Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some CarGo Thoughts & Links

The buzz around Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is at an all-time high this week. Some of the buzz is good, while another portion has been dismissive and/or doubting.

We begin with Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated (CarGo Home, CarGo On Road)

It's a lengthy read. Among the things discussed: His lack of walks, maturity, home/road splits, and a logical look at how Coors Field affects Rockies hitters when they go on the road.

He concludes...
This is not to say that CarGo’s season isn’t bizarrely inflated by Coors Field. It is inflated, no question. But I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. He’s have an amazing offensive season, an absolutely amazing season, and in my mind it should not be written off because he’s destroying the ball at Coors Field.
Rob Neyer questions whether or not CarGo would deserve the MVP honor. (The meaning of CarGo's home/road splits)
But would he deserve it?

Umm, maybe. Even with so few walks, depending on which defensive metrics you trust (or don't), Gonzalez might be the second- or third-most valuable player in the National League ... or he might be the eighth- or ninth-most valuable. I think it's safe to suggest that if he does win the Triple Crown, he'll have finished the season on a tear, moving him up a spot or two on whichever list your prefer.
Personally, I don't trust anything as flimsy as defensive metrics. But whatever. I know how good an outfielder he is. Unfortunately, stat nerds who don't watch the Rockies don't know how good he is. They're too busy determining his range with math equations that have nothing to do with anything.

Our final link today is a case of stat geekdom gone too far.

I present to you... (Fungoes -- Holliday for MVP?)

As soon as I saw this headline in my Twitter feed yesterday I knew clicking it would lead me to a bunch of charts, graphs and nonsense. It's just another case of a sabermetrician manipulating the numbers to make it say whatever he wants it to say.
We expect that Votto, Cargo and Pujols will share the bulk of MVP votes, primarily because of their pursuit of the Triple Crown. But Matt Holliday makes a strong case that individual stats, combined with context, matter. Just ask the Cardinals.
I'll pass on asking the Cardinals. And reading your blog again.


Blake said...

The problem with stats is that people say AVG/HR/RBI stats don't tell the whole story. Then you get a group of "advanced" stats that also don't tell the whole story. I'd like to think most of us who've watched enough baseball can know who passes the eyeball test and who doesn't.