Q: Do you see an ethical difference between the players of the 90’s who used steroids and the players of the 50’s who used amphetamines?
Tango: I don’t think players today or players from 50 years ago and players from 100 years ago are of any different moral character, relative to the time period they lived in. And I don’t think that baseball players are of a
different moral character than engineers, plumbers, and accountants. It’s more accurate to say the choices that players make are a product of their environment than to say that the players set their environment.
It’s here that I think the MLPA failed: they should have treated this as a workplace safety issue, to protect those members who didn’t want to do something illicit or otherwise unhealthy or unsafe to keep up with the
risk-takers. Rick Helling was a lone voice in what should have been a booming chorus.
Q: Defensive metrics are often criticized, how can they be improved upon? What’s wrong with the current metrics like UZR & DRS?
Tango: We are limited to the data. This is true of everything. To improve a metric, you simply improve the data. So, instead of having a single person from a single vantage point tell us where a ball was hit, you can have several people from several vantage points. Or, you have an automated system like FIELDf/x that will do that.
The other is knowing the starting point of the fielder, so we can split up the valuation between positioning and range. Some people want to credit positioning to the fielder and other to the manager. Well, split it up
and let each person decide for himself.
Q: I feel like BABIP can be valuable statistic to look at; however I also think it’s overused and misused at times. What are your feelings on BABIP? Is there a metric that you feel isn’t being used properly?
Tango: BABIP is a valuable metric because it breaks down something into a specific component. Anything that gives you more perspective is good.
As for metrics that are improperly used: RBIs are still being misused. And FIP is being misused. Basically, everything is getting misused.
Posted: December 11, 2012 at 07:21 AM | 17 comment(s)
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