Are you in 'TWTW' or 'BABIP' camp?
On one side, you have White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who utterly loathes baseball sabermetrics.
“Numbers are the most overrated thing in baseball,” Harrelson complained on MLB Network Thursday. “The more numbers you have, the more information you put in the game, the more instincts you take out of the game."
“On the other side, you have your sabermetric supporters, including FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus and WSCR radio’s Dan Bernstein.
So, which side are you on?
I’m going to side with Paul Konerko.
Before batting practice this afternoon, I asked the Sox’ captain for his opinion on the issue, which includes Hawk’s “TWTW” (The Will to Win).
“I think there's definitely a blend of both,” Konerko said. “There's a lot of information out there. I'm sure years ago, when people first started talking about things beyond batting average and RBI and home runs, as soon as they got anywhere beyond that, that was what people thought of sabermetrics then. Now, you have to get 15-20 categories deep, but there's always that cutoff where people start to go, 'OK, we're trying to figure out the game.'
“And I think that's what Hawk means. There are some things that are useful, but the manager of the team, he knows his players, he knows the personality of the players and he knows the current mood of the team and the mood of the players.
“You can't just always go by, 'Well, this situation here, it should be a bunt.' Maybe (the manager) knows at that given moment, the guy isn't bunting well. There is some human element to it and I think that's all Hawk was trying to say.
“But I see the other side, too. Information's always good. There are a lot of repetitions out there, a lot of patterns. You'd be stupid not to look at some of them.