I’m going to keep this brief because it’s a subject I’ve touched on many times.
If you do not like advanced stats–and if you don’t, you probably aren’t reading this blog–that’s fine with me. I’ll try to convince you of their superiority, but if you don’t agree, I can’t force you to do anything about it. If you won’t educate yourself on them, though, or simply won’t listen to me, then I’m going to be upset.
As someone going into education for his career, there is little (if anything) I hate more than willful ignorance. Last night, John Flaherty said something that, at the very least, bordered on willful ignorance. After the results of the Toyota Text Poll were revealed, the booth was having a conversation about the stats used–BA/HR/RB/R–in the poll. David Cone, of course, wondered where WAR was and mused about defense and runs created. Flash would have none of it.
He wasn’t dismissive or rude to Cone, and I doubt he’d ever be. As boring as he is, he’s not unprofessional. However, he said something about how he couldn’t keep up with all these advanced stats. That bothers me. A lot. John Flaherty’s profession right now is color commentator and analyst. I’m not asking him to get up to Marc Carig territory and be a writer for BP but he should at least educate himself enough that he knows what Cone is talking about.
The last time David Cone was an announcer for YES, in 2009, he would drop the odd FanGraphs/sabermetrics reference, but during his time off in 2010, he clearly educated himself even more and has come back well educated and well informed on the positives and negatives of many advanced metrics. So, though he wasn’t working in any large capacity in 2010, David Cone bettered himself for the sake of his new job.
This small complaint highlights what I see wrong with some announcers. Come on, Flash. You don’t have to love advanced stats, but as someone who makes his living talking about and analyzing baseball, you should learn about all the available tools. And, honestly, Flash…your announcing is dryer than a saltine cracker in a desert. Maybe learning something new would help you.
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