Godwin’s Goodwin’s Law

Named after the historically bizarre Art Goodwin, this law is now defined as the following:

As an online discussion on any subject involving either the Red Sox or Yankees grows longer, the probability of a inverse supposition approaches one.  That is, the more sensitive the topic the more likely a blogger or commenter will declare that opinions are either insincere and/or inverted, simply due to the color of uniforms involved.

Example #1: "well, if the Yankees had paid $51.1 million for some overhyped novice, you Sox fans would have been outraged and crying all the way down the Mass Pike!"

Example #2: "Why do you guys come down so hard on Manny’s attitude?  I mean, you’ve got a cheater over at first base!"

We here at YFSF recommend very limited deployment of comments conforming to Goodwin’s Law.

16 comments… add one
  • Amen. And someone call Wikipedia.

    YF November 19, 2006, 10:28 pm
  • sf, is this the same art goodwin that had an era of 81.00 for the yanks in 1905?…if so, you’ll have to pardon me if i don’t take his advice…if the “inverse supposition” is pointless, like: “…I know you are, but what am i?…”, then i’d have to agree with art…but, occasionally, “putting the shoe on the other foot” to expose hypocrisy is valid…you may want us to believe that you’re not a homer, but let’s face it, as objective as all the participants of this site try to be, bias and defensiveness creeps into many of the posts, including yours and mine…i don’t happen to think that’s always a bad thing, but pretending you’re somehow above it is the height of hypocrisy…

    dc November 20, 2006, 1:09 am
  • I’ll jump to my coblogger’s defense on this one. I don’t think SF is claiming total innocence, just pointing out a reality, and in a pretty hilarious way. Lighten up DC!

    YF November 20, 2006, 9:34 am
  • LOL. Goodwin’s law – nice. I approve.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) November 20, 2006, 10:19 am
  • finally there’s a name for it. well done.

    beth November 20, 2006, 10:37 am
  • “Lighten up DC!”…and this advice from the guy who had an epic meltdown over on the “K-Ration” thread when SF was showing his “ignorance”, and “hurling insults”, to use your words…looks like you both kissed and made up at the end though…actually, i’m not as annoyed as i seem, since most of these incidents are very predictable…i consider it a personal mission [in fact a service] to right wrongs on this site…i’ve even been put in the position where i’ve had to issue a mea culpa or 2 myself…it’s healthy not to try to convince yourself that you’re always right…helps you grow…you guys should try it sometime…
    …the humor didn’t escape me, but his post wasn’t entirely in jest…take note yf of the final half dozen or so posts of the “K-Ration” thread, and the timing of this one…our friend sf took the opportunity with this “Godwin’s Law” post to take a lame shot at the comment i made about the discussion being different if wang was a sox…i stand by my Godwin post at 1:09am, and the wang comment…if you guys want to “recommend” something, how about a little less hypocrisy…

    dc November 20, 2006, 10:37 am
  • “i consider it a personal mission [in fact a service] to right wrongs on this site…” All I can say is…wow. Not going to touch this statement.
    It’s not a lame shot, dc. This is something that happens, and we all do it. I myself have responded to some arguments with the fantastical Giambi of HGH, Roids, USA. Sometimes it was fitting; sometimes it was not. Would things be seen differently if Wang were a Red Sox pitcher? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not terribly concerned about Wang, though him regressing to being an unfit candidate for #2 in Cy balloting ever again(not sure he was in the first place, but I’ll try not to open that one up here) is certainly there. I do see him being a successful pitcher in this league for years, barring injury. Concerns about SO rate are legitimate. The comparisons in history shouldn’t fill YFs with any optimism. At the same time, those comps don’t tell the whole story.
    “if you guys want to “recommend” something, how about a little less hypocrisy…” Umm. And even if being partly in jest…how is this post NOT recommending just that?

    Quo November 20, 2006, 10:59 am
  • dc:
    you’re over the line here. This is a post that contains some humor and some seriousness. The main point is that we all indulge in this kind of inversion. Hence, the two examples (from a YF perspective and an SF perspective, and the inclusion of “bloggers” in the list of offenders (I am certainly not one who has been immune to this tactic) You’ve really taken this way too far.

    SF November 20, 2006, 11:16 am
  • DC, It’s amazing to me that even in post about us all being more civil/rational, you still make it your personal mission to be an ass. Grow up.

    LocklandSF November 20, 2006, 11:19 am
  • quo…unfortunately humor tends to be one-sided at times too…you’ve probably heard me say that the “jokes are only funny when sf’s deliver the punch lines”…”righting the wrongs” is a joking reference to my attempts [admittedly at times weak and lame] to keep you sf’s honest [a little balance]…this site is dominated by sox spin, with a few yf’s that at times seem reluctant to go toe to toe with you guys…they’re probably smarter than me and realize it’s a big waste of effort…
    …and yes it was a lame shot…i’ll invite you again to go back and review the last 6 posts on the “K-Ration” thread…then note the timing of this one…and that’s what makes it a lame shot…
    …”we all do it”….you got that right! [note that i admitted my guilt in my post]
    …i’m not going to waste energy defending wang’s performance this year [i can tell by your comments that your opinion is already in concrete]…you may be right about him not being as good next year…depends on whether or not more balls find holes in the infield i guess [thank goodness he has a gg-er at short [more humor]…or, he may learn another pitch…doubting the other team’s players is part of the fun…makes us feel better about what we’ve got, so have at it…but, let a yf second-guess turning papelbon into a starter, question the wisdom of letting damon go, or suggest that maybe DM could struggle to adjust to the majors and all hell breaks loose about yf pettiness…now that’s hypocrisy…

