View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Monday

20

February 2012

79

COMMENTS

Spring Training Is Here, Foot in Mouth Disease, and We're on Facebook

Written by , Posted in General

The Cubs have reported to spring training, which is the biggest tease in all of sports. The mid-February date is such a waste of time considering it’s more than two week before the first pitch is thrown in a game and even then almost a month till the pitches actually mean anything. Still, there are those who get excited, so we’ll mention it before we get to some nuggets of news this Monday morning.

We’re now on Facebook. You’ve bombarded my e-mail inbox with letters (not really, it’s more that I’ve been lazy setting it up) and we’ve listened. You can now follow us and interact with us on Facebook. The most important thing I would ask is to use it to share the site you “like” with fellow Cub fans. Help them find out about us and continue to build on the community we’ve developed here. This site remains fun for us as writers because of you the reader. Let’s continue that. Take a minute and visit the Facebook page and let everyone know you Like Us.

Paul Sullivan had a story as camp opened discussing Theo’s plan for the team. He “stressed the collectively-written manual as a way to get the entire system on the same page, from the Dominican Republic summer leagues to the majors leagues.” It’s usually the pat answer, but it’s so key to make sure that the team you’re running has the same message preached throughout. If you want guys to play a certain way, preach it and teach it from the day they sign till the day they leave the system. Then tell them it was all crap and to forget everything they learned. To accomplish that you have to hire the teachers at every level of the system. Hire guys that buy into what your philosophy at every level and train them to be the teachers to develop the skills. Up until this point, I never felt the Cubs have had that in their system. We hear things about the “Dodger Way” and read interviews from players in the organizations that have systems like this in place and it’s all they talk about. They stress the fact that from the moment they entered the system there was consistency throughout. Everyone on the same page. If Jed and Theo can develop that system, the success will come as a result.

Jed Hoyer met with the media over the weekend and discussed Matt Garza and the possibility of signing a long term extension.

“We focused really hard on getting the one-year number done a few weeks ago. We didn’t have any kind of long-term discussions before that, but certainly there was some dialogue about possibly having some long-term discussions at some point maybe this spring. . . . I think we probably will sit down and talk. We’ve said many times he’s the kind of guy we need. We need more Matt Garzas, not less. We need a rotation full of those guys, so if we can work something out, that’d be wonderful.”

As the season draws closer, everyone seems to have their prediction on what the 25 man roster will look like. What interests me most is what they see as being the starting five when it comes to the rotation. The folks at Hardball Talk took a crack at it and came up with:

Ryan Dempster  -R
Matt Garza – R
Randy Wells – R
Paul Maholm – L
Chris Volstad – R

I agree with all but Volstad, with Travis Wood being my pick. I mentioned in my appearance last week on ESPN radio that I didn’t think someone like Jeff Samardzija had a chance at the rotation, but there are those that believe he does. Ultimately, can we really say any of the spots after the top two are a lock and set in stone? I don’t think you can at this point. Certainly Wells and Maholm are close, but what it they come out and tank in spring training?

Shifting our focus now to people who have put their foot in their mouth lately, we look at the fool who no longer works for ESPN who came up with the headline about Jeremy Lin “A Chink in the Armor”. If you missed the story, the headline was sent to mobile devices and caused a lot of outrage as a result. It’s a terrible thing to make racist comments, but what if this guy didn’t even mean to reference Lin’s ethnicity in any way when he came up with the headline? What if it was an honest mistake? Ultimately, I think ESPN’s hands are tied in that instance and they have to sacrifice him to save face, but it’s sad that we live in a society that is so filled with litigation that mistakes can no longer happen. I don’t know either way. I just found it interesting.

Bruce Weber, coach of the Illini basketball team, also had some insert foot in mouth comments that put a good amount of nails in his coaching coffin at Illinois over the weekend. What he didn’t finish, the team took care of with an embarrassing, no heart, effort against the last place team in the Big Ten on Saturday night. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to the press conference late last week, it’s worth listening to. It’s not too often we see a coach all but lists the reasons for his AD to let him go.


