New Adventures From an Infant Sabermetrician
I'm starting to really dig discussing things with sabermetricians. I mean, there's certain value to trying to find some way to objectively, concretely discuss the value of players, especially when it helps me to explain my "gut feeling" why I think a particular player is good (and, conversely, why a player is bad). I mean, it's not the be-all end-all for determining everything about a baseball player (or team), but since baseball is uniquely a statistics-based sport which derives a huge portion of its entertainment value on statistics, sabermetrics is a logical sub-culture of baseball fandom.
I have my beefs with some hard-core sabermetricians, and the emphasis they place on statistics for determining quality (especially people who never actually watch games either in person or on TV). Ultimately, the game is more than statistics and there are things that statistics cannot capture (even if a particular result of these things may be concretely measured). The game of MLB baseball is played MUCH differently than fantasy baseball, too. Heck, if baseball were truly to rely on statistics to declare a winner, then we'd have something like the BCS that would dictate who makes it to the World Series. Yikes.
Kudos to the free info on Baseball Prospectus, and the opening of comments on the USS Mariner. Both of these places have really helped shape the knowledge I have and my shifting appreciation of baseball in general. I'm taking the plunge to look at baseball through more sabermetric-colored glasses.
That said, I'd like to generate a little discussion as to what I should do. I have limited funds to fuel my baseball habit, and I want to use them wisely. My question for discussion is this -- I can buy a copy of both Baseball Prospectus 2005 and Bill James' handbook at Amazon for about 30 bucks. Should I do this, or add 10 more bucks to the pot and upgrade my basic subscribtion to the Baseball Prosepectus (or another online sabermetric subscription service) web site? Hopefully the few of you that may lurk our site here will interject your comments. I'd really like some good advice from those deeper in their sabermetric training than I am.
And, Munchausen, don't try to talk me out of my new-found direction. I suspect you're probably relatively in the same boat as I am, so I encourage you to dig a little deeper in the sabermetric world, too.