Dear Brian Kenny --
We hear you, man.
Your crusade to bring sabermetric analysis to the masses is a noble cause, and we applaud you for it. But there's a problem: You're a little late to the fight. More and more baseball fans are being educated on the value of thoughtful statistical analysis every year. We have been initiated. We know what wOBA, wRC+, and UZR mean, and we know how to interpret them. Your sledgehammer approach is probably not the best way to connect with an audience that knows their way around Fangraphs.
I realize that this is slightly ironic coming from a Tigers blog, considering the recent MVP debate (again). Sure, you found plenty of people willing to argue in support of Miguel Cabrera on Twitter. Trust me when I say that a sizable contingent of us support the use of sabermetric analysis, and we're excited to see what is in store with Brad Ausmus at the helm. There are also plenty of people who simply can't be reasoned with on Twitter. We're not claiming them as our own.
Those of us who tried to argue Cabrera's case using analytics aren't necessarily against Trout winning the MVP. We just want to see our guy take home the crown. We have been on the wrong end of the stick in the past -- I'm sure you would agree that Alan Trammell deserved the hardware in 1987 -- and, frankly, it sucks more than it should. Sure, we have questioned WAR and defensive metrics to the nth degree, but only because we wanted to see Cabrera win.
If you ever find your way to our small corner of the Internet and read these words, please don't take this as anything more than a polite suggestion. We're not looking for a major overhaul here, just minor tweaks. It is entertaining as all hell to watch you destroy Harold Reynolds in arguments on MLB Network everyday.
All we ask is that you please tone it down a bit. You have wholeheartedly embraced our language, and we love you for it. However, we have been speaking this language for nearly a decade (or longer, in some cases) now. We don't need you to #KilltheWin, because we have already started the process. We don't need you to put fools on blast on Twitter for their antiquated beliefs, because we already do it.
We're not happy about sabermetrics being hijacked to create some sort of ESPN-style yelling. That's what you're doing. Please, for all of us, don't become the saber movement's Skip Bayless. Don't turn this thing into a cartoon of hyperbole. Bring people up, don't smugly talk them down.
We don't need you to be a crusader. Just be a leader. The wheels have been in motion for a while right now, and the mainstream use of analytics is here. Sportswriters and broadcasters across the country are citing advanced stats in their coverage more than ever before. It won't be long before the next Mike Trout wins the MVP that he deserves because of his WAR, wOBA, or UZR, not his home runs or RBI. We're getting there. Just give it time.
We hear you. We appreciate the attempt. But it's just a little bit too loud.
-- Your friends at Bless You Boys