Sources:

  • ‘Cubs Way’ underway – Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune)
  • After gauging his trade value, Cubs seem ready to make Matt Garza a long-term investment – Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Running down the rosters: Chicago Cubs – Matthew Pouliot (Hardball Talk)
  • Tommy

    Congrats to VFTB and especially you Joe on the growth (Twitter, Facebook and the ESPN network) and prosperity (by the sheer number of ads on the right) of this website. I am proud to have had a small role in the developing years of this enterprise.

    • Joe Aiello

      Alas, if only the adds on the right made a decent amount of money.

      • BLPCB

        How many expenses do you actually incur? I would think running a small-scale site like this can’t be terribly expensive

      • Joe Aiello

        The biggest expense is hosting of the site due to the amount of traffic. Then there is domain registration and a few subscriptions we have.

      • My recent run-in with advertisers…

        http://swantron.com/the-seo-web-ninja-incident/ 

      • Joe Aiello

        Joe, have you been looking through my sent mail folder in Outlook? These conversations and the constant weasleness is why the site doesn’t really make any money.

      • Lizzie

        Too funny!! Great post!! Joe A, maybe you need to hire Joe S as signature creator extraordinaire for VFTB.

      • cap’n obvious

        if Facebook is worth $100 Billion, I have to think the View would be worth at least a steak dinner.  Email me Joe, I’ll be in N.C. in July for 10 days…It’d be my pleasure to buy you dinner.  Steak.  Medium rare.  Then you can post that you had dinner with Cap’n Obvious.  All others will be filled with envy.

      • Joe Aiello

        Let’s make that happen. No need for you to buy

  • Noah_I

    I think the one reason you’re likely to see Volstad in the rotation is that he’s out of options, whereas my understanding is that Wells and Wood are not.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs have Wood start the season in AAA for service time reasons (keeps him from arbitration longer).  Also, of the three of Volstad, Wells and Wood, I’d bet Wood would have the best success in the bullpen if they choosed to use one there.  He accumulates a lot of Ks and has the best breaking ball of the bunch by a pretty large margin.  I like Wood better than both Volstad and Wells, but I’d understand why he would be the odd man left out to start the season. 

  • I was still getting checks in the mail two years after my little nothing of a Cubs blog was shut down. I understand you can’t quit your day job but I bet it makes a nice chunk of change.

  • Doc Raker

    The only reason Ryan Dempster is an automatic in the rotation is his contract, his pitching performance of 2011 was horrendous to mediocre. If Demp didn’t have a contract he wouldn’t be in the rotation.

    • BLPCB

      I don’t think he’d be on the team. This year is it for him with the Cubs.

    • Noah_I

      I’ve got to disagree on this one.  Odds are fairly strong that he was more unlucky than anything.  His K/9, BB/9 and HR/FB rates were right in line with his career averages.  His HR/FB rate is slightly higher than league average, but that’s true for his career and expected for a guy who relies on inducing ground balls when hitters make contact. 

      His FIP and xFIP, which are statistics that try to normalize what an ERA would be by removing things like defense and park factors, were right in line with his 2009 and 2010 numbers (FIP of 3.91, xFIP of 3.70).  The biggest difference between Dempster last year and in 2009/2010 was hitters’ BABIP against him spiked.  His career BABIP against is .303, which is right around the league average, but in 2011 it was .324.

      That’s not to say there is no cause for concern.  Dempster’s GB% dropped more than 3 percent in 2011 and his line drive rate jumped 5 percent.  At Dempster’s age (he’ll be 35 in May), it’s difficult to tell if that’s decline or just random variation.  But Dempster had a similar line drive rate in 2008, his best season with the Cubs.

      Dempster very well could be reaching the end, but if I had to put money on it I’d bet on him being the Cubs’ second best starter in 2012.  And while the Cubs only have one really good starting pitcher, they do have a lot of depth of guys that are legitimate starting pitchers in the Majors.  If his results end up more back in line with his peripherals, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs trying to bring him back year to year at a discounted rate, if he wants to end his career as a Cub.

      • Doc Raker

        The only unluckey thing about Dempster’s 2011 performance was his loss of velocity and break on his breaking pitches. When his change and splitter hang in the hitting zone he tends to be unlucky in that balls land over the Ivy instead of his outfielders gloves. Did you watch Dempster pitch last year or are you just looking at numbers? I can recall 2 starts in particular where he gave up 7 runs in the first inning alone- so unlucky.
        Dempster will not be the Cubs second best pitcher this year and if he is it is going to be one ugly year.

      • Jedi

        I disagree Doc – the only thing “unlucky” about Dempster’s 2011 is that his contract wasn’t up.  The guy is remarkable when a payday looms, and quite average when it’s long-term.  If the Cubs were any good he’d be a No. 3 or 4 starter based on his 2011 numbers.

      • Jedi

        And by saying that I disagree…I mean that I wholeheartedly agree with the criticism of Dempster…just that there were other things “more unlucky.”

      • Doc Raker

        I understand but I think his payday performance brilliance is going to end in 2012.

  • Doc Raker

    The only reason Ryan Dempster is an automatic in the rotation is his contract, his pitching performance of 2011 was horrendous to mediocre. If Demp didn’t have a contract he wouldn’t be in the rotation.

  • cap’n obvious

    dear god…enough with the metrics.  Other teams launched rockets off of him.  When you lose velocity and movement, major league hitters hit the ball harder, hence the awful year.  Here’s a fair question….when factoring garbage like “line drive rate,” who decides whether it’s a line drive or not?  Are the saber-dorks privy to the major league charting system…you know, the one that big league scouts, coaches, and players use?  Or, as I would think very likely, are they factored by saber-dorks who never played the game?  So many uncontrollable variables, so much is left out of these metrics.  They might be fun to look at, but they really tell you very very little.  The BABIP going up is not “unlucky”…it’s that balls were hit harder off an aging pitcher, and defenders were unable to get their gloves to the ball before the ball reached
     A. The outfield grass…
    B.  The Ivy…
    C.  The Bleachers…
    D.  Waveland or Sheffield Avenue or
    E.  Skokie.   

    Removing things like defense and park factor is completely stupid…Dempster pitches half his games at Wrigley…so IT IS A FACTOR.  He has a mediocre defense behind him…THAT’S A FACTOR.  Here are important some important stats…ready?  How many RUNS did the other team’s score?  How many games did he win?  Did he give up more or less runs or have more or less wins than other pitchers making $13.5 million?
     
    We had some fun last month in AZ with metrics….here are a few:
     
    SEWSOM^^^–Smitty’s ex-wife skank-o-meter
    ABEO/ABSO–Alec Berg easy outs to Alec Berg strikeout ratio
    COACHBOOS–Cap’n Obvious actually can hit, but only on Sunday
    NOGSBWSITBWS/#@ –Number of goals Seymour Butts would score if third base was soccer
    WTSHEHTS???–What the sam hell ever happened to Sherm???
     
    These are far better than the Bill James crap.  We had some R rated Doc Raker metrics, but we’ll save them for a later date.

    • Joe Aiello

      Cap’n, can we come up with some sort of non-monetary wager on things related to Dempster’s 2012 performance compared to 2011?

      I’d propose that you choose five categories and set an over/under number for each. I’ll then choose the over or under on each. Or, I can set the over under.

    • Joe Aiello

      Also, to choose wins as a good evaluation is ludacris as that is contingient on the offense playing with him.

    • BLPCB

      Skokie!? That’s where I lived for 16 years. A better gauge would be the house of the man who writes the Cubs players checks.

    • Noah_I

      If you don’t like metrics, petition Joe to get me off the site.  Or don’t read what I write.  I think the metrics add a lot to the equation, and years of studies about baseball back me up.  If you disagree or don’t like it, that’s fine.  You don’t have to read anything I write.  But these sort of personal attacks on those of us who like metrics are childish and wholly uncalled for.

