Rob Neyer, SB Nation, And Ray Lankford

For better or worse, Rob Neyer—who, for better, has joined SB Nation—is the reason I'm writing about the St. Louis Cardinals today; the reason I've been a stathead for almost 10 years; and the reason I remained a Ray Lankford fan to the bitter end. Story time: I've always been a fan of players I suspected might be underrated, and on the old Cardinals message boards no player was more seriously underrated than Ray Lankford. He struck out too much, and was therefore not clutch; he was less lovable than a Brian Jordan, let alone a Joe McEwing.

↵

But when he was being run out of town I just knew, without being able to explain why, that he wasn't being given a fair shake. His batting average was low, but—and I didn't have anything to go after that but. A few days passed like that, but somehow, still a casual baseball fan at the time, I ended up on a column from Rob Neyer about Ray Lankford's surprisingly high OPS. From there I felt determined to learn what OPS was—if it could be used to defend Ray Lankford, I was all in. That accidental encounter engendered a love of baseball that just wouldn't have existed without the serious analysis Rob Neyer's always attempted to foster in even the least serious people.

↵

Sabermetrics are mainstream now, and I've been telling people what OPS stands for more than nine years since then. We owe the environment in which we blog today to Rob Neyer, and I'm glad to see him on board. If nothing else, it means I don't have to sit through autoplay basketball highlights to get to his column.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.