Hawk Harrelson's anti-sabermetric stance gets a national audience

Brian Kenny is a reasonable guy. Can he get Hawk to have a reasonable conversation about statistics?

Hawk Harrelson’s willful ignorance and utter disdain of "Moneyball"/sabermetrics makes for an easy target – especially since non-Sox audiences already hate everything he does. It’s also easy to understand:

No. 1: He’s been in the game for all or parts of 94 decades. I work at a newspaper, where we have to get used to the audience (and story subjects) breaking their own news. It’s weird to lose exclusivity, and some people are a lot better at having their ideas challenged by outsiders than others. Tony La Russa also took Hawk's stance later in his career, even though he was actually on the forefront of analytics at one time.

No. 2: Since he's often the White Sox’s guard dog, of course Harrelson wouldn’t care for a book/movie that pitted Kenny Williams as the Goofus to Billy Beane’s Gallant. With Williams having one more World Series ring than Beane, sure, he feels more justified in slagging that premise.

Of course, since Harrelson usually argues emotionally and without knowledge of what he’s arguing against, he’s lucky if he doesn’t sound unhinged. Again, that’s expected. "Old Guard Rejects New Way" isn’t a headline. It’s not something that deserves a larger audience; it's just something to endure.

Alas, he’ll be getting the former when he discusses(?) the subject with Brian Kenny on "MLB Now." Two weeks ago, Kenny ripped apart Harrelson's claims that advanced stats "didn't work," as it it's something one or two teams tried and abandoned. And now Kenny will give Harrelson a platform for a rebuttal.

"MLB Now" begins at 3 p.m.; Harrelson’s supposed to be on at 3:35 p.m. Since Kenny is a professional, MLB Network is owned by MLB, and the White Sox are touting it, I think the broadcast will probably try as best as it can to make Harrelson sound reasonable. But then again, maybe the Sox want Harrelson wearing the tin foil hat nationally. Rick Hahn doesn't mind people underestimating their involvement in analytics from any anti-saber reputation, so perhaps this meeting of the minds is merely a Trojan Hawk.

Here's a place to discuss it as it happens.

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