Clemens thriving with the splitter

Originally Published: August 11, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
In the service of a small side project, I've been reading -- for the first time, believe it or not -- every issue of The Bill James Baseball Abstract Newsletter, a mostly forgotten effort that was published 20 years ago. One of the nice things about the newsletter is that Bill apparently was even less worried than usual about offending anybody. For example, there's this passage:

Reading The Sporting News … did you ever realize how often you see the words "Scouts say" … I've always wondered about this … do they say all these things together? I've got this mental picture of 26 guys in plaid pants and white shoes reciting in unison something like "WWatch OOut FFor TThis VVince CColeman KKid" or "JJose DDeleon hhas the bbest sstuff oof aany ttwo-aand-eeleven ppitcher iin the lleague." This is one thing I really miss in being a sabermetrician, not being able to claim that all the scouts agree with me. Of course, nine times in ten no scout ever actually said anything of the sort; it's just the writer trying to lend some weight to his own opinions by attributing them to somebody who knows something, a logical if absurdist extension of the concept of the writer as a mere conduit for knowledge that wells up from the bowels of the game …


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