The creation of the first Sabermetric application that charts the BBWAA awards - all of them, outside of Manager of the Year) - in one spot, on a daily basis. Two new categories are being created; Defensive Player of the Year (“The Ozzie Smith”) as well as the FANGRAPHS RELIEVER OF THE YEAR, which utilizes SHUTDOWN/MELTDOWN as the primary metric. I can’t stress enough that this is simply an experiment, a statistical test kitchen, a space to question freely, make mistakes and bring forth something definitive, while ultimately drawing more old-school fans to Sabermetrics that wouldn’t normally play around with it.
...If 2012 isn’t the year WAR (“Wins Above Replacement”) goes mainstream, then 2013 will certainly enjoy that distinction and will alter the conversation of baseball statisitcs and awards. It’s been in the works on a niche level for a few decades now, from the personal desk of Bill James and the birth of Sabermetrics, the dawn of Rotesserie/Fantasy Baseball & Rob Neyer’s legendary ESPN column, to the 21st century bust-out of wonderful sites like David Appelman’s Fangraphs and Sean Forman’s Baseball-Reference.com, which reads as an encyclopedia of every baseball “counting stat” imaginable. Tom Tango,Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin created The Book, which moved the statistical dialogue forward and Baseball Between the Numbers, published in 2005 and edited by Jonah Keri, answers in essay form nearly every question you may have wondered about the National Pastime if you really thought about it.
• Do Players Perform Better in Contract Years? It’s in there.
• Do high salaries lead to higher ticket prices? It’s in there.
• Is there such a thing as a AAAA-player? It’s in there.
• Are new stadiums a good deal for municipalities? Derek Jeter’s gold glove? Why can’t Billy Beane get to the World Series? In there, in there and in there, too.
...I’m speaking to you, the overly-nostalgic one trapped in that time machine of your own device, stubbornly insisting “The Wind Cries Mary” on vinyl trumps CDs, iTunes or Spotify; passing on Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn for the old-school Jiffy Pop experience over the stove; proudly accepting designation as the last quasi-responsible father in America who keeps TANG in the pantry. I still love my sluggers driving in 100 ribbies. Still want my starters winning 20. Still love quality clutch hitting from scrappy underachievers.
All that said…it’s time we joined the rest of the group, people. Let’s evolve together.