ESPN, OPS, and context

By Jason Wojciechowski on April 6, 2009 at 1:39 AM

Kudos to ESPN for not only including OPS in their batter stat line for Chipper Jones, but also indicating below that number the NL average. One of the biggest lessons of modern baseball analysis is "context is important". Whether we're talking about Vinny Castilla hitting forty bombs in pre-humidor Coors or Pedro Martinez putting up sub-two ERAs in high-offense environments, you can't know anything about how people are performing without context.

Now, knowing the average isn't really enough, of course, because we don't know the usual upper and lower bounds, but Jon Miller added a little bit of that context verbally by pointing out that Chipper's 1.000+ OPS last year was at the top of the league.

Brian McCann's homer was a shot, by the way. And the way he and Garret Anderson hit those balls doesn't necessarily bode well for cheering for Brett Myers all year long for fantasy purposes.