Judgmental Baseball Stats

Here’s something kind of funny: Few people seem to talk more about baseball statistics than people who are anti-baseball statistics. It’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed before, but it really struck me the other day when I got back-to-back emails from Brilliant Readers about Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. One was making the point that Cabrera’s greatness simply cannot be captured by statistics. “With Cabrera, you don’t need numbers,” he wrote. “I mean the guy’s hitting .360 with 120 RBI!”The second wondered why I said that Trout is a better base runner than Cabrera. He was saying that numbers cannot measure that. while, two sentences later, pointing out that if Trout is really a better base runner than Cabrera, why is it that Cabrera has scored more runs this year? Huh? Explain that? “The idea is to score runs, right?” he wrote.

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