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  • Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Cobb's decline had nothing to do with the era, it was a very natural decline due to age.
    Great point.

    Despite the fact that OPS+ was many, many decades way from even being conceived (much less emphasized/fixed on)...yet...Cobb (as a player-manager for 6 years, no less) put up a 144 OPS+ from 1920-28.

    How many non steroid players can say the same? How many that weren't burdened with the massive, thankless, almost ridiculous job of being player/manager?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by willshad View Post
      You would be...if you could choose whatever coin you want, and knew what you were getting ahead of time. In reality, however, you are choosing randomly from one jar, and then you have another jar, and are then choosing randomly from that jar.
      Many times you think you are getting a quarter, and it ends up a penny.
      The process of selecting players is not mechanistic, as in my simplifying model, and if the process really were random--a monkey throwing darts at a list of names--then your point would be correct. However, this is not the case.

      I think you--and Sultan--are confusing random processes with stochastic ones, those involving probability. A great deal of effort and expense goes into selecting amateur players, especially in comparison to the way it used to be. The notion that it's nothing but a crapshoot can really be sustained only by selected anecdote and parti pris. Or so I believe. If player selection prior to minor league development is random, then systematic evidence would be all over the map. Please point it out.

      This is a multi billion dollar industry, and to believe that its primary acquisitions of assets are random is, frankly, incorrect. The value of a draft choice can be seen in its use as compensation and in trades. In his second baseball abstract, Bill James shows the difference between the performance of first- and tenth- round draft picks from 1965 to 1988. It's what you'd expect from a situation where probability plays a part--not at all what you'd expect from a random selection process.

      To see a superstar signed as the result of an almost random process, take a look at Lefty Gomez's path to the majors in the biography "Lefty" by his daughter. Or any number of player accounts in "The Glory of their Times."
      Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 10-25-2012, 05:38 PM.
      Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

      Comment


      • Gehrig and Ruth combined for TWO home runs at Clevelenad Stadium (42 games total). Ruth never hit a single homer there in 48 PA.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
          The process of selecting players is not mechanistic, as in my simplifying model, and if the process really were random--a monkey throwing darts at a list of names--then your point would be correct. However, this is not the case.

          I think you--and Sultan--are confusing random processes with stochastic ones, those involving probability. A great deal of effort and expense goes into selecting amateur players, especially in comparison to the way it used to be. The notion that it's nothing but a crapshoot can really be sustained only by selected anecdote and parti pris. Or so I believe. If player selection prior to minor league development is random, then systematic evidence would be all over the map. Please point it out.

          This is a multi billion dollar industry, and to believe that its primary acquisitions of assets are random is, frankly, incorrect. The value of a draft choice can be seen in its use as compensation and in trades. In his second baseball abstract, Bill James shows the difference between the performance of first- and tenth- round draft picks from 1965 to 1988. It's what you'd expect from a situation where probability plays a part--not at all what you'd expect from a random selection process.

          To see a superstar signed as the result of an almost random process, take a look at Lefty Gomez's path to the majors in the biography "Lefty" by his daughter. Or any number of player accounts in "The Glory of their Times."
          I'm not confusing anything. It is a fact that teams are looking more and more to foreign players, and part of the reason, is they can afford to gamble on them in hopes they develop into something special. That same signing bonus wouldn't be enough for an American born kid with many, many options.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
            I don't understand this implicated notion that opening the doors for nonwhites means every pre-integration player would have suffered miserably.
            Read what Bill James wrote in his 2000 Abstract re: the "Death Spasms" of the Negro Leagues, and the resulting MVP's (and close MVP's that resulted).

            And on top of that, all the empirical evidence points to the NL being a much stronger leauge, top to bottom during the integration phase, which in fact lasted from 1947 through the mid 1970's.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
              I'm not confusing anything. It is a fact that teams are looking more and more to foreign players, and part of the reason, is they can afford to gamble on them in hopes they develop into something special. That same signing bonus wouldn't be enough for an American born kid with many, many options.
              In the interest of intellectual honesty and integrity...do I REALLY need to dredge up the number of roster spots juxtaposed with the viable professional baseball pool?

              Randy et al...there are FAR, far more viable/well developed candidates per roster spot in 2012 than there were in 1920. The number dwarfs that of the 1920's.

