Mo broke the news on his TYU Twitter last night. I’ve been invited by Evan Roberts to appear on WFAN’s Joe and Evan show to discuss and debate advanced stats and sabermetrics with host Joe Benigno, who is a staunch disbeliever. They’re filling in this week for Mike Francesa, so I’ll be on the air from 5:00 to around 5:40 this Wednesday. Topics will be the basic stuff like WHIP, WAR, BABIP, FIP and rate stats in general. For those unfamiliar with the show, Joe Benigno is very, very old school. He isn’t completely sold on ERA, much less these stats. He also thinks anyone who understands these basic SABR concepts must be a geek. I’m going to try to explain to him that many of these stats are simply ways of sorting out what’s luck and what’s skill, and ways of separating the average performers from the exceptional. SABR stats aren’t at odds with old school axioms and principles of Baseball, most of the time they provide evidence for their validity. Advanced stats can also help solve some of Baseball’s age-old arguments, and sorting through the opinions and seeing who’s actually right in some provable way.
That’s where you come in. I’m like Joe Girardi in that I’m big on preparation, and hate being caught off guard. I’d like to solicit our readers to help me bolster my arguments. Tell what are some of the most common rebuttals you’ve come up against when explaining these stats to people who are completely unfamiliar with them, and how you counter their arguments. It’s radio, so short and succinct answers work best. Any argument you’ve encountered, no matter how irrational, would give me a chance to prepare and have an answer in my back pocket. I doubt they’ll want me to credit you on air, but I will make sure to thank you in the follow up thread where I link the audio.
I’m hoping most of our readers will tune in, but don’t expect an NPR-style breakdown on sabermetrics. WFAN is first and foremost and entertainment station. One that’s in the business of attracting as large an audience as possible, and they do it better than anyone. It’s going to be a light hearted and fun conversation, all I’m hoping to get out of this is to have a good time, and maybe get a few points in that change a few minds out there. This is afternoon drive, in New York City on it’s most popular sports station. One that’s not known being heavy on advanced stats and why they matter. If you’re a SABR devotee, this could be an opportunity to open some eyes and move the ball a bit further among mainstream and older fans. Help me make the case in a way that the average listener will easily understand. Thanks in advance for your replies and thanks as always for reading TYU.