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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

AA: Rob Neyer named commissioner of West Coast League

The primary uniform will not be a blue T-shirt.

Said Neyer: “I’m a passionate, longtime fan of baseball history generally, and Pacific Northwest baseball specifically. So it’s difficult for me to imagine a more exciting opportunity, and I’m honored to be associated with such a fine organization. This summer, as I connect with the owners and visit all the beautiful ballparks, I’ll do everything I can to help this great league become even greater.”

Whatever happened to Neyer?

Neyer has been a prominent figure in baseball’s statistical analysis community since the 1980s, when he worked for Bill James and STATS, Inc. He joined ESPN in 1996 and lasted 15 years there before leaving to become national baseball editor of SB Nation. He then moved on to Fox, where he was editor-in-chief of the short-lived (but worthwhile) baseball vertical Just a Bit Outside. Since that site shuttered in December 2015, Neyer has picked up freelance work while writing his seventh book — “Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game” — which will be published in October.

Greg Franklin Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:42 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college summer leagues, media, online, rob neyer, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. McCoy Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5664357)
I would have thought the uniforms would be flannel.
   2. Shibal Posted: May 02, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5664551)
Whatever happened to Neyer?


The dude went completely over the edge regarding politics. The bile he's spewed over the last few years has ruined his career IMO. Not so much killing any potential work; just that it's hard to be productive/entertaining when you have so much hate inside of you.
   3. Srul Itza Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5664636)
Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?
   4. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5664686)
Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?


*raises hand

will never forget the "steak is worse than steroids 'debate'"
   5. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5664690)
Present.
   6. GGC Posted: May 02, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5664703)
So "vertical" means a website that has a more specific niche than a general sports (or other topic) site?
   7. PreservedFish Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5664716)
steak is worse than steroids

Explain.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5664727)
Not sure a writer is the best fit for a job as Commissioner of a Minor League, where executive experience might help more, but Neyer seems to really like baseball (no Joe Buck above-it-all persona, AFAIK), so maybe that enthusiasm will help market the product. Not a traditional hire; could work.
   9. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5664733)
steak is worse than steroids

Explain.


I can't properly do it justice. But, there was a poster (OPaCY, I think it was, unless that was a poster from the early days of this site) who would argue that steroids weren't a big deal because steak was worse than your health than steroids. This went on for awhile. I mean, the more I think about it the more I wonder if OPaCY is on this site as our esteemed Sugar Bear Blanks... Same kind of BS over and over again. Didn't have the decline schtick though, so, probably not.
   10. Stormy JE Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5664765)
The dude went completely over the edge regarding politics. The bile he's spewed over the last few years has ruined his career IMO. Not so much killing any potential work; just that it's hard to be productive/entertaining when you have so much hate inside of you.
I would certainly agree that he's not very interesting anymore. Can anyone point to an article Neyer has written on baseball in the past couple of years that has been at all memorable? IMHO, the most interesting, paywall-free baseball writers are Jeff Sullivan and Grant Brisbee -- and anyone at Amazin' Avenue after a Mets victory. :)
   11. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5664770)
I like to read Meg Rowley at Fangraphs too.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5664776)

Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?


I'm a Neyer ExPat.
   13. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 02, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5664790)
I can't properly do it justice. But, there was a poster (OPaCY, I think it was, unless that was a poster from the early days of this site)


No it wasn't him. Some other itinerant troll.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 02, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5664793)
Bunyon and Dag are ex-pats also.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 02, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5664794)
the more I wonder if OPaCY is on this site as our esteemed Sugar Bear Blanks... Same kind of BS over and over again.


Same schtick for sure. Annoying, but harmless. The steak vs steroids guy was far more nasty, in a RETARDO sort of way.
   16. Stormy JE Posted: May 02, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5664808)
I should have mentioned Travis Sawchik too. I downloaded Big Data Baseball and read the whole thing on an overseas flight. It's a really good read.
   17. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 02, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5664849)
The dude went completely over the edge regarding politics. The bile he's spewed over the last few years has ruined his career IMO.


I agree with that first part, he came across pretty heavy handed. Can't abide by the second sentence though.

His work at ESPN to introduce sabermetrics to a whole generation of casual baseball fans is understated. Neyer was the guy as most fans other then the diehard kooks like us followed ESPN and were influenced by his contribution.
   18. Shibal Posted: May 02, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5664877)
His work at ESPN to introduce sabermetrics to a whole generation of casual baseball fans is understated. Neyer was the guy as most fans other then the diehard kooks like us followed ESPN and were influenced by his contribution.


Agree 100%. That's why his journey into the abyss is such a disappointment. The question asked was "Whatever happened to Rob Neyer?"

Sadly, he turned into the crazy niece at Thanksgiving dinner lecturing about the evils of eating meat.
   19. GGC Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5665040)
Do I want to know what Neyer's done on social media or am I better off not knowing?
   20. Greg Pope Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5665044)
Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?

