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The end of RBIs?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    ESPN hires a "director of production analytics."


    “RBI, in 10 years, will have gone away. What’s more of a battle is what it’s replaced with.”

    Of course, I think the Big Lead columnist is being silly when he starts waxing poetic about how advanced statistics and "spreadsheets" are ruining the "beauty" of sports.

    Statistical progress is wonderful – I love my adjusted OPS just as I love my iPod – but if we progress for the sake of progress itself we risk ruining the things we love about sports.


    We "progress" because GM's have a lot of fucking money on the line and want to spend it as efficiently as they can.

    Go to the ballet or art museum if you want beauty. This is a man's world. Also, the idea that "beauty" in sports and smart spending are mutually exclusive is tired. The "beautiful" players to watch tend to be the best ones, regardless of the measure.

    Anyway, that was a tangent. More importantly, it will be interesting to see where this all leads. Obviously, we all know that ESPN is an influential beast. If they drop traditional stats and start with advanced metrics, even casual fans will go along with it before they even know it.
  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I miss spnited.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I know. This would have been a blast.
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Ribbies should have been gone 10 years ago.

    I was watching some old game on espn classic - it was from the early '90's... and they used OBP.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That can't be true. Billy Beane invented it in the book he wrote about himself.
  6. Mark McGwire

    Mark McGwire Member

    OPS. We're still a ways from folks accepting OPS+, but it's more for comparing across eras, anyway. Anyway who can't accept on base percentage plus slugging percentage is just being crotchedy, anyway.
  7. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Heaven help us if we look to ESPN for leadership in anything.
  8. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    So does that make me crotchedy if I think RBI is one of the most important baseball stats?

    If so, get off my lawn...
  9. Not crotchety, just wrong.
  10. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Hack Wilson wept.
  11. MrHavercamp

    MrHavercamp Member

    OK, I'll bite. The purpose of the game is to score runs, preferably more runs than the other side. So if nobody drives in any runs, it's going to be hard to win, right? If a guy gets a two-out single with a runner on second, that strikes me as kind of important. If he pops up or grounds out, the run doesn't score. Tell me again why that RBI is meaningless. If you say that it depends on somebody being on base in front of him, yes, that's true. But that's why baseball is a team game. There's no more telling stat generally than LOB when a team loses. If nobody is getting any RBI, then you have a whole lot of LOB. I'll still take a consistent 100-RBI guy in the middle of my order any day.
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    RBI will survive. The most foolish and annoying part of the new statisticians is not their defense of the new stats, which are all perfectly valid if IMO in some cases kind of superfluous, but their insistence that the old stats are useless. This implies, and many times the new stat guy will actually state it, that everybody in baseball was pretty stupid until he and his fellow stat nerds came along to teach math.
    Stats are reflections of what happens. Pitching has really changed in baseball in hell, just the past 20 years, and it makes sense stat use might change accordingly. Batting hasn't changed at all, so the need for new stats is less acute.
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