Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback



All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher


Pitcher Wins Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Bill James: How Reliable are Won-Lost Records, Part I

  Somebody replied to this “With all of the pitcher’s stats available, why did you choose to show won-lost records?”  I blocked him immediately.

        Why would you block somebody for that? I can hear people asking.  It was a rude question…..

        The answer I gave him was, “The won-lost record is the easiest way to describe the shape and size or a starting pitcher’s career. You don’t RELY on it; you don’t assume it is an accurate reflection of his value, although it is probably 80% accurate over the course of a career.”

        The first part of that answer (the won-lost record is the easiest way to describe the shape and size and shape of a starting pitcher’s career”. . . .I think that is clearly and obviously true.  A won-lost record is a two-syllable, seven-letter word; OK, seven digits, including the hyphen.  A seven-letter, two-syllable word like “answers”, “believe”, “merchant”, “raining”, “snowing”,“replied”, or “basemen”.  There is no WORD you can use that tells you as much about a starting pitcher’s career as his won-lost record does, and there is no other statistic you can substitute in there which accomplishes as much, or anything like as much.  There is no other way to come remotely close to conveying the same amount of information with two syllables.

        But the second half of my response, I got to wondering about that later.  Is it reasonable to say that career won-lost records are 80% accurate?  How would you determine that?

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:12 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: pitcher wins



BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogTo dream the impossible dream - and then decide it's time to let it go
(50 - 8:13pm, Oct 03)
Last: Zach

NewsblogHector Lopez, Who Broke a Baseball Color Barrier, Dies at 93
(24 - 8:12pm, Oct 03)
Last: BDC

Newsblog2022-23 Preseason NBA thread
(362 - 8:11pm, Oct 03)
Last: Fourth True Outcome

NewsblogShohei Ohtani to make $30 million in 2023, record amount for arbitration-eligible player
(17 - 8:07pm, Oct 03)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of September 26 - October 5, 2022
(202 - 8:05pm, Oct 03)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogThree impacts of baseball's new 12-team postseason format
(22 - 7:30pm, Oct 03)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogRoger Maris Jr. blasts MLB, says Aaron Judge’s potential 62nd home run should be single-season record
(122 - 7:06pm, Oct 03)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogTony La Russa expected to announce retirement Monday as White Sox manager
(15 - 7:02pm, Oct 03)
Last: asinwreck

NewsblogAtlanta Braves sign RHP Charlie Morton to 1-year, $20 million deal for 2023
(4 - 5:16pm, Oct 03)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - European Leages Return
(304 - 5:14pm, Oct 03)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogThere's a new longest last name in MLB history
(15 - 4:19pm, Oct 03)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogTrevor Bauer’s defamation case against accuser’s former attorney could be thrown out
(30 - 3:40pm, Oct 03)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2543 - 2:26pm, Oct 03)
Last: Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle

NewsblogOT - October 2022 College Football thread
(48 - 1:49pm, Oct 02)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Sox TherapyPredictions of Ridiculousness
(143 - 12:59pm, Oct 02)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

Page rendered in 0.9376 seconds
46 querie(s) executed