Next: Matt Maloney
From: RJA on
<coachrose13(a)> wrote in message
> On Jun 19, 8:03 pm, "RJA" <r...(a)> wrote:
>> <coachros...(a)> wrote in message
>> news:1182233576.313164.101440(a)
>> > On Jun 18, 1:22 pm, Ron Johnson <john...(a)> wrote:
>> >> On Jun 17, 4:20 pm, Kevin McClave <kmcclaveS...(a)>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 23:39:52 -0700, coachros...(a) wrote:
>> >> > > Cant find no one here worth arguing with who thinks striking
>> >> > > out 200 times a year is insignicant. Hell, the Reds worked with
>> >> > > Dunn all preseason to try to get him to cut down on his strikouts,
>> >> > > even Adam says he needs to reduce his strikouts.
>> >> No surprise. I know Mike Schmidt and Gary Sheffield have said
>> >> similar things -- and meant it. Players do not like to
>> >> strike out.
>> >> WHY? Because they understand that hitting the ball is better than not
>> >> hitting it?
>> >> > > I guess statheads
>> >> > > know more than the oranization or players do, huh?
>> >> > Absolutely. That's one reason they haven't been to the playoffs in
>> >> > more
>> >> > than a decade.
>> > And the teams that have made it to the playoffs refer to stats alone,
>> > and not flesh and blood ballplayers to make them successful?
>> This one of the oldest and dumbest arguments out there. That a guy has
>> heart, therefore he has some value despite the fact that his numbers
>> don't
>> say so. It's like the whole "Duh...well he doesn't hit with runners in
>> scoring position." Then you ask them where that got Sean Casey who was a
>> "team leader" and "had a lot of heart" and who hit with RISP and has
>> never
>> driven in 100 runs. The numbers are everything.- Hide quoted text -
>> - Show quoted text -
> Yeah, just get rid of Casey and replace him with..........???? Who is
> this first baseman they now have that is driving in a hundred runs a
> year, and hitting 40 home runs??

Nothing to do with using Casey as an example. But nice try at diversion.

From: RJA on
<coachrose13(a)> wrote in message
> On Jun 19, 8:47 pm, Dan Szymborski <d...(a)> wrote:
>> In article <46786d44$0$3184$4c368...(a)>,
>> r...(a) says...
>> > <coachros...(a)> wrote in message
>> >news:1182232430.439733.92220(a)
>> > > This thread is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 posts. I dont
>> > > feel like going back and specifing who said what and when, check it
>> > > out yourself. Its been sugested many times and even "proven" through
>> > > "stats" that strikeouts are overrated. Adam Dunn I believe, holds,
>> > > the
>> > > major league record for most times having struck out in a season, and
>> > > is pretty close to his own record at least a couple of other times.
>> > > If
>> > > that is the case, please tell me who would bat behind Dunn that would
>> > > strike out more than HE would??? And I really tire of hearing obout
>> > > Dunn's walks and how important they are. Are ALL, or even MOST of
>> > > these walks intentional? I dont think so. Dunn doesnt have a whole
>> > > lot
>> > > of say so about most of these walks, it is usually up to the pitcher
>> > > who either decides to pitch to the batter, or does not have good
>> > > enough control to begin with.
>> > Oh my Lord. Just when you thought we had already hit rock bottom, we
>> > find
>> > out that there's no such thing as a good eye.
>> Yeah, Coachrose, while not skilled at flaming, has packed 3 or 4 years
>> of stupid into only 3 or 4 weeks.
>> I guess If I am as stupid as you and a couple of others say I am, and
>> are as smart(or at the very least skilled in the art of undestanding
>> stats) as you seem to think you are, then what's that old saying >>about
>> arguing with an idiot? (Not trying to flame or anything of course).

Oh, you're under the impression that we're arguing with you?

