No, claims professional baseball and hockey consultant Tom Tango, coauthor of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. (The Book is an excellent read. Even those not well-versed in statistical analysis will find the material pretty straightforward.)
The reason that batting average was the predominant statistic in the first hundred years of baseball was that it involved such a simple calculation: it’s easy enough to go back to the dugout after a 2-for-5 day and say, “Hey, I’m batting .400!” On the other hand, could I ever sit in the dugout without pen or calculator and figure out my wOBA?
Instead of “1” for a walk or hit batter, think “0.7”.
Instead of “1” for a single or reaching on error, think “0.9”.
Instead of “1” for a double or triple, think “1.3”.
Instead of “1” for a HR, think “2.0”.
(Notice how everything revolves around “1”, and the scale of it seems at least reasonable, and easy enough to remember?)
So, say you go 2 for 5, with a HR. In the dugout, you are thinking “I’m 2 for 5, but with a HR!”. Well, now you can think you are 2.9 for 5. Is it really that hard? [emphasis mine]
Interestingly, some of Tango’s sabermetric-phile commenters answer in the affirmative. One asks, “Are you trying to argue that calc’ing 2.3/4 in your head is anywhere nearly as easy as 1/4? Even among the educated, the latter you just know — and this goes for every possible H/AB line in a boxscore except maybe 7s — the former you have to actually stop and compute, which completely affects any fluency you might have in discussing it.”
By the way, wOBA is now receiving mainstream attention: ESPN’s Baseball Tonight program last Sunday evening explained the statistic when discussing Russell Martin’s hot start.