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The super Astros fall from grace

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  • I don't think we need to warm up the heimlich case again. I know the case is complex and for example kyle boddy from driveline also defended and trained heimlich and some do think he was pushed into pleading guilty.

    That being said the public opinion is that children is a line that can't be crossed. Harming an adult women like chapman did is bad but still harming minors is seem differently by the public and that luhnow was willing to go there whether it is true or not shows that he is willing to go pretty far to gain an edge even if it alienates the public. In his personnel decisions he was similarly radical and that wasn't sitting well with everyone in the industry. He definitely made it more efficient by running the astros like an international corporation but that alienated a lot of traditionalists
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

      In the first place, you aren't just trying to learn the game, the next paragraph in your post makes that clear.

      As it happens, I've discussed this issue on another forum, one with many international posters, some of whom don't understand baseball the way virtually all Americans do. This question of why knowing the pitch is so important has come up, but people generally get it when they have the kind of information that has been posted in this and other threads. You compare a baserunner stealing signs and waving to the dugout, vs. a camera and electronic communications, the difference becomes obvious. Actually, I've questioned why sign stealing wasn't banned even in the old days, but I don't question that it's more effective now.



      I discussed a FG article that analyzed some before/after, home/away data for some Astros hitters. This kind of work gives us some insight into the advantage a hitter might have, though a lot more data are needed.

      https://blogs.fangraphs.com/which-pl...sign-stealing/

      Edit: Here's another FG analysis, out just today, on the Red Sox. Their system, while making use of video to see and decode the signals, relayed this information to the batter only through a runner on second. So the analysis compares RS hitters with a runner on second vs. no runner there:

      https://blogs.fangraphs.com/how-much...ealing-scheme/

      We've also discussed the possibility of pitchers and catchers communicating electronically, so that hand signals are unnecessary, but that opens up more problems.
      Some really good info in those Fangraphs articles, and thank you for sharing them here. Those are precisely the kinds of arguments I've been seeking. You're right I'm not new to the game, but this whole scandal seemed a good time to raise certain points that even longstanding students of the game may be thinking about (and perhaps even afraid to raise for fear of critical reactions). It's always good to keep in mind that others can benefit from the discourse, and we all contribute in our own ways. So thanks again.

      Clearly, batters benefit from knowing the signs, and pitchers don't fare as well. Just how much the stats would be affected is naturally difficult to determine, but there's no denying if everyone knew the signs equally, it would be of equal benefit or detriment to everyone. And sure, .350 might be the new .300, or 3.50 might be the new 3.00, but whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is purely subjective, and that's been my assertion the whole time. Some could opine that higher batting averages would mean more runs -- more turn-of-event excitement -- higher revenue. But then, others could argue, for instance, that more earned runs means more work for pitchers, shorter outings, the need for bigger staffs, etc., not to mention longer games.

      Then there's the issue of technology. I cannot nor would I condone breaking the rules of the game. MLB forbids the use of electronic technology in the dugouts during the games, and so the way I see it, do the crime do the time, whatever it may be.

      That's not to say I agree with that rule. I'm from the school of thought that thinks there's nothing to gain in fighting new technologies, and that they're only going to continue evolving around that which tries to prohibit them. I don't agree that fielders and coaches can't use the same technologies to confer with each other, at very least using them to communicate signs within the battery. Seems to me that would render the whole sign-stealing issue relatively moot.
      Put it in the books.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post

        Having a problem with your logic. In previous posts you seem to think, no problem with the batter being tipped off to whats coming.
        Now you say as a pitcher, you wanted to deceive the batter. Well how would you feel, while your trying to deceive the batter, he has been given the pitches your delivering.
        I would feel like my communications with my catcher, as complex or advanced a system as it may be, have been intercepted by the opposing team. Power to them. I did my best to conceal them, and now must figure out a new method.
        Put it in the books.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by milladrive View Post

          I would feel like my communications with my catcher, as complex or advanced a system as it may be, have been intercepted by the opposing team. Power to them. I did my best to conceal them, and now must figure out a new method.
          I think your missing my point, I and many others are down on the method used by the Astros and some other teams......................using a camera and sending the pitch info to the bench, to the hitter. No problem with a player or team picking up signals on the field of play.

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          • I said in a previous post that the main objection I have to using technology to steal signs is that it makes the game less about the players' abilities and more about whose technology is better. I enjoy baseball because it's played by human beings, and every game, every season, is on some level a human story. If they're using technology to give them an edge on the field, how do we properly assess a player's value or skill level? How do we know who's truly great and who's just got the better tech? The machines become the story rather than the people.

            Could you operate baseball that way, where anything goes? Sure, you could. But don't be surprised when fans lose interest because they can't connect to it on a human level.
            Baseball Junk Drawer

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
              I said in a previous post that the main objection I have to using technology to steal signs is that it makes the game less about the players' abilities and more about whose technology is better. I enjoy baseball because it's played by human beings, and every game, every season, is on some level a human story. If they're using technology to give them an edge on the field, how do we properly assess a player's value or skill level? How do we know who's truly great and who's just got the better tech? The machines become the story rather than the people.

              Could you operate baseball that way, where anything goes? Sure, you could. But don't be surprised when fans lose interest because they can't connect to it on a human level.
              Another issue is that whenever a new factor becomes involved, it affects different players differently. E.g., not all players benefit to the same extent from PEDS. Beyond differences in substances used, the amounts, other aspects of the program, et al., different physiologies respond differently to the same chemical conditions. So not only do dopers get an edge over players who don't dope, but even among dopers, the ranks change. Doping selects for certain new aspects of physiology which weren't relevant to performance previously.

              It's probably the same thing with sign stealing. Most hitters probably benefit by knowing what the pitch coming will be, but some, who are very much used to batting in a certain way, may find their mechanics messed up. At the very least, hitters who are better at reading and/or guessing what the pitch will be will get less of an advantage from knowing than hitters who don't read or guess as well. Studies suggest that reading the pitcher as the ball is released is generally more important than reaction time, but if the batter knows what the pitch will be, hitters with better reaction times will probably be favored more.

              I've seen other factors pointed out. E.g., knowing that a pitch is a fastball may be less helpful than knowing that a pitch is breaking, because a FB can be located anywhere, whereas a breaking ball will probably tend to be down in the zone. Hitters who tend to be good FB hitters but poor hitters vs. breaking balls may therefore get more benefit from knowing the pitch than hitters who are already relatively better at hitting breaking balls.

              One thing for sure is that any new potential benefit like sign stealing, to the extent it's widely used, will shuffle the ranks of hitters. There will be relative winners and relative losers.
              Last edited by Stolensingle; 01-24-2020, 04:01 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
                I said in a previous post that the main objection I have to using technology to steal signs is that it makes the game less about the players' abilities and more about whose technology is better. I enjoy baseball because it's played by human beings, and every game, every season, is on some level a human story. If they're using technology to give them an edge on the field, how do we properly assess a player's value or skill level? How do we know who's truly great and who's just got the better tech? The machines become the story rather than the people.

                Could you operate baseball that way, where anything goes? Sure, you could. But don't be surprised when fans lose interest because they can't connect to it on a human level.
                I agree with your desires to keep it human. It's the primary reason I'm against ump-bots and everything associated with them. I don't even like the white rectangle over home plate on telecasts that occasionally disagree with the call. That said, one perspective is that no matter who knows what, the guys still have to throw, hit, and catch the ball, i.e., play the games.

                Further, your point on technology is good, and I get what you're saying, but don't the various teams already have gaps between what technologies they employ? For example, the Dodgers invest in excellent training and analytics departments. The Mets... don't. We can't really know how many more wins this gives the Dodgers, but I think it's pretty obvious the difference in the two teams' approaches to those things, and the Dodgers definitely utilize better technologies.

                What I'd also like to explain is that I'm just as interested in protecting the signs as I am in stealing them, and I think just the fact that sign-stealing is so rampant is ridiculous. Concealing signs should also benefit from technology, if you ask me, and the signs are currently way too vulnerable given the state of today's tech. If Google can take a hi-def shot of a gnat's retina from outer space, how hard can it be to spot a baseball from centerfield? Couldn't've said that just 25 years ago. Eyes are more ubiquitous than ever, thus harder to police. It'll only get harder.
                Put it in the books.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                  Another issue is that whenever a new factor becomes involved, it affects different players differently. E.g., not all players benefit to the same extent from PEDS. Beyond differences in substances used, the amounts, other aspects of the program, et al., different physiologies respond differently to the same chemical conditions. So not only do dopers get an edge over players who don't dope, but even among dopers, the ranks change. Doping selects for certain new aspects of physiology which weren't relevant to performance previously.

                  It's probably the same thing with sign stealing. Most hitters probably benefit by knowing what the pitch coming will be, but some, who are very much used to batting in a certain way, may find their mechanics messed up. At the very least, hitters who are better at reading and/or guessing what the pitch will be will get less of an advantage from knowing than hitters who don't read or guess as well. Studies suggest that reading the pitcher as the ball is released is generally more important than reaction time, but if the batter knows what the pitch will be, hitters with better reaction times will probably be favored more.

                  I've seen other factors pointed out. E.g., knowing that a pitch is a fastball may be less helpful than knowing that a pitch is breaking, because a FB can be located anywhere, whereas a breaking ball will probably tend to be down in the zone. Hitters who tend to be good FB hitters but poor hitters vs. breaking balls may therefore get more benefit from knowing the pitch than hitters who are already relatively better at hitting breaking balls.

                  One thing for sure is that any new potential benefit like sign stealing, to the extent it's widely used, will shuffle the ranks of hitters. There will be relative winners and relative losers.
                  Yes. Awesome post!

                  You mentioned previously that batteries communicating electronically would introduce more problems. What would be an example, and would it be as problematic with even a low-tech solution like, say, the catcher sending vibrations (similar to those in phones) for which the pitcher could nod or shake off? It'd at least eliminate the finger communication.
                  Put it in the books.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by milladrive View Post

                    You mentioned previously that batteries communicating electronically would introduce more problems. What would be an example, and would it be as problematic with even a low-tech solution like, say, the catcher sending vibrations (similar to those in phones) for which the pitcher could nod or shake off? It'd at least eliminate the finger communication.
                    Wherever there are electronics involved, there is hacking. Could catchers and pitchers communicate electronically without some technology being developed to eavesdrop? I see a traditional arms race here, with every edge developed by one side eventually countered by the other side.

