Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   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.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Brian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogJoe Posnanski's Top 100 Players: No. 40: Eddie Collins
(71 - 12:41pm, Mar 06)
Last: Yeaarrgghhhh

NewsblogPictures of New Ballpark Food Items « Ben's Biz Blog
(26 - 12:34pm, Mar 06)
Last: dave h

NewsblogESPN: Cashman: Retire captaincy with Jeter
(29 - 12:32pm, Mar 06)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogMinor's absence opens opportunities for Stults | braves.com
(9 - 12:29pm, Mar 06)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogOTP - March 2015: You’re out, tobacco: Bill would ban products at all California baseball venues
(761 - 12:27pm, Mar 06)
Last: Joey B.

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2015
(8 - 12:24pm, Mar 06)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogPatriots, Giants, Rays sign amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage
(6 - 12:10pm, Mar 06)
Last: Shibal

NewsblogVideo: Pedroia's grand slam | MLB.com
(5 - 11:59am, Mar 06)
Last: Rickey! is just here so he don't get fined

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - March 2015
(317 - 11:54am, Mar 06)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogArbitrator will decide whether Josh Hamilton should enter rehab - ESPN Los Angeles
(77 - 11:41am, Mar 06)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(46 - 11:18am, Mar 06)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogWhy Masahiro Tanaka isn't worried about the health of his elbow - Yahoo Sports
(2 - 10:58am, Mar 06)
Last: bbmck

NewsblogBryan Price wants Reds to run like Pete Rose
(45 - 10:53am, Mar 06)
Last: bbmck

Newsblog'Boring' Cardinals know how to win
(15 - 10:17am, Mar 06)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogUPDATE: X-rays confirm fractured left forearm for Giants' Hunter Pence, out 6-8 weeks - Giants Extra
(9 - 10:15am, Mar 06)
Last: Charles S. has an IV drip in his arm

Page rendered in 0.1416 seconds
48 querie(s) executed