Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Worst Baseball Article of the Year

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 (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.


Shake'n'bake said...

An angrier more stat inclined breakdown of that same article

Deshawn Zombie said...

Wow. Now I feel like plagerized. That's eerily similar to stuff I said, only way angrier. Thanks for that.


I get madder every time I think about it.

Deshawn Zombie said...

that should read: Now I feel like I plagerized. (inadvertant typo). Seriously, the comparison is eerie, but I honestly hadn't read that piece before I posted.

zac said...

Dusty Baker is what is keeping me from being extremely confident about my pick of the NL Central crown going to the Reds.

Even with this stupid stuff, he DID say nice things about Homer Bailey, sheltering the kid a bit and praising him for the success he has had. That being said, when Homer makes his first 300 pitch start, those words will mean very little.

Anonymous said...

From BP, 2004:

"I think walks are overrated unless you can run... If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps. But the guy who walks and can't run, most of the time they're clogging up the bases for somebody who can run."
--Dusty Baker, Cubs manager (Chicago Daily Herald)

"Who's been the champions the last seven, eight years? ...Have you ever heard the Yankees talk about on-base percentage and walks? Walks help. But you ain't going to walk across the plate. You're going to hit across the plate. That's the school I come from."

"It's called hitting, and it ain't called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk. But the name of the game is to hit."

Deshawn Zombie said...

I know. But this isn't just about Dusty. This is about the idiot who wrote this article.

In Dusty's defense, managing people over the course of a long season can end up being as important than managing the game, so like I said, I'll give him a chance.

Dauhghtery's piece was pure nonsense.