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The dirty little secret

Posted at 11:42 AM on June 23, 2005 by Bob Collins (7 Comments)

The dirty little secret of baseball blogs is that the people who write them, naturally, are almost exclusively geniuses who, given the opportunity, can do a better job of running a baseball team than the people who run baseball teams.

Having already proved their superiority over the mainstream sportswriters and exposed them for the poodles they are , bloggers are now opening a new front, kicking in the door of Major League Baseball and taking their rightful place in controlling franchises, and wresting influence away from the nags who've been keeping the seat warm for us for the last 140 years. Thanks, guys. You can go now.

Take Eric Van who now works for the Boston Red Sox. In an article today on, we learn that Van was quietly hired by the Red Sox in February after owner John Henry read one of his columns on the Sons of Sam Horn baseball blog.

''At 16, I knew you could get better players if you looked at the numbers," Van says. ''I knew teams were not being optimally run because there was an illusion about who was good and who wasn't."

Bingo. Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

For years managers, and the sportswriters who suck up to them have pretended that the truly interested baseball fan just didn't have the knowledge to be able to offer constructive advice. That's why we have Matthew Lecroy coming up in important situations year after year

Bill James was probably the first "blogger" who had an impact on the sports. Despite the brickbats thrown by the traditionalists, for example, virtually everyone now recognizes that batting average is a comparatively dumb way to judge players.

Blogging has almost exclusively been viewed as the domain of the political world. But even the highly political Daily Koz predicted last January that it is sports blogging that will truly change the world.

It's also interesting to me that more and more -- as John Henry showed -- the team officials are monitoring these blogs.

So here we are at the doorstep. A new generation of baseball moguls awaits. Sid, Ron, Carl, Terry... move over and let someone who knows everything take over.

We notice your team has bombed bigtime, and we're standing by ready to rescue you.

Comments (7)

Aren't you guys the folks who think the solution at third base is to deal for Joe Randa?

Don't quit your day jobs, fellas.

Posted by David Wintheiser | June 23, 2005 2:03 PM

I can't speak for my fellow bums -- who apparently like the guy -- but I'm bored by Joe Randa. I'm bored, frankly, by just about every thirdbaseman in baseball with just a few exceptions. In fact, one of these days I'm going to post a look at the decline of thirdbase and firstbase as "power positions." I blame Cal Ripken.

Posted by Bob Collins | June 23, 2005 3:32 PM

Randa is more of a stop-gap than a solution. I wouldn't want him on the team past this year -- and guess what! He's on a one-year deal..........realistically (salary, availability, etc.), he's the best the Twins could do..............

Posted by daveZ | June 23, 2005 4:00 PM

Good point, Bob - I do remember reading something about how first base isn't the power position it used to be, so it'll be interesting to see your take on it. My own feeling is that Ripken might have been the start of it, but without Garciaparra and Rodriguez, folks might have looked at Ripken as an aberration rather than the new 'rule'.

Now we've got teams trying to convert decent-fielding third basemen into shortstops (Jason Bartlett, anyone?) simply to try to 'keep up with the Joneses' at the position.

Nice observation, though. Maybe Terry Ryan will give you a ring one of these days. *grin*

Posted by David Wintheiser | June 23, 2005 5:29 PM

What's your solution at third base?

Posted by Hans | June 23, 2005 7:35 PM

I was watching the Indians the other night when Jhonny Perralta (who I love and think will be a fine hitter) came up and the announcers were talking about his size forcing him to move to third. And I thought, "wow, it's been a long time since I've heard someone use that line of thinking." It made me feel young again.

David, my solution at third, I'm sorry to say, is going to involve Joe Mauer. So, really, the my noodling involves catcher more than third. But, relax, it doesn't involve Corky Miller.

Posted by Bob Collins | June 23, 2005 7:52 PM

No Corky!? But, you had me so excited!!!

Bob, your solution may work, but we both know the Twins aren't going to do it this year.

The stat geeks do seem to be getting more cred, and deservedly so, but I doubt we'll ever see the day when computer nerds run teams out of their parent's basement.

If they did, I'm sure passwords to porn sites would be included in most major trades.

Posted by daveZ | June 24, 2005 10:19 AM

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