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 Post subject: Re: From DK's notebook the other day
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:33 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Piratefan13 wrote:
For one, its not a "video game", its a vast baseball simulation that uses "attributes" as a basis to simulate seasons. And I did not argue that the "video game" was the authority, I merely stated that the inclusion of "Pitch Calling" in catchers attributes is clear evidence that game calling or pitch calling for a catcher is an authoritative ability.

No, it's not - it's only clear evidence that the designer of this baseball simulation thinks that pitch calling is an "authoritative ability." The simulation designer could have included "Ability to Fly" as part of a fielder's attributes and it still would not be evidence of a fielder's actual ability to fly.

Piratefan13 wrote:
Ability is defined as: A natural or acquired skill or talent.

Does a rookie pitcher, just called up, call his own game? Who calls the game?

Those are clear enough reasons for me to believe that some catchers are better than others at "calling a game."

Fine, then how do we find this information out? How are we supposed figure out who the best game callers are if the actual game results don't reflect such an ability?

And, assuming you can find a way to determine who the best game callers are, then there's the bigger question: how are we supposed to value this ability? In other words, how much offensive ability and defensive ability can a team responsibly give up at the catcher's spot in order to attain this unmeasurable game-calling ability?



Why does it have to measured? The measurement lies with the pitching rotation and its comfort level. They are professionals, there may not be statistical proof of the catchers game calling skill, but in their mind, they prefer catcher (a) to catcher (b). If was just an anomaly, then why do pitchers have their own catchers?

Not everything must be measured, or have statistical proof. Somethings are... and somethings aren't... and thats just the end of it. Your going to drive yourself insane by trying to prove things that just happen.


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 Post subject: Re: From DK's notebook the other day
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
Why does it have to measured? The measurement lies with the pitching rotation and its comfort level. They are professionals, there may not be statistical proof of the catchers game calling skill, but in their mind, they prefer catcher (a) to catcher (b). If was just an anomaly, then why do pitchers have their own catchers?

Because if we can't measure it, we can't place any objective value upon it, and then we can't actually know who is better than others at it.

Why would a pitcher prefer catcher (a) to catcher (b)? For the same reasons BBF alluded to earlier: personal preference. You may prefer working with coworker (a) versus coworker (b) because you get along with coworker (a) more than coworker (b). But getting along with your coworkers is not a skill. Your preference to co-exist with (a) more than (b) says nothing about whether (a) is a more or less skilled worker than (b).

Piratefan13 wrote:
Not everything must be measured, or have statistical proof. Somethings are... and somethings aren't... and thats just the end of it. Your going to drive yourself insane by trying to prove things that just happen.

If we are to place some actual value in something, then yes, there must be some measurable proof that it exists and affects the game. In order to value game-calling as a skill, then we must determine how and by what degree it affects the outcome of the game over the long haul. If game-calling does not have a measurable effect on the outcome of a game, then it's not worth valuing as a skill.

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 Post subject: Re: From DK's notebook the other day
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:39 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
The ultimate shake-off

There is no sign that the lunatics are running the asylum, but it should not be dismissed that the Pirates' pitchers -- unwittingly, in most cases -- played a role in management's decision to keep Raul Chavez and demote Ronny Paulino.

There had been a sense most of the season that pitchers felt uneasy throwing breaking pitches in certain situations, particularly with a runner on third. There also had been a sense that they struggled to find a rhythm in terms of wanting the same pitch at the same time. This was not unique to Paulino. Depending on the day or outcome, it could be the case with Doumit, too, although his defensive work has improved markedly this summer.

Thus, when management saw all this and then, most important, saw how positively the pitchers reacted to Chavez, it was decided that a change was in order. Paulino's continuing struggles at the plate and behind it made the call fairly easy.


