Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

30 June 2005
  Baseball's Below-Average Average
This Triple Crown jewel might be fake.

"America's best sports columnist" — according to the Associated Press — Joe Posnanski crystalizes my vague displeasure with the exalted status of batting average among baseball's myriad statistics. He poinst out many of the absurdities, such as bunts being counted as sacrifices (and not affecting average) but not ground balls to the right. His analysis seems right on target and he supplements it with these comments from baseball savant Bill James. James equates using batting average to rate a player’s hitting ability to the following:
If you've a sports fan and would like to treat yourself to regular Posnanski, he doesn't have separate syndication, but you can get the RSS feed for all Kansas City Star sports columnists.
 
Comments:
Have you read Moneyball by Michael Lewis? It sounds like you would enjoy it.
 
Moneyball! Moneyball!

Or better yet, anything by Bill James. He _was_ on my book tag recommendations, y'know. I haven't read Posnanski's column yet (he's great, though), but it sounds like he's just saying the stuff Bill James was saying 30 years ago. This might be stuff you've read before. If not, be warned. You will never, ever, ever watch baseballt he same way again. And you _will_ find yourself rolling your eyes, yelling at the TV, and otherwise making a fool of yourself when old-school announcers spout conventional wisdom that's not so wise.
 
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