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Saturday, May 25, 2013

SB Nation: The Rotation: The worst baseball conversations

The Rotation is a weekly feature here at SB Nation MLB in which we put a question to our vast network of baseball scribes and bring you the answers. This week we ask, What is the worst ongoing conversation in baseball?

bobm Posted: May 25, 2013 at 12:03 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, dead horses, definition of mvp, designated hitters, giants, old school, peds, proven closers, regression, territorial rights, war

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 25, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4452037)
I'm going to go with "Does Joey Votto really think Pete Rose helped him?"
   2. Guapo Posted: May 25, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4452071)
The OTP thread.

Runner-up: "What was that Astros vendor doing in that bathroom stall with those sno cones?"
   3. The District Attorney Posted: May 25, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4452074)
"Why did Ronald Reagan give his first post-convention speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi?"

The list from TFA, just to save us all some time, is:

• "Old school" vs. "new school" stats
• The DH
• OAK/SF fight over San Jose
• Stabilization vs. regression to the mean (not 100% sure what this means)
• Definition of "MVP"
• WAR, what is it good for
• PEDs and the Hall of Fame
• The closer role

It's a very solid list. I might still put "what Moneyball means" on there, although it thankfully isn't the nightmare it was years ago.

Two conversations that happen a lot (including here recently) and are very often annoying, but I think are quite important, are 1) "random chance" vs. "things we can't predict, but are happening for reasons", and 2) how much we trust our defensive stats, and how to combine them with offensive stats to get a total evaluation of a player. (I would also cite the WAR and closer discussions as discussions of things that are actually philosophically important.)
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4452076)
1. "Who was the best _______ of all time?"
2. "Who should be in the Hall of Fame? No, I mean who will be voted in, not who should be in. No, I mean if the standards were changed to make sense. Also, I'm assuming we don't rule people out because of steriods. Oh, never mind."
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4452097)

Who is clutch, or is anyone clutch and has anyone ever been clutch?

makes me clutch something, all right...
   6. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4452105)
I think the HOF conversations are the worst. Why are those Jack Morris threads so long? Isn't Sugar Bear Blanks his only staunch supporter here?
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4452123)
2. "Who should be in the Hall of Fame? No, I mean who will be voted in, not who should be in. No, I mean if the standards were changed to make sense. Also, I'm assuming we don't rule people out because of steriods. Oh, never mind."

Bingo. But you left out "Sportswriters are all stupid."
   8. Steve Treder Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4452126)
1. George Brett's propensity for sh!tting his pants.
   9. Swedish Chef Posted: May 25, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4452132)
Pedroia vs Cano
   10. BDC Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4452144)
The worst baseball conversation I've heard was one two guys were having behind me at the Ballpark recently. The visitors had a good pitcher going, doesn't matter who. The two guys were trading emphatic certainties about the pitcher that they'd heard on some show. "He's got a sick fastball," guy says; pitcher throws a tomato and a Ranger hammers it into the bullpen. "He can always get the curve over when he needs to, down in the count," announces the other; pitcher throws one a foot outside and walks somebody. "He gets stronger as the game goes on," guy says as we head into the second time through the order and the pitcher loads the bases. It was like some deity was determined to contradict them, but they just couldn't stop themselves.
   11. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 25, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4452168)
PETCO.
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4452177)
Anything involving Pete Rose.

Was Clay Buchholz throwing illegal pitches?

Anything involving Scott Boras.

That Brandon Phillips vs Joe Morgan link elsewhere at BBTF right now was pretty silly...

Anything involving Jack Morris.
   13. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4452185)
The one between Michael Kay and YES viewers.
   14. base ball chick Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4452190)
no - definitely NOT the worse

1 - uh, Baby Grrl, do you seriously not want me to get tickets for Mothers Day cuz i know you said you ain't setting foot in the Box until something or other i forget and you been watching with your mama anyhow and
uh
um

boy i been watching NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!!!

oh yeah, they have the whatsis guy, uh, NOT have him???

