Marlboro Jim goes off his feed

ESPN reports:

"I don't believe in any of that stuff," Leyland said. "I won't listen to any of it and have no interest in talking about it. You can figure out whatever you want. My view of pitchers' stats is this: Did he give us a chance to win? If he did that on any kind of consistent basis for me, then he's a very good pitcher.

"But I also like guys that win. I'd rather have a pitcher nobody is talking about who has won 15 games than somebody everyone is raving about who has won five. I'm a baseball manager, not a statistician. I'm wasting my time talking about it."

Hmmm, let us look at what Leyland said here:

Leyland won't consider statistics and has no interest in talking about them. But he then goes on to talk about statistics he allegedly has never considered because he refuses to listen to them.

Leyland also believes you can figure out whatever you want using statistics. This is so much different than the evidence he gathers using his 'lying eyes.' He always hears and sees with his lying eyes.

The only stat he cares about is a simple one: Does a pitcher give his team a chance to win. Leyland also wants his pitchers to give with consistency his team chances to win. What if the Sabr guys were to add up those "giving a team a chance to win" instances and divided them by total appearances. If they were to do that figuring, they'd then produce a rate statistic which Leyland would not know about because he would refuse to consider it just as he refuses to "listen to" any other statistic. We can call that rate statistic the "giving the team a chance to win" metric. And I'd bet that the GTCW rate would express properties also found in the Quality Start rate.

Leyland then goes on to state that he's a baseball manager, not a statistician. By this he seems to mean that he uses his prejudices, not evidence, to make judgments about his players and the games he plays. These prejudices - prejudgments - are solid, unlike statistical evidence because you can make whatever you want out of statistical evidence.

What got Jim all wound up? Some have suggested that Max Scherzer's 2013 run support has had been a causal factor in his excellent won-loss record. Leyland seems to believe these claims diminish Scherzer's work this year.

So,it's clear that Leyland does have statistics he cares about: The rate at which a pitcher gives his team a chance to win and won-loss records. But he doesn't care much for other stats.

It's unfortunate, though, that Leyland does not care about the run support statistic, for that statistic reveals that baseball is a team sport. I guess the "baseball is a team game" homily lacks a place in Leyland's list of active prejudices. Or, of course, it does have a place in that list, which, if it does, would then show that Leyland holds beliefs which do not cohere. They are solid, or deeply grounded, however, unlike statistical evidence which can be made into anything.

But if two beliefs are contradictory, how solid would they be?


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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