I get ESPN The Magazine every….I don’t know, it just appears. It appears because it’s cheaper to subscribe to the magazine and get ESPN Insider for free with my subscription than it is to subscribe to ESPN Insider. I get to read John Hollinger on the NBA and Keith Law on baseball, and ESPN gets the illusion that four a few bucks less I’m being advertised to by the corporations who pay for space in their mag. In truth after I flip through the mag, confirm there’s nothing of interest, I take it to the gym and toss it on top of the pile of magazines in the cardio room, to be read by some guy on a recumbent bike under the illusion he’s working out. I get five bucks off on my Insider, ESPN gets to advertise colognes and shit to recumbent bike guy.
This week the flip-through grabbed me, in a column called “The Numbers” by Peter Keating. Who is Peter Keating? According to his Businessweek bio he’s “a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. For the last five years, Keating has written “The Biz,” a column that tackles financial issues from the fan’s perspective. Before coming to ESPN, Keating was a senior writer at George, where he covered national politics, and at Money. His work has appeared in publications ranging from Mother Jones to New York to Fortune. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.” His Twitter bio claims he’s taking stats and analysis to ‘the next level’ so I assume I’m in for some good stuff here, especially since ESPN staffs guys like Keith Law and Dan Szymborski–with them on staff, if this is their Numbers Guy Who Takes It To The Next Level, I’m expecting brilliance.
Keating’s headline and sub-headline: “And the Winner Is…In the case for AL MVP, the backers of Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera both get it wrong. But an innovative stat called WPA gets it exactly right.”