Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Mariners: the next Baltimore, or the next Atlanta?

USS Mariner points us to several P-I articles today of interest, including a couple about Bavasi. These articles confirm my confusion about Bavasi: he clearly isn't ignorant of statistical analysis. He even says he's trying to find a good analyst for the team, and that the guy he tried to get--Craig Wright, who decined for "personal reasons"--is "a billion times smarter than me." So Bavasi wants a guy who really knows stats, and he knows he himself could use some help. What's the delay then? If Bavasi is decisive, as Howard Lincoln commends him, why doesn't he get going and find someone who's going to help him avoid such questionable decisions? But this article is mostly good news: Bavasi knows statistical analysis is a valuable tool, and he's trying to find someone to provide real expertise.

On the other hand, Bavasi says "In general, I'd prefer to have a veteran club that has enough youth to it to stay healthy." I'm really not sure how age, or years of major league experience, has much significant correlation to being a good player. I would do an analysis of it, except 1) I don't have ready access to any data that lists players' stats along side their years of experience or age, and 2) I don't have the statistical expertise to know how to rule out other factors. That is, all things being equal, are more experienced players going to play better? Besides the well-known trend for older players to decline, is there some advantage that playing at a major league level longer gives a player? Can we measure it?

Bavasi makes the comparison with Atlanta, but part of me fears that, with his fixation on veteran-ness, we are more likely to become the next Baltimore. I hope he finds his stat-guy soon.

No comments: