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  • My issue with a lot of analytical stats

    Can somebody explain why there is any difference in run contribution for the following different events?

    1. Bases empty
    A. Base hit
    B. Hit by Pitch
    C. Walk

    How can these 3 events all carry different weights toward run scoring? What does it matter how he got there if he is on first and is the only baserunner?
    2. No outs and bases empty
    A. Batter hits a double
    B. Batter hits a single and steals second base
    C. Batter walks and steals second base
    D. Batter gets hit by pitch and steals second base

    In all four of these cases, the sabermetrics say there is a difference in run scoring probability. It is obvious that if a man gets on second base with no outs, it doesn't matter how he got there, because his chances of scoring are the same no matter which way he got there.

    It isn't that sabermetrics aren't valuable; it's that using real reasoning should not be thrown out. The science may be excellent, but the scientists haven't necessarily become the next James Watson and Francis Crick.

  • #2
    Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
    Can somebody explain why there is any difference in run contribution for the following different events?

    1. Bases empty
    A. Base hit
    B. Hit by Pitch
    C. Walk

    How can these 3 events all carry different weights toward run scoring? What does it matter how he got there if he is on first and is the only baserunner?
    A single has more value than a BB or HBP, because it advances/drives in more runners. The value of getting on base is determined not only by the probability of scoring, but the probability of driving in players who are already on base. You are trying to negate the latter point by stipulating that the bases are empty, but run value is context-independent, which means that all possible RE24 states are taken into account. If you want to focus on a specific base-out situation, you can use a stat like win probability, but if you want to determine the run value of any offensive event, you must include all the base-out states, which include situations when there are runners on base to be advanced or driven in. This is done in the name of fairness; the batter does not control the base-out situation when he steps to the plate

    2. No outs and bases empty
    A. Batter hits a double
    B. Batter hits a single and steals second base
    C. Batter walks and steals second base
    D. Batter gets hit by pitch and steals second base

    In all four of these cases, the sabermetrics say there is a difference in run scoring probability. It is obvious that if a man gets on second base with no outs, it doesn't matter how he got there, because his chances of scoring are the same no matter which way he got there.
    To repeat, the run value is context independent, which means that all possible RE24 situations are taken into account, not just 0 outs and bases empty. The run value of a double, single, walk or HBP is determined by averaging the increase in run value that occurs over all possible RE24 states.

    Even in the special case of no outs and no on one, a double is more valuable than a single, walk or HBP, because the runner in the last three cases has to steal second, which adds extra value. So you could say--again, just in this particular case--a double is equal in value to a single + SB, BB + SB, and HBP + SB. But to reiterate, saber doesn't work like that. It generally does not focus on particular base-out situations, unless one is talking about win probability, or other context-dependent stats.
    Last edited by Stolensingle; 04-29-2019, 08:14 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Of course the value is dependent on the bases out status. With bases empty a single is equal to a walk, with runners on 2 and 3 with 2 outs the difference is huge. What the linear weights do is to create an average over all situations. You simply look at how many runs a single creates over all situations on average.

      of course you could also judge it individually, I.e. give more points to a bases empty walk but this would create a lot of noise because it likely isn't a repeatable skill to walk more with bases empty and get more hits with runners on. Because of that to create more predictability you use context independent stats. Basically you just assume everyone gets to hit with the same bases outs status and over a whole season that is probably true.

      there are stats which try to be context dependent and context absolutely contributes to wins but it simply isn't very predictive. A high RISP average creates real world wins but over multiple seasons it isn't very predictive. Sure a 300 hitter is more likely to have higher BA RISP than a 220 hitter but for two equal talent hitters that is not true.
      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


      • #4
        It's reality that I care about. There is no difference in the two samples I brought up, and these events happen many times per season. In these cases, the player that hits the single gets more credit than the player that walks or gets hit by a pitch. The player that hits the double gets more credit than the player that gets on first and steals second base. Reality is that there is absolutely no difference in run expectation in these separate events.

        I mentioned nothing about other situations. Obviously a base hit with a runner on second is worth more than a walk. But, I didn't mention this possibility. The fact is that one player can hit 100 singles and draw 20 walks and hit by pitches during the season with the bases empty, while another player may hit 60 singles with 65 walks and hit by pitches during the season, and the metrics will say the first player did more to contribute to winning, when it is obvious to anybody that can reason through logic that the latter player really did more to help his team win.

        I bet that in the way advanced mathematics departments in baseball, they filter out data like this and only factor in data that really alters the game.

        There are other factors that determine things where the offensive player gets positive or negative benefit when it really isn't something he can affect.

        1. A player's ability to draw walks greatly depends on the pitchers he faces. Facing the most accurate pitchers versus the least accurate pitchers greatly affects the ability to draw walks. How can you walk if the pitcher doesn't throw four balls outside the strike zone? One division may have 60% of the best pitchers in accuracy, while another division has 60% of the wildest pitchers. It will affect the walk rates for dozens of players.

        2. Batting averages can differ greatly just by the opponent played. Ask a right handed batter in the AL East in 1969-1971 how many hits he lost on grounders to the left side of the infield against the Orioles with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger basically creating a blockade and with Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally throwing a lot of pitches that led to ground balls. Ask those same players about hitting air balls into the middle of the field with Paul Blair covering enough ground for two fielders. The Orioles batters didn't have to face this defense.

        3. What about weather effects? There is a big difference playing in Wrigley Field in April than in July. The wind usually blows in for the first 20-25 home games, and the weather is cold with minimal ball carrying. Then, in the middle of summer, the wind frequently blows out and the heat and humidity allow the ball to carry farther. If you are a visiting team that makes your visit to Wrigley in April, your batters are hurt. If another team plays the Cubs in mid-July, their batters are helped.

        I am sure that stats do help with game-planning, but logic is just as important. Also, strategies from these stats are better used when the opponent is the White Sox or Royals than when it is the Astros or Yankees. As Billy Beane most famously said, "My $hi7 doesn't work in the playoffs." That's because his team wasn't facing any #4 and #5 starting pitchers and few #3's. Against the aces, playing for walks and 3-run homers doesn't win games that small ball can win. Give Chris Sale an early run and then maybe scoring 1 run in 3 different innings might be all that's needed to win, but if you play for the 3-run homer, against him, you might still be looking for your next 3-run homer the following April.

        My belief is to let stats be a resource but not your only resource and realize that math might be right but the proper formulae might not.

        As a baseball coach for the last few years, it has quickly become evident that sometimes, the only way you can win is to play like it is 1910 again, because if you try to play like the 2019 Yankees, you get shut out. If you have two competent pitchers on your roster, you have to hope they can go 7 innings when the bullpen has an ERA over 10. So, you don't want your 2 best pitchers to try to strike out 10 batters a game. Instead, you hope they can entice 15 ground balls in 7 innings and pitch a complete game with less than 80 pitches.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
          It's reality that I care about. There is no difference in the two samples I brought up, and these events happen many times per season. In these cases, the player that hits the single gets more credit than the player that walks or gets hit by a pitch. The player that hits the double gets more credit than the player that gets on first and steals second base. Reality is that there is absolutely no difference in run expectation in these separate events.

          I mentioned nothing about other situations. Obviously a base hit with a runner on second is worth more than a walk. But, I didn't mention this possibility. The fact is that one player can hit 100 singles and draw 20 walks and hit by pitches during the season with the bases empty, while another player may hit 60 singles with 65 walks and hit by pitches during the season, and the metrics will say the first player did more to contribute to winning, when it is obvious to anybody that can reason through logic that the latter player really did more to help his team win.

          I bet that in the way advanced mathematics departments in baseball, they filter out data like this and only factor in data that really alters the game.

          There are other factors that determine things where the offensive player gets positive or negative benefit when it really isn't something he can affect.

          1. A player's ability to draw walks greatly depends on the pitchers he faces. Facing the most accurate pitchers versus the least accurate pitchers greatly affects the ability to draw walks. How can you walk if the pitcher doesn't throw four balls outside the strike zone? One division may have 60% of the best pitchers in accuracy, while another division has 60% of the wildest pitchers. It will affect the walk rates for dozens of players.

          2. Batting averages can differ greatly just by the opponent played. Ask a right handed batter in the AL East in 1969-1971 how many hits he lost on grounders to the left side of the infield against the Orioles with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger basically creating a blockade and with Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally throwing a lot of pitches that led to ground balls. Ask those same players about hitting air balls into the middle of the field with Paul Blair covering enough ground for two fielders. The Orioles batters didn't have to face this defense.

          3. What about weather effects? There is a big difference playing in Wrigley Field in April than in July. The wind usually blows in for the first 20-25 home games, and the weather is cold with minimal ball carrying. Then, in the middle of summer, the wind frequently blows out and the heat and humidity allow the ball to carry farther. If you are a visiting team that makes your visit to Wrigley in April, your batters are hurt. If another team plays the Cubs in mid-July, their batters are helped.

          I am sure that stats do help with game-planning, but logic is just as important. Also, strategies from these stats are better used when the opponent is the White Sox or Royals than when it is the Astros or Yankees. As Billy Beane most famously said, "My $hi7 doesn't work in the playoffs." That's because his team wasn't facing any #4 and #5 starting pitchers and few #3's. Against the aces, playing for walks and 3-run homers doesn't win games that small ball can win. Give Chris Sale an early run and then maybe scoring 1 run in 3 different innings might be all that's needed to win, but if you play for the 3-run homer, against him, you might still be looking for your next 3-run homer the following April.

          My belief is to let stats be a resource but not your only resource and realize that math might be right but the proper formulae might not.

          As a baseball coach for the last few years, it has quickly become evident that sometimes, the only way you can win is to play like it is 1910 again, because if you try to play like the 2019 Yankees, you get shut out. If you have two competent pitchers on your roster, you have to hope they can go 7 innings when the bullpen has an ERA over 10. So, you don't want your 2 best pitchers to try to strike out 10 batters a game. Instead, you hope they can entice 15 ground balls in 7 innings and pitch a complete game with less than 80 pitches.

          I guess I am confused a bit. Your issue with advanced stats is they do not adjust for enough things, so we should go back to 1910 style? Really?


          What level do you coach? The data used to derive things for the MLB population is not the same data as say high school. For starters defense is so much better in MLB. Second there is less separating the skill of players at the highest levels.





          "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

          -Bill James

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
            It's reality that I care about. There is no difference in the two samples I brought up, and these events happen many times per season. In these cases, the player that hits the single gets more credit than the player that walks or gets hit by a pitch. The player that hits the double gets more credit than the player that gets on first and steals second base. Reality is that there is absolutely no difference in run expectation in these separate events.
            But the player who hits the single with a runner on second gets no more extra credit vs. a BB, though it usually drives in a run, while a BB doesn’t even advance the runner on second. Again, the run value of offensive events is determined across all base-out states, so if you’re going to argue that a walk gets short-changed when the bases are empty, you have to argue that a single gets short-changed in other situations.

            I mentioned nothing about other situations. Obviously a base hit with a runner on second is worth more than a walk. But, I didn't mention this possibility. The fact is that one player can hit 100 singles and draw 20 walks and hit by pitches during the season with the bases empty, while another player may hit 60 singles with 65 walks and hit by pitches during the season, and the metrics will say the first player did more to contribute to winning, when it is obvious to anybody that can reason through logic that the latter player really did more to help his team win.
            That’s why we have win probability, and in fact the Altuve vs. Judge MVP vote in 2017 hung to some extent on the belief of some writers that Altuve’s superior performance in higher leverage situations made a difference. But as dom said—and this is a critical point—there’s very little evidence that hitting or walking in certain base out states is a repeatable skill. The second batter in your example may have done slightly more to contribute to runs being scored, but that is probably largely due to luck. While luck is unavoidable in baseball, saber tries not to reward it when possible.

            I bet that in the way advanced mathematics departments in baseball, they filter out data like this and only factor in data that really alters the game.
            No, they look at both context-dependent and context-independent stats. Both have their role in some situations. But when it comes time to assess how good a player is, context-independence has repeatedly been shown to be superior over a long period of time.

            There are other factors that determine things where the offensive player gets positive or negative benefit when it really isn't something he can affect.

            1. A player's ability to draw walks greatly depends on the pitchers he faces. Facing the most accurate pitchers versus the least accurate pitchers greatly affects the ability to draw walks. How can you walk if the pitcher doesn't throw four balls outside the strike zone? One division may have 60% of the best pitchers in accuracy, while another division has 60% of the wildest pitchers. It will affect the walk rates for dozens of players.
            This is now taken into account in the deserved runs metric used by BBPro. But there are limits to how much this affects stats, because teams do of course play games outside their division as well as within. A lot of this averages out. Before DRC was developed, BBPro used to track pitcher quality for individual hitters, and while there were some differences, they weren't huge.

            2. Batting averages can differ greatly just by the opponent played. Ask a right handed batter in the AL East in 1969-1971 how many hits he lost on grounders to the left side of the infield against the Orioles with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger basically creating a blockade and with Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally throwing a lot of pitches that led to ground balls. Ask those same players about hitting air balls into the middle of the field with Paul Blair covering enough ground for two fielders. The Orioles batters didn't have to face this defense.
            Again, DRC takes this into account, if you’re interested.

            3. What about weather effects? There is a big difference playing in Wrigley Field in April than in July. The wind usually blows in for the first 20-25 home games, and the weather is cold with minimal ball carrying. Then, in the middle of summer, the wind frequently blows out and the heat and humidity allow the ball to carry farther. If you are a visiting team that makes your visit to Wrigley in April, your batters are hurt. If another team plays the Cubs in mid-July, their batters are helped.
            Again, DRC. You apparently haven’t looked at that thread.

            As a baseball coach for the last few years, it has quickly become evident that sometimes, the only way you can win is to play like it is 1910 again, because if you try to play like the 2019 Yankees, you get shut out. If you have two competent pitchers on your roster, you have to hope they can go 7 innings when the bullpen has an ERA over 10. So, you don't want your 2 best pitchers to try to strike out 10 batters a game. Instead, you hope they can entice 15 ground balls in 7 innings and pitch a complete game with less than 80 pitches.
            If you play 1910-style, your starting pitcher will probably go through the lineup four times, and get hit much harder than a reliever would. That’s just one example of how modern stats help teams. Sure, you can tell your pitchers to pitch to contact, but modern stats also show that for some pitchers that might not be a good idea, even if fewer pitches are thrown. I'm quite confident that that there isn't a single front office today that believes playing only with the knowledge available in 1910 would be superior to what they have now.

            Last edited by Stolensingle; 04-30-2019, 04:07 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              To answer the 1910 thing, I am talking about a 7th and 8th grade team with only two pitchers that can pitch and four others that can throw batting practice. The two pitchers absolutely need to pitch complete games, or we have no chance to win. Our two good guys are still much, much better on pitch 80 than any of the other four are at any point in their lives to date.

              We have hit 6 homers in 16 games, and 2 were inside the park homers. We lead both the district and region in stolen bases with 73 and 9 caught stealing and probably in successful hit and runs and successful bunts for base hits. We have also pulled off 5 squeeze plays and no caught stealings of home. We are second in our district in runs scored per game, and the leader is a team that went 11-1 in district play. We went 4-7-1 in district play with a team of small, inexperienced non-athletes. The school is noted for having the best math and science students in the area and an unbeatable chess club team and debate team. More kids that graduate this school end up at Cal Tech, MIT, and Ivy League schools than all the other middle schools in this area combined.

              We have one real athlete--our catcher, and his father will not allow him to pitch, because he's also a quarterback that will get a high school scholarship to play at one of a host of prestigious private school football factories.

              If we tried to win with pitching, defense, and 3-run homers, we would score about a run per game on average. With our SB, Bunts, and H&R, we score almost 6 runs per game. If we had last year's pitching, we might be competing for first place.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
                To answer the 1910 thing, I am talking about a 7th and 8th grade team with only two pitchers that can pitch and four others that can throw batting practice. The two pitchers absolutely need to pitch complete games, or we have no chance to win. Our two good guys are still much, much better on pitch 80 than any of the other four are at any point in their lives to date...

                If we tried to win with pitching, defense, and 3-run homers, we would score about a run per game on average. With our SB, Bunts, and H&R, we score almost 6 runs per game. If we had last year's pitching, we might be competing for first place.
                Fine, but that situation is obviously very different from that in MLB. You said upthread:

                As a baseball coach for the last few years, it has quickly become evident that sometimes, the only way you can win is to play like it is 1910 again,
                What you didn't tell us at the time is that at your level, with a limited number of players, you have to use players in a way that managers in the bigs don't have to. You seemed to imply that what strategy was effective for you in your situation would be effective for big league teams, when that clearly is not the case. There are no big league starting pitchers who are so good that they would be better in the late innings than a fresh reliever. There is no team that steals a lot of bases with a 90% success rate. No big league team is going to generate a lot of offense based on bunting.

                What may work for you in your situation just doesn't apply to the majors.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                  Fine, but that situation is obviously very different from that in MLB. You said upthread:



                  What you didn't tell us at the time is that at your level, with a limited number of players, you have to use players in a way that managers in the bigs don't have to. You seemed to imply that what strategy was effective for you in your situation would be effective for big league teams, when that clearly is not the case. There are no big league starting pitchers who are so good that they would be better in the late innings than a fresh reliever. There is no team that steals a lot of bases with a 90% success rate. No big league team is going to generate a lot of offense based on bunting.

                  What may work for you in your situation just doesn't apply to the majors.

                  It is like the high school coach that does not punt and onside kicks every time. People were worried it would become the norm in the NFL. The difference is the success rate of an onside kick in HS vs. NFL is very different; and punters and defenses are MUCH better. It would not make sense.

                  But it works at that level.
                  "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                  -Bill James

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Let me get back to attempting to explain why I started this thread. I don't disagree with all the attempts to put numerical and financial values on all the possibilities in the game of baseball. My beef is with the belief that the current valuations are accurate enough to determine the values. I don't accept the contribution to winning on the accepted variables today. I also don't support or enjoy today's Major League game with the playing for walks and home runs. Neither event has entertainment value. The double stretching to a triple, the hit and run, the stolen base, having pitchers that can induce ground balls, and especially plays on base (really especially plays at the plate) make baseball exciting. I would not pay for a general admission ticket to a Yankees-Dodgers game today just to see muscle-bound behemoths jog to first on walks or jog around the bases.

                    I don't like the crappy dimensions in all the new ballparks. They are just new-era cookie cutters. Just because the parks have jagged corners and aren't perfectly round, it doesn't prevent them from being a jagged cookie cutter. Look at the ballparks in 1930. Braves Field, Ebbets Field, Polo Grounds, Baker Bowl, Forbes Field, Crosley Field, Old Wrigley, Sportsman's Park, Fenway, Old Yankee, Shibe, Griffith, Navin, League, and Comiskey were 15 totally different parks. Most of them had areas in fair territory that required very fast players for offensive and defensive success.

                    All this macho muscle has not led to increases offense. The NL is averaging 4 1/2 runs per game. That number is quite low to many years in the past when teams had to do more than jog around the bases or jog to first.

                    If I were to become the principal owner of an existing bad franchises, I sure as heck would zag to all the zig opposition. Let's just say I bought the lowly White Sox, who have not competed for many years. If it were possible, I'd close US Cellular Field for 2 seasons and either rent at Wrigley like the Yankees at Shea, or if that wasn't possible, I'd find a temporary place in Chicagoland to play, like at Kane County.

                    Meanwhile, I'd tear down the outfield at US Cellular and move the fences back with 360 feet foul lines, 400 feet power alleys and 440 to dead center. I'd make foul territory wider. I'd hire a groundskeeper to make the infield and outfield as fast as the greens at the US Open. I'd then trade away all my big, beefy players that hit for power and attract players that can run a 4.5 40 or faster that have good batting eyes and field the ball expertly. I'd find a manager that could manage like John McGraw or Al Lopez. I'd go after pitchers that don't allow walks and keep the ball in play.

                    With 29 teams doing the opposite, I'd be like Army West Point football and win so many more games than the advanced metrics indicate my team should win. Imagine if Army played their games in a football stadium that was not conducive to the forward pass, and the triple option approach had a huge advantage over the passing game. This is what baseball needs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I'm wondering....
                      Which players currently playing would you take for this speed based lineup?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With the bases empty a walk or a HBP is MORE valuable than a single. With some singles the runner is thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Nobody ever got thrown out trying to stretch a walk or a HBP into a double. You'll also occasionally see a batter hit a single but then get tagged out after making a turn towards 2B. Then there's also the occasional single where the batted ball hits a runner. The batter gets a single, but it hurts his team because a runner is out and no runners advance unless forced.
                        .


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post
                          Let me get back to attempting to explain why I started this thread. I don't disagree with all the attempts to put numerical and financial values on all the possibilities in the game of baseball. My beef is with the belief that the current valuations are accurate enough to determine the values. I don't accept the contribution to winning on the accepted variables today. I also don't support or enjoy today's Major League game with the playing for walks and home runs. Neither event has entertainment value. The double stretching to a triple, the hit and run, the stolen base, having pitchers that can induce ground balls, and especially plays on base (really especially plays at the plate) make baseball exciting. I would not pay for a general admission ticket to a Yankees-Dodgers game today just to see muscle-bound behemoths jog to first on walks or jog around the bases.

                          I don't like the crappy dimensions in all the new ballparks. They are just new-era cookie cutters. Just because the parks have jagged corners and aren't perfectly round, it doesn't prevent them from being a jagged cookie cutter. Look at the ballparks in 1930. Braves Field, Ebbets Field, Polo Grounds, Baker Bowl, Forbes Field, Crosley Field, Old Wrigley, Sportsman's Park, Fenway, Old Yankee, Shibe, Griffith, Navin, League, and Comiskey were 15 totally different parks. Most of them had areas in fair territory that required very fast players for offensive and defensive success.

                          All this macho muscle has not led to increases offense. The NL is averaging 4 1/2 runs per game. That number is quite low to many years in the past when teams had to do more than jog around the bases or jog to first.

                          If I were to become the principal owner of an existing bad franchises, I sure as heck would zag to all the zig opposition. Let's just say I bought the lowly White Sox, who have not competed for many years. If it were possible, I'd close US Cellular Field for 2 seasons and either rent at Wrigley like the Yankees at Shea, or if that wasn't possible, I'd find a temporary place in Chicagoland to play, like at Kane County.

                          Meanwhile, I'd tear down the outfield at US Cellular and move the fences back with 360 feet foul lines, 400 feet power alleys and 440 to dead center. I'd make foul territory wider. I'd hire a groundskeeper to make the infield and outfield as fast as the greens at the US Open. I'd then trade away all my big, beefy players that hit for power and attract players that can run a 4.5 40 or faster that have good batting eyes and field the ball expertly. I'd find a manager that could manage like John McGraw or Al Lopez. I'd go after pitchers that don't allow walks and keep the ball in play.

                          With 29 teams doing the opposite, I'd be like Army West Point football and win so many more games than the advanced metrics indicate my team should win. Imagine if Army played their games in a football stadium that was not conducive to the forward pass, and the triple option approach had a huge advantage over the passing game. This is what baseball needs.
                          Even if you build that stadium and fill it with players that looked like the '85 Cardinals the fact would still remain that a HR would still be more valuable than a single. They would just happen less.


                          But now I think I am starting to understand your actual gripe. You don't like that MLB has started to tailor their teams based on things like WAR. Honestly, I don't either. I also hate fielding shifts. But here is the big secret to all of this, we have over 100 years worth of major league baseball box scores, and from all of those games, and all of those different eras; with some variation, but not as much as one would expect; we have a good idea what it takes to score runs. And because our beloved league is a business where the people employed are only employed if they win as many games as possible it would make sense they would do everything possible to win.

                          For those fast teams built for those huge stadiums I would like to point out they only play at their home park 1/2 the season. So for 1/2 their season they would be built specifically for their stadium. And half their season they would be built at a disadvantage in all other stadiums they play in. So I am not sure if it would be worth it, other than creating an exciting product for the home fans.


                          "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                          -Bill James

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iowanic View Post
                            Well, I'm wondering....
                            Which players currently playing would you take for this speed based lineup?
                            Without having the best knowledge about current players, I can name a few off the top of my head.

