Monday, June 22, 2009

Much needed off day

Any thoughts on having a form of Win-Loss statistic for non-pitchers that would provide a better measure of their contribution to each game, rather than their contribution in aggregate?

1 comment:

QJays said...

I think I’ll give a "brief" explanation for this question. Imagine that you were there when the decision was made to assign Wins and Losses to pitchers. Besides saying “That’s completely wacked!” imagine if, in a moment of insanity, you said “Let’s do that for non-pitchers too”. Let’s consider briefly the possibility that you were onto something.

The problem with most statistics is that they tell us little about how the player played each game, and whether he aided his team in attaining a win (which is really all that matters). So imagine if after each game, a jury could assess what they had just witnessed and decide which player had done the most in that single game to aid the result for his team. A player who keeps a rally alive by beating out a single might be seen as more valuable than the guy with the game winning RBI sac fly. A player with both an error that results in no runs as well as a running snag in the ninth with a runner on 2nd might look better than the guy with a 1.000 fielding percentage on 5 pop-flies (even if he had to run a long way for those pop-flies) with no one on base.

You take the W-L record of each player at the end of the year, and you might be looking at something more important than whether the player hit .300 or had 100 RBI. Maybe (though only maybe) it would be better than comparing his VORP or OPS+ to other players. You have a sense of how often a given player led his team to a win and how often he led his team to a loss (with various subjectivities built-in, of course).

Mind you, you miss a guy who might have consistently come in 2nd place behind a whole bunch of different 1st place finishers for wins. Ideally, we could come up with a system for a 1-9 ranking (which would probably be best, because for a team that loses, you would probably still like to know who did the most to increase the chance of a win). That’s for another day.