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Friday, September 10, 2010

BPP: Womack: My curiously long interview with Joe Posnanski

POZ! (now if the Rockie announcers would just leave him alone)

Me: What do you love about baseball research?

Posnanski: To me, I think it really plays on my imagination. I love baseball, love the history of the game. There’s no way for me to go back and see Babe Ruth play or see Lou Gehrig play or Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle, these guys. But I can go look at their numbers. I can really try to kind of break down and see what it was that drove them, how they compare with other people. Obviously, there are so many researchers out there, statisticians out there, sabermetricians out there that are just a million times smarter than I am and have done all this incredible research which I’d love to look at.

But part of it for me is just the fun of going and looking at the numbers and trying to kind of figure out, ‘Okay, what does this mean? And how does this work? And what are we missing?’ I think for a long time there was just a sense of watching the game for the pure enjoyment of the game, which I still love. But now, part of me, I’ve seen enough baseball and written enough about baseball that I really want to know how it works or at least try to get a little closer to how it really works, and I think the numbers give us a great opportunity to do that.

Repoz Posted: September 10, 2010 at 12:48 PM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

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   1. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3637882)
Posnanski's one of the nicest people you'd ever have the pleasure to meet; I'm not at all surprised he was this generous with his time.
   2. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3637902)
Posnanski is conspicuously lacking in flaws. I'm beginning to think he's a figment of my imagination.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3637928)
No kidding Agrippa. He seems to do a ton of these internet interviews with people he could easily dismiss as "pajama-wearing nobodies living in their mom's basement" yet he treats them with the same kind of respect as he would as if it were a reporter from the NY Times.
   4. Repoz Posted: September 10, 2010 at 03:32 PM (#3637977)
with people he could easily dismiss as "pajama-wearing nobodies living in their mom's basement" yet he treats them with the same kind of respect as he would as if it were a reporter from the NY Times.

Nothing better than Murray Chass riffage.
   5. zachtoma Posted: September 10, 2010 at 03:59 PM (#3638019)
Posnanski is conspicuously lacking in flaws. I'm beginning to think he's a figment of my imagination.


Then let's invent some:
His taste in television shows runs a bit to the pedestrian. Discuss.
   6. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3638034)
Posnanski once got an extra dollar in change for his Girl Scout cookies and said nothing.
   7. Damon Rutherford Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:18 PM (#3638045)
Posnanski once marked a "*" in wet cement.
   8. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3638049)
Pos once borrow Chico's soap and no give it back.
   9. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3638050)
Posnanski once killed a Single-A nonprospect in Reno ... just to watch him die.
   10. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3638063)
I've been told he wears white after labor day, and once used the salad fork for the fish.
   11. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: September 10, 2010 at 04:42 PM (#3638071)
And the rapes.
   12. Damon Rutherford Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:00 PM (#3638093)
You mean the grapes, not rapes, right? I'll never forget that scandal when he was busted for sneaking into his mouth one green and one red grape while shopping at the market. Who does such a thing!?
   13. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:11 PM (#3638102)
Posnanski once failed to kneel when Matt Wieters entered the room.
   14. Steve Treder Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:17 PM (#3638106)
Posnanski's sh!t does stink.
   15. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3638110)
I hear tell he once dangled a participle.
   16. rr Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:31 PM (#3638122)
Posnanski is a very good writer and appears to be a great guy, but I will say that I was disappointed with his Big Red Machine book. Conceding that I am about Posnanksi's age, spent my early life in Northern Kentucky and know a lot about that team, and therefore may have had excessive expectations, I think the book could have been better.
   17. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:55 PM (#3638154)
Posnanski once raped and murdered a young girl in 1991.
   18. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3638158)
Posnanski's mom told him to split a piece of cake with his brother. He took the bigger half.
   19. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3638159)
Posnanski licks his fingers before turning pages, even with borrowed books.
   20. rr Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3638175)
This is exactly the kind of thread (among other kinds) where we need Brattain.

Best Regards,

rr
   21. Steve Treder Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3638176)
Posnanski reads the headlines of the tabloids in the supermarket checkout line.
   22. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:09 PM (#3638183)
Posnanski likes Sarah Palin on Facebook.


Sorry, that's over the line.
   23. Stevis Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:14 PM (#3638190)
When playing blackjack, Posnanski splits 10s.
   24. Repoz Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:26 PM (#3638204)
Posnanski threw back Duane Kuiper's home run ball.
   25. rlc Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:31 PM (#3638208)
Posnanski drinks red wine with fish.
   26. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:33 PM (#3638213)
Posanski wears hats inside.
   27. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3638215)
Posnanski let the dogs out. And then suggested to the Baha Men that they write a song about it.
   28. Adam M Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3638218)
Posnanski once failed to kneel when Matt Wieters entered the room.


Has anyone ever seen Posnanski and Wieters in the same room?
   29. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:42 PM (#3638223)
I think as a writer some days it comes out pretty easy, some days it comes out really hard, and some days it doesn’t come out at all.

