#Hot Corner

The more things change ...

I just stumbled upon this little nugget of reactionary bile:

Stats are "in" today, no question about it. They are trendier than tofu, lightweight little morsels that don't stick to the ribs and are of questionable nutritional value. The problem is that they are being treated not as snacks but as the main course. A growing number of stat wizards are concocting numbers of of iffy value and trying to make them sound more significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Yesterday, right? By some ink-stained nimrod who can't believe anyone might favor Mike Trout over Miguel Cabrera?

Nope. Not yesterday, or last week or last month or last year or last decade.

Here's a clue regarding the vintage, for you history buffs:

The likely guru of the movement is Bill James, a self-appointed oracle who swept off the plains of Kansas with an appealing collection of subjective pronouncements that would have you believe baseball wasn't played until it was discovered by James' slide rule.

Actually, I suppose that could have been written yesterday. It wasn't. It was written almost 27 years ago, and published in the annual pre-season magazine, Bill Mazeroski's Baseball '86. The article was penned by a fellow named Peter Pascarelli, who next writes, "Now every TV network imports its own numbers genius who in turn makes every broadcaster sound like a home computer."

The punchline, of course, is that for many year Peter Pascarelli sat in the ESPN booth during big baseball games, serving as resident numbers genius and feeding statistics to the broadcasters.

Which reminds me of a book, one of the few really good ones not written by Bill James ...

Be not righteous over much.
-- Eccl. 7:16

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