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Bruce Jenkins is the stupidest man on the face of the earth


55 replies to this topic

#1 Lars The Wanderer

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:24 PM

Just an incredibly bad article from Jenkins on baseball.

It won't be long before we get the first wave of nonsense from stat-crazed dunces claiming there's nothing to be learned from a batting average, won-loss record or RBI total. Listen, just go back to bed, OK? Strip down to those fourth-day undies, head downstairs (to "your mother's basement and your mother's computer," as Chipper Jones so aptly describes it) and churn out some more crap. For more than a century, .220 meant something. So did .278, .301, .350, an 18-4 record, or 118 RBIs. Now it all means nothing because a bunch of nonathletes are trying to reinvent the game?


I find it hard to believe that there are still people like this in the world.

Edited by Lars The Wanderer, 17 March 2011 - 01:26 PM.


#2 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:30 PM

I can't believe people still use the "mother's basement" card. Embarrassing.

#3 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:39 PM

I can't believe people still use the "mother's basement" card. Embarrassing.


Seriously. Aren't men allowed to own homes? Why can't we be living in our father's basement. The gender equality pendulum has swung too far the other way!

#4 nattysez

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:41 PM

I found particularly galling that he published this only a couple of days after this blog post by Joe Posnanski. If Jenkins intended to slight Posnanski, he should have had the courtesy to name him. And if he didn't know about the post, I suspect he overheard someone else discussing it, which lead to this rant.

The funny thing is that this was originally published on Saturday. The SFChron doesn't put columnists' work on the Internet right away, so this actually sat largely unnoticed for a few days. But now that it's on the Internet, Jenkins is going to get crushed.

#5 ifmanis5


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

What did you expect from an old guy baseball writer?

I actually feel sorry for him- it must be tough filing stories using a typewriter and rotary phone.

#6 Wings

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:06 PM

Good rebuttal, better comments: http://www.mccoveych...-who-hate-stats

#7 Average Reds


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:10 PM

What did you expect from an old guy baseball writer?

I actually feel sorry for him- it must be tough filing stories using a typewriter and rotary phone.


This made me laugh.

Part of the reason it made me laugh is that you have no idea how effective the bolded part can be as a put down...

#8 johnmd20


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:52 PM

Good rebuttal, better comments: http://www.mccoveych...-who-hate-stats

There are like 45,000 comments on that page, in a half a day. Impressive readership.

#9 AquaNarc

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:48 PM

Won't it be great when all these guys are dead.

Edited by AquaNarc, 17 March 2011 - 05:50 PM.


#10 Carmen Fanzone


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:33 PM

Won't it be great when all these guys are dead.

Why? Because their existence somehow reduces your ability to enjoy the game in the manner you choose - in the same way that your existence seems to reduce Mr. Jenkins's ability to enjoy the game?

This makes you different from him how, exactly?

#11 AquaNarc

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:05 PM

Yeah but I'm right and he's wrong, so, I win.

#12 pedro1918

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:35 PM

It won't be long before we get the first wave of nonsense from stat-crazed dunces claiming there's nothing to be learned from a batting average, won-loss record or RBI total.


This guy must have been asleep for the past 20 years.

#13 mabrowndog


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:19 PM

Won't it be great when all these guys are dead.


This clip is their future. Someone just needs to superimpose the face of Jenkins/Shaughnessy/Heyman over Burgermeister Meisterburger, and Bill James' mug over Santa Claus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Q7k7jqAcs

#14 nattysez

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:30 AM

The Chron published a solid piece today by Jenkins about a surfer killed at Mavericks earlier this week. Jenkins is a competent writer (and loves surfing), just very badly misguided when it comes to baseball innovations.

I'll be curious to see what he has to say for himself in tomorrow's paper. I expect Joe Pos's blog post today came out too late for Jenkins to address it in his column, but I've seen multiple references to people having e-mailed him and having received no response, so he knows he struck a nerve.

I sincerely hope he doesn't go the Murray Chass troll route. If he does, he's going to wind up looking stupid and it's going to make my Saturday morning unpleasant.

