Must-See TV

When two baseball heavyweights collide, you know a nation will be tuned in to catch every last pitch. Guzman tries to put two good starts in a row together and good to see that someone told Dusty that Theriot can play short. Go Cubs! (or Go Pirates cause that higher draft pick couldn't hurt) GAME ONE HUNDRED--THIRTY-ONE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-76 (Div) 5th - 15.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 12.5 GB) AT PITTSBURGH PIRATES (50-81 (Div) 6th - 20 GB; (Wild Card) 13th - 17.0 GB) PNC PARK, 6:05 pm CDT Weather: Drizzle, 75 degrees, Wind in from CF @ 4 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Ian Snell, RHP 11-8, 4.53 ERA, 151.1 IP 133 K, 58 BB, 21 HR 278/342/463 againstAngel Guzman, RHP 0-3, 5.84 ERA, 37 IP 41 K, 26 BB, 4 HR 275/393/444 against

*Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Jacque Jones, RF Derrek Lee, 1B Michael Barrett, C #Angel Pagan, LF Ryan Theriot, SS Angel Guzman, P *Chris Duffy, CF Jose Bautista, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF Xavier Nady, RF Ronny Paulino, C #Ryan Doumit, 1B Jose Castillo, 2B Ian Snell, P

Cubs vs. Snell: No Cubs with more than 10 Ab'sPirates vs. Guzman: No Pirates with more than 10 AB's
Return to Homepage

Comments

Bottom of the 1st -- so much for 2 good starts in a row....

what is with the cubs and giving up runs after 2 outs with no one on?

looks like we're moving in on a much higher draft choice...Tim Wilkens has to be happy with the team's performance of late as it makes his next draft that much sweeter.

Bottom of the 4th...Dusty doing a rain dance?

Another youngster not going 6 IP...woo!!!

The only good thing about these youngsters not performing good is that hopefully Hendry sees they can't be relied upon next year.

And people wonder why our minor league system rankings are falling every year, almost everyday the past 2 months explains it.

Will this affect Glendon's trade value?

I'm worried what the advance scouts might think -

Like this might have been typical or something.

rumor has it that if Glendon is traded before the waiver trade deadline, Will Ohman will move from uniform #13 to #33.

can we just go ahead and add closer to the list of off-season needs?

And people wonder why our minor league system rankings are falling every year, almost everyday the past 2 months explains it.

Almost everyday the young players are failing, huh?

I guess Guzman failed in his last start, when he gave up 1 run in 6 innings.

Or maybe you are talking about Rich Hill. His 3-2, 3.38 ERA in August has really been an example of failing almost every day. (Just maybe Manny would like to retract the obituary he wrote for Hill last year, when proudly declared that Hill's career was over because of one bad start)

Or Maybe its Juan Mateo who is to blame for these everyday failings. After all he's got a horrific 3.38 ERA in the one month he's been in the majors.

That Ryan O'Malley kid, he did pretty aweful in his one and only performance.

Yeah, these kids have just been so painful to watch. We can breathe a sigh of relief that Cole Hammels is not a Cub, because as we saw last week, he doesn't have a future either because he's had a couple of bad outings this year.

Seriously, How does a fan of a team get so bitter and want so badly to be right about their doom and gloom predictions that they actively root against the franchises young players - even when as a whole they have performed quite well for rookies?

NOT JUST ERA -

The youngsters invariably fall behind in the count early, and cannot go deep into games.

Tonight is a perfect example - Guzman throws 90+ pitches in 4 freakin' innings!

Each of the "Baby Six" pitcher has a lively arm, but they must learn how to throw strikes and pitch consistently at the major league level.

The really good teams hammer 'em because when they fall behind early in the count, the good hitters KNOW that they're going to be pitching something fat.

Assuming we will see more of the same -- some good, some bad -- from Guzman, Hill, Mateo and Marshall: how the heck to you pick which ones to bet on for next year? I assume they will choose 2 for the rotation -- unless they can't get any decent FA pitchers (a very likely scenario), in which case they may need to bet on the whole lot of 'em.

Can't figure out the Dusty scenario -- on one hand, Hendry already knows what kind of manager he is, and the next 5 weeks won't change that. On the other hand, maybe he wants to see if Dusty can develop a bond with the young/new players, in addition to D-Lee and Pierre. Seems odd he would ask Dusty to suffer the growing pains if he weren't going to be around to grow with them. Then again, on yet another hand, maybe Hendry doesn't want to actually fire Dusty, so he can just let his contract expire and everyone can move on -- Dusty is now sounding like his last days in SF, where he feels he's not wanted.

Bleeding Blue wrote:
"(Just maybe Manny would like to retract the obituary he wrote for Hill last year, when proudly declared that Hill's career was over because of one bad start)"

Here is what I really wrote (June 15, 2005) and OF COURSE Bleeding Blue misquoted me for the umpteenth time. Oh well, can't change a leopards spots I guess.

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

"Dear Mr. Rich Hill,
Please disregard the shelling you receieved today and might receive in your short stint in the majors this year. I, at least, realize you did not pitch higher than A ball before this year, so every out you get this year is a bonus, but hopefully the shelling not detrimental to your psyche.

Hendry and Baker should of just let you be for this year and waited to start your clock next year or used you for trade bait to strengthen their OF, but they are trying to set a MLB record for most different starting pitchers in one season.

Anyways, good luck the rest of the season (hopefully mostly in the minors), and if you get lit up, just know you might of been rushed a bit since you haven't even faced many high level minor leaguers yet.

Sincerely,
Mannytrillo"

I don't see ANYWHERE where I said Hill's career was over. I even critisized Dusty. Bleeding Blue, go take up your vendetta on someone else please. Maybe go back and wrongly cry to MIKE63.

Whatever Manny, you know that point of that "letter," and you've bragged about it every time Hill has struggled on the mound.

And nice try to destract from the point, which is your comment today, that the Cubs young pitchers are failing 'almost every day', is simply not true, no matter how much you would like it to be.

How sad it must be to want to be right so badly that you have to root against young talent. I almost feel sorry for you Manny.

Bleeding Blue:
"I almost feel sorry for you Manny."

That's cool, as I actually do feel sorry for you. Have a good night...

In several threads over the past few weeks, several people have posted their thoughts on who the Cubs should/will pursue as FAís and in trades during the off-season. There have been some really interesting ideas come across TCR and I especially like those that donít fall into the trap of assuming the Cubs will only pursue second level talent (although Hendryís past history would support such an argument).

The ideas Iíve liked the best so far are:

- Sign FA pitcher Jason Schmidt
- Sign FA pitcher Ted Lilly
- Trade for Miguel Cabrera (play Cabrera in RF)
- Trade for either Alex Rodriguez / Miguel Tejada
- Re-sign Juan Pierre

AZ Phil made the case for the two trades. I canít remember who was involved in the trades, but I do remember that the trades were reasonable and seemed to make sense for all teams involved. AZ Phil, can you enlighten us once again?

These moves would result in a starting outfield of:

LF ñ Jacque Jones
CF ñ Juan Pierre
RF ñ Miguel Cabrera

The infield would be:

1B ñ Derrick Lee
2B ñ Ronnie Cedeno (or some second tier FA)
SS ñ Arod or Miguel Tejada
3B ñ Aramis Ramirez
C - Michael Barrett

The starting pitchers would be:

Carlos Zambrano
Jason Schmidt
Mark Prior
Ted Lilly
Rich Hill/Sean Marshall/Angel Guzman

I still havenít seen a trade/sign scenario I liked to find a closer. I donít find keeping Dempster very attractive, trying to turn Wood into a closer would be a mistake, and bringing in a proven closer would probably prove to be cost prohibitive.

Any bright ideas?

Ohh Manny, so rookies as supposed to step in right away and be good like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera? Thats why they are called rookies.

They are inconsistent, sometimes they arent very good to start out. Again, thats why they are called rookies.

Buy clue, dude.

MIKEC:
"Ohh Manny, so rookies as supposed to step in right away and be good like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera? Thats why they are called rookies."

Actually they are called rookies because they haven't played a full year in the bigs.

And no, I am not impressed by what I have seen overall with the youngsters. Yeah they might have a good game here and there, but if we rely on them much next year I don't think the Cubs will be able to compete. Maybe if I was a fan of the Royals, I would be happy with the youngsters or if my team actually had some real good talent on it, sticking with a youngster or two struggling wouldn't bother me, but awe are neither.

"Buy clue, dude."

I said it last week that my ticket scapling business is a little slow with the Cubs and their youth being 20 games under .500, so if you can spot me $20 I would love to buy a clue...Thanks!!

didnt see the game...what was guzman's issue?

it doesnt seem like he was wild, but was he missing pitches? not hitting spots? hanging stuff? leaving everything in the middle of the plate? blah blah blah blah?

And no, I am not impressed by what I have seen overall with the youngsters.

Well of course not, somehow you're seeing rookies who are putting up quality starts and ERAs under 4, yet somehow you think they are 'failing almost every day.'

This is what happens when people let their agenda cloud reality, and when they so badly need to think that they are right, that they'll spin anything they can into their warped point of view.

how pathetically sad.

Sweet Lou,

I like your plan. Only please explain how this could happen and if you really think it's feasable. While it would make this team the favorite in the NL, I jsut don't see it happening under any circumstances.

Bleeding Blue & Manny, do you guys even know each other. You seem to dislike each other passionately simply because you do not share the same opinions. Wouldn't it make more sense to discuss your individual opinions without interjecting all of the personal attacks? You might even learn something. Short of that, wouldn't it be better to just ignore each other?

Bat-Thrower Young Called Up

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

He has done well since coming back from his 50 game suspension. It will be interesting to see how the crowds react toward him.

Hey Chad -- I'm not sure if it is feasible. Maybe I'm just fooling myself into having hope. I guess the centerpiece of all of the moves are the two trades that were outlined by AZ Phil. I wish that I could remember the specifics. I only remember that the trades were reasonable and seemed doable for all teams involved.

As for the FA signings, I don't see why that can't happen. If the Cubs make up their minds that they need/want a certain FA, money should not stand in their way. They have all of the advantages of being a big market team with lots of money. It's time to stop competing with the Pirates and Royals for players and start competing for the top tier FA's.

I'm not sure what these moves would do to the payroll, but I'm of the opinion that the Cubs need to crank up the payroll in order to field a surefire contender. Of course, my opinion doesn't hold much sway. Also, $100 million should be enough to contend in the NL Central, but obviously it hasn't worked yet.

The thing I like about these moves is that the Cubs would be going after big name, productive players rather than the mediocre, refried players they've pursued in the past. Wouldn't it be nice to have 3-4 all-stars and a legit HOF contender or two?

Lou, sounds alot like a Yankees team to me. I feel Hendry will sign one top FA and trade for the other needs. Maybe these names are possible, as Schmidt wants to pitch in Seattle and Zito will get silly 13+ mil a year.

Of

Carlos Lee.....would love it here
Alfonso Soriano...one of Hendry's guys Of only !!
Pat Burrell (Trade)
Miguel Cabrera (Trade)...would take alot Pie ++

Sp

Vincete Padilla
Gil Meche...Hendry almost traded for
Jeff Suppan...solid inning eater
Ted Lilly
Jason Marquis...younger version of older Maddux
Greg Maddux...never know, doubt it
Kip Wells
Jake Westbrook...inning eater and sinkerballer

2b

Mark Loretta ...another Hendry guy
Marcus Giles...not sure Atlanta will trade
Ronny Cedeno until E-Pat is ready

Mgr

Fredi Gonzalez....could replace Girardi in Fla?
Joe Girardi...natural fit??
Bob Brenly...isn't desperate to manage again

crunch,

To me, Guzman didn't look too bad, except for the 4th when he had some control issues. Not many balls were hit that hard off him - even the Bay HR seemed like a fly ball the opposite way that just carried over the RF fence. The guy just got singled to death tonight in the 2nd and 3rd, which caused him to start pitching around guys. That got him 2 K's to end the 3rd but also led to control issues in the 4th. 10 of his 36 balls came in the 4th, desipte him throwing only 18 of his 97 pitches that inning. That means he threw 53 of 79 pitches for strikes through 3. Not bad...

I feel bad for the guy - he pitched much better than his line showed. He gave up a few soft line drives and a long fly ball; other than that he did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground. Unfortuantely for him, many of those ground balls got through the infield and he got scared of putting it over the plate. That's what i saw, anyway...

I was thinking the same thing goldman. He was getting close to hitting his spots (with a few exceptions), but in the big leagues close won't cut it.

Sweet Lou: The starting pitchers would be:

...Mark Prior...

hahhahha... you slay me. A team that depends on a healthy Prior or Wood will never win.

Maybe they could sign him for, like 500k, and give him 300k performance bonus for each game he starts. :p

Ryno -- Although I understand your skepticism about Prior, my guess is that the Cubs are not ready to give up on Prior and Wood at the same time. Plus, their problems are different. Wood just physically can't pitch anymore (at least as a starter). His body won't let him. Prior is still a young guy with great potential, albeit unrealized at the moment.

Guys with Prior's talent are rare and my guess is that there would be a lot of teams lining up to take him if the Cubs dumped him. Because of his history, Prior can't be relied upon to be a top of the rotation guy, but I think if he shows a willingness to get stronger in the off season and work with Tom House (or someone) on his mechanics, he can be penciled in in the bottom (3-4-5) of the rotation.

''You figure that Derrek could have made up 10, 12 or 15 games by himself,'' Baker said. ''Our offense would have been in a much better situation. With his golden glove and his good bat, he would have made a tremendous difference.''

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-c...

I might get skewered for this, but isn't Mark Bellhorn a FA after this season? He might not be a bad choice at 2B.

BWAAAAAHAAAAA!!!...whew...Bellhorn...

I saw that one already...lets not bring back castoffs...

.192/.343/.398...great OBP, but still...

Side note: I thought Tim Wakefield was going to be a FA this year, but he's got a club option at $4m. The interesting thing is, every time the Red Sox pick up a club option, another one is automatically tacked on for next year. So essentially, until the Red Sox decide they don't want him at $4mil, he's theirs forever.

Really not a bad deal considering knuckleball pitchers can pitch basically until they're eligible for social security.

That's an example of a creative contract. Hendry's idea of a creative contract is handing out player options like they're the free gift you get when opening a checking account.

Sweet Lou, simply thinking about your possible lineup might make me survive through October at least.

I don't know why the Larry Beinfest in his right mind would trade Miguel Cabrera...that team is basically one experienced frontline starting pitcher and an outfield bat away from challenging the Mets.

If we are resigned to the fact that Izturis will be our shortstop for a little while, matching him with a 2B with a decent glove like Craig Counsell (my prediction, as he will come cheap) or Marcus Giles would be a nice move. Then focus on signing two starting pitchers like Westbrook who are extreme groundball pitchers that are is likely to be affordable. I believe Westbrook would see a performance boost from moving from the AL to the NL (Exhibit A: Bronson Arroyo).

I would stay away from Lilly or Meche, who are flyball pitchers that will not do in Wrigley field. Of course, now let's all wacth Hendry go out and sign Randy Wolf and Jamie Moyer.

"Seriously, How does a fan of a team get so bitter and want so badly to be right about their doom and gloom predictions that they actively root against the franchises young players - even when as a whole they have performed quite well for rookies?"

It's the new breed of Cubs fan, and I agree that it's deplorable. Red Sox fans without the inferiority complex. Ugh.

DC TOM-
"that team is basically one experienced frontline starting pitcher and an outfield bat away"

I have a sick felling in my stomach that Marlins will win it again before Cubs.

BoSox Falling Apart...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

On top of the fact they are in a midst a a pretty bad collapse (Hey Mr. Schilling how would you like the WC now?). Ortiz now has an irregular heart beat, Lester was put on DL, manny missing most of the past week, and Varitek still is not back.

But hey, at least the won a WS...

It's about time for another Billy Beane check-in. I know a lot of people dislike/resent/hate the guy, but you can't deny that what he has been doing over the years is nothing short of amazing.

Even if you reject Moneyball and sabermetrics and all that it stands for, you have to admit that the results he has consistently achieved with a limited payroll are stunning, perhaps unprecedented. Tejada, Giambi, Mulder, Hudson, etc. are distant memories, but somehow the A's keep putting it together.

They play in the tougher league and still have the 6th best recond in MLB. Hell, they would be winning the NL Central by 5 games, even though they play 34 combined games against the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers and White Sox.

Beane seems to be personally annoying and has know-it-all tendencies, but the guy has figured it out.

Why would anyone hate Billy Beane??

".192/.343/.398...great OBP, but still"

This statline shows exactly why OBP, in itself, without looking at other stasts is the most useless stat EVER.

What's even more amazing -- actually, amusing -- is that most MLB teams choose not to copy what Beane has done. The old school baseball execs hate him and his theories, and simply won't give in. The ones who do adopt pieces of his theories almost always find success.

MLB teams and commentators are more likely to point to the most recent "recipe" for a World Series Title (i.e. White Sox Small Ball) as the new way to find success, even if that success was found in a charmed season that's unlikely to be repeated. Meanwhile, Beane has produced a proven formula for winning that's there for the taking, if only egos didn't get in the way.

Interestingly, part of Beane's success lies in the fact that he is able to regularly fleece the old school guys. So, if everyone copied Beane's system, it would collapse. So ironically, the only way to bring down Billy Beane is to join him.

Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?

Jacos wrote:

DC TOM-
"that team is basically one experienced frontline starting pitcher and an outfield bat away"

I have a sick felling in my stomach that Marlins will win it again before Cubs.

----

Agreed. I do not think the Mets have build up a buzz-saw of a team that will dominate the NL for years to come. Wright and Beltran will keep them in the mix for years to come, but they will need to spend their dollars on starting pitching, in eventually replacing Delgado, and in buying cybernetic implants for Julio Franco.

I thought the Brewers had a shot at building a team that could dominate the NL Central for a few years, but they seem to have taken a major step backward this year. Whether Weeks and Sheets can return to pre-injury form is a question mark. I think that team will wallow around the Wild Card for a few years at best.

The rest of the teams in the NL are solidly mediocre and I think of all the other teams, if I was given my choice of rosters and contracts and told to try and win a World Series as soon as possible, I would pick the Marlins over any other team in the league outside of the Mets (and even then I'd think about that choice for a little while).

Speaking of the Brewers, anyone notice the year Bill Hall is having? Dude's got a lot of Ks, but he's also leading all ML shortstops in OPS. And he's only 26.

Is there any way to pry him away from the Brew-crew?

Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?

According to the Cubs management team, batting average with runners in scoring position is.

Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?

Salary

Looks like we still are in the race, the race for last place, that is.

"".192/.343/.398...great OBP, but still"

This statline shows exactly why OBP, in itself, without looking at other stasts is the most useless stat EVER."

forget the batting stats...this is bellhorn.

he can play 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and OF...all really really really badly. popups are mysteries...throwing from 3rd, good luck catching it d.lee (or whoever his injury replacement is this week). but hey, cant get an error if you dont touch the ball and he's really good at that at 3rd base turning possible outs into singles.

Crunch-
I wonder if Bellhorn is better than Walker defensively at 3B. I can't beleive neither one of them have a GG yet.

"Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?"

yes and no...great answer, huh?

depends on the role of the player...different role players have different "must haves" for their expected role and everything else just helps/hinders their arguement.

unfortunately, this involves totally ignoring part of the game...you pick O or D.

OPS is useless for lead off hitters...ricky henderson 1982.

fielding % and range-oriented stats are generally useless on a guy who doesnt get to stuff and plays deep anyway (making the stuff he does get to pimp out his range)...mike bordick, esp. his 2002 campaign where he was practically playing every ball in the OF grass letting tony batista do a LOT of work for him that he should be doing.

its nice to have a j.damon type that can get on base, has speed, and can hit 20+ homers, but guys like him are your super-men of leadoff hitters. the good thing is he's not totally dependant on his speed and is versitile after his speed has become lower-to-average or similar.

"Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?"

Fair enough. That is why I don't obsess over it like so many here.

vorare: Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?

I thought everyone here just went by AVG.

Before judging any kind of hitter, and I'm no scout, just a dabbler in the going-ons of baseball, I like to look at AVG, OBP, SLG, K/PA, BB/PA, GO/AO... I also like to see his swing and how he carries himself at the plate. Spray charts tell a lot of the story, too.

Is there any stat in baseball that's particularly useful when taken entirely in isolation?

You can learn everything you'd ever want to know about a baseball player by looking at his RBI totals, Duh!

What the heck does small ball even mean? The 2005 White Sox pitched like crazy and hit a bunch of HR's in an otherwise unremarkable offense. Sort of like the Tigers this year. Middling offense, unconscious pitching. What part of that equals "small ball." If having a middling offense means that you're practicing "small ball," than I guess that's what you call it, but I have no earthly idea why someone would try, on purpose, to have a small ball (in other words, average) offense.

No Chad, you seem to obsess over fielding percentage, which, even taken in context, is practically useless.

Horatio, I have never once mentioned that stat. How funny.

While totally hypothetica, it is an interesting question though--if you were only permitted to look at one statistic when building a team, what would it be?

If it cannot be a meta-statistic (a stat derived from another stat, examples are OPS or VORP or WARP), if you were forced to build a team with one stat, for hitters it would have to be OBP. For pitchers, I would pick HR-rate (HR per batter faced) though K-rate would be right up there.

Maybe I was confusing you with someone else. Haven't you been Mr. Izturis!!! And what else but the dude's fielding % does he have to recommend him.

just watching izturis play a few dozen games is all ya need to judge him. he's just that fluid. vizquel is/was just that fluid, too...too bad he don't hit like him.

I agree with you on using only OBP, DC Tom, but, of course, only if you were forced.

I think the insistance on paying attention to OBP stems from the fact not that we think it's the be all end all, but just because so many casual fans out can't see past batting average. More an attempt to open their eyes than anything else.

You can't be serious, Bleeding Blue...

DC Tom: if you were only permitted to look at one statistic when building a team, what would it be?

WHIP?

"just watching izturis play a few dozen games is all ya need to judge him. he's just that fluid. vizquel is/was just that fluid, too...too bad he don't hit like him."

Horatio, I agree with the above statement by Crunch. I am the biggest Izturis fan out here but I have never commented on his fielding average.

Tom, all averages are stats based on stats. Ero, meta-stat.

hits/abs = batting average
hits + walks + billy beane/stat nerd = OBP

Horatio,

I think Blue was not only kidding but also slamming me as I am a big fan of RBIs.

That's called saracasm, Horatio.

It's time for some Hank White love on his birthday via Desipio...

But since the All-Star break last year (when he switched numbers from 9 to 24), Hank has hit .279 (61-219) with 11 homers and 51 RBI. Itís the most productive stretch of his career.

All hail Hank White! Wooooo.

Yes, Horaito, it was sarcasm.

(and yes there was a little dig at chad in there too, however I think the term slam is far harsher than the intent)

BTW, I was thinking the same thing as Chad. If you in terms of meta-stats. That definition would pretty much rule out anything other than the totally useless without context counting stats.

I read that article where Dusty said if he had Derrek Lee that was worth about 10-15 games or whatever. But Lee kind of fires a shot across Dusty's bow in his response to that...

"It's easy to pin the blame on that," Lee said of the Cubs' 18-40 record during his first DL stint. "The bottom line is we didn't play good baseball. Even if I was in there, if we don't play good baseball, we're not going to win. [The record] was more due to the way we played than the injury."

That is very true.

Can Derrek Lee be our manager?

Wow!

Phil Nevin get your glove ready for tonite.

If you can only look at one stat for hitters, and it can't be based on other stats (meaning you can't use OBP since it combines hits, BB, and HBP), then I would go with BB.

I would bet whoever is at or near the top of the league in walks every year is probably a good hitter. You're not going to see a guy like Neifi Perez leading the league in walks, even if he were the most patient hitter in the league.

MIKEC:
"I read that article where Dusty said if he had Derrek Lee that was worth about 10-15 games or whatever. But Lee kind of fires a shot across Dusty's bow in his response to that..."

For those who LOVE all these new made up stats, you should all agree with Dusty. Lee's VORP last year was 95.6. Of course we wouldn't expect him to exactly replicate last year, so even a season of 75.0 would make it sensible that the Cubs could of improved 10-15 wins this year. But that is if you believe in those kind of stats. And I think Lee's comment shows he is a bit sensative about missing so much time.

Just checked out the BB leaders just for fun, and your basic, can't-use-it-without-context, counting stat of total base-on-balls looks like a great stat to showcase the best hitters in the game.

Giambi
Hafner
Manny
Dunn
Nick Johnson
Abreu
Papi
Ensberg
B Giles
Bay
Thome
Berkman

The list goes on and on. Basically just about everyone on the list with more than 50 BB to this point in the season is a damn good hitter.

I think Manny's comments show he is a bit sensitive about Dusty being such a shit for brains.

what was lee supposed to say when asked to respond to dust's comment:

"yeah, these 24+ guys i work with are good, but without me they're just a next to last place team. if i was here we'd have that 10-20 games in the bag, f'sure. if it comes through this team it comes through me...bring me the wookie."

I'll take RBIs.

Oh and BTW, Derrek Lee's injury broke the spirit of this team. Maybe that's Dusty's fault maybe not. But no question, if Lee played 162 games this year there would have been a huge difference. And considering how weak the NL, the Cubs would actually be in the hunt for the post season.

#53 of 67: By DC Tom (August 29, 2006 01:01 PM)
While totally hypothetica, it is an interesting question though--if you were only permitted to look at one statistic when building a team, what would it be?

--

DC TOM:

I'll take the following...

POSITION PLAYERS: High SLG %
PITCHERS: Low Opp SLG %

Position players with high SLG % will naturally tend to walk a lot (and therefore will have a high OBP) because pitchers are afraid of them, but they don't have high SLG % because they walk a lot.

Likewise, pitchers with low OPP SLG % can afford to walk hitters, because it's difficult to score very many runs with just mostly walks and singles. (Carlos Zambrano is a prime example of this type of pitcher).

And I especially like doubles in Wrigley Field, because doubles don't care if the wind is blowing in (most doubles are drives into the power alley gaps or down the right or left-field line), and some doubles become dingers when the wind is blowing out. Also, if you hit a double, you don't have to run the risk of trying to steal second. You're already there.

Conversely, pitchers who don't give up many XBHs tend to be successful pitching in Wrigley Field.

For those who LOVE all these new made up stats, you should all agree with Dusty...

Except for the fact that Lee's going to play about 40% of the season as it is, leaving Dusty claiming 10-15 wins lost by Lee missing 60% of the season, which would rate Lee as at least a 16-win player over a full season, which is more than 25% over a season he's unlikely to duplicate.

The best facet of the universe where Lee wasn't injured would have been Hendry/Dusty struggling to defend a season perilously close to 10 games under .500; instead, they're all pretending they would have notched the coveted Three out of Four Winning Seasons non-accomplishment.

You want one stat ... I think you guys are overlooking the most obvious and easiest stat ... runs. You have to be doing something right to be scoring runs; getting on base, hitting the ball, etc. Yes, it can be a product of the lineup you are in (see New York Yankees), but more often than not, it says what you are doing for your team. I know this a very simple way of looking at things but IF and only IF you were allowed to take a look at one stat, this would be it. Runs definitely means a lot more than RBI, especially when taken in context w/ uber-teams such as the Yankees.

And yes ... I am 'stat nerd'.

AZ Phil: I would definitely take OPS or SLG if it were allowed, but since those stats technically take into account other stats, I chose BBs.

Chad: IMO, BBs are better than RBIs since they're not team-dependent, but I'm sure we've had this argument before. I also think they're better than something like HRs because (and I have no data to back this up, just a hunch) BBs probably vary less year-to-year than home runs. You always get those few guys who have monster years in home runs, but most players' walk rates stay relatively consistent.

Anyway, given the freedom to use the more advanced stats that include multiple figures, SLG% or OPS would clearly be better choices.

CURB, I love runs and I feel runs scored is the most UNDERRATED stat in baseball.

Doug, OPS is a crock. I am not statistician but adding averages? That doesn't make ANY mathematical sense what so ever. i.e. I have a 50% chance of guessing heads or tails on a coin flip. Well the next flip I have a 50% chance too. So if I add them together, I will have 100% chance of guessing right one time. We all know it don't work like that.

Phil, I'm not sure I'm with you on that whole doubles in Wrigley thing. Home run hitters have never had a problem hitting homers there, conversely, Mark Grace never really hit a lot of homers, and he was the ultimate doubles guy.

The outcome of your coin flip is binary. Either it is heads or it isn't. Getting on base is binary. Either you reach safely of your own accord, or you don't. Slugging perecentage is binary. Either you hit a double or you...

Hmmm.

I will agree that looking at OPS alone has the potential to go awry and/or not tell you anything useful, such as Alfonso Soriano and John Olerud carrying similar OPSs in 2005, although you can use a sufficiently low OPS (Cedeno, Neifi) to weed out wastes of PAs.

Chad you are correct that a player with a .900 OPS does not corresponde to a 90% success rate, but a player with a .900 OPS is better than one with a .800 OPS.

Basisically think of it as adding RBIs plus Runs (RpR) to give you a combinded "stat".

Doug, OPS is a crock. I am not statistician but adding averages? That doesn't make ANY mathematical sense what so ever. i.e. I have a 50% chance of guessing heads or tails on a coin flip. Well the next flip I have a 50% chance too. So if I add them together, I will have 100% chance of guessing right one time. We all know it don't work like that.

Ummm that didn't make any sense.

OPS is just a tool like all the other stats. Combined they can tell you alot about a player. By themselves they can be twisted and spun to anyones advantage.

In OPS the range is what you are looking for

.600 OPS - player sucks with the bat (Neifi Perez .607)
.700 OPS - A little better, probably average (Juan Pierre)
.800 OPS - Steady offensive contributor (Phil Nevin with the Cubs)
.900 OPS - Elite status on offense (Ramirez, and Barrett)
1.000+ OPS - Superstar player. (David Ortiz, Carlos Beltran)

It is nothing more than a tier system to quickly seperate levels of talent.

As with anything in baseball there is the exception to the rule. There are players whose contributions to the team don't show up in stats sometimes. Like Juan Pierre makes our offense better when he is on base. His OPS isn't that higher but he does the little things that can help you win. Provided you have the talent behind him in the lineup.

I love it when people talk about "believing" is stats. Do you "believe" that 2 + 2 = 4? Cause if you do, then guess what, you "believe" in stats too!!! Regardless of whether Chad's paltry intellect can grasp the approximation of convenience that is OPS, the FACT of the matter is that it (as a team stat) correlates better to runs scored (by a team) than does BA, OBP alone, or SLG alone, BA being the least correlative of the four. This fact is a fact. This fact is not my "opinion," nor is this fact subject to Chad's or Manny's "opinion." It is mathematical fact.

The reason why runs is not a very good indicator of baseball prowess (even though its not necessarily a BAD indicator) is because it does not predict as well as other metrics what a player may be reasonably expected to do. After all, that's why we have these things called stats. To predict future success. If you're going to give somebody a lot of money to play baseball for you, it's not because you are grateful for what they've done all these years, it's because you think they'll keep doing it!! At the end of the day, that's all the Billy Beane/Moneyball/Baseball Prospectus/stathead/geek whatever else is trying to do: predict future success. They just happen to do it better than everyone else.

