ESPN "analysts": room temp IQs all around?

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Anyone see the new depths of brainlessness Harold Reynolds demonstrated on "Baseball Tonight" yesterday? A totally self-contradictory spiel on on-base percentage being "overrated." Apparently a high-OBP is fine for #1 and #2 hitters (like Juan Pierre, not all that great at o-b), but guys like Frank Thomas and Jason Giambi "clog the bases." (So I guess they should swing and ground into DPs.) John Kruk "partly" disagreed with him in an incoherent manner (when The Krukster comes off as relatively brainy, you know there's trouble in River City).

"HR" finished with "OPS? What's that?" (It's something your career figure measures at 83% of league average, slickster.) Then Chris Berman "Hell" chimed in with a UPS joke.

I notice they had the balls to do this on a night Gammons wasn't on; he at least is semi-conversant with informed interpretations of the non-trad statistical basics.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 3 May 2004 15:56 (fifteen years ago) link

ESPN analysts are a bunch of shitheads, Gammons the exception.

Chris 'The Velvet Bingo' V (Chris V), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:11 (fifteen years ago) link

However worthless ESPN analysts might be, your defensiveness and anger about this stuff is just weird, man.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:19 (fifteen years ago) link

hahaha. actually milo, i'm really not sure it is at all; i hope the doctor feels the need to explain his reasons.

agreed it was pretty dumb(/smart) to do this bit when gammons wasn't on, ie when it was impossible to have any kind of actual DEBATE about what is obviously an increasingly important subject.

John (jdahlem), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:27 (fifteen years ago) link

The only person that should be allowed to talk about hitting on ESPN is Tony Gwynn.

earlnash, Monday, 3 May 2004 16:29 (fifteen years ago) link


My reasons are all in the books. (others', not mine)

It's just sad to me that the most-seen "baseball show" of the week is staffed by a bunch of dumb jocks who pull their assertions out of their asses.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Morbius OTM, and I would've been much more gonzo about their suckitude. I don't even watch BT anymore, for phear of having my ears assaulted by such hoohah. Also, here's a Bermanesque joke for ya - Kruk is krap. I could give two shits about JK being "controversial" or "in your face" or "saying things folks won't like" - how about MAKING SOME SENSE BRAH?

I almost went postal on them after some talk about players' tendencies to get hurt and their incogruous training / weight lifting regiments, and comments were made re: "Babe Ruth never pulled a hamstring" and blah blah blah but A) Gammons was there holding it down (saying that the best thing for ballplayers to do to prepare for playing ball is to play ball as much as possible) and B) Krukster & HR were 2nding that (to an extent, tho I think they were still wrong) (because I'm like that).

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I understand the 'reasons,' Doc - but you act like it's some kind of holy war. Heathens v. the Saved on Sabremetrics FITE.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 3 May 2004 17:27 (fifteen years ago) link

but it is, at least at the top levels!

i was hoping doc would be a bit less...abrupt. anyway, _i_ thought he's being all huffy because the saber community has spent a lot of time and energy to get these ideas into a public forum, and just as they're finally being embraced by the mainstream, perhaps the single greatest channel through which to convey these ideas is busy confusing them with postal services. i'm more amused than angry about it, but i can certainly see how it could be maddening, especially if you've been deeply involved with the stuff for a long time, as (i think?) doc has.

John (jdahlem), Monday, 3 May 2004 17:46 (fifteen years ago) link

they broadcast an oakland game a few weeks ago and joe morgan talked for 20 minutes about how on base percentage was overrated and how the a's were a failure as an organization with billy ball cuz they haven't won a world series. he said all of the baseball truisms were true, as witnessed by the success of the yankees, as well as the marlins and angels. i was incensed. it was totally an if a = a then z must be true kinda thing.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 3 May 2004 17:47 (fifteen years ago) link


And Joe's "reasoning" has already been methodically torn to shreds in a chapter of "Moneyball" itself...

JD, it's not just ESPN... most mainstream pubs I read for any baseball content have regularly featured snide asides about Beane, Moneyball, SABR, etc -- Selena Roberts in the NY Times, a dick named Jon Heyman in Newsday, lots more. It's classic "don't confuse me with evidence" shit, always caricaturing or totally misrepresenting the New Thinking.

