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4 minutes ago, agk47 said:

regarding mussina, didnt he have a rep for being a huge prick behind the scenes.

 

I vaguely remember the him have a toxic relationship with the media heads-- i wonder if its coming back to bite him now.

 

 

Totally agree with the sentiment, Mussina is an easy hof'er, strange how he's been overlooked.

 

...without checking numbers, how far behind mike mussina would a guy like roy oswalt be on the pecking order?   ... he seemed similarly underappreciated; although I doubt he had the counting stats.......

 

fun convo, love hearing everyones opinions!

 

Funny, as I was looking at Mussina's numbers for some reason Oswalt popped into my head and was just looking at him 2 second ago. He just wasn't great for a long enough period. I don't think he'll get much consideration. 163 wins probably not gonna get it done.

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37 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

For those interested, pitcher WAR is much different between both fangraphs & baseball reference. Baseball reference uses earned runs given up, while fangraphs uses FIP. I believe both have their merits (earned runs measures historically what actually happened, while FIP might be a better indicator of who the pitcher was, taking out defense, luck, etc.). To highlight the difference, Glavine has a 66.9 WAR on Fangraphs and Baseball Reference has Glavine at 74 WAR...

Yeah. I think there are actually one or two other WARs out there as well. I want to say ESPN uses the baseball reference one, or maybe at some point they switched from a different one, I'm not entirely sure.

You also have to keep up with each different "version" of WAR, as its formula constantly being "adjusted", "weighted", and "updated" like software or something.

WAR has been around for years and people are only now realizing that it's not a real stat, and more like a subjective opinion/evaluation, kinda like a rating from 1-100.

This has always been my main problem with WAR. When you delve deeper, you realize that in some cases, much of it also relies on stuff like UZR and other "stats" which are actually just a judgement that a bunch of guys watching the games make.

Basically, WAR isn't an actual statistic based on objective numbers that anyone can gather and calculate, even though it's sort of misrepresented to be that, by popping out a catch-all number. This causes people to give that number WAY more credibility than they otherwise should, or would if they actually delved into the different versions, updates, formulas, etc.

So Mussina might be better in one guy's current version of WAR or w/e. But hey, by the time they come out with their WAR 2.4, who knows? Maybe it'll be Glavine by a mile.

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2 minutes ago, shakestreet said:

Lol Bob Ryan. 

His big argument is that the "replacement player is...*Gasp*... A PLAYER WHO DOESN'T EVEN EXIST!

Well, of course not, because it's based on actual averages of all players. So there's going to be variation. And if the average of all OFs was 22.3 HR & 89.8 RBI, Well of course that player doesn't exist. But it gives a baseline to decide whether another player was above or below this average. 

Bob Ryan doesn't understand the metric or he doesn't understand math. 

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3 minutes ago, Fiveohnine said:

Yeah. I think there are actually one or two other WARs out there as well. I want to say ESPN uses the baseball reference one, or maybe at some point they switched from a different one, I'm not entirely sure.

You also have to keep up with each different "version" of WAR, as its formula constantly being "adjusted", "weighted", and "updated" like software or something.

WAR has been around for years and people are only now realizing that it's not a real stat, and more like a subjective opinion/evaluation, kinda like a rating from 1-100.

This has always been my main problem with WAR. When you delve deeper, you realize that in some cases, much of it also relies on stuff like UZR and other "stats" which are actually just a judgement that a bunch of guys watching the games make.

Basically, WAR isn't an actual statistic based on objective numbers that anyone can gather and calculate, even though it's sort of misrepresented to be that, by popping out a catch-all number. This causes people to give that number WAY more credibility than they otherwise should, or would if they actually delved into the different versions, updates, formulas, etc.

So Mussina might be better in one guy's current version of WAR or w/e. But hey, by the time they come out with their WAR 2.4, who knows? Maybe it'll be Glavine by a mile.

Agree with plenty of this. WAR is not a "be all, end all" star that some make it out to be. It's also definitely changing and like you said, UZR and other defensive metrics (in particular) are far from exact sciences. 

But one thing you'll notice is that in general they're close. And if they're not, there's an explanation as to why. 

I think the vast majority of people recognize the flaws of WAR, but also realize it is a vastly superior way to judge a player's overall value (including defense and baserunning) over stats like RBI or errors. But I agree the flaws are important to remember. 

