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osuceltic
10-02-2006, 01:03 PM
This is my beef with Jerry Narron. It's not the lineups (OK, sometimes it is), it's this (this is Paul Daugherty's blog from the Enquirer site):



Jerry Narron

Once more in Sunday's paper, Jerry Narron said the Reds need players who "play the right way.'' He needs to stop.

Every time the manager makes that statement, he's unwittingly indicting himself. The guy has sung that tune for 2 years. His players never added the chorus. While Wayne Krivsky has busied himself dumping power for pitching, the players that remain still play the game one home run at a time.

The Reds don't bunt. They don't hit behind runners. When Griffey and Dunn played every day, they struck out too much. Defensively, they left gaps in left and center as big as a mall parking lot. In the infield, Brandon Phillips is the only guy w/consistently good range. For a manager who dwells to distraction on the "little things,'' his players sure lived big, to borrow a phrase. That doesnt reflect well on Narron's leadership.

He's also too forgiving. Most obvious is allowing Dunn and Griffey to walk to their positions, inning after game after season. It's embarrassing. When I mentioned to Narron that Dunn's loaf out to left could best be timed by sundial, the manager said, "He'll never run out there.'' Oh, really? Why not?

That said, this team probably maxed out its potential. And until the last West Coast trip, it never gave in. That's a tribute to Narron. I just wish he'd either stop talking about the little things, or get pissed enough to make sure the little things get done properly, and by everyone.

That nails it. Don't talk about doing things right and playing hard, then look the other way when they don't. Doc is right ... That's on Narron.

Anyway, I expect a drastically different team next season. They'll be built around Arroyo and Harang. I see Hatteberg, Phillips, Encarnacion, Ross and Freel returning to significant roles. I see Dunn traded. I see them trying to trade Junior. I see Aurilia signing elsewhere.

What I'd like to see: Acquire a legitimate closer someway, somehow. Get that guy in place, the whole bullpen improves. Trade Dunn for pitching and defense (in center or short). Move Junior somewhere -- out of Cincy or to left or right.

Fire Narron. Find someone who can make the team practice what he preaches.

That about covers it.

edabbs44
10-02-2006, 01:11 PM
It sounds like Dougherty is occasionally on RedsZone.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 01:11 PM
Gosh and I thought the main key for winning baseball was talent, I never realized it was running out to one's defensive position.

I attended over a 1/4 of the home games this season and I couldn't tell you who runs to their positions and who doesn't. I never saw anyone "walking", people generally jogged to their positions.

This team is in serious trouble do to a lack of overall talent, not a lack of "playing the game the right way".

osuceltic
10-02-2006, 01:21 PM
Gosh and I thought the main key for winning baseball was talent, I never realized it was running out to one's defensive position.

I attended over a 1/4 of the home games this season and I couldn't tell you who runs to their positions and who doesn't. It ones of those things that does not matter.

This team is in serious trouble do to a lack of overall talent, not a lack of "playing the game the right way".

No one is saying the team is losing because some guys don't run to their positions (but you know that ... you're just being typically difficult and condescending). Not running to their positions is a symptom of a greater problem.

Anyone who played sports beyond the youth league level knows that there are things that don't show up on the stat sheet that matter. Chemistry matters. Hustle matters. Playing with energy matters. Can those things overcome a lack of talent? No. But talent without those things will be wasted.

I'm not trying to turn this into a stats argument. Please.

RedFanAlways1966
10-02-2006, 01:23 PM
Yeah.. I thought I heard this sort of thing. Running to and from your position gives you an extra 10 wins in the standings. If the REDS players were made to do this, then they would be starting in the playoffs tomorrow with a 90-72 record. Darn you, Jerry!

Don't bunt? Strikeout too much? Yep... I am sure Jerry and the staff did not have players work on this during batting practice. Chambliss never did anything as batting practice coach... I am sure of it. They all just ust brushed it aside as Narron, Bucky Dent & Chambliss placed bets on which player would hit the most HRs in batting practice each day.

I am sure Paul Daugherty and his blog will back this up. His word is gold! Yep.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 01:24 PM
No one is saying the team is losing because some guys don't run to their positions (but you know that ... you're just being typically difficult and condescending). Not running to their positions is a symptom of a greater problem.Daugherty tossed a red herring and some people are just dumb enough to fall for it.

If you don't the talent(and the Reds don't) they could all run to their position and dive head first and guess what, they are still going to lose. Lack of hustle could be a problem but it has absolutely nothing to do while this organization has been losing.

Lack of hustle is a non-sequitur while not addressing the real issues why the team lost and will continue to lose for the forseable future.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 01:32 PM
Don't bunt? Strikeout too much? If that Ryan Howard guy had struckout less and bunted more I am sure the Phillies would be in the playoffs.

NJReds
10-02-2006, 01:34 PM
If that Ryan Howard guy had struckout less and bunted more I am sure the Phillies would be in the playoffs.

Who on the Reds are we comparing Howard too? Because I don't see anyone near his level on the Reds. Not even close.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 01:36 PM
Who on the Reds are we comparing Howard too? Because I don't see anyone near his level on the Reds. Not even close.180+ strikeouts is WAY too much, had the 2nd highest K total in baseball. So if striking out to much is a problem(and it was postured that way) then Howard and his K total obviously is a big problem.

savafan
10-02-2006, 01:41 PM
Nobody can convince me that this team didn't have the talent to win the NL Central this year. That statement is a copout.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 01:46 PM
Nobody can convince me that this team didn't have the talent to win the NL Central this year. That statement is a copout.maybe the way the season played out it is somewhat true but a large portion on the Cardial struggles were related to injuries to Edmonds, Mulder, Isringhausen, Eckstein, etc and yet the Cardinals managed to win inspite of all the injuries and lack of a number of career seasons.

The Reds really were not affected by injuries(at least not more than anticipated), had numerous career seasons, had very good fortune concerning their pythag record and yet still came up 4 games short.

The lack of overall talent, especially pitching talent, is appalling.

vaticanplum
10-02-2006, 02:05 PM
Nobody can convince me that this team didn't have the talent to win the NL Central this year. That statement is a copout.

I don't know about that. I think the baseline ability of this team is one of its serious problems. They play hard a lot of the time, but there is simply a ceiling on what they can do. You can make the argument that this team could have won the NL Central due to the weakness of the division...but on the other hand the Cardinals arguably played WORSE than the Reds but still beat them. That's because they just have a higher level of talent all around.

The Stros are more similar to the Reds in my opinion. They played almost as well as they could, but they simply don't have the ability to hit a lot of baseballs. Teams like that can win in a fluke...but it's very difficult, and would be due to a fluke, not to their talent.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 03:08 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

BTW - the only thing Daugherty gets right in his article is capturing Joe Everyfan's narrow ideas about how baseball players should all hustle like Pete Rose on greenies or play the game like little leaguers -- run to your position, run as hard as you can to first, don't embarass yourself (i.e. don't embarass your dad) by striking out, etc.

vaticanplum
10-02-2006, 03:12 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

Five.





edit: This is an immature response not meant to be taken seriously. sometimes a door is open and it would just be silly not to walk through.

BRM
10-02-2006, 03:13 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

I don't think people would hammer away at his strikeout total so much if he had 120 RBI's and a higher batting average.

Matt700wlw
10-02-2006, 03:13 PM
Five.





edit: This is an immature response not meant to be taken seriously. sometimes a door is open and it would just be silly not to walk through.

I'll give him 6 ;)

NJReds
10-02-2006, 03:13 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

If he had 58 HRs, and 150 RBI like Ryan Howard, I doubt the Ks would enter the conversation. Overall, his offensive numbers have slipped over the last three years, which you wouldn't expect from a player entering his prime.

I really hope he hits his stride next season, but I don't think WK will give him the opportunity to do that in a Reds uniform.

RedLegSuperStar
10-02-2006, 03:17 PM
That said, this team probably maxed out its potential. And until the last West Coast trip, it never gave in. That's a tribute to Narron. I just wish he'd either stop talking about the little things, or get pissed enough to make sure the little things get done properly, and by everyone.

That is well said and should be all he had to write..

Narron is a players manager and needs to be strict on these guys. He's the manager.. he needs to manage. Players are players and they need to play. The players don't make those choices for him. So often this season players complain about starting, wanting to stay in to pitch innings, start on short rest, etc..

I'm not saying don't listen to the players, but when Narron allows Harang to throw over 120+ pitches and allows Arroyo to pitch on 3 days rest the outcome didn't turn out in our favor. I'm sure there are more examples I could use just can't conjure them up at the moment. Narron has got to do what is best for the team as a whole not as individuals would prefer. If he has got to have a closed door meeting after every single game then so be it.. but he needs to get acrossed to these guys that he's here to win and that the players should be there for the same reason. The last week of baseball was good to see and reminded me of the beginning of the season.. hopefully we'll see more of this next year.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 03:19 PM
Five.

In one game -- I'll give you that.

edabbs44
10-02-2006, 03:36 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

BTW - the only thing Daugherty gets right in his article is capturing Joe Everyfan's narrow ideas about how baseball players should all hustle like Pete Rose on greenies or play the game like little leaguers -- run to your position, run as hard as you can to first, don't embarass yourself (i.e. don't embarass your dad) by striking out, etc.

Dunn has the all-time season record for most strikeouts. I would say that is too much.

Roy Tucker
10-02-2006, 03:37 PM
BTW - the only thing Daugherty gets right in his article is capturing Joe Everyfan's narrow ideas about how baseball players should all hustle like Pete Rose on greenies or play the game like little leaguers -- run to your position, run as hard as you can to first, don't embarass yourself (i.e. don't embarass your dad) by striking out, etc.

All I ask is that players play like they care.

Does running out to your position make a difference? I seriously doubt it. Does running out a walk like Pete Rose on greenies make a difference? I doubt that too. Does running out a ground ball hard make a difference. Well, there I think it can make a small difference.

Hustle is a habit. Hustle has to be ingrained in everything you do on the ballfield so that you do it automatically. Play every play as hard as you can and there may be one time out of 100 where it makes a difference.

I've seen enough sport played to know that hustle is a hard thing to turn on and off. If you want to enjoy the results of a hustle play, you've got to do it all the time since you never know when it's going to make a difference.

I grind my teeth when Griffey doesn't run out a ground ball and the second baseman bobbles it but still has tons of time to throw him out. I grind my teeth when Dunn humpty-dumps his way out to LF and then plays the first ball to him like its a foreign object. I can't figure out why MLB teams don't take infield any more.

I know these guys care enormously about what they do and how they play and have tremendou pride. But just because a guy plays big league ball doesn't mean that the small things cease to matter.

GAC
10-02-2006, 03:37 PM
Gosh and I thought the main key for winning baseball was talent, I never realized it was running out to one's defensive position.

Exactly. Daugherty was making some sense until I got that statement (dig). :rolleyes:


This team is in serious trouble do to a lack of overall talent, not a lack of "playing the game the right way".

IMHO though, this team lost alot of games from not "playing the game the right way" - bad pitching, poor defense, stranding runners. Just downright stupid mistakes that showed a lack of fundamentals.

Now if one wants to inject the reason for that is simply a lack of talent (in certain areas/positions), then they won't get any argument from me. ;)

Falls City Beer
10-02-2006, 03:47 PM
All I ask is that players play like they care.

Does running out to your position make a difference? I seriously doubt it. Does running out a walk like Pete Rose on greenies make a difference? I doubt that too. Does running out a ground ball hard make a difference. Well, there I think it can make a small difference.

Hustle is a habit. Hustle has to be ingrained in everything you do on the ballfield so that you do it automatically. Play every play as hard as you can and there may be one time out of 100 where it makes a difference.

I've seen enough sport played to know that hustle is a hard thing to turn on and off. If you want to enjoy the results of a hustle play, you've got to do it all the time since you never know when it's going to make a difference.

I grind my teeth when Griffey doesn't run out a ground ball and the second baseman bobbles it but still has tons of time to throw him out. I grind my teeth when Dunn humpty-dumps his way out to LF and then plays the first ball to him like its a foreign object. I can't figure out why MLB teams don't take infield any more.

I know these guys care enormously about what they do and how they play and have tremendou pride. But just because a guy plays big league ball doesn't mean that the small things cease to matter.


I agree. When there's nothing to be lost by doing it, and an outside chance of gaining by doing it, always do it.

westofyou
10-02-2006, 03:53 PM
Overall, his offensive numbers have slipped over the last three years, which you wouldn't expect from a player entering his prime.

I always defined "prime" as 27-30 myself, so the key is "entering" to me.

As with any great swing in a guys numbers it will be the the batting average that sells his game to everyone, it's what will lift his OPS and EBH, it's what will feed his counting stats and make him loved by even his biggest detractors.

To me BA is a wildcard, it can make a hero out of Jose Guillen and a goat out of Adam Dunn and reverse itself the next year. I'll venture to guess that what Dunn gave this year is the worst case scenario for him as a player. If he hit's .260 then he has 85 EBH, a .280 year and that number increases. So you have to ask yourself, is Adam Dunn entering his prime years going to consistently produce his lower case numbers like he did in 2003 and 2006? Or will he produce his 2004-2005 numbers and possibly hedge the batting average aspect of the game up 25 points instead of down?

It could go either way and each position probably has as many backers as the other. One thing to note is that folks keep saying that he's "declining" but the fact is he's evolving and his numbers will reflect that evolution, whether it's a positive evolution or negative is yet to be seen, But the majority of guys don't produce "batting" numbers one season and they stay thet same year in and year out, or constantly improve.

Examples:

Frank Howard (http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/howarfr01.shtml) - Check out his LA years.

Reggie Jackson (http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/jacksre01.shtml) Inconsitent years prior to age 27

Al Kaline (http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/kalinal01.shtml) Kaline had a sub .800 OPS after a .940 OPS one year, an .820 after a .913


Even today:

Soriano just rebounded from a couple of down years, Blalock had a smelly year, Texiria dropped .69 OPS points, Dun .72... who's regressing more?

Hitting the ball is hard, but keeping consistent batting average and consistently hit the ball hard is even harder for young players from where I sit and big power hitters are the biggest animals that become ensnared.

vaticanplum
10-02-2006, 03:56 PM
I always defined "prime" as 27-30 myself, so the key is "entering" to me.

As a side note, I've always wondered about this. Can someone tell me why physical prime for a baseball player is considered 27-28 years old? My guess is that stats back this up, but I'm just curious as to the reasons behind this; it seems kind of early to me. Dancers don't hit their physical peak until they're about 30-31, and their bodies have typically been through a lot more hell and a lot worse nourishment by that point than baseball players.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:02 PM
As a side note, I've always wondered about this. Can someone tell me why physical prime for a baseball player is considered 27-28 years old? My guess is that stats back this up, but I'm just curious as to the reasons behind this; it seems kind of early to me. Dancers don't hit their physical peak until they're about 30-31, and their bodies have typically been through a lot more hell and a lot worse nourishment by that point than baseball players.

I have an opinion that players with a body type like Adam Dunn have an earlier prime than others and they don't seem to last as long. I'm just throwing this out there because it's my own perception, I could be totally wrong. It just seems that many players with his height and weight struggle in their late 20's and then fade completely shortly after.

traderumor
10-02-2006, 04:06 PM
While I'm not sure I can add to what Roy said, which is a really good post, a guy who walks out to his position is giving off body language that is very likely to be reflective of other habits that the person has. Sure, no runs are scored or prevented if everyone ran into the game like Todd Coffey. But then, the attitude that is reflected (while to some may be that of a dork) tells me that Todd is all-out when it comes to baseball. And, it is reflective of someone who wanted to play the game bad enough that he went on a chicken diet to lose enough weight to become a serious prospect and eventually make it to the majors. Does he have talent? Sure. But he also has a struggle with weight and seems to be willing to do what it takes to keep in the best shape that he can, which from what I've seen is probably not real easy for him to do. Aaron Harang has a similar story. He worked his butt off the first offseason after we got him, maintained that level, and has become a respectable pitcher. Again, sure he has talent, but he also realized that it took a lot of hard work to become better. The predominance of the evidence goes against Dunn in this area. He smokes, he parties, and until recently was not normally one to show up early and work on his game. Hopefully, this season end slump will serve as a wake up call that it takes a lot of hard work to become better, and the Reds have 10.5 million reasons to expect nothing less.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:10 PM
While I'm not sure I can add to what Roy said, which is a really good post, a guy who walks out to his position is giving off body language that is very likely to be reflective of other habits that the person has. Sure, no runs are scored or prevented if everyone ran into the game like Todd Coffey. But then, the attitude that is reflected (while to some may be that of a dork) tells me that Todd is all-out when it comes to baseball. And, it is reflective of someone who wanted to play the game bad enough that he went on a chicken diet to lose enough weight to become a serious prospect and eventually make it to the majors. Does he have talent? Sure. But he also has a struggle with weight and seems to be willing to do what it takes to keep in the best shape that he can, which from what I've seen is probably not real easy for him to do. Aaron Harang has a similar story. He worked his butt off the first offseason after we got him, maintained that level, and has become a respectable pitcher. Again, sure he has talent, but he also realized that it took a lot of hard work to become better. The predominance of the evidence goes against Dunn in this area. He smokes, he parties, and until recently was not normally one to show up early and work on his game. Hopefully, this season end slump will serve as a wake up call that it takes a lot of hard work to become better.

