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Thread: Ted Williams vs. Left-handed Pitchers

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by SABR Matt
    5100 PAschosen carefully representing only at bats garnered in the least favorable platoon split against only pitchers having their best days.
    Read the post. It's not pitchers having their best days. It's against all left handed pitching.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan_1895-1948
    This is a guy some have touted as the greatest hitter ever. Why isn't he capable of going 3-4 against a lefty who's going good and throws a complete game.
    The same reason Ruth didn't routinely Do you and csh have to attempt to tear down Williams to make Ruth seem better?
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001
    Read the post. It's not pitchers having their best days. It's against all left handed pitching.

    No it isn't. It is against all pitchers.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    No it isn't. It is against all pitchers.
    It represents his splits for more than half his career. That's not statistically significant to you, though, right?

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    I never said that. What I am saying is that you fail to understand what is you are looking at. We probably have around 50% of Ted's PA against lefties. It just so happens that that data is for the back half of his career. We also know due to some limited data at the very back end of his career what his splits are at the very end and therefore what his splits are just before that. We know that his numbers just before his decline in 1958 are very good to great. You want to ignore that, so in effect you wish to damn him twice for his last three seasons. Once on the seasonal level and then again at the career level.

    We know two things. We know in the 50's when Ted was healthy and younger he hit lefties very well. We also know that Ted in the 40's was a better player then he was in the 50's. So should we assume that his splits should go downhill in the 40's? Or should we assume that he probably hit lefties better in his prime then when he was older?

    On top of all that you have very little to no data at all for any left handed hitter (or right handed hitter) before 1957 and you have basically nothing to compare Ted Williams too. You can't compare him to Babe you can't compare him Lou.

  6. #56
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    I agree with Ubiquitous here totally.

    I think this is very interesting info but I don't think it's somehow damning to Williams. Like was said Williams did do not so well against LHP in his really old and oft injured years, past age 38. Take out those years and his BA/OBP/SLG is .319/.440/.519. This is still missing the most of the first half of his career when overall he hit better than he did later. Add that on and I think just his BA will get up to at least .325 or so. He hit .350 career through age 38 so there's a difference, but it's not huge. According to the same member who wrote the pice being referenced Cobb hit 20 points below his career average against LHP. I don't think a 25 or so point difference is such a huge thing. He still has the huge amount of walks too. I think the biggest thing is that he appeared to hit for less power against LHP. Oveall I think Williams probably did have a bigger split against LHP than other left handed batters, but not by an insane margin like it's being made out to be I don't think it's somehow damning to his rep as perhaps the greatest hitter ever.

    And as far as the info with LH pitchers pitching a CG I again don't see how that is such a big deal. This is Williams in selected games throughout his career against LHP who were having a very good day (pitching a CG). That is the very definition of "finding" data to prove a preconceived notion. Go out and find how Ted did against LH pitchers pitching extremely well if you can't find evidence elsewhere.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    I never said that. What I am saying is that you fail to understand what is you are looking at. We probably have around 50% of Ted's PA against lefties. It just so happens that that data is for the back half of his career. We also know due to some limited data at the very back end of his career what his splits are at the very end and therefore what his splits are just before that. We know that his numbers just before his decline in 1958 are very good to great. You want to ignore that, so in effect you wish to damn him twice for his last three seasons. Once on the seasonal level and then again at the career level.
    I'm not ignoring it. The seasons "before his decline in 58'" are incorporated into the .297/.473 line that covers over half of his career PA's. I'm not looking at three seasons or ignoring anything. His last four seasons, which we discussed originally before this new info came to light, was 1730 PA's. This is 5100 of his 9700.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    We know two things. We know in the 50's when Ted was healthy and younger he hit lefties very well.
    Where do "we" know that he hit lefties very well in the 50's? We know he was lousy against them his last four years, lousy against them in CG's, and for the years we have available, very mediocre overall against them, that is, for the supposed greatest hitter to ever live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    We also know that Ted in the 40's was a better player then he was in the 50's.
    Actually, Ted's OPS+ during the 40's was 193, from 1950-60 it was 185. So he really wasn't that much better in the 40's as a hitter in terms of OPS (which is what we've been looking at). We're not examining overall playing output, we're talking about hitting splits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    So should we assume that his splits should go downhill in the 40's? Or should we assume that he probably hit lefties better in his prime then when he was older?
    What do you mean by his splits "going downhill"? If anything, after accumulating nearly a decade of experience against left handed pitching prior to the 50's, he should actually have learned how to hit LHP better, relatively speaking, in comparison to his youth. We're comparing Ted to himself, and I see no reason why we should presume that he should have hit lefties better (again, compared to himself) in the 40's than the 50's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    On top of all that you have very little to no data at all for any left handed hitter (or right handed hitter) before 1957 and you have basically nothing to compare Ted Williams too. You can't compare him to Babe you can't compare him Lou.
    I'm looking into Ruth, Cobb, and Lou, since you brought it up. I'm interested to see how they did and I'll dig as deep as possible.

