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Friday, March 08, 2013

WHIP and WAR: Brewers discuss the role of statistics in baseball

Give some players justice, or give them… #weekssauce

Statistics are a set of numbers that can tell the story of a season with no words or pictures, but those numbers are slowly becoming a sea of confusion even some of the players don’t understand.

“There are so many stats today,” Brewers catcher Blake Lalli said. “I’ll admit, I don’t even know what some of them are. “

...While Fiers admits to paying attention to statistics during the year and even using them to improve him game, Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks tries to avoid them altogether.

“People get paid off stats and, of course, you want to have the best possible, but if you pay too much attention to stats it can hold you back from doing certain things in the game,” Weeks said.

However, with stadiums flashing new technology and bigger screens, it is increasingly harder to avoid the numbers.

“Stats are everywhere now,” Weeks said. “The jumbotrons are bigger than ever and in high definition. I even see stats when I’m fielding on the outfield wall.”

Fans of America’s game are inundated with these numbers as they sit in front of their television sets or in their home stadiums watching a game. But nothing will eliminate assessing a player purely from what he does on the field - without looking to advanced statistics.

“Some stats are good, but we are playing a team game,” Weeks said. “Sometimes stats won’t give some players justice.”

Repoz Posted: March 08, 2013 at 01:03 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, sabermetrics

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4384318)
I'd guess that the number of players that can define SLG is rather small. I don't expect players to understand the numbers and I'm not sure understanding them provides any advantage to a player so I've never understood the "even some of the players don't understand them" notion.

Now ... as we all know, sportswriters can't resist "WAR, what is it good for?" yet none of them ever seem to go for "WHIP it, WHIP it good." Discuss.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4384357)
Now ... as we all know, sportswriters can't resist "WAR, what is it good for?" yet none of them ever seem to go for "WHIP it, WHIP it good." Discuss.


Wouldn't that be an acknowledgement that whip is good? Besides, I imagine many more writers have heard Bruce Springstein(or Edwin Star) more than Devo.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4384367)
Besides, I imagine many more writers have heard Bruce Springstein(or Edwin Star) more than Devo.


They've probably just all seen Seinfeld.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4384371)
“Stats are everywhere now,” Weeks said. “The jumbotrons are bigger than ever and in high definition. I even see stats when I’m fielding on the outfield wall.”
No wonder this dude can't field... he's facing the wrong way.

Anyway, I don't see "summary" stats as being helpful to a player -- whether the stat is BA, SLG or WAR, I think the guy already knows that it'd be better if that number is higher, and knowing that fact doesn't particularly help make it happen.

What I do think will transpire, as time goes on, is that stats will become more descriptive, rather than summarizing. There will be more stats to the effect that the guy has X bat speed on fastballs but Y on sliders, and his swing has begun to trace this parabola rather than that one, and so forth. That will be the type of thing that can be channeled towards improving player performance. But even then, it'll be a coach essentially serving as translator between the stat dude diagnosing the issue, and the player taking the physical steps to change the result. (Since coaches aren't exactly perfect, it certainly can't hurt if the player is capable of doing some of this work himself -- cf. Brandon McCarthy -- but I don't foresee a point where it's usually the player's primary responsibility.)
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4384374)
I imagine many more writers have heard Bruce Springstein(or Edwin Star)


Maybe even to the point where they'd know how to spell Springsteen. Or Starr, for that matter.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4384388)
Maybe even to the point where they'd know how to spell Springsteen. Or Starr, for that matter.


I should hope so, after all they are professional writers who are paid to know that type of crap.
   7. Astro Logical Sign Stealer Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4384478)
cf. stands for "confer" and means "compare"

I think you're going for e.g. (not to be confused with i.e.)
   8. The District Attorney Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4384519)
Whoops, I thought it was a more dramatic version of e.g., although I'm not sure why I thought the English language needed that. My bad.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4384530)
I would support a constitutional amendment making it required to know how to spell Springsteen before you can vote.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4384585)
I would support a constitutional amendment making it required to know how to spell Springsteen before you can vote.


Why? Is he someone that people actually care about outside of east coast? I was thinking he was somewhat like Gene Simmons, way past the point of actually being relevant anymore.

Edit: if it was someone worthwhile like Bruce Campbell, I could see your point.
   11. GGC Posted: March 08, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4384675)
What's your stance on Chuck Barry, cfb?
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4384677)
What's your stance on Chuck Barry, cfb?


Who?? Just kidding, he was great when he redid that Michael J Fox song.

Note: my dis on Springsteen was just because of the pedantic attack on my spelling.

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