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RedsManRick
06-24-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm finding myself increasingly frustrated with the preponderance of unsupported assertions in the form of "I think" in debates of fact on RedsZone. Merely stating what one thinks without providing supporting evidence and explanation of thought does little, if anything, to advance the conversation.

It's possible I'm just as guilty as the next guy, but I do my best to bring objective evidence to bear, show my work, explain how I reached my conclusion, and keep an open mind to changing my conclusion if my understanding of the facts changes.

Often, I see us arguing over both the facts and the process by which those facts should be considered. But rather than engage on those terms, we dismiss positions not for their failure of logic or validity but because they conflict with our current conclusions and we can't accept the possibility of being wrong. This ends up taking the form of ad hoc dismissals, if not name calling and belittling (of which I, myself, have been guilty of recently).

Perhaps I'm largely alone in wanting to get to a correct "answer" in debates, rather than merely winning the argument based on the conclusion I started with. But it seems many people approach conversations with the latter goal in mind and it results in people talking past each other.

A variety of unsupported positions (unsupported by anything other than one's personal, undocumented observations) end up being shared and "debated". But as such, there is no basis for comparison or debate regarding the processes and evidence which led to those conclusions. When evidence is presented, usually in the form of data, it is usually derided as insufficient or misleading -- sometimes fairly, often not. But rarely is anything close to a consensus reached. Thus, the conversation has nowhere to go other than people restating their position differently or more loudly.

So, I guess my question is this: How can we have better conversations with each other. I don't mean just being nicer and accepting every opinion as fact, but truly improving the way in which we debate. How can we be clearer about our positions, our evidence, etc. and perhaps most importantly, how can we recognize when fundamental disagreements exist and simply call it a day rather than wait some posters leave and the angry ones burn out?

Brutus
06-24-2010, 06:19 PM
No one should be forced to supply statistical evidence to back up an opinion if they don't want to. It's a message board about baseball, not a research project. If people want to "think" about something, it's their right to do so. Make no mistake, nothing is better than a well-supported position that includes statistical or empirical backing. But if people want to log on for 10 minutes and insert a quick opinion, that's their prerogative.

With some people, guys like yourself, jojo, doug, nate, or anyone else that provide a lot of statistics sometimes do so without considering those stats may not mean anything. Not everyone believes in these newer statistics. Providing such support means nothing to people that don't believe those stats are gospel. If they don't understand/acknowledge/agree with the statistical backing, unfortunately it also does not advance the conversation. That's something we have to keep in mind: everything is relative to the individual's own belief system.

Johnny Footstool
06-24-2010, 06:21 PM
Thread closure in 5...4...3...

TheNext44
06-24-2010, 06:42 PM
I think the state of debate on Redszone is just fine. :D

RedEye
06-24-2010, 06:46 PM
Providing such support means nothing to people that don't believe those stats are gospel. If they don't understand/acknowledge/agree with the statistical backing, unfortunately it also does not advance the conversation. That's something we have to keep in mind: everything is relative to the individual's own belief system.

I don't think anyone is claiming stats are gospel. That's a mischaracterization of stat-minded analysis, actually--which should always be based on corrigible, testable hypotheses if it is worth its weight as a method in the first place.

I am far from a stat-hound myself, but I have to say that I commonly find the statistically-inclined posts on this site to be polite, objective and well-researched. Some posters go out of their way to explain the numbers in a manner accessible to those disinclined to believe in alphabet soup. I think if they sometimes take an exasperated tone (as doesn RMR in this thread) that is because their energy often seems to be wasted.

That said, I don't think things are as dismal as RMR paints them above. There are cases where different posters of different stripes come to agreement after long-running debates that weave in and out of different kinds of statistics. Just as one example, I'll cite the long-standing argument about Stubbs on umpteen different threads and forums. One side (led by dougdirt and others) argued from a scouting and stats perspective that Drew, despite his apparently bad performance in the minors, could one day play up to his potential and star for the Reds. The other (led by TRF and others) used the same data to argue against these claims. Though the conversation became spirited, dogmatic and even poisonous by turns--and is far from over given Stubbs recent slump--I think a lot of people learned a lot (myself included). And it has made watching Stubbs' development much more enjoyable for me as a fan.

I really hope this thread doesn't get closed, as I find this sort of meta-community conversation to be fascinating. It's worth taking a look at our methodology from time to time. It's what separates RZ from other forums I've been to.

Roy Tucker
06-24-2010, 06:51 PM
Yeah, I think there are varying degrees of mental rigor that people approach RZ threads with.

Some approach them with great amounts of logic and research and put a lot of time and thought into them.

Some just dash off an opinion after 15 seconds as a mini-break from work. :wave:

And varying shades of gray in-between.

Being not fully baked in my baseball opinions, I'm fine with how things are now. The debate seems pretty lively and the ones that want to really tussle with it do and it seems OK to me. There is no mod that declares winners and losers though. Things are what they are.

I believe there has been talk before of a Stats forum where the big guns that really care can slug it out and slide rules can be compared.

mdccclxix
06-24-2010, 07:01 PM
Yeah, I think there are varying degrees of mental rigor that people approach RZ threads with.

Some approach them with great amounts of logic and research and put a lot of time and thought into them.

Some just dash off an opinion after 15 seconds as a mini-break from work. :wave:

And varying shades of gray in-between.

Being not fully baked in my baseball opinions, I'm fine with how things are now. The debate seems pretty lively and the ones that want to really tussle with it do and it seems OK to me. There is no mod that declares winners and losers though. Things are what they are.

I believe there has been talk before of a Stats forum where the big guns that really care can slug it out and slide rules can be compared.

There does seem to be the desire to "go on record", "call your shot", etc. It feels good to be right, and to think that your analysis would have paid off if you were GM or something.

I don't know if it would be kept in good spirit (I definitely think the ORG is capable of it), but you could create a poll room on topics such as Stubbs, The Rolen Trade, Phillips attitude, 'Cisco's K rate, etc and have the posters listed on record. Perhaps you could change your position on these topics as well. Those participating would certainly take a moment before hitting submit and it may increase the rigor for those who feel more is needed.

The point is that the need to identify where someone is coming from on every topic of debate can be tiresome. Besides, who cares if you change your mind? I think if you don't get personal (hit delete!), you'll find yourself less cornered by others when it comes to debating the game.

nate
06-24-2010, 07:05 PM
I think the state of debate on Redszone is just fine. :D

I don't. I think it's exactly as Rick portrayed it. And I don't think there's anything wrong with saying it.

Disagreement is fine but the logical fallacies, I-told-you-so-ism (typically wrong), dismissiveness and purposely twisting arguments would make Redszone all but unreadable were it not for the ignore filter. Mine is SRO due to an ever increasing number of nonversationalists; there's simply no point engaging some.

Yes, I know, "welcome to the internet, n00b!"

Unfortunately, for me it seems that most (but not all) people willing to have an open mind and honest discussion seem to be those who share my views on the game so there's not as much common ground to give or take.

Oh, and I don't know what the solution is.

nate
06-24-2010, 07:08 PM
There is no mod that declares winners and losers though.

Oh, there are losers alright!

:cool:


I believe there has been talk before of a Stats forum where the big guns that really care can slug it out and slide rules can be compared.

Only if we can call it "the Finer Things Club."

:cool:

With two cools in one post, I now lead Redszone in "Cools per Post" (CpP.)

Brutus
06-24-2010, 07:12 PM
I don't think anyone is claiming stats are gospel. That's a mischaracterization of stat-minded analysis, actually--which should always be based on corrigible, testable hypotheses if it is worth its weight as a method in the first place.

I am far from a stat-hound myself, but I have to say that I commonly find the statistically-inclined posts on this site to be polite, objective and well-researched. Some posters go out of their way to explain the numbers in a manner accessible to those disinclined to believe in alphabet soup. I think if they sometimes take an exasperated tone (as doesn RMR in this thread) that is because their energy often seems to be wasted.

That said, I don't think things are as dismal as RMR paints them above. There are cases where different posters of different stripes come to agreement after long-running debates that weave in and out of different kinds of statistics. Just as one example, I'll cite the long-standing argument about Stubbs on umpteen different threads and forums. One side (led by dougdirt and others) argued from a scouting and stats perspective that Drew, despite his apparently bad performance in the minors, could one day play up to his potential and star for the Reds. The other (led by TRF and others) used the same data to argue against these claims. Though the conversation became spirited, dogmatic and even poisonous by turns--and is far from over given Stubbs recent slump--I think a lot of people learned a lot (myself included). And it has made watching Stubbs' development much more enjoyable for me as a fan.

I really hope this thread doesn't get closed, as I find this sort of meta-community conversation to be fascinating. It's worth taking a look at our methodology from time to time. It's what separates RZ from other forums I've been to.

No is claiming they're gospel, but that's not my point. As a statistical-oriented person myself, one that would agree with RMR on 90% of his conclusions, I know it's easy to post stats as a illustration of our positions. But there's an unstated tendency to feel comfortable we've "advanced" a conversation (to quote Rick) by sourcing these stats.

The point I'm making is that there is sometimes some hostility toward the reliance of these stats. Some people are offended by the notion that those stats we are prone to using are any better at advancing a conversation than not using stats at all. If the people on the other side of a debate don't believe in the stats--whether they're gospel or not--it's not really advancing the conversation. It's like quoting a bible verse to someone that doesn't believe in God. If they don't believe in the religion, providing context to the debate doesn't really do much good.

Intellectually, I believe Rick has an interesting point that I think it's better for people to challenge their own beliefs by corroborating them with evidence. I think we're all better individuals by researching and supporting our opinions. That goes for all aspects of life. But at the end of the day, the only problem I have with the notion is that this is still a baseball board. It's a hobby for some people. A lot of individuals just want to come here and talk about their favorite sport and don't want to become mathematicians or researchers.

RBA
06-24-2010, 07:12 PM
I don't see any supporting evidence for your analysis on the "state of debate". Just statements. Looks like you are stating what you think which is not advancing the conversation.

mth123
06-24-2010, 07:19 PM
I think this all a matter of point of view. Some posts that are "supported" are only supported validly if you subscribe to the religion that creates the support.

IMO, many of the ideas that are supposedly supported by some aren't really supported at all and are no better than the opinions of others that aren't accompanied by a table full of numbers.

mth123
06-24-2010, 07:21 PM
No is claiming they're gospel, but that's not my point. As a statistical-oriented person myself, one that would agree with RMR on 90% of his conclusions, I know it's easy to post stats as a illustration of our positions. But there's an unstated tendency to feel comfortable we've "advanced" a conversation (to quote Rick) by sourcing these stats.

The point I'm making is that there is sometimes some hostility toward the reliance of these stats. Some people are offended by the notion that those stats we are prone to using are any better at advancing a conversation than not using stats at all. If the people on the other side of a debate don't believe in the stats--whether they're gospel or not--it's not really advancing the conversation. It's like quoting a bible verse to someone that doesn't believe in God. If they don't believe in the religion, providing context to the debate doesn't really do much good.

Intellectually, I believe Rick has an interesting point that I think it's better for people to challenge their own beliefs by corroborating them with evidence. I think we're all better individuals by researching and supporting our opinions. That goes for all aspects of life. But at the end of the day, the only problem I have with the notion is that this is still a baseball board. It's a hobby for some people. A lot of individuals just want to come here and talk about their favorite sport and don't want to become mathematicians or researchers.


Awesome post.

RBA
06-24-2010, 07:21 PM
I think this all a matter of point of view. Some posts that are "supported" are only supportrd validly if you subscribe to the religion that creates the support.

IMO, many of the ideas that are supposedly supported by some aren't really supported at all and are no better than the opinions of others that aren't accompanied by a table full of numbers.

Well stated.

Plus Plus
06-24-2010, 07:27 PM
The biggest issue that I see as someone who reads threads much more often than posting in them is the use of advanced statistics, often in a "potpourri" manner, to provide baseline arguments on players. Many stats such as WAR, Win Shares, wOBA, xFIP, UZR, etc. are unfamiliar and take a degree of statistical savvy and dedication to understand and use correctly. Additionally, these statistics have varying levels of correlation with wins and losses for the team or a player's true impact upon a team, and some (WAR and UZR being the biggest culprits) combine or use statistical analysis that has a very low (relative) level of correspondence with wins and losses, or a player's value. These stats are then presented and being discussed in a manner that may no longer pass the smell test (one example having been stated in the Gomes v Heisey thread, where Gomes was a top-5 NL OPS player and Janish had about 50 PAs and innings in the field, but their WAR was equal) and forms a large-scale rift between members of the thread.

I also feel that there exists a mutual misunderstanding between the stat-minded members of the forum and those who are more traditional analysts of the team and game. (I know this is an extremely touchy subject, and I hope that my statement here will not step on any toes...) Again, as someone who reads every post on RZ every day, I saw about 18 months ago a large problem where those who are statistically inclined were derided as "statheads" and many of their arguments were dismissed without reason. Now, I see the pendulum swinging the other way; statistically inclined individuals at times deride those who form opinions on players by watching on TV, as evidenced by overusing quotes, mocking comments out of context, and writing parodies of posts that could be formed by that school of thought. I think this is completely inappropriate and should be stopped as soon as possible. Something that I truly think is essential for a successful forum is mutual respect for all members. Now, I don't think that this should protect people from making ill-conceived statements or from people arguing about subject matter. But, I think that dismissing the notion that a top-5 OPS Gomes is a better contributor to a team than a 50 PAs Janish (by someone who watches the games on TV) is a fair argument and should be treated as such, stats be damned.

I love being a member of the ORG on Redszone. I make going to Redszone a daily activity for me, up there with checking email. I have an immense amount of respect for the posters here. I think the solution for many of the problems that RMR has stated is simply for people to re-read their posts before publishing them.

---------

(Postscript)

Rick mentioned an issue he seemed to be taking with the presentation of unsupported opinions and the debate ensuing from them. I think that we should keep in mind that for some, watching every inning of every game is the support for the opinion that is being made. No member of the ORG is a banana phone caller- we are all very avid Reds fans and I think that mutual respect is the answer. Just because stats can appear more compelling doesn't necessarily make the use of stats a compelling feature in an argument. JMO.

And, again, most of what I am saying is coming from someone who reads much more than posts. I am not taking sides, nor am I deriding either side. I am just saying what I see.

mth123
06-24-2010, 07:31 PM
The biggest issue that I see as someone who reads threads much more often than posting in them is the use of advanced statistics, often in a "potpourri" manner, to provide baseline arguments on players. Many stats such as WAR, Win Shares, wOBA, xFIP, UZR, etc. are unfamiliar and take a degree of statistical savvy and dedication to understand and use correctly. Additionally, these statistics have varying levels of correlation with wins and losses for the team or a player's true impact upon a team, and some (WAR and UZR being the biggest culprits) combine or use statistical analysis that has a very low (relative) level of correspondence with wins and losses, or a player's value. These stats are then presented and being discussed in a manner that may no longer pass the smell test (one example having been stated in the Gomes v Heisey thread, where Gomes was a top-5 NL OPS player and Janish had about 50 PAs and innings in the field, but their WAR was equal) and forms a large-scale rift between members of the thread.

I also feel that there exists a mutual misunderstanding between the stat-minded members of the forum and those who are more traditional analysts of the team and game. (I know this is an extremely touchy subject, and I hope that my statement here will not step on any toes...) Again, as someone who reads every post on RZ every day, I saw about 18 months ago a large problem where those who are statistically inclined were derided as "statheads" and many of their arguments were dismissed without reason. Now, I see the pendulum swinging the other way; statistically inclined individuals at times deride those who form opinions on players by watching on TV, as evidenced by overusing quotes, mocking comments out of context, and writing parodies of posts that could be formed by that school of thought. I think this is completely inappropriate and should be stopped as soon as possible. Something that I truly think is essential for a successful forum is mutual respect for all members. Now, I don't think that this should protect people from making ill-conceived statements or from people arguing about subject matter. But, I think that dismissing the notion that a top-5 OPS Gomes is a better contributor to a team than a 50 PAs Janish (by someone who watches the games on TV) is a fair argument and should be treated as such, stats be damned.

I love being a member of the ORG on Redszone. I make going to Redszone a daily activity for me, up there with checking email. I have an immense amount of respect for the posters here. I think the solution for many of the problems that RMR has stated is simply for people to re-read their posts before publishing them.

---------

(Postscript)

Rick mentioned an issue he seemed to be taking with the presentation of unsupported opinions and the debate ensuing from them. I think that we should keep in mind that for some, watching every inning of every game is the support for the opinion that is being made. No member of the ORG is a banana phone caller- we are all very avid Reds fans and I think that mutual respect is the answer. Just because stats can appear more compelling doesn't necessarily make the use of stats a compelling feature in an argument. JMO.

And, again, most of what I am saying is coming from someone who reads much more than posts. I am not taking sides, nor am I deriding either side. I am just saying what I see.

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

westofyou
06-24-2010, 07:33 PM
Stats vs Traditional is as old as RZ, it's older than FC Lane and the idea that one side is not getting enough rope from the other side is thrown out on an off day at least once a season.

Nothing new here from what I can see.

Brutus
06-24-2010, 07:38 PM
Stats vs Traditional is as old as RZ, it's older than FC Lane and the idea that one side is not getting enough rope from the other side is thrown out on an off day at least once a season.

Nothing new here from what I can see.

Discussions of stats vs. traditional, Adam Dunn, hustle, clutch hitting, Dusty Baker vs. James Andrews and defensive stats give this place character. Nothing like reviving the 27th version of an old sequel.

:beerme:

BCubb2003
06-24-2010, 07:42 PM
I've learned a lot about stats here, and I hope there's always room for random thinkers.

Mario-Rijo
06-24-2010, 07:49 PM
Good stuff all around. I'd concur with Plus Plus, Mth and Brutus, they put it better than I could have. Though I'd like to hear some specific examples from Rick as to what constitutes as unsupported, not the easy to see stuff but the gray area. Do we really need a stat to back up everything we say? Or am I misunderstanding his position?

Falls City Beer
06-24-2010, 07:55 PM
I've learned a lot about stats here, and I hope there's always room for random thinkers.

Nothing random about what you bring.

I think there's a deep problem in setting up a dichotomy of "traditional vs. stats."

These categories aren't the least bit mutually exclusive. Some of the more striking thinkers on this board aren't even remotely "traditional," with all of that term's negative connotations--though many would label them as such.

William James guides my thinking: "Wisdom is knowing what to overlook." Nothing is truer than that. The greater skill is knowing what information to discard, not what to keep.

Another thing: there's an unspoken assumption on the part of some that certain people don't "get" the math of UZR or what-not. It's not advanced calculus; it's mostly gruntwork and spreadsheets. It's not alchemy--99% of us get it. No need to be imperious about it.

RedsManRick
06-24-2010, 08:01 PM
No one should be forced to supply statistical evidence to back up an opinion if they don't want to. It's a message board about baseball, not a research project. If people want to "think" about something, it's their right to do so. Make no mistake, nothing is better than a well-supported position that includes statistical or empirical backing. But if people want to log on for 10 minutes and insert a quick opinion, that's their prerogative.

Firstly, nobody "has to" do anything, clearly. This is a place in which people engage in conversation at their leisure. I get that. However, taht does not mean we should accept the lowest common denominator. I realize this isn't Tom Tango's blog. But it also isn't the ESPN or MLB forums. Unfortunately, I've seen us trending towards the latter.

Regarding your first statement, people certainly don't have to back up their opinions with evidence. However, there is a distinction between an opinion and an assertion of truth.

Opinion: Joey Votto is my favorite player.
Assertion: Joey Votto is the best 1B in the NL.

If you do the latter, you should expect to be challenged to explain why. And, in this day and age on a forum filled with the breadth of people we have, that conversation will quite likely involved some stats. That's just the reality of things.

There's nothing wrong with opinions. If you "think/believe" that Votto is the best 1B, and somebody provides an argument that leads to a different conclusion, there are three reasonable responses in my mind:

1) I believe what I believe based on what I see and think. I'm not really looking to get in to a debate about it. Let's leave it at that.
2) Interesting, but I have some evidence that leads me to my conclusion. Let's compare and discuss.
3) Interesting, I didn't realize that. It looks like you might be right.

But we often, if not usually, get #4: I believe what I believe and I'm going to keep defending my position ad museum while dismissing the possibility of being wrong despite any evidence you present.

You certainly don't have to engage in that debate; nobody is forced to. But people should insist of having their cake and eating it too. Nothing good can come of it. I realize us stat types can be annoying and stubborn. Really, I do. But that's because we're motivated by a drive for objective truth. I realize that not everybody is. But having the same debate of "get your head out of a spreadsheet, watch a game, and accept my subjective position as evidence" vs. "read a book, do some math, and realize everything you know is wrong" gets us absolutely no where. Yet we have that conversation in nearly every single thread these days.

I know we're never going to agree on everything. But I'm hoping we can find better ways to recognize when agreement just isn't possible, peacefully disagree, and move on.

RedsManRick
06-24-2010, 08:05 PM
I don't see any supporting evidence for your analysis on the "state of debate". Just statements. Looks like you are stating what you think which is not advancing the conversation.

Ha! A very fair critique. I don't have the time or energy to create a metric of debate quality, collect the data, and do the analysis; though that would make for a much more convincing position.

I don't think what I'm saying is controversial. But if you disagree with my premise, I'll concede my lack of proof and offer that we can agree to disagree and leave it at that.

RedsManRick
06-24-2010, 08:08 PM
Stats vs Traditional is as old as RZ, it's older than FC Lane and the idea that one side is not getting enough rope from the other side is thrown out on an off day at least once a season.

Nothing new here from what I can see.

The point is not "let's give the other side more rope". It's that there's a fundamental disconnect which we aren't acknowledging. Let's either find a way to bridge it or recognize that sometimes no amount of rope will do and just let it go. But let's not just keep yelling louder, as it seems we've been doing more often as of late.

pedro
06-24-2010, 08:23 PM
It's a message board about Reds baseball, not statistics. I love statistics, I really do, but there are lots of things in life for which there is no quantifiable measurement, such as our shared passion for baseball and more specifically the Cincinnati Reds. To measure the things we love by their disected component parts can be both useful and amusing but to believe that there is nothing more to it than that sapps the life out of it IMO.

Homer Bailey
06-24-2010, 08:27 PM
You certainly don't have to engage in that debate; nobody is forced to. But people should insist of having their cake and eating it too. Nothing good can come of it. I realize us stat types can be annoying and stubborn. Really, I do. But that's because we're motivated by a drive for objective truth. I realize that not everybody is. But having the same debate of "get your head out of a spreadsheet, watch a game, and accept my subjective position as evidence" vs. "read a book, do some math, and realize everything you know is wrong" gets us absolutely no where. Yet we have that conversation in nearly every single thread these days.



There's a lot I'd like to comment on in this thread, but I'll start with just this. For the record, I don't mean to direct my comments at any one person.

I don't mean to speak for anyone else on the board, but I think some of my frustration lies in the fact that the stat heavy crew seems to only believe in the numbers. For instance, one may take a 3.2 WAR player over a 3.1 WAR player all day, every day, regardless of who the player is. If that's the way you view baseball, who am I to say you're wrong? I'm not saying anyone is wrong.

On the other hand, I base almost all of opinions on statistics, but also consider some qualitative factors when evaluating a player. Anywhere else in the world I'm called a "Sabermetric *****", whereas here I'm probably viewed as very non saber. I think there is a value in having the best possible offensive lineup in the game, even if it means sacrifcing come D (see Gomes, Cabrera, although his bat can't even be argued for right now). Am I right? Who knows! I like to think I'm right. Everyone likes to think they're right. Am I guilty of posting only statistics that support my arguments? Of course! A lot of people are. There are enough statistics out there for us to find positives on one guy and negatives on another guy to make it seem like our opinions are the best and most accurate.

There have been players I've loved before, seen numbers posted on RZ, and completely changed my opinion on. I know that when my opinion is opposite those of the stat heavy guys, I'm usually wrong, and I don't even get involved. There happens to be at least two players on this current team that I happen to disagree about. It's nothing more than that. We just aren't going to agree. Could I be completely wrong by year end, and change my opinion? Of course. Gomes could continue his slide, and if Cabrera never breaks out of his slump, he could turn out to be an awful signing.

And for the record, I thoroughly enjoy the conversations we have about the value of players. I love posting something and getting reaction to it. Sometimes I get nervous that I'm about to be proven totally wrong! But that's what makes this board so enjoyable. It's filled with tons of huge (and very knowledgeable) baseball fans that are going to have differing opinions. Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate, DD, RMR, and jojo because they are usually the most informative. I often have responses to these, and challenge some assertions made in those posts, but overall, the discussion makes RZ a better place (IMO of course :cool:)

TheNext44
06-24-2010, 08:33 PM
I don't. I think it's exactly as Rick portrayed it. And I don't think there's anything wrong with saying it.


I agree that it is exactly as Rick portrayed and again, I think the state of debate on Redszone is just fine.

Mario-Rijo
06-24-2010, 08:36 PM
JMO and I don't read as much or as often as I used to but if anything the only lacking from this site recently is the dedication of the posters to actually slug it out until something is learned. Too many people just rather hit ignore and move on, or just bail on the conversation (employing many different strategies, one of which is sticking their fingers in their ears and singing LA,LA,LA). Edabbs drives me nuts with his insistence that Walt has done a better job as Reds GM than Wayne did, FCB irks the crap out of me with his opinions often, etc. But I don't have a soul on ignore because although I disagree with them at some point maybe they will get their point across or I will (ok maybe I won't). Point is hang with 'em and quit being so sensitive. Share your opinons and if that doesn't work try a different angle or approach, drop it for awhile and pick it up again when the opportunity presents itself if all else fails. Whatever, just don't give up on trying to convince others of your point or trying to see someone else's.

Though alot of good this does if RMR has me on ignore. Which since he didn't respond to my last post is completely possible.

RedsManRick
06-24-2010, 08:42 PM
I think the Gomes / Janish WAR discussion was a perfect example. I understand sniff test, but this was sniff test used incorrectly, in my estimation.

The sniff tests helps us figure out what needs closer look. But to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, you still take the closer look. Ultimately, that was a conversation about the reasonableness of UZR figures and the extent to which negative defense can take away from offensive production. There's plenty to debate there.

Some posters claimed sniff test and moved on. Fine. But others were stuck on pointing at OPS and just shouting louder that WAR couldn't be right, refusing to discuss WAR itself and how it arrived at that conclusion. They had a critique of WAR but would only use the sniff test as evidence rather than looking closer.
That's where I personally got extremely frustrated. There was no way for that conversation to move forward and yet neither side was willing to disengage. I should've recognized that sooner and just let it go.

While I would love if everybody was as analytical as I (I'm not suggesting that means in right, just talking about approach to debate), I realize that's not reality. I'm going to make an effort to stop burning calories arguing in situations such as the one above. I think if we all did that a bit more this could be an even more enjoyable place to avoid real work.

nate
06-24-2010, 08:43 PM
There's a lot I'd like to comment on in this thread, but I'll start with just this. For the record, I don't mean to direct my comments at any one person.

I don't mean to speak for anyone else on the board, but I think some of my frustration lies in the fact that the stat heavy crew seems to only believe in the numbers.

The "stat heavy crew" already understands the limitation of the numbers and do not "only believe in the numbers." The need to endlessly reiterate that, yes, we understand the limitations really keeps us from getting to the meat of most matters.

If only the "anti-stat heavy crew" would understand that there's a vast amount of gray between, we could both occupy that space and have more meaningful conversation. Judging by the direction this thread is going, I'm seeing an increase in ignore list population; it's too much work for what should be otherwise be a leisurely affair.


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

What?


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

Sorry, didn't hear you...


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

Oh...well, that's too bad for you!

:cool:


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

nate
06-24-2010, 08:45 PM
JMO and I don't read as much or as often as I used to but if anything the only lacking from this site recently is the dedication of the posters to actually slug it out until something is learned. Too many people just rather hit ignore and move on, or just bail on the conversation (employing many different strategies, one of which is sticking their fingers in their ears and singing LA,LA,LA). Edabbs drives me nuts with his insistence that Walt has done a better job as Reds GM than Wayne did, FCB irks the crap out of me with his opinions often, etc. But I don't have a soul on ignore because although I disagree with them at some point maybe they will get their point across or I will (ok maybe I won't). Point is hang with 'em and quit being so sensitive. Share your opinons and if that doesn't work try a different angle or approach, drop it for awhile and pick it up again when the opportunity presents itself if all else fails. Whatever, just don't give up on trying to convince others of your point or trying to see someone else's.

Though alot of good this does if RMR has me on ignore. Which since he didn't respond to my last post is completely possible.

For me, it's just not worth it to converse with those who are here for themselves rather than the intrigue of conversation.

Besides, this is the best point in this thread, did you read it?


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

:cool:

Brutus
06-24-2010, 08:50 PM
I think the Gomes / Janish WAR discussion was a perfect example. I understand sniff test, but this was sniff test used incorrectly, in my estimation.

The sniff tests helps us figure out what needs closer look. But to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, you still take the closer look. Ultimately, that was a conversation about the reasonableness of UZR figures and the extent to which negative defense can take away from offensive production. There's plenty to debate there.

