Why I Hate Counting Stats…..(Part 1)

So, you thought they wouldn’t have me back, eh? Well, alas, after a one month layoff that’s seen it’s share of responsibilities, and other things, I thought I’d bless the blogosphere with something to read, and perhaps a little bit of what I do best: rant.

I hate counting stats. I hate when people use them. I hate seeing them on baseball cards, I hate seeing them on baseball telecasts, and I hate that they’re used to compare players on completely different teams, in different leagues, or from different eras.

So, why? Why do I hate counting stats? Well, here are a few reasons I’ve come up with. Feel free to add some reasons of your own in the comments section, as I’m quite certain I don’t have ALL the answers.

1. Counting stats leave no room for regression.

I suppose this is pretty obvious. Once you hit that 12th home run, you’re not going to regress to 11 again during that season. Pretty obvious. But how can you quantify the inevitable ups and downs of a baseball season in numbers that can’t regress, when a player’s performance certainly can? I don’t believe you can, and I defy anyone to convince me otherwise. Would you rather have Sammy Sosa with 10 bombs in April and none in May, or Barry Bonds with 5 in each month? As for me, I’m probably going to take the balanced effort (if you’re going to make me choose based on counting stats alone, that is…..).

2. Counting stats are an incredibly small sample size

It’s also true; if Justin Morneau hits 30 home runs next year, that’s likely to represent….oh about 4-5 percent of his plate appearances for the season. Why should I care about 5 percent of Justin Morneau’s plate appearances? How can this be considered a good measure of…..anything? Same goes for RBI…at best a player’s RBI total will represent 25 percent of a player’s plate appearances (I’m thinking a ‘fantastic’ total of 150 RBI (and in actuality, there isn’t a single player that pulls in a single RBI each time, so it’s probably closer to 20 percent) in 600 AB/PA, here). Still, how is 25 percent of anything to be considered a reasonable sample size?

More to come……but I thought I’d get off the schnide and make myself useful.

If you’re looking for solid blogs to read, check out http://www.sethspeaks.net and http://www.aarongleeman.com. If you’re looking to talk sports, check out the forums at prosportsdaily.com/forums and give me, brandonwarne52, a shout out!

Thanks everyone for reading!

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