From: John Kasupski on 4 Mar 2010 12:31
On Thu, 4 Mar 2010 07:28:57 -0800 (PST), tom dunne <dunnetg(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>An 83 win team wins a title, and a 116 win team doesn't even get to
>play for it.
But the Mariners *did* get to play for it, Tom. They lost to the Yankees in the
ALCS. If they couldn't beat a supposedly inferior team then that's on them. They
also lost to the Yankees in the ALCS the year before that, so the fact that they
lost to them again in 2001 really shouldn't have come as any big surprise..
After winning a WS in 1995, the Braves made the playoffs ten times in a row from
1996-2005 and didn't win another. The last four times they didn't even get past
the NLDS. I can understand it if you want to say that the better team lost in
one season or two because of luck. But when it's ten times in a row? No, I have
to think that team was doing something, or failing to do something, to
contribute to their own demise.
And it may not be something numbers can quantify. How much of the Cubs' 102-year
drought is because of mental considerations, that "here we go again" feeling
every time they lose a few games in a row in June?
If you're the 2001 Mariners and got your asses handed to you in an ashtray by
the Yankees in the 2000 ALDS, and then you start the 2001 ALDS and seles makes a
mistake to O'Neill in Game One and Garcia gets smacked around a little in the
second inning of Game Two and you lose the first two games at home to the
Yankees, do you get that same "here we go again" feeling?
If you're the Braves at some point during that ten-year run of falling short in
the WS, NLCS, or NLDS, at what point does this whole scenario become larger than
life in the players' psyche? If you're out there on the field feeling like
there's this huge snowball rolling downhill at you from somewhere and you're
just waiting to get hit by it...maybe it *is* going to hit you.
Given that the point of playing a game is to win it, not to put up the best
numbers, maybe the best team in any particular year isn't just the team that
puts up the best numbers or has the best regular-season record. Maybe it's the
team that takes it to another level when the stakes are the highest, the team
that produces in pressure situations when other teams start to crumble, the team
that handles the situation the best. I'm sorry if statistics can't track these
things...well, no, I'm not, not really...but the players are human beings, and
these considerations are therefore part of the game and do therefore matter.
From: HTP on 4 Mar 2010 12:45
On Mar 4, 7:45 am, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Mar 2010 13:05:55 -0800 (PST), HTP <tmbowma...(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> >On Mar 3, 11:32 am, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net>
> >> On Wed, 3 Mar 2010 10:48:21 -0800 (PST), HTP <tmbowma...(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> >and how do we know that a player has "performed at a high level"?
> >> I thought that was obvious - we know that a player has performed at a high level
> >> because we have had the opportunity to observe his performance.
> >and how is that observation of a players performance measured and
> >expressed? I'm trying to get you to say it here.
> I know what you're trying to get me to say, Henry, but stats don't cover
> everything. Most of us in this NG noticed last year about Taveras' routes to fly
> balls. The other John observed that sometimes guys threw to the wrong base.
> We've undoubtedly all seen an outfielder in baseball airmail the cutoff man.
> There isn't a number for that stuff. Sometimes statistics can quantify
> observations and sometimes they can't. That is why I said we know when a player
> has performed at a high level because we have been able to observe that
> performance. Sometimes those observations are expressed in statistics, other
> times they aren't.
Dont try and change the subject. We're covering specifically stats as
a measure of a players offensive capabilities. I've been on record
forever as being skeptical about the reliability of fielding stats.
Its still a relatively young field.
Just because you arent aware of stats pertaining an outfielders
throwing arm or range doesnt mean that they dont exist.
> >You've been steadily obscuring the difference between absolute
> >certainty and probability, either intentionally or unintentionally.
> >Tom Dunne expressed it well in the previous post, that stats, as a
> >means of predicting and planning for the future, arent about
> >guarantees but about probabilities, and that human beings would be
> >unable to plan for the future or even to act at all if we were unable
> >to utilize information from pertinent past events.
