Well, we don't *need* to keep track of anything (batting average, ERA, UZR, whatever), but we do.
I know it's just a saying (the box score thing), and it clearly annoys me to an irrational degree, but no one gets all their baseball info from the little agate-type boxes in the paper. So things like RE and WPA are not in boxes -- big deal, they are being measured and showing up *somewhere*.
It is a dumb cliche -- and I have always seen it as a backhanded (or even unconscious) slap at statheads, in the "intangibles" vein. We don't see these things, they are not noted in the stats, but they exist and are helpful. And these days, that is simply wrong.
If Scutaro is thrown out, it ends the inning. And maybe overall it does lessen the changes of scoring (teams can BBI the next guy and have more chances at a force). Despite that, considering the inning/situation, being safe does have its advantages. It gets the crowd rocking, Borbon is obviously annoyed, Nippert is feeling more pressure ...
There is no conceivable way that being on 2nd in that situation (2 outs) lessens the chance of scoring.
The bolded sentence would make the relevant comps the increase in the chance of scoring from 2nd (as opposed to 1st) w/2out vs. the chance of being thrown out at 2nd. More like a stolen base analysis. I haven't seen that one done.
My only points were that, in a literal sense, (and likely unintentionally, since I have no sense that Lowell is conversant in sabrmetrics), the Scutaro play doesn't
show up in a box score (its not a sac); and that comparing the run or win expectations without assuming the Drew out was why the original poster came up with an overall negative.
As for box scores, about 30 years ago, the Sunday NYTimes ran a box score from a fairly typical, but not simple, game, and asked about 25 questions about the game. Some were easy (Who did Anderson pinch hit for); but some were much harder (which batters did Jones pitch to? who were the 3 batters that Smith walked?) and these were basic box scores. It was a great exercise. I still check box scores.
(edited to try and make a bit more sense)
Edited by joe dokes, 22 April 2010 - 01:20 PM.