So I am cruising through the column and hit this speed bump, penned by Spencer, in reply to a missive concerning the Angels' catching situation:
A lot of fans are down on Mathis, judging by what I'm reading, but he has the ability to be a first-rate catcher and is a better hitter than he has shown. He was confidently finding his way when he fractured his wrist early in the season, a major setback for Mathis and his team.
How many inanities and untruths exist amidst those two sentences:
•A lot of fans - UNTRUTH - Every fan with the exception of the chicks who think they got a shot at his jock is down on Jeff Mathis.
•Judging by what I'm reading - INANITY - dude, do you watch the games, do you follow this frickin' team? Come on, it is one thing to be on the throne of neutral, unaffected judgment, but Jeff Mathis has been cheered exactly one time in his Angels career - a walk-off hit in the '09 ALCS.
•He has the ability to be a first-rate catcher - UNTRUTH - there are are no similar situations in the history of baseball where a player of Jeff's stunning mediocrity ever rose to the level of "first-rate" anything.
•A better hitter than he has shown - INANITY - it is humanly impossible to be a better anything than you have shown when the act of "showing" is the entirety of your professional performance. When a stripper takes it all off, it is impossible for her to be more naked. Once a ballplayer has a few seasons under his belt, he is about as good as he is going to get. When a baseball player's stats are examined after he has amassed 1,000+ Plate Appearances (Jeffo has 1,074) and his OPS+ is 53 and on a downward trend during his Age-27 season, you are either lying or stupid if you say that he is a "better hitter than he has shown"
•He was confidently finding his way - INANITY - he was lucky to be catching a stellar pitching staff to impress his manager into sacrificing offense at his position for adequacy behind the plate.
•A major setback for Mathis and his team - UNTRUTH - The Angels went 30-25 without Mathis catching after having gone 7-7 prior to fracturing his wrist. How did the Angels do in their next 55 games with Jeff on the roster? They went under .500 to 62-63.
So that makes three inanities and three untruths in two sentences. And it was just one small part to one answer to a fan's question, but there not a demonstrably arguable point anywhere in it. These fans deserve a cogent accuracy. The "team store upsell" sugarcoating (which really IS the forté of all the MLB team sites) does not have to come at the expense of, uh, reality...