FanDuel - WFBC

July 02, 2004

What? no Yankee Red Sox thread?: The Sox and Yanks played another classic game tonight. The Yanks won in an extra inning struggle that left the Sox deflated. Is the Sportsguy right, is there something wrong with the Red Sox? Oh yeah, Jeter made a sick play diving into the stands.

posted by jbou to baseball at 01:16 AM - 53 comments

Hey, I was gonna if somebody didn't beat me to it...and you only beat me to it because a thunderstorm took out the power last night (about 15 minutes after the game ended) and it just came back ;-) Good column links. I'm a fan of the underachiever theory myself. If you take a snapshot of a baseball team at an instant in time, it's a composite of many things -- basic talent level, injury picture, management skill, emotional damage, momentum, fan support, blah blah blah -- and, while no two teams are ever precisely alike, it does seem to me that now, as in past years, the Red Sox have had plenty of minuses, but also plenty of pluses. Their budget isn't tiny, their fans are supportive (much more, I'd say, than average), their injury picture isn't worse than other teams have labored under. They just seem to get mired in baggage that other teams are able to shrug off. I think that the Red Sox have everything they need to recover and have a great season (although if I were the manager, they'd all be out there right now doing the most basic fielding drills in the book, all day every day until they don't make any more mistakes). I'd just bet the farm that they won't, though. The game was a treat, for sure. I only saw it from the 10th inning on, but that was good enough. Any day that started with Serena vs. Amelie diving for the ball (and coming up with it), and ended with Derek Jeter diving for the ball (and coming up with it), is a big bonus. And next up, for Yankee fans, we get a subway series!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:16 AM on July 02

Let me just say that we in Milwaukee were treated to Curtis Leskanic back in 2001. Knowing that he was pitching relief, the end result of the game does not surprise me. His stats weren't terrible, but he has a knack (and did in 2001) for giving up hits at the worst possible time.

posted by rocketman at 07:34 AM on July 02

Jeter's catch is the definition of his 'intangibles'. That was balls out.

posted by garfield at 08:12 AM on July 02

Damn Yankees. /nothing new

posted by Dick Paris at 08:45 AM on July 02

Showboat. That pop-up had "third baseman" written all over it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:54 AM on July 02

Clearly Jeter should have jumped into the photgrapher's booth rather than the stands. If he landed on that padded wall he wouldn't have busted his face. Oh, and Nomar or A-Rod would have run up the aisle with the ball rather than fall over all crazy-like. They'd have done that and come back with a box of crackerjack, a large beer, and a chick on each arm. Jeter is maybe the fifth best SS in the AL.

posted by 86 at 09:18 AM on July 02

unfuckingbelievable. my head is still spinning. that was just a great game start to finish. and things didn't get nearly as violent in the stands as i feared they might be. drjohn, you're kidding about the "third baseman" thing right?

posted by goddam at 09:23 AM on July 02

I went to see Spiderman 2. I'm glad of it. I'll be happier when the Sox ship sails free of the Doldrums. If Kevin Millar has to walk the plank before that time, all the better.

posted by yerfatma at 09:34 AM on July 02

If Kevin Millar has to walk the plank before that time, all the better. Maybe he needs to Pirate Up?

posted by Jugwine at 09:37 AM on July 02

ahhh...86...Dr John....this just shows why Sox fans [and others too] just don't GET IT..its all about the WINNING dammit! Any talented jerk can put up gaudy numbers but it takes something SPECIAL to be a WINNER.....Ill take Jeter ANYday over a guy like Nomar..all these fantasy idiots keep forgetting that THE most important number is that one that appears under the 'W' column in the standings...there is no way that dive/fall into the stands can ever be crunched into a number....but yet it will live longer than any number...The secret to the Yankees is not in all the superstars,cause that sometimes doesnt work...BUT its that Torre gets them to somehow work their butts off..grind the hell out of the other team..sacrifice a few numbers for a win...as Casey would say,EXECUTE...

posted by NYSSoftballBlue at 09:39 AM on July 02

For the record, I may be a Mets fan, but around here I am on record as being about the only person who would take Jeter over every other shortstop in the game. My tongue was firmly planted in cheek, Softball. Now, please quit yelling at me. I'm hungover.