That's baseball. There is no sport in the world where players are protected and coddled more by coaches and their own teammates. Some of the crap that flies on the field for the Reds would never fly on other sports teams. Baseball has a million unwritten rules and most of them are based on protecting the player at all costs with the media/fans.

When Ryan Dempster calls out Felipe Lopez for playing lazy he is ripped up and down by his own fans. When Joe Giradi rips his own pitcher he is called an abuser and ridiculed. The players are coddled by the fans.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 04:15 PM
The issue for Dunn is one moving forward. Is a 900 OPS an acceptable level of performance for a 10M+ player? It becomes a question of level of performance versus salary. In the case of JR they are simply stuck with overpaying at this point.

cReds1
10-02-2006, 04:21 PM
I'm just wondering how many strikeouts is too many. I hear a lot of people say "Dunn strikes out too much." What would be an acceptable total?

BTW - the only thing Daugherty gets right in his article is capturing Joe Everyfan's narrow ideas about how baseball players should all hustle like Pete Rose on greenies or play the game like little leaguers -- run to your position, run as hard as you can to first, don't embarass yourself (i.e. don't embarass your dad) by striking out, etc.

so i guess the every day Joe fan as you say, knows nothing about the game, but say the likes of you and others on this board are not considered every day Joe fans because they know more than the Joe fan you speak of?

is hustle not part of this game? what gives a player the right not to do this? they made the major leagues and now they can relax?

i am just asking your opinion here. and btw, you dang gone right us fans should be looking for the Pete Rose types or should I say the Freel types. at least I can see they gave it their all, well, i am guessing here, in your eyes the lack of hustle proves the players are giving it their all, right.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:22 PM
so i guess the every day Joe fan as you say, knows nothing about the game, but say the likes of you and others on this board are not considered every day Joe fans because they know more than the Joe fan you speak of?

is hustle not part of this game? what gives a player the right not to do this? they made the major leagues and now they can relax?

i am just asking your opinion here. and btw, you dang gone right us fans should be looking for the Pete Rose types or should I say the Freel types. at least I can see they gave it their all, well, i am guessing here, in your eyes the lack of hustle proves the players are giving it their all, right.

That hustle brings fans into the game. I guess it's too much to ask that a major league ballplayer actually give a damn about something other than hacking at the plate.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 04:24 PM
I have an opinion that players with a body type like Adam Dunn have an earlier prime than others and they don't seem to last as long. I'm just throwing this out there because it's my own perception, I could be totally wrong. It just seems that many players with his height and weight struggle in their late 20's and then fade completely shortly after.very tall players(F Howard, Sexson, Winfield, Lee, Parker, etc) tend to have a track record of maturing in their late 20s.

didn't OPS over 900 in a full season 900 until
Lee - 29
Sexson - 28
Winfield - 27
F Howard - 26
Parker - 26

Dunn did it at 24.

Ages OPS over 900
DP - 26,27,28,34
FH - 26,33,34
DW - 27,32,36
DL - 29
RS - 28,29,30
AD - 24, 25

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 04:25 PM
That hustle brings fans into the game. I guess it's too much to ask that a major league ballplayer actually give a damn about something other than hacking at the plate.

Little leaguers hustle all the time. Hustle is nice, but it's *secondary* to actual performance.


All I ask is that players play like they care.

Does running out to your position make a difference? I seriously doubt it. Does running out a walk like Pete Rose on greenies make a difference? I doubt that too. Does running out a ground ball hard make a difference. Well, there I think it can make a small difference.

Hustle is a habit. Hustle has to be ingrained in everything you do on the ballfield so that you do it automatically. Play every play as hard as you can and there may be one time out of 100 where it makes a difference.

I've seen enough sport played to know that hustle is a hard thing to turn on and off. If you want to enjoy the results of a hustle play, you've got to do it all the time since you never know when it's going to make a difference.

I grind my teeth when Griffey doesn't run out a ground ball and the second baseman bobbles it but still has tons of time to throw him out. I grind my teeth when Dunn humpty-dumps his way out to LF and then plays the first ball to him like its a foreign object. I can't figure out why MLB teams don't take infield any more.

I know these guys care enormously about what they do and how they play and have tremendou pride. But just because a guy plays big league ball doesn't mean that the small things cease to matter.

You're more entertained by players who hustle. That's fine. I like to watch players who hustle, too. But again, hustle is *secondary* to performance.

There's a growing chorus of people here clamouring about how lack of hustle is infectious and creates a losing atmosphere, etc, but that ignores the fact that the Reds actually outperformed their Expected W/L by a huge margin. But I guess when the team tanks in September, you have to look for reasons, and lack of hustle is an easy thing to blame your losses on.

Throughout his career, Griffey has always performed without hustling. Now that his performance is slipping, suddenly his attitude is perceived as a problem. Same with Dunn. In 2004 and 2005, he performed very well at the plate, and generally people ignored his lack of hustle (some people were still disturbed by it, but most weren't). Now, following a down year, it's all about how he loafs in the outfield, doesn't work hard, etc.

Again, it's more about us looking for the easiest answer -- that somehow having the "right" attitude can help players perform better. Well, sometimes it just doesn't work that way.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:27 PM
You're more entertained by players who hustle. That's fine. I like to watch players who hustle, too. But attitude is *secondary* to performance.

There's a growing chorus of people here clamouring about how lack of hustle is infectious and creates a losing atmosphere, etc, but that ignores the fact that the Reds actually outperformed their Expected W/L by a huge margin. But I guess when the team tanks in September, you have to look for reasons, and lack of hustle is an easy thing to blame your losses on.

Throughout his career, Griffey has always performed without hustling. Now that his performance is slipping, suddenly his attitude is perceived as a problem. Same with Dunn. In 2004 and 2005, he performed very well at the plate, and generally people ignored his lack of hustle (some people were still disturbed by it, but most weren't). Now, following a down year, it's all about how he loafs in the outfield, doesn't work hard, etc.

Again, it's more about us looking for the easiest answer -- that somehow having the "right" attitude can help players perform better. Well, sometimes it just doesn't work that way.

"Sometimes" it does though. And when you are making close to ten million a year that right attitude shouldn't be an option. I'm not asking for absurd levels of effort here, but you have to be either blind or naive if you think Adam Dunn gave his full effort this year. It's disgusting to "Joe Blow" fan and it takes the fun out of baseball for people. If he can't get excited to play the game why should people be excited to watch him perform?

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 04:28 PM
Dunn has the all-time season record for most strikeouts. I would say that is too much.

So 196 is too much. How about 190? 186? 176? When does it become "too much?"

Ltlabner
10-02-2006, 04:30 PM
Far too often people confuse understanding the game with enjoying the game. The tools one uses to understand the game are hard to debate. Numbers (ie. stats) very rarely lie and are an essential tool to understanding how to get from point A to point B. You can argue over how the numbers are intrepreted, but cold hard numbers are what they are and are valuable.

But how one chooses to enjoy the game is a totally different matter. If "Joe Average Fan" wants to go out and see people hustling it makes them no more or less "narrow" if you could care less. If Joe Average Fan enjoys seeing a cleanly played game, "played the right way" it does not make them "narrow". If people "dig the long ball" it's not narrow. It's how they choose to enjoy the game, and to look down on them because they choose to enjoy aspects of the game you may not particularly enjoy is pretty "narrow" IMO.

BRM
10-02-2006, 04:31 PM
So 196 is too much. How about 190? 186? 176? When does it become "too much?"

It has nothing to do with his strikeout total. It has everything to do with his batting average and RBI totals. At least that's what it seems like to me. If he hit .270 and drove in 130, people wouldn't care how often he struck out.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 04:31 PM
"Sometimes" it does though. And when you are making close to ten million a year that right attitude shouldn't be an option. I'm not asking for absurd levels of effort here, but you have to be either blind or naive if you think Adam Dunn gave his full effort this year. It's disgusting to "Joe Blow" fan and it takes the fun out of baseball for people. If he can't get excited to play the game why should people be excited to watch him perform?

Because they care more about results than the player's attitude.

If all you care about are players being excited to play the game, skip MLB and watch tee ball.

And BTW - what qualifies anyone to judge Adam Dunn's effort as "full" or not?

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:35 PM
Because they care more about results than the player's attitude.

If all you care about are players being excited to play the game, skip MLB and watch tee ball.

And BTW - what qualifies anyone to judge Adam Dunn's effort as "full" or not?

I care about both effort and results. Problem is that Adam Dunn this year didn't provide much of either for his percentage of salary.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 04:36 PM
It has nothing to do with his strikeout total. It has everything to do with his batting average and RBI totals. At least that's what it seems like to me. If he hit .270 and drove in 130, people wouldn't care how often he struck out.

Why .270? Why 130 RBIs?

BRM, I know what you're saying. But the point I'm making is that we're taking arbitrary numbers and saying "that's too much" or "that's not enough". We're drawing the line wherever we feel like drawing the line.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 04:38 PM
I care about both effort and results. Problem is that Adam Dunn this year didn't provide much of either for his percentage of salary.

I agree that Dunn's performance was sub-par for him, regardless of effort or salary. I don't think it's due to a character flaw or lack of effort, though. I think it's simply a down year.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 04:39 PM
And BTW - what qualifies anyone to judge Adam Dunn's effort as "full" or not?or Jr. Who has the first hand experience of the wear and tear that playing 162 games in less than 6 months year does to the body? Especially on guys with larger bodies.

I don't mind Dunn or Jr conserving what they can by not indulging in faux hustle(like running out to your position or in from the bullpen). I never have saw Dunn or Jr walk to their OF positions, they would jog to their positions and so did Freel late in the season. Heck they had the farthest to go, if they walked they wouldn't have time to toss in the OF and I did not ever see them not throw before an inning.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:40 PM
I agree that Dunn's performance was sub-par for him, regardless of effort or salary. I don't think it's due to a character flaw or lack of effort, though. I think it's simply a down year.

Could be. I like you used to laugh at the people blaming all of Dunn's struggles on effort, but the last few months I've been amazed at what looked like a lack of focus. It could be that I'm simply overlooking something or analying too much.

westofyou
10-02-2006, 04:40 PM
http://www.deadballart.com/redszone/howard.gif

BRM
10-02-2006, 04:41 PM
Why .270? Why 130 RBIs?

BRM, I know what you're saying. But the point I'm making is that we're taking arbitrary numbers and saying "that's too much" or "that's not enough". We're drawing the line wherever we feel like drawing the line.

I agree 100%. Ryan Howard struck out 181 times but no one cares because he hit .313 and drove in 149 runs.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 04:42 PM
I care about both effort and results. Problem is that Adam Dunn this year didn't provide much of either for his percentage of salary.actually you would probably find that Dunn's contribution was only slightly less than his salary while this team was stuck with some very large underperformers in the salary/perfromance sweepstakes.

from BP in February


Wayne Krivsky hit the the ground running in Cincinnati by taking care of a piece of business the previous regime left unresolved. Yesterday, he signed Adam Dunn to a two-year contract worth $18 million, with an option for 2008 that would pay Dunn $13 million if picked up.

Given that the Reds blew their chance to make a big investment in Dunn after his shaky 2003 season--when he hit .215/.354/.465--this is a pretty decent save. Dunn was a good player even at that point, but his high strikeout rate and terrible batting average kept his perceived value down. It would have been a good gamble to try and lock him up through his arbitration seasons while he was coming off a .215 BA. He still projected well, but that poor ’03 performance might have provided some cost savings over the next few years. After making $445,000 in ’04, his salary jumped to $4.6 million in ’05 and will be $7.5 million in ’06 and $10.5 million in ‘07. Some foresight could have saved the Reds, conservatively, as much as six million dollars over those four years.

Still, the new deal is a pretty good one for the team. They’ll get Dunn’s theoretical peak seasons, ages 26 through 28, for a total of $31 million, with no obligation to keep him as he moves past his peak to the wrong side of the compensation/productivity matrix. The deal illustrates the power of the rules that govern player movement; consider the contract signed by the older, less productive Paul Konerko this winter, worth $12 million a year for five years. Konerko was a free agent able to solicit work anywhere in the game, and as such, commanded a higher salary and a longer commitment than the more valuable Dunn. The ability to prevent competitive bidding for a player’s services for the first six years of his career is the single most valuable weapon in a team’s arsenal.

Running at this from another angle, take a look at Dunn’s PECOTA card. Nate Silver has developed a metric he calls Marginal Value Over Replacement Player (MORP). The number is the value a player will return, expressed as a dollar figure. Dunn is projected to return $38 million over the next three seasons, while making $31 million. The investment in him should be worth $7 million to the Reds in terms of his impact on their on-field performance. Konerko, on the other hand, is projected to return just $17.6 million over the life of his deal, making the investment a loss to the tune of more than $40 million. (White Sox fans will argue that signing Konerko was based on considerations other than performance. Those may be valid, but they’re not $40 million worth of valid.)

Dunns MORP-VORP
2006 11,075,000 46.6
2007 11,975,000 49.9
2008 14,900,000 57.8
2009 15,025,000 55.2
2010 11,700,000 45.6

Dunns VORP in 2006 was 25.7

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:45 PM
actually you would probably find that Dunn's contribution was only slightly less than his salary while this team was stuck with some very large underperformers in the salary/perfromance sweepstakes.

Are you adding the fact that he might be the worst fielding outfielder in the game? That he might be one of the worst baserunners in the game? Or just talking about offense?

westofyou
10-02-2006, 04:46 PM
That he might be one of the worst baserunners in the game?

Based on what? I see him steal a bag occasionally, he goes first to third and can score from second on a single. He's kinda big to expect much more then not looking like Sean Casey out there.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:49 PM
Based on what? I see him steal a bag occasionally, he goes first to third and can score from second on a single. He's kinda big to expect much more then not looking like Sean Casey out there.

I was at a game in Detroit this year when he was completely out of position on a line drive to center and did not score from third. At a game in GAB when the same exact thing happened.
Yeah it's petty to talk about one play, but I think it's fair to say he's a bad baserunner.

traderumor
10-02-2006, 04:51 PM
I was at a game in Detroit this year when he was completely out of position on a line drive to center and did not score from third. At a game in GAB when the same exact thing happened.
Yeah it's petty to talk about one play, but I think it's fair to say he's a bad baserunner.Overall, he's an average baserunner with average speed. Those two plays are not indicitave of the whole.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 04:52 PM
That he might be one of the worst baserunners in the game? Or just talking about offense?Earlier this year there was a BP study(or somewhere) on Marginal Baserunning(I'll see if I can find it).

BTW, Dunn was neutral. The worst baserunners on the Reds were Jr and Aurilia.

JEA
10-02-2006, 04:54 PM
I never have saw Dunn or Jr walk to their OF positions, they would jog to their positions and so did Freel late in the season.

I have continually seen Adam Dunn walk to his position -- not run, not jog, not skip. He walked. As casually as you or I might walk through a mall.

I saw this during five different games during the month of September. During one jaunt, Aaron Harang stepped off the mound so that Dunn could get to his position in time for the first pitch. Another time, Edwin nearly took off his head with a practice throw to first. Dunn neither laughed nor apologized nor changed his route. He just continued his stroll through the infield.

I'm not offering an opinion on the matter. I'm just confirming that he often walked to his position during multiple games and multiple innings.

Cedric
10-02-2006, 04:55 PM
Earlier this year there was a BP study(or somewhere) on Marginal Baserunning(I'll see if I can find it).

BTW, Dunn was neutral. The worst baserunners on the Reds were Jr and Aurilia.

