Friday, November 16, 2012

The Most Tired, Troll Filled, Idiotic Debate in Baseball

Well, we all knew this would happen. It was only a matter of time until the AL MVP would be announced, and the fallout was all that we expected it to be.

As Trout and Cabrera locked horns in what would be one of the most highly debated MVP races in recent memory, the real battle raged in the arena of statistics as traditionalists slandered those in favor of advanced metrics and vice versa. I feared this day, and my fears became realized as a torrent of trolls rained down on social media the likes no one has ever seen before. And I saw some things that have been permanently and unfortunately seared into my brain. But, throughout this entire process, there are some points that continued to irritate me:

First: Awards such as this are meaningless so please stop expending so much energy on them. And yes, they are not the end all be all. Sure, they are great for the recipients, but they should be used as a means to prove the superiority of one player over another. The voting is compiled by a select group of supposedly esteemed and extraordinarily biased writers. Look at the results:

Chen and Darvish appear #2 and #3 on a Japanese writer’s ballot.

Wilin Rosario receives a first place vote and gives Harper the NL ROTY

Fernando Rodney gets a first place mark in the CY

Alex Rios (ALEX RIOS) gets a 5th place MVP vote from a Chicago writer

Raul Ibanez gets an MVP vote

These people are hardly qualified to dole out accolades to major league players. While there are some honest members of this process, biases rule the roost and thus the awards are not always genuine. So please, stop acting as though the person who receives MVP or Cy Young is adherently better than the rest of their competition. Awards are not definitive.

Second: The sabermetric backlash. This one I don’t really get. Not at all. I’d figure in our relatively progressive society that we’d be able to grasp and accept math. But sadly, it seems as though we are not yet ready for that step.

The leaders of this hatred towards advanced metrics aren’t just your run of the mill trolls, oh no, they are a concentrated strand with a large platform to whine from. Such names as Rob Parker (Who works on a show called ‘Numbers Never Lie’. WELP) and Mitch Albom, fully grown men mind you, that are mocking members of FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and Baseball Reference all while accusing them of being “stat geeks” and “Nerds” that “Live in their mom’s basement”. Again, fully grown men resorting to tactics of middle school children. These people are copying the cries of those same children who ostracize anyone who present any sort of difference and individuality in middle school and/or high school most likely due to insecurity… (But I’ll spare you the psychology). It is utterly pathetic and saddening.

These people cry that statistics used to provide an estimate for overall importance such as WAR are fake and cannot stand to RBI. Yeah, these people shouldn’t be around baseball. And if you don’t know why RBI is quite possibly the most useless stat in baseball, please leave this blog……. If you stuck around, good for you! Continuing, this process uncovered that there are baseball writers, paid to provide their insight on the sport, that think OBP is worthless (Thus, admitting that they believe walks are not valuable) and that honestly believe OPS is an advanced statistic. The year is 2012. Late 2012.

Third: Alex fucking Rios got a 5th place MVP vote. Oh, I said that already? Well… It’s still despicable

Thankfully, the award distribution has ended and these debates can finally stop, the trolling will persist for a few more days but should eventually dissipate, and the offseason moves that much closer to completion. At least we got a few laughs out of it.

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