Some posters claimed sniff test and moved on. Fine. But others were stuck on pointing at OPS and just shouting louder that WAR couldn't be right, refusing to discuss WAR itself and how it arrived at that conclusion. They had a critique of WAR but would only use the sniff test as evidence rather than looking closer.
That's where I personally got extremely frustrated. There was no way for that conversation to move forward and yet neither side was willing to disengage. I should've recognized that sooner and just let it go.

While I would love if everybody was as analytical as I (I'm not suggesting that means in right, just talking about approach to debate), I realize that's not reality. I'm going to make an effort to stop burning calories arguing in situations such as the one above. I think if we all did that a bit more this could be an even more enjoyable place to avoid real work.

You're a C-personality type. You're predisposed to analysis and details (I share the same strength/weakness). But there are a lot of D and I personality people on here that don't care much for details. They just care about the big picture and sometimes the details annoy them. Message boards have the same distribution of personalities but because all we have is our words (instead of emotions, delivery, facial expressions, etc.), the divide in personalities is more extreme.

Mario-Rijo
06-24-2010, 08:53 PM
For me, it's just not worth it to converse with those who are here for themselves rather than the intrigue of conversation.

Besides, this is the best point in this thread, did you read it?

Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

:cool:

Yeah I caught that. ;)

I see what you are saying but maybe we assume folks fall into the former category a little too quickly or we don't ever give them a chance to get to a point where they appreciate the latter one.

nate
06-24-2010, 08:55 PM
Yeah I caught that. ;)

I see what you are saying but maybe we assume folks fall into the former category a little too quickly or we don't ever give them a chance to get to a point where they appreciate the latter one.

My "chances" pogs eroded into BBs.

:cool:

Brutus
06-24-2010, 08:57 PM
I don't believe in ignore lists. I think they're silly. I think people should be mature enough to disregard opinions they don't care for without needing to filter them out. But hey, to each his own.

My only issue is with people that talk down to others. The condescending tone is the only thing I don't ever care for. Fortunately, I don't see a ton of that on this board, though even from a select few it's pretty annoying.

I care more about the *how* people interact than the *what*. Be nice, be articulate and treat other opinions with respect and don't talk down. Those are my only personal ideals for posting on forums.

TheNext44
06-24-2010, 08:58 PM
The sniff tests helps us figure out what needs closer look. But to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, you still take the closer look.

This is where I guess I have different goals than some. I haven't reached a reasonable conclusion since I decided that Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch was better than regular Cap'n Crunch, which I concluded after my first bite of it in 1975.

The baseball world is full of long winded debates with no clear cut answers. That's why I love it so much, and why I love Redszone so much.

Homer Bailey
06-24-2010, 09:03 PM
The "stat heavy crew" already understands the limitation of the numbers and do not "only believe in the numbers." The need to endlessly reiterate that, yes, we understand the limitations really keeps us from getting to the meat of most matters.

If only the "anti-stat heavy crew" would understand that there's a vast amount of gray between, we could both occupy that space and have more meaningful conversation. Judging by the direction this thread is going, I'm seeing an increase in ignore list population; it's too much work for what should be otherwise be a leisurely affair.

I don't think that anyone will deny there is a huge grey area there. How much fun is it to just agree to disagree though? I like discussing just about anything baseball related. I don't mean to accuse anyone of "just looking at stats" like a robot. I'm not sure how I originally worded it, but I should emphasize that is seems as if that is the only way the statheads think. I see very little acknowledgement of other factors other than statistics.

If people have doubts about some stats, they are going to voice them. By voicing them, it shows a willingness to at least discuss the matter, and hear others opinions. Baseball is one huge gray area that we are all attempting to color in.



What?



Sorry, didn't hear you...



Oh...well, that's too bad for you!

:cool:

Ugh. I immediately regret that post. :cool:

Mario-Rijo
06-24-2010, 09:06 PM
I don't believe in ignore lists. I think they're silly. I think people should be mature enough to disregard opinions they don't care for without needing to filter them out. But hey, to each his own.

My only issue is with people that talk down to others. The condescending tone is the only thing I don't ever care for. Fortunately, I don't see a ton of that on this board, though even from a select few it's pretty annoying.

I care more about the *how* people interact than the *what*. Be nice, be articulate and treat other opinions with respect and don't talk down. Those are my only personal ideals for posting on forums.

I won't go so far to say I don't believe in them some people (mostly trolls) are just not mature enough to be on a message board. That said I can't really think of anyone who posts on RZ regularly in recent memory that fits into that category. But I agree with your sentiment on the matter, I have or currently am posting on multiple message boards and have 1 guy ignored on all of them combined (a troll).

I also agree with your other point though sometimes I think people just misunderstand one another and take things offensively that aren't meant that way.

Ltlabner
06-24-2010, 09:08 PM
For me, it's just not worth it to converse with those who are here for themselves rather than the intrigue of conversation.

You hit the nail on the head.

There's a world of difference between arguing to move the point/conversation further and arguing for the sake of arguing. There's clearly a contingent here that have no interest in anything other than bickering.

I've mostly relegated RZ to checking in every couple weeks or so status. Mostly it's my own fault for getting sucked into too many silly arguments and wasting time on drama. Shame on me for that. I feel I went from solid contributor to incessant arguer and it soured me on the website (and it doesn't help that the team clearly wasn't interested in winning in any form or fashion last year...my interests moved on to other subjects).

But those who simply want to engage in cyberbation and sparing are the core problem to any interesting discussion. And more often than not interesting conversations are wrecked by those who simply want to be obtuse and argue. Using ignore has been helpful in weeding out the noise to some degree.

And then on some level WOY is right. This is a pretty reoccurring topic at RZ.

In closing, I think Nate was wrong. He does have a solution......robot snipers with lasers.

Brutus
06-24-2010, 09:08 PM
I won't go so far to say I don't believe in them some people (mostly trolls) are just not mature enough to be on a message board. That said I can't really think of anyone who posts on RZ regularly in recent memory that fits into that category. But I agree with your sentiment on the matter, I have or currently am posting on multiple message boards and have 1 guy ignored on all of them combined (a troll).

I also agree with your other point though sometimes I think people just misunderstand one another and take things offensively that aren't meant that way.

Yep. Everything is recorded for posterity for better or worse. We don't have the ability to articulate our thoughts as well as our expressions. So everything we say is as written. Unless we pay extra special attention crafting responses, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation and sometimes room for tension.

westofyou
06-24-2010, 09:13 PM
The point is not "let's give the other side more rope". It's that there's a fundamental disconnect which we aren't acknowledging. Let's either find a way to bridge it or recognize that sometimes no amount of rope will do and just let it go. But let's not just keep yelling louder, as it seems we've been doing more often as of late.

Life's hard, baseball's an escape to many in a varied manner, infinitely varied, from the stuff the guys wear to make the stats to the way they do things to make the stats, there are ballpark fanatics, history fanatics, memorabilia fanatics, uniform fanatics, a whole plethora of them abound.... and most of them have opinions on the game that doesn't jibe with the next guy.

Head butting on evaluation is just part of the disconnect IMO, the game has many layers that I know doesn't touch the world of some folks here. Everyone has their thing when it comes to the game and they grasp it tightly.

Not everyone likes licorice, but the people who like licorice REALLY like licorice, in this case baseball is the licorice and in a way that's got to be good enough for all of us, because damn.... that's some good licorice.

pedro
06-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I get aggravated when some posters will assert as a "fact" that either Dusty or Walt is a "moron" because they made a decision which can not logically be supported by statistics alone or any information that we as outsiders have available to us when it is entirely possible that there may be very good reasons for that decision that we just don't know about. Now we may not agree with those reasons if we were privy to them, and for all we know they might not even exist, but there is more to decision making than statitistics alone and as we as fans only have partial information to us I find the character assasination based soley on statistical analysis distasteful.

Rojo
06-24-2010, 09:33 PM
Some posters claimed sniff test and moved on. Fine. But others were stuck on pointing at OPS and just shouting louder that WAR couldn't be right, refusing to discuss WAR itself and how it arrived at that conclusion. They had a critique of WAR but would only use the sniff test as evidence rather than looking closer.

Yes that's frustrating but, IMO, you should allow for the fact that counter-arguments aren't going to be made in the same way you made your argument.

I'd take it as an opportunity to restate my argument in different way. (Sniff test them right back). You have to switch brain hemispheres. Nothin' wrong with that.

nate
06-24-2010, 09:46 PM
I get aggravated when some posters will assert as a "fact" that either Dusty or Walt is a "moron" because they made a decision which can not logically be supported by statistics alone or any information that we as outsiders have available to us when it is entirely possible that there may be very good reasons for that decision that we just don't know about. Now we may not agree with those reasons if we were privy to them, and for all we know they might not even exist, but there is more to decision making than statitistics alone and as we as fans only have partial information to us I find the character assasination based soley on statistical analysis distasteful.

I don't like the namecalling either. Nor do I think Dusty is a moron.

I do have a similar reaction to the opposite which is: "You're just some guy on the internet and [baseball person] has been in baseball their entire life so...neener."

So now that we know all this, where does it go?

nate
06-24-2010, 09:51 PM
I don't think that anyone will deny there is a huge grey area there. How much fun is it to just agree to disagree though? I like discussing just about anything baseball related. I don't mean to accuse anyone of "just looking at stats" like a robot. I'm not sure how I originally worded it, but I should emphasize that is seems as if that is the only way the statheads think.

I just have to disagree. The "statheads" seemingly must reiterate all the limitations that they know fully with every mention of a statistic. We can't even get to the point where that text is optional and accept that sometimes "good" is, indeed..."good."


I see very little acknowledgement of other factors other than statistics.

That's because a great deal of things can be measured. With things that can't be measured, it's acknowledged.


If people have doubts about some stats, they are going to voice them. By voicing them, it shows a willingness to at least discuss the matter, and hear others opinions. Baseball is one huge gray area that we are all attempting to color in.

It's fine to voice them but when one doesn't understand them or doesn't put in the effort to understand them and still attacks with the fervor of Mike Tyson at an all you can eat "ear buffet," I have a problem.


