Friday, February 1, 2013

Caple goes to WAR

Jim Caple posted a column at ESPN that isn't really anti-WAR...  Generally, he's diplomatic regarding his critique of what some regard as The Stat to End all Stats that's constantly enforced upon us by pretty much 99.9% of baseball bloggers out there.  But Caple has a lot of the same questions and complaints about WAR that have been raised on this blog, mainly regarding shadowy, obtuse nature of a statistic that you can't calculate without a high-powered Intel CPU -- and only if you know all of the variables that go into WAR, how those variables are weighed against each other, and who determines why one variable is more or less valuable than another variable.  And when the shadowy society of mighty baseball statisticians change those variables in a non-democratic manner -- then maintain that their calculations are unquestionable correct -- will these changes be documented?  And will, say, the "historic" WAR value of a player be listed next to their new WAR value so fans can compare the differences?

Caple doesn't go into psuedo-geek speak by using words like "variable", meaning his column is an easy read.  So go read it before the baseball pundit gods hang Caple by his nutsac for questioning their almighty judgement.

And, should you choose to do battle against the commenters calling Caple an idiot, be sure to ask them if WAR is part of an equation.  I mean, if you add up the WAR of every player on a team for a season, shouldn't it equal the win-loss record for that team's particular season?  Because I betcha WAR doesn't.  And if "wins above replacement" isn't an equation that can be proven to translate into actual wins, then aren't those who calculate WAR just pulling some numbers out of their ass and demanding everyone to call them fucking geniuses because of it?

Just saying. 

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