Excellent BP (non-premium) article on The Backlash:

http://www.baseball-analysis.com/article.php?articleid=2740


And you're right, Milo; if we are just taking this silly MLB shit seriously (even for fun)... it IS HOLY WAR! Mount up, and ride toward the sound of the guns!!!

David R, I can even understand having Kruk speak on certain players' perspective stuff... he was actually funny last week on getting abused for forgetting the number of outs. ("They notice in Philly. In Seattle, they're too busy drinkin' champagne and eatin' caviar.") But having these guys bloviate on the nuts and bolts of run production shows why they were paid to play, and others were paid to think.... As a guy on the Rob Neyer board posted today, getting on base is almost always a good thing.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 3 May 2004 18:06 (fifteen years ago) link

I think they do it just to get all the stat head geeks OPS panties in a twist. I find it HI-larious. Sure I'd wish they'd appeal to all schools of thought, but I don't really care, I'm jsut watching for scores and higlights, not commentary.

Jeff-PTTL (Jeff), Monday, 3 May 2004 18:51 (fifteen years ago) link

which would be fine, if only commentary wasn't supposed to be 50% of the show.

John (jdahlem), Monday, 3 May 2004 18:54 (fifteen years ago) link

> just to get all the stat head geeks OPS panties in a twist.

See the article linked above: "We're back in the schoolyard."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 3 May 2004 19:05 (fifteen years ago) link

listen, i'm certainly no moneyball stathead, but embracing absolutes on the other side of the equation is straight up silly. criminy...remember the ole little league maxim "a walk's as good as a hit"? i mean, for crying out loud, getting guys on base is how you score freaking runs.

j.q. higgins, Monday, 3 May 2004 20:55 (fifteen years ago) link

"a walk's as good as a hit"

Dave Campbell brought this up during the Red Sox-Rangers radio broadcast last night. The stats he quoted showed that when a leadoff batter reaches 1st base, his chances of scoring are 40%. When he reaches on a walk: 40%. When he reaches on an error: 43%.

boldbury (boldbury), Monday, 3 May 2004 21:01 (fifteen years ago) link


Yeah, but a walk isn't ALWAYS as good as a hit (ie, 2 out and 2 runners on)... More to the sabermetrics-bashing point, didn't the Giants win a couple games last weekend because Bonds was walked so much, and subsequently scored?

Ted Williams had a .482 LIFETIME on-base pct, but I guess to H. Reynolds he'd just be "clogging up the bases."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

"Lethal cleanup man Manny Ramirez nearly had a chance to deliver a big hit in between Ortiz and Daubach, but he walked on a 3-2 pitch."

This line out of the article on MSN about last nights RedSox/Indians game jumped out at me and made me think of this thread.

earlnash, Tuesday, 4 May 2004 15:09 (fifteen years ago) link

didn't see the game, but what does that mean? the theoretical opportunity existed? he laid off a pitch he usually smacks?

j.q. higgins, Tuesday, 4 May 2004 15:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i didn't see it either but i'm guessing they pitched around manny to get to daubach. i can't imagine why they wouldn't.

otto midnight (otto midnight), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 16:01 (fifteen years ago) link

And I can't imagine Manny swinging at an iffy pitch on the off chance that he MIGHT get a hit, instead of taking the sure outcome and getting on base. And what inning was it?

Off-topic: HR's suits are swank.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 16:05 (fifteen years ago) link

they actually didn't pitch around manny, and i've NO IDEA why this was. it was the 9th inning of a run one game with a man on third and 2 outs (ortiz was not on base).

John (jdahlem), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 16:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"...but i'm guessing they pitched around manny to get to daubach."

Who would you rather pitch to?

boldbury (boldbury), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 16:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Luis Rivera to thread!

