The expansion, retraction, clarification of Dave’s post

DMZ · March 6, 2007 at 2:53 pm · Filed Under Site information 

Hi. You may note that Dave’s post, below, was for a time missing a paragraph, marking the first time I’ve ever substantially edited another author’s post. There was discussion of legal action, and, to be clear, as I noted elsewhere, this was not a BP thing.

I’ve written the story of what it was like to write the Rose story elsewhere. The story’s not fabricated, had sources beyond any one BP author, and I (as you can read) stand by the decision to run it, and so on. I entirely disagree with any statement to the contrary.

That said – I declined in the previous post to talk about my own conversations with responsible parties for the Ibanez comment. In particular, I talked to Steve Goldman, one of the editors, about this before Dave posted, and Steve, and I’m paraphrasing only a little–
– took responsibility for the comments
– insisted it wasn’t meant to refer to me

Further, the 2004 comment was in the Royals chapter, which I had no hand in. Insomuch as it could be a slam on anyone specifically, it’s not me. The person who wrote the 2004 Royals chapter is still writing for BP, I believe. So you can, as I did initially, read it as a crack on the guy you’d think wrote that, who did leave, or you can, as the BP guys did, it’s just a joke that clanks, and clearly has no basis in reality or making fun of anyone specifically.

I’m entirely willing to assume that the impression I and others got from the comment is, as Steve said, unintentional, and no slight was intended.

I’ll keep the rest of our conversation private, as much good as that does now. I have the utmost respect for Steve, and I should have posted, at least, that I talked to Steve about the comment in as a follow-up to Dave’s post, if not at the time I talked to him, before Dave posted.

After talking to Dave, we’ve decided to take down his post entirely.

I’ve tried, as much as possible, to admit error as publicly as I make the error, so – I had a couple of opportunities to prevent this from flaring up. I screwed them all up, and I apologize.


37 Responses to “The expansion, retraction, clarification of Dave’s post”

  1. terry on March 6th, 2007 5:56 pm

    *BIG HUG*

  2. Ralph Malph on March 6th, 2007 6:08 pm

    Oh for the days of flat tires on highway 51.

  3. dw on March 6th, 2007 6:09 pm

    Poor Dave must be totally red-faced. I hope he comes back.

    I do wish I had my afternoon back, but you guys are still quality.

  4. DMZ on March 6th, 2007 6:12 pm

    Dave cannot be redder than I.

  5. Dave on March 6th, 2007 6:18 pm

    I’m going to be brief here, since Derek just wants this to die, but just to touch on a few things:

    1. Yea, I probably overreacted and this would be an example of why you shouldn’t write angry.

    2. I said in the comments that I’d be willing to take down the post if Derek got an apology – he did, and so the post is gone. We didn’t take it down because it was factually incorrect or because I have egg on my face for what I wrote.

    3. I shouldn’t have written that Will “made up” the Pete Rose story. I don’t know that to be true and I obviously can’t prove it.

    The rest of the stuff, we’ll just keep to ourselves and handle it privately.

  6. marbledog on March 6th, 2007 6:30 pm

    Phew. I hate it when my marriage proposals stay on the internet permanently.

  7. dianagram on March 6th, 2007 7:07 pm

    Was BP asked to edit the Ibanez comment with regard to the “no longer writes for us” aspect, for future printings of the book?

  8. Tek Jansen on March 6th, 2007 7:18 pm

    I really appreciate how this site handles situations such as today’s earlier post.

  9. Anthony on March 6th, 2007 7:53 pm

    #6 made me laugh out loud.

  10. Typical Idiot Fan on March 6th, 2007 7:59 pm

    Okay, someone has to have a screenshot or a copy / paste of whatever this post is. I want to read it because I missed it and I hate walking in late to interesting blog drama crap.

    Especially Angry Dave. Angry Dave ranks right up there with MNF Dennis Green on the epic “gotta see” list.

  11. DMZ on March 6th, 2007 8:07 pm

    Please, no. Thank you.

  12. QuoVadis on March 6th, 2007 8:56 pm

    The stick-up-for-your-friend part was the best. You have a good friend in Dave.

    Dave: I’ve written lots of email memos like that. I save them and come back in the morning and usually delete them. The bad guys usually end up hanging themselves without my help.

