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Old 09-09-2019, 09:47 AM   #41
dkgo
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Originally Posted by Déjà Bru View Post
What is the point of all this? The game chose Estave on the basis of WAR. That's not to criticize it; I am sure that, given OOTPD's formula for WAR, it is accurate and he did have the highest WAR.

But he did not have an MVP season, IMO.

Thanks to the link to FanGraph's definition of WAR, I was reminded that WAR is based on other aspects of performance, including baserunning and defensive skill. Look again at Estave's season stats.

He had a decent OPS (it's 1906 in my game) and he led the league in PA and runs. His stolen bases were less than half of the league leader, but they counted. Moreover, he's a Golden Glove winner again this year.

I believe that it's because he was decent-to-good in a bunch of things that accounts for his high WAR. He would have won the MVP if I had not intervened.

Or should have I let him win it? I look at my MVP award as primarily hitting; indeed, I call it the "Batting Excellence Award." Yet, based on OOTPD's definition of WAR, Estave was the best all-around player in the league.

Leave aside the arcane and variable nature of WAR. Maybe a third, more subtle criticism of WAR arises: It's too scientific. It may be technically correct but intuitively wrong.

Now, you may say, MVP is "best all-around player" by definition. Still, would you give the MVP award to Estave with his .274 batting average because he also was a good baserunner and fielder? Or would you award Pennypacker, who batted .315 and had a league-leading OPS of .821?
So you literally changed your criteria for the award in your head from most valuable player to best hitting player and are complaining that ootp didn't know that?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:52 AM   #42
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No it is not. Your statement is akin to tasting toast and then proclaiming that hot bread is essential to life. You may like toast and that is fine. But that doesn't mean a logical conclusion is people need to eat toast or die.

The sun rises every day. That is a fact. No one is changing that. Michael Jordan won 6 NBA titles. That is a fact. No one is coming up evidence that will contradict that statement. Gravity is a fact. No one is switching it off and stuff is going to go floating in the air.

WAR cannot be a fact if it changes from year to year and there is no consensus on how to come up with it. fangraps changes theirs. baseball-reference changes theirs. Bill James changes his. They have created theories. Estimations. NOT FACTS.
Sigh
No one said "WAR was a fact"
"WAR works" is a fact

Yes, WAR is an estimation.
It is a fact that that estimation works.
Here's, again, the proof: https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/20...ird-order-wins

Why won't you dispute this proof?
We know why.
1) it's not disputable
2) you don't understand it enough to

Let's go back to your "the sun rises everyday" example of a fact. Leaving out that the sun doesn't actually rise, just appears to rise, there are places on Earth where the sun does not rise every day. This is dependent on the time of year and your location. If you're at the south pole in winter, the sun's not rising. If you're at the equator, it is.

Let's also talk about the equator.

In the 1700's the French were trying to measure the shape of the Earth, whether it was larger around the poles or around the equator. The equator doesn't pass through France, neither does the pole, so they went to Ecuador, also Sweden and Finland. In Ecuador they had to figure out where the equator was.

They didn't have GPS, nor a giant measuring tape, to figure out exactly where the equator was so they estimated. This research proved that the Earth isn't a perfect sphere, but an oblate spheroid (it's bigger around the equator, than around the poles).

Only thing is, over 200 years later, using GPS, it was found that the French were off by about 250 meters in their estimate of where the equator was (keep in mind, though, that the actual location of the equator moves since the poles move).

The French team's estimate, though not exact, worked. They proved the Earth was bigger at the equator than around the poles. They found the equator to pass through Quito Ecuador. No one is ever going to find, under current conditions, that it passes through, say, Perth Australia.

Another example, time

Do sundials not work because they can tell you it's about 7:45 but can't tell you that it's exactly 7:44:30?

A wrist watch, or cell phone. Does your cell phone clock not work because it says 7:45 when the official atomic UTC clock says it's 7:44:30.00000001? Don't be dumb

Same with WAR.
It's an estimation of player value
Just like a sundial and a cell phone are an estimation of time.

And, undeniably, WAR works

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Old 09-09-2019, 10:14 AM   #43
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I never would suggest that. Let me illustrate it this way......A person designs a car. He puts the best of everything that he knows into it. He loves this car. It does everything that he wants it to do. That's WAR. I don't fault anyone for loving and preferring his "WAR" car. Can the designer of the car claim hs vehicle is the "ultimate in human transport"? Can buyers of his auto claim it? No, that is their opinion. That isn't a fact. That is their preference.

The science of car design changes. New gadgets are invented. New technology is created. Someone can find a way to make them fly. Someone else can find a way for it to go underwater. Someone can make it go faster. Someone else can make it more efficient. Someone may be able to put weapons on it. Whatever. The point is it can't be the "ultimate" because it will always change. It can always be better. Until the endpoint is reached, until all are agreed that there is no way it can be bettered, any claim that it is the standard is an overstatement.