Posnanski sometimes quotes Meat Loaf for truth.
   30. BDC Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:48 PM (#3638229)
Posnanski thinks that Zip Codes have polygonal outlines in physical space.
   31. Ron Johnson Posted: September 10, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3638233)
Posnanski reads articles before commenting on them.
   32. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3638245)
Posnanski once drove 42 MPH in a 40 MPH speed limit zone.
   33. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3638246)
Posnanski once said "lay" when he should've said "lie" - and this from a writer!
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:06 PM (#3638252)
Posnanski once came pretty close to stepping on Dallas Braden's mound.
   35. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3638256)
Posnanski once colored outside a line.

Posnanski once hit a homer off of Lee Smith.

Posnanski is a big fan of Two and Half Men.
   36. rr Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3638257)
I think #34 is winning so far. But it's early.
   37. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3638259)
Joe Posnanski removed the tag from his mattress before selling it.
   38. Justin T Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3638260)
15 following 14 is perfect.
   39. Cabbage Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3638267)
Posnanski didn't RTFA

Posnanski assumes that "Oh Captain, My Captain!" refers to him.

Posnanski wont shut up unless he gets to play Iago at the community theater.

Posnanski likes the Ewoks.

Posnanski just buys the pre-made pie crusts.

Posnanski is actually Polanski; he raped that girl back in the 70's and uses this as an alter-ego to get back in the states

Posnanski considers Rachael Ray insightful

Posnanski is that guy who only throws hail mary passes in Madden

Posnanski buys pre-ground coffee

Posnanski won't tell you about that booger hanging out of your left nostril

Posnanski roots for the Red Wings

Posnanski kept the walkthrough open the entire time he played King's Quest III

Posnanski chews on the pencils he borrows

Posnanski wouldn't give Captain Ramius one ping

Posnanski reads Newsweek

Posnanski prefers Titian to Raphael
   40. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3638268)
Posnanski set the trap for Admiral Akbar.
   41. Damon Rutherford Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3638270)
Posnanski was not kind; he did not rewind his rented video tapes before returning them.
   42. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3638272)
Posnanski runs as Teddy Roosevelt in the Nationals' presidents races.
   43. Damon Rutherford Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3638273)
Posnanski still refers to Istanbul as Constantinople.
   44. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3638274)
I miss John.
   45. rr Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3638278)
I miss John.


Yeah. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it, but this thread made me think of the guy. Brattain would have had about ten funny Poz posts by now.
   46. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3638283)
Posnanski set up a Google Alert for his own name, but he misspelled it.
   47. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3638295)
Posnanski thought the Nicolas Cage remake of The Wicker Man was "pretty good".
   48. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3638299)
Posnanski uses Internet Explorer 6.
   49. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3638304)
robinred, thanks for bringing up John. I still think about him a lot and it's nice to know that it's the same way with other people. Sometimes when I hear or read something funny, I think to myself, "That's something Brattain would say."
   50. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3638305)
Posnanski doesn't miss John Brattain OR Doug Pappas.
   51. dianagram Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3638307)
Joe Pos has a stash of Yuni Betancourt rookie cards in a safe in his basement.
   52. ewrigh38 Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3638308)
Despite having a small-market baseball history, Joe Posnanski is a card-carrying Yankees fan.
   53. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 10, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3638310)
JoePo pioneered the hybrid initial/abbreviation nickname craze.

He never wrote about Nomar saving a drowning girl because he couldn't find the human interest angle.

He once confused Buck O'Neil with Buck Leonard.

He was optimistic when the Royals hired Trey Hillman.

He checks the hit-counter on his blog more often than he'd want others to know.
   54. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3638312)
Joe is responsible for the death of thousands of trees. And he's never bought me a beer. Frankly, I don't know how he can live with himself.
   55. Repoz Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3638313)
Posnanski didn't vote for Buck O'Neil.
   56. replacement level Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3638315)
Posnanki is going to write 3000 words on what this has to do with Frank Tanana.
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3638316)
Posnanski skipped the visit to Walter Reed.
   58. dianagram Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3638318)
Pos caused Johan Santana's torn anterior shoulder capsule ... just by the force of his words.
   59. BDC Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3638322)
Posnanski once dented my fender in a parking lot. Sure, he left his name and number and insurance info typed up and slipped under my wiper, and he called every day to see if my car was OK, and his insurance company paid for everything and he bought me new Kansas City Royals floor mats. But when he wrote his phone number on the note, he forgot to enclose the area code in parentheses. What kind of guy does that?
   60. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:11 PM (#3638325)
Posnanski hangs out with Albert Belle and Chris Truby.
   61. Repoz Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3638329)
posnanski once had a threesome with colin farrell and tina in a phonebooth.
   62. Crashburn Alley Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:15 PM (#3638331)
When in Arizona, Posnanski takes it upon himself to make citizen's arrests of Hispanic-looking people who aren't carrying their papers.

In his car, Joe has directed all of the A.C. vents -- even those on the passenger's side -- onto himself.
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:22 PM (#3638333)
Posnanski's sh!t does stink.

No, it doesn't. And what's more, it's white.
   64. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:25 PM (#3638336)
And he once said he preferred Jack Morris to Bert Blyleven.
   65. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3638343)
Poz thinks Tommy Lasorda is not quite as dumb as ten dogs.
   66. fhomess Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:41 PM (#3638349)
Posnanski turned the light off at Motel 6.

