View Poll Results: Stats/Opinions: What are you inclined to lean towards.

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80. You may not vote on this poll
  • I tend to favor stats over opinions.

    38 47.50%
  • I tend to favor opinions over stats.

    2 2.50%
  • False question: Must be case by case, but tend to favor stats.

    35 43.75%
  • False question: Must be case by case, but tend to favor opinions.

    5 6.25%
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Thread: Sabremetrics/Traditional Opinions

  1. #401
    Posted 6/7/05
    Quote Originally Posted by ElHalo View Post
    I feel very sorry for you.

    This is a little long, and I apologize for that, but please do me the favor of reading through it. Let me give you two hypothetical examples. Bear with me, because I really think I have a point to make here about the way you look at things.


    Example 1: There's a kid living in a project house in Brooklyn. Let's call him Steve. Unlike most kids in Brooklyn, he's actually played baseball before, actually knows how many strikes it takes to make an out. Actually, he's amazingly good at baseball. He's 16 years old, and he plays in a regional league with guys five and six years older, and absolutely kills them. Doesn't play for his high school team, because he dropped out of high school. Nevertheless, scouts have no choice but to take notice of him. The kid hits over .800 in league play, and gets a home run in half of his hits, even when they play in huge, minor league parks with major league fence distances. He plays shortstop, and fields like Ozzie Smith on speed. NOTHING gets by him on his side of the field, NOTHING, and he's got a cannon arm and hands like butter. At the plate, when he's not hitting homers out of the park, he bashes excellently placed line drives left and right, and never swings at anything outside the strikezone. In short, he's the perfect ballplayer. Scouts salivate at the kid's potential, and as soon as he's old enough, the Mets snatch him up with the second pick in the draft. The only reason he didn't go first was that the first pick belonged to Minnesota, and Carl Pohlad knew that there was no way he was going to be able to afford the kid's bonus. Lucky break for the Mets.

    Anyway, the kid plays that summer in rookie ball, and absolutely tears up the league. He continues to hit well over .500, smashing homers everywhere with perfect plate discipline. But it's his fielding at SS that really stands out. Nobody's ever seen anything like it. The next year, the kid gets invited to Port St. Lucie to try out for the Mets big league club, and there are rumors that he's the favorite to land the starting job, even though he's only 18 years old. In Spring Training, he lights up the league pitchers like no one has ever seen before. Johan Santana looks like a slow pitch softball geezer against the kid. Nobody can even remotely come close to stopping him, and, again, his fielding brings shocked silence from the crowds whereever he plays. The managers and scouts look at the kid and swallow hard. He makes ARod look like Angel Berroa. The scouts don't say that he could be the best player ever. They say that he's already the best player ever. He gets the starting job with ease, even though he's only 18. He leads all Grapefruit Leaguers in every major statistical category.

    The Mets open that season at home in Flushing. The night before his first game, he goes back to the project house in Brooklyn to see his old friends and get himself psyched up for his first major league game. That night, he's sitting outside his apartment house drinking a soda while chatting with his oldest friends, when he gets hit with a stray bullet from a drug deal gone wrong at the next building over, and dies instantly.

    Where do you rank this kid on your all time lists? My guess is that you say something to the effect of: "I don't. I can't rank somebody on potential or what they should have done. I can only rank them based on what they actually did do on the baseball field, not. Sure, it was only random chance that the guy happened to die then, but I can't give the guy credit for what probably would have happened, only for what actually did happen. 49 times out of 50, he doesn't get shot there, but this was that one time, and we can only go by what did happen. Even though it wasn't his doing that there was a drug deal and a shooting going on at the next building over, sometimes a guy falls into circumstances that prevent him from doing what he should have done. Too bad."

    Fair enough.

    Example 2: It's October 1960. Bill Mazeroski is a light hitting second baseman known for his defense. As a hitter, he's a heck of a defensive second baseman. He only missed three games all year, but only had 64 RBI. He comes to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning in game 7 of the World Series, and hits a Series winning home run.

    What kind of bonus credit do you give Maz for this home run? My guess, and forgive me if I'm mistaken, is that you say something along the lines of: "I don't give him credit for this any more than for any other home run. He wasn't solely responsible for his team being in a situation where a HR would win the WS for them anyway. For his career, he only hit a home run in 1.6% of his PA's. 49 times out of 50, he wouldn't have hit a home run, and he can't be given extra credit just because this happened to be that one time out of fifty by random chance."

    Now, let's look at these two situations.

    In Steve's case, he should have been the greatest player ever, but through the absolute worst of luck, random chance and circumstances outside of his control, he wasn't the greatest player ever. He gets no credit for it.

    In Bill's case, he shouldn't have won his team the WS, but through the absolute greatest of luck, random chance and circumstances outside of his control, he was the guy who won the WS for his team. He gets no credit for it.

    Now, here's my question. In Steve's case, he gets no credit because you can only give him credit for what actually happened on the field, even though he should have been the best ever if not for random chance. In Bill's case, he gets no credit because, even though by what actually happened he was the WS hero and won his team a title, he shouldn't have done so according to the probabilities and it was only luck that he did.

    How can you reconcile this? How can you say that in Steve's case, what should have happened didn't matter and you can only go by what actually happened on the field, while in Bill's case, you can't go by what actually happened on the field and have to rank him according to what should have happened?
    Posted 6/14/05
    Quote Originally Posted by ElHalo View Post
    This is just a simple fact. Are you familiar with the concept of Schrodinger's Cat?

