Happy birthday America, home of sabermetrics

Justin Edmonds

A democratic tradition.

Happy independence day, y'all. On this day, no matter what you might feel the rest of the year, it's easy to be patriotic. At it's core, the United States is founded on a worthy idea: that all men are created equal. This idea is obviously not a fact, and the result of the American experiment is obviously not true equality of opportunity, but when you hold something to be self-evident, the details to the contrary can be ignored.

I used to think that "self-evident" was a copout. That Jefferson and company wanted to avoid diverting into the nitty gritty of Enlightenment logic, so they fell back on a pretty turn of phrase. That's wrong, though. "All men are created equal" is not the conclusion to the proof, it's the postulate. If we decide it to be so, we should break away from the king. If we decide it to be so, we should form a representative democracy. If we decide it to be so, we should abolish class and promote true economic and social mobility.

I am not at all surprised that the statistical revolution in sports should come from America. Sabermetrics is a uniquely democratic approach to fandom. It stems from the audacious thought that it doesn't matter who you are or what you've done before, you're only as good as the quality of your work. A nighttime security guard can ponder baseball, do a bit of math, self-publish, and because he was right, two decades later be a household name in every front office and work for the Boston Red Sox. A hall of fame second baseman turned announcer can be ridiculed by anonymous bloggers, and the bloggers can build a national following because they're funny, but also right.

It's a beautiful country.

Over the next few days, our coverage will be light here on DRaysBay while we celebrate our nation's birth with our families. I for one will be forced to watch Phillies games or no baseball at all. The horror. So sit back, read The Declaration, The Constitution, Brown vs. the Board of Education, or whatever gets you're juices running, and I'll see y'all back here next week.

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