Sunday, January 31, 2010

More indignation!

Hat tip to Andrew for passing along this article.

Apparently the Boston Herald also employs morons. Who knew. Ron Borges has a masterful doom and gloom column, berating the Sox for their failure to improve their offense and having the gall to actually improve their defense. But really, once you take a closer look, this article isn't any different than some of Murray Chass' rantings that FJM tore apart a couple of years ago: Borges is just an angry man upset by things he doesn't understand. Let's dig in to the article itself:

"If an array of new fielding metrics you need a Ph.D. to understand are to be believed, the Red Sox will have to travel with two planes this year. The first for the players, the second for their Gold Gloves."

Actually, no. Although I am in a Ph.D. program I don't need one to understand that defense has an impact on the number of balls that are in play that end up falling for hits. In fact, it really is quite simple: the better a defense is, the lower the proportion of balls in play that will become hits. The Red Sox were 28th last year in that stat. Do you need a Ph.D. to understand 28th out of 30?

"A year ago, the Sox won 95 games despite apparently stumbling around in the field like a half-drunken softball team in a Wednesday night league. Somehow they miraculously finished only eight games behind the Yankees without being able to catch a cold standing naked in the Alaskan wilderness."

After the earlier statement I don't really expect him to understand, but yes, the Red Sox were awfully lucky to win 95 games last year, despite their horrid defense. Every single starter had a higher ERA than their fielding independent ERA, except Buchholz. Doesn't that raise some flags?

"Together, Cameron, Scutaro and Beltre hit eight home runs more than Jason Bay but, as we now know, home runs are meaningless."

I don't really know what to do with this; either Borges is incredibly stupid or is just being intentionally obtuse. The shortstops last year were unbelievably bad.

"Some might argue that pitching in Fenway Park [map] is not exactly like pitching in Yosemite Park, but Sox’ management has discovered that despite mistaken evidence to the contrary, scoring runs is no longer essential to winning games. Interesting concept."

Some might argue that in the Boston Herald a non-sensical run-on sentence combined with a two word sentence is considered a good paragraph. Interesting concept.

"Now it seems the Sox have headed down the same road of quantum baseball over your grandad’s version, which was mistakenly centered on foolishness like hitting and scoring runs."

And now we're down to a one sentence paragraph! Amazing! And we're still completely nonsensical. I've pondered this for several minutes, but I still have absolutely no idea what "quantum baseball" is. Borges nearly makes a coherent point: you still do need to score more runs than the opponents to win a baseball game. But Ron, you do realize that you can prevent an opponent from scoring runs, right? You don't always have to just score more yourself, right?

"As the days dwindle toward the start of another spring of hope, let’s pray that’s no longer the case, because if all this talk of OBP, OPS, UZR, DRS and PMR was really only about ATM that’s going to end up BAD for US."

What an amazingly clever turn of phrase! Ron capitalized BAD and US to make it seem like an acronym! My God, his wit is so incredible! On base percentage, on base plus slugging, and ultimate zone rating don’t mean anything and it was always about automatic teller machine! Borges does have one thing going for him with this article though: despite his past brush with plagiarism during his time with the Globe, even if he did steal this article from someone else I doubt the original author would want to step forward.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (one more attempt at embedding and HTML link..)

    Rob Borges is an idiot. Take the first sentence he wrote about the patriots' playoff loss:

    The offense couldn’t do anything but turn the ball over and the defense couldn’t do anything but get turned over.

    Like, what? How does a defense "get turned over" exactly?

    Borges' main talent is in making other sportswriters look better, even Mike Lupica, who wrote this dandy a few weeks ago about the Yankees not signing Johnny Damon.

  3. It could be argued the Yankees have misallocated funds by spending money on Nick Johnson, who likely won't stay healthy all season, and Randy Winn, who is likely to mediocre at best and terrible at worst. Lupica doesn't make that argument, of course, instead arguing that the Yankees should blow all kinds of money to resign Damon because they're the Yankees, they must not have any budget at all. I loved his paragraph about all the money the Yankees threw at Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett saying it clearly shows the Yankees don't have a budget. Burnett excluded, if you're going to blow a lot of money on a player it ought to be an elite player like Teix or CC. Lupica somehow fails to realize that 1 year of Damon isn't going to make or break the franchise. Five years of Burnett on the other hand will only do marvelous things, at least from my perspective.

    If I had to guess, this is how you turn over a defense. But Borges is still an idiot.

  4. NB- based on RS and RA, the Sox matched their expected W-L record pretty well. However, if you go off of EQA and EqBA, the the Sox were closer to a 90 win team.