OK, I'll admit it. Been chomping at the bit on this one ever since I read it. But, given what I perceived to be a particularly nasty tone to the Board lately, I decided to stay quiet. But, alas, I cannot continue to bite my tongue and it has nothing to do with any recent posts here.
So . . . I go to Charlie's blog to read the latest rantings over there . . . and sure enough, he has locked into this little piece by DK. And, to my surprise, he cites this article as further evidence that "calling" a good game is nothing more than a fantasy. While he doesn't come right out and say it, the insinuation (IMO) is that anyone who suggests that game calling skills are possessed by a catcher is a damn idiot and far less intelligent than him because "all of the evidence" points otherwise. Mind you . . . from what I can tell, "all" of the evidence consists of a BP article from 1999 or 2000.
In reading this, two sentences jumped out at me. The first was "there had also been a sense that they struggled to find a rhythm in terms of wanting the same pitch at the same time." The second was management "saw how positive the pitchers reacted to Chavez." Maybe I'm crazy . . . maybe I'm nuts . . . but when I read DK's note I was left with the impression that the Bucco pitching staff liked how Chavez called a game. That they trusted him. That they felt like they could comfortably throw anything in their repetoire without holding back or wondering whether the catcher was going to catch the ball or block the ball, etc. etc.
What I find to be incredibly ironic are the conclusions reached that sending down Paulino is an indictment of the notion that catchers call good games. The logic apparently goes as follows: (1) Jim Tracy said that Paulino called a good game; (2) Paulino just got sent down; (3) pitchers this year felt uncomfortable throwing certain pitches in certain situations when Paulino was behind the plate . . . ergo, game calling is not a skill.
Is it just me or are there some jumps in logic that are missing? Pitchers struggling to find a rhythm because they were not on the same page as the catcher? At risk of being accused of patting myself on the back, where has that been written before? I remember vividly being mocked here by several posters when I made comments about the positive effects of a catcher being on the same page as the pitcher and a pitcher being able to trust who is behind the plate. Management seeing the positive reaction when Chavez was behind the plate? That seems to be a far cry from concluding that catchers have no impact upon a pitcher's performance.
Now . . . if you want to reach the conclusion that Tracy et al misevaluated Paulino's effect on the pitching staff . . . then I might buy into the argument. But, to reach the conclusion that "game calling" skills don't exist simply because Paulino was demoted is ludicrous. Particularly when the stated reason for keeping Chavez was because of his influence on the pitching staff.

I agree. Paulino was demoted because he didn't hit, he defended poorly, and he was out of shape. I don't think that game calling had anything to do with it at all, and I can't see any connection between his demotion and the game calling skills debate.

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 Post subject: Re: From DK's notebook the other day
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Several comments come to my mind on this subject. As you all know,I claim no expertise in the technical aspects of the game but...

1)Was Tracy so bad that he couldn't even tell that Paulino was very poor behind the plate? Maybe he called a good game but his defense was so bad that even I could see he was awlful. Could catch pitches in the dirt, or throws to the plate, or even pop ups. Yet he was consistently praised by management for his skill.


2) I didn't realize that pitchers would actually shake off a catcher because they were afraid to throw a certain pitch especially with a man on third, because they were afraid the catcher couldn't catch the ball.

3) The degree to which the catcher, the pitcher, the pitching coach, or the manager calls the game should not even be an issue in my mind. Surely, it should be a team decision as to how to pitch to all hitters based on their skill in certain situations and the skill of the individual pitcher, i.e. can he hit a sinker down and away? Can the pitcher throw a quality sinker down and away? Those decisions should have been made pre-game by all of those involved in the decision not at the spur of the moment by anyone of them.

4) Paulino was on the receiving end of the accountability issue with the Pirates. All I can say is once again, great job by JB and his staff. Looks to me like we have a keeper in Russell and even though he is a soft spoken guy, he is doing an excellent job for us based on the situation he is in. Hopefully, he will get to see how to manage a great team in Pittsburgh.[/quote]
1) I am convinced that Tracy was delusional, and his love of Paulino was only part of the evidence.

2) Durn tootin' they are.

3) It isn't possible to plan pitch selection before the game in anything more than general terms. Men on base, outs, and the count make for too many variables, not to mention how the pitcher's stuff is in the game and any adjustments the batter might make.

4) Amen. Judging from Paulino's performance so far, I have high hopes that we'll be seeing a much improved Paulino back in a Bucco uniform by the end of the year.

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