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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:39 pm 
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Willton wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
I'm pretty sure just about everybody talking about Morneau on this board is reading a stat sheet.

Bingo. The people pining for Morneau are looking at his statistics. Yet some among this crowd poo-poo anyone arguing against the acquisition of Morneau as being too focused on statistics. Hypocrites.


Strawman Alert. Read again. The people advocating for acquiring Morneau are questioning the statistics selected and cited by those against acquiring Morneua. Big difference. Huge. And - by the way - they also point out that Jones' defense sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Willton wrote:
You're either mistaken or lying. Jones has only 1 throwing error this entire season as a first baseman.


Many times it isn't considered an error because a double play can't be assumed. I can recall a few double-pumps or off-line throws that take away the double play.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:21 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
Willton wrote:
You're either mistaken or lying. Jones has only 1 throwing error this entire season as a first baseman.


Many times it isn't considered an error because a double play can't be assumed. I can recall a few double-pumps or off-line throws that take away the double play.


That's only when the second out is messed up. A ball into LF is certainly an error.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:35 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Its not anti-SABR to question assumptions and conclusions. Heck, SABR folks do it to one another all the time. Academics do it to one another all the time.

I'm aware of that, but usually when those SABR folks/academics question the conclusions of others, they have at least one counter-proposal that is supported by something more than mere hypotheticals and conjecture. I don't see that from you here.

Quote:
I've done it at length with RE and WE. I've done it with the purported "value" of strike outs. Hell, I've linked an article from a BP author who went to work for the Indians and, when he returned to BP, he wrote something to the effect that based upon what he learned when working for the Indians, he's concluded that "some of what the SABR crowd considers to be law" is not accurate.

That's great, but what you don't do is provide a counter-proposal, other than "I trust the professionals." If you don't agree with a proposal provided by a sabermetrician, then you should be offering up your own proposals and give them some adequate support. Merely indicating that your view comports with conventional wisdom does not mean that your view is a wise one.

Quote:
I like stats . . . a lot. Believe it or not, I spend a fair amount of my down time when the rest of my family is asleep looking at sites like baseball-reference and fangraphs. But you won't find me citing WAR. Why? Because it isn't a hard and fast calculation. WAR is calculated by its proponents diifferently. And, frankly, I find its application to have very little meaning. The Pirates, as a team, have what WAR calculation? How does it compare to the Brewers? How does it relate to the real standings? If WAR is an accurate measure of player performance, shouldn't a team's WAR match reality? How many wins would the hypothetical average replacement team have after 132 games? Do you multiply 132 by .320 or .294 and why? How many WAR are the Pirates above this hypothetical average replacement team? I see that, as of today, the Pirates have 21 more wins the the Cubs. Are the Cubs, as a whole, better than the hypothetical average replacement team? If so, by how much?

Pirates actual wins = 77; Pirates' team WAR = 70.7 (WAR off by 8.2%)
Cardinals actual wins = 78; Cardinals' team WAR = 72.4 (WAR off by 7.2%)
Reds actual wins = 75; Reds' team WAR = 71.6 (WAR off by 4.6%)
Cubs actual wins = 56; Cubs' team WAR = 62 (WAR off by 9.7%)
Brewers actual wins = 58; Brewers' team WAR = 57.4 (WAR only off by 1.1%)

Call me crazy but WAR doesn't look to be particularly accurate when looking at those numbers above. According to WAR, the Pirates are only 8 wins better than the Cubs. The actual standings show the Pirates 21 games better than the Cubs. Thus, the WAR calculation - as applied to the real world in this situation - is off by 263%.

Let's look at the whole season and determine what an error factor of 8.2% amounts to. 162 * 8.2% = 13.28. For a whole season, WAR may miscalculate by a total of 13 wins. The difference between 80 wins and 93 wins is quite significant. 80 wins gets you a "loser" label. 93 wins gets you in the playoffs.

