But what I've been witnessing while I've been a broadcaster is everyone using these stats to try and explain the game of baseball. Not all statistics work. Some do, some don't. And one of the stats that has become real popular is OPS. On-base plus slugging. All of a sudden, it's this stat that defines whether a guy is a good ball player or not. And the fact of the matter is, if you're a power hitter then the situation will dictate what a pitcher does with you - either walk you or pitch you real careful. So more than likely you're going to end up on base and therefore your on-base percentage goes up. This in my mind has become the stat the everyone thinks is the be all and end all. It is not. If you have a ball club that's a great offensive team then that changes everything. But if you have a guy like Adrian Gonzalez, for example, his OPS is going to be high - he's got a lot of home runs and walks a lot...because you're not going to pitch to him. Power guys like Giambi and Dunn have always had high OPS because no one wants to pitch to them. But it takes two hits to score them from first.
This is how the game has changed. Dick Williams is pulling his hair out. This is not something people have reinvented in the game. You can go all the way back to Dave Kingman. When Kingman was hot, you didn't pitch to him. If he wasn't hot, you pitched to him. Big power hitters swing and miss and strikeout. Or they hit home runs and walk. And at the end of the year their OBP is always going to be higher than most of the other guys on the team because they clog the bases.
Most commentators have tried running this through an online translator without any luck, but it seems pretty obvious that we're about to witness an historic moment: Harold's on the verge of discovering the concept of the Three True Outcomes, as evidenced by the bolded portion above. It's fairly obvious Harold isn't in love with 3TO players (Quick! Hide Adam Dunn!), but his point here, once you parse it out, seems to be that he feels OPS is overvalued as a stat because some power hitters with high OPS (specifically, 3TO players), don't have speed or take a walk instead of getting a base hit, when the situation requires speed or a base hit.
The most head-scratching point Harold makes is that these players' OBP is going to be high because they "clog the bases." Since the point of baseball is to score runs, isn't it good when the bases are clogged? Harold seems to be trying to make a point about power hitters with a high OPS but without speed, but OBP has no relation to how quickly you move around the bases. A better way to phrase it might have been: "These players' OBP will be high, but they will clog the bases once they reach first because they are too slow. In some situations, it would seem better to have a faster hitter whose OPS is lower but whose average is higher."
We think there's a rational, possibly even legitimate point hidden in there somewhere. But for the record, we're on the OPS side of this question. We'll take an Adam Dunn over an Alberto Callaspo any day.