The sacrifice bunt is evil, say the sabermetricians with their numbers and charts and spreadsheets. The cost of the out given up is greater than the value of the base gained, and they can prove it mathematically. Offer to elaborate about this to Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson, to show him the charts and spreadsheets, and a big hand emerges from below his desk and jabs — palm out, fingers spread — at the air in front of your face: Stop. Put your charts away, son.
“I don’t live by the numbers,” Robinson said firmly, “and I don’t manage by the numbers. I put on the bunt when the situation calls for a bunt.”
So writes Dave Sheinin in the Sunday Washington Post in an excellent article on the analysts and the old guard in baseball. I expect that Skip Sauer at The Sports Economist will be commenting shortly.
UPDATE: Sauer’s post is up at The Sports Economist.