In the wake of 5 players being named to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame 2015 — none of ’em Mike Piazza — serial Metal Mike basher, former NY Times columnist Murray Chass is not above gloating that his former editor alludes to Piazza’s rumored PED use (“the editor who said I couldn’t write about Piazza and steroids”), though he’s also found a new pal in the brutal war against Sabermetrics.
I saw a film clip in which Brian Kenny of MLB.com was arguing with Chris Russo, a talk show host, about which players belong in the Hall of Fame.
Getting nowhere and becoming exasperated with Russo, Kenny, a major proponent of monster metrics, said, “Well, what basic methodology do you use to rate players?”
“I watch the games,” Russo said.
I have always avoided listening to Russo, who screams too much and too loud for my liking, but in this instance, he won my allegiance. In four words, he made the case for those of us who prefer to judge players on what we see on the field, not on the computer screen.
This is pretty tough talk considering Chass’ words are published on computer screens. I mean, how do we know Murray wrote this stuff if we didn’t see it happen? But even if you buy into the notion that Chris Russo witnessing real-live-baseball is a better barometer than statistics (which, by the way, are compiled from real-live-baseball-games), how about the Dog claiming he watches games?
In what possible universe is Chris Russo a more credible person than Mike Piazza? If Chass actually listened to the former’s Sirius/XM Radio program, he’d know that Russo is far more adept at providing pee-wee hoops highlights from his own kids’ budding careers than breaking down your average midweek MLB contest (some of which are taking place while he’s stealing money on the radio).
I’m sure Murray’s aware that Chris Russo was born in 1959. Presumably, his earliest memories of big league baseball aren’t until 1964 (I am taking a wild guess that we’re not talking about a tremendous child prodigy). There’s a ton of baseball history that occurred previously and hopefully Chass doesn’t mind that Russo (and most of the persons reading this) have accumulated knowledge and attempted some form of comparative analysis without the benefit being alive when those games were played.