I probably should have avoided bringing in baserunning into the discussion because it's a very subjective opinion. I myself think he is the worst the Reds have had in recent memory, but it's a tough thing to prove.

westofyou
10-02-2006, 04:57 PM
I myself think he is the worst the Reds have had in recent memory Chris Sabo was brutal, Hal Morris 24 times caught stealing... who runs Hal Morris?

traderumor
10-02-2006, 04:59 PM
I agree that Dunn's performance was sub-par for him, regardless of effort or salary. I don't think it's due to a character flaw or lack of effort, though. I think it's simply a down year.
Lack of effort in a game, no. But I think there is evidence that indicates the committment to do extra work needed to take his game to another level has not occurred. That is something you want your franchise cornerstone to model.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 05:00 PM
I probably should have avoided bringing in baserunning into the discussion because it's a very subjective opinion. I myself think he is the worst the Reds have had in recent memory, but it's a tough thing to prove.thats what the study was about, objectify marginal baserunning from 2005(such as how often a guy takes extra bases versus the average). But most people like to ignore the data when it doesn't agree with their subjective opinion.

The best was Freel, guys like Kearns and Dunn were neutral and the worst was Aurilia and Jr (EE was not far ahead of them).

JR MORP WORP
06 - 5.7M 34.9
07 - 4.5M 28.4
08 - 2.0M 13.8

BTW, Jrs VORP for 2006 was 17.5

klw
10-02-2006, 05:00 PM
Wayne Krivsky hit the the ground running in Cincinnati by taking care of a piece of business the previous regime left unresolved. Yesterday, he signed Adam Dunn to a two-year contract worth $18 million, with an option for 2008 that would pay Dunn $13 million if picked up.

I asked this on a thread in the other forum but no one followed up so I will ask it here. If Dunn has an '07 season which is comparable to '06, should the Reds pick up that $13 million dollar option. I am on the fence and there are a lot of "it depends" but if he gets off to a slow start next season it could get very interesting if he is still here.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 05:02 PM
I asked this on a thread in the other forum but no one followed up so I will ask it here. If Dunn has an '07 season which is comparable to '06, should the Reds pick up that $13 million dollar option. not a chance that they will. Should they would depend on how they would use the money elsewhere.

klw
10-02-2006, 05:02 PM
Chris Sabo was brutal, Hal Morris 24 times caught stealing... who runs Hal Morris?

Well a couple of years ago it seemed that Casey being thrown out at home was a nighlty ESPN highlight.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 05:06 PM
Well a couple of years ago it seemed that Casey being thrown out at home was a nighlty ESPN highlight.I honestly don't recall where Casey was on the list. What I did surmise was that guys that were aggressive came out OK even if they got thrown out once in a while versus guys who never seemed to try and take an extra base.

RedsBaron
10-02-2006, 05:15 PM
If that Ryan Howard guy had struckout less and bunted more I am sure the Phillies would be in the playoffs.

Howard struck out 181 times this season. If only Daugherty was the GM of the Phillies the Reds could then probably get Howard for almost nothing.
;)

Chip R
10-02-2006, 06:55 PM
IMHO though, this team lost alot of games from not "playing the game the right way" - bad pitching, poor defense, stranding runners. Just downright stupid mistakes that showed a lack of fundamentals.

Now if one wants to inject the reason for that is simply a lack of talent (in certain areas/positions), then they won't get any argument from me. ;)

That's right. As much as we'd like to blame Narron for this, I think it's more indicative of the skill level of the player. Take Encarnacion for example. He has trouble making accurate throws to 1st. God love him, by all accounts he works at it and has improved. He certainly doesn't make errors because of a lack of effort or attention. It would seem to be a mechanical problem that can be corrected. But what if he doesn't improve that much? He may just have a certain ceiling where he's only going to be so good at it no matter how hard he works. So what do you do? Do you live with the errors and hope his offense can make up for it, or do you go out and get a third baseman who is steady, unspectacular but won't hit a lot?

There are plenty of players on this roster that are question marks defensively and in other areas as well. As much as Aurilia made the routine play and hit well, he does not have great range. Jr. and Dunn's defensive skills have been discussed in great length. As much as Freel makes the spectacular play and as fast as he is, he makes some blunders on the bases and his throwing accuracy in the infield leaves a lot to be desired.

Can they get better at these things? I'm inclined to say no matter how hard they work, it won't happen. The only way it's going to happen is if they blow up the whole roster and start from scratch. Maybe you keep guys like Deno and Phillips. Then you acquire guys who fit that mold. Maybe someone like a David Bell to play 3rd. Fundamentally sound and seems to have a knack for hitting in the clutch if you listen to the announcers. Have a guy like Sardinha or Miguel Perez as your catcher. They won't hit but HOU and StL have both done well with weak hitting catchers. You have to remember that this ballpark makes a guy with warning track power a home run hitter. Perhaps getting guys who will play the game the right way and selling off most of who don't will improve this team and I have a funny feeling Wayne is going to do just that over time.

reds44
10-02-2006, 07:06 PM
Gosh and I thought the main key for winning baseball was talent, I never realized it was running out to one's defensive position.

I attended over a 1/4 of the home games this season and I couldn't tell you who runs to their positions and who doesn't. I never saw anyone "walking", people generally jogged to their positions.

This team is in serious trouble do to a lack of overall talent, not a lack of "playing the game the right way".
That wasn't Daugherty's point. His point was if you are going to preech "playing the game the right way" then you should enforce it.

Caveat Emperor
10-02-2006, 08:47 PM
That wasn't Daugherty's point. His point was if you are going to preech "playing the game the right way" then you should enforce it.

By doing what? Benching Adam Dunn until he learns to do a Todd Coffey out to left field every night? What on earth would that prove?

The "little thing" argument irks me. The reason the Reds tanked this year was because they weren't very good to start with and eventually the gravy train ran out of steam on guys like Hatteberg and Ross who were playing miles over their heads for most of the year. That also doesn't even begin to address the pitching woes for anyone not named Arroyo and Harang.

You can be more fundamentally sound at the little things than an ompa loompa, but it doesn't make a whit of difference if the talent isn't there.

johngalt
10-02-2006, 09:03 PM
This whole "little things" BS always cracks me up. Every single manager on the face of the earth talks about the little things. They talk about getting their players to bunt more, getting their players to move guys over with outs, getting their players to take the extra base, and on and on ad nauseum.

The Philadelphia Phillies were first in the NL with 865 runs scored. They were also last in the league with 57 sacrifice bunts and had the third-most strikeouts (1,203) as a team. With their team composition, they would have sacrificed a whole boatload of runs by bunting more and giving away outs. They were a team built to slug, a high-powered offense that scored on the strength of extra-base hits and walks (620 - most in the league).

The Atlanta Braves were second in the league in runs and did so with a balanced attack mostly. They were last in the league in stolen bases, but they worked to make up for that with the fifth-most sacrifice bunts and the second-most extra-base hits in the league. The little things worked for them because they had a team full of doubles hitters (not necessarily home run hitters despite leading the league) who improvised when needed because of their lack of stolen-base threats.

Not every team can be a bunting team and not every team can just sit back and wait for the three-run homer. Personally, I think bunting and using weak swings to move guys over severely cripples most offenses by giving away outs and taking away initiative from hitters. At the same time, the approach does work for teams that have the personnel for it. The key - as it seems to always be in sports - is knowing your personnel. Know their strengths, know their weaknesses and put them in the best positions to reach their maximum success.

Trying to force this Reds team into the "little things" category shows just how disconnected Jerry Narron was with the talent he had at his disposal.

vaticanplum
10-02-2006, 09:03 PM
You can be more fundamentally sound at the little things than an ompa loompa

:laugh:

Yep, they do the little things. Scrappy vets indeed.

GAC
10-02-2006, 09:07 PM
That's right. As much as we'd like to blame Narron for this, I think it's more indicative of the skill level of the player. Take Encarnacion for example. He has trouble making accurate throws to 1st. God love him, by all accounts he works at it and has improved. He certainly doesn't make errors because of a lack of effort or attention. It would seem to be a mechanical problem that can be corrected. But what if he doesn't improve that much? He may just have a certain ceiling where he's only going to be so good at it no matter how hard he works. So what do you do? Do you live with the errors and hope his offense can make up for it, or do you go out and get a third baseman who is steady, unspectacular but won't hit a lot?

There are plenty of players on this roster that are question marks defensively and in other areas as well. As much as Aurilia made the routine play and hit well, he does not have great range. Jr. and Dunn's defensive skills have been discussed in great length. As much as Freel makes the spectacular play and as fast as he is, he makes some blunders on the bases and his throwing accuracy in the infield leaves a lot to be desired.

Can they get better at these things? I'm inclined to say no matter how hard they work, it won't happen. The only way it's going to happen is if they blow up the whole roster and start from scratch. Maybe you keep guys like Deno and Phillips. Then you acquire guys who fit that mold. Maybe someone like a David Bell to play 3rd. Fundamentally sound and seems to have a knack for hitting in the clutch if you listen to the announcers. Have a guy like Sardinha or Miguel Perez as your catcher. They won't hit but HOU and StL have both done well with weak hitting catchers. You have to remember that this ballpark makes a guy with warning track power a home run hitter. Perhaps getting guys who will play the game the right way and selling off most of who don't will improve this team and I have a funny feeling Wayne is going to do just that over time.

And you said a key thing.... "how hard they work at it" (to improve/get better in any weakneses and/or lack on their game).

And it seems that is one of the first things fans ask when they see a player struggling or showing a weakness - how hard is that player working to improve?

And since we the fans don't really know - yet we see a player struggling - the accusations fly. ;)

traderumor
10-02-2006, 09:32 PM
Regardless of whether one likes the phrase "plays the game the right way," the 21st century Reds do not play good baseball. They are one dimensional and have been since 1999, and that has not and will not result in winning. If anyone should know anything that follows this team closely, they should know that. So I think it is a bit melodramatic to paint the picture as if those who have grown tiresome of someone's game like I have Dunn's simply want to see the team full of a bunch of judy hitters. There is something called balance, and it is something that the Reds have not had but one season out of the last 11.

Wheelhouse
10-02-2006, 10:50 PM
By doing what? Benching Adam Dunn until he learns to do a Todd Coffey out to left field every night? What on earth would that prove?

The "little thing" argument irks me. The reason the Reds tanked this year was because they weren't very good to start with and eventually the gravy train ran out of steam on guys like Hatteberg and Ross who were playing miles over their heads for most of the year. That also doesn't even begin to address the pitching woes for anyone not named Arroyo and Harang.

You can be more fundamentally sound at the little things than an ompa loompa, but it doesn't make a whit of difference if the talent isn't there.

Not so sure about that--when opposing pitchers knew they had auto-outs in the middle of the lineup, I'm sure it became a lot easier to pitch to the rest of the lineup. Griffey and Dunn's tanking really put the hurt on the lineup as a whole.

Caveat Emperor
10-03-2006, 12:01 AM
Not so sure about that--when opposing pitchers knew they had auto-outs in the middle of the lineup, I'm sure it became a lot easier to pitch to the rest of the lineup. Griffey and Dunn's tanking really put the hurt on the lineup as a whole.

Everyone not named Aurillia and Encarnacion had significant production drop off from the first half to the second half. Topping out the list were Ross, Hatteberg and Dunn -- with an honorable mention to Ryan Freel.

It became a lot easier to pitch to everyone in the Reds lineup in the second half of the season.


1st 2nd Dif
Phillips .795 .702 -.093
Dunn .916 .777 -.139
Aurilia .808 .925 +.117
Encarnacion .834 .829 -.005
Hatteberg .897 .744 -.153
Freel .822 .690 -.132
Griffey Jr. .830 .764 -.066
Clayton* .749 .619 -.130
Ross 1.065 .809 -.256

*Lopez's numbers used for 1st half

Topcat
10-03-2006, 02:00 AM
Last I recall is a team tries to build there team around there home ballpark :confused: is that not the most basic first step? Sure Dunn loafs about but I wouldn't trade him unless the Red's see alot of promising talent headed back to them. I won't even get into the K discussion that has been beaten to death. power hitters strikeout always have always will.

Wheelhouse
10-03-2006, 02:45 AM
Everyone not named Aurillia and Encarnacion had significant production drop off from the first half to the second half. Topping out the list were Ross, Hatteberg and Dunn -- with an honorable mention to Ryan Freel.

It became a lot easier to pitch to everyone in the Reds lineup in the second half of the season.


1st 2nd Dif
Phillips .795 .702 -.093
Dunn .916 .777 -.139
Aurilia .808 .925 +.117
Encarnacion .834 .829 -.005
Hatteberg .897 .744 -.153
Freel .822 .690 -.132
Griffey Jr. .830 .764 -.066
Clayton* .749 .619 -.130
Ross 1.065 .809 -.256

*Lopez's numbers used for 1st half

Phillips, Hatteberg and Ross really tanked in September. They didn't have the horrific falloff Dunn did. Dunn is paid to drive the offense. He is positioned in the lineup to drive the offense. His defense is tolerated when he drives the offense. His lumbering baserunning is tolerated only because he drives the offense. When he does not drive the offense there is no reason for him to be on a baseball field. It doesn't have to be that way: he is enough of an athlete to have played Division I quarterback, so I don't buy the status quo idea about him and that he can't get better. He's a SIX YEAR veteran and was completely unable to adjust when his performance went south. Trade. Next.

Highlifeman21
10-03-2006, 04:01 AM
Phillips, Hatteberg and Ross really tanked in September. They didn't have the horrific falloff Dunn did. Dunn is paid to drive the offense. He is positioned in the lineup to drive the offense. His defense is tolerated when he drives the offense. His lumbering baserunning is tolerated only because he drives the offense. When he does not drive the offense there is no reason for him to be on a baseball field. It doesn't have to be that way: he is enough of an athlete to have played Division I quarterback, so I don't buy the status quo idea about him and that he can't get better. He's a SIX YEAR veteran and was completely unable to adjust when his performance went south. Trade. Next.

So what's the going rate for the best player in our franchise these days?

RedFanAlways1966
10-03-2006, 07:58 AM
It doesn't have to be that way: he is enough of an athlete to have played Division I quarterback, so I don't buy the status quo idea about him and that he can't get better.

Really... when exactly did he PLAY as a Div. I QB? Here I thought he red-shirted one year and then gave it up for baseball. But I have been WRONG before.

Next.

GAC
10-03-2006, 08:00 AM
Regardless of whether one likes the phrase "plays the game the right way," the 21st century Reds do not play good baseball. They are one dimensional and have been since 1999, and that has not and will not result in winning.

Actually, they are two dimensional. They live and die by the HR and the walk. ;)

Johnny Footstool
10-03-2006, 09:26 AM
Actually, they are two dimensional. They live and die by the HR and the walk. ;)

And the offense is definitely the problem. ;)

Hoosier Red
10-03-2006, 10:21 AM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061002/SPT04/310020031/1071

Dunn relishes durability
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
PITTSBURGH – Adam Dunn was told he was getting the final day of the season off.

But because Norris Hopper had a sore hamstring, Dunn was out there after some chiding of Hopper.

“I got my invite to spring training,” Dunn said.


Dunn played for the 160th time in 162 games. It’s the third straight year he’s hit the 160-game mark.

The Reds, by the way, lost to the Pirates 1-0. The only significance is the Reds finished 80-82, so the streak of losing seasons goes to six.

“It’s hurtful,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “but not as hurtful as not making the postseason.”

Dunn was one of two regulars who played in the game. You can question a lot of things about Dunn – and fans do so constantly – but you can’t question his durability or his willingness to play hurt.

There’s the possibility that Sunday’s season finale could have been Dunn’s last game as a Red.

If general manager Wayne Krivsky wants to continue to remake the club -- and indications are he does -- Dunn is the biggest chip to trade.

Krivsky has traded three players like Dunn -- big swingers with a tendency to strike out -- for pitching.

“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I’ve said it every time I’ve heard my name mentioned about a trade. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”

Dunn, 26, had his worst year since 2003. He hit .234 with 40 home runs and 92 RBI and struck out 194 times. In 2005, he hit .247 with 40 home runs and 101 RBI and struck out 166 times.

Dunn’s season was ruined by an awful September. He hit .157 for the month. He had 87 RBI through 126 games. He had five in the last 36 games.

Narron was asked if there was anything Dunn could do different to avoid such a bad September.

“I think I can help,” Narron said. “I think I can give him some time off during the year better than I have. I think if plays maybe 145 or 150 games instead of 160, there’s a possibility that his September will be better.

