Titties Vs. VORP

Yo, you like tits? Yeah, me too. Titties is awesome.

Now. You like that sabermetric shit? Naw, dawg. Fuck that noise. That shit ain't titties, I'll tell you that much.

Baseball is real simple: Titties is for guys who like titties, and that new numbers shit is for jerkoffs who don't like titties. Don't believe me? Ask Jerry Thornton, titty lover.

THE GEEKS WILL INHERIT THE EARTH

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm wildly, consistently and preternaturally optimistic about the Red Sox, especially this time of year. My spring training default setting is to just assume that 7½ months from now, we're going to be treating last night's champagne hangover with a mixture of the hair of the dog that bit us and duck boat exhaust fumes.

Um, "this time of year?" "Spring training?" Check your calendar, genius. It's September! How dumb is this guy?

Oh, right. Our fault. We only do this once a year now.

Incidentally, that alcohol/boat fumes mixture has a name: It's called Revere Beach! Ka-boom, Boston style!

There's only one thing I see spoiling the party. One small, nagging turd in the punchbowl,

Well, now he's just blatantly plagiarizing from F.D.R.'s second inaugural address.

mitigating an otherwise perfect celebration. I'm afraid that if … when … the Sox win it all this year, it will mean total victory has been achieved by that odd, creepy little subculture that lives among us: the Stat Geeks.

That's us!

For what it's worth, Jerry, we kind of feel like we've already won. We sort of assumed a while ago that any rational baseball fan would accept that the newer models of statistical analysis, while flawed and still developing, are far superior to dumb shit like RBIs. We got so tired of talking about how right we were that we won two World Series and shut our website down. Yeah, I said "we."

There's no escaping this conclusion: the Stat Geeks have quietly and insidiously taken power. Every hot stove report I've read this offseason, every article written from Fort Myers, every statement from Sox brass, has the Stat Geeks' grubby little fingerprints on it.

Doesn't this guy know anything about Stat Geeks? Our hands aren't grubby. They're immaculate. They've never worked an honest day of hard labor in their lives. Unless you count carrying some furniture down to our mothers' basements so that we can live there — am I right people or am I right?! [Points to guy with glasses in 2nd row.] This guy knows what I'm talking about!

Seriously though, my hands are pretty clean.

They're like the Communist Party plotting to take over Hollywood in the 1950s before Ronald Reagan got wise to them and kicked their pinko butts all the way back to Moscow and Harvard Square.

I literally do not understand this sentence, either as a joke or as a serious thing.

Only, instead of trying to write screenplays full of anti-capitalists rants, the Stat Geeks have succeeded in making otherwise normal, decent, God-fearin' Americans start talking about VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) ratings and UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) numbers like they really believe in this nonsense.

And call me overly paranoid, but part of me is afraid Theo Epstein is their prize project.

Well, he's just a guy. But if he were our project — like a special computer that was built by other computers (how awesome would that be?!) — he definitely would be our prize project. We're talking about a guy who's overseen two world championship rosters, and pretty effortlessly introduced "new" ways of quantifying player performance to the New England masses. Ever heard his defense of J.D. Drew on sports talk radio?

The one they've brainwashed into bringing their message of Sabremetric supremacy to the world. The Staturian Candidate.

Fake Lord in Heaven knows we've written an awful lot of terrible, forced puns. (Have you heard of the new Jenna Elfman show where she works at a Goldfish factory? It's called Snacksidentally on Pepperidge.) So what really is there to say about "The Staturian Candidate" other than: kudos, Jerry Thornton. That is some forced shit.

Look at the Red Sox roster as it's currently constituted: While there's still a core of blue chip, proven, battle-tested baseball lifers who'd be winners in any era … the Pedroias, Becketts, Lesters, Papelbons and Youkili …

DUDE WE GET IT JUST SAY WHITE PEOPLE

The reason they'd be winners in any era is that they're the only ones who'd be allowed to play in any era. (Youkilis could play for that weird House of David barnstorming team.)

Incidentally, all of the players he just mentioned either missed tons of time due to injuries this year, or vastly underperformed, or both. Despite that, Theo Epstein managed to cobble together a team that's going to win about 90 games. I mean, there were times this year when Tito and Theo had to hold this team together with duct tape and only like four white guys. Rough times.

We'll get to the titties thing in a second. Promise.

it seems like this offseason, the rest of the roster was supplanted with Stat Geek favorites. Agents who were trained in a basement at the Baseball Prospectus HQ to infiltrate the Sox and destroy them from within. And suddenly, a legit All-Star like Jason Bay is body-snatched away and replaced with Mike Cameron with his 70 RBI but his to-die-for Rtzhm (total fielding runs above average at home) numbers.

How did he come up with "Rtzhm"? I'm so confused. It's like he had a microstroke while he was writing, and then also forgot to back and proofread.

Guys, can I be honest for a second? I'm not really sure how much I like baseball anymore. I mean, it's great and whatever. I like going to games, and I like rooting for the Red Sox and everything. But then sometimes you have to talk to people like Jerry Thornton or my brother-in-law, and it just doesn't even seem worth it anymore. Does this guy really think that Epstein got to choose between Bay and Cameron straight up?

Anyway, the point is: Everyone please e-mail my brother-in-law and help me explain to him why J. D. Drew is not a total waste of money. I'm serious. Here's his email address: phil.gp75@yahoo.com.

Now, listen. He's a good guy. Great husband, great Dad to my niece and nephew. Likes the outdoors, takes good care of my sister, all that stuff. So be nice to him, really. For some reason he just has this total blind spot when it comes to J. D. Drew, even though he was AT THE FUCKING PLAYOFF GAME WHERE DREW WENT YARD —

Sorry. Ahem.

Please e-mail my brother-in-law Phil. Be nice. Explain to him that J. D. Drew might be a tiny bit overpaid but probably isn't at all, and that it doesn't matter if it looks like he's not trying very hard. Thanks guys!

Also — as much as I have pretty much no interest in bringing up things that are actually relevant — Jason Bay has been a pretty mediocre white guy this year, to the tune of a .749 OPS in only 95 games (as of exactly nobody-gives-a-shit days ago). So maybe choosing not to throw 60 mil at Jason Bay wasn't the worst idea in the world.

Look, I love Theo. A lot. He's delivered in spades and I'm not afraid to admit I'm part of his cult, as you would know if you've ever seen me down at Park Street in a suit and tie handing out little pamphlets to spread the word about how following the word of Theo has given my life meaning.

So why don't you, you know, trust him? Maybe he knows more about baseball than you do. Maybe — as much as you may not like it — some of the decisions that led to winning two World Series were assisted by the very statistical analysis you hate so much. Maybe he should've earned the benefit of the doubt with you by now.

So if he says this is the path the team needs to follow in 2010, he's earned the benefit of the doubt with me.

Oh, okay. So wait — what are we arguing about?

But I just can't feel good about it.

Ah. You can't feel good about it.

You can't feel good about it, even if it leads to a third title (which it obviously isn't going to this year, but hypothetically could've, back when this thing was written. Whatever.).

At this point you might be saying "Gee, Jer. How do you know so much about Stat Geeks anyway?" Glad you asked because the answer will surprise you.

You did extensive research on the subject before writing an article about them?

Because I, for a very brief time in my life, was one. Yes, it's true… I read the backs of guys' baseball cards. I studied the day's box scores. I committed to memory the tops of the all time career statistical rankings in dozens of categories.

But then, I made an amazing discovery. Something that the Stat Geek population doesn't know and never will. Women.

Titties Vs. VORP




JERRY THORNTON: "FUCK BITCHES, GET MONEY."

And it changed my life forever, in much the same way that Blossom's life changed in that Very Special Episode where she gets her period, I would never be the same.

Okay, so, just to recap Jerry Thornton's article about Theo Epstein and sabermetrics:

JERRY THORNTON LIKING BASEBALL STATISTICS : JERRY THORNTON LIKING WOMEN :: MAYIM BIALIK BEFORE MENARCHE : MAYIM BIALIK AFTER MENARCHE

Not making a joke here. Just clarifying the analogy that Jerry Thornton has chosen himself.

By the way, everyone (and I mean everyone!) talks about that episode of Blossom as if it were advertised as a "Very Special Episode," but it was really the first episode of the series, following a re-tooling of the pilot that had aired six months earlier. Isn't that barely interesting?

As I recall, the exact moment for me came when Phoebe Cates climbed out of the pool in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and took her top off in slow motion to the Cars' "In Stereo" that did it for me.

The song's called "Moving In Stereo," Jer. But hey, you don't care about details like that right? You're more concerned about Phoebe Cates's sweet sweet titties, right brah? Yeah, dude!

Fuck Major League Baseball — let's talk about them MAJOR LEAGUE YABOS!

What Phoebe showed me that day was perfection. I wanted to have them and I was willing to do what it took to get them. Then my whole world was transformed.

Jerry, we get it. You masturbated to Phoebe Cates. It's cool — we all have our thing. Sometimes I like to open up baseball-reference.com and just go to town while looking at Barry Bonds OBPs from the early 2000s. 'Cause, you know, I'm a Stat Geek.

And for me that mean putting away the Baseball Encyclopedia, getting outside and living an actual life. It also led to other discoveries like jobs, cars, activities, beer and sunlight.

I think we can all agree that by "activities," Jer means doing heroin with Penthouse Pets.

Titties Vs. VORP




CUZ THAT'S HOW THIS CRAZY MOTHAFUCKA PLAYZ IT