Hawk Harrelson appeared on the MLB Network on Thursday afternoon to debate sabermetrics with Brian Kenny. It was as much of a train wreck as you might imagine. Harrelson also came up with a new category that should quickly become part of the advanced analysis lingo.
Hawk: Down the road 40 or 50 years, when you can put some of those categories, you’ve got your OBPS and all that, your VORPs. When they put in TWTW, then interface those numbers with TWTW, under that category, then you might have something cooking– Kenny: What is that? Hawk: That’s The Will to Win
I’ve already done some preliminary work on TWTW. It turns out that J.D. Drew comes in at replacement level in TWTW. Harold Reynolds and everyone other current player being paid to talk about baseball on television ranked extremely highly on the TWTW scale. Your TWTW can grow exponentially the further you are removed from actually playing. The exception is John Kruk, who took a severe hit to his TWTW with his all-star game at-bat against Randy Johnson. Kruk ranked higher in TWTL (the will to live), which shows a slight negative correlation to TWTW.
Other highlights of the interview include Harrelson critiquing the movie “Money Ball” for not talking about pitching, then when Kenny asks him if he read the book, saying “No.” Harrelson is also not a sabermetrics fan because it has gotten people fired. Oh, and the team that the White Sox were playing that day, the Tampa Bay Rays, don’t use sabermetrics. “You keep on believing that, you’ll lose in a little while” he said when Kenny brought up the Rays use of sabermetrics. (Here is the guy Harrelson called one of the best managers in the game saying “Sabermetrics rule.”