Over the course of this season, and hopefully many more to come, we at River Ave. Blues (and by “we” I mean Ben and me; Mike doesn’t believe in this VooDoo bullshit) will be using various statistics to back up our arguments. While stats don’t always tell the whole story, they’re very useful in helping illustrate a point. If I read a mediot extolling the virtues of, say, Miguel Cairo, I like to look at his statistics and say, “uh, dude, this guy makes a ton of outs.” Or something along those lines.
However, the traditional statistics — Batting Average, Home Runs, Runs Batted In — don’t tell the whole story. In fact, using only those three stats can be very misleading when talking about a player’s value. Yes, it would be nice if Player A drove in 110 runs this season, but his ability to do so hinges on the work of the hitters around him — particularly those ahead of him. Who knows: they could have plugged in a better player at that lineup spot and he might have had 130 RBI.
What those traditional stats lack is context. For a simple and more full explanation of traditional stats, I urge you to read Dayn Perry’s explanation at Baseball Prospectus (this article, along with the one linked later on, is free).
Okay, done? Good. Now let’s take a look at some of the stats you will see here on River Ave. Blues this season. This will be permanently linked in the menu bar of this site.