Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Wiley's Sotto Voce, Super Genius...Not! IV
2003-07-25 00:48
by Mike Carminati

I just wanted to make a couple of points regarding Sailer's article, which is a good summation en toto.

First, I agree that a good number of Latin players, especially Dominicans, are free swingers who follow the adage that one cannot "walk off the island". As Sailer points out this may change as future players tailor their game to match organizations needs. It should also be pointed out that the go-between in evaluating these players are the major-league scouts. Sailer refers to Moneyball, Michael Lewis' homage to Billy Beane, and in the book one finds that Beane is still heavily reliant on his scouts for information. Even though they do end up drafting a Jeremy Brown or five based mostly on statistical evidence, they do consult with the scouts to get a feel for the player's personality and adaptability to profession ball. And that's for the players in college ball where their statistical record is easily accessible. I would doubt that the stats for every Latin player are as easy to find. Therefore, for these players more reliance on the scouting system is required. Therefore, Latins are selected based on the more archaic of baseball measuring sticks, the scout, who is still looking for the type of player that Billy Beane was throughout his highly anticipated yet highly unsuccessful career. Also, GMs may ignore Latin players if all they have to go on is a "Good Body" scouting report.

I have a few other minor issues: The explanation as to how the reliance on stolen bases and ignorance of on-base percentage for leadoff hitters let to the dearth of hitting in the Sixties and Seventies is a bit facile. I'm sure it was a factor but to say that Maury Wills caused the statistical averages for all hitters to drop significantly is an overstatement.

Sailer also states that:

Sabermetricians have done less to revolutionize thinking about pitching, however, because baseball already possessed an excellent statistic in the earned run average.

I beg to differ. Sure, ERA is a much better tool than batting average, but if Voros McCracken's research and development of the DIPS (Defense-Independent Pitching Stats) are not revolutionary, I don't know what is.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.