Martín Dihigo poses for a picture
This Week in Baseball

This Week in Baseball: 04-20-2020

Jonathan Judge & Sean O’Rourke – Baseball Prospectus ($): Defensive metrics are notoriously dicey. There are lots of defensive stats to choose from and for the longest time, I’ve used a hodgepodge approach when it comes to including specific defensive stats in my arguments and articles. I always assumed that I was making bad arguments or choosing to use the metric that best fit the argument I was trying to make. Turns out I was taking the right approach as every defensive metric is flawed and we need to use a collection of stats depending on the player and position in question.

Bijan C. Bayne – The Undefeated: One aspect of the Negro Leagues that will never go away is the general lack of appreciation shown to the leagues and players. There are plenty of folks who have taken the time to learn about the Negro Leagues and they have a genuine understanding of where the Negro Leagues and accompanying players belong in baseball history. However, it’s still commonplace for any argument of a Negro League player’s excellence to be met with “Who?” or “They were probably good but they weren’t a major leaguer and don’t belong among the all-time greats.” Get to know your Negro League history folks, it’s essential.

Ken Rosenthal & Evan Drellich – The Athletic ($): The contents of this article don’t matter, what matters is the framing. The actual gathering of information is fine, but the final paragraph reveals a major issue in baseball journalism. Instead of reporting the information and presenting a detailed account that resonates with the general public, there is a paragraph that is intended only to carry water for ownership. By framing an argument between players and Major League Baseball ownership as a battle between millionaires and billionaires where fans lose the reporter/s are leaving out important context. Labor is important, and though they may be millionaires MLB players are laborers without much power. That’s an important point that big-name reporters are fond of leaving out because they feel a need to protect and carry water for MLB owners.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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