WAR and WPA on ESPN2 at 3:30 EST

On ESPN2 at 3:30 EST, they’ll be talking about WAR and WPA and I get to chime in with a few observations.

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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

40 Responses to “WAR and WPA on ESPN2 at 3:30 EST”

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  1. Tyler says:

    What time zone? Any particular program?

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  2. Pete says:

    Looks like 3:30 ET, Baseball Tonight

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  3. eitheror says:

    Any chance there will be video evidence for those of us at work? I’m excited to see former player x scoff.

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  4. RKO36 says:

    Just popped it up. Let’s see.

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  5. cloakedarbiter says:

    Calling from his mother’s basement? Nomar is a fat scout.

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  6. Jack says:

    Nomar – There’s no stat yet that measures heart.

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  7. nmh says:

    “There’s no stat yet that measures heart”
    -Nomar Garciaparra

    EKG test?

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  8. OlSalty says:

    That was great! Looks like they had it on regular ESPN too. Glad to see they’re talking about it on the air.

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  9. cwik02 says:

    Keith Law would tell you that TEH FEAR measures heart.

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  10. Aaron says:

    Does anyone have a link to an archive of the video?

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  11. ThundaPC says:

    Nice to see these stats getting more national attention. Surprising response from Aaron Boone. Nomar, not so much.

    Nice job, Appelman!

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  12. Jack says:

    I liked the part where Nomar was asking what was wrong with the old stats like ERA and OBP.

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  13. Andre says:

    Nice work Appelman. Looking forward to seeing more of you on TV in the future. Very cool to see ESPN giving time to in depth stat analysis.

    Nomar looked like his head was going to explode. Think he’s bitter? He’s like a Scooby Doo villian, “I woulda had a ring if it wasn’t for those meddling stat kids.”

    Props to Boone for a thoughtful response.

    I love how the old school guys think that since stats are coming to the forefront, all of a sudden teams will just be picking players based only on numbers alone and that all scouts will be fired. The oft-hand rejection of stats just reeks of, “duh I don’t get it. All the numbers hurt my jock-brain.”

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  14. Patrick says:


    Is the 14 your age? That’s what it sounds like.

    Sure, most of us SHOULD be working, but I expect most of us are either in college or at well paying jobs. Which, lets face it, we aren’t doing while we’re visiting this site. … :)

    – Patrick

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  15. Nick says:

    Nomar has never been very good at expressing his thoughts with words. It’s kind of hard to tell what his true stance is here (OBP a traditional stat? Maybe to sabre nerds) because suffers from a mild case of Emmitt-itis.

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  16. PK14 says:

    Alright, alright, I guess I’ll never defend any of our FanGraphs’ writers from being called homophobic slurs out of fear of being called out for being too young.

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    • I think there was some confusion because the comment your responded to was moderated and yours was left as a direct response to the post, so you can blame me for the backlash on your comment!

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  17. MetsKnicksRutgers says:

    Can anyone link to a video of this? Or upload onto YT?

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  18. Patrick says:

    Oh d’oh. PK, I’m so sorry about that. Please accept my apologies…

    And sorry about the age comment. Even if you were 14, you could have plenty interesting to say.

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  19. Toffer Peak says:

    I guess it’s nice that they’ve had “Stats Week” on Baseball Tonight this week but really I don’t think there’s any way that ESPN can really introduce these stats to their viewers in their present (ESPN’s Baseball Tonight) state. They simply don’t want to take the extra minute or two to show the stats on screen and to explain them without non-stop music in the background and clips of home runs playing with one-second video cuts.

    As a reader of this site I already know all of the stats they have been introducing and even I can’t follow what they’re saying. Not to mention the factual mistakes (“Theoretically if you add all of a team’s player’s WAR you should have the number of wins for that team”, well that would be true if they remembered to add the replacement wins as well but they didn’t).

    Then after they spend a minute quickly explaining the new-fangled stat they ask a commentator or two if they believe in it and invariably each time they have the same answer, “Well these can help a little but really all i care about are AVG, ERA and what my (or the scout’s) eyes say.”

    It’s kind of silly. I think they’re just kind of trying to throw more dedicated and educated baseball fans a bone but its not actually going to change how they report baseball news or analysis. The average TV/ESPN viewer simply has too short of an attention span or intelligence to learn anything new from TV. And EPSN knows it.

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    • Aaron says:

      It’s certainly far from ideal but progress is progress. *Remember, this isn’t for you, this isn’t for me, but maybe for our children, or our children’s children who, when they flip on the television wall in their inflatable solar house will find an ESPN that respects WAR, that cherishes FIP, and that understands wOBA. Until that day, until that day my friends, all that we can do is fight the good fight, try not to laugh too much at the stats dinosaurs, and win all of the fantasy baseball leagues we enter.

      *cue the Howard Shore score.

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    • staplemaniac says:

      There were a couple of articles in the ESPN Magazine this week about baseball, and they used WAR (and only explained it parenthetically), BABIP, and ZIPs

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    • B says:

      “”Theoretically if you add all of a team’s player’s WAR you should have the number of wins for that team”, well that would be true if they remembered to add the replacement wins as well but they didn’t”

      Don’t forget sample error. You should have their team wins + sample error.

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  20. Bradley says:

    Is there a link to a video of this? I don’t have cable, just MLB.tv. :(

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  21. Linuxit says:

    If the sample size is large enough, the best players, like Pujols, Mauer, Grienke, and Lincecum end up at the top of leaderboard in Avg’s and ERA’s . I don’t think anyone can argue that. The best players will at the top in WAR too.

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    • B says:

      Well, sample size doesn’t really fix the problems we have with stats like Avg and ERA – they don’t accurately measure a players performance. For instance, a pitcher can get a full run of help on his ERA from his defense, and that’s a bias that will persist no matter how large the sample size as long as he has the same defense behind him.

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      • Linuxit says:

        Others stats don’t accurately measure performance either. WAR is better, but it isn’t perfect by any means.

        IMO, AVG/ERA is like a vinyl record, OBP/WHIP is like a cassette tap, WAR is like a DVD. MP3 statistics haven’t even been invented yet.

        Right now we need defensive statistics tracked better. UZR doesn’t account for defensive shifts at all. UZR is calculately independently also. There needs to be official scorers for such a critical statistic. There needs to be due diligence.

        FIP is OK, but it discounts pitchers that strategically pitch to contact. If the pitcher gets ahead in the count, like an 0-2 count, (that’s 0 balls and 2 strikes) and induces a weak ground ball or a weak pop-up, the pitcher deserves full credit for that. Even the worst defense is going to make that simple play.

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      • logan3825 says:

        Not to mention that a pitcher’s ERA can be greatly influenced by a manager. Leaving a guy in to take one for the team once where the guy gives up 5 runs inflates an ERA by almost 0.25 over 180 innings.

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  22. SF 55 for life says:


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