“If that’s how you show respect, I’d hate to see when he didn’t like you. Keri was trying to defend the analytical driven front office people he knew as not being totally blinded by the stats. Ringolsby, being a time traveler from the Eisenhower administration wasn’t having any of it and insisted that stat geeks “work off an Excel spread sheet” only.”
Piggybacking off the idea of arrogant dinosaurs that don’t know their time has come and gone (KOA), I was delighted to witness a delicious Twitter exchange last night between well respected and affable baseball scribe Jonah Keri and the less respected and smug rodeo clown Tracy Ringolsby.
Keri, who seems to be nothing but a nice dude, somehow attracts a strange, vitriolic reaction from Denver sports writers when he tweets which may have something to do with the effusive praise he receives from everyone with half of a working brain. Earlier in the year he got into a “discussion” with the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater who halfway through the conversation seemed to pick up on the fact he was dealing with a well respected (and well connected) national sports writer and slunk back to his troll hut before it got out of hand. Keri doesn’t seek these arguments – he’s just a well known and highly praised sports writer who, if you’re a bitter hack who’s not quite as successful, is a nice target. It’s probably because he is a new school journalist (with and old school reverence if any of them bothered to check), but he doesn’t entangle himself in these altercations by conducting himself professionally and not taking the troll bait. I have never been accused of acting professionally, so I have no qualms about detailing the latest round of Ringolsby putting on his greasepaint and acting the clown for all of our amusement.
Keri made a joke about Tulo’s OBP dropping due to a walk. It was a common, tongue-in-cheek Twitter dispatch that Ringoslby took seriously and even after Keri explained he was “just being silly” Ringolsby took it as an invitation to beat up on the advanced stat crowd. Keri took it all in stride and dealt with Ringolsby like you would a grandparent who made an unfortunate racial reference. But this Cowboy wasn’t ready to ride off into the sunset:
“@jonahkeri Lot of respect for your work and enjoy chatting with you at ballpark but on this I’m afraid you are a little naive.”
If that’s how you show respect, I’d hate to see when he didn’t like you. Keri was trying to defend the analytical driven front office people he knew as not being totally blinded by the stats. Ringolsby, being a time traveler from the Eisenhower administration wasn’t having any of it and insisted that stat geeks “work off an Excel spread sheet” only. You have to respect Keri’s restraint, because if someone on Twitter had claimed I was “a little naïve” about something as trivial as my taste in television, I would have had at them, in a more direct expression of my feelings, like “shovel girl.”
Keri took the high road, praising Ringolsby and handily side stepping the issue. And as much as we’d have liked him to, he didn’t point out that Ringolsby is a caveman with a computer, hammering out backhanded compliments while gripping his age old conceits like grim death. Clinging to an outdated belief system is the American way, but to not understand how cliché the stat geek argument is, really is a testament to Ringolsby’s naiveté, not Keri’s. And if you call out Ringolsby on his shortcomings, he’s got a dearth of people who defend him with the “he’s from a different time” excuse. Donald Sterling is from a different time, do we put up with him anymore? Keri didn’t settle his hash because it’s not his style. But many of us wouldn’t have been able to hold back, so it’s a testament to his professionalism that he did the right thing and politely stepped out of the conversation.
I doubt Ringolsby meant any malice by what he said to Keri, but the fact that he doesn’t understand his Twitter interactions are nothing but negative should be a cause for concern for whoever employs him. You can be a dinosaur in this fast paced, digital age but if you don’t have a sense of humor about yourself and the things happening around you, you become a joke that you’re not in on. Or you just become extinct. And those kinds of dinosaurs don’t get displayed in any museum.