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While We’re Waiting… Are baseball statistics judgemental?

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While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Anyway, all of this made me realize something in way I never had before: No other sport has statistics that are so JUDGMENTAL as baseball. In other sports, we just kind of count things. That seems to be the point of sports stats, no? To count things. We count touchdowns, free throws, goals, catches. Some rely on a small bit of ruling — assists, blocked shots, tackles, sacks, these are not always entirely clear — but for the most part we count acts.

In baseball, the most statistical sport on earth, we don’t just count acts. We put our own morality and justice on the numbers. It’s actually quite ridiculous when you think about it.” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs]

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“Tristan Thompson is in some ways not a natural fit for the type of player that wins this award. If he were to win it, it wouldn’t be because of a spike in minutes played. In fact, Thompson could very well lose minutes this season with the arrival of Anthony Bennett and Mike Brown’s early openness to playing Anderson Varejao at power forward. If Thompson wins, it is because the Cavaliers are having a great season and the increased attention rubs off on Thompson and/or Thompson actually does make a leap this season.

Here is why I am skeptical. First, if Anderson Varejao is back and getting serious minutes with Thompson, the available rebounds go down. The monster rebounding numbers we see from Thompson are likely to go down in that case through no fault of his own. Second, Thompson stayed healthy for all season last year and his backup was Luke Walton. He averaged 31 minutes a game. If that goes down to 27-28 minutes a game, a season averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds a night (which I have arbitrarily decided would be the threshold for him getting serious consideration) could be really difficult.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword]

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Flaws of title contenders. “Ohio State: They return only four starters from a defense that wasn’t very good last year and have to replace six of their front seven. (They do retain the services of linebacker Ryan Shazier, who led the team in tackles and sacks in 2012.) The offense revolves around quarterback Braxton Miller to such an absurd degree that any serious injury to him will likely result in doom for Urban Meyer’s spread attack, even with stud freshmen like Dontre Wilson joining the fold.

The reputation of the Big Ten coupled with an uninspiring out-of-conference slate means that unlike Meyer’s two title teams at Florida, the Buckeyes will most likely not be able to afford a loss and still play for the championship game. Despite the relative ease of the schedule, there are a bunch of tricky road trips, including California, Northwestern, Michigan and yes, Purdue, a team that has knocked off the Buckeyes two of the last four years and took them to overtime last fall.” [Wilson/Dr. Saturday]

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“Veeck sold the Brewers at the end of the 1945 season, but quickly found himself back in baseball as the head of a new ownership group in Cleveland in the late spring of 1946. Again, he took over a team in June and again, his first full season in charge resulted in a uniform change for the club. This time it was a subtle one; Veeck hired a local patch manufacturer, the J.F. Novak company, to design a mascot emblem for the team’s sleeves. They gave him an Indian face with a hook-nose and toothy grin. There’s a strange disconnect, this logo on the sleeve of Larry Doby, first African-American player in the American League. It was also on the sleeve of Satchel Paige when he finally got that shot at the Bigs. The original Indian-head design would start evolving the following season until by 1950 he would become the Chief Wahoo we know today; an unfortunate blot on the legacy of a true champion of equality. Not that Sport Shirt Bill would be around for that step. He sold the team in November of 1949, two years before the revamped Wahoo replaced his version on the uniforms.” [Michaels/UniWatch]

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A little Ohio State pump you up video. [Youtube]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The stats story was perfect – AMEN!

  • Steve

    Odd that you think that as you are exactly that guy he points out in the first two paragraphs. I think Poz perfectly points out why we needed a serious update to statistics in the baseball world. Once we look at the reasonings behind why certain numbers were kept, and how they were recorded, we see that there are a lot better ways of measuring value on the diamond.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This line was perfect: Anyway, all of this made me realize something in way I never had before: No other sport has statistics that are so JUDGMENTAL as baseball.

  • Steve

    And did you read what he said are the judgmental stats?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    WHAT?

  • Dick

    To be fair, most everyone felt that Braxton was the whole Offense. But aren’t we happy to be wrong?