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14 minutes ago, shakestreet said:

 

This article is pretty non-sense.  As @Backdoor Slider pointed out, it's not a "mythical" or "made up" player - it's the average player!  You're taking the average of real players.  What doesn't make sense about that?  It's very very simple statistics.

 

Also I was expecting through his long-winded rant that he was going to conclude that Miggy only won MVP over Trout because Miggy's WAR was better, and try to use that to prove that WAR is stupid . . . but then he just ended it by saying "I think Trout was better and should have won MVP, and Trout's WAR was better than Miggy's, but WAR is still really dumb!"  Like he's actively trying to argue against WAR when it is proving the exact point in a concise, numerical way that he spent like 20 paragraphs trying to make!

 

PSS - it's clear Miggy won MVP that year because of a combination of his stats and what he did for the Tigers and where they finished.  MVP voting always comes down to "what did you do to help your team make the playoffs?", and you commonly see players with lesser personal success and more team success get more votes.  Right or wrong, that's just how it is.

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If you're talking about Miggy's triple crown year, that's the reason he won. Regardless of the numbers he'd have ended up with or how you massage them with w/e version of WAR, winning a triple crown speaks for itself.

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18 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

...I think the vast majority of people recognize the flaws of WAR, but also realize it is a vastly superior way to judge a player's overall value (including defense and baserunning) over stats like RBI or errors. But I agree the flaws are important to remember...

Is it really better? I mean, do you or I really need some mathematicians to tell us who was a better baseball player when we've probably watched them play just as much as any of them did, maybe even more, and when all the stats they used are just as available to us? And the ones that aren't available to us are just basically the opinion of some random guy that works for Baseball Solutions?

Why does it add any credibility at all that someone took the same stats that we all have access to, added in some opinions from Baseball Solutions, and then ran them through some "formula" that they change every year?

I mean, I'm not saying it's useless. I think it's ok to use it as sort of a subjective "rating" published by some organization, rather than an objective "statistic".

But to me, using it as the latter only serves to further confuse an already complex debate in many cases.

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27 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

Lol Bob Ryan. 

His big argument is that the "replacement player is...*Gasp*... A PLAYER WHO DOESN'T EVEN EXIST!

Well, of course not, because it's based on actual averages of all players. So there's going to be variation. And if the average of all OFs was 22.3 HR & 89.8 RBI, Well of course that player doesn't exist. But it gives a baseline to decide whether another player was above or below this average. 

Bob Ryan doesn't understand the metric or he doesn't understand math. 

isn't WAR about a player in AAAA who really doesn't exist?

 

help his team win compared to a replacement player.

A replacement player, in this context, refers to a below-average major leaguer, the kind of guy who can fill out a Triple-A roster just fine, but is overmatched in the big leagues. You know the type. Picture a journeyman minor leaguer who hops from team to team without ever making an impact in the majors; a player your club could pick up off the scrap heap at a moment’s notice. Every organization in baseball has plenty of these players lingering in their system (and occasionally in the majors) at any given time.

WAR uses this concept of a replacement player as a baseline for comparison. Last year, for instance, Baseball-Reference.com pegged Manny Machado as worth 6.7 WAR. That means that if Machado had missed the entire season and Joe Replacement had filled in for him all year, it’s estimated the Orioles would’ve won 6.7 fewer games.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Fiveohnine said:

Is it really better? I mean, do you or I really need some mathematicians to tell us who was a better baseball player when we've probably watched them play just as much as any of them did, maybe even more, and when all the stats they used are just as available to us? And the ones that aren't available to us are just basically the opinion of some random guy that works for Baseball Solutions?

Why does it add any credibility at all that someone took the same stats that we all have access to, added in some opinions from Baseball Solutions, and then ran them through some "formula" that they change every year?

I mean, I'm not saying it's useless. I think it's ok to use it as sort of a subjective "rating" published by some organization, rather than an objective "statistic".

But to me, using it as the latter only serves to further confuse an already complex debate in many cases.

I watch a ton of baseball. I knew Jeter didn't make many errors and won gold gloves. I wasn't aware that his range was so bad, which likely lead to less errors because he didn't even get to balls others did. Did you?