              We are comparing a global game with hundreds of millions of viable professional candidates OF ALL RACES juxtaposed with 75-100 years ago, when only white American guys were allowed to even play...and the majority of them drank, smoked, and neglected themselves physically. Very few worked out. None had personal trainers that forced them to bust their ass basically every day of the year. None studied videos (vociferously) of themselves and their opposition.

              etc etc
              Last edited by csh19792001; 10-25-2012, 06:00 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                Read what Bill James wrote in his 2000 Abstract re: the "Death Spasms" of the Negro Leagues, and the resulting MVP's (and close MVP's that resulted).

                And on top of that, all the empirical evidence points to the NL being a much stronger leauge, top to bottom during the integration phase, which in fact lasted from 1947 through the mid 1970's.
                One point I've made several before is that though we can never know what past stars could have done in other eras we do have a similar real-life scenario. That being Japanese players coming over to MLB. You have these Japanese players coming over to MLB where the average player is larger and stronger, and pitchers generally throw harder. And all of the Japanese players stats decline in the major leagues. To me this sheds great over on how older stars may have fared in more recent eras. I look at someone like Hideki Matsui. He hit for great power in the NPB. I was in Japan in the summer of 2002 and I saw Matsui play in on TV a few times. I saw him hit a home run that was just a monster blast. He hit 50 HRs that year. So when he came over to the Yankees I was looking forward to see how he would do. I was very disappointed that he only hit 16 HRs in his first season with the Yankees. But in his second season he hit 31 HRs and I thought that Matsui had made adjustments and that he was going to hit for ever more power. I truly believed he was going to have a few 40-45 HR seasons in the majors. But it never happened. His 31 HRs in 2004 was his major league career high. This is why I have generally a rather low view as to how older stars would have done in more recent, integrated eras. Granted, Matsui is just one player but it sheds light in my mind. I'm a huge Sadaharu Oh fan and I want to believe had he played in the majors instead of the NPB he would hit lots of home runs as well, over 500 HRs for sure. But my gut tells me Oh may have had difficulty reaching even 350-400 career HRs in the majors.
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                  I'm not confusing anything. It is a fact that teams are looking more and more to foreign players, and part of the reason, is they can afford to gamble on them in hopes they develop into something special. That same signing bonus wouldn't be enough for an American born kid with many, many options.
                  "Part" of the reason? How big a part? Given players of the same estimated value, it makes sense to sign the cheaper. but that still increases league quality, because more athletes at a higher level are more easily affordable.

                  In the "gamble," the payoff for a major leaguer, compared to someone who stalls at triple A, is so great that there could not be a substantial drop in signing quality to get players on the cheap. You describe the process as throwing spaghetti at the wall. It isn't. What teams want are major leaguers, not cheap signings. Naturally, they'd rather have a cheap than an expensive major leaguer, but estimated talent dwarfs all.

                  How many American kids are sifting through multi -sport signing options? Another big difference from before is that athletes are specializing more and younger. Jackie Robinson was a four-letter man at UCLA. Baseball was maybe his third best sport. How many multi-sport lettermen are there at the pro feeder schools now?

                  Finally, even if many foreign players are signed for reasons of economy, they aren't promoted to major league level on that basis. So the case is as described: More players of higher quality are going into the hopper and coming out as major leaguers at the other end.
                  Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                    One point I've made several before is that though we can never know what past stars could have done in other eras we do have a similar real-life scenario. That being Japanese players coming over to MLB. You have these Japanese players coming over to MLB where the average player is larger and stronger, and pitchers generally throw harder. And all of the Japanese players stats decline in the major leagues. To me this sheds great over on how older stars may have fared in more recent eras. I look at someone like Hideki Matsui. He hit for great power in the NPB. I was in Japan in the summer of 2002 and I saw Matsui play in on TV a few times. I saw him hit a home run that was just a monster blast. He hit 50 HRs that year. So when he came over to the Yankees I was looking forward to see how he would do. I was very disappointed that he only hit 16 HRs in his first season with the Yankees. But in his second season he hit 31 HRs and I thought that Matsui had made adjustments and that he was going to hit for ever more power. I truly believed he was going to have a few 40-45 HR seasons in the majors. But it never happened. His 31 HRs in 2004 was his major league career high. This is why I have generally a rather low view as to how older stars would have done in more recent, integrated eras. Granted, Matsui is just one player but it sheds light in my mind. I'm a huge Sadaharu Oh fan and I want to believe had he played in the majors instead of the NPB he would hit lots of home runs as well, over 500 HRs for sure. But my gut tells me Oh may have had difficulty reaching even 350-400 career HRs in the majors.
                    Adam,
                    I think you nailed it. The nail right in the coffin.

