I apologize to all of our loyal readers. I feel that we have been letting you down for the last two+ years. It may be due to the fact that we were just a bunch of guys who got together and wanted to blog about baseball, but, we never put forth a mission statement. Something that lets our readers know what our intent is and our purpose. We have the word "Phight" in our name, but I find that we aren't putting up much of a fight at all. We run parallel instead of perpendicular. At least for me, that is going to change.
Philadelphia is known for it's hard hitting sports "journalism" and being tough on the players. The problem is that the "journalists" get a free pass. Well, not from me and not any longer. I am tired of the animosity and disdain that the sports writers have for the general fan and for analytical thought. Below the fold is an example of this vitriol.
In response to this ridiculously awful story that may have taken Marcus Hayes 15 minutes to write and even less to think about, Marcus had received an email questioning the thoroughness of the article. This was the response that he sent:
Get a grip, sabreboy.
Burrell is paid to produce runs, not get on base. Period. Any season with fewer than 110 RBI is a flat-out failure. He's not paid $13 million to walk. He misses strikes, he slumps, he tries to hit home runs. He is mediocre, at best, at the job to which he is assigned.
Soriano is overrated. Carlos Lee is an RBI machine. I don't know what your problem is with Ramirez, who is arguably the best offensive 3B in the NL since 2003.
OBP and OPS are geek numbers, especially for run-producers. I'd rather have my 3-4-5 guys drive the best strike they see rather than wait for the perfect pitch and jog down the baseline.
Sabremetrics are the bastion of wannabes who never could quite figure out which hand the mitt went on, a false industry created and fueled by people whose association with the game always will be vicarious, and, frankly, pathetic.
Offensively, scoring runs and driving runs in matter in baseball. Everything else follows.
Ask any player.
Not only is this ridiculously insulting, it is wrong on so many different levels, it isn't even funny. Time to get to work.
"Get a grip, sabreboy. "
What does anyone do when they know they are wrong? Yeap, call names. I guess this is what they teach in "Journalism 101".
"Burrell is paid to produce runs, not get on base. Period."
The last time I checked, players could not be paid based on ANY statistic at all other than games played. Burrell is being paid to perform as best as he can, end of story.
"Any season with fewer than 110 RBI is a flat-out failure."
A flat out failure? I love the line drawn at 110 RBIs. Obviously he refuses to take playing time into consideration, but I can understand that being too complicated. Of course, did he notice that his RBI machine Carlos Lee has three, count them, THREE seasons of 110 or more RBIs? That is 3 out of 8 previous seasons, for an RBI machine. One whole more season than Burrell.
"He's not paid $13 million to walk. He misses strikes, he slumps, he tries to hit home runs."
Misses strikes? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Must be the first player in the history of the league. Slumps, huh? I have mentioned this before, but in the past 17 months of baseball, back to the beginning of 2005, Burrell has had a total of TWO months with an OPS below .826. Both occurred this year, and one of those months was an OPS of .770. Yeah, that's right. 2 months of the last SEVENTEEN (18 if you want to go back to 2004, but that was an injury year and he was, admittedly awful before the injury).
"He is mediocre, at best, at the job to which he is assigned."
Not sure what job he was assigned, but let's look a bit more at this. I presume the job he has been assigned is hitting homeruns and getting RBIs. I apologize for sinking to this level, but lets compare him, once again, to the jewel in Marcus's eye.
1 RBI /6.44 PA
1 HR / 22.1 PA
1 RBI / 6.34 PA
1 HR / 22.7 PA
Am I missing something here? Even by his own stupid standards, these guys are almost identical.
Ok, now that we have gotten past his excellent analysis and obvious though provoking viewpoint, let's get into the meat of what he was really saying...
"OBP and OPS are geek numbers, especially for run-producers."
Geek numbers? Is he promoting stupidity? Is he REALLY saying that analytical thought is not wanted? Not making outs are NOT good for run-producers? And OPS which is HALF slugging?
"I'd rather have my 3-4-5 guys drive the best strike they see rather than wait for the perfect pitch and jog down the baseline."
Is it better to make an out? You WANT him swinging at pitches he doesn't think he can hit? What kind of sense does that make? Jogging down the baseline, to move runners, not make outs and put MORE men on base for others to drive in is EXACTLY what you want on your team.
"Sabremetrics are the bastion of wannabes who never could quite figure out which hand the mitt went on, a false industry created and fueled by people whose association with the game always will be vicarious, and, frankly, pathetic."
This run-on sentence looks like it was cut and pasted from the idiot's guide to making yourself look smart. Mitt? What is this, 1948? Mitt is on the right hand, a GLOVE can be on either. I love when people who shun objective thought and progressive analysis fall back on the ability to play the sport. And from a sport writer too, who's entire group weighs, on average, more than most offensive linemen.
The real problem here is the loathing. Sports "journalists" have a religion that they have held onto for their entire lifetime. They will fight tooth and nail to avoid anything to show that it doesn't exist. Tough talk is just that, tough talk. He knows it, we know it, everyone knows it. It is sad what this group has turned into.
"Offensively, scoring runs and driving runs in matter in baseball. Everything else follows.
Ask any player."
This is where he really hammers it home. Runs is what matters in baseball?!?! Seriously? Wow, they must have taught him that in an advanced class. While he certainly is correct (duh), he fails in understanding what is the root cause for scoring and driving in runs.
My favorite line is the last one. I have a feeling that Marcus was driving home that evening, one hand on the wheel, the other one patting himself on the back when he suddenly veered off the road and threw his hands upon his face. "Ask any player? Oh, man, I forgot to add, BUT YOU CAN'T CAUSE YOU AREN'T A SPORTS JOURNALIST YOU LOSER!!! HAHA" It's always those moments in the car when you think of a great line after the fact. Poor Marcus, we knew what you really meant though.