Watt: What comes after sabermetrics?

From Rian Watt at Baseball Prospectus on February 5, 2016:

Over the past few weeks—partly, I think, as a consequence of our continued shared home in the baseball purgatory known as the offseason—I’ve read a number of takes that run something like this:

“Nothing I read about baseball is original any more. I don’t want to read a million pieces about defensive shifts and catcher framing, or over-written political pieces, or hot takes trying to be original; I’d just like to read something like I used to in the good old days of BP/the sabermetric community/baseball writing.”

I get that. Nobody wants to be bored or offended or have their intelligence insulted by the writing that they’ve chosen to make a part of their day, and that they once were inspired by. And most of us who were inspired, at one point or another, by the early sabermetric writers remember the dawning joy we felt when our minds first came into contact with DIPS, or contextualized offensive statistics, or even—if we’re really going back to it—with the merits of on-base percentage relative to batting average, or the general importance of looking out for the next great competitive advantage. It’s easy to chase the feeling of excitement and intellectual challenge that we felt then, and equally easy to feel that it’s hard to find these days.

So there’s a lot of hand-wringing about this period in the baseball writing community— the period we’re in now—being something lesser than what came before it. “It’s good to be in something from the ground floor,” said Tony Soprano, speaking about something else entirely. “But lately, I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.”

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28379

Originally published: February 5, 2016. Last Updated: February 5, 2016.