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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scott DeSmit: Just give me a kid who can play the game

The Daily News: Serving Genesee…and by the looks of it, even harder shiit!

Mike Trout deserved the MVP because of Pythagorean expectations, speed scores, ultimate zone ratings, VORP, wOBA and PECOTA, or Player Empiracal Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm.

Think baseball was boring before?

Grrrrr.

Yes, baseball has always been stat-driven. That’s why I love reading box scores.

But it’s also driven by gut instinct.

Taking David Ortiz out of the World Series lineup based on Sabermetrics? Because the bench player had a better OPS/WAR against the pitcher on odd-numbered days and when the defensive lineup consisted of 38 percent Hispanic players with DRSes of .678 or above?

Blah blah blah.

You can have your computer-generated scouting reports.

Give me that kid who dives into second base headfirst stretching a single or smashes into the outfield wall leaping for a fly ball or hits 450-feet home runs or bats .320 and steals 50 bases and give me that pitcher who waves off his manager when he reaches 100 in the pitch count.

And I’ll take a Triple Crown winner over anyone.

I don’t care if it’s a cloudy day or not.

Repoz Posted: April 13, 2014 at 07:08 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: April 13, 2014 at 07:33 AM (#4685293)
Taking David Ortiz out of the World Series lineup based on Sabermetrics? Because the bench player had a better OPS/WAR against the pitcher on odd-numbered days and when the defensive lineup consisted of 38 percent Hispanic players with DRSes of .678 or above?

Yeah, that's what sabermetrics is. Sheesh. People are still writing stuff like this?
   2. The District Attorney Posted: April 13, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4685314)
Hey, there was a guy here who did want to take David Ortiz out of the World Series lineup.

The actual Red Sox, of course, did not.

And even people caricaturing sabermetrics should at least know that sabermetricians also would like a kid who hits 450-foot home runs and bats .320.

Which, especially after you get to the part where this "kid" also steals bases and can field, is a remarkably apt description of Mike Trout... the very player whom this guy thinks doesn't deserve to win the MVP. I know we've said this a million times, but it's so funny how we circled around to the point where the "stat favorite" is a five-tool speedster and the "traditionalist favorite" is a fat guy who just hits. It really shows how reactionary the traditionalist response is.
   3. Matt Welch Posted: April 13, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4685335)
Give me that kid who dives into second base headfirst stretching a single or smashes into the outfield wall leaping for a fly ball or hits 450-feet home runs or bats .320 and steals 50 bases

So Mike Trout, is what you're saying.

And I’ll take a Triple Crown winner over anyone.

So not Mike Trout, is what you're saying.
   4. spike Posted: April 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4685359)
I swear these type of columns are done on a dare to see how many one sentence paragraphs you can get away with. Even the author doesn't actually believe the content.
   5. Moeball Posted: April 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4685363)
Hey, there was a guy here who did want to take David Ortiz out of the World Series lineup.


I can think of several guys who wanted Ortiz pulled from the Red Sox lineup.

The St. Louis Cardinals come to mind.

This article should be sent immediately to all the Creationist-type museums as proof that dinosaurs indeed walk the earth among humans.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4685364)
Hey, there was a guy here who did want to take David Ortiz out of the World Series lineup.

Would that be the same guy who wanted to fire Farrell on the spot for not pinch-hitting for Lester in game 5?
   7. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4685372)
but it's so funny how we circled around to the point where the "stat favorite" is a five-tool speedster and the "traditionalist favorite" is a fat guy who just hits. It really shows how reactionary the traditionalist response is.


Sorry, I've been trying to behave but that's just too much for me. From my POV, being a Primate/observer for over ten years, it's been the exact opposite. Back then the groupthink was that the universally stupid baseball establishment didn't value walks, a thousand vintage soundbites on youtube to the contrary. Heroic genius Billy Beane was the exception and built a team of New Ken Phelps All-stars in Oakland, the majority of whom were fat softball player types. THAT -- the process AND the product, the RESULT just as much as the rationale -- was the interpretation of "Moneyball" presented here. The more traditionally-minded objected that just because defense and speed had to be evaluated via observation and scouting didn't mean it was worthless. 'No, you horrible troglodyte idiot stupid idiot morons,' they (we) were told, 'because fielding and base-running can't be graded empirically it is best ignored, considered valueless even if in theory it might have some value (which it almost certainly does not).' Indeed, I remember being lectured (in a condescending way of course because anyone who questions saber orthodoxy is by definition moronic) that while Whitey Herzog might have thought in an emic way that defense and speed won him games, the etic explanation (conclusively and forever, of course) Whitey was too stupid to see for himself was that his teams had won _in spite_ of certainly negatively valued basestealing and at best neutral value defense, solely because of their OBP.