WAR is not a fact. It is an opinion. A step forward. But the destination to "factdom" has not been reached.
You've got it all here, but are just a step away.

No one should be saying that WAR is the ultimate measure of baseball. Because, yes, It'll be improved upon.

If they say that, you can stop listening to them. They're wrong.

Just like someone who says WAR doesn't work, is wrong.

WAR does, using the car analogy, get you from point A to point B.

Someone might, they will, create something that gets you there faster, or more cheaply, or more stylishly, or over water, or underwater, but, no one can deny that this version gets you there.

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/20...ird-order-wins

Maybe you prefer horse and buggy, that's fine
Maybe there will be Jetson's hover crafts in the future

But neither of those things means that WAR doesn't get me around town

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Old 09-09-2019, 10:26 AM   #44
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So you literally changed your criteria for the award in your head from most valuable player to best hitting player and are complaining that ootp didn't know that?
This is like 50% of the arguments against WAR

"It doesn't do this thing I think it should do, but wasn't designed, or claim, to do"

At this point, anyone* who is anti-WAR, you know that they don't understand it and don't know enough about it to know that they don't understand it.


*Excludes people who work in baseball who definitely have something better
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:12 PM   #45
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Saying WAR is working is like claiming the human cannonball gave man the ability to fly. It's merely the next step.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:33 PM   #46
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This is a bit off topic but what one statistic do you guys consider the best indicator of total excellence for a MLB batter? I would also be interested in the same stats for pitching, running and fielding. Also, isn't WAR actually an attempt (stressing the word attempt) to somehow combine the basic outcomes of baseball success and/or failure into one single number. I would call WAR both a comparative and philosophical attempt to grade total player excellence.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Cobra Mgr View Post
Saying WAR is working is like claiming the human cannonball gave man the ability to fly. It's merely the next step.
Here's that chart that you'll never address

Quote:
As you can see, however, team wins and WAR wins are strongly correlated (R-squared value of 0.86). The line of best fit is y = 1.06 x - 4.61. So, if your team is projected to produce 100 “WAR wins” (47.628 + 52.372 WAR), they would be expected to win about 101 games. While the correlation does create some variance, the line of best fit demonstrates that the ratio of WAR to wins is pretty close to one-to-one, on average.
https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/20...ird-order-wins

WAR explains 86% of the variance in team wins.

Go ahead and explain how you think a human cannonball is 86% of the way to flying.


EDIT
And another, more comprehensive, look
FanGraphs' 2016 version of WAR explained 75% of the variance in teams from 1985 to 2013.
https://community.fangraphs.com/usin...team-position/

Yes, it's lower. Because WAR is getting better. Also, the data collected back in 1985 was worse than in 2016.

Last edited by CBeisbol; 09-09-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:54 PM   #48
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This is a bit off topic but what one statistic do you guys consider the best indicator of total excellence for a MLB batter?
wRC+




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Originally Posted by CBeisbol View Post
Start with wOBA (weighted On Base Average) is like batting average, except it counts extra base hits more than singles (makes sense, eh?) and counts walks and hit by pitches (they count less than singles).
https://library.fangraphs.com/offense/woba/

...

There's also wRC+ (adjusted weighted Runs Created) which is like OPS+ in that it compares to league average how many runs a player's batting was worth on a rate basis. 100=average. >100 is above average. <100 is below average.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:19 PM   #49
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Man, I ask a question then step away and now look at all the good stuff I get to dig through. I will have some questions once I'm able. Thanks to everyone who responded.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:22 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by CBeisbol View Post
Here's that chart that you'll never address



https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/20...ird-order-wins

WAR explains 86% of the variance in team wins.

Go ahead and explain how you think a human cannonball is 86% of the way to flying.


EDIT
And another, more comprehensive, look
FanGraphs' 2016 version of WAR explained 75% of the variance in teams from 1985 to 2013.
https://community.fangraphs.com/usin...team-position/

Yes, it's lower. Because WAR is getting better. Also, the data collected back in 1985 was worse than in 2016.
86% is not 100%. Thanks for proving my point.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:43 PM   #51
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86% is not 100%. Thanks for proving my point.
And here I was thinking that you didn't really understand math.

Well, you sure got me.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:16 PM   #52
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This is a bit off topic but what one statistic do you guys consider the best indicator of total excellence for a MLB batter? I would also be interested in the same stats for pitching, running and fielding. Also, isn't WAR actually an attempt (stressing the word attempt) to somehow combine the basic outcomes of baseball success and/or failure into one single number. I would call WAR both a comparative and philosophical attempt to grade total player excellence.
wRC+ basically is a measure of a players offensive value.
WAR is an attempt to use one number to measure of players value which includes batting, fielding, and running. Different people, all probably smarter than me, have come up with slightly different formulas to determine this value. Some people criticize a lot of these formulas for placing to much emphasis on fielding/position.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:23 PM   #53
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Alright, I'll get to questions in a bit, but here's something that I'm running across as I'm digging more into this that's pretty frustrating. Advanced statistics are really nerdy. I don't mean that as a negative.

