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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Keith Law on Cabrera MVP win: “What is wrong with these people”

Keith Law let’s it all hang out on Boston talk radio.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2012 at 08:17 AM | 112 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mvp, sabermetrics

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   101. Darren Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4305703)
For the record, I'm not crazy about Law's antagonistic style in general, either. And I agree with you that being insulting is not the solution. The point, though, is to not be afraid to call stupid ideas stupid ideas in order to be polite, especially when the person spewing those ideas is trying to undermine your credibility.

   102. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4305708)
"The point, though, is to not be afraid to call stupid ideas stupid ideas in order to be polite, especially when the person spewing those ideas is trying to undermine your credibility."

You can call stupid ideas inaccurate, and directly explain why, and have a better chance at winning the argument.

And stupid people can't undermine your credibility with stupid responses - but you can undermine your own credibility by stooping to that level.


   103. PerroX Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4305756)
Law can be abrasive, but it's because he is always forthright in his opinion. I often disagree with him, but he's willing to give and take and not merely pontificate. He's on the thoughtful end of the baseball writer spectrum.
   104. Ron J2 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4306153)
Um, how many teams have been more than +/-15 games from thier Pythag record?


Standard error is right around 3.5 wins per 162.
   105. AROM Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4306159)
Um, how many teams have been more than +/-15 games from thier Pythag record?


Orioles were +11 this year. 2008 Angels were +12. Those are the recent anomalies I can remember. I'd have to have the Lahman encyclopedia to search every team. I've looked this up and forgotten the details, but I don't think any team, ever, has been more than 15 games off of their pythag.
   106. Ron J2 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4306162)
Tom Verducci made the best argument I heard regarding this and said that last year Ben Zoberist led the AL in WAR in 2011. Apparently he didn't win the MVP and the seam heads weren't up in arms. Take that Keith Law, you asssssssshole!


Verlander was a strong consensus pick here.

A) At the time of voting we had CHONE-WAR and Zobrist didn't do quite as well. Unless I'm very much mistaken this is one of the things that changed in May.

B) We'd probably have still supported Verlander anyhow
1) We're not totally confident that Zobrist's value on defense was 29 runs. And he needs that to have the highest WAR.
2) It's not like the difference between 8.5 and 8.2 is significant. The standard error for WAR is certainly not less than .5 wins and is probably closer to 1.
   107. Ron J2 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4306167)
Loved the two WAR swing for Zobrist among calculations of essentially the same stat. Just screams "legitimacy".


But it's not the same stat. It's the same framework, but

The offensive components are calculated in a different manner. The standard error of even the best offensive metrics is not less than 15 runs at the team level. Or 5 runs for a full time player. Meaning it's completely predictable that there will be a small number of big changes when you switch (good) metrics.

The defensive components are done differently.

And (when talking FWAR and BWAR) the value of simply showing up is calculated differently.
   108. AROM Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4306172)
No but seriously, what's an example of a saberist calling someone else an idiot (besides MGL and Dave Cameron)?


If I didn't do that directly then it's because I avoided all of the various MVP threads recently. The arguments being made for Cabrera are painful to listen to. The stupid hurts. The playoff/non-playoff is especially tough when to make it you have to wave away that:

1. Angels won more games
2. Angels played a tougher schedule
3. This is a subset of #2, but had they switched teams the biggest difference is Cabrera has to play about 20 more games against Seattle and Oakland - 1/8 of his schedule vs teams very strong at run prevention - and 20 fewer games against the weak pitching Indians and Twins. There's a good chance in that situation there is no triple crown.

1) We're not totally confident that Zobrist's value on defense was 29 runs. And he needs that to have the highest WAR.
2) It's not like the difference between 8.5 and 8.2 is significant. The standard error for WAR is certainly not less than .5 wins and is probably closer to 1.


Yeah, Zobrist needed every bit of those defensive runs to be considered real and accurate by the voters. With Trout, he doesn't need his DRS/UZR runs. If he's considered a merely average center fielder then his numbers are still the most valuable in the league. It is inconceivable that anyone with the slightest knowledge of baseball could watch Trout play the outfield and conclude that he is not above average. That's all you need. You don't have to put a run value on it or trust someone else doing so.
   109. Ron J2 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4306181)
Ray I don't have recent info (hopefully Chris Dial is lurking and can chime in) but there was a strong positive correlation between the various defensive metrics. Typically in the range of 70% IIRC.

Now this isn't close to what we have on the offensive side, where it's more like (again from memory) about 92%.

OPS+ and EQA is probably a lousy choice though. OPS+ is a thoroughly mediocre metric and it's quite plausible that there would be big misses on (in particular) fast guys with a high OBP.
   110. The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4306185)
The 2011 AL MVP is kind of weird. On their podcast, Jazayerli and Sheehan have often discussed Verlander's MVP as if it were a travesty. I suppose the Internet Baseball Awards are as close as we can come to identifying a stathead consensus, and that voting went Bautista (310 1st place votes), Ellsbury (106), Verlander (125). (Zobrist was 18th; no one had him higher than 3rd.)

In any event, Verducci is unwittingly giving statheads a hell of a lot of credit with his Zobrist comment: apparently we aren't slaves to WAR, and can skeptically examine its results! Trout > Cabrera is not really about WAR anyway, as we have often said.
   111. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4306192)
The entertainment value of seeing a guy that absurdly arrogant so unhinged is tough to top.


I remember seeing Trump (and some Republican TV talking heads) explode a couple of Tuesday nights ago, so I have to agree with that point.
   112. vivaelpujols Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4306229)
If I didn't do that directly then it's because I avoided all of the various MVP threads recently. The arguments being made for Cabrera are painful to listen to. The stupid hurts. The playoff/non-playoff is especially tough when to make it you have to wave away that:


No I've called people idiots here and FanGraphs and SBNation all the time, but never in an article or on the comments of one of my articles. We're comparing publish mainstream writers to published saber writers. And I agree the stupid hurts.
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