2 - at the Box (back when i used to go/care:

1 out nobody on, hitter hits a high popup in the IF nobody gets to - loudmouth guy in back of us: (Loud swear words) STUPID UMPIRE THAT WAS A IF FLY HE'S OUT!!! (More swear words)
- me - excuse me please, would you mind not swearing in front of my 3 year olds and the ump is not stupid cuz that wasn't where you use the infield fly rule, that was an E4
- him - oh yeah, it was the infield
- me, patiently - that's not what the IF fly is about.
- him - how would YOU know
- me - i'm really a man in drag, so being a REAL MAN i know this stuff
- him - you don't LOOK like no man
- me - thank you

2 - near the end of the season, astros in pennant race (or WC race/division race - whatever) yes it used to happen, 4th inning, pete munro or someone equally lousy pitching
Husband - well, they just scored 2 runs, you wanna leave now?

3 - sitting in front of LOUD females talking LOUDLY about someone's wedding gonna be next weekend or something, talking about, uh, intimate stuff
- me, excuse me please, can you please keep this G-rated, this is a G-rated place, thank you
- female - whaaaa?
- please don't talk about stuff like you talkin about in front of all these kidz please thank you
- immediately there's lots of really loud noise in ballpark, everybody screaming, then homerun ball caught at fence, awesome catch by opposing CF, sudden dead silence
- loud female in back of us - AND THEN I BLEW HIM - heard clearly over at least 3 sections

4 - some loud guy near us, with every astros hitter - HIT THE BALL ON TEH GROUND AND RUN CMON (for anyone not named bagwell or berkman) and of course it's a grounder to 2nd/short for like 9 straight times
- his friend - maybe they should try hitting it in the air
- NONONONO, ball goes fast on turf
- his friend - ain't no turf in this park
- loud guy - then whaddaya call THAT?

5 - roof open, hottern heck, me in tank and short shorts (clearly not male) with 2 or 3 little kidz saying MAMI this and MAMI that every 3 seconds, me writing in scorebook, us sitting way in upper deck, first base side, me without radar gun or badge
- some guy - are you a scout?
- me, patiently, no, i'm a woman
- guy - then how come you writing in that book?
- me, patiently - i'm keeping score, like barbara bush does. it's a scorebook
- guy, patronizingly - oh honey you don't gotta do that, the score is right over there up on the screen

6 - every year from 2001 - 2010

- some guy - HEY ALBERT YOU SUCK!!!!!
- albert - hits baseball 600 feet, shattering citgo sign or maybe it's 2 buildings over or something
- some guy - HEY ALBERT IT IS PETTITTE COMING IN TO RELIEVE SO GO SIDDOWN
- albert - hits baseball 600 feet for a walkoff/game winner
- some guy - HEY ALBERT IT IS ROY-O COMING IN TO RELIEVE SO YOU DEAD MEAT
- albert - hits baseball 500 feet over crawford boxes for walkoff/game winner
- some guy - HEY ALBERT IT AIN'T LIDGE NO MO SO SUCKITT!!!!
- albert - hits baseball 500+ feet to homer/walkoff/game winner
- some guy - HEY ALBERT _ YOU
- me, to guy - SHADDUP before
- some guy - IT's POO
- me, to that guy - SHET UP SHETTIN UP
- albert - too late there little grrl - hits baseball 500+ feet to drive in game winner


Happy memorial day there boys especially all yall was in the military

   15. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4452195)
"loud female in back of us - AND THEN I BLEW HIM - heard clearly over at least 3 sections"

see, now THAT would be a great Youtube video/audio

you see the ball hit deep, the play made, the quiet arrives, the yackity comment is made - and then pan to the crimson-faced woman, then to some suddenly-intrigued young men nearby...

#instantviral

   16. tshipman Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4452230)
People using hashtags at websites other than Twitter.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4452249)

how much do I have to pay you to put me on ignore?

#bbtfstalker

   18. TerpNats Posted: May 25, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4452257)
boy i been watching NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!!!
Hope you've been enjoying Bryce Harper, bbc.
   19. GregD Posted: May 25, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4452258)
bbc, you should be writing for a baseball-themed sitcom about a fanatic fan woman's interactions with spouse/neighbors/random strangers.
   20. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 25, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4452260)
PEDs, esp with reference to the hall, bar none. I was sick of that convo back when George Bush was still president. Feels like I've been sick of it since George Bush, Sr was president.