Here's BBR's explanation of how to use WAR:

How to Use WAR

The idea behind the WAR framework is that we want to know how much better a player is than what a team would typically have to replace that player. We start by comparing the player to average in a variety of venues and then compare our theoretical replacement player to the average player and add the two results together.

There is no one way to determine WAR. There are hundreds of steps to make this calculation, and dozens of places where reasonable people can disagree on the best way to implement a particular part of the framework. We have taken the utmost care and study at each step in the process, and believe all of our choices are well reasoned and defensible. But WAR is necessarily an approximation and will never be as precise or accurate as one would like.

We present the WAR values with decimal places because this relates the WAR value back to the runs contributed (as one win is about ten runs), but you should not take any full season difference between two players of less than one to two wins to be definitive (especially when the defensive metrics are included).


I underlined what I find to be most interesting. No one way to determine WAR. Hundreds of steps to make the calculation and dozens of places where reasonable people can disagree (shocking concept to those who worship at the alter of the RE Table). War is NECESSARILY an approximation. Will NEVER be as precise or accurate as people want it to be.

That's all understood, but an approximation at least provides a basis or framework from which one can make an educated decision on what to next. I don't see you providing that in this discussion. I see you setting up hypotheticals regarding "you've got one inning to play and need to hold the other team scoreless," or "you've got the winning runner on third base with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning." You are setting up scenarios that may or may not happen, and treat your decision as to what you would do in that situation as if it were incontrovertible fact and should govern everyone's decision making. You don't say why you would choose one player over the other, or why anyone else should do the same; you simply say that you would do it. You also don't explain why such a decision should be the governing principle over whether the Pirates choose to trade for Morneau.

Poo-poo the sabermetricians all you want; they at least provide objective views based on verifiable information.

Quote:
Call me old school, call me a romantic, call me a Neandrathal, accuse me of ignoring "intelligent discussion", call me whatever you want - fine by me. I don't really give a rat's patoot what somebody sitting behind a keyboard and posting anonymously under a Screen Name over the internet.

When I'm sitting on my couch watching a game or when I'll be sitting at Busch Stadium for three games at the end of next week, I'm not going to be concerned about Walker's season-long WAR or attempt to calculate in my brain how many decimal points McCutchen's WAR increased when he drills a Lance Lynn slider. I won't blame "bad luck" when Jones chases a slider on a 3-1 count with one out and RISP; I'll shake my head in disgust for a lousy approach. I won't be trying to figure out whether Alvarez's wRC+ goes up or down if he goes 1-4 with a single and 3 Ks. I'll be focusing on pitch-calling, pitch location, defensive shifts, pitch counts, batter counts and strategic plate approaches as the Pirates try to win game-after-game-after-game. The rest of the stuff - WAR, wOBP, wRC, etc is interesting but - to me - wholly secondary to what is going on in the game at that particular moment in time.

Baseball has been and always will be similar to a game of chess. A game of action/reaction. A game of adjustments. A game of anticipation and opportunity. If that's a "romantic" or "Neandrathal" view - so be it. I consider it to be a realistic view. An experienced view.

Your infatuation with strategy forgets a very important aspect of the game: the game is played by players, not robots. You can come up with the best strategy in the world, but it requires one or more players to actually execute it. And unlike chess, baseball players must execute a strategy using their physical talents, not merely decisive action.

The reason sabermetricians are focused on statistics like WAR, wOBP, wRC and other such metrics is because they are trying to evaluate each player's ability to play the game of baseball. Why? Because at the end of a season, the teams with the most baseball talent are usually the ones that have the best records and reach the post-season. No amount of strategy will make up for a lack of talent in baseball.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:16 pm 
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NOTE: Tonight, August 29th, the Pirates are starting Gaby Sanchez and benching Garrett Jones against a right-handed pitcher for the second time in three games.

Looks like Jay Bell and Clint Hurdle don't see G.I. Jones turning it around...


