Originally Posted by RedEye
Backhanded insult? It was only intended as a turn of phrase. I apologize.
I love baseball cards; they are what got me started following statistics. I also love RBI's and AVG and HR; they are what got me thinking about the worth of individual players. I still look at these stats, too. No one was more frustrated when Jay Bruce ended with 99 RBI last year than me. It's just not the nice round number that 100 is -- and for whatever reason, that matters.
I think you are wrong about the players and managers and GM's though. They do understand more advanced stats. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce (among many others) have been on-record about their understanding of more advanced ways to think about hitting. Almost all ML teams now have at least one stat-cruncher who helps to put things in perspective. I could go on.
There are also many ways in which old and new converge. HR are still important no matter what way you look at things. I would say the more we study stuff, the more we thoroughly realize that the long ball is pretty much the ultimate batting skill in terms of individual performance -- or at least one of them.
I think in ten years or so, many of the skirmishes that take place on boards like RedsZone will be moot, because most everyone will have a basic understanding of different metrics. Just in the past decade, for instance, OBP has risen unbelievably in prominence in the mainstream coverage of baseball, so much so that I would say even layperson fans understand its importance.
Anyway, no offense intended. You really are the one who is maintaining this divide in my opinion. All it takes is some curiosity and openness to new ideas. I think you'll find that most "stat heads" (of which, incidentally, I don't consider myself one) are somewhere deep down filled with love of HR/RBI/AVG. They just love them so much, they want more and better stats.
Don't worry about it, I'm not offended. I have thicker skin than that. And I know that most baseball players understand and pay attention to the more in-depth metric stats. I'm not a straight baseball card guy, although baseball cards were one of my passions as a kid as well. It just gets old sometimes when you point out how many RBI's a guy has and then you get the old "that doesn't mean anything" comment. It does mean something and it always will. Players take pride in driving in runs and we should acknowledge players that not only do it well, but are put in that spot in the batting order because they do it well. I think there should just be a greater tolerance for us that are more traditional in the stats we look at. To be fair, I do find myself from time to time looking at the more in-depth metrics but some of them I find are a bit skewed (and I don't want to debate that here) so I will always ignore them.
Anyway, I'm not offended and I understand what you are saying and I don't disagree with it.