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Thread: To Post Or Not To Post??

  1. #26
    MudV posted: Thank you all so much for your thoughtful contributions; you really gave me some excellent things to think about, reevaluate, and make a decision from there. While I can't respond to all of your thoughts, I'll try to answer some of the questions you posted and give my general thoughts of how I may proceed.
    Mud, nice work on summing up the various schools of thought into one comprehensive post. Often threads will peter out and there won't be any clear compilation of the ideas contributed, so I fear that few are able to learn much from those threads. This post was a big help. (Jake .... I'm sensing moderator material here.....)

    One additional thought, though. "Posting stats" is not necessarily an either/or -- i.e., yes/no -- decision. You can post stats some place that college recruiters and parents "in the know" might find them, which is a far cry from handing them out to players at practice (where they're likely to be distracted). Or you might give a copy to parents who request them and whose judgment you trust, with the caveat that they should not allow their kid to pore over it and further disseminate it to his teammates.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    (Jake .... I'm sensing moderator material here.....)
    Mud, nice job summarizing...
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
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  3. #28
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    Mud,

    I guess I missed the the high school portion of the question. I am in favor of posting HS stats since they are used for various post season awards. Typically, in most areas, they also have some "players to watch" articles at the beginning of a HS season as well and so, the players who make those lists benefit. You still have the typical problems with scoring and that can't be helped. Believe me, Scorekeeper and I have had more than one or two conversations about scoring/stats. Scorekeeper promotes the use of one website per stats for HS players and suggest that many schools and conferences use that site. In our area, the St. Louis Post Dispatch provides a site which HS coaches use. I like this site and so, include the url for it to any perspective college coaches. Note - yes, I understand that colleges do place little value on stats since they don't know the level of competition. As a way of demonstrating the type of info found on the site our HS uses and, as a way of posting my kid's stats so that any coach looking in can see them, here is the site:

    http://stlhighschoolsports.com/sport...overall266.php


    Mud et. al, I don't know that any college coach has ever gone to this site to check out stats. I do know that with my baseball boys, I was able to get a lot of them in to college. So, I'm assuming that college coaches used the site.
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harley View Post
    I've always put stats on our LL team's website. It shows BA, OBP, SLG, ERA, and WHIP. I also kept a current paper copy with me at the games in case someone asked why they were batting at a certain spot in the order or why they were not pitching that game.

    The only negative was that when we went into the All-Star playoffs, the opposing managers knew our players a little too well. In the first inning, I saw them moving their outfielders up and back depending on our batter's SLG.
    To me, that’s a good description of how stats should be used. They’re nothing more than a tool, like a bat or a rake, and there’s no need to hide them, unless there’s some kind of hanky panky goin’ on.

    When you noticed the opposing manager moving his defense, are you sure it was because of the stats you made public, or could it have been information based on scouting or other things? But no matter what, did you notice any of your hitters getting “robbed” because of special positioning of the fielders as opposed to what would have been “normal” for any batter?
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  5. #30
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    Because this topic is so close to my heart, I can’t help but make a couple comments.

    As usual, one of my “hot button” items has been thrown around here a bit, so I want to make another plea for anyone to define it. What is a quality at bat? One of the reasons no scorekeeper tracks it, is because there is nothing even close to a universally accepted definition, any more than there’s one for who the “best” hitter on a team is.

    To me, those are the kinds of things that cause the most angst among everyone. A coach says the best hitter should bat 3rd, then can’t define how that’ll be determined, or his definition changes day to day. Then when called on it by some parent, when they won’t accept the explanation of “gut” feelings or deep baseball understanding, they’re automatically put in the PITA parent category.

    Another one is the PERCEPTION that the players go gaga over the stats, then turn into selfish and greedy players who sacrifice the team for their personal gain. Sorry guys, but I can’t think of a more closed minded piece of baseball dogma than that. It isn’t bad enough that its based purely on the feelings of a coach, but I don’t know there’s any way to actually prove it if it was true! What are the symptoms of a player totally caught up in his stats anyway? Maybe I’m just not smart enough to have picked up on them, Tell me so I can look for it.

    I’ve always posted the stats for the teams I score for, from the LLI Minors team to the JUCO team my boy played on, and every team in between. Here’s the long and short of it.

    From the coach’s standpoint, most don’t look at much of anything other than the old tried and true numbers they were judged by when they were playing. But almost every coach believes he has the secret answer in some stat or group of stats he relies heavily on.

    From the player’s standpoint, I’d say that maybe a quarter of all the players admitted to even looking at the stats, but that’s a misleading number. Why? Because first of all, there’s no reason for ALL the players to look. A pure sub or mop up only pitcher isn’t going to look at his numbers for any reason other than everyone likes to see their name in print! That eliminates at least a fourth of all the players on a 16 player team, and more than that on teams with bigger rosters.

