Drenon: Do MLB owners wield sabermetrics like a hammer?

From Tyler Drenon at The Hardball Times on December 16, 2014:

Money has been complicating baseball since before the National League was founded in 1876. Everyone hates the Yankees because they have too much of it, other teams’ fans hate their owners for not spending enough of it, and the players’ complaints about it have operated as a sort of angsty, blue collar anthem that has accompanied the entire history of the game.

The economics of baseball are more visible and far more researched now than they have ever been. And thanks to the sweeping sphere of influence of billionaires, much of that research has begun to favor team ownership.

The advanced statistics put forward by sites like FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus have been a renaissance of sorts for the game of baseball. Personally, I could spend embarrassing amounts of time looking over player pages and articles at either site, as well as this one. It’s fascinating and it brings an amazing aspect to the game that is absolutely exclusive to baseball. No other sport can claim the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) and the snowball of game-enriching information that has grown around its advancements.

The conventional detractors of sabermetrics seem to despise new(ish) stats out of sheer unfamiliarity and ideological fealty. Every flaw in the infinite imperfection of statistics seems to bloat the confirmation bias inherent to some that adhere to this line of thinking. Sometimes they seem like they’re trying to hide their stubbornness, but for the most part, their ideas aren’t ideas at all. They’re nothing but basic oppositions to a field that is, at it’s core, simply additional information.

However, when these evaluations are lifted up and placed on a pedestal above players getting a fair shake financially, they supercede their purpose. They begin to become a tool for owners to use in their efforts to perform their systemic, exploitative duties. And they affect the way fans talk about the game.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/do-mlb-owners-wield-sabermetrics-as-ahammer/

Originally published: December 16, 2014. Last Updated: December 16, 2014.