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Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed May 16, 2012 10:37 am

I read this a few days ago and I still can't stop laughing. It's a real beauty.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120512/OPINION03/205120392

I get that sabrmetrics just isn't some people's thing, but holy cow! This is astounding. And hilarious.

Hey Pup, I didn't know your grandpa was a writer. ;-) ;) :wink:

I'll check back in after I look up LaPorta's value of a replacement player.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Wed May 16, 2012 10:53 am

I have eyeballs..... so these complex stats aren't necessary.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed May 16, 2012 10:59 am

I think this is my favorite line in the article:

These new categories fall under the title of Sabermetrics, the figment of several self-anointed geniuses, mostly originated via the vivid imagination of the illustrious Bill James.


The complete inability of some long-time sportswriters to grasp that things like RBI and R are poor predictive stats continues to amaze me. It's a total lack of interest in something they profess to love (the game of baseball). Just because there are "new" stats, they must be the figment of a vivid imagination.

I still maintain that there's no "right" way to watch and or apprciate baseball. Saying that anyone who uses stats is dumb is just as bad as ignoring the "eye test." You can't use just one without the other and still have a complete picture. Scouts do it, front office guys do it, fans do it...not sure why sportswriters still hold that the two are mutually exclusive.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:16 am

I was flipping between Fox Soccer, TNT and the Kings/Coyotes game last night. At a truly misfortunate moment the soccer replay was at half, the hooops game was either essentially or literally over and the hockey game was as well.

So I flipped to baseball tonight where they had a segment on the booming stat-based analysis that teams do. It's interesting if nothing else.

I think about a dozen people were around SABER when it got off the ground. They have 6,000 people working for them today. The amount of data is overwhelming.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby statmasta » Wed May 16, 2012 11:16 am

WAR, for example, means wins above replacement. That translates, I presume, to how many more victories Brandon Inge would mean to the Tigers than Prince Fielder.

Yes, wins above replacement means how many victories a guy would add relative to the guy who replaces him on his old team. Totally. Holy shit, why would somebody so ignorant even bother writing this article? That is just embarrassing. My god. At least it can't get any worse...

...oh wait, it totally gets worse in the very next line...
VORP stands for value of a replacement player over an entire season. That to me, scratching the gray of my head, could be construed as the opposite of WAR.

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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Wed May 16, 2012 11:17 am

I think the problem that some in the "anti-saber" mindset is the thought the saber guys do not know and understand the game itself. A lot of saber guys make the game about numbers and a certain combination of those numbers produces certain results.

To me, non-sabers believe players produce numbers and saber guys believe the numbers produce the player.

Sure, there are plenty of saber guys that understand the game at its base level. Unfortunately, it seems like the ones that have made it to the top and are most prevalent in the game are not those guys.

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:23 am

pup wrote:I think the problem that some in the "anti-saber" mindset is the thought the saber guys do not know and understand the game itself. A lot of saber guys make the game about numbers and a certain combination of those numbers produces certain results.

To me, non-sabers believe players produce numbers and saber guys believe the numbers produce the player.

Sure, there are plenty of saber guys that understand the game at its base level. Unfortunately, it seems like the ones that have made it to the top and are most prevalent in the game are not those guys.

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.


I think that we've gotten more predictive stats as opposed to reactive stats. RBI aren't predictive. They tell me what happened, not what is likely to happen. Of course everyone knows that getting on base and hitting for power is good, but the stress on things like RBI, R, and even the emphasis on AVG over a better indicator like OPS is misplaced.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Wed May 16, 2012 11:30 am

gotribe31 wrote:
pup wrote:I think the problem that some in the "anti-saber" mindset is the thought the saber guys do not know and understand the game itself. A lot of saber guys make the game about numbers and a certain combination of those numbers produces certain results.

To me, non-sabers believe players produce numbers and saber guys believe the numbers produce the player.

Sure, there are plenty of saber guys that understand the game at its base level. Unfortunately, it seems like the ones that have made it to the top and are most prevalent in the game are not those guys.

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.


I think that we've gotten more predictive stats as opposed to reactive stats. RBI aren't predictive. They tell me what happened, not what is likely to happen. Of course everyone knows that getting on base and hitting for power is good, but the stress on things like RBI, R, and even the emphasis on AVG over a better indicator like OPS is misplaced.


In my opinion, you are creating a game where Travis Hafner is cheered for taking a walk and clogging up the bases in the hopes the next guy can do his job for him.

Carlos Santana becomes willing to take a borderline 3-1 pitch that he could hit a fly ball and drive in a run and run the risk of being in a worse hitters situation or set up the next guy to fail and drive in zero runs.

I think the sport, especially at the ML level, has become a worse game over the last decade. I think it is because of sabermetrics.

I think teams are identifying guys that will work counts because that is what good hitters do. Instead of finding good hitters that work counts.

I think teams sacrifice today in hopes it pays off tomorrow.

Does anyone think "The Game" is played better today than it was 15 years ago?

Who has benefited from the saber world? Besides the guys that invented saber world?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby statmasta » Wed May 16, 2012 11:31 am

pup wrote:I think the problem that some in the "anti-saber" mindset is the thought the saber guys do not know and understand the game itself. A lot of saber guys make the game about numbers and a certain combination of those numbers produces certain results.

To me, non-sabers believe players produce numbers and saber guys believe the numbers produce the player.

Sure, there are plenty of saber guys that understand the game at its base level. Unfortunately, it seems like the ones that have made it to the top and are most prevalent in the game are not those guys.

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.

If sabermetricians didn't understand the game, then the stats they invent would be useless. How would they know which factors to weigh more heavily than others in their algorithms if they didn't understand the game? They wouldn't know.

Fortunately, that's not the case. Sabermetricians largely do understand the game very well, which makes their stats so useful.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Wed May 16, 2012 11:34 am

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.



