From the Department of Advanced Statistickery

Earlier this year, resident ubermensch Dave Cameron submitted for the Reader’s consideration a piece in which he introduced another of FanGraphs’s cutting-edge metrics — namely, Hyperbole Index. Hyperbole Index, or HI, took the world of baseball analysis by storm*, leaving breathless readers of all descriptions, from ESPN Senior Writer Rob Neyer to cunning linguist Snoop Dogg (the latter of whom gushed, “That’s shit’s off the hizzy!”).

*Denotes possible use of hyperbole.

Because I try to have as few original thoughts as possible throughout the day, I’ve opted, in this space, to ride the frig out of Dave’s equally well-pressed and metaphorical coat-tails and share with the Wide Readership some very experimental metrics on which I’ve been working as part of my contribution to FanGraphs’ Department of Advanced Statistickery.

Two notes before I unveil said metrics.

First is that it’s important to recognize that the stats which follow are very much in the development stage and therefore lack the precision and accuracy of a finished product. Much like the Master Painters of yore, I’m only ever involved in the conception of a new stat. The grunt work I pass long to my apprentice statisticians, whose responsibility it is to f a whole bunch with Excel and crap.

Second, I’d like what follows to serve as a bit of a repost to certain readers who’ve called into question the empirical rigor of my first couple-few submissions to FanGraphs. While most readers have been supportive, there are some — and here I’m thinking particularly of user PlayOnWords at D-Rays Bay, who suggested that I’m “turtlenecking”* FanGraphs — there are those who would break that most important of commandments, “Let a player play.” I believe the following work will serve as a giant “Booyah” to those critics.

*Which, if I were to do that to FanGraphs, I’d at least have the decency to buy it dinner and stuff first.

Here now are five metrics on which I’ve been working:

Stat
Douche Factor

For Short
DF

What It Measures
Probable douchey-ness of a player, expressed as a percentage from 0% (very probably NOT a douche) to 100% (almost definitely a douche).

How It’s Calculated
While I’m still experimenting with the degree to which they ought to be weighted, I’ve identified, by means of extensive testing and research, what the main components of the metric are.

ChrisBritton2DF considers the three following components:

1. Stupid Jewelry Factor — In which the number of Phiten-brand “energy necklaces” is considered.

2. Facial Hair Factor — In which the of facial hair is considered. In most cases, the goatee is douchey. Clay Zavada is merely comical and is not penalized.

3. Eye to Jaw Ratio — In which the distance between the eyes is weighed against the distance across of the jaw. Close-together eyes paired with wide-set jaw denoted probably douchey-ness.

Probable League Leaders
Chris Britton (see photo)
Joba Chamberlain
Brad Penny

***

Stat
Whiffle League Equivalents

For Short
WLEs

What It Measures
While a lot of work has been done to assess how minor league performance might be predictive of future major league performance (see: MLEs), very little has been done to investigate how minor or major league production might translate to wiffleball. As you can imagine, the wiffleball lobby isn’t happy about this one bit, and have recently made it their business to harass Yours Truly. Not that I can blame them. As an avid wiffleballista myself, I’m shock-and-awed at the degree to which wiffleball’s place in history has been ignored.

How It’s Calculated
I don’t care, just do it.

Probable League Leaders
This guy.

***

Stat
WOPS

For Short
WOPS

What It Measures
Contrary to what the Reader might think initially, WOPS isn’t Weighted OPS or Walks-plus-OPS or anything involving OPS at all. Rather, WOPS is an attempt to measure the relative Italian-osity of major/minor leaguers. If you don’t get immediately how hilarious this is, click here.

How It’s Calculated
By dividing the the total number of letters in a player’s name by the number of vowels. The closer the result is to 1, the higher the WOPS.

Also, by going to a player’s house/apartment and seeing if his couches have plastic on them.

Also, by considering the model year of the player’s Camaro.

Probable League Leaders
Mike Napoli
Silvio Berlusconi
Val Pascucci

***

Stat
Total Recall Bases

For Short
TRB

What It Measures
No idea, actually. It’s just I thought it might be possible to do some promotional tie-in work with the film of the same name. I’ll have my people call someone else’s people.

How It’s Calculated
Dollar signs.

Probable League Leaders
Give me money.

***

Stat
Enthusiast Quotient

For Short
EQ

What It Measures
The degree to which a player either (a) has warmed or (b) is likely to warm the cockles of the Enthusiast’s heart.

How It’s Calculated
Sir Philip Sidney once quothed*, in re the ideal writing process: “Look into thy heart and write!” To calculate EQ, you do pretty much the same thing, except instead of “write” at the end, instead you “assign a number with which you feel comfortable.”

*Which, that’s the only way people used to speak, I’m pretty sure.

Probable League Leaders
Mark Bellhorn
Jeremy Hellickson
Charlie Haeger



Print This Post



Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
lincolndude
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lincolndude
7 years 28 days ago

I have tried. I find your posts completely unreadable. I’m not trying to be mean or discouraging, I just think you really need to simplify and cut down on the cuteness factor. You’re clearly a smart guy with interesting stuff to offer. You are ruining it with terrible writing.

Maybe this works for some people, but I can’t get through the first couple of grafs.

Travis
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Travis
7 years 28 days ago

Agreed. This is one of the first posts I’ve ever read on FG that made me dumber.

Tom B
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Tom B
7 years 28 days ago

it certainly has no place on this site. what a waste of 10 minutes.

MJ
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MJ
7 years 28 days ago

+1

this belongs in a fanpost at sbnation where he can be properly cannibalized by his own.

Steve Wower
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Steve Wower
7 years 27 days ago

Dude, man. Carson, don’t quit your day job which I hope isn’t writing….

mike
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mike
7 years 28 days ago

Here is some constructive criticism: Cut out the David Foster Wallace/ Chuck Klosterman-style footnotes following every paragraph and try to write more original.

Cory
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Cory
7 years 28 days ago

How about “OMAR”s for “Overemployed Management’s Angry Rants”?

Or “MORGAN”s for “Most Opportunities/Riches Given Abysmal Numbers”?

