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Take your slide rule and shove it

Mike SteffanosTuesday, February 28, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

It's debatable that any 22 year old has lived long enough to have a huge impact on the world in a negative way, but, as I have previously written, Joe Reyes has a whole army of math geeks that seem to have it in for him. There can be little doubt that Jose has a lot of room for improvement. He might wind up being one of the game's great players; he might turn out to be a somewhat lesser light that brought some excitement to the game. I'm just not quite sure what he has done to merit the constant negative attention of that group of late teen - early 20s devoted disciples of the God of spreadsheets.

We get it guys -- we really do. Now, do you think you can find some other ballplayer to obsess over and give him a break for 5 minutes? Jeez...

Minor League Ball: Jose Reyes
John Sickels opines on The Future of Jose Reyes:

I get email about Jose Reyes frequently, often from Mets fans, many of whom seem to be somewhat pessimistic about his development for some reason. In particular, stathead types seem concerned about his lack of plate discipline and his weak on-base percentage.

He currently has a career line of .277/.303/.395; obviously his OBP is a problem. He does have excellent speed and steals bases at a good clip. Although he knocked 24 doubles and 17 triples last year, his SLG has actually remained steady; his power hasn't improved on a per-at-bat basis.

Yet, he's only 22, his defense is solid, and he seems to have overcome the injury problems that hampered him early in his career. Intuitively, Reyes seems like a guy with major upside, possibly on the verge of a breakout. And a look at his comp list gives credence to this.

Then if you go down and read the comments, the "statheads" take over for the most part. I have a growing respect for using statistics to rate past and predict future performance, but I'm going to say something here that is sure to anger some of you: you simply can't judge sports performance on stats alone. The people that are the most absolute in their conviction that you can are people that never played a sport on any meaningful level. It absolutely infuriates them when you question the god-like perfection of their sacred spreadsheets. Get a life...

AP: Pedro toes the rubber
Pedro Martinez threw 34 pitches from the top of the mound today. Afterwards, he summed it up for reporters:

I'm out of shape. I'm just trying to get back to the mound, see how my toe is. My arm is not full-strength. I still have a lot of work to do.

Because I want to have my arm in good shape, I need to have my legs in good shape. Without a leg, there is no arm.

Mets.com: Doing Good
Bryan Hoch reports that Mets players, in conjuction with Habitat for Humanity, worked on a home in St. Lucie at a Tradition Field parking lot that will eventually house someone displaced by a hurricane last year.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Comments (3)

Bravo! I agree -- you can't judge sports performances on stats alone.

The single most damning comment against the statistics-happy was made by Bill James himself. When asked about whether there was such a thing as a clutch hitter, he said, basically, "If you could explain why a batter would be better in clutch situations, maybe I'll believe it." That clearly indicates just how big a hole there is in the reasoning of the statistics only crowd. The answer is so obvious, yet James couldn't even concieve there was an answer.

(If anyone doesn't get it, I'll add one word: personality.)

Statistics are useful in analysis. They are less useful in prediction. And most stat heads use phoney precision in order to justify pulling numbers out of their butt.

I've only recently gotten into the statistical analysis of baseball, and there is definitely a place for it. But some of these people are so smug about these numbers, and see them as the be-all, end-all that they are not.

I don't know what Jose is going to be. He may not wind up being a lead-off hitter. Whatever -- I'm just glad he's a Met and I get a chance to watch him become whatever he becomes. He's the type of exciting player that doesn't come along every day.


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