For late-arrivers, Mets360's Joe Vasile has written a fairly comprehensive overview of sabermetrics' century-long history, with quotes from Bill James, Tom Tango, Jacob Pomrenke, and Eddie Epstein. Here's a bit of Vasile's big finish:
The old school way of thinking has allowed Miguel Cabrera – with his superior traditional numbers – to win the MVP both years despite WAR saying that he has been less valuable than Trout.
So as they gain a more significant foothold, sabermetricians continue to get the word out and convince people to change their thinking.
“I don’t think that sabermetrics really needs to fight that fight, because the fight is over and sabermetrics has won,” Pomrenke said, not seeing a reason to argue with people who insist that sabermetrics don’t work.
“It is pretty easy to demonstrate that [the notion that sabermetrics doesn’t work] is untrue,” James said. “Our boys have kind of taken care of that for me. We have three World Series rings. We don’t have to explain nothin’.”
That's fair, I think. It's difficult to make the case, I think, that the Red Sox would have won three World Series without a fair amount of sabermetrics in the mix. But it's hard to know exactly when the argument was "won" ... or even if it's been won at all. Maybe the argument's won when there's no turning back ... or maybe it's won when there's no more work left.
Is the battle for marriage equality over? The answer might depend on where you live. Has the argument about sabermetrics been won? Ask a Mariners fan, or a Phillies fan. When you see Miguel Cabrera beat out Mike Trout for awards and you watch a national television broadcast and hear sabermetrics mentioned either derisively or not at all, you realize there are still plenty of skirmishes to be fought.
If one enjoys skirmishing, that is. Brian Kenny can lead the troops into battle. But if you don't want to get close enough to the Luddites to see the whites of their eyes, you can just keep plugging away with your ideas and your spreadsheets, piling up the sorts of information and evidence that's already pushed the ball so far.