                    Is there a meta-analysis of MLB vs. Nippon players so we can compare stats? Or have there not been enough players/PA's?

                    I think this is exactly what pre integreation basballl stats would have looked like juxtaposed with 2012 stats. The standard deviations of their individual statistics, most revealing of all...

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                      I want to believe had he played in the majors instead of the NPB he would hit lots of home runs as well, over 500 HRs for sure. But my gut tells me Oh may have had difficulty reaching even 350-400 career HRs in the majors.
                      Ichiro and Matsui's OBP and SLG in Japan vs. MLB tells quite a story. A story analogous to "how do players perform long term- over hundreds of games in the Minors- vs. MLB...
                      Last edited by csh19792001; 10-25-2012, 06:21 PM.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                        Adam,
                        I think you nailed it. The nail right in the coffin.
                        Not sure if I nailed the coffin shut. I know some folks here at BBF believe my analogy doesn't really work.

                        [B]Is there a meta-analysis of MLB vs. Nippon players so we can compare stats? Or have there not been enough players/PA's?


                        I think this is exactly what pre integration basball stats would have looked like juxtaposed with 2012 stats. The standard deviations of their individual statistics, most revealing of all...
                        I believe Jim Albright knows more about this. Clay Davenport from Baseball Prospectus has done some research. some old articles of Davenport's:

                        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=1330

                        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=8558


                        I do want to make one thing clear though. My analogy only applies if we take the old time stars and just dump them into other eras. If Hideki Matsui had entered American professional baseball at age 18, spent time in the minors, then entered the major leagues I believe he would have been better player in the majors. Taking this back to the Negro League what would have happened in integration was delayed by 10 years? What if Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were not allowed in the majors until age 29 or 30? Would they have have dominated the majors to the same level that they did in real life? I highly doubt it. They still would have been good players of course. But they would have also suffered the "Matsui effect" as well. Not one established veteran (say over 29) Negro League star really became a superstar in the majors. Roy Campanella did dominate in the majors. I don't think it was a coincidence that he was only 26 when he entered the majors. I also don't think it's a coincidence that the most successful imported Japanese player, Ichiro, was also the youngest to enter the majors at age 27. You take those old time stars at age 17-18 and have them enter pro ball today and many of them would be major league stars today IMO,
                        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 10-25-2012, 06:47 PM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                          Ichiro and Matsui's OBP and SLG in Japan vs. MLB tells quite a story. A story analogous to "how do players perform long term- over hundreds of games in the Minors- vs. MLB...
                          In Japan Ichiro hit for decent power, hitting 20+ home runs in two different seasons. And they play shorter seasons over there. I think Ichiro quickly realized that his power would not translate in the majors and shifted his focus on BA and getting as many hits as possible.
                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                            In Japan Ichiro hit for decent power, hitting 20+ home runs in two different seasons. And they play shorter seasons over there. I think Ichiro quickly realized that his power would not translate in the majors and shifted his focus on BA and getting as many hits as possible.
                            Exactly. They have BS cookie cutter 1970's style parks in that league. And the ball is livelier, to increase attendance on top of that.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                              I also don't think it's a coincidence that the most successful imported Japanese player, Ichiro, was also the youngest to enter the majors at age 27.
                              So, if 25 or 50 Niappon players emigrated (which they will, in time) and didn't perform nearly as well (which they wouldn't in the aggregate, against MLB pitching) would that NOT be incontrovertible evidence that Nippon Baseball is akin to Triple A, by comparison?
                              Last edited by csh19792001; 10-25-2012, 06:53 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                                Exactly. They have BS cookie cutter 1970's style parks in that league. And the ball is livelier, to increase attendance on top of that.
                                I know Jim Albright has done his own research and I believe he discovered that NPB players have something like a 50% drop in home runs on average when they come to the majors. I hope Jim chimes in on this with some more details.
                                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                                Comment

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