PDA

View Full Version : Thom just read Moneyball.....



Pages : [1] 2

jojo
06-19-2007, 12:21 AM
and apparently he took notes too....

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 12:27 AM
Yeah, but right before he mentioned that he said that people who say strikeouts are the same as any other out don't know anything about baseball. Like father like son.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 12:33 AM
And he just sounds so angry about it. What a bitter dude. Lighten up Thommy.

gonelong
06-19-2007, 12:33 AM
How do you expect someone that puts off his homework for 4 or 5 years to understand micro vs. macro? :D

I'd be embarrassed to privately admit I was that far behind in keeping up with my craft, much less announce it to an audience.

GL

Matt700wlw
06-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Yeah, but right before he mentioned that he said that people who say strikeouts are the same as any other out don't know anything about baseball. Like father like son.

To his defense, striking out with a runner on third, and less than 2 outs IS different than a contact out...

Making contact can score a run....striking out can't, unless it's a WP or PB...which the odds of that aren't real good...

At least when you make contact, there's a chance for something to happen....case in point, the A's scored 2 of their 5 runs last inning on outs...and they weren't strike outs.


He was talking about this with Nuxhall on the radio the other day....made sense to me.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 12:37 AM
How do you expect someone that puts off his homework for 4 or 5 years to understand micro vs. macro? :D

I'd be embarrassed to privately admit I was that far behind in keeping up with my craft, much less announce it to an audience.

GL

And the only reason he read it was because of the trip to Oakland and possibly running into Billy Beane.

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 12:39 AM
To his defense, striking out with a runner on third, and less than 2 outs IS different than a contact out...

Making contact can score a run....striking out can't, unless it's a WP or PB...which the odds of that aren't real good...

At least when you make contact, there's a chance for something to happen....case in point, the A's scored 2 of their 5 runs last inning on outs...and they weren't strike outs.

I know that, and I do agree with you, but he said that in such a condescending manner and was so emphatic about saying that certain people know absolutely nothing about the game. It's one thing to say that putting the ball in play with a runner at third is a good thing, but it's another thing altogether to say it the way he did. Not very professional if you ask me.

Matt700wlw
06-19-2007, 12:40 AM
I know that, and I do agree with you, but he said that in such a condescending manner and was so emphatic about saying that certain people know absolutely nothing about the game. It's one thing to say that putting the ball in play with a runner at third is a good thing, but it's another thing altogether to say it the way he did. Not very professional if you ask me.

I'll have to take your word on it, since I did not hear it.


On the radio the other day, it didn't sound that way...

jojo
06-19-2007, 12:40 AM
To his defense, striking out with a runner on third, and less than 2 outs IS different than a contact out...

Making contact can score a run....striking out can't, unless it's a WP or PB...which the odds of that aren't real good...

At least when you make contact, there's a chance for something to happen....case in point, the A's scored 2 of their 5 runs last inning on outs...and they weren't strike outs.

But that frames the issue in a way where the only possible answer is that strikeouts are worse than contact. That's not really a fair look at the issue.

RedEye
06-19-2007, 12:44 AM
At least he didn't say that Billy Beane wrote the book.

Did he?

Matt700wlw
06-19-2007, 12:45 AM
But that frames the issue in a way where the only possible answer is that strikeouts are worse than contact. That's not really a fair look at the issue.

It's all situational. This team struggles at that concept.

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 12:45 AM
At least he didn't say that Billy Beane wrote the book.

Did he?

I kept waiting, but I don't think I heard that. I wouldn't have been surprised though.

jojo
06-19-2007, 12:47 AM
It's all situational. This team struggles at that concept.

Right but an inning ending double play with bases loaded doesn't strike me as preferable to a strikeout.

Matt700wlw
06-19-2007, 12:47 AM
Right but an inning ending double play with bases loaded doesn't strike me as preferable to a strikeout.

I'd rather have the strike out and another chance....if of course, strike out and GIDP are my only two choices...

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 12:49 AM
Micro vs. macro. We might as well debate the origins of chickens and eggs.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 12:53 AM
To his defense, striking out with a runner on third, and less than 2 outs IS different than a contact out...

Making contact can score a run....striking out can't, unless it's a WP or PB...which the odds of that aren't real good...

At least when you make contact, there's a chance for something to happen....case in point, the A's scored 2 of their 5 runs last inning on outs...and they weren't strike outs.

He was talking about this with Nuxhall on the radio the other day....made sense to me.

The Florida Marlins led the National League with 1,249 strikeouts last season. The San Francisco Giants struck out the fewest times of any National League team last season with 891 strikeouts.

That's a difference of 358 strikeouts between the team that struck out the most and the team that struck out the fewest.

Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?

Go ahead and take a stab at it.

MWM
06-19-2007, 12:56 AM
These guys who say this crap have no idea how incredibly ignorant it makes them sound to say such things. I guarantee you Thom has never read or even considered the rationale or reasoning behind why people make the argument about strikeouts.

And what rubs me the wrong way is not that he holds the opinion he holds, it's the absoluteness of his expression of said opinion. He could have chosen to say, "I disagree with that viewpoint, and here's why..." Instead he has to go and say that they "don't know anything about baseball." Why the need to say things in such a definitive manner? It's because he knows he can't make a rationale argument contradicting it and he's appealing to his authority as a figure in the game. It's the mark of ignorance, and Thom (and Marty for that matter) wear it proudly.

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 12:57 AM
Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?

Go ahead and take a stab at it.

Not a whole heck of a lot.

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 01:01 AM
And he just sounds so angry about it. What a bitter dude. Lighten up Thommy.

Not bitter. Wise. A strikeout is the worst outcome of an at bat.

MWM
06-19-2007, 01:02 AM
Even worse than a double play?

Matt700wlw
06-19-2007, 01:05 AM
The Florida Marlins led the National League with 1,249 strikeouts last season. The San Francisco Giants struck out the fewest times of any National League team last season with 891 strikeouts.

That's a difference of 358 strikeouts between the team that struck out the most and the team that struck out the fewest.

Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?

Go ahead and take a stab at it.

Probably not a whole lot, or you wouldn't be bringing it up :)

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 01:06 AM
High strikeout numbers correlate with higher run production.

An example for Thommy boy.

The 1975 and 1976 Reds lead the majors in runs scored both years. In 1975 they finished 4th in team strikeouts and in '76 they finised 2nd.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 01:08 AM
I'd rather have the strike out and another chance....if of course, strike out and GIDP are my only two choices...

I look at it from an approach standpoint. In that situation, and in most situations, I'd rather have a guy wait for his pitch to drive, even if there's a greater chance of striking out, than just trying to make contact. I'd like him to make contact, but I'd prefer good contact that results in multiple runs. Plus, there's always the chance of walking in the run. I'd avoid bad contact that at best scores one run, but often results in an inning ending double play.

If I have a runner at third with less that two outs, it's going to depend on the hitter. If a guy who can mash is at the plate, I'd like him to look for a pitch to mash. Two runs are better than one, right? And if he doesn't get enough on it, maybe it's a sac fly. But a weak grounder is only slightly more preferable than a K and I don't want my mashers changing their approach just to dink a guy in. Some guys have a green light to steal when they want, I think some hitters should have a green light to mash when they want. And hey, if they want to avoid pitching to him, take the base to set the table for the next guy. On the other hand, if there's a runner on third and the guy at the plate is a regular out machine, any at bat with a positive result is fine by me.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 01:08 AM
Not bitter. Wise. A strikeout is the worst outcome of an at bat.

Nah, was more referring to the sound of his voice. He sounds very bitter.

By the way, I don't think he's wise.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 01:10 AM
Probably not a whole lot, or you wouldn't be bringing it up :)

I'm sure you have a number floating around in your head, and I'd bet the answer is less than that number in your head. ;)


Not bitter. Wise. A strikeout is the worst outcome of an at bat.

Same question, Wheelhouse ...

The Florida Marlins led the National League with 1,249 strikeouts last season. The San Francisco Giants struck out the fewest times of any National League team last season with 891 strikeouts.

That's a difference of 358 strikeouts between the team that struck out the most and the team that struck out the fewest.

Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?

Go ahead and take a stab at it.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 01:10 AM
Even worse than a double play?

Two outs for the price of one! Or what about a first pitch grounder to second? At least with a K, you've made the pitcher throw 3 pitches.

Caveat Emperor
06-19-2007, 01:15 AM
Not bitter. Wise. A strikeout is the worst outcome of an at bat.

I'd say the worst outcome of an AB is lining into a triple play on one pitch and planting a foot awkwardly on the swing, tearing the ligaments in the knee resulting in a season-ending trip to the DL.

On opening day.

After signing a 7 year, multi-million dollar extension.

With no insurance on the contract.

Seriously though -- if strikeouts are so bad, why do so many good players rack them up so frequently?

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 01:20 AM
Not a whole heck of a lot.

A heck of a lot if you consider several runs properly placed over all of last season would have won the Reds the division. The difference between winning and losing is an extremely fine line in baseball, in all aspects from individual to team play, and I'm continually stunned by those who discount the difference between a strikeout and an out when the ball is put in play. An out when the ball is put in play has numerous possible positive outcomes for the offense. A strikeout has none. Brushing that off just shows what people are willing to deny for their ideology. It's a history lesson.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 01:28 AM
A heck of a lot if you consider several runs properly placed over all of last season would have won the Reds the division. The difference between winning and losing is an extremely fine line in baseball, in all aspects from individual to team play, and I'm continually stunned by those who discount the difference between a strikeout and an out when the ball is put in play. An out when the ball is put in play has numerous possible positive outcomes for the offense. A strikeout has none. Brushing that off just shows what people are willing to deny for their ideology. It's a history lesson.

A strike out has a positive outcome in that it requires the pitcher to throw at least 3 pitches, typically more, and doesn't result in two outs. And has the problem with this team really been scoring runs, or has it really been preventing runs? Maybe the problem hasn't been with hitters striking out, but with the "Not Ready For Primetime" players they've been calling a pitching staff for the past 7 years. The Reds score a lot of runs. They just don't do a good job of preventing the other team from scoring them.

RedEye
06-19-2007, 01:28 AM
A heck of a lot if you consider several runs properly placed over all of last season would have won the Reds the division. The difference between winning and losing is an extremely fine line in baseball, in all aspects from individual to team play, and I'm continually stunned by those who discount the difference between a strikeout and an out when the ball is put in play. An out when the ball is put in play has numerous possible positive outcomes for the offense. A strikeout has none. Brushing that off just shows what people are willing to deny for their ideology. It's a history lesson.

I don't think anyone is really discounting or brushing off the difference between a strikeout and a "regular" out. What they are trying to do is argue against the conventional wisdom of a game that puts too much weight on one type of out--a pattern that has tended to distort the relative value of players, offenses, and managers for years. IMO, we could spend a lot of years undervaluing strikeouts before we'd even approach the amount of years they have been overvalued. History is nothing without revisionist history to provide checks and balances, and nefarious ideologies reside more comfortably in unquestioned "conventional wisdom."

