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MLB Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on something?

jakelarsen

New Member
Brian Kenny was hired by the MLB Network to give a more enlightened analysis of baseball...Clubhouse Confidential & MLBNow have now appeared thanks to him.

Since the start of the network, they dabbled in some sabermetric-esque stats but never went past putting the big toe into the pool.

Kenny makes a habit of just embarrassing "The Old Guard"/"Traditionalist Baseball fans"(Scouting over stats, Regular countable stats(Pitcher Wins, Batting Average, RBIs, Saves, Walks, Strikeouts). He's gone onto completely annihilating Harold Reynolds/Mitch Williams on a daily basis and took Ken "Hawk" Harrelson to the woodshed w/o Hawk even knowing it.

Now that he's established himself as one of the leaders of the Sabermetrician Army, he's started trends like #KilltheWin #StopTheBunt amongst others. This, however hasn't gone over well entirely with his fellow sabermetricians. They applaud him for continuing to beat the drum and push his ideas, while he still freely admits that sabermetrics are supplemental stats to general countable stats. They just think he goes into overkill in hatred towards the stats/strategies that he's greatly against.

Last night, I had the opportunity to witness & participate in an insanely-long debate that BK had with HOF-scribe Tracy Ringolsby on whether or not it takes a certain "mental aspect" for a set-up man(7th or 8th innings, doesn't matter) to step up into the closer's role. Ringolsby held to the belief that a closer cannot go from "Average Joe" reliever-type to "Ice-water in the veins" Closer and basically went onto add that a front office can't just pick a reliever off a spreadsheet and turn him into a relief ace.

Right there, that is highly debatable opinions that can be easily argued to be myths. BK went to list 10 relievers in the last 2 yrs that were set-up guys or niche relievers that have turned into successful closers.

At this point, I joined into the discussion...

On MLB Network's MLB Wild Card Playoff preview show, Harold/Eric Byrnes/Kenny went to list how the TB Rays seem to find a habit of acquiring relievers on a "buy-low" premise and then turning them into RP "aces". Joaquin Benoit, Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Rodney, Juan Cruz, Al Reyes, Rafael Soriano, JP Howell and Jamey Wright are easily all examples.

Fernando Rodney was the perfect example: having a Pre-Rays ERA over 4, WHIP hovering around 1.50 and K/BB of basically 1. Since coming to the Rays, he's posted consecutive 30+ Save seasons with an ERA of 1.43(would be lower, had his ERA this yr being in the 3s), a WHIP of around 1.20 and his K/BB of around 4:1.

Later, later, later on in the discussion, it was shown that there's been 7-9 organizations that have been able to use "plug & close" relievers and there's been SPs & positional players who have been converted into HOF-level closers(Eck was a SP-to-RP convert, Career Saves Leader Mariano Rivera was signed as an IF prospect that was converted to SP and then converted to RP).

Brian Kenny had left the discussion 2/3rds into it, likely to sleep, and left avg.-to-widely known sabermetric analysts to finish off the conversation for him...Having my tweets favorited/RT'd by both sides of the debate floored me as a baseball fan.

In the end, it raises the question...Is BK's purpose in drumming his opinions/stats/metrics to open people's minds up to think for themselves & enable baseball fans the ability to respectfully debate their stance with anybody/everybody or is BK using fans to do his "dirty work" just so he can avenge grudges he's had without getting his hands bloody?
 

Sherlander

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

I very happy when people can be introduced to sabermetrics and get away from the old boys club. It's better for the game and it's progression in the future to get away from old school nonsense. Kenny really bothers me though because he's a pompous ass and takes it too far sometimes.
 

jakelarsen

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

Sherlander said:
I very happy when people can be introduced to sabermetrics and get away from the old boys club. It's better for the game and it's progression in the future to get away from old school nonsense. Kenny really bothers me though because he's a pompous ass and takes it too far sometimes.
It's called being assertive, it's only confrontational when people are unwilling to admit they're wrong and continue on a path of wrongness.
 

Sherlander

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

jakelarsen said:
Sherlander said:
I very happy when people can be introduced to sabermetrics and get away from the old boys club. It's better for the game and it's progression in the future to get away from old school nonsense. Kenny really bothers me though because he's a pompous ass and takes it too far sometimes.
It's called being assertive, it's only confrontational when people are unwilling to admit they're wrong and continue on a path of wrongness.
Actually he starts shit all the time for no reason.
 

jakelarsen

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

Sherlander said:
jakelarsen said:
Sherlander said:
I very happy when people can be introduced to sabermetrics and get away from the old boys club. It's better for the game and it's progression in the future to get away from old school nonsense. Kenny really bothers me though because he's a pompous ass and takes it too far sometimes.
It's called being assertive, it's only confrontational when people are unwilling to admit they're wrong and continue on a path of wrongness.
Actually he starts shit all the time for no reason.
Do you follow or read the entire conversation when he gets into a debate on twitter? Hard to say that everything is caused/started by him alone.
 

Sherlander

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

Do you follow or read the entire conversation when he gets into a debate on twitter? Hard to say that everything is caused/started by him alone.[/quote]

Yeah he will make statements on the air and on twitter all the time just to cause an argument. Even the hardcore sabermetric community doesn't like how aggressive he is. It's not good for the progression we want to see in the game how the public views analytics.
 

jakelarsen

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

As long as there's Old School types around in high-profile positions, there's never going to be bold progression that lovers of sabermetrics are looking for. However, as long as there remains to be minds from FanGraphs & Baseball Prospectus around to keep putting in work by adding more & more substantial info to back up claims/stats/etc...Sabermetrics is far from life-support also. There's always going to be a war between traditionalists & sabermetricians as long as traditionalists still have an upper-hand(which they do), but the fact that the gap is diminishing is what pushes Kenny and others to "fight the good fight" despite being slightly aggressive.
 

jakelarsen

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

Sherlander said:
Yeah he will make statements on the air and on twitter all the time just to cause an argument. Even the hardcore sabermetric community doesn't like how aggressive he is. It's not good for the progression we want to see in the game how the public views analytics.
Think of it this way, the top successful "sabermetric" organizations in baseball are in the 22nd century in terms of the stats/metrics that are being used to quantify players...the stats that we know of now as the top sabermetric stats put us in the 18th century. As more stats are leaked, we build a greater understanding of what teams are looking at/for. However, when they're leaked....is it due to a new substantial stat has replaced it? Honestly, it's very hard to tell.
 

Sherlander

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

jakelarsen said:
As long as there's Old School types around in high-profile positions, there's never going to be bold progression that lovers of sabermetrics are looking for. However, as long as there remains to be minds from FanGraphs & Baseball Prospectus around to keep putting in work by adding more & more substantial info to back up claims/stats/etc...Sabermetrics is far from life-support also. There's always going to be a war between traditionalists & sabermetricians as long as traditionalists still have an upper-hand(which they do), but the fact that the gap is diminishing is what pushes Kenny and others to "fight the good fight" despite being slightly aggressive.
Actually it's the "fight" that guys like Kenny that it is hurting progression with sabermetrics. Fangraphs/BP/BBRef etc. are all fantastic tools that put out superb work. Even old school people are starting to lurk over to fangraphs. However these amazing progressive website and the people that work for them don't like Kenny because of the way he sends out the message.
 

Sherlander

New Member
Re: Brian Kenny may be onto something...or may be on somethi

From Jonah Keri:

Dusty Baker: Not a good tactician. Doesn't mean bad manager necessarily. So much we can't quantify, including keeping team going through 162

One of the most brilliant sabermetric baseball minds out there. He still has an open mind.
 
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