Thursday, December 12, 2013

Preaching to the Choir: A Handy Guide to Why Advanced Stats Aren't Stupid

I read an article recently that redirected me to the blog of Murray Chass, the former New York Times baseball writer who is famously against the phenomenon known as "the passage of time." The fact that he has a blog is kind of amazing. He's in the "computer geeks in their mothers' basements" crowd, the sort of person who reads Parade Magazine every week. This also puts him squarely on the side of people who HATE advanced stats. He's an anti-sabermetrics extremist, the kind who would characterize sabermetrics as "well he hits fly balls 20% of the time on Tuesday and 30% of the time on Wednesday, and goobledee gobbledee I don't know what they're tryin' to say!" You know the type.

The article that I read was on Murray's fervent support of Jack Morris as a Hall of Famer. While it would be great to go through and do a FJM-style takedown of this piece, I want to address some larger points that anti-"advanced stats" people have, and perhaps clear up some misconceptions. Maybe we can ease a little hostility between the Murray Chassosaurs of the world and the charts 'n' graphs HOTSHOTS.