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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
a fifth'll get you stinkin
we've had a month, and a bit . . . about a fifth of a season. now would be a good time to run some walconpow's. maybe i'll do that. maybe i won't.
there's been a bit of down time here. but just when you think i'm gone, i come roaring back. nietzsche used to take nine months off. he called it his pregnancy. my births are premature.
it's popular around these parts (the baseball blogosphere) to analyze everything. every player, every move, blah blah blah. the blog that is most complete is the blog that gets the props.
but i oppose that sort of thing. most of the things we see have happened before. most players are types, like many other players. a few are unique. so the thing to do is talk about types of players, types of situations. the superstars, then, are their own type.
sabermetricians have done us a service by introducing the concept of replacement level. unfortunately, the have also screwed it up horribly. the reason this has happened is that they base their analysis on runs. the fundamental premise of sabermetrics is that all runs are created equal. there are exceptions, usually having to do with relief pitchers, but by and large a run is a run is a run. i've said this before.
i don't have to worry about structuring this argument because i don't care if i convince anybody. bill james developed the win shares system, which will hopefully point us in the right direction. we need to make wins the fundamental basis for analysis. win shares is still based on runs, but it's a start.
who would you rather have, juan pierre or jim thome? i'll take juan pierre in a second. john kruk takes him over barry. that's ridiculous, but he's on to something: juan pierre has all the skills that are most important in a low-run environment. those skills are contact, defense, and speed.
what people need to realize is a pitcher is a run environment. just as we adjust for park and league, we need to adjust for the pitcher. we need to realize that runs scored against roger clemens are different from runs scored against shawn estes.
sabermetricians say it evens out. that is the most unscientific thing i've ever heard.
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