If you read about baseball on the Internet, you must have come across Ken Rosenthal's piece about Joe Mauer, the MVP Award and sabermetrics at FoxSports.com today. It features some worthwhile points and some not-so-worthwhile points about a favorite topic - discussion surrounding the MVP Award. He ultimately decides that Mauer is most worthy of the AL MVP Award, which is true. Praise is due for realizing that. He also writes some bizarre things about sabermetrics and even invokes the "it's a free country" platitude. I think I used to use that in kindergarten. I'm not going to explore the piece too much here because others have responded to it quite well already. Here are some, including the usual suspects:
It appears Rosenthal is familiar with the Internet sabermetric community (which I suppose includes Fangraphs, BTF, THT, BtB and The Book Blog, amongst others), so I think he is trolling with words like these:
Taking a contrary position does not make me just another unenlightened member of the MSM (translation: mainstream media). But it will subject me to a certain level of scorn for rejecting SGT (translation: sabermetric groupthink).
I just want to have a nice, civil discussion about a fascinating MVP race, a discussion that includes number geeks sitting in their basements, overworked hacks in press boxes across America and fans of all ages, colors and philosophies.
Rosenthal is smart. He knows any mention of "sabermetric groupthink" or "geeks in the basement" will rile people up. And on a certain level it did, judging by the responses all over the Internet. Hand-in-hand with this is increased attention, free publicity and an boost in hits to his webpage. These are all positive things for him, no matter how silly some (but not all) of his message is.
Congratulations to Ken Rosenthal, Troll of the Day.