But to J.C. Bradbury, that research might as well not exist.
As he writes, all that research was done only by the “analytical baseball community” – not by reputable Ph.D.s in economics. It has not undergone “formal peer review.” Further, “it has not been tested with sufficient statistical rigor” and “has undergone very little formal scrutiny.” It does not use “proper econometric techniques.”
And so Dr. Bradbury sets out to correct this. How? Not by reviewing the existing research, and validating it academically. Not by finding those studies which have “insufficient statistical rigor” and analyzing them statistically. Not by summarizing what’s already out there and criticizing it.
No, Dr. Bradbury’s paper ignores it. Completely. He mentions none of it in his article, not even in the bibliography. Instead, Dr. Bradbury’s explains his own study as if it’s the first and only test of the DIPS hypothesis.
This happens all the time in academic studies involving baseball. Years of sabermetric advances, as valid as anything in the journals, are dismissed out of hand because of a kind of academic credentialism, an assumption that only formal academic treatment entitles a body of knowledge to be considered, and the presumption that only the kinds of methods that econometricians use are worthy of acknowledgement.
What kind of person would I be if I didn’t acknowledge my critics? I’m not sure why Phil is so angry with me, and I don’t think he chose the best forum to address his concerns. I guess I should apologize for knowing some econometrics, since it’s only useful for out-credentialing other scholars. If you read the paper, I think it’s very clear that I’m not claiming to have invented DIPS, just trying to replicate it for an academic audience, then to test how well the labor market values DIPS. I’m not sure that it warrants a detour through a few studies on the Internet. I think it’s a pretty pro-sabermetric paper.
The paper he’s discussing is an earlier version of a paper of mine that is forthcoming in Journal of Sports Economics. I don’t own the copyright to the newest version, so I can’t post it, but I’ll tell you that the cluster of years where BABIP seems to matter disappears when I make some slight changes to the model. Also, the results hold for runs allowed as well as ERA. These modifications were the result of some excellent suggestions by an anonymous referee. If you’re reading, thanks!
Sometimes I wonder, if everyone is just going to assume I’m a professor ass-hat, maybe I ought to just act like the real deal. And now I’m off to devour my sons.
Addendum: More comments at BTF.