Without a doubt, it is virtually impossible to write a piece of crap so ridiculous as what Paul Daughtery crapped out onto his keyboard for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Listen, I'm well aware that there is more to managing a team than just number crunching. I'm also willing to give Dusty Baker time before judging him because he has won 3 MoY awards. But when a columnist writes:
When some of us (OK, me mostly) advocated dealing, say, Votto and Homer Bailey for Oakland pitcher Joe Blanton, the Statboys came out flame-throwing numbers:
if you suggested that no number matters but Games Won, you were dismissed as an illiterate.
Baker understands this. If Dunn walks 30 fewer times this year, he'll drive in 15 more runs. His on-base percentage will dip. Oh, no.
If Votto takes fewer first-pitch strikes, his run production will improve.
And so on. Here's a stat: Wins as manager: Dusty Baker, 1,162; Bill James, 0
Huh. So Dunn should walk 30 times less for 15 more runs. Of course he'll probably score fewer runs too. And make more outs. Walks are not Adam Dunn's problem. Strikeouts with runners on base are his problem. His utter inability to hit a fly ball with a guy on third are his problem. I've never minded Dunner walking with a guy at third. A WALK IS A GOOD AT BAT. The problem is when he flails wildly at two bad pitches and then takes a 1-2 fastball on the inside corner because he was looking for the curve. Like I said, I'm willing to grant you that there is more to winning than just being a numbers geek (like say, ruining the future of two of your brightest young pitching stars by throwing them until their arms fall off), but the numbers guys aren't wrong. Trading Votto and Bailey for Joe Blanton would have been one of the most unforgivable deals in Reds history. At the deadline in a pennant race if you really thought he'd give you a shot at the Series? Eh, maybe. But not before spring training.
Like I said, I'm willing to pull for Dusty, but now I almost want him to be horrible just show idiots like Daughterty that stats really do matter.
I feel sick, and it's only March.
UPDATE: Here's a similar, angrier version of this post by another blogger at firejoemorgan.com (a site I generally spurn, since I love Joe Morgan as a broadcaster despite my sabermetric leanings). I'm not surprised others are saying the same thing about this piece. IT WAS AWFUL.