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Stat-friendly and stat-unfriendly baseball writers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The sabermetric "debate" plays out a lot around here - and on Web sites and newspapers around the country.

    But I'm not sure we've had a single repository for talking about which writers have embraced new metrics, which have unabashedly rejected them, and which are somewhere in the middle. Looking for mainstream guys here, not writers like Nate Silver or Rob Neyer who are essentially sabermetrics writers.

    Top of my head to get things going:

    Bill Plaschke
    Mitch Albom
    Murray Chass
    Buster Olney (right?)

    Jeff Passan
    Joe Posnanski
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You making a hit list?
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What's funny is that, although I'm known around here as this stat geek, I'm really not nearly in-the-know on this stuff as many others. I think it's interesting, and useful, but I certainly don't closely follow all the cutting-edge developments. Some of the pretty basic categories of sabermetrics - like EQA or Weighted OBP - are lost on me.

    More interesting to me are how sports are covered and how the industry adjusts to change in the business/sport that it covers, whether bloggers and other independent voices have an effect on mainstream coverage, etc., etc.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    That's not a "no."

    Anyway, off the top of my head, Tyler Kepner, Adam Kilgore and Albert Chen can go on one list, and Jon Heyman on the other.
  5. 3OctaveFart

    3OctaveFart Guest

    Jonah Keri has embraced the movement.
    Bill Conlin was one of the more vocal haters.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Ha, well consider this a "no" then.

    Olney, for example, wrote one of my favorite baseball books of all time in "Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty." An absolute gem.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Can't you just go to the AL MVP balloting and start with the 22 sorry fuckheads who dared to vote for Cabrera?
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Many baseball beat reporters avoid the statistics argument. My guess is this tactic serves to avoid polarizing readers and because they know readers who want them can go elsewhere and readers who don't would prefer not to see them.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Sounds similar to college beat guys and recruiting.
  10. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I think that's more an issue of manpower. Covering college football does not lend itself to covering college football recruiting. You have to put separate guys on the separate beats.
  11. I think a beat reporter who isn't familiar with advanced statistics and doesn't present them is doing his/her reader a disservice. It's a way to better explain what's happening on the field, making your reporting much more thorough. Should be the goal of anyone.
  12. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Why would you say Olney is anti? He seems very indifferent on the topic, but not pro or con either way.

    BTW, I too enjoyed his book on the Yankees.
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