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Friday, June 06, 2014

Strange but - True!: Sabermetrics

Strange but - True!: Can’t see the Rendlesham Forest for the trees!

Q. Baseball fans, are you a sabermetrician? Have you got a taste for the alphabet soup of statistics being served up in baseball these days?

A. Historically, the holy trinity of baseball stats has been AVG (batting average), HR (home runs) and RBI (runs batted in), says Steve Mirsky in “Scientific American” magazine. Now we also have “sabermetrics,” a term from legendary stat man Bill James, combining “metrics” with an acronym for the Society for American Baseball Research. The term includes statistical measures such as OBP, OPS, UZR and WAR to help evaluate player and team performance and front office strategy. “Sadly,” Mirsky jokes, “sabermetrics does not refer to exactly how far down onto his sword a general manager has to fall if his team underperforms.”

The movie “Moneyball” pitched to a large general audience OBP (“on-base percentage”), meaning “hits plus walks divided by plate appearances” because, as the old baseball adage goes, “A walk is as good as a hit.” But this cannot be true when the hit is a home run, even though the homer counts only like a single for batting average.

A popular way to measure hitting now is OPS (“on-base plus slugging percentage”), which gives more weight to power and hence to scoring. UZR (“ultimate zone rating”) is used to measure defense but has been criticized for its inconsistency.

WAR (“wins above replacement”) purports to figure the number of wins a player adds to his team’s total over that of his replacement. “What is it good for? Perhaps not absolutely nothing, but less than it may appear,” Mirsky quips. More broadly, as another observer put it, “I do not think these baseball stats mean what you think they mean.”

Repoz Posted: June 06, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4720583)
Very odd article and format. Excerpt is the entire baseball-related content.

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