Re: Let's all take a deep breath (everyone please read)
Buck, I have to say I enjoyed that post. I have encountered many instances you refer to and have pretty much given up dealing in statistic related arguments since many posters here (and elsewhere in the game) seem to be enamored with all of these crazy stats. I am sure that, if you try hard enough, a lot of useless players in the league could be painted in a positive manner using some statistic.
For example, I think I have been one of the biggest voices against Hatteberg on this board throughout the season. I have gotten into long-winded arguments about how he doesn't being much to the table. But time and time again, his OBP has been used in arguments against me like he won 5 consecutive MVP awards the past 5 years. In addition, I have argued that LaRue was given a ridiculous contract given the status of this team and that he needs to take a seat more often or, better yet, traded. I've been told time and time again that he is a slow starter and he has been one of the best catchers in the league the past few years. We just have to wait it out. He's better than anything we have, and numerous different stats were thrown at me to prove their point. And I respect that...to a point.
I am a pretty new poster on this board and most of the arguments against my logic came from ORG members. I have no problem with arguing different points of view. That is one reason why I love this website. But lately I have seen something which intrigued me. When the game threads were moved to ORG and out of Reds Live, I have seen many posts made by other ORG members ripping apart LaRue and Hatteberg. And I have seen no arguments going back to them talking about Hatteberg's OBP or how LaRue is a 2nd half player.
Now there could be 3 reasons for this:
1) Maybe those posters have seen enough of the two players and changed their minds.
2) Maybe those posters give ORG members' opinions more respect than newer posters.
3) Maybe those posters didn't see the anti LaRue and Hatte posts.
I really hope the first option is what is happening, b/c the second one would really suck if that was the logic being used.
I realize that LaRue should get better as his career statistical patterns suggest, but stats are not all knowing and neither are historical norms for players, especially when dealing with catchers entering their 30s and in the steroid era. And BTW, I am in no way linking anyone's names to the steroid controversy in this post. But I think Seattle will be waiting a long time for Beltre to hit 48 HRs again. Sometimes the stats have to be thrown in the garbage and opinions have to be formed through other methods.
Now, did you know that over the last 3 years (2003-2005) there is a right handed member of the bullpen who holds lefties to a .759 OPS over 350 ABs? Not a great statistic, but not an awful statistic either. Or that this same reliever, on no days rest over that same time frame (in 38 games), has a 2.42 ERA? Those are Rick White's stats from the past 3 years.