Ugh. I immediately regret that post. :cool:

Which one? The one where you said?


Some of my favorite posts to read are those from nate

:cool: (still leading CpP)

nate
06-24-2010, 09:52 PM
You hit the nail on the head.

There's a world of difference between arguing to move the point/conversation further and arguing for the sake of arguing. There's clearly a contingent here that have no interest in anything other than bickering.

I've mostly relegated RZ to checking in every couple weeks or so status. Mostly it's my own fault for getting sucked into too many silly arguments and wasting time on drama. Shame on me for that. I feel I went from solid contributor to incessant arguer and it soured me on the website (and it doesn't help that the team clearly wasn't interested in winning in any form or fashion last year...my interests moved on to other subjects).

But those who simply want to engage in cyberbation and sparing are the core problem to any interesting discussion. And more often than not interesting conversations are wrecked by those who simply want to be obtuse and argue. Using ignore has been helpful in weeding out the noise to some degree.

And then on some level WOY is right. This is a pretty reoccurring topic at RZ.

In closing, I think Nate was wrong. He does have a solution......robot snipers with lasers.

High five!

RedEye
06-24-2010, 09:54 PM
The point I'm making is that there is sometimes some hostility toward the reliance of these stats. Some people are offended by the notion that those stats we are prone to using are any better at advancing a conversation than not using stats at all. If the people on the other side of a debate don't believe in the stats--whether they're gospel or not--it's not really advancing the conversation. It's like quoting a bible verse to someone that doesn't believe in God. If they don't believe in the religion, providing context to the debate doesn't really do much good.


While I agree with the larger points you are making, I guess I just think the metaphors are mixed here. If anything, I would say folks who balance their baseball views on "intangibles" and "chemistry" align with certain strands of faith-based argumentation, while most sabermetricians (and wannabes) align with the scientific method. Sure, both sides can get needlessly dogmatic, but there are fundamental differences in the types of evidence that they use and find convincing. And it is most often the dogmatic non-stat position that has recourse only to claims like "Well, I just believe that... so there." Meanwhile, card-carrying "statheads" can certainly be maddening in their devout reliance on incremental model-tweaking as a replacement for saying they just do not know the answer.

Plus Plus
06-24-2010, 10:16 PM
I just have to disagree. The "statheads" seemingly must reiterate all the limitations that they know fully with every mention of a statistic. We can't even get to the point where that text is optional and accept that sometimes "good" is, indeed..."good."

The problem that I see is that, while the "statheads" reiterate the limitations of statistics such as UZR, they still point to them as the single and sole answer (or, if nothing else, the cornerstone of the argument) when discussing things like Gomes' defense. This leads to a dismissal of rhetoric and "WoTV" in the same manner as it would be if it was OPS vs batting average.

IslandRed
06-24-2010, 10:38 PM
I guess my viewpoint can be summed up by the simple fact that "debate" isn't really why I'm here. I'm here to read about the Reds, learn more about baseball and toss in my two cents whenever someone hasn't beaten me to my point. I don't need to win arguments or convert people to my way of thinking. (That wasn't always the case in my younger days. Believe me, I know the frustration when you believe you've won an argument but the other guy won't concede.) And I have exactly zero ORG people on my ignore list at the moment. Obviously, I'm doing RedsZone wrong. :cool:

Falls City Beer
06-24-2010, 11:05 PM
I don't see a contingent of people "here for cyberbation." Nor do I think this advances the civil and reasonable disagreements folks might have about how we agree or disagree.

jojo
06-24-2010, 11:08 PM
Good stuff all around. I'd concur with Plus Plus, Mth and Brutus, they put it better than I could have. Though I'd like to hear some specific examples from Rick as to what constitutes as unsupported, not the easy to see stuff but the gray area. Do we really need a stat to back up everything we say? Or am I misunderstanding his position?

I think Rick's point is simply this (and he can correct me if I've misrepresented his orginal post):

The ORG is about your opinion AND your reason's for holding it. So by being members of the ORG, we're mandated to elevate the quality of the discussion by giving others our reasons and by focusing on the reasons rather than the author.

BTW, nothing in that statement suggests the only valid reasons are stats-based premises.

jojo
06-24-2010, 11:16 PM
Stats seems to be the obvious target to pick on when it comes to issues relating to quality of discussion because it's so easy to classify things as "stats" vs "traditional" though I think it's more a habit than a practical reality at this point as statheads openly acknowledge the need for scouting and scouting has embraced the usefulness of stats.

IMHO, the real issue that kills discussion is the use of pejorative language.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2010, 11:23 PM
IMHO, the real issue that kills discussion is the use of pejorative language.

Or worse, veiled insults and snark.

jojo
06-24-2010, 11:24 PM
Or worse, veiled insults and snark.

Its kind of the same thing. Dismissing an argument without actually discussing the premises is thread poison.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2010, 11:25 PM
Its kind of the same thing.

Not to be too pedantic :cool:, but it's not.

Insults are direct. People hide behind the other stuff and claim it doesn't exist.

But yeah, getting personal is a problem.

Always Red
06-24-2010, 11:29 PM
Life's hard, baseball's an escape to many in a varied manner, infinitely varied, from the stuff the guys wear to make the stats to the way they do things to make the stats, there are ballpark fanatics, history fanatics, memorabilia fanatics, uniform fanatics, a whole plethora of them abound.... and most of them have opinions on the game that doesn't jibe with the next guy.

Head butting on evaluation is just part of the disconnect IMO, the game has many layers that I know doesn't touch the world of some folks here. Everyone has their thing when it comes to the game and they grasp it tightly.

Not everyone likes licorice, but the people who like licorice REALLY like licorice, in this case baseball is the licorice and in a way that's got to be good enough for all of us, because damn.... that's some good licorice.

There is a fabulously intoxicating and rich culture and history about the game that no stat has ever been able to describe that interests me the most. On the other hand, some folks are far more interested in player evaluation and comparison. There is plenty of room under the tent for all. I'd hate to see a separate forum for stats only, or baseball culture and history only, since both are an integral part of the game.


I guess my viewpoint can be summed up by the simple fact that "debate" isn't really why I'm here. I'm here to read about the Reds, learn more about baseball and toss in my two cents whenever someone hasn't beaten me to my point. I don't need to win arguments or convert people to my way of thinking. (That wasn't always the case in my younger days. Believe me, I know the frustration when you believe you've won an argument but the other guy won't concede.) And I have exactly zero ORG people on my ignore list at the moment. Obviously, I'm doing RedsZone wrong. :cool:

You said this better than I would have, Island, and it describes why I am here as well. I am not here to argue, but to learn, enjoy the game, and contribute where possible.

WVRedsFan
06-24-2010, 11:36 PM
I shouldn't even participate in this thread for any number of reasons, but if I remember back ten years or so, the motto of this site was "by Reds fans for Reds fans." I am a fan. I've watched baseball for in the neighborhood of 50 years. I love stats, but don't have the time or the energy to get into the stats some guys do. I just enjoy the game and root for the Reds.

That said, I haven't seen any deterioration in the discourse on this site since I stumbled on it way back when. In fact, it seems to be better these day. I've learned so much from the people on this site about baseball that I cannot even begin to put it down in this little space. The quality of the discourse has been exemplary--maybe not in the game threads, but that's a whole different thing anyway.

I'll give the original poster credit for trying to make things better and like many, I hate the "Dusty (or whoever) is an idiot" comments, but that's how fans react. Maybe it's not polite and not right, but people will be people. And it's not as if we haven't thought the same thoughts at times.

I've see worse over the past 10 or 11 years and my assertation is that things are much better than we've seen since the site began.

Captain Hook
06-24-2010, 11:41 PM
I tend to base my opinions mostly on what I see when watching a game.It's perfectly fine to have an opinion based on what someone watches or maybe even better, an accumulation of things they've seen.The problem with posting those opinions is that there is no reference of things you've seen on some web site.That makes it much harder to argue when someone else has every stat imaginable at their finger tips to make a decent argument against want you've seen.For instance.I think Joey Votto sometimes looks clueless at the plate and has had some of the worse swings at pitches I've seen.Anyone with a computer could destroy any notion that Joey is anything less then fantastic and that my comments are foolish,when that person has never even heard of Joey Votto.

I know it's hard for some to just take someone else's comments seriously when what they say is "they think this because they saw that".It's even more understandable when your on some random web site but at least on this site and in this forum we have all proved that we at least have a clue of what we're talking about and that we aren't trolling around typing random and unsupported things just to get a rise out of someone.

HokieRed
06-24-2010, 11:55 PM
Three observations.
1. While wishing to resist the too simple opposition of stats vs. traddies, I do want to say I enjoy hearing from people on both sides of this fence (which is really more than two sided)
2. I generally think meta-discussions are pretty dull but this one's actually pretty interesting.
3. Along with pejorative language, our sometime tendency to get extremely stuck on certain matters and personnel is, in my view, one of the real enemies of conversation here.

Falls City Beer
06-25-2010, 12:36 AM
Ever notice how meta-discussions never resolve anything? :)

RedEye
06-25-2010, 12:39 AM
Ever notice how meta-discussions never resolve anything? :)

Was that the goal?

HokieRed
06-25-2010, 12:41 AM
Ever notice how meta-discussions never resolve anything? :)

If I answer, have we descended to meta-meta-discussion?

Falls City Beer
06-25-2010, 12:43 AM
Was that the goal?

I hope not.

But seriously, yeah. I think the idea was to air a grievance and come to some kind of understanding of why folks get lodged in their camps. So yeah.

RedEye
06-25-2010, 12:46 AM
I hope not.

But seriously, yeah. I think the idea was to air a grievance and come to some kind of understanding of why folks get lodged in their camps. So yeah.

Is an understanding always a resolution? Not always, but it can be therapeutic.

Falls City Beer
06-25-2010, 12:51 AM
Is an understanding always a resolution? Not always, but it can be therapeutic.

