Congrats to Rob, Keith…
…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.