#15 smastroyin


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:06 AM

The biggest problem to me though is that age isn't a defense. The basics of what Joe Pos was talking about didn't sprout out of a SABR convention in 1983 or something (even still, that would be 28 years ago), they came from the mind of arguably the single most famous baseball executive ever and he published those thoughts in the 50's. I wonder how Branch Rickey would feel to know that baseball writers in 2011 think of him as nothing more than a stat-crazed dunce.

#16 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

Joe Pos's reply

#17 ifmanis5


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:18 PM

Joe Pos's reply

Terrific reply from title to last line. This shot hit the mark as well:

...consigning the person you disagree with into their mother’s basement is just admitting you’ve run out of arguments.



#18 JimD

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 02:00 PM

Ironic that Chipper Jones apparently has such disdain for those who have developed advance baseball stats - his career rankings for Offensive WAR (28th) and Runs Created (31st) are far more impressive than his traditional statistical ranking for Batting Average (144th).

#19 Tartan

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:25 AM

I know that Joe Pos is always being praised around these parts, but damn it, with articles like that he deserves every word. That he's one of the "stat-guys" is such a blessing; no one on either side of the debate is so eloquent about it, able to shred logical fallacies without coming across as pissy or raging.

Edited by Tartan, 20 March 2011 - 02:26 AM.


#20 nattysez

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:15 PM

He's baaa-ck.


http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/jenkins/


Keppinger is expected to arrive in time for today's series finale against L.A., and I don't know if he's the Giants' type of player, but he's definitely mine - and not Oakland's.

Keppinger's idea of a really good night is to swing the damn bat and be aggressive, not run a 3-1 count as the ballgame spins grimly into the night. He barely walks at all - only four times in 169 plate appearances this year, and just 30 in 502 plate appearances with the 2008 Reds - but for two years running, he has statistically been the toughest player to strike out in the major leagues. This year's K total: seven. And he's a .284 lifetime hitter coming from Houston at .307.

If you've ever wondered why the ever-so-patient A's hitters tend to be as dull as a Daric full of Bartons, perhaps there's a connection. I couldn't agree more with Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson, who said earlier this season, "They take everything close. If it's not called a strike, then they walk." Wilson called that "lawyer ball" and added, "They're not that good of a hitting team."

Wilson isn't the only one who noticed. Former big leaguer Ed Crosby had a personal stake in the matter - his son, Bobby, was signed and developed by the A's - but after Crosby left for Pittsburgh as a free agent two years ago, Ed cracked, "The A's take the bats out of their players' hands from the time they're in the minor leagues. Bobby was always taught to take the first pitch. They take all the aggressiveness out of their players."

The point is that it makes no sense to have an organization-wide hitting philosophy, nor does everyone want to go up there with a discerning eye.

The Mets' Jose Reyes, probably the most dynamic hitter in the National League this season, loves to go up there hacking. So does Matt Kemp, currently in town with the Dodgers (at one point this year, Kemp was 10-for-23 when he swung at the first pitch and 23-for-45 on the second pitch).

The Giants' Aaron Rowand is a terrible two-strike hitter, but give him a shot earlier in the count, and he'll do some damage.

That's the beauty of the Giants, this year and last: Their philosophy is what works for you. Be a freak like Tim Lincecum, a new-age thinker like Zito, a free swinger like Pablo Sandoval. And now comes Keppinger, a man who puts his life in play.



Aaron Rowand is batting .241 and slugging .346. What damage is he doing, exactly?



Because the A's offense stinks, it doesn't make sense to have an organization-wide hitting philosophy. Please ignore that the Red Sox have one and are one of the best offenses in the majors.


Finally, he is praising the offensive philosophy of the Giants, one of the worst offensive teams in all of baseball.


He is fast-reaching Chass-level stupidity.

#21 dirtynine

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:22 PM

If his argument alone is "it's more fun to watch a team of hackers than the A's lineup", I can buy that. It's opinion.

If his argument is that teams are statistically more likely to win by hacking away, then he's a moonbat.

