The value of context

The value of context

Lastings Milledge - ZumaPress

First of all, if you have yet to read Joe Posnanski’s thoughts on Wins Above Replacement (WAR), do yourself a favor and give it a few minutes of your time. Posnanski, with his authentic writing style, wide-ranging appeal and rational thought process, just might be the perfect writer to bridge the gap between old-school baseball fans and Excel-operating baseball nerds.

Posnanski does an excellent job of discussing WAR as a concept, mostly leaving the advanced mathematics at the door. But he doesn’t mention a key point, one that I think leads to much of the arguing about the metric. WAR is a context-neutral statistic. While this is also true of many accepted stats, such as batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, it seems to hurt the...

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Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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