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Analysis: Stats vs Sight

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Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed May 04, 2011 6:17 pm

Personally, I use both. Most do. I don't have an overwhelming love for stats; I really, really hate math and really, really love history. But I sometimes use stats to help explain what I see, because not everyone gets to watch as much Indians baseball as most of the people on these boards.

Regardless, I'd prefer for the seemingly never-ending debate of stats vs. visual observation to clog down every other thread on the Tribe boards. So if you want to have an argument about why WAR is the greatest thing ever or why you think Carlos is breaking out of his slump because they got him to reduce his hand movement and you think it helps reduce the hole in his swing...feel free get it on here.

Pup/Peek, feel free to rant about UZR here ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Wed May 04, 2011 6:22 pm

I feel like I learn alot more from watching the game, I use pretty much the basic stats.

I share your same opinion on math and history too.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby bookelly » Wed May 04, 2011 6:31 pm

I read somewhere the FO had hired some sabermath guy to write a software program that would project MLB numbers based on MiLB stats. They had trademarked the software and were keeping it well under wraps. Based on the on-field results so far...I'd say it was working pretty well.

I only say this to add to the side of the strat/math guys, as I think there's real value here. And I think the Indians as much as anyone have embraced metrics as a way of cheaply improving the team.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:20 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:I feel like I learn alot more from watching the game, I use pretty much the basic stats.

I share your same opinion on math and history too.


Watching the game is the best way to know what happened that day. Stats are probably an easier way to tell what happened over the season.

A guy can go 0-4 but hit 4 balls on the nose and you know he didn't have an awful game. But if a guy hits .190/.220/.250 over a full 500+ AB season, I can pretty much tell you he sucked at the plate even if I never saw a single of his at bats.

As for math, I still have to take off my shoes to add to 20. But I can tell you off the top of my head almost every significant event in WWII, Civil War and American Revolution. Numbers just suck.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby leadpipe » Wed May 04, 2011 7:52 pm

This isn't even a contest.

The caveat being the OPPORTUNITY to see someone play every day.

Cause their ain't a guy on God's green earth, including Bill James, Theo Epstien and the like, that wouldn't learn more from watching a guy every day, than reading a stat line.

So, if the question is Sight or stats, with the given you have the choice to see the player, than it's patently ridiculous.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 04, 2011 8:56 pm

My opinion on this matters is well-covered elsewhere. Information is good, judgment is better. Stats, properly interpreted, are good information. So is visual judgment. (On the other thread, peek suggested that a lot of people use stats wrong. That's true, but I'd suggest that there are millions of armchair pitching coaches out there, too.)

And:

leadpipe wrote:This isn't even a contest.

The caveat being the OPPORTUNITY to see someone play every day.


This...with the acknowledgment that it's fundamentally impossible to see everyone play every day and be able to keep it all in your head enough to make rational judgments. The kind that GMs are expected to make.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby jerryroche » Wed May 04, 2011 11:54 pm

"Stats vs. Sight" is a totally personal preference--whatever turns your crank. Because baseball can be consumed on multiple levels is one of the things that makes it such a wonderful game. Another thing is its total unpredictability. How many times have you seen a .190 hitter rip a line drive into the corner to beat a closer whose ERA is 1.12, defying every statmeister's probability matrices?

Personally, I'm a throwback. The only statistics that have any real meaning to me are the old dependables: BA, HR, RBI, W-L, ERA and maybe OPS. Give me those, and I'll be able to tell you if a player is having a bad, mediocre or good season. I tend to enjoy watching a game more when I can concentrate on pitcher vs. batter, pitch by pitch--but that's just me. You wanna use esoteric statistics to over-analyze every pitch, every batter, every situation, be my guest!
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 05, 2011 8:34 am

jerryroche wrote:"Stats vs. Sight" is a totally personal preference--whatever turns your crank. Because baseball can be consumed on multiple levels is one of the things that makes it such a wonderful game. Another thing is its total unpredictability. How many times have you seen a .190 hitter rip a line drive into the corner to beat a closer whose ERA is 1.12, defying every statmeister's probability matrices?

Personally, I'm a throwback. The only statistics that have any real meaning to me are the old dependables: BA, HR, RBI, W-L, ERA and maybe OPS. Give me those, and I'll be able to tell you if a player is having a bad, mediocre or good season. I tend to enjoy watching a game more when I can concentrate on pitcher vs. batter, pitch by pitch--but that's just me. You wanna use esoteric statistics to over-analyze every pitch, every batter, every situation, be my guest!


Jerry just pretty much summed it up for me. What I need to do a better job of here and in life in general is allowing that, despite me not being able to understand it, stat heads get as much enjoyment from WAR and BABIP as I get from watching games.

I'll never, EVER understand why. But shit, there's a ton of people who enjoy dog shows and log rolling.

Reserving the right, of course, to call an idiot an idiot for relying on numbers to try and explain what he doesn't understand or see to begin with.

You can play ball without stats. There are just some people here who think the game exists because of the numbers and not the other way around.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby jb » Thu May 05, 2011 9:19 am

RBI ? W-L ? What are you guys? The Mets?

This thread is mostly a bunch of jocko luddites tub thumping. The fact this thread exists and creates a competely false dichotemy tells me all I need to know. This is a false choice set.

Personlly, i worship at the steve buffum unification church.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 05, 2011 9:34 am

jb wrote:RBI ? W-L ? What are you guys? The Mets?

This thread is mostly a bunch of jocko luddites tub thumping. The fact this thread exists and creates a competely false dichotemy tells me all I need to know. This is a false choice set.

Personlly, i worship at the steve buffum unification church.


Well, I'd see your Buff and raise you Pauly C and Al. All of them do a nice job with incorporating stats into what they see.

The problem isn't those that blend the two. It's that there are those who substitute one for the other. And if you are going to substitute one for the other (and despite my stance I have Baseball-Reference bookmarked and up on my computer all day long) then it had better be seeing the game that wins out.

Another case of board polarization. I have no issue with those that augment their observations with stat-based analysis. My issue is with those that don't watch and still try and tell me with numbers something different than what I watched with my eyes.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby googleeph2 » Thu May 05, 2011 12:41 pm

I am a sight guy. But different sight guys can disagree among themselves wildly after seeing the same things.

Novice question: Do stats guys disagree as much with each other? I sense not.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby gotribe31 » Thu May 05, 2011 12:51 pm

googleeph2 wrote:I am a sight guy. But different sight guys can disagree among themselves wildly after seeing the same things.

Novice question: Do stats guys disagree as much with each other? I sense not.


I think that there's a old school/new school line in the sand with regards to stats. Some guys cling to RBI's and pitcher wins as a true measure of performance. Others dismiss those as outdated, and use other metrics to measure performance that more accurately depict how that individual player performed, rather than relying on stats that are effected as much by his teammates as the player himself.

I just re-read that sentence and gave myself a wedgie for sounding like a stats nerd.
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Re: Analysis: Stats vs Sight

Unread postby googleeph2 » Thu May 05, 2011 12:56 pm

ha

So SABR guys generally agree with each other in measuring performance?

What might SABR-driven teams look at in differentiating themselves from each other?

I guess they think they can do things better, otherwise why put stat guys on their payroll.
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