Juking the stats...The John Grabow Edition
My favorite TV show (The Wire) had this saying that appeared in a couple seasons called "Juking the stats". Basically what this saying entailed [on the show] is that higher brass in the police department were classifying certain crimes as others or less severe so a)the overall crime rate went down as well as b)the murder rate went down. This was usually done out of response by pressure from the Mayor's office but, in season 4, we learn that the educational system is not immune to certain statistical deficiencies.
The following video is an interaction between two (2) teachers and how they're being told from, I assume, the Principal that they will only teach questions from the states standardized tests (which the state uses to measure the performance of the school).
(hence, "juking the stats")
The Cubs have done exactly this by relying on ERA as a significant measuring tool to resign Grabow.
What we see here is the same Cubs moves that continues to be made by personnel who cannot effectively evaluate talent. Dave Cameron from Fangraphs had this to say about the Cubs re-signing Grabow.
In my opinion Hendry continues to commit two crimes. The first being that he continues to use inferior stats to measure performance and does not adjust to the newer/more superior statistical measures (which is available to the public). This leads to his second crime, overpaying players based on these inferior stats. In my opinion, he needs to go. ASAP! But unfortunately I'm not the Ricketts family.
New owner or not, the Cubs go as Jim Hendry goes...
...and wherever you go, there you are.
Update: On his blog, JC Bradburry also gives the Grabow signing a frowny face.