Sabermetricians seem to be all the rage in baseball. There’s a stat for practically anything and more are being invented by the minute (maybe second). It’s no longer ERA, BA, SLG %, OB%, it’s WHIP, OPS, BAbip, OWn%, XBT%, BABIP and on and on it goes. There are literally HUNDREDS of more statistics that sabermetric nerds pour through on a daily basis, and they even go so far as to look down their noses at fans who don’t share their passion for these stats. Now, I don’t ignore these stats because they do have a place in baseball. It’s just that I don’t worship these stats either. I don’t put my faith in these stats, because the game is played by humans and try as they might the sabermetricians can never capture and measure the power of the human spirit. Many times statistics confuse us, stress us out and more often than not, are used to deceive. The plethora of statistics available today were the brainchild of Bill James, a very bright guy, but these stats have also been embraced by the Fantasy Baseballers. Many of these stats have been invented for (HELLO) Fantasy Baseball! (HELLO!) It’s not real! That’s why they call it fantasy! Yet, many sabermetricians post statistics, draw an obvious conclusion and say that if you believe otherwise you are a moron. When they make those sweeping statistical assumptions, I think we already know who the moron is.
I am going to get real! I used to call Andre Ethier soft, because he didn’t get key hits. The Stat Nerd Police accosted me and said “You are wrong! How can you say that? He hit .328 with RISP in 2008.” OK, here’s how: Here are Andre Ethier’s Batting Averages with RISP since 2006:
- 2006 – .297
- 2007 – .286
- 2008 – .328
- 2009 – .271
Those stats show he has regressed, but figure lie! I no longer call Andre Ethier soft, because he is now getting big hits when the game is on the line. The figures show he is not as good with RISP this year, but in reality, he has been great when the game is in the balance. It used to be he would drive in runs and get hits when we were way ahead or way behind. Now, he get the hits in the clutch and is one of my favorite players because of how he has transformed his game. If you say “He’s always done that“, I will ask you why this is is best year in RBI’s already? Even though his BA with RISP is the lowest of his career, he is much more of a clutch player now. The Sabermetricians will now come up with a stat to demonstrate that is true, but my point is that if you watch all the Dodger games like I do, YOU CAN SEE IT WITH YOUR EYES! You can worship your stats but don’t forget to use your brains.
The same with Jon Broxton. You can post all kinds of stats that show how good he is, but I have eyes. That tells me all I need to know. Can he be “fixed?” I hope, but my gut feeling is that “it is what is is and always will be.” I hope that JB can turn his scars into stars, just like Andre. All Dodger fans hold that hope. Believe 50% of what you see and 10% of all statistics!
Disclaimer: I am not belittling the use of statistics. I just believe they are a means to an end, not the end!
Rants & Raves:
- Sabermetricians lamented the Dodgers signing of Randy Wolf – HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? Randy Wolf is one of the most dependable pitchers in the league. The man drove in the runs he needed to win last night and then threw a one-hitter. He is batting .208 (almost ahead of Raffy) and has a 3.35 ERA! That’s called “stepping up.” Measure that Sabermetricians!
- Randy Wolf is our most consistent pitcher, but he is NOT our ace! That will be Bills, Kershaw or Kuroda come the playoffs.
- I was nevrous when JB came in last night, but he acquitted himself very well. I hope we have seen the worst of him. Now, let’s see the best! Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that JB admits that he is physically and mentally tired. I understand the physical part, but as a professional, he has to develop the mental aspect of his game. I have always suspected his problems were mental. I don’t mean that in a bad way.
- Now, we have more breathing room. I don’t think we are going to give up 1st place. In fact, I llok for the rockies to start a huge “free fall.” Watch and learn!
- Charlie Haeger goes today – let’s hope “Knuxie” is dancing! Ausmus is catching.
- Will Ohman is heading to ALBQ to pitch.
Minor League Recap – 8/21/09 by Jared at http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque lost 7-3
Chin Lung Hu – 1 for 4, HR (6), RBI, R (.288 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 0 for 4 (.243 BA)
Jamie Hoffman – 0 for 4 (.294 BA)
Josh Lindblom – 2 IP, 3 Hits, ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (2.81 ERA)
Chattanooga won 5-3
Andrew Lambo – 1 for 3, BB, E (.256 BA)
Lucas May – 3 for 4, 2 R, E (.290 BA)
Trayvon Robinson – 1 for 4, RBI, 2 K’s (.143 BA)
Chris Withrow – 4 IP, 3 Hits, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K’s (5.19 ERA)
Inland Empire lost 19-4
Scott Van Slyke – 0 for 4 (.288 BA)
Steven Caseres – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.262 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 1 for 2, R, 2 BB (.234 BA)
Tim Sexton – 5 IP, 11 Hits, 6 ER, BB, 4 K’s (3.44 ERA)
Great Lakes lost 4-1
Dee Gordon – 1 for 4, 3B, E (.303 BA)
Kyle Russell – 0 for 3, R, BB, K, SB (.273 BA)
Jerry Sands – 0 for 3, 2 K’s (.268 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 0 for 3 (.278 BA)
Mario Songco – 0 for 2, BB, K (.145 BA)
Ogden lost 4-3
BCG – 0 for 3, K, SB (.335 BA)
Nick Akins – 1 for 4, 2 K’s, CS, E (.250 BA)
Kyle Orr – 0 for 3, 3 K’s (.219 BA)
JT Wise – 0 for 1, RBI (.311 BA)
Brett Wallach – 3 IP, 3 Hits, ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (4.43 ERA)
AZL was suspended due to rain
Player of the day – Bolivar Medina, LHP
Although the game didn’t end, the stats will become official once the contest is completed. His line: 6 IP, Hit, ER, BB, 8 K’s. The 20 year old Dominican is putting up strong numbers after not pitching last season. He’s averaging almost a strikeout an inning, with less than 3 walks per 9. Hopefully he can stay healthy and continue producing.