Monday, September 28, 2009

The Zombies Are Eating Each Other

  • They're referred to as "zombies" for a reason:

One of the things that most amazes me about the stat zombies is how they not only attack those that deviate from any and all things that they believe, but they attack each other with an even greater fervency than they treat their enemies. The term "zombie" itself implies a lack of conscious mind, but one would think that they'd at least try to keep those that agree with them on the same side. But if you look at the "discourse" in the comments on Baseball Think Factory and sabermetrically inclined sites, all you see is the nitpicking and fighting that goes on with people who are so socially backward that they're unable to engage with anyone in any context; it extends from not being able to relate to people in person to the anonymity of the internet----and it's contributing to their inevitable downfall.

They've come after me in their anonymity several times and been backhanded so quickly and with such force (and I've been gentle out of kindness) that they either cower in the corner or disappear entirely, but I'm not one of them and am easier for them to dismiss regardless of what I say or do. Yesterday though, they went after one of their own----Rob Neyer----after he posted an analysis of the Mets Daniel Murphy and his potential as a starting first baseman. Some of the comments were attacks based on the surmising that Murphy is not an everyday option at first base. The main quote:

First, anybody who says a first baseman has to hit home runs is an idiot.

Second, it's hard to win a lot of games with a first baseman who can hit (the Dodgers this year being a notable exception).

Third, anybody who thinks Daniel Murphy can hit really isn't paying close attention.

This season, 23 major league first basemen have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Among them, Murphy ranks 20th in slugging percentage and 22nd in on-base percentage. He's just not getting the job done, and isn't likely to. You can compare him to James Loney, except James Loney isn't getting the job done, either. You can compare him to Keith Hernandez and John Olerud, except Hernandez and Olerud were both on-base machines. Olerud posted a .425 OBP in his three seasons as a Met; Hernandez a .387 OBP in his seven seasons.

Then the comments were of the following variety:

So you took a virtual rookie, playing out-of-position, that happens to play on the worst offense in the Major Leagues and in the second best pitcher's park in baseball - and you deduced that his sub-par on-base-percentage and slugging percentage isn't beneficial to the team. Way to go out on a limb!

Second, it's hard to win a lot of games with a first baseman who can hit (the Dodgers this year being a notable exception).

Maybe the dumbest statement ever from Rob Neyer. And that's saying something.

It's a wonder how the Cardinals manage to succeed. They just won the NL Central despite all that hitting their first baseman insists on doing.

In other news, the proofreading in this post is risible. Did you get so excited about tearing Jim Luttrell a new hole that you forgot to edit? It almost seems as if you really aren't paying close attention...

rob neyer you are a horrible writer

i am overly confused by this post, not really sure what your trying to say here rob, this post is not well written

"Second, it's hard to win a lot of games with a first baseman who can hit (the Dodgers this year being a notable exception)."

I'm assuming you meant "can't hit," right

Good grief!!

One would assume that these people are "loyal" readers and "fans" if they took the time to comment, but the way they latch onto a typo (we all make them----even me) by calling Neyer a "horrible writer" and attacking, attacking, attacking stuns me and these are the people who hate my guts or dismiss and outright ridicule me!

I disagree with a vast chunk of what Neyer says and believes, but to call him a "horrible writer" simply isn't fair. And the sickest part of all this is that he happens to be right.

Daniel Murphy isn't a player who's not an everyday first baseman (I don't subscribe to the theory that certain positions should provide a set of perfunctory numbers as a prerequisite to playing there), he's a player who's not an everyday player period. If the Mets are intent on playing Murphy at first base next year, they're making a similar mistake as they did during one of their frequent phases of organizational rudderlessness in 2003-2004 and decided that Jason Phillips's 119 game run of solid play made him their own version of a converted first baseman along the lines of Scott Hatteberg (whose rise was documented in the farcical text of Moneyball). The opposing pitchers figured Phillips out in 2004 and he declined into what he was----a Triple A catcher who could be a serviceable big league backup on a mediocre team.

Murphy might evetually be a player who deserves 500 at bats; but he isn't now and isn't going to be next year either. He has good enough hands and an arm to be a roving utility player as he learns his way in the big leagues. If the Mets try him as their first baseman, they'll be searching for a replacement by May of 2010.

As for the zombies attacking their own, I cannot imagine anyone in the rapidly growing Prince of New York "family" attacking me like that no matter what I said or did; in fact, I trust that a large chunk of them would take the bullet to protect the Boss. I'd rather have loyalty than most anything. The zombie world is crumbling----and they're setting the charges themselves with almost no help from me. I'm perfectly willing to pick through the bones though and take advantage of the self destruction.

  • The Orioles should re-think their spring training regimen:

What is it about the Orioles that they play respectably and somewhat above their talent level for the first 3-4 months of the season, and then run out of gas like they're playing in the 120-degree heat of Saudi Arabia rather than Baltimore? It's not just this year; it's every year. It doesn't matter who the manager is; what their philosophies are; or whether they're using young players or veterans----it's the same every year. It's not a late season lull or slump; they collapse.

No matter who the manager is next year (it's safe to assume it's not going to be Dave Trembley; I'd want to speak to Gary Varsho about the job) the club has to look at how they prepare for the season physically because no matter how bad a team is, this shouldn't happen on an annual basis with the precision timing of a NASA rocket launch. With the way the Orioles have incorporated their increasingly impressive array of youngsters, it's easier to get them to do certain things in the spring at which insolent veterans might balk. What they're doing obviously isn't working and they need to make some changes in physical conditioning. They can't be much worse than they've been in recent years.

  • Mets 4-Marlins 0:

If you're the Marlins, how do you let yourself get shut out by Pat Misch?

  • Viewer Mail 9.28.2009:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE the tightening NL East:

I had no idea the NL East race was as tight as it is. I guess I've been paying too much attention to the AL East.

The top three teams in the division owe a debt of gratitude for that to the Mets for being a notoriously effective punching bag without prejudice.

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE the Phillies late-season stumble:

The season is winding down to a snooze so I am rooting for a Phillies meltdown. That'd be a nice change.

For me and the suffering fan base of the Mets also; let someone else suffer for a change.


Jeff said...

Brains! Must... have... EAT... BRAINS... Pygmalion... Theorem... Win Theorem... *SLURP, CRUNCH, CHOMP*... BRAINS... Rob Neyer... YUM... Likey like... Murphy... Beane... GREEK GOD OF WALKS... CHAD BRADFORD... MMM... ME LIKEY...

She-Fan said...

Could you never write about the zombies again? My eyes kept crossing and now they won't go back to normal, which makes blogging very difficult.

Megan said...

No mention of Murphy's UZR? I'm highly disappointed. You just lost a valuable reader.

Anonymous said...

Good one on gratitude and it helps a lot.

Karim - Mind Power

Anonymous said...

Good one on gratitude and it helps a lot.

Karim - Mind Power