Friday, March 23, 2007

Take that, assholes

I know I'm supposed to be writing a counter-review (of sorts) on the Modest Mouse album, but after getting about halfway through I backed off, because I was being pushed into the "con" side of the fence before I was sure I was there. I will say I don't like the album close to as much as Justin does, but it's important to keep in mind that my compatriot would fellate Issac Brock if he had the chance. Me, not so much. I'll save the oral sex for Neko Case, when she's not doing shit with the the New Pornographers.

Anyway, stumbled on this little slice of heaven from a link on Baseball Prospectus: Are you familiar with the statistical-minded Internet sites like Baseball Prospectus?

Schilling: Yeah, I love those guys. I don't always agree with them but I think those are some incredibly smart guys. I've actually worked in the past with some guys there on statistical stuff I do for preparation. Will Carroll is the guy I've exchanged some information with. Do you think that Internet-based baseball analysts and writers should be available for BBWAA awards and Hall of Fame voting?

Schilling: Oh, it'll come full-circle at some point. Why wouldn't it? They already have a much larger impact than the Murray Chass' of the world would like to believe. I mean, you've got guys who are putting out what I know to be legitimately valuable statistical information and its relevance to a game in a win or a loss at Baseball Prospectus. Then you have guys that I'm not too fond of, like Murray Chass, who says, "What is VORP and who cares?" It was a stupid article. The only thing it did was show his ignorance to me in modern day baseball. Because those numbers do matter, those numbers do have value. Do they have value to me in getting a player out? No. But I would tell you that there are a lot of front offices that use those numbers for a lot of important decision making.

I almost shit my pants when I read this, even though I knew Schilling was a little more enlightened w/r/t sabermetrics than the average overweight hurler. I've gone back and forth on this guy; at times, he's displayed a level of megalomania that's shocking even in the bizarro-land that is MLB. It says something about the guy that, while few people believe he actually doctored the sock, no one would put it past him. On the other hand, he's unquestionably one of the most special players of my lifetime. Despite the fact that I'm less prone to using the term "clutch" to describe anything that isn't related to my transmission, if there ever were a clutch pitcher, it would be Schilling. And I always tend to respect cocky pitchers more than cocky hitters because the guys on the bump have nowhere to hide when they fuck up.

Anyway, this was awesome, and totally made my night. I'm not entirely sanguine about the chances of there being widespread acceptance of advanced statistical analysis in baseball -- I think too many people attack it because they're afraid of confronting something that appears much more sophisticated than it actually is -- it's nice to know that at least one person in the establishment won't hiss at a WARP3 breakdown.

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