I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, if for no other reason than he appears to be able to string words together pretty well.

Edited by dirtynine, 20 July 2011 - 06:27 PM.


#22 Stevie1der

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

Where have you gone Ken, dak, and Junior, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

#23 nattysez

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:54 AM

From August 4:

-- "Work the count," my shoe. That's a load of nonsense for teams that choose to play aggressively. As the Giants had their best offensive home game of the season, first-pitch swings yielded two bullet singles from Jeff Keppinger, a two-run double from Cody Ross and an RBI single by Beltran. Pablo Sandoval (RBI single), Orlando Cabrera (two-run double) and Beltran (triple) swung at the second pitch.



Jenkins's obsession with using the Giants as evidence that taking pitches is for stats-oriented losers is amazing. The Giants are one of the worst offensive teams in all of baseball, and Jenkins insists that their offensive approach is the right one.

From August 5:

The simple fact is that the Giants need Brandon Belt more than Mark DeRosa right now, for so many reasons: power, speed, a skilled first baseman, and a left-handed bat. But it's early enough to give DeRosa one last shot, and he deserves one. He's just that good of a player (when healthy) and person, as fine a teammate as you could find. Belt can always come back up, and he should be a fixture when the rosters expand in September



So the offensively-starved Giants need Belt up, and he'll be "a fixture" once September rolls around, but it is OK to demote him in favor of DeRosa because DeRosa's a good guy.


Jeff Keppinger is just a good hitter, period. He doesn't give you the good Freddy Sanchez energy around second base, but that's a pure .300-style bat



"good Freddy Sanchez energy around second base" What does this even mean?

Edited by nattysez, 07 August 2011 - 09:59 AM.


#24 nattysez

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:43 AM

One more:

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who's been around too long to wear pitch-count blinders, had a pair of relievers warming up in the ninth, but it was mostly for show. How many pitches had Hamels thrown? Who the hell cared? Hamels had "nine innings" written all over him, and the Giants' one moment of glory - Sandoval's solo homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth - was immediately forgotten by the very next pitch: Orlando Cabrera's groundout to end the game.



Hamels threw 114 pitches. I assume if he had allowed another baserunner, he would've been pulled. But because Jenkins so desperately hates pitch counts that he simply must skew the facts to fit his narrative, the relievers who were warming were "just for show."




http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1UMGqEf00

Edited by nattysez, 07 August 2011 - 02:02 PM.


#25 soxfan121


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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:37 PM

Won't it be great when all these guys are dead.


Eventually. If baseball survives into the late stages of this century, Branch Rickey & Bill James will be given their due and guys like Jenkins deemed their "flat earth" equivalent. Patience, grasshopper.

Edited by soxfan121, 07 August 2011 - 12:38 PM.


#26 Brianish

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:55 PM

Clearly it was just coincidental that the Giants homered in that inning. Because as everyone knows, pitch counts are rubbish.

#27 nattysez

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 09:06 PM

In today's column he stated his outrage at the fact that the A's pulled Moscoso after 8 2/3 innings this week "only because" he'd thrown 129 pitches.

#28 smastroyin


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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:39 AM

Bruce Jenkins has a BFF

http://www.huffingto....html?ir=Sports

To my mind, if you want to know if a hitter is any good there are only three stats that really matter: batting average, home runs and runs batted in. For a pitcher, it's wins and losses, earned run average and strike outs. That's the way it's been since the days of Abner Doubleday.

But my son only talks about statistics you need a PhD in physics to understand. We will be watching a game and I will say something like "John Jones is a great hitter; he has a batting average of .290."




#29 Curll

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:55 AM

This guy must be trolling. Its like someone arguing, "Anyone with a million dollars must be a genius". I'm fairly certain I learned about these things in 11th grade math.

My reaction is always W.H.A.T.? And he uses phrases like "regression analysis" and "Pythagorean formulas." It's like conversing with Mr. Spock


Edited by Curll, 19 September 2011 - 10:59 AM.


#30 BroodsSexton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:56 AM

Bruce Jenkins has a BFF

In fairness, he's a Blue Jays fan. So a certain level of stupid is expected.

#31 smastroyin


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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:15 AM

I have to assume it is satire since it is so far over the top (especially the line about his kid wanting to be named after someone besides Nolan Ryan) but I don't know who he is making fun of.

#32 MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:44 AM

Nah, I'm pretty sure that's real. The guy runs this place, and doesn't seem to have a funny bone. I think it's just a bad attempt at being somewhat funny while being serious about not liking new-fangled things.

I mean, what's funnier than making fun of smart people and those who are inquisitive and curious? Not much, in my book.

#33 BroodsSexton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:50 AM

Nah, I'm pretty sure that's real. The guy runs this place, and doesn't seem to have a funny bone. I think it's just a bad attempt at being somewhat funny while being serious about not liking new-fangled things.

I mean, what's funnier than making fun of smart people and those who are inquisitive and curious your kids? Not much, in my book.

What a douche.

#34 Mo's OBP

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:15 PM

I think we can only win over these people by going to their simple level--show the number of outs each player makes on the screen instead of crazy decimals.

#35 PBDWake

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:25 PM

I think we can only win over these people by going to their simple level--show the number of outs each player makes on the screen instead of crazy decimals.


That's silly. Not the idea, but the assumption that many of these people can actually be convinced. He states that W/L and ERA are his pitcher indicators. But look at a player they like, and point out a bad ERA, and get a pitching to the score argument. Point out a bad W/L record, and you'll get a "he won when it counted". The only numbers they care for are ones that back up their biases.

#36 Curll

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:43 PM

Nah, I'm pretty sure that's real. The guy runs this place, and doesn't seem to have a funny bone. I think it's just a bad attempt at being somewhat funny while being serious about not liking new-fangled things.

I mean, what's funnier than making fun of smart people and those who are inquisitive and curious? Not much, in my book.


Its only funnier when it is your own son.

#37 Turrable

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:08 PM

Whitlock now has an opinion on this

There's a stat for nearly every action in baseball. Little is left to the imagination. Sports were never intended to be a computer program, stripped to cold, hard, indisputable, statistical facts. Sports — particularly for fans — are not science. Sports, like art, are supposed to be interpreted.

It's difficult to interpret baseball these days. The stat geeks won't let you argue. They quote sabermetrics and end all discussion. Is so-and-so a Hall of Famer? The sabermeticians will punch in the numbers and give you, in their mind, a definitive answer.

It's boring. It's ruining sports.



#38 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:19 PM

The demonization of the sabremetrics movement is fascinating.

And it is fucking RICH that someone is bitching about statistics in baseball, the sport notorious for measuring EVERYTHING. Whitlock seemingly objects to the measures used, not the degree of measurement.

#39 PBDWake

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:36 PM

You know what's funny? The Rays are the media darlings, and have been for years, much like the A's before them in the early part of the decade, because the narrative of the little David beating the mighty Goliath is such a compelling story. It's something baseball writers love to write about, love to gloat about when it happens, and want happening every year. Except that those front offices are saber offices. And somehow they can't reconcile that their demon, SABR stats which will suck out all the romance of out of the sport, is what's contributing to some of the best storylines in baseball. They'd rather it be because Evan Longoria is "scrappy" and "refuses to make a big out in a big game" than give any credit to numbers.



#40 NatetheGreat

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:40 PM

that Whitlock piece was on of the most blatantly "trolling for pagehits" things I've ever seen.

#41 TheGoldenGreek33

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:15 PM

that Whitlock piece was on of the most blatantly "trolling for pagehits" things I've ever seen.

That's his MO.

Whitlock is no journalist.

#42 Tartan

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:20 PM

It looks like he saw that there was something controversial to write about that he had missed the bandwagon on by a few years.

Weak shit from him though. Stat geeks are "ruining sports?" Does he genuinely, seriously believe this? Because I'm willing to bet that he doesn't.

