We're big fans of Fire Joe Morgan's weekly deconstructions of ESPN analyst Joe Morgan's chats on ESPN.com — even if the chats of late, in the words of Fire Joe Morgan itself, have had "entirely un-Morgan-like reason and coherence" — and, to have some fun themselves, the folks at St. Louis Cardinals blog Cardnilly have broken down the most recent ESPN chat with Three Nights In August author Buzz Bissinger.
In the preface to his book — essentially about the mind of Cards manager Tony LaRussa — Bissinger calls out Moneyball and Baseball Prospectus acolytes, saying "they have a very bloodless, anti-human, antiseptic view of the game of baseball." Those "anti-humans" happen to be the very type of people who write about baseball on the Web, so, as you can imagine, Bissinger isn't a huge Technorati search these days. (He even called stat guys "nerds" once, which, as you can tell from the picture — with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill! — is a designation with which he is likely quite familiar.)
But credit to Cardnilly: He doesn't let the Bill James of the world off lightly either.
What I really think it boils down to this: the writing style of a lot of the sabr-guys (and gals) is sometimes high-handed, imperious, sarcastic and condescending. It challenges received wisdom, and it does so in a cutting, superior tone. ... So when Buzz complains about the "bloodless, anti-human, antiseptic view" of the stathead crowd, he
s clearly overstating his case. But folks like Bill James and the BPro staff can make it easy for that charge to seem plausible with their writing style.