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Thread: Resistance To Stats

  1. #1
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Resistance To Stats

    I've been thinking a lot about stats latley. If you don't like posts that are train of thought type disertations then save yourself the two minutes and move on.

    These are just some of my thoughts about stats. It's not a rant against stats, an argument that we should ignore stats or an attept to put them down. If you are going to read this and then tell me how unobjective I am and I don't understand how probablity works then you've missed the point I'm trying to make.

    I've been thinking latley why my hackles are raised when someone rips off a list of stats about baseball. Why does that bug me? There's nothing wrong with stats...in fact, it's an important part of achiving baseball sucess.

    I think part of my resistance to "stats" is rooted in a desire to maintain the magic of the game. I don't want to boil it all down to a mechanincal explination of "1 + 1 = 2". I don't want to spend hours pouring over an array of numbers that explain why player A is sucessfull and player B isn't. I don't want to try to put the game in a neat and tidy box with a bow on top. I don't want the game to be cut and dried.

    I spend every day of my working existance trying to boil complex sales situations into mechanical expliantions, pouring over an array of numbers to explain why sales are doing A,B and/or C and tying to sum up my profession in a neat and tidy box. Baseball is....a form of entertainment and the greatest game on the planet.

    I want to watch a baseball game and feal that the batter can launch a fastball into the RF seats for a game winning homer and I don't want someone to rattle off that the probability of this happening, durring the day, against lefthanders on teams that start with the letter C is only 13.48%.

    I want to absorb the magic of a double play without having to do the mental gymnastics to calucate whether if the 2B was moved to SS if it would increase the percentage chances for double plays to increase by 3.4%.

    I want to see a pitcher reach back for a little extra something and fool the batter and make them look silly. I don't care that their K/9 has increased over the past week and their VORP is up .34%.

    I want to shut my eyes and imagine what it would be like if Koufax was on the mound instead of Milton and how amazing it would be to see just one pitch of his. I don't care that the current batter has a 27.56% OPS vs righthanders.

    When I walk into the ballpark I want to leave the cut and dried business of life behind and be absorbed in baseball. It's entertainment that I enjoy. Stats are a tool I use in my working life. Never shall the two meet.

    I took 5 quarters of stats at university. I use them daily in my working life. They are a great tool for understanding baseball and achieving more success if used properally. I'm glad we have tallented people like Cyclone here to do the hard work of crunching numbers and presenting the data. But when I watch baseball I want to feel like a little kid at the ballpark with my father for the first time enjoying the wonder of the sport, not be trying to break it down to it's last mathmatical equations.

    Just some crazy ramblings of the weird stuff that goes on in my brain.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 07-20-2006 at 06:35 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #2
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    From Bull Durham

    Walt Whitman once said, "I see great things in baseball. It's our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us." You could look it up.
    I know what you mean. I love to go to the ballgame and yack with folks around me, talk about games we've seen, places we've gone for games, players who've played down through the years.

    My dream vacation is to some day take a week or two and just drive and watch baseball. If we're traveling through a town and there's a little league game going on, stop and watch. Take in a minor league game or an American Legion game; whatever. I got goose bumps when I first walked into the Hall of Fame. I love the field there - it is sheer beauty.

  4. #3
    Moderator Tommyjohn25's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    I couldn't have said that any better myself Lt. One of the best posts on here in a long time, especially after a tough loss today.

    Well done, I shall now shower you with rep.
    Benzinger backing and calling! And the 1990 world championship series belongs to the Cincinnati Reds!

  5. #4
    Davey BuckWoody's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    I tend to be on the same page. I really appreciate stats and enjoy reading through a lot of the discussions on here that center on them, but there is a great human element that is central to the game of baseball that stats can't quite totally capture.

  6. #5
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    I think Homer Simpson said it best:

    You can use statistics to prove anything. 38% of all people know that.
    I'm not a hooligan. I'm a Reds supporter.

    Hooray Beer!

  7. #6
    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Enjoy the game anyway you want to,it's your leisure time.
    0 Value Over Replacement Poster


    "Sit over here next to Johnathan (Bench)...sit right here, he's smart."--Sparky Anderson

  8. #7
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    That takes way more than two minutes to read... Of course I chew on plastic water bottle rings.

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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    I said this same sort of thing here about a week ago, and got blasphemed for it. I stated an opinion on that I think Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF. I got KILLED with people basically telling me, that I am stupid for thinking Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF, because his ZONE RATING is terrible. Who the hell cares? I don't pay to go to a baseball game, and sit and look at a stat book all night to tell me personally who the best player on the team is. Why's PERSONAL judgement such a bad thing? That's traditional baseball.

    Why should I even have to have a reason for thinking Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF? If I believe he should, then I believe he should, but that doesn't make me a bad person for thinking so. And saying that I could care less about made-up statistics, shouldn't warrant me in getting bad reputation here, or let alone being warned to a 60% rating.

    I definitely feel what you are saying on this subject, dude. I've said it before, and I'll say it again....use the system you're familiar with. If Zone Rating or OPS floats your boat, then so be it. For me, I will stick with the traditional scoring to let me know who the best player is, and use my personal judgement.

    I don't think I, nor anyone for that matter, should ever have to apologize for what you believe in.

  10. #9
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    It's OK not to like stats. But it's important to respect the wisdom that they can provide.

