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An Inside Look at Base Stealing

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An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:25 am

Great stuff, as usual, from Jonah Keri. Sat down with Coco Crisp to break down base stealing.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/907 ... ling-bases
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby bookelly » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:35 pm

Nice read. I like this jewel:

"Oh and here's the biggest secret. Whenever I slid, I always dusted myself off. Because if you look like you're safe, the umpire thinks you're safe. If you slide and then look at it him like, 'What is it?' He'll say, 'You're out!' So looking safe is a big part of it. One time, I slid into second, Ozzie Guillen was covering the base. It was a real close play, but I just started wiping. The ump goes, 'Safe! Safe!' Ozzie yells, 'Why?' The ump says, 'I don't know!'"

Somebody should post this on the Clubhouse bulletin board for all to read. Can't hurt considering how terrible our guys are at holding runners.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby 1Perry » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:36 pm

Nice, I still love the base stealers.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:52 am

We should steal a lot this year.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:55 am

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:We should steal a lot this year.


I know Francona's of a sabermetric mindset, where stealing bases isn't worth the risk of getting thrown out, but I am interested to see what he does with a team that has more speed than most of those Red Sox teams had.

Red Sox were 676 out of 898 (75.3%) during Francona's tenure. About 113 steal attempts per season. 676 over that 8-year span ranks 22nd (one spot ahead of the Indians, btw - Coco Crisp said in the article linked above that he didn't have a green light early in his career, which means in Cleveland)

I'm sure Bourn will have a green light to go when he wants. Not sure any other player will have that luxury. Kipnis was 31/38 last year, but I think it depends where he hits in the lineup if he'll have a green light or not. If Stubbs gets on base, he'll take 25+ bags.

I hope they use their speed to their advantage, especially when they're going to have a lot of guys that swing and miss and runners may have to steal bases to advance.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby 1Perry » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:00 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
Cerebral_DownTime wrote:We should steal a lot this year.


I know Francona's of a sabermetric mindset, where stealing bases isn't worth the risk of getting thrown out, but I am interested to see what he does with a team that has more speed than most of those Red Sox teams had.


I read where a lot of the problems Francona had in Boston was their reliance on sabermetrics. Sour grapes on his part at the time?
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:00 pm

I'd like to see Santana, Asdrubal, Swisher and Reynolds get more fastballs to hit because Bourn or Kipnis were on base threatening to steal.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:53 pm

1Perry wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:
Cerebral_DownTime wrote:We should steal a lot this year.


I know Francona's of a sabermetric mindset, where stealing bases isn't worth the risk of getting thrown out, but I am interested to see what he does with a team that has more speed than most of those Red Sox teams had.


I read where a lot of the problems Francona had in Boston was their reliance on sabermetrics. Sour grapes on his part at the time?


Can you dig up a link for that? Curious to see what that's all about.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby 1Perry » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:21 pm

I did find it. Re-reading it, some of it may be Lupica interjecting his own thoughts.

Francona didn't talk about numbers Friday, no sir and no way. He talked about the lack of character and toughness he saw from his team when things started to go bad and if you think he absolved himself of responsibility for that, go look at everything he said before he walked out the door with his head high.

And the numbers guys win again. And guess what? It will only get worse now that "Moneyball" is a hit and Brad Pitt is going to get an Oscar nomination. If you are a manager, you put the computer on the desk the way Francona did and go along or you lose in the end.

But of all the things that happened this week in baseball, all the crazy and improbable things that happened, the most improbable of all was Dan Johnson, a .108 hitter, a guy without a home run since April, hitting a two-strike homer off Cory Wade in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday night to keep the Rays' improbable season alive.

There was no spreadsheet on that one, whatever Joe Maddon says. There was no statistical probability. There was just a manager going with his gut. Close enough to his heart. That wasn't "Moneyball." Just baseball.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseb ... z2OE9eP6Ao
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:03 am

Lupica on anti-sabermetrics crusade.

I heard Antonetti talking about how Francona likes to dive into the numbers, but I can't remember where. I believe it was an audio interview he did with somebody. Either way, I don't think Francona's strictly by the numbers book. He's a personable manager. He believes in relationships with people.

He was talking recently about being with the Red Sox, maybe in one of the articles about the Harlem Shake video, and he said that they used to do team-building things like fantasy football and that the clubhouse had a different feel during 2011 when they did their draft.

I think when Francona says "intangibles", he's talking about leadership and good teammates. Didn't seem like there were a lot of those in Boston, unless you were the guy who always bought the fried chicken and beer.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:54 am

I really don't see a downside in taking some chances. Especially in the early innings, swipe a few bags, get some hits with RISP, and that might help take the pressure of our SP.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:45 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:I really don't see a downside in taking some chances. Especially in the early innings, swipe a few bags, get some hits with RISP, and that might help take the pressure of our SP.


Agreed. I get the sabermetric point of view, and understand that from a risk-reward standpoint, the numbers say it's not worth it, but we're a special circumstance, like you said. Utilizing our speed to get early leads will help the rotation a lot. You're absolutely right.

Plus, we're not just stealing for stealing sake. We have Bourn, Kipnis, and Stubbs, all guys who have stolen 30+ bases with pretty good success rates.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby 1Perry » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:56 pm

I still don't understand how numbers can figure in the difference a guy like Lofton had on the game even when he doesn't run.

Besides, I pay to be entertained and I like watching the interaction between the pitcher and a good base runner on first. :D

That's what made the interview so interesting.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:32 pm

1Perry wrote:I still don't understand how numbers can figure in the difference a guy like Lofton had on the game even when he doesn't run.


They can't.

Sabermetrics certainly aren't perfect. There's no way to have a stat for everything.

But, yes, the threat of stealing definitely plays a factor.
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Re: An Inside Look at Base Stealing

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:38 pm

bookelly wrote:Nice read. I like this jewel:

"Oh and here's the biggest secret. Whenever I slid, I always dusted myself off. Because if you look like you're safe, the umpire thinks you're safe. If you slide and then look at it him like, 'What is it?' He'll say, 'You're out!' So looking safe is a big part of it. One time, I slid into second, Ozzie Guillen was covering the base. It was a real close play, but I just started wiping. The ump goes, 'Safe! Safe!' Ozzie yells, 'Why?' The ump says, 'I don't know!'"

Somebody should post this on the Clubhouse bulletin board for all to read. Can't hurt considering how terrible our guys are at holding runners.


This is comical. I doubt it has any affect on the ump. Of course, that doesn't stop me from yelling "SAFE!" on any close play at first when my softball team is up to bat.
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