I, and many others here, spend a lot of time griping about how baseball is covered in the mainstream media. We consistently point out the deeply flawed arguments and reasoning that major sportswriters use, whether it be in the face of hall of fame voting or preseaon predictions.
Well, I thought it was worth pointing out that Sports Illustrated, in prety sharp contrast to ESPN as an organization, has made great strides over the last few years in how they cover baseball.
As an example, this week's issue features two pieces worth highlighting:
1-A large column in "Scorecard" written by someone mysteriously named Junior. The column could've been lifted out of the arguments of this or any other blog-it details how media voters routinely make obvious mistakes in selecting MVPs, hall of famers etc. David Wright's win shares and VORP are specifically mentioned, and they aren't even followed with some explanation of what they are. They're allowed to stand alone.
At the end of the column, it's noted that Junior is not so mysterious, he's actually that Junior from firejoemorgan. That seems pretty awesome to me.
2-There's a big spread on Santana in New York which is pretty typical SI stuff-lots of quotes, etc. I still find this kind of sportswriting relatively interesting when done well and taken with a grain of salt.
However, there's a sidebar within the article written by Joe Sheehan for BP, that details the impact he expects Santana, Haren, Willis, and Swisher to have on their new teams. Among the tools used in the analysis are Park-Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, PECOTA, K's/9 and all the rest. I have some gripes with the analysis, as I do with lots of BP stuff, but they're good gripes. Gripes that are part of a productive ongoing conversation about baseball, as opposed to gripes about RBIs, or Clutch, or Consistency.
Anyways, I just thought I'd let anyone who wasn't paying attention know that SI has take some big steps into the present as a source for baseball information and analysis. It's not worth buying for the analysis, as almost all of it is available for free somewhere on the internet, but it's not a publication I'm embarrassed to read or cite. I'm still pretty embarrassed to read or cite ESPN the magazine, ESPN studio shows, and ESPN the website.