I’ve been lucky enough to have been chosen as the new “sabermetric guy” around here. And I’ve been chosen just as the Mets have hired their first sabermetrically inclined General Manager. That’s great for the Mets — but at first glance it’s less great if you want to blog about them from a sabermetric perspective. For example, think of how much fun the Jeff Francoeur era could have been for me?
So, if complaining’s out, what’s left? Well, I hope to do a few things. First, hopefully I’ll be able to explain some of the thinking behind some of the things the new regime is doing; trying to put off the inevitable uprising when Jose Reyes no longer bats leadoff (and believe me that day is coming); or argue that a manager as middle-management makes perfect sense. Second, Alderson et al may not always get it right. I’m a believer in advanced stats, but I think they don’t always tell the full story. Sometimes stats do lie. So, if Alderson relies too heavily on some of the advanced fielding metrics to make player decisions, I’ll be the at the front of the line to be critical. And finally, I’ll continue what I did in my tryout articles, give my own views on the type of moves that make sense for the Mets.
You might be wondering, what makes me qualified to do what I’ve just set out above. Well, I work with economic concepts in my day job (but not as an economist), and at their core sabermetrics are really just forms of applied economics. I read Moneyball, I’ve been a BP subscriber for 7 years and I insisted that my fantasy league include xFIP and next year will fight for SIERA.
But I suspect the qualifications you really care about are the ones that have to do with how big a fan I am. There, I feel confident. I’m 28, and I became a real fan at the age of 5 during the ’87 season. The first time I ever cursed was to say that Jeff Innis “sucked.” I wasn’t a fan in ’86, but I did (as a child) watch the ’86 Mets video at least 100 times. I remember Terry Pendleton’s homer off Roger McDowell; the following year I wrote my name as David Cone on all my first-grade stories. I cried when he was traded. I know Doc Gooden’s birthday is November 16. I have Paul Wilson and Bobby Jones’ autographs. I won the “lottery”to buy 1998 Mets playoff tickets. I was at the Todd Pratt game and the Benny Agbayani game. But I was also at the Endy Chavez game and the night we began to collapse against the Phils in 2007. And I know all of the above is nothing special because of how much we care.
Oh, and who should the next manager be? As long as he lights up a room, who cares?