It has taken 45 years for someone to win the Triple Crown of hitting statistics, and the statistics zealots want to take it away from Miguel Cabrera. As Cabrera was zeroing in on the rare achievement, ESPN.com had a column about the “’real’ Triple Crown.” It was written by someone from something called “Baseball Think Factory.” I may be displaying my ignorance in not knowing what that is, but it sounds like something where its advocates could do themselves a favor by not thinking so much and just watch games for the pure enjoyment of them. ...
Without getting into details, I note that the column inadvertently states one of the reasons I have no use for WAR. It cites two different versions of WAR, one computed by Baseball-Reference, another by FanGraphs. For all I know, there are still others.Runs batted in are absolute. Home runs are the same wherever you look. Batting average is based on hits and at-bats. None of those statistics have different versions. If we accept new-age statistics, whom do we consult and trust, Baseball-Reference or FanGraphs or some other self-professed expert, Bill James perhaps?
This column goes further, suggesting there might be a better way of determining players’ relative value, but I didn’t learn what it is because reading more of the column would have required payment, and that’s not going to happen.
Edit: tags updated. Jim