Totally agree with DF%, though as a Cardinals fan, I worry about their mustache gimmick. Have you seen Rick Ankiel or Brendan Ryan? Geesh. More like “dirtbag” than “douchebag.”

Kyle Boddy
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7 years 28 days ago

This is just awful.

KK
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KK
7 years 28 days ago

What

mattymatty
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7 years 28 days ago

I’m pretty sure you can’t say “Hizzy”.

Everett
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Everett
7 years 28 days ago

Not as good as the previous two, but I appreciate the effort.

Matthew McExpos
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Matthew McExpos
7 years 28 days ago

That’s what she said.

I disagree with some of the criticism. I dig Fangraphs because the writers have a little bit more voice than other statistical analysis sites (which, let’s face it, can be like reading a spreadsheet – albeit a really awesome spreadsheet). I’m down for more of this style.

Of course, with no subscription fee, Fangraphs could run articles personally insulting me every other day and I’d still be fine with it as long as I got to read the other stuff too.

BookieMonster
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BookieMonster
7 years 28 days ago

Oh brother.

JB
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JB
7 years 28 days ago

“Repost”=”Riposte”

Jon
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Jon
7 years 28 days ago

Did nobody else find the use of “WOPS,” a pretty derogatory term, offensive? I know I did.

Dim
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Dim
7 years 28 days ago

Seconded.

“If you don’t get immediately how hilarious this is, click here.”

How do you not “get immediately” how offensive this is?

steve
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steve
7 years 28 days ago

based on his name, i’m assuming the author is Italian.

doesn’t make it less offensive, but i can kinodf understand why he thought it was funny to say.

Tom B
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Tom B
7 years 28 days ago

please get over yourselves, the term WOP hasn’t been offensive for like 50 years.

Dim
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Dim
7 years 28 days ago

-Using it is still enough to get a politician fired. It’s offensive.
-The metric makes no sense given the number of Latin and Asian players with similar or higher ratios.
-The author’s command of the English language is terrible.

This is baseball—three strikes and yer out

Teej
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Teej
7 years 28 days ago

Please feel free to create your own baseball analysis site where such high jinks are not allowed. I will gladly pay you zero dollars and criticize everything you write.

MJ
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MJ
7 years 28 days ago

I think we would all overlook political correctness as long as the post was actually, you know, FUNNY.

SmallBall
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SmallBall
7 years 28 days ago

I am Italian, and I got how hilarious it was. For those of you not laughing, get over it.

In fact, I must be his target audience because I laughed at that for a solid two minutes.

Fantastic.

Also on a final note. Two notes perhaps.

If you don’t get his style of writing then you are probably an accountant, or you regularly laugh at binary jokes.

And I find it pretty funny that those of you who say that this kind of literature has no place here take the time to post your thoughts on it rather than looking at the author’s name conveniently located at the top of the article and skipping it.

And finally to the guys upstairs. Keep this guy around, this is the first “baseball” related article I feel I can pass on to others who don’t really care for baseball.

I love it.

JMB

Pete
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Pete
7 years 26 days ago

@smallball

I’m not an accountant, generally hate math, and wouldn’t get any binary joke. This is not funny. Should I lighten up too? I happen to believe that racial/ethnic slurs are very very bad even if tossed in one’s own direction to get a haha. Got a problem with that?

don
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don
7 years 28 days ago

I’m a DeLorenzo, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

You hear about the new Italian tires?

Matt F
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Matt F
7 years 27 days ago

Yo there needs to be a 20-team publicly viewed dynasty-type fantasy league of fangraph rival commenters – with a chatbox on the frontpage. Could you imagine the drama? I’m like 85% serious. Thoughts?

Pete
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Pete
7 years 27 days ago

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

big baby
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

fail, only for failing to include beckett as the example of having 100% DF.

in high school he rated a 65 on the DF scale, with a future score of 80.

the scouts nailed it.

and lol at all the self-important blowhards here. this is a baseball site, dammit. show it the respect it deserves!

keep on keepin’ on.

Suttree
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

Keep trying, Carson. I don’t think you’ve quite found your voice yet, but keep working on it.

I’m pretty sure PlayOnWords will cut you, though.

Doug Melvin
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Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Does one have to have a voice first for it to be found? There wasn’t a shred of originality in that entire hackfest.

There were more racial slurs than bits of ingenuity. That’s fucking difficult.

Nick
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Nick
7 years 28 days ago

Did Carson fuck your mother or something? I don’t see how you can have such vitriol for a writer you have never met, and who is offering free content.

Matt B.
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Matt B.
7 years 28 days ago

If you don’t like what he writes, don’t read it – and certainly don’t take the extra time to write about the fact you didn’t like it. Go back to your pocket protectors, calculators and your parents basement!

I got a decent chuckle so well done sir!

Dirty Water
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Dirty Water
7 years 28 days ago

High five

Teej
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Teej
7 years 28 days ago

I got some laughs out of it.

Perhaps some people should consider reading a book now and then, so they won’t be so angry and confused when they see a sentence longer than eight words.

BIP
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BIP
7 years 28 days ago

I really hope you’re not implying that “writing” of this sort is intellectually rigorous. Personally, I can’t stand these articles. Their substance-to-length ratio is terrible and they are severely lacking in polish. I also fail to see the appeal of “Teehee, I have nothing original to say, so here’s something unoriginal!” Furthermore, the WOP thing was especially bad. If you have to accompany your joke with an explanatory link and a “Hey guys aren’t I funny????”, please just stop writing. Each new article is more and more painful and awkward.

Finally, they’re called Posterisks for a reason. Please find your own gimmick to use, Carson. Thanks.

Doug Melvin
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Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

This post smells of a Tucker Max fan.

Teej
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Teej
7 years 28 days ago

You couldn’t be more wrong. Which is becoming a theme, frankly.

And to clarify, in no way did I mean to imply that enjoying this guy’s stuff is indicative of one’s intellectual capacity, but it frustrates me when people’s criticism of any writing includes whining about it needing to be simplified or condensed. Not everything in life has to be a two-paragraph blurb.

And, of course, it’s pretty obvious when Carson’s the author. Stop reading it if you don’t like it.