“That’s something I’ve got to do. I’m not making an excuse for him.”

Dunn never makes excuses for himself. He is as self-deprecating as they come.

When the scoreboard picture at Dolphins Stadium showed him with a handlebar mustache, Dunn threatened to grow one.

“If you play like an ass, you might as well look like an ass,” he said.

Ken Griffey Jr. overheard the remark and said: “Don’t say that. You’re hurting my feelings.”

Griffey thinks Dunn should ease up on Dunn a bit.

“He’s too hard on himself only because he wants to do well,” Griffey said. “If he wasn’t that hard on himself, it would mean he didn’t care. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Adam cares about the way he hits, the way he fields, the way he runs the bases. He cares.”

But Dunn is the guy fans love to hate.

“He takes a lot of abuse out in the outfield,” Griffey said. “He goes out there and gives it a solid effort. No one can say he’s not out there trying.”

Dunn will occasionally fire back at critics, but mostly he just takes it.

“You always want to fire back,” he said. “I don’t care. I don’t play for them. They expect a lot of me. That’s fine.”

But Dunn bristles at the notion that he doesn’t give it his best effort or doesn’t work hard.

“I wouldn’t play 160 games if I wasn’t trying,” he said. “You have work hard to play 160 games and do it every year you’ve got to be doing something to keep your body right. I work to keep my body in shape to keep me in there for 160 games. That’s pretty good.”

Narron says he’s been satisfied with Dunn’s effort.

“People want him to run out on the field like Ryan Freel,” Narron said. “He’s not going to do that. Even if he does that, he’s not going to look like Ryan Freel. The guy’s 6-6, 270 pounds.”

This was Dunn’s first foray into meaningful September baseball. He’s learned something from it.

“I think a lot of it had to do with me trying to do much, maybe trying to hard,” he said. “Other than that, I don’t know. Physically, I’m fine. I’ve got no excuse there.”

There he goes again.

“He is so hard on himself, harder than anyone else,” Griffey said. “But that’s the way you have to be to play this game.”

traderumor
10-03-2006, 10:33 AM
I think if plays maybe 145 or 150 games instead of 160, there’s a possibility that his September will be better.Some wise sage suggested that in the magical disappearing Dunn thread last week. That is probably where it went, Narron saw my post and destroyed the evidence so he could say it was his idea. :cool:

WMR
10-03-2006, 01:35 PM
I will be so incredibly surprised if Krivsky doesn't get absolutely raped by whatever GM is lucky enough to be on the receiving end of his Adam Dunn dump this winter.

flyer85
10-03-2006, 01:47 PM
I will be so incredibly surprised if Krivsky doesn't get absolutely raped by whatever GM is lucky enough to be on the receiving end of his Adam Dunn dump this winter.I am honestly not sure how much trade value Dunn has. Due to his poor finish and salary for 2007 his trade value is at the lowest point in his career. In 2007 and coming off his 2006 season one could easily conclude that he is due to get paid more than he is worth for 2007 which basically means that player doesn't have a lot of trade value. At least something to consider, I honestly don't see a trade of Dunn bringing anything more than a couple of prospects.

WMR
10-03-2006, 01:49 PM
I am honestly not sure how much trade value Dunn has. Due to his poor finish and salary for 2007 his trade value is at the lowest point in his career. In 2007 and coming off his 2006 season one could easily conclude that he is due to get paid more than he is worth for 2007 which basically means that player doesn't have a lot of trade value. At least something to consider, I honestly don't see a trade of Dunn bringing anything more than a couple of prospects.

That's a big part of my point. This would be the absolutely worst time to trade Dunn, but I think Krivsky's misguided goals to building a good, solid team will make him absolutely determined to get rid of Dunn, return be damned.

Krivsky does not appear to understand the idea of run differential while putting huge stock in defense and pitching.

Ltlabner
10-03-2006, 01:53 PM
That's a big part of my point. This would be the absolutely worst time to trade Dunn, but I think Krivsky's misguided 'goals' to building a 'good, solid' team will make him absolutely determined to get rid of Dunn, return be damned.

It's semantics but I don't think building a good, solid team could ever be called misguided. How could it?

The argument is over what qualifies as a good solid team.

Picking of nits I admit.

WMR
10-03-2006, 02:05 PM
Yeah you're right, sorry, I've got the worst cold in my life and a head full of medicine. My grammatical stylings are probably not at their peak right now.

Ltlabner
10-03-2006, 02:09 PM
Yeah you're right, sorry, I've got the worst cold in my life and a head full of medicine. My grammatical stylings are probably not at their peak right now.

With my horrific spelling, I shouldn't be picking at anybody! :)

Hope you feal better.

Wheelhouse
10-03-2006, 05:00 PM
So what's the going rate for the best player in our franchise these days?

I don't think Harang is going anywhere. ;)

traderumor
10-03-2006, 07:34 PM
Krivsky does not appear to understand the idea of run differential while putting huge stock in defense and pitching.Come on. That's just plain disingenous. It would be like telling me, a CPA, that I don't understand net income.

GAC
10-03-2006, 08:12 PM
And the offense is definitely the problem. ;)

Not the main problem obviously; but it's not hitting on all cylinders.

Top 5 in MLB in HRs and BB, but.....

22nd in MLB in Runs (749)

28th in BA (.257)

26th in hits (1419)

16th in OB% (.336) (nothing to brag about)

16th in TB (2385)

Many say BA doesn't matter or is inconsequential. I disagree. I beleive there IS something there that is worthy of discussion.

This team does not hit.

Spring~Fields
10-03-2006, 08:32 PM
Wrong chart my mistake.

RFS62
10-03-2006, 11:06 PM
My grammatical stylings are probably not at their peak right now.


That's unpossible.

Spitball
10-03-2006, 11:48 PM
My grammatical stylings are probably not at their peak right now.

Geesh! If you can't use proper grammar, you shouldn't use grammar at all. ;)

Ron Madden
10-04-2006, 03:20 AM
Not the main problem obviously; but it's not hitting on all cylinders.

Top 5 in MLB in HRs and BB, but.....

22nd in MLB in Runs (749)

28th in BA (.257)

26th in hits (1419)

16th in OB% (.336) (nothing to brag about)

16th in TB (2385)

Many say BA doesn't matter or is inconsequential. I disagree. I beleive there IS something there that is worthy of discussion.

This team does not hit.

This team has some holes to fill.

For far too many years other teams in the league have thrived on our pitching staff to far exceed any numbers posted above.

I doubt anyone has ever said BA doesn't matter.

Every stat matters, it is very common ( but not very wise) to place more value on one single stat over any other. Total performance is what matters.

Johnny Footstool
10-04-2006, 09:46 AM
BA matters when it drives your OBP. In this case, it drove the Reds' OBP down. Luckily, the Reds impressive BB rate kept their OPB from going into the toilet.

The bad thing about BA is that it fluctuates quite a bit. During those times when the hits just aren't falling, you still need to be able to get on base. That's where BB rate really makes the difference.

Yes, more base hits would be great, but the answer isn't to construct a team that relies on base hits as their main means of getting on base.

RANDY IN INDY
10-04-2006, 10:06 AM
If you are facing a really good pitching staff that doesn't allow a lot of bases on balls,(which are usually your better teams) you better be able to get some hits. If you wait for walks against those pitchers, you are going to find yourself walking back to the dugout a lot with the bat on your shoulder. Bases on balls are not the real problem with this team as it is constructed now, as you mentioned.


the Reds impressive BB rate kept their OPB from going into the toilet.

The problem I see is the lack of being able to get a base hit when it is needed and that is an area that needs to see signifigant improvement next season. You can't construct a team that goes into prolonged periods where base hits are absent and be successful, unless you have pitchers that can limit the opponents run production to a couple of runs a game. I think an offense that hits more consistently is going to be much easier to obtain than that kind of pitching. Just my two cents.

WMR
10-04-2006, 10:42 AM
Come on. That's just plain disingenous. It would be like telling me, a CPA, that I don't understand net income.

When a General Manager gives up 25% of his offensive production for two middle relievers, that tells me A LOT about what he values in a baseball club.

As Cyclone has illustrated ad nauseum, there was absolutely no way the production of Bray and Majewski, even at their utmost level of possible production, could have outweighed the run differential loss of Kearns and Lopez.

Johnny Footstool
10-04-2006, 11:28 AM
If you are facing a really good pitching staff that doesn't allow a lot of bases on balls,(which are usually your better teams) you better be able to get some hits. If you wait for walks against those pitchers, you are going to find yourself walking back to the dugout a lot with the bat on your shoulder. Bases on balls are not the real problem with this team as it is constructed now, as you mentioned.

What makes a pitcher really good is the ability to prevent baserunners. Usually, that means they have good stuff, good control, or both. The best way to beat them is to be patient. Walks are a by-product of patience. (So are strikeouts.) You're not waiting for walks per se, you're waiting for a pitch you can handle. When you get that pitch, you'd better be able to hit it, though. The Reds had some problems with that this season, as evidenced by their mediocre slugging.

The nice thing about being patient is that even when you're not hitting, you still benefit in terms of BB and wearing down the opposing pitcher.


The problem I see is the lack of being able to get a base hit when it is needed and that is an area that needs to see signifigant improvement next season. You can't construct a team that goes into prolonged periods where base hits are absent and be successful, unless you have pitchers that can limit the opponents run production to a couple of runs a game. I think an offense that hits more consistently is going to be much easier to obtain than that kind of pitching. Just my two cents.

Getting a base hit "when it is needed" is not really a separate skill from simply getting a base hit, though.

And I agree, you can't win without base hits. But you can construct a team that doesn't *have* to rely on base hits to win.

traderumor
10-04-2006, 12:05 PM
When a General Manager gives up 25% of his offensive production for two middle relievers, that tells me A LOT about what he values in a baseball club.

As Cyclone has illustrated ad nauseum, there was absolutely no way the production of Bray and Majewski, even at their utmost level of possible production, could have outweighed the run differential loss of Kearns and Lopez.To continue my analogy, being a CPA who understands "the bottom line," if I am a key decision maker in a company that is losing money in the short term, does that mean I don't understand net income? Hopefully, you see that as a tremendous oversimplification and you would look a little further than saying "man, this company is losing money, this guy must not understand a thing about making a profit." Because that is essentially what you are saying with Krivsky and run differential, baseball's bottom line, and I just think its humorous to see statements like that made derived from oversimplified conclusions like the one made above.

RANDY IN INDY
10-04-2006, 12:29 PM
What makes a pitcher really good is the ability to prevent baserunners. Usually, that means they have good stuff, good control, or both. The best way to beat them is to be patient. Walks are a by-product of patience. (So are strikeouts.) You're not waiting for walks per se, you're waiting for a pitch you can handle. When you get that pitch, you'd better be able to hit it, though. The Reds had some problems with that this season, as evidenced by their mediocre slugging.

The nice thing about being patient is that even when you're not hitting, you still benefit in terms of BB and wearing down the opposing pitcher.



Getting a base hit "when it is needed" is not really a separate skill from simply getting a base hit, though.

And I agree, you can't win without base hits. But you can construct a team that doesn't *have* to rely on base hits to win.

Don't disagree with being patient, but you don't always get the "perfect" pitch, as good pitchers are aware of where that falls in a hitters zone. He is keenly trying to stay away from it, although even the very best make mistakes. Don't have a problem with being patient, as long as it doesn't take away a hitters aggressiveness. You can't walk your way off the island, and you can't stay at your new destination if you don't swing the bat.

I won't get into the "clutch" argument, but I really believe that there are individuals that have a knack for getting the big hit. Even on my little league team, there are kids that get it done with runners on. There are kids that only get it done when there is no pressure. Are the ones that get it done under pressure the best hitters? Absolutely, but there are some that handle the pressure of driving in runs when it counts much better than others. When I was playing ball and pitching, I could usually see it in the hitters eyes. You knew the ones that wanted to beat you and could get it done.

One question, Johnny, and I ask this in all seriousness. How do you construct a team that doesn't rely on base hits to win? It is the nature of the game that you have to hit to score. I don't like a team's chances of winning, on a regular basis, that does not rely on hits.

WMR
10-04-2006, 12:58 PM
To continue my analogy, being a CPA who understands "the bottom line," if I am a key decision maker in a company that is losing money in the short term, does that mean I don't understand net income? Hopefully, you see that as a tremendous oversimplification and you would look a little further than saying "man, this company is losing money, this guy must not understand a thing about making a profit." Because that is essentially what you are saying with Krivsky and run differential, baseball's bottom line, and I just think its humorous to see statements like that made derived from oversimplified conclusions like the one made above.

Why sell shares of a stock for ten bucks a share when you could get fifteen in a few months?

Krivsky apparently truly believed that the acquisition of Majew/Bray would provide the pitching to get us over the hump for the playoff push, why else would he short-sell such valuable assets when their value could be maximized in the off-season?

Again: How can you justify giving up the number of runs that he surrendered when all quantifiable evidence clearly states that the assets you are bringing in will ultimately result in an overall run deficit? Now add in the further inconsistency of knowing that not only will your acquisitions result in an overall run deficit, you're wildly overpaying without any logical explanation for doing so.

Krivsky should have waited until the off-season, at the very least, if Majew/Bray was the best offer on the table for Kearns and Lopez and he valued and understood the absolutely singular importance of run differential.

traderumor
10-04-2006, 02:13 PM
Why sell shares of a stock for ten bucks a share when you could get fifteen in a few months?

Krivsky apparently truly believed that the acquisition of Majew/Bray would provide the pitching to get us over the hump for the playoff push, why else would he short-sell such valuable assets when their value could be maximized in the off-season?

Again: How can you justify giving up the number of runs that he surrendered when all quantifiable evidence clearly states that the assets you are bringing in will ultimately result in an overall run deficit? Now add in the further inconsistency of knowing that not only will your acquisitions result in an overall run deficit, you're wildly overpaying without any logical explanation for doing so.

Krivsky should have waited until the off-season, at the very least, if Majew/Bray was the best offer on the table for Kearns and Lopez and he valued and understood the absolutely singular importance of run differential.Notice I did not justify anything. If you were to make the comment you did directly to Krivsky, you would essentially be making a statement to him that he does not understand a fundamental basic of his craft and he would be insulted, as would any executive be when accused of not understanding so basic a concept. That's not justifying anything. It's called basic respect. If you don't have any for the person, fine, but don't paint the picture of total incompetency by oversimplifying the person's task.

Johnny Footstool
10-04-2006, 04:07 PM
I won't get into the "clutch" argument, but I really believe that there are individuals that have a knack for getting the big hit. Even on my little league team, there are kids that get it done with runners on. There are kids that only get it done when there is no pressure. Are the ones that get it done under pressure the best hitters? Absolutely, but there are some that handle the pressure of driving in runs when it counts much better than others. When I was playing ball and pitching, I could usually see it in the hitters eyes. You knew the ones that wanted to beat you and could get it done.

But weren't those kids the ones who got it done all the time, not just in clutch situations? There are very few players whose level of play rises significantly in clutch situations. Most players identified as good "clutch" hitters are good hitters, period.


One question, Johnny, and I ask this in all seriousness. How do you construct a team that doesn't rely on base hits to win? It is the nature of the game that you have to hit to score. I don't like a team's chances of winning, on a regular basis, that does not rely on hits.

When I talk about base hits, I mean mostly singles -- the most common type of hit.

You need some hits, to be sure. What I'm saying is that you don't have to rely on a high number of base hits, but rather quality hits (extra-base hits). You need slugging and base accumulation. IMO, you can build a team that doesn't *have* to rely on piles and piles of hits to be effective on offense. Case in point: 2005 Cincinnati Reds. 8th in the NL in BA, first in runs scored.

GAC
10-04-2006, 09:17 PM
I doubt anyone has ever said BA doesn't matter.

Alot on here do.


Every stat matters, it is very common ( but not very wise) to place more value on one single stat over any other. Total performance is what matters.

I agree. No one denies the significance of such stats as OB%, RC, RC27, etc. But BA is rarely used in discussions on here and is ignored and considered pretty insignificant.

So what is BA indicative of? Is it a reliable indicator of hitting at all? Not soley, but inclusive? And do we need to define what hitting is?

Getting on base is obviously important. And there are many ways inwhich one can accomplish that. But is that, or should that, be inclusive in the "art of hitting"? And I'm not saying it isn't. Just throwing thta out there for the sake of discussion.

I am not denigrating a player who has a keen batting eye, knows the strike zone, and is able to take a walk.

But what I am looking at is that when they do get a good pitch, they are able to capitalize and drive it for a hit. And I will take that even a step further. What about those players - guys like a Ted Williams, Pujols, Rose, Cobb, Gwynn, and many others, who can even drive balls, get hits on pitches out of the zone. They simply KNOW how to hit.

That's the problem I see with this team overall.

Ron Madden
10-05-2006, 05:15 AM
Alot on here do.



I agree. No one denies the significance of such stats as OB%, RC, RC27, etc. But BA is rarely used in discussions on here and is ignored and considered pretty insignificant.

So what is BA indicative of? Is it a reliable indicator of hitting at all? Not soley, but inclusive? And do we need to define what hitting is?

Getting on base is obviously important. And there are many ways inwhich one can accomplish that. But is that, or should that, be inclusive in the "art of hitting"? And I'm not saying it isn't. Just throwing thta out there for the sake of discussion.

I am not denigrating a player who has a keen batting eye, knows the strike zone, and is able to take a walk.

But what I am looking at is that when they do get a good pitch, they are able to capitalize and drive it for a hit. And I will take that even a step further. What about those players - guys like a Ted Williams, Pujols, Rose, Cobb, Gwynn, and many others, who can even drive balls, get hits on pitches out of the zone. They simply KNOW how to hit.

That's the problem I see with this team overall.

Hi Gac, What we have here is failure to communicate. ;) We are in agreement here for rhe most part.

I think our hitters would be far better of waiting for a pitch to drive, it rarely pays to swing at a pitch just because you can make contact with it.

It would be foolish to say BA is insignificant. At the same time it would be just as silly to use BA as the key stat in our evaluation of productive hitters.

I grew up with BA, HR's, and RBI as my only template to judge a hitters value.
Everything I was ever taught as a player or a fan came from "old school".

This web site has opend my mind and greatly enhanced my love and admiration of the game. Guess I'm kind of a slow learner but I;m trying.:)

RFS62
10-05-2006, 06:30 AM
Reggie Jackson was on XM radio yesterday. He was talking about an extended conversation he had with Bob Gibson over dinner a while back.

It centered around Gibson's assertion that "strike one" is the most important pitch in baseball. Reggie talked about how Gibson wanted a first pitch strike, after which everything else he threw would be around the knees.

They agreed that you have to be ready to hit the first pitch against a good pitcher, as it may be the only hittable pitch you'd get in that at bat.

It's very nice to go deep into the count. But you have to be ready to pull the trigger at all times. I think we lose that with all the emphasis on seeing a lot of pitches.

RedsBaron
10-05-2006, 07:01 AM
"My argument is, to be a good hitter you've got to get a good ball to hit. It's the first rule in the book. Now, if I'm a real dangerous hitter and they're pitching me cute, a little low, a hair inside, I'm not going to get that ball I can really hit, I'll have to bite at stuff that is out of my happy zone. Out there I'm not a .344 hitter, I might be only a .250 hitter.
"My argument is, if the guy behind me is a .300 hitter and, having walked me, they have to pitch to him, they'll probably have to get in his happy zone, his .300 zone. A good hitter, I believe, can hit a ball that is over the plate three times better than a great hitter can hit a questionable ball that is not in the strike zone.
"Fortunately, of course, pitchers still make enough slips, or get in situations where they can't walk you, and a guy like me winds up averaging .344. But the greatest hitter in the world can't hit bad balls well. My first couple of years with the Red Sox I went for bad pitches. Not often, but enough to learn a lesson. I was too anxious. I made outs I should not have made. You've got to get a good ball. You hit a ball in that happy zone, something happens. In that tough zone, once in a while it happens. In that real tough zone, it seldom happens. When you start going for the pitch an inch off, the next time the pitcher will throw it two inches off, then three, and before you know it you're hitting .250."
Ted Williams, "My Turn At Bat,", page 143.

RANDY IN INDY
10-05-2006, 07:47 AM
The incredible shrinking strike zone has changed the game in a negative way. It has made pitchers crazy and hitters lazy.

GAC
10-05-2006, 08:27 AM
The incredible shrinking strike zone has changed the game in a negative way. It has made pitchers crazy and hitters lazy.

Very good point Randy.

I probably watched close to 90-100 Red's games this year. I was glad to see the Reds, in 2006, do alot better job as far as walks/OB%. It's just too bad we couldn't drive them in when I look at where we were at, in MLB, as far as Runs and Total Bases.

But one of the items that really bugged the crap out of me, from observing alot of our hitters, was that their "patience" (if that is what one wants to label it) had them looking at, and taking, an awful lot of good pitches. And when I say good pitches I'm referring to right down the ol' pike and within the strikezone/hittable range. They're standing there with the bat on their shoulder and would be behind in the count 0-2 before they knew what was happening. And of course when you are behind like that, it's advantage pitcher because you're then having to battle back (if you can) and protect the plate, which then causes you to swing at bad pitches.

And it really burned me when they had men in scoring position.

And alot of times I got the feeling that these guys were up there looking for a walk. I know I could be completely off-base (no pun intended) by that thinking; but that is how it appeared to me alot of times. I'm not expecting these guys to be up ther hacking away or turning into free swingers simply trying to make contact either. But there is a balance there somewhere, and this team lacks it IMO.

But with me it boils down to pitch recognition, and be able to see not simply YOUR pitch, but a quality hittable pitch. And then there is the issue of not only being aggressive, but KNOWING WHEN to be aggressive.

If and when a pitcher is struggling, then I am all for batters taking pitchers to work the count and bring wear on the pitcher. But how many times did we see alot of pithcers this year (especially rookies), who "on paper" we should have been teeing off on, instead blowing us away? And I don't believe it was simply from not seeing this "kid" before.

The opposition didn't seem to have that problem with some the "kids" we were throwing out there at times. ;)

RedFanAlways1966
10-05-2006, 08:40 AM
The incredible shrinking strike zone has changed the game in a negative way. It has made pitchers crazy and hitters lazy.

:clap:

Could not agree more. It is ridiculous IMO and needs to be changed.

dabvu2498
10-05-2006, 08:45 AM
I was glad to see the Reds, in 2006, do alot better job as far as walks/OB%.

2006 Reds actually had a slightly lower OBP than the 2005 model. .336 to .339

Chip R
10-05-2006, 09:09 AM
Alot on here do.


No. All they have said is that it isn't the be all and end all in evaluating a hitter. Just like OBP or SLG or walk rate or number of pitches taken aren't the be all and end all.

Johnny Footstool
10-05-2006, 09:27 AM
We've said that judging a player based on his batting average (or RBIs) is ridiculous. I happen to agree -- there are far more important stats to look at.

traderumor
10-05-2006, 10:00 AM
We've said that judging a player based on his batting average (or RBIs) is ridiculous. I happen to agree -- there are far more important stats to look at.There is a place for BA if it is used as an evaluative tool and not to make statements like "Freddie Sanchez is a good hitter because he won the NL 'Batting Crown.'" For example, when OBP is BA driven (Brandon Phillips), then one can except more volatility in his numbers (which is exactly what we've seen) than someone who is already showing good signs of balance at the plate (Edwin Encarnacion), who is still able to get on base in the midst of a base hit slump.

GAC
10-05-2006, 10:08 AM
No. All they have said is that it isn't the be all and end all in evaluating a hitter. Just like OBP or SLG or walk rate or number of pitches taken aren't the be all and end all.

Yet in some of the discussions we have had on here about hitting - BA usually isn't invited to the party. ;)

M2
10-05-2006, 10:17 AM
BA is for children. Don't get me wrong, I like it (I'll still watch cartoons with the kids too), but it's mostly because it's a component of OB and SLG. A good BA doesn't make you a good RBI man -- we got to see that first-hand with Sean Casey. Most players need to hit at least .270 in order to make themselves productive (the exception being incredibly powerful hitters who take a ton of walks).

What I find continually disappointing is folks on this site who've been shown in excruciating detail that BA by itself isn't that productive and that it doesn't correlate very well with RBIs or runs scored and yet they still obsess over it, insisting that it's THE magic bullet for putting runs on the board. It's like arguing against someone who still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

Chip R
10-05-2006, 10:27 AM
Yet in some of the discussions we have had on here about hitting - BA usually isn't invited to the party. ;)


Sure it is. But it's not everyone's first choice to dance with. :p:

westofyou
10-05-2006, 10:27 AM
What I find continually disappointing is folks on this site who've been shown in excruciating detail that BA by itself isn't that productive and that it doesn't correlate very well with RBIs or runs scored and yet they still obsess over it, insisting that it's THE magic bullet for putting runs on the board. It's like arguing against someone who still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

The proverbial snake eating its tail.

Batting Average is a component of the game, and as far as metrics go it's way more imperfect then the "Cult of OPA" or the higher order of evil "The Cult of OPS"

Don't get me wrong.. I like a good batting average, but batting average is the abacus of the stats world, it's a simplified, antiquated way of looking at a batters toolbox, the real problem is that it only shows that the toolbox is indeed full of something, it doesn't tell us what it is actually full of of, and that's not how you determine if you want that toolbox in your corner or not.

WMR
10-05-2006, 01:54 PM
Notice I did not justify anything. If you were to make the comment you did directly to Krivsky, you would essentially be making a statement to him that he does not understand a fundamental basic of his craft and he would be insulted, as would any executive be when accused of not understanding so basic a concept. That's not justifying anything. It's called basic respect. If you don't have any for the person, fine, but don't paint the picture of total incompetency by oversimplifying the person's task.

If the shoe fits...

The concepts of run differential and lost value dictating why trading Kearns and Lopez when and for what he did was so incredibly dumb and misguided, I couldn't care less if Krivsky's feelings get hurt in the process of calling a spade a spade.

If he understood so well these--in your words--fundamental basics then the trade never would have happened in the first place.

He did make the trade, however, and that, in my opinion, makes criticisms such as these more than fair game.

Where did he expect to make up the offensive contributions of a top-30 .OPS'ing OF'er and one of the top offensive SS's in MLB? Royce Clayton and Chris Denorfia? He squandered maybe our two most patient hitters.

traderumor
10-05-2006, 03:32 PM
If the shoe fits...

The concepts of run differential and lost value dictating why trading Kearns and Lopez when and for what he did was so incredibly dumb and misguided, I couldn't care less if Krivsky's feelings get hurt in the process of calling a spade a spade.

If he understood so well these--in your words--fundamental basics then the trade never would have happened in the first place.

He did make the trade, however, and that, in my opinion, makes criticisms such as these more than fair game.

Where did he expect to make up the offensive contributions of a top-30 .OPS'ing OF'er and one of the top offensive SS's in MLB? Royce Clayton and Chris Denorfia? He squandered maybe our two most patient hitters.

Again, you have missed the point. Criticism is not the issue, the basis for the criticism (forming a conclusion based on oversimplifying a person's job) is the issue I am addressing.

WMR
10-05-2006, 03:51 PM
I guess I am missing the point b/c I judge performance by results and the thoughts that lead up to making those decisions...

What is this oversimplification you are talking about? What complexities behind this move am I missing?

My original post:

Krivsky does not appear to understand the idea of run differential while putting huge stock in defense and pitching.
I think you might have missed the 'appear' part. This trade, approached from a run differential standpoint, could lead one to the conclusion that the man behind the trade did not have a clear understanding of run differential.


I'm sure Krivsky understands the definition of run differential. I'm not sure that he values and/or truly understands its ultimate importance when evaluating a trade. Otherwise no way would he have made such a trade.

He appears to value gut over statistics. This has led to some positive results/acquisitions, but such an approach, IMO, will come back to bite you in the ass just as often.

Saying he doesn't understand run differential was a bit of hyperbole on my part, for sure, but I said it to emphasize my overall point of trying to figure out what is--or isn't--going on inside his head when signing off on such a debacle. I thought that was clear.

traderumor
10-05-2006, 05:28 PM
Saying he doesn't understand run differential was a bit of hyperbole on my part, for sure,Saying this and then not understanding the charge of oversimplification is a contradiction. That was exactly my point. I try to avoid hyperbole, figuring if my point is worth arguing, I won't need to exaggerate to make it.

GAC
10-05-2006, 08:40 PM
BA is for children. Don't get me wrong, I like it (I'll still watch cartoons with the kids too)

Can we get any more condescending? :lol:

You've basically just validated what I have said previously about some's views on BA on here. Geez!

People who believe there is value to BA are basically immature individuals (equivalent to children) who believe in the Tooth Fairy and watch Saturday morning cartoons. :rolleyes:


What I find continually disappointing is folks on this site who've been shown in excruciating detail that BA by itself isn't that productive and that it doesn't correlate very well with RBIs or runs scored and yet they still obsess over it, insisting that it's THE magic bullet for putting runs on the board. It's like arguing against someone who still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

I am not, nor have I ever obsessed over it, or that it should be looked at by itself. That's a huge stretch on your part. I knew that as soon as I even brought it up this would be thrown out there by someone.

Nor will you ever find a post anywhere on here by me where I have stated that it's an "all in all" in evaluating a hitter exclusively.

I simply have stated that it shouldn't be looked at with such scorn (as you've just shown) and ignored completely. There is something of value there to be looked at, and should be inclusive in the discussion. And you're saying only if you like watching Saturday morning cartoons.

I find it interesting that most of your top tier teams, including those that are in the post-season (and there are an exception - A's), while being in that top tier in most other offensive categories that many find important, are also top tier in BA also. Yet that is inconsequential? I don't think so.

SteelSD
10-06-2006, 12:19 AM
I find it interesting that most of your top tier teams, including those that are in the post-season (and there are an exception - A's), while being in that top tier in most other offensive categories that many find important, are also top tier in BA also. Yet that is inconsequential? I don't think so.

Yeah, it's inconsequential and not only because we find a miniscule 13.29% correlation between Batting Average and team Wins for the NL in 2006. Here are the correlations for the 2006 National League:

Category- Correlation

Runs to Batting Average: 57.17%
Runs to On Base Percentage: 74.68%
Runs to Slugging Percentage: 88.60%
Runs to On Base plus Slugging: 94.83%

Pretty stark, that is.

Category- Correlation

Run Differential to Wins: 90.03%
Batting Average to Run Diff: 38.51%
On Base plus Slugging to Run Differential: 59.32%

When you have a 13.29% correlation between team Wins and Batting Average, that means you've got virtually nothing because Wins are what gets you to the playoffs in the first place versus what you're implying- that there's some kind of correlation between playoff teams and high Batting Averages. Unfortunately, that's just untrue.

So what drives Run Differential from an offensive perspective?

Category- Correlation

Batting Average to Run Differential: 38.51%
Isolated Discipline (OBP minus BA) to RD: 47.20%
Isolated Power (SLG minus BA) RD: 49.58%
On Base Percentage to Run Differential: 57.88%
Slugging Percentage to Run Differential: 58.88%
On Base Plus Slugging to Run Differential: 59.32%

Any time you correlate offensive rate stats to Run Differential, you're only looking at about 60% of the picture because defense and pitching is the other 40% of the game. The interesting thing is that out of all non-Out events in the NL for 2006, 71% were base hits (23,501 Hits). Yet both IsoD and IsoP correlate higher with Run Differential than does Batting Average. OBP, SLG, and OPS push past the 57% mark and we're not even factoring in defense and pitching. Really think about that for a moment. NL teams that were able to produce a higher rate of non-Hit non-Out events actually were more likely to Win more games than teams who produced high Batting Averages.

Clearly, hit rate is not a primary driver for Run Differential- which is the primary driver pushing W/L records. In fact, we'd be better off predicting a team's Run Diff if we looked only at IsoD, IsoP, OBP, SLG, or OPS than we would if looking at Batting Average. We'd be much better off in fact.

The only thing Batting Average is useful at this point is as a baseline for determining Isolated Discipline and Isolated Power numbers for projection purposes. Other than that, it's a nigh-meaningless statistic that, for some reason, appeals to the masses. Maybe it's due to its simplicy or, more likely, because folks don't quite understand how low it is on the totem pole of actual meaningful drivers. Batting Average, while seen as a key driver of both OBP and SLG, has actually correlated at 47.99% and 46.13% respectively for the NL this season.

Simply put, we think that Batting Average has much much more to do with the driving of what really matters than it actually does. Look past it and there's a lot to be learned. But that sometimes means that we have to un-learn what we've been taught for quite some time. That's hard. But it's also productive.