    dc November 20, 2006, 11:22 am
  • …fair enough sf…i probably did go overboard with my reaction, but you have to admit the timing of your post is suspicious…
    …as for lockland: nice personal attack lockland…uh, can we get a ruling here from the blogmasters about personal attacks?…is hypocrisy out and personal attacks in?…

    dc November 20, 2006, 11:31 am
  • The timing wasn’t “suspicious”, your Wang quip inspired it. But it wasn’t a shot at you. You are hardly the first person to engage in this kind of inversion. I have done it. I think we all have.
    If I had wanted to single you out, dc, I would have cited the Wang comment in my post as an example. I didn’t, precisely because I didn’t believe it right to single anyone out.

    SF November 20, 2006, 11:50 am
  • My opinion is not in concrete, dc, but as of now, here it is: Wang is an incredibly efficient ground-ball machine. His future is not as promising as a Brandon Webb, because Brandon Webb can get the SO when he needs to.
    I think Halladay got penalized for missing 2-3 starts this year, which is absolutely silly (as far as my comment about the CY race goes). Wang got the #2 slot on the strength of his 19 wins, which is a stat that gives tribute to his consistency as much as to the strength of what was the #1 offense in the bigs this year to the tune of 60 runs. Honestly, I don’t see how ANYONE can have their opinion of Wang set in stone at this point. He has defied many years of baseball sense/logic in the past two seasons. He might go the way the prognosticators predict for him, or he might continue on. Personally, I think a middle ground is more likely, with him becoming more of a #3 starter than an ace-by-default. Jake Westbrook as a ceiling, perhaps? And is that really that bad of a thing for me to say? Personally, I like Wang. He’s a tough competitor and a guy who doesn’t seem to take his success/position for granted.
    You know what happens when you assume, right? I’ll let you fill in the rest of that tired neo-modern cliche.
    Here’s the rub, dc. Is there anything wrong with YFs questioning the wisdom of the DM and Damon moves, while wondering if Papelbon can be a successful starter? No, and no. And I’ll agree, if SFs are responding to such with comments about YFs being petty WITHOUT any strong evidence/argument(s) on their side, then it’s all kind of a waste of time. But it works the other way too. I was not being overly critical of Wang. I don’t think so anyway. And I think I was pretty open to the idea of Wang continuing his success for awhile. But you assume my opinon is set in concrete. How is that better than SFs calling YFs “petty”? I’d rather someone read my whole opinion on the subject, digest it, and call me petty, rather than assume something that’s not true while using a slightly more positive word.
    For the record, I agree with the DM move, the Damon move, well. I’ll admit I’m hoping he’ll start to regress next year, but for now, it’s not looking like the most intelligent thing to do. And Papelbon? Turning him into a starter is, at least in part, a medically-based decision. I can only hope he’ll acquit himself well to the role, and I think he will. I don’t think I’ve seen any SFs here thinking he’ll win the CY next year or anything silly like that. It’ll be a bit of an adjustment. 14-8, 4.30 ERA, something in that neighborhood just as a guess, taking all factors into account. I’d be thrilled with that from him next year.

    Quo November 20, 2006, 12:05 pm
  • quo…as always, i respect your opinions…and, i assume nothing, so no blanks to fill in…i think one thing me, you, and sf can agree on is that we “like” the players on our respective teams better that the other guys, therefore we tend to value them more, and cut them more slack for their deficiencies…case closed…

    dc November 20, 2006, 12:14 pm
  • Quo – I thought Papelbon was always suppose to be a starter, but that last year they didn’t have a closer with Foulke out, and he pretty much stepped up and owned..
    Jumping into being a starter is probably rough, though I hear the Yanks might even try putting Proctor in that role, which would be amusing, to say the least..

    Lar November 20, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • He was always supposed to be a starter, though he did close at MSState. I suppose I should have said, “turning him back into a starter” so it’d be clearer. And yes…Proctor would be…interesting in a starting role. I think the real reason why it *might* be a mistake is simply because he was, and barring injury, would probably continue to be the most consistent bridge to Rivera.
    Of course, as Cashman has said, turning him back into a setup man would be easy should they fill the starter hole(s). Just figured going into the season relying on Farnsworth and Britton (good move by the Yanks, but he’s still a guy with a good FB, below-average offspeed stuff, and bad conditioning) to get the game to Mo (who probably should work very few multiple-inning outings this year) seems like a bit of a gamble. I predicted Proctor’s demise on several occasions (due to workload) and was unhappily proven wrong most of the time.

    Quo November 20, 2006, 1:01 pm

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