PDA

View Full Version : Most over-rated skill in baseball



Ltlabner
11-13-2006, 10:54 AM
As I am often want to do, I started a thread a few weeks ago called, "the most important skill in baseball".

On the flip side; what is the most over-rated skill in baseball...and why?

George Anderson
11-13-2006, 11:00 AM
The velocity on a fastball. If you have little control or little movement on the pitch then its not worth much.

Always Red
11-13-2006, 11:26 AM
foot speed.

If you can't catch it, throw it or hit it, foot speed won't help you out all that much.

RedsManRick
11-13-2006, 11:43 AM
"Athleticism"

You can put a pure, raw athlete in a football jersey or basketball shorts and pretty quickly turn them in a solid player, beating guys on their instincts. Baseball is much more skill based. Not that you don't need athleticism and natural talent, but it's just a different level. There are heaps of tremendous athletes (Ruben Mateo anyone) who were given plenty of opportunities but just never amounted to much. You just don't see that happen in other sports as much.

texasdave
11-13-2006, 12:36 PM
Spitting sunflower seeds into a bucket. Sure that skill might just make you a chick magnet, but in arbitration hearings what is really worth? Besides, if you stop to think about it, you're probably only good at it because of all of the pine time you been putting in over the years.

RFS62
11-13-2006, 12:54 PM
The velocity on a fastball. If you have little control or little movement on the pitch then its not worth much.



I agree, unless the speed is in the high 90's.

Otherwise, late movement and command are infinitely more important.

BoydsOfSummer
11-13-2006, 03:02 PM
Perceived defensive prowess.

Superdude
11-13-2006, 03:17 PM
Pick off move.

Handofdeath
11-13-2006, 03:21 PM
The ability to take a walk.

westofyou
11-13-2006, 03:27 PM
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.

Hap
11-13-2006, 03:47 PM
foot speed.

If you can't catch it, throw it or hit it, foot speed won't help you out all that much.

http://www.tothenextlevel.org/images/layout/misc/deion2.jpg

Johnny Footstool
11-13-2006, 04:01 PM
Sacrifice bunting is incredibly overrated for anyone but a pitcher.

jimbo
11-13-2006, 04:03 PM
The ability to take a walk.

If you are referring to an ability to take a walk because a hitter goes up to the plate simply looking for a walk, I probably agree. But if a high number of walks are the result of a hitter who has good plate discipline, then I couldn't disagree more. A hitter with good plate discipline is not only increasing his chances of a walk, but also his chances of making good contact because they will only swing at pitches that they have a high percentage of making good contact with. Walks are a by-product of good plate discipline in most cases and I can't see that as being a bad or overrated thing. Walks lead to baserunners who lead to runs scored.

As to the topic at hand, I would have to agree with a few other posters who mentioned a pitcher who throws heat. Throwing the ball hard, unless you can throw in the high 90s, will not be effective unless you can change speeds, put movement on the ball, and locate your pitches.

Handofdeath
11-13-2006, 04:52 PM
Walks lead to baserunners who lead to runs scored.

If you have someone talented enough to hit you in.

Highlifeman21
11-13-2006, 05:21 PM
If you have someone talented enough to hit you in.


Walks score runs too.

They avoid outs and acquire a base, which last time I checked is the main two objectives for EVERY PA. How something that accomplishes the main two objectives of every PA is overrated.... well, enlighten us.

Highlifeman21
11-13-2006, 05:23 PM
For the record, the most overrated skill in baseball is a tie between wearing eye black, and knowing how to work flip-down sunglasses.

Johnny Footstool
11-13-2006, 05:26 PM
Walks score runs too.

They avoid outs and acquire a base, which last time I checked is the main two objectives for EVERY PA. How something that accomplishes the main two objectives of every PA is overrated.... well, enlighten us.

Walks also help burn through the opposing pitching staff.

westofyou
11-13-2006, 05:30 PM
If you have someone talented enough to hit you in.

Eddie Joost - 1949 - 128 runs scored - 149 walks - .263 BA

Only one player on the A's had over 100 RBI's Eddie scored because he walked a bunch and was on base all the time, despite hitting .263, he walked 78 more times then the league average that season.

No matter how you spin that I'd take it every year, from any player.

gm
11-13-2006, 05:57 PM
The ability to second guess

Handofdeath
11-13-2006, 06:16 PM
Walks score runs too.

They avoid outs and acquire a base, which last time I checked is the main two objectives for EVERY PA. How something that accomplishes the main two objectives of every PA is overrated.... well, enlighten us.

Ah yes! I had forgotten. I do fondly recall watching one Harry Caray singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch on WGN. It never failed to inspire me. The sheer alcohol-induced joy on his face. It was a beautiful sight watching him slur his way through that song every home game. Of course, the topper was at the end when he would shout " Let's acquire some bases! " He, of course, would then collapse unconscious in his announcers chair while Steve Stone finished the broadcast with Harry softly snoring in the background. Good times, I tell you.

Always Red
11-13-2006, 06:18 PM
If there's one thing I've learned here over the last year it's this:

Walks are good.

Rojo
11-13-2006, 06:39 PM
My two nominations both involve catchers: 1) Blocking the plate and 2) "framing" pitches. I don't believe the latter really fools the umpire and the former might make the difference a few times a year at best.

Handofdeath
11-13-2006, 06:47 PM
If there's one thing I've learned here over the last year it's this:

Walks are good.

I agree, especially when they are accompanied by timely hitting.

tripleaaaron
11-13-2006, 10:34 PM
I Think each skill is equally overrated comparatively. If that individual skill is all you have, then your pretty worthless. It takes a combination of several to have value. So I can't say anyone individual one has more value than the other.

mth123
11-13-2006, 10:44 PM
Stealing Bases

Betterread
11-13-2006, 10:48 PM
Bat speed - without good eye-hand coordination and good pitch recognition - you have the means to hit any pitch, but lack the ability to judge when and where to swing.

Johnny Footstool
11-13-2006, 11:14 PM
I agree, especially when they are accompanied by timely hitting.

Yes, the ability to decide exactly when to get a base hit is extremely valuable.

Team Clark
11-13-2006, 11:28 PM
Velocity. Hitters can adjust to almost any speed up to 96 or so. Changing speeds and location are key.

cincinnati chili
11-13-2006, 11:47 PM
A good curve ball. At least since about 1985. Umpires don't call it for strikes anymore, unless you're Zito or somebody like that.

Might as well save the strain on your arm.

guttle11
11-13-2006, 11:53 PM
Scrappiness.

RANDY IN INDY
11-14-2006, 08:03 AM
My two nominations both involve catchers: 1) Blocking the plate and 2) "framing" pitches. I don't believe the latter really fools the umpire and the former might make the difference a few times a year at best.

I don't believe that "pulling strikes" fools the umpires, but the ability to smoothly "frame" the pitch and give the umpire a good look can really help a pitcher. Jumpy catchers that are all over the place do not help the pitcher or the umpire. If the catcher is moving around to catch a pitch, that tells a lot of umpires that the pitcher has not hit his spot, and I believe, makes them less likely to call a strike.

GAC
11-14-2006, 08:05 AM
Jim Edmonds :evil:

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 08:16 AM
Eddie Joost - 1949 - 128 runs scored - 149 walks - .263 BA

Only one player on the A's had over 100 RBI's Eddie scored because he walked a bunch and was on base all the time, despite hitting .263, he walked 78 more times then the league average that season.

No matter how you spin that I'd take it every year, from any player.

Brian Giles: 2006 - 87 runs scored - 104 walks - .374 OBP - .263 BA.

