There has been a lot of debate about advanced stats in the baseball world. The internet guys are convinced they are the hidden truth of the game. Old grizzled baseball guys are convinced they are snake oil.
Personally, I have been on both sides of the debate.
The issue seems to be fresh in my mind after Sam Fuld’s Sunday stat-school on FSN yesterday. In my opinion, the best argument against the heavy use of objective, statistical information is how often they make me look wrong. I mean, for Pete’s sake, just leave me alone. Every time I have a good idea for a post, I start doing some research and am reminded that I am a babbling idiot.
Case in point. This morning, I woke up with an idea for a post. Seems like Sean Rodriguez has really nailed down a job as the Rays’ everyday shortstop. I mean, he’s made some remarkable defensive plays and seems to have found his power stroke. This turn of events has an obvious explanation, too. I am sure that Rodriguez’s play improved just as soon as the Rays sent down Reid Brignac, thereby finally declaring him to be their everyday guy. Right? The mental aspect of the game explains everything.
In fact, I was so certain of this point, that I was hatching a second argument. Rodriguez was originally an outfielder. So, if he can hit everyday, I was going to argue that the Rays could make him into Zobrist 2.0 and split him between Centerfield and Shortstop paired with Brandon Guyer and Lee/Beckham after BJ Upton leaves via free agency.
Wrong. Stupid stats.
Here are S.Rod’s numbers before Brignac’s demotion: .222/.326/.306 1 HR 6 BB 13 SO
Here are his numbers after Brignac’s demotion: .258/.295/.404 3HR 3BB 15SO
I know, right? How can he be worse? I watch/listen to every single game. No WAY he is playing worse. Stupid stats.
I think Homer Simpson properly expresses my feelings this morning when he told Lisa “Facts? Facts can be used to prove anything that is even remotely true. Facts Schmacts.”
Will someone that is good at math please find some explanation for my impression that Sean Rodriguez has been playing well lately? And no, heavy drinking is not an explanation for my impression.