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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Posnanski: F.C. Lane

My excerpting here is felonious to the Phelon part.

If you have numerous hours/days to kill, I heartily recommend going over to the Baseball Magazine Archives (The wonderful LA84 Foundation has many of the magazines from 1908 to 1920) and just typing in any keyword at all.

I first went over the to those archives because of a story that appeared on Fangraphs a few weeks ago with the nerd-friendly title, “Was wOBA actually invented nearly 100 years ago?” Fangraphs’ author Sam Menzin refers to a story that F.C. Lane wrote in 1916 called “Why the system of batting averages should be changed.”... What I found, however, is a lot greater than that just one story…

Two months later—in May of 1916, Lane’s second batting averages article appeared, and it is even more fascinating than the first. It is called: “An Improved System of Batting Averages.” And it is a point-counterpoint between F.C. Lane and an old sportswriter named William Phelon…

The third F.C. Lane article about batting averages appeared less than a year later—January of 1917—and it is the most complete and involved of them all… Lane and the people at Baseball Magazine had watched and carefully compiled the records of 1,000 hits in games during the 1916 season played by every team (and including one World Series game)... he figured out that:

A single is worth .46 of a run.

A double is worth .79 of a run.

A triple is worth 1.15 of a run

A home run is worth 1.55 of a run.

Pause once more to think about this. He only looked at 1,000 hits in 1916. He came up with a quirky system to figure out how many runs scored. Now, jump ahead 50 years. John Thorn and Pete Palmer wrote “The Hidden Game of Baseball,” an all-time classic. In it, they introduced the Linear Weights system. For it, they used computer simulations and ALL the data available going back to 1901.

And this is what they determined.

A single is worth .46 of a run.

A double is worth .80 of a run

A triple is worth 1.02 of a run

A home run is worth 1.40 of a run

The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM | 365 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, history, sabermetrics

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   1. Don Malcolm Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4026916)
Well, now we know that Joe doesn't spend much of his spare time over at Tango's site...
   2. AndrewJ Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:52 AM (#4026920)
Lane took over Baseball Magazine three months before Fenway Park opened, and died a few months after Yaz retired.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4026932)
Don:

I am confused. Did you see this note by Joe in the article?

Numerous other people -- Friend of Blog Tom Tango among them
   4. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4026939)
Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4026942)
Esoteric

I suspect Joe understands that he will get soundly criticized unless he goes into the Sandusky situation. And will he be able to get Paterno to discuss the topic?

Doubtful
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:29 AM (#4026943)
Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.


While I wouldn't be so colorful, I can't see Poz's name anymore without thinking of his shameful comments -- and then lack of any comment -- on the Paterno matter.
   7. Don Malcolm Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4026946)
Harv,

Tango found F.C. Lane's stuff well before the Fangraphs article. Actually, Alan Schwarz covered Lane in his book The Numbers Game in 2004. Lane's book was published by SABR in 2001. While Joe is doing a "good deed" by pushing this to a broader (?) audience, he doesn't seem to know that the Fangraphs piece wasn't some startlingly new revelation. Some might find that irrelevant; that's OK, I was just rolling my eyes at the department of redundancy department.

The quote you note doesn't reference the fact that Tango found the articles and commented on them a number of years back, it simply talks about how he's tweaked Linear Weights. Yes, Joe's "honest" about the fact that he didn't know about it, I'm just kinda surprised that he didn't, given how much actual exposure Lane's work has received.

Hmmm...given some of the other comments that have surfaced in this thread, perhaps Joe is trying to curry favor with some of yez who are mad at him for being a human being with foibles and a member of the fourth estate who sometimes has to put a moat around himself...
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:37 AM (#4026948)
Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.


Shut up, you sanctimonious idiot.
   9. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM (#4026951)
Esoteric

I suspect Joe understands that he will get soundly criticized unless he goes into the Sandusky situation. And will he be able to get Paterno to discuss the topic?

Doubtful


So Poznanski has the choice of either publishing a shitty, incomplete book or a dishonest whitewash. Why even bother then? Why not just chalk it up to being pissed on by the karma gods, punt the project and go back to being what you are supposed to be, an honest newspaperman?

On the same side of the fence as Eso and Ray. What Poznanski is doing stinks to high heaven.
   10. Don Malcolm Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM (#4026953)
Here's the link for the SABR Lane book at Amazon for anyone who's interested.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4026956)
Tango found F.C. Lane's stuff well before the Fangraphs article.


And who honestly cares who found who first. The difference is that Joe actually writes some interesting thing, Tango generally doesn't write in a fashion that makes it pleasureable to read. Much closer to a text book styling instead of entertainment.
   12. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:57 AM (#4026961)
On the same side of the fence as Eso and Ray. What Poznanski is doing stinks to high heaven.
And what is he doing?
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM (#4026967)
And what is he doing?


Basically nothing.

Not really sure what he is doing that is terribly wrong except saying
But this is where my thoughts trail off… I’m writing a book about Joe Paterno. I need time. This story, for me at least, needs time. This thing is so vile, so grotesque, that it is human nature to want everyone to pay. Innocent children were hurt, scarred, and as a parent this is something so horrible that I cannot even think of a penalty harsh enough. There is no way to see this thing clearly now, not for me, anyway.
   14. Don Malcolm Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:09 AM (#4026975)
And who honestly cares who found who first.

In this case, I do, just a little bit. And as I said, I don't care if you disagree or find it nit-picky.. I just find it weird that F.C. Lane seems to be getting rediscovered so often these days.

FWIW, I made a similar comment in the thread about the Fangraphs article a few months back when it ran. (Perhaps you said the same thing there, too!)

And you might be surprised to discover that Tango wrote about this particular subject with more panache and nuance--and a similar amount of astonished enthusiasm as that displayed by Joe--than what he's usually credited with.
   15. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:21 AM (#4026985)
I won't defend Poz' initial actions/comments in the classroom crap, but I do think some are going overboard in further condemning him out of a sense of outrage about the heinous crime committed. Poz clearly screwed up, but he isn't Sandusky. He isn't even on the same level as any of those who covered up for/failed to report Sandusky. He was too close to a story and spoke regarding breaking news without fully understanding how ugly a situation it was developing into. I've read enough of Poz' writing to have a sense (which could be mistaken) that he is a good and decent man. I was disappointed in him, but I'm not the sort to hate a man merely because he disappointed me. My kids have disappointed me from time to time and I of course love them regardless. I have no doubt that this was a learning experience for Poz and he'll be more circumspect in the future.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:23 AM (#4026987)
And what is he doing?


Hoping that with "time to see things clearly," some miracle shows Paterno to be above blame for acting despicably in not making sure children weren't being raped on his watch, so that Poz doesn't have to write that Paterno's actions deserve utter contempt?