Then people started to collect better data and eventually made stats that could include fielding and base running. Suddenly, conveniently forgetting that they'd deprecated defense and speed and subjected people who'd insisted on its value to all sorts of abuse, the sabes championed defensive and base running value; and, as luck would have it, they got a chance to perversely use their stolen weapon that they had the gall to claim they alone discovered to assault, as it were, those from whom they stole it by claiming that it can be used to 'prove' that a Triple Crown winner is an undeserving MVP. It's true that someone has flip-flopped in this argument, but credit is being given to the wrong party.

I'm arrogant. Most of the things I enjoy are made by arrogant people. Most of the personalities I admire have been arrogant. My threshold, IOW, for smug, assholish commentary and behavior is high as long as such is honest (which I think sabes are in the sense that they believe what they are saying). But I have been consistently amazed, sometimes entertained, yet often repulsed by the vividly snot-nosed, gleeful arrogance of statheads as a whole. They're always right, and with the aid of memory holes and revisionism, can always 'prove' it. They always have been and will be correct while everyone else is not just always wrong but also totally ________-illiterate #######. This will be my last post for a while because this site is eating up my time, but I want to say a lot of individual Primates are sensible and interesting and great; I'm talking above about the tone of the site and the movement as a whole*. I first came here because I liked More and Better analysis and, yes, the cornball style of some traditionalist writing was annoying and remains so. I was, so to speak, unhappy with Charles I and sought modest but definite reform, not the full fury and self-righteousness of the Scots Kirk that greeted me. I'm sure someone will say that even if they grant my point on extremism, that that's just how opposition works -- which is what happened when groupthink admitted finally that DIPS was overdone and people I agreed with said 'we said so all along and were abused for it!'. Too bad, we were told; deal with it and accept the new synthesis which, like the old one, presumes statheads are always infallible. Stathead anti-thesis to traditionalist thesis doesn't have to riot in obnoxious overstatement to make its Hegelian point yet it always seems to do so, and I say just as much in sorrow as in anger that that sux.

* More modest are the people who actually do research. I never saw Robert Dudek or Tom Tango be obnoxious; I've been very pleased to see Mike Emeigh speak out against obnoxiousness. Please, good people, aim obnoxiousness at appropriate targets like the lying, fraudulent, law of the jungle-promoting, neocon-artist "libertarians" who deserve it.

   8. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4685374)
Mike Trout deserved the MVP award because offensively he was as good as Cabrera, and added defense, tougher position and baserunning to the equation. Those new fangled stats like batting average, hr and rbi don't tell the whole picture, and I wish these kids would stop mucking up something as simple as the game by bringing them into the equation.
   9. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4685384)
I'm arrogant. Most of the things I enjoy are made by arrogant people. Most of the personalities I admire have been arrogant. My threshold, IOW, for smug, assholish commentary and behavior is high as long as such is honest (which I think sabes are in the sense that they believe what they are saying). But I have been consistently amazed, sometimes entertained, yet often repulsed by the vividly snot-nosed, gleeful arrogance of statheads as a whole. They're always right, and with the aid of memory holes and revisionism, can always 'prove' it. They always have been and will be correct while everyone else is not just always wrong but also totally ________-illiterate #######. This will be my last post for a while because this site is eating up my time, but I want to say a lot of individual Primates are sensible and interesting and great; I'm talking above about the tone of the site and the movement as a whole*.

So does that make you a "maybe" for this summer's softball game?
   10. shock Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4685408)
Only a professional writer could make a living writing "blah blah blah" as a paragraph.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4685442)
Repoz has posted this same article 25X at least.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4685449)
"The Daily News" serves not only Genesee County, but Wyoming and Orleans counties as well. One of the titans of the upper central New York non-Buffalo-based media one would assume.
   13. cmd600 Posted: April 13, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4685697)
Sorry, I've been trying to behave but that's just too much for me.


Joe Sheehan may have shouted the loudest, but I'd argue that most of us try hard not to be him, and find him just as obnoxious as this writer, who thinks he knows it all as much as you accuse sabermetrics guys of.

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