Sunday, November 19, 2006

Colletti's Law: When "Average" Means "Excellent"

In a New York Times piece today, Alan Schwarz unveiled the "2006 All-Average Lineup", which consists of the players whose 2006 statistics were closest to the major league averages at their positions, among players with at least 400 plate appearances. No Dodger made the list of "All-Average", at any of the nine positions.

But buried at the end was a nice quote from our man Ned Colletti, who shed light on how he approaches average players in a free-market system:

Average is in the eye of the beholder, no doubt. But in building their clubs in off-seasons like this one, most baseball executives grab onto average players like trees in a hurricane.

"They may be average, but they look above average to me," said Ned Colletti, the Dodgers' GM. "They're definitely closer to positive than negative. You try to make average your minimum, because average is pretty darned good."

Given how expensive this hot stove season is already becoming, I was a little surprised to hear Ned fan the flames further. I thought average was average--but apparently the mean is "closer to positive," in Ned's mind. Frank better have his checkbook ready and more parking lots to sell.

In the Colletti household, if you come home from school with a C+ grade, does Ned see it as an A-? Cool.


Orel said...

This is what happens when "above average" fetches $136 million.

Lasorda said...

Ned's comment reminded me of Lake Wobegone in Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show: "Lake Wobegon, where every child is above average."