This morning, the sports website The Big Lead took aim at Neyer, mocking him for holding high expectations for the quality of content in his network and then launching into a random diatribe about how all the "stat-heads" are going to unjustly get Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame.
As for the analytical skills, let’s begin with Bert Blyleven, a pitcher who has failed to get voted into the Hall of Fame 13 years in a row. Blyleven spent 48 seasons in the majors, never finished 1st or 2nd in Cy Young award voting, and his career highlight is a toss-up between this t-shirt and this F-bomb on air. Yet the stat-heads are certain he should voted in (sadly, he probably will next year; then, it becomes the Hall of Very Good). Using your analytical skills, sell Neyer one way or another on Blyleven.This post struck a nerve with me for a couple of reasons. For one, obviously my blog is a part of Neyer's SweetSpot Network and frankly I'm proud to be a person whose analytical skills and writing chops were deemed worthy of that honor. But moreso, as a Twins fan, I'm annoyed to see another misguided soul hammering away at Blyleven's Hall of Fame case, particularly in a situation like this where it seemingly came completely out of nowhere.
The irony surrounding TBL's post is almost too rich to take. His presented case against Blyleven, who last year was not voted into the Hall of Fame by a subjective voting group, is that for thirteen years that same subjective voting group has not voted him in and that during his career that same subjective voting group did not place him first or second in the Cy Young balloting. Basically, the argument boils down to: "If some people thought this at some point, then it must be true!"
It amuses me that in a post where they seek to ridicule the folks who write about baseball while using statistics and facts to back up their positions, TBL shows exactly why those people are necessary. There's got to be someone to filter out condescending, snide and completely empty analysis like this. Do some of those stat-head bloggers write in that same arrogant tone? Sure, but generalizing that to the entire population of analytical baseball bloggers is as stupid as claiming that every single one of them believes that Blyleven belongs in the Hall (or that no traditional baseball analysts who rely less on stats believe he belongs).
Whether The Big Lead is just trying to ruffle feathers or still holds a grudge against ESPN for flooding their servers a few years ago, I don't know, but Neyer's comments are hardly worthy of such vitriol. Methinks The Big Lead should go back to doing what they do best: reporting all day on sports gossip. Then we can have a talk about journalism standards.
And they can tell some story about how intimidating Jim Rice was.