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Animal wrote:
IA Pirate wrote:
Willton wrote:
You're either mistaken or lying. Jones has only 1 throwing error this entire season as a first baseman.


Many times it isn't considered an error because a double play can't be assumed. I can recall a few double-pumps or off-line throws that take away the double play.


That's only when the second out is messed up. A ball into LF is certainly an error.


I think there were a couple of bad throws to second when we had runners picked off which went in the books as stolen bases.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Willton wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Its not anti-SABR to question assumptions and conclusions. Heck, SABR folks do it to one another all the time. Academics do it to one another all the time.

I'm aware of that, but usually when those SABR folks/academics question the conclusions of others, they have at least one counter-proposal that is supported by something more than mere hypotheticals and conjecture. I don't see that from you here.


Nope. Not true. Blatantly false.
Submit a research thesis for peer review and your assumptions, methodology, analysis and conclusions will be challenged. There isn't a counter-proposal being considered. When I presented my thesis on whether the concept of predatory pricing was a viable economic strategy in the real world, I was grilled on my assumptions, methodology, analysis and the bases for my conclusions. I wasn't competing with another student who was issuing a counter-position.
The notion that I, or anyone else, has to conduct a detailed counter statistical model to have any "standing" to question the assumptions, methodology, analysis or conclusion of any particular study is pure silliness. To use the RE Table as an example, one need only understand what the table represents to understand that using it as a tool to guide game decisions is akin to using a Phillips head screwdriver to remove a flathead screw. Wrong tool for the job at hand.

Willton wrote:
Quote:
I've done it at length with RE and WE. I've done it with the purported "value" of strike outs. Hell, I've linked an article from a BP author who went to work for the Indians and, when he returned to BP, he wrote something to the effect that based upon what he learned when working for the Indians, he's concluded that "some of what the SABR crowd considers to be law" is not accurate.

That's great, but what you don't do is provide a counter-proposal, other than "I trust the professionals." If you don't agree with a proposal provided by a sabermetrician, then you should be offering up your own proposals and give them some adequate support. Merely indicating that your view comports with conventional wisdom does not mean that your view is a wise one.


I don't get what you mean by "I trust the professionals" and my view "comporting with the conventional wisdom." You are making it out like their is a George Bush like edict "you are either with us or against us." That couldn't be further from the truth. Since joining this community sometime in the early 2000s, I have consistently maintained that the game of baseball is filled with shades of grey. While there are some "no brainer" decisions to be made, the game is filled with decision-making opportunities about which there is no right/wrong answer. Bottom of 4, Cutch on first after singling to lead off the inning. Byrd at the plate, Alvarez in the hole. Gallardo pitching, Lucroy catching. Do you run McCutchen on the first pitch? Second pitch? Do you attempt a steal at all? Pure judgment call on Hurdle's part. Had Cutch been stealing with Byrd at the plate as opposed to waiting for Alvarez's turn at the plate, would that be wrong? If you are Lucroy, do you think that Cutch is going on the first pitch? If so, do you call for an outside fastball to give yourself the best shot to throw out Cutch or will that play into Byrd's hitting strength? Or, is it more likely that Cutch will wait at least a pitch? If so, do you call for a breaking pitch to see if Byrd will hit a ground ball? That's the kind of decision making, situational analysis that is going on every game and every play. There's far more to the game than some would like to acknowledge.

You mock me for coming up with "hypotheticals" but nearly every scenario I type involves a real game scenario. I have no idea why you reject them out of hand but . . . perhaps its because you don't watch the games on MLB.TV and instead watch Gamecast. IMO, its very difficult to get the essence of the game watching animated replication of what may be going on at the ballpark. Don't get me wrong. I love Gamecast. Its great. But its a distant third to watching real action or listening to a radio broadcast.

Willton wrote:
That's all understood, but an approximation at least provides a basis or framework from which one can make an educated decision on what to next.