                            Byron Buxton CF
                            Terrance Gore RF
                            Billy Hamilton LF Move him from CF if Buxton also on the roster
                            Adalberto Mondesi SS and I'd move him to 2b if I also had Story or move Story to 2b
                            Jon Berti 3B
                            Jorge Alfaro C
                            Trevor Story SS

                            Kansas City might be a few games better off if their fences were moved back 30 feet. With Hamilton and Mondesi leading the way, and with a batting coach that would preach hitting line drives, you could have two players top 20 triples, and you could see a 30-50 point gain in batting average with all the extra fair territory.

                            By adding foul territory space, the free swinging players on other teams would add outs. With 30 feet more fair territory, over half the homers would become fly ball outs. Slow teams would have difficulty covering all the territory in the outfield or exploiting the potential extra bases available. Faster players like Modesi and Hamilton would be able to cover all the extra fair territory, and thus a Kansas City team might win as much as 10 to 15 more home games. Add pitching that induced a lot of ground balls or a lot of high fly balls (anything not a liner of any type), and the opponents would help create the outs. The pitching staff would not have to attempt to get 10 K's a game, and with fewer pitches, their arms would hold out, maybe allowing a team to go with one fewer pitcher and one extra offensive player, maybe a platoon player for somebody that really needs to face opposite pitchers or a top-notch defensive player that can be a late inning defensive replacement.

                            Most of all, this type of team would be exciting. This style of baseball is like the Air Raid in college football, or a team that presses full court and runs the fast break in basketball. Watching teams draw walks and hit long balls is more boring than watching Virginia win the national championship in basketball. Throw in the fact that the current game with 275 pitches that take 3 hours or more to play is too dull to watch 9 innings any more, and you have too many sports fans tuning into the NBA and NHL in May and June and not baseball and football in September and October.

                            I used to love September baseball, watching Curt Gowdy on the Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons. Baseball ratings trounced college football in those days. Today, on the any September Saturday, it is college football from Noon Eastern until 2 AM. Even if there is a tight pennant race, because 10 teams make the playoffs, the marathon race to win the only spot in the postseason in both leagues is also gone. Nothing beats the 1964 pennant race, or the 1967 AL race. That was drama. Today, the race is between teams #5 and 6 in both leagues--big deal. I'll watch the Big Ten and SEC at Noon all the way through the late Pac-12 and MWC game past midnight on Saturday in September, and then only have a small TV off to the side during the playoffs and World Series. If the Series is on opposite something like LSU and Auburn or Ohio State and Penn State, the big TV has the football game, and this is typical of a majority of sports fans. Baseball loses out because it has become dull to watch, and taking out the speed element has made it glorified beer league softball.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wes_kahn View Post

                              Without having the best knowledge about current players, I can name a few off the top of my head.

                              Byron Buxton CF
                              Terrance Gore RF
                              Billy Hamilton LF Move him from CF if Buxton also on the roster
                              Adalberto Mondesi SS and I'd move him to 2b if I also had Story or move Story to 2b
                              Jon Berti 3B
                              Jorge Alfaro C
                              Trevor Story SS
                              I foresee many a dull game since most of these guys have major problems getting on base. So yeah, the games would probably be much faster.

                              Buxton - I like him, but for your team style he strikes out too much
                              Gore - was a .220 hitter in the minors. Could not get on base. Also not a great fielder. Actually, looking at minor league numbers not sure how he is in the bigs.
                              Berti - career .258 hitter in the minors. But not terrible on base, so maybe he could lead off, haha
                              Hamilton - has shown he cannot really hit at the major league level. He is fast, but cannot get on base. Strikes out a ton for having no power
                              Alfaro - not sure why. Did you go out of your way to only choose people who hate to walk?
                              Mondesi - Seems to hate getting on base
                              Trevor Story - Exact type of player you seem to not like. Mashes home runs and strikes out a ton.

                              And so you would envision that you would TEACH them to hit linedrives and expect their averages to go up 30-50 points. As ridiculous as that sounds, the more ridiculous thing is that the lineup would still not be very good.


                              "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                              -Bill James

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