I think advanced statistical analysis can be very useful when analyzing baseball, and that it can indeed provide a deeper understanding of the game.
But I think that it may have been taken a little too far.
I am a longtime baseball fan, and I try to absorb as much knowledge and information about baseball as I can. Lately, I have found myself getting a bit frustrated, as more and more, baseball analysis seems too focused on sabermetrics. And by delving too deeply into the numbers, I think that many people have lost sight of the big picture.
I've found that some of the worst offenders are the mainstream analysts who should be doing their best to help bring saber awareness to the masses. ESPN.com's Keith Law and SB Nation's Rob Neyer have done the saber community no favors with their snarky, condescending writing.
I don't want this blog to resort to the standard anti-saber "nerds are ruining baseball!" commentary. Instead, here are the main points I would like to get across:
- Being able to look up statistics doesn't make you a baseball expert. I feel like too many people have decided that they are now an authority on baseball just because they have access to advanced statistics.
- Scouts, managers, and sportswriters who have followed, or been a part of the game of baseball for decades just might have some knowledge about the game that might go beyond looking at statistics.
- And finally, while I feel that the numbers can go a long way towards explaining baseball, I also feel that they don't tell the whole story.
Baseball isn't just about which player has the best numbers. It's also about the big moments. It's about Chris Carpenter outdueling Roy Halladay. It's about Bobby Thompson, Joe Carter, David Freese, and many others hitting home runs that will forever be ingrained in baseball history.
Moments like that can't be captured purely by statistics.
I just hope that everyone reading this keeps an open mind. If you're willing to look at things from a different angle, you might realize that sabermetrics aren't necessarily the absolute truth that some people have made them out to be.