This is where I find that most SABR folks go wrong with their analysis. Taking numbers or stats using them for situations which don't, IMO, make sense. If its February 1st and I'm contemplating whether to trade Andrew McCutchen for Giancarlo Stanton, I may very well consider WAR (along with a boatload of other data) or other seasonal cumulative statistics. If its August 1st and I'm trying to deduce the best way to win a game, I'm looking at a completely different set of numbers when making lineup decisions. If the opponent has brought in a left handed reliever to face Pedro with a runner on third base and the Bucs down by one, I really don't give a rat's ass about Pedro's WAR, wRC+ or wOBP. I'm focusing solely on whether I think there is a better shot of Pedro or a right handed PHer getting that run home on that particular day in that particular game situation. There is, IMO, a distinct set of metrics which should be considered when a game strategy is employed. For example, what John Buck did in April would have very little influence upon what I think that he will do at the plate tonight. I'm much more focused on last 7 games, last 14 games, last 28 games data.

Willton wrote:
Quote:
When I'm sitting on my couch watching a game or when I'll be sitting at Busch Stadium for three games at the end of next week, I'm not going to be concerned about Walker's season-long WAR or attempt to calculate in my brain how many decimal points McCutchen's WAR increased when he drills a Lance Lynn slider. I won't blame "bad luck" when Jones chases a slider on a 3-1 count with one out and RISP; I'll shake my head in disgust for a lousy approach. I won't be trying to figure out whether Alvarez's wRC+ goes up or down if he goes 1-4 with a single and 3 Ks. I'll be focusing on pitch-calling, pitch location, defensive shifts, pitch counts, batter counts and strategic plate approaches as the Pirates try to win game-after-game-after-game. The rest of the stuff - WAR, wOBP, wRC, etc is interesting but - to me - wholly secondary to what is going on in the game at that particular moment in time.

Baseball has been and always will be similar to a game of chess. A game of action/reaction. A game of adjustments. A game of anticipation and opportunity. If that's a "romantic" or "Neandrathal" view - so be it. I consider it to be a realistic view. An experienced view.


Your infatuation with strategy forgets a very important aspect of the game: the game is played by players, not robots. You can come up with the best strategy in the world, but it requires one or more players to actually execute it. And unlike chess, baseball players must execute a strategy using their physical talents, not merely decisive action.

The reason sabermetricians are focused on statistics like WAR, wOBP, wRC and other such metrics is because they are trying to evaluate each player's ability to play the game of baseball. Why? Because at the end of a season, the teams with the most baseball talent are usually the ones that have the best records and reach the post-season. No amount of strategy will make up for a lack of talent in baseball.


You have this completely backwards. Completely. The focus on game strategy is due to the fact that players are humans and not robots. You "go against the numbers" and sit Jones against Gallardo because he's in a deep rut right now and - despite his season long number or career numbers - he's not a robot who can be counted on to reverse the trend. If anything, strict statistical analysis tends to strip away the "human component" of the game and treats the game as it was being played by someone on an xBox or PlayStation where performance within the game matches pre-determined statistical inputs.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:58 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Considering they could save nearly $3 million and re-sign Morneau for 2014 if they so desire, they should. But who knows?

Considering that they could have saved a lot more than that by trading him in July, but didn't, I'd say that the Twins either have no intention of trading him or are asking for more than any team is willing to pay.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:02 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
I'm pretty sure just about everybody talking about Morneau on this board is reading a stat sheet.

Bingo. The people pining for Morneau are looking at his statistics. Yet some among this crowd poo-poo anyone arguing against the acquisition of Morneau as being too focused on statistics. Hypocrites.


Strawman Alert. Read again. The people advocating for acquiring Morneau are questioning the statistics selected and cited by those against acquiring Morneua. Big difference. Huge. And - by the way - they also point out that Jones' defense sucks.

The people who are disagreeing with you are wondering why the comparing stat line beginning on August 1 is mandatory, but choosing July 1, or August 17, for example, leads to meaningless conclusions. The problem isn't what stats are more important, it's where the starting line is put.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:06 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Considering they could save nearly $3 million and re-sign Morneau for 2014 if they so desire, they should. But who knows?