Alfonso Soriano: 2001 - 128 runs scored - 29 walks - .332 OBP - .300 BA.

Cherry picking stats doesn't prove any point. Taking walks has become a bit overrated today. Obviously it is important, but it isn't the end of the story.

RFS62
11-14-2006, 08:28 AM
I don't believe that "pulling strikes" fools the umpires, but the ability to smoothly "frame" the pitch and give the umpire a good look can really help a pitcher. Jumpy catchers that are all over the place do not help the pitcher or the umpire. If the catcher is moving around to catch a pitch, that tells a lot of umpires that the pitcher has not hit his spot, and I believe, makes them less likely to call a strike.



Exactly right. Watch Matheney if you want to see smooth behind the dish.

RANDY IN INDY
11-14-2006, 08:38 AM
Saw some old tape of Johnny Edwards behind the plate. I never really saw him play a lot, but that cat was really smooth with the big glove. Very underated with the catchers of his era.

traderumor
11-14-2006, 08:39 AM
Switch hitting. I'd rather have someone learn to hit pitchers of either arm from their strong side of the plate instead of playing the lefty/righty game. See especially Javy Valentin and Felipe Lopez. It is especially frustrating when there is a clear dropoff in OPS for one side over the other.

George Anderson
11-14-2006, 09:14 AM
I don't believe that "pulling strikes" fools the umpires, but the ability to smoothly "frame" the pitch and give the umpire a good look can really help a pitcher. Jumpy catchers that are all over the place do not help the pitcher or the umpire. If the catcher is moving around to catch a pitch, that tells a lot of umpires that the pitcher has not hit his spot, and I believe, makes them less likely to call a strike.

As an umpire myself I couldnt agree more. Especially late in the game when a umpire is tired and maybe the concentration isnt there then yes a catcher who can smoothly "frame" a pitch is invaluable!!

RFS62
11-14-2006, 09:23 AM
Saw some old tape of Johnny Edwards behind the plate. I never really saw him play a lot, but that cat was really smooth with the big glove. Very underated with the catchers of his era.



I saw him a lot as a kid. I think he held the record for catchers fielding percentage for a while. He was highly respected for his defense.

Johnny Footstool
11-14-2006, 09:26 AM
Brian Giles: 2006 - 87 runs scored - 104 walks - .374 OBP - .263 BA.

Alfonso Soriano: 2001 - 128 runs scored - 29 walks - .332 OBP - .300 BA.

Cherry picking stats doesn't prove any point. Taking walks has become a bit overrated today. Obviously it is important, but it isn't the end of the story.

No one ever said walks were the "end of the story." Accumulating bases is.

westofyou
11-14-2006, 09:30 AM
Cherry picking stats doesn't prove any point. Taking walks has become a bit overrated today. Obviously it is important, but it isn't the end of the story.

Of course no one said they were, I said I'd take walks.

You OTOH are try to put words in my mouth.

Talk about cherry picking.

Slyder
11-14-2006, 10:21 AM
Switch hitting. I'd rather have someone learn to hit pitchers of either arm from their strong side of the plate instead of playing the lefty/righty game. See especially Javy Valentin and Felipe Lopez. It is especially frustrating when there is a clear dropoff in OPS for one side over the other.

Chipper Jones says hi, glad you werent my hitting coach.

westofyou
11-14-2006, 10:24 AM
Switch hitting. I'd rather have someone learn to hit pitchers of either arm from their strong side of the plate instead of playing the lefty/righty game. See especially Javy Valentin and Felipe Lopez. It is especially frustrating when there is a clear dropoff in OPS for one side over the other.
SS is a position that switch hitting nullifies lifting a key defensive player late in the game, that's why most SS are RH or switch hit.

remdog
11-14-2006, 12:00 PM
The most over-rated skill in baseball:

The ability to keep the stats. ;)

Rem

Rojo
11-14-2006, 12:31 PM
If the catcher is moving around to catch a pitch, that tells a lot of umpires that the pitcher has not hit his spot, and I believe, makes them less likely to call a strike.

Couldn't that be because the pitcher has not hit his spot. My brief foray into umpiring I was calling balls and strikes based on where it crossed the plate. I didn't even notice where the catcher caught it.

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 01:19 PM
Of course no one said they were, I said I'd take walks.

You OTOH are try to put words in my mouth.

Talk about cherry picking.

You also said this:


Eddie scored because he walked a bunch and was on base all the time, despite hitting .263.

It's a little difficult to prove that, especially since you cannot prove (w/o a ton of research) that most of his runs came after he had walked.

It's also funny that you, w/o a doubt, cherry picked his best year. Why didn't you reference 1947 (114 walks, 76 runs) or 1950 (103 walks, 79 runs)?

Listen, I've been one of the biggest opponents of the "Walks are great" lovefest that takes place on this board and have argued it till the cows came home. But it doesn't guarantee anything.

Many people here fell in love with Hatteberg through the first 4 months of the season. And a lot of that infatuation came from the fact that he walked a lot and had a very impressive OBP. Great.

Now delve deeper...his walk rate stayed pretty static throughout the year, but his production tanked in Aug-Oct. The board turned on him a bit, especially when he turned in a putrid .206/.235/.349 in Sept-Oct. Still a nice OBP, but embarrassing otherwise. But why would anyone turn on him, especially after such a nice OBP?

Again....walks are nice, but give me a hit any day of the week. Walks have been and always will be supplementary to hitting the ball.

redsupport
11-14-2006, 01:21 PM
the most overrated skill is probably not stepping on the base lines when exiting the field

westofyou
11-14-2006, 01:27 PM
It's also funny that you, w/o a doubt, cherry picked his best year. Why didn't you reference 1947 (114 walks, 76 runs) or 1950 (103 walks, 79 runs)?Yeah that's funny... silly me, such a clown.

westofyou
11-14-2006, 01:28 PM
It's a little difficult to prove that, especially since you cannot prove (w/o a ton of research) that most of his runs came after he had walked.Research doesn't scare me, and better yet I'll do it for you.

RANDY IN INDY
11-14-2006, 02:08 PM
Couldn't that be because the pitcher has not hit his spot. My brief foray into umpiring I was calling balls and strikes based on where it crossed the plate. I didn't even notice where the catcher caught it.

Maybe, maybe not. I have coached several teams where the catcher could not sit still and was always jumpy, moving up and down, stabbing at the ball and generally looking like a train wreck. The best catchers are the guys that can just sit there and make it look easy. Smooth. No wasted motion. Here it is Mr. Umpire. Call it a strike.

Hate to bring it up again, but Jason Larue is a perfect example of a catcher that is not real smooth and does not frame pitches well.

If you were consistently calling balls and strikes based on where the ball crossed the plate, you are my kind of umpire.:beerme: There are many who have a problem with that, even at the big league level.

Johnny Footstool
11-14-2006, 03:03 PM
Again....walks are nice, but give me a hit any day of the week. Walks have been and always will be supplementary to hitting the ball.

You're focusing on results and ignoring the process. Yes, hits are great -- they're the best possible positive outcome of an AB. Unfortunately, the process behind getting a hit isn't all that simple. "See the ball, hit the ball" generates a lot of outs.

You have to wait for a pitch you can handle, and walks (and strikeouts, too) are a by-product of that approach. Walks come from patient hitters, and patient hitters have been and always will be essential to the long-term success of an offense.

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 04:11 PM
Walks come from patient hitters, and patient hitters have been and always will be essential to the long-term success of an offense.