From: John Kasupski on
On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 09:59:21 -0700, Ron Johnson
<johnson(a)> wrote:

>On Jun 18, 11:47 pm, John Kasupski <kc2...(a)> wrote:
>> I don't think you hit balls into the Ohio River without generating
>> some decent bat speed first. I'm more inclined to chalk it up to the
>> fact that he has a long swing, which means it takes him a bit longer
>> to generate that bat speed.
>Yeah, makes sense. Now that I think about it, that worry
>about a long swing is part of Mark McGwire's scouting report
>while in university.
>Here's the funny thing. Dunn's actually slightly better
>than McGwire was at making contact with the ball, but
>McGwire struck out quite a bit less. (But his
>K rate *rose* as he got older. No big deal,
>but in his run of great play from 1995-200 he
>struck out in 22% of his PAs, for the rest of his
>career it was 20%)
>And bad as Dunn is with two strikes, well McGwire
>hit .143/.290/.317 (with data incomplete -- we have
>pitch count data for just over 88% of McGwire's
>So how did McGwire accomplish a manageable number of Ks?
>Well Dunn hits an average number of foul balls, McGwire
>hit a below average number of foul balls. Meaning
>that McGwire was actually putting a slightly higher
>percentage of balls in play.

OK, no surprise there - you'll recall of course that I'm one of the
guys who is all for putting the ball into play.

>And McGwire did something quite unusual for power hitters
>with good plate discipline. He swung at the first pitch
>a lot. (Dun swings at the first pitch with league average
>frequency) and batted .357 with a .811 SLG.
>14.3% of his PAs were resolved on the first pitch.
>Dunn hits .396 with a .836 SLG but they only make
>up 9.2% of his PAs.
>Here's something that just blows me away though:
>Dunn and McGwire swing at far more first pitches
>than Ichiro. Though since Ichiro's far better
>at making contact than Dunn (or McGwire) he actually
>resolves 12.4% of his PAs on the first pitch.
>Would never have believed that McGwire was something
>like 50% more likely to swing at the first pitch
>than Ichiro.

Long ago in a galaxy far away, I seem to recall having read a magazine
article where McGwire was asked about that. From what I remember of
his remarks, he seemed to feel that in normal situations, most
pitchers were trying to get ahead of hitters in the count, so he felt
there was a pretty good chance the first pitch was at least going to
be in the strike zone. He felt it might even be his best chance to get
a hittable pitch, so if that first pitch looked good, he was going to
hit it. This made sense to me at the time, and still does actually,
because I know pitchers will sometimes throw a "waste pitch" when
they're ahead in the count, trying to get a guy to offer at something
that's out of the strike zone. The first pitch thrown to a batter is
*probably* not going to be a deliberate waste pitch. If he misses with
the first pitch, he misses, but he was probably trying to throw a
strike on that first pitch.

>Anyhow, McGwire struck out less not by making more
>contact than Dunn but by resolving more PAs
>before getting to two strikes. McGwire "only"
>reached two strikes in 45% of his PAs, Dunn
>gets to two strikes 56% of the time.
>McGwire struck out 47% of the time he *reached*
>two strikes as opposed to Dunn's 49%. No
>real difference.

All the more reason for McGwire to want to hit that first pitch, then,
since if the pitcher has two strikes on him and zero or one balls, the
likelihood of a waste pitch probably goes up. Especially if he avoids
0-2 and 1-2, and maybe even 2-2 counts, he's *probably* more likely to
see something hittable.

>All in all if it were my call to make I wouldn't
>sweat the Ks -- Dunn is after all having a fine year
>right now. I would encourage him to swing at a
>few more pitches on hitter's counts. Nothing
>major though. Don't want him chasing.
>> The fix - admittedly not as easy a fix for a hitter to regularly
>> accomplish as it may sound - would be to shorten up on that swing, as
>> he apparently has been trying to do recently, and just try to slap it
>> through a hole in the IF for a single to right, rather than trying to
>> launch the pitch into geosynchronous earth orbit.
>I'd think the solution is to do his best to avoid two
>strike counts. Without chasing. Also easier said than

Yes - I think that this, too, could help.