Rodney King
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Rodney King
7 years 28 days ago

Eh it started ok but I do agree that this was overall pretty bad. Just had to comment because mike just put David Foster Wallace and Chuck Klosterman in the same category. That is like saying prime steak and McDonalds are both in the category of foods made of beef, they may have some attribute that is the same, but in no way should they ever be placed next to each other. I like Klosterman and all, but the quality of his writing is something that many people could someday reach if they worked at it. DFW, holy shit no, levels above anything I could ever imagine reaching, and actually I’m not sure where the footnotes following each paragraph are as I only see a few sprinkled within. Not to say this article was well-written or much more than terribly unfunny, but hey at least he tried?

The whole concept of “haha statgeek satire” is pretty much played out by now anyway, I mean Brew Crew Ball had the Kendall GRIT rankings last year which were hilarious, but this sort of thing runs its course quickly.

This also seems like the sort of verbose “humor” that you’d find on BP, most specifically written by Christina Kahrl.

Rob in CT
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Rob in CT
7 years 28 days ago

Except Christina is a far better writer and I find her funny.

Dustin
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Dustin
7 years 28 days ago

This authors addition to the website has been brutal. His writing surely has a place, but I fear this website is not that place.

Joof
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Joof
7 years 28 days ago

Dustin Pedroia has got to be going to the hall of fame just for his out of this world DF. I’m pretty sure Pedroia:DF::Henderson:SB.

steve
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steve
7 years 28 days ago

Chris Britton is not a handsome man, and he’s not a good pitcher.

Aside from that, I don’t think he’s ever done anything to be considered a douche.

Josh Beckett’s chin pubes, however, are an 80 on the DF scale.

Nick
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Nick
7 years 28 days ago

How you can mentioned douchebags without including Jayson Werth and Dan Haren?

Not David
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Not David
7 years 28 days ago

And Kevin Youkilis….

Glen L
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Glen L
7 years 28 days ago

This type of … eh hemm .. work seems more properly suited for Deadspin than Fangraphs … sorry, but I find this low brow “humor” to be rather off-putting on what is otherwise the best baseball site on the internet

Abreutime
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Abreutime
7 years 27 days ago

Agreed.

Dan
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Dan
7 years 28 days ago

Nice to see that Elie Mystal has made his way over to Fangraphs.

TCQ
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7 years 28 days ago

Despite the mass castigation of this article in these comments, I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s just because I have a taste for long-ass writing(seriously; I read Posanski on a regular basis). Maybe it’s that my sense of humor has yet to progress past the point that the WOPS comment would crack me up. Anyway, I liked this quite a bit, as I have with all of your stuff here(and your piece at THT, too). Nice job, Carson.

lincolndude
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lincolndude
7 years 28 days ago

Love Posnanski. But he’s a good writer.

TCQ
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

I wasn’t trying to say that this is on the level of Posanski: it’s not – although I would argue that it really isn’t trying to be. It’s a humorous piece which hits on several things I’ve noted myself(seriously, how can you not laugh at Clay Zavada’s ‘stache?), and in that regard, I think it’s a sucess.

And it’s not like FanGraphs suffers from a dearth of analysis(this is more directed at the seemingly countless comments jumping on the author’s case due to the lack of stat-wizardry); they can handle an article that isn’t so serious every few days.

blackoutyears
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blackoutyears
7 years 28 days ago

I dug it enough. To those who didn’t, that’s why they post the bylines, haters. Don’t make me get all *prudent man* on yer ass.

RZ
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7 years 28 days ago

papelbon not on DF? Clear bias.

Tom B
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Tom B
7 years 28 days ago

papelbon should have his own stat, AF for assface.

but yeah, the lack of beckett and youkilis shows the writers true colors. and they are fake-blood red.

Adam
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Adam
7 years 28 days ago

Totally agreed. Calling two Yankees and a guy the Red Sox just cut douches? It seems that DF was more self-serving than funny.

Tim
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Tim
7 years 27 days ago

Holy crap – can’t a post NOT be about sox/yanks?

ZachieV
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ZachieV
7 years 28 days ago

That was freakin awesome. Maybe do a stat for “butt hurt”, because that seems to be frequent here. Good stuff man. I LOL in class at WOPS.

Sam
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Sam
7 years 28 days ago

I think the DF is clearly biased against fat guys. That ain’t cool.

Nick
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Nick
7 years 28 days ago

some of them were okay but others were just stupid. The only one that i thought was really funny was the DF. Oh and the WOPS was kinda funny too.

Jon
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Jon
7 years 28 days ago

Look. I’m just gonna say it.

There’s no room in baseball for jokes. It’s just too serious. We should be talking, reading, studying and writing about numbers–after all, that’s what we love about this game.* We are all obviously far too busy to be wasting our time reading things that aren’t crucially important to our EFs (enjoyment factors). My EF, for example, is dramatically lowered by, in no particular order: humor, qualitative assessments, sentences with verbs, and derogatory and/or belittling statements concerning acronyms (DAOBSCA).

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 28 days ago

For God’s sake, nobody is saying that there is something wrong with mixing baseball and jokes. Lots of people are saying this column is a poor attempt (Chiming in here, me too) and that it goes against the general tone that FanGraphs seemed to be developing.

MPC
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MPC
7 years 28 days ago

That’s EXACTLY what the commenters are saying! There should be NO jokes on this site. Not that this guy’s blatantly trying too hard or that he’s just not good; there should be no jokes on the site. Correct. Well done. You’re just as stupid as the people whining about WOPS.

Also, this wasn’t funny.

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 28 days ago

“…it goes against the general tone that FanGraphs seemed to be developing.”

This site has never had a Page 2 equivalent like this column. I agree with the others that it’s a bad idea to mess with the site’s persona by giving it one. This site has an irreverent tone about baseball discussion, like Szymborski before he started always trying to outdo himself, but the discussion has always been what the site itself is about. If they’re going to take risks with the overall feel of the site, they should do it for better material.

MPC
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MPC
7 years 28 days ago

Completely agree.

Richard
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Richard
7 years 28 days ago

I thought it was great. WOPS made me laugh the hardest.

