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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In Which Two Canadians Fight About A Sport That Is Not Hockey

Chris Jones and Jonah Keri debate the intersection of advanced statistics and sportwriting and whether there is tension between the two.

The question is, can we marry great storytelling with analysis? Yes, I think we can. You talk to people, get to know them, get them to open up about their hopes and dreams and fears. You get them to reveal an injury no one else knew they had, or a messy divorce they kept quiet from the public, or a personal tragedy that threw their world off its axis. There you have the how. The results are the what. We just need to connect the two to make it work. And not in a post-hoc, doctoring-the-numbers-to-fit-the-narrative (or vice-versa) way. It has to be authentic.

Fourth True Outcome Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:18 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, giants, media, sabermetrics

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   1. aberg Posted: August 09, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3896379)
I really like reading Jonah Keri. If anyone thinks you can't marry narrative and data, he is a strong counter-point. I met him at spring training one year and he was as friendly and personable as he comes across (to me anyway) in his writing.

My issue with Jones' position here is that I think you can parse watching a game, writing a human interest piece, and doing analysis. The first two can incorporate data, but certainly don't require it. Good analysis requires some modicum of support, and he seems to argue that being a sportswriter makes his arguments self-authenticating with no further proof.
   2. haven Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3896447)
In Which Two Canadians Fight About A Sport That Is Not Hockey

Is this a curling post?
   3. guelphdad Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3896467)
Hey, hey, you can't make fun of hockey, curling or lacrosse.
Make fun of our beer, our women, our money our flag and our politics if you'd like!
   4. Matthew E Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3896548)
Hey, hey, you can't make fun of hockey, curling or lacrosse.

Well, it's not so much that you can't as it is that it's scarcely necessary.

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