Considering that they could have saved a lot more than that by trading him in July, but didn't, I'd say that the Twins either have no intention of trading him or are asking for more than any team is willing to pay.


We'll know the answer by Saturday.

In the meantime, it certainly appears that Hurdle & Bell have lost confidence in Garrett Jones...


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:11 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Considering they could save nearly $3 million and re-sign Morneau for 2014 if they so desire, they should. But who knows?

Considering that they could have saved a lot more than that by trading him in July, but didn't, I'd say that the Twins either have no intention of trading him or are asking for more than any team is willing to pay.


We'll know the answer by Saturday.

In the meantime, it certainly appears that Hurdle & Bell have lost confidence in Garrett Jones...

If they aren't seeing what we're seeing I'd question their qualifications for the jobs they have.

I suspect they're giving him a break while working hard with him in the cage. That's what I'd do.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:26 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
NOTE: Tonight, August 29th, the Pirates are starting Gaby Sanchez and benching Garrett Jones against a right-handed pitcher for the second time in three games.

Looks like Jay Bell and Clint Hurdle don't see G.I. Jones turning it around...


Yeah, and earlier in the year they benched Pedro for a few games. Your point is???

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:15 pm 
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Morneau doesnt want to be a Pirate. he wants to finish the year in Minnesota. End of that story.The Pirates claimed kendrys Morales but could not work out a fair deal in time. You only have a few days or the claim expires. NH will now look for a starter.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:46 am 
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No. 9 wrote:
Willton wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Its not anti-SABR to question assumptions and conclusions. Heck, SABR folks do it to one another all the time. Academics do it to one another all the time.

I'm aware of that, but usually when those SABR folks/academics question the conclusions of others, they have at least one counter-proposal that is supported by something more than mere hypotheticals and conjecture. I don't see that from you here.


Nope. Not true. Blatantly false.
Submit a research thesis for peer review and your assumptions, methodology, analysis and conclusions will be challenged. There isn't a counter-proposal being considered. When I presented my thesis on whether the concept of predatory pricing was a viable economic strategy in the real world, I was grilled on my assumptions, methodology, analysis and the bases for my conclusions. I wasn't competing with another student who was issuing a counter-position.
The notion that I, or anyone else, has to conduct a detailed counter statistical model to have any "standing" to question the assumptions, methodology, analysis or conclusion of any particular study is pure silliness. To use the RE Table as an example, one need only understand what the table represents to understand that using it as a tool to guide game decisions is akin to using a Phillips head screwdriver to remove a flathead screw. Wrong tool for the job at hand.

Willton wrote:
Quote:
I've done it at length with RE and WE. I've done it with the purported "value" of strike outs. Hell, I've linked an article from a BP author who went to work for the Indians and, when he returned to BP, he wrote something to the effect that based upon what he learned when working for the Indians, he's concluded that "some of what the SABR crowd considers to be law" is not accurate.

That's great, but what you don't do is provide a counter-proposal, other than "I trust the professionals." If you don't agree with a proposal provided by a sabermetrician, then you should be offering up your own proposals and give them some adequate support. Merely indicating that your view comports with conventional wisdom does not mean that your view is a wise one.


I don't get what you mean by "I trust the professionals" and my view "comporting with the conventional wisdom." You are making it out like their is a George Bush like edict "you are either with us or against us." That couldn't be further from the truth. Since joining this community sometime in the early 2000s, I have consistently maintained that the game of baseball is filled with shades of grey. While there are some "no brainer" decisions to be made, the game is filled with decision-making opportunities about which there is no right/wrong answer. Bottom of 4, Cutch on first after singling to lead off the inning. Byrd at the plate, Alvarez in the hole. Gallardo pitching, Lucroy catching. Do you run McCutchen on the first pitch? Second pitch? Do you attempt a steal at all? Pure judgment call on Hurdle's part. Had Cutch been stealing with Byrd at the plate as opposed to waiting for Alvarez's turn at the plate, would that be wrong? If you are Lucroy, do you think that Cutch is going on the first pitch? If so, do you call for an outside fastball to give yourself the best shot to throw out Cutch or will that play into Byrd's hitting strength? Or, is it more likely that Cutch will wait at least a pitch? If so, do you call for a breaking pitch to see if Byrd will hit a ground ball? That's the kind of decision making, situational analysis that is going on every game and every play. There's far more to the game than some would like to acknowledge.