RANDY IN INDY
10-06-2006, 06:58 AM
Can we get any more condescending? :lol:

You've basically just validated what I have said previously about some's views on BA on here. Geez!

People who believe there is value to BA are basically immature individuals (equivalent to children) who believe in the Tooth Fairy and watch Saturday morning cartoons. :rolleyes:



I am not, nor have I ever obsessed over it, or that it should be looked at by itself. That's a huge stretch on your part. I knew that as soon as I even brought it up this would be thrown out there by someone.

Nor will you ever find a post anywhere on here by me where I have stated that it's an "all in all" in evaluating a hitter exclusively.

I simply have stated that it shouldn't be looked at with such scorn (as you've just shown) and ignored completely. There is something of value there to be looked at, and should be inclusive in the discussion. And you're saying only if you like watching Saturday morning cartoons.

I find it interesting that most of your top tier teams, including those that are in the post-season (and there are an exception - A's), while being in that top tier in most other offensive categories that many find important, are also top tier in BA also. Yet that is inconsequential? I don't think so.

I believe your comments have been validated, GAC.

M2
10-06-2006, 08:56 AM
Great post Steel, I'll add that a lot of folks here have FOR YEARS been arguing that the Reds should be hitting an OB guy like Adam Dunn up in front of BA guys like Sean Casey in order to maximize what the team can get out of those hits.

It should also be noted that the team BA tumbled in the second half along with the walk rate. Why if I didn't know better I'd think the two were related incidents.

Always Red
10-06-2006, 09:23 AM
Other than that, it's a nigh-meaningless statistic that, for some reason, appeals to the masses. Maybe it's due to its simplicy or, more likely, because folks don't quite understand how low it is on the totem pole of actual meaningful drivers. Batting Average, while seen as a key driver of both OBP and SLG, has actually correlated at 47.99% and 46.13% respectively for the NL this season.

Simply put, we think that Batting Average has much much more to do with the driving of what really matters than it actually does. Look past it and there's a lot to be learned. But that sometimes means that we have to un-learn what we've been taught for quite some time. That's hard. But it's also productive.

Great post, Steel, and thanks for the free education.:)

IMO, the reason batting average is so highly valued by most fans of the game (who are not as statistically minded as some here) is simply history.

Until the 80's, a lot of these stats were "undiscovered" and batting average, HR and RBI were the hallmarks, the triple crown.

FWIW, I've noticed a lot of media discussing OPS, more and more, of late.

I guess we'll know when OPS has really "arrived" when ESPN and FOX start putting OPS on the graphics as a player steps to the plate.

Johnny Footstool
10-06-2006, 09:24 AM
Any time you correlate offensive rate stats to Run Differential, you're only looking at about 60% of the picture because defense and pitching is the other 40% of the game. The interesting thing is that out of all non-Out events in the NL for 2006, 71% were base hits (23,501 Hits). Yet both IsoD and IsoP correlate higher with Run Differential than does Batting Average. OBP, SLG, and OPS push past the 57% mark and we're not even factoring in defense and pitching. Really think about that for a moment. NL teams that were able to produce a higher rate of non-Hit non-Out events actually were more likely to Win more games than teams who produced high Batting Averages.

An obvious theory here is that non-Hit non-Out events (like walks) contribute heavily to pitch counts, which is a key to wearing down the opposition, cracking open the shell of starting pitching and feasting on the tasty innards of the bullpen.

Mmm...bullpen innards...

GAC
10-06-2006, 09:45 AM
I believe your comments have been validated, GAC.

Thank you Randy, but it really had nothing to do with gaining validation at all.

I wasn't making any bold claims or assertions about batting average.

Not once on this thread did I attempt to slight or put down anyone who holds BA in low esteem or consider it inconsequential.

I was simply putting forth thought, after seriously looking at this team's offensive production in '06 (especialy in the 2nd half), which has been an enigma to me, and wondering (out loud) if their team batting average had any influence on it?

40 years ago, sure, I was like everyone else, and put alot of emphasis on BA. It's how we were all taught. It was engrained.

But even long before I joined this forum many years ago I had come to realize that it was not an "all in all", and looked more to other factors/variables, such as OB%.

So some, on this thread, really need to get off this idea that I am trying to elevate BA to some lofty position, and start another argument.

But if there is the belief that there is relevancy to batting average, and yes, it is a stat, which should be inclusive in the discussion..... then what is that relevancy?

What, if any, is BA an indicator of?

or should it be completely discarded into the scrap heap? ;)


IMO, the reason batting average is so highly valued by most fans of the game (who are not as statistically minded as some here) is simply history.

Excuse me. But respectfully, alot of people who still look at (not elevate) batting average are statisically-minded.

We don't have sloped foreheads either. :lol:

Always Red
10-06-2006, 09:53 AM
Excuse me. But respectfully, alot of people who still look at (not elevate) batting average are statisically-minded.

We don't have sloped foreheads either. :lol:

didn't mean to insult you, or anyone, GAC. Sorry if I did.

I look at BA still, too. But I do not value it as highly as I did before I started learning more about what actually creates runs.:)

I actually resemble a Neanderthal, or so my daughters tell me :laugh:

RANDY IN INDY
10-06-2006, 10:01 AM
Thank you Randy, but it really had nothing to do with gaining validation at all.

I wasn't making any bold claims or assertions about batting average.

Not once on this thread did I attempt to slight or put down anyone who holds BA in low esteem or consider it inconsequential.

I was simply putting forth thought, after seriously looking at this team's offensive production in '06 (especialy in the 2nd half), which has been an enigma to me, and wondering (out loud) if their team batting average had any influence on it?

40 years ago, sure, I was like everyone else, and put alot of emphasis on BA. It's how we were all taught. It was engrained.

But even long before I joined this forum many years ago I had come to realize that it was not an "all in all", and looked more to other factors/variables, such as OB%.

So some, on this thread, really need to get off this idea that I am trying to elevate BA to some lofty position, and start another argument.

But if there is the belief that there is relevancy to batting average, and yes, it is a stat, which should be inclusive in the discussion..... then what is that relevancy?

What, if any, is BA an indicator of?

or should it be completely discarded into the scrap heap? ;)



Excuse me. But respectfully, alot of people who still look at (not elevate) batting average are statisically-minded.

We don't have sloped foreheads either. :lol:

As you said, it was about making a point. I don't hold batting average as high as I once did, but I don't totally discount it, either.

Now, back to my cartoons.:laugh:

osuceltic
10-06-2006, 10:05 AM
It's amazing that those of us who still look at batting average (LOOK AT ... not WORSHIP) can even operate a computer. Of course, I'm having my kids post this for me. Maybe all you neanderthals are doing the same.

westofyou
10-06-2006, 10:13 AM
Great post, Steel, and thanks for the free education.:)

IMO, the reason batting average is so highly valued by most fans of the game (who are not as statistically minded as some here) is simply history.

Until the 80's, a lot of these stats were "undiscovered" and batting average, HR and RBI were the hallmarks, the triple crown.

FWIW, I've noticed a lot of media discussing OPS, more and more, of late.

I guess we'll know when OPS has really "arrived" when ESPN and FOX start putting OPS on the graphics as a player steps to the plate.

I wrote a piece about the stats at the bottom of the screen during a broadcast and where they came from.


Batting Average

In 1871 H.A Dobson of Washington devise a formula that he used to measure the effectiveness of batters in single contest or over a span of contests. So enamored with his formula he sent a letter to Henry Chadwick the preeminent Baseball statistician and the inventor of the box score. Within a year Chadwick fully endorsed the formula, a simple one that divided the players hits into their total at bats for a sum called “batting average” In the 1872 Beadle Guide of Baseball Chadwick wrote of batting average, “One is erroneous, one is right.”

And so the battle and the obsession began.

http://baseballminutia.com/blog/2006/05/08/those-stats-at-the-bottom-of-the-screen/

GAC
10-06-2006, 10:30 AM
I wrote a piece about the stats at the bottom of the screen during a broadcast and where they came from.



http://baseballminutia.com/blog/2006/05/08/those-stats-at-the-bottom-of-the-screen/

Thanks Brian. Always good to read your historical perspective. Still love the book "Past Time."

But you really aren't answering/adressing my question(s)...


But if there is the belief that there is relevancy to batting average, and yes, it is a stat, which should be inclusive in the discussion..... then what is that relevancy?

What, if any, is BA an indicator of?

or should it be completely discarded into the scrap heap?




didn't mean to insult you, or anyone, GAC. Sorry if I did.

I look at BA still, too. But I do not value it as highly as I did before I started learning more about what actually creates runs.

I actually resemble a Neanderthal, or so my daughters tell me

Hey, no problem.

And I wish my teenagers simply called me a Neanderthal. It would be one of the nicest things they could say about their Dad who is all of a sudden "out of touch" and so old fashioned.

Yet the listen to my 60's R n R music as if it's something new band.... "Hey Dad, have you heard this song by the Who?" :lol:

westofyou
10-06-2006, 10:36 AM
What, if any, is BA an indicator of?

How often a ball is hit in an at bat.

But not how many bases were acquired, which makes it a gray area when just looking at it standing alone.

Here's a crude Batting Average analogy.

Batting average is a pretty girl in a car, she drives by and flashes you a smile like Suzanne Summers did to Richard Dreyfuss in "American Grafitti"

Then she steps out of the car and is less then pretty from the neck down.

That's what batting average is to me.

M2
10-06-2006, 10:42 AM
BA is the statistical equivalent of shows like "Lost" and "The X Files." No matter how much you like it, it's never going to tell you what you really need to know.

traderumor
10-06-2006, 10:47 AM
Just to add to the inhumanity of using batting average for anything but a statistical toothpick (and I did make a snide remark in last weekend's gamethread about the Pirates fans giving a standing O to Freddie Sanchez for his run for the batting title, who at the time had an OPS slightly lower than Adam Dunn and Rich Aurilia, guess we see why there seems to be so little urgency to win around those parts--dumb fans ;) ) is that there will be guys who go to the negotiation or arbitration table with awards like a batting title or silver slugger awards and actually earn a few extra hundred thousand or so based on batting average. Man's inhumanity to man.

GAC
10-06-2006, 11:35 AM
How often a ball is hit in an at bat.

But not how many bases were acquired, which makes it a gray area when just looking at it standing alone.

Here's a crude Batting Average analogy.

Batting average is a pretty girl in a car, she drives by and flashes you a smile like Suzanne Summers did to Richard Dreyfuss in "American Grafitti"

Then she steps out of the car and is less then pretty from the neck down.

That's what batting average is to me.

So, would guys who consistently carry high BA's (above .300), which I'm assuming means "how often a ball it hit in an A/B" (getting a hit), be considered better "hitters" then guys who struggle to hit .220 and Ks 150x/year?

And no everyone, this is not about Adam Dunn! :lol:

Or do we then say... "a hitter is also defined, and especially a good hitter, by the # of bases acquired by all the other various means (including BA) looked at together"?

So would someone who bats .210, Ks 150 times/year, yet has an OB% of around .360, be considered a good "hitter"?

And what about a hitter who consistently has a BB-driven OB% versus one whose is consistently BA-driven? Which would you prefer, or does it matter? Or is it believed that the one BA-driven cannot consistently maintain it as well as the one that is BB-driven?

dabvu2498
10-06-2006, 11:42 AM
Any time you correlate offensive rate stats to Run Differential, you're only looking at about 60% of the picture because defense and pitching is the other 40% of the game.

I have a question: How is offense 60% of run differential?

westofyou
10-06-2006, 11:53 AM
So, would guys who consistently carry high BA's (above .300), which I'm assuming means "how often a ball it hit in an A/B" (getting a hit), be considered better "hitters" then guys who struggle to hit .220 and Ks 150x/year?

Yep, but the game is "base" ball, not "hit" ball.

The game originally was about "hitting" the ball. The batter indicated his pitch, the pitcher threw underhanded, the fielders had no gloves and errors were common place. In that instance contact is at a premium.

Introduction of pitching speed to the game and equipment and venue changes changed the approach to the game by the early 20th Century, which caused 19th Century players to fret about the games direction.

Batters don't follow out their natural instinct to wallop the ball, but stall around the plate in the hope of drawing a base instead of hitting the ball hard.

Bill Lange 3-14-1909

The arrival of Ruth increased the popularity of the game so much that teams began to build stands in the outfield to get more fannies in the seats. This decreased the size of the field even more, increasing home runs and the thirst to acquire more bases then the one hit approach of the deadball era or the slap ball, error fest of the 19th century.

When pitching is a premium (1960's-1970's) then the base to base approach becomes more popular, that's when you get your Dave Cash's and Matty Alou types, I still prefer acquiring bases anyway I can and big hitters with walk ability are one of my favorites (you should see my strat team) But I also like BA driven guys, but if I was building a team I would only pay big bucks to BA driven guys with either pop, or walk ability... or if they were flashy SS types.

RedsManRick
10-06-2006, 11:56 AM
So, would guys who consistently carry high BA's (above .300), which I'm assuming means "how often a ball it hit in an A/B" (getting a hit), be considered better "hitters" then guys who struggle to hit .220 and Ks 150x/year?

And no everyone, this is not about Adam Dunn! :lol:

Or do we then say... "a hitter is also defined, and especially a good hitter, by the # of bases acquired by all the other various means (including BA) looked at together"?

So would someone who bats .210, Ks 150 times/year, yet has an OB% of around .360, be considered a good "hitter"?

And what about a hitter who consistently has a BB-driven OB% versus one whose is consistently BA-driven? Which would you prefer, or does it matter? Or is it believed that the one BA-driven cannot consistently maintain it as well as the one that is BB-driven?

The whole point is that unless you have a guy batting .500 and a guy batting .100, you just don't know which guy is the more productive (I assume this is what you mean by "better") hitter when looking solely at batting average.

A guy could hit 35 singles in 100 at bats and have a .350 BA. Another guy could hit 25 homers in 100 at bats and have a .250 BA. Without knowing what kind of hits that BA was comprised of, you can't say who was more productive. Now, if you want to expand that conversation to predictive value, aging of skills sets, etc. it becomes even more confounded. But the basic point is that BA, in and of itself, doesn't tell you much about a player that allows you to generalize about his overall value to a team.

GAC
10-06-2006, 12:22 PM
When pitching is a premium (1960's-1970's) then the base to base approach becomes more popular, that's when you get your Dave Cash's and Matty Alou types, I still prefer acquiring bases anyway I can and big hitters with walk ability are one of my favorites (you should see my strat team) But I also like BA driven guys, but if I was building a team I would only pay big bucks to BA driven guys with either pop, or walk ability... or if they were flashy SS types.

And IMO, that's called balance. And the above type player, who is BA-driven, yet lacks pop and/or walk ability, it would seem, to me, have a hardser time dealing with, and coming out of slumps.

Flashy SS-types, such as? Ozzie? ;)

westofyou
10-06-2006, 12:31 PM
And IMO, that's called balance. And the above type player, who is BA-driven, yet lacks pop and/or walk ability, it would seem, to me, have a hardser time dealing with, and coming out of slumps.

Flashy SS-types, such as? Ozzie? ;)

Yep, Ozzie... if 17% of the balls in play end up at SS and 15% in CF, then it behooves me to get some guys who can acquire outs from that 32%. As for BA driven guys, I don't mind say Phillips at 2b at the lower tier of the salary, but I wouldn't want him to be making 8 milion bucks if he was giving the Reds the same game at 2b that he is now.

Here's a prime example of what a BA driven batter in a slump can do vs a OB/Slg hitter can do in a slump.

September



83 AB's - .157/.333/.265/.598 - 11 Runs Scored - Dunn
87 AB's - .149/.204/.253/.457 - 4 Runs Scored - Phillips

Roy Tucker
10-06-2006, 02:28 PM
BA seems to be a worthwhile stat when viewed in the context of other stats. Like others have mentioned, knowing someone has a BA-driven OBA. It has worth in that context.

But as a primary, stand-alone type stat, it doesn't hold nearly the water it used to.

Hoosier Red
10-06-2006, 02:41 PM
Is there a legitimate cap on the percent of an OBP that can be obtained from walks?
Obviously in theory a player could walk every time to the plate. But lets say a batter is hitting .250 with an OBP of .400 is there a difference where you can predict he'll see the OBP come down as pitchers stop fearing/get better control?

Johnny Footstool
10-06-2006, 04:24 PM
Is there a legitimate cap on the percent of an OBP that can be obtained from walks?
Obviously in theory a player could walk every time to the plate. But lets say a batter is hitting .250 with an OBP of .400 is there a difference where you can predict he'll see the OBP come down as pitchers stop fearing/get better control?

