Monday, August 06, 2007

Webignominy Looming?

I sent an email to William C. Rhoden of the NYT, taking minor issue with a statistical argument that he used in his column [T$] today. Just got the following reply:

> BrendanQuibble noted and accepted!
> And thanks for the note

I presume he meant to insert a carriage return, a colon, or a hyphen after the first seven letters, but maybe I'm in peril of a new (probably well-deserved) nickname.

For the record, not that it's important, I've reproduced my email in the Comments.


bjkeefe said...

Here's what I sent:

Dear Mr. Rhoden:

I enjoyed your 6 August column, "Head Held High as the Journey Is Finished."

However, I do think you strained the statistics a bit. You did have to pick a cut-off to make your point, and "the last twenty years" sure sounded reasonable. But I think it was just a little unfair. Suppose you had made it "the last twenty-five years."

In that case:

Phil Niekro won his 300th in 1986 (21 years ago). Tom Seaver won his 300th in 1985 (22 years ago). Steve Carlton won his 300th in 1983 (24 years ago). Gaylord Perry won his 300th in 1982 (25 years ago). And that's just who I can think of off the top of my head (with a little help on the specifics from

How many more people would be added to the 500 HR club if you added five years? At a guess, I'm thinking, not many. Maybe you have a list?

I agree with your main point: 300 wins is probably a more difficult milestone to achieve than 500 home runs. I suspect the difference will only become more pronounced, given current trends in major league baseball. But I did want to register my quibble.

Brendan Keefe

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Quibble:

Let's not quibble over a colon. After all, all of us have one or there'd be no need for colonoscopies. BTW shouldn't it be "whom I can think of" -- but let's not quibble. LOL Point well made re the 300th though. Or should it be "re: the 300th", but I'm quibbling with my own quibble...

bjkeefe said...

re: your colon comment:


But you're probably right about the rest.