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Thread: AL mvp....

  1. #136
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    There absolutely is "relative to position" in WAR. It's in the form of positional adjustments. A player is credited or debited a portion of his WAR based solely on what a replacement level player performs at his own position. This is misleading if you're looking for a comparison of the best players, as a player should not get awarded or penalized based on what other players do if your sole aim is to determine who the best player is. If you're measuring "value," then absolutely WAR is a great measurement. But positional adjustments should not be a part of the calculation of you only seek to know who the "best player" is.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-25-2012 at 09:24 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  3. #137
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    Re: AL mvp....

    WAR by definition is best player regardless of position. It is the whole point of the metric.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  4. #138
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    Re: AL mvp....

    The whole point of the metric is to measure the most wins above a replacement player at his position. That's what the metric has always been about. Nothing more, nothing less. The replacement level is adjusted by position to permit for relativity, but it's still ultimately about what value you provide over a replacement at your position.

    If it were a metric to determine best player, then Yadier Molina would not get credit for nearly 30 runs simply because he's a catcher. He's getting those runs because of his relative value to his position replacement. Hence, it's Wins above Replacement (player at player's position) and then adjusted for cross-positional comparisons.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  5. #139
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    Re: AL mvp....

    WAR is independent pf position because it includes position adjustments to normalize differences in defensive value. This is not a matter of opinion. It is a structural feature of how the metric is calculated.

    WAR is meant to compare players on an apples to apples basis ACROSS positions. That is the whole point.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  6. #140
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    If it were a metric to determine best player, then Yadier Molina would not get credit for nearly 30 runs simply because he's a catcher.
    That actually is the reason why gets credit for those 30 runs. You have it backwards.

    He's not getting those because he's being compared to Ryan Hanigan (they both get that adjustment), he's getting it because he's also being compared to Joey Votto.

  7. #141
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    That actually is the reason why gets credit for those 30 runs. You have it backwards.

    He's not getting those because he's being compared to Ryan Hanigan (they both get that adjustment), he's getting it because he's also being compared to Joey Votto.
    Respectfully, you have it backwards.

    The first part of WAR for every player ignores positions. Players' offense, defense and baserunning are simply compared to an average player, regardless of position. That's total production, right? That right there would be your "best" players so to speak. If you truly wanted to measure production regardless of position, you'd stop there.

    But it doesn't stop there. The positional adjustments add in extra runs above and beyond a replacement-level player at that position that an average hitter, fielder or baserunner (regardless of position) would be. Every player gets this adjustment, but guys like Yadier Molina and Buster Posey, or Ryan Hanigan, are getting more credit than Joey Votto simply because they're catchers and an average player has a higher production over a "replacement" catcher than a replacement first baseman. Hanigan is getting 18 runs simply because his position's baseline is lower than a first baseman's baseline. He's only 5 runs above an average player regardless of position. They all have positional adjustments, but catchers, shortstops, etc. get a higher bump simply because they play those positions and the replacement levels are lower. That inflates their WAR because, after all, they're being measured against replacements at their positions, not other positions.

    So WAR is saying Joey Votto has a certain number of wins over a replacement first baseman whereas Ryan Hanigan has a certain number of wins over a replacement catcher. It does permit cross-positional comparisons but at the end of the day, it's not saying Joey Votto is x-number of wins better than Ryan Hanigan. It's saying Votto is x-number of wins better than Hanigan over a replacement at his own position than Hanigan.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-25-2012 at 11:08 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  8. #142
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    WAR is independent of position precisely because of the position adjustments. These adjustments essentially normalize all players to a baseline of a hypothetical, positionless average major league player (before adding another adjustment for the difference between average and replacement level based upon playing time) so that all players can be compared to one another directly. This really isn't a matter of opinion.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  9. #143
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    WAR is independent of position precisely because of the position adjustments. These adjustments essentially normalize all players to a baseline of a hypothetical, positionless average major league player (before adding another adjustment for the difference between average and replacement level based upon playing time) so that all players can be compared to one another directly. This really isn't a matter of opinion.
    Exactly.