    The things that can be quantified amaze me. I'm glad that there are smart people running my favorite team who pay attention to them. I'm convinced and happy that they're paying attention to the unquantifiable aspects of ballplayers, too. Having enough of both will produce a winning team. In the end that's what we all want.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Dicken
    I don't think I, nor anyone for that matter, should ever have to apologize for what you believe in.
    Proclimations of belief that are made without any support are hollow and add little to discussions. Imagine a doctor publishing a paper where she says that she beleives Tylenol is the cure for cancer without showing any study or information that supports the claim. Should that just be accepted? Should she be un-challenged because that's what she beleives? No. This is the sort of thing you learn in high school.

    On the other hand, backing up beliefs with information makes it easier to buy what you are saying and generally helps others learn something. Redszone has always felt more intellectual than most other sites. Its a place to gain a better understanding of the game. If you choose not to add to the discussion, its cool. But, you shouldn't expect to jump into a discussion between folks who are clearly looking for something more than talk radio fare and not be called out for offering up platitutdes.

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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat J
    Proclimations of belief that are made without any support are hollow and add little to discussions. Imagine a doctor publishing a paper where she says that she beleives Tylenol is the cure for cancer without showing any study or information that supports the claim. Should that just be accepted? Should she be un-challenged because that's what she beleives? No. This is the sort of thing you learn in high school.

    On the other hand, backing up beliefs with information makes it easier to buy what you are saying and generally helps others learn something. Redszone has always felt more intellectual than most other sites. Its a place to gain a better understanding of the game. If you choose not to add to the discussion, its cool. But, you shouldn't expect to jump into a discussion between folks who are clearly looking for something more than talk radio fare and not be called out for offering up platitutdes.
    This is the thing I am talking about...

    You're comparing a career (doctor), to believing in certain statistics of a baseball game....A BASEBALL GAME!!! You're comparing something completely opposite of the point.

    The point is...why should ANYONE here have to explain why they don't like certain statistics, and why they like doing it the old fashioned way, or the traditional way? They don't need to. They don't need information to back up their belief.....a claim, yes....a belief, no.

    That's like saying you need to back up yourself with evidence why you believe in Jesus or God.....it follows the same lines.

  13. #12
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Dicken
    And saying that I could care less about made-up statistics
    who is making up stats?
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  14. #13
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Dicken
    I said this same sort of thing here about a week ago, and got blasphemed for it. I stated an opinion on that I think Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF. I got KILLED with people basically telling me, that I am stupid for thinking Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF, because his ZONE RATING is terrible. Who the hell cares? I don't pay to go to a baseball game, and sit and look at a stat book all night to tell me personally who the best player on the team is. Why's PERSONAL judgement such a bad thing? That's traditional baseball.

    Why should I even have to have a reason for thinking Ken Griffey, Jr. belongs in CF? If I believe he should, then I believe he should, but that doesn't make me a bad person for thinking so. And saying that I could care less about made-up statistics, shouldn't warrant me in getting bad reputation here, or let alone being warned to a 60% rating.

    I definitely feel what you are saying on this subject, dude. I've said it before, and I'll say it again....use the system you're familiar with. If Zone Rating or OPS floats your boat, then so be it. For me, I will stick with the traditional scoring to let me know who the best player is, and use my personal judgement.

    I don't think I, nor anyone for that matter, should ever have to apologize for what you believe in.
    You have every right to post your opinions. We all share that same right, weather we agree or disagree.

    We all have our own opinions and ideas, that's what makes RedsZone so special. We come here to discuss baseball, mostly everything and anything concerning the team we all love. Discussion is Good.

    If we can keep an open mind during these discussions we all have a pretty good chance of learning something.

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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat J
    On the other hand, backing up beliefs with information makes it easier to buy what you are saying and generally helps others learn something. Redszone has always felt more intellectual than most other sites. Its a place to gain a better understanding of the game. If you choose not to add to the discussion, its cool. But, you shouldn't expect to jump into a discussion between folks who are clearly looking for something more than talk radio fare and not be called out for offering up platitutdes.
    And, on the other hand, backing up beliefs with skillfull observation makes it easier to buy what you are saying and generally helps others learn something. Observations are also a place to gain a better understanding of the game. You might review an excellent thread by Team Clark (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...t=48273&page=3) where he explains why Todd Coffey's numbers have jumped recently (tipping pitches) and proceeds to tell you exactly what he has been doing that 'tips' the pitch. The numbers tell you that Coffey was getting hard. Observation tells you why and how. If all you have to offer is numbers and choose not to add to a discussion between folks who are clearly looking for something more than black and white numbers don't expect not to be called out for offering up platitudes.

    Rem

  16. #15
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Resistance To Stats

    Sigh....I figured my post would end up in a debate about stats vs. non stats. This misses my point completley.

    All I was trying to express was that a certian part of me is resistant to stats because I want to maintian baseball as one of the few places where the answers aren't cut & dried, and it's still possible for people to beat the odds and have an important home run even though probability says they will not. I want to sit at the ballpark and let the game unfold and take in the entertainment, not loose sleep because player A has a lower OPS than player B. Thats all I was trying to express.

    Obviously you need backup for your observations (enter stats stage left). If you proclaim Fred Farkenparkis as the next Babe Ruth and his stats show him to be a turkey then you'll look pretty silly. And you need to do solid statisistical work when making player moves. With the size of the assets involved a GM would be irresponsible to bring a player to town simply because they think it would be cool.

    But my post isn't talking about using stats for decision making. Thats when they are critical to making good decisions. My post is talking about something entirely different.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 07-21-2006 at 09:11 AM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


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