Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Saturday, June 25, 2005


No, Tim

Tim McCarver just said Kevin Youkilis and Shea Hillenbrand were very similar players.

I repeat, Tim McCarver just said Kevin Youkilis and Shea Hillenbrand were very similar players.

For the uninitiated, Kevin Youkilis is famous (or at least he's famous to me) for his plate discipline -- he's known in Moneyball as the Greek God of Walks.

Shea Hillenbrand, meanwhile, absolutely hates to walk.

The numbers:

In his first season in the bigs, with the Red Sox, Shea Hillenbrand walked 13 times. The whole year. 468 at-bats. 13 walks.

That's exactly once every 36 at-bats.

In his first season in the bigs, with the Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis walked 33 times. In only 208 at-bats.

That's once every 6.3 at-bats.

He's been even better this year, walking once every 4.4 at-bats.

Over the course of his very short major league career, Kevin Youkilis' OBP is 106 points higher than his batting average. Shea Hillenbrand's career OBP is 37 points higher than his BA.

And hey, it turns out that Youkilis' batting average through these first few hundred at-bats is higher than Hillenbrand's for his first season.

So no, Tim, they're not actually very similar.

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posted by Junior  # 4:31 PM
I love it when McCarver, for example, not only gets something wrong, but says something that is the exact opposite of true. That's when it's really special.
Really blew me away. It was a case of Timmy saying something that you would make a joke about -- "The next thing you know, he's going to say Youkilis and Hillenbrand are exactly the same!"

Then, apropos of nothing, he actually says it.

I believe McCarver also mentioned that the Red Sox traded Hillenbrand away for nothing and that a lot of teams want Shea now.

Actually, the Red Sox traded Hillenbrand for Byung-Hyun Kim, who we all know is a disaster now, but at the time was a 24-year-old pitcher with a 3.26 ERA and 380 strikeouts in 323 innings.

And they really needed bullpen help.

Can't wait for McCarver to work the World Series again.

Let's not forget that Hillenbrand later called Theo Epstein a faggot.
I missed the initial comment by McCarver but I did hear Buck late in the game say something like, "You know Tim, you made a good point earlier about Youkilis being similar to Hillenbrand." I was hoping that the comment was made in a very specific way that actually made some sort of sense--maybe something about them both being white right-handed third basemen without tons of power--but I guess not. As little as I expect from McCarver it's still disheartening to know that he compared Youkilis to Hillenbrand in any general way, because as already stated that's pretty much the polar opposite of accurate.
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I think the closest McCarver got to substantiating his claim in any way was saying that both Hillenbrand and Youkilis were third basemen.

So in that respect, Rich Garces and Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown are virtually twins, since they both pitch(ed) the baseball.
Tom Brady, Colin Powell, and Flo from TV's "Alice" are eerily similar, because they all wear uniforms.
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