Friday, 28 March 2008

You can virtually HEAR the heads exploding...

So, McLeod makes note that a study published in no less an authoritative source than the Wall Street Journal has concluded that our very own John Gibbons ranks as the sixth best manager in all of baseball!

Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth that must be going on across the semi-thawed north at this news! Don't those fools know that Gibbons is the very epitome of the Peter Principle in action? Don't they know he can't get along with players and makes boneheaded moves and is generally in need of firing for a multitude of reasons which should be so obvious as to not need listing?

What do we expect from a non-sports publication anyway?

Oh well, let's suck it up and take it seriously just for the sake of discussion, eh?


There are several fascinating things here, some you file under "so suspicious it tends to invalidate the conclusions" (like finding Jim Leyland at #19) others you react with "well no shit Sherlock" (Bobby Cox being #1 in the third category springs to mind) but since this is about Our Man Gibby, I'll confine my remarks to his line.

Number six, overall. You need to read the page linked to get the full grasp of the methodology, but in it's briefest form the study used three measures, from reliable sources, and combined those to get the final ranking. The first of those three, and the one most sure to set of the Gibby-bashers, is that he ranked #1 overall in his record in close games. The internet and call-in critics of Gibbons notoriously rail about his in-game decision making being lacking, yet in this study, he's not only just good at it but the best. Here is how the article explains the ranking in the "Close Games" category:

For the close-games category, we subtracted each manager's overall winning percentage from his winning percentage in games tied after the sixth inning, thus determining whether he performs better or worse in close games.

Now YES, it is certainly true this is a narrow category - a one run game is "close" too, after all. But even allowing for that, when you say that over the last five seasons the Jays have the BEST differential in all the majors among the managers ranked . . . that has to give you pause if you have an open mind on the question at all.

So, for all you negativists out there who rail for the firing of John Gibbons upon the conclusion of every jays loss, let me just say with a great sense of humility and respect . . .



No comments: