Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear ESPN: Please Give Law More To Do

I realize that Keith Law's beat -- prospects, scouting, etc. -- lends itself to a lot of travel and a relatively sporadic posting schedule that revolves around events like the draft, prospects games, etc. -- but man, I'd really like to see what would happen if ESPN or whoever would let him loose on more general topics. Part of this is based on my memory of his Baseball Prospectus stuff which was always good no matter what he wrote about, but I'm reminded of it again by his writing about food and fiction over at his personal blog. Take this passage about, of all things, some frozen yogurt he recently had while visiting Long Beach:

Frozen yogurt is all the rage in southern California, and the most popular chain is Pinkberry, so I felt almost obligated to try it so I could make fun of all of the people who consume the stuff. I was, however, unprepared for how absolutely vile the stuff is. The flavor made me feel like I was sitting inside a bottle of white vinegar, licking the sides and inhaling the fumes. Their yogurt comes in three flavors - “original” (vinegar-flavored), green tea, and coffee. It’s all nonfat, which is about the stupidest thing I’ve seen in ages, since the fat in yogurt helps coat the taste buds and mute the yogurt’s acidity. The result of removing the fat is the need to increase the sugar to balance out the acid, and that results in a major glycemic load and a very unsatisfying product. I ate the oreos I’d ordered as a topping and tossed the gunk. Something that looks that much like ice cream shouldn’t taste that much like shit.
Strong opinions are often hard to deal with when your brother-in-law has them, but they're what makes the blogosphere go around. I couldn't care less about frozen yogurt, but I have a soft place in my heart for anyone who can bring sharp analysis to bear on just about anything, and from what I can tell, Law has strong opinions on just about everything. How much would we all benefit by hearing him hold court on general baseball stuff as opposed to frozen yogurt?

Look, I don't really know Keith, and I have no idea if he even wants to write about other stuff on ESPN. And to be sure, he seems to really enjoy the food and books beat on his personal blog and has obviously made scouting and prospects analysis his own. But man, I would really like to see him be able to unload on game-by-game tactical decisions, or transactions that don't involve prospects, or -- and he would certainly be able to shed some light on this -- the machinations of baseball front offices.

16 comments:

Osmodious said...

Craig...I, too, would love to know more about the 'goings on' in the front offices. Gammons teases us with little bits here and there, but it only makes me crave more.

Heck, I would also love to know more about HOW baseball works (the ins and outs of the legal and financial ramifications of DL time vs. sitting on the bench, how the 'draft pick compensation' stuff actually works, etc.). The way I have picked up the limited knowledge I have is by reading the analysts and catching remarks made by them on BT or other shows.

Peter said...

Keith Law is awesome...I'd love to see more of him on tv and the web, but I wonder if there are people within ESPN who would be uncomfortable with him so openly shredding guys like Ed Wade.

Craig Calcaterra said...

It's also possible that Keith wouldn't be comfortable shredding Ed Wade either. He worked in a front office before. Maybe he wants to again. Who knows?

Well, Keith knows -- wanna comment Keith? ;-)

Rob said...

It seems to me that this role is currently being "filled" by Steve Phillips in that ESPN tends to turn to him for front-office analysis for firings or trades, etc. Too bad he just regurgitates the crap that got himself fired in NY, although not unexpected that he would have no other insight.

It's probably unlikely that ESPN would hire someone of lesser "stature" who primarily contradicts the guy with the resumé.

Doug said...

Hear, hear! Keith Law is far too underutilized by his overlords at ESPN. However, Keith has indicated, at least by my recollection, that he likes what he does and does not intend to jump back into any front office situations. Perhaps he can't do so because his uncensored input and opinions don't mesh with the front office-culture or perhaps he knows as much and isn't willing to change to fit it. In any event, we should enjoy what he gives while he's giving it and make like Gordon Gecko and demand more whenever we can.

Anonymous said...

I think this post sounds like a cry for help Craig. You see if you can get Kieth more work at the four letter focusing more on his baseball skills- scouting, front office info, etc. Then there would be a position open for you there for the resident snarky know-it-all. Well played sir. Your move Steve Phillips- Victor Zambrano can't help you now.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Oh believe me, anon, if it was my goal to maniuplate the inner workings at ESPN.com, I would simply activate the mind control device I implanted in Neyer back during the SABR convention. When I give the key word he takes out Buster Olney and Jerry Crasnick by, well, let's just call it an unfortunate accident.

Jason said...

all hail KLaw!

matt said...

KLaw always struck me as somewhat of an arrogant prick (and I mean that in the nicest way possible), but damn if he doesn't know baseball and literature.

I'd like to see more of him on ESPN as well, although I wonder if he'd be too off-putting to viewers and colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Keith Law's baseball smarts, although his cultural tastes are pretty pedestrian and ultimately myopic. Nonetheless, he nails Pinkberry. That goo is vile.

The Common Man said...

Twins fans have had the Free Johan Santana campaign and the Free Jason Kubel campaign. I think it's time we start the Free KLaw campaign. Break his shackles! Let my KLaw go!

Then again, Keith seems to have a pretty sweet gig. Traveling the country, eating great food, reading all the books he can, and watching baseball. And for that, he chats once a week (which he apparently loves to do) and writes (maybe) a blog post or two a week (unless it's draft or deadline time). Why would he want to mess with a good thing?

Sara K said...

Until he gives in and reads Ulysses, no new projects for Mr. Law. Damn anti-Joyce bias!

Chris Heer said...

I have never understood how guys like Phillips and Morgan keep drawing paychecks while klaw is mired in comparative obscurity.

When I'm Emperor, that will change.

Keith Law said...

Thank you all for the support and praise. The bottom line is that if you want to see more of me on ESPN, you need to tell ESPN. It's not really up to me.

BTW, I don't temper my writing because of some latent desire to get back into a front office. I refuse to compromise my opinions in that way.

I do think it's funny to read that my cultural tastes are "pedestrian" and "myopic." Sounds like someone's still bitter that I ripped Watchmen into little tiny well-drawn pieces.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Keith -- I don't think your tastes are pedestrian or myopic. My bitterness at your ripping Watchmen is manifested in far more passive aggressive ways. Like, hoping you get assigned to review the Watchmen movie next year or something. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by. You have a lot of fans around here. Well, maybe not the Matt in comment #9, but many all the same.

Keith Law said...

I think Matt's a fan. At least, I'm going to tell myself that as I cry myself to sleep tonight.

Sara, I've contemplated doing a "book club" read of Ulysses or some other difficult text through the dish, so that a bunch of us can fight through it en masse. Maybe in the offseason.