    Saying that it's only useful to compare him to pre 1957 players is somewhat misleading- yes, we don't have the splits available, but unless you're going to just blindly assume that most left handers playing roughly in Ted's timeframe ALSO performed much worse against left handed pitching (ergo making it largely attributable to his era), than it doesn't factor into this discussion.

    Also, in terms of homeruns (yet another piece of the puzzle), and it includes old timers and everyone that ever hit 300 homeruns. In case you guys missed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by HitchedtoaSpark
    In another of my lengthy perusings of SABR's treasured Home Run Encyclopedia, I was surprised at coming across this fact--namely, that a scant 12.3% of Ted Williams' lifetime home runs came against left-handed pitchers. Further analysis yielded this equally surprising fact--to wit, that of all the LH sluggers in the game's history with at least 300 lifetime home runs to their credit, only Duke Snider (who was frequently sat down against lefties) has a worse percentage of his home runs off of lefties. How many left handed hitters are there with 300 career homeruns? There are over 100 total....

    The breakdown is as thus (list is as of 1995, when the book was published):
    Code:
    Name	       Total  Vs. RHP  Vs. LHP   %*
    Babe Ruth	714	495	219	30.7
    Reggie Jackson	563	384	179	31.8
    Willie McCovey	521	421	100	19.2
    Ted Williams	521	457	64	12.3
    Eddie Mathews	512	418	94	18.4
    Mel Ott	         511	400	111	21.7
    Lou Gehrig	493	350	143	29.0
    Stan Musial	475	320	155	32.6
    Willie Stargell	475	372	103	21.7
    Carl Yastrzemski452	374	78	17.3
    Billy Williams	426	325	101	23.7
    Darrell Evans	414	317	97	23.4
    Duke Snider	407	374	33	8.1
    Graig Nettles	390	281	109	27.9
    Norm Cash	377	316	61	16.2
    Johnny Mize	359	274	85	23.7
    Yogi Berra	358	273	85	23.7
    Dave Parker	339	237	102	30.1
    Boog Powell	339	270	69	20.4
    George Brett	317	229	88	27.8
    Fred Lynn	306	246	60	19.6
    Harold Baines 	301	243	58	19.3
    Chuck Klein	300	241	59	19.7
    
    * - Percentage of total home runs hit against LHP.
    As a corrolary to this, look at the players with weakest LHP homerun percentage totals we do have most of Eddie Mathews' career documented. His line against LHP was .232/.335/.401. Yaz was a .244/.321/.371 career hitter against LHP.

    And as a sidenote...presumably Babe Ruth's percentage of AB's against LHP was not only vastly lower than it is today, but also lower than Ted's %.

    And yet he managed to hit almost a third of his homeruns off of left handed pitching.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001
    I'm not ignoring it. The seasons "before his decline in 58'" are incorporated into the .297/.473 line that covers over half of his career PA's. I'm not looking at three seasons or ignoring anything. His last four seasons, which we discussed originally before this new info came to light, was 1730 PA's. This is 5100 of his 9700.
    Yes and taking his decline out and looking at him when was not in decline we find that he was a better hitter.

    Where do "we" know that he hit lefties very well in the 50's? We know he was lousy against them his last four years, lousy against them in CG's, and for the years we have available, very mediocre overall against them, that is, for the supposed greatest hitter to ever live.
    What are you kidding? You can't do simple subtraction? Secondly he wasn't lousy against lefties in his last 4 years. In 1957 his lefty splits would make him one of the top 3 hitters in the league. In 1959 Ted was lousy all around and injured. 1958 and 1960 he wasn't good against lefties.

    Finally unless you got documentation about other hitters against pitchers with complete games you have nothing on whether or not Ted was sub-par in those games.

    Actually, Ted's OPS+ during the 40's was 193, from 1950-60 it was 185. So he really wasn't that much better in the 40's as a hitter in terms of OPS (which is what we've been looking at). We're not examining overall playing output, we're talking about hitting splits.
    So he wasn't better like I said then?

    What do you mean by his splits "going downhill"? If anything, after accumulating nearly a decade of experience against left handed pitching prior to the 50's, he should actually have learned how to hit LHP better, relatively speaking, in comparison to his youth. We're comparing Ted to himself, and I see no reason why we should presume that he should have hit lefties better (again, compared to himself) in the 40's than the 50's.
    Experience does not trump age

    I'm looking into Ruth, Cobb, and Lou, since you brought it up. I'm interested to see how they did and I'll dig as deep as possible.