It occurs to me that this also equates to going up there looking to
put the ball in play, which is what I've been advocating all along,
and not just for Dunn.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's

From: John Kasupski on
On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 23:50:57 -0700, Ron Johnson
<johnson(a)> wrote:

>You could have won almost anything off of me if you'd
>offered to bet me that McGwire swung at the first pitch
>more frequently than Juan Gonzalez. (Or about 50%
>more often than Tony Gwynn)
>You think of guys with walk totals like Joe Carter when
>you think of guys swinging at the first pitch. And
>Carter did in fact swing at the first pitch slightly more
>often than McGwire. So does Ivan Rodriguez. But
>not many do, and most of the guys who did were
>notorious for chasing stuff they should have
>laid off.

I haven't poured through pitch-by-pitch accounts to verify their
reputations, but there have been more than a few guys pegged as
notorious first-pitch swingers. Among guys who have recently played or
are currently playing, Garciaparra, Jay Gibbons, Russ Branyan, and
Ivan Rodriguez, whom you mentioned above.

Josh Hamilton was swinging at a lot of first pitches back in April, in
spite of Narron's talk about his plate discipline, but at one point
early in the season his GPA on first pitches was slightly above .500.
Dunn's, at the same time, was above .600. This was very early in the
year, maybe small sample size (they both had less than 15 PAs at the
time), but so much for the perception that the pitchers are ahead of
the hitters early in the year.

Alfonso Soriano...but he's just a notorious free swinger to begin
with, not exactly known for his plate discipline.

>Highest percentage I've found so far is Bo Jackson.
>Jackson also had by far the worst contact percentage
>I've seen. He missed 38% of the time he swung
>at the ball.
>Dunn misses 28% of the time. High, but not absurd. Average
>is 20%. (Thome and McGwire are within noise. Ryan Howard
>swings and misses 33% of the time. I've only found
>Jackson and Rob Deer with worse contact
>percentages -- though I've just been poking
>around rather than looking systematically)

Very interesting observation. I've compared Dunn to Deer in the past,
just based on observation of games rather than research into the
numbers. But as I said elsewhere, there's a reason why Dunn's page on
Baseball Reference is sponsored by the Rob Deer Fan Club.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's

From: John Kasupski on
On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 23:22:24 -0700, Ron Johnson
<johnson(a)> wrote:

>So what about the go-go Cardinals? They may well
>have been the best baserunning team of all time.
>And just look at the difference in team runs scored
>etween 1987 (led the league in OBP) and 1988
>or 1986.

This seems to run contrary to the Moneyball philosophy of offensive
patience and taking no chances on the bases.

Just sayin'.

>The base stealing had value, but the OBP
>trumps it. And base stealing is easily the most
>important factor besides OBP and SLG.

As the old saying goes, you can't steal first base.

>There are successful teams that make less
>than optimal choices. The Twins won two World Series
>with Dan Gladden in LF and leading off.
>But they won in spite of Gladden. (In 1991 their
>leadoff hitters had a .301 OBP and scored five
>more runs than their 7th place hitters. They were
>better in 1991, but that was mostly due to
>the leadoff hitters other than Gladden. He
>personally had a .313 OBP when batting 1st
>and the team got a .325 OBP from the leadoff
>The Reds won in 1961 with their catchers combining for
>.212/.268/.266. Doesn't make it a good idea, just
>means you can succeed in spite of a weak spot
>or two if the rest of the team does its job.

There are several other examples to bear this out as well. The Tigers
won in 1968 with Ray Oyler at short. The Mets won in 1986 with Rafael
Santana at short (though they had Ho-Jo to put out there when they
needed an offensive boost). The Cardinals in recent years have been
successful despite asking for and receiving very little from their
catchers offensively.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's

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