Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AROD, by the numbers

Looking at the comments under Alphonso's "Three Reasons Why A-Rod Appears to be Mailing It In" post, it's apparent we have drawn the ire of the AROD fan club.

If I may offer a response:

Yes, AROD is an all-time great and will make the Hall of Fame some day. Yes, he shows up early for practice after he bangs Siouxsie Sioux, or whatever 80s pop star he's with now. Yes, he'll break Barry Bonds' home run record. No, he doesn't dog it.

And yes, he's got a 163 OPS+ (I don't have a clue what that means, but it apparently is an awe-inspiring accomplishment and behind only sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer Milton Bradley in the AL this year).

But you want to talk numbers, fine. Lets talk numbers that actually mean something. Here are AROD's stats from 2008:

Bases empty: .353 avg., 19 HRs/30 strikeouts in 190 AB
Runners on base: .276, 9 HR/54 strikeouts in 196 ABs
Runners in scoring position: .254 avg
RISP W/2 outs: .250 avg.
Bases loaded: .125 avg.
8th inning: .200 avg., 1 RBI
9th inning: .233 avg., 1 RBI
When the Yanks are ahead or behind by more than 4 runs: .426 avg. (yep, .426) with 7 HRs and 17 RBIs in 54 ABs.
7th inning or later with the Yankees tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck ("late and close," as Baseball Reference puts it): .236 avg., 2 HRs, 7 RBI, 2 GIDP and 17Ks in 55 ABs.

This, by the way, doesn't take into account any times he may get thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with nobody out in the ninth inning of a game where the Yankees trail by one run. Not that that's happened recently.


adam said...

And I would call that largely random due to sample size. His RISP stats from 2007 were absurd, were weak in 2006, strong in 2005, average in 2004, extraordinary in 2003... on and on. He has a career OPS (on base plus slugging for those uneducated) in RISP situations of right around .900. That'd be good enough to be the tenth best hitter in the league. It's similar for B-R's "Late and Close" category. Painful, right? Granted, tenth best doesn't deserve his salary, but, again, you're just picking at small sample sizes. His numbers will even out over the course of time.

All this shit is undeserved. He doesn't by any measure TRULY hit any differently with RISP; you guys just seem to take note when he's down and say "oh great way to go when are you gonna start blowing again" when he's up.

It's far from A-Rod's fault that this team isn't winning games. Let's not forget True Yankee Derek Jeter has been absolutely dickball with RISP this year. Nobody wants to boo him when he GIDPs in the ninth down by a run, though. I think a lot of true trouble lends itself to Steinbrenner's poor running of this team (old fucks running the bases), and a supreme dearth of pitching, which will one day right itself. This team is not doomed just because one player is in the running for MVP every year, near the top of the leaderboards in VORP, OPS+, EqA, and whatever other relevant and scientifically driven statistic you want to choose from. No, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Wailin' Suzyn said...

Bern, Adam and Bill James,

You guys are coming very close to violating the IIH Prime Directive -- DO NOT GET INTO PISSING MATCHES OVER MEANINGLESS TRIVIAL STATISTICS.

This blog is supposed to be a big party where lots of nonsense occurs.

Coming to this party dressed as a Klingon and yelling "Ka Plah" whiles smacking a fist into your chest is akin to asking Alphonso to get the score right or remember than an afternoon game is not being played at night -- thereby offering a prediction about something that has already taken place. (Predictive History is what we're calling it.)

Please. Cease. Now.

ARod is Arod and a Rose is a Rose and no one will win this never-ending circular debate and/or staring contest -- ever.

michael kei said...

Wait, wait... When is a door not a door?

When it's ajar!!


Anonymous said...

Dear Bern Baby...

Excellent work on the statistics.

One vital stat to add to your list: how about posting
A-Rod's " post-season " numbers?

They are worthy of a feature all by themselves.

Anonymous said...

A-Rod's postseason numbers are also a very small sample set. Only 147 at-bats. Adam is right. Trying to judge a player's clutch performance on a handful of at-bats is like spinning a roulette wheel twice, getting the same number twice and concluding that it will always come up that number.

Ross said...

I didn't realize this blog was opposed to unbiased statistical analysis.

/shows self out the door.

Obviously, certain posts are extremely funny, and there is no place for statistical debate. However, when "failure in the clutch" arguments are brought up, the big guns come out.

I get it, and I will obey the cease fire.