Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Q&As from the mothership

In the comments on the post below, Emma points out this link, which is a couple days old but worth sharing:

The Pirates upper management has widely ignored OBP (on base percentage) in the past. How important will OBP be in player evaluation under your leadership?
-- Eric S., Pennsboro, W.Va

We are going to utilize several objective measures of player performance to evaluate and develop players. We'll rely on the more traditional objective evaluations: OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) , WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), Runs Created, ERC (Component ERA), GB/FB (ground ball to fly ball ratio), K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings), K/BB (strikeouts to walks ratio), BB%, etc., but we'll also look to rely on some of the more recent variations: VORP (value over replacement player), Relative Performance, EqAve (equivalent average), EqOBP (equivalent on base percentage), EqSLG (equivalent slugging percentage), BIP% (balls put into play percentage), wOBA (weighted on base average), Range Factor, PMR (probabilistic model of range) and Zone Rating.

Holy freaking hell, our new GM considers "Runs Created" to be a "traditional objective evaluation." Admittedly, it seems like he's just rolling buzzword stats out to make people like me happy, but since we've hired a guy with a scouting background who seems to know his way around the BP glossary, well, that makes me happy. Plus he looks like Richie Cunningham and Toby Flenderson's love child.

What kills me is that we go from that nice and encouraging interview with Huntington (does anyone know his middle name? Does it start with P? Because then we could call him NPH, which would become Doogie, which I now think is his new nickname no matter what his middle name is ... Doogie it is, then) to a Jennifer Langosch mailbag. Now, I don't make it a habit to aimlessly rip into writers who have much better jobs than me (unless they're Ron Cook, Bob Smizik, or they work for the Trib, in which case they deserve it), but reading things like this make my blood boil, especially when they're linked millimeters away from Huntington talking about VORP and PMR and such:

Based on his production the last two seasons, [Freddy] Sanchez has made many believe that he has the potential to be a cornerstone for this organization. A year removed from surprising the baseball world by winning the NL batting title, Sanchez proved in 2007 that the honor was not a fluke. Add in the fact that defensively, he's one of the best second baseman in the league, and former general manager Dave Littlefield appears to have made a steal in nabbing Sanchez from the Red Sox in 2003.
.785 OPS + 32 walks in 652 PAs + average defense at second base (saying he's the best doesn't just magically make it so) + 30 years old with an injury history= cornerstone? Really? Doogie, if you need someone to handle the Mailbags on the team site, my e-mail address is right in the corner. I'm only kind of kidding.