    WAR, correctly gives more credit to a catcher than a 1st basemen right off the bat because inherently, being able to play that position at a high level is more difficult than 1st base, as judged against their peers. I don't understand how that is an argument.

  10. #144
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Again, the positional adjustments add in how many runs an average major league player (regardless of position) is worth over a replacement at THAT position.

    That means the positional adjustment is adding a certain number of wins because of how good a player is relative to HIS position.

    The WAR metric is how many wins Joey Votto would be relative to a replacement first baseman.

    It's correct to say that Mike Trout is 9.5 wins better than a replacement centerfielder. It is not correct to say Mike Trout is 9.5 wins better than any replacement player.

    It is correct to say Mike Trout is 1.6 wins better than a replacement at his position than Ryan Braun is at his own position. It is not correct to say Mike Trout is better than Ryan Braun by 1.6 wins. In fact, if you ignore position adjustments and only focus strictly on the numbers, Trout is only about 9 runs better than Braun. But Trout gets an extra 5 runs over Braun because his replacement level is lower than Braun's. That's half a win extra than Braun simply because he is a half win better than a replacement AT HIS POSITION.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  11. #145
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    Exactly.

    WAR, correctly gives more credit to a catcher than a 1st basemen right off the bat because inherently, being able to play that position at a high level is more difficult than 1st base, as judged against their peers. I don't understand how that is an argument.
    That's the whole point. You're making my point for me.

    WAR calculates how many runs/wins a player is above a replacement at his own position. That's exactly what it calculates. It amazes me that's even being disputed.

    A player's stats are stacked up against an average player at any position to find how many runs above/below average he is.

    Then, additional runs are added based on how many runs an average player is over a replacement player at that position.

    So if a player is 10 runs above average, and the average player is 20 runs above a replacement at that position, the player is 30 runs above a replacement at his position.

    There's your WAR. That means 3 WAR is 3 wins above a replacement player at whatever position that player plays.

    I don't see how that is even being disputed.

    I have said repeatedly that Buster Posey is getting extra credit not just because of how good he is, but because of how good he is relative to a replacement catcher. He's really good, but part of his WAR is simply because other catchers are not as good as other positions. To me, if you're a pitcher, do you really care what position a guy plays? You want to face the worst hitters you can. Buster Posey isn't a better hitter simply because other catchers suck. So why, when discussing the "best" player, should he get extra credit for that? If you want to talk about value, which was my whole point all along, then you absolutely should adjust based on position. But I'm not talking about "value," I'm talking about simply being the best regardless of position.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-25-2012 at 11:32 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  12. #146
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    To me, if you're a pitcher, do you really care what position a guy plays? You want to face the worst hitters you can. Buster Posey isn't a better hitter simply because other catchers suck. So why, when discussing the "best" player, should he get extra credit for that? If you want to talk about value, which was my whole point all along, then you absolutely should adjust based on position. But I'm not talking about "value," I'm talking about simply being the best regardless of position.
    But how can you talk about the "best" without looking at position?

    Sure with two out and the game on the line the pitcher doesn't care if the hitter is a SS or a LF.

    But if you are looking at the "best" player, you absolutely must judge for position. Because if you are dealing with comparable hitters and fielding ability, the SS would be a better player than the LF.

  13. #147
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    But how can you talk about the "best" without looking at position?

    Sure with two out and the game on the line the pitcher doesn't care if the hitter is a SS or a LF.

    But if you are looking at the "best" player, you absolutely must judge for position. Because if you are dealing with comparable hitters and fielding ability, the SS would be a better player than the LF.
    Let me ask you, if you're a pitcher, do you care what position the player plays? The best hitters are the best hitters, right? Is facing Barry Bonds any more difficult because he's a left fielder? He's difficult to face because he's a great hitter. You can be a great hitter as a centerfielder or you can be a great hitter as a first baseman. When I think of "best" hitters, I don't care what position they play. If I'm a general manager and wanting to find ways to upgrade or determine how to invest resources, obviously positional context is important based on the availability of talent at each position. But if we're talking about an award that theoretically should be to the "best" player, or most talented if you will, I don't consider position. I would, however, consider it for most "valuable."

