Let me begin my case for why saves as a statistic should not matter in any respect whatsoever with my personal input. Every time I go to a Mets game (or any Major League Baseball game, for that matter) the graphics people at the stadium flash extremely contrived stats on the scoreboard for each batter. For example, something like: “Curtis Granderson ranks fourth in doubles among National League right fielders over the past month.” I’m happy for Curtis, but this isn’t a meaningful bit of information, unless you want to know where Granderson ranks among NL RFs in doubles over the past month. The stat doesn’t give us any information regarding his contribution to the team overall; fourth in doubles among NL RF over the past thirty days could translate to a .200/.250/.300 slash-line in which he has hit mostly doubles and is still producing virtually nothing at the plate, or it could be a product of a .350/.400/.450 triple-slash over the past month in which he has hit more home runs than doubles, and he is on an absolute tear.
My point is this: if the statistic isn’t giving any meaningful information, it is not useful, and shouldn’t be used in negotiations as “evidence” of a particular player’s performance. That’s not to say there is not a time and place for “fun facts” like the Granderson doubles fact, or, for example, the fact that Fernando Tatis is the only major leaguer ever to hit two grand slams in the same inning, but those stats should have no bearing on what a player’s salary is, or whether or not they make the Hall of Fame.
(Image Credit: Bill Kostroun/New York Post)