A couple things.
I do know how WAR is calculated and I do understand how it works. I said I couldn't explain it, but maybe I should have simply written that I won't explain it. I chose not to explain WAR because it would have doubled the length of this post. I did want to address the concept of WAR and explain why I use it. I find issues with the stat, and I was very up front about that. However, I stand by its use and I think it is a good tool to evaluate players. I can understand why some would prefer to use a stat without fully understanding how it works, especially a stat as complicated as WAR. Thus, my toothbrush example.
Also, I think this measure makes good sense and I apologize if I did not explain it better. Basically, I wanted to find players who had careers similar to Gagne's or peaks similar to Gagne's or who seemed to be on an equal or better career path to Gagne. In this way, I was able to discover just how few players actually reach the level of a player that I don't think many realized was as special as he was.
Finally, when we get to a point in society where we can seek to understand things better rather than attack other people for their ideas, we will have a much better Twins site and a much better society. I can handle criticism and I am happy to respond to it. I know there are flaws in my logic at times and I am working to be a better communicator. However, there are good and bad ways to frame an argument. If you find something you don't like about my information, please tell me. It isn't just about me either. I see plenty of people on this site who get major criticism for their ideas or ideals. Maybe that is just the way the internet works, and there is nothing that can be done about it. I will say, no one wants to feel personally attacked and no one should be personally attacked on a baseball website.
It is as good as tool as the one Thyrlos designed for starting pitchers.
"Better than Gagne" using war. Accumulaed WAR? average WAR/year? Did better one time than than Gagne ever did? This article makes as little sense as what the guy who used to post on Yahoo wrote.
Let's talk WAR for a bit. WAR is not a perfect stat. WAR has major limitations. The fact that three different sites have their own version of WAR and they do not match up is troubling. All that being said, I like WAR. In my opinion, WAR is the best way to look at the overall value of a player and compare that value to other players. In addition, the comparisons translate to past eras, which is very useful when looking at players from the 80s and today, like I did here. WAR includes offense, defense and baserunning. Many do not trust the defensive metrics, but I don't trust your eyes.
I couldn't tell you how WAR is calculated. Think about all the things you use on a daily basis that you would have no idea how to construct, create or compute. I use an electric toothbrush a few times a day and I have no clue how to put one of those together. Does that mean I shouldn't use it? I don't think so. I trust people who put more time into innovation to create things that I do not need to understand or create on my own, but still plan to use. WAR is one of those things for me.
I find it troubling that people will use a stat that they do not understand. How can you say it is the best way to compare players when you don't understand how it is created? People on this site argue about stats and their sigificance all the time. And that is about stats that they understand.
People use WAR because it is easy to use. The idea is that somebody can take a bunch of stats, weigh them according to the value THEY PERCEIVE them to have, and then combine them into one number that allows you to compare players from disparate eras playing different positions with roles that have changed over the years, and actually have that number mean something? All that and you don't even know what stats the various sites are using and what weight they are giving to each stat.
WAR isn't really a stat. It is a convenient fiction that allows people to do some things that would be difficult to do with real stats.
That's a classic case of bad chart labeling. The 273 is his career number, the 245 is his 2004-2012 number. I just used Mauer's career era for the second one. I should update that!
Fun read............ one thing.......... you have Eric Byrnes hitting 273 IFFB in 3478 PA's on one chart, and then have him hitting only (only?) 245 IFFB'S for his career in the next chart....... so as they sing on SNL........ "What's up with that?"
Thank you, Brad, for a very interesting article on a very strange stat.
Get some rest.
Nice article. That was good and I shared the info on Facebook for peeps. That's pretty rare for me to do that from something around here.
That's just sound strategy.
My first guesses were Baker or Pavano (the elbow looks either old or injured) but the glove brand didn't match either one.
I'm waiting for a double points special so I can get twice as much of the nothing I could normally get.
Thank you! However, gil4 is correct. A billion points to you! Save those points.
Still photos of pitchers throwing are crazy. His elbow is not in a natural position.
Great, great post. Is that the girthy body of Matt Capps on the Fein card??
I can't lie, I've thought about going and buying another pack at least a few times since yesterday.
Nope, not Slowey, but you're on the right track.
I think the Profar card is airbrushed a bit to make it flashier?? After all, it a Topps RC
hahaha! I love baseball cards... hilarious Fein card. Imagine that showing up in a pack of Topps...Kevin Slowey the body?
Thanks for all the positive feedback on the post. I think it will be really interesting to follow these teams over the next 2-3 years. I'm very willing to revisit at the end of this season, going into next season and for as long as people want to read about them! I do agree that the teams that stick with a Front Office are more likely to achieve success, if the original plan is sound. Owners that get impatient often make moves with the Front Office too early and that can make things worse.
Very nice article Brad, it would be interesting to follow up the next 2 or 3 years, also mentioned is which bottom teams made changes in the front office and management and which didnt and how they fare
I enjoyed this article. Good writing. There are clearly more than one way to rebuild and all plans have risks. It is not like Kansas City and Pittsburgh were trying to be bad for 2 decades. For all the respect Tampa Bay gets, they were bad for a good long while. They also are bit short of good position players right now, which might undermine their good pitching.
I think the key is to hire a good GM and then give him enough time to actually implement a plan. Many franchises(owners) get impatient and after a few years, dump whoever they put in charge and start over. I don't know how many GM's Kansas City has gone thru, but you can see the results. They may of screwed up their current rebuild by getting impatient again.
The Cubs have been largely bad for much longer than 20 years. They have had money to work with, and sometimes they have been decent for a few years. But they should of had some periods of long term success like most wealthy franchises have. I think that good management is even more crucial in baseball than other major sports. In basketball, one player can turn your franchise around. In football, a good quarterback and couple of good drafts can make you a Superbowl contender. In baseball, the developmental time for prospects is so long and you need so many that it is easy for things to go wrong, even with good management.
Within the last year the Astros have hired Mike Fast and Kevin Goldstein. After trying to retool for years, they are all in on the rebuild.
In that year the farm system has gone from 27th to 4th in Keith Law's rankings.
They will be awful this year and likely next. They may also go from awful to good in 2015 skipping mediocre entirely.