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Phillies Proud to Believe Earth is Flat

The Phillies don't like fancy statistics. They care about runs and runs batted in, things scouts can see. Forget about these new fancy metrics like OBP, ISO, WAR, or BABIP. Who can see them? It's kind of like the Earth being round. Can we really see that? So why believe it?!

The eyes have it.
The eyes have it.

Not so long ago, the people of this world believed the sun revolved around the earth. Along came Galileo, who believed, to the shock of everyone else, that the earth actually revolved around the sun. It took a while, but eventually everyone realized that Galileo's once-heretical beliefs were right.

Not so long ago, baseball people thought that everything that mattered in baseball was knowable by the eye. A trained eye, to be sure, but just watching could tell you what you need to know about a player or a team. Along came Branch Rickey and then Bill James, who believed, to the shock of everyone else, that the naked eye doesn't know all and that analysis based on advanced numbers tells you more about players, teams, and the game as a whole. It took a while along with a book written by Billy Beane (at least, according to Joe Morgan), but eventually everyone realized that Rickey and James's once-relegated-to-the-nerds beliefs were right.

Except, apparently, the Phillies. Forget about numbers and advanced understanding of baseball. To the Phillies, it's old guys in Hawaiian shirts traveling to rural America watching growing boys and young men play the game. Forget about the fact that the difference between a .250 and .325 hitter is roughly 1 to 2 hits a week over the course of a season. Forget about the fact that the defense of a poorly positioned player is more likely to look flashy. Forget about pitchers' game-outcomes being determined by defense and run support. Forget about the fact that almost every competitor out there has employed systems and staff to better understand the mass of data about the game that exists today.

Because goddammit, we're the Phillies, and we believe in the simple things in life. Like runs! Who's against runs? And people. And their makeup. Because if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that people with makeup make great baseball players. Right? And they score runs, which is all that matters. None of that other stuff matters one bit.

After all, why use a computer or even a calculator when we still have the abacus?