posted by 86 at 09:52 AM on July 02

Haters! Playa haten! Admit it - that was a great play in a great game. For some reason it was broadcast in Toronto, too - thought I'd check it out - best game I've seen this year by a mile.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:14 AM on July 02

I'm surprised that I haven't seen any Sox fans trying to downplay the Jeter catch by mention that Pokey's was the same damn thing, except he didn't need to be at full speed to be there, which in some circles would mean he made a better play because his jump was better. And honestly, they'd probably be right. But yeah, Jeter has gone from mediocre rangewise to very good in one year, possibly because ARod's presence pushed him. And regardless, both SSs made great plays to get to that area, and yes, that was indeed the definition of intangibles. I want a team full of guys who will go balls out into the stands like that. ARod, Sheffield, they'd do the exact same thing. Everyone loved to talk about what a jerk Sheff was but he's the same kind of competitor. This is why Steinbrenner overuses the word Warrior. As a Yankee fan am I allowed to complain that it shouldn't have had to go to extras, since Lofton can't catch? Whoever it was that Gammons quoted as saying "Lofton plays center like bees are chasing him" has got to win quote of the year... funny but 100% accurate. Still, he's better out there than Bernie. This is eerily similar to the ALCS game 7, in that I was up all night watching it, and now I'm at work, hung over as hell, and all the Sox fans are sad. At least today I get to leave in 40 minutes to go to a DMB show and drink some more... I'm a bit worried that this swollen face may impact Jeter and slow down his hitting a bit... which would be no good, since he Bernie and Sheff have been carrying the team for a few weeks while the others slump.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:23 AM on July 02

Maybe I'm just a little frustrated with seeing that catch so many times. Rogers Sportsnet was playing the YES feed here in Toronto, and they skipped a commercial break to show a million replays while both commentators had multiple orgasms a little too loudly for my liking.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:41 AM on July 02

I'm a Sox fan, but I'm also a baseball fan, and Jeter's play was just plain great baseball. Sure, maybe the third baseman should have handled it, but as it worked out, Jeter's play was insanely cool. I'm just glad I wasn't one of the people sitting where he landed. (It's nothing personal. I don't want anyone who's 6'3" + 190 landing on me, especially factoring in his personal velocity at time of impact.) I never give up hope for the Sox -- not even D. Lowe and Kevin Millar -- but things are looking pretty bleak right now.

posted by swerve at 10:50 AM on July 02

I'm surprised that I haven't seen any Sox fans trying to downplay the Jeter catch by mention that Pokey's was the same damn thing, except he didn't need to be at full speed to be there, which in some circles would mean he made a better play because his jump was better. And honestly, they'd probably be right. Yes, but we've seen Jeter make that same play without going so deep into the stands. Maybe those times, and on the Pokey catch, the ball had more hang time and hence they didn't have to run as hard to get there.. Nobody has mentioned Arod's snag at third and toss to home from his knees in the 10th or 11th... an amazing play. on preview, swerve: I don't know that the thirdbasman could have made the play. He'd have to turn his back to the ball and catch over his shoulder. It seems the angle was more natural for a SS to get there.

posted by crank at 10:56 AM on July 02

There's a lot that can be said about the Red Sox. We're in a bad place right now, but I'm not about to call it a season and blow up the team. The sloppy D has been infuriating. Kevin Millar should be riding the pine. Why, sweet Christ in the sky, WHY is Cesar Crespo still on this damn team? Theo has made a near promise to make a change in this team, and I think it's coming soon. The message board rumor mills think it's Nomar, and I tend to agree with them on some of the reasoning being presented. Right now though, the rumored trade swaps don't make sense, and of course, everyone is denying all accounts anyway. I just don't want to see another drawn out ARod debacle. Pull the band-aid off fast or don't pull it at all. It's no good for the team to have it looming. Last night's game, was a good one. It was a battle that had all the emotions of a post-season matchup. Someone had to go home with the loss and someone was coming away with the win. Would be nice if the Red Sox could come away from one of these matchups with a win though. Que sera. I liked the lineup defensively (save for Millar in RF, but Trot's not 100% yet). Jeter's play was great. I can't imagine if he hit the arm of one of those seats though. I'll save my "Who is a better SS?" argument for another time. ARod's "I made a triple play!" dramatic arm waving hissy fit was fantastic on the unintentional comedy scale, especially the part where it was explained to him and he nodded. I love David Ortiz. I love the fact that we got him from the Twins' castoffs and I love that last year wasn't a flash in a pan or his career year. I see the flaws with the Red Sox. We're 8.5 games behind the Yankees for the AL East. We're a game out of the AL WC. This team wasn't built for sitting home in October. They will play better and the ship will right itself, just have to sit back and watch.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:12 AM on July 02

