An open letter to the blogs
Dear Blogs -
Hi Blogs! My name is Jason and I'm a blogger. I write on a blog just like you. I hear you've been going through quite the roller coaster ride recently, what with the various arguments over your power or lack thereof. I thought maybe I could try to even out your rumbly-tumble emotions a bit.
Over at the blog AnotherCubsBlog, they tend to like to poke fun at my blog. In general it's all in good fun, although it can get a bit name-cally at times. But regardless, here's one of the quotes from their comments regarding Kurt's post,from MB21:
I’ve made it clear that I don’t think blogs like this or GROTA have any influence whatsoever. I don’t really care about what little things you may have noticed or been mentioned in, but the idea that Ricketts will read the letters on GROTA and presumably care what any of you (myself included) have to say is preposterous. Most of the media doesn’t even care what we have to say and we’re stealing some of their readers.
Here's one from CCD:
Back to the GROTA shit from earlier, I think a few of the guys over there could use some time away from the blogging scene. It really is a good thing to do. It clears your head and makes you realize how unimportant all of the time we spend doing this is.
And finally one more:
Done deal. Sealed.
The main comment I want to take exception with is CCD's, because I actually agree with half of what MB said. With all due respect to Kurt, I don't think we have any front office influence. Have they ever read our blog? Could be. But would it ever influence their decisions? I sure as hell hope not. But the issue I want to address is that what we do is somehow unimportant.
I think what I do is fairly unimportant, unless you really feel that coining the term "allegedly quotes" will change the world (and assuming I didn't steal that term from someone else). But I do feel that there are blogs out there that have changed the entire culture of baseball and thus have had a profound impact.
Like many of you, my introduction to the stat world was through Rob Neyer. Back in '98 or '99, I didn't know about blogs or blogging. Hell, there many not have even been "blogs". I think people were still making random websites in Microsoft Word and publishing them to the web back then (what, I was the only one?). But I'd read all of Neyer's articles and through them I learned a whole new take on player evaluation. He made use of "reason" and "numbers" to make his point, a nice reprieve from the Phil Rogerses of the world.
So yeah, that's great. Thanks Rob! But where would that have gone without blogs? Comments didn't exist on his articles, so there was no further forum for discourse (or dat course or, really, any course *rimshot*). Hiss ideas ended with the end of the article and, I believe without the existence of blogs to ferment the ideas of the statistically inclined, those ideas would have been relegated to the back rooms where Bill James, Rob Neyer, and about 17 other guys swapped ideas while watching reruns of What's Happening.
Speaking from personal experience, my next major jump was to Baseball Think Factory (then Baseball Primer) and The Cub Reporter (back wihen Ruz and then Derek Smart, and Alex ran things and it was good). BTF took stat arguments to a new level and provided a central forum for the development of new ideas and idioms. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you have The HardBall Times without Baseball Primer.
And now a days we have these ideas slowly leaking into the mainstream media. Bruce Miles actually talks about OBP and it's not just because Billy Beane wrote that book. It's because the entire culture has changed. People like Bill James and Voros McCracken have gotten consulting positions with major league teams and Rob Neyer has a HOF vote and I don't believe any of this would have happened without blogs.
Is Goatriders part of this movement? Not the statistical movement, no. But we're fun.
So, blogoworld, chin up. Sure, I don't like how big a head you've gotten over the years, but I don't want you to be a Sad Sally either. You're special and you smell good, no matter what some people say.
Just stay away from that Rosenbloom guy. He's no good for you.