FanGraphs: Interview With Darwin Barney

David Laurila, FanGraphs writer and my colleague, has the privilege of interviewing a great number of baseball players. I asked him how he does this, and he merely threw a smoke bomb at his feet and disappeared. I'm still not sure what it meant.

Anyway, he recently interviewed the Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. It is a great interview, with some especially good nuggets. For instance, Barney addresses head on the difference between he and Derek Jeter — and why fielding percentage is deeply flawed:

...I’m going to try to back up on [a tough play] and make it look as easy as possible. When it comes to being flashy — and there are a lot of descriptions of flashy — my job is to get outs. However I can accomplish that, that’s what I’m going to do.

You can take a line drive up the middle and flag at it, and make a great play, or you can miss it and not get an error. Conversely, if you get there and kind of just drop down to try to make the play, a lot of times you’re given an error because you didn’t make it look flashy. But the object is to get the job done and you’re going to make errors in this game...
In other words, guys who make it look tough (Derek Jeter) get fewer errors. Rangey guys who make it look easy (Darwin Barney, Alexei Ramirez) get more errors.

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