MPC
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MPC
7 years 28 days ago

Really? You’ve never thought of stuff like this by yourself?

I guess anything’s possible if people still find Dane Cook, etc. funny…

MJ
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MJ
7 years 28 days ago

+10

the level of ‘comedy’ is exactly at a dane cook level here.

strawberry cream
Guest
strawberry cream
7 years 28 days ago

Tips for getting the hilarity:

Read “That’s shit’s off the hizzy!” with a British accent.

What’s an Italian?

Hot cockles (as in, “Me cockles is hot,” “Ooh, be hottin’ up me cockles,” and “Milton ‘Hot Cockles’ Bradley”).

Doug Melvin
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Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Second the notion that the author is trying to be Klosterman/Wallace/et al: the unoriginality in both the structure and the prose is almost as painful as the lack of anything worthwhile.

At least Wallace used footnotes to provide meaningful and relevant elaboration, backstory and asides in ways as to not remove the flow of and needlessly bog down passages. Here the author is using them just for the sake of using them.

So I guess I’m saying the voice of the author is wholly derivative and devoid of anything resembling a reason to keep reading his columns.

strawberry cream
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strawberry cream
7 years 28 days ago

Hot cockles, also: a children’s game in which a blindfolded player has to guess who is hitting him or her

Fish
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Fish
7 years 28 days ago

No problem with humor in baseball blogging…love me some JoePo and Shysterball. And I still miss FJM.

But this was, as Ken Tremendous would say, “Trite, poorly-written, turgid, and simplistic, and it wraps up in the neat little bow of: the worst version of that hacky “crazy stat acronym” joke I have personally ever seen.”

Trevor von Bingham
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

Some among the commentariat here have been complaining of small, painful welts of mysterious provenance about the buttocks.

I suspect the culprit might be good writing.

Then again, it may be something else. Like fleas or an ingrown black-and-curly.

Chris M.
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Chris M.
7 years 28 days ago

A lot of you really need to lighten up.

Doug Melvin
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Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Yeah. How dare a lot of them critique something a poseur in College English 12 would derive out.

Nick
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Nick
7 years 28 days ago

“Critique” is putting it nicely. I fail to see how what you guys are doing is anything other than being dicks, because you are not accountable for it.

MPC
Guest
MPC
7 years 28 days ago

You’ve never told anyone that he/she wasn’t funny before? Really?

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

That’s not exactly what you guys are doing.

Pete
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Pete
7 years 27 days ago

I have no problem with humor. Humor rocks. A good joke is awesome. This is not that.

brian recca
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brian recca
7 years 28 days ago

not bad, not bad. i liked the first three portions. Wasn’t a fan of the last two.

TonyPenaforHOF
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TonyPenaforHOF
7 years 28 days ago

Have you lost your mind? I stopped reading after the racial slur. You should be fired – just because you have a vowel at the end of your name does not mean you get to use slurs of that nature. Time to grow up and get a real job.

Matt B,
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Matt B,
7 years 28 days ago

So I guess Jerry Seinfeld should be thrown in jail for his anti-semetic remarks, even though he is jewish.

TonyPenaforHOF
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TonyPenaforHOF
7 years 27 days ago

I am a big Seinfeld fan – never heard him use it on the show.

This is not comedy central – I watch that channel daily. Additionally I love the comedy of Chirs Rock, Eddie Murphy, Buddy Hackett (deceased) and they all used racial slurs. This is not that forum.

This is a different forum and a different type of media.

Racial slurs don’t belong in this type of forum – plain and simple.

south park
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south park
7 years 28 days ago

‘that shits of the hizzy’ the story of my life

what the hell i that in the yankees hat! jesus christ im gonna have nightmares for the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!

Nick
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Nick
7 years 28 days ago

You guys are such pieces of crap. This is another reason FanGraphs has to eliminate anonymous commenting.

MPC
Guest
MPC
7 years 28 days ago

We’re pieces of crap because we called out a guy who was trying too hard to be funny? I do the same shit in real life. This just wasn’t a good article/column/whatever. Maybe this guy will do better next time. I hope so, because I’m always up for new features on a site to mix things up.

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

Um… no. You wouldn’t say these things to someone that you personally know in real life:

“Time to grow up and get a real job.”

“So I guess I’m saying the voice of the author is wholly derivative and devoid of anything resembling a reason to keep reading his columns.”

“This is one of the first posts I’ve ever read on FG that made me dumber.”

“what a waste of 10 minutes.”

“This authors addition to the website has been brutal.”

“There wasn’t a shred of originality in that entire hackfest.”

You’re telling me that you would go up to someones face and actually say those comments to him in real life?

You would go to, say, a bookreading, and if you didn’t like the book or even hated it, you would raise your hand and say those things to the author?

lincolndude
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lincolndude
7 years 28 days ago

I thought my original post was pretty civil. It was an attempt at being constructive. And enough with the “omg stop hating it’s free” crap. Just about all content on the internet is free!

If you are writing for a public audience, you have a duty to that audience to use their time well. Doesn’t matter if they’re paying you or not.

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

‘ “So I guess I’m saying the voice of the author is wholly derivative and devoid of anything resembling a reason to keep reading his columns.”

“There wasn’t a shred of originality in that entire hackfest.”

You’re telling me that you would go up to someones face and actually say those comments to him in real life?’

I sent JJ Hardy down just to manipulate his service time. You don’t think I’d tell any of that straight to someone’s face?

But, seriously, one of my best friends just tried his hand at being a stand up comic and got two fifteen minute sets this last weekend. I asked to see his material beforehand, he kindly rejected the offer noting that he wanted me to go into it fresh. His routine consisted of ‘why do fat people order ten pounds of food and then diet cokes? Like the diet coke is doing anything’ and the like in addition to jokes ripped straight from Bill Simmons, Adam Carolla and Dane Cook–although I wouldn’t exactly call what Dane Cook does ‘joke telling’. Anyways, when he asked me my opinion after his sets, I told him I laughed the first time I heard his material except for the stuff from Dane Cook and that if he was actually serious about becoming a stand-up comic he should either use his own material or stop wasting my fucking time by asking me to come listen to him orate material I’ve already consumed.