  13. CCW on March 6th, 2007 9:21 pm

    Thanks for allowing comments here. Nice work cleaning this up. That post + all the comments was ug-ly. USSM is way too good to stoop to that sort of stuff anyway. Back to baseball. And bashing Hargrove! He must have said something backwards/stupid lately, huh?

  14. f2aler on March 6th, 2007 10:03 pm

    Attorney here…

    I imagine the legal threat was one of libel for stating that Will made up the whole Pete Rose story. Libel is one of the most threatened but rarely successful lawsuits. For a public figure he essentially must prove what you said was false and that you stated it with malice i.e. knew it was false or recklessly disregarded the truth.

    Of course whether Will Carroll is a public figure is an issue in and of itself. However even if he is not, he would have to prove your statement was defamatory which is difficult, however being somewhat removed from the bar exam and practicing law in general litigation I wouldn’t even pretend to know if stating someone “made something up” is defamatory. You can say a lot of bad things about people that are not libel.

    That being said, it is probably best to let this die. Keep up the good work and if you need a USSMariner legal contributor, consider this my application!

  15. JI on March 6th, 2007 10:33 pm

    it’s just a joke that clanks

    That’s how I saw it.

    Don’t buy the BP 2007. It’s awful. The editing is not good, the are countless typos, as far as I can tell from glancing through, Adrian Beltre, and Bob Wickman have been forgotten entirely. Add to that, they basically admit (on the Sexson comment)? that their defensive metrics are unreliable.

    One of the things I liked about BP, was that even though many their special stats are absolute hogwash, their comments were usually pretty entertaining. There would be two or three comments per team the were good for a belly laugh; but this year it seems they’ve upped the snark bigtime, and the results are less than stellar.

    Many of these allegedly clever comments come off as mean and confusing. The Rockies chapter is particularly annoying. They leave you scratching your head going “Huh? Is that supposed to be funny? or “I don’t get that, I think it’s supposed to be a joke?” They’re just trying too hard.

    BP has seen better days. I used to really like them.

  16. khardy on March 6th, 2007 10:35 pm

    You guys rock. Stuff happens. I read the post- it was great to see someone be passionate and get someone’s back like that. It wasn’t immature or unintelligent or thoughtless, it was just a simple misunderstanding.

    Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend like Dave to go for the jugular like that.

  17. IP on March 6th, 2007 10:36 pm

    Dave said:
    Yea, I probably overreacted and this would be an example of why you shouldn’t write angry.

    Or post drunk. At any rate, I’ll bet Derek is glad you’re his friend. Good work, Dave. 🙂

  18. drw on March 7th, 2007 12:50 am

    FWIW (very little), when I read the initial post and the comment itself, my reaction was “Huh?” While the BP crack could reasonably be read as meanspirited, it also could be read as a dumb joke . . . and the only thing that justified Dave’s response was some sort of inside knowledge of the intent was behind it (which he did lay out an argument for — that there are a number of BP jerks). However, I still saw the response as way over the top and incredibly hostile, and ultimately counterproductive — it simply brought more attention to the initial (supposed) diss.

    And now — we find out that the “inside knowledge” was all off base and that the comment wasn’t directed at DMZ at all. Dave “probably” overreacted? That’s an understatement — the title of the post was giving BP the finger. I think that the fact that DMZ did not write the 2004 comment and that it was in a part of the mag (KC secton) that it was clear he did not write makes the inference of bad intent hard to get off the ground. In fact, with those facts, I can’t see how you could have kept the original post up without looking pretty foolish, and it’s clear to me that you had to delete it or substantially change it or just look crazy. It may not have been factually “incorrect”, but it was sure factually incomplete. As I recall, Dave implied strongly that DMZ in fact wrote the 2004 Ibanez comment — but now I guess it’s clear he did not. Never mind, I guess. We erase the post and all is right with the world.

    I read USSM because of the information and entertainment it provides, not because Dave or Derek or others are jerks or good guys or whatever (tho that sometimes has entertainment value). But this type of sniping is so . . . . high school. Grow up. Just because the BP guys are jerks doesn’t justify jerky behavior in response. Take the high road — resist the dark side of the Force. Dick Cheney and Dick Nixon went after their enemies; be better men than they are/were. Saying that since you are defending a friend the normal rules don’t apply is not an adequate rationalization, in my mind; it reads more like license to act any way you want and wrapping yourself in a flag.

