After yesterday’s post, I had a little time today to follow through with an inquiry on Google about a Manager WAR statistic, and sure enough, several other baseball fans had the same question. It turns out one fan even suggested such a metric.
Adam’s idea was to first take the winning percentage of a replacement level team, decided by the Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs guys as .294 in 2013 (which is a downgrade from the original .320 mark), and use that to determine the replacement level team’s base wins, which is 162 games times .294.
A replacement level team is expected to win about 48 games a season.
That base level of replacement wins is then added to the total WAR of all of a team’s players within a given year, and this sum becomes the number of wins expected for the team during that season.
If the team exceeded the wins expected amount for that year, then the surplus between the two is the manager’s WAR. If the team fell short of the wins expected, that difference in the negative is also the manager’s WAR.
So, we can now turn to the case of Joe Maddon and the 2016 Cubs. Coach Maddon, what was your WAR?
Following Adam’s approach, and according to Baseball-Reference.com, in 2016 the Cubs position players had an aggregate WAR of 37.4. The Cubs pitchers had a WAR of 19.9. This means Cubs players had a collective WAR of 57.3.
This 57.3 player WAR value, added to the replacement level WAR value of 48, sums to 105.3.
How many games did the Cubs win in the regular season in 2016?
The Cubs were 103-58.
Based on Baseball-Reference.com’s numbers, Maddon had a Managers WaR of -2.3.
Say it ain’t so! Joe must have been holding back the Cubs!
No wonder Lackey talked to Maddon like he did. Maddon was an Albatross around the team’s neck.
And yet, I think either my numbers are a little off, or the calculation is.
Because Joe is a magician.
Maybe in his sleight of hand, we didn’t see a few of his WAR quietly happen.