You mock me for coming up with "hypotheticals" but nearly every scenario I type involves a real game scenario. I have no idea why you reject them out of hand but . . . perhaps its because you don't watch the games on MLB.TV and instead watch Gamecast. IMO, its very difficult to get the essence of the game watching animated replication of what may be going on at the ballpark. Don't get me wrong. I love Gamecast. Its great. But its a distant third to watching real action or listening to a radio broadcast.

Willton wrote:
That's all understood, but an approximation at least provides a basis or framework from which one can make an educated decision on what to next.


This is where I find that most SABR folks go wrong with their analysis. Taking numbers or stats using them for situations which don't, IMO, make sense. If its February 1st and I'm contemplating whether to trade Andrew McCutchen for Giancarlo Stanton, I may very well consider WAR (along with a boatload of other data) or other seasonal cumulative statistics. If its August 1st and I'm trying to deduce the best way to win a game, I'm looking at a completely different set of numbers when making lineup decisions. If the opponent has brought in a left handed reliever to face Pedro with a runner on third base and the Bucs down by one, I really don't give a rat's ass about Pedro's WAR, wRC+ or wOBP. I'm focusing solely on whether I think there is a better shot of Pedro or a right handed PHer getting that run home on that particular day in that particular game situation. There is, IMO, a distinct set of metrics which should be considered when a game strategy is employed. For example, what John Buck did in April would have very little influence upon what I think that he will do at the plate tonight. I'm much more focused on last 7 games, last 14 games, last 28 games data.

Willton wrote:
Quote:
When I'm sitting on my couch watching a game or when I'll be sitting at Busch Stadium for three games at the end of next week, I'm not going to be concerned about Walker's season-long WAR or attempt to calculate in my brain how many decimal points McCutchen's WAR increased when he drills a Lance Lynn slider. I won't blame "bad luck" when Jones chases a slider on a 3-1 count with one out and RISP; I'll shake my head in disgust for a lousy approach. I won't be trying to figure out whether Alvarez's wRC+ goes up or down if he goes 1-4 with a single and 3 Ks. I'll be focusing on pitch-calling, pitch location, defensive shifts, pitch counts, batter counts and strategic plate approaches as the Pirates try to win game-after-game-after-game. The rest of the stuff - WAR, wOBP, wRC, etc is interesting but - to me - wholly secondary to what is going on in the game at that particular moment in time.

Baseball has been and always will be similar to a game of chess. A game of action/reaction. A game of adjustments. A game of anticipation and opportunity. If that's a "romantic" or "Neandrathal" view - so be it. I consider it to be a realistic view. An experienced view.


Your infatuation with strategy forgets a very important aspect of the game: the game is played by players, not robots. You can come up with the best strategy in the world, but it requires one or more players to actually execute it. And unlike chess, baseball players must execute a strategy using their physical talents, not merely decisive action.

The reason sabermetricians are focused on statistics like WAR, wOBP, wRC and other such metrics is because they are trying to evaluate each player's ability to play the game of baseball. Why? Because at the end of a season, the teams with the most baseball talent are usually the ones that have the best records and reach the post-season. No amount of strategy will make up for a lack of talent in baseball.