> > Getting back to the specific issue at hand.
> > Willie Taveras has never been a guy that gets on base.
> That's an interesting statement considering that in 2007 he had more singles
> than anyone else in the entire National League - during which year, by the way,
> he also happened to lead off 88 times for the team that won the NL pennant (the
> next closest guy, Kazuo Matsui, led off 29 times)..
Not even close to being true. You have your seasons confused. I'll let
you backtrack and correct this.
But i'll also point out that, once again, you are trying to use
baseball stats to make an evaluation about a player.
> >He hits
> >leadoff ahead of good hitters, runs fast, yet doesnt score as often as
> >most other leadoff hitters. He has made no change in his approach
> >coming into 2009 and its reasonable to think that his main assett -
> >his speed - will or would diminish because of his age.
> Ummm...his age as of June 30th, 2009 was only 27. I think that's a little bit
> early to expect modern athletes' physical gifts to begin to diminish due to age.
What is Willies physical gift (gift rather than gifts because he has
only 1 that is discernable)? Its his speed. Does footspeed improve
past the mid-20's? i say no. If anything it begins to decline. Willie
is a singles hitter who should be getting an unusually large portion
of his basehits by beating out groundballs. i would expect that number
to decline as his feetspeed declines.
> >Therefore its
> >more likely than not that his offensive capabilites would be similar
> >or worse to his previous season,
> By that line of reasoning Dave Concepcion should have been out of baseball after
> the 1972 season. He was 24 and had just hit .209 in 1972 and /205 the year
> before that. Instead he played 16 more years in the major leagues, hit better
> than .300 three times, played in four World Series, was an all-star nine times
> and the All-star MVP in 1982. Five Gold Gloves, two silver bats, the list of his
> accomplishments goes on and on.
Looks like you've read selectively from what i wrote.
Did Concepcion add strength after the age of 24. Looks like he did.
Did he become better at driving the ball. Looks that way. After the
age of 24, which is the age you cherry-picked although its irrelevant
to our Taveras discussion, Concepcion's isolated power numbers
doubled. Probably because he was filling out and coming into his peak
years as a hitter, and possibly because he made an alteration to his
approach at the plate.
Has taveras done any of this up through the age of 27. Nope. He's a
Regardless, the attempted analogy rings false. Concepcion played
shortstop at a time when shortstops werent expected to hit. he was
never any great shakes as an offensive player and didnt have to be to
hold on to his job. He didnt bat at the top of the lineup and
certainly not in the leadoff spot (yeah i know sparky usually had
better options). He wasnt an average defensive centerfielder miscast
as a leadoff hitter. Thats what Taveras is.
John, do you play fantasy baseball or one of those tabletop games? Go
ahead and draft Taveras and hit him leadoff.
> >and that once again he will be a
> >below average run rpoducer in the leadoff slot. Its not guaranteed but
> >its likely. Given that information, does it make sense to have Willy
> >set the table? Not if theres a better option. Well, there werent many
> >if any intially, but after some time passed, and more information was
> >gathered, it became more and more likely that Dickerson was more
> >capable that Taveras of getting on base. Yet Dusty kept Willie in that
> >spot. That deserves criticism.
> Dickerson leading off? He's 27 already, the same age as Taveras! Isn't it
> reasonable to think his performance would diminish because of his age? That's
> what you just told me about Taveras.....
wow. pay attention.
I havent seen anyone here advocate hitting Dickerson leadoff because
of his speed. Its his demonstrated ability to get on base more
consistently than the alternatives that makes him the best candidate.
From: HTP on 4 Mar 2010 12:54
On Mar 4, 9:00 am, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Mar 2010 08:22:10 -0800 (PST), RJA <agentvau...(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> >Counting singles isn't going to give you a good idea about
> >production. He did have his best OBP season that year because he
> >managed to hit an unprecedented .320, 45 points higher than his career
> >average. I don't know where to look but I'd bet a good amount that he
> >had a lot of luck in doing it.
