Simmons, though, is perhaps the best sportswriter of the Internet era precisely because he’s a terrific pattern recognizer. He doesn’t go into locker rooms to ask what pitch the slugger hit. Instead he inhales information from numerous sources and checks the implications against the other sources. But that independence of mind also means that Simmons is always in some danger of being ratted out as a closet crimethinker.
As an editor of Grantland, though, well, it’s hard to find other Bill Simmonses among today’s thoroughly domesticated young writers. Thus, Hannan’s long piece on a golf-club inventor was so appealing: It was as if Simmons had finally found a young reporter on his own pro-noticing wavelength. (…)
Simmons soon posted a self-emasculating apology and ran a denunciatory piece by Christina Kahrl, one of the few baseball sabermetricians who wears a dress. (Not surprisingly, Christina used to be Chris and was the husband of a woman.)