It has become the rallying cry for those who oppose facts and evidence and it is really bothering me. I was listening to sports radio last night (I loved to get enraged, apparently) and the host was talking about how the Phillies desperately need to protect Ryan Howard and should put him 3rd and Utley 4th, despite what the sabremetricians think.
This bothered me on many different levels. First, if you are knowledgable enough to say the word sabremetrician, you should be smart enough to acknowledge their side and not just poo poo it like it is crazy talk.
But what really bothers me is the term. What is a sabremetrician? Do you need to pass a class to become one? Is it like being a lawyer or a doctor? Can anyone be one? And it is ok to just label someone as one in order to devalue their analysis?
Apparently, it is nothing more than a term used to describe elitists that can only use complicated formulas to understand the game. It has such a negative stigma that it is always used to undercut a point, just by blowing it off as someone who can't understand the nuances of the game and thus, can't be right. It strikes me as strange that people use terms like stathead and calculator as insults when trying to find value in play. Has society really degraded that much where we disregard analytical thought?
The problem is that sabremetricians really aren't helping themselves either. A lot of this is hard to grasp conceptually and even harder to explain to someone who doesn't want their mind changed. The term has turned into a very negative one and it is used against those who aren't even using sabrementrics. All I ever want to see are facts. Show me evidence. Don't give me subjective analysis. Don't tell me what YOU saw? I may have seen something different. Don't try to tell me something when I KNOW your biases get in the way. Show me something that has no bias. Those are numbers, simple or complex. They don't lie. People who use them may lie, but that is where you have to use your brain to figure out if it makes sense or not.
I am just a guy looking for the truth. The truth in something as trivial as baseball, with respect to the whole, but none-the-less, I want to find the truth. Disregarding someone's point just by calling them a sabremetircian (or many similiar names) is an attempt to ignore the truth. One day, the truth will set baseball free.