Scoggins: Baseball’s stat geeks have gone too far

From SABR member Chaz Scoggins at the Lowell Sun on October 14, 2012:


I’m resigning from the frater-nutty of sabermetricians, effective immediately.

As a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) since 1979, I like to think I was among the first devotees of sabermetrics, a term that had not yet been created for the math wizards who claim they have devised formulae that can reveal to you everything a major-league team needs to know about a ballplayer and (gasp!) essentially predict his future.

Their work has made baseball scouts relics of the past, like typewriters, VHS tapes, audio cassettes and, yes, even newspapers. Or so these brainiacs would like to have you think.

Back in the 1970s when the Boston Globe’s Peter Gammons and I were on the Red Sox beat together, and baseball statistics were comparatively sparse to the reams of them managers and general managers have to pore over today, we knew there had to be better ways to measure performance than what we were seeing.


Gammons and I were among the first to emphasize on-base percentage and slugging percentage over batting average. There are some other statistics he and I developed, either together or by ourselves after Gammons moved on to TV work. A couple of the ones I developed have, to the best of my knowledge, never caught on. But I still keep them because I believe they are revelant.

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Originally published: October 17, 2012. Last Updated: October 17, 2012.