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View Full Version : A case to replace batting avg. with OPS as a Triple Crown statistic



savafan
01-20-2012, 04:46 PM
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120119&content_id=26392306&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

OldRightHander
01-20-2012, 05:03 PM
Interesting, but I don't think it would get a lot of traction with so called "purists."

I chuckled at the mention of Jose Lind. I still remember how shocked I was when he went deep in the NLCS off Browning in '90. Of all the hitters in that lineup to account for the Pirates only run, he would not have been my first pick.

corkedbat
01-20-2012, 05:26 PM
Oh, I'm sure that there are many that would replace AVG/HR/RBI with OBP/SLG/OPS but it doesn't really mean that much and the former is traditional so I don't see it changing.

PuffyPig
01-20-2012, 05:27 PM
Makes no sense to replace BA with OPS, as OPS measures power also.

Maybe replace BA with OBA.

A better measure would be OBA, SL%, RBI's, but why not include runs?

The Triple Crown is a flawed measure anyway, replacing one element makes it just slightly less/more flawed.

TRF
01-20-2012, 05:29 PM
isn't there already an unofficial sabr triple crown?

Superdude
01-20-2012, 07:49 PM
Stupid...stop trying to be hip mlb.com

MikeThierry
01-20-2012, 08:09 PM
Makes no sense to replace BA with OPS, as OPS measures power also.

Maybe replace BA with OBA.

A better measure would be OBA, SL%, RBI's, but why not include runs?

The Triple Crown is a flawed measure anyway, replacing one element makes it just slightly less/more flawed.

Generally, a player who gets the Triple Crown is going to rate high in the other statistical categories so I don't see an issue. It is still an amazing feat to accomplish a Triple Crown season.

PickOff
01-20-2012, 08:22 PM
This is just a poorly thought out article. It hasn't been done in 75 years in the NL, and it will be accomplished at some point; and then, it will be a great story and a fun chase.

edabbs44
01-20-2012, 09:00 PM
I'm waiting for the article when someone floats the theory of deciding a game other than by the amount of runs in a game for each team.

Joseph
01-20-2012, 10:54 PM
I love baseball. Its one of the first things men bond with their fathers over. Why the need to define it 'better'? Leave the things we romanticized alone.

RedlegJake
01-21-2012, 10:05 AM
Some traditions don't need changing. If you win the triple crown you had a pretty darn good season by whatever measure. Let it be.

Slowly media is catching up. More and more stats like OBA, OPS and Slugging are showing up in everyday articles and stat columns. The two hardest-to-die stats seem to be RBIs for hitters and Wins for pitchers. Both are still over used as examples of player prowess or lack thereof.

mth123
01-21-2012, 10:06 AM
Some traditions don't need changing. If you win the triple crown you had a pretty darn good season by whatever measure. Let it be.

No kidding. :thumbup:

RANDY IN INDY
01-21-2012, 10:20 AM
I'm waiting for the article when someone floats the theory of deciding a game other than by the amount of runs in a game for each team.

:lol:

RedsManRick
01-21-2012, 10:23 AM
The triple crown is not any type of accurate measure of offensive performance and I see zero reason to try to make it in to one. It's simply a recognition of a guy who lit up the traditional back of the baseball card / scoreboard stats. Changing one of the three stats defeats the point.

If you want to more accurately recognize the best offensive player, simply use the best offensive stats based on linear weights like wOBA/VORP and be done with it.

No need to over-think this one.

RANDY IN INDY
01-21-2012, 10:27 AM
Some traditions don't need changing. If you win the triple crown you had a pretty darn good season by whatever measure. Let it be.

I'm with you, RJ.:thumbup:

mth123
01-21-2012, 10:41 AM
The triple crown is not any type of accurate measure of offensive performance and I see zero reason to try to make it in to one. It's simply a recognition of a guy who lit up the traditional back of the baseball card / scoreboard stats. Changing one of the three stats defeats the point.

If you want to more accurately recognize the best offensive player, simply use the best offensive stats based on linear weights like wOBA/VORP and be done with it.

No need to over-think this one.

What's the point? I'm guessing that a triple crown winner would rank pretty high on those lists in most years. In 1967 Carl Yastrzemski won the triple crown and topped the majors in wOBA at .454. Frank Robinson did the same in 1966 with a .447 wOBA. I'm too lazy to look at all the triple crown winners, but if we must know to the last decimal place who was the best, go for it.

Of course, those stats use some assumptions that create a standard deviation around the result, so unless its a clear case of the leader dwarfing all the others you still don't really know. HR, RBI and BA are clear results with no Standard Deviation from making adjustments based on some correlation coefficient or other derived number.