Why are people so wilfully ignorant of this wealth of knowledge? Why are people committed to signing contracts while knowingly spurning the best information available? Why do people drive 40 to Wal-Mart burning $4 is gas to save $1 on a package of toilet paper? Why do the Cubs lose every year? Who knows these things? No one.

one stat...hmmm

Pitching: Wins
Hitting: Batting Average

And hey can you believe that a gallon of milk costs a quarter now?

So if I add them together, I will have 100% chance of guessing right one time. We all know it don't work like that.

LOL...Chad - you really don't understand what OPS is, do you?

That's 40 miles.

By the way, MIKEC, you were making sense until that crack about Juan Pierre doing "the little things." What exactly are those "little things?" Would you please elaborate? Look up for me, if you care to, the OPS of batters while JP is on base and compare it to the OPS of batters while any batter is on base. Are you trying to tell me that batters perform better with JP on base than with, say, Derrek Lee? Matt Murton? Carlos Zambrano? Could it be that when you say "little things," are you speaking of things so little they cannot be observed, measured, or otherwise felt??

OPS does have a mathematical flaw, as has been stated here. When you add two stats (whether averages or not) there is almost always a problem -- in this case, .100 of OBP has more value than .100 of SLG. So, it has an inherent mathematical flaw, which you can't say about many stats. (It's still useful and interesting, though.)

Chad,

Doug, OPS is a crock. I am not statistician but adding averages? That doesn't make ANY mathematical sense what so ever. i.e. I have a 50% chance of guessing heads or tails on a coin flip. Well the next flip I have a 50% chance too. So if I add them together, I will have 100% chance of guessing right one time. We all know it don't work like that.

Serendipitoudly, the addition of two averages in this case works is exactly what makes OPS such a wonderful tool! OPS is an excellent approximation of runs created by a player. For more info on why this is so, check out this article from the Hardball Times. In it, they show that OPS is almost as effective as significantly more complicated stats at predicting runs scored.

The reason OPS is so good is the relative weights given to walks, singles, triples, and HRs closely matched those you would derive in a more thorough analysis of the game. The relative wieghts given to those stats in OPS is determined by ease of calculation based on previously used statistics. The fact that the weights work out the way they do is sheer good fortune.

Yup, if you give me one stat, i take OPS. Its fairly easy to calculate, has widespread use these days, and tells you a lot. Out of all the stats that satisfy the first two criteria, Nothing is that much better at the third criteria, and those that are marginally better are not well known nor easy to calculate.

ALL HAIL OPS!!!!!

Horatio, Pierre does have 45 SB (with a 72.6% SB success rate not that I can remember what the break even point is but it is around there) so has does have offensive value that OBP does not pick up. Of course I am hoping he is not resigned.

For a pitcher? OPS against, of course. :) I'd also consider K/BB and FIP for a hurler, but the latter may be too complicated and both are likely too obscure.

Are you trying to tell me that batters perform better with JP on base than with, say, Derrek Lee?

I think its pretty clear that JP is a much bigger destration on the basepaths than most other baserunners. A pitcher is going to put more concentration into holding him on base than he will with most other baserunners.

That clearly does give a advantage to a hitter. What isn't so clear is how significant that advantage is.

"That clearly does give a advantage to a hitter. What isn't so clear is how significant that advantage is."

If it is so clear why can't it be measured?

"I think it's pretty clear"

Well hey ho, case closed, eh, my friend?!?!?! The break even point for steals is 75%. So JP's precious little 72% success rate is a net negative and is hurting the team. Again, show me how JP's formidible presence on the basepaths does anything to help the Cubs. I don't want to hear about the "one time when he..." The plural of anecdote is not data. Give me numbers to show me that JP's wiry little ass standing on 1st is better for the than the average player out there. Because we've already shown that JP better off just staying right the heck there at 1st.

for the statheads, there's wonderful stat called GPA over at Hardball Times. Same as OPS basically except it gives a little effects:

Top 10 GPA in NL
Pujols
Cabrera
Beltran
Berkman
C. jones
N. Johnson
Soriano
Garciaparra
Bay
Howard

Top 10 OPS in NL
Pujols
Berkman
Beltran
Howard
Cabrera
C. Jones
Soriano
Holliday
Bay
N. Johnson

shuffling the deck chairs basically but nice to see something that factors in your park

I didn't say it couldn't be measured, but it is something with a large number of variables, from how much an individual pitcher will let it be a distraction, to how able an individual hitter will be able to capitalize on it.

However, one tangable way to look at it, with Juan Pierre on the basepaths you are far more likely to see a pitchout than you are with say ARam on the bases. The number of pitchouts isn't something that is generally kept as a stat, but everytime you have one, helps the batter by moving the count closer to his favor.

Cubs GPA
btw they divide it by 4 so it looks more like a batting average and the scale is the same

Barrett .305
Ramirez .297
Nevin .280 (as a Cub)
D. Lee .276
Theriot .273
Jones .271
Murton .266
Walker .258
Pagan .257
Blanco .250
Pierre .249
Bynum .240
Mabry .222
Perez .208
Cedeno .204
Izturis .200 (as a Cub)
Hairston .177
Restovich .168
Coats .000

BB, I agree with your point that it seems like having a fast runner on first is good, but if its importance is so minimal that it is drown out but other noise why wouldnít I would rather just have players who get on base more often.

Bleeding Blue,

You say that pitch-outs are more likely with a "base-stealer" on board (putting aside the fact that JP is no base-stealers). Fair enough. But did you consider batters taking pitches they might have swung at to let the runner steal the base? Plus, why are baserunners only distracting to the pitcher? After all, it's the batter's line of sight, not the pitcher's, they're streaking across.

In baseball, either a thing contributes to a team's scoring more (or less) runs, or it doesn't. If this increase (or decrease) can be measured, than such an effect exists. If it can't be measured, it does not exist.

Bottom line, either produce some proof that JP's mere presence on the bases raises everyone's game or please kindly stop bringing it up.

but if its importance is so minimal that it is drown out but other noise why wouldnít I would rather just have players who get on base more often.

I would rather have a guy that gets on base more often, and I never said otherwise.

But if you are going to give me two players with similar OBP, I'll much rather have the speedy guy than the slow guy, not only because he can be a destraction, but he's also more likely to score on a hit.

And those are "intangables" that make someone like Pierre worth a little bit more than you just get by looking at an OBP or OPS.

I do think that baserunning is one of those areas where stats don't (yet) do a very good job of telling the whole story. If you've actually watched Juan Pierre play this season you'll know that.

How many times has he caused a distracted pitcher to throw a wild pitch or a passed ball? How many times has he caused the other team to pitch out, thereby putting the batter in a more favorable count? How many times has he forced an infielder to make a hurried throw leading to an error that advances runners? How many times has he scored from 1st or 2nd in a situation where an average runner wouldn't have? Etc.

If it can't be measured, it does not exist.

Hoo-ray for Fantasy and Playstation baseball!

Obviously you want all your players to be fast. Fast is very useful. Fast goes from first to third. Fast can score from third on a shallow fly. No one here is dissing fast.

What we are dissing, however, is the Cubs tendency to value "fast" over "good."

Bleeding,

Yeah, see in baseball yeah have this annoying habit of counting runs. And then at the end of the season, they count up the wins too. Sucks. See, if something can't be measured, i.e. it does not translate into runs and wins, then nobody gives a good goddamn about it.

...in baseball WE have...

"But if you are going to give me two players with similar OBP, I'll much rather have the speedy guy than the slow guy, not only because he can be a destraction, but he's also more likely to score on a hit.

And those are "intangables" that make someone like Pierre worth a little bit more than you just get by looking at an OBP or OPS."

Agreed. Then the real questions are how much more should be pay for a player like Pierre because of his speed (IMO not much more) or how much OBP should we be willing to give up for additional speed.

"Basisically think of it as adding RBIs plus Runs (RpR) to give you a combinded "stat"."

I have been touting that stat for years but you must subtract home runs (cause you get a RBI and a run but only one goes on the board)

Shawn:

" In it, they show that OPS is almost as effective as significantly more complicated stats at predicting runs scored."

No, OPS will never predict anything. If you look back at at team and find that over the course of a season they put a lot of runners on hit many homers and doubles, well, sure, they will have probably scored a bunch of runs. HOWEVER, that means nothing for the future as you will not know what a team will do the next year. Stats only tell you what happened, not what will happen.

Ever.

Dave:

"LOL...Chad - you really don't understand what OPS is, do you?"

No I do. Next I will squish an apple and an orange together and call them an orple. Two unlike things, scaled differently, put together. Tom Cruises' MI3 made $100,000,000. Johnny Depp's Pirates made $200,000,000 put them in a movie together and it will make $300,000,000. (probably not)

Horatio:

"I love it when people talk about "believing" is stats. Do you "believe" that 2 + 2 = 4? Cause if you do, then guess what, you "believe" in stats too!!! Regardless of whether Chad's paltry intellect can grasp the approximation of convenience that is OPS, the FACT of the matter is that it (as a team stat) correlates better to runs scored (by a team) than does BA, OBP alone, or SLG alone, BA being the least correlative of the four. This fact is a fact. This fact is not my "opinion," nor is this fact subject to Chad's or Manny's "opinion." It is mathematical fact."

WOW! So like I said before, if you put men on base and hit many homers and doubles you'll score a lot of runs? WOW! That Bill James is a fucking genius, I tell you, a genius.

Of course small brained guys like me just can't seem to understand this. I still swear that my team with 9 neifi perez's can compete in this league!!!!

What we are dissing, however, is the Cubs tendency to value "fast" over "good."

If that's what you're arguing fine, but I haven't said anything even resembling that in my posts.

My point is simple. There are things that do not, or do not easily, show up in statistics. Stats are good, stats tell you alot, but they don't tell you everything.

How do you measure the number of times a player like Pierre will reach an extra base that a slower player would not?

You could make the same arguements with defense. Is DLee only as good as his Fielding Percentage? How do you measure the number of balls he catches that would be errors with many other people playing 1st?

How do you measure the number of baserunners who will take an extra base because of an outfielders below average arm?

Unfortantly for you, there are many many things that can not be measured that have an impact on runs and wins.

If you want to dismiss them, then you can create a very fine computer game, but there is a reason they haven't yet figured out a way to get rid of the players and just play the games on playstation. There are simply too many variables that don't fall neatly into the many categories of commonly kept statistics.

To all:

I'll admit that my "meta-stat" definition in post #53 was stupid. What I was really trying to say is that traditional rate and counting stats were OK, but that stats built off of calculations using a rate or counting stat was not OK. OPS technically qualifies as it is the sum of two rate stats (and an arbitrary sum nontheless).

I am intrigued by Doug Dascenzo's counting-stat of walks. Something I always look at when thinking about players who might have a break-out season is to see if their walk rate increases. That and whether isolated slugging percentage has increased. Incidentally, I think both of those (walks and Isolated Slugging % against) are good indicators as to whether a pitcher has improved.