Then why 100 years for the change away from the traditional lineup? 100 years of slap-dicks hitting leadoff cuz they were fast and their batting average was above .300 but they never took a walk so their OBP was also .300 to go along with zero power. If it was so intuitive then why didn't one manager/GM/front office before the 90's realize it and play for the competitive advantage?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby skatingtripods » Wed May 16, 2012 11:43 am

pup wrote:In my opinion, you are creating a game where Travis Hafner is cheered for taking a walk and clogging up the bases in the hopes the next guy can do his job for him.

Carlos Santana becomes willing to take a borderline 3-1 pitch that he could hit a fly ball and drive in a run and run the risk of being in a worse hitters situation or set up the next guy to fail and drive in zero runs.

I think the sport, especially at the ML level, has become a worse game over the last decade. I think it is because of sabermetrics.

I think teams are identifying guys that will work counts because that is what good hitters do. Instead of finding good hitters that work counts.


I like this post a lot. I like more saber-centric stats for pitchers than I do for hitters. I'm not as anti-saber as Pup is, but I will readily admit that I only cherry pick for stats that I need to use to prove a point.

I'm totally with Pup in the sense that I want the RBI right now instead of relying on two, possibly three, guys to get the job done. I also don't view RBIs as worthless or whatever the saber community sees them as. There's a knack for driving in runs. Some guys can do it and others can't. It takes unselfishness, bat control, and so many other things that cannot really be measured statistically.

I don't necessarily view pitching wins in the same manner that the saber community does. There's something to be said for fighting through five innings to get in line for a win. Relief wins are a different story, but for starting pitchers, they always say that your job is to keep your team in the game. That puts you in line for a potential win. I saw that there's talk within the saber/stat community to amend quality starts to 7 IP and 3 ER as opposed to the current 6 IP 3 ER, which translates to a 4.50 ERA and I don't think many people view that as quality.

It's all well and good that high OBP guys can work counts, foul off pitches, and draw walks. But those pitches that they foul off, a high average guy is going to put them in play for base hits. That's what I'd rather have. I realize not making an out is the outcome that every manager wants from a hitter, but I prefer productive outs to walks (in most situations). I prefer singles to walks. You can't go first to third on a walk.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed May 16, 2012 12:09 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.



Then why 100 years for the change away from the traditional lineup? 100 years of slap-dicks hitting leadoff cuz they were fast and their batting average was above .300 but they never took a walk so their OBP was also .300 to go along with zero power. If it was so intuitive then why didn't one manager/GM/front office before the 90's realize it and play for the competitive advantage?


You mean like hitting Michael Brantley leadoff? ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Wed May 16, 2012 12:20 pm

statmasta wrote:
pup wrote:I think the problem that some in the "anti-saber" mindset is the thought the saber guys do not know and understand the game itself. A lot of saber guys make the game about numbers and a certain combination of those numbers produces certain results.

To me, non-sabers believe players produce numbers and saber guys believe the numbers produce the player.

Sure, there are plenty of saber guys that understand the game at its base level. Unfortunately, it seems like the ones that have made it to the top and are most prevalent in the game are not those guys.

What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.

If sabermetricians didn't understand the game, then the stats they invent would be useless. How would they know which factors to weigh more heavily than others in their algorithms if they didn't understand the game? They wouldn't know.

Fortunately, that's not the case. Sabermetricians largely do understand the game very well, which makes their stats so useful.


I think you have misconstrued what Pup said. He's talking about situations where the math doesn't add up based on a player's potential ability to perform. He made the Santana example which I completely agree with. A run NOW or a chance to get a run NOW is infinitely better than working to give another guy with less ability the opportunity (even if it creates a situation which has higher positive expected value) to drive in a run. I agree sabermetrics help assign predictive value to someone's ability to perform, but its completely in a bubble and takes very little into account such as the so-called "eye-test", teammates ability to produce, specific situations/conditions of the game, etc etc.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Wed May 16, 2012 12:39 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
What has really come from the saber guys? Getting on base and slugging are good indicators of runs being scored? Fer fucksake...I am pretty sure anyone that played the game beyond T-ball already knew that.



Then why 100 years for the change away from the traditional lineup? 100 years of slap-dicks hitting leadoff cuz they were fast and their batting average was above .300 but they never took a walk so their OBP was also .300 to go along with zero power. If it was so intuitive then why didn't one manager/GM/front office before the 90's realize it and play for the competitive advantage?


Show me the competitive advantage that has been gained in the above example.

Now you have lead off men taking a shit ton of pitches, hitting .260 but walking more and that is somehow a better game?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Wed May 16, 2012 3:12 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:Then why 100 years for the change away from the traditional lineup? 100 years of slap-dicks hitting leadoff cuz they were fast and their batting average was above .300 but they never took a walk so their OBP was also .300 to go along with zero power. If it was so intuitive then why didn't one manager/GM/front office before the 90's realize it and play for the competitive advantage?


Ricky Henderson
Tim Raines
Tris Speaker
Willie Wilson
Craig Biggio
Pete Rose
Cap Anson
Kenny Lofton
Lou Brock
Vince Coleman
Brett Butler
Jacoby Elsbury
Ian Kinsler
Paul Molitar
Bobby Bonds
Wade Boggs
Alfonso Soriano
Roberto Alomar

This list is by no means complete or indicative of historic lead-off hitters but I think there is some hyperbole in your above assertion. The crux of the argument is what is more valuable - a lead-off hitter who gets on base more (either through high BA, OBP, or combination of both) or one who takes pitches and makes a pitcher work. My argument against the latter is that the lead-off hitter is guaranteed to do so only once per game. His aptitude to take pitches and make a pitcher work can be marginalized depending on the rest of a team's lineup. Also, regarding your above statement is there definitive proof that lead-off hitters are creating MORE runs/opportunities than say 25+ years ago? I have yet to see anything on this forum showing HOW the lineup changes have created a competitive advantage or at the very least, had some adverse affect on a pitcher's performance.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed May 16, 2012 4:38 pm

RNE - I think you're working from a false premise. Nobody I know of is advocating a leading hitter who "makes pitchers work" as some sort of advantage over a lead off hitter who gets on base through a high BA OBP or both. If that's what you think then you've misunderstood the argument.

