FIRE JOE MORGAN: Time Magazine Is Not A Source For Correct Baseball Information


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


Time Magazine Is Not A Source For Correct Baseball Information is running a horribly designed piece called "The Evolution of Barry Bonds" that requires you to click 21 times to get to all of the (extremely minimal) content. Each page has, in total, six numbers, one of which is the year.

For example:


Games Played: 113
Batting Average: .223
Home Runs: 16
Runs Per At Bat: 25.8
Listed Weight: 185

That's all you get on one page. Oh, wait. You also get a picture of Barry, two giant ads for, approximately one hundred links to other articles, and two separate targeted (?) text ads that read

I "Hate" my Yellow Teeth

The Secrets Dentists don’t want you to know about Teeth Whitening!

But enough about their hideous design. What the fuck is

Runs Per At Bat: 25.8

That is not a thing, That is not a recognizable baseball statistic, and even if it were, it wouldn't be a meaningful one. "Runs Per At Bat"? First thing that jumps out at you -- Time's "Runs Per At Bat" is pretty clearly not, in fact, actually runs per at bat.

In 1986, Barry Bonds scored 72 runs in 413 at bats for a runs per at bat total of 0.17433414. He scored 0.17433414 runs per at bat. That is what should appear in a table after the words

Runs Per At Bat

Right? Anyway, after some head-scratching, I figured out what means when they say "Runs Per At Bat."

Are you ready?

They mean "At Bats Per Home Run."

Of course! Obvious. How could I not see that's what they meant when they said, right there in black pixels on my white screen, "Runs Per At Bat"?

In 1986, Barry Bonds had 413 at bats and hit 16 home runs, for an at bats per home run total of 25.8125. That ratio went down precipitously as he infused himself with more and more awesome chemicals that make you strong, but if has its way you'll never find out about that, because it will take you four hundred clicks to even get to 1994 or so, by which time you've probably already gone off to play Line Rider or something.


Yes, as a couple of you have pointed out, this article is a year old. And it's still wrong.


After over a year on the web, very quietly and very mysteriously, the "Runs Per At Bat" error has been corrected.

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posted by Junior  # 2:43 PM
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