So I guess I’m saying I absolutely would tell the author my thoughts on the matter face to face.

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

So you think it’s okay to verbally attack an authors work with the level of vitriol that is being displayed here?

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

“So you think it’s okay to verbally attack an authors work with the level of vitriol that is being displayed here?”

Absolutely. I could get into the whole ‘art inspires emotion whether good or bad’ spiel, but I’ll say this instead:

The ‘level of vitriol’ here doesn’t approach the author’s vitriol for the audience. A vitriol which bestowed upon us racial slurs, ‘Look at me, I’m studied!’ footnotes, a voice/prose empty of anything but imitation and a premise of jokes that didn’t pay off and only served to trivialize the meaningful metrics at this site. Meaningful metrics brought to us, for free, by the hard and under-appreciated laboring of the other contributors. We are his audience and he thought we either wouldn’t care or wouldn’t notice the myriad of problems. That’s insulting.

It’s that or he actually thought what he was posting was good. In that case the degree of the dislike for his work is wholly appropriate for a wake-up call.

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

God you really are a piece of crap.

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Nick said, “Um… no. You wouldn’t say these things to someone that you personally know in real life:”

Nick said, “God you really are a piece of crap.”

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

I was responding to you being a dick, while you were responding to Carson trying and failing. There is a difference.

MPC
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MPC
7 years 28 days ago

Uh, yeah I have. If someone wrote something like this and asked me what I thought, I wouldn’t say “you’re a worthless pile of crap,” but I wouldn’t beat around the bush.

rw23
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rw23
7 years 28 days ago

Thanks, Doug, for you anecdotal evidence that means as much as the DF metric. I could have made that story up in 5 minutes. In fact, I think you just vaulted yourself to the top of the DF meter.

VidaB
Guest
VidaB
7 years 28 days ago

OMG, people are being so mean to Carson, just for posting shite! Quick, someone call the Commenter Police! Don’t let ’em get away with such…such…discourtesy! I mean, Carson obviously tried with such sincerity to lighten our day. The part where he called that guy a douche because of the face he was born with–that was funny! Ok, so maybe Carson was being a little douche-y himself. But at least be polite when you say so! Or just don’t say anything at all. Didn’t your mothers teach you anything? And if you just can’t help yourself, at least use your real first name, because otherwise it means you’re a cowardly piece of crap whose mother Carson fucked.

Signed,
Doug (I’m a real Doug, not that other, fake Doug. No anonymity here, no sir.)

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
7 years 27 days ago

if you don’t think i, or anyone else would tell someone in real life that they just wasted my time… you need to get off your computer chair and out in the real world some more. i mean that’s just absolutely no touch with reality.

Brent
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Brent
7 years 28 days ago

I don’t get it.

payday0023
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

Drink every time Carson uses a comma. I counted 41.
That’s always a sign of some pretentious writing (and I should know, for, as in my own writing, I tend to over use, if not occasionally beat to death, the comma usage).

Mike I
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Mike I
7 years 28 days ago

What does that make Dickens, then?

Doug Melvin
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Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Heh. Dickens was often paid on a per-word basis and admitted to often artificially lengthen some pieces for more scratch. While this isn’t pretentious it isn’t exactly ‘the spirit of the work’ either.

Teej
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Teej
7 years 28 days ago

Not using commas where they’re called for is a pretty good sign of illiteracy. Counting commas to complain about them is a pretty good sign of a troll.

JoeyO
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JoeyO
7 years 28 days ago

I tend to be in the “dont care for what you read, then move on” crowd.

Taking time out of your life to complain about not liking something which has no real effect on the world? Really? You didnt have to read this, you didnt pay to read this, and this didnt keep anything else off the site – to try and venomously attack it just a tad pitiful if you ask me. And making it worse, some of you are even checking in multiple times to defend your complaints, or expand on the complaints of others.

Not all people have the same tastes. If you personally dont like it, then move on with your life – no harm, no foul.

cpebbles
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cpebbles
7 years 28 days ago

Pretty sure the use of “wop” invited this. Whether you think it’s offensive or not, I instinctively felt that it invited criticism (Though I didn’t bother jumping in until I felt like commenting on the argument itself). Judging by the number of comments for this story, I’m guessing I wasn’t alone.

I don’t bat an eye when I read something similar at, say, cracked.com, but I thought it was clear that FanGraphs had a different audience.

Eric
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Eric
7 years 28 days ago

Carsons work is really hard to read, it’s just not very funny to me. Sorry bud.

rw23
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rw23
7 years 28 days ago

To Tom B:

Dude, if this took 10 minutes to read, you have your own problems.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
7 years 27 days ago

are you serious? read it again and time yourself… now add in the article is littered with links, and the 5 minutes of bat-spinning video and you get… TADAAAA 10 minutes. what is your problem?

aside from the fact that half the jokes didn’t make sense and they had to be re-read 5 times… i probably spent more time watching the bat-spinning video than reading the article. that video was the only thing worth even looking at.

rw23
Guest
rw23
7 years 28 days ago

Doug Melvin, as a Brewers fan I’m ashamed you are abusing the name of our respectable GM with your idiotic comments. If you (and others) really have such a huge problem with this, and care enough to continue to check in and re-post, you should write yourself and not hide behind a name. It’s pretty easy to criticize when nobody can link it back to you. Put your name out there, write some stupid shit, and I’ll be the first one there (hopefully with Carson) to say you’re an idiot.

Oh and I didn’t even like the post that much. But it sure wasn’t worth this many comments of useless banter.

rw23
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rw23
7 years 28 days ago

And I love how someone using a MLB GM’s name is calling a blogger unoriginal with their writing.

MPC
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MPC
7 years 28 days ago

Put your name out there first. If you’re calling him out you better be prepared to do it as well.

rw23
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rw23
7 years 28 days ago

Haha, are you serious? I’m calling out a commenter. Not the writer on a website I read regularly. You are right there with him MPC. You all take your commenting-on-free-blog selves too seriously.

