Asserting without proving not the sole domain of ink-stained wretches

By Jason Wojciechowski on April 23, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Yesterday, I wrote that smart baseball writers too frequently do not give context for their facts, using the example of a claim about the A's minor league strategy. (But the point applies to talking about anything: ground ball percentage, HR/FB, batting average, team runs scored, name it.)

To emphasize how minor a quibble this was, though, I share with you today a statement by Joe Janish at the SweetSpot blog on February 17th, back in that interim period between Rob Neyer and David Schoenfield:

Generally speaking, it is poor mechanics, rather than the workload, that ultimately injures a pitcher.

The proof for this assertion? ... Well, I looked, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see any. In fact, scanning the comments, I found this genius bit from someone named travo:

I'm so glad Rob Neyer is gone so we can get back to proving things with anecdotal evidence and hearsay. What a relief.

Awesome statement from Mr. Janish in the comments as well:

There is data, somewhere, it just needs someone to mine it.

None of this would even cause a second glance if we saw T.J. Simers spouting it in the L.A. Times. But this is SweetSpot, Rob Neyer's former home, and the author is a blogger recruited by Neyer to form a network of smart team-specific blogs.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying: we've got a long way to go.