    If not, I'll give you a quick hypothetical. Assume that one in five people is allergic to bees, so that if they get stung by a bee, they'll die. Assume that if you lock a person in a linen closet with a bee, there's a ten percent chance that the bee will sting the person. You have no idea if your wife is allergic to bees. You lock her in the linen closet with a bee, and go out to the bar to get obliterated.

    Question: One hour later, is your wife alive or dead? Statistically, you can know that she's got a 98% chance of surviving her ordeal in the linen closet. But she can't be 98% alive. She's either alive or dead... it's binary, either or. She can't be 2% dead. You're at the bar, you can't hear her screaming, so you have no idea whether she happened to get stung. You know that she probably survived, but if someone asked you to give a definitive answer, yes or no, is your wife alive, you can't do it.

    Because, while statistics can give you trends and probabilities of what happened, they can never tell you what happened in any particular instance. You can't get 30% of a hit. In baseball, you either get a hit or you don't. If I tell you that a leadoff hitter has a .350 BA, and then ask you whether or not he got a hit in the first inning last Thursday, you can't tell me. Pretty simple fact.
    BRING BACK EL HALO!!!

    Anyone know what happened to him? Guy posts 10,204 times in 5 years and then vanishes.....

  2. #402
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    I won't answer the poll. It doesn't ask for the answer that I'd give. I favor a combination of opinions (MVPs, ASGs, MVP votes), team success, ind postseason success, traditional stats, and yes even sabermetrics. I don't hate sabermetrics. I think that it has a place in combination with the other factors that I list. I could devise a formula giving proportional weight to my 5 factors, but that might spoil it all. What I don't like like about sabermetrics is what I call the "throw down". "Dave Concepcion isn't a HOFer because his OPS+ is poor." We throw down one stat and ignore everything else that we did.
    If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

    -Bob Dylan

  3. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Posted 6/7/05


    Posted 6/14/05


    BRING BACK EL HALO!!!

    Anyone know what happened to him? Guy posts 10,204 times in 5 years and then vanishes.....
    I thought he said he was going to 82games.com
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    I thought he said he was going to 82games.com
    This is a joke, I am guessing? Doesn't seem like the 82games type.
    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

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  5. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Posted 6/7/05


    Posted 6/14/05


    BRING BACK EL HALO!!!

    Anyone know what happened to him? Guy posts 10,204 times in 5 years and then vanishes.....
    Maybe he was stung by a bee.

    As for the poll, I try to give equal weight to stats and opinions, as neither are entirely trustworthy.
    "Tactics were resorted to, unworthy of fair, manly players" - Brooklyn Eagle, June 12,1890

  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Maybe he was stung by a bee.

    As for the poll, I try to give equal weight to stats and opinions, as neither are entirely trustworthy.
    Hilarious first comment, and I agree with the second completely.
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean

    "The last guy who ran as badly as Bill Buckner was Long John Silver." Mark Heisler, sportswriter

    "I'm getting by on three pitches now - a curve, a change-up, and whatever you want to call that thing that used to be a fastball." Frank Tanana

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
    This is a joke, I am guessing? Doesn't seem like the 82games type.
    That's what he told me. I really don't know anything about that website
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  8. #408
    Quote Originally Posted by Herr28 View Post
    Hilarious first comment, and I agree with the second completely.
    About 1,000 of his posts were totally off the wall, totally belligerent, and- at times- brilliant. Quintessential and idiosyncratic, always. I almost always disagreed with him, but he always, ALWAYS stuck to his guns, and became a legend around here for his logic and his prose.

    In fact, he was so entertaining that there was a thread titled "Bring Back El Halo!" or "Where is El Halo!?"....still trying to find it.....

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    That's what he told me. I really don't know anything about that website
    It is a NBA saber-metric site, if you will.
    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012


    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Posted 6/7/05


    Posted 6/14/05


    BRING BACK EL HALO!!!

    Anyone know what happened to him? Guy posts 10,204 times in 5 years and then vanishes.....
    The "kid" in the top post is [based on] Rod Carew.
    "I go all out, and I'm going to bring that to the table everyday. In good times and in bad times." - Eric Byrnes
    "As long as I have fun playing, the stats will take care of themselves." - Ken Griffey Jr.

  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    I won't answer the poll. It doesn't ask for the answer that I'd give. I favor a combination of opinions (MVPs, ASGs, MVP votes), team success, ind postseason success, traditional stats, and yes even sabermetrics. I don't hate sabermetrics. I think that it has a place in combination with the other factors that I list. I could devise a formula giving proportional weight to my 5 factors, but that might spoil it all. What I don't like like about sabermetrics is what I call the "throw down". "Dave Concepcion isn't a HOFer because his OPS+ is poor." We throw down one stat and ignore everything else that we did.

    Great post. That's also my biggest issue with sabermetrics: The notion that "my opinion is right because I can point to this stat to 'prove' it."

    Also, I differentiate sabermetrics with the study of advanced stats. The two obviously are connected, but there's a cult feel to sabermetrics that transcends the mere study of advanced stats.
    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

  12. #412
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    My answer to the poll would be:

    I tend to favor watching, listening to, or reading about baseball rather than seeing or hearing the discussion between sabermetrics and traditional stats/opinions.

    But it seems like a lot of people on both sides might have a problem with getting past their preferences/differences to just have fun talking about baseball. We all agree on far more than we disagree on. Starting with a love for the game and its rich history. That should be a spot that true fans can always fall back on when things start to get a little out of hand.
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean

    "The last guy who ran as badly as Bill Buckner was Long John Silver." Mark Heisler, sportswriter

    "I'm getting by on three pitches now - a curve, a change-up, and whatever you want to call that thing that used to be a fastball." Frank Tanana

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