Monday, March 21, 2011


By The Common Man

Something's in the air, feelin' uptight.  It's the right mood for a blog fight!

You might have noticed earlier today that Rob Neyer suffered a ding to his apparently questionable reputation. Rob wrote about the new anti-stats tome that’s made its way around the internet in the last couple weeks, saying,

“Is it worth pointing out that these same Red Sox have built their organizational philosophy around the Bill James-Moneyball myths? That without sabermetrics the Red Sox wouldn't have won one World Series, let alone two? That every respectable sabermetrician (and most of the other ones, too) is highly aware of the Pigeon in the Outfield Factor?

Anyway, I think I ordered this book months ago. Should be a hoot.”
Scrappy, unaffiliated blogger Murray Chass responded to Rob, and pointed out the error of his ways,
“One blog, by Rob Neyer, criticizes the book based not on the book itself but on a news release about the book. When Neyer was at, he seemed to be building a respectable reputation, but he has moved to a new Web site,, and I guess that site’s standards are lower than ESPN’s because I doubt that his blog on the news release would have been posted on the ESPN Web site.”
Ouch. Et tu, Mur-ray? His point about Rob Neyer's irresponsibility since he left is well stated. Those bloggers have absolutely no standards at all!

It’s true, Rob probably should have read the whole book (which he’s promised to buy and read and comment on) rather than simply trusting the authors’ and publisher’s press release about the book. After all, those press releases have a history of distorting a book’s message and of taking its arguments out of context. They are clearly biased, and often seek to ruin the reputations of the writers who they are promoting with misinformation.  Clearly, Rob cannot simply trust the authors to tell him what their book is about and react to that description.

Still, The Common Man remains firmly convinced that Rob would have read the book had he simply been able to get ahold of it in time. Alas, TCM understands that Rob was out of the country on vacation with no access to information, such as telephone numbers or e-mail addresses, for people who might have known. So he had no way to verify, as he normally would, what the book was even about, given that he was unable to trust the authors’ description of the book in question.

Here, however, Rob has an excuse. After all, he was not trained in journalistic ethics like the excellent Murray Chass, who would never be so foolish and unethical as to go off half-cocked about some topic he doesn’t fully understand, or without all the most accurate information well in hand! Stupid bloggers.

No comments: