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  • #76
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    That was kind of my point...Aaron and Mays were able to put up the same OPS+ scores as Thomas only because they played in a 'tough' era to hit. Put them into the 1990s, and they would be more along the lines of A-rod.
    You're misunderstanding OPS+: It doesn't matter how high the mound was or what the batting averages and raw OPS averages were for the league.

    Yes, Mays and Aaron played in a tough era to hit. The 60's were brutal. But that's already adjusted for/accounted for by OPS+, since their relative performance is given compared to the league average.

    So, you don't need to transpose them into the 1990's to compare them with speculate them vs. ARod's OPS+ marks.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by csh19792001
      There is quite a bit or merit to all this. Very good points here.

      Let's play devil's advocate. I think it is greatly outweighed by the general (monumental) advances in the science of baseball and training. Statistical analysis, which help us understand what wins games and guides management and player development. Hell, they didn't even track or know what OBP was in 1923, much less the importance of it.
      Then explain why Max Bishop was so valued at 2B for the mini dynasty of the A's powerhouse?

      : How many pitchers had 3 or 4 great pitches in 100 years ago? Far fewer than now. How many just threw a straight fastball without significant movement with their only backup pitch being the curve? How many could get away with having two pitches in the major leagues today? How many pitcher had perfected the cutter and slider 75 or 100 years ago? How much research and coaching and specialization went into the study and development of these pitches then, vs. now.
      Many had many pitches. There were, in no particular order the fastball, the inshoot, the curve, the drop-curve, the knuckleball, the palm ball, the shine ball, the spitball and the screwball ... to name a few. As for research into which pitchers' styles best matched which pitch deliveries, it was purely "observe and develop."
      The general attitude on pitcher use was "use it ot lose it."

      etc. etc.

      : Globalization and integration are paramount. Look at the talent/drawing pool (taking into account Latin America and now Japan) per roster spot in 2012 vs. 1923.
      There were Latin ballplayers in MLB way back when; and integration of black players into MLB expanded the talent pool, but it NOT project it into an entirely new level. Nor did the influx of Japanes players into MLB. Integration expanded the talent base. However, there are many who would liken pre-integration MLB to class B ball, becoming MLB "quality" only after 1947. That is nonsense.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
        Then explain why Max Bishop was so valued at 2B for the mini dynasty of the A's powerhouse?
        This is one discrete/micro example...and probably incidental. Rickey didn't even emphasize/study OBP and its impact until the 1950's. Ever go through game log by game log over years as part of a research project? I have. It was runs, hits, AB's and put outs for decades. And that's it. BA was all that people cared on offense, wins on the pitching side. Very myopic in light of what we've learned in the many decades since.

        Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
        Many had many pitches.
        And many could get by- and be highly successful- with basically two pitches (three if you count a change up). Couldn't happen now. The game and studying of pitchers and pitching has developed exponentially.

        Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
        There were, in no particular order the fastball, the inshoot, the curve, the drop-curve, the knuckleball, the palm ball, the shine ball, the spitball and the screwball ... to name a few. As for research into which pitchers' styles best matched which pitch deliveries, it was purely "observe and develop."
        The general attitude on pitcher use was "use it ot lose it."
        Right. Totally non scientific, anecdotal, and far less understanding involved. Intuition versus science.



        Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
        There were Latin ballplayers in MLB way back when; and integration of black players into MLB expanded the talent pool, but it NOT project it into an entirely new level. Nor did the influx of Japanes players into MLB. Integration expanded the talent base. However, there are many who would liken pre-integration MLB to class B ball, becoming MLB "quality" only after 1947. That is nonsense.
        Code:
        Players who were active prior to 1947.
        Country	Count	Percentage
        United States	612	96.4%
        Canada	9	1.4%
        Cuba	5	0.8%
        Italy	2	0.3%
        Puerto Rico	2	0.3%
        Czechoslovakia	1	0.2%
        Germany	1	0.2%
        Mexico	1	0.2%
        United Kingdom	1	0.2%
        Venezuela	1	0.2%
        Code:
        Country	Count	Percentage
        United States	8800	83.5%
        Dominican Republic	563	5.3%
        Venezuela	285	2.7%
        Puerto Rico	234	2.2%
        Cuba	138	1.3%
        Canada	129	1.2%
        Mexico	112	1.1%
        Japan	57	0.5%
        Panama	48	0.5%
        And paramount is how many of THESE were top level players? How many Latin American and African American players were HOF caliber, or close? How many that someone like Rogers Hornsby NEVER HAD TO FACE while racking up all his .400 seasons?

        How many subpar white ballplayers who should have been replaced by players of color were either explicitly or de facto excluded from MLB in the 1920's? Replacement level players, or superstars?
        Last edited by csh19792001; 10-23-2012, 03:48 PM.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Wee Willie 12/25/2006

          Some of you might wonder if there's one place where you can get historical data on the percentage of African-American, Hispanic, or International players in MLB. To date, I haven't been able to find one, but the other day I did some research on different sites, and here is a list of all the years where I did find such data. It's interesting because it shows the integration trends and could be helpful in ascertaining league strength. This list is far from complete, and if someone can fill in some gaps, please do so. I'll start from the most recent:

          2005 - 9% African-American, 29% Hispanic, 30% foreign-born, 25% born in Latin America
          2004 - 9% African-American, 26% Hispanic, 29% foreign-born
          2002 - 10% African-American, 28% Hispanic, 26% foreign-born
          2001 - 13% African-American, 26% Hispanic, 25% foreign-born
          2000 - 13% African-American, 26% Hispanic, 24% foreign-born
          1999 - 13% African-American, 26% Hispanic
          1998 - 15% African-American, 25% Hispanic
          1997 - 17% African-American, 24% Hispanic
          1996 - 17% African-American, 20% Hispanic
          1995 - 19% African-American, 19% Hispanic
          1994 - 18% African-American, 18% Hispanic
          1993 - 16% African-American, 16% Hispanic
          1992 - 17% African-American, 14% Hispanic
          1991 - 18% African-American, 14% Hispanic
          1990 - 17% African-American, 13% Hispanic, 10% foreign-born
          1980 - 22% African-American, 12% Hispanic, 9% foreign-born
          1977 - 25% African-American
          1975 - 27% African-American, 7% foreign-born
          1970 - 25% African-American, 10% foreign-born
          1965 - 8% foreign-born
          1960 - 4% foreign-born
          1959 - 17% African-American (first year every team was integrated)
          1955 - 5% foreign-born
          1954 - 7% African-American
          1950 - 2% African-American, 4% foreign-born

          Below are the # of teams that were integrated on opening day each year from 1947 to 1960:

          1947 - 1 (1 NL)
          1948 - 3 (1 NL, 2 AL)
          1949 - 3 (1 NL, 2 AL)
          1950 - 5 (3 NL, 2 AL)
          1951 - 5 (3 NL, 2 AL)
          1952- 6 (3 NL, 3 AL)
          1953 - 6 (3 NL, 3 AL)
          1954 - 11 (7 NL, 4 AL)
          1955 - 13 (7 NL, 6 AL)
          1956 - 13 (7 NL, 6 AL)
          1957 - 14 (8 NL, 6 AL) (1st year NL was completely integrated)
          1958 - 14 (8 NL, 6 AL)
          1959 - 15 (8 NL, 7 AL)
          1960 - 1st year all of MLB integrated on opening day

          This shows actually how slow MLB was to integrate, even after Robinson joined the Dodgers. Six years after 1947, most MLB teams still didn't have an African-American. 1954 was actually when integration started to really make headway, and it wasn't until six years AFTER that when all teams were integrated.

          Comment


          • #80
            From Bill James' last Abstract:

            The “Index of Competitive Balance,’ which is a new measurement introduced here, is composed of two elements. Those two elements are:


            1. The standard deviation of winning percentages for teams in each single season during the decade, averaged.
            2. The standard deviation of winning percentages among franchises for the decade as a whole.

            The first of these measures the extent to which the best teams in any season are able to dominate the weakest teams. The second measures the extent to which the same teams win season after season throughout the decade.

            If baseball was perfectly competitive – that is, if every team was exactly as good as every other team, and the only differences between them were in luck- then the first measure above would be .039, and the second would be .014.

            The actual figures for the 1870’s were .170 and .081; I’d have to spend about three more paragraphs to fully explain the parameters used to derive these numbers, and I’m going to skip that, because it’s boring. These two figures (in each decade) are then added together, and the sum is divided by .053, which is what the sum would be in a perfectly competitive environment. This figure is then divided into 100 to produce the index of competitive balance. In other words, if the sum of these two standard deviations was .106, that would be 2.00 times what it would be in a perfectly competitive environment, which would produce an index of 50%. A perfectly competitive index is therefore 100%.

            You may not have understood all of that, and you don’t need to. The essential point is that the greater the difference is between the best teams and the worst, the lower the index of competitive balance. The 1870s are the least competitive decade in baseball history, with an index of 21%.

            Decade Index of Competitive Balance

            1870’s 21%
            1880’s 24%
            1890’s 27%
            1900’s 30%
            1910’s 36%
            1920’s 34%
            1930’s 41%
            1940’s 34%
            1950’s 34%
            1960’s 40%
            1970’s 45%
            1980’s 56%
            1990’s 57%

            Notes: (One thing) that made the races more competitive (in the 60’s) was expansion…….because a twelve-team league is inherently more difficult to dominate than an eight-team circuit.

            The 1980’s, the first full decade of free agency, were by far the most competitive years in baseball history up to that point, and also the decade in which the small-city markets enjoyed their most success ever……In the early 1990’s this continued to be true; baseball was highly competitive, and not at all dominated by Big Market teams. But as the decade has moved on, competitive balance has begun to fray. The standard deviation of winning percentage, which was .054 in 1990 (one of the lowest figures in baseball history) jumped to .081 in 1998, the highest figure since 1977.

            I have a theory that the quality of play in major league baseball, over time, could be tracked by what we could call “Peripheral Quality Indicia” - PQI, for short. Hitting by pitchers is a peripheral quality indicator; the higher the quality of play, in my opinion, the less the pitchers will hit. I have a list of about a dozen of these:


            1. Hitting by pitchers
            2. The average distance of the players, I age, from 27.
            3. The percentage of players who are less than six feet tall or more than 6’3”
            4. Fielding Percentage and Passed Balls
            5. Double Plays
            6. Usage of pitchers at other positions
            7. The percentage of fielding plays made by the pitchers.
            8. The percentage of games which are blowouts
            9. The average attendance and seating capacity of the game location.
            10. The condition of the field.
            11. The use of players in specialized roles.
            12. The average distance of teams from .500.
            13. The percentage of games which go nine innings.
            14. The standard deviation of offensive effectiveness.
            15. The standard of record-keeping.
            16. The percentage of managers who have 20 years or more experience in the game.

            Ok, more than a dozen. Anyway, let’s array teams in ways which we all agree represent top to bottom:

            1. Major League Baseball.
            2. Minor League Baseball.
            3. College baseball.
            4. High School baseball.
            5. Ten-year-old kids playing baseball.
            6. Seven-year old kids attempting to play baseball.

            If you studied that list, you would find that all of these things increased or decreased predictably as the quality of competition improved. The eigth indicator, for example, is the number of blowouts. My seven-year old son (Reuben) is on a team that lost one game 26-3, and won the next game 31-0. In high school blowouts are still common, but there are more games which aren’t blowouts. In college ball you get a few 18-0 games – more than you get in the minors or the majors. If you hear that a game has been decided 41-2, don’t you tend to assume that that was probably a low-level competition?

            Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment. But fielding stats are somewhat inevitably tied to the level of competition, I ways which are reflected in the ratio between double plays and errors. In Reuben’s games, most balls in play result in errors, while I have seen only one double play all year. In my thirteen-year-old son’s games, there are still about five times as many errors as double plays. In college ball there are still more errors than double plays, but it is closer, while in the majors there are more double plays than errors.
            In Reuben’s league, the average distance from age 27 is abot 20 years; in high school, about ten years, in college, about seven years, in the majors, probably three years.
            In Reuben’s league, the games are attended by a handful of people; in high school, by a few dozen; in college, by hundreds; in the minors, by thousands; in the majors, by tens of thousands.

            In Reuben’s league, pitchers make far more fielding plays than players at any other position. In high school, they still make as many as at any other position; in college, fewer, but still some, while in the majors the pitchers make only one or two fielding plays per game.

            When kids start playing baseball the pitchers are the best hitters, in high school, the pitcher is still very often the cleanup hitter, but as they climb the ladder the pitchers hit less and less.

            In Reuben’s league there are no statistics at all. In high school baseball there are sketchy statistics kept by some teams. In college ball there are statistics, but not lots of them, while for the major leagues there are nitwits like me who grind them out by the ton.

            If you worked at it hard enough, you could make up a set of standards to “score” each of these things, which would track the increases in the quality of competition as Reuben moves to the major leagues, although frankly how you score the quality of the grounds keeping, I don’t want to know.

            Anyway, my point is that if track major league baseball from 1876 to the present, all of these indicia, without exception, have advanced steadily. As late as the 1920’s, there were still major league managers who had little experience with the game. I know that many people passionately disagree with me when I argue that the quality of play in the majors has continued to increase, but even since 1950, all or virtually all these indicators would suggest that the quality of major league play has improved steadily.

            The best-hitting pitchers of the 21st century don’t hit anything like what Bob Lemon hit, or Spahn, or Newcombe, or the other good-hitting pitchers of that era.
            Success in the majors by very young players has become significantly less common (although success by old players has probably become more common).

            In the 1950 major league pitchers averaged about 240 assists per team; in 2001, in a longer season, the average will be less than 200. In 1950 there were about 1.2 double plays for each error. In 2001 the ratio will be at least 1.3 to one.

            Player/managers, who were the youngest and least experienced managers, have become extinct.

            The stadiums and crowds are bigger, the statistics are better, the grounds keeping standards are far higher. The teams are closer to .500. I haven’t studied it, bt I would bet there are fewer blowouts, fewer lop-sided games.

            During World War II, when we could all agree that the quality of major league play dropped, these indicators reflect the drop. World War II brought into the game more players who were remote in age from 27 – more teenagers, and more old men. The double play to errors ratio, 0.86 to 1 in 1941 and advancing almost every year, dropped slightly during the war years.

            When there is an expansion, these indicators reflect the drop in the quality of play. Expansion brings into the league younger players, and keeps in the league older players. Expansion pushes the standard deviation of winning percentage up and the fielding percentage down.

            And yet, over time, these effects are not large enough to keep the PQI from moving higher. Is that proof that the quality of play is getting better? Perhaps it isn’t. But that is what I believe, and this is one of the reasons I believe it.
            Last edited by csh19792001; 10-23-2012, 03:11 PM.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
              Then explain why Max Bishop was so valued at 2B for the mini dynasty of the A's powerhouse?
              Bishop had an obvious skill that stuck out all over him. Now you explain why Mr. Mack let Doc ".340 OBA" Cramer lead the league in at bats three years running. Fair is fair ;-)

              (OK, he did have a .373 OBA in is last year with the A's. It was after Mack dumped him that he got really awful.)
              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


              • #82
                MLB was slow to integrate, but it integrated from the top down.J Robinson, Doby, Mays, Campanella, Newcombe, Aaron, F. Robinson, Doby, Minoso . . . These were the earlier signings and by themselves had an impact on league quality.

                It isn't just that the numbers increase; MLB eventually skims off the cream.

                A population base in itself is not all that important. If it were, China would have been dominating the Olympics for decades. But an increase of population where a strong baseball infrastructure is already in place (Negro leagues, Latin America, Japan) is a whole different story. How many major leaguers have come from San Pedro de Marcoris?

                The growth of the American population by itself is not necessarily a big deal. The growth of the population accompanied by the proliferation of youth baseball, travel teams, showcase teams, the huge growth of baseball-specializing colleges and JC's is a big deal. I think this is where it misses the point to talk about the proliferation of other sports. The system for acquiring and developing talented players is operating on all cylinders.

                This is not to denigrate the value of a bunch of kids getting together and playing all day every day. But the scouting and delivery system is at a completely different level from the time when Frank Baker found Jimmy Foxx plowing a field by hand.
                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


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
                  MLB was slow to integrate, but it integrated from the top down.J Robinson, Doby, Mays, Campanella, Newcombe, Aaron, F. Robinson, Doby, Minoso . . . These were the earlier signings and by themselves had an impact on league quality.

                  It isn't just that the numbers increase; MLB eventually skims off the cream.

                  A population base in itself is not all that important. If it were, China would have been dominating the Olympics for decades. But an increase of population where a strong baseball infrastructure is already in place (Negro leagues, Latin America, Japan) is a whole different story. How many major leaguers have come from San Pedro de Marcoris?

                  The growth of the American population by itself is not necessarily a big deal. The growth of the population accompanied by the proliferation of youth baseball, travel teams, showcase teams, the huge growth of baseball-specializing colleges and JC's is a big deal. I think this is where it misses the point to talk about the proliferation of other sports. The system for acquiring and developing talented players is operating on all cylinders.

                  This is not to denigrate the value of a bunch of kids getting together and playing all day every day. But the scouting and delivery system is at a completely different level from the time when Frank Baker found Jimmy Foxx plowing a field by hand.
                  Also, the Internet and world wide communication makes finding baseball prospects even easier. Any kid with even a remote pro baseball potential will be scouted by somebody.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by willshad View Post
                    I actually think it is easier to put up high OPS+ numbers in a tough era for hitters, because it takes a lot less in order to stand out.
                    No it's the other way around, easier the environment, the more the elites will stands out and greater the delta.
                    Which league would Pujols post the highest OPS+; MLB, AAA, AA, or A? The answer should be obvious to you.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by JR Hart View Post

                      If you say so, there is certainly opinion to the contrary
                      And what opinion is that? :noidea


                      Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
                      I'm not buying that people now are superhuman, compared to a century ago. I think that Jim Thorpe and Babe Ruth would be studs today
                      Nobody said today's people are superhuman compared to a century ago; I said that the average human today is significantly taller than the average human from a century ago. I'll pass on Thorpe but I fully agree that Ruth would be a stud today.


