Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher
But wait, isn't that pretty much the same as with a very long standing statistic such as batting average?
I mean, I can watch games and see with my own eyes whether a guy gets a lot of hits or not. But somewhere along the line (very early) we decided it would be useful to actually measure the rate of these hits falling safely compared to the number of atbats the hitter accumulated. I wouldn't have needed a batting average to tell me Ted Williams got a ton of hits, per atbat, in 1941. But baseball is a sport where we value a level of statistical precision, so I know that he hit .406 that season. (Okay, that isn't the precise number, but at some point we have to round numbers so it doesn't get out of hand.)
Now there can be lots of debates about how important a number batting average is and what the limitations are on the value we can glean from this number. But we still find value in knowing the number, not just leaving it to our eyes to tell us a guy gets a lot of hits or another guy gets fewer hits.

This. Times a million. Perfect analogy.