Originally Posted by cincrazy
You guys are awesome! Thanks. I actually just brought home one of James's books from the library, look forward to getting into that. Hopefully by the end of the season I'll be more competent
Good on you for digging in to it. I think some people fear that it sterilizes the game; for me it only made the experience of being a fan richer. It's like studying the natural sciences; knowing physics and biology doesn't make the world more boring, but all the more fascinating.
I would say though, what many people miss with sabermetrics is that it isn't about a given set of "new stats". OBP and WAR are no more or less sabermetric than ERA and RBI. They're just ways of counting stuff that happened. What lies at the core of sabermetrics is not stats, but rather the application of the scientific method to the study of the sport; using objective, testable hypothesis and always being open to better information from any source and to new conclusions that may arise.
So while it's helpful to get up to speed on some specific core concepts (like bias, randomness and regression to the mean) the most significant step is accepting the idea that both quantitative and qualitative information are two incomplete sides of the same coin, with their own set of strengths and weakness, and with both requiring objective, rigorous analysis before rational conclusions can be drawn.