    Of the position players and hitters, the only players that would have any reason to get all uppity about their numbers are the top players, and they don’t need to see the numbers to know they’re in that top category. There are enough people stroking them so they know how good they are perceived to be without the stats. The stats only confirm that in their minds, and it’s the same with the pitchers.

    The thing is though, whether or not the stats are posted, the players all know, or at least think they know their position in the pecking order. So what happens by keeping them secret, is only a matter of them having a perception based on some kind of evidence, or on a “feeling”.

    And when the kids get older as in HS, how foolish is it for a coach to believe his players aren’t gonna look in places like MaxPreps, that site CB mentioned, or a thousand more like it to see how their peers are doing? It only natural for people to want to know how they measure up. But when a kid looks and sees another leading the state with 10 HRs, it doesn’t sit very well knowing they have 12 but their coach won’t allow them to have that tiny bit of celebrity.

    But where amateur baseball stats mean the most, is where they actually have the least to do with the game. It’s the parents who care! They’re the ones who want to see their kid’s name in print. They’re the ones who want bragging rights in the stands and at work. They’re the ones who tell the visiting recruiter how their boy led every team in hits from LL Minors to HSV! IOW, it’s a tool that allows the parents to get a little more return on his very substantial investment!

    I can’t tell what ALL scouts do or don’t do, but I do know that at least some look at every available source to get players on their radar and to see how the one’s they know about are doing. Do I believe the coach of a small DIII or NAIA school in the mid Atlantic part of the country are gonna be looking at Seattle’s prep stats to see who they should go visit? Not hardly. But I know for sure that Ohio State looks at MaxPreps for football, baseball, basketball, and softball scholarship candidates, because I’ve talked to the AD’s assistant there who does the looking. You can pretty much bet they aren’t the only ones too.

    So what does it boil down to? Pretty much what I say about everything, and that Mud fairly well pointed out. The situation determines everything. Where Mud wouldn’t want a snowball fight single to be scored a triple just because that’s where the runner happened to end up, others don’t care. So all the time he spends trying to make sure the data is a valid as possible is commendable, others just post whatever numbers come up, and those who refuse to take the time but want valid data, just won’t post them at all.

    Everything depends on the situation!
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  6. #31
    What's funny is when parents rattle off their kids' outrageous stats. I always say that my son hit a couple hundred points lower and watch their reaction. You can literally see into their minds as they're thinking back on what they called "hits."
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

  7. #32
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    I never hear MaxPreps mentioned in my part of the country. If not for discussion boards I wouldn't know it exists. The newspapers and conference websites don't list stats until the end of the season. All we see is standings. So no one is whining their name isn't in the paper. If a player wants his name in the paper help win a game or be player of the week. The only public recognition of individual stats is if a writer puts them in an article on a game or about a player.

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    .
    Another one is the PERCEPTION that the players go gaga over the stats, then turn into selfish and greedy players
    Per usual, you exaggerated an opposing viewpoint: "selfish and greedy players."
    But, without doubt, posting stats makes players more self-conscious.
    It's not a question whether this exists or not.
    It's just a question as to what degree it exists on any particular team.
    Good coaching attempts to minimize it, and attempts to maximize team-oriented players despite the fact that baseball is essentially an individual sport.
    No data.
    Last edited by skipper5; 09-17-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipper5 View Post
    Per usual, you exaggerated an opposing viewpoint: "selfish and greedy players."
    But, without doubt, posting stats makes players more self-conscious.
    It's not a question whether this exists or not.
    It's just a question as to what degree it exists on any particular team.
    Good coaching attempts to minimize it, and attempts to maximize team-oriented players despite the fact that baseball is essentially an individual sport.
    No data.
    How is it that that’s an exaggeration? If the big worry isn’t that the players will see the stats and turn their interests to themselves rather than their team, what’s the big worry? Perhaps you wouldn’t call a player who did that selfish and greedy, but I sure would.

    Talk about at least possible exaggeration! You’re saying that every player on every team where the stats are posted is more self conscious about them then if they weren’t, and the implication then, is that in every case it has a negative effect on the team. That is one very big statement.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain how it is that at any degree its necessarily a “bad” thing that players are conscious of their numbers. What exactly is it that they do or don’t do that hurts the team? Do they not try hard enough? Do they sabotage other players to make themselves look better?

    I’ve heard this argument so many times, its become an indelible part of baseball dogma, but I honestly have very seldom seen anyone do anything other than opine about how players who even think about their own stats are cancers on the team and cause irreparable damage to the team chemistry.

    The one thing you said that is rock solid truth, is that baseball is in fact, essentially an individual sport. And more than that, its one that at every turn encourages stats as a way to measure players. It is without a doubt the sport hat drowns all others in a bath of metrics that go back well over 100 years! I do understand why people THINK it’s a bad thing, but where’s the beef?
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Because this topic is so close to my heart, I can’t help but make a couple comments.

    As usual, one of my “hot button” items has been thrown around here a bit, so I want to make another plea for anyone to define it. What is a quality at bat? One of the reasons no scorekeeper tracks it, is because there is nothing even close to a universally accepted definition, any more than there’s one for who the “best” hitter on a team is.
    The coach knows what a quality at bat is. Posted traditional stats skew the concept so that a kid doesn't even care about "quality at bat".
    To me, those are the kinds of things that cause the most angst among everyone. A coach says the best hitter should bat 3rd, then can’t define how that’ll be determined, or his definition changes day to day. Then when called on it by some parent, when they won’t accept the explanation of “gut” feelings or deep baseball understanding, they’re automatically put in the PITA parent category.

    Another one is the PERCEPTION that the players go gaga over the stats, then turn into selfish and greedy players who sacrifice the team for their personal gain. Sorry guys, but I can’t think of a more closed minded piece of baseball dogma than that. It isn’t bad enough that its based purely on the feelings of a coach, but I don’t know there’s any way to actually prove it if it was true! What are the symptoms of a player totally caught up in his stats anyway? Maybe I’m just not smart enough to have picked up on them, Tell me so I can look for it.
    They do gaga over stats. But they don't go gaga over moving a runner to 3rd, backing up the proper base,etc
    I’ve always posted the stats for the teams I score for, from the LLI Minors team to the JUCO team my boy played on, and every team in between. Here’s the long and short of it.

    From the coach’s standpoint, most don’t look at much of anything other than the old tried and true numbers they were judged by when they were playing. But almost every coach believes he has the secret answer in some stat or group of stats he relies heavily on.
    A coach doesn't need any stats to know what's going on.
    From the player’s standpoint, I’d say that maybe a quarter of all the players admitted to even looking at the stats, but that’s a misleading number. Why? Because first of all, there’s no reason for ALL the players to look. A pure sub or mop up only pitcher isn’t going to look at his numbers for any reason other than everyone likes to see their name in print! That eliminates at least a fourth of all the players on a 16 player team, and more than that on teams with bigger rosters.
    They all look at the stats. Every last one of them.
    Of the position players and hitters, the only players that would have any reason to get all uppity about their numbers are the top players, and they don’t need to see the numbers to know they’re in that top category. There are enough people stroking them so they know how good they are perceived to be without the stats. The stats only confirm that in their minds, and it’s the same with the pitchers.

    The thing is though, whether or not the stats are posted, the players all know, or at least think they know their position in the pecking order. So what happens by keeping them secret, is only a matter of them having a perception based on some kind of evidence, or on a “feeling”.

    And when the kids get older as in HS, how foolish is it for a coach to believe his players aren’t gonna look in places like MaxPreps, that site CB mentioned, or a thousand more like it to see how their peers are doing? It only natural for people to want to know how they measure up. But when a kid looks and sees another leading the state with 10 HRs, it doesn’t sit very well knowing they have 12 but their coach won’t allow them to have that tiny bit of celebrity.
    Tough.
    But where amateur baseball stats mean the most, is where they actually have the least to do with the game. It’s the parents who care! They’re the ones who want to see their kid’s name in print. They’re the ones who want bragging rights in the stands and at work. They’re the ones who tell the visiting recruiter how their boy led every team in hits from LL Minors to HSV! IOW, it’s a tool that allows the parents to get a little more return on his very substantial investment!
    They are the ones who get mad at the coach for yelling at their kid for missing signals-and then yell at you when they think an error is a hit,.....Return on investment? Oh, brother!
    I can’t tell what ALL scouts do or don’t do, but I do know that at least some look at every available source to get players on their radar and to see how the one’s they know about are doing. Do I believe the coach of a small DIII or NAIA school in the mid Atlantic part of the country are gonna be looking at Seattle’s prep stats to see who they should go visit? Not hardly. But I know for sure that Ohio State looks at MaxPreps for football, baseball, basketball, and softball scholarship candidates, because I’ve talked to the AD’s assistant there who does the looking. You can pretty much bet they aren’t the only ones too.
    OSU's assistant to the AD? That proves it.
    So what does it boil down to? Pretty much what I say about everything, and that Mud fairly well pointed out. The situation determines everything. Where Mud wouldn’t want a snowball fight single to be scored a triple just because that’s where the runner happened to end up, others don’t care. So all the time he spends trying to make sure the data is a valid as possible is commendable, others just post whatever numbers come up, and those who refuse to take the time but want valid data, just won’t post them at all.

