Comments on: Murray Chass On Baseball ยป I DON’T LIKE WAR http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47273 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 23:48:41 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47273 I would use basic single-season park factors, just showing how many more/fewer runs were scored in the park, in adjusting numbers for MVP consideration.

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By: GC http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47261 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 23:14:18 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47261 So then what would you use for MVP rankings?

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47222 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 20:32:55 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47222 It depends what are you measuring. As I said, from a pure value standpoint, all you care about is how many runs are scored in Park X compared to other parks, so you know whether runs are more or less valuable there.

All those other questions are tricky ones in trying to assess a player's ability. Which is more of a forecasting exercise than a look back. I don't care about that stuff when filling out my 2010 MVP ballot. But if I am trying to decide whether I want Carlos Gonzalez on my team in 2011 and beyond, then yes, I need to consider how he is personally affected by his park. We know that his offense is worth about 20% less than the raw numbers indicate this season. But we should not assume that his raw numbers will drop by 20% if he moves to Neutral Stadium.

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By: Mike Felber http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47200 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 19:24:21 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47200 Peak factors seem broadly correct, but why should we not discount how the home team bats there? Besides that some teams may be particularly skilled in certain home parks, mainly, if a team happens to have hitters who are way below or way above average, they would seem to greatly distort the PF. Since they are 1/2 of the formula! And why not have PF adjusted for handedness?

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47119 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 16:21:42 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47119 Off the top of my head I don't think there is one page which shows all teams' home/road scoring, but on each team's page you can click their Schedule & Results for that information
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/COL/2010-schedule-scores.shtml

Also, current park factors can be seen here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor
B-R's are not updated until after the season, so the current season's PFs are actually for 2009.

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By: GC http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47106 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 15:49:49 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47106 I see. That makes sense. Thanks, Johnny. Is there a list somewhere so I can see how many runs have been scored by each team at home and on the road?

I'm softening my stance on WAR. I think it's all in how it is used. It does a nice job of leading us to stats like Gonzalez's low walk total and the park factors. I think some people on both sides of the issue are of the extreme impression that WAR is intended to be the "end-all be-all" of stats. Others, like myself, were simply worried that it would ignore traditional stats altogether. But I'm finding that if it is used to give us a better understanding of all stats, it is valuable.

It's the same way I feel about Wikipedia. I wouldn't quote it in an important speech (if I were a public figure), but I would definitely use it to gain information I didn't know about the topic and get me to useful articles I could quote.

I think WAR gives us the information we need to present all the stats in a comprehensive way, only if we look under the hood and see why someone's number is what it is. I still don't think Pagan should be ahead of Gonzalez, but that's where the debate would begin about how important defense is when rating a player's season.

As far as postseason awards go, I wouldn't discredit WAR, but I wouldn't just hand out the awards to the leaders, either. And I understand that's not the intent. If we use it to highlight the distinctive points from each player, as we have done to a small degree here with Votto and Gonzalez, I think it could give us a nice framework for analyzing the candidates with everything being considered. WAR simply gives us starting points for our arguments. Ultimately the importance of each individual factor of WAR comes down to personal opinion, like in the Pagan/Gonzalez scenario.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47078 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 14:54:10 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47078 Basically, if Votto had 103 RBI, and Gonzalez had 120 RBI, those seasons would be of the same value as a player in a perfectly neutral park with 100 RBI.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47077 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 14:52:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47077 GC, the park factors are generally based on run-scoring in a team's home games compared to its road games (with some slight adjustments based on not playing the bottom of the 9th innings, etc). This season there have been 40% more runs scored in Rockies home games than road games, and 6% more in Reds' home games than road games. So from a pure "value" standpoint, neither Gonzalez nor Votto has been quite as good as his raw numbers indicate, but Gonzalez to a much greater extent. Gonzalez is having a very good season but the runs he produces in Colorado are not as valuable because it takes more of them to win a game.

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By: GC http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47037 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 13:20:19 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47037 @Sean

I mentioned the walks in a previous comment but didn't get a response. Votto does have many more walks, but Gonzalez has scored more runs, which I thought was impressive, especially since the Reds have a great offense.

I understand the walks argument...that's why Barry Bonds didn't have 800-900 home runs because he got walked a million times. So he was valuable by getting on base so often. But one of the reasons Gonzalez has made more outs than Votto is because he has more at-bats due to the walks. His average, however, is 14 points higher. The walk factor does make Votto's power numbers more impressive than Gonzalez's.

I'm not sure what goes into park factor besides home runs, but both parks do allow a lot of home runs every year.

Out of curiosity, how would you rank the Top 5 NL MVP candidates this season?

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By: Thursday Links (9 Sep 10) – Ducksnorts http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/8124/comment-page-1#comment-47035 Thu, 09 Sep 2010 13:19:14 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=8124#comment-47035 [...] answer questions in ways you otherwise couldn’t.” Here’s Chass’ article and Sean Forman’s rebuttal if you’re interested in who’s zooming whom. Or everyone could just talk about baseball. [...]

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