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.
- Patrick Corbin diagnosed with “damage” to left UCL 38
- The Yankees were no-hit by the Marlins in Panama 35
- Report: Jose Iglesias could miss most of the 2014 season 46
- Manny Machado dealing with scar tissue in knee, increasingly unlikely for Opening Day 10
- The D-Backs weren’t kidding about the retaliation thing 58
- Red Sox prospect gets arrested, acts like a monumental jackwagon (107)
- Is Barry Bonds really getting a “fair hearing?” (104)
- Keith Olbermann REALLY hates that Barry Bonds is coaching the Giants for a week (102)
- Manny Machado calls $519K salary for 2014 “disappointing” (90)
- Giants players love having Barry Bonds at spring training (90)