Re: Time is long overdue to....
posted at 6/11/2013 3:51 AM EDT
In response to royf19's comment:
Managing players is an art, not science.
Which means, there are many things at play. Big sample-sizes (career averages, for example) can also be meaningless in any given year, both for good and bad.
For instance, Ortiz. A couple of years ago, he struggled against left-handed pitching for two years (2009 and 2010). Yet he had been good against lefties i his career. So the challenge for Tito was to figure out if Ortiz being bad against lefties was the new norm or if he'd come around.
In 2011, after two bad years against lefties, the incliniation was to believe that Ortiz struggling against lefties was the new norm, yet he made adjustments and was lights out against lefties for two years.
Using career norms for players coming up is useless because they're still in the learning process where they can improve on weaknesses. So just because they might be struggling in a certain area one year, it doesn't mean that's who they are.
The challenge for managers is to balance long term norms with short term performance. It does reach a point when what a player is doing now is who they are now (both good or bad) and not what they've been (or will be). In other words, a player who has been mediocre in his career but is red hot, might in the end be having a career year and stay hot all year. Or the reverse -- a player who has been great and is struggling could end up having an off year and struggle all year.
Good points, Roy. Stats are useful for analysis, but they are not determinants of future performance. Player performance is much more dynamic.