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# Sabrmetrics

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Sabrmetrics

Sabrmetrics

Bill Stewart

English Composition – ENG115

April 14, 2010

It has been said many times over that numbers do not lie but they also do not tell the entire story. Baseball is a game that has always been based in numbers and statistics. Now current baseball people, historians, authors, general managers use a new math termed "sabrmetrics" to determine the worth of a player, monetarily and statistically. No longer are statistics viewed as simple as numbers on the back of a bubble gum card. These mathematical equations are being used in business for general purposes, as well as human resources purposes and is now taught in collegiate universities. (Costa 2001)
Sabrmetrics is a new way to look at people, players, statistics and to try to predict the futures. The name is taken from the combination of the acronym SABR (Society of American Baseball Research) and "metrics" meaning "measurement". (Albert 1994)
Most business leaders are using 20th century metrics to create 21st century success. Business leaders were taught to "manage what we can measure" and, generally, what's most easily measurable are the more tangible aspects of life. In business, this translates to metrics like profitability and cash flow. Like baseball, businesses rely on numbers. (Bradbury 2007)
Sabrmetrics can help a company in developing the right performance measures and monitoring tools for different scenarios and then allocate resources optimally to bolster the right capabilities for the firm. It assists managers in taking the right decisions by making the decision more systematic, evidence based, and continuously evolving. Some of the decision areas where sabrmetrics may assist managers may include asset acquisition, evaluation, human resource planning and appraisal, project planning and resource deployment, marketing, operations management to name just a few. (Keri 2011)
There has always been a wealth of numerical information that is recorded about the game of baseball. The effectiveness of batters and pitchers is typically assessed by particular numerical measures. Tradition baseball statistics have always measured a players year, a players career or how much a player's raise will be or how much of a pay cut he will take. (Verducci 2004) One of the most traditional measures of a batter is the batting average, easily the most common statistic in baseball and the most understood, even outside of the game. It has been used as the benchmark for hitters since the late 1800's making it historically rich, easy to understand, easy to compute and almost everyone knows what a .300 hitter is. (Costa, Huber and Saccoman 2007) One of the only disadvantages is the batting average statistic does not take into account walks or extra-base hits.
The standard formula for determining batting averages is as follows;
Number of Hits (divided by) Number of At Bats
Measuring pitching has also been one of the most common statistics used and earned run averages can be found in newspapers from the early 1900's. The lower the earned run average is for a pitcher, the more effective he will be.
The standard formula for determining Earned Run Average is;
(Number of Earned Runs x 9) divided by (Number of Innings Pitched) (Grabiner 1994)
The formulas for sabrmetrics are many but to list some examples;
(Abbreviations: H - Hits, W - Walks, HP - Hit by Pitch, CS - Caught Stealing, TB - Total Bases, SB - Stolen Bases, SH - Sacrifice Hits (Bunts), SF - Sacrifice Flies, AB - At Bats, 1B - Singles, 2B - Doubles, 3B - Triples, HR - Home Runs, OOB - Outs caused While on Base, GIDP - Grounded into Double Plays).(Costa, Huber and Saccoman 2007)
1. RUNS CREATED = (H + W + HP-CS) (TB + .65[SB + SH + SF]) divided by AB+W+SH+SF+CS+HP+GIDP
2. LINEAR WEIGHTS:
a)RUNS = .46(1B) + .80(2B) + 1.02(3B) + 1.40(HR) + .33(W + HP) + .30(SB)-.60(CS) .25(AB-H)-.50(OOB)
b) WINS = Batting Runs + Stealing Runs = Defensive Runs - Average Defensive Skill at Position ( + Pitching Wins,if applicable)
3. POWER FACTOR = TB / H
4. MODIFIED OFFENSIVE AVERAGE = (TB+SB+W+HP) / (AB+W+HP)
5. TOTAL AVERAGE = (TB + W + HP + SB) / (AB-H + CS + GIDP).(Costa 2010) Bill James, baseball researcher, historian and a respected baseball author is considered the most widely known expert of baseball statistics and father of sabrmetrics. He has defined it as the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records. Mr. James believes that sabrmetrics has become widely accepted as an evaluation tool. (Costa, Huber and Saccoman 2007) James made his mark in the 1970's and 1980's with his books, Baseball Abstracts. He has been tearing down preconceived notions about America's national pastime ever since. James defined sabrmetrics as "the search for objective knowledge about baseball." Thus, sabrmetrics attempts to answer objective questions about baseball, such as "which player on the Red Sox contributed the most to the team's offense?" or "How many home runs will Ken Griffey hit next year?" It cannot deal with the subjective judgments which are also important to the game, such as "Who is your favorite player?" or "That was a great game." (Grabiner 1994) His most important contributions to sabrmetrics came in his Baseball Abstracts, published annually from 1977-1988.
Consider these similarities. Baseball's minor leagues; to expose young prospects to professional competition, conduct focused development effort on “high ceiling” prospects, clearly identify prospects with major league potential, polish prospects in preparation for major league competition.
Business Minor Leagues: test rough concepts and ideas among employees, expose customers to rough prototypes, bring concepts to small-scale transactional environments, execute market-facing pilots. (Keri 2011)
In a business setting, whether a sabrmetrics approach can indeed create data to serve a business or would simply adapt the organization of the workplace to suit data collection is a matter for ongoing consideration. (Keri 2011)
Like business managers, baseball general managers are constantly shifting their lineups under high degrees of uncertainty while trying to balance stakeholders' demands for immediate results against history's likely judgment of their own choices. (Keri 2011) General managers are business innovators who learn to analyze information more wisely can devise better tactics, make investments, personnel decisions, and a ball club's depth chart, illustrating the bench strength for every position and strategic priorities. Baseball's farm system allows teams to identify and coach promising players in lower-pressure environments. (Wolfe 2006) Could it be that Major League Baseball behaves like a monopoly? Numbers are being crunched like they belong in the Financial Times than the box score kind. (Bradbury 2007)
So businesses and baseball are using sabrmetrics to their advantages. What does the future hold? Sabrmetrics cannot predict the future; what businesses are going to succeed, what teams will win, which players will contribute, both baseball and business. But this is just one way that sabrmetrics is playing a force in business and sports and there is a growing future in the field.

References
Wolfe, R (2006) HRM Innovation and Competitive Advantage. Human Resource Management, Spring 2006.
Costa G., Huber M., Saccoman, J. (2007). Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, (November 2007).
Grabiner D. (1994). The Sabermetric Manifesto.
Verducci, T. (2004). Welcome to the New Age of Information. Sports Illustrated 2004 Baseball Preview
Costa G., (2001) Baseball in the Classroom.
Bradbury, J. C. (2007). The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed.
Albert, J. (1994). An Introduction to Sabermetrics. http://www-math.bgsu.edu/~albert/papers/saber.html Keri, J. (2011). The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First
Bryan D., Rafferty, M. (2006) HRM Innovation and Competitive Advantage. The Moneyball Story, Spring 2006.