Geek Baseball Stat Site Banned in China

Finally, A Good Reason to Ban a Website in China

For some strange reason, one of the websites blocked by the Chinese government is firejoemorgan.com. Or at least it was for this Rocky Mountain News blogger.

FireJoeMorgan.com, for those who haven’t heard of it, is a site dedicated to two things: 1) getting baseball announcer Joe Morgan fired, obviously, and 2) worshipping at the altar of baseball stats, particularly the new stats like VORP, which stands for Value Over Replacement Player.

So why would the Chinese government ban a site dedicated to baseball geekdom? Who knows. Maybe the censors thought VORP was a code word for Falun Gong. Or, maybe they just think VORP, and the other new baseball “stats”, are such a stupid concept that they banned the whole site.

Me, I’m going with that last one. And if you never heard of VORP, you may consider yourself lucky.

Stats are only so useful. At some point, stats are just numbers, not a reflection of anything “real”. And at least for me, stats like VORP cross that line into fantasy world, where imaginary “replacement players” are invented and defined in certain ways, so that the value of another player over and above that imaginary replacement player can be quantified. It seems more like playing with abstract numbers than actual, you know, baseball stats.

Gee, that’s nice. Imaginary replacement players. Hey look, my guy is so much better than the imaginary replacement player!

That, plus an extra $1.15, can get you a nice hot cup of McDonald’s coffee.

I’m more interested in players that wear actual uniforms and consume actual oxygen. Call me crazy.

But, hey, whatever floats your boat. Knock yourselves out, dudesicles!

I should note that yes, firejoemorgan.com is entertaining, and yes, it is well-written, most of the time. Although it does get a mite tedious sometimes with the constant snark. And more and more lately, I’ve noticed that this constant snark, at many sites across the web, is starting to drive me away from those sites. Being a smartass can be funny, sometimes, for a while. Then it just gets overly precious and self-glorifying. You’re funny, you’re talented, everybody else is a loser. We get it. Try being a little less corrosive and insulting.

(via fark.com which as usual has some interesting comments to the post, including this link to sites banned in China.)

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