great gretzky wrote: mission27 wrote:
great gretzky wrote:It's not "going to be bigger down the road." I don't doubt that sabremetrics are useful, accurate what have you. But the thing is, you don't need to explain what any of the major categories are to the casual fan, and it makes it easy (well, easier) to follow and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean look at football. The fanbase thinks they know a lot about it, but the reality is tons of people spout off about "tampa 2" "west coast offense" etc. etc. and the real league is WAY ahead of that. There is so much that is barely even scratching the surface there.
There is a reason why there is a phrase that applies to everyday life when someone says "ehhh, that's too 'inside baseball' for me."
OBP and OPS are going to take a foothold, as they already have. they are easy to understand, and directly relatable without tons of statistical explanation. But stuff like VORP, win shares, BABIP, all that, takes much too long to explain on the air, in a newspaper article, etc. And once you do explain it, you have a major chore of applying those things in an appropriate measure. It's not just formulating and recording the statistics, you still need to interpret and apply them in a meaningful way -- and that's AFTER it gains some measure of acceptance as being useful and accurate in the first place.
And all of this is ignoring the central point that the award's definition is of those certain stats. There is nothing wrong with awarding the winners of those stats, it doesn't discredit the other stats. I think a better case would be made to educate voters on the importance of the sabremetric stats and try and use those to influence some voting for MVP. But like I said:
The triple crown honors what it sets out to honor, so it is "true" and "accurate." The triple crwon honors stats that have fallen slightly out of favor by sabremetric folks, but what's the harm in that anyway? Especially considering we haven't seen one in 40 years. You can honor other things too.
And that's fine for the average fan. But for anyone who wants a deeper more absolute understanding of baseball must understand that sabermetrics are the better, more precises, and just plain right way to evaluate talent. That should include but usually doesn't yet the media, ownership, and all front offices (not just a few, ALL of them, any advantage you can get makes you a better team i.e. the Red Sox in 2004, the Rays this year). I also think if you want to legitimately tell me who the best, or top 10 or whatever players in the league are you need to be educated in sabermetric theory. I mean I don't think everyone should have a spreadsheet on their computer for calculating vorp but it certainly would help if people paid more attention to like K/BB rate, OBP, and SLG. Just some simple stats that mean a lot more than like ERA or BA.
I understand the average fan has little need for this stuff, however for someone like me (who is hoping to someday work for a major league organization, you know anyone?
) it is absolutely essential. I don't mind you saying that the average fan doesn't NEED this stuff, but whats the harm of people who know about it using it to find greater baseball knowledge?
when did I say it was bad? When did I say that insiders don't need this stuff? I think the regulars on this forum can at least all admit that in some capacity or another, the standard stats are flawed. It doesn't mean they are marching to irrelevance any time soon, nor does it mean the whole backbone and attractiveness/continuity of baseball is in those stats. I am just saying that as it pertains to an award (and its not really an award, so much an objective milestone) the Triple Crown is not going to change to something that is sabremetric. Or if it does, it will be a long time, which is kind of the thrust as I see it, of this whole threat. The Triple Crown is defined as being what it is. If you want to argue that the Triple Crown doesn't define the best player, so be it. But it doesn't mean the Triple Crown as it is defined and what it is is bad, because it is what it is. I just think its a moot argument in many ways, because it awards what it sets out to award, its easy to understand, and given that the winners are few and far between its quite an accomplishment. Plus, its hard to say that the winner isn't the most dominant player anyway (not that it sets out to define said player as dominant. I'd say the whole awards system is for the average to moderately "into it" fan anyway. It's a nice shorthand, its fun for discussion. You can bring more or less to it as necessary.
But its not a referendum by me on sabremetric statistical analysis. Just saying that sabremetrics don't really apply for an award that isn't based on sabremetrics. Kind of like saying one branch of math doesn't fairly represent another, its kind of irrelevant at the end of the day, as hr, rbi, and average aren't "sabremetric" stats.
And obviously, any stat that is partially or wholly dependent on teammates isn't the best for describing individual talent. But it doesn't mean those stats don't have their place at the table.
If you want to look at stuff from a fans point of view then by all means, look at RBI. But even if you aren't an "insider" (and even many major league GMs wouldn't be considered insiders) you can't seriously evaluate talent using stats like RBI, and BA. And although HR's are good, they are partially a factor of luck and therefor looking at XBH and GB/FB/LD are more accurate.
My example: By looking at RBIs you could make a case that Josh Hamilton is the best hitter in the league. However by EVERY sabermetric measure Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the league, and he is so far and ahead of Hamilton that its not funny. An average fan would look at the RBIs and be like "Hamilton is at least in the same league as Pujols." That would be flawed thinking.
By looking at HRs and RBI you might make the case for Ryan Howard. While he is a very good hitter he strikes out far to many times and his OBP suffers in a major way because of it. Hes not Albert Pujols, and hes not close, but by looking at HR and RBI you might think he was.
Now if you expand that to include BA (which Pujols leads in) you might bring him into the conversation, however there are plenty of guys close behind that are not nearly the hitter he is. By looking at RBI, HR, and BA you in no way see that Albert Pujols is the greatest hitter of or generation (post Barry Bonds) and that he is so much better than everyone else they should all look bad.
So if you want to look at players performance seriously, even from a non-insiders standpoint, you must look at more advanced statistics and realize that triple crown stats are just arbitrary numbers someone came up with in the late 1800's. Tradition is good, tradition is plain stupid. A casual fan can afford to not pay attention, but no serious fan can.