Here. I remember your screen name had no spaces in it, so I thought that your name was Srulltza. (Thinking the I was a lowercase L).
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5665046)
Do I want to know what Neyer's done on social media or am I better off not knowing?


Imagine a sane, thoughtful, socially well adjusted man. Sort of the exact opposite of Curt Schilling.
   22. GGC Posted: May 03, 2018 at 08:58 AM (#5665047)
 16. Stormy JE Posted: May 02, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5664808)
I should have mentioned Travis Sawchik too. I downloaded Big Data Baseball and read the whole thing on an overseas flight. It's a really good read.


I agree. It was a good primer for the new advances that go beyond play by play data to more physical data.
   23. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5665048)
Or an older, better coifed Craig Calcaterra.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5665052)
I know nothing about Neyer's political beliefs and I suspect they had little impact on his visibility or career prospects. Neyer was a huge trendsetter and was important to my own evolution as a baseball fan but once other people learned how to do what he was doing, he didn't have any special sauce to lift him above and soon his own take was no more essential than that of any of his copycats. You can only write so many articles extolling OPS or lambasting Cam Bonifay or explaining sample size before the quiver empties out. Neyer defined a template for a certain type of stathead writing, but the template was easy to follow, and I don't think he was able to transcend it. Others have.

Contrast to, say, the Sports Guy. (I know opinions differ on him). Another early internet writer with a novel (but easily-copied) writing style. He could have been sidelined by his own imitators but instead has produced and organized some really impressive work, spearheading the 30 for 30 series, moving quickly and influentially to the podcast format, championing ambitious writing with Grantland, then starting his own successful website...
   25. DavidFoss Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5665055)
Agree 100%. That's why his journey into the abyss is such a disappointment. The question asked was "Whatever happened to Rob Neyer?"

Its understandable that 90s-Neyer couldn't last forever. I liked a couple of his history-themed books. It would have been fun to have gotten another one of those every 2-3 years or so.
   26. GGC Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5665062)
Its understandable that 90s-Neyer couldn't last forever. I liked a couple of his history-themed books. It would have been fun to have gotten another one of those every 2-3 years or so.


The one that I return to is DYNASTIES; which he co-wrote with Eddie Epstein. I believe that Rob was working on a bio of Billy Southworth and his son, but I'm not sure where he is in the process.

Rob is self trained. Bill Simmons, OTOH, studied journalism at Holy Cross. His route to his career was less unorthodox than a lot of the internet guys like Rob, the original BPro guys, Don Malcolm, Craig Calcaterra, et cetera. Maybe Sheehan has a writing or journo degree, IDK.
   27. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5665075)
Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?

I din't get this at first, thinking Neyer must have run a boarding house, taking in run away SABR kids.
   28. Stormy JE Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5665085)
I know nothing about Neyer's political beliefs and I suspect they had little impact on his visibility or career prospects. Neyer was a huge trendsetter and was important to my own evolution as a baseball fan but once other people learned how to do what he was doing, he didn't have any special sauce to lift him above and soon his own take was no more essential than that of any of his copycats. You can only write so many articles extolling OPS or lambasting Cam Bonifay or explaining sample size before the quiver empties out. Neyer defined a template for a certain type of stathead writing, but the template was easy to follow, and I don't think he was able to transcend it. Others have.
The political stuff may be a result of being bored and looking for another way to pass the time. AFAIK, however, Neyer hasn't written any political articles or engaged in other forms of advocacy -- other than the banal comments* he makes on his Twitter account.

* That is, he's no Craig.
   29. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5665090)
Or an older, better coifed Craig Calcaterra.
   30. dlf Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5665304)
ot sure a writer is the best fit for a job as Commissioner of a Minor League, where executive experience might help more, but Neyer seems to really like baseball (no Joe Buck above-it-all persona, AFAIK), so maybe that enthusiasm will help market the product. Not a traditional hire; could work.


So you aren't looking forward to the minor league repeat of the Ford Frick experiment? Maybe instead of marking home run records with an asterisk, we can cover them in flannel.
   31. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 03, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5665356)
Any ex-Neyer Boarders still hanging around?


Yeah, I'm one.

I still remember the hours I spent smoking weed and reading the Neyer archives. Whatever else he's done, the guy changed the course of my life in a whole bunch of ways. I say this without irony -- sabermetrics changed the way I thought about stuff forever, and in a good way.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5665372)
Me too. The rigorous, data-driven, less-bullshit approach that I honed as a stathead has helped in a number of ways. I don't know if that's an outlook I would have developed naturally without baseball and sabermetrics.
   33. perros Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5665509)
Hey, GGC, check yr mail.
   34. GGC Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5665536)
Can't do that until tonight, JF. (I assume this is an SSL issue.)
   35. perros Posted: May 03, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5665548)
Np
   36. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 03, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5665557)
I think 24 nailed it about as well as it could be

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