Okay, I just watched the reply of the catch, and it didn't look that spectacular.

posted by corpse at 11:18 AM on July 02

this just shows why Sox fans [and others too] just don't GET IT..its all about the WINNING dammit! Any talented jerk can put up gaudy numbers but it takes something SPECIAL to be a WINNER.....Ill take Jeter ANYday over a guy like Nomar.. Oh PLEASE. What a LOAD of CRAP. This was one series. Didn't see you preaching about winning during the last series in boston. Oh yeah, that's right, cus the sox took 3 of 4. The yankees are simply a better team right now. In June. If I were a yankee fan I'd be pretty happy right now, but spare me the rhetoric. The secret to the Yankees is not in all the superstars It's not? That's easy to say when you always have the superstars. No, superstars doesn't equal world series ring, but you have a hell of a lot better chance than without stars. Both the redsox and yankees are built to win with money spent on superstars. To pretend otherwise is ludicrous.

posted by justgary at 11:57 AM on July 02

I'm not even much of a baseball fan, but I still hate the Yankees. Anyone got a link to a non-Realplayer vid of the Jeter catch? I want to see him get hurt. ;)

posted by squealy at 12:11 PM on July 02

MLB's video of the catch. for anybody passing through. that doesn't have access to north american tv. on preview: here ya go. wmv.

posted by gspm at 12:20 PM on July 02

Thanks gspm.

posted by squealy at 12:47 PM on July 02

I get a sick feeling that Tim McCarver is watching this video clip over and over, all while sweating profusely and mumbling "knows how to win, knows how to win".

posted by grum@work at 01:28 PM on July 02

I think the Simmons article is interesting in that everybody gives up on sabrmetric baseball as soon as the A's or Red Sox lose a series. I don't like the "A's haven't won a playoff series" argument since they would've dispensed with my Red Sox if Hudson and Mulder hadn't both been hurt. As for the bit about whether Red Sox fans have to read Dan Shaughnessy, visit SoSH or any of that other crap, there comes a point in every season where I just say enough. The great thing about baseball is that you can get swept in June/July and still make the playoffs. There's really no need to obsess. The Yankees are better right now. They will win the AL East, but with the wild card the extra rounds in the playoffs, they are anything but a lock to win the world series. In a short series, a team with 2 dominant starting pitchers could still beat them. THank God there's 3 more months of this.

posted by filthyboy at 01:45 PM on July 02

I get a sick feeling that Tim McCarver is watching this video clip over and over, all while sweating profusely and mumbling "knows how to win, knows how to win". Well the differences between Nomar and Jeter were pretty concrete last night. Nomar doesn't even have enough 'range' to get off his ass and stand on the top step of the dugout with the rest of his team....

posted by crank at 01:47 PM on July 02

One interesting (to me, at least) factoid I ran across last weekend while in the NY Metro area is that the Yankees have never failed to end the season in first place once they have a 6 1/2 game lead. 80 years ago the Senators caught them from six back, but never did anyone make it from a greater distance.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:49 PM on July 02

Pretty good game. That Jeter, boy. I'd want him on my team.

posted by vito90 at 02:01 PM on July 02

That's an all-world play by Jeter, but anyone who cares about his tangibles wouldn't be bragging about the season he is having. Looking at the fielding statistics for shortstops, he's only in the top 5 in one category -- putouts -- and is middle of the pack in errors committed, range factor, and every other metric. As for hitting, he's average there too, aside from 13 homers. He isn't close to being the best shortstop in the game, or on his team.

posted by rcade at 04:01 PM on July 02

It's hardly a knock to say he's not as good as A-rod, who when he retires will likely be one of the top 5 to ever play the game. I guess Pokey Reese is a good fielder, but he's also a career .250 hitter with no power and he's never knocked in more than 52 runs in a season. As good as David Eckstein is on defense, he's not much of an offensive threat. Tejada is good on both sides... credit where credit is due. As for hitting, Jeter had a horrible start, but that's baseball. He batted .396 with 9 hr in June.

