Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy and sports writer Jennifer Engel got into a Twitter war after the writer took a seemingly unprompted shot at the pitcher.
While watching Game 3 of the ALCS Tuesday, Engel observed of Tigers pitcher Doug Fister, “Looking at tall and skinny Fister reminds me of Brandon McCarthy, except well Fister can actually pitch.”
When McCarthy learned of the tweet, he retweeted it to his followers. Then he responded “Remember kids- when unable to write clearly or eloquently to defend an unoriginal premise- resort to cheap shots!”
McCarthy’s fans began to defend the pitcher to Engel, and her response was “yay, he did not suck w/As. For Rangers, epic fail that cost them good young L.
“Love Moneyball, love Billy Beane, really do. Problem in baseball when fans championing FIPs instead of Ws, stats instead of championships,” Engel wrote. “Two final things. Yes McCarthy was better which is like being the tallest midget. And injury is coming, almost guarantee it.
“Love this banter, just unfair to call me anti-stat. I am not, firm believer in Moneyball principles. I am anti-McCarthy,” she wrote.
Engel seemed to argue that McCarthy was not a good pitcher because his team did not make the playoffs. McCarthy had the best season of his career, going 9-9 with five complete games, 170.2 IP, and a 3.32 ERA. He also exhibited the best control of his career, posting nearly a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Her argument made little sense, and McCarthy called her on that point.
He said that by her logic, Michael Young was not a good player until last year because he had never previously reached the playoffs. He topped it by saying saying “I’m not mad at this on a personal level. I’m mad that you can’t defend your statements well enough to justify making them.”
Judges declare McCarthy the winner by technical knockout. He may have a future in sports writing, or broadcasting when he’s done with baseball. (Which will be sooner rather than later, according to Engel.)Google+