MikeS21
01-21-2012, 12:35 PM
I guess I look at it this way. I see the point of those pushing for OBP and OBS and some of the other new-fangled stats as the standard for judging hitters. That makes sense for the serious students of the game who want accuracy.

But for a quick, easy idea of who is a decent hitter or not, the traditional BA//HR/RBI stats tell me 90% of what I want to know about a player. Its not perfect, but generally speaking, the players who have higher BA's are also going to have the higher OBP. And a guy with 30 HR's tells me pretty much want I want to know about SLG.

As I said, its not perfect, and there will always be exceptions, but the traditional stats are good enough to tell me what I want to know.

Griffey012
01-21-2012, 01:22 PM
The triple crown is not any type of accurate measure of offensive performance and I see zero reason to try to make it in to one. It's simply a recognition of a guy who lit up the traditional back of the baseball card / scoreboard stats. Changing one of the three stats defeats the point.

If you want to more accurately recognize the best offensive player, simply use the best offensive stats based on linear weights like wOBA/VORP and be done with it.

No need to over-think this one.

Agreed, those traditional back of the baseball card stats may not be the best measures, but they are still an integral part of baseball, and fun for quick reference, and I know I had a blast looking at those numbers and having weak debates with friends about what player was better when I was a little kid.

Use the advanced statistics to help vote for things like All-Stars, MVP's, Gold Gloves, etc. But don't make the E.R.A. champ into the FIP champ, even though E.R.A. is flawed...it is what it is. The FIP champ can be the FIP champ.

Baseball is a game for everyone, not just the enthusiasts, but for the casual fans, the not some numerically advanced, and children. The triple crown is one of those feats that rarely occurs, but can be understood by nearly all, just leave it that way.

RedsManRick
01-22-2012, 07:48 AM
What's the point? I'm guessing that a triple crown winner would rank pretty high on those lists in most years. In 1967 Carl Yastrzemski won the triple crown and topped the majors in wOBA at .454. Frank Robinson did the same in 1966 with a .447 wOBA. I'm too lazy to look at all the triple crown winners, but if we must know to the last decimal place who was the best, go for it.

Of course, those stats use some assumptions that create a standard deviation around the result, so unless its a clear case of the leader dwarfing all the others you still don't really know. HR, RBI and BA are clear results with no Standard Deviation from making adjustments based on some correlation coefficient or other derived number.

Don't confuse precision with accuracy. Knowing exactly who hit the spot better than the next guy doesn't help if the they're hitting is 5 feet left of the real target.

Imprecisely measuring the right thing is better than precisely measuring the wrong one.

I'm all for the fun of the triple crown stats. But if the question is "who produced the most offensive value", those three stats are pretty useless on their own. Sure, if a guy wins the triple crown, chances are he was the best offensive player in the game or close enough to it so as to make the distinction more or less meaningless.

But how many players actually win the triple crown. As an event, "winning the triple crown" tells us that, 35 years ago, a guy was among the best hitters in his league. Whoopie! As soon as you start looking at guys who didn't finish first, you have to do some more complicated figuring. Who was better, the guy who finished 4th in AVG, 5rd in HR and 5th in RBI or the guy who was 1st in AVG, 6th in HR and 7th in RBI? There's literally no way to tell with accuracy from those figures -- at that point, just go to the more accurate and more easily interpreted holistic measures.

I'm all for the fun of the horse-race and the way in serves as a context for conversation and appreciation historically. Just don't confuse it for a useful analytic tool.

mth123
01-22-2012, 08:34 AM
Don't confuse precision with accuracy. Knowing exactly who hit the spot better than the next guy doesn't help if the they're hitting is 5 feet left of the real target.

Imprecisely measuring the right thing is better than precisely measuring the wrong one.

I'm all for the fun of the triple crown stats. But if the question is "who produced the most offensive value", those three stats are pretty useless on their own. Sure, if a guy wins the triple crown, chances are he was the best offensive player in the game or close enough to it so as to make the distinction more or less meaningless.

But how many players actually win the triple crown. As an event, "winning the triple crown" tells us that, 35 years ago, a guy was among the best hitters in his league. Whoopie! As soon as you start looking at guys who didn't finish first, you have to do some more complicated figuring. Who was better, the guy who finished 4th in AVG, 5rd in HR and 5th in RBI or the guy who was 1st in AVG, 6th in HR and 7th in RBI? There's literally no way to tell with accuracy from those figures -- at that point, just go to the more accurate and more easily interpreted holistic measures.

I'm all for the fun of the horse-race and the way in serves as a context for conversation and appreciation historically. Just don't confuse it for a useful analytic tool.

That's the problem. No one ever claimed it was an anlystical tool, but some goof wants to change it to try and turn it into one. I thnk that's why so many have an issue with it.

RANDY IN INDY
01-22-2012, 12:11 PM
Exactly.