From what I've read of the discussion, it was simply more grenades being hurled back and forth--under the guise of clarifying, discussing, illuminating.

Guess what? People have biases, activities involving humans don't follow clean trajectories over a small sample--no matter how much accumulated data you can bring to the discussion (in terms of baseball, economics, message boarding), life's not rational.

Mostly, folks just don't like being talked down to. No need. Expertise is overrated anyway.

macro
06-25-2010, 02:33 AM
But there are a lot of D and I personality people on here that don't care much for details. They just care about the big picture and sometimes the details annoy them.

I chose my user name based on this preference.

Ron Madden
06-25-2010, 05:47 AM
I tend to agree with Rick, The ORG isn't what it used to be.

We may often disagree but fact is we are all Reds Fans here.
I migrated to this site from Reds.com, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Reds and baseball in general. I WAS WRONG.

The only stats I cared about were BA, HR, RBI, ERA and W-L.

I love the game of baseball and I love The Reds so I read the many threads discussing OBP, SLG, OPS, WHIP with an open mind and then low and behold I learned something.

I'm no sabermetrician by any means but keeping an open mind about advanced statistics has helped me to better understand and enjoy the game I love.

Just as we are all Reds Fans we are all human beings.There will be times we disagree let's try to keep an open mind and not let stubbornness or foolish pride get in the way of intelligent discussion.

RedEye
06-25-2010, 08:13 AM
From what I've read of the discussion, it was simply more grenades being hurled back and forth--under the guise of clarifying, discussing, illuminating.

Guess what? People have biases, activities involving humans don't follow clean trajectories over a small sample--no matter how much accumulated data you can bring to the discussion (in terms of baseball, economics, message boarding), life's not rational.


Really? I guess we're reading two different threads. What "grenades" are you talking about?

I absolutely agree with the spirit of what you say in the second paragraph, but don't see how your conclusion follows from it. I would think that conversations like the one we are having (not necessarily this one, but the ones that tend to take place on RZ) are precisely the sort of thing people should strive for. People with different backgrounds and biases coming into contact with one another and sharing their points-of-view isn't always pretty, no--but it's how understanding is eventually sown. And it's why things like OBP and OPS now appear on mainstream baseball coverage.


Mostly, folks just don't like being talked down to. No need. Expertise is overrated anyway.

Did you just end your post with your own grenade against intellectuals? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

RFS62
06-25-2010, 08:23 AM
I wrote this on opening day several years ago regarding the level of discourse here.....nothing much has changed.


Numbers have a special relationship in baseball. No other sport has such a long history of celebrating the numeric benchmarks that have been passed down from generation to generation. The .300 hitter…. the 100 RBI guy… 30 homers. They were standards with which we all agreed. It was how we defined excellence. They gave us perspective, a way to judge players from one era to another.

But there was always an uneasy feeling among “baseball men” that there was more to player evaluation than simple numbers could ever reflect. Subjective judgment was still more important, in spite of the variety of opinions you could get among talent evaluators. People who spent a lifetime in baseball used statistics as a side dish, but not as the main course. How could a number ever express the beauty of Mazerowski turning a double play? What equation could describe the jump Mays got on the ball off the bat?

We were right when we argued that statistics didn’t tell the whole story. We were right when we gave more weight to scouting methods steeped in subjective judgment.

The reason we were right wasn’t that statistics is an imperfect science. The reason was that the particular statistics that we grew up with were inadequate in expressing what was going on. So, we very often drew the conclusion that stats are incomplete, and we were right.

But baseball, for all it’s tradition and history, does not exist in a static environment. It’s dynamic, ever changing, evolving. And a big part of that evolution in the past 30 years comes from a group of dedicated baseball lovers who were also mathematicians. These were people who, like the “baseball men” of the day, saw the current statistical measures we used were inadequate. But they didn’t stop there, as we did. They looked for better ways to express performance through mathematics.

And they came up with some surprising conclusions. Things that were counterintuitive to the traditional baseball world. Much of this “new thinking” came in the form of complex equations, far beyond the simple formulas used for batting average, ERA, and the counting stats that had been used as benchmarks ever since Henry Chadwick conjured up the first box scores.

The community of mathematicians saw the value immediately. This was their turf, and it wasn’t even that complicated, relative to the kind of things they were doing in other fields. But it was voodoo to most baseball men. An egregious transgression, perpetrated by a bunch of people who “never played the game”.

And as the movement grew, the divide between the “baseball men” and the “statheads” grew ever wider. It became a turf war. And it got ugly.

The “statheads” ridiculed “traditionalists” like it was a dirty word. Moneyball portrayed scouts as tobacco chewing Neanderthals, simpletons, incapable of seeing the big picture. And traditionalists loved to tell stat guys to get their nose out of their spreadsheet and actually watch a game. It was personal, demeaning, and very emotional on both sides.

I was one of the guys who laughed out loud when I first heard some of the conclusions coming out of the sabermetric movement. Before I even scratched the surface of trying to understand what they were doing, I lumped the “new math” of baseball into the same category as the old stats, the ones that I and all of my friends KNEW were incomplete in describing the big picture.

And I was right, from my perspective. But my perspective was skewed. It was incomplete. So, even though I was convinced from all my years of playing and coaching and studying the game I loved that I was right, I wasn’t. In the grand scheme of things, I was wrong.

The craziest thing about all of this is that both sides come from a noble place. Both sides are seeking the truth about baseball. Both sides want the same thing.

I’ve been studying and debating and really agonizing over all this for the past 4 years. And I’ve bought in completely.

And I’m glad that I didn’t come to these conclusions easily. I’m glad that I resisted, kicking and screaming all the way. I’m glad that I demanded proof, and challenged it at every turn.

But to me “buying in” doesn’t mean that I have to abandon what I know and have learned from a lifetime of observation. I’ve said over and over that a “balance” between statistical analysis and subjective judgment from observation is the optimum approach. I now believe this more than ever. There has to be a blend with which the two disciplines can co-exist.

In my opinion, the perfectly evolved baseball mind doesn’t exist on either extreme of the spectrum. It’s somewhere in the middle, depending on your background and experience. You don’t forget how to crawl when you learn how to walk. You just find a better way of moving. I submit that both extremes have to give up old attachments and open our minds, and learn a better way of thinking about the game we love.

I would love to see the fighting stop between the so-called “traditionalists” and the so-called “statheads”. It’s gone on for too long. The personal attacks, the condescension, it’s all so counterproductive. It’s a turf war that serves no useful purpose.

I don’t mean to stop the discussions. I don’t want the challenges to every new and old idea to stop. That’s how we evolve, we test our theories against one another, and we seek the truth. But the personal rancor and invectives are childish and ridiculous, demeaning to all involved.

So now it’s almost opening day. The happiest day of the year. We put on a freakin’ parade we’re so giddy to have baseball back in our lives. I’d really love it if we could turn over a new leaf here at RedsZone and both sides make an effort to stop the fighting and personal attacks. We can evolve too, it’s really our choice.

We all seek the truth about the game we love. What could be more noble?

RANDY IN INDY
06-25-2010, 09:36 AM
Timeless, RFS62.

nate
06-25-2010, 10:01 AM
The problem that I see is that, while the "statheads" reiterate the limitations of statistics such as UZR, they still point to them as the single and sole answer (or, if nothing else, the cornerstone of the argument) when discussing things like Gomes' defense.

I disagree. I see it as the WoTVers (of which I WoTV as much as they do) won't budge an inch that maybe advanced defensive metrics (of which UZR is one) while not 100% accurate are perhaps more accurate than WoTV for reasons detailed below. Those who use these stats understand what they say and their accuracy and even though it's not perfect, nor will it ever be, it's better than WoTV.

If you want to see dismissal about statistics, try talking about how RBI doesn't measure offensive performance, how pitching wins have very little to do with pitching skill or how a monthly platoon split is essentially meaningless.


This leads to a dismissal of rhetoric and "WoTV" in the same manner as it would be if it was OPS vs batting average.

I'm not sure of the point you're trying to make with this analogy but my points about defense really have more to do with the fact that the human brain can neither see, store or process the core of defensive value. Rather, it sees, stores and processes excitement which is why one sees a bevy of "[poor defensive player] hasn't looked that bad out there" comments.

I know it's difficult to suspend disbelief on the following abstract idea but imagine watching a baseball season where you had no access to statistics or record-keeping. I have serious doubts in the ability of any non-savant to be able to even say who's a good hitter. I propose that a person in such a situation is likely say that the most recently exciting player is the best.

So for me, in the case of defensive stats, it's not so much about any particular metric as it is all of these "advanced" metrics measure play data an order of magnitude larger than what the human brain can record, recall and analyze.

TRF
06-25-2010, 10:20 AM
Here is my one issue. When a poster states something as clearly his/her opinion, sometimes without stats to back it, that poster is attacked. I like the numbers too. I don't quite understand all of them, mostly because I haven't tried to. See, I'm both smart AND lazy, it's a classic combination.

But when a poster says "I feel like.." or "It seems like.." and is then bombarded with "what basis... yada yada" then the bombarding poster missed the point. Feeling, seems like, IMO is usually from the gut, or the back of the brain so to speak. It isn't quantifiable. But the same people on this board that say there is more than just the numbers are the same ones that turn around and demand basis for these intuition opinions. How can you respond? If a situation is unique, with no precedent and you have an opinion on it, you can almost expect an attack. Usually from the same posters too.

And it isn't like I am guilt free on this. I've certainly annoyed more than one poster with my opinions on Stubbs, Gomes, Taveras and lately GMJ. I have, over the last few months, tried to see what others might see in Stubbs. I didn't budge one inch on WT, and won't on GMJ. I guess I am middle of the road on Gomes.

But you almost cannot have an opinion on players anymore. The eyeball test isn't enough. UZR isn't enough. Offensive stats aren't enough. I am right and you are wrong. period.

