Baseball Jeremiad


A Curiously Intelligent Baseball blog

Talkin’ Baseball

DC Matt and I have pledged to each other not to get political on this blog.  It just makes for a mess.  I’ll just say this, I look forward to reading David Brooks and Tom Friedman in the New York Times each week.

Loyal reader Chris J recently sent me a link to an interview the Daily News of Philadelphia did with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.  Love Alito or hate him, the interview makes for fascinating reading.  (Read part one hereRead part two here.)

Interestingly, Alito and I seem to have similar opinions about the scouting/sabermetrics debate:

DN: So you’re more of a sabermetrics guy than a traditionalist?

Alito: Well, I’m very interested in it and I’m attracted to it. I can’t say I really understand it all that well. But it makes a lot of sense to me. I guess it has its limits. But the nature of baseball just lends itself to a statistical analysis.

DN: So if you had a choice of having dinner with Bill James or a top scout, you’d go with Bill James?

Alito: I don’t know. It depends on what the scout would tell me. I think they know things but either they don’t want to tell ordinary people or they have trouble explaining it.

I don’t think you can look at a high school kid, or even a college kid, and tell how that player is going to do in professional baseball. So the scouts have to be able to see something in a very nascent form, which I think is very, very difficult to do. I don’t know what the secret is.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a National League guy.  Thus, I despise the designated hitter.  I think it’s un-American.  And you know what?  A member of the Supreme Court agrees with me — though not as vehemently:

DN: Finally, and this is kind of frivolous, but do you ever imagine what it would be like if the designed-hitter rule ever came before the Supreme Court?

Alito: [Laughing] I haven’t thought about that. I don’t know what I would say because the purist in me doesn’t like to see changes like that. But it’s not that exciting to see pitchers hit.


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