Jan 25, 2011, 8:58 AM EDT
Personally I wouldn’t consider Voros McCracken a one-hit-wonder — I’d like to think he’s got another half-dozen breakthroughs in him — but he uses the phrase himself, so I suppose it’s fair enough.
For those who don’t know, McCracken is the man who figured out defense-independent pitching statistics — shortened to DIPS — which form the basis of much of everything we now know about how to evaluate pitchers. FIP, BABIP and all of the other metrics now used by baseball teams as well as analysts are attributable to McCracken’s observations, first revealed over a decade ago.
I was a sabermetric message board lurker back then and I remember thinking just how nuts it all seemed. At the time people scoffed. Hell, they more than scoffed, they were angry. And I’m talking about other sabermetrically-minded people. Average fans confronted with the idea just looked at you like you were speaking Martian when you tried to explain it to them. And I didn’t blame them. It was so counterintuitive. Still is to many.
Today Jeff Passan takes a long look at McCracken’s life, career and breakthrough and discovers that just because you’re a genius doesn’t mean that everything works out well for you. McCracken’s post-DIPS life got him notoriety and a job with the Red Sox, but those things didn’t last and the man still has to pay the rent. It’s a masterful telling of a fascinating life story and I urge even those who don’t cotton to sabermetrics to read it because it’s much, much more about a person than a stat.
They’re making a movie out of “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt. I can’t help but think that we’d get more insights into humanity, the nature of genius and the nature of baseball if they made a movie about Voros McCracken.
- Stephen Strasburg exits start with tightness in left side 8
- In the wake of the Miguel Cabrera injury the Tigers have few good options 12
- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says Terry Collins’ job is safe 10
- Calf injury sends Miguel Cabrera to the disabled list for the first time in his career 7
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 25
- Rangers designate Neftali Feliz for assignment, activate Matt Harrison 9
- Anibal Sanchez loses his bid for a no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning 11
- The Yankees, A-Rod resolve their dispute over the $6 million milestone bonus 31
- Settling the Scores: Sunday’s results (99)
- Mike Scioscia says Josh Hamilton should apologize to Angels owner Arte Moreno (88)
- What Yasiel Puig being a pain in the butt means. And what it doesn’t mean. (78)
- Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM (77)
- Brian Dozier is the best second baseman in baseball (72)