> He bunted for 37 of his 119 hits. Last year he only bunted for 11 hits. He hit
> .275 on ground balls, .106 on flies, .314 on bunts...and .673 on line drives but
> those were few and far between.
> >It certainly wasn't by hitting line drives.
> Ya think? :-)
> >The man of speed has never managed to hit more than 19
> >doubles or 5 triples in his career. What does that say about a guy
> >with all that speed?
> What we could already determine from empirical evidence - that he's about as far
> from being a power hitter as it's possible to be.
> Look at his career numbers for hit trajectory. His career splits on Baseball
> Reference show 949 ground balls with a .279 BABIP, 537 fly balls with a .123
> BABIP, 281 line drives with a .703 BABIP, and 226 bunts with a .527 BABIP.. If
> he's not bunting for a hit, he's...well, he's Norris Hopper is what he is..
John, youre a stathead.
From: Ron Johnson on 4 Mar 2010 14:06
On Mar 4, 12:44 pm, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net>
> On Wed, 3 Mar 2010 12:22:36 -0800 (PST), Ron Johnson <john...(a)ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca>
> >On Mar 2, 3:31 pm, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net> wrote:
> >> My point here is that, given that saber is looking at long-term results while
> >> traditionalist managers are looking at a shorter time frame, maybe the
> >> difference isn't as significant as some might think. I recall reading online
> >> somewhere that Hits actually tracks wins pretty well at 71%, that BA is a better
> >> stat than it's given credit for all things considered because it tracks wins at
> >> a 79% clip, that OBP tracks wins only 1.2% better than BA and that the
> >> difference between BA and OPS is another 5% of improvement.
> >You read wrong or somebody was writing BS.
> >First of all any correlation based argument will give nutty
> >results. The correlation between doubles and team runs scored
> >is much higher than the correlation between triples and
> >runs scored.
> In what context? By which I mean to ask, is that simply because the number of
> doubles that are hit in vastly exceeds the number of triples that are hit?
It's probably because hitting doubles is a real skill while (these
at any rate) triples are semi-random. I mean park configuration is
clearly a factor as is batter speed but there's an element of
luck in a fair number of triples.
In any case, it's common to have high scoring teams that don't
hit a lot of triples. And high scoring teams that do hit triples.
Knowing how many triples a team hits will not allow you
to make a very good estimate of their runs scored.
(Actually just checked and these days the correlation
is very small and negative)
Doubles on the other hand are different. There isn't a great
correlation (around .48) but it's there.
> >There's a positive correlation between runners left on
> >base and runs scored. Does that mean it's good to leave
> >runners on base? Hardly.
> >The proper way to approach (say) the BA/OBP/SLG issue
> >is to run a multiple regression against team runs scored.
> >And when you do this it turns out that OBP is worth
> >~1.7 times what SLG is and that BA is insigificant.
> >Likewise the double/triple issue. If you run a
> >multiple regression (including the other counter
> >stats) you'll get a proper weight.
> >Now as to the specific claims about correlations,
> >OPS has about a 94% correlation with team
> >runs scored, batting average 83% with OBP
> >and SLG at just under 90%.
> Well, there again, don't you reach a point of diminishing returns somewhere?
> Given the number of variables involved, I'd think that once you get above....I
> dunno, say 85% or so, the difference isn't going to be that significant for any
> particular game...and I'd guess probably even not for a short series.
This is why I don't bother with anything more precise than
OPS in season.
And why I hate it when I see any metric expressed in 10ths of runs.
They're asserting greater precision than the metrics allow.
Basically you can't evaluate any player to any greater precision
than about 5 runs.
> >And the standard error in modeling team runs scored
> >using batting average is ~48 runs. Better metrics
> >like linear weights are in the 15 run range. Runs
> >created is about 25 -- about where weighted OPS is.
