There is a certain segment of the baseball consuming public that latches onto these new mathematical analysis tools and thinks they are great. They are helping to enhance our understanding of the game. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is a segment of fans that seems to feel that these tools weren't needed by the greats of the past and they aren't needed now. There is nothing new that needs to be learned about the game and any attempt to replace RBI's and Wins and Runs Scored and whatever else with a new statistic is anathema. I am not trying to pigeon hole anyone here on this board into either of these groups, certainly not meaning to imply anything about Old Nurse so please don't be offended. There are as many positions on this subject as there are frequnecies in the EM spectrum, surely. These just seem to be the opposite ends of that pendulum.
I certainly identify myself with the former group. I love using math as a way to view the world. I find that it helps to clarify things if I can use quantitative analysis. So, I freely admit that I am biased towards these new constructs because of my larger world view. OK enough rambling...to my point.
In the quoted post the author states that this model is grossly wrong 30% of the time. For simplicities sake let's assume that means the metric is mostly correct 70% of the time. The implied message being that this is a worthless tool and shouldn't be given much credence.
My question is what is the alternative? "Gut feeling"? There is a place in the world for "gut feelings" for certain, but by and large they aren't very accurate. Look no further than houses of gambling, NCAA tournament brackets, the lottery, or the ever popular "how many jelly beans are in this jar" game if you're unsure. In fact my guess is most statistical modeling is derived from a desire to get away from gut feeling guesses.
So here are my questions: Is there an alternative to both statistical modeling and gut feelings? Is it more accurate? How accurate is human intuition? How well did Keith Law, Jayson Stark or Gleeman and the Geek do at predicting 2013's final standings? How good is your intuition? If you want me to believe that a computer model is crappy than show me what I should be paying attention to instead, please.
Sorry, this turned into much more of a rant than I meant it to be and considerably longer. I obviously don't know what the word concise means and got a double helping of verbose instead. Again Old Nurse and everyone else, this was not directed at you specifically, your post was just the tipping point to something that had been bubbling up within me for a while.
TL : DR My point was not to offend with this but rather to say, if you want me to believe you, show some evidence that there is a better alternative. 70% correct is clearly not perfect, but if the alternative is only correct 60% of the time, isn't that a step in the right direction?