in baseball and much more. He added that his book, while centered on baseball, can be applied to life as well.
“Ahead of the Curve” will be available for purchase at the at the museum the night of.