Hits also come from patient hitters. Getting lots of walks doesn't guarantee long term success nor does getting lots of hits. It depends on situation and any other number of variables.

traderumor
11-14-2006, 04:12 PM
Chipper Jones says hi, glad you werent my hitting coach.You talked to Chipper? Exceptions do not prove rules. If it did, then someone like Javy Valentin nullifies your example. The problem with arguing either way is that there is really no objective way to approach the problem other than saying a switch hitter who has bad splits should abandon switch hitting and go with his strong hand. I consider it to be "an overrated skill" because it seems that switch hitters are valued higher than they should be based on their ability to swing from either side of the plate regardless of the competence level of one side or the other.

traderumor
11-14-2006, 04:18 PM
SS is a position that switch hitting nullifies lifting a key defensive player late in the game, that's why most SS are RH or switch hit.Aren't most shortstops RH hitters because they are RH fielders? To me, it all comes down to competence on both sides of the plate, not just the ability to swing from one's non-natural side and get a few hits. I don't think one should switch hit simply because they can, but because they are able to nullify same handed matchups by being effective from either side of the plate. That doesn't seem to be the reasoning behind switch hitting, though.

westofyou
11-14-2006, 04:28 PM
Aren't most shortstops RH hitters because they are RH fielders? To me, it all comes down to competence on both sides of the plate, not just the ability to swing from one's non-natural side and get a few hits. I don't think one should switch hit simply because they can, but because they are able to nullify same handed matchups by being effective from either side of the plate. That doesn't seem to be the reasoning behind switch hitting, though.
I'd imagine that the majority of SS are RH hitters because they are RH, still the long term LH hitting only SS is rare.

Check out the all time list compared to RH and SH and then look at LH 3rd baseman, which seems to have more in modern times.


CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
SS
LEFT HANDED HITTERS

AT BATS AB
1 Ozzie Guillen 6686
2 Arky Vaughan 5878
3 Joe Sewell 4690
4 Craig Reynolds 4179
5 Tony Kubek 4167
6 Al Bridwell 3740
7 Cecil Travis 3159
8 Charlie Hollocher 2936
9 Johnny Pesky 2536
10 Ernie Johnson 2330

CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
SS
SWITCH HITTERS

AT BATS AB
1 Ozzie Smith 9396
2 Omar Vizquel 8966
3 Larry Bowa 8418
4 Garry Templeton 7664
5 Don Kessinger 7651
6 Dave Bancroft 7182
7 Donie Bush 7054
8 Alfredo Griffin 6780
9 Maury Wills 6345
10 Tony Fernandez 6042

CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
SS
RIGHT HANDED HITTERS

AT BATS AB
1 Luis Aparicio 10230
2 Cal Ripken 9217
3 Bert Campaneris 8459
4 Rabbit Maranville 8368
5 Luke Appling 8360
6 Alan Trammell 8288
7 Honus Wagner 8277
8 Dave Concepcion 8247
9 Barry Larkin 7937
10 Pee Wee Reese 7728

CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
3B
LEFT HANDED HITTERS

AT BATS AB
1 Wade Boggs 8842
2 Graig Nettles 8682
3 Eddie Mathews 8209
4 Stan Hack 7218
5 Robin Ventura 6803
6 George Brett 6675
7 Larry Gardner 6271
8 Home Run Baker 5985
9 Darrell Evans 4968
10 Red Rolfe 4548

Rojo
11-14-2006, 04:38 PM
Maybe, maybe not. I have coached several teams where the catcher could not sit still and was always jumpy, moving up and down, stabbing at the ball and generally looking like a train wreck. The best catchers are the guys that can just sit there and make it look easy. Smooth. No wasted motion. Here it is Mr. Umpire. Call it a strike.

Hate to bring it up again, but Jason Larue is a perfect example of a catcher that is not real smooth and does not frame pitches well.

In complete agreement about LaRue. I cringe when he's behind the plate. I'm not saying it doesn't make any difference, I'm saying its over-rated. The difference between LaRue and Matheny would be a few strikes a game. Not inconsequential, but hardly worth the amount of lipservice it gets from broadcasters (who are often ex-catchers).

TRF
11-14-2006, 04:52 PM
Hits also come from patient hitters. Getting lots of walks doesn't guarantee long term success nor does getting lots of hits. It depends on situation and any other number of variables.

Except it has been proven to you ad nauseum that BA is not nearly as improtant as OBP. Rickey Henderson was dangerous when he hit over .300 AND when he hit .260.

Situational hitting arguments are fine in the micro. but let's take that a step further.

If you have a guy that excels in the close/late situations, but stinks in all other situations and you have a guy that is the opposite of that, who is more valuable?

I prefer the guy that will get on base at a good clip in what will end up being 80% of his PA's.

Hits are great. yes a hit is better than a walk in ALMOST every situation. In some situations, it's dead even, and in others the walk actually benefits the team more. a 1 pitch single is not as good for the offense as a 10 pitch BB if the bases are empty. There are situations within situations.

Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 04:55 PM
Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.

I know it's only one example, but I know the 2006 Tigers did pretty well....

TRF
11-14-2006, 05:10 PM
I know it's only one example, but I know the 2006 Tigers did pretty well....

In the AL they had a low OBP. it is true. They also were middle of the pack in hits, and 11th in BA.

It wasn't there offense that got them there, it was lights out pitching. Which is why they went and traded for Sheffield.

Now if the Tigers were better at getting on base with that pitching staff, they might be ordering rings right now.

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 05:37 PM
Except it has been proven to you ad nauseum that BA is not nearly as improtant as OBP. Rickey Henderson was dangerous when he hit over .300 AND when he hit .260.

Situational hitting arguments are fine in the micro. but let's take that a step further.

If you have a guy that excels in the close/late situations, but stinks in all other situations and you have a guy that is the opposite of that, who is more valuable?

I prefer the guy that will get on base at a good clip in what will end up being 80% of his PA's.

Hits are great. yes a hit is better than a walk in ALMOST every situation. In some situations, it's dead even, and in others the walk actually benefits the team more. a 1 pitch single is not as good for the offense as a 10 pitch BB if the bases are empty. There are situations within situations.

Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.

These are the top ten MLB teams in runs scored
1. Yankees
2. Indians
3. White Sox
4. Phillies
5. Braves
6. Rangers
7. Mets
8. Tigers
9. Red Sox
10. Dodgers

1.The Yankees finished 3rd in BB and 1st in OBP.
2.The Indians finished 3rd in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
3.The White Sox finished 8th in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
4.The Phillies finished 4th in BB and 6th in OBP.
5.The Braves did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
6.The Rangers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
7.The Mets did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
8.The Tigers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category
9.The Red Sox finished 1st in BB's and 2nd in OBP.
10.The Dodgers finished 6th in BB and 4th in OBP

Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed. Runs are what wins games. There is no direct correlation between runs scored and BB/OBP. Of the 10 teams with the most runs scored, 6 are in the Top 10 in OBP and 6 are in the Top 10 in AVG. There are 5 teams in both Top Ten lists. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes. You cannot treat Sabermetrics as law. Those of you who do, read the above.

westofyou
11-14-2006, 05:39 PM
Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed.




OBP is Life. Life is OBP.

That's not mine. It's Gary Huckabay's, one of the many pithy-but-salient observations he's made over the years. It's one I've been repeating a lot this morning as I talk about the Yankees' success. Despite losing $24 million worth of corner outfielders, getting nothing from a $10 million starter (Carl Pavano) and below-average pitching from another $20 million combo (Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson), the Yankees are 35-22, atop the AL East by a game-and-a-half and tied for the second-best record in baseball.

The Yankees have achieved their success by leading the majors in runs scored with 344, and they've done that by leading the planet in OBP with a whopping .375 mark. You can't understate how impressive that figure is. The post-1900 record for OBP is .385, set by the 1950 Red Sox. (Six teams, including three John McGraw/Hughie Jennings Orioles squads, topped that figure between 1894 and 1897.) Just 19 teams have ever had a .375 OBP, and none have done so since those '50 Sox. Since then, a mere two teams have cracked .370: the 1994 Yankees and the 1999 Indians. The latter is the only team in the last 56 years to score 1000 runs, while the former went into the season-ending strike second in the AL in runs scored.

Even during the recent high-offense era--called another name by some, but not by me, not without more perspective--team OBPs tended to peak in the .360s. From 1993 through 2005, 21 teams had OBPs between .360 and .369, but only the aforementioned two cracked .370.

The Yankees' OBP is a reflection of both good hitting and a high walk rate. They're second in the AL with a .291 BA, and tied with the Red Sox for the league lead in walks drawn (252). Individually, they're being led by Jason Giambi--hey, did I ever point out how stupid I was for getting on the "Giambi needs two weeks in Columbus" bandwagon last year?--at .458. Derek Jeter is combining a career-high walk rate (32 in 248 PA) with a near-career-high BA (.344) to post a .435 OBP. Jorge Posada is resurgent at .420 while Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon are right around expectations.

When you have a core of players who combine for better than a .400 OBP, you can get away with a lot of lineup problems. You can get away with a DH/OF hitting .265/.312/.365, the way Bernie Williams is. You can survive a spate of injuries that forces Bubba Crosby and then Terrence Long into the lineup. You can survive the decline of Randy Johnson and the pumpkinization of Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small, not to mention a bullpen so shaky that Scott Proctor might throw 110 innings.

That's why the Yankees are in first place right now, and why they may very well stay there all season long in spite of a series of injuries and disappointing performances. The power of a high team OBP is that strong.

Take a look at the list of high-OBP teams. Since the strike zone and mound were returned to their upright and locked positions in 1969, 22 teams have posted a .360 OBP or better.


OBP Record Place

1994 Yankees .374 70-43 1
1999 Indians .373 97-65 1
1996 Indians .369 99-62 1
2000 Indians .367 90-72 2
1994 White Sox .366 67-46 1
1996 Mariners .366 85-76 2
1999 Yankees .366 98-64 1
1998 Yankees .364 114-48 1
1999 Mets .363 97-66 2
1993 Tigers .362 85-77 4
1997 Yankees .362 96-66 2
2000 Rockies .362 82-80 4
2000 Giants .362 97-65 1
2000 Mariners .361 91-71 2
1999 Rangers .361 95-67 1
2000 Astros .361 72-90 4
1995 Indians .361 100-44 1
1996 White Sox .360 85-77 2
1996 Yankees .360 92-70 1
2001 Mariners .360 116-46 1
2003 Red Sox .360 95-67 2
2000 A's .360 91-70 1

All data thanks to Lee Sinins' Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia and baseball-reference.com.

I haven't gotten into park or era factors here, and those are obviously important given that every one of the above teams played in the past 13 years. Nevertheless, the relationship between a very high OBP and team success is pretty clear. Not only were most of these teams good, the list includes two record-breaking teams--the 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners--plus a team that might have been just as good as those two but played a shortened season, the 1995 Indians. Twenty-one of 22 teams finished above .500, 19 finished no worse than in second place and 16 of them made the postseason.

In the divisional era, having a .360 team OBP gives you a better than 70% chance of being a playoff team. The Yankees have more going for them than just a high OBP, but it's that high OBP--in fact, a historic one--that drives their offense and their chance of winning a ninth consecutive AL East crown.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5193

Falls City Beer
11-14-2006, 05:43 PM
Repo-ing a massage chair.

Johnny Footstool
11-14-2006, 05:47 PM
Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed. Runs are what wins games. There is no direct correlation between runs scored and BB/OBP. Of the 10 teams with the most runs scored, 6 are in the Top 10 in OBP and 6 are in the Top 10 in AVG. There are 5 teams in both Top Ten lists. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes. You cannot treat Sabermetrics as law. Those of you who do, read the above.

:laugh:

It reminds me of my attempts to prove that tomatoes cause cancer:

1) I don't eat tomatoes
2) I don't have cancer
3) Therefore, tomatoes cause cancer.

Very similar to your logic, except for the fact that one of us is joking.

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 05:54 PM
I am at work so I can't look into this further, but does anyone have other rankings for those teams WOY posted as well? For example, team ERA? Team batting average? Just curious...

rdiersin
11-14-2006, 05:57 PM
Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed.

Since when does one years worth of data constitute a proof?




There is no direct correlation between runs scored and BB/OBP.

Looking at over 30 years worth of data shows that there is a .780 correlation coefficients between OBP and runs scored. Direct, no, but no stat is going to give a direct correlation unless it is with itself. Oh, XR, RC are about .98 for their correlation coefficient which pretty close to direct. OPS is also in the .9's. And oh my, it uses elements of, dare I say it, OBP.

vaticanplum
11-14-2006, 06:01 PM
Apart from announcer fixations that seem to come and go in trends, I don't know that there is any truly overrated skill in baseball because it's such a game of strategy. Something can be worthless in four straight games and then become absolutely crucial in the fifth. It's not like football or basketball where speed and strength and good instincts can help you barrell through a lot of tight spots. Baseball is a slower game, there's more time to put thought into a lot of the decisions and so all of those skills can come in very handy at some point.

And I still love Jason LaRue as a catcher :)

Falls City Beer
11-14-2006, 06:07 PM
And I still love Jason LaRue as a catcher :)

I think Larue both as a hitter and a catcher is one of the most underrated Reds in my lifetime.

vaticanplum
11-14-2006, 06:21 PM
I think Larue both as a hitter and a catcher is one of the most underrated Reds in my lifetime.

I would go so far as to say he's one of the most underrated catchers in the game, period.

RedsManRick
11-14-2006, 06:24 PM
These are the top ten MLB teams in runs scored
1. Yankees
2. Indians
3. White Sox
4. Phillies
5. Braves
6. Rangers
7. Mets
8. Tigers
9. Red Sox
10. Dodgers

1.The Yankees finished 3rd in BB and 1st in OBP.
2.The Indians finished 3rd in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
3.The White Sox finished 8th in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
4.The Phillies finished 4th in BB and 6th in OBP.
5.The Braves did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
6.The Rangers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
7.The Mets did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
8.The Tigers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category
9.The Red Sox finished 1st in BB's and 2nd in OBP.
10.The Dodgers finished 6th in BB and 4th in OBP

Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed. Runs are what wins games. There is no direct correlation between runs scored and BB/OBP. Of the 10 teams with the most runs scored, 6 are in the Top 10 in OBP and 6 are in the Top 10 in AVG. There are 5 teams in both Top Ten lists. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes. You cannot treat Sabermetrics as law. Those of you who do, read the above.

Actually, I just ran a very quick regression of runs vs. OBP from ESPN.com and below are the results. Now, I'm using "runs" scored, not team runs scored, so the totals are very slightly off. But it's just a tad more rigorous than what you've done. The x-axis is runs scored and the y-axis is team OBP. They should be flipped for a formal analysis, but for the purpose of correlation coefficients the numbers end up the same. The R-squared value you see is called the "squared correlation coeffcient".

Correlation is value between -1 and 1 which describes the percentage of variation in Y which can be attributed to the variation in X. A correlation of -1 is "perfect negative correlation" -- as X goes up by 1 unit, Y goes down by 1 unit. A correlation of +1 is "perfective positive correlation". As X goes up by 1 unit, Y goes up by 1 unit. A correlation of 0 is no correlation at all. As X goes up or down by 1 unit, we have no clue wtf Y is doing...

