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BoydsOfSummer
03-09-2008, 07:25 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=garfamudis/080305

Another paid writer that doesn't get it. If it's satire I'm not smart enough to get it.



Stop the revolution . . . I want to get off

By Art Garfamudis
Page 2 guest columnist
(Archive (http://x.go.com/cgi/x.pl?goto=http://search.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=art_garfamudis&name=SEARCH_m_archive&srvc=sz))



Updated: March 5, 2008, 2:46 PM ET
Comment (http://myespn.go.com/conversation/story?id=3277961)
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Print (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3277961&type=story)So Jeremy Brown has called it quitskies, huh? You'd think that the retirement of a guy who is built somewhat like me would make me sad, but it doesn't. Instead, I danced a hora when I heard it.
At least, I did the dance after the person who told me about the retirement explained to me who Brown was. I had never heard of the guy myself. For those of you who, like me, made the smart literary choice and didn't read "Moneyball," Brown was the undraftable catcher the scouts passed on, but whom Oakland GM Billy Beane took with the 35th pick of the 2002 draft. (A lot of people think Beane wrote the book. Not true. The author, Michael Lewis, was an A's intern who wanted to make the boss look good.) When books are written about guys like Brown, you gotta wonder about the intelligence of the American book-buying public that made it into a best-seller. [+] Enlarge (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=garfamudis/080305#)
http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0305/mlb_a_brown_200.jpg (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=garfamudis/080305#)AP Photo/Eric Risberg
We can only hope that Jeremy Brown's retirement will burst
the bubble on the "Moneyball" experiment.


Don't get me wrong. I love "Moneyball." Though I never spent more than $3.99 for the book, I probably own more copies of "Moneyball" than anyone in America. I've got one propping up the table I'm writing on right now. I trained a puppy with two other copies, and lined the cages of some parrots with a couple of others. I don't even like birds, but I saw an opportunity to do what was right with that book, so I bought the birds and resisted the temptation to pluck 'em and fry 'em. To this day, they do nature's business on the silly words contained therein. I have a copy of "Moneyball" under the sink in my bathroom for when we run out of toilet paper. When I go to the pistol range, I always bring one along and hang it on the line. I know book burnings have gotten a bad reputation, but if a guy came to the door and said he was starting a bonfire with copies of "Moneyball," well, I'd donate the high-test.
Here's the thing: We used to enjoy baseball just fine before all this "Moneyball" stuff started. You'd go to the ballpark or to a bar and people would talk about the game and never mention made-up stats like VROOM or SHIRK or PMS. Everyone got along just fine. Teams played, pitchers pitched, batters batted, the won-loss columns would fill up and, at the end of the year, you'd have the World Series. What was so hard about that?
Now, I look at the stats page and it has more columns than the Parthenon. Puts an antebellum plantation to shame. What do we need all these extra numbers for? The game is being ruined by people who would be better off watching "Star Trek" (come to think of it, one of their cockamamy stats is called WARP). What was wrong with the way things used to be? Was the game losing fans because it didn't have enough ways of measuring itself? (Did I mention the stats page has a lot of columns? It has more than the rich-boy frat house at an Ivy League school.) The first thing we need to do is go back to our roots stats-wise. Stats pages on this and other Web sites should get back to basics. I suggest these time-honored baseball accounting practices, laid across the page in the traditional format: games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, homers, runs batted in, batting average and maybe, if there's room, stolen bases. That's 10 items. For pitchers, there's games, games started, wins, losses, winning percentage, saves, innings pitched, hits, strikeouts, walks and ERA. That's 11, which might be too much. Forget strikeouts. If the guy's getting people out, it will show up in his ERA. What else do you really need to know about a guy? If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, there's something seriously wrong with you -- I mean brain-damage wrong. If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, then maybe your daddy was drunk when you were a baby and he dropped you on your head and never told anybody because he was too embarrassed or didn't remember. If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, maybe you ate some lead paint in the basement or crashed your motorcycle and hit your head against a telephone pole. If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, maybe Timothy Leary was your family doctor, or maybe it's just that you don't know very much about baseball. Here's the problem: All these extra numbers that the figure diggers brew up in their maternal subgrade lairs (that's moms' basements for you laymen) make it possible for people like Jeremy Brown to try to crash the party, and that can't be a good thing. The number-crumblers like equations so much, so here's one for them: Infinite stats = infinite players Makes sense to me: Keep adding statistics and eventually, you'll find something that will qualify everyone on the planet for being a pro ballplayer. Mark my words: Jeremy Brown was the first step on the slippery slope that will eventually lead to the ballplaying ranks being filled with ungainly looking types who should be stocking shelves or digging ditches. This is the kind of world that the "Moneyballists" have wished on us. That's why Brown's retirement is such good news. Maybe this so-called revolution is being strangled in the crib. Though this country was founded on a revolution, that doesn't mean all revolutions are a good thing. Here's hoping this one is DOA, and that it has died without a single championship to show for itself. What a fitting end to a bad idea borne in a bogus book. Here's a vote for leaving the game to the real athletes and getting the stat pages that contain their heroic deeds back to normal.Art Garfamudis is a writer and secretary-treasurer of the baseball chapter of the SLWEA -- the Society for Leaving Well Enough Alone.