You have this completely backwards. Completely. The focus on game strategy is due to the fact that players are humans and not robots. You "go against the numbers" and sit Jones against Gallardo because he's in a deep rut right now and - despite his season long number or career numbers - he's not a robot who can be counted on to reverse the trend. If anything, strict statistical analysis tends to strip away the "human component" of the game and treats the game as it was being played by someone on an xBox or PlayStation where performance within the game matches pre-determined statistical inputs.


Per somebody currently playing in the Pirates system....you are WAY overthinking this game.

Pitchers pitch. Hitters react. Catchers are either going to catch a guy or they aren't, the MPH difference is nothing in terms of getting a runner, and when the pitcher goes home the focus is on getting the guy at the plate....unless a pitchout is called. Most runners are just flat-out greenlighted. It already was mentioned last year that Cutch had the greenlight so there goes some of the strategizing that Hurdle is apparently accounting for at all times.

Humans are natural storytellers, it's been that way forever, and this game within a game within a game within a game chess match that people try to describe games with never actually happens. It's largely just "what do you feel comfortable with? Okay, we'll work with that" and then hitters do their best to not get overwhelmed by it. But, a human pointing to a spreadsheet and saying that they could predict this or that isn't sexy.

It's why Jeff Locke wasn't lucky his first half and actually had some intrinsic ability to induce a .220 BABIP and strand 80% of his runners. It's why Home Run Derby participants have their swings ruined in the 2nd half instead of just naturally regressing to the mean after a fluky 1st half. It's why Derek Jeter is clutch and Alex Rodriguez is a choke artist, despite A-Rod having better numbers in high leverage situations. The whole defensive shift fascination gives credence to the whole "see, there's strategy" belief, while completely ignoring that it also validates the viewpoint that hitters control very little and can be reasonably predicted. But it's just flat out not exciting to chalk things up to random statistical variations, perception, or the evolution of previously held notions.

A catcher can call a brilliant game but if the pitcher sucks, he's gonna get smoked. A catcher can make an awful call, but if Clayton Kershaw is on the mound he's still going to dominate. There's nothing special about calling a game where the deck is stacked against the hitter from the very beginning.

Your numbers are your numbers and your contributions are your contributions. You can have the most brilliant approach ever at the plate but if you're a bat handling slap hitter like Ben Revere, Alexei Ramirez, Denard Span, Nyjer Morgan, etc., you do me no good compared to Pedro Alvarez or Starling Marte or (more drastically) Hunter Pence or Vlad Guerrero. I couldn't give two craps about how you play within a miniscule mircrocosm of a season...if you're a .300 hitter who goes 0-4 in one game I know I'm getting 3-6 out of you to balance it out at some point, regardless of how precocious you are (or aren't) in your hitting approach.

You can use SSS all you want to say "these last 28 days mean something", but then you'd foolishly say that Andrew McCutchen is a .420 hitter if you use his last 28 days. You've gone on long diatribes advocating for there being some relevance to "experience" watching the game but have offered nothing of substance to support Justin Morneau aside from saying that we're using the wrong statistics and that recent statistics mean more than overall statistics.

Poo poo the SABR folks all you want, but at this point it's no different than Dusty Baker talking about how baserunners do nothing but clog the bases for fast guys with nothing to back it up aside from "I've been around this game a lot, god dammit!".

Also, for somebody who claims to love stats, you explain them completely incorrectly. Nobody ever says that a player will reverse hot/cold streak on his own. It just happens randomly. Line drives that were caught find their way through, dinky hits lead to singles, and a hit that's an out at PNC turns into a HR at Great American Ballpark. It's just natural that guys typically square up pitches at the same rate from year to year. BABIP wouldn't be so darn consistent if that wasn't the case. It's why HR/FB ratio's don't typically change drastically, why LD% leads to a predictable average, and why GB% is a big metric for pitchers.

The statistics of players, generally, follow a normal distribution. There's random bunching, the occasional outlier, but never anything consistent enough to say "yep, there's an intangible quality that this guy has". Everything evens out over a big enough sample....no amount of strategy or human manipulation will really change that. Even "locked in" hitters are subject to quite a bit of luck, as we saw earlier this year with Michael Young's hit streak where he had only 1-hit games and no XBH.

