I’m resigning from the frater-nutty of sabermetricians, effective immediately.
As a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) since 1979, I like to think I was among the first devotees of sabermetrics, a term that had not yet been created for the math wizards who claim they have devised formulae that can reveal to you everything a major-league team needs to know about a ballplayer and (gasp!) essentially predict his future.
...Other statistics categories Gammons and I helped pioneer were quality starts for pitchers and catchers’ earned run averages. We also kept stats on how successful batters were at getting runners home from third with less than two outs.
Gammons and I were among the first to emphasize on-base percentage and slugging percentage over batting average. There are some other statistics he and I developed, either together or by ourselves after Gammons moved on to TV work. A couple of the ones I developed have, to the best of my knowledge, never caught on. But I still keep them because I believe they are revelant.
...Here in the office the other night we had a real verbal donnybrook going between David Pevear, Matt Langone and me about who should be the MVP in the AL, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera or rookie sensation Mike Trout. Pevear kept spouting sabermetrics in support of Trout, noting that Trout had a higher WAR (Wins Above Replacement) than Cabrera.
Well, here’s what I think of WAR: As dreadful a year as the Red Sox had, they were 47-43 before David Ortiz got hurt on July 16. They were 22-50 without him in the second half. Ergo, for the Red Sox to be four games above .500, in that stretch, their replacement designated hitters would have had to come up 16 more wins than they did.
Yes, Ortiz was worth 16 more wins to the Red Sox than his replacements, easily outdistancing both Cabrera and Trout in that department. So David Ortiz is the true MVP of the American League.
Posted: October 14, 2012 at 06:35 AM | 46 comment(s)
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