    Everything depends on the situation!
    Overall, you are just way off on this one.
    Last edited by omg; 09-17-2010 at 03:31 PM.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    Overall, you are just way off on this one.
    Why? Because you don’t agree, or that there is some kind of proof that says I’m wrong? I’ll accept that your opinion and mine are different. And I’ll accept that if you have some kind of proof I’m not aware and allow me the opportunity to educate myself, I might be at least partially in error. But other than that, just saying I’m wrong doesn’t make it so, anymore than me saying you’re wrong.

    Really. Why is it so difficult to admit that I might be right about anything I said?
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Why? Because you don’t agree, or that there is some kind of proof that says I’m wrong? I’ll accept that your opinion and mine are different. And I’ll accept that if you have some kind of proof I’m not aware and allow me the opportunity to educate myself, I might be at least partially in error. But other than that, just saying I’m wrong doesn’t make it so, anymore than me saying you’re wrong.

    Really. Why is it so difficult to admit that I might be right about anything I said?
    I thought I stated why with the bold print sentences. Anyways, this is not the type of thing that can be "proved" so we don't need to go round and round. You're right, it's just my opinion, and really, more people think like you on this topic than me.

    Just about everyone loves stats. Stats are fun. They are like crossword puzzles.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    I thought I stated why with the bold print sentences. Anyways, this is not the type of thing that can be "proved" so we don't need to go round and round. You're right, it's just my opinion, and really, more people think like you on this topic than me.

    Just about everyone loves stats. Stats are fun. They are like crossword puzzles.
    To tell the truth, I didn’t even notice the bold stuck in with all the quoted stuff. I apologize because I didn’t intentionally ignore anything you said. I’ll look at it again and attempt to respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    The coach knows what a quality at bat is. Posted traditional stats skew the concept so that a kid doesn't even care about "quality at bat".
    I’ll accept that the coach knows what HE believes a QAB is. So if that’s true, why can’t they define it so I can understand it? I’m not the sharpest tack in the box, but I really do believe I could understand a baseball concept just as good or better than any youth player. So if I don’t understand it, what makes you believe the kids are? Of course if its defined as just hitting the ball hard, that’s awfully simplistic for what we’re talking about here. In order to be a “better” metric than even the “normal” stats, it has to measure something.

    They do gaga over stats. But they don't go gaga over moving a runner to 3rd, backing up the proper base,etc
    Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense to me, so I’ve got to take a stab and hope I’m correct. If I’m not, let me know and I’ll try again.

    I’m guessing you’re attempting to show the symptoms of a player totally caught up in his stats, and in doing that you’re saying the player will look at the numbers to the exclusion of any accepted good fundamental things players should do, such as backing up properly, or I’m assuming hitting behind a runner to move him over 3rd.

    Let me ask you this. In the stats you keep as a coach, do you track moving runners over, and not just to 3rd, but to any base at all? Also, do you track how the fielders back up on plays?

    I don’t track the backing up on plays for a couple reasons. #1 is, no coach has ever asked me to do it, and #2 its not something I feel any human being could do very accurately. I’m sure I could get at least a few of the players positions on any given play, but there’s just no way I could get them all. If you can, you have my respect, and I’d love to see an example of that metric. I do track moving runners however. Not only do I find it pretty easy to do, I think its an outstanding metric, much better than RBIS or BARISP, and its in every stat package I post.

    So, if you find players who you don’t feel are conscious enough of those things and likely others and you don’t track them, who’s fault it that? No one twists a coach’s arm to tell him which stats he has to show. I like runs produced which is a total of RBIs and Runs Scored, Moving Runners Up, Defensive stats that include showing each player’s numbers by position and as an individual, Pitching stats that show Pitches Per inning and batter batters per inning, pitches per base runner, pitches per BB, etc., and many other metrics as well. In fact, I’d be tickled to death if my coach asked me to stop doing most of the old stand by stats, because I don’t believe many are very good at all.

    A coach doesn't need any stats to know what's going on.
    Sorry, but that’s just plain wrong. Darn near everything in baseball is measured. A won/lost record is a stat. Whether Johnny shows up for practice is a stat. Whether a player get a QAB is also a stat. Those things are statistics because they give a way to measure an event. Just because things aren’t written down doesn’t mean they are statistics.

    They all look at the stats. Every last one of them.
    Sure they look at them, but you’re saying they go gaga over them, and that isn’t true but for a very small percentage. Like I said, everyone likes to see their name in print, and kids are no exception.

    Tough.
    That’s your answer? Tough? And how would you like it if at work one of your peers was constantly being rewarded for doing job you do better in every single way?

    They are the ones who get mad at the coach for yelling at their kid for missing signals-and then yell at you when they think an error is a hit,.....Return on investment? Oh, brother!
    I think I’m getting a better sense of your feelings toward parents. You’ve been called out for hollering at the players and it pisses you off. Well, here’s what I have to say about that. TOUGH! The parents yell at you because they don’t agree with the way you marked something? TOUGH! Of course I’m kidding, but why do you think that kind of thing from a parent is unusual?