MWM
06-19-2007, 01:37 AM
A heck of a lot if you consider several runs properly placed over all of last season would have won the Reds the division.

Well, if several double plays that happened last year would have been properly placed with a strikeout, you could say the same thing.

This forum has had this discussion time and time again and I've never seen a reasonable answer to the question of why teams that strike out a lot tend to score just as many runs as teams that don't strike out much. If strike outs are such a dteriment to an offense, then you'd see teams that strike out more tend to score fewer runs. It's that simple. That relationship does not exist. And teams that strike out more, don't tend to win or lose any more or less than those teams that don't. Again, if it were such a bad thing, you'd see these tendencies. You don't.

If you take the percentage of ABs throughout an entire season where a strike out is worse than an out made by putting the ball in play, it would be miniscule. And if you net that against those ABs where a strike out would have been preferred, it becomes even more miniscule. It does matter in some ABs in a season, but not enough to influence personnel decisions or to influence how much an individual player produces.

VR
06-19-2007, 01:44 AM
It's all situational.

Move Adam Dunn OPS to the 50th percentile for ab's after 0-2, and he's a three time reigning MVP right now.

When you've had your two strikes to do what you do best, you need to adjust and quit trying to hit dingers. After hitting 1 every 89 ab's after 0-2 counts...perhaps you should try something different on those counts.

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 01:44 AM
I'd say the worst outcome of an AB is lining into a triple play on one pitch and planting a foot awkwardly on the swing, tearing the ligaments in the knee resulting in a season-ending trip to the DL.

On opening day.

After signing a 7 year, multi-million dollar extension.

With no insurance on the contract.

Seriously though -- if strikeouts are so bad, why do so many good players rack them up so frequently?

Good question. But then one could say a wild pitch is not a particularly bad thing because Nolan Ryan has so many. I think a bad outcome on a play is a bad outcome, whether Babe Ruth does it or not. And yes, there are good players who strike out but offset it with good run production. What I'm talking about is the false theory that a strikeout is just like any other out. It is not. And in this game of inches, no, quarter-inches, putting the ball in play can be a big difference-maker in a game.

RedEye
06-19-2007, 01:59 AM
Good question. But then one could say a wild pitch is not a particularly bad thing because Nolan Ryan has so many. I think a bad outcome on a play is a bad outcome, whether Babe Ruth does it or not. And yes, there are good players who strike out but offset it with good run production. What I'm talking about is the false theory that a strikeout is just like any other out. It is not. And in this game of inches, no, quarter-inches, putting the ball in play can be a big difference-maker in a game.

I appreciate your perspective. The Moneyball song and dance can become repetitive and reductive if you take parts of it in a vacuum. It's important to keep in mind that traditional wisdom does have some kernel of truth to it, and no player in his right mind would try to strike out instead of putting the ball in play.

What you're missing, IMO, is the larger picture. People are only making the counter-claim that "a strikeout is just like any out" because for so long in history the dogma has been that "a strikeout is the worst possible type of out a player can make." If you grant that it is all situational, which I think you do implicitly by claiming that it is a "game of inches", then you have to grant that some strikeouts are better than others (a taken third strike that leads to a wild pitch, for example) and that some balls put in play are worse than others (a triple or double-play, for example). Therefore, analyzing player performance based on strikeouts can only get you so far, and can greatly impoverish your conclusions about the value of certain commodities on a team (i.e., the day-in, day-out performance of Adam Dunn).

I also don't think you are entirely representing the argument correctly because most of the same people who devalue strikeouts also strongly advocate on-base percentage, which is the ultimate anti-out statistic.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 02:01 AM
Well, if several double plays that happened last year would have been properly placed with a strikeout, you could say the same thing.

This forum has had this discussion time and time again and I've never seen a reasonable answer to the question of why teams that strike out a lot tend to score just as many runs as teams that don't strike out much. If strike outs are such a dteriment to an offense, then you'd see teams that strike out more tend to score fewer runs. It's that simple. That relationship does not exist. And teams that strike out more, don't tend to win or lose any more or less than those teams that don't. Again, if it were such a bad thing, you'd see these tendencies. You don't.

If you take the percentage of ABs throughout an entire season where a strike out is worse than an out made by putting the ball in play, it would be miniscule. And if you net that against those ABs where a strike out would have been preferred, it becomes even more miniscule. It does matter in some ABs in a season, but not enough to influence personnel decisions or to influence how much an individual player produces.

I wouldn't make assumptions--I'd love to see some stats on the issue, but unfortunately, it would be an enormously complex study to do, possibly more so than statistical analysis of defense. The only stats I have seen on the issue (and they go both ways) are either reductive or have simplistic premises.

There is scientific analysis that supports the idea that hope increases overall performance (see psychologist C.P. Richter). With a batted ball, even one that is hit into a double play, the batter has given his team a tiny form of hope because he succeeded in the essential act of the game: the bat hitting the ball. With a strikeout, there was no hope. The batter failed to, essentially, play baseball.

It's an interesting subject...

gonelong
06-19-2007, 02:01 AM
.

SteelSD
06-19-2007, 02:02 AM
Probably not a whole lot, or you wouldn't be bringing it up :)

Over the past three seasons Adam Dunn (1,672 AB) has seen exactly 77 AB with a Runner on 3B and less than two Outs. That's 4.6% of his total AB. I only cite Dunn because he's the epitome of the high K player. Given his 162-game average of 560 AB, he's likely to find himself able to produce a BIP event in that situation only @25 times during a season and I'd suggest that many of those opportunities come with DP potential (Runners on 1st and 3rd or Bases Loaded).

Considering that most Runs Scored on Groundouts in that situation are defensive choice because the Infield is playing back or chooses to take the sure Out at another bag (or a DP) rather than throwing Home, do we really consider those "Productive Outs" to be meaningful if the defense is so often choosing the Out to be more valuable than the Run?

It's interesting, because we've found absolutely no correlation between K rate and Runs Scored and we've also found teams who'll be happy to trade a Run for one or two outs defensively via the groundout. The only other option is a Sac Fly and that's just completely random.

Situationally, a Ball in Play may lead to the desired result at random. However, I'd suggest that the vast majority of fans only consider the desired result as the most likely outcome. Furthermore, I'd also suggest they don't consider alternate more damaging outcomes as being a real possibility post-strikeout.

In the end, if Strikeouts were the bane of offensive baseball, we wouldn't see teams like the BRM. That should be enough for most folks. But somehow it isn't.

RedEye
06-19-2007, 02:05 AM
I wouldn't make assumptions--I'd love to see some stats on the issue, but unfortunately, it would be an enormously complex study to do, possibly more so than statistical analysis of defense. The only stats I have seen on the issue (and they go both ways) are either reductive or have simplistic premises.

There is scientific analysis that supports the idea that hope increases overall performance (see psychologist C.P. Richter). With a batted ball, even one that is hit into a double play, the batter has given his team a tiny form of hope because he succeeded in the essential act of the game: the bat hitting the ball. With a strikeout, there was no hope. The batter failed to, essentially, play baseball.

It's an interesting subject...

What's the statute of limitations on Richter's definition of "hope"? I would imagine that the human brain has very little time to hope before a double play ball is fielded and converted into two outs. Likewise, there is no reason to believe that going deep into counts (even if they result in strikeouts ultimately) wouldn't increase the "hope" that the team as a whole is mastering a pitcher. Anyway, aligning emotions with sport performance is interesting, but it would seem to be an extremely challenging statistical problem to say the least.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 02:12 AM
Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?

Since those arguing that the strikeout is the bane of offensive baseball have refused to take a stab at this question ( ;) ), I'll go ahead and kill the suspense.

The run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs is about four runs.

And for those wondering, that run value was determined using play-by-play data that encompassed several seasons of MLB data. That's every play from every game from multiple seasons.

paulrichjr
06-19-2007, 02:21 AM
Did anyone hear his talk about the Reds clinching the 1990 pennent in Pittsburgh and how Lou looked at the scouting report and said basically that the A's didn't have a chance. They couldn't hit the Reds pitchers. He talked about walking into Lou's office in Pittsburgh and a couple of other comments about Pittsburgh and how he will never forget it. One problem... I was at the game when the Reds clinched the pennent and it didn't happen in Pittsburgh. I loved how he said he would never forget his conversation with Lou... Oh well I know it is petty but I thought he had lost his mind.

I also thought that Chris's comment to him was interesting about Moneyball. Thom said that he had read it yesterday and Chris said "for the 2nd or third time right because I know that you have read it before now?" His answer didn't convince me that he had actually done so....

MWM
06-19-2007, 02:23 AM
I wouldn't make assumptions--I'd love to see some stats on the issue, but unfortunately, it would be an enormously complex study to do, possibly more so than statistical analysis of defense. The only stats I have seen on the issue (and they go both ways) are either reductive or have simplistic premises.

Well, you're in luck, because this is an issue that does NOT require any kind of indepth statistical study. It's pretty simple, if strike outs are such a detriment, then teams that strike out a lot would tend to score less runs. There would be SOME level of relationship. It's actually one of the very few times in baseball where the stats do pretty much tell most of the story because the premise is so simple. It's rare that a question that's posed has a simple solution. This is one of them. All you have to do is line up all the teams strike out and all the teams runs scored and compare the two. A lot of strike outs would lead to less runs. If this was the case, then there would be "correlation." But there's NONE, nada, zilch. There's absolutely ZERO correlation between strike outs and runs scored. If did make a difference, this is a case where it would definitely show up in a simple correlation statistic.

I'm not suggesting there's never a time when a striek out isnt' the worst outcome. But people seem to think that whenever a guy is on third with less than two outs that any contact will score the runner. This just isn't the case. Depending on where the infielders are playing, a ground ball will sometimes leave a runner at third, and will leave them at third quite a bit of the time with a grounder to third or first. So that leaves you with grounders to short or second that will score a run much of the time.

The you've got fly balls. Much of that depends on how deep the ball is hit. A pop up or short fly isn't going to score many runners. And if a slower runner is on third, it better be a deep fly ball.

So that leaves you not with just any old contact, but with ground outs to short and second most of the time and deep fly balls. If you take the already small number of ABs where contact is generally preferred and then minimize it even more by pop ups and fly balls that aren't deep enough and ground balls that don't score the runner anyway, then you're left with an even smaller percentage of ABs where a strike out is worse than outs from balls put in play. Taking it a step further, you have to net this against those times when contact is a worse outcome (i.e. DP), and the picture starts to become mroe clear.

This is why there's no correlation as I mentioned above. Outs made by balls put in play that have a positive outcome are just so rare, that it doesn't have a significant influence taken over large sample sizes.

MWM
06-19-2007, 02:24 AM
Looks like Steel beat me to it. :)

wheels
06-19-2007, 03:53 AM
It's all about the KRISP, baby.

Thom Brennaman isn't KRISPY.......Or maybe he is.