What that miracle is I cannot conceive of.
   17. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4026994)
Poz clearly screwed up, but he isn't Sandusky.


No but he hasn't reversed himself or apologized appropriately either. I think Ray is right that he's hoping it all blows over so he can publish his damned hagiography about Paterno without alteration.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:33 AM (#4026997)
Apologize for what? He didn't really do anything?
   19. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:35 AM (#4026998)
Is there a three-sentence summary of why people are so angry at Posnanski? I'm aware of the Sandusky charges and that Posnanski is writing a Paterno bio, but I must have missed whatever it is Posnanski did to make people so angry at him. (Admittedly, I don't follow football at all, so I've only caught the Sandusky headlines.)
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4027001)
I won't defend Poz' initial actions/comments in the classroom crap, but I do think some are going overboard in further condemning him out of a sense of outrage about the heinous crime committed. Poz clearly screwed up, but he isn't Sandusky. He isn't even on the same level as any of those who covered up for/failed to report Sandusky.


Sandusky will get his, and he's too depraved and sub-human to waste brain cells on. Paterno and his crew were the humans in the room who should have put a stop to the evil being visited by Sandusky; they failed to do so. Despite being so-called "educators" in charge of a school.

Posnanski should be able to see that Paterno's actions were despicable. He has failed to do so, or at least to say so.

He was too close to a story and spoke regarding breaking news without fully understanding how ugly a situation it was developing into.


No. First, as Whitlock noted, Poz had been down in Happy Valley for some time researching Paterno to write a book on him. How Posnanski missed that Paterno's world was crumbling is curiouos.

Second, Posnanski's comments were written after the grand jury report came out, and - as I've shown in other threads and as I emailed to Posnanski - Posnanski simply lied about what the grand jury report said. Or was so misinformed that he couldn't possibly have read it before commenting. Either speaks horribly of him.

Ashton Freaking Kutcher realized that he had defended Paterno without understanding what the facts were, and Kutcher was mature enough to apologize immediately and retract his comments. Posnanski was not.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4027003)
basically Posnanski defended Paterno without jumping to conclusions like everyone else did. Then Joe pointed out that Paterno has become the scapegoat for this whole mess, which really seems to irk people for some random reason. Then Joe realized that insane people are on the internet, and basically stopped talking about the whole mess.
   22. The District Attorney Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:42 AM (#4027006)
Is there a three-sentence summary of why people are so angry at Posnanski?
Here.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:53 AM (#4027014)
basically Posnanski defended Paterno without jumping to conclusions like everyone else did.


Yes, all those people "jumping to conclusions" by reading of Paterno's own testimony in the grand jury report.

All one needs to do to conclude that Paterno's actions were utterly contemptible is to read of Paterno's own testimony of what (at a minimum) McQueary reported to him, and then understand that at no time did Paterno report Sandusky to the state authorities.

What is the defense of Paterno after the above, which is easily understood?
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:55 AM (#4027016)
Here's the link for the SABR Lane book at Amazon for anyone who's interested.

For the few people left here who aren't interested primarily in thread hijacking, that Lane book on batting is one of the most amazing books on baseball ever published. Imagine a book from today with batting tips based on thousands of interviews with the 300 best hitters from the past 15 years, quoting them by name on every page, and you'll get some idea of what Lane's 218 page 1925 book is like. There isn't a single aspect of batting that isn't covered, and covered from every possible angle. I've got scores of those old Baseball Magazines from the 10's and 20's, and Lane's statistical articles are both groundbreaking and fun to read in their own right---but for keeping your ongoing attention, his book on Batting is infinitely more interesting.

And BTW the prices on Amazon begin at all of 57 cents. I can't imagine any real baseball fan not wanting to own and read a copy.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:11 AM (#4027031)
What is the defense of Paterno after the above, which is easily understood?


not sure what Paterno's testimony is, but it really doesn't matter, the person who is at fault here is the assistant he witnessed the crime and didn't report it to the authorities. Paterno is being scapegoated because he didn't act on second hand information, or more accurately he made the assumption that it's his job to report it to his bosses and let them handle the investigation and make a decision.

How come Mike McQueary isn't the guy getting raked over the coals? Oh that is right, he isn't Paterno.
   26. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:15 AM (#4027036)
JOST:

You should write a review at the Amazon site. There is none yet. Your comment here with only slight alteration would be good.

Ray:

What's the purpose of a grand jury and the testimony obtained there? Is everything necessarily told in a grand jury proceeding or in the testimony given in a proceeding? This isn't a Warner Brothers cartoon, so stop playing Yosemite Sam. Take it easy. Don't worry. There'll be plenty of time and opportunity for you to lose your head down the road. I realize your reservoirs of outrage are inexhaustible, but try to pace yourself.
   27. Flynn Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:20 AM (#4027040)

How come Mike McQueary isn't the guy getting raked over the coals? Oh that is right, he isn't Paterno.


Um, seriously? McQueary's been raked over the coals as much as Paterno has. The only defense anybody has offered of McQueary is the implication that ratting out Penn State legend Jerry Sandusky would lead to him being fired and blackballed by Paterno.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:21 AM (#4027041)
I really hope that every article Poz writes from now on devolves into ######### about what he should have/should not have said about Paterno within the first dozen comments. That would be so great.
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:24 AM (#4027044)
not sure what Paterno's testimony is,


Well, then, you shouldn't go around accusing people of "jumping to conclusions" and being internet crazies when you haven't bothered to inform yourself of the facts. Some of us _have_ bothered.

but it really doesn't matter, the person who is at fault here is the assistant he witnessed the crime and didn't report it to the authorities. Paterno is being scapegoated because he didn't act on second hand information, or more accurately he made the assumption that it's his job to report it to his bosses and let them handle the investigation and make a decision.

How come Mike McQueary isn't the guy getting raked over the coals? Oh that is right, he isn't Paterno.


It is Posnanski's defense of Paterno that has people criticizing Posnanski. And I see you try to excuse Paterno's reprehensible behavior. I didn't say Paterno should be charged with a crime; I said he acted despicably in not making sure it went to state authorities.
   30. McCoy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:39 AM (#4027063)
In this case, I do, just a little bit. And as I said, I don't care if you disagree or find it nit-picky.. I just find it weird that F.C. Lane seems to be getting rediscovered so often these days.

