Roch Presents Dumb Stats, I Act Like A Jerk About It

It’s a slow news time during the holiday season – I’ll get back to the 2009 O’s Retrospective series next week, and might have something on Adam LaRoche tomorrow – but for now I wanted to put up something snarky about a post Roch had over at MASN last week called Crunching some numbers with breakfast.

* Numbers weren’t actually “crunched”. Copied and pasted, and presented without any analysis, would be more accurate.

“While sifting through the Orioles’ post-season media guide, I came across a few numbers that jumped off the pages.

As if I needed this place to become more cluttered.

For example:

* Nick Markakis batted .211 with five extra-base hits in his last 28 games; he hit .405 in nine games against the White Sox, and .324 with 30 RBIs in 36 games against the Red Sox and Yankees; he batted .337 in 64 wins and .260 in 97 losses.

* Nolan Reimold batted .312 against the AL East.

* Matt Wieters batted .327 against the AL East, including .455 in 12 games against the Red Sox and .405 in 10 games against the Rays.

* Adam Jones batted .369 in 32 day games; he hit .310 when batting first or second, and .191 when batting third, fourth or fifth.

* Cesar Izturis batted .335 in 46 wins and .199 in 68 losses.

* Jim Johnson tossed 11 2/3 scoreless innings in eight interleague games.

* David Hernandez held opponents to a .184 average with runners in scoring position.

* Opponents were 1-for-12 with the bases loaded against Mark Hendrickson.

* Alberto Castillo allowed just one of 17 inherited runners to score; opponents batted .176 against him on the road, but .346 at Camden Yards.

* Michael Aubrey batted .315 at night and .176 during the day.

* Robert Andino batted .269 at home and .181 on the road.

* Right-handers batted .273 against Matt Albers, compared to .342 by left-handers; he posted a 0.84 ERA in nine interleague games; he registed a 1.42 ERA in five games against the Yankees, and a 5.56 ERA against the rest of the AL East.

I’m just saying…”

It’s amazing to me that not a single one of those stats is of any real use or importance. Complete reliance on batting average and ERA in small numbers of innings? Really? What is this, 1998? How did Felix Pie hit on Thursdays? If it was .380, does that mean Pie should be in the line-up on Thursdays in 2010?

I understand that the O’s media people need to fill space, but several of Roch’s readers are drawing conclusions from this stuff (ex. “Seems obvious that we should keep Hernandez in the pen and Jones batting second.”, “I didn’t realize that Nolan and Matt were that good against the AL East. Unpack your bags boys, you’re staying for a while.”, “Izturis is a lot more critical to the team’s success than I realized.”). I don’t mean to me a jerk (well, maybe a little*), but a simple sentence or two noting that the presented stats were just for fun and not to be used in any serious way would have been nice (“I’m just saying” doesn’t count). This is actually worse than not posting any stats at all. I’m not asking for park and league adjusted linear weights, but give me a little something that won’t make me categorically want to turn away.

* I really miss FireJoeMorgan.