Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Letter to Tim McCarver
During Sunday's telecast, however, Tim McCarver went on a tangent so inane and blatantly ignorant that I just couldn't go without pasting some kind of angry retort on here. For those who weren't watching, the Angels had just gone up 2-0 in the game, prompting Thom Brennaman to start gushing about their offensive philosophy of being aggressive at the plate and hitting well with runners on base. I'm paraphrasing here, but Brennaman basically said that the Angels weren't worried about walks or any of that nonsense. He stated with this sort of pseudo-bravado that the Angels followed a philosophy that "when you put runners on base, you get 'em in!", apparently inferring that the concept of knocking in runners was eschewed by every other major league team in baseball. This then led McCarver to go on a mind-numbingly idiotic rant about the merits of "small-ball" and the problems with the "Moneyball" philosophy, as evidenced by the Angels' supposedly stellar hitting attack. He even went on to rip on the A's by name without any provocation whatsoever, and used faux-statistics to help "back up" his argument.
In response, here's a letter I devised to send to McCarver. I know I shouldn't get too worked up over this, but sometimes stupidity is so glaring that it can't go unanswered.
No offense, but you are a douchebag. Your brand of uninsightful, uninformative, and sickeningly biased commentating has been polluting the baseball airwaves since back when I was in short pants, and nowadays when you come on the air I usually just respond accordingly and turn the sound down. Unfortunately, Sunday's broadcast was one of those few times that I forgot to hit mute, and I was affected by it in ways I could never imagine. I know by simply writing this I'm basically validating your existence as an unfortunately respected broadcaster instead of just ignoring you like I usually do, but I just can't help myself this time.
Your anti-Moneyball rant on Sunday was one of the most pathetic and defensive things I've ever heard. No one brought up Moneyball, no one brought up the A's, no one was ripping on the potential benefits of small-ball, but you had to go on and throw your two cents into the whole stathead v. traditionalist debate anyway, didn't you?
Let's see, where do we start? First, you stated that the Angels didn't have to worry about walks because they were so good at getting runners over, stealing bases, hit-and-runs, hitting with runners on, etc. You know, all the "little things" that supposedly win you championships. Then, inexplicably, you started comparing them to the A's, a team not even in the playoffs but that you felt the need to compare to anyway because of their differing philosophy. "The Angels had a man go from first to third on singles 30 more times than the A's did," you said. "That makes a lot of difference."
Oh, really? Let's see, the Angels scored 761 runs this season, placing them 7th among the 14 AL teams, or exactly middle of the pack. They weren't a bad offense, for sure, but not exactly great. What was one of those teams who finished ahead of them in runs scored this season, Tim? Oh, that's right...the A's! Oakland scored 772 runs, 11 more than the Halos. So explain something to me, Tim, if getting a man from first to third on a single is so damned important, why the hell did the A's score more runs than the Angels?!?! You also sang the praises of LA's MLB-leading 161 stolen bases as an example of their offensive brilliance. Well, the A's finished dead-last in the majors in stolen bags yet, amazingly, scored more runs. Again, if stolen bases are so important, why did Oakland score more runs? Notice how I used evidence and numbers here, Tim? You might want to take notes.
Every night I look up at the stars and wish that 30 years from now stupid, narrow-minded announcers like you will be in the vast minority in the baseball world and objective, intelligent people will be calling games and making it fun for smart baseball people. Your tangent Sunday reeked of an increasingly senile old man desperately defending his old ideals as they become ever more irrelevant. It's OK for a traditionalist to argue his way, but the self-indulgent manner in which you went about attacking statistical analysis without even a shred of understanding of how the system works just goes to prove the stathead community right that you and your ilk are just a dying breed so desperate to keep your dumb opinions alive that you'll resort to baseless name-calling to defend yourself. Every time you come on the air, you disgust me and every other intelligent, open-minded baseball person in America (and before you start dropping names, Tim, no Joe Morgan does not count as an intelligent baseball person). For this, you get the longest, nastiest bit of stankeye ever bestowed upon an individual.
I know that this letter will be ignored by you, and my plea for you to caulk your mouth shut will go unheeded, but just know how many people loathe you and how many potentially prosperous baseball minds you're polluting every time you show your face on FOX, and maybe think about it for a while.
John Ryder, Give 'Em Some Stankeye
P.S. If you can go ahead and neuter Steve Lyons for me, all is forgiven.
Here is another good site I said I would pass along.