We square the r value so that it's always positive for comparison. We care more about the strength of the relationship, not the direction. An r-squared below .15-.2 is considered weak, .2-.4 moderate, and above .4 strong.

As you can see below, the r-squared for OBP and Runs is .64. FYI, the r-squared of BA and Runs is .45 and the r-squared of OPS and Runs is .87. In other words, OBP tells you quite a bit about runs -- more than batting average, less than OPS. Of all the crazy advanced metrics you'll see bandied about, none of them does much to improve on OPS form this perspective. The r-squared of the best metrics available is only .9, so look at OPS and understand that as far understanding "what causes runs" -- OPS is a very darn good measurement, followed by OBP and BA respectively.

No offense intended, and I'm certainly not the mathematician other's here are, but don't knock something you obviously don't understand.

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 08:01 PM
Actually, I just ran a very quick regression of runs vs. OBP from ESPN.com and below are the results. Now, I'm using "runs" scored, not team runs scored, so the totals are very slightly off.

No offense intended, and I'm certainly not the mathematician other's here are, but don't knock something you obviously don't understand.

No, no, no I don't want to hear about "runs", I'm talking about runs. Something a team actually does. I appreciate that you and others went to the trouble to get stats to support your argument. And I would like to clarify my points. I was answering a post touting the virtue of the walk and OBP. I showed proof that there was no direct correlation between BB's, OBP, and runs scored. Yes, I used only one year's data and that was half the point. There are many, many people on Redszone who treat a walk and OBP as something sacred. They have certain ideas in their mind as to what the baseball laws are as far as results go. I showed them not to be laws. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes here. To pass them off as anything else is simply wrong. The team who has the highest OPS each year does not always score the most runs. The team with the highest OBP doesn't always win the most games. WOY's own chart showed that. ( That was a good read btw.) I would like to go back to OPS for a moment. I never mentioned it in my previous posting and TRF didn't mention it in his but others did later. Did you know that Toronto finished 2nd in MLB this year in OPS? Did you also know that they finished 12th in runs scored? Why? Shouldn't they be 2nd or at least somewhere in the Top 5? Baseball stats and mathematics are great. Baseball stats and philosophy go great together. But, what we are left with in the end are the results and even that doesn't tell the whole truth. Does the fact that Ted Williams have 200 less homers than Ruth make him a lesser hitter? Who's better? We don't know. We know that Ryan Howard had the most home runs. We know that Aaron Harang had the most strikeouts. We know that the Reds won 80 games this season. Beyond that it is all opinion and your own philosophy. Yes, RedsManRick I do understand what you are saying but it is your opinion. Cherish it because it is yours, but no one should pass their opinions off to me or anyone else as law.

Ltlabner
11-14-2006, 08:09 PM
I'd like to go on record as saying I had no intention of stats vs non-stats round 4,597,276 to erupt when I came up with this thread.

:help:

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 08:13 PM
I'd like to go on record as saying I had no intention of stats vs non-stats round 4,597,276 to erupt when I came up with this thread.

:help:
You have my sincere apologies. I simply said taking a walk was overrated and it snowballed. I am sorry.

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 08:22 PM
I would go so far as to say he's one of the most underrated catchers in the game, period.

Drinking again?:)

Ltlabner
11-14-2006, 08:23 PM
Yuo have my sincere apologies. I simply said taking a walk was overrated and it snowballed. I am sorry.

No problem bud. I was kidding around (mostly).

MrCinatit
11-14-2006, 08:40 PM
I think a batter's ability to get hit by a thrown baseball without getting seriously hurt, therefor being allowed to go to first base, is rather overrated.

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 08:49 PM
I think a batter's ability to get hit by a thrown baseball without getting seriously hurt, therefor being allowed to go to first base, is rather overrated.

Bill Cosby had a great routine about that in the late 60's I think.

RedsManRick
11-14-2006, 08:52 PM
No, no, no I don't want to hear about "runs", I'm talking about runs. Something a team actually does. I appreciate that you and others went to the trouble to get stats to support your argument. And I would like to clarify my points. I was answering a post touting the virtue of the walk and OBP. I showed proof that there was no direct correlation between BB's, OBP, and runs scored. Yes, I used only one year's data and that was half the point. There are many, many people on Redszone who treat a walk and OBP as something sacred. They have certain ideas in their mind as to what the baseball laws are as far as results go. I showed them not to be laws. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes here. To pass them off as anything else is simply wrong. The team who has the highest OPS each year does not always score the most runs. The team with the highest OBP doesn't always win the most games. WOY's own chart showed that. ( That was a good read btw.) I would like to go back to OPS for a moment. I never mentioned it in my previous posting and TRF didn't mention it in his but others did later. Did you know that Toronto finished 2nd in MLB this year in OPS? Did you also know that they finished 12th in runs scored? Why? Shouldn't they be 2nd or at least somewhere in the Top 5? Baseball stats and mathematics are great. Baseball stats and philosophy go great together. But, what we are left with in the end are the results and even that doesn't tell the whole truth. Does the fact that Ted Williams have 200 less homers than Ruth make him a lesser hitter? Who's better? We don't know. We know that Ryan Howard had the most home runs. We know that Aaron Harang had the most strikeouts. We know that the Reds won 80 games this season. Beyond that it is all opinion and your own philosophy. Yes, RedsManRick I do understand what you are saying but it is your opinion. Cherish it because it is yours, but no one should pass their opinions off to me or anyone else as law.

Correlation is about the relationship between two variables across a population or a significant sample. It doesn't guarantee that the #1 runs scrored team is the #1 OBP team. It's not a law which says, #1 OBP = #1 Runs --- and NOBODY is claiming it is. It is claiming that the more a team gets on base, the more runs they score. You'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. You are misinterpreting the claims of the sabermatericians.

Guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic.

Yes, there is variation. But there is also a VERY strong correlation. I'm sorry that the concept eludes you. I'm not preaching truth about OBP being god or anything. However, I am preaching that teams who get on base tend to score more runs. If you can't handle the concept of variation around an observed mean, well, I guess I'll stop right here.

It's not about opinions or facts. You could have the opinion that Lawyers don't make very much money because your friend is a lawyer and he only makes $30,000. I'll let you have that opinion. I'll also call you foolish for basing your opinion on poorly defined and examined evidence, particularly in light of copious evidence which counters your claim.

edabbs44
11-14-2006, 09:01 PM
OBP Record Place

1994 Yankees .374 70-43 1
1999 Indians .373 97-65 1
1996 Indians .369 99-62 1
2000 Indians .367 90-72 2
1994 White Sox .366 67-46 1
1996 Mariners .366 85-76 2
1999 Yankees .366 98-64 1
1998 Yankees .364 114-48 1
1999 Mets .363 97-66 2
1993 Tigers .362 85-77 4
1997 Yankees .362 96-66 2
2000 Rockies .362 82-80 4
2000 Giants .362 97-65 1
2000 Mariners .361 91-71 2
1999 Rangers .361 95-67 1
2000 Astros .361 72-90 4
1995 Indians .361 100-44 1
1996 White Sox .360 85-77 2
1996 Yankees .360 92-70 1
2001 Mariners .360 116-46 1
2003 Red Sox .360 95-67 2
2000 A's .360 91-70 1

Let's go through, one by one, in league rankings for batting average:

1994 Yankees: Tied for 1st in avg
1999 Cleveland: 2nd in avg
1996 Cleveland: 1st in avg
2000 Cleveland: tied for 1st in avg
1994 White Sox: 3rd in avg
1996 Seattle: 4th in avg
99 NYY: tied for 3rd in avg
98 NYY: 2nd in avg
99 Mets: 2nd in avg
93 Detroit: n/a (site did not have)
97 NYY: n/a (site did not have)
2000 Col: 1st in avg
2000 SF: 2nd in avg
2000 Seattle: 12th in avg
1999 Tex: 1st in avg
2000 Hou: tied for 2nd in avg
1995 Cleveland: 1st in avg

Now check out the one outlier...2000 Seattle. How's this for a comparison.

