This post is so wrong it's time I sent out a big "fuck you" to Pjoma.
First of all, as Jeff King said, you never mentioned WAR on this board up until a few weeks ago. So how all of a sudden is it "the only thing that matters"? Could you be saying that because it conveniently supports your argument? Listen, if it's as simple as saying WAR is the new Moneyball and you think NH is trying to use it as his foundation for building a winner, fine. But don't attempt to insult everyone's intelligence by saying it's all that matters. Because any person who thinks Nyjer Morgan is the best LF in baseball is an idiot. And any statistics that says it's true is greatly flawed. And I guarantee you when NH makes a move that doesn't isupport WAR, you won't mention it.
But you know what Pjoma, I've spent a good amount of time defending you. Despite rarely agreeing with you, I thought you offered a generally unique an interesting perspective. But your posting over the last month or so is so horrendeously bad, even you should be ashamed of yourself. Especially for attempting to call out LHB for his player evalutations. Aren't you the same person who claimed 2 million fans were going to cheer as Eric Hinske hit 25 HR's? Weren't you the one who said you would be shocked in Brandon Moss didn't OPS .800 this season?
But let's take a look at the draft for a moment to truly put your lack of objectivity and credibilty into question.
First, when the rumors of the Pirates taking Fatchez with the first pick first surfaced, you had this to say:
And when challenged about it, he responded with this:
So not only was that premature conclusive post accurate, it was more right than had you predicted Hinske hitting 6 homeruns.
And then just hours before the draft, you responded to a post from someone saying they will wait to get pissed about the Fatchez pick when it happens with his:
And then immediately after they drafted Sanchez, he had this to say:
You then went silent on the topic for an unsual couple of days only to return with constant posts about how thin the draft was and how none of the other players taken immediately after Fatchez were very good (players you suggested the Pirates take). But your obvious ball sucking came after this post which completely flew in the face of what you had been saying before and immediately after the draft:
But then there was your blatant avoidance of this comment by your hero, Kevin Goldstein:
"This deal was probably agreed to before the selection even took place. The question is of course, why? He wasn't going to go anywhere near this high if the Pirates didn't take him, so couldn't he have been had for a million dollars less, giving the club money to spend elsewhere? It's not as if anyone else was going to pay him this much, so why did Pittsburgh? It's almost like they spent an extra million dollars just to prove that they really liked the guy."
So fucking please spare us your questioning of other's player evaluations. When someone so obviously reaches for any defense of this organization and attempts to support certain players with lines like "He's like a freakin' pitbull on the mound", you can't be taken seriously. Remember, you are the same boob who defended Dave Littlefield right up until the day he was fired. So how can you expect anyone to take your support of NH seriously when it clear you'll use any justification to support this organization?
For starters, I've been enamored with WAR since BP predicted the 2008 season for the Rays. As I've said many times, I have a few friends on the BP staff and in the MLB Dept. of Stats. I spent all winter in long debates and exchanges with them about the balance that lies in between visual scouting, statistical projections and player evaluations based on stats. I wasn't convinced of any of this until the Rays actually made it come true and the teams in the top 10 of WAR were clearly the best teams in baseball for 3 years straight.
I couldn't argue about things like OPS being a bogus stat that used addition of two percentages with people here because they all seem to live and breathe on evaluating players on OPS and errors or fielding percentage, which I find to be so ridiculous and living in the past that I decided I needed to learn more. In March, a buddy of mine at BP told me about the Eric Neel article in ESPN the Magazine and how closely it mirrored the work that Dan Fox had been doing at BP. I still wasn't 100% convinced until I spoke to my friends in the MLB Stats office and they both told me that virtually every single team is 100% sold on the valuation of a player as it pertains to to total wins saved or lost as a TOTAL Valuation of a baseball player. One said that teams have all seen how precise the WAR stat is and they are all calling on MLB Stats, Stats.com and Baseball Info Solutions for loading their statistical databases with stats running 3 years back. Every team in baseball is currently using their own version of WAR that runs much deeper than we'll ever know.
So, when someone here says "I don't buy that stat", or "I don't see how that player is saving runs", or "I don't believe that there is a metric that can put a total value on a player", I shake my head. When those same posters use a stat that was derived from adding two seperate percentages together and call that stat gospel, I get mad as hell. If you can't use BP's projection of the Rays going from less than 70 wins in 2007 to over 90 in 2008 as a validation of WAR as the best stat in baseball, then nothing I can say or provide to you will help.
This board in general, myself included, has no clue how far advanced player valuation analysis has come and how accurate it is. Yet, they stand on their pulpits and preach how idiotic anyone was to think that a Nyjer Morgan could provide a value to the Pirates, let alone any team in baseball. I applaud guys like jeffr taking the time to do homework on this. He's not the only one either. I have respect for anyone who actually attempts to be open to the merits of discussing things, instead of calling me an idiot for my comments about Morgan, Ohlendorf, LaRoche, Chavez, Duke, Jaramillo, Karstens, Tabata Nady (last year), Bay (last year) and, yes, Moss OPS'ing .800 this year. I do my homewok and I stand behind it, for better or worse.
Now, that said, I'm still old fashioned and old. I'm not informed enough about how the statistical evaluations are merged with the visual scouting and historical baseball statistics, but I'm at least trying to learn. Over the last 6 months, I've been provided with a ton of information, some of which I share here. The reason why I don't share everything is because there are those posters who are 100% commited to not being open to discuss them and they verbally abuse anyone who dares question their evaluations. I don't think I've verbally abused anyone here.
Lastly, on the Sanchez pick, I don't know how much clearer I can be. I was against picking him and still don't believe he was the best position player for the $ that was available. I also believe that it was a well above average draft. That means nothing though until the signings are done. I also do not believe that a draft is made or missed on one player or even three or four, so I'm not going to cry or moan, or jump for joy is Sanchez is a failure or a success. It's the entire body of the draft that NH's success or failure will be based on. If it was any other way across baseball, there would be 10,000 unemployed GM'S who were fired due to their first round picks. I believe that Sanchez was the player the Pirates wanted and I feel that he was an overdarft and I feel that they spent more on him than they would have if they were picking at #15 or #25. If that's the player they wanted and the strategy is exactly executed the way fangraphs detailed it, then our organization is genious. If it fails, then they deserve to be held accountable.