Apropos of yesterday’s diatribe on the inanity of the pitcher W/L stat, and apropos of recent Jeff Samardzija trade rumors tied to his awesomeness irrespective of that stupid stat, Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer offered some thoughts on the stat yesterday when asked about it in the context of Samardzija being winless.
In short, he laid waste to the idea that anyone inside baseball gives a rat-hoot-crap about pitcher “wins” and “losses” as an evaluative tool, and he even dropped my favorite name in the discussion, Felix Hernandez.
“Hopefully, [Samardzija] realizes you don’t need wins in this day and age to be considered a top-of-the-rotation pitcher,” Hoyer told the media, including Cubs.com. “The wins stat is a dangerous thing …. We’ve gotten past that when it comes to how we compensate pitchers. We’ve gotten past that in Cy Young voting with a guy like Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young. Certainly, I don’t think there’s anyone in baseball who looks at Jeff Samardzija and thinks he’s not having a great year despite not having any wins.”
Jed Hoyer is a smart man.
So, if no one in baseball cares when it comes to player evaluation or compensation, and if it’s a horribly useless and misleading stat to begin with, let’s all continue to do our part to let it fade into the history of the game.
One final thought before I let this subject go for a (little) while:
When a starting pitcher throws a great game and gets no run support (entirely out of his control) and, thus, doesn’t get a win or gets a loss, people say it’s too bad that the offense didn’t support him. Yet, when an offensive player blows up and has a great game, and the starting pitcher totally gives that lead away, people don’t say it’s too bad that the pitcher didn’t support that offensive player. They just grouse about the bad pitching performance, and note that the offensive player had a great game.
Why can’t that just be what people do when a starter throws seven strong, regardless of what the offense does? It’s certainly what I do. I know it’s a team game, but the pitcher’s performance and the offense’s performance really have nothing to do with each other. Let’s stop talking about them like they do.