Stat-Geeks are ruining Sports and taking over Mariners Blogosphere

Well the Mariners magic ran out of juice today In Minnesota due to the inability to get a big clutch hit when it counted allowing the Twins to snap their eleven game losing streak with a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to win it 3-2. Now I

know some of you don”t believe in words like clutch hits, team chemistry or hot streaks as they don”t fit into cute little sabermetrics stats that attempt to put everything into precise terms and thus take the mystery and fun out of this great National Pastime of ours known as baseball.

So in honor of the release of the movie “Moneyball” which is coming out this week I just want to go on the record to say that the Sta-Geeks have gone to far and that they are ruining baseball. I am not alone with this opinion as evidenced by the article put out today by Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports : http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/sabermetrics-moneyball-stat-geeks-are-ruining-sports-092211

 

I started this Mariners Blog last season as a way to express and share my love for the game of Baseball. Sadly the Mariners have had two terrible seasons despite employing sabermetrics types in the front office,which has made this team tough to follow but my passion for the game seems to drive me on. I guess there is no known advanced metrics formula to measure committment to this game but I suppose I have a high WAR in that area and I have a feeling I will out sit a lot of the Stat-Geeks who seem so cold and unattached to the beauty of this game.

 

I realize that most of the attention in the Mariners Blogosphere goes to the more established Blogs like USS Mariner, Lookout Landing and Sojo Mojo. And I even read these guys, but my perspective is more old-school in case you haven”t noticed. Perhaps I am part of a dying breed of Baseball Fans like Jason Whitlock from Fox who are trying to hold on to a more colorful and fun era of baseball where everything was not reduced to mathematical calculations. Well so be it, but I am too old to change now and I am not going anywhere for awhile so if any of you Stat-Geeks happen to be offended by my post or the one by Whitlock you may need to go read one of the Blogs that delights in always proving how superior they are with their new calculations and formulas. I love this game too much to reduce it to a mere science. Go M”s http://jeffsmariners.com

Comments

  1. JERRY says

    Jeff: Keep up the good work. Got to be too much stats and crudeness that were eliminated as my go to’s. Hope you are around again next year as we join in the hopes of somewhere than last place. Maybe these feelings and hopes are what make the eternal Cubbie fan.

  2. Ben says

    It is one thing to say you don’t like the new statistics, which is your opinion. But saying they are “ruining the blogosphere” is unfair and rude. They have their style, you have yours. And incidentally, what you just said about clutch hitting was delivered in a more preachy fashion than anything I’ve read by the stat guys.

  3. says

    The problem I have with chemistry in general is that it’s something that is bred by winning. Winning clubs – usually – have good chemistry.

    There are of course exceptions to this rule. But, when do you see 25 guys absolutely love to play together and sit in the cellar year after year? It doesn’t happen.

    We had Larry Stone on the blog the other day and I think it’s safe to call him an “old school” guy. He said the same exact thing and has drawn that opinion based upon his experience.

    As for the term clutch, you can see that there is a statistic for it, it’s on fangraphs… it’s kind of a fun little thing to play around with. It measures performance based upon the leverage (importance) of each situation. True facts…

    But speaking of the “beauty” of the game, some guys perform well under pressure. Their mind just clears and they can concentrate on what they do. But it’s hard to distinguish between those people and people that just end up getting lucky … (or unlucky).

    Do you believe that the pressure of the situation just absolutely overwhelmed Alex Rodriguez in the playoffs when he played in Seattle? Then after one season in New York he is automatically labeled as a guy that couldn’t perform in the “clutch”. We’re talking about one of the best hitters in baseball over the last twenty years and he is being criticized and often cited as a goat because he didn’t get a hit at what someone considered to be the “right” time.

    We’ve seen times this season where Dustin Ackely drives the ball all over the field and comes up 0-4. Heck, we’ve seen Ichiro do it in his quest for 200 hits every year for nearly a decade. Was it because he wasn’t doing his job as the hitter? Certainly not.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t guys that you can’t stand to see in certain situations (i.e. Miguel Olivo)
    I am sadden that you continue to use throw the words “stat geek” at something like I’m someone stuck in my mom’s basement (I assure you, I am no longer there), while misusing terminology such as WAR and taking cheap jabs at people that seek to have a deeper knowledge about subject in which they enjoy.

    I know you’ve talked about being a member of SABR. I would encourage you understand the reason for the measurement of the tools. Why is it important to someone to measure WAR, why is FIP a better index than ERA? What is the point of using FIP if you use xFIP.

    They seem overwhelming and to be honest there are quite of few people that have used them out of context. Heck, I’ve been corrected on how I’ve reference statistics before. People make mistakes and we learn from them. I hope one day you’ll be able to learn how to understand and appreciate our point of view without feeling like you’ve abandoned yours.

    • Jeff says

      Well I knew I would be getting some comments like the one above which by the way was quite thoughtful and respectful. I hope you read the article by Jason Whitlock on my Blog as that article propmted my post and should help supoort our point ov view though I am not really interested in converting anyone but rather stating my own opinion. I too have developed a deep knowledge of the game of baseball as a plyer, coach and fan over the past 45 years and I contiune to enjoy learning. But I think you miss the whole point which is that stats are not bad but it is the obsession with ne metric stats and the smugness by those who create them and know the proper way to use them as if the rest of us who have actually played the game and observed it for years are somehow not real fans. Just the fact that you were unable to discern the fact that I was using the term WAR as part of an attempt at humor and you needed to correct me speaks for itself. I’m wondering did you ever crack a line drive down the line and clear the bases with a game on the line? Do you know the feeling when you are in the zone at the plate and get hot? Probably not, but instead of feeling this game most Stat-Geeks just want to think about it. Yes I use the term Stat-Geek just like Jason Whitlock a syndicated write for Fox Sports did, it is a fitting term for the pompous types who like to Lord over those of us old-school guys. I am not saying you are one but the mere fact that you find it necessary to come scold me seems a bit like the guy who never got picked on a team till last because he was uncoordinated and is now trying to get back at the jocks by creating and flaunting new sabermetric lingo online. My generation will pass soon enough and then the webspace will be all yours kid. Until then go shag some flys before you start lecturing me about the game of baseball. Jeff

    • Jeff says

      Not at all. Just following up on what Jason Whitlock wrote today. Lots of Stat-Geek Blogs for you to read around town if you don’t like mine…

  4. says

    I don’t know who did you wrong Jeff. I really feel like someone really negatively affected you in some way and I apologize for being unable to discern your sense of humor. I’m not trying to “correct” your perspective.

    I don’t believe it’s about your side versus my side. It’s simply about personal perspective, opinions and growing. But, calling someone with a different opinion than yours the reason that the sport is ruined is just sad. Sorry mate.

    • Jeff says

      Harrison, It has been another long season and maybe just watching the Mariners has got me a little miffed so Im sorry to come across so upset. Again I hope you read Jason Whitlocks article and have responded to him as well.

  5. Max says

    People that tell me how to enjoy the game of baseball are ruining the game of baseball. You can watch the game however you want, but I prefer having more accurate statistics to better enjoy the game thank you.

  6. says

    Jeff, I just can’t figure out how you’d allow anyone else’s mindset to ruin the sport for you.

    You can easily tune out those you disagree with by just, well, tuning them out.

    No one should determine who is a real fan or what the real way to evaluate the game is. Just like I believe you’re wrong in questioning my saber-beliefs, I’d be wrong to question you for your old-school thinking.

    We both love this game, right? I long to jump up and down at a parade the same way you do. I smack my head the same way you do when this inept offense struggles.

    Just because I use spreadsheets and advanced stats doesn’t mean I’ve lost my pulse. I cheered when Griffey returned, even though I disliked how it impacted the club. I cried when Dave Niehaus passed.

    I’m not offended by your words, Jeff. But I would urge you to open your mind and be more accepting to those who share the same passion you do. We aren’t robots and you aren’t an idiot. We’re both Mariners fans.

    http://sodomojo.com/2011/09/13/levels-of-fandom/

  7. Jeff says

    You can’t take the human element out of it — these people are human beings, they’re not Strat-O-Matic cards,” says Kevin Goldstein, who writes for Baseball Prospectus, a magazine founded on the Jamesian philosophy. “You can’t just (use) them and expect some sort of consistent value based on what you want to do with them.”

    Bill James:

    ” a trait James believes sabermetricians need more of: humility”
    I rest my case…Jeff

  8. Ben says

    Have you ever wondered if the “saber lords” come across as haughty because they are using statistics to understand the sport on a deeper level than you do?

  9. Paul says

    Whitlock hates baseball, always has. The only time he has ever written about it is when he wants to express how much he hates the sport. Nothing wrong with that, it is what it is. But he is the furthest thing from an authority on Moneyball or baseball. Think of what a vegetarian might say if you asked him what she thinks of a Big Mac. That’s Whitlock on baseball.

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