What "sabermatritians" have said is that OBP is by far the most important asset for a leadoff hitter. Not the only asset, but the most important one. Whereas it used to be that BA and speed where the major requirements for the leadoff spot, that thinking has been replaced by the ability to get in base and not make outs.

What drives me crazy is the implication that so called statheads care ONLY about their precious newfangled OBP. As if it's impossible to wrap a brain around more than one concept at a time and we'd prefer Ryan Howard to lead off because he walks. It ridiculous.

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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Thu May 17, 2012 9:29 am

But that is exactly what should happen. If the stats world is correct, you should build your lineup in order of OBP. How many of the top 50 in OBP were lead off hitters last year? My guess if no more than 5. So if the highest OBP guy is the guy you want up the most, why not lead them off?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 9:51 am

pup wrote:But that is exactly what should happen. If the stats world is correct, you should build your lineup in order of OBP. How many of the top 50 in OBP were lead off hitters last year? My guess if no more than 5. So if the highest OBP guy is the guy you want up the most, why not lead them off?


Well, sure, that's been theorized. But nobody has ever tried it. And I suspect that nobody has ever tried it because people, even "stat" guys, understand that there is more to it than that.

There is not ONE thing to consider when picking a player/team/lineup. Everyone knows that. To say that you should absolutely build a lineup from top down using OBP is to ignore everything else and probably a bad approach (although it would be interesting if someone actually had the balls to try it for a week, doncha think?). But it seems you want to lump everyone who leans on metrics into this small box. It's disingenuous.

In this case, I believe what the metrics are implying is that you want a guy who gets on base at the top of the lineup.

Player A: 290 BA, 330 OBP 54 SB 21 CS
Player B: 270 BA 380 OBP 22 SB 5 CS

Who is a better leadoff hitter? It can be debated. I'm not sure if there is a definitive right answer. Old school guys probably pick player A with the better average and more SB. Saber guys probably pick the guy with the higher OBP.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Thu May 17, 2012 9:57 am

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:But that is exactly what should happen. If the stats world is correct, you should build your lineup in order of OBP. How many of the top 50 in OBP were lead off hitters last year? My guess if no more than 5. So if the highest OBP guy is the guy you want up the most, why not lead them off?


Well, sure, that's been theorized. But nobody has ever tried it. And I suspect that nobody has ever tried it because people, even "stat" guys, understand that there is more to it than that.

There is not ONE thing to consider when picking a player/team/lineup. Everyone knows that. To say that you should absolutely build a lineup from top down using OBP is to ignore everything else and probably a bad approach (although it would be interesting if someone actually had the balls to try it for a week, doncha think?). But it seems you want to lump everyone who leans on metrics into this small box. It's disingenuous.

In this case, I believe what the metrics are implying is that you want a guy who gets on base at the top of the lineup.

Player A: 290 BA, 330 OBP 54 SB 21 CS
Player B: 270 BA 380 OBP 22 SB 5 CS

Who is a better leadoff hitter? It can be debated. I'm not sure if there is a definitive right answer. Old school guys probably pick player A with the better average and more SB. Saber guys probably pick the guy with the higher OBP.


I think you are making my point. I don't know which is the better lead off hitter because making a good lead off hitter is more involved than a couple of numbers. There is an approach. There is "swagger". It is like being a closer IMO. You are a closer or you are not. You are a lead off hitter or you are not. And numbers, no matter how many, cannot give you that answer.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 9:58 am

pup wrote:But that is exactly what should happen. If the stats world is correct, you should build your lineup in order of OBP. How many of the top 50 in OBP were lead off hitters last year? My guess if no more than 5. So if the highest OBP guy is the guy you want up the most, why not lead them off?



Because no one has committed to going entirely SABR.


Oakland was the closest; Tampa Bay is getting there. Hell, they made a movie about the competitive advantage Oakland created for themselves. Those Oakland teams were not good. They used their ballpark to their advantage (just look at what happened to Zito and Mulder after leaving the friendly confines of Oakland Alameda) and took a different approach then everyone else and it worked. Joe Maddon has a laptop next to him at all times spitting out pitcher vs. batter splits and god knows what else.

Also, regarding your above statement is there definitive proof that lead-off hitters are creating MORE runs/opportunities than say 25+ years ago? I have yet to see anything on this forum showing HOW the lineup changes have created a competitive advantage or at the very least, had some adverse affect on a pitcher's performance.


Any attempt to correlate SABR to a rise in offensive production will be severly skewed by the Steroids Era, since they both came to pass at the same time.


You mean like hitting Michael Brantley leadoff? ;-) ;) :wink:


And he couldn't do it so whose leading off now?


It may seem like it, but I'm not 100% SABR. Just hate RBI's and Wins since they are almost entirely dependent on things that are out of the hands of the respective batters/pitchers.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Thu May 17, 2012 10:02 am

That last statement is 1000000% what drives people like me crazy. Especially the wins.

Yet, good starters consistently win more games than they lose.

People gave Felix Hernandez a Cy Young for not being good enough to win games. But his stats were really cool. It will go down (IMO, sick of having to add that) as one of the worst voting debacles in history.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 10:08 am

pup wrote:That last statement is 1000000% what drives people like me crazy. Especially the wins.

Yet, good starters consistently win more games than they lose.

People gave Felix Hernandez a Cy Young for not being good enough to win games. But his stats were really cool. It will go down (IMO, sick of having to add that) as one of the worst voting debacles in history.




Pitcher A: 48:9 K:BB, 0.74 WHIP, 2.28 ERA, .166 BAA

Pitcher B: 13:17 K:BB, 1.44 WHIP, 2.05 ERA, .289 BAA

A: Matt Cain of the 2-2 record
B: Derek Lowe of the 6-1 record


Sorry that you don't want to accept it, but Wins are entirely dependent on the team around you and the "baseball luck" (nubbers that turn into infield singles that start rallies, pop flies lost in fireworks that turn into rallies) that comes on a game-to-game basis.