    I can tell you that depending on how someone disciplined either of my children when they were small, I might have taken exception and said something too. In fact, in recent years, coaches yelling is looked at as a big no-no by a heck of a lot of people. As for a parent getting his panties in a bunch over whether something gets marked as a hit or error, I hear that crap every single game! It doesn’t bother me because I understand they aren’t mad at me, they’re just being a parent. Also, I know how little it means in the grand scheme of things, so what I do is also show a number that includes ROEs as a positive, just for those parents. You’d be surprised at how it cools their jets.

    OSU's assistant to the AD? That proves it.
    Well, what proof do you have that no scout or coach looks at them? How else can I prove it? I talked to the guy at a conference, and he showed me on his laptop what he said was what he did. Should I have assumed he was a lying SOB and dug deeper? I don’t think so.

    If you choose to believe that stats have no place in this world, its fine by me. I know it would kill me not to look at a sport’s section because its nothing but stats from the first page to the last. And no more SI or TNS either.

    I think you’re creating fire and brimstone Devils from Hell where its nothing more than someone who passed gas in car.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    I’ll accept that the coach knows what HE believes a QAB is. So if that’s true, why can’t they define it so I can understand it? I’m not the sharpest tack in the box, but I really do believe I could understand a baseball concept just as good or better than any youth player. So if I don’t understand it, what makes you believe the kids are? Of course if its defined as just hitting the ball hard, that’s awfully simplistic for what we’re talking about here. In order to be a “better” metric than even the “normal” stats, it has to measure something.
    SK, trying to define a "QAB" would be one of the longest posts in the history of BBF, because there are almost as may "QABs" scenarios as there are potential situations presented to a hitter at any given AB.

    Most times a "QAB" is simply a coaching tool, to help coach a encourage a player who, although he worked hard, and technically did everything correct at the plate, just didn't get the results he was personally looking for . . . for himself or team.

    If you "believe (you) could understand a baseball concept just as good or better than any youth player" . . . than I'm sure you've watched a hitter battle a pitcher with four, five, or more foul balls on difficult pitches . . . making the pitcher throw a seven or eight more pitches than he should have . . . only to eventually, just miss a FB and tip it into the catcher's glove for a "K".

    Would you consider that a "QAB"? How about the kid, with a runner on second with no outs . . . who works to hit the ball behind the runner and swings at a definite ball off the outside of the plate to poke a weak GB to the 2nd baseman . . . he didn't hit that ball hard, but would you consider that a "QAB"?

    If you agree that those are a couple examples of "QABs", then I think you can see why defining all of them would be exhaustive at best . . . almost impossible at worst. If you don't agree that those are "QABs", then we're strictly of different opinions and for me to even attempt to define any of them would be pointless.

    As for the rest of the many immeasurable assumptions made throughout the rest of the posts, I'll let those interested in trying to debate the wide myriad of personal preferences and characteristics have at it . . .

  15. #40
    For those of you who strive to be process-oriented coaches--

    Posting the stats conflicts directly with process-oriented coaching (vs. results-oriented).
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Even if your words to your team reinforce process-oriented coaching, your action (posting the stats) betrays your words.
    Coaches who are genuinely process-oriented don't post the stats.
    Skip

  16. #41
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    Would you consider that a "QAB"? How about the kid, with a runner on second with no outs . . . who works to hit the ball behind the runner and swings at a definite ball off the outside of the plate to poke a weak GB to the 2nd baseman . . . he didn't hit that ball hard, but would you consider that a "QAB"?

    What about the high school kid who leads off the 6th inning of a one run game with the stud opposing pitcher at 100 pitches. He works a 3-2 count, fouls off six pitches then strikes out. I'd say this kid did a good job of getting the stud pitcher to his limit. Chances are the pitcher is going to finish the inning at 120-125 pitches and not pitch the 7th due to the kid's at bat. Or the pitcher is more likely to be fatigued. I'd call it a quality at bat. At the same time running a 3-2 count, fouling off six pitches then striking out with the bases loaded and two outs for the last out of the game would not be a quality at bat. It would only be a good effort.
    Last edited by tg643; 09-20-2010 at 08:23 AM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipper5 View Post
    For those of you who strive to be process-oriented coaches--

    Posting the stats conflicts directly with process-oriented coaching (vs. results-oriented).
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Even if your words to your team reinforce process-oriented coaching, your action (posting the stats) betrays your words.
    Coaches who are genuinely process-oriented don't post the stats.
    Skip, at some point the results become more important than the process - which does not suggest the process is unimportant.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    SK, trying to define a "QAB" would be one of the longest posts in the history of BBF, because there are almost as may "QABs" scenarios as there are potential situations presented to a hitter at any given AB.
    I get it, and I keep saying as much. But I get it not because of all the different scenarios that could be considered a QAB, but because it would be difficult to get two coaches to agree on what exactly a QAB is. I find things like that troubling because often people will hide behind the ability to define it, the fact that they don’t really use it.

