Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ignorance isn't Bliss, it's Stupidity.

Over at SFWeekly, Tommy Craggs reveals ESPN Baseball Analyst and former Reds great Joe Morgan as a stubborn, ignorant, and pretentious idiot. The interview and article center around the fact that Morgan despises the Moneyball theory of baseball, with its emphasis on OPS, On Base Percentage, and a reluctance to take risks on the bases. One of my favorite bits of the article is this one, as I share the sentiment of Craggs, especially about Tim 'I love the Yankees' McCarver:

It's inevitable: One day, The Game will welcome the nerds; they will use stats like VORP and WARP and BABIP on SportsCenter; there will be new metrics that are as pretty and precisely turned as a 6-4-3 double play, and they will be cheered in similar fashion; Bobby Grich will be in the Hall of Fame; Joe Morgan will be institutionalized, and his roommate will be Tim McCarver (and McCarver's partner, Joe Buck, will simply be neutered); baseball's furious mythmaking will continue apace, but this time they'll be telling half-truths and exaggerations about Bill James' eureka moments in a Stokely-Van Camp pork-and-beans plant. Until then, the nerds will watch Sunday Night Baseball with a finger hovering just above the mute button. They will read Joe Morgan's chats with disgust, then chuckle at him on blogs and in chat rooms and over games of Stratomatic Baseball.
Morgan really demonstrates his cluelessness in the following exchange:

When it was suggested that the world-champion Boston Red Sox were a
Moneyball team -- after all, they had Bill James in their employ -- Morgan
snapped back (and you could almost hear his furious jabs at the keyboard): "The Red Sox had the second highest payroll in baseball next to the Yankees!!! The most important play last year was Dave Roberts stealing second base in game four ... that is NOT the moneyball theory. Without the stolen base or just the THREAT of the stolen base Dave Roberts provided, the Red Sox would have been eliminated."

What Morgan ignores is just how Dave Roberts got on base: he was pinch running for Kevin Millar, who had walked, which, according to the Moneyball theory, is just as valuable a way to get on base as a hit. And Roberts was driven in by Bill Mueller, a Moneyball style player.

Theo, ignore Joe. He is an idiot; great player, but an idiot.

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