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 17:03 (fifteen years ago) link


The Futility Infielder blog has an excellent post on Reynolds' know-nothing rant (transcript!), and the OBP/Moneyball backlash in general:

http://tinyurl.com/2e64r


Flat Earth things that you build teams around: chemistry, "productive outs," 5-tool players (like Billy Beane)...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 14:02 (fifteen years ago) link

"Productive outs"! Jim Kaat (currently on YES; a decent above-average announcer / color guy as long as he sticks to the game and doesn't analyze past the field) goes on anti-Beane / Moneyball rants every time Oakland comes to town or gets mentioned or he sees relish & mustard at the hot dog stand. A couple days ago (last week?) he was actually talking about some report "a friend from the Elias Sports Bureau" did re: productive outs and the correlation between moving folks over and success. I forget the actual assertions / conclusions he made, but I think he said the #1 productive out maker last year was the Marlins, which goes to show that it's the way to win past this OBP stuff. He's not as superficially vociferous re: debunking moneyball tactics, but his calm assured demeanor actually cheeses me off MORE than some other dope (cf. ESPN) farting out his mouth because he's sitting on his brain.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link


Yeah, Kaat is mentioned in the blog I posted ... this Productive Outs thing has been devised in a panic by the Elias people, hoping to push it on the anti-Beane execs since they see their "pro stat guys" status in danger of crumbling.

It's NOT MAKING OUTS that's the key skill.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Nice link, Doc - thanks!

I find it awfully silly for Elias to bother w/ concocting this Productive Outs stuff w/out associating it with the thing that maatters in moving runners over, i.e. whether the guy actually scores! Of the 3 criteria used to define a Productive Out:

1) a baserunner advancing with the first out of an inning
2) a pitcher sacrificing with one out
3) a baserunner driven home with the second out of an inning

only the third has anything to do w/ productivity - lord knows how many times I've seen someone bunted over to second just to watch him dawdle around 2nd for the rest of the inning as hitters flail away. If there's a way to track whether #1 and #2 lead to scoring, THEN there'd be something for Elias & HR & the YES posse to crow about. Who gives a fig if Jay Bell was a great bunter or can ground out to the right side with alarming regularity? A sac bunt's only worth a damn if Van Slyke or Bonilla drives the guy in.

Also - why the hell are Yankee announcers bitching about moneyball tactics when it's the philosophy the Yankees used to dominate the past decade?!?!

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 16:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Re: Manny, I thought he struck out to end the game last night?

lawrence kansas (lawrence kansas), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 17:58 (fifteen years ago) link

That was from an article on the 2-1 Indians win over the Sox on Monday.

earlnash, Wednesday, 5 May 2004 19:07 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...
ESPN fired Harold Reynolds today.

mattbot (mattbot), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Among their analysts who used to be players, he was the least likely to make smoke pour out of my ears.

barefoot manthing (Garrett Martin), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 14:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Kruk looked like the Voice of Reason the other night arguing vs HR and Phillips that A-Rod was not doomed in NY.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 14:29 (thirteen years ago) link

"Reynolds was known for a smooth style that usually was player friendly."

ie, making Neifi Perez sound like Tejada.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 14:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Harold wasn't good, but he didn't irritate me as much as Kruk or Morgan or Phillips. It always made sense to me that he would overvalue quick, light-hitting utility guys, since that was basically his job as a pro.\

I actually used to really enjoy his work in the earliest years of his tenure, back before the stat culture wars started.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 15:14 (thirteen years ago) link

"Kruk looked like the Voice of Reason the other night arguing vs HR and Phillips that A-Rod was not doomed in NY."

I read Kaufman's summary on Salon and was just flabbergasted.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 15:32 (thirteen years ago) link

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND READS KING KAUFMANNS?

Jimmy Mod: THE HANDLESS ORGANIST (The Famous Jimmy Mod), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 15:51 (thirteen years ago) link

Brooks Robinson should replace Reynolds:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2528809

polyphonic (polyphonic), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 15:53 (thirteen years ago) link

King Kaufman is smarter than anyone on BBTN.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 16:04 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't know who that insults more.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 18:30 (thirteen years ago) link

That's how crazy the idea the Yanks "need" to trade A-Rod is -- an idea illustrated with video of Rodriguez this week becoming the youngest player ever to hit his 450th career home run. John Kruk is the voice of reason. That crazy.

Kaufman and I both came up with VOR re Kruk, hence KK is a genius.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 18:41 (thirteen years ago) link

In re Reynolds: sexual harassment?