    Saying that it's only useful to compare him to pre 1957 players is somewhat misleading- yes, we don't have the splits available, but unless you're going to just blindly assume that most left handers playing roughly in Ted's timeframe ALSO performed much worse against left handed pitching (ergo making it largely attributable to his era), than it doesn't factor into this discussion.
    No i didn't say to only compare him to pre-1957 players.


    Also, in terms of homeruns (yet another piece of the puzzle), and it includes old timers and everyone that ever hit 300 homeruns. In case you guys missed it.



    As a corrolary to this, look at the players with weakest LHP homerun percentage totals we do have most of Eddie Mathews' career documented. His line against LHP was .232/.335/.401. Yaz was a .244/.321/.371 career hitter against LHP.

    And as a sidenote...presumably Babe Ruth's percentage of AB's against LHP was not only vastly lower than it is today, but also lower than Ted's %.

    And yet he managed to hit almost a third of his homeruns off of left handed pitching.

    Is Ted Williams Eddie Mathews? Are they similar players? Do they have similar styles? No, so then what does it prove? We know players have platoon splits. The evidence does not suggest that Ted had a huge platoon split for the majority of his career like you assume.

  9. #59
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    This is an entirely pointless conversation anyway. Who cares what his splits were in the 40s...the fact is that when you add it all up, he was a SENSATIONAL hitter. There's really no way to impugn that fact without losing the forest to examine the moss on the side of a tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond
    The same reason Ruth didn't routinely Do you and csh have to attempt to tear down Williams to make Ruth seem better?
    I honestly don't give a rats arse. This has nothing to do with Ruth so why bring him up. This is about Ballgame. I was surprised at the numbers, that's all. I did mention that even if he did struggle against lefties, to put up the numbers he did is that much more incredible. No bias here.

    And Matt, your Frankenstein comment was pretty funny but completely off-base.
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
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  11. #61
    Matt, digglahhh I figured you two out to have more class than your showing. Talk about my frankenstein numbers and that chime in with that remark, me building my case on nothing.

    Don't know what your talking about, I presented the best numbers available that give splits on Ted and LH pitchers with complete games. Than it's pointed out that it's to be expected of LH hitters to slow down in their late 30's. So I omit those splits in Ted's late 30s and list 369 at bats up to the age of 32 and "only say" that I am a bit surprised at that .256 batting average.

    I'm not here to beg any more for your approval. I stated it was only a small sample, no where do I even hint that Ted was mediocre or below average against LH pitchers, stated that to be fair to Ted I would have to see a higher number of split stats.

    It appears you guys are a bit touchy about Ted, try to make the case that I am playing with numbers to reinforce an agenda ( your words), go back on my posts and read my words that deal with the numbers I posted, don't know what you two are talking about.

    If you want to disagree with me go ahead but your off base stating that I use skewed numbers to present a false case.

  12. #62
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    I habben't saud you intentionally skewed numbers...I've said you pesented numbers that have no real world meaning and you allowed a gaggle of other folks to run with them to unreasonable conclusions. I have no agenda here...I was wrong to say you did...you got lumped in with several others who CLEARLY do and for that I am sorry...but I will again emphasize that splits against only lefties ho had complete games are essentially meaningless for the purposes of asserting anything larger about Williams as a hitter and that I fail to understand why even if the worst claims here were true it would matter in Williams' overall appraisal as a hitter. For overall appraisals...use overall numbers...and those numberes are unimpeachably brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3
    Matt, digglahhh I figured you two out to have more class than your showing.
    I believe they do Joe. This is just a touchy subject for whatever reason. Part of it might be because it involves a favorite player, or more likely, it involves numbers that mean something to some and not to others. All you can do is present information. That alone doesn't signify bias, especially when you've been pretty evenhanded in your posts. You're always one of the more fair posters on here. So are they though. Just hit a button. No worries.
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
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    Quote Originally Posted by SABR Matt
    For overall appraisals...use overall numbers...and those numberes are unimpeachably brilliant.
    I tried to make that point when I posted....

    Then again, if he did that poorly against lefties and still put up the career numbers he did, then that's pretty impressive.
    Let's say that a golfer was a horrible putter but still won tournaments. Overall he was a great golfer because of the results but in examing his actual game, the putting would be a weakness. His results are still the same though, and in reality, are probably more impressive considering the weakness. That is the angle I'm approaching this from. Not attacking what he did in his career, just a specific part of his game.
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 01-23-2007 at 10:56 PM.
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
    - Bill Burgess

  15. #65
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    SHOLESSJOE didn't hit a button...csh is the main source of frustration mouthing off at me as though I'm the one ignoring "facts" when he's the poster using extremely limited data to support a hypothesis that's utterly indefensible (that Williams should be considered in lower regard because hit lefties a little worse than righties).

