Tag Archives: tangotiger

Kyle Boddy in a Nutshell

This isn’t the grand return I would’ve hoped for–and I’m a little behind on reporting this–but over at The Book blog, Tango asks readers to leave a comment with their feelings about FanGraphs (mine are already known). Kyle Boddy dips his toes into the water, saying:

This is a great example of an article that is very misleading:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/vegas-still-isnt-buying-the-orioles/

The author has no experience in gambling markets, and the commentators are even worse. 99.9% of what is written here is pure drivel and/or speculation.

The internet in a nutshell responds:

The guy who has spent years putting his name on discredited and ridiculous articles about pitching mechanics making summary judgments without any supporting evidence of someone else’s work. When asked for supporting evidence on Twitter, you say you don’t have time to offer up any kind of reasoning for your claims, so you link to a blog post that offers no reasoning for your claims.

You are exactly the kind of critic that Tango is rightfully railing against.

Anyone who has read Praiseball Bospectus before should know how I feel about that. Care to respond, Kyle?

Talk about irony, anonymous user.

I’ll allow myself this satisfaction: Will I be seeing you at the multiple conventions I’m being paid to speak at this year about training pitchers? Or will you be sitting in on the discussions I’ve had with front office executives?

I don’t think he understands irony, but whatever. Someone show me a front office talking to Kyle Boddy about mechanics and I’ll show you a, uh… front office that is doing a bad job? I’m a little rusty with my zingers, I’m no “internet in a nutshell”.

If all it takes to become a mechanics expert that people pay attention to is to write confusing articles on the Hardball Times, I’ve clearly taken the wrong path in life. I’ll expand on this topic in my next post, “How Dylan Bundy’s Kinetic Load Increases Torque and Humeral Rotation”.

S-A-B-E-R-M-E-T-R-I-C-S, Sabermetrics

Deadspin has video of a wonderful scene from this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Here’s a recap.

Emma Ciereszynski: Hi.

Judge: Hi. “Sabermetrics”.

E.C.: Sabermetrics. Can I please have the definition?

Judge: The statistical analysis of baseball data.

E.C.: May I please have the language of origin?

Judge: It’s from an English acronym, plus a Greek-derived English part.

E.C.: Sabermetrics. S-A-B-E-R-M-E-T-R-I-C-S. Sabermetrics.

[Exeunt, to wild applause]

Can we agree that the matter is now settled once and for all? To the average person, there isn’t a more credible arbiter of spelling than the national spelling bee. I generally don’t care about the “correctness” of speech or spelling, but there is literally not one reason to British-ize the word sabermetrics.

So, to Tango and his Tangettes: please, I beg you, listen to reason.

Sabermetric Ministry of Truth

Tangotiger on January 4, 2012:

Nate Silver had a headline that read: Why I’d Bet on Santorum (and Against My Model)

I thought: NO!!!! Nate, why? Why?

The reason should be clear: why HAVE a model that includes all the parameters you deem relevant, if you then throw away the model if you don’t like the results?

So, I really wish that those people who have forecasting models to NOT hedge their bets here. Either you have a model or you don’t.

Tangotiger on February 4, 2012:

Brian doesn’t blindly follow his off-the-wall forecast. Good for him.

You got that, everyone? Don’t disregard your model if you don’t like the results and don’t put stock in the crazy forecasts from your model.

Yo’ Saberist

TangoTiger:

The mocking the saberist is fair game if he chooses to spend an obscene amount of time on this stuff, like we do.

The basement thing is so not funny though. Who actually laughs at that? I’d like to hear a good Yo Saberist joke. I’ll laugh at those.

Here’s the best I got:

  • Yo’ saberist is so sycophantic, he uses “saberist” instead of “sabermetrician”.
  • Yo’ saberist is so stupid, when he redid SIERA, a term flipped signs.
  • Yo’ saberist is so shy, he worked for the Cardinals but never got yelled at by Tony La Russa.
  • Yo’ saberist is so lame, he lives in his father’s basement.
  • Yo’ saberist is so stupid, he thinks the WARtheFramework can be improved upon.
  • Yo’ saberist is so hypocritical, he bets against his model.
  • Yo’ saberist is so dumb, he thinks pitchers have literally zero control over balls in play.
  • Yo’ saberist is so illogical, he whines about tone.

I’d love to read your best suggestions. I hope others feel that way, too.

I May Have Found a New Lead Quote

Tangotiger:

Don’t question my motives. If you don’t think I’m above reproach, you should really not bother reading or writing here.

Look Out, Mrs. Tango

Tangotiger, revealing a side we haven’t seen before:

OPS is fine, if that’s all you have. But, don’t be too serious about it. Think of OPS as your f-buddy.

He doesn’t finish the analogy, though. If OPS is your “f-buddy,” what’s wOBA? Your girlfriend? Your wife? I shudder to think the implications of this.

SABR and SABER

Penning an entire post complaining about the spelling of one word makes me as much of a target as the SABR I mock regularly for their silly arguments, but this issue really gets to me. It’s been on my mind for a few weeks now and I couldn’t hold back any longer. At least I’m self-aware about it, right?

In the his introduction to the 1980 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote,

A year ago I wrote in this letter that what I do does not have a name and cannot be explained in a sentence or two. Well, now I have given it a name: Sabermetrics, the first part to honor the acronym of the Society for American Baseball Research, the second part to indicate measurement. Sabermetrics is the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records.

I don’t need to tell you how sabermetrics has taken hold since then. Basketball analysts dubbed their field APBRmetrics as a tribute, for instance. But over the past few months, I’ve seen a frightening growth in the use of a bastardization of the term. People now use sabremetrics and I have no idea why.

There’s a valid argument to be made that the word should have been sabremetrics from the start–it’s SABR nor SABER, after all–but that ship has sailed. We have thirty years of precedent now. And I’ve yet to see anyone actually argue for the use of sabremetrics on such prescriptivist grounds.

In fact, I haven’t seen anyone make any case whatsoever for why anyone should use sabremetrics over sabermetrics. Which makes its pernicious spread that much more mystifying. The best explanation I’ve come up with for its spread is that Tangotiger started using it. As recently as the beginning of November, he was using sabermetrics. Nowadays? You get the point.

I also hate another Tango-approved coinage threatening to replace a perfectly-good term with history on its side, that being saberist instead of sabermetrician. At least in that case, saberist is shorter and possibly easier to type. It’s still ridiculous to use; don’t get me wrong. And if saberist is a pointless word even with a (feeble) argument in its favor, why would anyone ever use sabremetrics?

By the way, someone tell me how I’m supposed to pronounce sabremetrics. “say-bruh-meh-tricks”? “say-bree-meh-tricks”? It certainly isn’t “say-bur-meh-tricks”, unless we’re all British now. In which case, someone point me to some good cricket SABR blogs for me to mock.

As far as I can tell, the only thing sabremetrics has going for it is the blessing of SABR God-King Tangotiger. And that’s just not enough for me. History, common sense, and the fact that baseball is American and not British all tell me to use sabermetrics. And you should too. There’s no need to replace a term that’s worked just fine for so long.