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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Montini: Forget about stats; baseball is for people

SG is PEOPLE!

For a few weeks each March the story of the game and its players is once again told in sentences, and the soulless numbers of today’s pro ball are replaced with actual words.

Like hope. Like dreams. Like memory.

It’s the best time of year.

...Statistics didn’t much interest us. Players did.

I’m sure there is an OPS number for the great Roberto Clemente, but it could not possibly measure his heart or humanity, winning the Most Valuable Player award in the 1971 World Series and dying in a plane crash a year later while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Also, from what I’ve been told, a player’s VORP rating does not measure grace or good humor. That’s a shame. In Pittsburgh we had Willie Stargell, the slugging outfielder and first-baseman who spent 21 years with the team. He was called “Pops” in 1979 when he led the Pirates to a World Series win after getting the team to adopt as an anthem the Sister Sledge song “We Are Family.”

Repoz Posted: March 11, 2012 at 08:37 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: arizona, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4078466)
Ultimately true, but you don't have to gratuituously slur advanced stats and sabermetrics to get there. Too binary an approach.
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4078467)
Binary? That sounds like a math word. Boo! Don't you know that baseball is about people?


   3. Twoey Guillen Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4078468)
Clemente's heart flat-lined after that plane crash. Measured.
   4. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4078470)
Especially given that most of us who love stats love the stories as well; we just understand that the romance of the game is better conveyed through stories and that value is better conveyed through stats.
   5. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4078471)
It’s the best time of year.

It's the best time of year if you're watching the ballplayers up close in Arizona or Florida. However, it's not the best time of year if you're stuck in your cubicle reading "He's in the best shape of his life" and "They are trying out a new celebratory handshake" storylines.
   6. BochysFingers Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4078472)
Does the writer not realize that a game is won/lost based upon the number of runs scored, which is a statistic?
   7. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4078473)
Clemente's heart flat-lined after that plane crash. Measured.

Too soon!
   8. Gotham Dave Posted: March 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4078486)
Actually, Mr. Montini, it's funny you bring it up. Roberto Clemente is the only player in major league history with no "OPS number". Clemente had so much passion for the game and good nature in his heart that all statistics about him disappeared. Except 3,000 hits, because you get hits with your HEART, unlike OPSeses.
   9. Shazbot Posted: March 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4078491)
Thank you for letting us know that this is the time of year you get to write meaningless articles about nothing, while reminiscing on the past.
   10. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4078527)
Should I be scared that Repoz and I both went immediately to the Soylent Green place?
   11. Dale Sams Posted: March 11, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4078544)
Clemente's heart flat-lined after that plane crash. Measured.


Nope. Body never found.
   12. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4078547)
I thought Montini died in 1978. Plus, I had him pegged as more of a soccer fan.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4078606)
Baseball is for people; stats are for squirrel monkeys.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 11, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4078610)
Stats are people, my friend.
   15. esseff Posted: March 11, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4078628)
Forget about stats; baseball is for people


My uncle is sick but the highway is green.
   16. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4078634)
Voros - I went there too. I think it's fairly natural - or at least OK.

#14 is brilliant. Just. Brilliant.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: March 11, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4078636)
forget about cyborgs, baseball is for people.
   18. Gonfalon B. Posted: March 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4078658)
Clemente's heart flat-lined after that plane crash. Measured.

Nope. Body never found.



RClemente, RF
JBuckley, 2B
JJAstor, 1B
FDrake, DH
OBin Laden, LF
MJKopechne, CF
HHudson, 3B
NWood, SS
LKlinghofer, C
GRasputin, P
   19. Tripon Posted: March 11, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4078664)
Speaking of people, I saw Friends with Kids. Decent movie, with basically the cast of Bridemaids playing all the major roles. However, it should have switched Kristen Wiig with the lead actress, who wrote the script, directed and played the female lead. She was in love with herself and it shown. Stopped a decent movie from being better.
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 12, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4078665)
GRasputin, P

it was amazing how he switched from a banjo hitting outfielder to a crafty knuckler
   21. Shock Posted: March 12, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4078679)
I like stats more than I like most people, this guy especially.
   22. Tippecanoe Posted: March 12, 2012 at 03:33 AM (#4078687)
Also, from what I’ve been told, a player’s VORP rating does not measure grace or good humor


Well,duh. You use Grace and Good Humor Above Replacement(GAGAR) for that.
   23. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 12, 2012 at 04:16 AM (#4078693)
GRasputin, P

it was amazing how he switched from a banjo hitting outfielder to a crafty knuckler


Wasn't he supposed to be tall and kinda lanky? I have him pictured more as a Randy Johnson type hurler. With a more awesome stache.
   24. tfbg9 Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4078718)
Gregor Rasputin is...

HARD TO KILL
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4078723)
However, it should have switched Kristen Wiig with the lead actress, who wrote the script, directed and played the female lead. She was in love with herself and it shown.


That was the problem with "Kissing Jessica Stein" too. Remember how she was a darling after that film, then we all forgot about her for a long time, then her career pops up again as her husband rockets to stardom.
   26. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4078728)
That was the problem with "Kissing Jessica Stein" too.

I thought the problem was that she wasn't actually gay.
   27. JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4078729)
Speaking of people, I saw Friends with Kids. Decent movie, with basically the cast of Bridemaids playing all the major roles. However, it should have switched Kristen Wiig with the lead actress, who wrote the script, directed and played the female lead. She was in love with herself and it shown. Stopped a decent movie from being better.


I was disappointed in it because I thought it was going to be an ensemble story about three couples instead of focusing only on the one. Hamm and Wiig especially seemed liked large parts of their story were cut out.
   28. zonk Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4078732)
Stats for all.

BOOOOO!!!!

Very well, no stats for anyone.

BOOOOO!!!

Stats for some, oversized foam hands for others!

   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4078755)
Adam Scott is also much funnier as an arrogant prick than as a sweet guy.
   30. Tripon Posted: March 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4079432)
Agreed. Adam Scott is a grower, not a shower.
   31. Something Other Posted: March 13, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4079443)
Speaking of people, I saw Friends with Kids. Decent movie, with basically the cast of Bridemaids playing all the major roles. However, it should have switched Kristen Wiig with the lead actress, who wrote the script, directed and played the female lead. She was in love with herself and it shown. Stopped a decent movie from being better.
Oh, man, Bridesmaids was a humorless, soulless mess. Taking a #### in the middle of the street is funny? Sorry, no.
   32. bobm Posted: March 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4079457)
[18]

RClemente, RF
JBuckley, 2B
JJAstor, 1B
FDrake, DH
OBin Laden, LF
MJKopechne, CF
HHudson, 3B
NWood, SS
LKlinghofer, C
GRasputin, P


AVaughan, SS
CPappas, P

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