Wins Above Replacement (WAR) was all the rage in recent years. However, I'm getting the feeling that it is being replaced, at least in part, by newer cooler stats. Brian Kenny said as much on his TV program, Clubhouse Confidential on the MLB Network. OK, he said it at 90 miles per hour and did not dwell on it or give it proper attention. He and his really smart guests just slid into the latest orthodoxy. At least Kenny is displaying more signs of doubt that this number or that is the one to use for this or that.
War on WAR.
I’m a smart guy. I understand baseball and really enjoy the numbers, even those on the uniforms. I like playing with the numbers. However, my math skills are largely confined to arithmetic. I am not a statistician or operations research person. Those are the really smart guys who have come up with the new stuff in recent years. So declaring war on them or their concepts is useless for me. I need to confine my concerns to common sense things.
There are two things about WAR for non-pitchers that should be examined:
1. WAR is a total, not an average
2. defensive WAR, more properly called fielding WAR, is suspect. The more the really smart guys delve into fielding stats in general the more they see a need to develop more methods of measurement...
just when we smart guys were getting pretty full of ourselves, the really smart guys came up with WAR based on linear weights, which may have become the new orthodoxy and as such suspect.
The first item listed is WAR...
Using a total will generally give an advantage to longevity, possibly at the expense of quality. Pete Rose becomes a better hitter than Ty Cobb using the original stat, hits. Rafael Palmeiro becomes a better home run hitter than Mickey Mantle. You can see the problem but I’ve heard really smart guys simply state that player A was/is better than player B because A had more Wins Above Replacement and therefore helped his team more...
You really smart guys need to educate the rest of us.
Friday, March 8, 2013 The Art Of WAR 2.0, 2.1, …
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) seems to have gone mainstream since the end of the 2011 season. But what does a good baseball fan know about WAR? What does an average fan know? How about a casual fan? I won’t bore you with any Sun Tzu quotes that I just looked up.
WAR 2.0: WAR Upgraded on Baseball-Reference.com
"a chart of differences between the new B-R WAR, the old B-R WAR and FanGraphs WAR."
Say what? How many fans knew there are multiple versions of WAR, warring factions so to speak? Next time you hear someone on TV mention WAR ask yourself whether that person has any idea what the heck he/she is talking about.