Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Setting The Standard

Well, I stumbled upon yet another example of a paid writer spitting out complete nonsense. In this case the error is mostly harmless, but I feel (as someone who doesn't get paid to write, but who spends a lot of time checking my facts) that a paid writer must be held to a higher standard.

Sports Illustrated has been running a feature all season called "Scouting Report", in which they profile a particular player and do exactly what the title implies. Today I happened upon their newest scouting report, on Chase Utley, and was quite interested to see what they had to say, but I didn't make it very far before stumbling onto a dubious mistake; basically as a preface to the player's ratings they show a scale of how they categorize the players and then give an example of another player in the league that corresponds with that category. It's easier to see it for yourself, so here is the "Catagorization scale" from the Chase Utley Scouting Report (verbatim):


Elite: top player at his position (Joe Morgan)
Premium: top five at his position (Robbie Alomar)
Good: top 10 at his position; occasional All-Star
Ian Kinsler)
Average: everyday position player
Key role: part-time or platoon player (
Akinori Iwamura)

Do you see the obvious mistake in this scale?
When the hell was the last time you saw Akinori Iwamura in a situation where he was a "part-time or platoon player"? Of all the players in the league that actually do play part-time this chucklehead lists Aki as his example of a part-time player? And this guy gets paid? This is the kind of ridiculous stuff that stops people from taking internet writers seriously. There is no way this guy has watched a single play of Rays baseball over the last two years if he is delusional enough to write that Aki is a platoon player. Aki should be the freaking starting second baseman in the All-Star Game based on his stats, and someone within the Sports Illustrated organization releases an article to the whole world that lists him as a part-time player.
By the way, they listed Chase Utley in the "top 5 at his position" category... I say that that's fairly generous considering that outside of hitting he's just slightly above average at everything else, but what do I know- I don't get nice shiny checks from SI.
check the article out for yourself here.

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