Living in Seattle and being a Mariners fan is growing more and more enjoyable. Yes, there's Jack Z and all the great moves he's made turning 100-loss team into a much buzzed-about contender. But on top of that, Mariners fans are blessed (yes, blessed) with a wealth of phenomenal reading material via what has to be the best blogosphere in the majors. There's Lookout Landing, USS Mariner, Pro Ball NW and even ASW's own Northwest Diamond Notes. It isn't mindless stuff either, these are intelligent baseball writers. As great as their content is, if I come across a post a bit too heavy with Sabermetrics and advanced statistics, I just can't do it. Like hitting an old 50 Cent song on shuffle, I roll right past.
It's not that I think they're wrong, I don't understand them. I read about sports for pleasure and haven't invested the time in doing 'homework' (see: LL's Sabermetrics 101 series) so I can understand some of the blog posts I read. These are the statists the best and most accurate baseball writers/bloggers use. They're the best evaluator on why one ball-player is better than another. And yet, a majority of baseball fans do not understand them, So, how does this change?
In a guest column on Baseball Prospectus, ESPN broadcaster Jon Sciambi says it starts in the booth:
Let's not forget "it's the search for objective knowledge about baseball." The goal is not unveiling newfangled stats; it's about getting people to understand basic ideas and concepts. To achieve that, we can't just slap stats up on the screen and explain them. Understanding has to come in the form of analysis. We have to use the stat and explain it. Sometimes it needs to be the [play-by-play] guy playing analyst and getting the color guy to react [...]