Edit: It wasn't Felix's fault that he's on a shitty team that can't score. Put him on the Yankees and he might have had 25 wins that year.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 17, 2012 10:22 am

I agree on Felix and the Cy Young but not for stat head reasons.

Take ALL the stats away and watch that year he had and it's clear that he was deserving of the award. I don't give a shit about his whip, babip, wins, losses or anything else. He was brilliant every time I watched and there were nights I'd watch an M's game solely because he was pitching.

So if the stat heads are basing their usefulness on that shit they're completely blowing themselves when eyes were still good enough to tell you who the best pitcher in the game was.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby pup » Thu May 17, 2012 10:32 am

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
pup wrote:That last statement is 1000000% what drives people like me crazy. Especially the wins.

Yet, good starters consistently win more games than they lose.

People gave Felix Hernandez a Cy Young for not being good enough to win games. But his stats were really cool. It will go down (IMO, sick of having to add that) as one of the worst voting debacles in history.




Pitcher A: 48:9 K:BB, 0.74 WHIP, 2.28 ERA, .166 BAA

Pitcher B: 13:17 K:BB, 1.44 WHIP, 2.05 ERA, .289 BAA

A: Matt Cain of the 2-2 record
B: Derek Lowe of the 6-1 record


Sorry that you don't want to accept it, but Wins are entirely dependent on the team around you and the "baseball luck" (nubbers that turn into infield singles that start rallies, pop flies lost in fireworks that turn into rallies) that comes on a game-to-game basis.


Edit: It wasn't Felix's fault that he's on a shitty team that can't score. Put him on the Yankees and he might have had 25 wins that year.


Who cares about WHIP? Lowe has the better ERA. Who cares about BAA? Lowe has done a better job of keeping the other team from scoring?

Lowe is going to give up more hits. He is also going to induce more GB. Which inning is better?

1 IP, 0 H, 0BB, 1K, 17 pitches
1 IP, 1 H, 0BB, 1K, 9 pitches with a double play GB

Stop it with dumb ass numbers and questions. I can come up with equal opposite numbers out of my ass as well.

About Felix and the Cy Young. There is something to be said about being able to allow runs. So while he may have won 25 games for the Yanks, I can promise his numbers would be worse because they can be. Not intentionally letting guys score, but when you are able to give up a 2 run homer, you just might.

In that year, how much of Sabathia's strat stats were negatively impacted by him pitching to contact with a 5 run lead in the 7th?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 10:38 am

peeker643 wrote:I agree on Felix and the Cy Young but not for stat head reasons.

Take ALL the stats away and watch that year he had and it's clear that he was deserving of the award. I don't give a shit about his whip, babip, wins, losses or anything else. He was brilliant every time I watched and there were nights I'd watch an M's game solely because he was pitching.

So if the stat heads are basing their usefulness on that shit they're completely blowing themselves when eyes were still good enough to tell you who the best pitcher in the game was.


This is exactly right Peek. Felix clearly deserved that award, and it wasn't even really close.

But, you don't have to throw out the stats like BABIP, WHIP,...etc. You don't have to because those are reflective of his dominance. If he wasn't dominant that year, those stats wouldn't have been as good. The reason that nobody (should) give a shit about wins is because it's a particularly bad measure of performance. And everyone knows that. It's almost self evident. I have no idea why some ignore that simple fact.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 10:40 am

Pitching to the score. Clogging the bases...

Pup has lost his damn mind.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 10:42 am

Already tackled Wins, now for RBI's.

I'm totally with Pup in the sense that I want the RBI right now instead of relying on two, possibly three, guys to get the job done. I also don't view RBIs as worthless or whatever the saber community sees them as. There's a knack for driving in runs. Some guys can do it and others can't. It takes unselfishness, bat control, and so many other things that cannot really be measured statistically.




True, there is a "knack" for driving in runs. But those guys have to be on base to be driven in. If a batter is consistently up to bat with zero guys on base, it's not his fault that his RBI totals are low. Say a guy hits 40 HR's every year but his team is so horrible, nobody is ever on base. 40 HR and 40 RBI. What's more predictive for this player, that he mashes or that his teammates suck and can't get on base to supplement his power?

Same for a pitcher who consistently throws 7 shutout innings only to have his offense score zero runs or his bullpen to blow it every game. Take it to the extreme; say he throws 7 no-hit innings every single game but he isn't allowed to finish games and his bullpen blows it every single game. He has 0 wins but he has never given up a hit. Which stat has more predictive value going forward? The 0 Wins or the WHIP of 0.00?


Wins and RBI's can have their place. The SABR argument is just that they have zero predictive value since they are heavily dependent on the teammates around you and a multitude of other outside factors beyond a player's control. SABR attempts to isolate and get rid of those outside factors to get a clearer picture of what's happening during the game.


I realize not making an out is the outcome that every manager wants from a hitter, but I prefer productive outs to walks (in most situations). I prefer singles to walks. You can't go first to third on a walk.


Sorry but this is just dumb. You have a limited amount of outs during the game. In baseball outs are more precious than gold. 99.9% of the time a walk is better than an out. I'd say the only time it isn't, is if its a tie game in the bottom of the 9th and you're only playing for one run so you sacrifice a guy to 2nd. Every other time, in the long run (that's the key), it pays off to try and score as many runs as possible, which is accomplished by getting as many men on base as possible.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 10:43 am

pup wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:But that is exactly what should happen. If the stats world is correct, you should build your lineup in order of OBP. How many of the top 50 in OBP were lead off hitters last year? My guess if no more than 5. So if the highest OBP guy is the guy you want up the most, why not lead them off?


Well, sure, that's been theorized. But nobody has ever tried it. And I suspect that nobody has ever tried it because people, even "stat" guys, understand that there is more to it than that.

There is not ONE thing to consider when picking a player/team/lineup. Everyone knows that. To say that you should absolutely build a lineup from top down using OBP is to ignore everything else and probably a bad approach (although it would be interesting if someone actually had the balls to try it for a week, doncha think?). But it seems you want to lump everyone who leans on metrics into this small box. It's disingenuous.

