Avid readers of this website know I am not a sabermetrics guy, going so far as to compare followers to that cult to atheists. I stumbled upon something that further proves my point that the sabermetrics holy grail of WAR is absolutely meaningless.
Not including pitchers, the Mets leader in WAR in 2016 was Yoenis Cespedes. No surprise there. His WAR was 2.9. By this measure, it means Cespedes only gave the Mets about three wins fewer than an average replacement would have. Let that sink in a bit — Cespedes is only worth fewer than three extra wins per season for the Mets. I think we all know how ridiculous that is.
To prove that, let’s look at another stat — a real one this time. Since acquiring him at the trade deadline in 2015, the Mets are 106-74 with Cespedes in the starting lineup. They are 18-23 without him. That is why Sandy Alderson gave him $110 million this winter. If he is only good for fewer than three wins per season, there is no way Alderson, the alleged godfather of sabermetrics, makes that deal.
You should all be ripping up your sabermetrics manuals by now. If not, here is more food for thought. Here are the Mets WAR leaders after Cespedes:
Asdrubal Cabrera: 2.7
Curtis Granderson: 2.5
Neil Walker: 2.4
So basically WAR is telling us that these three players are almost as valuable as Cespedes. Is there anyone in their right mind who believes that?
Listen, there are some sabermetrics statistics that are actually useful, mostly in finding hidden value in players who might not register well in traditional stats. But to use a flawed formula like WAR to judge everyone is not effective. Yet there are still so many people who live and die with it, while at the same time disregard actual, real-life statistics.
Maybe the eggheads might try actually watching a baseball game instead of praying at the altar of Bill James. They would probably find the game to be quite enjoyable.