I'd say you would base your expectations on that player's career tendencies. If he hit for low average and astronomical OBP throughout his minor and major league career, you would expect those numbers to stay pretty much the same. If the guy usually hits .250 with an OBP of .320, chances are pitchers will figure out that all you have to do is get it over the plate and the guy will get himself out.

Of course, guys like that usually have some other tool that keeps them in the majors -- a decent slugging percentage (Tony Batista comes to mind), a good glove, or a name like Neifi.

Hoosier Red
10-06-2006, 04:37 PM
I'm curious with Adam, if he were to continue to bat around .240, even with the prodigious power, what do you think the chances are that he'd continued to be pitched around enough to OBP .350+

Patrick Bateman
10-06-2006, 05:21 PM
I'm curious with Adam, if he were to continue to bat around .240, even with the prodigious power, what do you think the chances are that he'd continued to be pitched around enough to OBP .350+

The main reason that Dunn walks so much is that he works the count instead of constantly swinging at balls (and swings and misses on strikes a lot). So I don't think it's really a matter of him being pitched around. As long as he keeps his patience up, I think Dunn is a lock to OBP .350 regardless of what the pitchers do.

IslandRed
10-06-2006, 06:57 PM
Is there a legitimate cap on the percent of an OBP that can be obtained from walks?
Obviously in theory a player could walk every time to the plate. But lets say a batter is hitting .250 with an OBP of .400 is there a difference where you can predict he'll see the OBP come down as pitchers stop fearing/get better control?

There's something to that. Not every guy who draws a lot of walks in the low minors can sustain it; if he doesn't have enough "rake" to go with his "take," pitchers at higher levels with better control will challenge him and the walks will go down. Sometimes you'll hear the phrase "empty walks" attached to those players.

What you'd look for is a high slugging percentage or isolated power, suggesting the player is patiently waiting for pitches to drive and taking walks when they don't come, rather than trying to draw walks because he can't hit.

RedsManRick
10-06-2006, 06:58 PM
I'm curious with Adam, if he were to continue to bat around .240, even with the prodigious power, what do you think the chances are that he'd continued to be pitched around enough to OBP .350+

I think Dunn is pretty much already at the level of equilibrium you reference. It's his turn to adjust and over the past two years he hasn't shown himself capable of doing so. He takes pitches he can't hit, be they strikes or balls, and occasionally misses pitches he can hit. Pitchers aren't going to starting plugging balls in the zone, because if they're off, he'll kill it. It's time for Dunn to adjust and find out how to hit the balls in the strike zone that he currently can't hit. Otherwise, I think he'll continue to hit .240/.370/.530. That's not a bad thing mind you, just a matter of what he's able do.

As for BA driven players. Hits are better than walks, period. If you have 2 guys with 5,000 career PA and one is a .250/.400/.550 guy and the other is .350/.400/.550, I'll take the .350 hitter. Singles > Walks. The only issue is one of predictability and patience tends to be more predictable than batting average and tends to correlate with power. However, if you give me the choice of Dunn or Vlad Guerrero, I'll take Vlad.

GAC
10-07-2006, 07:39 AM
Who, throughout baseball's history, would you consider to be "pure" hitters? I'm talking about players that could just flat out hit, regardless of what a pitcher threw at them. If the ball was anywhere near the strikezone, and even out of the zone, they had the ability to go after it and hit it. A pitcher's nightmare.

In today's game, we would probably list guys like Pujols and Ichiro.

IMO, I think Tony Gywnn was the best pure hitter of all-time. And I grew up following and/or idolizing the likes of guys like Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Roberto Clememte, Rod Carew, and later on - Wade Boggs, Paul Molitor. And I also hda alot of admiration for Dale Murphy too.

And of course, the list would also have to include Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, and Babe Ruth.

I found this article, from the book "Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters:
How Statistics Can Level the Playing Field" by Michael J. Schell. I'm gonna try and find/purchase a copy of it.

http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/i6550.html


IN THE DUGOUT

Never did I expect that writing this book would lead me into the San Diego Padres dugout. On July 28, 1997, however, two hours before that evening's game against the Philadelphia Phillies, there I was! Tony Gwynn had just returned his Louisville Slugger to the bat rack after batting practice.

"Tony!--I'm Michael Schell," I called out. Tony Gwynn, the 7-time batting champion from the San Diego Padres, turned toward me and replied, "Soooo--you're the guy!"

A month earlier I had sent a press release to the media relations people at the Padres saying that Gwynn was on the verge of clinching his standing as the best pure hitter in baseball history. A week earlier I had sent him a congratulatory note after he got the clinching hit. Two days before, sportswriter Wayne Lockwood presented my findings in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"I'll talk with you in a minute," Gwynn added as he headed to chat with some early-bird fans that he knew.

I waited expectantly and a little nervously. Shaun O'Neill, a sports reporter for the North County Times told me that Gwynn was a very unassuming ballplayer who would downplay what I was going to say but would listen intently.

"You're putting pressure on me!" Gwynn moaned jokingly as he approached.

He was hitting .391 and the media had been hounding him for weeks about the possibility of becoming the first player in 56 years to hit .400 for the season. That week, in fact, Gwynn was on the cover of both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News.

"You've got no pressure from me," I countered, "you've already done it!"

He sat down beside me and said, "Show me what you found." That's what I plan to do in this book--show the reader what I've found by developing a method to compare players across baseball history, from the first pitch in 1876 to the present day.

The Tyranny of Traditional Top Hitters Lists

Most baseball encyclopedias and many almanacs have lists of top lifetime hitters or single season batting champions. Young fans memorize the names--Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth--and often their lifetime batting averages as well (.366, .358, .344, .342, respectively). These players have become mythological heroes of the game.

There is some sadness, though, among fans today since our favorite active players--Tony Gwynn, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr. are--hopelessly out of the top positions. Gwynn would rank 16th, Piazza 21st and Griffey fails to make the top 100. Moreover, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Willie Mays and all-time hits leader Pete Rose are off the list, while a host of relatively unknown players like Bibb Falk, Cecil Travis, Rip Radcliff, and Elmer Smith are on it. How can this be?

Knowing how extraordinary these current and recent players are, we become mystified by those on the list. How did they do it? Why were they so much better? The punch line, which is the subject of this book, is that they are not so much better. We fans have been misled by the averages. It is the unfortunate fact of life that fair appraisals of anything rarely come without effort.

Grandparents may tell you about how they bought a house for $15,000. Did they also tell you, however, that they only earned $6,000 per year then, too? Simply defined statistics, like batting average (which equals hits divided by at bats), may be fine to make comparisons between ballplayers playing in the same year in the same ballparks against the same pitchers. But why should these averages be used at all to compare a player who played at night in a domed stadium with astroturf with another player who played only day games in the open air on natural grass?

The question of who the greatest hitters are is a subject of considerable interest to baseball fans. It is a source of argument between father and son, between Dodger and Yankee fan, between the pure hitter fan and the slugger fan. The good news is that we can reasonably answer this question, when it is clearly posed. This is the legacy provided by baseball, which has a wealth of statistical data over a hundred-year period. The bad news is that the answer is not easily found in the baseball encyclopedias and almanacs. It is the aim of this book to identify the 100 greatest hitters, by applying four adjustments to the standard batting average.

"Best Hitter" Defined

What does the phrase "best hitter" mean? Hitting is composed of many things. For example, Tony Gwynn is excellent at getting hits but relatively few of his hits are home runs. On the other hand, Mark McGwire is only average in getting hits but they go a country mile when he does connect! So which one is the "better" hitter?

There are many different baseball statistics. Batting average and slugging average both combine singles, doubles, triples, home runs, and outs into single measures. Batting average is computed by totaling the different kinds of hits and dividing by the number of at bats, while slugging average totals the number of bases that you reach on the hits before being divided by the total number of at bats. However, both of them ignore factors like the walk average, number of RBIs and less well-measured things like hit-and-run or clutch hitting ability. There are other ballplayer abilities as well, such as run scoring, base stealing, and fielding. Bill James, with his Runs Created formulae, and John Thorn and Pete Palmer, with their Total Player Rating, have combined batting, fielding, and stealing data into a single rating. Both composite statistics are useful and interesting.

The statistics of Bill James and Thorn and Palmer seem to be searching for the best players. Statistics that combine various hitting events, which may include weighting of the values of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs (and possibly walks, strikeouts, or other batting events) are searching for the best batters. The search in this book is for the best hitters, that is, the players with the best chance to get a hit in a given at bat. Thus, we will use the preeminent baseball statistic, the batting average. However, we will adjust this average for each year in baseball history based on the ease with which hits could be attained and the player's home ballpark. This leads to batting averages that are relative to the league batting averages. Consequently, the talent pool of the league must also be considered. Also, at bats late in the careers of the longest playing stars will not be included, since batting ability clearly wanes then. Because these adjustments are needed to level the playing field, standard batting average lists do not properly order the top hitters.

Minimum Requirements of Qualifying Players

In order to determine the 100 greatest hitters of all time there must be a minimum playing time. I have chosen 4000 at bats as the minimum. One could choose 4000 plate appearances, which includes both at bats and walks and a few other minor events, so as not to penalize individuals who walked frequently. However, since the focus here is on the ability to hit, not the ability to get on base, a minimum of at bats is used. A player who plays full-time will get 400-600 at bats per year, so 4000 at bats represents 7 to 10 years of full-time play.

This minimum--4000 at bats--is close to those used by the three major contemporary baseball encyclopedias. The Baseball Encyclopedia uses the same definition. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball also requires a 10-year career. Total Baseball requires appearances in 1000 games. Thus, Total Baseball's top 100 list includes 5 players who have fewer than 4000 at bats, including Bob Fothergill, who had a mere 3265. The others are John McGraw, Mike Donlin, Dale Mitchell, and Taffy Wright.

It is particularly regrettable that John McGraw is left out. This outstanding, turn-of-the-century third baseman is in the Hall of Fame as the manager who skippered many successful New York Giant teams. He was a very good hitter and one of the best players of his day at drawing a walk. Had he not been so good at walking, he would easily have gotten the extra 76 at bats to qualify. He will be included when on base average is considered later in the book.

I also require that the player be retired or have at least 8000 at bats, if he is still active. (This additional requirement will be explained further in the chapter on late career declines.) Thus 10 active players (as of spring 1998) are included: Harold Baines, Wade Boggs, Joe Carter, Chili Davis, Gary Gaetti, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, Tim Raines, and Cal Ripken Jr.

Through 1995, 8259 players have played major league baseball, excluding the Negro Leagues. However, only 836 players--who will be called qualifying players--qualify for consideration, by having had at least 4000 at bats and being retired or having had at least 8000 at bats, if still active. Thus, the top 100 hitters are members of an elite group--comprising only 1.2% of all major league batters and 12% of qualifying players.

Unfortunately, records from the Negro Leagues are incomplete although they are now being compiled and included in baseball encyclopedias. As a result, they are not ranked in this book.

Batting Average Data Sources

There is no universally accepted list of top hitters. Besides the minimum eligibility criteria, reference books differ on how many hits and at bats each player actually had. Fortunately, this problem is largely limited to players from the 19th and early part of the 20th century. For example, Cap Anson, who played from 1876 to 1897 batted .329 4 (3000 / 9108) according to The Baseball Encyclopedia, Tenth Edition, 1996, .329 4 (2995 / 9101) according to Total Baseball, Fifth Edition, 1997, and .333 4 (3022 / 9067) according to The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, Seventeenth Edition, 1997.

Total Baseball received much of its information from sabermatricians (members of the Society for American Baseball Research--SABR), who carefully researched box scores for many of these discrepancies. Thorn and Palmer described some of the corrections that they made to "official" major league records in the "Errors and Controversies" section of the introduction of the Player Register for Total Baseball, 1989. Since I believe that it provides the most accurate numbers available, Total Baseball will be the principal data source for hits and at bats for players in this book.

The Traditional Top 100 Hitters List

Table I gives the traditional list of top 100 hitters. This is not my list of top 100 hitters. However, this list is useful as a starting point. A look at the traditional list shows that 48 hitters were in their prime during the 1920s and 1930s! On the other hand, only 8 players on the list were in their prime on or after 1960.

As the book develops, I will drop and add players to the list, changing it after each adjustment. The ranking of players who remain on the list will also change, sometimes rather dramatically. After all adjustments have been made, only 18 of the 50 hitters from 1920-39 will remain. On the other hand, the number of players whose prime was 1960 or later will jump from 8 to 39.

A Note About Statistical Methods

This book makes use of statistical methods. They are presented as simply as possible and it is my intention that readers with no prior statistical knowledge will still enjoy this book and understand the basic ideas.

The use of statistics is the way that science often judges whether or not an idea that somebody dreams up is supported by the data. When the evidence from data is overwhelming, no statistics are needed. It is only in close cases that statistical analysis is needed. Just as a microscope enhances the seeing power of the eye, so statistics allows us to obtain convincing evidence about some question with less data than is required to have overwhelming evidence.

I am a professional statistician in a cancer research center. The center seeks knowledge on how to prevent and best treat cancer. Since it is important to make discoveries in cancer as soon as possible, statisticians are part of the team. Why shouldn't we use the same tools scientists do so that we can make additional discoveries about baseball?

Statistical methods or concepts used in this book have been placed in boxes labeled Technical Notes. These may be skipped without interrupting the flow of the book. Use of the statistical method or concept will usually immediately follow the box. Readers who are not interested in these details can look at the interpretation that I provide. Once a statistical method is introduced, it may be used several times in the book. A list of the Technical Notes is given at the beginning of the book for easy reference.

Organization of the Book

The book is divided into two parts: Methods and Findings. Chapters 1-5 comprise the Methods section. In chapter 1, the basic characteristics of the players eligible for consideration in the top 100 are described. In chapters 2-5 the four adjustments to batting averages will be introduced and applied. Chapters 6-12 comprise the Findings section. In chapter 6 the fully adjusted top 100 hitters are identified. Later chapters deal with top hitters by position, top single-season batting averages, the best batting teams of all-time, ballpark effects for the 20th-century stadiums, top players for on base percentage, who should really be in the Hall of Fame, where today's hitters would place among the top 100 hitters, and a wrap-up. Readers who can't wait for the top 100 list can jump to chapter 6.

GAC
10-07-2006, 07:46 AM
Here is another articles that honors the best pure hitters in history of baseball.

TheHitters.com is dedicated to the best pure hitters in baseball history. Power hitting is not considered, as factors such as the dead ball era, raising of the pitcher's mound, and steroid allegations all skew the numbers. But there is one statistic that can not be challenged for its validity over the decades: Batting Average. Batter vs. Pitcher, 9 fielders on the diamond, hit the ball where they ain't. It hasnt changed in over 100 years.

Here we honor the 40+ men that were able to maintain a batting average over .320 for their entire career, many of them never batting below .300 in a single season.

Many active players like Ichiro Suzuki or Albert Pujols have averages that would put them on the list, but we will wait to see if they can maintain their numbers for their entire career...

http://www.thehitters.com/

SteelSD
10-07-2006, 11:38 AM
The statistics of Bill James and Thorn and Palmer seem to be searching for the best players. Statistics that combine various hitting events, which may include weighting of the values of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs (and possibly walks, strikeouts, or other batting events) are searching for the best batters. The search in this book is for the best hitters, that is, the players with the best chance to get a hit in a given at bat. Thus, we will use the preeminent baseball statistic, the batting average.

Wow. That author is a nut. First, we're going to attempt to produce the most narrow definition of "hitter" possible. Then we're going to position Batting Average as "preeminent" to attempt to disguise the fact that we've just produced a ridiculously narrow definition.

Baseball doesn't work that way. When a hitter steps into the batter's box, he's a hitter. When he sees a pitch, he's hitting. If he strikes out, grounds out, flies out, or smokes a Home Run, he just got done hitting. But if he draws a Walk he didn't just get done hitting. He only "batted". Riiiight.


I have chosen 4000 at bats as the minimum. One could choose 4000 plate appearances, which includes both at bats and walks and a few other minor events, so as not to penalize individuals who walked frequently. However, since the focus here is on the ability to hit, not the ability to get on base, a minimum of at bats is used.

The only reason to draw that line in the sand is to further the faulty premise that Batting Average is the only statistic that can guage "hitting" prowess.

