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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Davis: Smelly Bloggers Admitted to BBWAA

Murray Chass to hold press conference and nose.

On Tuesday, that chasm may have lessened a bit. With the inclusion of Carson Cistulli, Eno Sarris, Sam Miller, and Joe Hamrahi, the online baseball community now has more representation in the BBWAA. I think that is a good thing and I suppose I’m supposed to go on and tell you why. I think it’s a good thing because these gentleman bring qualities to the BBWAA that, stereotypically, haven’t existed much in the past. These guys are well versed in advanced statistics. The know how they work and what they aim to accomplish. They also understand their limits and their margins for error. I would say they know how to responsibly apply new numbers to baseball analysis while also supplementing them with additional sources and methods. Additional methods like, say, scouting reports and video analysis and things like that. Despite popular opinion, it is not required that one pledge pure allegiance to only statistics, or only scouting and eye-seeing in baseball. There exists the possibility, get this, of combining the two (!), of using all available information available to make arguments and draw conclusions. Quaint, I know.

...If we accept that we care about post-season awards, and by extension, the Hall of Fame, then it becomes important that the voters are open-minded, inquisitive individuals, willing to write about, discuss, and argue their votes and selections. Right now, this is not the case. Voters lie in anonymity, sometimes presenting nonsensical ballots with zero explanation or accountability. History swings on the whims of the uninformed and silent. Awards voting and Hall of Fame selecting can only improve and regain respectability if the process becomes open and accessible, understandable and defensible, and what better stewards of such a revolution than people who write about baseball daily on the internet? Members who interact with readers and other writers through Twitter, and comment threads, and Email, and all sorts of other electronic marvels. One is much more likely to take one’s BBWAA responsibilities seriously if one is held to a high communal standard by one’s peers, isn’t one? Writers who live visibly in the light of the internet make better members than those who hide in the darkness of whatever not the internet is (real life)?

So here’s to progress, and the new BBWAA members, and to improving the process. Here’s to taking baseball super, super seriously, but not too seriously, of course.

Repoz Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:56 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bbwaa

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. TomH Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4318504)
Murray Chass to hold press conference and nose.

Intro primey

   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4318552)
Carson Cistulli has the most preposterously long Wikipedia page I have ever seen.
   3. Shredder Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4318561)
Carson Cistulli has the most preposterously long Wikipedia page I have ever seen.
Good lord, that is long. Interesting what one can learn about people in their (probably now defunct) Diamond Mind leagues.

Related: This is pretty funny
Reading Cistulli's Wikipedia page—which has been around for a while—is an exhausting exercise in wondering "Why does this exist?"
   4. kthejoker Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4318569)
Zeugma!
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4318581)
Is that the same as smegma?
   6. tshipman Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4318611)
Who actually reads a Cistulli column? those things are horrible.
   7. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4318683)
Jumping from something linked on Cistulli's wikipage, what is "NERD" and why does it have a Wikipedia page?
   8. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4318731)
Smelly bloggers need the most attention.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4318761)
Seems like Cistulli's bit is applying McSweeney's style humor to baseball. Again and again.
   10. The_Ex Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4318767)
Cistulli never met a short question that he couldn't stretch into a three minute monologue. It sounds like his wikipedia page fits the same model.
   11. Dan Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4318777)
Cistulli seems like a really bizarre person to be receiving BBWAA membership. Sarris seems like a worthy selection. I'm not sure I'm familiar with the other two names.
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4318799)
Reading Cistulli's Wikipedia page—which has been around for a while—is an exhausting exercise in wondering "Why does this exist?"


The majority of his page was put together by one user, someone at the IP address 193.251.43.248. That user has made 267 edits, of which 171 were to Cistulli's page or its talk page. This is sort of misleading, because 193.251.43.248 has the habit of making lots of changes in small increments, which is annoying when looking at a history page but which allows us to traces his or her movements with some degree of accuracy. It would appear, for example, that from January 1-2, 2011 (UTC time) our 193.251.43.248 made 34 changes to the page over a period of 8 hours. Previously, on November 25th, 2010, 193.251.43.248 spent 7 hours making changes to the page. Our 193.251.43.248 also spent about 7 hours on the page on December 1.

