Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Horse is Not Dead

Joe Posnaski blogs on "stats he likes", one of which is OPS+. I disagree, but that's neither here nor there. One of the things he writes is: "a player with a 113 OPS+, for instance, performed 13 percent better than league average". As I have demonstrated before, this is essentially true, at least within the limitations of the restriction of using just relative OBA and relative SLG.

Then of course, a know-it-all poster on BTF chimes in. It's one thing to be snarky and conceited if you know what you're talking about. This guy doesn't; he thinks he is showing how wrong Posnaski is, but in fact it is just the opposite.

#8 (Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity):

The preposterous decision to subtract 100 rather than divide by two bites another rational person on the ass.

There are several more ignorant comments that follow, but they are in the spirit of asking questions, not of being a know-it-all. So I have no problem with them; they just need to be educated.

When I did my "Audacity of OPS" post, there were some BTF posters who scoffed at the notion that people were irrationally tied to OPS and rejected OPS+ on silly pretenses. I thought it was true then, and threads like that one make me believe it more than ever.

This is not rocket science, folks. OPS+ is closer to measuring what it is we actually want to measure (batter productivity relative to the league average, preferably expressed in either R/O or RAA/PA) than do OPS/LgOPS, (aOBA + aSLG)/2, or any of the other alternatives that are mentioned there. Pete Palmer knew what he was doing.


  1. I think John Lynch at post 30 captures it:

    "Yeah, but that's because OPS isn't denominated in runs. If I saw an OPS+ of 150, I would have assumed that this means that someone's OPS is 50% higher than an average OPS, not that they produce 50% more runs. How OPS converts into runs is another question entirely. If OPS+ is trying to solve a problem other than adjusting OPS to remove league or park bias (etc), then I submit that it should not be called OPS+, since it is measuring something else. It's all semantics though; I still like OPS+, since I am used to its current scale. I'm not going to campaign for changing its name, I just think that the original name choice happened to obfuscate what it actually represents."

  2. I can definitely agree with that--OPS+ is a bad name.

    What bugs me is the people who think it is a bad stat because of that. (I think it is a bad stat, but for other reasons, and the people who I am referring to would presumably think OPS/LgOPS would be a better stat, when in fact it would be worse).


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