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A Simple, Math-less Introduction to WAR


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5 replies to this topic

#1 T C

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:48 AM

I see lots of questions about sabermetrics, WAR, and the like around here and other parts of the baseballing internet, and it's usually difficult to answer these questions easily without getting too into the numbers or being overly wordy. However, Baseball Prospectus has an article today that is a really great introduction to the conceptual side of WAR and what it tries to accomplish, with a very easy to understand introduction into "runs" and the methods by which value is calculated.

If you have 5 minutes to read, this is a great use of your time, even if you're already well versed in advanced statistical measures:

http://www.baseballp...articleid=18511

#2 SirCub

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:16 PM

Pretty good read. I like how they break it down into its most simple terms, because when you do that, there really isn't anything to argue about with WAR. You might not like how one site does their calculations on baserunning as opposed to another, but its obvious that baserunning does in fact matter, right?

For that reason, I don't understand the ceaseless WAR hate. I mean, if you don't know what it is and don't trust it, fine, whatever. But what's up with these guys writing column-length indictments of something they haven't even bothered reading about? Cause if they took the time to actually read that baseball prospectus article, I'm sure they would go, "Oh, well that actually makes sense."

Here's a sad article: http://www.sports-re...-into-war-zero/

#3 Tommy

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the link TC. That was a good read.
- diehard fanclub member #002

#4 CubChymyst

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:43 PM

I actually was hoping for more math. A good summary though. looking up BBWAA on wikipedia you'll find one line that sums up the overall feeling with BBWAA.

"Others have openly questioned why the BBWAA is involved in the award and Hall of Fame voting processes at all,[4] citing in some cases journalistic integrity and the need to remain unbiased in their coverage of newsworthy events.[5] "

#5 T C

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:35 PM

I actually was hoping for more math "


If you're looking for more math, boy is there math available to look at! I think my favorite WAR primers are in the fangraphs saber library:

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/

There is TONS of stuff in there about all sorts of advanced stats, and explains the math well. Baseball prospectus has a treasure trove of advanced analysis here, though i dont know if its available without subscription:

http://www.baseballp...s.com/glossary/

Baseball reference also has some in-depth stuff about it too, but I cant find it right now. TangoTiger should have some stuff about the really early derivations of weights and run values, but its buried in his site.

EDIT: In the FG Library, a lot of the links in articles lead out of the site into older pages that were foundations of advanced statistical measures

#6 CubChymyst

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:26 PM

thanks for the other links




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