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THT article on statistics

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Offline  THT article on statistics
#1

Posted: March 14, 2008, 10:55 AM Post
Posts: 12323

Pretty interesting article. Basically says that there are no absolutes in baseball.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/these-numbers-are-disconnected/


Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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#2

Posted: March 14, 2008, 11:09 AM Post
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Interesting read... seemingly of the Andy Rooney variety, though. He seems to contradict himself a bunch when discussing how newer statistical analysis doesn't account for the intangibles of ballplayers - but the examples he presents tend to actually be addressed.


If the stolen base is a weapon of minimal importance, then why pitch from the stretch? Let the other team steal-the numbers indicate that it doesn't noticeably improve run scoring. Focus on getting the hitter out and don't worry about the guys on the base paths.

I have never read any sabermetrician advocate that the benefits of pitching from the windup with men on is so great that it is worth letting the opposing team run at will (poor Will). Why is it somewhat insignificant to ignore the running game on offense while putting so much effort to preventing it on defense?


Isn't the sabermetrical pooh-pooh-ing of stealing bases largely due to the fact that pitchers/defenses do so much to limit it?


A hit-and-run creates a hole that turns a double play ground ball into a seeing-eye single.

Or, likely just as often, it pulls a fielder right to the path of a line-drive that would've been a single to the RC gap, and the runner would have made it to 3B without a hit-&-run.


The more information we have, the better. Despite some protests, neither side possesses the ultimate truth of the game. I hope that one day the factions will embrace each other and work together to explore the game to new heights of understanding.

Ummm... we have this already. Every team has stats guys in their employ now. What is this guy talking about?

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#3

Posted: March 14, 2008, 11:35 AM Post
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It's not the stolen base that's pooh-poohed by sabermetrics. Getting caught stealing is pooh-poohed. I believe the break even point is around 78%. If you are successful in 78 steals out of 100 in a season, you theoretically didn't contribute to the offense. If you did better than that, then it is a good thing to steal. If you do less than that (which involves most base stealers) its is a bad thing. If you pitch from the windup everyone would have close to 100% success.

If your batter is good enough to always hit a ground ball at a middle infielder, than you should hit and run every time with him. It's a risk play that forces your batter to make a strike no matter where it's pitched. And if he misses, then it falls into the above situation. That is why it is rarely a good idea.

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#4

Posted: March 14, 2008, 11:40 AM Post
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What I took from it is that you sometimes have to do things that are not necessarily the best option just to keep the defense honest.

Fan is short for fanatic.
I blame Wang.


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Offline  THT article on statistics
#5

Posted: March 14, 2008, 11:46 AM Post
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It's not the stolen base that's pooh-poohed by sabermetrics. Getting caught stealing is pooh-poohed.

I understand this... just meant that the necessary high success rate is influenced by the defense's efforts to make SB difficult.

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Posted: March 14, 2008, 1:30 PM Post
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Isn't the sabermetrical pooh-pooh-ing of stealing bases largely due to the fact that pitchers/defenses do so much to limit it?

No, I think someone around 1990 realized that "outs > bases". Trading runs for outs is awesome, trading bases for outs sucks -- this sort of thinking applies to bunting as well.

One way to look at it is "SBs are insignificant" -- however if I am a defense, I want a shot at the free out. To put it another way, I hold runners on, not because I care so much about the base, but because I want my C to convert the out.

Outs are huge


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#7

Posted: March 14, 2008, 1:34 PM Post
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What I took from it is that you sometimes have to do things that are not necessarily the best option just to keep the defense honest.

I agree with that (have to do that stuff once and awhile to keep the defense honest) but most of the rest of what he says is utter nonsense. Sabermetricians would advocate letting runners steal at will? Sabermetricians don't see the value of Henderson's 81% success rate while stealing? Nonsense. I almost think it's an early April fools joke?

Sabermetricians generally don't advocate small ball strategy because the average reward often does not often justify the risk. I'd love to see some tweaks by MLB to change that (small ball strategy can be very entertaining, IMO) but it's never going to happen.


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Posted: March 14, 2008, 1:50 PM Post
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From the comments section, the author writes:

"Seriously though, while some of what I wrote was to get a reaction..."

That's exactly what I suspected and I HATE when it's done.


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Posted: March 14, 2008, 5:51 PM Post
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I believe the break even point is around 78%.

68% would be very close to the average break-even point. Individual game situations can range from as low as about 60% to as high as about 90%.

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Offline  THT article on statistics
#10

Posted: March 15, 2008, 8:59 AM Post
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There IS an absolute in baseball. There is NO CRYING in baseball. Image


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