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Willful Ignorance
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/9/2008 9:43:00 PM
View more posts by this author

 

It's one thing not to be able to understand everything that Baseball Prospectus or Bill James writes about. It's an entirely different thing to be willfully and proudly ignorant of all sabermetric concepts, as demonstrated by Paul Daugherty in the Cincinnati Enquirer today.

I wanted to tear apart this article line-by-line, but of course, the good folks at Fire Joe Morgan already have.

I understand why there's a divide between old media and new media when it comes to baseball analysis. Sabermetricians can be too snarky for their own good, scouting is often improperly denigrated, etc... But then I see excrement like this column, or hear a radio show where the host brags about not knowing what OPS is (really, how stupid is that? It's two basic elements - on-base percentage and slugging percentage. I can understand not wanting to know about DIPS or even VORP, but come on - please show me that you have at least one cell in your brain that's capable of learning still.).

I suppose there's just a generational divide, and that mindset isn't going to fall into the vast minority in the media until that generation passes on. Until then, we just have to keep pressing on.


Comments....

I think we might be entering Mark Twain territory here -- "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." I will say, though, that I reject the premise that this is a debate between stats and baseball instincts. Stats have always been used by managers and teams. Indeed, the author seems to like pitcher wins -- a statistic. The debate isn't over the use of stats, the debate is over *which* stats will provide the truest picture of a player's abilities and, possibly, future prospects. But the media can't even get that right. So, we're left with ad hominem attacks and red herrings in lieu of a reasoned baseball conversation. Exhibit A, this bizarre, ridiculous, buffoonery for an article.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/10/2008 6:48:00 AM
 
At least Baker is consistent in his idiocacy.
Posted by MPStopa at 3/10/2008 7:17:00 AM
 
Poor guy. Almost feel sorry for him for that public display of ignorance. Wonder if he thinks Jay Bruce for Jon Garland would be a good idea since the Reds already have C-Pat's power/speed combo in CF and Garland has 46 wins over the last three years?
Posted by vtadave at 3/10/2008 8:13:00 AM
 
Art Garfmundis posted an article on ESPN's Page 2 the other day about the death of "Moneyball" w/ the retirement of Jeremy Brown. Regardless of your thoughts on the book itself Garfmundis' small mindedness was astounding. He compares stat-heads to Trekkies and even throws in a WARP joke. Perhaps since this article appeared on Page 2 it's just a joke, I can only hope.

Here's the link:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=garfamudis/080305
Posted by Slugdog at 3/10/2008 8:23:00 AM
 
Come on, Dave. Dusty wouldn't overpay like that. If he's trading a rookie for a proven major leaguer, he'd have to add Cueto or Bailey to the deal.
Posted by MPStopa at 3/10/2008 8:24:00 AM
 
Slugdog - I've read that the Garfmundis (and that's just a pen-name) piece was actually a satirical article. If you read through the comments afterwards, you can see the readers debating whether it was tongue-in-cheek or not. I'm not sure how effective that satire was, however.
Posted by Erickson at 3/10/2008 8:43:00 AM
 
Excrement? Come on, Jeff, tell us how you really feel about this article.

If he wanted to compare the success of implementing sabermetrics to baseball success he shouldn't have cowardly gone after Bill James, who has no major league track record. He had to look no further than Billy Beane. And trying to dismiss Beane's success in Oakland does indeed make him look like a fool.
Posted by bwitt at 3/10/2008 9:26:00 AM
 
My favorite part is that the guy who wrote that excellent article for Fire Joe Morgan also plays Dwight Schrute's brother on "The Office."
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 3/10/2008 7:25:00 PM
 
All I can say is I'm actually mad at you Jeff for providing this link so that I actually read this piece of *** article. Can you imagine a science writer celebrating his complete ignorance of quantum physics and general relativity? It reminded me of Rush Limbaugh at his worst. And just so everybody is clear exactly how I feel about that fat, ignorance-spreading buffoon let me just say he is one of only two people in the world that I would give anything to sock in the nose just once. My scumbag ex-boss being the other.
Posted by Poincare at 3/11/2008 12:11:00 AM
 

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