Brian Kenny…the worst thing to happen to America since Abbie Hoffman’s shirt? You decide!
Then, on Friday morning, Kenny launched a few bombs on Twitter:
When I hear a play by play guy give the “w-l” record in his intro,I do have to laugh. Why bother with such ridiculous information?
@MrBrianKenny Because the average fan cares. Don’t lose touch with them, you’re in media.
Average fan cares, @CJNitkowski because you, they, we, have told them to..have conditioned them. Young analytical fan does not look at it.
Man, that’s when I want to say, “Dude, get off my side.” I am a huge subscriber to what most would call sabermetrics or advanced statistical analysis. I trust numbers, and I don’t mind complicated acronyms. I like learning about baseball and I will dedicate hours of my life to get a handle on concepts like WAR, FIP, UZR, and wOBA. That’s my choice, and while you (and my wife) would argue that my life would be perhaps more fulfilled and balanced if I chose to let some of that obsession slide, I have decided I just can’t do that. Understanding and appreciating baseball is too important to me, and this is my way of doing that. That’s my choice.
Brian Kenny—or his public persona, a significant distinction worth mentioning—doesn’t want to give other people that choice. He wants to invalidate the way that others enjoy the game. He wants to throw my sweet nanna in the deep end and make her learn to swim or drown, and expects that she’ll thank him (and by extension the rest of us) if she reaches the side of the pool for showing her the light. That’s not going to happen. No matter how long I sit in the sun room with her and explain advanced stats to her, she’s going to drown. And while she may not stop watching, she will feel alienated.
...In fact, by explaining the context in which these stats are generated, announcers would be explaining the underlying tenets of advanced statistical analysis, making it easier to discuss these concepts in the future. It simultaneously validates what people already know, while introducing them to things they probably should, if they’re interested.
If they’re not interested? I know that Kenny thinks he’s doing God’s work by bringing The Word to the heathens. He’s baseball’s very own British missionary/Colonialist. But there are an infinite number of paths to God, right? So there should be at least as many to get into baseball. Why would we ever want to winnow away at the number of ways baseball can attract fans in an increasingly crowded cultural landscape?
Posted: September 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM | 44 comment(s)
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