Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A quibble with my hero, Dr. Z (and the problem of draft grading)

In Dr. Z's draft report card, he writes:

Do you know what's the most unfair tactic used by we journalistas? Ripping some team's draft choice about five years after the fact by going down the roster of Pro Bowlers who were drafted later and saying, "Look who they could have had." A trick like that takes no brains and no work. All you need is a roster. Everybody does it. And I'm here to put a stop to it, do you hear?

No, folks. You rate the draft at the time and then you keep your trap shut. None of that hindsight stuff.

Now I'm a teacher; I grade students. As a teacher, I attempt to be as objective as possible, and I attempt to give grades with as much material for evaluation as I can reasonable acquire.

In fact, it is much more reasonable to give draft grades 5 years later. At that point, players have built up material for evaluation. Grading is supposed to be as objective as possible--to give the grades immediately after the draft is a subjective assessment, not an objective assessment.

What if I walked into class on the first day, asked each student to give me some sample writing assignments from high school, then gave each student a grade for the semester? That would be UTTERLY INSANE, right? I can't grade students on the first day; I must wait to give a graded assessment until they have built up a reasonable body of work.

So if you're going to call something your draft "grade" or "report card," you should wait 3-5 years. If you want to assess it right now, call it something else. And don't insult those who attempt to make objective evaluations of drafts after there's reasonable data.

1 comment:

  1. Uh. I thought the idea of scouting and drafting was to determine which players would be the best in the future. Wouldn't that mean that the best time to assess the scouts job performance would be in the future? That Dr. Z article was really weird.