2000 Mariners: .269 BA and .360 OBP
2000 CWS: .286 BA and .354 OBP

So it's quite obvious that the Mariners walked more than the CWS and the CWS hit more than Seattle.

2000 Mariners: 907 runs
2000 CWS: 978 runs

Obviously one example, but by looking at my numbers here: BA correlates to success and runs scored.

And strictly using OBP as a correlation to runs is semi-flawed since it not only accounts for walk but hits also. How about some numbers related to BB/AB ratio and runs scored?

Handofdeath
11-14-2006, 09:36 PM
Stop using words you don't understand. Correlation is about the relationship between two variables across a population or a significant sample. It doesn't guarantee that the #1 runs scrored team is the #1 OBP team. However, as you look down the list, you'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. After all, guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic.

Yes, there is variation. But there is also a VERY strong correlation. I'm sorry that the concept eludes you. I'm not preaching truth about OBP being god or anything. However, I am preaching that teams who get on base tend to score more runs. If you can't handle the concept of variation around an observed mean, well, I guess I'll stop right here.

It's not about opinions or facts. You could have the opinion that Lawyers don't make very much money because your friend is a lawyer and he only makes $30,000. I'll let you have that opinion. I'll also call you foolish for basing your opinion on poorly defined and examined evidence, particularly in light of copious evidence which counters your claim.

I'm so glad there is someone here to educate me. I believe the variables being talked about were runs scored and OBP. They do vary right? I think the problem you have is your concept of baseball is being challenged. I can tell by your reply you haven't even read half of my post. "However, as you look down the list, you'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. " After all, guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic." I don't believe I was talking about wins and runs scored. I believe I was talking about how numbers don't and can't tell the whole story. Thanks for helping me out there. Copious evidence? Then explain how #5,6, and 7 in runs scored this year didn't finish in the Top 10 in OBP? Your problem is you have a theory and you'll crunch whatever numbers to get what you want. Facts be damned. Because it is about facts and opinions because you wouldn't bother with it otherwise. Your and your ilk spout this sabermetric nonsense as gospel. Why don't the people who run Redszone just paste a picture of Bill James up there on top? Then you can have it say "By Reds fans who love sabermetrics, for Reds fans who love sabermetrics."

Falls City Beer
11-14-2006, 09:40 PM
I'm so glad there is someone here to educate me. Especially someone who was still messing his drawers when I graduated high school. I believe the variables being talked about were runs scored and OBP. They do vary right? I think the problem you have is your concept of baseball is being challenged. I can tell by your reply you haven't even read half of my post. "However, as you look down the list, you'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. " After all, guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic." I don't believe I was talking about wins and runs scored. I believe I was talking about how numbers don't and can't tell the whole story. Thanks for helping me out there. Copious evidence? Then explain how #5,6, and 7 in runs scored this year didn't finish in the Top 10 in OBP? Your problem is you have a theory and you'll crunch whatever numbers to get what you want. Facts be damned. Because it is about facts and opinions because you wouldn't bother with it otherwise. Your and your ilk spout this sabermetric nonsense as gospel. You personally attack me and my intelligence and I'm sure no one will neg you for it. I also notice that the ones who disagree with you and the line of thinking that is the norm here are always the ones with the lower rep scores. Why don't the people who run Redszone just paste a picture of Bill James up there on top. Then you can have it say "By Reds fans who love sabermetrics, for Reds fans who love sabermetrics." One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.


Oh man, an IQ-check.

Highlifeman21
11-14-2006, 11:18 PM
I'm so glad there is someone here to educate me. Especially someone who was still messing his drawers when I graduated high school. I believe the variables being talked about were runs scored and OBP. They do vary right? I think the problem you have is your concept of baseball is being challenged. I can tell by your reply you haven't even read half of my post. "However, as you look down the list, you'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. " After all, guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic." I don't believe I was talking about wins and runs scored. I believe I was talking about how numbers don't and can't tell the whole story. Thanks for helping me out there. Copious evidence? Then explain how #5,6, and 7 in runs scored this year didn't finish in the Top 10 in OBP? Your problem is you have a theory and you'll crunch whatever numbers to get what you want. Facts be damned. Because it is about facts and opinions because you wouldn't bother with it otherwise. Your and your ilk spout this sabermetric nonsense as gospel. You personally attack me and my intelligence and I'm sure no one will neg you for it. I also notice that the ones who disagree with you and the line of thinking that is the norm here are always the ones with the lower rep scores. Why don't the people who run Redszone just paste a picture of Bill James up there on top. Then you can have it say "By Reds fans who love sabermetrics, for Reds fans who love sabermetrics." One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

I'd put my money on Steel, WoY or Cyclone to win that war. As for the IQ, well.... I guess I'll just wait to see your name in the next member roster for Mensa?

Patrick Bateman
11-14-2006, 11:35 PM
My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

I'm going to take a guess and say that Rick, nor anyone here (besides your gigantic ego) gives a crap about how high your IQ is. Based on the posts in this thread, Rick certainly should not be afraid of being embarassed by you.

RedsManRick
11-15-2006, 12:27 AM
I'm so glad there is someone here to educate me. Especially someone who was still messing his drawers when I graduated high school. I believe the variables being talked about were runs scored and OBP. They do vary right? I think the problem you have is your concept of baseball is being challenged. I can tell by your reply you haven't even read half of my post. "However, as you look down the list, you'll see that generally speaking, the greater the OBP, the more runs scored. We know that teams who get on base more score more runs. You want to examine each and every specific case, you can't have each and every observation hold true. " After all, guess what? The team who scored the second most runs in baseball this year, the Cleveland Indians, didn't even break .500. I guess runs must not equal wins by your logic." I don't believe I was talking about wins and runs scored. I believe I was talking about how numbers don't and can't tell the whole story. Thanks for helping me out there. Copious evidence? Then explain how #5,6, and 7 in runs scored this year didn't finish in the Top 10 in OBP? Your problem is you have a theory and you'll crunch whatever numbers to get what you want. Facts be damned. Because it is about facts and opinions because you wouldn't bother with it otherwise. Your and your ilk spout this sabermetric nonsense as gospel. You personally attack me and my intelligence and I'm sure no one will neg you for it. I also notice that the ones who disagree with you and the line of thinking that is the norm here are always the ones with the lower rep scores. Why don't the people who run Redszone just paste a picture of Bill James up there on top. Then you can have it say "By Reds fans who love sabermetrics, for Reds fans who love sabermetrics." One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

My apologies. It looks like I also forgot that age equals intelligence. Hopefully when I'm as old as you I'll be as smart as you as well. I'm glad you tested well for IQ. I've never been formally tested myself. Luckily, that should should mean that you'll pick up on statistics pretty quickly when you decide you want to actually understand them and not just take offense when somebody cites them in a disagreement with you.

You're also right about my reputation. Those of us who do the whole pretending to be sabermatrician thing end up with a decent amount of rep. Good for us, I guess. I didn't realize this was a popularity contest. This is a hobby for me too. I love baseball. I love watching it. I love reading about it. I love playing it. I love writing about it. I love arguing about it. Most of all, I love learning about it. This isn't a case of "I'm wrong, you're right, now shut up." It's an open exchange of ideas and there certainly will be different viewpoints expressed. However, you don't hold the exclusive right to being entitled to your opinions.

