Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fish in a Dixie Cup

I've beaten this dead horse before, but Dr. Phil just won't let his batshit-insane plus/minus system die the quiet death it deserves.

In a post on the Tribune's blog, Dr. Phil defends himself against the slings and arrows of the readers:

When I wrote about this the first time, I tried to explain that it was just one way to evaluate the ebb and flow of talent, not to judge an off-season. There are two ways for teams to improve: through the addition or development of young talent (always the best way, assuming you have talented young players) and with veteran players. This only looks at veteran players, not the entire picture. One of Tuesday's posts correctly points out that the system I'm using would count Alex Rodriguez and David Eckstein equally. That's why I called it a very simple system.

And the reason your "simple system" counts Alex Rodriguez as the equal of David Eckstein is why I and Jim have called this a stupid system.

In typical fashion, Dr. Phil goes on to try to defend his "analysis" by digging up two of his favorite off-season scripts. First:

...raise your hand if you knew 102 players would drive in more runs than Alfonso Soriano last year, including Brandon Phillips, Bengie Molina, Mark Ellis, Jack Cust, Curtis Granderson and Mark DeRosa...

And then:

This time around, it's easy to get excited about the Cubs adding Kosuke Fukudome, but it shouldn't be forgotten that they have subtracted Jacque Jones, Cliff Floyd and Jason Kendall, who did make contributions in 2007.

It seems to me the plus-minus does a decent job of showing the White Sox have improved more than the Cubs, even while missing out on Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera (they lose only Jon Garland among their most significant players and add Orlando Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel).

Once again, that evil Tribune bias is at work. The Cubs are dumb, stupid, no-goodniks for letting great players like Jacque and Jason and Cliff go. And they didn't get no one good back for them guys! Meanwhile, that swell Kenny Williams is a genius because of all his great pick ups.

And, if you didn't already realize that Dr. Phil has no idea what he's talking about, he drives the point home by criticizing a leadoff hitter because he doesn't drive in runs. Sadly, that reminds me of the guy who said that Goose Gossage isn't a Hall of Famer because of his paltry career win total.

By the way, did you know that 126 players had a higher OPS than Orlando Cabrera last year, including such stalwarts as Jose Bautista, Ty Wiggington, Curtis Granderson, and that no-good worthless bum Alfonso Soriano? And that most sane people think that OPS is a more viable method of analyzing the game than some half-witted plus/minus system?

Click on the link, if only to read the comments from the peanut gallery. Some good stuff there, too. Better than I could come up with., to be honest. And, in true Trib bias fashion, that last comment (as of this writing) is from White Sox Fan calling Cub Fans stupid. Ah, the bias. I'll miss it when the team finally gets sold...

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