Posnanski doesn't always come to a full stop.

Posnanski swings on 3-0.

Posnanski bunts against the shift.
   67. fhomess Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:43 PM (#3638353)
Posnanski bunts against the shift.

Scratch this last one, I think he's actually straight.
   68. Steve Treder Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:44 PM (#3638354)
#59 has taken the lead.
   69. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 10, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3638357)
Posnanski is NOT the master of his domain.
   70. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3638389)
Posnanski was supposed to buy Mike Piazza topical acne cream and then forgot.
   71. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:33 PM (#3638390)
Pos goes in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
   72. bumpis hound Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3638397)
Posnanski shot the sheriff. And he shot the deputy.
   73. Jittery McFrog Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3638399)
Posnanski doesn't care to share pizza with Hanley Ramirez
   74. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3638411)
Posnanski reclines his seat.
   75. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3638412)
Posnanski reclines his seat on a plane.

EDIT: Whole thread and then I'm beaten by mere seconds. *Reclines seat onto AS*
   76. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: September 10, 2010 at 09:59 PM (#3638414)
Posnanski secretly hates Musial's harmonica playing.
   77. villageidiom Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:00 PM (#3638415)
Posnanski drives at the speed limit.
   78. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3638429)
Posnanski once fronted a garage band featuring Brian McNamee, Steve Garvey and Rev. Terry Jones. They were a metal band, and never once covered Pavement. They called themselves "Poz And Effect," and released one album.

On Laserdisc.
   79. pv nasby Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3638430)
Poz once approached me at Oriole Park, me and the boy were just sitting down, eating some Boog's Barbq. Joe walks up, takes a huge bite of my sandwich, and chugged my beer. As he's wiping his lips, he let's out a huge burp and says, "the best part is that no one will ever believe you.". Then he just melts into the crowd.
   80. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:35 PM (#3638437)
Posnanski took off when I told him you weren't coming, but when you showed up and I called him, he said, "Eh, probably doesn't put out anyway."
   81. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:39 PM (#3638439)
Also, 79 has nosed into the lead late in the race.
   82. bumpis hound Posted: September 10, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3638456)
That's the thing about Pos, he'll gobble a stranger's sandwich without even asking. I really respect that about him.
   83. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:02 PM (#3638458)
Posnanski just lip syncs when everybody else sings "Happy Birthday."

But he pronounces it "lip sings."
   84. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:04 PM (#3638461)
Posnanski fools Mother Nature.
   85. Steve Treder Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:21 PM (#3638473)
Posnanski pronounces "nuclear" as "nucular."
   86. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:21 PM (#3638474)
Posnanski's name isn't really Posnanski. He just changed it so he could tell Polish jokes. Well, that and to avoid the stigma of being Dick Young Jr.
   87. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:29 PM (#3638480)
Posnanski is a wannabe foodie who's engaged to Michael Kay.
   88. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3638484)
Posnanski isn't a fraud, but he poops other people's pants.
   89. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:39 PM (#3638493)
Posnanski was RossCW.
   90. tshipman Posted: September 10, 2010 at 11:57 PM (#3638500)
Posnanski frequently uses both "literally" and "ironic" when the situation does not fit a definition of those terms.

Posnanski could care less, and does so.

Posnanski corrects other people when they incorrectly use "whom" where "who" is actually appropriate.

Posnanski does not take his child out of a restaurant when it's screaming.
   91. pv nasby Posted: September 11, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3638517)
Poz shot first.

Poz spoke up and told the trooper those were the droids they were looking for.

Poz thought it was a cave.

Poz donated time and money to Jar Jar's campaign.
   92. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 11, 2010 at 12:35 AM (#3638529)
Posnanski doesn't know the difference between chicken parmigiana and chicken parmesan.
   93. My Grate Friend Peason's pants are rankled Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:04 AM (#3638538)
Posnanski pretended to be friendly all these years in anticipation of this thread, so he would have excuse to kill all of you.
   94. bumpis hound Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3638546)
The purpose of the Pos is to flip out and kill people.
   95. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:32 AM (#3638550)
Posnanski's sh!t does stink.

No, it doesn't. And what's more, it's white.


Posnanski's sh!t is racist.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:41 AM (#3638553)
Posnanski caused Greinke's anxiety problems
   97. Damon Rutherford Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3638555)
Posnanski reads Baseball Prospectus.

Posnanski likes the new Digg.

Posnanski does not use his turn signal well in advance of the turn, so that when I'm stopped at the intersection waiting for an opening to turn myself, I miss my chance while he slows down.

Posnanski killed the radio star. And J.R.
   98. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 11, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3638556)
If Poz had $1,000,000, he'd buy you a real green dress
   99. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 11, 2010 at 02:15 AM (#3638570)
Posnanski does with his chair on an airplane whatever the hell it is that drives so many of the people here absolutely insane with rage.
   100. Jick Posted: September 11, 2010 at 02:16 AM (#3638571)
Posnanski occasionally writes columns about football.
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