What's funny is that 193.251.43.248 is an IP address in Paris, which is probably a spoofed address. 11/25/2010 was Thanksgiving in the US, and 7 hours screwing around on Wikipedia makes more sense for an American on a holiday than for a Parisian on a random Thursday. Also, the January 1 or 1-2 edits were either done from about 3 pm to 9:20 pm US East Coast time, or 10 pm to 5:30 am Paris time. Which sounds more likely? Overall, there are tons of edits that look like they're either done at something like 4 or 5 am Paris time, which is a much more reasonable 9 or 10 pm on the East Coast.

Before 193.251.43.248 got involved, the page looked like this.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4318812)
Maybe the wiki page helped get him his membership.
   14. Chicago Joe Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4318823)
Carson Cistulli has the most preposterously long Wikipedia page I have ever seen.


The Bunn Family.
   15. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4318837)
The Bunn Family.


What is this, I don't even...

215 references about a person/place/thing I have NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE is really impressive.
   16. McCoy Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4318868)
Carson Cistulli has the most preposterously long Wikipedia page I have ever seen.

Longer than Joe's?
   17. SteveM. Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4318882)
The Bunn Family.


I am a historian who specializes in 19th century U.S. history. I had never heard of the family before and after the reading the Wikipedia pages, I still wonder why anyone outside a relative cares.
   18. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4318887)
Carson Cistulli has the most preposterously long Wikipedia page I have ever seen.


74 footnotes? David Foster Wallace would approve.

Based on one of his blogs, Cistulli and I likely live in the same neighborhood.

Seems like Cistulli's bit is applying McSweeney's style humor to baseball. Again and again.


I agree with this opinion and Harvey's contention that Cistulli's a goof, although I don't think either is a bad thing.
   19. akrasian Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4318913)
I am a historian who specializes in 19th century U.S. history. I had never heard of the family before and after the reading the Wikipedia pages, I still wonder why anyone outside a relative cares.

I'm guessing a relative wrote a research paper on them, and decided it should be immortalized on wikipedia.
   20. DA Baracus Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4318918)
The Bunn Family.


Not only does this needless still exist but yesterday someone fixed a typo on it. And the same guy grammar policed Cistulli's too. Wikipedia editors are a strange lot.

   21. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4318925)
From the Deadspin article linked above:

The page starts with details of his early life, since future scholars will undoubtedly wonder to what extent his childhood influenced theories such as "Alf would make a good color-commentator." There's even a picture of his hometown in New Hampshire, like it's the Hemingway House. Is there a sign that says, "Welcome to Concord, Historic Home of Carson Cistulli, Sabermetric Humor Blogger"? Probably not, since he's not even on the Wikipedia list of notable people from the town.

...Yet!
   22. Tuque Posted: December 06, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4318950)
eh, nevermind
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4318989)
This means, lord willing, in ten years, there will be four new members eligible to vote for the MVP and Cy Young awards, and also Hall of Fame inclusion.


I'm pretty sure he has it wrong, new members are allowed to vote for the annual awards as soon as they gain admittance. I'm pretty sure Keith Law and Will Carroll were admitted in 2008 and got the right to vote.
   24. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4319001)
Do bloggers really smell? I did not know that.
   25. fra paolo Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4319023)
Do bloggers really smell?

"My blog has no nose" could be a good title for a oenophile's blog.
   26. Repoz Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4319051)
Who actually reads a Cistulli column? those things are horrible.

I think GGC is a big fan.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4319054)
I'm pretty sure he has it wrong, new members are allowed to vote for the annual awards as soon as they gain admittance.


You are correct CFB. It's 10 years of continuous membership before you get to vote for the Hall, but you may be selected to vote in the annual awards as soon as you gain admission to the BBWAA (where, I believe, the org. limits voting to those who are actively covering baseball).

   28. The District Attorney Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4319061)
My blog has no nose
How does it smell?
   29. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4319108)
schrecklich
   30. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4319158)
I think GGC is a big fan.


I'm more of a fan of Dayn Perry's insertion of DIck Allen's name into famous works of literature or Alex Remington's stuff, but I rarely read anything outside of BTF these days.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4319165)
Too bad I'm not a blogger or I'd have a new handle.
   32. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: December 07, 2012 at 07:15 AM (#4319290)
- Walt Davis (with new odor!)

- The Perpetually Smelly Walty D

- Smelling Salt Walt



oh, it's friday...
: )

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