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  • wes_kahn
    started a topic My issue with a lot of analytical stats

    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.

  • Iowanic
    replied
    I sat thru all 15 innings of that same game and had a ball. Most important thing was the most exciting thing: the cubs won. If you have to run out 56 pitchers to do it, I'm all in.

    Leave a comment:


  • wes_kahn
    replied
    There are also many a dull games in today's MLB, such as the Cubs-Brewers game today. The wind was blowing in, and both teams tried the impossible. Inning after inning of fly balls caught up in the wind with neither team able to manufacture a run with their slow, muscle-bound players. It went 15 innings before Contreras finally hit one out to end it. 5 hours of anesthesia was the best way to put it.

    I played two tabletop games this afternoon which were much more entertaining than the one on the radio. The 1964 White Sox beat the 1968 Tigers 3-2 with Gary Peters besting Earl Wilson. Then, the 1966 Dodgers beat the 1970 Reds 2-0 on a Claude Osteen shutout over Jim McGlothlin and two relievers. All 3 Chisox runs were manufactured with small ball measures.

    1st inning: Don Buford leadoff double which was really a long single that he stretched into a double with speed. Floyd Robinson advanced Buford to 3rd on a 3-1. Ron Hansen plated Buford on a 4-3 grounder hit deep enough to score.

    5th inning: Jim Landis was hit by a pitch. Tommy McCraw reached on a fielding error at second by Dick McAuliffe. Mike Hershberger drove Landis home with a single.

    8th inning: Gary Peters hit a leadoff double (he was a great hitting pitcher). Al Weis (defensive replacement for Buford at second) sacrificed Peters to 3rd. Pete Ward hit an infield single that scored Peters.

    The Dodgers scored their two runs in the sixth inning on a Tommy Davis single, a Lou Johnson walk, a John Kennedy sacrifice, an Osteen Sacrifice fly to right that also advanced Johnson, and an infield single by Maury Wills.

    Leave a comment:


  • sturg1dj
    replied
    Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
    The really hard core fan may agree with your take on the current playing style of MLB, but watches it anyway. But, there are very few of these folks in today's world compared to say 1949. The casual fan probably looks for something more entertaining. Fans above casual level probably still watch. My last few experiences at an MLB park were that loads of the people in the park were not even casual fans. They got their tickets at work or through a group and the game is an outing. I had to listen to social conversation all around me all game long that was almost never about baseball or the game. These people were just THERE and they didn't care what was going on, on the field except that they wanted the home team to win. But they weren't going home devastated if the team lost.

    When I was a kid I sat in the bleachers at Cleveland Stadium and we talked baseball and almost everyone had a radio tuned to the local Radio call of the game. The fans were hard core and for the Indians (!!) A team with virtually no money and no hope in that era. Things are just sadly different today is all. I am sure Indian management is much more happy with a Stadium packed with oblivious fans on a social outing than they were with 7,000 hard cores rattling around 85,000 seat Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

    (BTW my last few trips to an MLB ballpark were to a largely filled Angel Stadium in Anaheim.)

    **************************************
    I also agree with the OP in his comments about the way baseball is played. If I ran a team I would of course run it by the style most likely to produce victories (walks, HRs. K's). But to simply watch teams play.... I like the idea of deeper fences, more triples, more balls hit into the field of play, fewer HR's fewer walks Fewer K's..... more fielding etc. I want the Indians to play to produce victories though.... I don't know how to reconcile this unless we could get ALL teams to lengthen fences and have more foul ground and pitch for strikes.
    When I was a kid going to old Tiger Stadium I never saw a sold out game. I attended the game where they retired Hal Newhouser's number and it was half full. Going to games later when the Tigers were good, yes there were more people who had no idea how to enjoy baseball, but they were there and they cheered when they were supposed to. And it was a better experience because it was a full stadium.


    Now I am in Boston and I go to games at Fenway. Most people expect it to be full of diehards, but actually they are diehard only in the sense that they know who they are supposed to cheer for. With the huge international university/medical community in the greater Boston area you have so many people who have never seen a game before who are going because that is what you do in Boston, and cheering for the Red Sox because that is what you do. And I love it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Calif_Eagle
    replied
    The really hard core fan may agree with your take on the current playing style of MLB, but watches it anyway. But, there are very few of these folks in today's world compared to say 1949. The casual fan probably looks for something more entertaining. Fans above casual level probably still watch. My last few experiences at an MLB park were that loads of the people in the park were not even casual fans. They got their tickets at work or through a group and the game is an outing. I had to listen to social conversation all around me all game long that was almost never about baseball or the game. These people were just THERE and they didn't care what was going on, on the field except that they wanted the home team to win. But they weren't going home devastated if the team lost.

    When I was a kid I sat in the bleachers at Cleveland Stadium and we talked baseball and almost everyone had a radio tuned to the local Radio call of the game. The fans were hard core and for the Indians (!!) A team with virtually no money and no hope in that era. Things are just sadly different today is all. I am sure Indian management is much more happy with a Stadium packed with oblivious fans on a social outing than they were with 7,000 hard cores rattling around 85,000 seat Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

    (BTW my last few trips to an MLB ballpark were to a largely filled Angel Stadium in Anaheim.)

    **************************************
    I also agree with the OP in his comments about the way baseball is played. If I ran a team I would of course run it by the style most likely to produce victories (walks, HRs. K's). But to simply watch teams play.... I like the idea of deeper fences, more triples, more balls hit into the field of play, fewer HR's fewer walks Fewer K's..... more fielding etc. I want the Indians to play to produce victories though.... I don't know how to reconcile this unless we could get ALL teams to lengthen fences and have more foul ground and pitch for strikes.

    Leave a comment:


  • SamtheBravesFan
    replied
    Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
    Trevor Story - Exact type of player you seem to not like. Mashes home runs and strikes out a ton.
    Maybe because he leads the league in stolen bases right now? /s

    Leave a comment:


  • sturg1dj
    replied
    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.


    Leave a comment:


  • wes_kahn
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • sturg1dj
    replied
    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.


    Leave a comment:


  • SavoyBG
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • wes_kahn
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • sturg1dj
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stolensingle
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • wes_kahn
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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