MLB.com Mets beat writer Marty Noble, responding to criticism of his Hall of Fame ballot:
And those who have their noses pressed against their computer screens and think VORP is a valid means of measuring a player’s performance ought to get a life and a credential that would allow them to see and hear the game up close. Then determine the players whose numbers actually contribute to winning and those who are equipped only add the next run in a 15-3 game.
In other words, anyone who likes to go beyond century-old stuff like batting averages, wins, and RBIs when evaluating a player’s performance is just a loser who can’t possibly know anything without a “credential” that allows them to watch games “up close” from inside a press box. Glad that’s settled.
If you’re curious, Noble’s ballot named two players this year: Barry Larkin and Dave Parker. And based on his unique ability “to see and hear the game up close” by way of a media credential, Noble called Parker “the best player I ever have covered.” Seriously. Parker was certainly a fine player, but I’ll take VORP over whatever credential-fueled viewpoint leads to that nonsense any day.
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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.