Opinions That Matter

As you probably have noticed, I like tables. I know, people love them some infographics, but give me a good table and it gives you all the info you need to know. So here’s a table based on today’s Sports Bog post, where it says Bill James is comfortable with shutting Strasburg down. At the bottom of the post, Dan Steinberg is kind enough to compile links to plenty of other opinions on the situation.

The table below show whether or not all these people agree with shutting down Strasburg, according to the article. If they think his innings should be creatively limited so he can be available in the playoffs, I put them in the “Not OK” with shutting him down camp. Here’s how it shakes out so far, with color coding:

Now, another thing I love to do is take the same table and organize it differently. So here is that same table, with the colors remaining the same (those who agree with the shutdown are in green, those who are disagree are in red).

This time, however, instead of sorting it by whether or not they agree with Rizzo, I sorted it by how much their opinion matters. Not only to Rizzo’s decision making, or to Strasburg, but to me, and probably you:

That additional variable really clears up the argument to me. You see, I don’t care what Dennis Eckersley, or the less good version of Dennis, Mitch Williams, think of this situation. I respect the ex-ballplayers, and I think they have a place in the world of commentary for sure. But do you know how much I care about their opinion on a medical issue? That column on the right hand side represents 0% to me, the left hand side is 1% or higher.

And don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cool that all these people are weighing in on the Nationals. My point is that the people who matter are the ones that are influencing this decision, not the people who don’t. It’s sort of like the opposite of the 2000-2005 Redskins, or something like that. It should be heartening to Nats fans that this is happening.

Note: A couple of people asked me why Scott Boras went in the “care” category. I put him there because although we think of him as a contract negotiator, technically his job is to act as a representative for Stephen Strasburg. Therefore, his opinion should be informed by and in the interests of Strasburg. Hence, it matters more than 0%. I’m not saying it’s the most important opinion, but it’s not irrelevant.

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