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Monday, September 08, 2014

10 Degrees: Why WAR doesn’t always add up

Do not consider the following a declaration of war on WAR as much as an invitation for its greatest adherents in the sabermetric community to practice what they preached to the mainstream media during baseball’s analytical revolution: Please do better.

...

During our Twitter back-and-forth, Cameron asked for a solution. The clear one seems to be wait for better data until weighing fielding numbers equally with batting ones, but WAR doesn’t exist that way, and it’s not going away. Another suggestion was to regress the numbers, both individually within a particular season and over multiple years by position, so that the plus defenders are rewarded but not with the sort of confidence currently placed in the defensive metrics.

Regress data that has high uncertainty?  You mean like you would actually do if you were interested in the best answer and not just projecting false confidence in your metric?  That’s crazy talk.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 08, 2014 at 04:21 AM | 342 comment(s)
  Beats: war

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alex Gordon: The Eugene Cernan of the 2014 MLB All Star Game

Full disclosure, this writer works for me on another site. Also full disclosure: Alex Gordon is my favorite player, and Eugene Cernan is my favorite astronaut.

Alex Gordon, on the other hand, is a little bit more like Eugene Cernan, the 24th—and last—man to walk on the moon. Maybe you’ve heard of him, but probably not. “The 24th Man to Walk on the Moon” doesn’t have much musicality to it. His achievement is far from being as historical as Armstrong’s, but still, he’s been to the ####### moon ... and you haven’t. Similarly, Gordon isn’t a record-breaking super-deity like Trout or Cabrera, but he is one of the best players in the game….

Most of Gordon’s value comes from his seemingly unethical arm strength and his superb range in left field. Maybe that’s a knock on his All-Star credentials to some, since the metrics that inflate the defensive hemisphere of WAR are volatile. Is it more volatile than the BABIP-tethered merits of batting average, or the number of times a ball lands on the other side of a fence? Maybe, maybe not. The volatility of those metrics tends to average out over the span of a few years, and since Gordon began seeing regular playing time in left field in 2011, only Trout, Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Robinson Cano, and Ben Zobrist have produced more wins according to FanGraphs. Like Gordon, most of Zobrist’s value comes from defensive metrics. In fact, the two players are almost indiscernible, yet Gordon doesn’t have quite the same ironically notorious reputation for being underrated.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, mike trout, royals, war

 

 

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