In response to moonslav59's comment:
In response to ampoule's comment:
Actually, I think what makes Ben C. very unique is that he takes into account both the human element and the stat element. I don't think that it can be debated that the chemistry in the clubhouse last year was not a significant factor in the team success.
Exactly. Obviously Ben pays attention to both those areas and more. The Sox were and are known as being cutting edge on sabermetrics. I'm sure they do not use WAR. They have their own metric, but sure as the night follows day, they use data.
A lot of people thought the trade for Beckett and Lowell was a big mistake. If memory serves me correct, this was done during the gorilla suit fiasco with Theo. Ben C. was acting GM at that time. At that time, he may have come to the conclusion that Hanley R. was cancerous to the organization. From what I read of Hanley's reputation, this may be so inaccurate.
Could be, but as it turned out Beckett's attitude turned sour as well.
The amount of information that Moon contributes is nothing short of astounding. Because I'm not a big stat guy, I probably don't appreciate the information as much as I should. This does not, in any way, mean that I don't respect his knowledge and effort.
While I do use data very often, I am not all about numbers and data. I really enjoy the game of baseball at all levels. I often go to HS, college and Sugar Land Skeeters games just for the fun of it. I enjoy watching baseball almsot as much as I enjoyed playing it "back in the day".
It's funny because many of the areas I love the most about the game are not captured by stats or data. My favorite player of my youth was Tommy Harper. His numbers were not all that great, but he was electrifying. He is the reason I am a Sox fan as I moved from Milwaukee to Portland, Maine shortly before he was traded to Boston. His long leads off base we not something captured by data. His baserunning is not something to quantify, but it was beauty and grace. I was never much of a hitter in baseball, but I loved to field and run. I played 2B next to a fantastic defensive whiz for many years. I realized the great value of fantastic SS defense- a value never quantified by any number. No, not RF/9. Noe UZR/150. Not anything. But, it is real and it is beauty. Later I played CF and switched to softball as a CF'er and knuckleballer, but I never lost my admiration for exceptional defense, particularly at SS. My other great interest in this game is the relationship between a picther and a catcher. I know I have posted countless numbers like CERA pitcher by pitcher, OPS against pitcher by pitcher, but I have always said that those numbers only capture a small part of what a catcher can bring to the dynamics of the duo. There is so many intangibles it's mind-boggling. Nevertheless, I love it! I really do. So much of this game I love has nothing to do with data.
Many times I use data is to counter some yahoo who says so and so is blah blah blah, but the data shows otherwise. I point it out, so I am often labelled as a stat geek incapable of enjoying the human side of the game. As if it is impossible to have one with the other. I'm living proff they are not mutually exclusive of one another.
If there is one area where I'd beg to differ with Moon is the L/R splitting. I've played a little baseball myself and feel that some players are just not capable of maintaing a top effort if not playing on a regular basis. What I mean by this is that I don't think a player will continue their best batting average if they are taken out of L/R situations all the time. They won't maintain the 'good split' averages. It's a mental thing in my opinion. I'm not convinced that stats will accurately show this.
I rareley advoacte 100% platoons based on L/R splits, and I realize some players are not ever going to be platooned regardless of how bad they are against one hand or the other. Some situations like the Nava/Gomes one is about as close to a true L/R platoon as you can get.
I did recommend things like moving Crawford way down in the order vs LHPs and resting him only vs lefties. I'd probably "rest" him vs LH's starters more than most managers, but I do not think I am that extreme. When I post my suggestions, I almost always qualify it with the word "guideline:.
For example, as a guideline for the 2014 Red Sox line-up, I'd suggest soemthing like this:
vs RHPs vs LHPs
1) Victorino (When he rests vs several RHPs, I'd put Nava #1)
2) Pedroia Gomes
3) Ortiz Pedroia
4) Napoli Ortiz
5) Nava Napoli
8) Pierzynski (Ross plays against certain LHPs, but AJ is the FT'er)
9) Bradley Jr
I'm fine with keeping Pedey, Papi and Napoli 2-3-4 and just keep Nava/Gomes up 5th, but I think more games than not, Papi should bat 3rd vs RHPs and a good righty vs LHPs.
I don't think Dempster was worth the money.
OHHH! The inhumanity!
This is a lot of movement for a line. Most lines have two or three players move around. Usually 6-9. You have the heart of the order vastly changing. While I am not going to attack you being for a stat guy, you do have admit you like the line up to move around more than the average ML manager.