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Sunday, November 19, 2017

More on WAR – Joe Blogs – Medium

Bill is off base here. Bill seems to want to use WAR to answer questions that WAR is not really suited to answer. He’s not alone, of course. Other people use WAR to answer the MVP question all the time. The reason it’s done is, there really isn’t a tool out there designed to specifically answer the MVP question. Bill tried to do it with Win Shares. Unfortunately the adjustment methods he chose were too broad in nature.

In any event we don’t have to throw out WAR. It’s really useful for answering a lot of questions. I heartily agree with a Tangotiger suggestion:

I have always thought the best way to design a WAR would be to break it down into separate elements, which we later combine in the most appropriate way to best answer specific questions. The breakdown, IMO, should be: 1) offense, 2) defense (further broken down into components), 3) baserunning, 4) positional adjustment, and 5) context adjustment. (They should all also be presented with the related rate stat to help people answer other specific questions.)

Anyway, by introducing a timing/context adjustment as Tangotiger suggested, the value of the current WAR systems would increase. Our current data sets are much better than they were twenty years ago. We can now provide individual contexts, and need not rely on team ratios as Win Shares did. We should do it.

Unfortunately, though, the additions will generate more confusion as many people will still want to use one number to answer all questions.

“But because that is true, I ASSUMED that these were complex, nuanced, sophisticated systems. I never really looked; I just assumed that the details were out of my depth. But sometime in the last year I was doing some research that relied on these WAR systems, so I took a look at them, and … they’re not very impressive. They’re not well thought through; they haven’t made a convincing effort to address many of the inherent difficulties that the undertaking presents. They tend to get so far into the data, throw up their arms and make a wild guess. I don’t know if I’m going to get the time to do better of it, or if it will be left to others, but … we’re not at anything like an end point here. I assumed that these systems were a lot better than they actually are.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 208 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james, sabermetrics, war

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   201. zenbitz Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:36 PM (#5579579)
Don't see what the difference is between psychologically affected performance, and say "blisters" or "nagging wrist injury" or "hungover".

Or even "time spent in weight room" or "genetic eyesight outlier".

These are all causes of performance variance, not performance itself.
   202. BDC Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5579588)
I think as a philosophical point, absence of evidence for clutch hitters ≠ evidence of absence of clutch hitters is very well-taken.

But as many have said, it's easy to find hitters who do much better against RHP, etc., over fairly short trials. Clutch hitting ability is clearly much less perceptible.
   203. Rally Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:56 PM (#5579600)
Let's say we could see A-Rod's brain waves and we knew he was the most choketastic centaur on earth and that he'd hit a known .150/.200/.275 in every postseason. How much less would you pay him? Any?


Obviously this is not A-Rod, who hit 259/365/457 in his playoff career, but I'll play what if. You have a great player, someone who averages 8 WAR over a long peak and can help you get to many playoffs. But once there, he chokes so bad that he shouldn't even play. You should probably not even put him on the postseason roster.

I'd say if I were otherwise willing to pay 25 million per year, I'd pay about 23 million to this guy.
   204. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5579607)
I'd say if I were otherwise willing to pay 25 million per year, I'd pay about 23 million to this guy.

And I'd pay $25M and expect to get an ARod 2009 plyoffs one of these years.
   205. Greg K Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5579608)
One of my fantasies has always been to be a super-human baseball player, capable of essentially doing anything at will. And then using that power to do things like, only hit home runs on 1-2 counts, or every Friday strike out in my first at bat. Or hit 80 home runs one year, and then bat .650 the next with zero extra base hits.

In other words, I guess my fantasy is to be Ichiro.
   206. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5579618)
One of my fantasies has always been to be a super-human baseball player, capable of essentially doing anything at will. And then using that power to do things like, only hit home runs on 1-2 counts, or every Friday strike out in my first at bat. Or hit 80 home runs one year, and then bat .650 the next with zero extra base hits.

In other words, I guess my fantasy is to be Ichiro.

I wonder if, after several years, we will look back on Ichiro's career as a tremendous failure of imagination. I mean, out of all the things you mention, he chose just to go with the "speedy slap hitter" thing over and over again, followed by a pretty bog standard "declining old player" persona. It's like seeing Paul McCartney live - "Hey, Paul, 'Hey Jude' and 'Live and Let Die' are great and all, but they've been in the encore at every show for the last 25 years. You've got such a catalog - maybe change it up a bit?"
   207. Rally Posted: November 21, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5579623)
And I'd pay $25M and expect to get an ARod 2009 plyoffs one of these years.


You're not playing hypothetical. If he's a true great player and has failed in a few postseason appearances, you can expect better results going forward. But if he really is, somehow, a .150 hitter when it comes to the playoffs then you aren't going to get A-Rod 2009 style dominance outside of every 500 years or so. You might be able to expect a lucky 250/325/400 once, along with some sub .100 years.
   208. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: November 21, 2017 at 07:35 PM (#5579855)
Yeah? Well, I say Trump sucks! Hillary, too!

What? This isn't the political thread...?!
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