Monthly Archives: December 2010
Nail on the head. You have a right to hold the opinion that Jack Morris was a better pitcher than Bert Blyleven. But your opinion would be wrong, because Morris was not a better pitcher. Blyleven was.
Now, if you want to say you enjoyed watching Morris pitch more than you enjoyed watching Blyleven, that’s also your opinion. Provided you are telling the truth, however, that’s an opinion which can’t be refuted by facts. If you liked watching Morris pitch more, then you liked watching Morris pitch more. But that would be a matter of personal taste, and not a matter of objective analysis. One runs into big problems when personal taste and objective analysis are confused.
I don’t think this opinion problem is limited to just baseball, by the way. There seems to be society wide issue with confusing subjective opinion and objective facts. Everyone has the right to an opinion; not everyone’s opinion is right.
1936 was the first year a class was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Herman Ruth, and Honus Wagner were the five elected. At the time, the United States had a population of about 128 million people; 481 men played major league baseball in that year, a figure that represented about 0.000375% of the United States’ then-population. Click Here to Continue Reading
Runs Created is a statistic invented by Bill James that estimates how many runs a player contributed to his team on offense (that is, how many runs he created with his bat). The basic formula is:
Hits plus Walks
times Total Bases
divided by At Bats plus Walks
Or times on base, multiplied by power, divided by opportunities. Other writers have created more accurate versions of Runs Created since James, but this thirty year old formula is 95% accurate for predicting a team’s runs scored. If you apply the formula to a player, you can estimate how many runs he created for his team just using his hits, walks, total bases, and at bats.
David Wright passed Darryl Stawberry in 2010 as the Mets’ franchise leader in runs created. The top ten Mets in runs created, all time (the top three are easily guessed):