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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Matt Welch: Bill Dwyre Advertises Own Willful, Self-Defeating Ignorance

Reason to be cheerful, part 1: 1, 2, 3…

Today I am blaming Bill Dwyre for writing one of the most inexcusably inaccurate, willfully ignorant, petulantly anti-journalistic columns I have ever read about the game of baseball. Though trivial in the scheme of things, the piece is so excrutiating it’s worth talking about in some detail. I want to live in a world where no journalist, let alone “Journalist Bill” from my hometown paper (and former employer), thinks it’s OK to approach and execute such an exercise in self-satisfied know-nothingism.

The witlessness is advertised in the headline—“Angels’ Jerry Dipoto speaks to the SABR rattlers: Analytics can break player performance down to statistical categories, but the general manager still champions the the human aspect of the game.”

Look past the bad pun in the main hed, and imagine a sports-journalism mindset that comes up with the phrase “Analytics can break player performance down to statistical categories.” Wait—you’re telling me that baseball has statistics? In categories? What ever will those wacky pencil-pushers think up next!

...Moneyball (which Dwyre mocks as “a pretty good movie”) appeared on bookshelves a decade ago. The “stats vs. scouts” debate has been beaten into the ground year after year since then, as young analytical general managers have found success in Tampa and Boston (which hired—shudder—Bill James), while faring less well in Los Angeles (where Dwyre’s newspaper chose to mock the overmatched ex-Billy Beane deputy Paul DePodesta as—I’m not making this up—“Google Boy”).

As for evidence of what real fans are into, just look around you. This site and community, which I’ve been a part of since before the SB Nation days, is the largest and most concentrated gathering of serious Angels fans online. It is hardly a SABRtastic outlet—traditional whipping boys have included Rob Neyer and Baseball Prospectus, among others—but over the years it has reflected and participated in the exponential growth of interest in baseball analysis nationwide. And almost none of these grade-A consumers of journalism about Angels baseball gives a flying fig about the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

Repoz Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:20 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, sabermetrics

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: March 09, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4384890)
This came from Halos Heaven, hmm? It's as if Socrates came from Mos Eisley.
   2. AROM Posted: March 09, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4384903)
Makes sense. Only the finest team centered blog ever created. Though I may be a bit biased.
   3. Depressoteric Posted: March 09, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4384998)
Makes sense. Only the finest team centered blog ever created.
Um...hello? Lookout Landing? This isn't even a particularly close competition.

Pretty much the only thing that makes HH less than a complete pile of garbage by the side of the road is the fact that Matt Welch occasionally writes an article like this there.
   4. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4385010)
Um...hello? Lookout Landing? This isn't even a particularly close competition.

So where should Angels fans go to read related commentary that's "less than a complete pile of garabage by the side of the road?"
   5. Matt Welch Posted: March 09, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4385013)
Pretty much the only thing that makes HH less than a complete pile of garbage by the side of the road is the fact that Matt Welch occasionally writes an article like this there.

I reject the compliment! HH has all kinds of great stuff on it -- crazy-ass movie recreations, middle-aged punk rock burnout references, the best Angels prospects rundowns anywhere, super-useful daily press digests, and the odd video interview with Cheech Marin. There's plenty of intelligent conversation about analytics stuff, too. And, you know, other stuff.
   6. Lassus Posted: March 09, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4385014)
There's Bat-Girl, and then there's everything else, tied for last. And Bat-Girl doesn't even exist any more.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: March 09, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4385019)
I have no idea where HH stands vis-a-vis the rest of the team-centered hardball sites. I just know its chief pastor tried his damnest to be the Fred Phelps of the baseball blogging clergy when he entered our little temple.

   8. AJMcCringleberry Posted: March 09, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4385028)
So where should Angels fans go to read related commentary that's "less than a complete pile of garabage by the side of the road?"

Angels fans can read?
   9. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 09, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4385036)
Is there any sort of interesting Mets-related websites? Amazin' Avenue seems like a club for angry teens, and Metsmerized keeps pretending the Mets really will have a budget of $150 million any day now.
   10. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4385061)
Have you tried Metstradamus? I like Eric Simon's work at AA. Ted Berg's SNY-sponsored blog was fun to read but he's moved on to bigger and better things.
   11.   Posted: March 09, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4385066)
I reject the compliment! HH has all kinds of great stuff on it -- crazy-ass movie recreations, middle-aged punk rock burnout references, the best Angels prospects rundowns anywhere, super-useful daily press digests, and the odd video interview with Cheech Marin. There's plenty of intelligent conversation about analytics stuff, too. And, you know, other stuff.


I have never been to your site, but if Esoteric thinks it is a piece of garbage, you must be doing something right.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4385069)

Metsblog.com is ok, but not sure that's what you're looking for....
   13. Depressoteric Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4385079)
I have never been to your site, but if Esoteric thinks it is a piece of garbage, you must be doing something right.
1.) It's not Matt's site at all, he's just a poster there.

2.) Halos Heaven is widely reviled around the baseball blog community primarily because of the horrid behavior of its proprietor, the so-called "Rev. Halofan." As SoSH U said above, he is pretty much the "Fred Phelps of the baseball blogging clergy." To name just one example, when that Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver awhile back, RevHalofan found the home address of the guy's MOTHER and posted it to the site, exhorting people to show up there and scream at her and intimidate her. Why? Just because, you see.

Take the Rev out of the equation, and I'm sure it would be a fine place.
   14. Squash Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4385081)
Halos Heaven is widely reviled around the baseball blog community primarily because of the horrid behavior of its proprietor, the so-called "Rev. Halofan." As SoSH U said above, he is pretty much the "Fred Phelps of the baseball blogging clergy." To name just one example, when that Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver awhile back, RevHalofan found the home address of the guy's MOTHER and posted it to the site, exhorting people to show up there and scream at her and intimidate her. Why? Just because, you see.