At this point, your argument is that "I can kind of poke a hole in this with hypotheticals, therefore it's invalid", which is really no different than those who oppose evolution because it hasn't 100% disproven god. It's asking for 100% proof, not getting it, and holding onto that <1% as being the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:43 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
There's nothing special about calling a game


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:43 am 
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Starling -
I could go on a long diatribe to respond to your points . . . we will never see eye to eye. Anything that I would write in response to this is documented on this site on many other occasions and I honestly don't have any interest any longer to take the time or make the effort to repeat what I've posted before.

You think that the game is simple.
I think that it is far more complex and nuanced.

Those are two diametrically opposed views and we will never reach an accord when we are working from such different base lines.

You get your enjoyment out of the game your way; I'll get it my way.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:45 am 
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No. 9 wrote:
Starling -
I could go on a long diatribe to respond to your points . . . we will never see eye to eye. Anything that I would write in response to this is documented on this site on many other occasions and I honestly don't have any interest any longer to take the time or make the effort to repeat what I've posted before.

Well, as the popcorn guy on the sidelines here, I hope you'd reconsider. I love the conversation, I have it all the time with soccer, I just don't have the knowledge or passion for baseball.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:06 pm 
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val wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Starling -
I could go on a long diatribe to respond to your points . . . we will never see eye to eye. Anything that I would write in response to this is documented on this site on many other occasions and I honestly don't have any interest any longer to take the time or make the effort to repeat what I've posted before.

Well, as the popcorn guy on the sidelines here, I hope you'd reconsider. I love the conversation, I have it all the time with soccer, I just don't have the knowledge or passion for baseball.


Sorry Val. Took me 11 years in this Board but it took Starling's post to finally drill it through my high forehead Neandrathal skull. Some people are just wired differently. I no longer waste my time discussing politics with those who only watch MSNBC or exclusively watch Fox News. Same logic applies here. You can only beat your head against the wall for so long and I'm goin to enjoy the game the way I enjoy even if others consider it to be pure fiction, figments of my imagination or lacking intellect.

SABR analysis is great. I enjoy reading it. Just because I don't buy it's underlying assumptions applications and conclusions does not mean that I dislike SABR proponents, find SABR useless or dislike SABR as a whole. Far from it. I don't like it when SABR proponents are referred to as stat nerds or stat geeks or that they they live in their mother's basement and exclusively eat Mac and cheese. You can search every post that I've put on this Board and you will not find one where I've made any such insinuation. At most, I've written that SABR proponents tend to be overly sensitive when anyone dares to challenge the underlying assumptions and applications of certain statistics. Yes, that paints with a broad brush but it is far from derisive.

I will continue to view the game as being filled with shades of grey, nuance and strategy. Being a former catcher, I will continue to watch games and anticipate what pitch will be called and where I think the pitch will be located. That's what I enjoy. That's what makes the game fun for me.

And if others want to focus more on the stat sheet, that is their perogative. If that is what they enjoy, then they should continue to do it.

They will think I'm a stupid dolt and I'll think that they are missing wonderful aspects of the greatest game I've ever played, coached or scouted. Neither here nor there. It is what it is. Or whatever cliche you want to insert. Doesn't make me any smarter than them and doesn't make them any smarter than me. Just wired differently.

When all is said and done, we all want the same result. And I have officially reached the point where I dont care if you believe that the end result comes from Jones taking a Marlon Byrd suggestion to heart and making a mechanical adjustment or if you believe it is purely random regression/progression to the mean. I choose to simply going enjoy the win and keep most thoughts - at least on that issue - to myself.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Ah, but are you writing for the SABR guy, or to post a POV for all to consider, using the SABR guy as the foil?

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Fangraphs on the Pirates and Justin Morneau
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:18 pm 
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September OPS:

Jones: .000
Morneau: 1.028


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