                      Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
                      How does that affect what of player that Hornsby was?
                      In a stronger league or a league that is less friendly to hitters than the one Hornsby played in, his OPS and thus his OPS+ will drop accordingly.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
                        No it's the other way around, easier the environment, the more the elites will stands out and greater the delta.
                        Which league would Pujols post the highest OPS+; MLB, AAA, AA, or A? The answer should be obvious to you.
                        I think Wilshad means in two leagues of the same level, one favoring hitters, one favoring pitchers, elite hitters would stand out more in the one favoring the pitcher. Actually, I think they'd stand out aboutthe same, and the differences would be due to the measuring instruments. You'd get a different picture using OPS+ than you would, say, using z scores of WOBA.
                        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


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                          Also, the Internet and world wide communication makes finding baseball prospects even easier. Any kid with even a remote pro baseball potential will be scouted by somebody.
                          Re: New proliferation of the internet/"world wide web"....

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90b8pVBIWkY

                          (1:34)

                          "The 'internet'....that's the one with email.... right?"

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
                            I think Wilshad means in two leagues of the same level, one favoring hitters, one favoring pitchers, elite hitters would stand out more in the one favoring the pitcher. Actually, I think they'd stand out aboutthe same, and the differences would be due to the measuring instruments. You'd get a different picture using OPS+ than you would, say, using z scores of WOBA.
                            We are not talking about the average player, in which case, the delta in the OPS+ would not differ that much. We are however talking about the elites. The elites in a weak enviroment will increase the delta between them and the mere mortals almost exponentially.

                            Take an elite like Gehrig and let him play half his games in the Baker Bowl instead of YS, you do not think his OPS will improve far more than the OPS of an average player like Wally Pipp if he was taken out of YS and played half his game in the Baker Bowl?

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
                              We are not talking about the average player, in which case, the delta in the OPS+ would not differ that much. We are however talking about the elites. The elites in a weak enviroment will increase the delta between them and the mere mortals almost exponentially.

                              Take an elite like Gehrig and let him play half his games in the Baker Bowl instead of YS, you do not think his OPS will improve far more than the OPS of an average player like Wally Pipp if he was taken out of YS and played half his game in the Baker Bowl?
                              We're too intelligent for this same old nonsense. I've been here listening to palavers re: mean adjusted stats for 10 years.

                              Joltin' Joe- this is absolutely not directed at you...in fact it's directed at the opposite constituency....

                              Can we expand/expound/become more intelligent as a group, please? Edify the debate and discussion? If there are any answers, they lie in stats predicated on Standard Deviations from the mean (SD's), not stats such as OPS+!? Ipso facto, Dan Brouthers equals Albert Pujols in career greatness/performance via OPS+. Does ANYONE buy that they're of equal talent/greatness?

                              You bark endlessly and start polls btw or re: players from different eras based on what you find on baseball-reference.com. Grow up, guys. Evolve. Learn what statistics imply and how to use them.

                              Please stop debasing baseball fever with your ignorance.

                              FACT: We've lost most of our most erudite scholars/authors/statisticians as contributors because they see total ignorance from internet trollers proliferating on this board, which, according to our tagline, is for "serious baseball historians".

                              As a veteran, I care deeply about this. I want to save this site.
                              Last edited by csh19792001; 10-23-2012, 06:32 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
                                We are not talking about the average player, in which case, the delta in the OPS+ would not differ that much. We are however talking about the elites. The elites in a weak enviroment will increase the delta between them and the mere mortals almost exponentially.

                                Take an elite like Gehrig and let him play half his games in the Baker Bowl instead of YS, you do not think his OPS will improve far more than the OPS of an average player like Wally Pipp if he was taken out of YS and played half his game in the Baker Bowl?
                                I honestly don't know. I'll take a look and see.

                                You do realize, though, that you are also saying that Gehrig's OPS+ would drop more than Pipp's if they both played half their games in Chavez Ravine with its shoulder high mound. I'm not sure it would.
                                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

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