Haikunym (Haikunym), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 18:59 (thirteen years ago) link

Dude's natty dress sense will be missed.

jergins (jergins), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 19:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Maybe they'll hire Christina Kahrl...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 19:18 (thirteen years ago) link

i would watch a sitcom called 'karl, kahrl, & kruk'

gear (gear), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 19:21 (thirteen years ago) link

"anyway, _i_ thought he's being all huffy because the saber community has spent a lot of time and energy to get these ideas into a public forum, and just as they're finally being embraced by the mainstream, perhaps the single greatest channel through which to convey these ideas is busy confusing them with postal services. i'm more amused than angry about it, but i can certainly see how it could be maddening, especially if you've been deeply involved with the stuff for a long time, as (i think?) doc has."

lol@them!

BUTT LIKE A HOLE, BLACK AS UR SOUL (Adrian Langston), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 23:18 (thirteen years ago) link

anyway yeah, i sorta liked harold reynolds. the insight didn't exactly pour forth from him, but he was a smooth dude who usually wasn't annoying to listen to. i was just thinking the other day how much less irritated i am by the BT guys than i am by the NFL today dudes (high praise indeed!!!!!!!!!!!), but maybe that's just a product of me not caring about baseball

BUTT LIKE A HOLE, BLACK AS UR SOUL (Adrian Langston), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 00:11 (thirteen years ago) link

i will miss him

RIP

Stormy Davis (diamond), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 04:46 (thirteen years ago) link

maybe that's just a product of me not caring about baseball

Well, HR's butterknife insight is made for ppl who don't care about baseball.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 12:13 (thirteen years ago) link

( ゚д゚)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wf1Vg9YwBqA

BUTT LIKE A HOLE, BLACK AS UR SOUL (Adrian Langston), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 20:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I wonder how this shows ratings have been affected by the diehard mlb fans tuning into mlb network.

mayor jingleberries, Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:22 (nine years ago) link

how soon before someone tries doing a show w/out ex-jocks?

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:24 (nine years ago) link

What, like PTL/Around the Horn?

mellow, dramatic (WmC), Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:32 (nine years ago) link

hahah probably not that soon.

i actually like a lot of ex-player analysts, i think they bring some great perspective. but unfortunately none of the ones i like analyze baseball.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:33 (nine years ago) link

no WmC, I meant no jocks OR shouty circus clowns.

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:34 (nine years ago) link

how many shows did Nate Silver do last year?

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:34 (nine years ago) link

well, say what you mean, Herr Doktor (xp)

mellow, dramatic (WmC), Thursday, 11 February 2010 19:35 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

"We interrupt the stretch run of this fascinating baseball season with something completely irrelevant, epically ridiculous and wildly unimportant. A most absurd streak quietly ended in 2010: For the first time since 1989, I no longer clip every box score of every baseball game from the nearest newspaper and tape each one into a spiral notebook, a daily task that I've estimated, at roughly 15 minutes per day, has cost me 40 days of my truly pathetic life."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=5420098

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2010/0805/mlb_e_kurkjian11_600.jpg

no gut busting joke can change history (polyphonic), Saturday, 14 August 2010 21:57 (nine years ago) link

:-(

markers, Saturday, 14 August 2010 22:03 (nine years ago) link

derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Z S, Saturday, 14 August 2010 22:29 (nine years ago) link

If you got a system that helps you make a living, it doesn't matter how much it makes you look like a beaten-for-lunch-money-by-Liberace victim

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 15 August 2010 23:40 (nine years ago) link

schilling also had a good segment about strasburg on baseball tonight last night

J0rdan S., Saturday, 28 August 2010 22:23 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

HEY NOMAH -- "experience" don't mean shit in the postseason

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 02:44 (eight years ago) link

HEY KRUK, IS EVERYONE A "CLUTCH HITTER"?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 02:46 (eight years ago) link

i know i'm not supposed to get angered by these guys but jp riccardi saying that cc is the al cy young because he plays in a tougher division w/ tougher line ups w/ the way that felix has pitched against nyy actually makes me want to cancel my cable

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 29 September 2010 02:49 (eight years ago) link

was hilar to hear Nomar try to say "sabermetric"

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 October 2010 02:38 (eight years ago) link

"Cybermuh-dih-duh-duh"

Andy K, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 01:48 (eight years ago) link

CHRIS SINGLETON STOP YELLING AT US

Andy K, Monday, 11 October 2010 17:33 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Read that URL as saying he did an impression of Divine

Godzilla vs. Rodan Rodannadanna (The Yellow Kid), Friday, 2 March 2012 05:40 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

a sidebar on jon lester tonight caused kruk to ramble at great length about baseball and cancer, including the fact that getting those (cancer-afflicted) kids on the field to meet some players would be better than any possible treatment

i know that's not what he meant, but he is about as incoherent an analyst as i've ever heard

mookieproof, Monday, 3 June 2013 04:11 (six years ago) link

one month passes...
nine months pass...

he is about as incoherent an analyst as i've ever heard

mookieproof, Monday, 28 April 2014 02:06 (five years ago) link

look for his new book I Ain't an Analyst, Lady

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Monday, 28 April 2014 02:30 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

only saw the bottom of the ninth, but espn's use of nine (or whatever) commentators apparently only meant that each had only a moment to force his chosen cliches into the mix no matter what was going on in the game

mookieproof, Monday, 2 June 2014 03:38 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CNRD62vUsAAzIfW.png

mookieproof, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 16:09 (four years ago) link

every time i think he can't get any goddamn worse

slothroprhymes, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 16:13 (four years ago) link

o man

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 16:25 (four years ago) link

"It's said"

"true #'s"

Andy K, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 17:37 (four years ago) link

@jazayerli
Hey @gehrig38, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about Muslims, given that you appear grossly ignorant.

Andy K, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 17:41 (four years ago) link

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CNRfWYcUwAAX46b.png

polyphonic, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 18:25 (four years ago) link

in a bold move by espn, schilling has been suspended . . . from little league ws coverage

mookieproof, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 19:12 (four years ago) link

I do agree with him that we should've murdered every German regardless of their beliefs.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 25 August 2015 22:26 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

kruk/schilling out, jessica mendoza/aaron 'fucking' boone in on sunday nights

mookieproof, Wednesday, 13 January 2016 15:53 (three years ago) link

Aaron Boone is appearing at the SABR Analytics conference, for some reason

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 January 2016 17:42 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

schilling fired

@JonHeyman
schilling is unique. i used to get letters from a relative of his about how he'd routinely ruin thanksgiving #notkidding

mookieproof, Thursday, 21 April 2016 00:35 (three years ago) link

im so pumped right now

https://media.giphy.com/media/FVNoYaJTVY0Ja/giphy.gif

pandit pran nathalie (sanskrit), Thursday, 21 April 2016 01:01 (three years ago) link

NYTimes with some great shade:

“This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious,” he wrote of the brouhaha.

pandit pran nathalie (sanskrit), Thursday, 21 April 2016 13:38 (three years ago) link

This got me a chuckle.

"Curt Schilling Quietly Relieved He No Longer Needs To Censor Self For 3 Hours Once A Week"

http://www.theonion.com/article/curt-schilling-quietly-relieved-he-no-longer-needs-52790

earlnash, Friday, 22 April 2016 19:53 (three years ago) link

https://twitter.com/PFTCommenter/status/725063488977166337

Andy K, Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:44 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

good canadian kid dan shulman will not do sunday night baseball next year

unfortunate, imo

mookieproof, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 15:34 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

alex rodriguez . . . welcome

mookieproof, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 15:04 (one year ago) link

now with matt vasgergian

mookieproof, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 17:38 (one year ago) link

Why?

Andy K, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 17:39 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

As noted by @WayTooCrisp, this is A-Rod saying one of the dumbest things ever stated by a baseball analyst—and it's on the marquee national baseball broadcast pic.twitter.com/b7dKQU9NZX

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 2, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 September 2019 23:51 (two weeks ago) link

LOL

k3vin k., Tuesday, 3 September 2019 00:21 (two weeks ago) link

i'm not sure even Harold Reynolds could've come up with that

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 September 2019 11:13 (two weeks ago) link

Hate to lead by 13

ilxors are still exuberant (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 3 September 2019 16:51 (two weeks ago) link


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