The problem with counting runs, curb, is that it is heavily dependent upon batting position and what the players around the player do. So it would be hard to build a team by looking only at runs.

As for derived stats,the "Runs Created Above Average" that Lee Sinns, (creater of the sabermetric baseball encyclopedia, www.baseball-encyclopedia.com) on his email list is always interesting. I don't like a lot of aspects to the stat (comparing anything to an "average" is hard enough, but particularly when teams don't play the same schedule. But RCAA is interesting because it shows Ronnie Cedeno as being the worst offensive player in baseball this season, by far. And the Cubs in a race with KC for the worst offense. At one time this season, I believe it showed that Barrett was the only player who was producing "above average" for the club. Despite the stat's flaws, it is a stinging indictment of the job Hendry, Baker and McPhail did this year.

What we are dissing, however, is the Cubs tendency to value "fast" over "good."

If that's what you're arguing fine, but I haven't said anything even resembling that in my posts.

My point is simple. There are things that do not, or do not easily, show up in statistics. Stats are good, stats tell you alot, but they don't tell you everything.

How do you measure the number of times a player like Pierre will reach an extra base that a slower player would not?

You could make the same arguements with defense. Is DLee only as good as his Fielding Percentage? How do you measure the number of balls he catches that would be errors with many other people playing 1st?

How do you measure the number of baserunners who will take an extra base because of an outfielders below average arm?

Unfortantly for you, there are many many things that can not be measured that have an impact on runs and wins.

If you want to dismiss them, then you can create a very fine computer game, but there is a reason they haven't yet figured out a way to get rid of the players and just play the games on playstation. There are simply too many variables that don't fall neatly into the many categories of commonly kept statistics.

Vorare:

"How many times has he caused a distracted pitcher to throw a wild pitch or a passed ball? How many times has he caused the other team to pitch out, thereby putting the batter in a more favorable count? How many times has he forced an infielder to make a hurried throw leading to an error that advances runners? How many times has he scored from 1st or 2nd in a situation where an average runner wouldn't have? Etc."

This is one of the biggest points of why sabremetrics is bullshit. It totally discounts the mental part of the game. It discounts pressure, fatigue, experience, knowledge of a player, anything that doesn't have a number.

"#99 of 104: By Bleeding Blue (August 29, 2006 04:36 PM)
If it can't be measured, it does not exist.

Hoo-ray for Fantasy and Playstation baseball!"

More like Horray for Sabremetrics.

Sabreheads are baseball's atheists. I personally subscribe to the Church of Baseball.

Sorry for the double, its been awhile since I've had one of those.

"Stats are good, stats tell you alot, but they don't tell you everything."

That is almost word for word a quote from Johnny Bench:

"Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything.""

This is one of the biggest points of why sabremetrics is bullshit. It totally discounts the mental part of the game. It discounts pressure, fatigue, experience, knowledge of a player, anything that doesn't have a number.

Stats don't account for these things, absolutely right.

But it is equally foolish to dismiss stats because they don't factor in everything, as it is to say that everything in baseball can be measured with stats.

Here are a few articles about the "intangibles" about base-stealers

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/bas...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/bas...

You may all now freak out one way or the other

Chad:

There's a happy middle ground between sabremetrics being bullshit and being the be all and end all of baseball knowledge. I think they can be very useful for measuring a players abilities as far as where/how to play them and how much to pay them. But I also agree that there are players who are worth more than their stats suggest--Pierre and Izturis are a couple good examples (note: I'm not saying I necessarily like them being Cubs, just that they get a bad rap from statheads).

How do you measure the number of times a player like Pierre will reach an extra base that a slower player would not?

He would have a higher OBP. If it's still not very high, well then I guess his being fast still doesn't push him into "good player" territory.

You could make the same arguements with defense. Is DLee only as good as his Fielding Percentage? How do you measure the number of balls he catches that would be errors with many other people playing 1st?

Defensive statistics are notoriously hard to calculate. Although they are out there. It's pretty well established however that flg % measures jack squat.

How do you measure the number of baserunners who will take an extra base because of an outfielders below average arm?

The extra base will show up in the team .SLG against. But you have to remember this is like Bush turning off the lights at the White House cause he wants to save money on the federal budget. It ain't just drops in a bucket, it's molecules.

Unfortantly for you, there are many many things that can not be measured that have an impact on runs and wins.

And unfortunately for the baseball teams that pay a lot of money for those many many things, it would do a goddamn thing to help them reach the playoffs. All that money for nothing.

If you want to dismiss them, then you can create a very fine computer game, but there is a reason they haven't yet figured out a way to get rid of the players and just play the games on playstation. There are simply too many variables that don't fall neatly into the many categories of commonly kept statistics.

Like I said before, OPS correlates VERY VERY VERY well to runs scored, which, as you might imagine, correlates VERY VERY VERY REALLY EXTREMELY well to wins, which, at the end of the day, is the only thing that f%*#ing matters.

So you go build you baseball team on speed, and hustle, and how asses look in uniform trousers, and me and the Mets and Yankees and A's and Red Sox and White Sox and Cardinals and Marlins build our teams around guys with high OPS numbers. I guess we'll have to see who ends up with the most wins. Which, you know, are how they decide who goes to the playoffs.

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please"

- Mark Twain

Just felt fitting for this thread

Unfortantly for you, there are many many things that can not be measured that have an impact on runs and wins.

Wait, I just read this again. How on earth can something "impact" runs and wins (I imagine you mean "make more of them"), but not be detectable?? And how has this fact eluded the literally thousands of Ph.D's who have studied baseball stats over the past 15 years. What do you know that they don't. Please, Bleeding Blue, for the good of the game, reveal your secrets!!!!

OPS is a role stat.

its also meaningless cuz its bulk of worth is the addition of 2 VERY different things...one of which can be directly influenced by triples of all things, something which most people youre guaging slugging by dont even matter at all.

check out rickey henderson's .780 OPS 1982 year...im not too sure you'll find too many that wouldn't call that a successful season...some consider it one of his best ever.

"its also meaningless"

well, meaningless on its own without placing the hitter's role vs. expectations vs. what his ob% and slugging actually is.

If we were talking about the applying John Rawls's theory of justice to our society, or trying to define love, then, yes, I would wholeheartedly agree that "intangibles" or the "mental part" would matter.

But we're not doing that. The purpose of a baseball game is, at the end of the game, to have more runs than the other team. And to do that enough times over 162 games to make the playoffs, where you need to win 4 out of 7 three times in a row.

Since the whole purpose of the game is "counting" and is ultimately expressed by "counting", statistics can be the Alpha and Omega of this endeavor.

If they matter, factors like toughness, grit, experience, knowledge, HGH, pressure, fatigue, greenies, injury...all of them will be reflected in some way in the numbers. Some of those qualities will be easy to detect, others impossible. Stats cannot explain why, at 48 years old, Julio Franco is still in the game, but they can show us that he is, indeed, still a useful player to have around.

check out rickey henderson's .780 OPS 1982 year...im not too sure you'll find too many that wouldn't call that a successful season...some consider it one of his best ever.

And those people would be idiots.

horatio...your allegence to OPS is blinding reality.

you're calling someone who thinks .398 ob% with 24 doubles, 10 homers, and 130sb is good an idiot.

i think you should rethink that one.


And those people would be idiots.

Agreed. He had many seasons better than 82.

'80
'81
'83
'84
'85
'86
'88
'90
'91
'92
'93

OPS is a decent enough barometer, sure. A nice quick and dirty method to see how players are doing. The fact that is says OBP and SLG are equal makes it far from perfect and yeah where you play on the diamond still means something.

And Rickey Henderson says 1990 was Rickey's best year.

best or not...you cant dismiss that 82 year...not even close...not even under multiple aliases.

OPS is not a be-all stat and its severely flawed for gauging leadoff men.

would YOU want rickey henderson when he was that young/fast on 2nd base for your team 120+ times a year?

I'll take 1990 Ricky Henderson (.325/.439/.577, 28 HRs, 65 steals and 10 caught-stealings) over 1982 Ricky Henderson any day. But crunch's point is right, Henderson was a valuable player to have in 1982 despite what could, at best, be regarded as only a "fair" OPS.

Henderson's success rate in 1982, even with 130 SB's was just a hair above 75%...which is the break even point for the SB to have any impact on a team's expected run total.

Of course, since Henderson's career success rate was 80%, 1982 was one of his down years SB wise.

So, not only was 1982 a down year with the bat, it was one on the basepaths as well. 1990 was one of Rickey's best years, with a WARP of 12.3, an OBP of .439, and an 86%(!!!) success rate for SBs. Boy, that Chad sure knows his stuff.

Crunch -
Yes, Rickey's numbers in 1982 are good. OPS doesn't tell you the whole story on that, because it is 1 stat.

This whole argument started because we wanted to see what ONE stat is the most useful when taken by ITSELF. It's really hard to argue against OPS, because it takes into account the two most important things a hitter can do - get on base, and hit for power. Sure, there are other important things, but none of them are as important as those two.

Deciding stats are worthless because you can't find one that tells you absolutely everything is ridiculous. You need to take many stats into consideration to get the whole picture on a ballplayer, but if you had to pick just one, OPS is a pretty good place to start.

hold on...

there are people here who think henderson's 82 year sucked...and horatio even wants to defend his view of it sucking?

horatio, youre never wrong...so well...you're never gonna change from that view...but there's others?

im not trying to be in the 1-stat arguement...im just saying its a crappy thing to guage some players on.

.398 ob% from a leadoff man who can go 1st/3rd - 2nd/home with very little effort...sign me up.

horatio...your allegence to OPS is blinding reality.

What part of "OPS correlates extremely well to runs scored" don't you guys understand??? Are you trying to sound dumb?

it shall be noted that Ricky was successful 75% of the time in 1982 trying to steal bases and the A's were 68-94 that year for 5th in their division. Might as well run rampant when your team sucks.

But hey, they had a good leadoff man, no doubt.

Ricky's 1982 season is an interesting one to look at because of the sheer extreme nature of his stolen bases. 130 times out of the 249 times (H+BB-HR) that year Ricky got on base, he got an extra base. He took himself off the bases (caught stealing) 42 times. That impacts a game in a way that OBP, SLG and OPS do not look at.

I would say that the value of Ricky's extra contribution that year would show up in the stats of the players batting around him and in overall runs scored. This is why advanced stats like Runs Created and WARP exist.


there are people here who think henderson's 82 year sucked...and horatio even wants to defend his view of it sucking?

I don't think anyone has said that Rickey's '82 season sucked. It just wasn't as good as several other seasons he had.