      • Jedi

        The personal attacks were actually jokes directed at other people.  After reading your comment I searched in vain for what was so egregious.  Or is “saber-dorks” what got your knickers in a twist?  Go check out the “Go” post if you want something disturbing to read.

      • a texas ten says it was the jab about dorks who havent played the game … 

    • Noah_I

      If you don’t like metrics, petition Joe to get me off the site.  Or don’t read what I write.  I think the metrics add a lot to the equation, and years of studies about baseball back me up.  If you disagree or don’t like it, that’s fine.  You don’t have to read anything I write.  But these sort of personal attacks on those of us who like metrics are childish and wholly uncalled for.

    • Norm

      “Here’s a fair question….when factoring garbage like “line drive rate,” who decides whether it’s a line drive or not?”

      Fair answer: Someone who is watching the game.
      Kind of like someone who is watching the game decides if its a hit or an error (and are wrong plenty of times) or someone watching the game decides its ball 4 instead of strike 3 (and are wrong plenty of times).
      Guess what? There is human subjectivity in most stats, even WHIP which you believe in.
      -Anywho, I wouldn’t put much stock in line drive rate for exactly the reason you’re getting at. It’s better than nothing, but it’s no different than something like ERA; someone has to decide if a run is earned or not just like someone has to decide if its a line drive.

    • This comment’s PPIAB (Panties Put In A Bunch) metric is equally two.  

      • Jedi

        There’s human subjectivity to that jswanson…I’m not going to put much stock in it.  I prefer the stat PANSIE (Personal Attacks Not Sabermetrically or Intellectually Explained).

      • Norm

         You replied to Cap’n Obvious; saying he put his panties in a bunch isn’t a good way to advance the discussion. He’s asking a fair question.

      • Jedi

        “comment’s” – the apostrophe indicates possession in this case.  That is to say it is NOT the Cap’n’s panties which have been bunched.  Rather the comment has led to two instances of bunched panties.  jswanson can correct me if I’m misremembering the King’s English.

      • Lizzie

        Yep. Sorry Norm, you know I love you but it was actually referring to your panties. And Noah’s. And the good cap’n apologized. And it was a joke. We can sometimes manage to joke AND get fair questions answered. It’s all good! (jswanson can correct me too if I’m wrong).

      • Norm

         Whatever…how about advancing the discussion rather than getting so antagonistic every time statistics is discussed? A fair question and a fair answer, and this is what it leads to?
        Do you have a problem with my response to Cap’n? Do you dispute it?

      • Jedi

        I’ll give you a chance to take a breath, re-read everything, and realize that IF there’s an antagonist here – it is NOT me.  Unless merely interpreting things, attempting a bit of levity, and generally tamping the flames of discord (as hard as that might be for you to fathom) all qualifies as antagonism.  I know the “reply” to a specific post feature is new, so consider this me being charitable.

        This wasn’t my fight – but if you wanna drag me into it I’ll start sharpening my shiv.

      • Norm

         Right…this isn’t antagonistic at all:
        There’s human subjectivity to that jswanson…I’m not going to put much
        stock in it.  I prefer the stat PANSIE (Personal Attacks Not
        Sabermetrically or Intellectually Explained).

      • Jedi

        Is it a race between you and Noah to see which person has the thinner skin?  Noah went nuclear over Cap’n distaste for “saber-dorks” which he perceived as a personal attack.  You’re getting on my case for making a joke at Noah’s over-the-top indignation?  Maybe you didn’t like the joke…I’m very sorry that I can’t fashion my quips in a way that you will deem appropriate.  Is that news to anyone?  You don’t like anything I write – and I don’t care.  So your best bet is to ignore me or to complain about something of substance.  Griping that I was “antagonistic” because of what you’ve quoted above isn’t what I’d call “advancing the discussion” either.  It clearly wasn’t the vicious attack you’re making it out to be.

