Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hey, Pearlman: Try Using Numbers!

Something about this ESPN Page 2 article by Jeff Pearlman annoyed me, and for a while I couldn't put my finger on it. It's about how Pearlman alleges Mets fans are irked at a perceived Latin bias by their GM, Omar Minaya (the only Latin GM in the majors).

I don't follow Mets fans, so I can't speak to the assertion. I'll accept it as true, but it annoys me that Pearlman doesn't source any of his quotes. That's not just sloppy; in this era it looks wrong. You should always link your source quote.

Was it the condescending tone of it? Well, it is Pearlman, so condescention is typically the order of the day. That's not it, although it rubs me the wrong way. I know what "El Equipo de Latinos" means; you don't have to translate it for me.

What irks me, I think, is this: it's numerically sloppy.

Geez, Mr. Pearlman, grab a calculator and crunch some freaking numbers. You'll find an interesting story (I certainly think so, anyways):

Using the most recent rosters on Yahoo! sports, by birthplace the Mets are 49% Latin.

Compare this to the Yankees (35%), Red Sox (26%), Braves (24%), White Sox (21%), and Dodgers (16%): that number is high. Very high. Statistically significantly high, I would venture to guess.

Is that odd? Or is it explicable? Isn't this germane to the overall narrative of small-minded Mets fans versus great baseball GM Omar Minaya? Or is it just useless statistical noise?

I don't know. I'm just a dumbass blogger. You should know, Mr. Pearlman. You're a sportswriter. Instead of giving us sociological claptrap, why not try to explain sports or something? Is that too much to ask?

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