FIRE JOE MORGAN: Dude, Calm Down. It's a Mailbag.


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Dude, Calm Down. It's a Mailbag.

Reader Bruce sent us this beauty from Richard Griffin's latest mailbag.

Let's start with the letter to Richard, sent by Casey in Vancouver:

I found the outpouring of support for Reed Johnson in last week's mailbag to be somewhat laughable. Fans seem to think that Johnson is the superior player simply because he has a superior throwing arm...I am more interested in another stat, runs. According to the 162 game average for Reed Johnson is 85 runs scored. For Shannon Stewart the number is 102...if history tells us anything Stewart would almost certainly get 10-20 more runs in a season than Johnson would. Do you seriously think that Johnson's arm would save the Jays more than 10-20 runs in year?

We're all thinking roughly the same thing, right? Casey kind of cherry-picked his stats, and using runs alone as an offensive stat really doesn't do much for his case. The whole math of the situation doesn't really work; there's like 400 other variables that he's ignoring in this equation. And, of course, why does someone in Vancouver care about the Blue Jays?

Oh, Canada. You motherfuckers.

I'm hoping we can all at least agree at this point that Casey's use of stats leaves something to be desired. Maybe we should all pitch in and get him a subscription to BP? No? How about an Icelandic Buckless Belt?

Anyway, let's see how Richard Griffin responds to Casey's question.

I find the general attitude of seamheads and stat geeks like yourself towards real, human, flesh and blood players that don’t measure up to your computer-generated ideals to be sad.

Holy dick!

Seamheads and stat geeks like Casey? The guy who...wait -- say that again?

I find the general attitude of seamheads and stat geeks like yourself towards real, human, flesh and blood players that don’t measure up to your computer-generated ideals to be sad.

That's what I thought you said! Yay! Richard Griffin's crazy!

Do yourselves a favor: go back and re-read Griffin's opening remark, but in your mind, pretend that it's being read by Col. Nathan Jessup from "A Few Good Men." I think you'll be happy with the results.

The so-called outpouring of love towards Reed Johnson from fans and from this mailbag last week has nothing to do with Reed’s throwing arm or the fact that some statistical proof can be generated from a website that shows Shannon Stewart capable of producing 17 more runs than Johnson in a 162-game season. It has to do with the fact of dealing with a decent human being that has not been treated with the same respect he has shown the game he has chosen as his profession.

A truly staggering amount of crazy, packed into one sentence. I like "generated from a website," as if is just making stuff up.

And, again: "It has to do with the fact of dealing with a decent human being..."

Interesting piece of trivia: Richard Griffin composes his mailbag responses by painstakingly writing tiny words on the sides of strands of fettuccine, using the the tip of a guitar string dipped in ink. He then boils the fettuccine, throws it against the wall, and lets the pieces fall to the floor. The order of the words in his responses is determined by the order in which the strings of pasta fall. "fact...of...dealing...with...a...decent...mmm!"

Griffin follows this up with some weird anecdotal shit that's supposed to make us think that Reed Johnson somehow got dicked over by the Blue Jays, which is totally possible but sort of boring. And then, more pasta!

I don’t blame you for your immaturity. It’s easy for someone on the outside looking in to disregard the humanity of players. But it’s difficult for someone that has been in the major-league game for 35 years to do the same.

Casey gets attacked for being immature? Man alive. Disregarding the humanity of players?

Just to sum up, this is apparently where we're at in the year 2008. It doesn't really matter where you fall on the Joe Morgan / Bill James spectrum. If you so much as use any numbers to defend your argument, then it's safe to say that you have a total disregard for the humanity of players.

Just making sure we all understand the ground rules.

There will never be any apologies from my part for caring about players as human beings, no matter how flawed their skills may seem when run through a computer.

I need like four cups of alfredo sauce.

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posted by dak  # 12:45 AM
Fine, fine! Food metaphor tag.
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