Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Isn't it a bit silly the way team reporters skew stats and words to try and make everything sound good? Some excerpts from Jim Molony's article on the Ausmus and Lamb signings (and my expert analysis):

"[Ausmus] led all NL catchers in the second half with 55 hits." (He was good in the second half, but by no means the best catcher in the NL.)

"Ausmus [is] the only Gold Glove catcher in Astros franchise history … He is also the Houston franchise leader in games caught with 914." (So what? Games Played is not a significant stat. As for the Gold Gloves, they're nice, but I'd rather see some doubles.)

"Over 13 big-league seasons … Ausmus has hit .255 with 71 homers and 508 RBIs. (Yes, but he's 37 already, and can only get worse. He's never posted double digits in homers, and has no more than six in one season for the Astros. His career high in RBI is 54.)

"[Lamb has] been one of the Astros' best clutch hitters." (Lamb actually surprised me here: He put up a .912 OPS w/RISP. But molony never mentions his sub-.300 OBP.)

"He played in 125 games and started at five different positions…' (Molony includes DH as a "position." And is playing 125 games a good thing? with lamb's defense, absolutely not!)

"Lamb hit a career-high five triples and recorded 13 doubles. he walked 22 times while striking out 65 times in 322 at-bats." (Again, I don't know if Molony's trying to inspire confidence with these numbers. Walking 22 times in 322 ABS? And who cares about the triples? Urg.)

You see my point. I know these guys are more PR people than actual journalists, but come on! Show a little analytical thought: these guys are not good at the plate.


Jason said...

Oh come on! Nowhere does Molony say that Ausmus is the best catcher in the NL (offensively or defensively). He didn't skew any stats. He's not attempting to objectively review the signing. He's only reporting it and filling it in with a few highlights.

Frankly, I think it was a great move. Ausmus is very good behind the plate, very good with the staff, a club leader, and despite how he is portrayed, a decent offensive catcher. He is usually middle of the pack or better in many offensive stats. He'll never be a HR hitter, but he doesn't have to be. I'd prefer to look at his OBP and RBI, both of which are good compared to other NL catchers. I'd like to see his OPS better than it is, but it's not a deal breaker.

And I'd rather see some Gold Gloves than doubles from a catcher anyday.

About Lamb, remember that he is still largely considered a bench player and fill-in starter. A .912 OPS w/ RISP is all I need to see for that someone in that roll. The "different positions" comment reflects his versatility. He gets the job done in his role, and I'm glad they re-signed him. Now if they can just sign a decent RBI guy for LF...

Scott Barzilla said...

Hey Andres---

I've been fighting this fight over at Astrosdaily and other sites forever. I'm done. I keep bumping into the same thing you guys do. I'm sick of it.

Perhaps sabermetricians can hold a secret party when Ausmus retires and I'll show up with the beer.