82 oakland had one of the worst pitching staffs to pull a full year in the bigs...they did have armas and dwayne muphey, though.

1982 Rickey was a very good year for virtually any baseball player. However, Rickey is not just any baseball player. The question was "is 1982 Rickey Henderson's best (or even one of his best) year?" and the answer to that question is a resounding and unequivocal NO.

yeah, im just pulling the one of his best, blah blah outta the chatter...1990 was his best, but that 130sb did throw a lotta people for a loop.

its nto just doing it...but it the fact he was in position to score whether he did or not a whole lot.

dude was always a single or double away from scoring almost every time he was on base. that's a hell of a tool to have around.

it also meant NO pitcher dared to throw many offspeed pitches they couldnt control, many changeups, and no one could slack it and just pitch outta the stretch...unless they wanted to give rickey a base.

"and no one could slack it and just pitch outta the stretch"

...and not pitch outta...blah blah blah

I was kidding about the '82 A's, it seems some people seem to think the key to all baseball success is a good leadoff man. He's just one of nine though, no more important than the others.

One of the stats that considers SB and CS in its calculation is "Runs Created," which is a Bill James invention. It is interesting to note that OPS, in all of its crudity of convenience (slapping two distinct stats together with no thought towards weighting them), corelates to runs scored just a few hundredths of a point less than Runs Created, which of all stats, has the highest correlation. So maybe, just maybe, stolen bases just don't really end up meaning all that much. I know a lot of people really want to believe that they impact the game in ways so fundamental that they cannot be measured (WTF!), but isn't it more logical to conclude that perhaps they don't matter as much as was once thought?? After all, you've got to be a damn good basestealer even to have the smallest offensive impact on a team. Remember, the only value that a basestealer contributes are those bases OVER the 75% break even level.

yeah, all im trying to point out...which i hope isnt lost in all this...is that OPS isnt a universal stat and especially for leadoff men.

a well-above-average speed heavy leadoff man can do so much beyond his stats...as long as he's on base he does things to the game's defensive setup and the pitcher's arsenal that dont show up in OPS. some may think its minor, but if a pitcher has to deal with a 23 year old rickey henderson on base (and not on 3rd) for 10-20 pitches of a game, he's not gonna get to use his full on arsenal unless he wants to chance losing a base to rickey.

Crunch,

Are you purposely ignoring the fact that Rickey's SB% was only 75%. The number 130 is really big and everything, but so is the number 42. Those are the times he got on base and was promptly thrown out. So, over the course of the season, the A's would have been just as well off to have him stand on first the whole time. Actually, since a lot of those steals were probably of third, I'm probably simplifying things, but the fact remains that the out generated by a CS is about 3 times worse than the extra offense generated by the SB. Unless you exceed that, even if you steal 1000 bases but get caught 333 times, you're better off saving your breath. Now why can't you understand this??

you're obsessed with 75%...

are you missing that he was on 2nd base 120+ times and can run 2nd to home on a single that gets past the IF'rs more often than not?

guy had a .398%...he's can also do something with that .398%...he was the fastest guy on the basepaths. OPS will treat john olerud like rickey henderson and i cant really do that knowing what rickey was doing with his .398 OPS...i could care less if he happened to get the few extra triples to make him a .800+ OPS guy.

"what rickey was doing with his .398 OPS"

what rickey was doing with his .398 OB%...

seriously, i'll learn to proofread or slow down typing one day.

you're obsessed with 75%...

Because it happens to be, ummm, true.

crunch,

I don't think OPS is perfect. However, there aren't many baseball stats that cover everything OPS covers AND cover baserunning and defense effetively, as well. There may be none, actually. Given the absence of something that does a good job of measuing all 3 facets of position players, i'd just as soon go with OPS becauase of its simplicity and relatively widespread use.

That being said, its not perfect and clearly doesn't even consider baserunning and defense. And only a fool would look choose to look at OPS by itself. However, if i don't have a choice and am only allowed one stat, OPS it is...

yeah, shawn...im not trying to get into the whole 1-stat thing...sorry for the confusion...

im just throwing my 2 cents in on the whole OPS thing cuz its exclusionary to some role players.

btw...henderson's actual steal #s put him on base 118 times not 120+ times...tracked down his steals from that year.

dunno if a balk ever put him on 2nd, though...heh

btw, he stole home twice.

No I do. Next I will squish an apple and an orange together and call them an orple. Two unlike things, scaled differently, put together. Tom Cruises' MI3 made $100,000,000. Johnny Depp's Pirates made $200,000,000 put them in a movie together and it will make $300,000,000. (probably not)

Damn Chad, these analogies don't even make sense. That is two you have put up that mean gibberish. The whole point of giving another example is to make it more clear not cloud it even more.

Horatio - By the way, MIKEC, you were making sense until that crack about Juan Pierre doing "the little things." What exactly are those "little things?" Would you please elaborate? Look up for me, if you care to, the OPS of batters while JP is on base and compare it to the OPS of batters while any batter is on base. Are you trying to tell me that batters perform better with JP on base than with, say, Derrek Lee? Matt Murton? Carlos Zambrano? Could it be that when you say "little things," are you speaking of things so little they cannot be observed, measured, or otherwise felt??

I had you at hello? Anyways Tom Cruise, the majority of people who watch Juan Pierre see those little things that changes the game. If you just say screw it he sucks, then no convincing will ever change your mind.

But players like Pierre can frustrate pitchers and defense. The pitcher is trying to make the pitch to get him out and he keeps fouling it off. The defense doesn't know if he is going to swing or bunt on the next play. Once on base the pitcher usually pitches out the stretch. The pitcher is worried about whether he will steal or not next. This usually results in the pitcher throwing a fastball at key moments he thinks Pierre will run in order to give his catcher a chance to throw him out.

An example of this was on display recently as Pierre stole second, the pitcher was then so worried about him stealing third that, out of the stretch, he threw a wild pitch on the next pitch letting Pierre advance to third. I think he was eventually knocked in on a sac fly.

I am not going to throw out OPS of the hitters behind him as a statistiical fact that the #2 hitter hits better with Juan Pierre on. That is simply impossible to judge whether that is the talent of the player, a good hot streak, or whatever. But what we do know is that with Juan Pierre at 1b, pitchers pitch out of the stretch, and they may tend to rely more on the fastball in those situations. Good fastball hitters (Good #2 hitters in general) should be able to take advantage of those situations. But under the Dusty Baker regime we rarely see good #2 hitters who can take advantage of that. Todd Walker is the only real #2 hitter this team has had in the last 3ish years.

But wait I will use Dusty as part of my defense. This could be the kiss of death but oh well. When we had Alex Gonzalez he said in the press the reason he wants him hitting #2 is that Gonzalez can take advantage of fastballs being thrown to him in that spot in the lineup. Gonzalez was labeled as a pretty good dead fastball hitter. But he wasn't a good hitter overall. The assumption on Dusty's part was that if you take a .250 hitter who hits #7 and you put him in the #2 slot he will somehow be better. And if you look at most of his #2 hitters since he has used much the same philosophy. That and they need to be speedy and such. The one thing Dusty dismisses is, if your a lousy hitter, changing you from the bottom of the order to the #2 slot doesn't make you one single bit better.

"He's just one of nine though, no more important than the others."

Fine Rob, lets bat the pitcher first.

And I don't care what anybody says, lineup construction matters. The reason that numbers seem to show otherwise, its that they have no actual figures to compare. We have never seen a team bat weakest to strongest in the history of baseball so any study otherwise is hypothetical.

im just throwing my 2 cents in on the whole OPS thing cuz its exclusionary to some role players.

Yeah, OPS isn't perfect. The speed demons really get the shaft.

Jose Reyes is having a fantastic year but has a good .839 OPS. Not spectacular but good.

The you look over the core of his numbers and you see. .298 BA, .351 OBP, 15 HR, 24 2b, 15 3b, 66 RBI, 107 runs, 54 SB.

Across the board he is just amazing. Like I have said OPS is a tool to be used along with the rest of the stats. Its not the end all defining one. In fact no stat is no matter how much Baseball Prospectus tries.

Travis Hafner Prospectus?

Fine Rob, lets bat the pitcher first.
And I don't care what anybody says, lineup construction matters.

Way to take a leap from what I said....

So you go build you baseball team on speed, and hustle, and how asses look in uniform trousers, and me and the Mets and Yankees and A's and Red Sox and White Sox and Cardinals and Marlins build our teams around guys with high OPS numbers. I guess we'll have to see who ends up with the most wins.

Can you please tell me where I ever said anything remotely close to "OPS is bad?"

How do you measure the number of baserunners who will take an extra base because of an outfielders below average arm? The extra base will show up in the team .SLG against.

It will show up when a batter takes an extra base, but how do you measure it when a baserunner scores on a play that a slower runner would not have?

How on earth can something "impact" runs and wins (I imagine you mean "make more of them"), but not be detectable??

I said they aren't measured with statistics, I didn't say they aren't detectable. They are very detectable, but you have to watch the games to see them, because they don't show up in score sheet.

Theoretically, sure you could create a stat for everything, but until the typical 5-3 groundout is recorded as "routine groundball, fielded cleanly, but thrown wildly, and out recorded after a extremely difficult catch by the 1st baseman" or a 4-6 fielders choice becomes recorded as "routine double play ball bobbled by 2nd baseman, force out recorded at second base, but batter safe at first, allowing runner on third to score." until those things happen, there will be millions of detectable facets of a baseball game that are not "Measurable" with statistics.

Let's be realistic, here, though.

Ricky's 1982 was only possible because Oaklands shortstops that year, Fred Stanley and Jim Sexton, batted in the 9th slot and had OBPs of .287 and .289 between them, therefore "unclogging" the bases for Ricky for do Ricky's thing.

Had the A's played that young rookie called Tony Phillips (career OBP .374) at short and put him in the 9-hole, then Ricky wouldn't have been able to run free and lead his team to 68 victories like Ricky did in 1982.

but how about the impact of the people who bat behind rickey's .398 ob% + speed?

Horatio:

"So, over the course of the season, the A's would have been just as well off to have him stand on first the whole time."

You can't know that. In order to know that you would have to compare the number of times he would have scored with out stealing vs. the number of times he only scored cause he stole. then compare that to the times he made an out vs. the times he wouldn't have scored anyway whether he stole or not.

All hypothetical.

MikeC,

Let's face it. What's happening here is that you WANT TO BELIEVE that JP's speedy presence on first "disrupts" things more than an average player standing on first would "disrupt" things. You have no proof, no data, no numbers to back up this assertion, just a enthusiastic BELIEF that JP is better than a guy who simply gets on base a lot.

