So what is a broadcaster’s responsibility?

Talking Chop is miffled about an exchange last night between Chip and Joe and Tom Hart over advanced stats. Predictably, Chip and Joe played the role of dismissive boobs, but that has nothing to do with why I like one and not the other.

The stat geeks hate Joe, but I appreciate his occasional candor and knowledge of the team. Joe is the only one of the Braves broadcasting quartet who criticizes the local nine when warranted, and it’s obvious he’s emotionally invested in the Braves. Stylistically, I prefer his low-key approach to the bombast of his partner. (And so does he; when I interviewed Joe a few years ago he referred to former partner Bob Rathbun as a “game show host.”)

When paired with a pro like Sciambi, Joe is even better but unfortunately he’s saddled with Chip, who’s an unmitigated disaster. He truly doesn’t seem to understand the game, routinely making uninformed observations. Dip is also too cute by half a ton — hell, he doesn’t even do a decent impression of his dad.

Speaking of, I wonder how Talking Chop would feel about Skip. There’s no doubt he’d be hostile to sabermetrics. Would that make him a bad broadcaster? According to TC, it would, which is absurd. Skip was the best: Funny, invested and informed about the team he’s covering. I want personalities, not accountants. There’s plenty of outlets for the latter, if that’s what you want. Most of us prefer to be entertained.

PED apologists violate their own liturgy

Familiar language from ESPN’s Christina Kahrl, who claims the HOF is already compromised by PEDs.

I mean, c’mon, no Mike Schmidt or Hank Aaron in the Hall of Fame? By their own admission they broke the same baseball rule on the books that Bonds did, and they did so for the same reason — to enhance their performance.

She’s talking about amphetamines, which were once doled out like Morrison’s peppermints in most, if not all, of baseball clubhouses. That doesn’t make it right, but they weren’t consumed in the shadows. Eddie Mathews wasn’t snorting lines with Hank in a toilet stall, for instance, a la Canseco injecting McGwire. Greenies didn’t give one player a significant advantage over another.

Besides, it’s ridiculous to compare the banned substances.  The proof is in the stats, yet the apologists ignore the evidence. Perhaps because it totally destroys their argument.

What else explains Bonds’ production in the twilight of his career? Bonds’ lowest OPS, in four seasons from ages 36-39, was 1.278. His highest OPS in the prime of his career, from ages 26-29: 1.136. He had 69 more homers from ages 36-39.

Fortunately, someone else crunched the numbers typically required by the statistically obsessed.

Below are the top 15 OWPs of all time, regardless of age. Before 2001, no player had reached .924, Bonds’ OWP for the whole period that covers ages 36-39. Notice how unusual it is for someone aged 36-39 to have such a great OWP. It appears that no one has aged as well as Bonds.

Rank

Player

YEAR

OWP

AGE

1

Barry Bonds

2002

0.942

37

2

Barry Bonds

2004

0.929

39

3

Barry Bonds

2001

0.922

36

4

Mickey Mantle

1957

0.915

25

5

Babe Ruth

1920

0.913

25

6

Fred Dunlap

1884

0.909

25

7

Ted Williams

1941

0.908

22

8

Barry Bonds

2003

0.897

38

9

Babe Ruth

1923

0.896

28

10

Babe Ruth

1921

0.891

26

11

Ted Williams

1957

0.891

38

12

Babe Ruth

1926

0.883

31

13

Ted Williams

1942

0.881

23

14

Pete Browning

1882

0.88

21

15

Babe Ruth

1924

0.879

29

Dare I mention the freakish guns and engorged head?

Apparently none of this is sufficient proof for the likes of Kahrl, who writes of “the purported performance-enhancing benefits of PEDs.”

This from the group that sneers at those who ignore the irrefutable evidence found in the numbers.