posted by crank at 05:00 PM on July 02

Looking at the fielding statistics for shortstops, he's only in the blah blah blah... Actually, if you look at the top half dozen in any category, you'll find hardly a Yankee among them. Rodriguez (forget this stupid A-Rod crap, how expansion team can you get?) is fifth or sixth in several categories, Mo is top reliever, and I think there's maybe one other Yankee somewhere in the top half dozen in the stats. And that's it. And Boston is all over those categories, first, second or third in most. Conclusion? If they were playing statistics, Boston would have swept the series...but they were playing baseball, so that's not what happened.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:16 PM on July 02

So what, lbb? The statistics relate to the issue of whether Derek Jeter is the most overrated shortstop in baseball history. That doesn't have anything to do with the Yankees as a team.

posted by rcade at 07:53 PM on July 02

So what, lbb? The statistics relate to the issue of whether Derek Jeter is the most overrated shortstop in baseball history. Whoo, hon -- better clean out that fridge, those grapes are getting sour! I find it pretty amusing that you're trying to use a quantitative argument (statistics) to issue a judgment about something that has never been quantified (degree of over-ratedness), but leaving that aside... If you're playing statistics and not baseball, then your most highly rated shortstop will be the statistically studliest. Otherwise, well...you might want to consider that old saying about "lies, damn lies and statistics". Or, alternately, talk to any professor of statistics (or even social sciences) about the whole issue of methods. Ya see, all the statistics we capture in baseball are an effort to try to quantify what makes a good baseball player -- and, as with any statistical measure, they imperfectly reflect the truth. Some methods are better than others, but none of them are perfect. Back to my earlier point: the Red Sox don't just have one or two players showing well in the stats, they're all over those top-n listings. All over them. If the statistics on the basis of which you call Jeter "the most overrated shortstop in baseball history" have any validity, wouldn't you think that a team that is so well-represented in those statistics would be doing just a teeeensy bit better? Or is it that they're a team of the most wonderful individual position players in baseball -- the statistics say so, right? -- but somehow, the whole is much less than the sum of its parts? Look, I'm not trying to put words into your mouth. But you tell me. If the stats mean something, how do you explain the Red Sox?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:43 PM on July 02

the Red Sox don't just have one or two players showing well in the stats, they're all over those top-n listings. All over them. That's not strictly true. If we're evaluating offense, OPS is probably the best indicator. The Yankee position players are ranked ahead of the Red Sox position players at every position except 2B, LF, CF, and DH. That's 5 for the Yankees against just 4 for the Sox. And in LF, Matsui is not as far back from Ramirez as you might think. And at several positions--SS, 3B, 1B--there isn't even a Red Sox in the top 20. How can the Red Sox possibly be better than the Yankees when they have basically a replacement level player playing RF, 1B, SS, and 3B? Basically, the Yankees have statistically a better team than the Red Sox, not the other way around. And Derek Jeter is outperforming the duo of Pokey Reese and Nomar Garciapara by a far margin...this year. For a career, there's more room for debate. Jeter has the rings, but how many people believe the Yankees wouldn't have won a few titles with Garciapara playing SS instead of Jeter? (I'm not saying the two are interchangeable, I'm just saying...I don't know what I'm saying).

posted by filthyboy at 09:05 PM on July 02

Some methods are better than others, but none of them are perfect. I'm aware of that. The closest we've come to perfection in this world is Derek Jeter's intangibles. Personally, I prefer to focus on his tangibles -- and from the statistical measurements of individual prowess in baseball, Jeter's merely average this year. Perhaps he'll graduate to above average with another hot month (at which time Yankees fans will, in the fervor of the moment, petition Bud Selig to create a new seasonal award, the "Most Intangible Player," in his honor). As for your Red Sox and Yankees question, I'll take it seriously when you provide any evidence that you have. Trying to dispute the validity of baseball statistics, based on a quick skim of the leader board and a single series, is goofy.