Note that I don't say that runners on base has no effect. No way! Far from it! What I AM saying, however, is that just because it's Juan Pierre standing there on first, as opposed to some other guy, doesn't meaningfully impact the effect. That is to say, we might as well get a guy who just gets on base more often and we'd be much better off.

By the way, don't tell me that "no convincing will change my mind" when you have not made even the slightest attempt to convince me. Relating things that "seem" right, or telling me about this game you saw the other day is not the same as making an intelligent argument as to why something helps a team score runs.

How do you measure the number of baserunners who will take an extra base because of an outfielders below average arm?

This sort of thing, which is the real way to get at baserunning and defense, requires breaking plays up into their individual components. In other words, instead of a play being "Lee singled to RF, Ramirez to 3rd" it needs to be "D.Lee hit a ball in strike zone area 9285 to field grid point 432808, ball was fielded on the ground by X.Nady at field grid point 229107, A.Ramirez advances to 2nd base uncontested, A.Ramirez attempts to advance to 3rd base, safe on throw from X. Nady to J.Bautista."

The A's did break things down that way and realized baserunning and defense aren't as important as hitting when evaluating position players. (We aren't far from the day when we'll be able to break things down this way for casual fans). When Oakland did this, they realized that the things that were most important in winning ballgames were getting on base and hitting for power. In other words, the things OPS measures are what matters most.

That's not to say the other things don't matter - they certainly do. Even the A's have been focusing more on baserunning on defense due to financial considerations (other teams have caught on and OBP and SLG although they are still very important in winning games, they are no longer undervalued in the market like they were when the A's first discovered their importance). The bottom line is if one has unlimited resources and is only going to look at a few mainstream stats, OBP and SLG will give you a good evaluation of over 90% of the value of over 90% of the players. And if you're limited to one stat, OPS will do the same thing. That's damn good - much better than one would expect...

Look at the big brain on Chad!!! Whaddya know, some number crunching by my main man. What was that equation again? Number of times he scored because hs stole minus number of times he didn't score because he didn't steal divided by the number of times a bird shit on the Oakland Colliseum scoreboard...blah blah blah...

Don't sit there and try to dismiss the immutable truth of mathematics and then, as your "evidence," come at me with some half-baked, cockamamie theory about how shit happens.

But of course it's all hypothetical. We're not guaranteeing the future, just trying to predict it. How do the Indians score 60+ more runs than they allow and STILL be 8 games under .500??? It almost defies belief. But these things happen. That doesn't mean you all on a sudden dismiss the historical and repeatable connection between run differential and winning percentage. And just because Henderson might have scored a few times more than he should have, doesn't mean that you just forget the fact that the expected runs gained by the SB is only a third of the expected runs lost by a CS.

Actually not hypothetical. Use the Expected Run Matrix, that's where the 75% "rule of thumb success rate" for a steal tends to come from, more or less. But the matrix is most useful for determining the appropriate context for a steal.

In 2005, when there is a runner on first, teams on average score .8968 runs that inning. When he steals second (runner on second, no out), teams on averaged score 1.1385 runs. This is because the steal increases not only the runner's chance of scoring, but it takes away the double play that increases the chance of someone else scoring later in the inning wholly unrelelated to the runner and the current batter.

Interestingly, if you can do it, stealing from second to third with 0 or 1 outs has a much larger impact than any steal of second. The impact is significant, the change generates .3-.4 more runs per inning, which is twice what any steal of second does.

Good point about the steal of third thing. You don't have to be nearly as successful going from 2nd to 3rd as you do going from 1st to 2nd. I wonder whether any of the meta-stats takes into account the different bases in their SB and CS components.

Horatio wrote:

I wonder whether any of the meta-stats takes into account the different bases in their SB and CS components.
----

I don't think they do, but they should.

Of course, stealing third with 2 outs...well, it's a dumb move that even Dusty Baker's son knows, and it barely nudges the Expected Runs (from .35 runs to .37 runs), as is to be expected.

But you can probably account for all steals of third with two outs simply by excluding games in which Wavin' Wendell Kim was the third base coach.

"You have no proof, no data, no numbers to back up this assertion, just a enthusiastic BELIEF that JP is better than a guy who simply gets on base a lot."

There is proof, ask any major leaguer who will tell you that it matters.

Next, I don't argue with math. His dispassionate allegiance to logic always trumps all. I argue with what you think that math means. How math is applied is debatable. And you have no numbers to back up your assertion that the As were better off with Henderson not stealing.

Horatio, my friend, you are a mean person. Whether you are right or wrong, is not the point. The point is that you feel a need to "act out" in front of people you don't know in order to gain their approval. But you go about it all wrong. You are afraid these people won't like you, so you end up acting in a way that guarantees that they won't like you. And when people end up calling your bluff, you sit confused wondering why people don't like you even though you know so much.

Your problem is likely caused by a "know-it"all" father who could never admit when he was wrong and would never acknowledge when you were right. Because of this, you spend all of your time trying to impress others and your fondest wish is to get them to acknowledge that you are right. But people will never acknowledge that you are right because they are too busy trying to deal with what a big jerk you are.

Try some affirmations. Maybe, "I'm smart, I'm friendly, and people like me." That should help.

I could give a shit if anyone on this board likes me, not a little because I'm just typed words and not really a person.

What I do care about, however, is excising wilfull ignorance from the world. And I will continue to try.

And my father is an extremely sensitive guy, who cries at weddings and always admitted when he was wrong. The best part? He finally got religion on OPS. What can I say, the guy's amazing.

OPS...i'd hit it.

i'd mount it up and ride it til it was raw, buddy.

oh yeah...you better believe it. i'd be all up in that OPS giving it to it like it never knew it could be. yeah.

Let's face it. What's happening here is that you WANT TO BELIEVE that JP's speedy presence on first "disrupts" things more than an average player standing on first would "disrupt" things. You have no proof, no data, no numbers to back up this assertion, just a enthusiastic BELIEF that JP is better than a guy who simply gets on base a lot.

Its obvious you dont believe in anything unless there is a stat to back it up.

Now lets address what is in bold. Please show me the quote where I stated that Juan Pierre just because of his speed is better than a guy who is pure OBP? Cuz right now I am calling you a liar.

I was just addressing what Juan Pierre does that doesn't show up in OPS. I understand the flow of the conversation may be hard for you to understand, but please get your basic facts about me correct before you start becoming a smart ass. Yes you are being scolded by me in case you missed it. I don't want you falling behind the bell curve again.

But since this is just my belief and its all bullshit according to you now is your time to back up your claim with stats. Prove to us Juan Pierre doesn't help his team. I want statistical facts. Not your opinion. I want to see undeniable proof that Pierre doesn't make a pitcher nervous when he is on 1b and forces him to throw fastballs. Show me in stats where that is true. Stuff like that.

You have no problem calling out other people. So now is the time for you to prove your "belief" since you already disproved mine based on nothing more than your "belief." And don't be a pussy and say, "Well since you didn't back up yours with stats, I am not gonna do it for mine." I have already stated the reasons why I cant do that because stats don't measure that. You on the other hand have used the crutch of stats to defend your position and now is your time to prove it.

Good luck, you will most likely blow me off and ignore it. Then I will just know you are a blow hard troll with no purpose but to disrupt this community.

You're wrong, Horatio. You are not just typed words. You are a person. A person who desperately needs approval and can't begin to admit it.

Your comment about wanting to excise "wilfull ignorance from the world," while sounding admirable, is simply a plea for people to value you. But as I said, it falls on deaf ears because you try to ram your knowledge down people's throats.

Your father may cry at weddings, or he may be crying because of his horrible, heartbreaking disappointment in you. And he will likely keep crying until you realize that your purpose in life isn't to always be right, but instead to be happy. Excising ignorance in the world isn't your quest, my friend. Excising your own ignorance is.

You're wrong, Horatio. You are not just typed words. You are a person. A person who desperately needs approval and can't begin to admit it.

Your comment about wanting to excise "wilfull ignorance from the world," while sounding admirable, is simply a plea for people to value you. But as I said, it falls on deaf ears because you try to ram your knowledge down people's throats.

Your father may cry at weddings, or he may be crying because of his horrible, heartbreaking disappointment in you. And he will likely keep crying until you realize that your purpose in life isn't to always be right, but instead to be happy. Excising ignorance in the world isn't your quest, my friend. Excising your own ignorance is.

Mike C,

If you want stats, scroll up this thread and look at comment #112. Then go to the websites and read the articles. That should give you some idea of what I'm talking about.

Other ways JP doesn't help/does hurt the Cubs:

1) noodle arm
2) no power
3) OBP below league average for CF

Then again,

I asked you first.

Horatio, since you are the one living in a playstation universe where the only things that matter are the ones that show up on a stat sheet, then it should be very easy for you to prove your theory an agressive baserunner can has no ability to impact or distract a pitcher. You raised the issue, so prove how we are all so wrong with these statistics that will supposedly prove you right.

Answer that question before you continue accusing everyone else of not beliving in OBP or OPS or any other stats because they also recognize that there are intangables you can't find on a stat sheet.

That said, I still want to know how you quanitfy in stats when you get a baserunner who uses his speed to take an extra base, or when you get a routine double play ball that is bobble and only one out is recorded. Neither of those things are measured so according to your theory, they don't matter or have an impact on a game.

BTW - Horatio, did you actually read the articles you cited about base stealing intangables?

The author concluded that top base stealers did in fact cause a small amount of disruption leading to more runs being scored, althought the effect was quite small.

Which is exactly what I said in the very beginning! My exact words: That clearly does give a advantage to a hitter. What isn't so clear is how significant that advantage is.

Sorry H, but you've been damned by your own evidence.

An example of fallacious logic:

A makes claim X.
There is something objectionable about A.
Therefore claim X is false.

There is really no reason to make personal insults when talking about a sports team. I read this website occasionally, but I don't usually post. Maybe you guys are having fun, and I don't want to tell you how to live your lives, but the website is much more interesting when it is about the Cubs and not about the intelligence or family members of people making posts.

Calm Down-
Good Luck! With some of the posters involved in this argument, it seems to happen all the time, but they SPIN it to blame others. Some of the posters like to be a bully to other posters while others seem to have a vendetta against other posters and they will just keep going. TCR at its best...WOO!!

I am looking for stats Horatio. Not secret formulas based off another guys secret formula. Its all pretty shady because they are trying to use math to bend it to whatever they want it to be.

Besides his entire research is based off one simple flaw. RC/27. Because RC/27 is defined as....

A stat created by Bill James to measure how many runs a lineup of 9 of the same individual would score in a game.

