Earlier this month, I was concerned about our man Jonah Keri. After my post, Jonah and I traded some emails where he basically fell on his sword for not fleshing out his point. I was stunned. I thought the only way to make it in media these days was to be a blowhard that never admits fault. Jonah didn’t just restore my faith in him, he increased the respect I had for him. Good guy. Good writer. Good Rays fan.
Just in case any of you were still wavering, I thought Jonah deserved some public support from me. And yesterday, he gave me the perfect opening by eviscerating Bill Simmons in a debate about Desmond Jennings over at Grantland.
If you read the entire debate, two things are obvious:
1) Jonah wins; and
2) Bill Simmons is not a baseball person.
Sure, Simmons might be a fan of baseball, might play in a roto league, and might like the Red Sox. That, alone, doesn’t make you a baseball person, that makes you a sports fan. If you really want to understand baseball, you have to go deeper.
Baseball is a unique game. Unlike the other major sports, it requires serious patience with young players. Virtually no one jumps from the amateur ranks (either high school or college) into Major League Baseball. It does not, and cannot, happen. (In fact, I don’t think the 2-4 years of minor league baseball good prospects get now is enough. I think the bonus money that has infiltrated the amateur draft has forced teams to rush kids to the show.)
But, to understand that, you have to be a baseball person. Your knowledge of the game has to extend beyond a bar outside Fenway Park.
I’m glad our baseball guy Jonah put Simmons down. Well done Jonah. Well done.