    But even so, why is it so difficult to define? To me, this is a lot like the argument for coaches calling pitches. If its something a coach can do, how did he learn it and why can’t he teach it to someone else? How did you learn what a QAB was?

    Most times a "QAB" is simply a coaching tool, to help coach a encourage a player who, although he worked hard, and technically did everything correct at the plate, just didn't get the results he was personally looking for . . . for himself or team.
    What else could it possibly be? If it were any kind of worthwhile measure of anything, I assure you some screwball Saber wonk would have defined it, copywritten it, written a book about it, been on every sports talk show and baseball bulletin board, and spoken of by every manager, player, owner, baseball announcer, and fan, no matter how complex it was.

    What it boils down to, is that it’s like saying “Nice Swing” to someone who just swung and missed, “Nice Pitch” to a pitcher who just had a ball called on a pitch he threw, “Nice Try” to a fielder who dove after a hit ball but missed it, “Good Read” to a runner who moved up on a ball the catcher missed, “Good Eye” to a batter who just took a pitch over his head, or “Not Your Pitch” to a batter who just took a called strike. IOW, its nothing but a verbal reward for an effort, or a way to encourage a player so they don’t get down on themselves.

    What its really doing is giving a reward for something the rules of the game don’t treat as a reward. Some might say it’s a refusal to face failure head on. but then say baseball is a game of failure.

    If you "believe (you) could understand a baseball concept just as good or better than any youth player" . . . than I'm sure you've watched a hitter battle a pitcher with four, five, or more foul balls on difficult pitches . . . making the pitcher throw a seven or eight more pitches than he should have . . . only to eventually, just miss a FB and tip it into the catcher's glove for a "K".

    Would you consider that a "QAB"? How about the kid, with a runner on second with no outs . . . who works to hit the ball behind the runner and swings at a definite ball off the outside of the plate to poke a weak GB to the 2nd baseman . . . he didn't hit that ball hard, but would you consider that a "QAB"?
    Actually, you’re asking the wrong guy. As a scorer, I try not to deal with what I think, but rather what something is, in relation to the scoring rules. To me, the 1st kid struck out and the 2nd grounded out 4-3. Its like golf. You’re not asked to draw a pitcher or write a narrative about how you got a particular score.

    However, since I do track many things that aren’t called for in the baseball scoring rules, but are either things I feel are important or been asked to track for a coach, other things would show up in the metrics I do. FI, since I log every pitch and their sequence, the kid who struck out would definitely show how many pitches took place in the at bat he K’d on, so it would be a piece of cake to see his K’s by the number of pitches, and the sequence if wanted. But why only K’s? If a K on 8 pitches is a QAB, what’s an out where the ball is put in play on 8 pitches, a double QAB? Or how about a hit or a walk on 8 pitches. What are they worth?

    IMHO, all you do when you call a K a QAB, a line drive to the 2nd baseman who dives and grabs it and makes a fabulous throw a QAB, and a perfectly executed line drive the other way in the gap a QAB, is cheapen the hit, cheapen the out in relation to the K, but elevate it to the same level as the hit, and elevate the K, until its equal top both the hit and the out, when it isn’t.

    If you agree that those are a couple examples of "QABs", then I think you can see why defining all of them would be exhaustive at best . . . almost impossible at worst. If you don't agree that those are "QABs", then we're strictly of different opinions and for me to even attempt to define any of them would be pointless.
    As I said above, as a scorer I don’t think that way. As a parent and fan however, I do. However, as you can see, I already took what you defined as a QAB, plus I added the additional definition of other outs that came after at least 7 pitches. So it isn’t that I’m at all adverse to scoring and tracking them, its just that I require them to be defined, and I don’t care how many factors there are. Its my job to figure out how to track them. If I had to do something additional, that’s what I’d do.

    You see, I know it’s a daunting task, but it’s a finite one, and only has to be done once. Of course there can be criteria added or taken away, but its not as though it has to be redefined every single pitch.
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Would you consider that a "QAB"? How about the kid, with a runner on second with no outs . . . who works to hit the ball behind the runner and swings at a definite ball off the outside of the plate to poke a weak GB to the 2nd baseman . . . he didn't hit that ball hard, but would you consider that a "QAB"?