      • Norm

         Right…this isn’t antagonistic at all:
        There’s human subjectivity to that jswanson…I’m not going to put much
        stock in it.  I prefer the stat PANSIE (Personal Attacks Not
        Sabermetrically or Intellectually Explained).

      • Jedi

        Is it a race between you and Noah to see which person has the thinner skin?  Noah went nuclear over Cap’n distaste for “saber-dorks” which he perceived as a personal attack.  You’re getting on my case for making a joke at Noah’s over-the-top indignation?  Maybe you didn’t like the joke…I’m very sorry that I can’t fashion my quips in a way that you will deem appropriate.  Is that news to anyone?  You don’t like anything I write – and I don’t care.  So your best bet is to ignore me or to complain about something of substance.  Griping that I was “antagonistic” because of what you’ve quoted above isn’t what I’d call “advancing the discussion” either.  It clearly wasn’t the vicious attack you’re making it out to be.

  • cap’n obvious

    quality starts
    K/9
    BB/9
    ERA
    home runs surrendered…

    • I’ll work up some numbers for you to choose over / under on for those.

    • Joe Aiello

      I’ll work up some numbers for you to choose over / under on for those.

      • BLPCB

        I want in on some bet this year. I was thinking a VFTB contest, we could have a prediction of the Cubs record, everyone pays 10 bucks, and the winner gets the pot.

      • Joe Aiello

        We do not use illegal drugs on this site BLPCB. Regardless of your opinions on if it should be legalized or not, no betting involving marijuana.

      • cap’n obvious

        I’d say we should stay away from illegal gambling as well.  No need involving the Feds.  I’m especially touchy today, as Mrs. Obvious is using her paid federal holiday to join me in preparing for our annual colonoscopy that is our tax return.   

      • BLPCB

        Are you going to be getting a big fat hairy paycheck coming back?

      • cap’n obvious

        I’ll again end up owing about the average American salary…then I’ll sit back and watch congress piss it away on welfare and war. Hence my conservative slant. I’m with my favorite soccer playing third baseman on gay rights, though. None of my business who anyone wants to commit to. Sorry if I offended you Noah. Perhaps I chastized you to vehemently…those that have been around these parts for a long time know that saberdork is practically a term of endearment from me. I’d never ask Joe to ban anyone with an opinion, no matter how different from my own. All I ask of sabermatricians is that you actually watch baseball on the field…those that chiefly pore over numbers and largely meaningless stats are missing so much of the beauty of the game.

      • BLPCB

        Don’t forget porn

      • BLPCB

        I meant the pot of money. If weed was legal, would it be used here? 😛

      • Tommy Chong

        Daves not here, man.

      • Joe Aiello

        We do not use illegal drugs on this site BLPCB. Regardless of your opinions on if it should be legalized or not, no betting involving marijuana.

    • Joe Aiello

      I’ll work up some numbers for you to choose over / under on for those.

  • I like quality starts as a viable stat. Whatcha think of BAA?

    • Joe Aiello

      I hate batting average in general.

      • BLPCB

        I don’t hate batting average, but I don’t put a lot of stock into it. I like to have it in conjunction with OBP and SLG. If I have 2 players with the same OBP and SLG, I would likely take the player with the higher batting average because getting more hits means you can move players more bases. But that would be about the only case batting average plays a role.

  • I like quality starts as a viable stat. Whatcha think of BAA?

  • cap’n obvious

    I’m not huge on batting average.  On-base percentage is a better overall indicator…and OPS, which I don’t consider a sabermetric, is really good. 

    • That’s all fascinating but the topic was pitching and the stat I raised is BAA, batting average against. It’s not definitive of course but it is one possible indicator of a pitcher’s effectiveness. i am not a big fan of sabermetrics either.

      • cap’n obvious

        whip is one of the precious few metrics I believe in. BAA is decent, but whip is better.

      • Tommy likes the whip.

