Picking on Bleacher Report "articles" isn't really my style. I'm not the kind of guy to push drunks in front of oncoming buses, nor am I interested in throwing pennies at the intellectually homeless. However, by some freakish act of SEO charity or somebody selling his eSoul to the internet pecking order high-ups, Bleacher Report posts are lumped in with my "Toronto Blue Jays" Google Alert ALL THE TIME. They're usually awful but generally easy to ignore.
Unfortunately, I can't let anyone write something as stupid as this and get away with it. Bleacher Report seems to circumvent the whole "meritocracy" ideal of the internet. Ill-informed and poorly constructed articles get a lot more eyeballs on B.R. because of their deal with the GoogleBot Devil. So, in a word, fuck them.
You see the link, but I encourage you not to click it. The author of the post offers a completely asinine point and it only gets worse from there. Sample the opening paragraph and imagine how much worse it gets:
A major league baseball insider recently revealed that the Blue Jays management's apparent obsession with defense is just part of the low-grade propaganda advanced to convince fans to purchase 2010 season tickets in the face of a 100-loss year.Yup, defense sells tickets. Casual fans flock from miles around to watch &mdash with reverence &mdash a crisp relay throw and smooth transfers during a 4-6-3. Cynical Blue Jays management is capitalizing on fans great love of subtly and nuance for the one millionth time. Same old song and dance, I guess.
This poor, misguided fool goes on to quote fielding percentage rates and how teams with bad records sometimes have good fielding percentages, but not before comparing the pay scales for John MacDonald and Manny Ramirez and a three paragraph digression on the term "spazz" (Seriously). Apples to apples! Shocking exposé!
The most disappointing part of this entire post (aside from me reading and responding to it) is the still-prevalent disconnect between pitching and defense. There are far, far more baseball fans that see the game exactly like this and don't seem to grasp how one supports the other.
It's easy to assume that, when inside the internet baseball bubble, Fangraphs is common knowledge to everyone that owns a baseball glove and Bill James is demigod. Clearly it just isn't so.
The last line of this brainrape is telling and not to be ignored. The author (after bragging about all the women he's ever bedded) expresses his dismay over the Jays failure to put a contending team on the field "right now." He doesn't get why they don't sign Jermaine Dye immediately, he's a proven slugger!
It's really a shame. The golden age of baseball knowledge and appreciation is passing right by too many good fans. Hopefully this guy (and many like him) realizes it is all for the better. The stats AND the rebuilding, that is.
Image courtesy of The BS Report