    What about the high school kid who leads off the 6th inning of a one run game with the stud opposing pitcher at 100 pitches. He works a 3-2 count, fouls off six pitches then strikes out. I'd say this kid did a good job of getting the stud pitcher to his limit. Chances are the pitcher is going to finish the inning at 120-125 pitches and not pitch the 7th due to the kid's at bat. Or the pitcher is more likely to be fatigued. I'd call it a quality at bat. At the same time running a 3-2 count, fouling off six pitches then striking out with the bases loaded and two outs for the last out of the game would not be a quality at bat. It would only be a good effort.
    Yes, and why I wrote:
    SK, trying to define a "QAB" would be one of the longest posts in the history of BBF, because there are almost as many "QABs" scenarios as there are potential situations presented to a hitter at any given AB.
    I would hope that at the HS level, ALL hitters would be making "a good effort" regardless of the game situation . . .

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Skip, at some point the results become more important than the process - which does not suggest the process is unimportant.
    BOOIIINNNNGGGGG!

    Its kinda strange that so many people claim to be so officious about the rules, but when pressed we find out that its only rules they feel important they get officious about. FI, every baseball rulebook defines the height and slope of a pitcher’s mound, but how many times has a mound been questioned by either the umpires or a coach? Nah. It ain’t important. Besides, it’s the same for both team’s pitchers.

    The same thing happens with the stats. Every rule book I know of, other than LLI , and then they have a special handout for it, has the equivalent to a rule 10 in it. But it isn’t important to a lot of people, who I suppose feel they are bigger than the game, so they get to choose which rules are important and which aren’t.

    Of course there’s nothing I know of in the rule book that says those statistics have to be made public or even given to the players, but why bother to keep track of anything if it isn’t going to be looked at? To tell the truth, after all the years I’ve “discussed” this topic, what it boils down to is that there are coaches who take the time to find someone who will do a good job scoring and generating stats, or do it themselves, and in general those are the same coaches who will make the stats available.

    Others feel they don’t need no “stinking numbers” to do a great job coaching, so they allow anyone to keep the book, and don’t bother much about it at all. Its all a mindset. Some feel its important, and some don’t. But what’s funny is, the one’s who think its important don’t generally put down those who don’t. They just do their thing, and don’t worry about it. But for some strange reason, those who don’t think very highly of either stats or the practice of making them public, tend to tell stories about how the stats corrupt players and somehow turn them into something undesirable.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    But for some strange reason, those who don’t think very highly of either stats or the practice of making them public, tend to tell stories about how the stats corrupt players and somehow turn them into something undesirable.
    There's nothing strange about it.
    Some of us believe--from having coached for a number of years--that posting stats makes players more self-conscious--in several ways.

    1. Self-conscious in terms of "thinking" when they're hitting, fielding, or pitching-- instead of staying on the instinctive side of the brain

    2. Self-conscious in terms of not "living in the moment" and having a short memory

    3. Self-conscious in terms of playing for the name on the back of the jersey instead of the name on the front

    My viewpoint applies especially to short seasons of, say, 25-30 games. Small sample sizes intensify the negative aspects of posting stats.

    Bottom line: IMO, your players play better and you win more games if you don't post stats.
    Last edited by skipper5; 09-20-2010 at 09:56 AM.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    But what’s funny is, the one’s who think its important don’t generally put down those who don’t. They just do their thing, and don’t worry about it. But for some strange reason, those who don’t think very highly of either stats or the practice of making them public, tend to tell stories about how the stats corrupt players and somehow turn them into something undesirable.
    What's funny . . . is that there's only one guy here who feels he's able to demand quantitative definitions of others personal perceptions of the game, yet will toss out his negative unsupported perception of others willy-nilly.

    Your personal "observations/opinions" of coaches are no more accurate or factual, than those same coaches "observations/opinions" of the game and/or their players . . . yet you still make these threads personal, when the rest of us are simply sharing our experiences/observations/opinions of the actual play of game, and our players.

    It's getting quite old . . .

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Skip, at some point the results become more important than the process - which does not suggest the process is unimportant.
    Jake,
    In my own experience, I haven't found that an extremely process-oriented approach costs a team games in the win column.
    To the contrary, in my coaching career, I've achieved great success in terms of winning many more games than losing; I believe my disproportionate success is because of process-oriented coaching; not in spite of it.
    Last edited by skipper5; 09-20-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    I get it, and I keep saying as much. But I get it not because of all the different scenarios that could be considered a QAB, but because it would be difficult to get two coaches to agree on what exactly a QAB is. I find things like that troubling because often people will hide behind the ability to define it, the fact that they don’t really use it.

    But even so, why is it so difficult to define? To me, this is a lot like the argument for coaches calling pitches. If its something a coach can do, how did he learn it and why can’t he teach it to someone else? How did you learn what a QAB was?
    We learn it by coaching and teaching the game over many years . . . making decisions and then interpreting their results (some positive and some negative) on a subjective level, while stats on report the objective part of the game.

