Quite the entertaining morning yesterday watching the online reaction to some of what Mariners manager Eric Wedge had to say about his veteran players. Many of you here were upset by it, as were some on my Twitter feed and in various other blog comments sections. Some of the more vehement comments centered around his daring to use statistics like “home runs” and “RBI” in discussing player merit, rather than more advanced metrics.
I saw the usual “Fire Eric Wedge!” hysterics, but that’s to be expected. Fans tend to overreact to daily happenings with every baseball team in any given year and that’s nothing new.
...I’ll leave you with this one thought, which occured when I read this comment over the internet yesterday:
“Today is Eric Wedge’s 1316th game as a manager of an MLB team. If you take him at his word, he apparently still believes that it is a worthwhile effort to (1) place a fair amount of importance on Olivo’s veteran status, and (2) reference RBI numbers as a measure of how effective a player is.
He’s had 1316 chances for the light bulb to come on and realize why that’s wrong. If I did my job wrong for 1316 days, I would be wondering why I was still employed. I don’t think it’s a stretch to wonder if Wedge is really cut out for this sort of thing.”
My thought after reading that comment is, is this really the level of arrogance our increased knowledge of stats has brought us to? For me, out of simple humility, the thought process should be: “Wedge has had 1,316 chances for the light bulb to come on and realize he’s wrong. Maybe, the fact that Wedge hasn’t realized he’s wrong is an indication that my thought process might not be as bang-on correct as I think it is. Maybe it’s me who has to re-evaluate. Maybe there is more to the job than I realize and that’s why Wedge has been employed at it for 1,316 games.’‘
But that’s just me. Something to think about.