It’s very rare that in these corners I’ll take time to write about something other than the Giants. Perhaps it’s just frustration, or the fact that there’s little going on with the Giants right now, but I feel compelled to write about something else for once — some comments made by Jennifer Floyd Engel, a national columnist for Fox Sports, regarding current Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy.
I don’t consider myself to be an A’s fan, though I’ll root for them on occasion. I do, however, consider myself to be a McCarthy fan — mainly thanks to the wonders of Twitter (where McCarthy tweets under the handle @BMcCarthy32). I first became aware of his account back in April, via a NotGraphs post, and have since come to really admire McCarthy. He’s an easy guy to like — he frequently responds to fans on Twitter, he’s got a sense of humor (refers to himself as the “West Coast Joe Blanton“), and he’s a stats guy (something which I can appreciate). He’s an intelligent player, and after battling injuries for years, he posted an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 3.32/2.86/3.30 in 25 starts in 2011.
Basically, he’s someone to root for.
Yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere, she took a completely unfounded shot at McCarthy:
Looking at tall and skinny Fister reminds me of Brandon McCarthy, except well Fister can actually pitch. #jondanksenvy
And she continued…
For all y’all tweeting me BMcCarthy’s FIP/xFIP/WAR-Oak stats, yay, he did not suck w/As. For Rangers, epic fail that cost them good young L.
Stunned y’all ignorant on playoffs RT @jamesvenes @cuppingmaster @Sniff009 @engeljen I’d be surprised if she even heard of FIP before now.
Two final things. Yes McCarthy was better which is like being the tallest midget. And injury is coming, almost guarantee it.
All credibility lost, McCarthy good value, good risk, not good P RT @jamesvenes @cuppingmaster @Sniff009 “McCarthy is a very good pitcher.”
You get the point. She dedicated tweet after tweet to arguing that McCarthy is not a “good pitcher.” For more, feel free to peruse her Twitter feed.
The worst one is probably this:
Love this banter, just unfair to call me anti-stat. I am not, firm believer in Moneyball principles. I am anti-McCarthy.
And I think that is a perfect representation of her standpoint: her criticism is based not on any kind of objective evidence, because well, that doesn’t exist (in her case). But rather, it’s based on some kind of hatred she has for McCarthy, for whatever reason.
Now I won’t deny that he had his struggles in a Rangers uniform. But to argue that McCarthy, as of today, is not a “good pitcher,” is simply stupid. Because he is. He’s without doubt a good pitcher, and he’s coming off of a particularly great season.
She’s a completely ignorant columnist, one that thinks Tony LaRussa is a managerial genius, and that Michael Young is a legitimate MVP candidate. But as a fan of McCarthy (a completely, genuinely awesome player), I really took umbrage at her remarks.
How does someone so devoid of intelligence have a job as a national sports columnist?