Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle provides a nice service today. In filling in for Buster Olney at ESPN.com, he provides a nice primer to sabermetric concepts. Both educating uninitiated readers and putting lie to the notion that players themselves have no use for advanced metrics.
He even goes further, providing an inside view of some of the more esoteric, proprietary stats used by the Oakland A’s. For example:
BABIP: That’s batting average on balls in play, right? Wrong. It’s baseball averages compared to Bip Roberts. According to Baseball-Reference.com, over 12 seasons, Bip Roberts held a .294 batting average and a .358 on-base percentage and had a 162-game average of 36 stolen bases per year. Roberts played his final season for the A’s in 1998, but sabermetricians still use his stats when evaluating players.
Hmm. I’m starting to think only half of the column is to be taken seriously. Though, to be fair, his version of BABIP is more useful than some of the stats others use with a straight face.