Move over, Murray Chass. Ignorance has a new best friend, and his name is Jon Heyman. In a recent SI.com mailbag piece, Heyman decided to ape the senile New York Times sports columnist by parading his reactionary view of sabermetrics:
Regarding your NL MVP candidates, how about those two guys in Florida? Yes, the Marlins are not in playoff contention, but it’s hard to ignore Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera, especially considering they’re first and second, respectively, in the NL in VORP, and rank in the top three in Runs Created. It looks like you went through all the playoff-contending teams, and chose a “good” player from each. Let me ask you: If Cabrera were on a playoff-contender this season, would there be any doubt who the MVP was?
– Carolyn, Boca Raton, Fla.
Actually, you’re right. That’s exactly what I did, and how I came up with Prince Fielder as my NL MVP leader. His “good” year is actually more than good, and the Brewers are right in the thick of the playoff race. While I understand your sentiments, I am more interested in “wins created” than runs created. And the day I consider VORP is the day I get out of the business. The idea of the MVP is to honor the player who has had the biggest positive impact on the pennant races. I have been a big champion for Ramirez, but I would not consider him a true candidate to win the MVP award.
Emphasis added. Once again, an old-guard sportswriter decides that a simple sabermetric concept is interfering with his ability to gum his applesauce in peace:
“Damn you kids! You don’t know anything about the manly, musky smell of a locker room and its relationship to team chemistery and anonymously sourced shit-stirring quotes! It’s got nothing to do with your new-age sissy numbers! You don’t need a computer to add up RBIs! Hell, I’ll bet you think these stat-generating robots put their pants on two legs at a time as they plug their Internets into their calculators. Well, you whippersnappers can pry my ignorance out of my cold, dead hand!”
Funny, I had Heyman for being about 15-20 years younger than Chass. Clearly, he got old in a hurry.
Fire Joe Morgan was on this one like white on rice, and Lone Star Ball took some pretty good cuts, too. So rather than raising my blood pressure any further, I’ll simply get off Mr. Heyman’s lawn and allow him to resume the search for his pants.
And hope that the day he gets out of the business comes before the day he hands in another award ballot.