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Thread: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Just in time for the holiday weekend, questions in need of answers from the sharp sabermetric minds of RedsZone.

    We're answering one set of questions at a time. The 6th round of answers will be on the "SABR and Sabrmetric Tools" category. Post your answers to any or all sections of the question in this thread. I will compile and incorporate them into this first post.

    Feel free to post links to threads if you think they contain particularly good answers or might be difficult to identify as such.

    There must be other good questions to be found in this category, so feel free to submit those, too.

    So far I'm mining the following threads:
    (none yet)

    As far as the form of your answer, you can either go with a "just the facts" format or make a post with full sentences as if someone had asked the question. If you want to disagree with an earlier answer for some reason, that's fine, too.

    Rough Draft of Round 6 Answers:

    Category: SABR Organization


    Q: What is the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) Organization?
    A:
    The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) was established in Cooperstown, New York in August, 1971.

    Q: What is the mission of the SABR Organization?
    A:
    SABR's mission is to foster the study of baseball, its history, its present, and its future.The purpose of SABR is to foster the research and dissemination of the history and record of baseball.

    SABR shall carry out that mission through programs:
    • #To encourage the study of baseball, past and present, as a significant athletic and social institution;
      #To encourage further research and literary efforts to establish the accurate historical record of baseball; and
      #To help disseminate educational, historical and research information about baseball.


    Find out more at the society's web site at http://www.sabr.org/.

    Category: Sabermetric Tools
    Q: What is sabermetrics?
    A:
    Sabrmetrics" is an objective analytical study of baseball performance.

    Q: What's the difference between "SABR" and "sabrmetrics"?

    A:
    SABR is an acronym for an organization, the Society for American Baseball Research. "Sabrmetrics" is an objective analytical study of baseball performance. Some sabrmetricians may be SABR members, but not all SABR members are sabrmetricians.

    Q: Is there a glossary of terms?
    A:


    Q: What is OPS?
    A:


    Q: What is DIPS?
    A:


    Q: What are the shortcomings of the "batting average" statistic?
    A:
    (This question was moved to the category "Other," by popular demand.)

    More questions are welcome. Surely, this doesn't span the breadth of knowledge a newbie might need to begin to grasp this topic.

    edit at end of round 6: I don't think the "Sabermetric Tools" category is complete enough to preserve for posterity yet. Let's re-visit it in the offseason.

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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Unassisted,

    Good questions but might I'd like to make a couple of suggestions:

    Q: What are the shortcomings of the "batting average" statistic?
    Might I suggest that this kind of question doesn't quite belong because it can be interpreted to position a value judgement on the stat?

    Instead, do you think it might be a good idea to ask something like:

    "What are the primary short hand statistics used to guage offensive proficiency and contribution?"

    or

    "What statistics tend to be the most valid predictors of offensive success?"

    I guess that I'd rather not see a list of "what traditional stats suck and why" I know that's not truly what you're saying with the BA question but folks might be a bit put off if a traditional stat like BA is assumed to have shortcomings right off the bat even if those shortcomings exist.

    Also, might I suggest that "SABR" and "sabrmetrics" are made into different topics altogether? Not crucial, IMO but some folks might unknowingly connect the wrong dots.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    Might I suggest that this kind of question doesn't quite belong because it can be interpreted to position a value judgement on the stat?
    Suggest away. I know very little about this topic and I am happy to let you and the other knowledgable folks take the lead in forming it.

    Because of my knowledge gap, I'm apt to include things that don't fit, so I have no problem with dropping that which doesn't fit. Do you and others think it would be OK to move the BA question to the "other" category?

    Instead, do you think it might be a good idea to ask something like:

    "What are the primary short hand statistics used to guage offensive proficiency and contribution?"

    or

    "What statistics tend to be the most valid predictors of offensive success?"
    I was thinking as i posted this that those statistical categories needed something to tie them together, but I was having trouble coming up with it. I think you've zeroed in on what was missing. I'll work on combining them or if someone else wants to take a swing at combining them, I'd welcome that, too.
    I guess that I'd rather not see a list of "what traditional stats suck and why" I know that's not truly what you're saying with the BA question but folks might be a bit put off if a traditional stat like BA is assumed to have shortcomings right off the bat even if those shortcomings exist.
    Other than BA, the stats I listed are non-traditional, right?

    Also, might I suggest that "SABR" and "sabrmetrics" are made into different topics altogether? Not crucial, IMO but some folks might unknowingly connect the wrong dots.
    I'm probably guilty of doing that since I covered both categories in this round, even though I took SandyD's advice to make these into separate categories. Can you help me formulate a question and answer on why those dots shouldn't be connected?

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    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    I'll try to come up with some questions for this section to assist you...um...Unassisted? (Yeah, truly horible joke, I know).