In this case, I believe what the metrics are implying is that you want a guy who gets on base at the top of the lineup.

Player A: 290 BA, 330 OBP 54 SB 21 CS
Player B: 270 BA 380 OBP 22 SB 5 CS

Who is a better leadoff hitter? It can be debated. I'm not sure if there is a definitive right answer. Old school guys probably pick player A with the better average and more SB. Saber guys probably pick the guy with the higher OBP.


I think you are making my point. I don't know which is the better lead off hitter because making a good lead off hitter is more involved than a couple of numbers. There is an approach. There is "swagger". It is like being a closer IMO. You are a closer or you are not. You are a lead off hitter or you are not. And numbers, no matter how many, cannot give you that answer.


I'm not making your point.

I'm saying that you seem to want to put anyone who looks at stats, especially the relatively newer stats, into some kind of group who know nothing about baseball, don't care for the game, don't watch the games, and rely completely and solely on numbers from a computer to make any and all decisions.

That's simply not the case and you fucking know it.

Stats are a tool to help you make an informed decision. One of many tools. That's all they are.

And some of them are better than others.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 10:45 am

Who cares about WHIP? Lowe has the better ERA. Who cares about BAA? Lowe has done a better job of keeping the other team from scoring?



Who cares about a pitcher keeping guys off base....? Probably every single person related to the game of baseball. :pb:



This alone tells me that there is no reaching you. Anyone else that cares, I'm still open for discussion.

About Felix and the Cy Young. There is something to be said about being able to allow runs. So while he may have won 25 games for the Yanks, I can promise his numbers would be worse because they can be. Not intentionally letting guys score, but when you are able to give up a 2 run homer, you just might.

In that year, how much of Sabathia's strat stats were negatively impacted by him pitching to contact with a 5 run lead in the 7th?


A valid point.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 17, 2012 10:55 am

I understand that. But the numbers are coincidental to the effort and the season. You don't need them if you saw him.

That's my ony point. And the people that annoy me are the people that could recite his stats and argue for his Cy Young candidacy but who never saw him pitch or wouldn't know him if he stepped forward and slapped them.

I think there are fewer of those 'geeks' than before because I think in many ways baseball fans who love numbers are drawn to these types of positions.

I don't see the guywith tape holding his black frames together, a bag of cheetos and a dr. pepper compiling numbers from his grandma's basement.

Sure there are some of those guys still, but my point has always been about what you miss in terms of the game if you don't see the plays and the people that lead to the numbers and, if you pay attention, you don't need the numbers to form opinions of value.



motherscratcher wrote:
peeker643 wrote:I agree on Felix and the Cy Young but not for stat head reasons.

Take ALL the stats away and watch that year he had and it's clear that he was deserving of the award. I don't give a shit about his whip, babip, wins, losses or anything else. He was brilliant every time I watched and there were nights I'd watch an M's game solely because he was pitching.

So if the stat heads are basing their usefulness on that shit they're completely blowing themselves when eyes were still good enough to tell you who the best pitcher in the game was.


This is exactly right Peek. Felix clearly deserved that award, and it wasn't even really close.

But, you don't have to throw out the stats like BABIP, WHIP,...etc. You don't have to because those are reflective of his dominance. If he wasn't dominant that year, those stats wouldn't have been as good. The reason that nobody (should) give a shit about wins is because it's a particularly bad measure of performance. And everyone knows that. It's almost self evident. I have no idea why some ignore that simple fact.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 10:58 am

I think there are fewer of those 'geeks' than before because I think in many ways baseball fans who love numbers are drawn to these types of positions.



I loved baseball before I ever knew what WHIP was. Still watch the Indians and ESPN games as much as time allows. I've got an analytical mind so SABRmetrics are right up my alley; nothing much more than that. I'm sure it's the same for many stat-heads.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 11:07 am

peeker643 wrote:I understand that. But the numbers are coincidental to the effort and the season. You don't need them if you saw him.

That's my ony point. And the people that annoy me are the people that could recite his stats and argue for his Cy Young candidacy but who never saw him pitch or wouldn't know him if he stepped forward and slapped them.

I think there are fewer of those 'geeks' than before because I think in many ways baseball fans who love numbers are drawn to these types of positions.

I don't see the guywith tape holding his black frames together, a bag of cheetos and a dr. pepper compiling numbers from his grandma's basement.

Sure there are some of those guys still, but my point has always been about what you miss in terms of the game if you don't see the plays and the people that lead to the numbers and, if you pay attention, you don't need the numbers to form opinions of value.


But here's the rub as I see it, and the reason that I don't really like the "if you saw him you don't need the numbers" argument.

How much did you actually see him? How many games? 2 or 3? 5? Only when he pitched against the Tribe? Mostly highlights?

I know this, I watch a lot of Indians games. I don't catch nearly as many other games. I'm very skeptical of someone who tells me that they watch all kinds of other team's games when they have jobs and families etc. I'm sure it's possible, but who has time for that?

When King Felix had his great year I saw him pitch a few times, but it was mostly seeing highlights and results. And when you get down to it, what are results? They are stats. That's it. What we really know of that season was the compilation of the individual plays and results, and people drawing conclusions from those numbers.

How do you know that Mickey Mantle was good? Because you saw him play with your own eyes? What about Babe Ruth? No, you know those guys were good because other people tell you they were good...and the stats. You can go to baseball reference and see exactly what happened when those guys played. And read about what happened.

But it has nothing to do with your eyes.

Albert Pujols was probably the best player of the aughts. But how many times did you really see him play? Aside from highlights?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby FUDU » Thu May 17, 2012 11:15 am

I have no dog in your guy's "fight" here, but I do enjoy sabermetrics to certain degree. However as I think it was mo that said it(and maybe some others), there is no ONE stat that is the end all be all, and stats in general are just a tool, seeing the player perform plays a significant part as well.

Having said all that, and admitting this has about zilch to do with zilch, when I read these debates and look back at players I've had the pleasure of watching (and then get into their stats) Nolan Ryan ALWAYS comes to mind for me.

