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The worst baseball writing of the year

Dec 26, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

press hat

For your reading, um, enjoyment (?) Rob Neyer picks out what he feels is the worst baseball writing of the year.

I think we highlighted all of those nominees when they occurred, but man, I still can’t believe they actually occurred.  Especially that Nick Canepa one about Yasmani Grandal‘s PED suspension. That was maybe the worst thing I’ve seen in a couple of years, mostly for just how overwrought it is for a relatively pedestrian event.

Kinda bummed I wasn’t nominated, but there’s always next year.

  1. Ben - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I had forgotten the Bryce Harper, conservative hero, piece. That’s priceless.

    • pjmarn6 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I nominate Craig Calcaterra for worse sports writer of the year for sponsoring Clemens and Bonds for the hall of fame and then stating that for the next ten years they will be clogging up the HOF ballot.

  2. icanspeel - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I am glad Nick Canepa’s writing, if you can call it that was nominated because living in SD all my life and reading so many terrible articles by him I always wondered how he keeps his job.

  3. raysfan1 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    We know you can do it, Craig!

  4. jonrox - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    What makes it worse is that Mitch Albom wins writing awards for garbage like that.

  5. sportsland33 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    No worries, Craig. The day you do some actual writing, you will be a shoo-in.

  6. butchhuskey - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I’m still not convinced that “Bryce Harper, Conservative Hero” wasn’t a parody. It reads like something straight out of The Onion and is just as hilarious.

  7. indaburg - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Although all of the norminees are worthy, Mitch Albom gets my vote for the worst. After reading his piece, I half expected to get a wedgie for daring to look up statistics on Fangraphs.

  8. jwbiii - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Regarding Jeff Seidel’s piece and effete San Francisco fans: Comerica Park does have a concession which serves margaritas (Jose Cuervo in the well, Sauza Especial premium). Crab cakes, unfortunately, are only on the catering menu.

  9. 1historian - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Craig – you are, as ever – too modest.

    So let me say it here – YOU’RE #1!

  10. Pierre Cruzatte - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Re: Craig’s writing (which is very good, because he is sensible and occasionally funny!), I wonder what the median words/post count is. Or, the average word count of the longest 50% of his posts.

    I guess the counterpoint is, “sure, but his words per day rivals that of your average BBWAA guy.” Still, I would be very interested to see what Craig could do with a somewhat longer form.

    • pjmarn6 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      With more space, could he say anything stupider than Bonds and Clemens deserve to be in the HOF regardless that they doped themselves up to the gills?

  11. Ponsonby_Britt - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    The infamous “Dog Fister” column could earn an Honorable (?) Mention.

    • wlschneider09 - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      The dog sure thought so.

  12. yahmule - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Crab sandwiches on grilled sourdough bread sound pretty awesome to me.

  13. therightisalright - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Craig you are hands down the worst. The only reason you weren’t nominated is because no one can stand reading your drivel. I can’t wait for your upcoming posts from spring training. Please promise to enthrall us with more equipment bag pictures those are always captivating. Seriously it has to take a lot of effort to be this consistently awful. If you are not recognized as the worst well then there really is no justice in this world – your hard work should be rewarded.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM

      You forgot to sign it “Love, Mom.”

      Seriously, though, you’ve been a reader for a while, obviously, to be aware of his spring training trips each of the last two years, yet here you are bitching about his work. Why? If you think he’s that bad, why not give your page views to some other site?

  14. kappy32 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    I’m sorry, but Mitch Albom’s article doesn’t belong there. Albom was merely stating what many people believe: Sabermetrics aren’t all they are made out to be. As I’ve said a million times here & in other places, WAR is a great statistic to determine the best player at his respective position, however it is a horrible tool to determine the best overall player regardless of position. The average replacement 2B is not going to be as good as the average replacement 3B. There is no question about that. 3B is a power hitting position & requires great fielding whereas 2B is a place where you send a guy who doesn’t have a position. Even if it is based upon the average replacement player regardless of position, the stat is still flawed. You cannot compare an average replacement at 3B & 2B & say they would be the same. That is the main reason why you get many more 2B & CF with higher WAR numbers than 3B or 1B. The fact that there isn’t a universal calculation for WAR makes the stat even more unreliable. You can count HR, RBI & Avg., why can’t you count WAR? You can’t count it because its a subjective statistic that should hold any credence. WAR is an opinion & stats outweigh opinions. I dare you SaberGeeks to refute this with me… Make me a believer.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      The big problems with Albom’s articles are (1) being arrogantly condescending toward a large number of fans and commentators who do use Sabermetrics and (2) lumping in OBP and OPS as somehow esoteric concepts that only a nerd could love.

      As for your own rant about WAR, no, I won’t try to convince you of anything. I have never met anyone, or read any article stating the WAR was the be-all-end-all stat. Even Fangraphs states that one has to use multiple stats to evaluate a player. I also have never heard of anyone seriously suggesting that statistical analysis obviates the need for old fashioned scouting. Use whatever stats you like.

      However, “2nd base is a place where you send a guy who doesn’t have a position?” Really? You would try to hide a guy at an up-the-middle defensive position? You can argue that Fangraphs’ or Baseball-Reference’s WAR formulae overvalue defense, and I expect even some “SaberGeeks” might agree with you. However, if you seriously think 3B “requires great fielding” and that 2B doesn’t in fact require it even more, then you’re nuts.

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