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That's the asymmetry I was referring to.
The WAR model presumes that replacement level talent that will perform at the replacement level is available in the marketplace. It isn't
No, they do not. In its simplest terms, fielding adjusts for degree of chance difficulty, batting does not. Rbat assumes all hitters faced equally difficult pitches, and produced hits and outs on equally difficult pitches.
Assuming that's true -- and there's no reason to believe it isn't (*) -- it's still somewhat beside the point. Baseball franchises don't have infinite time (or infinite money), and there are frictions in player transactions. If you pick the wrong freely-available guy and he has a crappy 40 games and produces minus 1 WAR, the next guy has to produce .33 WAR per 40 games over the next 120 games just to get you back to 0 WAR for the year.
At its most fundamental level, Miguel Cabrera stood where a "third baseman" usually stands, with minor adjustments by his manager, and turned balls that would have been hits had he not been standing there, into outs. He, therefore, prevented runs.(*) How could his fielding value, on the same scale as his batting value, therefore be negative? That fundamentally doesn't work.
Or buy whole hog into the notion of predestination but then Snapper is gonna get on your ass.
It's interesting to think of a team composed truly of replacement players. I mean, the 2012 Astros come damn close.
Rk Year Tm Lg #Matching1 1979 Oakland Athletics AL 122 1999 Minnesota Twins AL 113 1980 Seattle Mariners AL 114 1991 Kansas City Royals AL 105 1963 Houston Colt .45s NL 106 1954 Philadelphia Athletics AL 107 1949 St. Louis Browns AL 108 1938 Philadelphia Phillies NL 109 1915 Baltimore Terrapins FL 1010 1909 Boston Doves NL 1011 1889 Louisville Colonels AA 10
In real life it's impossible to play 1,000 simulations of a season.
The funny thing is, reality isn't a simulation, and far too many people seem to be forgetting that fact these days.
Go ahead, project how many heads you will get in 162 flips of a coin, flip it 162 times and see how close you come. We know that, on average and assuming a "fair coin", you'll get 81 heads. But the probability of getting exactly 81 heads? That's only 6%. There's a 10% chance you'll get 90+ and therefore also a 10% chance you'll lose 90+.
Eventually someone is going to come up with the proper rbi stat, which is to assign .25 bases to every remaining base of the runners on, including a full 1 for the batter, and then track batters advanced, batters scored, and total opportunities. Until that day arrives you are going to have the stat nerds doing everything with the expected run scoring matrix, and not one normal person giving a rats ass about it.
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