BB: What is the relationship between the mainstream sportswriters and sites like Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Primer? Or even with amateurís like myself who run their own sports blogs?
Verducci: I would hesitate to speak for the mainstream as a whole, but for myself I absolutely love it. The discourse about major league baseball is much more intelligent, and reasoned and well-thought out because of everything thatís out there on the web and in some of the other ancillary publications you mentioned. I really think it has forced people to be on their toes. I think that a lot of things in this game were accepted without a basis in fact. Now a lot of people have challenged those notions and thatís a good thing. But I think there is a downside to it too. The pride of the beat writer is that heís the one in that locker room, heís the one thatís asking the hard questions after the games, and heís the one who knows if a guy is having problems with his wife at home and thatís why heís 0-4, and it has nothing to do with how good the opposing pitcher was that night. The downside is that some members of the mainstream media will write off the alternative opinions as being uniformed because they are not actually on the front lines. I tend to think that is a little extreme. I think that even from afar you can have something intelligent to offer. I think that the whole statistical analysis of the game has raised the level of criticism and analysis of baseball, and I think weíre all better for it.