        Last year I was # 1 in this area

        (in my fantasy league)

      • Doc Raker

        Why does that take on a whole new meaning now

      • Seymour Butts

        As the kids say, LMAO when I read that.

    • Norm

       So, you complain about stats, then say OPS is really good? Remember when we first learned about adding fractions? Something about common denominators?

  • flyslinger2

    Of the 1 million and one things I like about this site the one thing that frustrates me is the affiliation with ESPN. ESPN is not journalism about sports, it is has beens or wannabe’s that pontificate and spew about things that matter not and then they mix in the halftime info babe who knows even less but has a bigger chest then Arnold.

    Now ESPN has gotten so politically correct that innocuous comments are blown out of proportion. Another classic example is the Rush Limbaugh comment about McFlabb. He was right on the money about McFlabbs capability. But because his skin tone is arrived at naturally where’s I have to spend countless hours sitting on my porch to tan my hide the media goes ape crazy on Limbaugh.

  • flyslinger2

    Of the 1 million and one things I like about this site the one thing that frustrates me is the affiliation with ESPN. ESPN is not journalism about sports, it is has beens or wannabe’s that pontificate and spew about things that matter not and then they mix in the halftime info babe who knows even less but has a bigger chest then Arnold.

    Now ESPN has gotten so politically correct that innocuous comments are blown out of proportion. Another classic example is the Rush Limbaugh comment about McFlabb. He was right on the money about McFlabbs capability. But because his skin tone is arrived at naturally where’s I have to spend countless hours sitting on my porch to tan my hide the media goes ape crazy on Limbaugh.

  • flyslinger2

    Of the million things I like about this site (every person whether they agree with me or not (there is still hope)) I think ESPN is so opposite of anything that resembles journalism it’s not even funny.  You have the wannabees and has beens pontificating and spewing “facts” and opinions during their many shows and then during game time they break at the half to further embarrass themselves by going to the sports “babe” on the goal line or in the locker room entrance getting that candid one on one interview with the coach or franchise player. Gag.

    Now ESPN is soooooooo politically correct that something that quit easily was a slip of the tongue has been so misconstrued that someones job was axed because of it.  Reminds me of the Limbaugh/McFlabb incident when Limbaugh was right on the money about his assessment of Donovans capabilities and said so without hesitation or braggadocio and with confidence.  But because McFlabb has a skin tone that I can only try to achieve through countless hours of sitting on my patio and reading pages and pages of VFTB  blogs all heck broke loose and Limbaugh was axed as a color commentator.  And I dare you to look at McFlabbs record from the time that statement was made until he was analyst at ESPN and prove Limbaugh wrong.

    Look how Tebow got hammered because of his faith. Lin is also a christian but there isn’t the hullabaloo because of his ethnicity. 
       
    One good and wholesome show on ESPN was Jerry McKinnis Outdoor fishing show.  Good stuff.

    • Bob Ley is the exception. He does not embrace the hype machine. My problem with ESPN is its preoccupation with east coast teams and the superstars like Labron or Kobe. mike and Mike are the worst at this. They have a segment called “What Everybody’s Talkinmg About.’ How is this determined?  Oh yeah by what they want to talk about.

  • Chuck

    ESPN is the East coast SPorts Network.  If you live between the Appalachians and the Rockies, they want nothing to do with you. Take the current NBA coverage.  It is all Knicks all the time.  An alien visiting the USA for the first time would think that they were an unstoppable juggernaut based on the ESPN coverage.  The reality is that they are a .500 team that has no real title shot.  The Timberwolves are having about the same turnaround and you don’t hear boo about them.  The Bulls have about the best record in the NBA despite being ravaged by injuries, yet you don’t hear a lot about them.  Ditto for the Thunder.  If Kobe farts, it is the lead on Sprotscenter.  It will be all Yankees and Red Sox during the baseball season.

