FanPost

MSM, Sabermetricians, Jocks, Nerds, and Baseball Fans


I've got to post this, and may not be around long to do so.  This is an old guy, old jock, old baseball fans view (Adam if you don't want this here, I understand e.g all posts can be deleted)

So an old fan of the game, following it for over 60 years, takes a fairly active part in baseball blogs and helps with a fansite forum.  The first thing that jumps out at any uniformed reader is the concatenation of schisms.  Between mainstream media and bloggers.  Between people who played the game and (well, everybody else including) men and women from other sports, people who love the game but have never been athletic enought to participate at organized levels, people who follow the game analytically to enjoy the ongoing performance evaluation and discussion/debates about players, teams, management, and other fans.  And I guess robust discussion is a good part of life in general - you can agree to agree, agree to disagree, and occasionally disagree that there is disagreement.  

Here are a couple of old guy observations.  These might calm some of the waters, yet might irritate those who really have disdain for contrary points of view.  

First, I've learned more about the analysis of baseball performance in the past 10 years than in the collective 50+ years before this decade.  And I've learned it from not only Adam and the contingent here on LSB, but from following links to really intelligent analytical formulations, suppositions, calculations, and their graphical representation.  This from a three sport jock of half a century ago who never let go of his love for the game, and the play on the field.  I also have to credit my daughter, degreed in excercise physiology with advanced work in metrics, helping me understand how the body works in achieving high levels of performance.  So anyone with a competitive sports background ought to give thanks for those who have explored, expanded, and expounded sabrmetrics.  What Verne McMillan started in 1954 was not universally notable - but he was a minor league owner who decided to get input from an Indianapolis saber society group, both to better analyze his Class B team's league performance, and to understand his own role in keeping, selling, or shutting down his franchise.  That counts as an important step.  We all take important steps, sometimes when we don't realize how important they are.  

Second, and more personally, there is no reason for a jock or past jock to deride people who didn't achieve or take part in the play of the game.  Actions on the field and transactions off the field are facts.  Those facts are represented by data.  The accumulation of data, and intelligent analysis of the data, can lead to conclusions the eyeball and the muscle memory might miss.  It is unfair and poor treatment of others to demean them because they have never run the high hurdles in under 15 seconds, made college varsity or AAU or traveling military teams, much less professional teams.  People, it's largely a matter of physiology and training.  Lots of people have been born with genetic characteristics short of those of the elite athlete.  They did not choose this outcome, in fact had nothing to do with it.  I would hope, and I suspect, the sabermetric attuned baseball fan who never played the game (and even the few who may have at one time lived in a female relative's basement) is probably more forgiving of differences of opinion than the experience only current or former athlete.  I don't know, that's merely an assumption from tens of thousands of posts read.      

So if I drop away for personal and family reasons in the next couple of months, what I'd wish for LSB (and NMLR and anyplace else we patronize) is a little more acceptance of where a poster is coming from, a little more appreciation of the posters' humor, a little more awareness of background and generational differences, and a LOT of support and respect for the Rangers' organization and team, and what they are trying to get done.

/30.

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