Friday, May 31, 2013

Zimm Zimminy

Once upon a time, it went like this:

Analytics-friendly baseball writer/blogger said something, mainstream baseball establishment jumped on them, and everyone got a good laugh piling on.

These days, it goes like this:

Baseball player, manager, or front-office type says something goofy and analytics-unfriendly, online baseball fandom jumps on them, and everyone has a good laugh.

The worm, she has turned. Today, it's turned on Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who's upset about predictions made by, and I quote, "nerds". Like I said, everyone's getting a good laugh, pointing to what the predictions actually say, and so forth, which is to say "come on, people, give it a rest already".

We have just been called "nerds" by Ryan Zimmerman, and we're acting like, well, nerds. Look, Ryan Zimmerman is paid to do a couple of things: hit baseballs, catch baseballs, and send baseballs sailing past the first baseman so we can make humorous animated jpegs of someone in the third row taking an E-5 off the noggin. He's not paid to do math, make eloquent speeches, or discuss the finer points of Bayesian statistics. Of course he's going to call analytics types nerds. This is a "General Franco is still dead" kind of story. And yet, predictably, we dogpile on with a ferocity normally only reserved for comments section debates over whether Batman's installed Ubuntu on the Batcave computers ('cause everyone knows the JLA Watchtower uses Red Hat).

Look, I'm a nerd. I have committed LARP professionally, and on nationally syndicated television. And God knows it's fun to get back at the bullies. But really, do we need to jump in every single time, giving these guys ammo for their persecution complexes? Or is it better to nod sagely, grin to ourselves, and let these guys rage to each other in their ever-shrinking circle?

Because it ain't nerds flinging three-hoppers past the bag at first on routine grounders. It's the jocks.
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