Preaching to the Choir
I'm especially struck by this statement:
We're looking at a league-average outfield with the potential to be more than that, and while the names might not be sexy and the bats might not be the most potent, it's about equal with an outfield of, say, Ibanez/Ichiro/Dunn, and well ahead of an "outfield" of Ibanez/Ichiro/Griffey. Hell, for all the flak Ichiro gets for not being a classic run producer, over the past three years he's been worth 0.9 wins more than Alfonso Soriano, 2.6 wins more than Vladimir Guerrero, and 4.4 wins more than Torii Hunter. He's an awesome player, even if he doesn't seem like one.
Hmmm, MtGrizzly thinks to hisself, that just don't seem right. So I goes to TangoTiger's site for an explanation of WAR.
How to calculate WAR
OK - honestly, not much help there. I'm less interested in how to actually calculate WAR than I am in its utility, its bias and its weakness. It seems that while a lot of the complicated stats like this do illuminate something that others don't, it also seems like they tend to leave a corner of the room or two in the dark. I intuitively like a stat that accounts for offense and defense, while making position adjustments to come up with an overall value. But this one just seems too...tidy.
So Matt, Sandy, Shields, Doc, anyone...help a fellow out? Is WAR as nifty a stat as it seems or is it, like the song, good for absolutely nothin'. Huh.