It used to be if you made a compelling enough argument, sides could be moved to say you might have a point. That still happens, but far less than it used to. Now threads are filled with snark, usually designed to denigrate a poster that is a fan of the same team as the snark originator. Other fan messageboards destroy fans from other teams. Here at Redszone, we eat our own. It amazes me that a kid like Redsfan320 has not only survived here, but actually thrived. But I'm sure we can fix that.

And so I sit here at work, avoiding work, typing a message that says maybe we need to step back just a bit. Maybe its ok if someone doesn't think stat A is very good. Maybe its ok to think a FO move is dumb, or great, or inconsequential. Maybe instead of taking the bait some or all of us supply we should maybe just shut the browser off.

just sayin'

REDREAD
06-25-2010, 11:10 AM
I've always been a believer that you can't really control other people, only yourself.

I used to get WAY too emotional in discussions on this board.

Now, if I tire of a poster, I will just not read any more of his comments on a particular subject for awhile. In extreme cases, I will put him on ignore for a month or two.
I don't have to do that very often, but I highly recommend it.

I have not read this entire thread yet, and this is not a pot shot at anyone.. but it's kind of like marriage.. you aren't likely to change the other person once you tie the knot :)

One other small point. I don't want to start a controversy. I appreciate statistical evidence. However, some statistical analysis is based on theory, but is presented as fact. For example, a few years ago, it was often stated as fact that all pitchers should have the same BABIP any any variance was "luck". (I'm using this one as an example, as this seems to have died out, I am not calling out anyone or trying to offend anyone).

Plus Plus
06-25-2010, 11:24 AM
I disagree. I see it as the WoTVers (of which I WoTV as much as they do) won't budge an inch that maybe advanced defensive metrics (of which UZR is one) while not 100% accurate are perhaps more accurate than WoTV for reasons detailed below. Those who use these stats understand what they say and their accuracy and even though it's not perfect, nor will it ever be, it's better than WoTV.

Not meaning to get into a large scale discussion here, but from re-reading "The Ultimate Defense Thread," the posters who use UZR as a yardstick to measure defense are just as stubborn in their positions as those who use WoTV as their yardstick. This leads to a whole lot of frustration between the groups, some potentially outlandish statements regarding player roles and values, and no advancement in the discussion. I am really in neither group (and did not participate in said thread because of such), but it's hard to make a compelling argument re: UZR to someone who is adamantly against UZR because the primer depicts it as being a work in progress. The necessity is some sort of a reaching out, or a bridge to cross this chasm. Right now, neither group is working to build such a bridge.

Spring~Fields
06-25-2010, 11:28 AM
I have serious doubts in the ability of any non-savant to be able to even say who's a good hitter.

Well, Nate has done a very good job with the input and feedback process here in the thread. He has articulated several good points. Nate put a lot of quality time and energy into it with good intentions.

But, oh look here. Oh just look here. What he said in just one less than perfect sentence or comment within the very good ones that were many.

In all the fine input and feedback with well thought out remarks that Nate took the time and energy to provide within this thread.

I found one little ditty that I can jump on and run into the ground while ignoring and dismissing the rest of his good work. Not even acknowledge any part of it, and just blow on about that one less than perfect comment. According to my values and beliefs, that we wonít mention, that are probably more flawed than his less than perfect comment that I allege.


I have serious doubts in the ability of any non-savant to be able to even say who's a good hitter.

If he said anything else good, right, well, who cares?

Iíll just selectively ignore thatÖÖÖand run with his comment, where I infer that he is suggesting that I canít watch TV and tell whether Joey Votto is a better hitter than Drew Stubbs or that Scott Rolen is a better hitter than his favorite short stop Orlando Cabrera without looking at the stats for each. Shoot I will even take some liberties and say that Cabrera is his favorite shortstop, just to twist the screws a bit tighter, doesnít matter that I have no clue what Nate thinks, or feels about Cabrera.

I have the thought that we as humans might not respond to what we agree with or what appeals to us, but, we will be sure to let you know about that one little ditty in and amongst the rest of what you wrote that was very good.

Is good arguments, yeah butting, and yeah but this or yeah but that, someone to death? When there seems to be a yeah but, to all of life, especially in a game of failures like baseball?

Yupp, I found what I perceived to be one less than perfect comment in all that Nate did a great job on and I just had to comment on that one little thing, and pretend to be oblivious to the rest.

Bet you feel really rewarded and highly motivated to continue to produce quality efforts after reading the garbage up above now donít you Nate? Couldnít blame you one bit if you donít.

The rest of you, you did a great job too. Very intelligent, very articulate, some deep and profound, informative and edifying remarks, but, I am not going to acknowledge any of those, gee, that would take some effort.

MikeS21
06-25-2010, 11:41 AM
To me, RZ has changed since the early days, when a small group of us met via a message board and, as we either watched Reds baseball on TV or listened to Marty and Joe on the radio, the atmosphere was like a neighborhood sports bar, where game threads were 70% baseball and 30% about everything else. There were only about 20 of us "regulars" who got together almost nightly. It was fun. Not only did we discuss baseball, but we also discussed our families, vacations, and other topics of interest.

And, just like the neighborhood sports bar, anyone could blow off steam and give their opinions, no matter how outrageous, and everyone else made their outlandish comments, and no one "demanded" statistical proof to back up claims or positions. If someone said something outlandish, the normal response was basically laughter, and that was the end of it. No one got angry or upset. No one demanded proof. No one belittled another person for perceived ignorance. It was like a neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your 'screen name.'" At the end of the night, everyone logged off RZ as friends, knowing that the next game night, we'd do it all over again.

But times have changed. RZ grew and new blood came in. All of a sudden, if you wanted to express an opinion, you felt that you had to be fluent in the art of debate. RZ moved from being the friendly neighborhood bar where you could state your opinion, to a board where defended positions mattered more than friendships.

Now I realize times have changed, and I am a dinosaur around here. That's OK. I am OK with leaving the debate to others. I have become more of a lurker than a poster. My comments are becoming fewer and farther in between. I have to admit, though, I read what some folks post on RZ, and I give my opinion right back to the computer screen, and I can say whatever I want to the screen, no matter how outrageous. And I don't feel the need to defend my opinions, either. :D

bucksfan
06-25-2010, 12:15 PM
IMO it would not be welcome to shape in any way the way people should post or interact on this board, save for what to me are the obvious courtesies as stated in the board rules. As others, I have a rather hybrid view of things, as I believe one should in cases where all activity is not completely and 100% quantifiable. Some stats are relatively absolute and some are "good indicators" to be supplemented by other observation.

I come to this board both to get "basic news/views" on the Reds as well as - sometimes - to absorb some new way of looking at things at a deeper level. I say "sometimes" because much of the time my visits are short and I just want to "catch up on things". I rarely post an opinion anymore because I generally don't delve real deep into the more advanced stats anymore, and I realize that my opinion could be either flawed or "viewed as flawed" in absence of that support. And although many times it can be interesting to me to go through the analysis or have the debate, it's just not what I wish to do with this board 95% of the time.

There has been plenty of good discussion before the advent of the advanced statistical analysis and it should continue.

RedsManRick
06-25-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks everybody for your thoughts. Just one clarification:

While I definitely appreciate the scouts vs. stats discussion, I'm hoping to get even beyond the specific context. While that's often the point of contention, the conflicts happen in many different ways.

REDREAD really nailed the point I most wanted to make; we can only control ourselves. As frustrating as it can be to engage in a conversation with somebody who I feel just doesn't get it or is ignoring a point I'm trying to make, it's up to me to react appropriately and set a positive tone. If somebody simply doesn't want to view the game a certain way and/or isn't looking to reconsider their views, I need to just let it go.

So as much as I would love for RedsZone to be the place where I can get my stats on, I'll be making a concerted effort to not have those conversations detract from Reds-centric conversation, chasing off posters who would like to engage but just don't want to wade in to the debate. Those conversations have a place here, but that place is not every thread. Wherever you're coming from I guess I have two "requests":

1) Have an open mind and be humble. We're all wrong more often than we care to admit. And even when you know you're right, remember that you don't get any points for "winning" the argument.
2) Embrace civility first and foremost. We're all here to have a good time and talk Reds baseball. Let's do our best to make it a welcoming environment for fans of all stripes.

RANDY IN INDY
06-25-2010, 01:56 PM
To me, RZ has changed since the early days, when a small group of us met via a message board and, as we either watched Reds baseball on TV or listened to Marty and Joe on the radio, the atmosphere was like a neighborhood sports bar, where game threads were 70% baseball and 30% about everything else. There were only about 20 of us "regulars" who got together almost nightly. It was fun. Not only did we discuss baseball, but we also discussed our families, vacations, and other topics of interest.

And, just like the neighborhood sports bar, anyone could blow off steam and give their opinions, no matter how outrageous, and everyone else made their outlandish comments, and no one "demanded" statistical proof to back up claims or positions. If someone said something outlandish, the normal response was basically laughter, and that was the end of it. No one got angry or upset. No one demanded proof. No one belittled another person for perceived ignorance. It was like a neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your 'screen name.'" At the end of the night, everyone logged off RZ as friends, knowing that the next game night, we'd do it all over again.

But times have changed. RZ grew and new blood came in. All of a sudden, if you wanted to express an opinion, you felt that you had to be fluent in the art of debate. RZ moved from being the friendly neighborhood bar where you could state your opinion, to a board where defended positions mattered more than friendships.

Now I realize times have changed, and I am a dinosaur around here. That's OK. I am OK with leaving the debate to others. I have become more of a lurker than a poster. My comments are becoming fewer and farther in between. I have to admit, though, I read what some folks post on RZ, and I give my opinion right back to the computer screen, and I can say whatever I want to the screen, no matter how outrageous. And I don't feel the need to defend my opinions, either. :D

I kind of find myself falling in that category these days, Mike. I remember those first days of Redszone.

fearofpopvol1
06-25-2010, 02:21 PM
Here is my one issue. When a poster states something as clearly his/her opinion, sometimes without stats to back it, that poster is attacked. I like the numbers too. I don't quite understand all of them, mostly because I haven't tried to. See, I'm both smart AND lazy, it's a classic combination.