posted by rcade at 10:55 PM on July 02

As for your Red Sox and Yankees question, I'll take it seriously when you provide any evidence that you have. Trying to dispute the validity of baseball statistics, based on a quick skim of the leader board and a single series, is goofy. Statistics aren't "valid" and they aren't "invalid" -- not by themselves. Their validity depends on the methods by which they were gathered, and what assertion you are attempting to support with them. I think we can leave out a discussion of the former, since that's all detailed elsewhere; but your assertion is just this vague thing about Derek Jeter being "overrated". So just what is Derek Jeter's "rating", and how should a shortstop's "rating" correlate with these statistics? Seems to me that it's you, in fact, who aren't taking the statistics "seriously". I strongly suspect that the bone of your contention is that you dislike hearing the guy praised in what you consider to be overblown terms. You have every right to feel that way, but call it what it is. Plenty of people on SpoFi make statements of the form, "I just can't stand the guy," and nobody objects. But when you say, "He's overrated and the statistics say so," as I said above, you're trying to use a quantitative argument (statistics) to issue a judgment about something that has never been quantified (degree of over-ratedness). If you can quantify it, please do so. Or, if you're just mad that people are "overrating" a player that you don't like on the porches and patios of America, I feel your pain, but please move on. It's part of being a sports fan.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:23 AM on July 03

Thank you for the condescending semantics lesson, lil_brown_bat. Clearly I am a moron who is just beginning to use words for the first time, and I appreciate your piercing insight into my motivations. Please close the window after you finish peering into my soul. I'm becoming increasingly less clear on how you would rate a baseball player, but I do it by looking at the fielding statistics and hitting statistics relative to the other players at his position. Each of those statistics represents a rating. For instance, at this time, Jeter is the ninth-rated shortstop in fielding percentage. That's a quantitative measurement of Jeter's performance.

posted by rcade at 07:30 AM on July 03

I'm becoming increasingly less clear on how you would rate a baseball player, but I do it by looking at the fielding statistics and hitting statistics relative to the other players at his position. But all the shortstops at the top of the RBIs category are at the bottom of the fielding percentage category. And vis versa. Tejada is 1st in RBIs but 22nd in fielding percentage. Eckstein is 1st in fielding percentage and 29th in RBIs. Jeter is 9th in fielding percentage and 6th in RBIs. According to your own metrics he's a more complete player than Tejada or Eckstein. He may not be first in either category, but by being near the top in both he's a better overall player than any others on that list. In your own words, "That's a quantitative measurement of Jeter's performance."

posted by crank at 12:14 PM on July 03

SportsFilter: We pee in your soul! Testify!

posted by billsaysthis at 02:03 PM on July 03

I'm becoming increasingly less clear on how you would rate a baseball player, but I do it by looking at the fielding statistics and hitting statistics relative to the other players at his position. Each of those statistics represents a rating. For instance, at this time, Jeter is the ninth-rated shortstop in fielding percentage. That's a quantitative measurement of Jeter's performance. rcade, you said the guy was "overrated". Then you cited two stats that rated him. So, all I'm asking is, where's the "over"? Is he "overrated" by the statistics you cite? Or by something else? If the latter, by what?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:02 PM on July 03

am I the only one loving the discussion in this thread? I was thinking sox v yankees blah blah blah, but this has turned into something better!

posted by gspm at 06:05 PM on July 03

So, all I'm asking is, where's the "over"? Is he "overrated" by the statistics you cite? Or by something else? If the latter, by what? Jay, Raleigh: Ripken was the Iron Man and Ozzie was Ozzie, but do you think anyone is better overall than Jeter at SS? Joe Morgan: (10:56 AM ET ) Ozzie Smith was a better defensive player, and Ripken had more power. But as far as winning games and being a winning player, I don't think anyone surpasses Jeter at that position. This is what I think most people refer to as "overrated". He gets built up by the broadcasters (Morgan and McCarver on national games mostly) to a pinnacle that NONE of the statistics agree with. The only thing that seems to fit is that he's a "winner" (just like Luis Sojo and Clay Bellinger!) and other "intangibles". Because Jeter plays more games in front of full national audiences, and makes ONE defensive play a year that the broadcasters swoon over, or gets one "clutch" hit in a series that the media fawn over, we are told repeatedly that he's the "best".

