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Buster Olney Newsbeat

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The WAR is over, even if Buster Olney doesn’t know it

In short, the WAR war is over. If it wasn’t over when Felix Hernandez won the 2010 Cy Young Award with a 13-12 record, it surely was last year, when Clayton Kershaw became the first National League pitcher to win the MVP since 1968 — in no small measure because his 8.0 WAR led the majors, with the closest position player in the Senior Circuit being Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy at 6.8. And, of course, the fact that they are on the back of the Topps baseball cards, which is as close as the baseball world can get to dropping leaflets.

Any serious baseball fan in 2015 knows what WAR is and sees it referenced regularly. Casual fans have at least heard of it, and can accept that it is used as a single number to help measure players’ performance across positions, combining offense and defense. Further, Olney’s position writing for ESPN and appearing on a weekly national baseball broadcast gives him the opportunity to reach casual fans and further inform them, rather than insult their intelligence.

The argument that WAR is not relatable because it cannot be computed with simple math has been used, pardon the Latin here, ad nauseam. To say that it has no place in an awards debate is not only to go against vox populi, but should require a mea culpa for not knowing the role played by defensive runs saved — another incalculable stat by pencil-and-paper— in determining the Gold Glove winners.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2015 at 04:24 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: advanced metrics, buster olney, rbi, the sporting news, war



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