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Statheads - The Bane of Baseball

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Statheads - The Bane of Baseball

Postby FatGuyWithAMullet » Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:14 am

This will be my last post ever on these forums, so I thought I'd go out with a rant about the killers of old school baseball. I'm sure this will get deleted because this board is infested with statheads who don't like objective viewpoints, but oh well.

Let me make sure all statheads know that I don't necessarily view that term as a bad thing..so to speak. I see statistical analysis as a PART of the evaluation process. I think it is important to have statistical information as one factor of the evaluation process when debating the value of a player to a ballclub, or whether to draft college or high school players. The problem that I have - whether it's this discussion or in the "Moneyball" debate - is the fact that some people place too much emphasis on statistical evaluation. I was speaking to a friend about the Atlanta Braves recently. He said the influence that Charles Thomas has or has not made in the clubhouse is not important in judging his value. That's consistent with the approach used by Billy Beane and the other statheads. Billy Beane downplayed the role of traditional old-school scouts and even of the manager. So I'm sure he would not value the contribution of a player who has come into the clubhouse and created energy and given the team a spark. Certainly not. There's no stat to put on that in his mind.

Let me ask this question - Are the reasons teams win games all based on stats? What if a player backs up a play at the plate and prevents the tying run from scoring, is there a stat for that? But in the manager's eyes, he knew what it did to help save the game.

I guess my point is that I just don't understand the exclusivity statheads place on statistical evaluation. There are typically no "other factors" taken into consideration when debating these subjects.

Or, let me put it this way. If baseball players were robots rather than humans, then statistical analysis would be all that you would need to put a team together or explain success or failure. But human beings have a psychological component that robots do not; as such, no attempt to reduce baseball to mathematics will ever suceed. There are too many intangibles to actually believe you can win this game with numbers.

Have run laughing at Rico the Retard and his 100 inane posts a day that you deem as humorous. Although...it's sad when someone is ostracized on an internet message board for having contrasting opinions, yet a complete fool who does nothing but spam worthless banter is embraced. The human mind...so complex.

New Zealand Fan - Remember what I said about Jaret Wright being better than Bartolo Colon. Wright so far - 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

Love,
Rico the Retard
Last edited by FatGuyWithAMullet on Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KolbSaves » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:10 am

I agree with you about stats not telling the whole story. For a counterpoint however, statistics are the most (but not completely) objective way to evaluate a player's performance. What moneyball and statheads does is establish a system of statistical analysis that will evaluate every single player on the same playing field instead of relying exclusively on scouts who can't be everywhere at once, and even then will have differing opinions.

In this regard I see this statistical movement as worthwhile, although again, I agree that it can be taken too far.

I'm sorry to see you leaving.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
-Isaac Newton
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Postby bleach168 » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:17 am

Don't want to see you leave, but I can't see why you are so upset that people dare disagree with you on an internet message board. People are allowed to have opinions you know. If you should do anything, I would recommend you join a cafe league next year and prove how superior you are.

And that whole Rico thing.. I just ignore it so it doesn't bother me at all.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
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Postby bleach168 » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:30 am

Ok, I couldn't resist...

On June 20, 2004, FatGuyWithAMullet posted,

Why are people so obsessed with Beltran? He is so overrated.

People keep talking about "Oh he could go 40-40!", guess what...he's never even gone 30-30 and he ain't getting any younger.

Beltran puts up basically the same numbers as Andruw Jones only Beltran steals 30+ a season.

BELTRAN IS OVERRATED!


Nice first call there.

Look, everyone makes calls. Everyone gets them wrong more often then they are willing to admit. The dinner table for crow has a seat open for you. :-b
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
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Postby thehat » Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:11 am

Sorry to see you go. You're a sharp analyst. Thought you missed the mark on some of the early jokes, but what do I know?
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Re: Statheads - The Bane of Baseball

Postby Arlo » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:01 am

FatGuyWithAMullet wrote:I guess my point is that I just don't understand the exclusivity statheads place on statistical evaluation. There are typically no "other factors" taken into consideration when debating these subjects.

Or, let me put it this way. If baseball players were robots rather than humans, then statistical analysis would be all that you would need to put a team together or explain success or failure. But human beings have a psychological component that robots do not; as such, no attempt to reduce baseball to mathematics will ever suceed. There are too many intangibles to actually believe you can win this game with numbers.

At the risk of walking right into a fishing thread here...

Since you're complaining about Beane's methods, I'm sure you've read Moneyball. Remember the part about finding players to target in a draft? Where psychological makeup was examined first, before deciding whether to even bother looking at stats?

Exclusivity?

You see statistical analysis as part of the evaluation process. So do the folks you call statheads. So why the rant?
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Postby Mangey » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:40 am

You're stereotyping. I think you are overstating the exclusivity of stats in the analysis of statistically minded baseball fans.

You can accurately predict a teams record based on its runs scored, runs allowed, hits, bb, bb allowed, etc etc. It's objective and quantifiable. If I use the numbers that are the same for every analyst, we can arrive at the same conclusions with the same methods.

On the other hand, "leadership" and other intagibles are impossible to quantify. I could say player A is more of a clubhouse leader than player B. Or you could say player C keeps the clubhouse loose, aiding his teammates. None of this really can be quantified. Does it mean it isn't true? Not at all. It just means it isn't testable and confirmable. So when making an argument, it's much more persuasive and logically sound to use statistics than unconfirmed hypotheses about makeup.

All of it is important, especially for those in positions where they need to interact with these players, or any other position in the organization. Stats are just part of the evaluation process. They provide information. Information can be used to make good decisions. People use the information that is most reliable. People who are statistically oriented think that stats are the most reliable source of information available. Therefore, despite the fact that other factors are at work, statistics allow you to construct the soundest arguments. I think you are confusing this mindset with your idea of complete rejection of everything except stats.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:02 am

how would you play fantasy baseball w/o stats?
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Postby stumpak » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:00 am

That is the thing, by definition fantasy baseball is a statistical game. It's not real baseball, so frankly I don't care what kind of a clubhouse influence a guys is. Whether Barry Bonds hits 50 HRs while aloofly lounging around the clubhouse sequestered in his private easy chair likethe queen of England or hits 50 HR's while being a back-slapping buddy guy makes no difference to me.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:32 am

there are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics.
back from the dead
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