StillFunkyB
06-19-2007, 07:17 AM
Since those arguing that the strikeout is the bane of offensive baseball have refused to take a stab at this question ( ;) ), I'll go ahead and kill the suspense.

The run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs is about four runs.

And for those wondering, that run value was determined using play-by-play data that encompassed several seasons of MLB data. That's every play from every game from multiple seasons.

Wow Cyclone. I figured it was going to be a low number, just not that low.

jojo
06-19-2007, 07:53 AM
Seriously though -- if strikeouts are so bad, why do so many good players rack them up so frequently?

Because they can't play defense? :D

jojo
06-19-2007, 07:56 AM
Did anyone hear his talk about the Reds clinching the 1990 pennent in Pittsburgh and how Lou looked at the scouting report and said basically that the A's didn't have a chance. They couldn't hit the Reds pitchers. He talked about walking into Lou's office in Pittsburgh and a couple of other comments about Pittsburgh and how he will never forget it. One problem... I was at the game when the Reds clinched the pennent and it didn't happen in Pittsburgh. I loved how he said he would never forget his conversation with Lou... Oh well I know it is petty but I thought he had lost his mind.

I also thought that Chris's comment to him was interesting about Moneyball. Thom said that he had read it yesterday and Chris said "for the 2nd or third time right because I know that you have read it before now?" His answer didn't convince me that he had actually done so....

He said that the day before had been the first time he's actually read the whole thing..... :eek:

I don't mind when people trash Moneyball. All I ask is that they actually read it first.... :D

mth123
06-19-2007, 08:12 AM
Not sure I understand all the fuss. I've never read Moneyball, but most of the things that people attribute to it seem like common sense to me. Buy low, sell high (or get things undervalued in the market is how I've seen it put). There are finite numbers of outs, so all outs, no matter how, use up some of the allotment. Avoiding outs (OBP) is good... it all seems like basic economics and conserving limited resources (whether those resources are $, talent, outs, etc.) to me.

Not sure why people have to read Moneyball to understand that stuff. Now since I haven't read it, there may be a lot more in there and I'll get around to it someday, but the things I see quoted most often aren't really new, just packaged a little differently with some different terminology.

I'm guessing those who don't get it aren't going to convert simply by reading Moneyball.

jojo
06-19-2007, 08:26 AM
Not sure I understand all the fuss. I've never read Moneyball, but most of the things that people attribute to it seem like common sense to me. Buy low, sell high (or get things undervalued in the market is how I've seen it put). There are finite numbers of outs, so all outs, no matter how, use up some of the allotment. Avoiding outs (OBP) is good... it all seems like basic economics and conserving limited resources (whether those resources are $, talent, outs, etc.) to me.

Not sure why people have to read Moneyball to understand that stuff. Now since I haven't read it, there may be a lot more in there and I'll get around to it someday, but the things I see quoted most often aren't really new, just packaged a little differently with some different terminology.

I'm guessing those who don't get it aren't going to convert simply by reading Moneyball.

I was suggesting that a person ought to read Moneyball before ranting about the book's perceived flaws.

Alot of things get attributed to Moneyball that simply shouldn't be. Moneyball has become a symbol of sabermetrics and at times a rant against certain sabermetric principles takes the form of trashing Moneyball.

It just seems odd to me when people express opinions about books they haven't read.

Anyway, welcome to the club Thom.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 09:24 AM
I know that, and I do agree with you, but he said that in such a condescending manner and was so emphatic about saying that certain people know absolutely nothing about the game. It's one thing to say that putting the ball in play with a runner at third is a good thing, but it's another thing altogether to say it the way he did. Not very professional if you ask me.

Funny, when I heard him rant about that last night I thought to myself "hey, I bet there's a lot of Redszoners feeling defensive right now". I couldn't have been more accurate...

BTW, Thom's right. Even Norris Hopper's DP was better than a strike out. It scored a run. The only run we scored.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 09:35 AM
This forum has had this discussion time and time again and I've never seen a reasonable answer to the question of why teams that strike out a lot tend to score just as many runs as teams that don't strike out much. If strike outs are such a dteriment to an offense, then you'd see teams that strike out more tend to score fewer runs. It's that simple. That relationship does not exist. And teams that strike out more, don't tend to win or lose any more or less than those teams that don't. Again, if it were such a bad thing, you'd see these tendencies. You don't.



Teams that strike out a lot tend to mash mediocre pitching. They'll win games 10-3 whereas an A's team would beat that same team 6-3. However vs good pitching the strike out team is inept. Think Reggie Sanders 1995 playoffs. Reggie had good numbers in 1995 but looked silly vs good pitching.

A lot of things have changed since this team started its losing ways since 2001 but one constant has been the high strike outs. It's definitely a problem and I'm as sick of it as I am the losing

jojo
06-19-2007, 09:37 AM
Teams that strike out a lot tend to mash mediocre pitching. They'll win games 10-3 whereas an A's team would beat that same team 6-3. However vs good pitching the strike out team is inept. Think reggie Sanders 1995 playoffs. Reggie had good numbers in 1995 but looked silly vs good pitching.

This statement cries out for supporting evidence IMHO.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 09:54 AM
This statement cries out for supporting evidence IMHO.

OK, like this stat stated earlier in this thread:



The run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs is about four runs.

OK, so you take 358 ABs and in one case the hitter strikes out and in the other the hitter makes contact. It could be a DP, a FC, a single, a HR, an error. We don't know. All we know is it isn't a strike out. Yet you expect me to believe someone's convoluted stat that says in those 358 ABs the contact team will only score 4 more runs than the team that struck out everytime? If that's what you mean by stats you can have them.

One more thing, for all of you who strongly disagree with Thom, don't complain about Reds pitchers who "don't miss enough bats". Don't complain that their K/BB ratio is poor or that their K rate has dropped, because: a strike out is just the same as any other out...

jojo
06-19-2007, 10:04 AM
OK, so you take 358 ABs and in one case the hitter strikes out and in the other the hitter makes contact. It could be a DP, a FC, a single, a HR, an error. We don't know. All we know is it isn't a strike out. Yet you expect me to believe someone's convoluted stat that says in those 358 ABs the contact team will only score 4 more runs than the team that struck out everytime? If that's what you mean by stats you can have them.

I guess I'd be interested in what caused you to decide the stat was convoluted. Where was the study flawed. What data did you look at that convinced you that K rate and run scoring are correlated because teams with high K rates only mash lousy pitching.

Basically I was hoping to learn something from your experiences studying the issue.

Edskin
06-19-2007, 10:09 AM
My only "problem" with the strikeout is that sometimes I do believe it can be a measuring stick for lack of concentration. I'm not saying that players who K more often aren't concentrating. I'm saying that in some isolated instances, a player K's on a miserable effort. Brandon Phillips' K in the 6th inning last night was a perfect example.

guttle11
06-19-2007, 10:19 AM
The reason why the strikeout debate has merit is beacuse the outcome in place of a strikeout cannot be quantified. If Adam Dunn were to strike out 25% less, no one knows what his numbers would look like. You can look at all the knowns you want, it doesn't matter, because the answer simply cannot be found.

Sea Ray made a good point. If strikeouts were simply another out, why do we use K/9 ratio as a way to judge a pitcher's performance? If Belisle got more strikeouts, would he be a better pitcher? How much better? No one knows.

And that's the problem.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 10:25 AM
I guess I'd be interested in what caused you to decide the stat was convoluted. Where was the study flawed.

This is where I'm coming from. We're looking at 358 ABs. In set A the hitter strikes out everytime. In set B the hitter puts the ball in play. This stat says that Set A will only score 4 less runs in those 358 ABs than set B. Doesn't that seem far fetched to you? Does that make any logical sense?

Kc61
06-19-2007, 10:47 AM
The problem with the strikeout debate is that it often focuses on the wrong question.

The question is not the impact of a strikeout. A strikeout is an out, plain and simple. Its effect is no different than any other (non-double play) out.

The real problem with striking out is the failure to make contact. There are very few good things that can happen, offensively, when a hitter fails to make contact. To get a hit, you must strike the ball.

If you strike the ball, lots of good things can happen. If you miss the ball, very few good things can happen. (A walk, in this context, is basically the middle ground -- you can do something positive without striking the ball in that way.)

A batter can compensate for strikeouts by being super productive when he does make contact (Ryan Howard last year). But generally, if batter X strikes out 100 times more than batter Y, then batter X has 100 fewer opportunities for a positive outcome. That's the problem.

jojo
06-19-2007, 10:48 AM
This is where I'm coming from. We're looking at 358 ABs. In set A the hitter strikes out everytime. In set B the hitter puts the ball in play. This stat says that Set A will only score 4 less runs in those 358 ABs than set B. Doesn't that seem far fetched to you? Does that make any logical sense?

That's not the scenario that Cyclone proposed. Here is his original post again (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1389139&postcount=16)...

Highlifeman21
06-19-2007, 10:53 AM
Funny, when I heard him rant about that last night I thought to myself "hey, I bet there's a lot of Redszoners feeling defensive right now". I couldn't have been more accurate...

BTW, Thom's right. Even Norris Hopper's DP was better than a strike out. It scored a run. The only run we scored.

I guess Norris Hopper is the early candidate for NL player of the week?

jojo
06-19-2007, 10:53 AM
The reason why the strikeout debate has merit is beacuse the outcome in place of a strikeout cannot be quantified. If Adam Dunn were to strike out 25% less, no one knows what his numbers would look like. You can look at all the knowns you want, it doesn't matter, because the answer simply cannot be found.

Sea Ray made a good point. If strikeouts were simply another out, why do we use K/9 ratio as a way to judge a pitcher's performance? If Belisle got more strikeouts, would he be a better pitcher? How much better? No one knows.

And that's the problem.

K rate is a good way to judge a pitcher's skill level because it is an outcome that is solely within the pitcher's control while the fate of a batted ball can be heavily influenced by many factors that are completely out of a pitcher's control. This is one reason that K rate can predict a pitcher's future performance better than ERA can.

So really it's two separate issues.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 10:58 AM
OK, so you take 358 ABs and in one case the hitter strikes out and in the other the hitter makes contact. It could be a DP, a FC, a single, a HR, an error. We don't know. All we know is it isn't a strike out. Yet you expect me to believe someone's convoluted stat that says in those 358 ABs the contact team will only score 4 more runs than the team that struck out everytime? If that's what you mean by stats you can have them.

One more thing, for all of you who strongly disagree with Thom, don't complain about Reds pitchers who "don't miss enough bats". Don't complain that their K/BB ratio is poor or that their K rate has dropped, because: a strike out is just the same as any other out...

Right, it's just someone's "convoluted stat" now?

As I said before, the run value difference between a strikeout and a non-strikeout out was determined from the ACTUAL PLAY-BY-PLAY DATA OF ALL THE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON A MAJOR LEAGUE FIELD OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL SEASONS.

You don't think it makes logical sense because you don't want it to make logical sense. But the fact that all the events that ever happened on a field of play over the course of several seasons says it's true, makes it true, no matter how much you wish to believe it isn't true.

