I realize that by naming the site Sabermetrics Suck, it makes it appear that this blog is either an attempt to instigate, or a parody of an anti-sabermetrics traditionalist.
I assure you that it is neither.
Unfortunately, the title "Sabermetrics Are Good When Used in Moderation But Some People Take It Too Far" seemed a bit clunky. Also, "Sabermetrics Suck" is definitely catchier.
The goal of the site is not to whine about "geeks with calculators sitting in their mother's basement." I am not complaining that "these newfangled stats have ruined baseball."
I accept that the battle between traditionalists and saberfans is pretty much over, and the saberfans have won.
It's pretty tough to deny that fact when I look at ESPN.com and see several baseball writers who focus on advanced statistics. They even include WAR on their statistics page!
So then what is the point of the site?
In my eyes, the empowered sabermetric crowd has become the new arrogant elite. It feels like many saberfans were held down and mocked by the traditionalists for so long, that now that they've gained acceptance, they carry themselves with a know-it-all attitude.
Prominent saber-minded writers like Rob Neyer and Keith Law certainly aren't helping that reputation. Instead of educating and enlightening people to the ways of sabermetrics, they seem to drive people away with their snarky arrogance.
Saberfans portray traditionalists as stubborn, unyielding old fools who refuse to give up antiquated ways of thinking. Yet from my experience, saberfans can be even more stubborn and refusing to yield.
The best I can tell, this stubbornness comes from the saberfans having "numbers on their side."
Ah yes, numbers and statistics. I believe Homer Simpson said it best:
“Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.”
The typical sabermetric thought process seems to be along these lines:
- Come up with a hypothesis.
- Find a statistic that backs up that hypothesis.
- Convince yourself that the statistic offers irrefutable proof.
- Refuse to yield.
- Hypothesize that RBIs are an important measure of a player's offensive production.
- Check the rosters of every team in baseball, and add up the number of RBIs for each player.
- Find that the teams with the highest player RBI totals were the highest scoring offenses.
- Conclude that RBIs are a good measure of offensive production.
- Refuse to yield.
What I'm trying to do is to remind people that while baseball is about numbers, it is also more than just numbers. It's about team chemistry, luck, clutch plays, and moments both amazing and bizarre that make it fun to be a baseball fan.
It's about a team having a "1 in 100" chance of winning, and still finding a way to pull out a victory.
I think that some people have just gotten a little too deep into the numbers to see what's really going on. I'm trying to help people see the big picture.
The "pendulum has swung" to the side of the saberfans. The blog represents the start of the back swing.
I just hope some of you stick around to enjoy the ride.