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June 12, 2014 6:00 am

Model Behavior

9

Lewie Pollis

Why we shouldn't be so quick to assume that statistical principles don't apply to particular players.

When Matt Cain signed his $127.5 million contract extension in April 2012, Colin Wyers memorably tweeted: “If your response to the Matt Cain extension involves xFIP I'll be by later to pour coffee on your keyboard.” As someone who was still relatively new to the field of sabermetrics, seeing that was a watershed moment in that it signaled a substantial retreat from our previous collective understanding that DIPS statistics were unambiguously superior to ERA as measurements of pitching ability.

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Are we still too accepting of the idea that pitchers have little to no control over balls in play?

I think that we've really misunderstood pitcher BABIP over the years.

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