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 Post subject: Re: For the stat geeks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:19 pm 
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I think batting order is the one part of baseball where it's all numbers. It's easy to put the optimal batting order together. Once you have your 9 starters set, it does come down to just the numbers for the batting order. The instances how batting order spot, number of outs and runners relate are fairly limited. The math has been done there. On the other hand, I feel stats have no business when it comes to the Hall of Fame. It's absurd to compare players with different backgrounds from different eras by a number.

That said, Freddy is nowhere near as bad as his numbers this year and it does make some sense to bat him up top. Nobody said only the current season stats matter. Also, it doesn't make sense to use an ineffective batting order, but it's just optimization, 5-15 runs per season. Russell is a pretty good manager otherwise, as Charlie pointed out at Bucs Dugout. Not every manager would have started Doumit and McLouth right away.


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 Post subject: Re: For the stat geeks
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:52 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh
Elmer wrote:
From Smizik's On-Air column today:

Go ask the manager

Stats-obsessed Rocco DeMaro went after manager John Russell on his Pirates postgame show, "Extra Innings," Monday on WPGB. DeMaro was upset, as he has been in the past, over Russell batting Freddy Sanchez high in the batting order. Sanchez, who took a batting average of .229 and an on-base percentage of .259 into the game against the Cincinnati Reds last night, almost always bats first or second.

DeMaro has a point. But just because the numbers don't compute doesn't mean that Russell is all wrong. Sanchez has a history -- he was a lifetime .300 hitter coming into the season -- and the Pirates are third in the National League in runs. Something about the lineup must be right.

Because this is such a concern to DeMaro, here's an avenue he might wish to explore. Russell meets with the media about 3 hours and 15 minutes before every home game and answers all questions in a thoughtful manner. DeMaro should attend one of those sessions and ask Russell why he bats Sanchez so high. He'd get a plausible explanation or more fuel for his diatribes.

Sports talk isn't journalism, but sometimes going to the source -- getting out of the office, so to speak -- is a good idea.

On the same Monday show, a stats-obsessed caller ridiculed Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker for pinch-running for Adam Dunn because Dunn led the Reds in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage). DeMaro agreed with the caller. Since when is it bad baseball to replace a monumentally slow runner when he represents the tying run in the eighth inning?

DeMaro runs an entertaining show, but baseball is not, as he often insists, strictly about numbers. It's also about people

Don't lump DeMaro in with stats geeks. He's an idiot.

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