    You NEVER felt that your son had a "great" game, even though the stats or final score didn't confirm it?

    I have absolutely no doubt that when given various AB scenarios and the results of the hitter, two coaches with the same years of experience and coaching level would be 95% or more in agreement or defining what is a "QAB" or not, when two SKers of the same experience would simply be lost . . . based on their respective subjective versus objective view of the game and not anything personal.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    What else could it possibly be? If it were any kind of worthwhile measure of anything, I assure you some screwball Saber wonk would have defined it, copywritten it, written a book about it, been on every sports talk show and baseball bulletin board, and spoken of by every manager, player, owner, baseball announcer, and fan, no matter how complex it was.
    Most SKers don't know what's "worthwhile" in the game unless it's confirmed to them in Rule 10, and thus are SKers instead of players or coaches . . . or if they do, cannot put the "subjective" into the written word.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    What it boils down to, is that it’s like saying “Nice Swing” to someone who just swung and missed, “Nice Pitch” to a pitcher who just had a ball called on a pitch he threw, “Nice Try” to a fielder who dove after a hit ball but missed it, “Good Read” to a runner who moved up on a ball the catcher missed, “Good Eye” to a batter who just took a pitch over his head, or “Not Your Pitch” to a batter who just took a called strike. IOW, its nothing but a verbal reward for an effort, or a way to encourage a player so they don’t get down on themselves.

    What its really doing is giving a reward for something the rules of the game don’t treat as a reward. Some might say it’s a refusal to face failure head on. but then say baseball is a game of failure.
    It would appear that way to those who search a scorebook for answers versus observing the actual goings on and player dynamics happening on the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Actually, you’re asking the wrong guy. As a scorer, I try not to deal with what I think, but rather what something is, in relation to the scoring rules. To me, the 1st kid struck out and the 2nd grounded out 4-3. Its like golf. You’re not asked to draw a pitcher or write a narrative about how you got a particular score.
    And why you're unable to assess the true VALUE of both of those situations in the big scheme of the the TEAM game.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    However, since I do track many things that aren’t called for in the baseball scoring rules, but are either things I feel are important or been asked to track for a coach, other things would show up in the metrics I do. FI, since I log every pitch and their sequence, the kid who struck out would definitely show how many pitches took place in the at bat he K’d on, so it would be a piece of cake to see his K’s by the number of pitches, and the sequence if wanted. But why only K’s? If a K on 8 pitches is a QAB, what’s an out where the ball is put in play on 8 pitches, a double QAB? Or how about a hit or a walk on 8 pitches. What are they worth?
    Depends on the situation . . . you seem to not want to understand the major determining factor of a "QAB".

    Stats are for individuals . . . "QABs" relate to the players' contributions to team play.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    IMHO, all you do when you call a K a QAB, a line drive to the 2nd baseman who dives and grabs it and makes a fabulous throw a QAB, and a perfectly executed line drive the other way in the gap a QAB, is cheapen the hit, cheapen the out in relation to the K, but elevate it to the same level as the hit, and elevate the K, until its equal top both the hit and the out, when it isn’t.
    Maybe not to the individual, but it may be of equal importance to the team in the overall outcome of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    As I said above, as a scorer I don’t think that way. As a parent and fan however, I do. However, as you can see, I already took what you defined as a QAB, plus I added the additional definition of other outs that came after at least 7 pitches. So it isn’t that I’m at all adverse to scoring and tracking them, its just that I require them to be defined, and I don’t care how many factors there are. Its my job to figure out how to track them. If I had to do something additional, that’s what I’d do.

    You see, I know it’s a daunting task, but it’s a finite one, and only has to be done once. Of course there can be criteria added or taken away, but its not as though it has to be redefined every single pitch.
    You did nothing but make a useless chart of numbers . . .

    As "tg" correctly identified, the same AB progression for one AB, may be said to be of "quality" given the scenario; when the other, given a different scenario would not.

    Sorry about the abstract thinking and that not everything in baseball is not black and white . . . but that's the intrigue and lore of the game. If it wasn't, everyone with a computer would be a successful MLB manager, and we know that's just not the case.

    We all talk about and have seen the "instinctive" players . . . do you believe that that doesn't hold true for coaches also . . . or since no one can define "instinctive", other than when SCJ Potter Stewart once said, "I know what it is when the see it" . . . there's no such thing as an "instinctive" player and/or coach?

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Skip, at some point the results become more important than the process - which does not suggest the process is unimportant.
    The only problem is, that we as coaches we can ONLY teach/coach the "process" . . . we're unable to teach/coach the "results".

    The "results" (good or bad), are only an indicator of how well the players were able to apply what they learned, or to what level they were able to apply the "process" that they were taught, given their physical abilities.

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