By Mike Steffanos
I wrote a piece on Saturday criticizing the annoying proliferation of supposedly analytical baseball articles that really are nothing more than ill-informed opinion pieces. I won't recap what I wrote two days ago, the full post can be found here.
I'd like to point that what I labeled the "bullet point form of analysis" isn't a criticism of everyone who writes with bullet points. Bullet points are a perfectly acceptable way to summarize for your reader some facts you have attained through your own research on a subject. Bullet point analysis, a term I coined to make a point, is a different story. That's when you state as fact something that you have not researched at all, but rather are just stating your own perceptions and prejudices with nothing to back them up. To me, that's just annoying crap.
What I specifically objected to was a somewhat silly story on a major sports web site that made the claim, among others, that Mets relievers were "massively overworked" in 2006. This is despite the fact that only Aaron Heilman and Darren Oliver surpassed 80 innings, with Heilman leading the bullpen with 87. Wagner was third with 72 innings, and no one else pitched more than 70. This hardly constitutes overwork, much less on a massive scale. 30 seconds on Mets.com could confirm this simple truth. Yet because this article appeared on a major web site most readers will accept this nonsense as fact.
Disagreement is healthy, and there are many out there, Mets fans and others, who legitimately feel that the Mets are making a mistake by going with the starting pitching as currently constituted. That's fine. Just use actual facts to make your opinions and I have no problem with them. For the article in question, that would have involved almost five minutes of research -- which I guess would have cut into the time the author spends watching cartoons.
To summarize -- bullet points and intelligent differences of opinion are good, lazy or non-existent analysis is bad.
Adam Rubin interview
Pat from Shea Faithful has an interview with the Daily News' Mets beat writer, Adam Rubin.
Wrapping up the pitching previews
I'm in the process of finishing up Billy Wagner, the last preview in the bullpen series. Then I'll probably do something on the other candidates for the bullpen who have already been mentioned in the series on starting pitching, and finish up with a piece that wraps everything up.