FIRE JOE MORGAN: This Is What We're Up Against


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Monday, February 18, 2008


This Is What We're Up Against

Sure, sometimes it seems like we've said everything there is to be said about EqA and VORP and why batting average and wins are for stupids. We're repetitive, redundant, reiterative, repetitious, redundant, redundant and redundant. We get it.

Then we take a step back and remember that 99.999992% of baseball fans think like the people in this article:


No, nobody is kidding. This is old news, of course, to the other 0.000008% of us.

February 17, 2008 -- How's this for junk science - even with three Gold Gloves, Yankees captain Derek Jeter has been labeled the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.

I'm so happy the New York Post is out there doing its thing -- being angrily, outrageously, passionately wrong about everything. Rare is the institution you can rely on day in and day out, but you can set your watch by the Post. Whatever time the Post says, you're guaranteed to know: it's wrong.

Gold Gloves are a m.-fucking joke. Although I've learned nothing yet about this junky "science" study and of course I will learn nothing further by reading the rest of the article (thank you, Post!), I already trust it infinitely more than Gold Gloves, because Gold Gloves are liars. They are no-good cheating liars, and I would not let my fictional daughter marry a Gold Glove.

But the numbers prove it, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania said yesterday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in (of course) Boston.

Yes, these researchers from the University of Pennsylvania meticulously altered their data, fudged everything they'd worked on for months, slandered Jeter and praised A-Rod, all because they had a meeting once in Boston. Never trust a scientist! All scientists are Sox fans! Post!


Using a complex statistical method,

for nerds with calculators and pocket protectors and Daily News subscriptions,

researchers concluded that Alex Rodriguez was one of the best shortstops in the game when he played for the Texas Rangers.

This is an interesting finding. I wish I knew more about how the study worked. Just kidding: give me what Mike Birch has to say on the matter. Mike Birch works at Lids, the hat store.

"I don't know what they're smoking down at Penn," said Yankees fan Mike Birch, 32.

Take that, complex statistical study. Birch is insightful and funny. One time he sold me a sweet lid with the Under Armor logo on it. "I don't know what they're smoking"! Classic. Classic Birch.

"That's preposterous. I completely disagree. Jeter's a clutch player."

In one corner: "The method involved looking at every ball put in play in major league baseball from 2002 through 2005 and recorded where the shots went. Researchers then developed a probability model for the average fielder in each position and compared that with the performance of individual players to see who was better or worse than average."

In the other corner: Mike Birch. Watches three innings a week, occasionally while sober. Listens to Mike and the Mad Dog "except when they talk too smart and shit." Watches "Rome Is Burning" with the sound off. I.Q. of 175. Graduated from Cambridge University. Fields Medal winner.

I know who I'm taking.

"It's ridiculous," said fan Jay Ricker, 22. "Jeter is all-around awesome.

"I agree," said Science, 424. "Fuck me, that is a good argument. I might as well not exist. That's it. I'm taking 500 Darvocets. Humans, welcome your new overlord, Jay Ricker, 22. He is all-around awesome."

He's better than A-Rod any day. Character has a lot to do with it. He's out there for his teammates, not just himself. He does it for the good of the team. That's the kind of guy you want on the field."

Yes. You would never, ever want a guy scientifically proven to be dramatically better at fielding. That is not the kind of guy you want on a field. No fielders. Just team guys.

Ricker added that "A-Rod's only out for the money. For him it's not about baseball, it's just about banking."

Studies have shown that A-Rod is, incidentally, the league's best banker. A lot of people don't know this, but he was heavily recruited by Blackstone and Goldman coming out of high school. Jeter is genetically incapable of using an ATM; he in fact only understands those letters to be the abbreviation for ass to mouth.

Fans said Jeter's greatness goes beyond the numbers he produces on the field.

"He has intangible qualities that can't be measured with statistics," said East Village bar owner Kevin Hooshangi, 28.

Fans repeated a thing they had heard innumerable times on the TV and radio.

"I can't change my mind about this," despaired Kevin Hooshangi. "My whole worldview depends on it being true. Jeter has intangibles. Jeter has intangibles. He does. He does!" Hooshangi continued to chant about Jeter, tears streaming down his face. "I know he does. He has them. Intangi...(unintelligible sobbing)..."

"He's the ultimate teammate. It doesn't matter what his percentages are when he's making big plays in big games. He's the one with four World Series rings."

Theory: Jeter wears rings on fielding hand, rendering fielding borderline impossible.

However, Frank Angelo, 50, gave A-Rod his due. "He's the best shortstop in the American League playing third base," Angelo said.

Then Angelo realized what city he lived in, and what newspaper he was talking to.

But Jeter as one of the worst?

"That's not true," Angelo said. "He's a good fielding shortstop." He even said he would keep Jeter at short. "Jeter's the captain, he was there before A-Rod," said Angelo.

By this logic, Jeter never should have taken over for Tony Fernandez. Fernandez was there before Jeter. Jeter should've had to slide over to third. But wait, Wade Boggs was at third. No go. Already there. But hey, should Boggs have even been there? No! He took over for Charlie Hayes. That never should have happened.

NO ONE SHOULD HAVE CHANGED POSITIONS EVER. After the original roster of the 1903 New York Highlanders died, all baseball should have stopped being played forever. Thanks, Frank Angelo.

But as Yankee fan Brittnay Thompson, 32, said, it's about who's good in May, and who's good in October.

"In big situations A-Rod drops the ball, no pun intended," said Thompson.

Thompson added, "Are you awake, FJM guys? We're still out here. Morons, I mean. We totally outnumber you. We're loud, we're close-minded, and we dominate the media. We'll never stop being dumb about baseball. Never. We'll always keep the idiot ball rolling. Is that a pun? If it is, I didn't intend it."

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posted by Junior  # 8:09 PM
Hat tip: KT. Congrats, buddy.
Better name: William Xavier, or McPlaschke Fraa?
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