This Week in SABR War

The Tangettes are revolting. Over on The Inside The Book The Book — Playing the Percentages in Baseball Blog (which reminds me of the Official Stephen A. Smith My Blog), you can witness the uprising in comment form against the God-King Tangotiger.

For those too squeamish for uncensored carnage, Tango said something about Stephen Strasburg and how he (that being Tango) is always right. And then we get to the comments. Here are highlight selections, in chronological order.

Mike Fast:

I don’t know what lesson, if any, I’d take from such a small sample, but it certainly would not be the lesson you [Tangotiger] are proposing.

Ken:

I don’t see how you can beat your chest on this topic, if anything I would expect you [Tangotiger] to post a “my bad”

Mike Fast:

Could your [Tangotiger's] rule of thumb still be right, despite Strasburg’s performance? I suppose it could be. But to try to use his performance as proof that you were right is involving some major arm-twisting and severe avoidance of sound sabermetric principles.

Tangotiger:

This is how it works guys. That’s why the Tom Seaver Rule is needed.

David Gassko (with an instant 2010 SABR Comment of the Year candidate):

Tom,

No, no, no, no, and once more, no. You CANNOT say that Strasburg was lucky, because we are not having this argument ex-post. The question of how Strasburg would do came up before he had ever thrown a major league pitch—therefore, there is NO reason to “correct” bias in his numbers. That would be like regressing to the mean twice. If a pitcher posts a 2.00 ERA in a season, maybe his likeliest true talent projection is 3.00. If a pitcher posts a 3.00 ERA, maybe his likeliest true talent is 3.75. But if a pitcher posts a 2.00 ERA, it does not follow that his likeliest true talent is 3.75. Which is what you are currently trying to argue. Strasburg was a pre-selected subject. Therefore, there is no reason to expect bias in his numbers. What happened happened. Oliver was right. You were wrong. End of story.

Tangotiger:

End of story.

You can say all the rest, but don’t say that.

Nick Steiner:

I agree with many of the points you [Tangotiger] make, but this is incredibly disingenuous.

Tangotiger:

And I’m saying that we observed 75% keeps the conversation open. Telling me “end of story” is the same thing as telling me to shut up. I’m talking, and I’ll keep talking, thanks.

Jeremy Greenhouse:

Tango, this doesn’t feel right. I think that you should take a few steps back from this argument and start running some numbers. Brian’s projection of Strasburg is something he should take pride in, and it seems like you’re summarily dismissing his work without evidence of your own.

And Tangotiger gets the last word (for now):

I was fair then in that thread, and I was fair in this thread.

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10 responses to “This Week in SABR War

  1. One of the great things about the Book blog is that Tango doesn’t cut off discussion. He will listen to you and engage you if you tell him he’s wrong. Plus, there are a ton of people there with a lot of different viewpoints, which makes for lively and educational discussion.

    That, or the sycophants are finally going to overthrow their God-King in an orgy of death, destruction, and pillaging. Mwooo-ha-ha-ha!

  2. One of the shitty things about the Book blog is that Tango doesn’t cut off discussion. He will listen to you and engage you and talk and talk and talk and talk if you tell him he’s wrong. Plus, there are a ton of people there with a lot of shitty viewpoints and asinine opinions that no one cares about, which makes for boring and fucking boring discussion. It’s like watching a dog lick it’s balls.

  3. Brian Cartwright

    The whole thread was about my projection, and you didn’t even quote me! I like the discussion there, I’m still learning and there’s very little flaming.

  4. Just happened upon this site from another site, and I’d like to say thank you for FINALLY doing this. While I believe that SABRmetrics is doing to baseball what Blink 182 did to punk rock, I encourage and support any and all mockery of it and its practicioners.

  5. “While I believe that SABRmetrics is doing to baseball what Blink 182 did to punk rock, I encourage and support any and all mockery of it and its practicioners.”

    One of two things is true:

    1) You are a fan of Blink 182 and therefore your opinions are invalid, or

    2) The syntax of that sentence is incorrect.

  6. What did Blink182 do to punk rock?

  7. I think Red Machine meant that Blink182 killed punk for true punk fans.

  8. People think Blink 182 is punk rock? Really? I mean actual people who know things about music think Blink 182 is punk rock? I don’t accept the premise.

    On another note, I agree that saying “End of story” is insulting. I, too, believe Tango is wrong here, but he deserves more respect than that.

  9. Dharma and Greg #1Fan

    Tell me more about Blink 182 and their ability to punk rock a baseball into the atmosphere. I’ve only ever seen it done in anime

  10. I wonder where Red Machine D comes down on Scott Radinsky and his ability to punk rock a baseball to the tune of a 119 ERA+?

    I’m with JD on both points.

    Kudos to Brian on his work and to Mr. Gassko for his eloquent defense.

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