M2
06-19-2007, 11:09 AM
A heck of a lot if you consider several runs properly placed over all of last season would have won the Reds the division. The difference between winning and losing is an extremely fine line in baseball, in all aspects from individual to team play, and I'm continually stunned by those who discount the difference between a strikeout and an out when the ball is put in play. An out when the ball is put in play has numerous possible positive outcomes for the offense. A strikeout has none. Brushing that off just shows what people are willing to deny for their ideology. It's a history lesson.

A history lesson taught be people who don't know a lick about history and even less about baseball.

deltachi8
06-19-2007, 11:11 AM
T... However vs good pitching the strike out team is inept.

The 2004 red Sox say "Hi."

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 11:13 AM
A history lesson taught be people who don't a lick about history and even less about baseball.

Hmmm. Strange reasoning in that post--oh wait! there is none...

Highlifeman21
06-19-2007, 11:15 AM
Hmmm. Strange reasoning in that post--oh wait! there is none...

And this contributes to the discussion how?

Jaycint
06-19-2007, 11:19 AM
And this contributes to the discussion how?

Probably about as much as what he quoted prior to his comment.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 11:19 AM
[QUOTE=guttle11;1389324]Sea Ray made a good point. If strikeouts were simply another out, why do we use K/9 ratio as a way to judge a pitcher's performance? If Belisle got more strikeouts, would he be a better pitcher? How much better? No one knows./QUOTE]

Actually, it's pretty simple. Pitchers who strike out a lot of guys tend to allow fewer runs. Hitters who strikeout out a lot tend to create more runs.

There's the rub.

Why is this? Again, it's not complicated. The skill set that allows pitchers to prevent runs (control, movement, velocity) is largely the same skill set that allows them to strike guys out. The skill set that allows hitters to create runs (contact, power, speed) is only partially the skill set that allows them to avoid strikeouts (only contact).

Furthermore, the "power" skill-set actually tends to be correlated with increased strikeout tendency. However, the benefit of the power grossly outweighs the cost of the strikeout, so it's a trade off worth making. But don't be fooled, by in large, it is a trade off. Thusly, there's also selection bias at play. As a pitcher, the more guys you strikeout the better, pretty much unanimously. There's virtually no examples of a high strikeout rate leading to worse pitching performance and very few examples of guys striking out virtually nobody and still succeeding. Find me that pitcher striking out 180 guys a year and putting up a 5.00 ERA. It's really hard to do. The correlation is quite consistent. With hitters, you can easily make up for the lost production of a high strikeout rate with an increase in power. And if you don't have those other skills (power) which make up for the high strikeout rate, you don't make the major leagues in the first place.

It's not that strikeouts are good. In most specific circumstances, putting the ball in play is better than striking out. However, you cannot just jump from the specific case of a single player or single at bat to the whole team view. The skills sets which lead to AB outcomes are only aggregated at the player level. You cannot trade "team" strikeouts without affecting other things as well. Sure, you can only get rid of those players who strike out a lot. But, as many people have pointed out, those players who strike out a lot tend to be those guys who also produce a lot runs. Sure, if you replace Adam Dunn with Scott Hatteberg, your team will strike out less. Of course, it will also score fewer runs. If you replace Adam Dunn with "Adam Dunn who strikes out less", well, then you get both. Unfortunately, it's pretty darn hard to make a guy drastically change his skill set. You simply cannot turn Adam Dunn in to Albert Pujols. And yet, people routinely make this logical misstep, thinking that you can hold certain things constant and alter other things. It just doesn't work that way.

In any given at bat, I'd rather Adam Dunn put the ball in play than strikeout. But in that AB, I'd much rather have Adam Dunn, in all his 200 strikeout pace glory, at the plate than I would Scott Hatteberg, because the distribution of AB outcomes is MUCH more favorable in most cases with Dunn at the plate. If I have a tie game in the 9th with 1 out and a guy on 3rd base, sure, I might prefer the contact hitter up. But in almost every other case, I'll take Dunn. Yes, I'd rather he not strike out. But I'd also rather Scott Hatteberg hit 40 homers. Why aren't we complaining when he grounds out instead of hitting a 3 run bomb? Maybe he should just concentrate harder I guess.

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 11:20 AM
What's the statute of limitations on Richter's definition of "hope"? I would imagine that the human brain has very little time to hope before a double play ball is fielded and converted into two outs. Likewise, there is no reason to believe that going deep into counts (even if they result in strikeouts ultimately) wouldn't increase the "hope" that the team as a whole is mastering a pitcher. Anyway, aligning emotions with sport performance is interesting, but it would seem to be an extremely challenging statistical problem to say the least.

Richter's experiment was on drowning rats (apt comparison to the Reds, anyway). The Rats would drown after about 40 minutes in the tub, but when removed for a minute just before drowning they would swim for another 30 minutes before drowning. His conclusion was that the measure of hope caused by removing them for one minute helped them to continue on...it's a pretty sick experiment, but an interesting conclusion.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 11:21 AM
Micro and macro have to apply here don't cha think? Plus a strikeout vs a outcome that generates power is acceptable, a single is nice too, but making outs ain't getting you anywhere whether they are bat on the ball instances or not.

Here are the top ten teams vs the league in K's, some say it's the K's... I say it's what happens when the K's don't occur.



SEASON
MODERN (1900-)
RUNS CREATED/GAME vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
OBA vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
SLG vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria

STRIKEOUTS YEAR DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE RC/G OBA SLG
1 Mets 1968 323 1203 880 -.74 -.029 -.040
2 Brewers 2001 318 1399 1081 -.59 -.021 -.014
3 Angels 1961 306 1068 762 -.29 -.008 -.013
4 Browns 1914 304 863 559 -.49 -.024 -.017
5 Reds 2003 297 1326 1029 -.70 -.023 -.036
6 Reds 2004 296 1335 1039 -.36 -.010 -.019
7 Reds 2005 292 1303 1011 0.39 .000 .019
8 Padres 1970 286 1164 878 -.68 -.028 -.017
9 Cubs 1957 277 989 712 -.75 -.026 -.036
10 Phillies 1960 273 1054 781 -1.02 -.027 -.053
11 Brewers 2004 270 1312 1042 -.89 -.021 -.050
12 Phillies 1985 263 1095 832 -.33 -.016 -.004
13 Cubs 1961 261 1027 766 -.22 -.011 -.003
14 Tigers 1991 259 1185 926 0.46 .004 .022
15 Padres 1969 257 1143 886 -1.34 -.045 -.055
16 Phillies 1921 257 615 358 -.46 -.024 -.014
17 Tigers 1996 256 1268 1012 -.92 -.027 -.025
18 Senators 1965 251 1125 874 -.55 -.016 -.034
19 Phillies 1969 250 1130 880 -.46 -.018 -.012
20 Phillies 1922 250 611 361 -.32 -.019 -.004
21 Yankees 1927 248 610 362 1.67 .022 .077
22 Phillies 1986 246 1154 908 0.13 -.005 .006
23 Indians 1963 244 1102 858 -.51 -.020 -.013
24 Giants 1971 242 1042 800 0.20 .004 -.002
25 Yankees 1920 240 621 381 0.35 -.007 .025

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 11:24 AM
That's not the scenario that Cyclone proposed. Here is his original post again (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1389139&postcount=16)...

That's what I was going by:


Now, a simple question for you: what is the run value difference of 358 strikeouts compared to 358 non-strikeout outs?


Then he answered 4.

Wheelhouse
06-19-2007, 11:24 AM
And this contributes to the discussion how?

I was hoping for a criticism of what I had posted in M2s response--there was none. Just a personal jab. Is that not clear? I think asking for a critical response instead of a personal attack contributes to the quality of discussion.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 11:27 AM
K rate is a good way to judge a pitcher's skill level because it is an outcome that is solely within the pitcher's control while the fate of a batted ball can be heavily influenced by many factors that are completely out of a pitcher's control. This is one reason that K rate can predict a pitcher's future performance better than ERA can.

So really it's two separate issues.

I see it as one and the same. You're saying that the surest way a pitcher can retire a hitter is to make sure he doesn't put the ball in play. I think that's the same as saying the surest way a hitter can retire himself is by not putting the ball in play.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 11:28 AM
Here's more convoluted stats by Baseball Prospectus ...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2617

As we've stated on a number of different occasions throughout the Baseball Prospectus Basics series, one of the goals of performance analysis is to separate perception from reality. Sometimes that means interpreting numbers, and sometimes that means interpreting events with our eyes. Either way, it's about collecting information, and getting a little bit closer to the truth.

Evaluating the importance of strikeouts, especially for hitters, is something that has traditionally fallen into the second category. And it's easy to understand why: baseball is a game that centers around the ongoing conflict between batter and pitcher, and there are few outcomes that capture the drama of that conflict better than a mighty whiff, followed by a long walk back to the bench. On the surface at least, a strikeout appears to be the ultimate failure for a hitter—infinitely worse than a Texas-leaguer or a flyout to center.

From a quantitative perspective, however, there is little evidence to suggest that a strikeout is "worse" than a groundout, popout, or any other means of making an out, with respect to generating runs. Sure, it might look bad—not even being able to put the ball in play—but the fact is that error rates, in this era of improved equipment, are as low as they’ve ever been. Granted, putting the ball in play, whether in the air or on the ground, can sometimes enable a hitter to advance a runner, but it also increases the chance of hitting into a double-play—a far greater rally-killer than a strikeout.

As a result of all that, the value of "just putting the ball in play" is as low as it's ever been. The following graph illustrates the correlation—or lack thereof—between team strikeouts and team run scoring from 1950-2002:


http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/images/2617_02.gif

As you can see by the round, lifeless blob in the middle of the graph, there is virtually no positive correlation between a team's strikeout totals and its runs-scored totals. When it comes to offense, an out is an out is an out.

On an individual level, the evidence against strikeouts as the scourge of the earth only gets more damning. Check out the correlation between Ks and the various elements of offensive production:

Correlation of SO/PA with (all players 1950-2002, 300+ PA)


Metric Correlation
----------------------
ISO +0.388
SLG +0.198
BB/PA +0.125
OBP -0.100
AVG -0.290

OPS +0.106
MLVr +0.005
While it might not be overwhelming, there is a distinct, positive correlation between an individual's strikeout rate and a number of useful attributes: hitting for power—as represented in this case by isolated power (ISO, or slugging percentage minus batting average) and slugging percentage (SLG)—as well as drawing walks—as represented by walk-rate (BB/PA). Of course, causation is a sticky subject, so try not to misinterpret the above data as "proof" that increased strikeouts cause an improvement in a player's secondary skills. It's just that where one group shows up, often so does the other.

Notice, also, the virtually non-existent (albeit positive) correlation between strikeout rate and "complete" measures of offensive performance like on-base plus slugging (OPS) and Marginal Lineup Value Rate (MLVr). No matter how you slice it, it just doesn't appear that strikeouts have much of an effect on a team's—or an individual's—ability to produce runs.

