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My issue is this: I don’t like the increasing over-use of (and over-reliance on) WAR as THE definitive evaluation of a player’s worth.
“Mike Trout had a 10.7 WAR and Miguel Cabrera had a 6.9 WAR, so anyone who thinks Cabrera deserved to be the American League MVP should be strip-searched, tied to an anthill and forced to rely on dial-up for his Internet connection for the remainder of his pathetic life.”
Look all stats have their limitations. If a player has a .329 batting average, that probably means he's pretty good. But for an accurate measure of the player, we need more information. How many extra-base hits does he have? How many times does he walk? How many stolen bases? How many runs, how many RBIs? How many double plays has he hit into? The same is true for a player with 40 home runs. Does he have a .300 average to go with them, or a .230 average? Does he strike out a lot? How often does he walk?
The same approach should apply to WAR.
If a player has a .333 batting average, we know he gets a hit once every three at-bats. It is a statistical fact. But if we say a shortstop has an Ultimate Zone Rating of 12.4, well, it means he's likely a very good fielder but we also have to assume that the theory behind UZR is indeed an accurate measure of fielding ability. It might be (more so with infielders) but it certainly isn't precise and inarguable.
It's not precise nor inarguable, but neither is batting average.
RE: Trout vs. Miggy - that was a situation where WAR really did tell the story, and the so-called old school ignored the all around player in lieu of their dedication to stats; namely the triple crown stats.
I thought the article was actually pretty well thought out, which is why I posted it. It's not a head-in-the-sand type anti-SABER article and while it doesn't bring any new facts or arguments to the WAR case that haven't been talked about here before, it is balanced look at how we should use WAR to evaluate players.
But he does, you just typically find the "credit" for that average play at the position elsewhere. Having the value of playing a position in the offensive value is ugly from an accounting standpoint, but we're mostly used to it, so it tends to look weird otherwise.
There is inherent value for just being on the field, especially if you are league average defensively.
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