> >OPS itself is around 28.
> I'm not at all surprised that RC is better than OPS for this purpose.
Yeah but you have to understand that runs created isn't
great at the team level and flat does not work properly
at the individual level.
A minor problem is that some provably incorrect weights
are used (just as a for instance, sac hits and sac flies
are treated as having equal value. A regression based
study will demonstrate that this is not the case)
A major problem is that runs created is multiplicative.
This has the odd effect of asserting that a home
run hit by Frank Thomas is a fair amount more valuable
than one hit by Joe Carter.
Don't believe this? Try adding an 1-1, home run to either
player in any given season.It turns out that runs created
asserts that a HR hit by a player with an OBP of .445 is
worth 1.78 runs while a HR hit by a player with a .306 OBP
is worth 1.22 runs.
There is a work-around but it's extra work (Calculate
team runs created. Then remove the player's stat line and
recalculate. Credit the player with the difference.
A decade after Dave Tate came up with this Bill
James came up with it on his own.)
And there's another big issue with runs created per out.
runs created per out is at heart (OBP*SLG)/(1-BA)
(Basic runs created starts out as AB*OBP*SLG. More
advanced versions have various correctors thrown in
but this still remains the core)
While runs created per out makes sense as a concept
it doesn't work particularly well in practice.
From: John Kasupski on 4 Mar 2010 14:23
On Thu, 4 Mar 2010 09:54:39 -0800 (PST), HTP <tmbowman25(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
>On Mar 4, 9:00�am, John Kasupski <w2...(a)spamfilter.verizon.net> wrote:
>> On Thu, 4 Mar 2010 08:22:10 -0800 (PST), RJA <agentvau...(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> >Counting singles isn't going to give you a good idea about
>> >production. �He did have his best OBP season that year because he
>> >managed to hit an unprecedented .320, 45 points higher than his career
>> >average. �I don't know where to look but I'd bet a good amount that he
>> >had a lot of luck in doing it.
>> He bunted for 37 of his 119 hits. Last year he only bunted for 11 hits. He hit
>> .275 on ground balls, .106 on flies, .314 on bunts...and .673 on line drives but
>> those were few and far between.
>> >It certainly wasn't by hitting line drives.
>> Ya think? :-)
>> >The man of speed has never managed to hit more than 19
>> >doubles or 5 triples in his career. �What does that say about a guy
>> >with all that speed?
>> What we could already determine from empirical evidence - that he's about as far
>> from being a power hitter as it's possible to be.
>> Look at his career numbers for hit trajectory. His career splits on Baseball
>> Reference show 949 ground balls with a .279 BABIP, 537 fly balls with a .123
>> BABIP, 281 line drives with a .703 BABIP, and 226 bunts with a .527 BABIP. If
>> he's not bunting for a hit, he's...well, he's Norris Hopper is what he is.
>John, youre a stathead.
Heh. I understand how most of this stuff works. I mean, it's really just math,
and I wasn't bad at math in school, okay, but understanding the premise behind
something and actually buying that premise are two different things.
Don't get me wrong, my hat's off to the guys who religiously collect the results
of every game and translate the results into the stats that show up on Baseball
Reference or The Baseball Cube, or in the Lahman database, or wherever. These
guys are recording the history of the game I love. And at no time have I ever
said you can't use that data to explain what HAS happened, and why.
Where I begin to deviate from being a stathead has to do with attempts to use
that collected data from past events to predict what's GOING to happen rather
than quantifying what has already happened. PECOTA projections for individual
players are ridiculous. For that matter, PECOTA projections for teams is also
laughable. I don't buy the assumptions made about what constitutes replacement
level when calculating stuff like WAR and VORP either. I could cite examples of
why but the exercise would be pointless. The bottom line is I feel the sheer
number of deviations renders such attempts an exercise in futility. The concept
of variance doesn't apply here - the dice are loaded.