Good lord.
   15. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4385082)
A list of the best team blog/site for each of the 30 teams would actually be pretty useful.
   16.   Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4385083)
This is the Halofan that (used to?) post here?
   17. Greg K Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4385089)
A list of the best team blog/site for each of the 30 teams would actually be pretty useful.

Battersbox.ca for the Blue Jays is absolutely great for info on Jays prospects and thoughtful conversation.

There's also a general tone of wide-eyed optimism there, that while I rarely agree with, I find refreshing. I haven't visited this off-season so I don't know how the upcoming season is being viewed.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4385100)
A list of the best team blog/site for each of the 30 teams would actually be pretty useful.


Red Sox: Here. Or "Over The Monster". "Surviving Grady" is fun in an unabashed screw-the-Yanks-homerism manner. I've never gotten into "Sons of Sam Horn".
   19. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 09, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4385137)
Thanks for the rec's in 10 and 12. I'll check them out. Yup--Eric Simon does some good work. There are a couple of other writers/lengthy posters there who also write very thoughtfully. I'm looking for a comment site as much as anything these days, a place to exchange ideas, info on minor leaguers and so on with as little rancor as possible.
   20. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4385148)
If you're looking for good info on the Mets farm system, follow Toby Hyde here.
   21. Repoz Posted: March 09, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4385157)
Brian Joura's Mets360 is pretty solid.
   22. Tripon Posted: March 09, 2013 at 08:53 PM (#4385179)
DodgerThoughts closed, so its probably True Blue L.A. right now.
   23. sinicalypse Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4385182)
Sons of Sam Horn is a pretty hardcore site. If memory serves, they're pretty hardcore into statistics and therefore there's a lot of analysis going on that was downright daunting to an uninitiated outsider like myself.

As an Expos fan, short of the very very occasional de-facto tribute page (as the only other recourse was to embrace zombie baseball and go the natinals(sic) route) I haven't really gone out and discovered some of the better team-specific blogs. I used to enjoy Miller Park Drunk a few years ago, but nowadays since it's gone and joined some sort of sports blogging network (and it seems to be on its second or third one at that) the content seems to be watered down insomcuhas there seems to be a lot more effort being put into putting out a greater # of articles. I remember the site being endearingly enjoyable circa 2008, back when the grassroots campaign against Remetee-brand clothing was a thing, but now the whole endeavor wreaks of people committed to putting out a bunch of articles in order to have the additional content rake in the advertising $$$. C'est la vie.

Also, I'd like to second the request up top for more suggestions/lists of quality team-specific blogs because I definitely could use some reading material for the season. As you can tell, I'm currently in a position where it takes me way too long to say absolutely nothing of consequence =D
   24. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4385191)
Rev has made horrendous decisions about many things, primarily the Adenhart killer situation, but a lot of the regulars there let him know that was way, way over the line. He is unnecessarily provacative with fans of other teams, and he can be a complete pain in the rump at times.

But, inside all of that he is a good guy, very smart and passionate about the Halos. He has created a great blog where there are MANY great contributors, including Matt, but also some wonderful guys specializing in various parts of the game. Since the SBN reboot I go there much less, but HH has lots of good content that outweighs any irritation with Rev.

My 2 cents.
   25. alilisd Posted: March 09, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4385272)
Ducksnorts was the only Padres blog worth reading, when it existed.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: March 09, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4385299)
I'm looking for a comment site as much as anything these days, a place to exchange ideas, info on minor leaguers and so on with as little rancor as possible.


I think someone new should have the keys (and re-titling privileges) to the "It's Mets ... Just Mets" area or sub-forum or whatever you call it. We are not as hijacky as we were 5 years ago but there's still more than enough interest to get an article a week up or so, where we can debate minutiae in comparative privacy.
   27. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4385308)
A list of the best team blog/site for each of the 30 teams would actually be pretty useful.

Yes, please. I'd be interested in ones with a minor league bent as well (Sox Prospects, Reds Minor Leagues, etc...)
   28. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4385309)
DodgerThoughts closed

I see Weissman still has his blog but the posts are few and far between.
   29. Halofan Posted: March 10, 2013 at 05:26 AM (#4385367)
I reprinted information about Andre Gallo's house published on the Riverside Press' site and took it down a few hours later. Big whoop, but if going for the jugular of the man who murdered a rookie on my favorite team is my crime I will do the time as a badge of honor.

And I've been posting here since most of you so get off my lawn.
   30. Lassus Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:12 AM (#4385391)
What happened, did someone post your address, too?
   31. villageidiom Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:26 AM (#4385395)
The “stats vs. scouts” debate
They should do this for real, in a round-table format.
   32. Bug Selig Posted: March 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4385581)
Big whoop, but if going for the jugular of the man who murdered a rookie on my favorite team is my crime I will do the time as a badge of honor.


Usually a badge of honor denotes an honorable action.
   33. Greg K Posted: March 10, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4385589)

Usually a badge of honor denotes an honorable action.

And sometimes it denotes that you've been slapped around by the King.
   34. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 10, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4385594)
Isn't SoSH more like the forums here than a blog only with many threads instead of one daily (or weekend) Lounge?
   35. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 10, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4385610)
Ducksnorts was the only Padres blog worth reading, when it existed.

Geoff Young has a blog called Son of a Duck. Actually, he and pretty much every other non-SBN Padres blogger have their own combined site where they all have their own sections of it. All the non-Gleeman Twins bloggers adopted a similar approach a few years ago, too.

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