    The answers are going to have to be a collaborative effort for sure as I don't think there's any one guy who can possibly speak for the entire area of sabrmetrics.

    Also, instead of listing single questions for each statistic, I think a "glossary" might be a better resource. There is a pretty good online glossary (with formulas) and I'll attempt to find that for you.

    Example Q & A:

    Q: How do people figure out all these stats?

    A: Baseball statistics, at their most basic level, are simply historical event records. Certain groups compile databases of these events and sabrmatricians use formulas- some simple and some complex- to "massage" the data to draw knowledge from it. You can find a glossary of baseball statistics at <insert hyperlink>.

    And I think the best thing you can do with unconnecting the SABR/sabrmetric dots is just post the following Q & A:

    Q: What's the difference between "SABR" and "sabrmetrics"?

    A: SABR is an acronym for a group- the Society for American Baseball Research. "Sabrmetrics" is an objective analytical study of baseball performance. Some sabrmatricians may be SABR members, but not all SABR members are sabrmatricians.

    Anyway, I'll rack my brain tomorrow and try to come up with some substantial basic questions for ya', as I'm sure others will.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    I'll try to think of a few as well, but the one that comes to mind from the beginning is "Why sabermetrics?" I think that's one of the barriers to the understanding of sabermetrics, namely not understanding the need.

    The answer should center around the desire to better understand a player's true contributions to things such as generating runs for the offense. It should also mention the ability to project future performance within reasonable limits.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Q: What's the difference between "SABR" and "sabrmetrics"?

    A: SABR is an acronym for a group, the Society for American Baseball Research. "Sabrmetrics" is an objective analytical study of baseball performance. Some sabrmatricians may be SABR members, but not all SABR members are sabrmatricians.
    sabermetrician -- it's about "metrics" not "matriarchs"

    change "group" to organization

    revision?
    Q: What's the difference between "SABR" and "sabrmetrics"?

    A: SABR is an acronym for the organization the Society for American Baseball Research with thousands of members around the world researching the history, cultural impact, economics, and science of the game. "Sabermetrics" is an objective, analytical study of baseball performance. Some sabermetricians are SABR members, but not all SABR members are sabermetricians.
    I didn't expand the definition of sabermetrics because that will be handled in another question. Right?

    Honestly, this round is quite a lot to handle. It should be organized so that readers who just want a general idea don't have to wade through a lot of technical explanations. But the technical explanations should be available for those who may be interested.

    Perhaps we should include a glossary of terms that would include a brief descriptive definition followed by a more sophisticated explanation that would include the formula. Maybe including a link to sources for more sophistocated explanations.

    As for the question on the BA, it should be removed or at least reworded. The truth is, BA can be used if that's all you have. The question is "why" when other stats are "better".

    Perhaps
    Q: Why is OPS a better indicator of a player's offensive value that BA?

    Perhaps the answer would include graphs, so people don't get lost in the math.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Would there be any interest among the sabermetric cognoscenti here in putting this together in a very simple, highly collaborative webspace away from Reds Zone? (No knowledge of HTML or web-publishing required!) Please don't read this as me being offended or frustrated. I'm far more interested in having a good resource that informs than I am in centrally shaping the results. I suspect that my lack of knowledge of the topic is getting in the way of facilitating the process for this question. I'll be glad to offer up a workspace where you can put your virtual heads together and make a better framework for this Q&A. You can even use that to compile a list of terms for the glossary.

    We can then take what you folks come up with and post it back here for all to see.

    I have commitments this afternoon, but I'll put that webspace together either tonight or tomorrow and PM the URL to those who have posted. You folks can look it over and decide if you want to try to cobble together these FAQ categories that way. If anyone else wants to participate in that, just reply in the thread.

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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    sabermetrician -- it's about "metrics" not "matriarchs"
    For the record, I can't spell "arguement" either. I know there's no "e" after the u but I'll put it in there just the same.

    change "group" to organization
    Bingo! That's the word that me and seven Bud Light's couldn't find!

    Your re-write looks great, Sandy.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    If anyone else is motivated - or interested, one fact I find fascinating about SABR is the fact that a few folks led by Bill James founded Stats Inc., which is now the top Sports stat keeping company out there. A few guys who wanted to study and learn about their sport more founded a multimillion dollar company to do just that. It's a sports fan's dream.

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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19
    If anyone else is motivated - or interested, one fact I find fascinating about SABR is the fact that a few folks led by Bill James founded Stats Inc., which is now the top Sports stat keeping company out there. A few guys who wanted to study and learn about their sport more founded a multimillion dollar company to do just that. It's a sports fan's dream.
    James now works with these guys.

    http://www.baseballinfosolutions.com/

    Dream Job Much?

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ Answers Round 6: SABR and Sabermetric Tools

    Just bumping the thread because I added a few entries that I researched myself on the SABR web site. This list of answers needs more work, but it's time to move on for this round.


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