I'm happy to have you disagree with me and point the failures in my arguments, "outchart and outstat and outtalk (my) ass" if you will. I'm not here to win. I'm here to talk Reds and learn about baseball. Feel free to educate me. As you talk more with us saber-types, hopefully we'll have an opportunity to show you that rather than the self-important, holier-than-thou, math geeks we tend to be painted as (occasionally justifiably so), many of us simply are trying to learn more about the game we love and completely open to whatever type of information, opinion, and theory there is. However, you'll find we all have one thing very much in common. We want evidence. Opinions, theories, reports, and even statistical analyses all have their own set of biases and assumptions. Everything should be on the table for discussion and scrutiny.

Johnny Footstool
11-15-2006, 01:13 AM
One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

Clearly you're an expert at embarassing people -- you've done a fantastic job doing it to yourself.

RedsBaron
11-15-2006, 06:24 AM
You could have the opinion that Lawyers don't make very much money because your friend is a lawyer and he only makes $30,000.

We are terribly underpaid and underloved.;)

Ltlabner
11-15-2006, 06:29 AM
I'm so glad there is someone here to educate me. Especially someone who was still messing his drawers when I graduated high school. I believe the variables being talked about were runs scored and OBP. They do vary right? I think the problem you have is your concept of baseball is being challenged. One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

:laugh:

Hand, a word to the wise. Your rep has nothing to do with not being a saber guy. There are many of us here who while we respect the stats side of things to understand baseball, it's not generally our cup of tea. We seem to do ok. I'd hazzard a guess that it has more to do with how you conduct your discussions with other people.

Trust me, your arguments I copied are not new or original thinking so don't pat yourself on the back too hard. They aren't very creative, heck, I've made a few of those statements too when I was new here.

I don't care if you disagree with RMR. Discussion and disagreements are what make RZ so great. But trust me, continuing to do it as you did above doesn't usually work out so well in the long run.

RedsBaron
11-15-2006, 06:38 AM
Your and your ilk spout this sabermetric nonsense as gospel. You personally attack me and my intelligence and I'm sure no one will neg you for it. I also notice that the ones who disagree with you and the line of thinking that is the norm here are always the ones with the lower rep scores. Why don't the people who run Redszone just paste a picture of Bill James up there on top. Then you can have it say "By Reds fans who love sabermetrics, for Reds fans who love sabermetrics." One more fact for you boy. My I.Q. is 146. This is just a hobby. Don't make me mad and have to embarass you. I'll outchart and outstat and outtalk your ass and anybody else's.

While the above post was inexcusable, I was struck by a couple of other things. One, I thought RedsManRick's response was quite civil and moderate, and to his credit.
Second, I have always thought it interesting that people throw out Bill James's name as someone whom apparently sabermetricians worship without question, because James himself frequently questions his own prior studies. I can recall James a few years ago discussing a prior argument he had made as to why run production had increased. Referring to his prior article, James concluded: "I didn't know what the hell I was talking about."
James has also wriiten numerous articles over the years about whether or not Don Drysdale should be in the Hall of Fame, and has not hesitated to change his mind if he believes that better evidence calls for a different conclusion (the last time I checked, James has voted "no" on Drysdale, but I am still a "yes").
James obviously has an ego, or he wouldn't have had enough confidence to challenge long held but unexamined assumptions about the game. He can also be sometimes prickly and has challenged the conclusions of some of his sabermetric friends, such as Pete Palmer, if he believed their conclusions were flawed (he challenged Palmer in a very apologetic manner though).
Jmaes has also written numerous articles about the limitations of sabermetrics and statistical anaylsis.
The most refreshing thing I've found about James is his willingness to re-examine his prior positions and re-think matters. Too often, most of us form an opinion and then spend the rest of the time twisting ourselves into a pretzel to support the initial opinion.

TRF
11-15-2006, 10:08 AM
wow.

Here is last years NL team stats sorted by OPS.



Tm R/G R G AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG SB CS OPS
PHI 5.34 865 162 5687 1518 294 41 216 626 1203 0.267 0.347 0.447 92 25 0.794
ATL 5.24 849 162 5583 1510 312 26 222 526 1169 0.27 0.337 0.455 52 35 0.792
LAD 5.06 820 162 5628 1552 307 58 153 601 959 0.276 0.348 0.432 128 49 0.78
NYM 5.15 834 162 5558 1469 323 41 200 547 1071 0.264 0.334 0.445 146 35 0.779
COL 5.02 813 162 5562 1504 325 54 157 561 1108 0.27 0.341 0.433 85 50 0.774
CIN 4.62 749 162 5515 1419 291 12 217 614 1192 0.257 0.336 0.432 124 33 0.768
STL 4.85 781 161 5522 1484 292 27 184 531 922 0.269 0.337 0.431 59 32 0.768
FLA 4.68 758 162 5502 1454 309 42 182 497 1249 0.264 0.331 0.435 110 58 0.766
WSN 4.6 746 162 5495 1437 322 22 164 594 1156 0.262 0.338 0.418 123 62 0.756
ARI 4.77 773 162 5645 1506 331 38 160 504 965 0.267 0.331 0.424 76 30 0.755
SDP 4.51 731 162 5576 1465 298 38 161 564 1104 0.263 0.332 0.416 123 31 0.748
MIL 4.51 730 162 5433 1400 301 20 180 502 1233 0.258 0.327 0.42 71 37 0.747
SFG 4.63 746 161 5472 1418 297 52 163 494 891 0.259 0.324 0.422 58 25 0.746
HOU 4.54 735 162 5521 1407 275 27 174 585 1076 0.255 0.332 0.409 79 36 0.741
CHC 4.42 716 162 5587 1496 271 46 166 395 928 0.268 0.319 0.422 121 49 0.741
PIT 4.27 691 162 5558 1462 286 17 141 459 1200 0.263 0.327 0.397 68 23 0.724


The Phillies led the league in OPS and runs scored.

So let's look at correlations. the top 5 teams in strikeouts (I'm going to try to cover everything. I know I'll fall short, so help will be appreciated.)


Florida - 758 Runs
Milwaukee - 730 Runs
Philadelphia - 865 Runs
Pittsburgh - 691 Runs
Cincinnati - 749 Runs


Well that's kind of all over the place.

Here were the top 5 BB teams:

Philadelphia - 865 Runs
Cincinnati - 749 Runs
LA Dodgers - 820 Runs
Washington - 746 Runs
Houston - 735 Runs

Less variance, but higher run totals.

The data on hits is interesting. Top 5 teams:


LA Dodgers - 820 Runs
Philadelphia - 865 Runs
Atlanta - 849 Runs
Arizona - 773 Runs
Colorado - 813 Runs
Of course this doesn't indicate the TYPE of hit, just the accumulation of all hits

How about HR's?

Atlanta - 849 Runs
Cincinnati - 749 Runs
Philadelphia - 865 Runs
NY Mets - 834 Runs
Florida - 758 Runs


hmm... HR's are good it seems.

Now, OPS, which seems to be the whipping boy for some reason.

Philadelphia - 865 Runs
Atlanta - 849 Runs
LA Dodgers - 820 Runs
NY Mets - 834 Runs
Colorado - 813 Runs


finally, let's break down OPS into it's component parts, starting with SLG

Atlanta - 849 Runs
Philadelphia - 865 Runs
NY Mets - 834 Runs
Florida - 758 Runs
Colorado - 813 Runs


Now, OBP:

LA Dodgers - 820 Runs
Philadelphia - 865 Runs
Colorado - 813 Runs
Washington - 746 Runs
Atlanta - 849 Runs


Now OPS is down right eerie. As those are the top 5 teams in runs scored also if you flip NY and LA.

