Mar 3, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT
Paul Sullivan of the Tribune reports that the Cubs are broadening their minds:
New Chairman Tom Ricketts told fans at the Cubs Convention he
expects the organization to use sabermetrics as a tool more often for
player decisions and evaluating opponents while still valuing the human
component. The Cubs didn’t hire a full-time numbers cruncher until Chuck
Wasserstrom was named manager of baseball information after the 2003
“We’ve always done more than people thought,” Hendry said. “… We’ve
always factored that in. But I’m always going to be a scouting guy
first. You can skew statistics to frame it the way you like it.
That Hendry quote is pretty ridiculous. Sure, you can try to spin numbers any way you want, but at some point the spin becomes implausible because at the end of the day there’s still, you know, a number there. Scouting, in contrast, can lend itself to far, far more subjectivity because, ultimately, a scout’s assessment is a person’s opinion. An informed one, yes, if the scout is well-trained, but an opinion all the same.
Here’s a far more interesting quote from Sullivan, which seems to be an attempt to take a swipe at statistical analysis:
According to the numbers, Hendry seemed to make the right moves when he signed free agents Milton Bradley and Aaron Miles last year. Bradley led the American League in OBPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) with the Rangers in 2008,
while Miles hit .392 in day games with the Cardinals, which made him a
perfect fit for a team that plays more day games than any other. But both flopped badly with the Cubs.
Setting aside the fact that I’ve never seen OPS referred to as “OBPS,” anyone who suggests that reckless sabermetrics led to the Bradley and Miles flops is full of beans.
Sabermetrics is about more than on base percentage. Smart sabermetricians were extremely wary of the Cubs signing Bradley due to the fact that he had played so little in the field while in Texas. They acknowledged his upside, sure, because Bradley is talented and has upside, but they also acknowledged the extreme risk he represented from both a health and character perspective and thought that the Cubs massively overpaid for his services.
Only the truly moronic think that scouting and sabermetrics
are mutually-exclusive evaluation tools. Almost every team uses both
scouting and stats, as they should.
- Lucas Duda’s last eight hits have been home runs 1
- Report: Larry Lucchino stepping down as president and CEO of the Red Sox 19
- Clayton Kershaw blanks the Angels over eight innings, runs consecutive scoreless innings streak to 37 13
- Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout make MLB history in Saturday’s matchup 11
- Matt Williams on Bryce Harper’s ejection: “He needs to stay in the baseball game” 36
- UPDATE: C.J. Wilson needs elbow surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season 11
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 42
- The benches cleared in Friday’s Giants-Rangers game 186
- The benches cleared in Friday’s Giants-Rangers game (186)
- Blue Jays acquire David Price from the Tigers (112)
- Rangers land ace left-hander Cole Hamels from Phillies (106)
- Royals make another big move, get Ben Zobrist from A’s (95)
- Report: Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki to Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and prospects (90)