sonny
03-09-2008, 07:36 PM
I thought it said "Art Garfunkle" at first. I was almost enjoying the peice before I figured it out.

M2
03-09-2008, 07:42 PM
Hey, Michael Lewis was an A's intern? That would be news to Michael Lewis.

blumj
03-09-2008, 07:45 PM
It's a spoof. Art Garfamudis?

oneupper
03-09-2008, 07:47 PM
Stuff doesn't go away just because you "don't like it".

Reminds me of the reactions to that darned "rock and roll" thing, back in the day.

blumj
03-09-2008, 07:57 PM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/art-garfamudis-revealed/
It's Jim Baker.

SteelSD
03-09-2008, 08:00 PM
Guys, it's parody. The writer's real name is Jim Baker.

The irony is that it's like Baker asked himself how he'd write an article if his real name were "Paul Daugherty" and then did it.

wheels
03-09-2008, 08:07 PM
As soon as I saw his name, the jig was up.

Funny how close he came to what Daugherty said in his most recent article, though.

vaticanplum
03-09-2008, 08:10 PM
Some people were way ahead of the sports satire trend, by the way. But done well, I think there's plenty of room for everybody.

sonny
03-09-2008, 08:19 PM
Well I'd still like to see Art Garfunkle's take on the state of Baseball.

"Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?"

BoydsOfSummer
03-09-2008, 08:40 PM
Well egg on my face I guess. I bought it. Not the last or first time for me. With some of the weenies they have at ESPN it's easy to be fooled there I reckon.

OldRightHander
03-09-2008, 09:46 PM
The whole way through it I kept thinking that it had to be satire because nobody could be stupid enough to write something like that. Then I thought, "Ok, maybe it's satire, but there are still people that stupid out there."

OldRightHander
03-09-2008, 09:50 PM
It kind of reminds me of a time a couple years ago where I posted some sort of satirical piece on here and someone took it seriously. I was really poking fun at the anti SABR people by suggesting they use a new set of stats I called Anti SABR Stats, or A.S.S. for short. About 20 minutes after I posted it, I got a PM from someone thanking me for finally saying what he wanted to say all along. He said some other things about how SABR was going too far and he thought it was about time someone said what I did. I have rarely laughed harder. I don't remember who it was, but I never did PM him back to tell him I was making fun of people like him.

oneupper
03-09-2008, 09:59 PM
Great...fooled me. So that's the object of this? Fooling us into thinking it was real?

'cause it wasn't funny (at least not to me)

Falls City Beer
03-09-2008, 10:39 PM
A writer friend of mine once told me that the hardest thing to do effectively, and repeatedly, is to be funny in print.

Yet *everyone* on the interweb's driving a stake into the ground and setting up a funny tent.

I look at it as I do people who have no taste: they're everywhere and they announce it with vigor. I shouldn't try to fight it. Heck, it's probably a waste of time even bringing up, but oh well.

Chip R
03-09-2008, 10:40 PM
A writer friend of mine once told me that the hardest thing to do effectively, and repeatedly, is to be funny in print.


So true.

blumj
03-09-2008, 10:44 PM
Great...fooled me. So that's the object of this? Fooling us into thinking it was real?

'cause it wasn't funny (at least not to me)
No, that's not the object. The way ESPN page 2 is set up, you're really supposed to be able to tell that you're in the humor section when you go there. The front page is supposed to be like the "cover" of the "humor magazine".
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/index
The problems arise when you go into page 2 without entering through the "cover" and just find yourself reading stuff inside a "humor magazine" without knowing it.

cincinnati chili
03-09-2008, 11:51 PM
Well egg on my face I guess. I bought it. Not the last or first time for me. With some of the weenies they have at ESPN it's easy to be fooled there I reckon.

I bought it too. The reason I bought it is that there's a LOT of real stuff out there that isn't too far off of this.