Others that I get tired of:
(1) Baseball is dying / no it isn't! (This is more just a one-way stream of bullshit, but it comes up a lot.)
(2) Is Manny Ramirez / Matt Kemp / some other black or Latino player a bad person / lazy / a clubhouse cancer?
(3) Anything to do with Billy Beane or Theo Epstein.


Ones I love:
(1) Walk-up music.
(2) History of the game.
(3) Your mom.
   21. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 25, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4452265)
"Why did Ronald Reagan give his first post-convention speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi?"


Because he couldn't get a convenient flight to Nuremberg?
   22. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:06 AM (#4452306)
Ichiro's HOF chances.
   23. morineko Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:49 AM (#4452307)
bbc's #3 reminds me of a friend who is great in most other circumstances except at sporting events because...well...that's what I get for conversation.
   24. SteveM. Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4452308)
What did Marge Schott look like nude.
   25. McCoy Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4452309)
Spectacular
   26. GregD Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4452311)
What did Marge Schott look like nude.
Amazingly, we have an answer
   27. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4452312)
1) PED's, since I no longer give a ####.
2) The HoF chances of players who are obviously nowhere near the borderline.
3) Luxury tax (and the terrible injustices heaped upon teams unfortunate enough to have seemingly infinite revenue streams).
4) Umpire incompetence coupled with arrogance.
   28. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4452313)
What did Marge Schott look like nude.


I heard her Stiv Bators style haircut was a real turnoff.
   29. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:12 AM (#4452314)
Amazingly, we have an answer


I'd rip out my eyes with a melon scoop before I clicked that link.
   30. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:23 AM (#4452316)
(1) Baseball is dying / no it isn't! (This is more just a one-way stream of ########, but it comes up a lot.)

Baseball's television ratings are an obnoxious topic. It's pretty hard to convince me that I should care about profitability for News Corp. or Disney.

Baseball's unwritten rules inevitably leave me exasperated, wondering how anyone cares about that ####.
   31. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: May 26, 2013 at 02:30 AM (#4452322)
Baseball's television ratings are an obnoxious topic. It's pretty hard to convince me that I should care about profitability for News Corp. or Disney.


Agreed (except for the Disney part as I like getting paid). Yeah, we want baseball to be a going concern, but the margins of baseball ratings is completely unimportant. All the hand-wringing about RED LINE DROPPED 6% FROM LAST YEAR'S RED LINE is practically irrelevant and if there's a time to worry, shouldn't we at least wait until such time that new television deals aren't completely swamping previous television deals?
   32. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 26, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4452336)
History of the game.


If people like this topic, why are most of the popular blogs stats and current event oriented?
   33. BDC Posted: May 26, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4452349)
OK, Houston beats Arlington for dumb baseball conversations in a walk :)
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4452361)
a reds radio broadcast
   35. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4452368)
As BBC has officially joined Braves Country this season she's more like to enjoy the exploits of Evan Gattis tha The Boy With Llama Hair.
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4452371)
And Reagan didn't go to Philadelphia, MS. He went to the county fairgrounds outside of Phil, MS. Which, as I understand these things, is like, totes diff.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4452372)
History of the game.


If people like this topic, why are most of the popular blogs stats and current event oriented?

Because contrary to mythology, 90% of baseball fans are like everyone else: They think the world began around the time of their 10th birthday, and that everything else was "before my time".
   38. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4452375)
If people like this topic, why are most of the popular blogs stats and current event oriented?


Self selection bias. Blogs and Internet driven discussion automatically skews the conversation to under 40s which skews the topics to current events.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4452381)
And Reagan didn't go to Philadelphia, MS. He went to the county fairgrounds outside of Phil, MS. Which, as I understand these things, is like, totes diff.

In terms of the racial dynamics it was about as significant as the difference between a mortuary and a cemetery, or between a Big Mac and a Whopper.
   40. The District Attorney Posted: May 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4452394)
I get the feeling you're about to find out that my nomination was a good one...

I suppose that's a segue to the observation that any baseball discussion that is very closely tied to politics is bound to be frustrating. Why are there fewer African-Americans in baseball than there used to be; what if there were a female or openly gay player; should the Indians/Braves change their names and/or iconography; do we need to sing "God Bless America" at games; etc.

I wish we had more discussions about where Negro Leaguers rank among the all-time greats, so I could at least get tired of people trying to rewrite them out of history. It'd at least be better to have that awful discussion than not to have them discussed at all.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4452401)
I suppose that's a segue to the observation that any baseball discussion that is very closely tied to politics is bound to be frustrating. Why are there fewer African-Americans in baseball than there used to be;

Here you get some people who actually want to explore the reasons for it, and possible measures that might be taken to counter the trend. But every time they do, they get drowned out by "the world is ending because of it" (usually the original writer) or "why should we care at all?"

what if there were a female or openly gay player; should the Indians/Braves change their names and/or iconography; do we need to sing "God Bless America" at games; etc.

Those discussions are 99% driven by Repoz's pinata columns and the need for some people to politicize everything. Once you've seen one of those threads you've seen em all.

I wish we had more discussions about where Negro Leaguers rank among the all-time greats, so I could at least get tired of people trying to rewrite them out of history. It'd at least be better to have that awful discussion than not to have them discussed at all.

Here you run into the stats-uber-alles bias of forums like this, where statistical comparisons can take us only so far, and where actual black vs white competitions get waved aside as "mere exhibition games" instead of being looked at in depth for what they might reveal.
   42. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4452408)
In terms of the racial dynamics it was about as significant as the difference between a mortuary and a cemetery, or between a Big Mac and a Whopper.


Turn on the sarcasm detector, Andy. And if you want to rehash that horse corpse, take it to the OTP.
   43. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4452417)
The Reagan-goes-to-Philadelphia-to-talk-states'-rights-in-Klan-Kountry figures a bit in Willie Morris' Courting of Marcus Dupree, or whatever it's called, which I began a few weeks ago but couldn't get interested in. I suspect part of the problem for me was that I'd watched the ESPN "40 for 40" (or whatever it's called) installment on Dupree a few weeks earlier, so some of the story's thunder had been stolen. Also, I know Morris was supposed to be hot stuff, & quite possibly he was (I haven't read him otherwise), but so much rhapsodizing & navel-gazing about the innate lyricism & irony & contradiction & tragedy & what-have-you about the Deep South quickly wears pretty damned thin, I guess, on someone who grew up & still continues to live amidst all that, as in my case. (I guess Morris loses cracker points for having moved up north for awhile. I feel like a ####### case of Saltines in comparison.)

Or maybe it's just me, & I wasn't in the mood for him &/or the book at the time.
   44. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4452420)
but so much rhapsodizing & navel-gazing about the innate lyricism & irony & contradiction & tragedy & what-have-you about the Deep South quickly wears pretty damned thin


Well, the Deep South *is* more lyrical, ironic, contradictory and tragic than the rest of the yobs in the union, as attested by the posting histories of myself and BBC. But otherwise, it is what it is.
   45. Swedish Chef Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4452421)
The worst baseball conversation isn't half as bad as political hijacks of baseball threads.

The Reagan-goes-to-Philadelphia-to-talk-states'-rights-in-Klan-Kountry figure...

Shooo, away to your OTP cage now.
   46. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 26, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4452427)
The worst baseball conversations are projections-related. First there was the need to unskew Nate Silver's PECOTA projections because he was biased against the Cardinals. "The demographics simply cannot support the conclusion that Mark Mulder will only win 12 games in 2006." Then you have the people that think Dan Szymborski is clueless because he projects Darryl Kile to pitch 150 innings in 2003.
   47. Dan Evensen Posted: May 26, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4452728)
BBC wins this thread. Had me in stitches the whole time.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: May 26, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4452747)
I think most of the conversations are good. I have fun with the hof conversations, the projections, the steroid conversations etc... About the only one I have real problems with are the constant "baseball is dying because TV ratings is the only thing that matters idiocy" that occasionally gets put out there...On top of that, add in the articles bemoaning the death of the game because of whatever pet peeve that the author has with the way the game is played.... Add in articles claiming "how to fix the game" written by people who clearly don't like the game to begin with(who think that Basketball or Football are sports to emulate).... those are the ones that bother me the most.

I can deal with people thinking that Jack Morris is a hofer, provided they are willing to engage in honest banter. I can deal with anti/pro replay arguments. I can deal with the PED discussion.... etc....

and of course any thread that creates a comment like BBC's in post 14 is automatically a win.

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