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.
Originally Posted by mudvnine
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?
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 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 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.
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.
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"?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.