Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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joe dokes

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...and Nick sort of came through. The focus wasn't directly on the Yankees but on free agent pitchers most of whom, of course, MIGHT sign with the Yanks.
There were 10 pitchers. Several had generic "could go to a team" with no particular destination. But if there were possible destinations listed for a pitcher, they ALL included the Yankees on the list.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Welcome to the offseason where every free agent is New York-bound (even if it doesn’t make sense) and the rest of the league better watch out for the Bombers!

And every trade goes through NY too with Brian Cashman fleecing everyone. Genius!
 

joe dokes

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Glob asks Sox coverers to briefly write about memorable moments. Shaughnessy says Cora asking about Jonny Miller's health after a stroke, others about the beauty of dodger stadium. Finn about the post-ortizes.

Nick chose Machado failing to run hard on his wall ball. I think machados attitude is going to replace jp ricciardi's availability as the alt-f3 entry in every Sunday column.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2018/11/02/here-are-memories-that-stood-out-most-covering-these-red-sox/Qy9wQFr0YQ3NaqkPJSnIlI/story.html
 

JohntheBaptist

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I've used up my free articles so I can't see it--the idea was to write about the most memorable WS moments for them and Cafardo picked Manny Machado not running hard? Seriously? Holy shit.
 

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That’s actually a wonderful piece—with the exception of Nick’s failure to find one positive among a banquet’s worth of riches that outweighed his disapproval of Machado. It’s kind of unbelievable how narrow and crabbed his mind is.
 

joe dokes

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I've used up my free articles so I can't see it--the idea was to write about the most memorable WS moments for them and Cafardo picked Manny Machado not running hard? Seriously? Holy shit.
Correct.
And it wasn't "I liked a bunch of stuff and there was also this."
Each reporter contributed a paragraph or two about a single thought.
Nick had one shot and he spent his grocery money on candy.
 

joe dokes

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And Nick delivers:

Dodgers — They may need to replace Ryu in the rotation if he defects. The big story will be whether they’ll try to re-sign Machado, who didn’t endear himself to a lot of Dodgers players and officials with his no-hustle stance
 

BoSox Rule

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A big story to who? They have Turner and Seager is coming back. He was a rental from day one.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Nick's next sentence mentioned Seager coming back.

Mr. Dokes was quite cavalier in his quoting of Nick.

Dodgers — They may need to replace Ryu in the rotation if he defects. The big story will be whether they’ll try to re-sign Machado, who didn’t endear himself to a lot of Dodgers players and officials with his no-hustle stance. Anyway, shortstop Corey Seager is scheduled to return after missing 2018 with elbow and hip surgery. The Dodgers have strong catching in their system so they may not want to bring back free agent Yasmani Grandal, who is a defensive liability.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2018/11/03/baseball-hot-stove-will-begin-cook-this-week/MwpMnt4443pOXibl6Qu9MK/story.html?event=event12

Mr. Dokes: Nick is a shitty enough writer on his own. You don't have to carefully prune his writings to find his faults.
 

joe dokes

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E5 Yaz

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Machado Hustle Watch really should be the next new name for this thread
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I'm just about done with Rob Neyer's new book, "Power Ball" (and if you haven't read it yet, you should; it's really good). One of the things that he writes is that in the last few years, more and more scouts have been employed by MLB teams than ever before. The reason is because MLB front offices are data crazy and that while there is a ton of MLB data, there isn't a lot in the minor, college, high school and independent leagues, so they need to rely on scouts to fill in the blanks about who to sign, who to trade for, etc.

This, of course, is in direct opposition to what Cafardo has been prattling on about for the last five to ten years. He has said that scouts are being fired left and right due to front offices going statistics-only and eschewing the "human element". We all know that the last part is complete bullshit, every forward thinking organization has said over and over and over and over again that they are looking at data from everywhere (which lines up neatly with Neyer writes) but Cafardo is still spinning his wheels on this topic.

Which leads me to ask, is Cafardo blatantly lying or is he purposefully misrepresenting what's going on? I don't think that he'd do the former but I do believe he'd do the latter. I think Cafardo is writing that (older) scouts are losing their jobs and neglecting to mention that newer scouts are being brought aboard to take their place. Why is he doing this? I think that there are two reasons and they're each very simple. One, the newer scouts don't give a shit who Nick Cafardo is and won't speak to him, so he is actively losing sources. That fucks him over pretty hard for a guy who is kind of lazy, doesn't seem to use a lot of different sources but still needs to fill an entire broadsheet every Sunday. Two, and I happen to think that this isn't quite so much of a conscious decision on his part, but I think that he sees the old guard losing their jobs to the younger scouts who will do the work better and cheaper and probably sees a bit of his career too. So he's raging against that too.

But instead of saying that more experienced scouts can still do the job and are being replaced by young folks, it's just not as relatable or even tangible (I suppose) than simply writing, "people are losing their jobs to nerds and numbers".

