Washington, D.C.: "Hey you know what I read the most unbelievable thing about Tolstoy the other day, did you know the original title for "War and Peace" was "War-What Is It Good For?"
What is WAR good for? I have never been that big on these new age player value statistics. The most advanced I have really ever made it was OPS for hitters and maybe WHIP for pitchers; so I decided to take a look at a few items on baseball-reference.com website to see what I could find out.
First off, let me just say that baseball-reference is probably my most visited site not named Google as it has almost everything you could ever want to know about baseball players from the past and present. I sometimes get lost for at least an hour looking up information in my idle time, and even use it for impromptu tests of baseball knowledge with others.
So I decided to check out WAR or Wins Above Replacement, which baseball-reference defines as such:
"A single number that presents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add. Scale for a single-season: 8+ MVP quality, 5+ All-star quality, 2+ starter, 0-2 reserve, <0 replacement level"
This seems to make sense on a broad level, right? Here's where the problem lies for me: Paul Konerko is currently ranked #38 in the American League with a 2.0 and his stat line as of this morning was .336/.408/.532; while Brett Lawrie is ranked #8 in the AL at 3.4 with a stat line of .288/.333/.421. How is this possible?
Now I know this WAR calculation takes other things into effect like the position they play, their defense, other players who play at the position; but you mean to tell me that Lawrie is worth more (for this current season only) than Konerko? Konerko's OPS is .940 to Lawrie's .764. Konerko is not the greatest defender at 1B, but he only has one error and how much value do you really put a first base defense? (Let's be honest, no one really wanted Travis Lee on their team. Sorry Phillies fans, you have to admit it.) I'm not a naive old man shaking my fist at progress but there is no way that could be true, right?
There is no doubt that over the long haul Lawrie, a 22 year old third baseman who was ranked a top 50 prospect before coming to the majors, is the player I would rather have...but you cannot convince me that he is more valuable than Konerko this season.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Hanley Ramirez gets traded in MLB and the Dodgers plan to play him at third base. While I am excited to see him playing in another stadium and with different players around him, he should play shortstop while Gordon is out! Just when I thought there was hope
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Underperforming ace Josh Johnson was traded to the Slatington Bulldogs in exchange for 3b prospect Mike Moustakas and a second round pick. Johnson was not performing for us at a high enough level, so we thought it was time to make a move. If the old addage that "the team with the biggest Johnson wins", playoff contenders should be concerned. This theory worked very well for the LA Lakers for many years and also teams that featured Randy "Big Unit" Johnson. Time will tell if that holds true for Slatington. The rebuilding mode is in full swing in Lehigh Valley.