I can look at caught stealing numbers, but I don't know the best base runners at getting 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home on a single. Do you? 

These things are all factored in and give us a LARGER view. The more data the better. And no, I don't think those of us who watch baseball know all these nuanced parts of the game by using our eyeballs. 

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20 minutes ago, handyandy86 said:

 

This article is pretty non-sense.  As @Backdoor Slider pointed out, it's not a "mythical" or "made up" player - it's the average player!  You're taking the average of real players.  What doesn't make sense about that?  It's very very simple statistics.

 

 

I always thought WAR was about some made up guy ....

 

“If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?”

 

and that is why WAR is useless

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1 minute ago, Backdoor Slider said:

I watch a ton of baseball. I knew Jeter didn't make many errors and won gold gloves. I wasn't aware that his range was so bad, which likely lead to less errors because he didn't even get to balls others did. Did you?

I can look at caught stealing numbers, but I don't know the best base runners at getting 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home on a single. Do you? 

These things are all factored in and give us a LARGER view. The more data the better. And no, I don't think those of us who watch baseball know all these nuanced parts of the game by using our eyeballs. 

no. I don't know those things. The difference is, I -still- don't know them, whereas you think you do.

Just because some guy from Baseball Solutions tells me that, doesn't mean it's necessarily true. Or if it is true, whether it's true to the exact same degree they say it is. I mean, if I were working at Baseball Solutions maybe I would decide that some play Jeter made was "likely" instead of "routine" or maybe another play was "remote" rather than "impossible", etc.

All I'm saying is that just because someone pops out a few numbers doesn't magically transform their opinions into "statistics". And I think as more people begin to realize this, they'll start treating WAR less like a true, objective stat and more like a subjective evaluation, which is what it actually amounts to.

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7 minutes ago, shakestreet said:

I always thought WAR was about some made up guy ....

 

“If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?”

 

and that is why WAR is useless

You're correct. It's not the average MLB player. But it's still made up of an "average player" at this level.

I'm not sure why this is a hangup. It gives a baseline to judge everyone equally. That's all that matters. If one guy is 5 games above this baseline, and one guy is 7 games above this baseline, doesn't that tell us the same thing, whether the baseline player is mythical or not? 

Again, if the average MLB player had 75 RBI, it doesn't matter if not one actual player actually had 75 RBI. Every other player can still be judged as above or below this baseline. 

Edited by Backdoor Slider
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56 minutes ago, Fiveohnine said:

If you're talking about Miggy's triple crown year, that's the reason he won. Regardless of the numbers he'd have ended up with or how you massage them with w/e version of WAR, winning a triple crown speaks for itself.

 

Also didn't he shift to 3B that year to accommodate Prince Fielder?  If so, that's really an incredible thing for an aging slugger to do, and I think he was deserving of the award as the most valuable to his team.  Again, its not a "best player in baseball" award.  Intangibles and special circumstances are allowed to creep into the MVP voting (and I personally am OK with that)

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1 hour ago, shakestreet said:

I always thought WAR was about some made up guy ....

 

“If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?”

 

and that is why WAR is useless

 

Yeah you're right that it's some "AAAA" player as opposed to league average, but it still doesn't make it any less useless.  Like Backdoor said, if you use a formula to get a number, then divide it by a constant value (in this case the perceived value of the replacement player) that is used for everyone, it doesn't make it any less useful.  The fact that the replacement player is made up or real or lives on Mars doesn't matter if you're using it for a constant value to compare everyone against. 

 

Maybe in the literal sense that a player with a WAR of 5 might not actually have cost his team 5 wins, which is pretty hard to say.  But if you're comparing Player A to Player B you can certainly use WAR in a useful way to compare the two.  You can debate the weighting WAR gives to each facet of the game, but it's still a tool that attempts to take all other stats into account.

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2 hours ago, merlin401 said:

 

Bonds and Trout are in another conversation where ichiro simply does not belong. 

 

Griffey and Pujols I think are both clearly better. Arod's career is better but his issues bump him down from this circle I think.

