Give credit to Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner, they've changed baseball.
Their Pitcher Abuse Point (PAP) system is near-gospel, but not in the way they expected. Maybe it was the math or the big words that scared off some baseball men. While the smart people were finding the truth in the research or helping close some of the holes in the system (you have to note the fixes in PAP3 and I don't think I'm speaking out of school to say that Rany may have another big adjustment to the system soon), it seems that others found the arbitrary round number and grabbed hold.
I've argued for going on three years that pitch counts tell us nothing without context. PAP was the first real attempt - at least publicly - to provide that context. V-Loss (my still-in-the-works system of using velocity as proxy for fatigue) and some other research is making strides, but PAP remains the 'gold standard.'
All that said, I find myself agreeing with this Hal Bodley piece. My feelings on Bodley are pretty well known, but this one seems reasonably well done. Mazzone, Roberts, and others do a good, logical job of showing that there needs to be context, observation, and some gut feel. We saw this with the Jason Schmidt "144" start.
I worry slightly because Bodley went to "the usual suspects." Mazzone and McKeon are both Sain disciples, while Roberts plays the part of grizzled veteran wondering why these young whippersnappers don't do things like we did. Bodley didn't ask Tom House or Rick Peterson what their thoughts were, but it's also a tough criticism.
At some point, people become entrenched and some reporters do the same. Bodley's certainly in one crowd, but I'm just as guilty. Why? Access, pure and simple. I can't pick up the phone and call Leo Mazzone or Dave Duncan because we disagree on pitching philosophy. They have no vested interest in speaking to me. It's something I realize is a hole in my game and one I'll look to correct.
I can only hope the other side is willing to be open-minded as well. Beer and tacoes, baby. Let's eat in the middle.
*N.B.: PAP and PAP3 are two seperate systems, one being an improvement on the first. I use the terms somewhat interchangeably here, so try to keep up.