Actually, I believe I am the one that pointed it out to Tango about 4 years ago. I happened across it while looking through the LA84 site that Joe mentioned in his article. I wasn't the first of course, as it turns out Cyril Morong had several links up at his website for several years when I happened across it.
   31. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:41 AM (#4027065)
Batting is great. TFA is pretty good. I like Posnanski. His stance on Paterno, as I understand it (from one of his articles and tweeted excerpts of his PSU speech), is somewhere between really, really wrong and flat out reprehensible. This thread sucks.
   32. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:46 AM (#4027067)
I really hope that every article Poz writes from now on devolves into ######### about what he should have/should not have said about Paterno within the first dozen comments. That would be so great.
Lucky for you, I bet you're going to get your wish!
   33. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:49 AM (#4027069)
21 & 22 — Thanks for the info./recap.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:52 AM (#4027074)
And I see you try to excuse Paterno's reprehensible behavior




I don't give a crap about Paterno to be honest one way or another. I blame Sandusky, I blame McCreary, then I blame the AD, and then I blame Paterno, and lastly I blame the parents for not raising a kid to speak out.

I don't defend the bahavior of anyone involved, but unlike you Ray, I do understand the concept of the world being not just black and white. There are degrees of reprehensible behavior, and 1. Joe Posnanski never remotely entered that terriotory, and 2. Paterno is about the least reprehensible of the people actually involved.

I understand what Paterno did, I do not excuse it.
   35. Busted Flush Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:33 AM (#4027090)
and lastly I blame the parents for not raising a kid to speak out


You're a ####### moron.
   36. Shazbot Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4027092)
The worst thing I've heard about Pos is that he's a sentimental human who jumped to conclusions to defend his friend, and now has a lot of crow to eat for defending criminal behaviour, and since he had a book project on him, it is now seen that he has a duty to do this properly.

That's not a shun-worthy offense. What's next, shunning people for belonging to the same high-school class as a serial killer?
   37. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:00 AM (#4027094)
Is there a three-sentence summary of why people are so angry at Posnanski?

Here.


So some students at penn state liveblogged something... and deadspin (clearly not a sensationalistic web site, or anything) second-hand liveblogged... and STILL felt like they had to caveat with:

Some Posnanski quotes, obviously out of context and likely not transcribed precisely.


I've been pretty much out of the loop on this whole thing, but this kind of terribly-low quality faux-reporting was surely deconstructed previously on BTF, right? I mean, no one is really going to take seriously third-hand information gathered via college kids tweeting during a class?
   38. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:02 AM (#4027095)
and lastly I blame the parents for not raising a kid to speak out

You're a ####### moron.


Cardsfanboy, your above statement would generally make no sense as we're speaking of children 10 or 12 years old, and so the "raising" you speak of had not yet had a chance to run its course. In this specific case, it makes even less sense, because in many instances there were no "parents," plural; there were single mothers trying to raise children on their own, who were being preyed upon by Sandusky, who had set up an elaborate scheme to basically feed him underprivileged boys under the guise of a father figure.

Sandusky set up an organization to help underprivileged kids, and was, literally, raping them.
   39. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:05 AM (#4027097)
Sleepy, to the best of my knowledge, that reporting has held up.

I am decidedly not in favor of shunning Pos.
   40. zachtoma Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4027099)
Batting is great. TFA is pretty good. I like Posnanski. His stance on Paterno, as I understand it (from one of his articles and tweeted excerpts of his PSU speech), is somewhere between really, really wrong and flat out reprehensible. This thread sucks.


Joe Posnanski simply declined to make any public judgments about Paterno, his subject, in the immediate aftermath of a scandal that he, Poz, had nothing to do with. If you think this is "flat out reprehensible" or even "really, really wrong" you are completely nuts.

Is there a contest to see who can be the most vehemently anti-child rape? What's the prize?
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4027100)
The worst thing I've heard about Pos is that he's a sentimental human who jumped to conclusions to defend his friend, and now has a lot of crow to eat for defending criminal behaviour, and since he had a book project on him, it is now seen that he has a duty to do this properly.

That's not a shun-worthy offense. What's next, shunning people for belonging to the same high-school class as a serial killer?


The worst thing I heard about Pos is that he painted as a victim a man -- an alleged "educator," no less -- who did not report child sex abuse to the proper authorities.

And who spoke of shunning Pos?
   42. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4027101)
Homer: Wonders, Lisa? Or blunders? Lisa: I think I was implied by what I said. Homer: Implied, Lisa? Or implode? Lisa: Mom, make him stop! ...
   43. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4027122)
Poz's Paterno take does color things. He was pretty crappy/dumb on the whole matter, and that affects future readings for me, I can't say it doesn't.

And who spoke of shunning Pos?
Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.
I'm not sure if you're going with a biblical definition, Ray, but that's a shunning.


ANYHOW, regarding F.C. Lane, I do have his "Batting" book from 1925 and it is quite awesome. I highly recommend it for everyone here.
   44. The District Attorney Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4027127)
no one is really going to take seriously third-hand information gathered via college kids tweeting during a class
1. What kind of documentation of a guy lecturing a college class do you expect there to be?
2. What motivation would the student have to concoct this tale?
3. If they had, wouldn't someone else who was there most likely have used their own ability to instantly communicate with the world and say "hey, that's not what happened"?

Do you seriously think that this story is made up?
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4027130)
I do wish that Poz would confront himself over the Paterno issue, but I can't see much point in ignoring everything he writes about baseball just because of it. If I can tolerate the assorted wingnuts and wackos who populate a fair portion of organized sports, I can live with a writer who let friendship cloud what surely must have been his better judgment.
   46. Cyril Morong Posted: January 02, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4027150)
At this site, you can comment directly on what Poz wrote about Lane

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2012/01/01/f-c-lane/

A commenter over there said the system did not include walks. FC Lane’s article on the value of walks is here

http://cyrilmorong.com/LaneBaseonBalls.htm

Also, Lane's book on batting has an interesting discussion on optimal lineups

I scanned it and posted it on my blog

http://cybermetric.blogspot.com/2011/01/fc-lane-on-batting-order.html

One expert mentioned that it was a good idea to bat power hitter Cy Williams 2nd.
   47. base ball chick Posted: January 02, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4027154)
cmon guys

posnanski shouldn't be shunned. he certainly did let the godliness cloud of paterno that seems to be state college city affect his judgement. and his mouth, which he opened prior to engaging brains.

but he has NOT published any hagiography.

and perhaps he is doing all kinds of re-writing and/or investigating. and waiting to see what else comes out and seeing if he can perhaps find anyone who will come forward corroborating what seems to be the case that joe swept this stuff under the rug.

that joe pa book may not ever get written. or that joe pa book just might could be a revelation of the 2 sides of joe paterno - and i personally would like to give joe a break here to see what he DOES do. because having to face the depths of paterno's moral depravity after being informed that he was saintly for over a year - that is a real shock to the mind.