    He hasn't changed one bit. This militant anti-science position is really growing tiresome.

  16. #66
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    Fair enough Sultan...if you want to claim that Williams was a great hitter in spite of his "problems" against lefties, I don't have a problem with that aside from the fact that I don't think he had any problems hitting lefties (other than perhaps not being as prolific a power hitter)...it's probable that Williams had a platoon split...he probably hit 80-100 OPS points worse against lefties overall...that's not abnormal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SABR Matt
    SHOLESSJOE didn't hit a button...csh is the main source of frustration mouthing off at me as though I'm the one ignoring "facts" when he's the poster using extremely limited data to support a hypothesis that's utterly indefensible (that Williams should be considered in lower regard because hit lefties a little worse than righties).

    He hasn't changed one bit. This militant anti-science position is really growing tiresome.
    I honestly don't think you two fully understand where eachother is coming from in general. Maybe you don't care to. The sensitivity level seems to be on code-red no matter what with you guys. Oh well, that's not my business.
    "Everyone left here, but I remain at my post, documenting my sports writers and photos. I don't do Ty Cobb anymore. I did for him everything I could do. Work will live on. Personalities will fade.

    Fever members come and go. Not relevant. Your documentations will live FOREVER, my brother. That outweighs all the Fever jack-asses. Ignore what you must, document all you can."
    - Bill Burgess

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan_1895-1948
    I'll take your word for it but can you show examples? Also could you include BA, not just OPS? Remember this is Teddy friekin' Ballgame here, not just some schlub. So the better the players the better examples obviously.
    Take a look at:
    Jim Thome
    Barry Bonds
    Larry Walker
    Jason Giambi
    Carlos Delgado
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Jim Edmonds
    or basically any left handed hitter who ever played.

    Even Tony Gwynn has a 20 point difference in batting average and a 62 point difference in OPS.

  19. #69
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    I'm away from my PBP database for a couple more days, but Tango's book "THE BOOK: Playing the Percentages in Baseball" has a whole section on platoon splits...the average platoon split is 15-20% according to work he did using 1999-2002 data (correct me if I'm wrong on those years and percentages, Tom!) though there are types of hitters who defy that (Ichiro for example has a reverse split, which makes sense because lefty pitchers are only a disadvantage for lefty hitters if their game involves trying to get in front of the ball...Ichiro can play pepper aaaaaaalllllll day against those lefties!).

    Examples abound...

    Here's Barry Bonds:

    .304/.457/.628 vs righties (1.084)
    .290/.415/.571 vs lefties (.986)

    Here's Ken Griffey Jr:

    .297/.386/.575 (.961) RHP
    .277/.347/.520 (.867) LHP

    Carlos Delgado:

    .291/.406/.596 (1.002) RHP
    .262/.351/.465 (.816) LHP

    I could keep going if you'd like. Those are the first three "big name" lefty sluggers that popped into my head.

  20. #70
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    Here's a guy you might not expect to have a split:

    Bobby Abreu -
    .312/.426/.549 (.975) RHP
    .277/.376/.399 (.776) LHP

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    A couple of things on Teddy we do know.

    From 1957 on he had 350 PA against lefties. 209 PA away. 141 at home. He faced 42 left handed pitchers. He faced Billy Pierce 46 times, Bud Daley 31 times, and Dan Mossi 30 times. He got into 171 games against lefties. In 86 of those games he got one PA.

  22. #72

  23. #73
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    TAngo you are right in that Ted did face significantly less lefties at home then on the road. I posted that data just above your last post. Also and i think this is important at least for the data at the end is that a big chunk of his PA against lefties was of the one PA variety. I believe in your own book PH tend not to fare as well as starters, do they not?

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    Ted has 141 PA at Fenway against lefties in 75 games. 41 of those games he got one PA.

    He faced Billy Pierce 12 times, Bud Daley 11 times, Dan Mossi, Herb Score, Dick Tomanek, and Chuck Stobbs 8 times. He got 30 hits and 26 walks.

    He got 209 PA against lefites in 96 away games. 45 of those were one PA games.

    He faced Billy Pierce 34 times, Dan Mossi 22 times, Bud DAley 20 times, Bobby Shantz 16 times, and Billy O'Dell 11 times. He got 40 hits and 34 walks.

    I believe his avg at home against lefties was .268 and in away games it was .234. Though he hit 8 of his 9 homers off lefties in away games, but hit 7 of his 11 doubles at home.

  25. #75
    There is a huge PH penalty.

    Here is Andy's analysis for 2005:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=5404

    In that year, they lost 28 points on their BA and 59 points on their SLG. In "wOBA speak", that's around a 27 point drop in performance, enough to turn an average hitter into an almost replacement-level hitter.

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