posted by grum@work at 06:27 PM on July 03

i can understand how jeter can be viewed as overrated by people around the country, especially with guys like morgan and mccarver making comments like the one grum quoted. sure, statistically he's not the best ss in the game, and not even the best on his team (but obviously the guy that is considered the best ss doesn't seem to care or he wouldn't have come here to play another position). so please indulge me and let me give you a pov of someone living in tri-state evil empire area. seeing jeter play everyday either on tv or in person and seeing how he handles himself with the media in this city, i don't need some blowhard on tv telling me what he brings to the team both on the field and off. the boss doesn't name you captain of this team for being a pretty boy. people around here don't seem to give a shit what morgan and those guys say. hell, a lot of us don't really care what our own guys have to say. i guess the only way i can qualify that would be what happened thursday night at the stadium. i believe they only replayed the catch once on the big screen in center field. and bob sheppard didn't come on the PA telling us that was the greatest play we'll ever see. we couldn't hear kay or sterling or steiner gush over it. yet we all knew it was a pretty damn good play that could probably save the game. and when he didn't step up to the on deck circle the next inning we knew he had to be hurt or he would've been there. at the end of the game when everyone was making their way down the ramp to the exits there were smatterings of various chants ("let's yankees", "sweep", etc.). but then someone started a de-rek je-ter chant (maybe it was pedro?) and it soon became defeaning. again, we didn't see the espn replays or hear michael kay swoon over him. we just know that he came up huge (and he didn't do shit offensively) in what was probably the best game any of us had ever witnessed. so fine, he's not the best, but he's still pretty damn special to that club and this city (and the greater metropolitan area:-) (sorry for the rambling. i'm little drunk and have been inhaling paint fumes all day. so i'm in a bit of a sentimental mood)

posted by goddam at 07:54 PM on July 03

Another example of Jeter being overrated was Harold Reynolds' comment last season that he'd take Jeter over A-Rod because Jeter's a "character guy" and a "proven winner." Jeter's a good shortstop, a leader on the most successful team in baseball the last decade, and he comes up big in postseason. All great attributes. If I were a Yankees fan, I'd be singing his praises like goddam. I just don't think the numbers put him among the best shortstops in the league -- certainly not this year -- and people who would rank him No. 1 need to stop bogarting the joint.

posted by rcade at 07:49 AM on July 04

so fine, he's not the best, but he's still pretty damn special to that club and this city (and the greater metropolitan area:-) That I have no problem agreeing with. He is a special player and Yankee fans DO have reason to be proud of him.

posted by grum@work at 10:03 AM on July 04

I just don't think the numbers put him among the best shortstops in the league -- certainly not this year -- and people who would rank him No. 1 need to stop bogarting the joint. Ok, but who do the stats say IS the best SS?

posted by crank at 10:28 AM on July 04

Ok, but who do the stats say IS the best SS? All-time? Honus Wagner Past 25 years? Cal Ripken Past 10 years? Alex Rodriguez Past 5 years? Alex Rodriguez This year? Michael Young (based on Win Shares, a formula developed by Bill James that evaluates hitting and fielding in a era-neutral context and is also available for 2004 here)

posted by grum@work at 11:37 AM on July 04

(on preview: grum beat me to it) Honus Wagner. But A-Rod (why is the name A-Rod "expansion team"?) is the only player currently active who has a chance of getting within screaming distance of Honus. He has so much range at SS, a great arm and batting stats second only to Bonds. Statistics aren't "valid" and they aren't "invalid" -- not by themselves. I'll try to be polite here, but if you believe that, you don't understand statistics as a study (outside of baseball or any other field they're applied to). RBI is an "invalid" metric because it doesn't measure anything. It's a function of OPS and the on-base percentage of other players on your team. There are plenty of invalid statistics; anything that claims to measure something but does not do so accurately is invalid. Errors/ fielding percentage are useless. I could play 162 games in the majors with a fielding percentage of 1.000 just by never trying to catch anything that didn't come right to me. Does that make me a good fielder? lbb, between this and the softball thread you're quickly becoming the shrillest, most unreasonable regular. You may have a lot to offer us, but blindly screaming at those who don't pray at the altar of Jeter isn't it.

posted by yerfatma at 11:44 AM on July 04

RBI is an "invalid" metric because it doesn't measure anything. It's a function of OPS and the on-base percentage of other players on your team. There are plenty of invalid statistics; anything that claims to measure something but does not do so accurately is invalid. Errors/ fielding percentage are useless. rcade used RBIs and fielding percentage to justify his conclusion, I responded in like terms.