  19. Tom C on March 7th, 2007 1:16 am

    Independent of the recent thread, I don’t like the product BP puts out. It’s also pretty irritating how low every year they “predict” Ichiro’s performance. I sometimes suspect that they don’t even watch a lot of actual games, which is pretty damning for a publication/organization that postures itself to know something about baseball.

    Anyway, this incident (with the legal threats etc.) only reinforces my low opinion of BP.

    Thumbs up to Dave for being a good friend.

  20. tangotiger on March 7th, 2007 8:24 am

    The legal threat, DMZ explicity states somewhere, did not come from BP. Therefore, it likely came from an individual that Dave noted, or it was a preemptive measure on USSMs part so that they would not expose themselves to legal action. Regardless, BP is in the clear on that front.


    The creation of a blog entry, and allowing comments to be made to that blog entry, and then removal of a blog entry is a confusing turn of events. This place, as any other blog, is essentially a local private bar, where the owner can do as he wishes. Since Dave has built up a huge currency with the readership here, he can cash some of that in, to make all this go away.

    However, non-regular USSM readers have also seen it, and with those people, Dave has no currency. The appropriate response, if one cares about those people, is another blog entry with a “mea culpa”.

    Dave likely has other issues with BP, and the original blog entry was an opportunity to let loose. To the extent that this last statement is true (that he had past issues that still rises to the surface), a “closure” blog entry a long time ago would have served the purpose of ripping BP whatever Dave felt was appropriate they deserved, and the latest blog would not have been as necessary.

    Now, Dave is probably stuck, where both blog entries (the mea-culpa, and the closure) are appropriate, but seemingly inconsistent. It would behoove all to let Dave figure out what he wants to do, if anything.

  21. Evan on March 7th, 2007 9:55 am

    This entire episode really illustrates what a great relationship Derek and Dave have.

    Way to go, Dave. I really think this has all worked out for the best.

  22. Grizz on March 7th, 2007 10:15 am

    The question that still has not been answered is whether the BP author (or editor) believed at the time of publishing that Derek had written the 2004 Ibanez comment. I doubt that Dave was the only one who assumed that Derek wrote that comment because he wrote the Mariners comments that year. The author or editor could have just as easily assumed that Ibanez appeared in the Mariners comments that year, as the comment itself referred to the Mariners and the Ibanez PECOTA card listing past comments does not identify the book chapter in which the comment appeared. The fact that Derek did not write the Ibanez comment is not a defense if the author or editor believed that Derek wrote the comment.

  23. Evan on March 7th, 2007 10:17 am

    But we can’t just assume the presence of false knowledge.

  24. tangotiger on March 7th, 2007 11:06 am

    The blogosphere turned Antonella Barba into the most-searched person in the world at one point, only to have reality set in. If we cannot assume facts that support our untenable position, 90% of blogs would cease to exist. Where’s the fun in that?!?

  25. davepaisley on March 7th, 2007 11:11 am

    I still think the most fascinating and newsworthy part here is that we flushed out Marbledog’s true intentions 😀

  26. Mike Snow on March 7th, 2007 11:25 am

    The question that still has not been answered is whether the BP author (or editor) believed at the time of publishing that Derek had written the 2004 Ibanez comment.

    I beg to differ, the question has been answered. Per Derek’s post, he talked to the BP editor and got a clear statement that it wasn’t intended to refer to him.

    If anything, the comment was written with no belief at all about who had written the earlier comment about Ibanez, because it was just a throwaway gag written, unfortunately, with too little thought. BP has been putting out books for years now, expecting them to have constantly in mind the unsigned authors of particular chapters several years back is unreasonable.

  27. tangotiger on March 7th, 2007 12:32 pm

    I disagree with the very last line, considering that DMZ was one of their best writers, if not the best, and is a Mariner fan. The link of Seattle will always be to DMZ.

    The editor may have understood that it had no bearing to DMZ (and really, I doubt the editor is doing fact-checking, so I doubt the editor even considered the meaning of the gag), but who knows what the author meant.