For my money, based on what I saw, and two fairly important "stats" BAA and K's he was the best pitcher ever. Hard to find a guy who could send a batter back to the dugout without the help of anyone else on his team. To think if he was on better teams for just half of his career and what his win totals (and winning %) might be (almost forgot 7 no hitters, 7), he'd have the numbers to put some more recent guys that get mentioned as ATGs to shame. Yeah I'm looking at you Roger.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby CAVSTRIBEBROWNSin07! » Thu May 17, 2012 11:25 am

They could have skipped the whole article. Just a picture of the writer with the headline would have been enough.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 11:31 am

Hard to find a guy who could send a batter back to the dugout without the help of anyone else on his team.



Or to 1st base. Dudes worse than Ubaldo when it comes to walks. Yeah he threw hard but he had no fucking clue where it was going.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby FUDU » Thu May 17, 2012 11:37 am

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
Hard to find a guy who could send a batter back to the dugout without the help of anyone else on his team.



Or to 1st base. Dudes worse than Ubaldo when it comes to walks. Yeah he threw hard but he had no fucking clue where it was going.


I strenuously object, that he had no clue where it was going. I actually did see him pitch with my own eyes, a lot. Walks can & do come with the territory with power pitchers in most cases, but I stand by my point. If & when you needed an out, he could man up and say "I got this one guys" as good as or better than anyone.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 11:46 am

FUDU wrote:
rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
Hard to find a guy who could send a batter back to the dugout without the help of anyone else on his team.



Or to 1st base. Dudes worse than Ubaldo when it comes to walks. Yeah he threw hard but he had no fucking clue where it was going.


I strenuously object, that he had no clue where it was going. I actually did see him pitch with my own eyes, a lot. Walks can & do come with the territory with power pitchers in most cases, but I stand by my point. If & when you needed an out, he could man up and say "I got this one guys" as good as or better than anyone.



I will concede since I only saw him on the downswing of his career but still; 200 walks in 1 season? And he did it twice? Hold on while I stab my eyes out. I realize he was pitching 300 innings a year but even normalizing for 200 innings, he'd still lead the league in walks by a wide margin. Nearly 5 BB/9 is bad no matter who you are.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 17, 2012 11:51 am

It's pretty much how I spend any downtime. I watch hockey, hoops, baseball, and whatever once the kids are in bed and sometimes with them.

You go to the games or watch them for the numbers that flash on the scoreboard or to watch the greatest athletes and players in the world actually do what creates the numbers?

It could just as easily be analytical mind vs. creative mind too. I understand that's a possibility.

You see 4-6-3 and I see art and poetry.

I'm way more Ring Lardner and Vin Scully than Bill James and Brian Sabean.

I understand the numbers and I also use them to provide myself cover for opinions I have but I don't databytes when I watch games.

Like last night, some guys see a Hafner HR as a HR, hit, RBI, all good signs.

I saw a guy that feasts on shitty pitching and can't be counted on to win individual at bats against premier pitching like he did 6-7 years ago. I see it in the bat speed, the cheating on balls on inner half, how exposed that makes him away.

Just different ways of seeing it I guess. And I'll always, ALWAYS trust what I see and and what I watch over the numbers.

You know that cliche', "That bloop single will look like a line drive in the book"?? That sums up the problem with stats imo. Because it's true and it lies all at once.

motherscratcher wrote:
peeker643 wrote:I understand that. But the numbers are coincidental to the effort and the season. You don't need them if you saw him.

That's my ony point. And the people that annoy me are the people that could recite his stats and argue for his Cy Young candidacy but who never saw him pitch or wouldn't know him if he stepped forward and slapped them.

I think there are fewer of those 'geeks' than before because I think in many ways baseball fans who love numbers are drawn to these types of positions.

I don't see the guywith tape holding his black frames together, a bag of cheetos and a dr. pepper compiling numbers from his grandma's basement.

Sure there are some of those guys still, but my point has always been about what you miss in terms of the game if you don't see the plays and the people that lead to the numbers and, if you pay attention, you don't need the numbers to form opinions of value.


But here's the rub as I see it, and the reason that I don't really like the "if you saw him you don't need the numbers" argument.

How much did you actually see him? How many games? 2 or 3? 5? Only when he pitched against the Tribe? Mostly highlights?

I know this, I watch a lot of Indians games. I don't catch nearly as many other games. I'm very skeptical of someone who tells me that they watch all kinds of other team's games when they have jobs and families etc. I'm sure it's possible, but who has time for that?

When King Felix had his great year I saw him pitch a few times, but it was mostly seeing highlights and results. And when you get down to it, what are results? They are stats. That's it. What we really know of that season was the compilation of the individual plays and results, and people drawing conclusions from those numbers.

How do you know that Mickey Mantle was good? Because you saw him play with your own eyes? What about Babe Ruth? No, you know those guys were good because other people tell you they were good...and the stats. You can go to baseball reference and see exactly what happened when those guys played. And read about what happened.

But it has nothing to do with your eyes.

Albert Pujols was probably the best player of the aughts. But how many times did you really see him play? Aside from highlights?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby FUDU » Thu May 17, 2012 11:58 am

All true, he walked a lot of guys, yet still posted a career ERA under 3.20, kind of scary.

The more I think about it the more Ryan is a great example for this very debate in this thread. Overall point being a lot comes into the final judgment of just how good a player was, especially considering as mo recently pointed out, results do in fact inherently connect to stats. From how guys got on base, how often they got on, the ball leaving the yard, the how and why of ERA and wins/losses, you can definitely find room to analyze just what stat represented what about him. Hard not to like a guy like him and admire what he did.

FTR I'd put Pedro up there atop as well, with the only exception being longevity and how often he wasn't able to take the mound in comparison. Maybe the best pitcher in the peak of his prime ever...?
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 12:05 pm

FUDU wrote:I have no dog in your guy's "fight" here, but I do enjoy sabermetrics to certain degree. However as I think it was mo that said it(and maybe some others), there is no ONE stat that is the end all be all, and stats in general are just a tool, seeing the player perform plays a significant part as well.