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

Just for the sake of argument and only for the sake of argument, I’ll grant:

a) I’m a coward
b) I ‘care enough to continue to check in and re-post’ and that doing so is indicative of some overpowering, important urge that is timely to pursue and not something that takes, like, two minutes at most to respond to
c) I’m unoriginal

Even with those conditions true, how does that refute what I’m actually saying?

Also:

Using the Doug Melvin alias means I’m unoriginal? Really? Apologies for not busting out a Kasparov Brilliancy like ‘rw23’.

Nick
Guest
Nick
7 years 28 days ago

No one gives a shit what you are saying. Personally, I didn’t like this post either. We want to know what could possibly possess a person to repeatedly attack that author and the content of a post that was a flop.

rw23
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rw23
7 years 28 days ago

Dude, spouting off literary references doesn’t do anything for you perceived intelligence.

Further, your attempt at mocking my name does nothing since I wasn’t ever accusing the writer of being unoriginal. I was mocking you, dumbass. The point is when you spend the time to post repeatedly about someone’s inability to find their own style and do so under the name Doug Melvin, I find that hilariously ironic. And then you proceed to defend yourself with a ridiculous anecdote that could have been made up in less than 10 minutes. Really adding to the credibility.

The point is, if you are going to bash someone who clearly has earned the respect of the writers on this website (or he wouldn’t be writing here) grow the balls to create your own blog and talk about it there under your name. Me? I don’t care enough at this point except for to make fun of the people who think posting on fangraphs will gain them something. And don’t try to tell me that isn’t true, because if you didn’t care a simple “this article isn’t good and not up to typical fangraphs standard” type comment would’ve sufficed.

That is all.

-rw23 (Rickie is a baller by the way)

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 28 days ago

“Dude, spouting off literary references doesn’t do anything for you [sic] perceived intelligence. ”

What literary reference did I make? ‘Kasparov Brilliancy’? You think that’s a literary reference? I don’t know whether to laugh or weep.

“1) Further, your attempt at mocking my name does nothing since I wasn’t ever accusing the writer of being unoriginal. I was mocking you, dumbass. 2) The point is when you spend the time to post repeatedly about someone’s inability to find their own style and do so under the name Doug Melvin, I find that hilariously ironic. 3) And then you proceed to defend yourself with a ridiculous anecdote that could have been made up in less than 10 minutes. Really adding to the credibility.”

1) You didn’t pick up on the whole pot calling the kettle black thing. But seeing as you think Kasparov Brilliancy is a literary reference, I guess that’s to be expected.

2) Spend the time to post? This is no exageration: the time I’ve spent typing on here tonight has been, at most, fifteen minutes. Maybe sixteen. Well, up until this post at least. I might end up pushing seventeen or, gasp, eighteen! Oh noes, think of the syllabus I won’t be reading! Think of the half of Madden I’m not playing!

3) Again, for the sake of argument and only for the sake of argument, let’s say my friend didn’t perform a hackfest of standup equal to the hackfest of the article in question: how does that refute my criticism? Hopefully you answer this one instead of ignoring me like the last time I asked this.

“The point is, if you are going to bash someone who clearly has earned the respect of the writers on this website (or he wouldn’t be writing here)”

Yes, because the writers at Fangraphs are the authority of taste. My mistake.

“grow the balls to create your own blog and talk about it there under your name.”

You don’t really grasp the whole ‘commenter on a blog’ thing, do you? Why should only the people with a resounding negative viewpoint of a piece have to take their criticisms to an outside, not-anonymous source? Why limit it to the negative? Why should criticism not be afforded the same level as praise? Because one is negative? The author here is on a blog. Comments on blogs are on the whole–and this site is no exception–anonymous. That’s how they work. If Fangraphs didn’t want anonymous comments or didn’t want to accept anonymous comments then it’d be different. But they don’t, so it isn’t.

Also, I find it comical you’re quite… lukewarm… on all this “time” I’m spending here, only to turn around and suggest I start a blog just to critique one fangraphs article. That’s not exactly consistent.

“Me? I don’t care enough at this point except for to make fun of the people who think posting on fangraphs will gain them something.”

As if caring enough to post for your stated purpose is any different than what you’re accusing me of doing? One coin. Two sides. Well, in this case it’s more like one cube, six sides.

“And don’t try to tell me that isn’t true,”

Do or do not. There is no try. That’s a film reference, not a literary reference, FWIW.

“because if you didn’t care a simple “this article isn’t good and not up to typical fangraphs standard” type comment would’ve sufficed.”

It’s hysterical you think I’m posting for the reason of gaining something. You realize one can be critical without trying to gain something, right?

“That is all.”

Finally.

And now for Nick:

“No one gives a shit what you are saying.”

Certainly not you or rw23. I mean, certainly not.

“Personally, I didn’t like this post either. We want to know what could possibly possess a person to repeatedly attack that author and the content of a post that was a flop.”

The… post sucked? The wish not to see such absolute suckage again on a website I love? Whoops, guess rw23 was right about me trying to gain something: not having shitty, offensive columns bring down my favorite baseball site.

scott
Guest
scott
7 years 28 days ago

Matt Garza looks like the biggest god damned asshole on the planet. Chris Britton just looks like a big jock.

Doug Melvin seems to have this all right, particularly with the “I’m studied” comment, this despite whether or not he’d say any of that shit to someone in real life.

And while I like comedy, I don’t really come here for jokes.

Jerry
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Jerry
7 years 28 days ago

No offense meant to Carson, and I didn’t take offense at this or his other pieces… I just found them overly verbose and not extremely funny.

And I’m not trying to complain about an incredible site that I get to read every day for free – quite the contrary. It’s because I respect the hard work that goes into this place so much, that I feel inclined to make use of the comments and throw in my two cents.

I believe Appleman and crew have worked hard to make this site one of the best, most comprehensive, most respected, and oft quoted and referenced stat sites in existence. People come here for stats and analysis – some occasional humor as it relates to a topic is one thing – but I just don’t feel like complete fluff pieces fit with the flow. It detracts from the credibility of the site.

That’s not a bad reflection on Carson at all – just that his recent work would be better suited for a lighter site, or a sort of “page 2” – just not the front page of FanGraphs.

