Sabermetrics

60 minutes on CBS was pretty funny today. One correspondent reported that the success of the Red Sox in the past years is partially based on statistics guru James Bill: "Baseball has always been a game about statistics, something the Boston Red Sox took to a new level when they hired baseball statistics guru Bill James in 2002. His "sabermetrics" analysis of players' stats is a system Red Sox owners believe is an integral part of a winning formula that has brought two World Series trophies to Boston since he arrived. However, more teams are getting into the act, say Sox owners, who now worry that their dreaded enemy the New York Yankees will get into the same game with their always-bigger wallet.

So what is "Sabermetrics"? According to Wikipedia  "Sabermetrics is the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research."

And "...Sabermetrics is concerned both with determining the value of a player in a season gone by, and with trying to predict the value of a player in the future based on his past performances. While many areas of study are still in development, it has yielded a number of interesting insights into the game of baseball and in the area of performance measurement. The value of these insights are still inconclusive.

Some sabermetric measurements have entered mainstream baseball usage, especially OPS (on-base plus slugging) as well as WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched)."

Interesting stuff and maybe some of the ideas could be used for the web analytics industry, which is still trying to define standard metrics (which might be inconclusive as well).

Also the entire discussion about "sabermetrics" shows that metrics can be very controversial and should always be questioned.