and just maybe he is investigating the unsolved murder of the district attorney who WAS gonna prosecute.

i know how people who belong to a tight group will band together to protect the group, no mater what. i know this is true of companies, families, organizations, and obviously, colleges.

to me, what mcqueary did is no different from people who witness a murder who choose to keep mouth SHUT because they are more afraid of what will happen to them than they are of the murderer getting away with it. self preservation over justice for the victim.

to me, the person MOST guilty of sin (and notice i said SIN, not crime) here is joe paterno. he had immense power and he used it to sweep the carcass of little boy butts under the rugs.

kind of reminds me of women who are married to men who beat up or rape their children and they figure it is the price of getting that man's money/position. sort of sophie's choice. but what gets me about paterno is that he COULD have stopped sandusky if he wanted to even if he didn't ever let the raping get reported. he didn't do one thing except for order his "superior" over to his house the next day and tell him about it.

it's a crime against God and humanity, not the State.
   48. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4027178)
Pos wrote this about his discussion with the Penn State class:

I will wait, though. I will have to wait.

But then, yeah, I opened my big mouth. On Thursday morning, I went to speak at the “Paterno and the Media” class on the Penn State campus — I have spoken at the class the last two or three years. This was obviously one day after Paterno had been fired, and the campus had been turned inside out. I woke up wondering if I really should go. But I decided I had to go.

And when I was asked questions, I had to say how I felt. It spilled out of me. I suppose it caused a bit of a Twitter uproar — I say “I suppose,” because for the first time in memory I am not checking Twitter, and I think I’ll stay away for a while — but what I remember saying is:

1. Joe Paterno is responsible for what happens on his watch. Period.

2. People are making assumptions about what Joe did or didn’t know, what Joe did or didn’t do, and I can’t tell you that those assumptions are wrong. But I can tell you that they are assumptions based on one side of the story.

3. We are in a top-you world where everyone is not only trying to report something faster but is also trying to report something ANGRIER. One guy wants Joe Paterno to resign, the next wants him to be fired, the next wants him to be fired this minute, the next wants him to be fired and arrested, the next wants him to be fired, arrested and jailed, on and on, until we’ve lost sight of who actually committed the crimes here.

4. I think the University could not possibly have handled this worse. It was disgusting and disgraceful, the method in which they fired Joe Paterno after 60 years of service, and yes, I do think Paterno was a scapegoat. Of course he was. I’ve already said that he had to be let go. But to let him dangle out there, take up all the headlines, face the bulk of the media pressure, absolutely, that’s the very definition of scapegoat. Three people were indicted and arrested. A fourth, I hear, will be indicted soon. Joe Paterno is not one of the four.

5. It is still unclear what Paterno did in this case. It will remain unclear for a while. You might be one of the hundreds and hundreds of people I’ve heard from who know EXACTLY what Paterno did. He HAD to know this. He DEFINITELY knew that. He COULD have done something. I respect that. Joe Paterno’s a public figure. You have every right to believe what you want to believe and be absolutely certain about it. But since we have not heard from Joe, not heard from former athletic director Tim Curley, not heard from GA/assistant coach Mike McQueary, not heard from anyone who was in the room, I’ll repeat: It’s unclear. A determined grand jury did not charge Joe Paterno with any crime. A motivated reporting barrage, so far, anyway, has not uncovered a single thing that can tell us definitively what Joe Paterno knew.
   49. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4027189)
I wonder why singles and doubles remained the same but triples and homers lost 10% of their value? Random error is is something like stronger outfield throwing arms, more emphasis on power at the expense of speed or something else like that a factor?
   50. dlf Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4027195)
Even if Poz wasn't the first to rediscover Lane, I enjoyed this article. He has that kid-in-a-candy-shop approach that has drawn me into Poz's writing for a while. I am glad that he isn't bitter and perpetually cynical about sports as are most of the writers linked here.

On Paterno and Poz's lack of reporting before the story broke, I find it interesting that some of the very same people who bemoaned the illegal leaking of GJ testimony in the Balco / Bonds case, are now becrying Poz being unable to unearth this GJ testimony before it was made public.

I wonder why singles and doubles remained the same but triples and homers lost 10% of their value?


I'd start by guessing it is more a flaw in Lane's findings (either from the small sample size and/or how he was approaching the run value of a fielder's choice) rather than looking for a change in the structure of how the game is played.
   51. RJ in TO Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4027212)
I wonder why singles and doubles remained the same but triples and homers lost 10% of their value? Random error is is something like stronger outfield throwing arms, more emphasis on power at the expense of speed or something else like that a factor?


Looking at 1916 MLB, only about 5% of hits were triples, and only about 2% were home runs. Additionally, Lane only used a sample of 1000 hits out of the roughly 20000 hits for that season. Given the small percentages that triples and homers made up of the total number of hits, and the small percentage of total hits used by Lane for his calculations, it's probably just random chance that his calculations for the homers and triples were off in their estimated values.
   52.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4027226)
I fully agree with Lisa.

It isn't entirely dissimilar to the situation people often get into when it has been revealed that they've been scammed. Even after the scammer has been caught and his actions fully revealed, many people who were scammed will refuse to believe the truth...because they would then be admitting that they had fallen into this trap and been scammed for all these years. Instead of believing that they've been sucked into a scam for years and years they go into denial mode. They will blame everyone except for the person who scammed them, who then becomes a martyr of sorts.

I see that somewhat with JoePoz. He was writing a book about Paterno. That takes a ton of work; he was heavily invested in that project and now finding out the truth means admitting to being wrong, in some respects. It is very difficult.

I strongly believe that, in the end, Joe will not publish his book and will come around. Give him time.
   53. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4027247)
Just as bad things can happen to good people, good people can do bad things--or facilitate regrettable things happening, anyway. Only the Rays of the world can't understand that--they actually think state of the art is possible all the time. How is that possible, you ask? Simple, the only standard he recognizes is one where he's both judge and jury.
   54. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4027249)
I gave my 17 year-old son Batting for Christmas. First thing he read was some stuff on bat selection. He said (approximately), "This is freakin' awesome. I had no idea those guys spent so much time thinking about this stuff. I figured they just swung whatever felt good."

I also gave him The Art of Fielding. Yes, I'm trying to trick him into taking a few more swings and a few more grounders.
   55. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4027252)
Post 44:

The only things those tweets show conclusively is that Posnaski was then still in an analytical mode, which those who have already reached the dispositive phase resent. There's nothing particularly outrageous about that, about not racing for judgment, nor is there anything beyond the pale in the substance of what he said, as represented by a handful of tweets. Moreover, that goes toward the point of any defense of Posnanski--they are only a handful of tweets, superficial and incomplete. There's more to assessing evidence than that, I would hope, especially when it comes to destroying someone.
   56. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4027256)
I gave my 17 year-old son Batting for Christmas. First thing he read was some stuff on bat selection. He said (approximately), "This is freakin' awesome. I had no idea those guys spent so much time thinking about this stuff. I figured they just swung whatever felt good."


Who was it that said upon hearing Ted Williams expound at convoluted length on what went into hitting: "I don't know. The pitcher throws it, I swing at it."
   57. The District Attorney Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4027257)
The only things those tweets show conclusively is that Posnaski was then still in an analytical mode, which those who have already reached the dispositive phase resent. There's nothing particularly outrageous about that, about not racing for judgment, nor is there anything beyond the pale in the substance of what he said, as represented by a handful of tweets. Moreover, that goes toward the point of any defense of Posnanski--they are only a handful of tweets, superficial and incomplete. There's more to assessing evidence than that, I would hope, especially when it comes to destroying someone.
Putting aside the obvious fact that no one here is doing anything resembling, or most likely is even capable of, "destroying" anyone... I am not analyzing the statements in any way. I just think it's silly to deny factually that this is what the guy said that day.
   58. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4027262)
Who was it that said upon hearing Ted Williams expound at convoluted length of what went into hitting: "I don't know. The pitcher throws it, I swing at it.

well, Woodie Held said "Don't forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball"--which is kinda the same thing
   59. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4027263)
57:

Is that all Posnanski said? Must have been a really short talk. Were those the only people who were there? I tweet; therefore, I count. Wouldn't you want to know a little more from the tweeters, as well as maybe, miracle of miracle, from those who were there who didn't reflexively transmit one or two-liners? Is that how you would want to be judge on a serious matter--or even in buying a use car, would it be appropriate?

No one capable of destroying--don't make me laugh. There are people right here sharpening the tooth of the dog. They seethe and drool. Besides, they don't have to be judged in any more of a serious way than they're vouchsafing Posnanski (or Paterno).
   60. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4027266)
well, Woodie Held said "Don't forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball"--which is kinda the same thing


I want to say I remember it as Mickey saying it, but that would be odd because Mantle was very much a Ted Williams hitter (except for the strikeouts). OTOH, it wouldn't be odd, MM being the smartass he often came across as.
   61. Gaelan Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4027274)
Shut up, you sanctimonious idiot.


Hey, Crispix, go #### yourself. You are on the side of devils. And I'm not even Esoteric.

Now, on to the rest of the thread.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4027275)
Mantle really didn't like to let on that he ever put a lot of thought into much of anything. He did often talk about Williams being a "real" hitter, while he was just trying to swing as as hard as he could every time.
   63. Gaelan Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4027280)
I really hope that every article Poz writes from now on devolves into ######### about what he should have/should not have said about Paterno within the first dozen comments. That would be so great.
c

Even better would be for him to become a social pariah so that no one ever read a word of his again. Posnanski is a public figure with a large audience and he used that audience to provide cover for people who deserve to be pilloried. Only a complete mea culpa could make him fit for public society. Right now a decent society has no place for him.
   64. Gaelan Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4027284)
Joe Posnanski simply declined to make any public judgments about Paterno, his subject, in the immediate aftermath of a scandal that he, Poz, had nothing to do with. If you think this is "flat out reprehensible" or even "really, really wrong" you are completely nuts.


This is a flat out lie. It is also, I might add, the kind of obfuscation that allowed Paterno to cover up the events in the first place. We had a whole thread on this at the time. You can read it and educate yourself if you like. Or you can go on living in Pennsylvania induced delusions about Paterno's complicity in these events and Posnanski's complicity in providing cover for all of this.
   65. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4027286)
Mantle really didn't like to let on that he ever put a lot of thought into much of anything. He did often talk about Williams being a "real" hitter, while he was just trying to swing as as hard as he could every time.


Yeah, Mantle wasn't cerebral but he was a quick study, instinctively smart, and he is on record I believe as stating that he consciously emulated TW. One of the saddest things I read about Mantle was that he happened to be in the same town as Williams and drove around where Williams was staying, trying to work up the courage to knock on his door with the intention of telling him how much he meant to him. He never could bring himself to do it. I see that as a reflection of how alcoholism (and perhaps a personal life lost in too many way) can destroy a person's self-esteem. There was no reason for Mickey not to knock on that door--if Williams couldn't see him, or didn't want to (although I find that hard to credit), so be it. He should have thought enough of himself to do it.
   66. Gaelan Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4027287)
I've spoken about shunning Poz before and I'm going to take it further. It is now my mission to shut down every thread here. Posnanski has no place at BTF. I'm going to paste this

Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.


or something like it in every thread of Posnanksi's I see.

   67. Don Malcolm Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4027291)
From Joe's quote:

3. We are in a top-you world where everyone is not only trying to report something faster but is also trying to report something ANGRIER.

Joe's right about #3. We've seen that in the Conlin situation as well. Now, we often find ourselves in a mode of protecting ourselves from the fourth estate as much as trying to protect them from the excesses of political/economic manipulation. The problem is actually escalating; it's going to be some time before a set of reasonable standards can be imposed over the suddenly wide-open world of communications. We're getting closer and closer to having a worid where the notion of "privacy" is automatically shaded toward the notion of "cover-up." And the fact that so much of this viewpoint is actually justified makes it extremely difficult to believe that anyone is behaving honorably.

Paterno embodied the best and the worst of the "old school" world. It's impossible to be "an institution" for such an incredible length of time and not have some kind of skeleton in a closet--though this particular one was as abhorrent as it was unexpected.

As for Joe, his career to date has been a race between the pursuit of writerly excellence and a series of flirtations with sycophancy. At least he picked a solid iconoclast (Bill James) for one of his heroes, even though his own tendencies run mostly in the opposite direction. That provided him with a great opportunity to bring many key notions of sabermetrics into the mainstream. Regardless of whatever "pickle" he's currently in, that's something that should always count in his favor--even when F.C. Lane is being used as a metaphorical bandaid.
   68. The District Attorney Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4027293)
Were those the only people who were there? I tweet; therefore, I count.
If you weren't in that class, then I wouldn't take your tweets as evidence about what was said there, no.

Wouldn't you want to know a little more from the tweeters, as well as maybe, miracle of miracle, from those who were there who didn't reflexively transmit one or two-liners? Is that how you would want to be judge on a serious matter--or even in buying a use car, would it be appropriate?
No real clue what you're getting at here. If I wanted to know what a professor said at a certain lecture, and I knew that someone had been there and had transcribed what was said, that would in all likelihood satisfy my need. I very likely would not go out of my way to get someone else's transcription, and unless there were some incredibly weird motivation for them to do so, it would not even occur to me to think that this person could just be making stuff up for fun.