Does this make him a bad guy? No. I don't think that this is an issue to hang the Wilbur for. But it does make him a very unreliable narrator. So if he's leaving out information about this, what else is he not telling us?
 

joe dokes

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Does this make him a bad guy? No. I don't think that this is an issue to hang the Wilbur for. But it does make him a very unreliable narrator. So if he's leaving out information about this, what else is he not telling us?
He is leaving out everything that can be learned by speaking with people *other than* major league scouts attending major league games. or recently fired executives.


Which leads me to ask, is Cafardo blatantly lying or is he purposefully misrepresenting what's going on? I don't think that he'd do the former but I do believe he'd do the latter. I think Cafardo is writing that (older) scouts are losing their jobs and neglecting to mention that newer scouts are being brought aboard to take their place. Why is he doing this? I think that there are two reasons and they're each very simple. One, the newer scouts don't give a shit who Nick Cafardo is and won't speak to him, so he is actively losing sources. That fucks him over pretty hard for a guy who is kind of lazy, doesn't seem to use a lot of different sources but still needs to fill an entire broadsheet every Sunday.
I wonder if he even knows. He'd have to ask, which is unlikely. Instead he asks, "will your team be run by analytics." And he gets the anodyne answer "numbers are important but so is the human element."
He never quite asks the question "Do you think your team is losing anything by firing so many scouts?" Its possible he doesn't ask because he knows the premise is, as you say Neyer points out, flawed. But that's also a confrontational-ish question that Nick just never asks.

You should email Nick with a slightly sanitized version of the 1st 2 paragraphs of your post.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I wonder if he even knows. He'd have to ask, which is unlikely. Instead he asks, "will your team be run by analytics." And he gets the anodyne answer "numbers are important but so is the human element."
He never quite asks the question "Do you think your team is losing anything by firing so many scouts?" Its possible he doesn't ask because he knows the premise is, as you say Neyer points out, flawed. But that's also a confrontational-ish question that Nick just never asks.

You should email Nick with a slightly sanitized version of the 1st 2 paragraphs of your post.
I think that you guys are probably right -- and honestly, I wasn't suggesting the Cafardo was outright lying. And it sort of fits into his MO of having a good kernel of an idea, but never fully fleshing it out. I think that's what's so incredibly frustrating about him. If you read his column, there are some good things there. Some starts of some interesting thoughts, but he never goes through with them.

Like it would be pretty eye-opening to read about scouts who lost their jobs, why they lost their jobs, how baseball is passing them by and what other, older scouts are doing so they don't end up like their fired brethren. But Nick has had the same explanation for a decade, "Baseball is run by nerds." and that's that. There is no curiosity, no real want to get better or understand more. It's as simple as that: nerds ruin baseball.

And I would email Nick, but I'd know that I'd post it here and I don't think that would be fair for me to do. Though I have a feeling that he wouldn't email me back (God doesn't answer letters) or if he did, it would be very pissy and snarky. If you want to do so, be my guest.
 

Dotrat

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Not to defend Nick, but what is the editor’s responsibility here? Wouldn’t a good editor tell Nick that these are exactly the kind of angles he should be covering in his stories?
 

geoflin

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joe dokes

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Not sure what the problem with this article is. Boras held a press conference which was reported on by many papers and sites nationally. Evidently Nick was at that press conference and reported what Boras said, just like many others.
I don't like stenography.

Lsu averaged more fans than only the Marlins. Not "some teams." Nobody disputes that the Marlins are a poorly run outfit.

I think it's 50-50 that Nick doesn't know what "finalist" means in the MVP context.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Not to defend Nick, but what is the editor’s responsibility here? Wouldn’t a good editor tell Nick that these are exactly the kind of angles he should be covering in his stories?
Editor? Nick hasn't been edited in 30 years. The Globe seemingly lets the old guys do whatever they want. I doubt Joe Sullivan ever thought there was a problem with Nick's reporting.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Editor? Nick hasn't been edited in 30 years. The Globe seemingly lets the old guys do whatever they want. I doubt Joe Sullivan ever thought there was a problem with Nick's reporting.
I was going to say the same thing. I think that the Globe editor is there to make sure things are grammatically correct and to make sure that there is nothing libelous in the paper.

Plus, Cafardo has been on the baseball beat for 30+ years; his editor isn't going to be over his shoulder telling him what to do. For better or for worse, Cafardo has been doing the job (at a very mediocre to poor level) for quite some time. Having an editor tell him to change up his style now is not going to fly. Also, Cafardo doesn't make waves and fills up the page, I'm sure the editor is very happy with that. And I think that although we read the Sunday Notes every weekend, it doesn't have the same cache that it used to have when Gammons or Whiteside or Edes wrote it. If it did Speier or Abraham would be writing it.

BTW: this is all speculation on my part, I have no idea how a big city newspaper sports room works. For all I know, the sports editor spends hours and hours rewriting Cafardo's tripe, has a weekly break down at his desk, drinks a handle of Southern Comfort and runs what he thinks is the best version.
 
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joe dokes

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All of this makes The Ballad Of Nick Cafardo that much sadder.
I suppose the sad part is that people don't really "hate" Cafardo in the same way as some of the "personalities" in the Boston media landscape. He doesn't play a role. Maybe that makes it easier to be a little more dispassionate, analytical and perplexed when it comes to eviscerating his work. There's no "well, he's just an asshole (or playing one on TV)" to fall back on. It's just a lethargic and ineffectual mix of Eeeyore's enthusiasm and Globe Santa's intellectual heft tackling baseball's toughest issues the way Deion Sanders tackled football's toughest runners.
 

shaggydog2000

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I suppose the sad part is that people don't really "hate" Cafardo in the same way as some of the "personalities" in the Boston media landscape. He doesn't play a role. Maybe that makes it easier to be a little more dispassionate, analytical and perplexed when it comes to eviscerating his work. There's no "well, he's just an asshole (or playing one on TV)" to fall back on. It's just a lethargic and ineffectual mix of Eeeyore's enthusiasm and Globe Santa's intellectual heft tackling baseball's toughest issues the way Deion Sanders tackled football's toughest runners.
Of all the sports personalities in Boston, he is one.
 

joe dokes

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Globe Santa delivers early:

We got scouts.
We got a jp ricciardi update.
We got a Bobby valentine atta boy.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It was a Wilbur hat-trick that was tied off with a beautiful shot at the Giants for hiring Farhan Zaidi. It was the equivalent of, "I thought you were all about the scouts, man. But you sold out Giants and hired Zaidi. You're not so cool anymore! Remember when you won those World Series? Now look at you! You're pathetic! I hope that you know that you're not going to get any more love in the Boston Globe Baseball Notes section!" Followed by Cafardo attempting to rip up his Giants #1 pennant in two.
 

joe dokes

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Bill Chuck should be offering limits. "Barnes has blown 5 of 6 save opportunities last 2 years.....which may be why Sox don't see him as closer."

I don't think nickchuck checks whether barness blown saves were really blown saves, or just lost leads, which should be compared to how many "holds" he has. It's all stupid. Barnes is really good. Nick is not
 

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Bill Chuck should be offering limits. "Barnes has blown 5 of 6 save opportunities last 2 years.....which may be why Sox don't see him as closer."

I don't think nickchuck checks whether barness blown saves were really blown saves, or just lost leads, which should be compared to how many "holds" he has. It's all stupid. Barnes is really good. Nick is not
Ya, no shit. "In 51 appearances over the past two seasons with a close lead, Barnes only gave up that lead 5 times, a 90.2% success rate" sure has a different sound to it. It's not just incomplete information, it indicates the exact opposite of what actually happened.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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His ode to Steinbrenner for the HoF is maddening when compared to his thoughts on PED busted players and Cooperstown.

“Steinbrenner wanted to win so bad, you guys. That’s why he was a fucking asshole his whole life.”
 

PedroKsBambino

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Bill Chuck should be offering limits. "Barnes has blown 5 of 6 save opportunities last 2 years.....which may be why Sox don't see him as closer."

I don't think nickchuck checks whether barness blown saves were really blown saves, or just lost leads, which should be compared to how many "holds" he has. It's all stupid. Barnes is really good. Nick is not
I have no idea whether Sox are considering Barnes as closer but I am 1000000% positive that how many 'blown saves' he recorded as a middle reliever the last two years is nowhere on their list of considerations in making that decision.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned his weekly advocation of hiring more scouts in place of analytics:

2. It’s good to hear that there are a handful of managers who have asked their front offices to reinstate a physical advance scouting position. So many teams, including the Red Sox, have gone to video advance scouting, and it obviously worked for the Sox. But the managers feel they’re missing out on intangibles that don’t show up on video. The advance scout normally covers the team next on the schedule and gathers all sorts of information, not only the X’s and O’s but the lowdown on each player from discussions with coaches, media, etc. That information could be anything, including a hidden injury that could affect performance and how a player is pitched. Sometimes reinventing the wheel is good, but sometimes it’s not. We’ll see if organizations listen to their managers.
I'm wondering who these "handful of managers" are, and these mean organizations that refuse to listen to them.
 

NickEsasky

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned his weekly advocation of hiring more scouts in place of analytics:



I'm wondering who these "handful of managers" are, and these mean organizations that refuse to listen to them.
What are these mysterious intangibles that a scout can see with his eyes that a camera can't pick up? Dirt-doggedness? Grit? Calm eyes? The human soul?
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned his weekly advocation of hiring more scouts in place of analytics:
The advance scout normally covers the team next on the schedule and gathers all sorts of information, not only the X’s and O’s but the lowdown on each player from discussions with coaches, media, etc.
I'm wondering who these "handful of managers" are, and these mean organizations that refuse to listen to them.
I'm wondering who these "coaches" are who talk with other teams' advance scouts. I probably do know one "media" member who is probably upset about missing more and more lunches at the (literal) expense of other teams.
 

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Nick thinks it's necessary and helpful to have an in-person advance scout to discover how a player is pitched because nobody could ever figure that out by watching video of games. The fact that it worked for the Red Sox this year must be just a lucky break.
And I'm sure coaches from other teams would be happy to talk to advance scouts about hidden injuries that media isn't aware of. Because if media is aware of them they aren't hidden.
 

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