Friday, February 19, 2016

Chewing On Feinstein Is Pointless

The baseball interwebs are on fire these days because legendary sportswriter John Feinstein, whose shtick is largely focused around the genteel gloss applied to certain aspects of sports, said something dumb about sabermetrics. 

This is not new. Older sportswriters and ones disinclined toward change have been writing that same column since Bill James's name first became recognizable outside the greater Kansas City area. It's not only bad writing - even when committed by a good stylist, like Feinstein - it's boring. It's repetitive, it's lazy thinking, and it's the same damn argument over and over again.

Predictably, the 14th Snark Paratroop Division of the sabermetric side of things immediately scrambled and began carpet-bombing social media like Ted Cruz playing with his GI Joes. Because that is how we respond to things we disagree with on social media, never mind that the arguments and examples pulled out in doing so are often as tortured as the dumbass comments that got the whole thing started in the first place. They're preaching to the choir, looking for affirmation. 

The best thing to do, IMHO, is simply ignore it. I don't need to read Feinstein on baseball. He's not very good at writing about it, and I'm not interested in his opinion, particularly when it's as wrongheaded as this. I also have no interest in piling on because, really, being a jerk isn't going to change his mind, and clever people saying self-consciously clever things to try to win clever points for being clever gets a little cloying after a while. Eventually, either Feinstein's going to get it or he's going to go away, and in the meantime he's not convincing anyone of anything they didn't already believe.  The audience that shouts "Hallelujah" when Feinstein invokes St. Jeter isn't going to be magically converted by your cat gif with a snarky caption about how batting average is a useless stat.

Pitchers and catchers have reported. Someone's in the best shape of his life. Let's focus on that instead of tired old arguments and tired old beatdowns of same.

Play ball. Somebody, for God's sake, just play ball already.
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