I don't think it is "a serious matter", insofar as, as has been noted, Poz was most likely in a very strange emotional place at that moment, and will have the opportunity to take as much time and as many words as he likes to explain exactly how he felt then and how he feels now. There are a zillion ways to defend his position other than denying that he said stuff that an uncontradicted eyewitness -- the only evidence we have or could reasonably expect to have -- reports he said. That is an exceptionally weird way.

Note that, per #48, Poz reiterates in his own words probably the most controversial thing he was reported to have said, i.e. Paterno is a scapegoat.

No one capable of destroying--don't make me laugh. There are people right here sharpening the tooth of the dog. They seethe and drool.
Yeah, I disagree.
   69. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4027296)
Gaelen = plonk
   70. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4027301)
60. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4027266)

well, Woodie Held said "Don't forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball"--which is kinda the same thing

I want to say I remember it as Mickey saying it, but that would be odd because Mantle was very much a Ted Williams hitter (except for the strikeouts). OTOH, it wouldn't be odd, MM being the smartass he often came across as.


Could swear it was a Pete Rose quote. This may be one of those cases where a quote is attributed to several people and none are the original source.
   71. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4027310)
Yeah, that's true, especially since Williams wasn't exactly loth when it came to pontificating about hitting, so there must have been many who witnessed such performances.
   72. ray james Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4027314)
Who was it that said upon hearing Ted Williams expound at convoluted length on what went into hitting: "I don't know. The pitcher throws it, I swing at it."


I think it might have been Yogi.
   73. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4027321)
Well it certainly should have been Yogi.

I remember reading something about a year and a half ago about a bunch of Yankees' hitters standing around the batting cage talking about recognizing various off-speed pitches. Nick Swisher said something like, "I don't know about any of that ####. I just try to hit the straight stuff."
   74. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4027331)
I think it might have been Yogi.

he certainly couldn't think and hit at the same time (but then, he didn't really say all the thing he said)
   75. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4027335)
Joe Posnanski simply declined to make any public judgments about Paterno, his subject, in the immediate aftermath of a scandal that he, Poz, had nothing to do with. If you think this is "flat out reprehensible" or even "really, really wrong" you are completely nuts.


No, he didn't "simply" do that. He "simply" made a series of misstatements about what we know about what Paterno knew, with a number of his misstatements bordering on lies. He claimed that we knew less than what we know.

All one needs in order to conclude that famed educator Joe Paterno acted reprehensibly in the face of child sex abuse are (1) Paterno's own statements under oath that McQueary reported to him that McQueary saw Sandusky in the showers "fondling" or doing something "of a sexual nature to a young boy," and (2) the fact -- a fact, unchallenged by anyone -- that Paterno did not see to it that McQueary's account of sex abuse on a child went to state authorities.

In the face of that, Posnanski felt that it was too early to judge Paterno. In the face of that, Posnanski wanted to "wait and see." And I'm criticizing Posnanski based on his own published words, not on a twitter feed from an eyewitness account to his classroom comments (although to my knowledge nobody has said that the student's twitter feed was incorrect, either.)

I post again a copy of the email I sent to Posnanski in November, in which I laid out my criticisms of him:

Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 23:36:49 -0500
Subject: On Paterno. Please make yourself stop.
From: Ray_DiPerna
To: emailjoepoz@gmail.com

Joe, your comments on Paterno are simply wrong, and uninformed, and, dare I say, lies.

And I say this as someone who had no ill feelings for Paterno last week.

1. You write:

"Beyond this two things, though, I said I wasn't going to write about this because I feel like there's still a lot of darkness around. I don't know what Joe Paterno knew. I don't know how he handled it. I don't know if he followed up. I don't know anything about Paterno's role in this except for what little was said about that in the horrifying and stomach-turning grand jury findings. People have jumped to many conclusions about Paterno's role and his negligence, and they might be right. I'll say it again: They might be right. But they might be wrong, too. And I'm writing a book about the man. I can't live in that world of maybes."

This is utterly wrong, and shameful for you to write. We DO know if Paterno followed up. We know, with absolute certainty, that he DID NOT follow up. We know that he did not follow up, because we know that the police were not informed by Paterno of the 2002 incident. So there is no "don't know;" there is no "might."

2. You write:

"I'm going to wait for evidence, and if it turns out that Joe Paterno knowingly covered this up, then I will write that with all the power and fury I have in me."

Once more: we know that Paterno did not report an incident of child abuse -- "of a sexual nature," by Paterno's own testimony -- to the police.

There is no "waiting" necessary. Please stop saying this. It is utter nonsense.

3. You write:

"People are making assumptions about what Joe did or didn't know, what Joe did or didn't do, and I can't tell you that those assumptions are wrong. But I can tell you that they are assumptions based on one side of the story."

Yes, they are based on one side of the story: ON JOE PATERNO'S side of the story. Per his grand jury testimony.

There are "assumptions" about what Paterno knew over a 13 year period. But there are FACTS about what he knew of the 2002 incident. By his own admission. There are FACTS about what he did not do: inform the police.

4. You write:

"It is still unclear what Paterno did in this case. It will remain unclear for a while. You might be one of the hundreds and hundreds of people I've heard from who know EXACTLY what Paterno did. He HAD to know this. He DEFINITELY knew that. He COULD have done something. I respect that. Joe Paterno's a public figure. You have every right to believe what you want to believe and be absolutely certain about it. But since we have not heard from Joe, not heard from former athletic director Tim Curley, not heard from GA/assistant coach Mike McQueary, not heard from anyone who was in the room, I'll repeat: It's unclear. A determined grand jury did not charge Joe Paterno with any crime. A motivated reporting barrage, so far anyway, has not uncovered a single thing that can tell us definitively what Joe Paterno knew."

You are simply lying.

Paterno's own testimony provides a bare minimum of what he knew. And his testimony alone -- and the fact that police were not called by him -- is damning. Those two facts alone -- FACTS -- make Paterno worthy of utter contempt.

One needs nothing else.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4027338)
I've spoken about shunning Poz before and I'm going to take it further. It is now my mission to shut down every thread here. Posnanski has no place at BTF. I'm going to paste this

Go away, Poz. I don't want to hear from you anymore, I don't want to read you anymore, I don't give a flying f**k what you think anymore. Finish up writing your Paterno hagiography, collect your 30 pieces of silver, and go to hell.


or something like it in every thread of Posnanksi's I see.


Well, I've just now figured out why they put in that "ignore" thingy. Who was that who just wrote that above bit of idiocy? "Cajun"? "Gaelic"? Seems like it was something like that, but I don't see him anywhere anymore.

EDIT: By RJ Testing an update bug
   77. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4027341)
#48 (not directed at you -- I know you're just reporting Poz's own words. Still best to be clear)

As Ray has noted, Paterno's own testimony is a matter of record. We do in fact know his own take on the matter. And thus point 5 is simply wrong.
   78. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4027344)
I don't think it is "a serious matter", insofar as, as has been noted, Poz was most likely in a very strange emotional place at that moment, and will have the opportunity to take as much time and as many words as he likes to explain exactly how he felt then and how he feels now.


There are some bells you can't unring. Posnanski can regain some respect by admitting that his comments were disgraceful, but he will never be able to regain all of it, or get back to where he was.

Had he immediately done a mea culpa, that would have helped. Instead, he refused further comment.
   79. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4027346)
Hi Andy,

My apologies for editing your comment. Wanted to demonstrate to Jim what was going on after the update. (I'm getting the Edit Comment for everybody's postings not just my own and this is new)
   80. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 03, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4027359)
I posted my #4 right before I engaged in a day's worth of air travel, and came back to find a firestorm. Well, the words I chose probably merited that, but the honest truth is that (and I usually don't find myself saying this) Ray D's done the best job of summarizing precisely where my disgust and anger stem from. His #75 actually does a great job of cataloging it. Before people (hey there Andy!) hop on Gaelan and pull out the old "ignore" threat, it's worth revisiting what really revolted people like us about what Posnanski wrote, and again #75 is a pretty decent summary.

Let me make a distinction here: I'd actually be willing to FORGIVE an initial burst of "this can't be true" or "Paterno is a good man, there must be some explanation, let's withhold judgment even though things do look terrible" from pretty much anyone, especially people who knew JoePa for years or were particularly close to him (or were working on a big book about him, natch). That's actually understandable. In fact, that's the sort of thing that others would be inclined to pounce upon that I would actually stand up to defend as a human reaction, a reflex, something that's easy to condemn in retrospect but is no different in the moment than the wife or mother of some horrible criminal proclaiming "no, not my baby, no way could he be the one!"

What angered me so much was that Poz's many statements, both related in Twitter by students and in his own posts, indicated quite clearly that he had gone well beyond that early gut-level 'reflex' reaction and was actually engaging his analytical capabilities to minimize, misrepresent, and obfuscate the awful facts out there. I can't repeat this enough: I can forgive a regrettable 'excited utterance' (to sort of misuse the legal term) as a human frailty. I cannot really forgive the fact that, after that moment passed, he continued to defend the indefensible, and did so by actively minimizing and diminishing and even straight-up misrepresenting the gravity of Paterno's misdeeds.

Finally, the thing that TRULY upset me (and a lot of others, I'd reckon) about Poz's conduct is that...well, it came from Poz. As stupid as it must seem to say this, it felt like a real betrayal. Because I held him to a higher standard. I've always thought of him as the best of the best when it comes not only to sportswriting, but also to making sound moral judgments about these things. It hurt more coming from him than it would have from, I dunno, Dan Shaughnessy.
   81. base ball chick Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:23 AM (#4027388)
esoteric

i understand what you are saying. especially because it's poz. whose tendency is to see the best in people, anyway.

which is why i think i have to give him the benefit of the doubt. especially considering that he had to begin to think of wrappng his mind around the horror that is this god-like worshipped figure who turns out to have thrown raped children to the wolves in the name of football. like throwing babies in the volcano to appease the gods.

i'm not like poz - i know only too well that we are all people, we all sinners and i disbelieve in saints. i don't hero worship anyone and i know people are complicated.

it's only too true that people are bad to rush to judgement before they know much about a situation and i can understand joe's saying - WAIT - it can't be. but i am also tired of all this endless vapid fake apologising over everything and anything that someone else doesn't want to have had said.

i'm going to see what joe has to write AFTER the trials, the rest of the stuff comes out. because that is what is really going to count. i think that joe can't and won't defend a man of paterno's immense power who knew about child raping goin on and chose to ignore it in the name of His Football program.


If poz just decides he can't write the promised book and never says anything about paterno, like ever, well, then i'll have to join you. but i wish you'd let him wait for the rest of the story before he writes it.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4027389)
Well, I've just now figured out why they put in that "ignore" thingy. Who was that who just wrote that above bit of idiocy? "Cajun"? "Gaelic"? Seems like it was something like that, but I don't see him anywhere anymore.


Andy, what was the ignore-worthy offense Gaelan committed? Posnanski trafficked in misrepresentations and lies in defending Paterno, a man who had acted reprehensibly in -- at a bare minimum, and making all inferences in favor of Paterno by relying only on his sworn testimony -- failing to report an eye witness account of child sex abuse to authorities. Likely not coincidentally, Posnanski has been paid handsomely to write a book about Paterno. Posnanski made his initial wrongheaded comments, and then doubled down on them, making a series of misrepresentations about what Paterno knew in crafting a despicable defense for him. Then Paterno, after not having retracted his initial comments, after not having retracted his subsequent comments, then shut it down like a child and refused to comment any further.

Some people -- such as Gaelan and Esoteric and myself -- heavily critical of Posnanski for that. Others have defended him.

In the face of that, I can understand Gaelan's and Esoteric's desire to make mention of Posnanski's loathsome comments in every Posnanski thread. Call it the John Feinstein treatment.
   83. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4027395)
#82 Like Andy I added Esoteric to my ignore list. Precisely because he's promised to throw that specific rant into any Poz links here.
.

   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4027396)
i'm not like poz - i know only too well that we are all people, we all sinners and i disbelieve in saints. i don't hero worship anyone and i know people are complicated.


Poz's childlike worship of a football coach is really bizarre. Paterno was exposed as a fraud. Here was a guy revered as an "educator" for half a century, all because he... won football games? He wasn't a great man to begin with. The surprise was not in learning that. The surprise, if there was one, was in finding out that he had no real character at all.

Usually when people think of college coaches "winning at all costs," people think of recruiting violations. (I think it's terrible not to pay these student athletes what they're worth, while the Paternos of the world rake in millions of dollars, but that's a discussion for another day.) And apparently Paterno was a saint when it came to not committing recruiting violations. Apparently he had a good record for student athletes graduating under him (as if this low bar is supposed to be an achievement). Well, so what, when he allowed even a single eye witness account of child sex abuse to go unreported to state authorities?

It strains belief to think Paterno knew nothing at all other than McQueary's report of the 2002 incident, but we don't need to make any assumptions at all about what Paterno knew to deem Paterno's inaction in the face of the single McQueary report worthy of utter contempt.