Having said all that, and admitting this has about zilch to do with zilch, when I read these debates and look back at players I've had the pleasure of watching (and then get into their stats) Nolan Ryan ALWAYS comes to mind for me.

For my money, based on what I saw, and two fairly important "stats" BAA and K's he was the best pitcher ever. Hard to find a guy who could send a batter back to the dugout without the help of anyone else on his team. To think if he was on better teams for just half of his career and what his win totals (and winning %) might be (almost forgot 7 no hitters, 7), he'd have the numbers to put some more recent guys that get mentioned as ATGs to shame. Yeah I'm looking at you Roger.


Ryan was good, but he was far from the best ever. I know this because there are any number of more expense pitchers in strat. :cheers:
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby FUDU » Thu May 17, 2012 12:11 pm

^ predictable.

BTW Ryan is responsible for my ring, you may recall, or you may not.

I'm probably more inline with peeker on this though, but I do enjoy a good stat argument any day of the week.

My best example is MJ. Watched him from the moment he wore the babby blue Tarheel unis. By the time he was 3-4yrs in the NBA my best friend (huge Bird fan) and I argued all day long, everyday, who was better. While Michael had the stats on his side, you could just see it in on the court. Not to say however Bird wasn't the perfect example of the absolute great player in which all the stats didn't line up in his defense from time to time.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Let me ask you this a different way because you still didn't tell me exactly how much you saw King Felix Pitch that year.

Last Season, who was a better pitcher? Ian Kennedy or Chris Narveson? I know it's kind of a silly question because the answer is obvious. We all know that Ian Kennedy was much better. But how do we know that? Because of all the times we sat down to watch Chris Narveson pitch? Because of all the Arizona games that we watched?

No, most people didn't see those guys (maybe Kennedy, but difinitely not Narveson) pitch that much. At least not enough to truly make some sort of informed decision on them. We know with absolute certainty that Kennedy was better last year because the stats tell us so. Way more than any of our individual eyes did.

I have no doubt that you watch a shit ton of sports, and the posters on these boards are the smartest, most informed people I've ever known. And that's no bullshit. And I know you love it. But just because someone looks at the numbers and draws conclusions that means they are incapable of seeing the beauty that you see as well? Why can't it be a beautiful 4-6-3 double play?

You're right. The numbers can lie. So can eyes. The numbers are just information.


peeker643 wrote:It's pretty much how I spend any downtime. I watch hockey, hoops, baseball, and whatever once the kids are in bed and sometimes with them.

You go to the games or watch them for the numbers that flash on the scoreboard or to watch the greatest athletes and players in the world actually do what creates the numbers?

It could just as easily be analytical mind vs. creative mind too. I understand that's a possibility.

You see 4-6-3 and I see art and poetry.

I'm way more Ring Lardner and Vin Scully than Bill James and Brian Sabean.

I understand the numbers and I also use them to provide myself cover for opinions I have but I don't databytes when I watch games.

Like last night, some guys see a Hafner HR as a HR, hit, RBI, all good signs.

I saw a guy that feasts on shitty pitching and can't be counted on to win individual at bats against premier pitching like he did 6-7 years ago. I see it in the bat speed, the cheating on balls on inner half, how exposed that makes him away.

Just different ways of seeing it I guess. And I'll always, ALWAYS trust what I see and and what I watch over the numbers.

You know that cliche', "That bloop single will look like a line drive in the book"?? That sums up the problem with stats imo. Because it's true and it lies all at once.



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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 12:25 pm

FUDU wrote:^ predictable.

BTW Ryan is responsible for my ring, you may recall, or you may not.

I'm probably more inline with peeker on this though, but I do enjoy a good stat argument any day of the week.

My best example is MJ. Watched him from the moment he wore the babby blue Tarheel unis. By the time he was 3-4yrs in the NBA my best friend (huge Bird fan) and I argued all day long, everyday, who was better. While Michael had the stats on his side, you could just see it in on the court. Not to say however Bird wasn't the perfect example of the absolute great player in which all the stats didn't line up in his defense from time to time.


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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu May 17, 2012 12:32 pm

I wasn't ignoring the question, I just forgot. But I'd say I probably saw Hernandez pitch ten times or so. And I get your point on Kennedy and Narveson. I don't watch every game, every day. Impossible. But I also won't ever provide an opinion on guys based on just the numbers.

And you'll never hear me talk about guys like Mays or Mantle or DiMaggio or Gehrig. I never saw them. I'm not capable of telling you a thing about them or the times they played in.

I will say I'd much rather read about them and their era anecdotally than try and decipher it from the numbers they compiled.

Ths is funny. I've been around this board for about five years even. This argument has woven it's way through threads consistently over that time and probably always will.





motherscratcher wrote:Let me ask you this a different way because you still didn't tell me exactly how much you saw King Felix Pitch that year.

Last Season, who was a better pitcher? Ian Kennedy or Chris Narveson? I know it's kind of a silly question because the answer is obvious. We all know that Ian Kennedy was much better. But how do we know that? Because of all the times we sat down to watch Chris Narveson pitch? Because of all the Arizona games that we watched?

No, most people didn't see those guys (maybe Kennedy, but difinitely not Narveson) pitch that much. At least not enough to truly make some sort of informed decision on them. We know with absolute certainty that Kennedy was better last year because the stats tell us so. Way more than any of our individual eyes did.

I have no doubt that you watch a shit ton of sports, and the posters on these boards are the smartest, most informed people I've ever known. And that's no bullshit. And I know you love it. But just because someone looks at the numbers and draws conclusions that means they are incapable of seeing the beauty that you see as well? Why can't it be a beautiful 4-6-3 double play?

You're right. The numbers can lie. So can eyes. The numbers are just information.


peeker643 wrote:It's pretty much how I spend any downtime. I watch hockey, hoops, baseball, and whatever once the kids are in bed and sometimes with them.

You go to the games or watch them for the numbers that flash on the scoreboard or to watch the greatest athletes and players in the world actually do what creates the numbers?

It could just as easily be analytical mind vs. creative mind too. I understand that's a possibility.

