Sabermetrics and the Bible

Updated: September 14, 2014

An excerpt from the 16th chapter of the book of II Weaver:

17 And it came to pass, when Canton Longshoremen Assistant General Manager Jay Wells saw Manager Joe Jackson, that Wells said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Canton?

18 And he answered, I have not troubled Canton; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the way of sabermetrics, and thou hast followed Pecota.

19 And Wells answered, Now therefore send, and gather to me all of Canton’s fans (well, both of them that are left) unto Svab Memorial Stadium, and the prophets of Pecota, and DiPs, and all other false sabermetric so-called gods, numbering legion, and the prophets of the WAR and BABIP, which eat at the tables of Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs.

20 So Jackson texted all of Canton’s remaining fans (well, both of them), and gathered the sabermetricians together unto Svab Memorial Stadium.

21 And Wells came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If Jobu be the true god of baseball, follow him: but if Pecota, and Three True Outcomes, and Beane, then follow them. And the people answered him not a word.

22 Then said Wells unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of Jobu, and Earl Weaver and fielding percentage; but Beane’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  And a really lame movie. And a best-selling book.

23 Let them therefore give us a lineup; and let them choose batting order randomly for themselves, for as they say, lineup order doesn’t really matter, and print it from an Excel spreadsheet with OBP figuring heavily in its breadth and width, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will choose the other lineup, written on a traditional lineup card with a traditional leadoff hitter at the top and big boppers in the 3 and 4 hole and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24 And call ye on the name of your statistical idols, and I will call on the name of Jobu: and the god that answereth by wins, let him be the one true baseball god. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

25 And Wells said unto the prophets of Beane, Choose you one lineup for yourselves, and dress it first, and means test it with strat-o-matic dice games, and computer simulations and regressions and statistical analyses performed from your mother’s basement; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

26 And they took the lineup that their Excel spreadsheet had given them, and they loaded it onto a 4 GB thumb drive and the laid the memory card on the altar, and they rolled dice and crunched numbers and used slide rules and called on the names of Pecota, and Beane, and Jack Cust from morning even until noon, saying, O sabremetric totems, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.  And lo, the Longshoremen went 6 and 18 from July 7th through August 5th.

27 And it came to pass at noon, that Wells mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for they are gods, with many championship rings; either they are playing Minecraft, or they are tweeting, or they are traveling to ComicCon, or watching NFL games or peradventure they sleepeth (really the same thing as watching NFL games), and must be awaked.

28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with erasable pens, and memory sticks, and the edges of their slide rules till the blood gushed out upon them.

29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied and computed until the time of the offering of the evening game of a day-night doubleheader, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

30 And Wells said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of Jobu that was broken down.

31 And Wells took twenty-four stones, according to the number of the original franchises, unto whom the word of Jobu came, saying, PEBA shall be thy name:

32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of Jobu: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of sunflower seeds.

33 And he put the wood in order, and filled out the lineup card with a quill pen dipped in a mixture of blood and tobacco juice, and laid the card on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the lineup card, and upon the wood. And also call-up some scrubs from the minors like Hector Prado.  And place prodigal son C-Rod into the lineup.  And The Man of Steal, who hit below the Mendoza line until early June.

34 And he said, Pour the water a second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Pour the water a third time. And they did it the third time.

35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water and the vaJoburious mediocrities on the roster, including draft bust Artie Thompson.

36 And it came to pass at the time of the seventh-inning stretch of the nightcap of the day-night doubleheader, that Wells the assistant GM came near, and said, Jobu who hath helped young sluggers learn to hit a major league curveball, and to lay off of the low and away slider, and to make only productive outs if outs are to be made, let it be known this day that thou art the god of baseball in Canton, and that Vapor Lock is thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

37 Hear me, Jobu, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the baseball god, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38 Then the fire of Jobu fell, and consumed the line up card, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  Yet C-Rod and Eugene Baker and Lawrence Jones remained unburned.  And lo, the Longshormen won 15 games and lost 9 from August 6th until this day.

39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Jobu he is the baseball god; and scouts are mightier than number-crunchers.

40 And Wells said unto them, Take the prophets of Beane; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Wells brought them down to the shores of Lake Erie, and slew them there.  And the beach ran red with the blood of sabermetricians.

41 And Wells said unto Jackson, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of roped line drives in the gaps, and bombs from the bats of Vapor Lock and Rich Wheeler and the scurrying feet of Peyton Bishop swiping bags.  And lo, even our lousy pitching staff is compiling a league-average ERA for a time, FIP be damned.

42 So Jackson got up from the ground and cleaned himself and went up to the postgame spread to eat and to drink.