I have never found much use for this stat. Maybe you do. But I dont. How many teams field a lineup of 9 identical players? How in the hell does RC/27 account for every other person in the lineup and their tendancies?

This stats whole purpose is to find...

An estimate of how many runs a player is above the ever so elusive "replacement level" (that is, a level of performance at which a player can easily be found at little or no cost to a team). For these posts, replacement level is estimated at 30 points
of OBP and 30 points of SLG below the average
for each position

It's never meant to actually predict runs a team might generate. Or even a player in certain situations. Which is exactly what that 2 page article is trying to do. It's trying to turn a prediction into fact.

If you go back and look at the bare bones numbers he came up with and, I think, on every instance he showed how a SB threat helped improved the next hitters BA as compared to just a normal runner. Hitting .300 with a SB threat or hitting .282 with just a normal runer? That's an .18 point boost in BA. But I even call much of that into suspect.

He might have something with his bare boned numbers, but he clearly had an agenda. In fact he doesn't even use the proper RC/27.

This is Bill James version...

A = H + BB + HB - CS - GDP
B = TB + .52 * (SB + SH + SF) + .26 * (BB + HB - IBB)
C = AB + BB + HB + SH + SF

RC = A * B / C
O = AB - H + CS + GDP + SH + SF
RC/27 = RC / O * 27

This is Hardball times version...

Runs Created: OBP * TB.

Yeah, something might be missing in their math. I hate math, but I know one isn't exactly like the other.

I don't believe in much of what Bill James says. He tries to take what can't possibly be known and turn it into a stat and then use that stat to explain everything else away. Much like you Horatio.

I want facts dude, not predictors, not formulas, facts. You have not provided them and you never will. Show me how Juan Pierre is no different from Michael Barrett at 1b. How can anyone possibly account for that in stats? How do you account for the tendancies and talent levels of the player hitting behind Pierre? How do you account for a player simply having a bad year behind a player like Pierre? Or a career year? How do you figure out Pierre has no benefit what so ever base on a million different variables and then put it into a stat? How do you define that into a number?

I know I can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt Pierre is a great benefit on offense. It's impossible. All I know is I watch him every game and he does alot of the little things in the game that don't show up in the box score. But how do I account that he causes this pitcher to throw a wild pitch at that moment in time? Would the pitcher have thrown a wild pitch if Pierre was never on 1b? How do I give credit to Pierre for distracting a pitcher when he gives up a HR to the next hitter? Maybe the pitcher just made a bad pitch, Maybe the hitter fought off a very good pitch for the strike. How do you pick and choose which hit fell because of "distraction" and which didn't?

You can guess by watching games when these situations occur. But that is all anyone can do. You can notice a trend when a certain player is on base compared to other players by simple observation.

Now some will argue clutch doesn't exist. To me clutch is a little better to lay out into stats but even then it can get very murky. The point is when David Eckstein steps to the plate, you get the feeling this is going to be a bitch. Especially if the game is tight. You do not want that little midget stepping to the plate in a close game. He will foul off pitches all day till he finds something good and gets a base hit. You know it doesn't happen all the time but for some reason he always seems to do it. Neifi Perez steps to the plate and you get the impending sense of doom.

My feeling with Juan Pierre at the plate and when he is on base is that anything can happen. Something good always seems to happen in key situations with Pierre. You can't nail it down in stats but you know you want this guy on base in a close game as opposed to Michael Barrett or Phil Nevin. Because Pierre can make things happen where others can't.

Damn I wrote a book. Much of which Horatio you will call bullshit and dismiss.

In the end your belief doesn't trump mine. No matter how much you scream it to be so.

Fuck off Manny. The grown ups are having a discussion.

talk about vendettas, christ.

Bleeding,

I never said the things you mention have NO effect, just that they have such a comparatively LITTLE effect as to enable one to safely ignore them. Which was the conclusion reached by the article: that basestealing is basically a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Heck, maybe we're just loudly agreeing with each other here. My only question would be if we agree that the impact is practically negligible, then can we stop talking about it please? Can we stop orgasming collectively over these "speedy" dudes with absolutely no bat?

By the way, many of those instances of taking an extra base would be captured by the Slugging Avg. or the OBP depending on the situation (you did know that, right?). And if the occasional "little thing" is left behind, pardon me if I don't lose any sleep over it. Crude, slapped-together OPS (just OBP plus SLG), across all of baseball history, has over a 95% correlation to runs scored, which, I think we'd all agree, is the only thing that matters in an offense. (This means, if I've lost anyone here, that the higher the OPS of your players, the more runs your team will score.) If you want to spend your precious time kvetching about how to squeeze a few more points of accuracy to the metric, then be my guest, although let me introduce you first to Mr. Diminishing Returns. Bill James spent many years formulating Runs Created (complete with SB and CS stats) and added a paltry .5% of accuracy over OPS. If you want to prioritize those mysterious 5% over the other 95% then perhaps we could find you a position in the front office of the Chicago National League Ballclub.

And by the way, I feel I have to explain myself ONCE AGAIN here, but I don't think a baserunner has no effect on a pitcher. I do think it has an small but probably detectable effect. The distinction I am trying to make is I do not believe that guys like JP have any effect over and above the average player (and if they do, it would be even smaller than the already really really small effect of just your average baserunner, so who cares!!!). So if it ends up not mattering who is on first to get the majority of whatever relative pittance of an effect it has, then what does JP have to recommend him? Nothing! Remember, it could be anyone out there standing on first. JP ends up being just another overpaid, noodle-armed, no-power, below-average OBP guy who the Cubs would be way better off replacing.

I guess I'm just tired of the Cubs getting shitty players and then listening to people gushing about all the little things they do while the Cubs lose 95 games. How about we get some guys who can play this game, guys who don't get out 68-70% of the time, guys who, regularly, do the big things like hit two run homers and triples with the bases loaded and doubles to lead off an inning. A man can dream, can't he?

MikeC,

Your faith-based baseball analysis would fit right in with the Bush Administration.

By the way, if you are flummoxed as to how to determine if JP is or isn't a wild-pitch-inducing-machine, just take a look at the wild pitches thrown per pitch when he's on base and compare that to the average of all time. If there is a statistically significant difference in the numbers in JP's favor, then it's true! JP is a wild-pitch-inducing-machine! But if there is no significant difference, or if even the unthinkable, there are fewer wild pitches than the historical average with JP on base, then one must conclude that JP has never induced a wild pitch in his life. But you simply won't know until you check the numbers. They may be hard to find, but they are out there.

Once again, do you really think that even if JP actually caused fully 5 WPs over the normal in a season, with 3 resulting in runs, that would be preferable to just having someone in CF with about 200 more points on their OPS? Honestly, who would you rather have?

Horatio, I've never disagreed with the statements about OPS or teams overvaluing intangables.

I have only disagreed with your initial point that a baserunners like Pierre's impact on the bases are "so little they cannot be observed, measured, or otherwise felt??"

They can be observed and felt, even if they are small, just as the many other things that you can not see on a stat sheet can been observed and felt. Just like a double play ball becomes a fielders choice if a player screws up but still gets an out. Its observed, its felt, but its really not measured.

Those observabale differences are also why Pierre has a slight offensive advantage over someone else with a similar OPS.

By the way, many of those instances of taking an extra base would be captured by the Slugging Avg. or the OBP depending on the situation (you did know that, right?).

I really am curious how you are figuring this. If a fast baserunner scores from 1st on a long single, the batters slugging and on base numbers stay exactly the same as if an average baserunner only reaches 2nd or 3rd on the play.

Where are you figuring a change in either Slg or OBP?

Re: captured by SLG and OBP I was just talking about stretching a double to a triple, beating out a bunt, stuff like that.

OK, OK, OK, if, for the sake of argument, I concede that between two guys with identical OBP and SLG, one being Random Dude and the other being JP, Mr. Pierre does some of the things that slip into that 5% of run scoring that OPS does not describe, if I concede that JP value exceeds his mere OPS such that it might be more accurate bump JP's .722 season total to say .750, if I do that...

will you PLEASE at least admit that this STILL means JP is a below average, unproductive player whom the Cubs would do very well to replace? Scoring from first on a double is nice for sure, but at the expense of 150-200 points of OPS? I don't think so.

Yeah, like I said, I will take Pierre over a player with a similar OPS because of his intangables. I wouldn't take him over someone with an extra 100 points of OPS.

In terms of what the Cubs should do with him is going to depend what else is available. I don't see much in CF that would be a significant upgrade this offseason. Although I have previously floated the idea of getting Soriano to play CF. I haven't seen enough of his OF defense to know how good of an idea it would be, but I think its at least an interesting possibility.

"Yeah, like I said, I will take Pierre over a player with a similar OPS because of his intangables. I wouldn't take him over someone with an extra 100 points of OPS."

Ok, so what is the lowest number of points of OPS we should be willing to give up for Pierre's "intangibles". If we can't answer that question with any kind of precision shouldn't we stick with the player who's value we are more sure instead of taking the risk that we are over valuing Pierre's "intangibles".

Well, if thats the approach you want to take, then don't you risk undervaluing those intangibles?

The larger point is this, OPS is a great tool to help evaluate a player, but there is more to a game than hitting. You also need to look at other intangables for any player, including speed, defense, and baseball intellegence (fundamentals, ability to run the bases, to hit a cut off man, etc) that are either hard to measure or don't show up on a stat sheet.

"You also need to look at other intangables for any player, including speed, defense, and baseball intellegence (fundamentals, ability to run the bases, to hit a cut off man, etc) that are either hard to measure or don't show up on a stat sheet."

Agreed, but you didn't really answer the question. If you are a GM who has a limited budget how do you determine how much of that limit resource to use to acquire these "intangibles"?

Certainly there is no answer maybe just some rules or thumb, but it appears to me that these intangibles are greatly overvalued in the market place.

There's a great chapter in a book (I believe it's Baseball Between the Numbers) about the impact of having a 'fast' runner on first and what that impact has on the batter at the plate. Basically the net impact is ... nothing. While some people believe that having a fast runner on first dancing around causes the pitcher to become distracted and throw the proverbial meatball to the hitter, there are some people who believe that the runner also acts as a distraction to the hitter at the plate (Joe Morgan HATED when the runner on first used to attempt to steal when he was hitting ... yes, suprisingly Joe Morgan ... the current proponent of stolen bases). So to argue a players 'intangibles' because he's fast is a moot point. Those 'intangibles' should show up in his OPS of all places. A fast runner should be able to get on base more than a slow runner w/ the same hitting skills at the plate (in an ideal world) by pure basic logic.

My answer is that there is no hard and fast rule. You've got to look at the entire package for each individual - and yes, its quite likely that those intangables are overvalued by most GMs.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter