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November 15, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Single-Number Metrics and MVP Leaderboards

by Sam Miller

1. If the point is to get it right, then the answer is probably yes. This assumes we could agree upon a single-number metric, but considering that usually the single-number metrics line up fairly well, well enough that there's not a great deal of controversy about which player the single-number metrics would choose, the single-number metric method feels accurate enough. It wouldn't be perfect. But most of the non single-number-metric pieces of evidence that are used to justify non-single-number-metric votes are logically inconsistent and easily debunked. Unless you think the single-number metrics are fraudulent (which some do), the single-number metric is imperfectly superior to the alternatives.

2. I don't think Kevin is saying that would be less accurate. Based on the tone of the tweet, I think he's saying that would be pointless, and by extension less fun. 

3. It would be less fun.

4. So if more accurate means less fun, then the point isn't to get it right. The point is to have enough ambiguity to allow for fighting. The point is to give us something to bond over and fight against, so that we feel like we are part of something and so that we feel superior to those who are not part of that something. 

5. So it's working perfectly. 

6. Just like the postseason works perfectly, once you get past the idea that its supposed to produce the best team rather than the idea that it's supposed to produce drama.

7. And Goldstein is correct.

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

Related Content:  American League MVP

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