The insufferability of stat geeks

The condescension doesn’t help, nor does the fact many (not all) take themselves so very seriously. Witness this sampling of Keith Law tweets culled from the past 24 hours:

That must’ve been some game Ted Williams had back in 1947.

No, Wright had a fantastic first half. His OPS since is .735, .005 points higher than Dan Uggla.

I think that’s what they call a small sample size.

Miguel Cabrera’s .333 BA, 41 HR, 130 RBI: Irrelevant. Just like …

Only people who played the game would believe in something so stupid. If it can’t be analyzed with stats, it can’t be.

Eagerly awaiting the clever ripostes

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13 Comments on The insufferability of stat geeks

  1. Can I offer rebuttal?

    If Detroit doesn’t make the playoffs, how is Cabrera’s Triple Crown candidacy valuable?… or “most valuable?

  2. I’m not saying he should be MVP, but to sniff at a Triple Crown is absurd.

  3. Rebuttal to the rebuttal: Without question the two best players in the AL this year are Drunky Cabrera and Mike Trout. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats. If you give the MVP to Josh Hamilton or – god forbid – Robinson Cano because the Angels and Tigers fall a couple games short of the Wild Card, that’s just foolish.

    I will predict this: If Miguel wins the first Triple Crown since Yaz, the MVP is a lock. To NOT go to Cabrera. Never underestimate the BBWAA’s burning, obsessive compulsion to embarrass themselves for decades to come with an asinine vote.

    Sorry if I’m grouchy tonight but every friggin NL playoff contenter has won or is winning today EXCEPT the friggin Dodgers who are playing the Nationals. Meh.

  4. dayf, the only thing we have to worry about is Fredi going w/ Huddy over Meds in the Wild Card game.

  5. In Law’s defense (and I disagree with him a lot), his triple crown argument is in response to people saying that automatically makes Cabrera the MVP. Law’s been pretty clear he thinks Trout is the MVP this year, and I agree with that.

  6. Trout is an entirely defensible pick, but comparing a Triple Crown to a perfect game is ridiculous.

  7. Why? His point was that it is an cool, impressive achievement that doesnt speak to the totality of the season. All Law is saying is that the triple crown doesnt tell you everything about how good a season a player has. The triple crown has no useful information about baserunning, defense, ability to walk, or extra base hits. All of those things are important factors in evaluating how good a season a player had. Law believes Cabrera has had a great year but he has just clearly not had as good a year as Trout. This is correct and should be easy to understand from what he said.

  8. ” the only thing we have to worry about is Fredi going w/ Huddy over Meds in the Wild Card game.”
    September will always fill me with dread and/or panic until that playoff spot is clinched.

  9. Whatever you think of it, the triple crown is a measurement of a full season’s efforts and isn’t comparable to a single game. That’s a sloppy and unapt analogy, one I would not expect from someone who usually writes clearly and logically.

  10. the real big cat // September 21, 2012 at 7:24 am //

    If you hit more home runs than anyone else in the league, logic would dictate that you probably had more than a few doubles, too. So a Triple Crown does have a little something to say about extra-base hits. And you probably got walked some. Just thinkin’ outside the stat sheet.

  11. Adam Laroche deserves serious MVP consideration in the NL, even if his average is a little low. “Most Valuable” is in the eye of the beholder.
    Ted Williams won a Triple Crown and the writers gave the MVP to the Yankees second baseman, Joe Gordon, presumably because they couldn’t figure a way to give it to Dimaggio.
    Trout is a defensible pick, but I would go with Cabrera. He is one of the finest hitters ever to play the game, and that counts for something. When the Tigers traded for Cabrera they showed a commitment to winning, and they have done exactly that.

  12. Both times Ted Williams won the triple crown he did NOT win the MVP.

    Curtis Granderson: 39 HR, 17 doubles. Juan Pierre has a .318 average. Frenchy once knocked in 100 runs in back to back season.

    I present those to say that the triple crown categories do not do much in representing a players value. So, when people want to arbitrarily award a most VALUABLE award based on numbers that incompletely describe a players value, then something should be said. No one is ‘sniffing’ at the triple crown. Just like no one ‘sniffs’ at a perfect game. Great accomplishment. Doesn’t tell us much about value, especially when the guy winning the triple crown is so incredibly bad at the other facets of the game.

    Cabrera is an incredibly valuable hitter. He’s also one of the worst fielders and base runners in all of baseball and this clearly sucks away a lot of the value he accumulates with the stick.

  13. Don’t tell me that you’re getting worked up over the tweets of a snarky columnist who likes to get people riled up.

    He does have a point tho. If Cabrera fails to win the Triple Crown b/c he’s one HR behind Hamilton, does that make his season any less legit? Don’t let the label define his season. Let his performance define his season. (kind of like what’s the difference between a perfect game and a one-hitter? not much)

    As for Trout… the fact that he plays an amazing CF has to be taken into consideration. But it’s very close between the two.

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