Perfect evidence of why stats are so important to give a more realistic evaluation of defense, as opposed to just going on observation alone, can be found in the Baseball Tonight Web Gem leaderboards, which have finally appeared on ESPN.com’s “Baseball Tonght Clubhouse” page after weeks of claiming on air that the leaderboards were there when they were actually not.
Because which major league team is at the top of the leaderboards for most web gems by a single team? Why none other than the Washington Nationals, with 17 appearances by one of their players on Baseball Tonight’s web gem sequence. Yes, the same Washington Nationals who are in fact probably the worst defensive team in all of baseball, by any statistical measure.
I can only presume that the Nats players have to dive so much because they reach the edge of their range so quickly.