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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spencer: Trout, Donaldson rival leaders on the WAR path

WAR of the double alliance.

Josh Donaldson is no fan of WAR. The process, he maintains, is fine, but the name has to go.

“I think it’s a terrible name for what it represents,” the Athletics’ skilled and athletic third baseman said Friday afternoon. “It’s not about [wins above] replacement players. It’s an equation of how you’re affecting the game—whether it’s clutch hitting, defense, offensive production. It’s a formula to say this is what a player brings to the table, his total game.”

Donaldson hasn’t come up with a more appropriate name for the equation, but he nodded enthusiastically when a visitor suggested Total Player Rating—TPR.

“I like that,” he said with a fist bump. “That’s much better. Let’s go with it.”

Donaldson, according to Baseball-Reference.com, is the highest-rated Wins Above Replacement position player in the Major Leagues. He is giving the A’s 7.1 wins, a half-tick more than two-time reigning American League WAR kingpin Mike Trout, who is at 6.5 for the Angels.

...With the loss of Yoenis Cespedes in the swap that brought Jon Lester to Oakland, Donaldson’s importance to the A’s increased—if that is possible. He was fourth, two spots behind runner-up Trout, in the AL Most Valuable Player Award balloting last season by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

“You can affect the game in more than one way,” Donaldson said. “It’s more than how you swing the bat. A lot of people say I’m having a down year, hitting [.255]. At the same time, I have those 20 errors. But there’s a lot more that goes into determining your value than your batting average and errors.”

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2014 at 07:34 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4782734)
Josh Donaldson is no fan of WAR. The process, he maintains, is fine, but the name has to go.

“I think it’s a terrible name for what it represents,” the Athletics’ skilled and athletic third baseman said Friday afternoon.
Well, it represents what it represents, but I don't like it because I don't like wars.

Rob Neyer has suggested Wins+. But I think that, in the age of Google, it's unwise to have a name that is only distinguishable from a very common term by a punctuation mark.

I dunno, someone should come up with something. But not TPR, though. That's taken (by Pete Palmer). And if the writer even brought up the name "TPR" to begin with, he presumably knew that! (Also, I do like that it's possible to pronounce "WAR". But mostly the problem with "TPR" is that it's taken.)
   2. PreservedFish Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4782735)
A friend of mine just calls it "wins."
   3. BDC Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4782738)
WAR is about replacement, but of course it starts with average, so for a single-season comparison WAA should be identical. (Thanks to Walt Davis and others here for teaching me this and insipring me to look at the fine print over at B-Ref :)

So perhaps WAA should be more commonly used in MVP deliberations. Then if you complain about the results it sounds like you're a crybaby, WAA.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: August 31, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4782743)
So perhaps WAA should be more commonly used in MVP deliberations. Then if you complain about the results it sounds like you're a crybaby, WAA.


There's no reason to have two different stats here, especially if for full-season players WAA more or less just equals (WAR - 2.5), or something like that.

When I first read about VORP and the concept of replacement level, back in the day, it was very eye-opening. I still think it was a great innovation. No matter how strong or weak the concept of the theoretical replacement player is, I think that the zero-WAR baseline is set in a very useful place, as it can be used to analyze both stars and scrubs. Josh Donaldson either doesn't quite get it, or he gets it but he just wants to put a different spin on it.
   5. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4782744)
WORTH - Wins Over Replacement THeory

You can either applaud or just throw money. :)

Seriously, it's much better than WAR.
   6. DKDC Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4782745)
How about CRAP?

Can't Rely on All Parts of equation.
   7. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4782774)
How about CRAP


Self-described post.
   8. bookbook Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4782797)
Yeah. Let's call it "Damn Lies" because that's all every statistic is!!!!
   9. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4782805)
Yeah. Let's call it "Damn Lies" because that's all every statistic is!!!!


I really hope that's an attempt at sarcasm.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 31, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4782818)
When I first read about VORP and the concept of replacement level, back in the day, it was very eye-opening. I still think it was a great innovation.


Bill James came up with the concept of replacement level back in the 1980s.

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