Annoyances
by Ken Arneson
2004-06-08 1:45

My creativity ebbs and flows, and lately my well has been dry. When I hit a drought, I tend to forget what creativity even feels like. A door closes in my brain, and blocks me from accessing my muse. I always fear that the door may never reopen. Without a creative outlet, my emotions end up feeling shallow and superficial. I’m left with my annoyances.

I’m annoyed that I have resorted to talking about annoyances.

I’m annoyed that Will said “terror is barely a noun“. What does that mean? That “terror” is 51% noun, 23% verb, 17% adjective, 8% preposition, with just a trace of adverb? Here, Will, go read this.

I’m annoyed that Garfield has a movie.

I’m annoyed at all the hype that this DidYouReadIt.com crap has been getting.

I’m annoyed that the USS Mariner guys called the Moneyball draft “a disaster” and “a flop“. Joe Blanton is by most accounts a top pitching prospect. Bill Murphy was flipped for Mark Redman, and is pitching very well in AA for the Marlins. Brad Knox is still in low A, but he has a 81/11 K/BB ratio in 66.1 IP. Nick Swisher, after a very slow start in AAA, is now hitting .254/.376/.480. Mark Teahen just got promoted to AAA after hitting .335/.419/.543 in AA. Brant Colamarino is now hitting .355/.412/.645 in AA after his promotion from Modesto, where he was hitting .355/.460/.601. John Baker is hitting .324/.391/.512 in AA. I don’t see anything discouraging about any of those numbers. Sure, some of the picks look poor now, like McCurdy, Fritz, Brown, Obenchain, and Stanley. The draft may have been suboptimal, but “suboptimal” is not a synonym for “disaster” and “flop”.

But even if they’re right and all the draft picks fail, I’m still annoyed at them for mentioning Moneyball. Michael Lewis has turned Moneyball into a philosophical war, going to Sports Illustrated and radio and TV talk shows to ridicule the people who disagree with it. That makes people defensive and angry, and back and forth we go. In reality, the difference between the A’s draft philosophy and other teams is a difference of degree, not of kind. The A’s picked a high school pitcher in the fourth round this year. It’s not the first time a false conflict helped sell books, and it won’t be the last. But please, can we take a nice, long Moneyball timeout?

Maybe Will ought use the same polarizing name-calling strategy to promote Saving the Pitcher. Those coaches who abuse the arms of their players: they’re criminals! They’re a brainless, lower form of life! They’re primitive Neanderthals! Forget discussing reasonable degrees of risk. We need a War On Pitcher Abuse and we need it now!

Pitcher. Abuse. Two nouns, no verbs.

This is Ken Arneson's blog about baseball, brains, art, science, technology, philosophy, poetry, politics and whatever else Ken Arneson feels like writing about
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