Sabermetrics, analytics, “the numbers” – whatever you want to call them, they’re big in baseball.
Some people just care about them more than others.
“I think we use them for entertainment,” former MLB player and current Astros analyst Geoff Blum said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think they’re highly entertaining. They are. What’s great for me and a lot of fun for me (is) I still watch the game with the intent and the eye of being a guy that’s sitting in the dugout watching these games go on, but now I get to pull myself out and see something and back it up with some of the numbers or dig on some of these numbers and then try and use them to tell a little bit of the story, which is fun for me. So I think that they’re important.”
And not just for commentators.
“I think that they’re more fantasy baseball or more contract-oriented,” Blum said of analytics. “They look good when you go to the arbitration table and they create arguments for or against a certain number in a guy, but it’s hard to project some of these things. I think that’s what a lot of teams are doing: trying to figure out how to project some of these numbers onto guys to see if they fit in their organization as far as drafts or if you can go out and look at a guy across the way and maybe see if you can trade for him.”
Blum, 44, played in the bigs from 1999-2012. He played for the Astros from 2002-03 and 2008-10 and won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005. When analyzing players – and the game in general – he believes that analytics should be part of the equation, but certainly not all of it.
“I think they’re a big part in baseball. I think they have a place in baseball,” he said. “But I also think that you really have to walk that fine line and incorporate a lot of baseball mentality or that eye test, so to speak, because there is a lot of that baseball intellect that you can’t put a number on.”