But when a poster says "I feel like.." or "It seems like.." and is then bombarded with "what basis... yada yada" then the bombarding poster missed the point. Feeling, seems like, IMO is usually from the gut, or the back of the brain so to speak. It isn't quantifiable. But the same people on this board that say there is more than just the numbers are the same ones that turn around and demand basis for these intuition opinions. How can you respond? If a situation is unique, with no precedent and you have an opinion on it, you can almost expect an attack. Usually from the same posters too.

And it isn't like I am guilt free on this. I've certainly annoyed more than one poster with my opinions on Stubbs, Gomes, Taveras and lately GMJ. I have, over the last few months, tried to see what others might see in Stubbs. I didn't budge one inch on WT, and won't on GMJ. I guess I am middle of the road on Gomes.

But you almost cannot have an opinion on players anymore. The eyeball test isn't enough. UZR isn't enough. Offensive stats aren't enough. I am right and you are wrong. period.

It used to be if you made a compelling enough argument, sides could be moved to say you might have a point. That still happens, but far less than it used to. Now threads are filled with snark, usually designed to denigrate a poster that is a fan of the same team as the snark originator. Other fan messageboards destroy fans from other teams. Here at Redszone, we eat our own. It amazes me that a kid like Redsfan320 has not only survived here, but actually thrived. But I'm sure we can fix that.

And so I sit here at work, avoiding work, typing a message that says maybe we need to step back just a bit. Maybe its ok if someone doesn't think stat A is very good. Maybe its ok to think a FO move is dumb, or great, or inconsequential. Maybe instead of taking the bait some or all of us supply we should maybe just shut the browser off.

just sayin'

This is an important point that I agree with. But when it gets to be annoying in my opinion is when a poster throws out an opinion as a fact. And then goes on further to not back up their opinion and then remains close-minded about it. It's by no means a large majority of posters, but there are some that are that way.

Chip R
06-25-2010, 02:52 PM
I used to get WAY too emotional in discussions on this board.



And then John Allen quit. ;)

savafan
07-10-2010, 01:41 AM
I would say that it's hard to make a claim on the "state of debate" as one poster did in this thread, and then while engaged in debate with me in another thread today decide after 2 posts that he was done because I didn't agree with his opinion and claim that I was making a mockery of statistics, which isn't what I was doing at all, but since he's already admitted to having an almost full ignore list, I'm guessing of people who don't feel the same way he does, then I've probably been added to it. You're not going to have strong debates when you choose to ignore people who disagree with you, you're just going to have conversations with people who stroke your ego.

And one thing that you should know about me, some of you do, I'm a comedy writer and improvisational comedy actor. Have been for 8 years now. I get paid poorly for this skill, but it's who I am. I'm going to infuse humor into my posts, it's what I do, and it's a hard habit to break. I'm sorry if that upsets some people.

Matt700wlw
07-10-2010, 01:56 AM
I try to keep a perspective on things. A reasonable one I hope. Not sure I did a great job of that in the earlier days, but when I first joined here, I was a bit younger than I am now.

Sea Ray
07-10-2010, 09:04 AM
I'm finding myself increasingly frustrated with the preponderance of unsupported assertions in the form of "I think" in debates of fact on RedsZone. Merely stating what one thinks without providing supporting evidence and explanation of thought does little, if anything, to advance the conversation.

It's possible I'm just as guilty as the next guy, but I do my best to bring objective evidence to bear, show my work, explain how I reached my conclusion, and keep an open mind to changing my conclusion if my understanding of the facts changes.

Often, I see us arguing over both the facts and the process by which those facts should be considered. But rather than engage on those terms, we dismiss positions not for their failure of logic or validity but because they conflict with our current conclusions and we can't accept the possibility of being wrong. This ends up taking the form of ad hoc dismissals, if not name calling and belittling (of which I, myself, have been guilty of recently).

Perhaps I'm largely alone in wanting to get to a correct "answer" in debates, rather than merely winning the argument based on the conclusion I started with. But it seems many people approach conversations with the latter goal in mind and it results in people talking past each other.

A variety of unsupported positions (unsupported by anything other than one's personal, undocumented observations) end up being shared and "debated". But as such, there is no basis for comparison or debate regarding the processes and evidence which led to those conclusions. When evidence is presented, usually in the form of data, it is usually derided as insufficient or misleading -- sometimes fairly, often not. But rarely is anything close to a consensus reached. Thus, the conversation has nowhere to go other than people restating their position differently or more loudly.

So, I guess my question is this: How can we have better conversations with each other. I don't mean just being nicer and accepting every opinion as fact, but truly improving the way in which we debate. How can we be clearer about our positions, our evidence, etc. and perhaps most importantly, how can we recognize when fundamental disagreements exist and simply call it a day rather than wait some posters leave and the angry ones burn out?


I think debate is best served by giving specific examples. Without specifics I have no idea what you're referring to. I think debating generalities is just as frustrating and pointless

M2
07-10-2010, 11:07 AM
Quick point about stats. There are matter-of-fact stats (e.g. OB, SLG, counting stats) and theoretical stats (WAR, UZR, all of your FIP variants).

For instance, I've got nothing against WAR, but it's a bit of an ex post facto stat. In season, it's awfully volatile. It's also twitchier than most when you're dealing with small sample sizes. A player with limited PAs can have a higher or lower WAR than he could conceivably have affected the actual games in which he played. I'm increasingly finding WPA to be a valuable check on stats that theorize about player value. WPA is as play-by-play as a stat gets and I think somewhere down the road theoretical value stats are going to need to subject themselves to the filter of what actually happened in the context of the games in which those stats were accrued.

Jpup
07-10-2010, 11:58 AM
A lot of folks don't have the time to search for a ton of evidence. I watch the games, I look at some simple stats on occasion, and I drop by and state my opinion. It might not mean much, but I find that I turn out to be correct on occasion.

Mario-Rijo
07-10-2010, 05:30 PM
I would say that it's hard to make a claim on the "state of debate" as one poster did in this thread, and then while engaged in debate with me in another thread today decide after 2 posts that he was done because I didn't agree with his opinion and claim that I was making a mockery of statistics, which isn't what I was doing at all, but since he's already admitted to having an almost full ignore list, I'm guessing of people who don't feel the same way he does, then I've probably been added to it. You're not going to have strong debates when you choose to ignore people who disagree with you, you're just going to have conversations with people who stroke your ego.

And one thing that you should know about me, some of you do, I'm a comedy writer and improvisational comedy actor. Have been for 8 years now. I get paid poorly for this skill, but it's who I am. I'm going to infuse humor into my posts, it's what I do, and it's a hard habit to break. I'm sorry if that upsets some people.

This is the point I have been trying to make, "what debate I'll just turn so and so off, done"! If some just want to talk to like minded folks fine but expect a fairly stale conversation at some point which is what it appears he/they are getting.

Redmachine2003
07-10-2010, 06:33 PM
I been a member of this board since the beginning. Had to change names because of log in issues years ago. I use to post alot but then became more of just someone who would just check in instead of posting. It became more of a elitist type of forum with the stat guys slamming just regular life long baseball fans on a regular bases. Then to try to balance it back out by creating the Sun Deck to weed out the noise and some of the arguments. Now it has become a more and more controlled type of forum were the mods are very active in trying to organize and try to keep the threads from getting out of hand sometimes a little too much. Noone should ever have to agree or disagree and back it up with certain stats. If a person if just a fan of a player and wants to talk him up he should be allowed too. Take Votto and Puljos. I am a Reds fan on a Reds Forum if I say Votto is a better 1st baseman over the hated Cards 1st baseman that should be enough. But to be attacked by others on this board because they don't feel that the stats back it up to the point were we have to defend our beloved Reds is just crazy. This was just an example. Sure stats are part of the game but people adjust and get better some are just to bull headed to change and injuries play a large part of the game. Noone can convince me that if that fatarse pitcher didn't fall on Kearns and tear up his shoulder that he wouldn't have been a great player. lol. One thing stats will never be able to take in account is Human will, desire and error. People do what they want to do based on how they feel what kind of mood they are in ect. In other words chill and enjoy our team with it fans big, short, little, or tall and those who believe with their hearts and those who need to quantify it with stats.

jojo
07-10-2010, 06:38 PM
I been a member of this board since the beginning. Had to change names because of log in issues years ago. I use to post alot but then became more of just someone who would just check in instead of posting. It became more of a elitist type of forum with the stat guys slamming just regular life long baseball fans on a regular bases. Then to try to balance it back out by creating the Sun Deck to weed out the noise and some of the arguments. Now it has become a more and more controlled type of forum were the mods are very active in trying to organize and try to keep the threads from getting out of hand sometimes a little too much. Noone should ever have to agree or disagree and back it up with certain stats. If a person if just a fan of a player and wants to talk him up he should be allowed too. Take Votto and Puljos. I am a Reds fan on a Reds Forum if I say Votto is a better 1st baseman over the hated Cards 1st baseman that should be enough. But to be attacked by others on this board because they don't feel that the stats back it up to the point were we have to defend our beloved Reds is just crazy. This was just an example. Sure stats are part of the game but people adjust and get better some are just to bull headed to change and injuries play a large part of the game. Noone can convince me that if that fatarse pitcher didn't fall on Kearns and tear up his shoulder that he wouldn't have been a great player. lol. One thing stats will never be able to take in account is Human will, desire and error. People do what they want to do based on how they feel what kind of mood they are in ect. In other words chill and enjoy our team with it fans big, short, little, or tall and those who believe with their hearts and those who need to quantify it with stats.

No one is suggesting agreement or disagreement has to be backed up by stats. I think the bar for the ORG is simply this: when stating an opinion, take the extra effort to tell everyone why you think it... I for one find the reasons for the opinions of others to be treasure troves for learning and stimulating great discussions.