Topics: Baseball, Baseball statistics, Oakland Athletics Pages: 5 (1929 words) Published: March 2, 2013
Mike Pattwell
Prof. Dranoff
Sports Administration
Term Paper
Baseball was invented by Alexander Cartwright in 1874, where he created a list of official rules (Schuldt). These rules set a boundary for players, managers/coaches, and officials to follow on the field. Players played for the love of the game and fans only cared who won and loss. Since then, the game has change. Baseball is now one of the most premier sports in the country. There are now 30 teams, two leagues (American League and National League), all from the east of New York to the west of Los Angles. Players are judged based on their statistics of each season. The information on players is endless and easily accessible to everyone. Technology has made a major impact to the game, whether it is radio/TV, radar guns, high-tech equipment, or computers. One creation that came out of baseball over the century is sabermetrics. Sabermetrics is the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records (Albert). Bill James, a statistician and currently a Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, created sabermetrics in 1982 (Albert). He manufactures formulas and statistics to have a better understanding how a player performs on the baseball field. When it was first published to the world, many transitional baseball representatives did not fully accept the idea of numbers dictating a player’s success. But after many years of a better understanding of sabermetrics, every major league team uses the theory to obtain players to be successful on the field. Bill James defined sabermetrics as “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” This means sabermetrics attempts to answer objective questions about baseball (Grabiner). It does not deal with the subjective judgments which are also important to the game, such as “Who is your favorite player?” To maintain the statistics, sabermetricians are needed to update the player’s stats. Sabermetricians do not need to know mathematics, but need to have some idea of how statistics can be used and misused (Grabiner). To obtain the statistics, the sabermetricians receive the player’s stats from each game, according to the official scorer in the league. They use only the numbers that are of interest to them. For example: if the sabermetrician wants to know Derek Jeter’s batting average when the bases are loaded, he/she would look up only that situation only with the amount of hits during a bases loaded situation. There are numbers and situations sabermetricians will project to see different views and prospective on players. There many kinds of different sabermetrics formulas. For one, WAR (Wins Above Replacements) is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic (Slowinski). WAR basically shows how much value a team would lose if one of their own players gets hurt and had to be replaced by a minor leaguer. For example: Player X is worth +6.3 wins to their team while Player Y is only worth +3.5 wins. There are levels of WAR that describes what a player is. A player that has a WAR of 0-1 is considered a “scrub”, while a 6+ player is an “MVP”. WAR can be divided for hitters and pitchers. For offense, wRAA, UBR, and UZR is express offensive, base running, and defensive value in runs above average. When you add in those numbers, add in a positional adjustment, since some positions are tougher to play than others, and then convert the numbers so that they are not based on league average, but on replacement level, which is the value a team would lose if they had to replace that player with a “replacement” player – a minor leaguer or someone from the waiver wire (Slowinski). For pitchers, there is FIP. FIP stands for Fielding Independent Pitching. This measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a given time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average...
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