  • Doc Raker

    I stopped watching ESPN long ago. I have the MLB Network and the NHL Network plus all the games. I agree, ESPN is a circus of highlights centered around east coast teams and super stars. They cater to the sophomore sports fan, light on substance high on contrived controversy and highlights.

  • Doc Raker

    Chris Berman is a fool, he is the single worst baseball announcer ever. His contrived home run call is embarrassing, back,back,back,back,back,gone. Problem is Berman doesn’t realize it is a home run until the ball leaves the park then he goes into his silly home run call. Dear ESPN- Please keep circus ring leader Chris Berman off of any baseball broadcast.

    • BLPCB

      In 2008 he gave me the finger for heckling him in the players lot after a game

  • cap’n obvious

    For the record, I am not saying that statistical analysis has no bearing.  I AM saying that sober-dorks, and they need not be chastized for it, are missing SO much by over-analyzing the wackier sabermetrics.  FIP, xFIP, BABIP, and ground ball% are among the least telling.  OPS, which is really not a sabermetric, and wasn’t thought up by uber-saberdork, Bill James, is a decent barometer for telling how well a hitter performs and creates runs.  I still belive you can learn a lot more about production by having experience as a coach or a player, watching games, and being familiar with the on-field nuances that win games.  That is why EVERY major league manager was a player.  Bill James, conversely, probably wouldn’t know which hand to put a baseball glove on.   Have Billy Beane and Epsein had some success with teams using sabermetric value?  Sure.  Have teams that scout players based upon what they SEE instead of what they read had equal or better success?   Absolutely.  What gets my ‘panties in a bunch’ is when sabermeticians decide that aging, overpaid, crappy pitchers that I SAW WITH MY EYES stink it up last year really were just really unlucky, and use the most useless of the metrics (admittedly in one case)to back up said theory.  When they come up with a metric to measure 5 run first innings and hanging fastballs, I’ll become more interested.

    • Jedi

      cap’n antagonist

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Apparently the good Cap’n is a David Bowie fan.

      “Putting out the fire… with gasoline!”

    • Also for the record, the bunched panties were Noah’s and Norm’s.  

  • cap’n obvious

    For the record, I am not saying that statistical analysis has no bearing.  I AM saying that sober-dorks, and they need not be chastized for it, are missing SO much by over-analyzing the wackier sabermetrics.  FIP, xFIP, BABIP, and ground ball% are among the least telling.  OPS, which is really not a sabermetric, and wasn’t thought up by uber-saberdork, Bill James, is a decent barometer for telling how well a hitter performs and creates runs.  I still belive you can learn a lot more about production by having experience as a coach or a player, watching games, and being familiar with the on-field nuances that win games.  That is why EVERY major league manager was a player.  Bill James, conversely, probably wouldn’t know which hand to put a baseball glove on.   Have Billy Beane and Epsein had some success with teams using sabermetric value?  Sure.  Have teams that scout players based upon what they SEE instead of what they read had equal or better success?   Absolutely.  What gets my ‘panties in a bunch’ is when sabermeticians decide that aging, overpaid, crappy pitchers that I SAW WITH MY EYES stink it up last year really were just really unlucky, and use the most useless of the metrics (admittedly in one case)to back up said theory.  When they come up with a metric to measure 5 run first innings and hanging fastballs, I’ll become more interested.

    • Jedi

      cap’n antagonist

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Apparently the good Cap’n is a David Bowie fan.

      “Putting out the fire… with gasoline!”

  • Chuck

    Advanced statistical analysis has just as much a place in player analysis as scouting.  Both have to be incorporated by management for a club to be successful.  Both have their place.
    Statistical analysis will make projections and conclusions based on what the player did in the past.
    Scouting makes projections and conclusions based on what a player could do based on skill sets.
    Neither is perfect and both are subject to errors.  Statistical analysis can be faulty because it is difficult to capture things like injury, fatigue, improper usage, playing out of position, divorce, parent died, etc…  Scouting is subject to the errors of bias, hot and cold streaks, small sample size, player does not do things in a traditional way, etc…