So. the strongest correlation to runs scored in the above stats is OPS. And we all know the "O" is OBP.

But you need both to really score runs. BTW, the reds were tied for 6th in OPS, but 9th in Runs while St. Louis had the same OPS but was 6th in Runs. There are variances in the data. you can point to situational hitting, teams being involved in a large number of lopsided games, variances in team talent at different times of the year + opposing team talent. How about facing pitchers new to the league in the second half? ALL of it is a factor.

Now can we put this to bed and get this thread back on track?

My vote for most overrated skill is bunting. A good bunt CAN help, but the act is called upon at the wrong times all too often.

westofyou
11-15-2006, 10:09 AM
Second, I have always thought it interesting that people throw out Bill James's name as someone whom apparently sabermetricians worship without question, because James himself frequently questions his own prior studies.

On that note here's a tidbit Lee Sinin's of the Baseball Encyclopedia told me in a an email the other day, it made me laugh.


The Bill James of today is nothing more than a shell of his old self. The old James would have a field day ridiculing and discrediting the new one. He made his name in the 1980s and is just lazily living off of it with bad works.

So much for worshiping.

pedro
11-15-2006, 12:33 PM
You know TRF, I'd normally agree with you about the bunt, OTOH, after watching the Cardinals use it to destroy the Tigers I have to wonder.

RFS62
11-15-2006, 12:35 PM
Bunting is a basic skill of baseball. It's a shame more players don't take pride in being able to put one down when it's needed.

Just because it's less important in todays game isn't enough of a reason to ignore it. It's part of being a complete player.

Patrick Bateman
11-15-2006, 12:37 PM
Bunting is a basic skill of baseball. It's a shame more players don't take pride in being able to put one down when it's needed.

Just because it's less important in todays game isn't enough of a reason to ignore it. It's part of being a complete player.

Especially our pitchers. How often do they fail to get the job done? It seems like it happens every time.

RANDY IN INDY
11-15-2006, 12:45 PM
Bunting is a basic skill of baseball. It's a shame more players don't take pride in being able to put one down when it's needed.

Just because it's less important in todays game isn't enough of a reason to ignore it. It's part of being a complete player.

:beerme: Sad that working at "being a complete player" doesn't seem to be as important as it once was.

TRF
11-15-2006, 02:14 PM
You know TRF, I'd normally agree with you about the bunt, OTOH, after watching the Cardinals use it to destroy the Tigers I have to wonder.

After thinking it over, it isn't the players bunting skills i think are overrated, it's the managers skill in calling for it.

Boone was atrocious. Narron wasn't too good either.

pedro
11-15-2006, 02:24 PM
After thinking it over, it isn't the players bunting skills i think are overrated, it's the managers skill in calling for it.

Boone was atrocious. Narron wasn't too good either.


As much as I don't like Larussa I really admire the way he uses the bunt as a weapon, not just to give away outs for bases.

TRF
11-15-2006, 02:33 PM
He does seem to recognize what he has in that regard.

Boone would ask Casey to bunt for a hit.

Handofdeath
11-15-2006, 02:50 PM
On that note here's a tidbit Lee Sinin's of the Baseball Encyclopedia told me in a an email the other day, it made me laugh.



So much for worshiping.

I have edited my last post and it deserves to be. I would like to say that a second read of RedsManRick's response has softened my opinion of it. Now I only find it condescending. Perhaps it was the " Stop using words you don't understand." comment or maybe it was "I'm sorry the concept eludes you." "Civil and moderate" Redsbaron? Maybe if you're serving at Guantanamo prison. Use those phrases at home or at work and see what happens. I will end it by saying that I said that the ability to take a walk was overrated. It snowballed and for that I am sorry. But please stop pushing tendencies, no matter how great those tendencies are, off as fact. Nothing has been "proven" to me or anyone else. No one has to agree with me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. As I pointed out to RedsManRick, if you read that far into the post, it is your opinion so cherish it.

TRF
11-15-2006, 04:31 PM
I have edited my last post and it deserves to be. I would like to say that a second read of RedsManRick's response has softened my opinion of it. Now I only find it condescending. Perhaps it was the " Stop using words you don't understand." comment or maybe it was "I'm sorry the concept eludes you." "Civil and moderate" Redsbaron? Maybe if you're serving at Guantanamo prison. Use those phrases at home or at work and see what happens. I will end it by saying that I said that the ability to take a walk was overrated. It snowballed and for that I am sorry. But please stop pushing tendencies, no matter how great those tendencies are, off as fact. Nothing has been "proven" to me or anyone else. No one has to agree with me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. As I pointed out to RedsManRick, if you read that far into the post, it is your opinion so cherish it.

I actually did prove that more walks TEND to lead to more runs, that OBP correlates very well in runs scored, and that OPS is pretty damn accurate in regards to runs scored.

just sayin. :cool:

rdiersin
11-15-2006, 04:35 PM
OPS is pretty damn accurate in regards to runs scored.



How can something, like a rate state compared to a counting stat, be accurate when there is no error analysis? ;)

TRF
11-15-2006, 04:52 PM
play nice.

Now the sample size i use was NL only, and just this season, but i do have to work. I'd be willing to bet a larger sample of seasons produces similar results.

Handofdeath
11-15-2006, 05:09 PM
I actually did prove that more walks TEND to lead to more runs

You did no such thing. The Phillies were 1st in BB's and runs. After that the results are all over the board. I'm repeating some of my previous postings here but here goes.

Reds 2nd in BB's 9th in runs
Dodgers 3rd in BB's 4th in runs
Nationals 4th in BB's 10th in runs
Astros 5th in BB's 12th in runs
Padres 6th in BB's 13th in runs.

rdiersin
11-15-2006, 05:12 PM
play nice.

Now the sample size i use was NL only, and just this season, but i do have to work. I'd be willing to bet a larger sample of seasons produces similar results.


Oh, it was just a joke. A nerd joke, but then again it is what I I am. What I meant isn't about sample size but rather that OPS can't really be "accurate." It can correlate well( and it does with runs scored), but it's not really accurate, since it doesn't really estimate some exact number (i.e. runs scored). Anyway, I think I have probably sidetracked this thread enough.

Raisor
11-15-2006, 07:14 PM
I need to ask Redszone to buy me a new computer, because I just can't believe that I'm missing such great chances to be extra snarky like in a thread like this.

I should be all over this thread dang nab it.

TRF
11-15-2006, 10:32 PM
You did no such thing. The Phillies were 1st in BB's and runs. After that the results are all over the board. I'm repeating some of my previous postings here but here goes.

Reds 2nd in BB's 9th in runs
Dodgers 3rd in BB's 4th in runs
Nationals 4th in BB's 10th in runs
Astros 5th in BB's 12th in runs
Padres 6th in BB's 13th in runs.

And nobody stated that ALL teams that walk a lot score more more runs than teams that don't. But it certainly helps. Yes Washington was 4th in BB's. BUt aside fro Soriano, that was a weak hitting team. Ever heard the phrase "empty .300"? That's Washington. Weak SLG.

Now OPS, which you have bashed mercilessly in your time here matched up almost perfectly to Runs scored.

I've said it before. The ability to take a walk is a MAJOR reason Rickey Henderson is going to the Hall of Fame. Heck, the man is 349 years old and still playing Indy ball because he can take a walk. Getting on base is a valuable skillset. It is NOT overrated in any way.