   85. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4027401)
#82 Like Andy I added Esoteric to my ignore list. Precisely because he's promised to throw that specific rant into any Poz links here.
Where did I promise this? Where, in this thread or in any other on the site?

In fact, this is the first time I've ever even commented on the Poz aspect of the whole JoePa/Sandusky saga, IIRC. I pretty much bottled my disgust up at the time, and only let it out now because this is the first article of his I've seen here since everything broke open.

(Could someone perhaps quote this so Ron J. will see it? He might also be interested in my #80.)
   86. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:54 AM (#4027403)
#82 Like Andy I added Esoteric to my ignore list. Precisely because he's promised to throw that specific rant into any Poz links here.


Ron, Esoteric's #4 was ranty, but I don't see in there the promise you attribute to him. (Perhaps he's promised it in another thread?)
   87. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:56 AM (#4027404)
#49 It's a problem that Steve Mann would encounter decades later. You'll get slightly different values in any given year when you attempt what amounts to a linear weights approach.

And the margin of error in Lane's day would be higher because the counter stats explain run scoring less well back then.

Just to take one thing, batter strikeouts are significant up until 1920. Which makes sense when you think about it. More errors and fewer DPs mean that there's more to be gained in simply putting the ball into play.

Base running (or to be more precise outs on base) plays a more important role.

But to answer your specific question, I do know the relative value of isolated power is inversely proportional to offensive levels (that is to say that iso is of greatest relative importance in a low scoring era) and Lane was working in a low scoring time. It might be as simple as runners on first and second were substantially less likely to score back then even after accounting for the low offensive levels.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4027406)
Ron: To be clear, I made the same mistake as well. Not sure why.
   89. Ron J Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4027408)
#86 See Andy's #76. I assume it came from an actual Esoteric comment (I've skimmed him for quite some time). If it's not, I'm going to be pissed.
   90. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4027412)
#82 Like Andy I added Esoteric to my ignore list. Precisely because he's promised to throw that specific rant into any Poz links here.

Where did I promise this? Where, in this thread or in any other on the site?

In fact, this is the first time I've ever even commented on the Poz aspect of the whole JoePa/Sandusky saga, IIRC. I pretty much bottled my disgust up at the time, and only let it out now because this is the first article of his I've seen here since everything broke open.

(Could someone perhaps quote this so Ron J. will see it? He might also be interested in my #80.)


Esoteric, I think the confusion came from Gaelan's #66 and Andy's #76.

Ron: For the record (I think I've unraveled it), Andy in #76 was quoting Gaelan in #66 who was quoting Esoteric in #4. But the promise to make mention of this in every Poz thread was Gaelan's, not Esoteric's.
   91. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4027415)
#86 See Andy's #76. I assume it came from an actual Esoteric comment (I've skimmed him for quite some time). If it's not, I'm going to be pissed.


The first part is from Eso. The "or something like it in every thread of Posnanksi's I see" is from Gaelan.

Andy is BTF's serial quoter, though usually he delineates one quoted poster from the next by italics, boldface, boldface italics, underlines, comics sans, etc.

Edit: Coke to Ray.

   92. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:13 AM (#4027417)
#86 See Andy's #76. I assume it came from an actual Esoteric comment (I've skimmed him for quite some time). If it's not, I'm going to be pissed.
Time to get pissed, my friend.

EDIT: And why skim me? I'm no troll. Not even much of a dogmatist, really. I do tend to run a little hot now and then, but there's always Sam H. to make me look like David Gergen by comparison.

Is it because of all the posts I make praising Pavement? Yeah, it's probably gotta be the Pavement posts.
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4027420)
The Pavement posts?
   94. Tuque Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4027421)
I strongly believe that, in the end, Joe will not publish his book and will come around. Give him time.

I find it bizarre that so many people think that there's no room in this world for a subtle, multilayered portrayal of Joe Paterno - or that Poz is somehow incapable or unwilling to write such a book. Joe Posnanski is an excellent writer, with a strong understanding of the fact that the gray area of the human character is the most interesting space to write about. Not only would it be a bad idea to give up on writing this book due to this recent rash of sanctimonious silliness, the fact that this scandal erupted in the middle of the book-writing process could potentially lead to this book being unbelievably fascinating. Yes, Paterno made a mistake, but if we refuse to write about the people who make mistakes, then we wouldn't have anything good in this world to read.
   95. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:19 AM (#4027423)
The Pavement posts?
Heh, just a reference to my fanboyish attachment to the greatest rock band of the 1990s, and my frequent fapfests about them in the various threads of BBTF. (Search "esoteric" and "Pavement" and you'll see.)

Have I mentioned what a great album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is? Particularly the 2-CD reissue with bonus tracks!
   96. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 03, 2012 at 04:58 AM (#4027437)
I've put more people on ignore here in the past three weeks than I have ever done for many years previous. Perhaps I'm getting old and cranky.

I see that as a reflection of how alcoholism (and perhaps a personal life lost in too many way) can destroy a person's self-esteem. There was no reason for Mickey not to knock on that door--if Williams couldn't see him, or didn't want to (although I find that hard to credit), so be it. He should have thought enough of himself to do it.


For what it's worth, there are several accounts which suggest that Mickey Mantle was abused as a child....
   97. zachtoma Posted: January 03, 2012 at 05:23 AM (#4027440)
which is why i think i have to give him the benefit of the doubt. especially considering that he had to begin to think of wrappng his mind around the horror that is this god-like worshipped figure who turns out to have thrown raped children to the wolves in the name of football. like throwing babies in the volcano to appease the gods.


Wait, you are really going to be a Poz apologist. Simply dispicable, stop misrepresenting what he did! You're giving the "benefit of the doubt" [scoff] to a man who, in a beyond sickening act of sub-human cowardice, withheld his judgment of a man who didn't go to the authorities with credible allegations of child rape. That makes you, I'm afraid, no better than a child rapist yourself! You know we don't look kindly on child rape here of BBTF... no sir, this is a respectable institution. It's probably best you don't come around here anymore; a quick apology might have helped, but I don't see how you could ever hope to get your respect back.
   98. Swedish Chef Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:01 AM (#4027447)
Who would have thought a BBTF thread could crush the whole state of Iowa in a sanctimony contest?
   99. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:15 AM (#4027448)
Good lord, Gaelan, this is how you teach your students to think and reason?
   100. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:31 AM (#4027450)
Here's the part I don't understand. Don't we at BTF criticize writers all the time for sanctimonious moralizing? Mostly about steroids, but also other issues like "team chemistry" and that stuff -- personal profiles, etc.. Yet here some people are, criticizing Poz for what amounts to refusal to do the same. Boggles the mind.

Or, to be brief... LOL Gaelan.
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