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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Statistics Newsbeat

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Hey, Murray, is there room in your basement for Lupica and Madden? Can Mike and Bill munch on your Fruit Loops or must they bring their own boxes?

A “Keeping Score” column in The New York Times last week caught my attention with this start to a sentence: “While batting average may no longer hold much sway…”

Written by Benjamin Hoffman, the piece was about Yoenis Cespedes, the New York Mets’ surprising sensation, and his chances of winning the National League most valuable player award.Yoenis Cespedes Mets 225

Curious about that “batting average” phrase, I called Hoffman Tuesday night and asked him about it.

I don’t know Hoffman, never met him, never had spoken with him. However, simply by taking my call, he showed a lot more class than his superiors in the Times sports department.

“I think there’s been a pretty widespread move to emphasize other statistics, with organizations, even with fans,” Hoffman said.

And with Metrics Monsters. Don’t forget them. They concoct new metrics – I don’t like even the sound of that word – and in their arrogant way expect everyone to accept them as the Ten Commandments of baseball. You know, Thou shalt use WAR to vote for MVP and the Hall of Fame.

What has taken the place of batting average? “People have gone all over the place with it,” Hoffman said, “with some emphasizing on-base, slugging, adjusted figures that account for different parks and eras.”

I cannot tell you what magical letters denote those adjusted figures. I don’t want to know what they are. They are meaningless to me. ...

The supposed diminished significance of batting average is reminiscent of something I “learned” a couple of years ago when I was told and then read that wins for pitchers no longer mattered and never really did matter.

The Metrics Monsters and their allies decided that too many variables and factors entered into pitching’ decisions, and it therefore made no sense to credit a pitcher with a win just because he started a game, lasted at least five innings and his team won the game.

Just think. All those years we talked about 20-game winners, and now we had to discard all of that information and those records. It was bad enough when an MLB committee in 1992 defined or redefined what a no-hitter was. I didn’t agree with the committee’s decisions, and I don’t agree with all of this WAR and VORP business, though as a writer friend pointed out the other day we don’t hear much about VORP these days.

JE (Jason) Posted: September 17, 2015 at 02:25 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: advanced metrics, get off my lawn, murray chass, old coot, statistics

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Baseball Reference blog: What is the Little League Home Run?

An important poll is being run! And it’s fun, because you get to watch highly paid professionals performing very badly.

manchestermets Posted: August 15, 2015 at 02:49 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: comedy, statistics

Saturday, July 25, 2015

America Has Spoken: MLB Steroid Users Should Lose A Third Of Their Stats | FiveThirtyEight

Let’s dock them 0.5675% instead.

Perilously close to overtaking Babe Ruth as the GOAT in real life, Bonds drops to eighth in position-player WAR when we dock his steroid-era production by 33 percent. That leaves us with an all-time top five far more palatable to baseball traditionalists: Ruth, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Aaron and Honus Wagner.5

The debate over steroids in baseball is bitter and divisive, but this solution represents a compromise, based on real data, that attempts to meet all camps somewhere in the middle.

(Just kidding, this will never be settled and will remain a festering puncture wound to the game of baseball for generations to come. Play ball!)

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics, steroids

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ESPN 538: 4000 adjusted hits for Aaron

Career Hits adjusted for era, park and schedule:

Ty Cobb: 4369
Pete Rose: 4358
Hank Aaron: 4014

bbmck Posted: June 23, 2015 at 07:54 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, hank aaron, pete rose, statistics, ty cobb



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