posted by crank at 01:17 PM on July 04

I was responding to someone else, crank. No worries here.

posted by yerfatma at 02:08 PM on July 04

yerfatmama: I'll try to be polite here, but if you believe that, you don't understand statistics as a study (outside of baseball or any other field they're applied to). RBI is an "invalid" metric because it doesn't measure anything. It's a function of OPS and the on-base percentage of other players on your team. There are plenty of invalid statistics; anything that claims to measure something but does not do so accurately is invalid. Errors/ fielding percentage are useless. I could play 162 games in the majors with a fielding percentage of 1.000 just by never trying to catch anything that didn't come right to me. Does that make me a good fielder? Hm. I'll partly agree with you on this one: some (many?) statistics are "invalid" in that they don't truly reflect what people commonly believe them to reflect. Your example above includes a decent example of this - RBI, which could be low for a good batter because of relatively few opportunities to hit - and a better one - errors/fielding percentage, which as you point out could be "perfect" for a player whose abilities in those areas has never been tested. I still say it's sloppy thinking to call the statistic "invalid", rather than the interpretation of it, but whatever -- this is like people saying, "One in every x women will get breast cancer": it's stupid and inaccurate, but it's a habit and you're not going to cure people of it. lbb, between this and the softball thread you're quickly becoming the shrillest, most unreasonable regular. You may have a lot to offer us, but blindly screaming at those who don't pray at the altar of Jeter isn't it. yerfatma, in those last two lines you've just put me so far out of the running in the unreasonableness category that it would take me a lifetime to catch up. A careful observer would have noted that I never called Derek Jeter the greatest shortstop of all time, of the past 25 years, of the decade, of the year, or of the minute -- because I don't know that he is, or even how such a thing could be quantified. You will be unable to find me doing any such "praying at the altar of Jeter" or criticizing anyone who doesn't, because I haven't. Your accusation is, well...invalid. It would be nice if you'd retract it, but I expect you won't. I like the guy, I think he's a so-so hitter (as infielders tend to be) and an excellent fielder (as shortstops tend to be if they hang onto the position in a major league team). I think he's a good team captain: he seems to have the honest respect of his team, which contains a lot of guys who could become serious prima donnas, based on their salaries and stats, but who seem to look around their locker room, notice who else is there, and keep somewhat of a lid on it. I don't know, maybe the captain has nothing whatsoever to do with keeping the team functional and it's all Joe Torre and staff. Someone deserves some credit, though, and it's not totally unreasonable to think that the captain has something to do with it. But I really don't care if anyone else likes him or not. I know a lot of people will dislike him simply because he's wearing the pinstripes...well, that's baseball. And a lot of people will dislike him simply because so many people like him, or resent him because he gets more attention than other shortstops. I don't care about changing those people's opinions. The fact is, unless you're shelling out a ton of money for satellite MLB coverage (and you have nothing else to do), you don't really get to watch many different teams -- most of us regularly watch one team play, if that, and simply not get to see other teams play anywhere near as often. So our "local" team is the one that makes the biggest impression (and, fwiw, the Yankees aren't "local" to me). But I sure never went off on anyone for not liking Jeter, much less get "shrill" or "unreasonable" about it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:14 AM on July 05

It would be nice if you'd retract it, but I expect you won't. You really are pouring on the charm here, lbb. I enjoy reading your comments, but if you don't like people putting words in your mouth, stop framing your own comments so personally. This isn't Usenet. There's usually a level of collegiality here that doesn't involve reading peoples' minds, assuming that we're all knuckle-draggers, and pre-emptively deciding that we're not decent enough to apologize when we've wronged you.

posted by rcade at 11:11 AM on July 05

I take it back: like me, you know he's completely over-rated, just because of those gorgeous eyes a fella could lose himself in.

posted by yerfatma at 02:06 PM on July 05

(at which time Yankees fans will, in the fervor of the moment, petition Bud Selig to create a new seasonal award, the "Most Intangible Player," in his honor) Now that raises an interesting issue. If he was the most intangible player, and a line drive passed through his torso, would he be charged with an error?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:50 AM on July 06

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