Congrats to Rob, Keith…

DMZ · December 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

…and some other internet writers at my alma mater.

The Base Ball Writers of America (I’d link to their website but it will burn your eyeballs) admitted two more ESPN writers, Rob Neyer and Keith Law, along with BP’s Christina Kahrl and Will Carroll. They all now get to vote on awards and Hall of Fame ballots, which hopefully will continue to drag those awards towards rationality, if not outright respectability.

Neyer is particularly satisfying to me. Neyer, more than any other writer, is responsible for me being the fan I am today. He was the first to demonstrate that quality baseball analysis could come from the internet, bringing the insight and statistical analysis of Bill James to the unwashed internet masses in a way that everyone could understand, with humor and sometimes a lot of mustard on his arguments. He often focused on the common-sense application of statistics in looking at baseball problems, showing how to reason through a problem. That stats didn’t have to be about arguing about a .1 run difference in setting replacement level offense but about how teams won and lost games and seasons.

Last year was the first year that the BBWAA waved in any internet-only writers, and I was so incensed that Rob didn’t get in that if I’d written about it you wouldn’t have been able to pick out the point from the swearing.

It makes me glad to see him get in today.

To move to Keith, it should be clear from his ESPN pieces there’s an enormous amount of work behind the improvement in their draft coverage (to pick one), and I’m happy his contributions have been recognized.

And congrats to the BP crew. I feel in writing this I risk starting the standard flame war, but allow me to be entirely positive: as much of a roster construction geek as I’ve become, I owe a huge debt to Christina Kahrl, who was the first to get me thinking about how small transactions make up a large season, and player skill sets complement each other in building a roster. And there’s a reason everyone reads Will’s stuff since he started doing injury analysis on BP.


10 Responses to “Congrats to Rob, Keith…”

  1. Conor on December 10th, 2008 5:19 pm

    Apparently they don’t get to vote on Hall of Famers until 2018.

  2. JLP on December 10th, 2008 5:19 pm

    I’ve read some of Rob’s work. Not much of Keith. Congrats, though. I can vouch for Rob being voted in.

  3. CCW on December 10th, 2008 5:26 pm

    There is no doubt that this a big positive step, no matter how you feel about these four particular internet inductees (and for what it’s worth, I think all four are good/important in their own way).

  4. msb on December 10th, 2008 6:03 pm

    how do they feel about Ron Santo?

  5. joser on December 10th, 2008 7:56 pm

    Or Pete Rose? Or Shoeless Joe Jackson?

  6. rifaco on December 10th, 2008 9:21 pm

    Conor is right. As Keith Law alluded to on his blog, you have to be a BBWAA member for 10 years before you get a Cy/HoF vote. Now if anyone can tell me why he calls it the “BBRAA”. . .

  7. BillP on December 10th, 2008 10:05 pm

    BBRAA = Baseball Reporters Association of America. A dig based on their rejection of him and Neyer last year for not going to enough games in person (which was based on misinformation anyway).

  8. Evan on December 11th, 2008 10:09 am

    I read Keith’s work when he was at BP (that was a long time ago – he left before Dave or Derek did), and I enjoyed it. Reading about the financial side of baseball wasn’t something I could get anywhere else, and the Imbalance Sheet (Keith’s column) gave me that.

    It’s Keith Law and Doug Pappas who really shaped my opinions about how baseball works on the business side.

  9. heyoka on December 11th, 2008 11:22 pm

    I’m surprised to see Neyer get such complements here. I know he’s a Bill James disciple and all, but he did write that stupid piece in 04, about Ichiro, “he’s no Sisler”. He proceded to look at George Sisler’s surface stats and compare them to Ichiro trying to diminish the hits record. It was such a poorly thought out piece that didn’t take into account Sisler’s home field (where he hit almost all his homeruns and his team scored 6.06 runs/game vs. 4.26 on the road) vs. Ichiro’s home field (where he hit .067 lower, team scored 3.81 rpg vs. 4.81 on the road). It would have been one of the first things he thought of had he recalled Bill James’ historical abstract section on Sisler.

    I can’t get over that one article.

  10. DMZ on December 11th, 2008 11:26 pm


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