 

then the next level is where I start talking about ichiro. Among the people like chipper jones, who are no doubt first ballot hall of famers and inner circle guys. But the HOF is like a goddamn nesting doll with circles, and ichiro just isn't good enough to be in the innermost ones 

 

I think you'll get a lot of differing opinions on Ichiro just because he played a much different style of game than the "standard" MLB superstar.  It's almost like comparing apples to oranges.  Pujols is a guy that had a dominant offensive peak, whose fallen off rather sharply, and isn't even mobile enough to play in the field the last couple years.  Ichiro obviously didn't have any power numbers to speak of, but had great speed, hands, and defense.  Just two different players.

 

Ichiro also has an odd career arc because of not playing in North America until he was 27.  If he had played in MLB frome age 22 and you project he could have averaged 220 hits per year over that period, he's knocking on the door to Rose's all time hits record.  Obviously that's a big assumption, but that just shows his contact numbers are matched by very very few.

 

You also have Pujols' game falling off a lot earlier than Ichiro's.  Pujols at age 35 still put up 85-40-95 but with a .244-.307-.480 slash line.  Ichiro at age 35 was still chugging out 26 SB with a .352-.386-.465 slash line.  

 

I think however you slice it they're all special players, and it really comes down to what aspects of the game you value more.

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The point is to measure a player against a baseline set of statistics. It doesn't really matter what the baseline is long as it's consistent for everyone. If Bob Ryan doesn't like the "mythical" baseline you could just as easily use say Randy Kutcher as the baseline. We could call it WARK. How many more or less wins does a player create compared to an average year of Randy Kutcher. Same thing.

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Sometimes I wonder if the guys who write dumb articles against WAR are paid to do so by the people who publish WAR in the first place. WAR is not a real stat and more just an opinion/evaluation. But not for the stupid reasons Bob Ryan gives in the Boston Globe.

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Absolutely, 

 

tbh my personal metric for all time greats (whatever thats worth), is an all around talent, that was athletic, dynamic with a good baseball mind, can seriously hit and played excellent defense. Most importantly, they had to redefine a skillset.

 

 A guy like pujols (for example) would never be ahead of an ichiro type in my mind. Slow power hitters dont make the grade in my mind.

 

 

Watching ichiro hit and basically place the ball where ever he felt; was like watching a golfer trying to pitch the ball onto the green.  Absolutely remarkable to watch his bat to ball skills.  He makes a guy like tony gwynn look weak at the dish.

 

I honestly believe Ichiro is the most underappreciated athlete of the last 20 years.  I doubt I will live to ever see a better hitter.

 

Fwiw, my personal all time greatest list

 

Willie Mayes -- redefined what it meant to be an all around player, redefined what it meant to be an athletic player

Ichiro Suzuki -- greatest pure hitter ever

Robbie Alomar jr.  (juicehead that redefined what it meant to be a glove first player)

Barry Bonds  (pumpkin head that redefined what it meant to be a power hitter)

 

in that order.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by agk47
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40 minutes ago, agk47 said:

 

Ichiro Suzuki -- greatest pure hitter ever

 

Full stop right here. Ichiro was VERY good. But best pure hitter ever? Forget about Ted Williams types, in a different era and we didn't see him. 

Ichiro- .312/.355/.403 10% K-rate

Gwynn- .338/.388/.459 4.2% K-rate

 

That's FOUR POINT TWO PERCENT K-RATE.

-Both Trout and Bryce have already struck out more times in their careers than Gwynn did in TWENTY SEASONS. 

-Gwynn never struck out more than 40 times in ANY season. In 11 seasons he struck out LESS THAN 20 times. 

-Gwynn faced Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez 143 combined times during his career. He batted .388 and NEVER struck out.

 

Tony Gwynn is the great pure hitter of the past 40 years, at least. Period the end. 

 

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Wow Gwynn's numbers are beastly; he did that over 20 years too...in San Diego!

 

It would be nice if Ichiro had been in the mlb for his earlier years, would love to be able to compare apples to apples.

 

But it sure is hard to argue with gwynn's contact rate!

 

 

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13 hours ago, Jashduke said:

*6 seasons with 200+ Ks

 

Verlander is interesting because he had a solid peak until age 30, dropped off (although not as badly as I remember the media used to claim), but bounced back last year and came in 2nd in CY Young voting. He has a good chance to reach 3000 Ks too. 

 

My fault, I was looking at his innings pitched.  You're right, 6 seasons with 200+ Ks.

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