                    The bottom line is that the catcher and pitcher are 60+ feet apart. Any kind of communication between them involves some physical process occurring over that intervening space, and in theory, other actors can access that physical process.

                    It might be a good time to be a knuckle ball pitcher! No one really knows how fast a knuckle ball will travel, or where it will end up.
                    Last edited by Stolensingle; 01-24-2020, 10:53 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                      Wherever there are electronics involved, there is hacking. Could catchers and pitchers communicate electronically without some technology being developed to eavesdrop? I see a traditional arms race here, with every edge developed by one side eventually countered by the other side.

                      The bottom line is that the catcher and pitcher are 60+ feet apart. Any kind of communication between them involves some physical process occurring over that intervening space, and in theory, other actors can access that physical process.

                      It might be a good time to be a knuckle ball pitcher! No one really knows how fast a knuckle ball will travel, or where it will end up.
                      Lol, what?

                      "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                        Let's take this to its logical conclusion. If it's all right for the batter to know what pitch is coming, why not the fans, too? Why not require the pitcher to announce, before every pitch, its intended speed, location and movement? Post that information up in big letters on the scoreboard. That way, everyone in the ballpark can judge how well the pitcher has actually executed.

                        Let's take this further. The batter should likewise reveal exactly what kind of pitches he intends to swing at, and which ones he will pass on. Also, the intended launch angle of contact.

                        No secrets on either side.
                        We could just go back to the beginning days of baseball when the batter TOLD the pitcher what pitch to throw (underhanded too)

                        Comment


                        • Dodgers are pissed:

                          Ross Stripling on Astros 2017 title: “It already has an asterisk next to it.”

                          Enrique Hernandez: “They cheated. They got away with it. They got a ring out of it.”

                          Hernandez, smiling: “I’m extremely proud of our guys. We won a game in Houston when they knew every pitch that was coming.”

                          Justin Turner: “We know how hard it is to win a World Series. We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions.”

                          Reporter: “Have any Astros called you to apologize, and have they shown enough remorse?”

                          Andrew Friedman: “They have not, and they have not."


                          https://sports.yahoo.com/justin-turn...220635283.html

                          Last edited by Stolensingle; 01-25-2020, 05:32 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post
                            Dodgers are pissed:

                            Ross Stripling on Astros 2017 title: “It already has an asterisk next to it.”

                            Enrique Hernandez: “They cheated. They got away with it. They got a ring out of it.”

                            Hernandez, smiling: “I’m extremely proud of our guys. We won a game in Houston when they knew every pitch that was coming.”

                            Justin Turner: “We know how hard it is to win a World Series. We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions.”

                            Reporter: “Have any Astros called you to apologize, and have they shown enough remorse?”

                            Andrew Friedman: “They have not, and they have not."


                            https://sports.yahoo.com/justin-turn...220635283.html
                            Weren't the Dodgers heavily implicated by the Brewers for sign stealing just two playoffs ago? And by the Mets before that?
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                            • Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post
                              Dodgers are pissed:

                              Ross Stripling on Astros 2017 title: “It already has an asterisk next to it.”

                              Enrique Hernandez: “They cheated. They got away with it. They got a ring out of it.”

                              Hernandez, smiling: “I’m extremely proud of our guys. We won a game in Houston when they knew every pitch that was coming.”

                              Justin Turner: “We know how hard it is to win a World Series. We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions.”

                              Reporter: “Have any Astros called you to apologize, and have they shown enough remorse?”

                              Andrew Friedman: “They have not, and they have not."


                              https://sports.yahoo.com/justin-turn...220635283.html
                              Huh. It's interesting that they're speaking out about this, because last I heard, MLB told them not to comment on the situation:

                              Rather, the Dodgers posted a non-statement on Monday night explaining how MLB has asked all teams to avoid commenting on the Astros' punishment:
                              All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today's punishment of the Houston Astros as it's inappropriate to comment on disciplined imposed on another club. The Dodgers have also been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.

                              Those who want the Dodgers to react with righteous (and justified) annoyance should refer to reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger's recent comments. "It sucks, man. We were close, but we did it the right way," Bellinger told ESPN shortly before the Astros sanctions were announced. "We could've won it if things could've gone our way. But it is what it is, man. You really can't look back on it anymore."

                              On Tuesday, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on why other teams are angry in response to the Astros' penalties. One source familiar with Manfred's instructions to other teams told Passan that "The impression was that the penalty for complaining would be more than Houston got."

                              In that case, expect the Dodgers to remain mum.
                              Has there been a ban lifted?
                              Baseball Junk Drawer

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                              • From the Well THAT Took A Turn department, Fiers is been accused of having a relationship with at least two minors.

                                It’s blowing up on Twitter.
                                Last edited by SteveJRogers; 01-26-2020, 06:15 AM.
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