Strauss: Murray Chass criticized baseball analytics; his grandson, Zach Kram, relies on them

From Ben Strauss at the Washington Post on October 28, 2019:

Zach Kram was roughly 13 years old when he thought of the perfect birthday gift for his grandfather. A young baseball fanatic, he created a statistic that was a knockoff of the then-popular VORP, or value over replacement player, which measures players against a hypothetical league average counterpart. Kram called his metric VORG, or value over replacement grandpa.

“I rated him, and he rated pretty well,” Kram said.

The gag was particularly hilarious if you know anything about Kram’s grandpa, Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass.

Chass, 81, spent four decades writing about baseball for the New York Times, and he stands virtually alone in baseball media circles in his enmity toward the analytical revolution that has overtaken the sport over the past 25 years. In the aftermath of the 2003 publication of Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball,” Chass vociferously questioned how it was received in both baseball front offices and the media. And he continued his broadsides against analytics after he took a buyout from the Times in 2008 and decamped for the Internet.

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Originally published: October 29, 2019. Last Updated: October 29, 2019.