The Typical Idiot Fan
Guest
The Typical Idiot Fan
7 years 28 days ago

I think Carson just farted in a crowded elevator. The replies lit the match.

Personally, I thought it was funny. I’d also like to point out that before the thread comments, I had no idea what WOPS is or how it relates to Italian people. Now that I know… it’s still funny. I’ve made a few Italian jokes in my time (armless Italian = speech impediment), but never have I had any particular dislike for Italians as a whole.

Reading that linked Wiki article makes the whole thing seem really silly to me. It goes to prove that words and terms by themselves have no power to effect you unless you allow it. If an Italian didn’t know what Wop meant, they wouldn’t care. I remember when redneck was a pejorative slur and it still is in a way. But since Foxworthy made it funny, it’s not so bad anymore.

minesweeper
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minesweeper
7 years 28 days ago

this column wasn’t Carson’s best work, but it’s still decent. not everything he writes can be great (his other articles were pretty damn funny). the style is fine. this wasn’t hard at all to read.

Ed Nelson
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Ed Nelson
7 years 28 days ago

Nick I know I have respectfully disagreed with you in the past (and been wrong more than right) but I have to agree with you here. There’s simply no reason to attack someone who is/has taken the time and effort to simply entertain you, even if you didn’t happen to get it, or like it. If you didn’t like the post then be constructive, be polite, or here’s a thought… don’t say anything at all. It’s a free site with a load of content, move onto something else!

For me it sounds like a lot of frustrated writers who hide behind BS names, and sit around grumbling all the time about how they think this guy sucks and they could do a better job, but never actually write anything that puts them in harms way.

Personally, I chuckled at the DF metric, and I really appreciate anything that puts a genuine smile on my face, especially if it came for free.

Carson, please do not let the amazingly high DF factor of many of the posters deter you in any way, as some of us here do enjoy your work immensely.

Antonio
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

And…100 comments.

Ricter
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Ricter
7 years 28 days ago

That is an absolutely fantastic article!!! Everybody who didn’t like it either needs to loosen up a bit or doesn’t know an Italian.

I am a half WOP and I laughed so hard at that part. My grandparents certainly had plastic on their furniture. I wasn’t allowed anywhere near them even with the plastic on. My Dad used to get me to go around at family functions when I was something like 6 or 7 and call all the old men WOP’s.

Great article, keep it up I have enjoyed all of them, keep it up. I think you are a great writer, but that might just be because I am a useless at communicating half Italian Engineer. Bad combo.

Ricter
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Ricter
7 years 28 days ago

Oh how I wish I could go back and edit my post. It is going to get ripped apart if Carson gets ripped for being a bad writer.

Jeffrey G.
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

Earlier this season, I uncovered

Grindiness Per Nine Innings (G/9).

To calculate a player’s G/9, you simply multiply the amount of heart a player has by his ability to “grind” in “clutch” situations and then divide that by the difference between his BA and OBP. Then, add X, where X is equal to how many World Series ring this player has. Finally, multiply your figure by 9 and you will have any given player’s “Raw Grindiness Factor” (RGF), which must be adjusted for park factors like “it’s really hard to be on the Yankees because people expect big things from you” or “used a Shortstop’s mitt at Second Base.”

royce!
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royce!
7 years 28 days ago

Awesome article.

I think Britton actually looks like the sort of guy who at first glance one would think has an astronomical DF but turns out to be one of the killerest dudes ever.

Until very recently, I would have nominated Eckstein for the DF HOF… then I went to a Padres game and he had them play a different Star Wars song for each of his at bats. I was skeptical after the first two (I think they were the theme song and the empire’s gloom and doom theme song), but then he came out to the cantina song and I forgot that twitchy bat and beady eyes and fell deeply, madly in…well, a state of not feeling he was a douche.

Keep it killer.

dtro
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dtro
7 years 28 days ago

I’m all for lightening the mood every so often and changing up the tone a bit, but this wasn’t funny. Not in an “I’m offended by the word wop way”, but in an “I’m offended that the author thought I was dumb enough to find this amusing way.”

Sky
Guest
7 years 28 days ago

Love it or hate it, you can be nice about it. It’s not this article that’s turning Fangraphs into Deadspin, it’s the obnoxious commenters.

How many people who didn’t like it took the time to email David Appelman?

I heart BtB
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I heart BtB
7 years 27 days ago

Love your stuff at Beyond the Box Score. What’s David Appelman’s email address? I couldn’t find it.

Steve Wower
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Steve Wower
7 years 27 days ago

This article is utter crap. It drags fangraphs in a different, weird, uncomfortable direction.

Sky
Guest
7 years 26 days ago

I’m not saying anyone’s wrong with their opinion, just with their tact.

Chris
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Chris
7 years 28 days ago

I enjoyed the Chris Britton pic.

me
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me
7 years 27 days ago

I read fangraphs daily and love most of the content that comes out it. This is the first time I have commented and am only doing so because of the lack of quality of this article.

The author comes across as trying to sound cooler than everyone else AND this article has nothing at all to do with anything. FanGraphs has a purpose and a mission and this article serves nothing to further either of those.

Teej
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Teej
7 years 27 days ago

Wow. I’ve always thought that about 95% of websites would be well served to simply shit-can the comments section. I’m starting to think that includes Fangraphs, sadly. The sense of entitlement from some people around here is mind-blowing. This is not your website. If it’s not up to your standards, go away and make a site that is.

This thread was pretty much everything that sucks about the Internet, all wrapped up in one convenient package. I think I’ll take a break for a while.

Tom B
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Tom B
7 years 27 days ago

read your own advice. if you don’t like the comments, don’t read them. no one is missing you.

Teej
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Teej
7 years 27 days ago

:'(

The thing is — and I know this will sound crazy — some people actually enter the comments section looking for something other than whining and name-calling. And for every comment like “There wasn’t a shred of originality in that entire hackfest,” we’re making it harder and harder to have reasonable discussion in here, because non-trolls begin to trickle out of the picture. That goes for threads other than Carson’s, too.