On the other hand, didn't this guy work at the KC Star at the same time as Joe Posnanski? Because I'd imagine simply breathing the same air as Posnanski refutes so many of these rehashed, bullshit strawmen that guys like Whitlock and Jenkins cling to (that statheads don't actually care about the games; that stats end debates and remove subjectivity; that stats kill narratives in sports, etc.).

Edited by Tartan, 22 September 2011 - 05:27 PM.


#43 nattysez

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:17 AM

"Pitch-count clowns"


http://www.sfgate.co.../SP9F1NO5S1.DTL

Edited by nattysez, 28 March 2012 - 09:19 AM.


#44 Toe Nash

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

"Pitch-count clowns"


http://www.sfgate.co.../SP9F1NO5S1.DTL

I liked his note that the Orioles "signed their best player, Adam Jones, but only for a year."
1. Wieters is probably better, depending on what you think of Jones' D, but OK.
2. Does he realize that every team does this with every player who doesn't have 6 years service time yet?

#45 Cousin Walter

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

I just did a quick search. Dude's been playing this angle for years.

"Interesting team. They've got one guy leading the league in WHIP and another in VORP."

For heaven's sake, speak English. This is the new cool trend in baseball, quoting esoteric statistics as if they've been part of the game's fabric for 50 years. Go ahead, disappear into a basement somewhere and play around with numbers. Be sure to remember HEEP, SKANK and VLZSKS, while you're at it. We'll be out in the sun, discussing a little thing we like to call "runs batted in."


Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1rYUHIe6s




#46 drleather2001


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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:06 AM

"Stats suck! 90% of old baseball writers don't like them, and 75% of my colleagues prefer the old ones!"

#47 nattysez

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

Quoted at length so you needn't send him clicks. At this point, he doesn't even know what he's arguing against. No one thinks Matt Cain needs to be pulled after 106 pitches, and no one says that every pitcher should have a specific pitch count limit in every game. He's completely around the bend on this issue.


Matt Cain's one-hitter felt like a masterpiece from some other time, when pitchers finished what they started and managers watched the game, not a sheet full of numbers. Baseball will eventually detect the idiocy in its pitch-count madness, and the Giants' brain trust - Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti - will have helped pioneer the transition.

At the moment, they don't have a whole lot of company. There remains a bafflingly ill-conceived stigma about 100 pitches, as if the 110th would signal a career-ending injury and the 120th would mean certain death. Ask any durable starter, from Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan to Cain and Justin Verlander; when a game is fully in their command, there shouldn't even be a "pitch count." They'll deliver their own message of vulnerability if they suddenly give up two walks and a screaming triple.

And since you're asking, check with the modern-day pitchers who were so meticulously pampered, from Joba Chamberlain to Stephen Strasburg to all those other guys who joined the ever-increasing list of disabled arms. All that caution accomplished nothing.

Tom Verducci, the esteemed baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, made a great point the other day: "How is it possible that in 10 years, all 30 teams agree on the same one-size-fits-all philosophy when it comes to pitching, while pitchers do not remain healthier and leads are not better protected under this bowing down to the pitch count?" he wrote on SI.com. "What does it say about advances in nutrition, biomechanics, medicine and other sciences that pitchers have become less productive? I am questioning the illogic of how every pitcher could be treated the same way by every organization."

Ever so gradually, the Giants are separating themselves from the pack. They've been lenient with starters' pitch counts in the past (particularly in some of Tim Lincecum's better games), they let Madison Bumgarner throw 117 pitches during his Thursday gem in Colorado, and I'd like to think they didn't notice that Cain threw 106 on Friday. The number shouldn't even have been mentioned, by anybody. A good pair of eyes sees the truth.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1s1asXzW1

#48 ForKeeps

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

That quote is rich coming from the man behind "The Verudcci Effect".

#49 jodyreeddudley78

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:31 PM

I like it when he shows up drunk on Weekend Update to talk to Seth Myers.

#50 Hendu for Kutch

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:24 AM

They've been lenient with starters' pitch counts in the past (particularly in some of Tim Lincecum's better games)


And in a shocking turn of events, Lincecum has become a lesser pitcher as he's entering his "prime".



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