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Wrath of Glee
2004-02-18 20:18
by Will Carroll

I doubt Bill Plaschke will even notice that the blog world's equivalent of a boy band just hit him with a baseball version of "You Got Served." (or whatever it is the kids say. Back in my day, it was just the old-school "burrrrrrrrn!!!!!")

Aaron Gleeman dropped a bomb on the LA Times columnist and regular on the abysmal Around The Horn. (Don't get me started on that topic.) The war seems to continue with the bloggers and the inkers - something I've been a part of and has been discussed here. Aaron's clearly in the right as far as I can see, but we're setting up a barricade mentality.

I was able to ask a quick question of Joel Sherman (NY Post) when we taped today for BPR. After seeing esoteric stats like UZR on the pages of a NY tabloid seemed impossible just a few years ago, but Joel sees it as an evolution. There are a lot of good inkers - guys like Joel, TR Sullivan, and Mike Berardino - who are willing to open their minds, to learn, and not react against the new thinking as if it was a personal affront.

This isn't a war of revolution, I've decided. Bill James and his ego lashed out at being the "only one right" twenty years ago, recounted in Moneyball, but while Aaron reminds us that Rickey and Roth were driving down this road first, not everyone will make the journey. It's a war of attrition. Just look - while there's great "older" writers, many of the usual targets will be in the old writer's home soon.

I'd also like to, as usual when I read Gleeman, take it just a step further. Bringing up Rickey as a GM with an open mind in relation to the recent hiring of Paul DePodesta reminds me of another great Rickey quality. He had guts and vision. I said recently to Alex Ciepley that there might be no Jackie Robinson without Branch Rickey and while I'm no student of history, it still makes sense to me.

I know as much about Frank McCourt as you, perhaps less. I know what I've read and heard, but it seems like with this hiring, he's showing some of the same qualities that Rickey possessed. He's not going to be backed down by the press, by the bleatings of the press, or fear of change. If I were a Dodger fan, I'd be happy that quality is back in the front office.

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