I remember when the comments used to be a place where I learned a few things after reading a story. It’s become a wasteland in the last year or so. Ever wonder what happened? Ever wonder why the authors hardly even bother to discuss anything with us anymore? It’s not that hard to figure out.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
7 years 27 days ago

the site has gotten significantly more mainstream this season in particular. i completely agree that the comments section used to be way more useful than it is now… but this article was just asking for it…
it’s like he came up with half of a joke and tried to stretch it to an entire article, rather than sitting on it for another week and coming up with something truly funny.

Teej
Guest
Teej
7 years 27 days ago

I didn’t think it was all that great either. But I got a few laughs out of it, which was a fine way to spend a few minutes, and I went on my way. I never once felt the need to critique the piece and explain which parts I didn’t like and why. I’m not sure what I gain by doing that. Seems like a waste of time. Why would he give a shit what I say? I haven’t read much of his stuff, but he’s a poet with at least some track record of getting his stuff published in a few different arenas, so I doubt he’s going to go home and use a bunch of comments from angry, anonymous baseball fans to honestly evaluate and improve his work.

Maybe I see the comments section differently than others, but I don’t see it as a place where you have to vote either thumbs up or thumbs down on the piece. If I don’t care for something, whatever, I move along. I’m not mad when something I volunteered to read isn’t entertaining. People getting upsbecause the guy uses asterisks (which, as I have learned in this thread, where invented by Joe Posnanski) or writes a little long seems ridiculous to me.

It’s a free blog, and the authors put a lot of effort into this free product, so I’d like to imagine people consider that before shitting all over it. It’s a matter of civility.

As for Fangraphs becoming more mainstream, you’re absolutely right. I was hoping they’d institute a commenting policy or something along those lines, but it’s hard as hell to police comments. We should take it upon ourselves to improve the tone around here.

Doug Melvin
Guest
Doug Melvin
7 years 27 days ago

“If it’s not up to your standards, go away and make a site that is.”

Yeah, if you were unhappy with President Bush, you should’ve just gotten out of America! Woo!

If you accept comments, you have to take both the ones with positive and negative feedback. How don’t you get this?

Typical Idiot Fan
Guest
Typical Idiot Fan
7 years 27 days ago

Hey everybody! Let’s use ignorant neo-conesque commentary that doesn’t even remotely equate to villanize another commentator! Whee!

Vode
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Vode
7 years 27 days ago

Gratuitous, but done with enthusiasm.*

* blah blah blah blah

Al
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Al
7 years 27 days ago

I can’t say I was a fan of this article, although I liked his first one and thought the second was OK. But there’s no point hanging around this thread arguing about whether the article was any good. The creators of the site won’t care what you say in your comments, they’ll care that this article generated tons of them, which means more page views and more time spent on the site, which means more ad revenue.

If you think an article sucks just ignore it. It didn’t take us long to figure that one out over at /., although it took a long time to get it across to all the mouth-breathers posting “fire samzenpus” eight thousand times in every article he posted.

Pat
Guest
Pat
7 years 27 days ago

I didn’t think the piece was terrible, but it could have been better. It was a pretty funny idea in principal but it wasn’t executed too well. How can you talk about douchebags and not include Papelbon or Beckett? Even Jason Kendall and Ryan Braun deserve mention as well. The Total Recall thing was dumb, maybe it went over my head, I don’t know?

I liked Carson’s first few pieces, but this one wasn’t that great, especially for Fangraphs.

Guest
Guest
Guest
7 years 27 days ago

I did not enjoy reading this post in the least, though I have enjoyed the author’s work in the past.

AngMohClay
Guest
AngMohClay
7 years 27 days ago

The WOPS factor really offended me (mathematically).

(total # of letters in last name) / (# vowels in last name)

is a really shitty metric, with a range a range of [0,+inf) and it is inversely proportional to WOPS, assuming (fairly), that a higher WOPS implies more WOP-ishness.

If the numerator and denominator were reversed, it would be a much better metric.

AngMohClay
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AngMohClay
7 years 27 days ago

d’oh, of course I meant it has a range of [1,+inf).

stupid inability to edit posts…

Bob
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Bob
7 years 27 days ago

Is it interesting that only Italians seem to find the WOPS joke funny?

Teej
Guest
Teej
7 years 27 days ago

I’m not Italian and I found it funny. But I grew up with some Italians who used the word liberally, so maybe that’s it.

Typical Idiot Fan
Guest
Typical Idiot Fan
7 years 27 days ago

People offended by pejoratives are just as annoying to me as the people who use them in hate.

Thus, I found it funny.

thumble
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thumble
7 years 27 days ago

If FG writers get paid by the number of comments generated then…Carson FTW!!!

I suggest we add Hypocrisy Factor. You know, for those times when a commentor tells another commentor what a douche he is while telling him not to be a douche. Or when they complain about anonymity while posting under a pseudonym or random initials.

Bottom line, if you put your work out for public consumption then you have to be ready for public commentary, both good and bad. Ask any actor, musician, athlete, politician, novelist…you get the idea.

Carson Cistulli doesn’t need your protection from the bad words, he’s a big boy and he’ll survive to write another day.

Russell
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Russell
7 years 27 days ago

I clicked on this article because of the title, thinking it would provide a glimpse into the future of SABRmetrics. It didn’t.

But I did chuckle, until I started skimming the comments as I was in disbelief it could have generated approx. 150 of them.

And you know what I think is really going on here?

The “Doug Melvin”‘s of the world saw the title, got excited (tingly bits, perhaps?), and then were crushed to see it was a puff piece and not a glimpse into their pathetic futures. Why else would they take the time to write several comments (clearly monitoring the commentary on an ongoing basis) and responses, unless they were emotionally upset by the piece?

Carson’s title duped some guys who aren’t a third as smart as they think they are, and so they got angry and lashed out. I find it highly amusing!

Vode
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Vode
7 years 27 days ago

The comments section is about, I dunno, 356 times more entertaining than the actual piece.

Dylan
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Dylan
7 years 27 days ago

Terrible. Take a lap.

Pete
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Pete
7 years 26 days ago

While I’m not a fan of these more personal hatchet jobs on Mr. Cistulli, I will say that this is neither particularly funny nor informative. I applaud the effort, I suppose, but the execution leaves much to be desired. Better luck next time.

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