Just yesterday, the National Educators’ Association and the Society for Grading and Education issued a joint critique of baseball, focused primarily on batting averages. Marie Walters, Assistant Director of Criticism, explains:
The National Educators’ Association has worked tirelessly, for many years, to convince children and parents that nothing less than an A is satisfactory. We have labored to teach children to aim for the very best, and not to be content with anything less than a perfect score on every assignment. And then baseball, this miserable excuse for a sport, tells them that a batting average of .300 is quite good. That works out to only 30%, which is clearly not appropriate as a model for scholastic achievement. We absolutely cannot have children looking with admiration at a sport whose best practitioner, Ty Cobb, only scored a 37%. This would get an F at any school in America, and for that reason, we need to see the sport of baseball as an unambiguous failure.1
Educators differ on how to address this problem. One solution, the one recommended by Walters, is to “restructure” batting averages to bring them into line with the numerical percentages associated with typical letter grades.
The other solution, espoused by the Society for Grading and Education, is simply to abolish baseball altogether:
There really is no place for baseball in the modern world. Success is the only option, and when a sport regards failing seven out of ten times as good, it simply does not deserve to continue. Basketball, with typical scores above 90, is clearly a far superior sport.2
- Interested readers may consult http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/batting_avg_career.shtml. ↩
- See http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/team-comparison-per-game/sort/avgPoints. College students, however, even though they are supposedly learning, tend to score fewer points. For this, see http://www.livestrong.com/article/362824-the-average-score-of-college-basketball-games/. ↩