    The throwaway gag line probably would make John Kerry proud, but no one else.

    The lack of bylines is the weakest part of BP, offering no accountability whatsoever. I heard the justifications (one guy writes it, another adds to it, and by the time it’s done, 4 or 5 people have a hand in it). Like most people, the justification is b.s.

  28. Johnny Slick on March 7th, 2007 2:11 pm

    Okay, this is totally unrelated to the original post, but… TangoTiger posts here!!??? That is beyond cool. As a beta-tester for Out of the Park Baseball this offseason, this man has become less a real person and more of a deity to worship and to gain accumulated knowledge from. Is there a “regular guy” more like Bill James out there today? Unlike the BP people, he shows his work. Unlike much of the statheady stuff, he shows it in a way that is both informative and fun.

    Wow, TangoTiger. The only way this could get better is if Voros McCracken then posted and told me to shut up. Well, DMZ already posts here, which is darn close.

    Hero worship over now.

  29. JMB on March 7th, 2007 2:22 pm

    Who is Antonella Barba?

  30. MKT on March 7th, 2007 2:58 pm

    18. Saying that since you are defending a friend the normal rules don’t apply is not an adequate rationalization, in my mind; it reads more like license to act any way you want and wrapping yourself in a flag.

    Very well said, not just the quote but all of Post #18.

    What I find rather troubling is not so much the original post — I think that post was a mistake, but we all make mistakes. Rather what I find rather troubling is the massive reaction, initially at least, IN FAVOR of that post. We have now seen more posts similar to #18 above, but I think that out of the first 50 or so comments, only 2 (lonestarball’s and mine) said, whoa wait a minute you’re overreacting to what’s just a bad joke.

    To make a mistake is one thing, we all do that. But for so many people in this group to applaud Dave for that post, on the basis of “he’s sticking up for his friend” or “BP are jerks, so let ’em have it” — man, that’s troubling. That’s not good thinking. The post, if not an actual mistake, had very serious issues, so serious that Derek and Dave themselves agreed that it should be removed. But IMO all too many people were in favor of that post, and too few were seeing it as “way over the top”, to use drw’s phrasing.

  31. MKT on March 7th, 2007 3:08 pm

    28. TangoTiger posts here!!??? That is beyond cool

    Yeah — I guess there’s the question of how do we know it’s the real TangoTiger, but the intelligence and grace of his postings gives him away.

    This mention of him prompts me to mention something that I neglected to mention in the thread several days ago about protection, and the issue of “weak protection”: intentionally or semi-intentionally walking a batter in order to get to a weaker batter. TangoTiger’s book, “The Book” (written with MGL and Andrew Dolphin) has a whole chapter about when it makes sense to walk a batter. I don’t recall if The Book goes into protection per se, but their discussion of intentional walks would certainly have applicability to deciding whether weak protection has an important effect or not.

  32. DMZ on March 7th, 2007 3:19 pm

    You can be reasonably sure that if someone semi-famous posts here, I’ve at least looked at the email address they registered with to ensure it’s them and not someone with a toss-off AOL account.

  33. frenchonion on March 7th, 2007 3:45 pm

    My mom taught me never to put into writing anything you might regret later.

    As usual, my mom’s right.

  34. JI on March 7th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Who is Antonella Barba?

    A contestant on American Idol.

  35. o2bnited on March 7th, 2007 5:52 pm

    I’d like to point out to poster of comment #28 that there are some people within BP that do show their work and are willing to be open about how they arrive at their numbers. Some take the care and time to write entire essays filled with the gory details of the calculus and advanced mathematical concepts behind their theories and numbers. Some do not, so the criticism is partially true, and when true, a valid one, but please don’t make blanket accusations like that.

  36. tangotiger on March 7th, 2007 8:56 pm

    As it turns out, we excerpted the “protection” part of The Book on THT:

    It was written by Andy (nevermind what the byline says). For those intimidated by the numbers, the summary is at the bottom of the article.

    And I’m glad to be a speck in the USSM crowd, easily the most passionate of any baseball crowd I’ve been around.

  37. Dave Clapper on March 8th, 2007 11:01 am

    34: Not for long, hopefully.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.