I'm a pastor. I love theology. I love getting into the nitty-gritty and nuance of scripture, digging deep into its depth. And I love talking theology with people who also love theology. But those conversations are nerdy. Words and ideas are spoken that people who aren't into that sort of thing simply won't understand (I know because my wife's eyes glaze over whenever I try to talk with her about that stuff ). There's nothing wrong with that until I'm trying to relay those same ideas to people who don't understand. At that point, I need to figure out the best way to convey the message to them in a language they can understand. Speaking nerdy and speaking simple are both perfectly fine things to do. But we need to understand who our audience is.

Part of the reason I started looking into advanced stats is because when I read popular level articles on baseball more and more the stats they are using are the nerdy advanced stats and not the popular level stats. More and more they are having nerdy conversations in front of people who probably don't get it. I think that's having a negative effect on people's interest in the game. People's eyes are glossing over. Who wants to pull out a dictionary to read an article on ESPN?

Now, I'm a relatively smart guy. When I put my mind to it I can probably at least get a rudimentary grasp of advanced stats. I'm not at all opposed to them. I think they have their place. And I'm even okay with them becoming more prominent than traditional stats... as long as they taught and explained well to the hoi polloi when they're being used. Because its frustrating when the nerds are talking and I can't understand them. Now I know what my wife feels like.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:42 PM   #54
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Alright, I'll get to questions in a bit, but here's something that I'm running across as I'm digging more into this that's pretty frustrating. Advanced statistics are really nerdy. I don't mean that as a negative.

I'm a pastor. I love theology. I love getting into the nitty-gritty and nuance of scripture, digging deep into its depth. And I love talking theology with people who also love theology. But those conversations are nerdy. Words and ideas are spoken that people who aren't into that sort of thing simply won't understand (I know because my wife's eyes glaze over whenever I try to talk with her about that stuff ). There's nothing wrong with that until I'm trying to relay those same ideas to people who don't understand. At that point, I need to figure out the best way to convey the message to them in a language they can understand. Speaking nerdy and speaking simple are both perfectly fine things to do. But we need to understand who our audience is.

Part of the reason I started looking into advanced stats is because when I read popular level articles on baseball more and more the stats they are using are the nerdy advanced stats and not the popular level stats. More and more they are having nerdy conversations in front of people who probably don't get it. I think that's having a negative effect on people's interest in the game. People's eyes are glossing over. Who wants to pull out a dictionary to read an article on ESPN?

Now, I'm a relatively smart guy. When I put my mind to it I can probably at least get a rudimentary grasp of advanced stats. I'm not at all opposed to them. I think they have their place. And I'm even okay with them becoming more prominent than traditional stats... as long as they taught and explained well to the hoi polloi when they're being used. Because its frustrating when the nerds are talking and I can't understand them. Now I know what my wife feels like.
If you could learn "batting average", "ERA", "short stop", "knuckle ball", "walkoff", "pinch hit", "tag up", etc, you can learn this stuff to.

First learn the concepts, then the math, if you want.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:07 PM   #55
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I know I can learn it. But, again, I'm a relatively smart guy. I've been following baseball for over 35 years. Baseball is "my sport." I listen to or watch hundreds of games a year. I'm into baseball, even if I'm not an advanced stat nerd. And popular level baseball articles are starting to get to the point where they are cause a non-nerdy, huge baseball fan's eyes to glass over a bit. I get that fandom needs to adapt to change (which is what this fan is attempting to do with the thread), but if advanced stat nerdiness is starting to turn away longtime fans, imagine what it's doing to casual fans. Again, I don't think advanced stats are a problem.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:15 AM   #56
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Casual fans are turned away because games take over 3 hours and the ball is only put into play like 40 times, not because they don't understand that a player's defense is a component in how valuable he is.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:08 AM   #57
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I didn't say advanced stats were the reason casual fans were leaving. But their growing prominence in popular level articles and commentary are not helping the situation with the non-nerdy crowd.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:14 AM   #58
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Casual fans are turned away because games take over 3 hours and the ball is only put into play like 40 times, not because they don't understand that a player's defense is a component in how valuable he is.
Correct. But they are turned away from discussing baseball and reading about it because the next gen stats are to complicated and they are made to feel inferior or dumb because they don't fully understand it. Word of mouth keeps the game in people's mind and peeks the interest of non fans.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:18 AM   #59
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If you've ever listened to a sports radio show or read a message board you would know that a lack of understanding hasn't stopped anyone from talking about something.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:51 AM   #60
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If you've ever listened to a sports radio show or read a message board you would know that a lack of understanding hasn't stopped anyone from talking about something.
And if you ever put your self in another person's shoes, you'd realize how intimidating it is when the conversation does turn to an area you aren't familiar with. Especially when they are made to feel inferior when they don't know it.
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