    My point is and has been all along that WAR is great for "value." It puts position into context because of how readily available talent is at each position. But if you look strictly at who the best hitters, fielders and baserunners in terms of production, i.e. the most talented players, I do not think in a discussion of "best players" it's right to give a guy extra credit/blame not because of his talent but because of the talent of others at his position.

    Ryan Hanigan is an average to slightly above average baseball player. He is a good but not great hitter. He doesn't run well. He fields his position really well, though he's not athletic enough to play other positions. However, because most catchers are not average, he's given extra credit. That's not making him any better a hitter or any more talented, it just means that he's an average player at a position where most guys are typically not. I'm not railing on Ryan Hanigan... as far as catchers are concerned, he's better than most. But that doesn't give him extra special ability as a hitter or athlete than others.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-25-2012 at 11:53 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: AL mvp....

    I don't think WAR will have much impact on whether either player wins the MVP-other things will be judged more important. Do the Tigers win the division? Do the Angels make the wildcard? Who is judged to have the best individual season, and by what measurement?

    The writers are definitely going to look at whether either player leads their team to the playoffs, and how they do if they get there. If one team makes the playoffs and another misses it, the player on the playoff team will definitely get some votes in that respect. If both miss or both make it, their individual season will play more of a factor.

    All in all, the MVP is given to the player judged to have had the best season for their team-somewhat with the playoffs also taken into account. A player can win the MVP if they miss the playoffs, but they have to be head and shoulders over the rest of the players if they do. A hot streak or cold streak the rest of the way will definitely be taken into account for the voting.

  15. #149
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    Re: AL mvp....

    The appropriate way to compare player value is on an apples to apples basis. It's the most valuable player award after all.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #150
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    That's the whole point. You're making my point for me.

    WAR calculates how many runs/wins a player is above a replacement at his own position. That's exactly what it calculates. It amazes me that's even being disputed.

    A player's stats are stacked up against an average player at any position to find how many runs above/below average he is.

    Then, additional runs are added based on how many runs an average player is over a replacement player at that position.

    So if a player is 10 runs above average, and the average player is 20 runs above a replacement at that position, the player is 30 runs above a replacement at his position.

    There's your WAR. That means 3 WAR is 3 wins above a replacement player at whatever position that player plays.

    I don't see how that is even being disputed.

    I have said repeatedly that Buster Posey is getting extra credit not just because of how good he is, but because of how good he is relative to a replacement catcher. He's really good, but part of his WAR is simply because other catchers are not as good as other positions. To me, if you're a pitcher, do you really care what position a guy plays? You want to face the worst hitters you can. Buster Posey isn't a better hitter simply because other catchers suck. So why, when discussing the "best" player, should he get extra credit for that? If you want to talk about value, which was my whole point all along, then you absolutely should adjust based on position. But I'm not talking about "value," I'm talking about simply being the best regardless of position.
    Simply put, because no, I am not making the argument for you, and I disagree with the bulk of this....

    But, there would be no need for a positional adjustment if WAR's basis was to compare players at their own position. Yes, it does do that as well, however, as every catcher gets the same positional adjustment as every other catcher (and so on for other position), there would be no rhyme or reason for it to exist if the purpose was to compare players at their own position. They all start on the same basis.

    However, a catcher, and a first basemen do not, because the positional adjustment works to give credit, essentially to the positional scarcity that players that play more difficult positions deserve in making an even playing field. It allows for a more even baseline so that we can judge players relative to others at their own position for the purpose of comparing the same player to all other positions.

    So yes, you are correct in saying one component of what it does, however, it does so for the purpose of being able to directly compare overall value to other positions, which is the end purpose of the metric. Again, we are already able to compare a catcher to another catcher without a positional adjustment. The remainder of the value components of WAR complete that purpose. It's the positional adjustment that takes it the next step. If WAR was not being used for the purpose we are suggesting, the positional adjustment would not be included, as it is null and void in completing the objective you are discussing.


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