Wyers: Why Jon Heyman is a better sabermetrician than you

From SABR member Colin Wyers at Baseball Prospectus on May 14, 2013:

Now, I am not a huge believer in sabermetric evangelism. I’m wholly grateful that there’s a community of people interested in sabermetric analysis—it lets me make a living doing this, if nothing else. But primarily I like preaching to the choir. And why shouldn’t I? The choir shows up every Sunday, they’ve been reading the New Testament and I don’t have to spend a lot of time explaining why sometimes he’s Paul and sometimes he’s Saul, and we can get down to business and move forward into new territory rather than being constantly stuck at the beginning. Now, there are certainly people out there who are interested in sabermetrics but haven’t had a lot of exposure to it, and you don’t want to leave them out. And there are certainly people who have closed themselves off to sabermetrics and are spreading falsehoods about the field as a result, and you want to respond to that (although sometimes we—and when I say we, I certainly include myself—engage in it a little too often).

And sometimes there isn’t much you can do. I wrote what I did about Hawk Harrelson and The Will To Win because at some point, you have to come to the conclusion that someone isn’t worth talking to anymore. Hawk’s problem wasn’t that he was wrong, it was that he was stuck in a frame of mind that starts from conclusions and will, when it cares to, circle back around to find some evidence to support it. And that, in insisting on perfection from sabermetrics but not from his worldview, Hawk was simply not engaging with the questions in an intellectually honest way.

But I get the sense that people are viewing [Jon] Heyman in much the same light. And I think this is dangerous, for several reasons.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20569

Originally published: May 14, 2013. Last Updated: May 14, 2013.