You see 4-6-3 and I see art and poetry.

I'm way more Ring Lardner and Vin Scully than Bill James and Brian Sabean.

I understand the numbers and I also use them to provide myself cover for opinions I have but I don't databytes when I watch games.

Like last night, some guys see a Hafner HR as a HR, hit, RBI, all good signs.

I saw a guy that feasts on shitty pitching and can't be counted on to win individual at bats against premier pitching like he did 6-7 years ago. I see it in the bat speed, the cheating on balls on inner half, how exposed that makes him away.

Just different ways of seeing it I guess. And I'll always, ALWAYS trust what I see and and what I watch over the numbers.

You know that cliche', "That bloop single will look like a line drive in the book"?? That sums up the problem with stats imo. Because it's true and it lies all at once.



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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

motherscratcher wrote:But here's the rub as I see it, and the reason that I don't really like the "if you saw him you don't need the numbers" argument.

How much did you actually see him? How many games? 2 or 3? 5? Only when he pitched against the Tribe? Mostly highlights?


Mostly you have to know what you're looking for.

Can you watch a guy swing a dozen times and know where he's weakest? And the better the player, the more discerning the eye needs to be. The player makes the stats, not vice versa.

If you can't, then you need stats. That's why they are so popular with most fans.

They are a tool.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 12:48 pm

That's fair.

Damn, ten times. That's a lot. Then again he was not to be missed that year if at all possible.

Another thing I think, though, is that you SHOULD offer opinions on players based on numbers. You're a sports fan and a sports writer, a smart one at that, and all around dapper gentleman. And there is information to be used and conclusions to be drawn based on those numbers. There is absolutely no reason for you NOT to draw reasonable conclusions.

Now, those conclusions perhaps carry more weight and are more well informed if you have seen a player play and can speak to what you saw, but to ONLY draw conclusions based on your eyes seems limiting to me.

ONe of the first things I ever read about sabermetrics was a book I bought on a whim in around 2006 or so. It was a BP book edited by Jonah Keri and had contributions by guys like Nate Silver and Keith Wolner. One of the first chapters was trying to use the numbers intelligently to try to figure out who was better, Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth. I think that the vast majority of people would fall asleep before finishing the first page. I found it endlessly fascinating. It was so fucking logical. But the conclusions that were reached don't represent any sort of truth, and it wasn't presented as truth. The real truth on that sort of thing is unknowable.

The beauty, for some, is in the looking.

peeker643 wrote:I wasn't ignoring the question, I just forgot. But I'd say I probably saw Hernandez pitch ten times or so. And I get your point on Kennedy and Narveson. I don't watch every game, every day. Impossible. But I also won't ever provide an opinion on guys based on just the numbers.

And you'll never hear me talk about guys like Mays or Mantle or DiMaggio or Gehrig. I never saw them. I'm not capable of telling you a thing about them or the times they played in.

I will say I'd much rather read about them and their era anecdotally than try and decipher it from the numbers they compiled.

Ths is funny. I've been around this board for about five years even. This argument has woven it's way through threads consistently over that time and probably always will.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 17, 2012 12:53 pm

Yes, the player makes the stats and they are reflective. And hopefully some are somewhat predictive. At least that is the goal.

Personally, I can't look at a guy swing and see his holes and his weaknesses. And I know this so I'm not about to try. The vast vast majority of fans can't. I think there are precious few that actually can. Some of them (Pup, Peek, LP, Al...) grace these boards, and we are better off for it.

But, a lot of fans are delusional and think that they can.

And, even if you do know what you are looking at, how many at bats does someone need to see to draw a reliable conclusion?

Erie Warrior wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:But here's the rub as I see it, and the reason that I don't really like the "if you saw him you don't need the numbers" argument.

How much did you actually see him? How many games? 2 or 3? 5? Only when he pitched against the Tribe? Mostly highlights?


Mostly you have to know what you're looking for.

Can you watch a guy swing a dozen times and know where he's weakest? And the better the player, the more discerning the eye needs to be. The player makes the stats, not vice versa.

If you can't, then you need stats. That's why they are so popular with most fans.

They are a tool.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 1:07 pm

And I'm feeling a lot of anger towards walks for some reason. The Indians wouldn't be in 1st place without walks. They have, by far, walked the most in the league: 166 for the Tribe and the difference betwixt the Tribe and #2 (Padres with 146) is the same as the difference between the Padres and #12 (Toronto).

Also have 4 of the top 30 guys for BB% in the entire league: Santana (4), Hafner (6), Choo (27), Cabrera (30).
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Thu May 17, 2012 1:14 pm

motherscratcher wrote:And, even if you do know what you are looking at, how many at bats does someone need to see to draw a reliable conclusion?


Adjustments are made all the time. That's the cat and mouse game.

Stats are useful. But they've become a religion, and are touted to make definitive statements. To that, I object.
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Re: Great Article on Sabermetrics

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 17, 2012 1:14 pm

Some good SABR reasons for Asdrubal's coming out party. It's from a Grantland fantasy article but I left out the fantasy parts.

Context
OK, let's dig in. How many plate appearances does it take for various metrics to become a reliable indicator of player performance, immune from dismissive "small sample size" waves from heartless nerds like me?

Hitting Statistics:
• 50 PA: Swing%
• 100 PA: Contact Rate
• 150 PA: Strikeout Rate, Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA


Many everyday players have hit the 150 PA mark, so all of these markers apply to the present. Asdrubal Cabrera stands out as a target player. After posting a breakout season last year with 25 homers, 92 RBI, and 17 steals, the Indians shortstop has dramatically improved his batting eye this season. His 90.1 percent contact rate ranks 11th among all qualified MLB hitters. That spike in contact rate (career 85.1 percent) has triggered a sharp drop in Cabrera's strikeout rate, to a career-low 6.3 percent. He's also putting up the best walk rate of his career, at 11.9 percent. But a 26-year-old shortstop coming off a 25-homer season who's walking nearly twice as often as he's striking out isn't just good; it's bloody fantastic.
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