October 29, 2014

Joe Posnanski lets Bill James pee on #sabermetrics like a crotchety old man

Joe Posnanski pretending
to do actual journalism.
I've never been a huge fan of Joe Posnanski, and I don't get sports buffs who are.

And, that's before he did his puff piece bio of Joe Paterno, which he refused to change to discuss anything about the Penn State sex abuse scandal centered on Larry Sandusky, and what Paterno might have known about it.

Frankly, I think Posnanski did that for two reasons.

One is that he had JoePa on that much of a pedestal and couldn't stand to see his idol destroyed.

The other?


Pos wasn't about to shoot his own gravy train in the foot.

Well, as noted, he wasn't on a pedestal for me even before that. He was decent, above average ... generally good on baseball. I'm not a college football fan in any great degree, so don't care about him there. He's not good on golf, the few ventures he's made there.

Anyway, he tumbled after JoePa, and has never recovered, in my book.

And now, worse.

He's given Bill James a forum to take a whack, a cheap whack, at Wins Above Replacement.

No, WAR is not a perfect baseball metric. But, per this great rebuttal on Tom Tango, it's not a bad one, and it's no different from James' own Win Shares.

So, Pos let James set up a straw man or piñata and whack away at it for free. He never pointed out that it was a straw man.

Nor did he ask James, if he is that stats-o-phobic:
1. How the hell did James claim to have any credibility on WAR?
2. Why did he get into sabermetrics in the first place?

Instead, Pos runs some generic "bullshit" angle through the story, about James being a great bullshit detector. Well, either Pos isn't one himself (we know that with the JoePa bio, don't we), or he's got no problem being an active enabler of bullshit (we know that from the JoePa bio, don't we).

And, no wonder Pos is giving James free space to swing at straw men.

Per a link someone posted at Craig's NBC blog, James feels exactly the same way about Paterno as Pos does.

And, we all know what Pos can stand for.

Even worse, per my comment about Pos' bio, above, Pos didn't ask James the most basic question of all.

Is this about the $$$?

And, don't give me that bullshit, speaking of bullshit, about how James started doing this while working night security at a factory.

That was 30 years ago or more, when he wasn't thinking about $$$.

#Fail. By both of them.

And, we all know what Pos can stand for. Spell out the initials yourself.

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