A hitter's job is to avoid outs and to acquire as many bases as possible while avoiding outs. Player's who do better at both are better hitters than those who do not.


It is particularly regrettable that John McGraw is left out. This outstanding, turn-of-the-century third baseman is in the Hall of Fame as the manager who skippered many successful New York Giant teams. He was a very good hitter and one of the best players of his day at drawing a walk. Had he not been so good at walking, he would easily have gotten the extra 76 at bats to qualify.

That was the funniest passage from the article. John McGraw doesn't qualify for a discussion about greatest "hitters" because John McGraw only "batted" too often I guess.:dunno:

Dom Heffner
10-07-2006, 12:38 PM
Gosh and I thought the main key for winning baseball was talent, I never realized it was running out to one's defensive position.

Apparently in the winter leagues in Mexico, if you run to first on a base on balls, the umpire will actually signal you safe. No, it doesn't change anything, but a player can begin to define themselves as spunky, gritty, and the dreaded, "plays the game the right way."

Anyhoo-

By no means am I a SABR expert, but I have been reading a lot of Bill James stuff in hopes of one day catching up with WOY and Steel, so we can all meet for a beer- or a Tab, okay, I'm open minded- and I can do more than just buy the drinks or wipe down the table.

I hear a lot of this stuff about striking out a lot not mattering, that it just hurts your fellings, it's just another out, etc....

But then I also see the SABR dudes (no one in present company is included here) say that for a pitcher to be successful, he must strike out a number of batters at or above the league average.

The reason being, as I understand it, is that the pitcher simply has no control over where the heck that ball is going to go once it leaves the bat. It could drop in for a hit, the defense coud be lousy, etc.

If the pitcher strikes out a high number of batters, he greatly decreases the chances for the ball to fall for a hit or do something detrimental for his team. Strikeouts reduce the chance of an error, a runner advancing, etc.

In other words, it's a pretty clean out.

I agree with this, but what I'm not seeing is that how that can't be turned around to say that striking out is detrimental to a batter as well for the same reasons it is beneficial to the pitcher.

If Dunn struck out, say, 30 times less, would he not put the ball in play more, greatly incresing the chance for something good to happen? A runner moves up, a ball falls for extra bases, etc.

He could hit into an occasional double play, sure, but you can't score a runner from second unless you take a chance and put the ball in play. It takes three walks to get a guy in from second.

Now, I've heard people say that if Dunn focused more on contact that he would lose some power as well his OBP would come down because he wouldn't be working the counts so deep trying to draw a walk.

If that's the case, then to me, Dunn simply isn't that good of a hitter. If it's either put one out, go down swinging, or taking a walk, then geesh, we have a very mixed bag.

We're stuck with a Pete Incaviglia or Rob Deer with a hundred walks thrown in.

Getting on base 40 percent of the time is terrific, but when a good portion of that is done by taking a walk- I dunno.

When I think of terrific hitters, I think of guys who do hit for a higher average while at the same time will take a walk.

Having a guy at .315 with a .400 OBP seems to me better than a guy hitting .235 with a .400 OBP.

The SABR people keep telling me batting average doesn't matter, and I would say that stement should be qualified as sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

If a guy hits .315 but doesn't take a walk, then sure, BA is overrated. But if someone is hitting .350 with a .450 OBP, then it is much better than having a guy with a .235 BA and .450 OBP because the guy who is hitting safely rather than walking would have to have more extra base hits and higher production, would he not?

Steel- I typed this as you posted your latest, so this is not a response to what you just wrote. You make the same point I did about BA combined with walking. :)

RANDY IN INDY
10-07-2006, 12:51 PM
Through all the talk about walks, OBP, OPS, BA, and all the jargon, to me, there is nothing better than when you see a guy step in the box and see that fluid, beautiful swing that produces that unique sound that is just a little bit different than other hitters and you just know that he is going to hit the ball hard somewhere. It is his main focus at the plate. Controlled agression. A pure hitter. Absolutely beautiful.

I think I hang around baseball fields too much.

Cyclone792
10-07-2006, 12:53 PM
I hear a lot of this stuff about striking out a lot not mattering, that it just hurts your fellings, it's just another out, etc....

But then I also see the SABR dudes (no one in present company is included here) say that for a pitcher to be successful, he must strike out a number of batters at or above the league average.

The reason being, as I understand it, is that the pitcher simply has no control over where the heck that ball is going to go once it leaves the bat. It could drop in for a hit, the defense coud be lousy, etc.

If the pitcher strikes out a high number of batters, he greatly decreases the chances for the ball to fall for a hit or do something detrimental for his team. Strikeouts reduce the chance of an error, a runner advancing, etc.

In other words, it's a pretty clean out.

I agree with this, but what I'm not seeing is that how that can't be turned around to say that striking out is detrimental to a batter as well for the same reasons it is beneficial to the pitcher.

If Dunn struck out, say, 30 times less, would he not put the ball in play more, greatly incresing the chance for something good to happen? A runner moves up, a ball falls for extra bases, etc.

He could hit into an occasional double play, sure, but you can't score a runner from second unless you take a chance and put the ball in play. It takes three walks to get a guy in from second.

RedsManRick posted a solid explanation of this earlier in the summer, and I'll just simply copy/paste it here because it should answer your question ...

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1021824&postcount=37


The difference in the way strikeouts are treated when looking at pitchers and hitters has a lot to do with what the ability to strikeout a guy (or not strikeout) says about the rest of the player's skill, particularly when looking at the predictive context.

History has shown that K/9 rates are more highly correlated with future ERA than is present ERA. Thus we can pretty generally say that a high K/9 is a good indicator of future success (and visa versa). Surely there are a lot of other variables involved, but the positive correlation is strong. This is largely because there is little downside to a high strikeout rate for a pitcher. There is no other skill set which is strongly correlated with the ability to strikeout guys that would balance it out (e.g. high K rate pitchers give up lots of homers).

However, with hitters, while most other types of outs are indeed BETTER than strikeouts, that relationship is dwarfed by the fact that there is a pretty strong correlation between high strikeout rates and power. Furthermore, the benefit of power grossly outweights a high strikeout tendency. Because of the nature of the strikeout, a player who strikes out a lot and doesn't hit for power, isn't likely to stay in the majors (presumably because he doesn't hit for average either). Therefore, the only real correlation between strikeouts and batting production is that the more strikeouts, the more production. Now of course we know this isn't a causal relationship. Sure, if Dunn could hit 45 homers and never strikeout, he'd be better. But that's not what we're looking at. We're trying to say, "what's the predictive value of strikeouts for hitters", and given the way it shakes out, the answer is not much. Because of selection bias based on skill set correlation, we cannot look at a hitters strikeout rate and make a general statement about his future productivity.

I guess in my head I see it this way. On the X axis graph strikeout rate of MLB pitchers (or hitters) and on the Y axis, productivity (measured in some general fashion like VORP):

Hitters: As you move left to right along the strikeout axis, productivity is all over the map, but generally increases. This would be shown as a moderate, positive R value (help me out here with a real number Steel). However, common sense tells us that strikeouts themselves are not a cause of greater production. So instead, we simply say that there is some other variable (the outcome of non-strikeout events) affecting both production and K rate which causes the observed correlation.

Pitchers: As you move from left to right on the K/9 axis, productive consistently and strongly increases. This shows up as a strong positive correlation (R-value... again, the real number Steel?). However, this relationship also passes the common sense test.

Part of the reason for this is that the strikeouts are distributed across the opposing hitters of varying skill sets. That is, assuming all pitchers face the same types of hitters, more strikeouts = less balls in play = less runs. There is no significant & consistent correlation between strikeout rates and the types of balls hit against said pitcher. With hitters, this relationship does exist and counfounds the relationship.

RFS62
10-07-2006, 12:54 PM
I think I hang around baseball fields too much.


That's not possible.

Dom Heffner
10-07-2006, 12:57 PM
The search in this book is for the best hitters, that is, the players with the best chance to get a hit in a given at bat. Thus, we will use the preeminent baseball statistic, the batting average.

If the book is trying to simply find who gets the most hits per at bat, then wouldn't you just look at BA and be done with it? That's a pretty short book.

By using those parameters, how could one ever argue that someone with a lower BA is better than someone than a higher BA?

Tony Gwynn hit higher than Mickey Mantle? Well, okay, then, he is a better hitter!

RANDY IN INDY
10-07-2006, 01:03 PM
If the book is trying to simply find who gets the most hits per at bat, then wouldn't you just look at BA and be done with it? That's a pretty short book.

By using those parameters, how could one ever argue that someone with a lower BA is better than someone than a higher BA?

Tony Gwynn hit higher than Mickey Mantle? Well, okay, then, he is a better hitter!

Not better, just different. Both effective.

IslandRed
10-07-2006, 01:18 PM
Wow. That author is a nut. First, we're going to attempt to produce the most narrow definition of "hitter" possible. Then we're going to position Batting Average as "preeminent" to attempt to disguise the fact that we've just produced a ridiculously narrow definition.

Baseball doesn't work that way. When a hitter steps into the batter's box, he's a hitter. When he sees a pitch, he's hitting. If he strikes out, grounds out, flies out, or smokes a Home Run, he just got done hitting. But if he draws a Walk he didn't just get done hitting. He only "batted". Riiiight.


Eh, I think you're being a little harsh. Within a player's overall profile at the plate, there are subsets that can be evaluated -- his ability to draw walks, hit for power, etc., and one subset can be "how often and well does he simply hit the dadgum ball?" The guy at least defined his terms and said he was using "hitting" as a subset of "batting."

Now, the subset itself may be of little interest for those of us who care about metrics that analyze the total hitting profile or have predictive value, but as an academic exercise there's nothing wrong with it.

Patrick Bateman
10-07-2006, 01:59 PM
Wow. That author is a nut. First, we're going to attempt to produce the most narrow definition of "hitter" possible. Then we're going to position Batting Average as "preeminent" to attempt to disguise the fact that we've just produced a ridiculously narrow definition.

Baseball doesn't work that way. When a hitter steps into the batter's box, he's a hitter. When he sees a pitch, he's hitting. If he strikes out, grounds out, flies out, or smokes a Home Run, he just got done hitting. But if he draws a Walk he didn't just get done hitting. He only "batted". Riiiight.



The only reason to draw that line in the sand is to further the faulty premise that Batting Average is the only statistic that can guage "hitting" prowess.

A hitter's job is to avoid outs and to acquire as many bases as possible while avoiding outs. Player's who do better at both are better hitters than those who do not.



That was the funniest passage from the article. John McGraw doesn't qualify for a discussion about greatest "hitters" because John McGraw only "batted" too often I guess.:dunno:


Steel, I have actually read Michael J. Schell's book called "Baseball's all-time best sluggers.

He explains that he by no means thinks that batting average is a particularly good stat, he has actually created some stats himself that look at the "bigger" picture, and often refers to more simplistic stats such as OPS, OBP, SLG, and RC all the time.

When he refers to "all time best hitters" he is only talking about the best batting average hitters of all time. That's just simply how he defines a "hitter", the player who has the best chance of getting a hit. So when he says McGraw walked too often to be included in this particular area, all he is saying is that he doesn't have enough at-bats to show his abilitly to sustain a high batting average. In that book Schell picked batting average simply because it was an easy stat to do era adjustments to compare players' batting average throughout times. He doesn't for one second think batting average will actually correlate to runs scoring.

All time best sluggers seems to be his more improved version as he does era adjustments, ballpark effects and other improvements using all of the important stats to do his work. It's a good read.

gonelong
10-07-2006, 10:39 PM
Edwin Encarnacion is the best fielding 3rd basemen of all time.

(I don't count throwing as part of fielding).

GL

GAC
10-08-2006, 05:50 AM
I don' think that was his objective at all GL.

As Austin Kearns already stated, and that is the impression that I also got from the article, Schell was simply doing a study/comparison of an isolated group: the best all-time batting average hitters. And not for the purpose of elevating batting average or trying to prove it was superior.

Isn't there a scientific aspect to statistical analysis - new formulas/theories constantly being examined and put under the microscope? Isn't that how James derived many of his that are common place in baseball today?

So again - I don't think that Schell was trying to elevate batting average at all in his exclusion of the others. I think he was just simply wanting to take an isolated look, not only at batting average, but at an elite group in ML history, who were the best in batting average, and again, not for the purpose/goal of saying batting average is a superior indicator of a hitter.

Nowhere in the article did he try to allude to that.

gonelong
10-08-2006, 02:43 PM
I don' think that was his objective at all GL.

As Austin Kearns already stated, and that is the impression that I also got from the article, Schell was simply doing a study/comparison of an isolated group: the best all-time batting average hitters. And not for the purpose of elevating batting average or trying to prove it was superior.

Isn't there a scientific aspect to statistical analysis - new formulas/theories constantly being examined and put under the microscope? Isn't that how James derived many of his that are common place in baseball today?

So again - I don't think that Schell was trying to elevate batting average at all in his exclusion of the others. I think he was just simply wanting to take an isolated look, not only at batting average, but at an elite group in ML history, who were the best in batting average, and again, not for the purpose/goal of saying batting average is a superior indicator of a hitter.

Nowhere in the article did he try to allude to that.

I am not cutting on the guy, he can do what he wants.

He took and isolated look at batters and I took an isolated look at fielders. Both of us ended up with something less than useful IMO.

You won't find me arguing a bunch about BA. I don't feel it is "useless", but I do feel the average fan extremely overvalues the number.

GL

GAC
10-10-2006, 09:07 AM
You won't find me arguing a bunch about BA. I don't feel it is "useless", but I do feel the average fan extremely overvalues the number.

You won't get any argument from me there. :lol:

I sit in the breakroom at work and listen to guys rail on Dunn because of his batting average, and they say he can't hit in pressure situations. And one of the guys is a HS baseball coach. ;)

membengal
10-10-2006, 11:55 AM
Reds went 80-82. Pretty decent improvement, and in line with reasonable expectation. If the NL hadn't been so craptacular, we wouldn't have had our hopes raised for post-season possiblities, and, I think, would be, on the whole, a lot less hard on Adam Dunn (others), Jerry Narron (guilty), WK, etc. etc. etc.

On the whole, 80 wins was a nice outcome for this club, especially as some needed organizational sea change got underway.

A little perspective from Daugherty, me, and, many, many other fans will hopefully help as the off-season gets underway.

Johnny Footstool
10-10-2006, 12:10 PM
Reds went 80-82. Pretty decent improvement, and in line with reasonable expectation. If the NL hadn't been so craptacular, we wouldn't have had our hopes raised for post-season possiblities, and, I think, would be, on the whole, a lot less hard on Adam Dunn (others), Jerry Narron (guilty), WK, etc. etc. etc.

On the whole, 80 wins was a nice outcome for this club, especially as some needed organizational sea change got underway.

A little perspective from Daugherty, me, and, many, many other fans will hopefully help as the off-season gets underway.

We've discussed it on other threads. The Reds got extremely lucky to win those 80 games. Expecting an improvement next season is wishful thinking unless some major changes take place.

flyer85
10-10-2006, 12:12 PM
We've discussed it on other threads. The Reds got extremely lucky to win those 80 games. Expecting an improvement next season is wishful thinking unless some major changes take place.when noise is filtered out, the question of whether the improvement was anything more than randomness is open to debate.

traderumor
10-10-2006, 12:17 PM
We've discussed it on other threads. The Reds got extremely lucky to win those 80 games. Expecting an improvement next season is wishful thinking unless some major changes take place.Extremely? A +4 on the pythag is "extremely?" I would consider that to be within an expected plus or minus range rather than "lucky." The team showed improvement in one very important area--they now have two major league starters, whereas they only had one the year before. Add one more, and you have an above average starting rotation in the current year. Now, please address defense up the middle and we'll go from there.

membengal
10-10-2006, 01:38 PM
We've discussed it on other threads. The Reds got extremely lucky to win those 80 games. Expecting an improvement next season is wishful thinking unless some major changes take place.


I didn't say I was expecting a similar improvement if everything stays the same, just noting that, all things considered, it was a nice year this year, that's all. And that is worth noting, in the aftermath of what is still not a little anger over it not being better.

I would imagine that some major changes will take place, and will have to take place, if they are to improve further. At least their point of departure this time around is a little more optimistic than it has been in a while. As for what those moves are, I am sure there will be (and have been) a ton of threads on that. But I am hoping that WK makes those moves from a happier place that Daugherty, or some Reds fans, are right now. Particularly when it comes to the lightning rod that is Adam Dunn...