But those are hitters. Pitchers, on the other hand, are a completely different story.

Where the value of "just putting the ball in play" has often been overstated for hitters, the opposite has long been the case for pitchers. In their case, a strikeout is most definitely not "just another out." In fact, the ability to create outs for one's self is among the most important skills a pitcher can possess.

Why? There are a number of reasons, but mainly it's because more strikeouts mean fewer balls in play. Fewer balls in play mean (on average) fewer hits surrendered. And with fewer hits surrendered come fewer runs allowed. The steps aren't perfect, mind you, but on a macro level they hold up. The following graph illustrates the correlation between individual strikeout rate and ERA from 1993-2002:


http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/images/2617_01.gif

Or, to perhaps give this conclusion some real-world resonance, look at the disparity in ERA between those pitchers with the highest strikeout rates in the league in 2003 and those at the bottom of the barrel:


Pitcher SO/9 ERA
------------------------------------
Kerry Wood 11.35 3.20
Mark Prior 10.43 2.43
Curt Schilling 10.39 2.95
Pedro Martinez 9.93 2.22
Javier Vazquez 9.40 3.24


Pitcher SO/9 ERA
------------------------------------
Joe Mays 3.46 6.30
Danny Graves 3.20 5.33
Aaron Cook 3.12 6.02
Kirk Rueter 2.51 4.53
Nate Cornejo 2.13 4.67
The difference isn't accidental. In a nine-inning complete game, Kerry Wood is roughly 30% less reliant upon his defense to convert batted balls into outs than someone like Kirk Rueter or Nate Cornejo would be. That's not just a huge difference, that's a Marlon-Brando-pulling-up-a-chair-to-the-buffet difference.

Strikeout rate also has predictive value. According to a study conducted by Keith Woolner, pitchers with high strikeout rates age better than comparable pitchers (i.e., pitchers who posted similar park-adjusted ERAs at the same age) with low strikeout rates. Bill James also gave this subject some treatment in his most recent edition of the Historical Baseball Abstract when discussing Mark Fidrych, and came to a similar—if slightly hyperbolic, as Tommy John can attest—conclusion: "There is simply no such thing as a starting pitcher who has a long career with a low strikeout rate."

The prominence of the strikeout in Major League Baseball has been increasing steadily over the past 130 years, and it may continue to grow as teams begin to let go of their macho attachment to "just putting the ball in play" on offense, while further valuing pitchers who are self-sufficient on the mound. Like many other developments in baseball, this will be a sign of evolution, and a better game overall will be the result.

Don't fear the strikeout. In many ways it is a harbinger of better things to come.

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 11:31 AM
Actually, it's pretty simple. Pitchers who strike guys out tend to allow fewer runs. Hitters who strikeout out a lot tend to create more runs.

There's the rub.

Why is this? Again, it's not complicated. The skill set that allows pitchers to prevent runs (control, movement, velocity) is largely the same skill set that allows them to strike guys out. The skill set that allows hitters to create runs (contact, power, speed) is only partially the skill set that allows them to avoid strikeouts.

Furthermore, the "power" skillset tends to be positively correlated with strikeout tendency, however, the benefit of the power grossly outweighs the cost of the strikeout. Thusly, there's also some selection bias. As a pitcher, the more guys you strikeout the better. There's virtually no examples of a high strikeout rate leading to worse pitching performance and very few examples of guys striking out virtually nobody and still succeeding. The correlation is quite consistent. With hitters, you can easily make up for a high strikeout rate with power. And if you don't have those other skills which make up for the high strikeout rate, you don't make the major leagues in the first place.

It's not that strikeouts are good. In most specific circumstances, putting the ball in play is better than striking out. However, you cannot just jump from the specific case to the whole team view because the skills sets are only aggregated at the player level. You cannot trade "team" strikeouts. You can only get rid of those players who strike out a lot. And as I've pointed out, those players who strike out a lot tend to be those guys who also produce a lot runs.

Sure, if you replace Adam Dunn with Craig Counsell, your team will strike out less. Of course, it will also score fewer runs. If you replace Adam Dunn with "Adam Dunn who strikes out less", well, then you get both. Unfortunately, it's pretty darn hard to make a guy drastically change his skill set. And yet, people routinely make this logical misstep, thinking that you can hold certain things constant and alter other things. It just doesn't work that way.

The only thing I would add to this excellent post is that you can't look specifically at a batter's raw strikeout numbers and say "Wow, he needs to cut down on the K's." All a batter's stats are the results of the hitter's approach, which operates like an ecosystem. It's extremely rare to be able to isolate one area (strikeouts) and change it without affecting other areas (SLG, BB).

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 11:36 AM
I see it as one and the same. You're saying that the surest way a pitcher can retire a hitter is to make sure he doesn't put the ball in play. I think that's the same as saying the surest way a hitter can retire himself is by not putting the ball in play.

That assumes all pitches are strikes, which they are not.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 11:38 AM
Right, it's just someone's "convoluted stat" now?

As I said before, the run value difference between a strikeout and a non-strikeout out was determined from the ACTUAL PLAY-BY-PLAY DATA OF ALL THE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON A MAJOR LEAGUE FIELD OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL SEASONS.

You don't think it makes logical sense because you don't want it to make logical sense. But the fact that all the events that ever happened on a field of play over the course of several seasons says it's true, makes it true, no matter how much you wish to believe it isn't true.


OK, I'll put the logical sense question you. Take 300 and whatever ABs in question. On team A the hitter strikes out everytime. On team B the hitter puts the ball in play. Your stat says that team B will only score four more runs than team A. Does that make logical sense to you?

jojo
06-19-2007, 11:40 AM
I see it as one and the same. You're saying that the surest way a pitcher can retire a hitter is to make sure he doesn't put the ball in play. I think that's the same as saying the surest way a hitter can retire himself is by not putting the ball in play.

See RMR's explanantion above. It's very well done.

Highlifeman21
06-19-2007, 11:42 AM
I was hoping for a criticism of what I had posted in M2s response--there was none. Just a personal jab. Is that not clear? I think asking for a critical response instead of a personal attack contributes to the quality of discussion.

You have what seems to be a fundamental disagreement.

You feel that a strikeout is the worst thing in baseball during a PA and seems to have some high adverse impact on run production as opposed to the concept of putting the in play.

The 2006 Reds were more than a couple less strikeouts from making the playoffs. The 2006 campaign was nothing more than smoke and mirrors by an overachieving team that held on as long as they could.

I have an extremely hard time wrapping my head around the fact that if you subtract a couple strikeouts and replace them with sac flies, double plays and other outs by BIP that we make the playoffs instead of the Cardinals.

History has taught us that strikeouts are nothing more than an out. Highly productive run producers historically whiffed by the truckloads.

jojo
06-19-2007, 11:42 AM
That's what I was going by:




Then he answered 4.

Context is everything.

coachw513
06-19-2007, 11:42 AM
Cyclone, is there a cumulative "team effect" of strikeouts that exasperates the impact on runs created???...meaning, is part of the "Adam Dunn" problem the fact that so many of the other Reds are prone to strikeout issues...

If our lineup had more high-contact, low strikeout players, would Adam Dunn inherently become more effective with his current skill set???

I'm asking because certainly I'm not in position to argue your research but my "eyes" struggle with the notion of the 4 RC over 358 AB's of no K's...maybe it's the picture of 358 consecutive K's versus the random occurence of 358 K's...which led me to wonder if the problem with my perception of a lack of offensive consistency on this club is a great likelihood of multiple strikeouts in "contact need" situations...

I hope I articulated my question effectively...

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 11:46 AM
OK, I'll put the logical sense question you. Take 300 and whatever ABs in question. On team A the hitter strikes out everytime. On team B the hitter puts the ball in play. Your stat says that team B will only score four more runs than team A. Does that make logical sense to you?

That's not at all the question I posed. The question I posed compared strikeouts vs. non-strikeout outs. You're completely missing the context of the question altogether.

And BTW, it's not my stat.

paintmered
06-19-2007, 11:48 AM
I was hoping for a criticism of what I had posted in M2s response--there was none. Just a personal jab. Is that not clear? I think asking for a critical response instead of a personal attack contributes to the quality of discussion.

Instead of making your case in the public forums, use the "report post" link found in every post. It's more effective and avoids the public stink that makes nobody look good.

Either that, or take it private. That goes for everyone, not just Wheelhouse.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 11:49 AM
And BTW, it's not my stat.

Yep, it's the dung the game spits out, you're just using it for fuel... like a buffalo chip.

Others just step over it and move on.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 11:52 AM
That's not at all the question I posed. The question I posed compared strikeouts vs. non-strikeout outs. You're completely missing the context of the question altogether.

And BTW, it's not my stat.


In yesterday's game alone we saw three runs scored on non-strikeout outs. Two by the A's and one on Norris Hopper's DP and that's just off the top of my head. You mean to tell me the next 350 non strikeout outs will not create a run in any way? I find that hard to believe

Big Klu
06-19-2007, 11:52 AM
Is there room in this argument for strikeouts swinging vs. called third strikes? I know that they are both outs, but it seems to me that there is a difference in these two kinds of strikeouts. I don't mind it so much when a guy goes down swinging, but called third strikes (with a few rare exceptions) drive me crazy! Does anyone keep a statistic of K's vs. backward K's for hitters?

blumj
06-19-2007, 11:53 AM
OK, I'll put the logical sense question you. Take 300 and whatever ABs in question. On team A the hitter strikes out everytime. On team B the hitter puts the ball in play. Your stat says that team B will only score four more runs than team A. Does that make logical sense to you?

But, unless I'm misunderstanding, that's not the comparison that's being made. On team A, the hitter strikes out every time. On team B, the hitter puts the ball in play while still making an out every time. Would it make more sense if the difference was 12 times instead of just 4? Would that make it enough of a difference to make it worth getting upset over having hitters who K a lot vs. hitters who ground out or popup or flyout a lot?

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 11:56 AM
OK, I'll put the logical sense question you. Take 300 and whatever ABs in question. On team A the hitter strikes out everytime. On team B the hitter puts the ball in play. Your stat says that team B will only score four more runs than team A. Does that make logical sense to you?

Stats don't exist in a vacuum. They exist in a set of conditions, a set of assumptions. You've invalidated the statistic as soon as you remove it from it's context.

It isn't about exchanging strikeouts for balls in play. Holding everything else fixed, 400 balls in play will produce a bunch more runs than 400 strikeouts. However, the trick is how you turn those 400 strikeouts in to balls in play. You can't just magically make Adam Dunn not strikeout. Rather, you have to (at the same time) affect all the other things which surround those specific 400 at bat outcomes. So while you're busy converting strikeouts in to pop-ups and grounders to the right side, you're also converting home runs in to singles in the OTHER at bats which provide the context for those 400 would be strikeouts. As a system, the net effect is negligible. Yes, if you could somehow hold everything else equal and exchange strikeouts for balls in play, you'd score a bunch more runs. Unfortunately, that is impossible.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 12:05 PM
In yesterday's game alone we saw three runs scored on non-strikeout outs. Two by the A's and one on Norris Hopper's DP and that's just off the top of my head. You mean to tell me the next 350 non strikeout outs will not create a run in any way? I find that hard to believe

What if Norris Hopper would have struck out?

1st and 3rd with 0 outs turns into 1st and 3rd with 1 out.

You still have Hatteberg up with the opportunity to get the run in with less than 2 outs (with Griffey offering protection -on deck) and then because Hopper struck out, Griffey is given an opportunity to do something (as long as Hatteberg doesn't GIDP).

Griffey never gets the AB with Hopper's GIDP.

The run still could have scored and you give Griffey a shot at doing more damage. The point is, that over the course of a full season, it all works out, proving that the K is just a an out like any other out.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 12:09 PM
Cyclone, is there a cumulative "team effect" of strikeouts that exasperates the impact on runs created???...meaning, is part of the "Adam Dunn" problem the fact that so many of the other Reds are prone to strikeout issues...

If our lineup had more high-contact, low strikeout players, would Adam Dunn inherently become more effective with his current skill set???

I'm asking because certainly I'm not in position to argue your research but my "eyes" struggle with the notion of the 4 RC over 358 AB's of no K's...maybe it's the picture of 358 consecutive K's versus the random occurence of 358 K's...which led me to wonder if the problem with my perception of a lack of offensive consistency on this club is a great likelihood of multiple strikeouts in "contact need" situations...

I hope I articulated my question effectively...

I'm not sure if I'm following your question, but hope this helps ...

The overall effect of run value due to strikeouts is miniscule, whether it's on a team level or an individual player level.

The 2007 Reds have 512 strikeouts so far this season and 322 runs scored. If the Reds as a team replaced 200 of their strikeouts with 200 non-strikeout outs, then they'd have approximately two more runs scored for the season than they do now. It's hard to initially wrap one's head around, but if they simply replaced 200 strikeouts with 200 other types of outs (i.e. ground outs, fly outs, pop outs, etc.), then they'd only be saving themselves two runs.

Think of this: the Dodgers have struck out 175 fewer times than the Reds already this season, but they've still scored 28 fewer runs than the Reds this season (Reds 4.54 runs per game, Dodgers 4.26 runs per game). A question you have to ask yourself is, "if offensive strikeouts are that important, how is it possible for the Reds to have many more runs than the Dodgers with 175 more strikeouts?"

As far as the lack of offensive consistency with the Reds, strikeouts really have no bearing on that either. The offensive inconsistency is a different topic, but the key contributing factor that would be the team's very low .320 on-base percentage, and a secondary minor factor would be the fact that the team is last in the National League with only 109 doubles.

The on-base percentage is the killer though (the NL average OBP is .327). The team just makes far too many outs altogether (regardless if the outs are strikeouts, ground outs, fly outs, etc.), and making too many outs altogether will not only damage an offense's total run output, it will make an offense look very inconsistent too.

The total number of outs is what's important. The types of those outs isn't what's important.

M2
06-19-2007, 12:18 PM
Hmmm. Strange reasoning in that post--oh wait! there is none...

There's plenty. This stuff has been quantified out multiple columns beyond the decimal point. Buster Olney tried to make a case for productive outs a few years back and ESPN even bothered to keep the stats. Turned out the players who made the most productive outs were some of the worst hitters in baseball while the guys who made the fewest were among the most productive. Same thing applied to teams. After wiping the egg off its face, ESPN stopped counting productive outs.

Apparently, getting on base, hitting the ball hard, taking extra bases without getting caught, those are the things that determine how many runs a team scores and how many runs a player helps generate for his team and the "quality" of the outs is a spit in the ocean.

Frankly, anyone who purports to know the first thing about baseball history ought to know runs scored totals have been rising along with strikeout totals. Why? More power. Babe Ruth was the premier strikeout hitter of his era. By the time he retired he had obliterated the career strikeout record. He started a trend that, almost 90 years later, is still going strong.

Frankly, the history and quantified reasearch on strikeout totals and their effect on runs scored is hardly a secret and the only reason for not knowing it is willful ignorance.

coachw513
06-19-2007, 12:19 PM
Thanks Cyclone...your info did help...

Leading to question whether current ML GM's who are in the rumor mill involving Dunn recognize and value that information...if so, his value is elevated and he becomes that much more tradeable...if not...

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 12:22 PM
You can't just magically make Adam Dunn not strikeout. Rather, you have to (at the same time) affect all the other things which surround those specific 400 at bat outcomes. So while you're busy converting strikeouts in to pop-ups and grounders to the right side, you're also converting home runs in to singles in the OTHER at bats which provide the context for those 400 would be strikeouts. As a system, the net effect is negligible. Yes, if you could somehow hold everything else equal and exchange strikeouts for balls in play, you'd score a bunch more runs. Unfortunately, that is impossible.


I'm sure Cyclone will correct me if I'm wrong but I had the idea that his 358 stat compared 358 strike outs with 358 outs. I don't think it took into consideration converting singles into home runs.

M2
06-19-2007, 12:27 PM
I'm sure Cyclone will correct me if I'm wrong but I had the idea that his 358 stat compared 358 strike outs with 358 outs. I don't think it took into consideration converting singles into home runs.

If anything, the 358 contact outs would yield fewer extra base hits. That's how it tends to work. Generally speaking, more Ks = more power. Note the bicep-laden career strikeout leader list (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/SO_career.shtml).

flyer85
06-19-2007, 12:29 PM
The real problem with striking out is the failure to make contact. There are very few good things that can happen, offensively, when a hitter fails to make contact. To get a hit, you must strike the ball.

If you strike the ball, lots of good things can happen. If you miss the ball, very few good things can happen. (A walk, in this context, is basically the middle ground -- you can do something positive without striking the ball in that way.)
but you don't go far enough. If it was that simple there would without a doubt be a correlation between runs scored and Ks.

The question is "why doesn't it exist"?

Just like all outs are not the same, not all hit balls are the same. I would suggest this is the trail that ought to be followed.

gonelong
06-19-2007, 12:30 PM
In yesterday's game alone we saw three runs scored on non-strikeout outs. Two by the A's and one on Norris Hopper's DP and that's just off the top of my head.

If you take Hopper's DP out of the mix and trade it with a K you have a completely different scenario. While we don't know what would have happened in this specific situation, historical studies of it show that the Reds would end up scoring about the same amount of runs (over the course of a season) if the Reds had K'd instead of hitting into a DP in those situations. In this specific instance the Reds got one run. If he had K'd they might have gotten 0,1,2, or 3 runs, who knows? Hatte may have drawn a walk to load the bases and the runner on third might have scored on a WP or passed ball.


You mean to tell me the next 350 non strikeout outs will not create a run in any way? I find that hard to believe

You are making a completely different argument the one posed. I could twist your argument to say that if you started with the bases empty, then 358 groundouts in a row will score exactly the same amount of runs as 358 Ks in a row, none. Its logical and would seem to validate that a K is the same as a ground-out. I don't think its a very good arguement, but it could be made.



The argument posed was not looking at 358 consecutive ABs, it was looking at a seasons worth of ABs from two different teams where the strikeout totals differ by 358. The argument was, if Ks are so bad, how does a team with 358 MORE Ks in a season score roughly the same amount of runs as a team with 358 Ks?

The reason you don't see alot of difference in the runs scored between those two teams, despite the relatively wide variance in K's, is that the higher K team likely has a higher OBP% or higher SLG%.



The whole issue with the K is just another out is that a few confused people on both sides of the argument try to apply that macro line of thinking about player evaluation into a micro line of thinking about in game situations.

I don't care if a guy strikes out 150 times a year if he is a high OBP & SLG kinda guy. I am getting my value from that guy. When I am evaluating that guy, I am not going to pass on him simply because he "strikes out too much".

Thats a macro line of thinking on player evaluation and Ks. This is the argument posed.

Would I rather have a guy hit a 22 hopper to 2nd to score a run than K in most situations? Yeah, more often than not I would. But that is one situation.

That is a micro game situation where a K is generally not like another out. This is the argument you are making, not the one posed.

The confusion lies in the fact that the two sides are not debating the same point. Both are right on for their own argument, but completely off on the others. The trick is to debate the point at hand, which often times doesn't happen.


Editorial: Roughly 1/3 of all Ks are the 3rd out of an inning, making them absolutely and completely a non-factor as an out. A whole pile of Ks come with the bases completely empty, making them absolutely and completely a non-factor as an out. My guess is that you are left with roughly 45% or less of all Ks coming with an opportunity to have a "productive out", if that. Most outs aren't productive (pop-ups, short fly balls) and some are worse than a K (double play). For the most part, I'd bet that guys thrown out trying to move up on a possible "productive out" aren't even factored into most of these studies. That out is likely worse than a K as well since you lose a runner that has advanced closer to home plate than the batter.

100% of Ks are considered heinous. The perception is much worse than the reality.

GL

flyer85
06-19-2007, 12:31 PM
If strikeouts were simply another out, why do we use K/9 ratio as a way to judge a pitcher's performance?Because there is a correlation between pitchers Ks and their performance.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 12:35 PM
Cyclone, I think you've maybe crossed the causation-correlation line. If you took the Reds, with the exact same players and situations, and replaced 200 of their strikeouts with balls in play, you'd realize a lot more than 2 runs. However, you simply cannot do that. In reality, the process of replacing those 200 strikeouts with balls in play entails replacing the players who struck out 200 times with players who didn't.

That means you replace Adam Dunn's 19 HR and 90 SO with Luis Gonzalez's 8 HR and 20 SO. You replace Griffey's 18 HR and 38 SO with Andre Eithier's 5 and 28. So and so forth. When you go through the process of replacing the PEOPLE who strike out with the PEOPLE who don't strike out as much, you don't really gain anything.

You cannot separate the AB outcome from the player who created that and that player's other AB outcomes. It just doesn't work that way. You can add and subtract players, but you cannot add and subtract specific outcomes.

It's not that strikeouts themselves are good. They aren't. Strikeouts, as an AB outcome are pretty bad. However, the people who tend to strikeout a lot are the people who tend to be productive when they aren't striking out. You can't divorce the two. You can't get rid of the strikeouts without getting rid of the people who strikeout and getting rid of the people who strikeout means getting rid of the good things they do too.

------------
If all we're doing is replacing strikeouts with in play outs, then yeah, I can see 4 runs over 400 AB, particularly when you factor in double plays as a possible outcome of an in play out.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 12:50 PM
------------
If all we're doing is replacing strikeouts with in play outs, then yeah, I can see 4 runs over 400 AB, particularly when you factor in double plays as a possible outcome of an in play out.

That's all I'm doing, replacing strikeouts with in-play outs. The run value difference of one strikeout is 0.01 runs worse than one in-play out. Replacing 100 strikeouts with 100 in-play outs saves approximately one run.

It's the same as stating that a double is worth approximately 0.30 runs more than a single.

BTW, M2 mentioned ESPN tracking productive outs. Less than 10 percent of all outs recorded are actually "productive outs," which isn't really surprising at all. Also, I ran a correlation of productive out percentage to overall run scoring, and productive out percentage has a -43 percent correlation to overall run scoring.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 12:52 PM
The entire premise of statistical analysis is to challenge one's subjective beliefs to the data. If the belief is "true" the data(if adequate for the task) ought to validate the truth. In the course of such an investigation you find out what is true versus what is legend.

A lot of Beane's success as a GM has been built on finding out what assumptions are actually true and those that aren't. If gives you a huge advantage over your competition if they are operating flawed assumptions and you are not.

Last night Thom stated that the numbers say Dunn has been the most productive hitter on the Reds in 2007. CW's response was simply "he strikes out too much".

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 12:54 PM
A lot of Beane's success as a GM has been built on finding out what assumptions are actually true and those that aren't. If gives you a huge advantage over your competition if they are operating flawed assumptions and you are not.

Very well put.

Highlifeman21
06-19-2007, 12:55 PM
If anything, the 358 contact outs would yield fewer extra base hits. That's how it tends to work. Generally speaking, more Ks = more power. Note the bicep-laden career strikeout leader list (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/SO_career.shtml).

Lotta whiffs on that list.

A couple of those guys didn't suck, either.

pedro
06-19-2007, 12:55 PM
Thom can read? Who knew?

M2
06-19-2007, 12:57 PM
Not to interrupt the zillionth RedsZone strikeout thread, but did Thom note that Beane's philosophies on the game have led him toward more of a defensive club in recent years?

The A's are perfect counterpoint to the Reds on the difference between saying you're going after pitching and defense and actually doing it. What Beane perhaps does best is understand his target. It's a lesson the Reds could stand to learn.

Also, two of the players taken in the "Moneyball" draft were prominent in last night's game - Joe Blanton and Nick Swisher. In fact, six guys in the A's lineup and the starting pitcher were all homegrown. Exactly one guy in the Reds' lineup (Dunn) was homegrown.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 12:59 PM
Not to interrupt the zillionth RedsZone strikeout thread, but did Thom note that Beane's philosophies on the game have led him toward more of a defensive club in recent years?No.

"In God we trust, all others must have data".

westofyou
06-19-2007, 12:59 PM
Also, two of the players taken in the "Moneyball" draft were prominent in last night's game - Joe Blanton and Nick Swisher. In fact, six guys in the A's lineup and the starting pitcher were all homegrown. Exactly one guy in the Reds' lineup (Dunn) was homegrown.

Yep, I noted that too, plus Swisher who was derided by scouts in the book has a .415 OB% and plays 4 positions, I bet that fact slipped through Thom's fingers.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 01:02 PM
The As success in drafting is why they have been able to stay on top even though they have let all those stars walk away.

It is why the Reds might be just as well of by not trading Dunn and getting the draft picks.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 01:05 PM
BTW, the best statement THom made last night was

"If the Reds trade Dunn they absolutley cannot miss on the trade".

Most of the trades I have heard tossed around would be described as misses.

It seems as though the statistical organizations of the Pads and As(Alderson, Beane, Depodesta) ought to be the favorites for Dunns services.

dabvu2498
06-19-2007, 01:07 PM
Yep, I noted that too, plus Swisher who was derided by scouts in the book has a .415 OB% and plays 4 positions, I bet that fact slipped through Thom's fingers.


IIRC, Swisher was universally thought of as a solid 1st round pick, by both scouts and "stats guys." In fact, Moneyball portrays it that Beane was very concerned that the Mets were going to draft him one slot ahead of the A's.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 01:08 PM
Not to interrupt the zillionth RedsZone strikeout thread, but did Thom note that Beane's philosophies on the game have led him toward more of a defensive club in recent years?

The A's are perfect counterpoint to the Reds on the difference between saying you're going after pitching and defense and actually doing it. What Beane perhaps does best is understand his target. It's a lesson the Reds could stand to learn.

Also, two of the players taken in the "Moneyball" draft were prominent in last night's game - Joe Blanton and Nick Swisher. In fact, six guys in the A's lineup and the starting pitcher were all homegrown. Exactly one guy in the Reds' lineup (Dunn) was homegrown.

The Padres are the NL's version of the A's with respect to going after pitching and defense and actually doing it. San Diego is 4th in the majors in DER, and like Oakland, their primary strength is gloves in the field. Not surprisingly, the Padres employ both Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta, and Kevin Towers himself has also been one of the more forward-thinking general managers in the game.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 01:12 PM
IIRC, Swisher was universally thought of as a solid 1st round pick, by both scouts and "stats guys." In fact, Moneyball portrays it that Beane was very concerned that the Mets were going to draft him one slot ahead of the A's.

Right, I have that wrong, Swisher was the Mets 6th choice (or so it was stated) and the A's were afraid he'd go to them. Beane felt that if he couldn't at least get Swisher with the 16th pick then everything after that would not be as good, he even mentioned that Grueler would be off the board as well.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 01:13 PM
The Padres are the NL's version of the A's with respect to going after pitching and defense and actually doing it. San Diego is 4th in the majors in DER, and like Oakland, their primary strength is gloves in the field. Not surprisingly, the Padres employ both Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta, and Kevin Towers himself has also been one of the more forward-thinking general managers in the game.

Not surprising is both play in huge outfields with night air tempered by pacific fog too.

Big Klu
06-19-2007, 01:23 PM
Yep, I noted that too, plus Swisher who was derided by scouts in the book has a .415 OB% and plays 4 positions, I bet that fact slipped through Thom's fingers.

Actually, Thom mentioned that Swisher had started at all three OF positions and 1B in recent games.

westofyou
06-19-2007, 01:35 PM
Actually, Thom mentioned that Swisher had started at all three OF positions and 1B in recent games.

I got the A's feed... they pretty much talked the whole night about what a hacking bunch of free swingers the Reds were being and how Blantons pitch count was loving that aspect of the Reds approach.

As they said about Phillips, "He's yet to see a pitch he hasn't liked."

flyer85
06-19-2007, 01:39 PM
As they said about Phillips, "He's yet to see a pitch he hasn't liked."when Blanton was on the mound he never swung at a strike(he took a couple of them).

westofyou
06-19-2007, 01:42 PM
when Blanton was on the mound he never swung at a strike(he took a couple of them).

a GB out and 2 K's swinging, all vs Blanton

flyer85
06-19-2007, 01:46 PM
a GB out and 2 K's swinging, all vs Blantonthe part of Phillips that frustrates me to no end is the inability to lay off bad pitches when he is AHEAD in the count.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 03:13 PM
If anything, the 358 contact outs would yield fewer extra base hits. That's how it tends to work. Generally speaking, more Ks = more power. Note the bicep-laden career strikeout leader list (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/SO_career.shtml).

You've made the same mistake I did and Cyclone correctly pointed out that we aren't comparing hits of any kind here. The comparison is between 358 strike outs and 358 outs of other kinds. No base hits of any kind are included in this comparison

M2
06-19-2007, 03:18 PM
You've made the same mistake I did and Cyclone correctly pointed out that we aren't comparing hits of any kind here. The comparison is between 358 strike outs and 358 outs of other kinds. No base hits of any kind are included in this comparison

I know that. I was just pointing out that if you included hits in the metric, you'd be sacrificing gobs of power for a small amount of hits in the name of contact.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 03:22 PM
That means you replace Adam Dunn's 19 HR and 90 SO with Luis Gonzalez's 8 HR and 20 SO. You replace Griffey's 18 HR and 38 SO with Andre Eithier's 5 and 28. So and so forth. When you go through the process of replacing the PEOPLE who strike out with the PEOPLE who don't strike out as much, you don't really gain anything.

Why do you have to do that? Why not replace them with Barry Bonds or Vlad Guerrero who strike out much less?

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 03:25 PM
I know that. I was just pointing out that if you included hits in the metric, you'd be sacrificing gobs of power for a small amount of hits in the name of contact.


OK, if you include hits in the metric then you've changed the whole stat.

If your point is that strike outs need to be weighed vs other forms of offensive production, I don't think you'll get any argument on this board.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 03:32 PM
Not to interrupt the zillionth RedsZone strikeout thread, but did Thom note that Beane's philosophies on the game have led him toward more of a defensive club in recent years?




In defense of Krivsky, how was he to know that Gonzo was going to commit his 11th error in mid June after he committed 7 all of last year? I don't know what it is about coming to Cincinnati that causes fielders to go bonkers.

blumj
06-19-2007, 03:35 PM
Why do you have to do that? Why not replace them with Barry Bonds or Vlad Guerrero who strike out much less?
You could, and anyone would, if they were available and you could afford them, other * issues aside.

M2
06-19-2007, 03:35 PM
OK, if you include hits in the metric then you've changed the whole stat.

Well yeah, that goes without saying.

There's really two pieces in the great strikeout debate.

1) What's the actual value of a strikeout? That's what Cyclone targeted. It's actually easy to quantify. Simply put, there's no boogeyman in that closet.

2) Quality of outs vs. quality of hits. That's the part that often gets overlooked by folks insisting that the goal of a hitter should be to put the ball in play (a very Deadball Era concept). Yes, you might find a few extra holes in replacing contact for whiffs. Yet you'll affect the quality of your hits if all you seek is contact. You won't be banging as many balls over the walls and into the gaps. Not only that, you might even turn some line drive singles into feckless outs.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 03:41 PM
Why do you have to do that? Why not replace them with Barry Bonds or Vlad Guerrero who strike out much less?

Because there aren't very many of those guys. If you can get one of them, awesome. By all means, get that guy.

34 major leaguers hit 30+ HR last season. 9 of them struck out fewer than 100 times. Those guys are:

Albert Pujols: 50 SO, .331/.431/.671, 49 HR
Joe Crede: 58 SO, .283/.323/.506, 30 HR
Aramis Ramirez: 63 SO, .291/.352/.561, 38 HR
Carlos Lee: 65 SO, .300/.355/.540, 37 HR
Vladimir Guerrero: 68 SO, .329/.382/.552, 33 HR
Frank Thomas: 81 SO, .270/.381/.545, 39 HR
Vernon Wells: 90 SO, .303/.357/.542, 32 HR
Carlos Beltran: 99 SO, .275/.388/.594, 41 HR
Justin Morneau: 93 SO, .321/.375/.559, 34 HR

With the exclusion of Crede, who barely made it in what likely will be his career year, this is a list of all-stars. How exactly do we propose get one of them? Do you want to pay Carlos Lee $17M a year for the next 6 years? Maybe the Angels will trade us Vlad. Or maybe we should've signed Frank Thomas to be our DH.... Or maybe we should've ponied up for Carlos Beltran.

Fewer strikeouts from our productive hitters would be wonderful. I would love Adam Dunn to be Frank Thomas at the plate. But he's not. Those strikeouts come from an approach that isn't likely to change. Let's stop focusing on the strikeouts and start worrying about the things that actually affect our ability to score runs -- like making way too many outs, regardless of the type.

M2
06-19-2007, 03:45 PM
In defense of Krivsky, how was he to know that Gonzo was going to commit his 11th error in mid June after he committed 7 all of last year? I don't know what it is about coming to Cincinnati that causes fielders to go bonkers.

He may not have known Gonzalez would drop like this immediately, but shortstops tend to see their defense suffer in and around the age of 30. Krivsky rolled the dice that Gonzalez would be more like Omar Vizquel than Tony Fernandez. Though I'm guessing that Billy Beane, who pays for top shelf defensive analysis, would have told you Gonzalez was a tad overrated in the field.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 03:50 PM
He may not have known Gonzalez would drop like this immediatelyunless you are a true GG caliber defender(and the evidence that Gonzo was that is missing, instead he basically profiled as an average to slightly above defender) then defensive performance can be volatile as well.

David Eckstein is another player that has already committed more errors this year than last. If you want a GG SS, then go get one but don't be surprised when you get an average defender coming off a great season if he doesn't repeat the prior year performance.


how was he to know that Gonzo was going to commit his 11th error in mid June after he committed 7 all of last year? the GM should have know that the former was a lot more likely than a repeat of the latter.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 03:51 PM
Because there aren't very many of those guys. If you can get one of them, awesome. By all means, get that guy.


With the exclusion of Crede, who barely made it in what likely will be his career year, this is a list of all-stars.

Fewer strikeouts from our productive hitters would be wonderful. I would love Adam Dunn to be Frank Thomas at the plate. But he's not. Those strikeouts come from an approach that isn't likely to change. Let's stop focusing on the strikeouts and start worrying about the things that actually affect our ability to score runs -- like making way too many outs, regardless of the type.


You make my point beautifully. Take Adam Dunn's power and cut back on his strike outs and you've got a very rare, perennial All Star caliber player. If his strike outs were the same as any other out that would not be the case.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 03:51 PM
Fewer strikeouts from our productive hitters would be wonderful. I would love Adam Dunn to be Frank Thomas at the plate. But he's not. Those strikeouts come from an approach that isn't likely to change. Let's stop focusing on the strikeouts and start worrying about the things that actually affect our ability to score runs -- like making way too many outs, regardless of the type.

An interesting tanget on Dunn and strikeouts ... well, maybe not so interesting since this is a Moneyball thread ...

I'm of the belief right now that if Dunn is in some other uniform besides the Reds in 2009-2011, it will be for a team that doesn't give two hoots about strikeouts. I'd also pretty much figure that if Dunn is traded this year or next, whatever team he lands on will also probably not give two hoots about strikeouts.

Furthermore, whatever Dunn's next contract is, I'm betting it's actually for below market value. I really don't see the big 15M per year contract for six or seven years being offered to Dunn, and that's what many fans who want him traded fear it will take to resign him. I believe there may be enough idiotic major league teams out there who fear the strikeout enough that it could drive the market down for Dunn's next contract. What that would do is allow a team that doesn't give two hoots about strikeouts, such as the A's for example, to slide in and scoop him up for a below market contract (think 4 years at 50M) and essentially take advantage of the market inefficiency known as Adam Dunn's value.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 03:53 PM
You make my point beautifully. Take Adam Dunn's power and cut back on his strike outs and you've got a very rare, perennial All Star caliber player. If his strike outs were the same as any other out that would not be the case.

You're still not getting it.

If Adam Dunn cuts back his strikeouts, then there's a 99.9 percent chance the side effect of such an adjustment results in Dunn having less power (SLG) and walks (OBP). You have the belief that if all Dunn does is magically cut back on his strikeouts, he turns into a monster. It simply doesn't work that way. Cutting back on strikeouts would result in more total outs and less total bases for Dunn, thereby making him less of an impact hitter than what he currently is.

dabvu2498
06-19-2007, 03:54 PM
Do you want to pay Carlos Lee $17M a year for the next 6 years?

The same question could be asked of Adam Dunn... because I'm guessing his agent is photocopying Lee's contract as we speak as an example of what his client is going to demand in free agency.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 03:55 PM
Take Adam Dunn's power and cut back on his strike outs and you've got a very rare, perennial All Star caliber player. People seem to be making the assumption that changing the approach to significantly decrease Ks would not have an adverse affect on power. It could very well be the case that the assumption could be false.

M2
06-19-2007, 03:58 PM
You're still not getting it.

If Adam Dunn cuts back his strikeouts, then there's a 99.9 percent chance the side effect of such an adjustment results in Dunn having less power (SLG) and walks (OBP). You have the belief that if all Dunn does is magically cut back on his strikeouts, he turns into a monster. It simply doesn't work that way. Cutting back on strikeouts would result in more total outs and less total bases for Dunn, thereby making him less of an impact hitter than what he currently is.

To add to that, if what you want is for Dunn to cut down on his Ks, what he probably has to do is be more selective at the plate. Dunn's not engineered to swing his way out of his Ks. Narrowing his personal strikezone and doing a better job of pounding pitches inside of it is the answer.

M2
06-19-2007, 03:59 PM
What that would do is allow a team that doesn't give two hoots about strikeouts, such as the A's for example, to slide in and scoop him up for a below market contract (think 4 years at 50M) and essentially take advantage of the market inefficiency known as Adam Dunn's value.

That would be a very "Moneyball" thing to do.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:06 PM
Take Adam Dunn's power and cut back on his strike outs and you've got a very rare, perennial All Star caliber player.The real issue is that Dunn does not fit your paradigm of what a power hitter should be. He strikes out "too much". What you need to due is forget about the paradigm you have created an evaluate Dunn based on statistically significant information. Which in terms of simple to calculate stats the best one in OPS. (There is a mountain of evidence that strikeouts are insignifcant in terms offensive performance) .

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 04:18 PM
That would be a very "Moneyball" thing to do.

Exactly, and I think there are enough teams out there that fear strikeouts (and batting average) so much that they won't get real serious about acquiring Dunn, be it in a trade or on the free agent market. That itself would drive the market down and prevent Dunn from landing that six or seven year deal at 15-16M per.

The only way I see Dunn demanding (and possibly getting) that big contract some Reds fans fear is if the Yankees and/or Red Sox would make a serious run at him. Both those teams care about power and on-base percentage, not batting average and strikeouts (that enough should show people what's really important when it comes to offense), and they've each got the pocketbooks to drive up Dunn's price. But the only way I see Boston making any type of run at Dunn in the near future is if they can unload Ramirez, and it's an unknown if the Yankees will ever make a serious run at him (what happens with Giambi and/or Rodriguez upcoming would likely play a major role in a Yankees run at Dunn).

If both the Yankees and Red Sox stay out of the Dunn sweepstakes for their own reasons, then whatever team lands him will most likely snag a bargain and scoop up some Moneyball value via a market inefficiency.

What's ironic about the entire scenario is Dunn's strikeouts and batting average - both subjects of Dunn's dislike for many fans - could allow the Reds the chance to extend his contract at a very reasonable price, if they so choose to go that route.

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 04:24 PM
You're still not getting it.

If Adam Dunn cuts back his strikeouts, then there's a 99.9 percent chance the side effect of such an adjustment results in Dunn having less power (SLG) and walks (OBP). You have the belief that if all Dunn does is magically cut back on his strikeouts, he turns into a monster. It simply doesn't work that way. Cutting back on strikeouts would result in more total outs and less total bases for Dunn, thereby making him less of an impact hitter than what he currently is.

See my "ecosystem" comment earlier. It's rare to isolate one element of a hitter's approach and not affect other elements.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:24 PM
last night CW stated that the organization drive was a high BB/Low Ks. There really isn't any evidence that is true, at least the K part. There is eveidence that they focus on the walk totals. If they didn't like Ks they certainly wouldn't play Cust, he is more of a TTO king than Dunn.

2007 2nd most BBs, 5th most Ks.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:27 PM
What's ironic about the entire scenario is Dunn's strikeouts and batting average - both subjects of Dunn's dislike for many fans - could allow the Reds the chance to extend his contract at a very reasonable price, if they so choose to go that route.It seems rather clear that the Reds are one of those organizations that have an institutional bias against batter strikeouts. A lot of other teams do as well which allows teams not operating under that assumption to find potential bargains.

M2
06-19-2007, 04:30 PM
The only way I see Dunn demanding (and possibly getting) that big contract some Reds fans fear is if the Yankees and/or Red Sox would make a serious run at him.

Interestingly, Brian Cashman has vowed to sign no one over 30 to a long-term contract. If he holds firm on that then Dunn might be exactly what he's looking for.

NJReds
06-19-2007, 04:33 PM
Interestingly, Brian Cashman has vowed to sign no one over 30 to a long-term contract. If he holds firm on that then Dunn might be exactly what he's looking for.

He's a good fit for the stadium. It's tailor made for lefty power hitters.

I'm split on whether he's a good fit for New York. On one hand, he's a country boy. On the other, being a lightning rod for criticism doesn't seem to bother him so much, so he might be fine under the media spotlight.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 04:34 PM
You're still not getting it.

If Adam Dunn cuts back his strikeouts, then there's a 99.9 percent chance the side effect of such an adjustment results in Dunn having less power (SLG) and walks (OBP). You have the belief that if all Dunn does is magically cut back on his strikeouts, he turns into a monster. It simply doesn't work that way. Cutting back on strikeouts would result in more total outs and less total bases for Dunn, thereby making him less of an impact hitter than what he currently is.

You may very well be right in Dunn's case, but that's pure speculation on your part. Let's get back to the argument being discussed by Thom last night: "is a strike out the same as any other out?"

By stating I don't get it you're changing the issue to the thought that Dunn has to strike out 200 times in order to maintain his power and OBP. That's a question limited to Adam Dunn, but if we're debating the value of a strikeout let's keep as all the variables constant except for the strike out. Hence I brought up other high OBP guys with power who do not strike out a lot and the answer was clear: those guys are superstars.

Conclusion: the difference is strike outs and they must matter.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:35 PM
Want to score more runs?

This year the top 6 teams in OBP are the top 6 teams in terms of runs and runs per game. Interesting, I wonder if there is a correlation there.

BTW, the Reds are 24th in OBP which explains why they have struggled to score(17th in runs per game) despite the HRs.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 04:37 PM
To add to that, if what you want is for Dunn to cut down on his Ks, what he probably has to do is be more selective at the plate. Dunn's not engineered to swing his way out of his Ks. Narrowing his personal strikezone and doing a better job of pounding pitches inside of it is the answer.

Personally I'm long past Adam Dunn. I'm convinced he'll always strike out 200 times a year and that ain't changin'.

pedro
06-19-2007, 04:37 PM
I think it's pretty evident that if only some 4% of Dunn's AB's have come with a runner on third and less than 2 outs that the negative effect of K's is severly overstated in his case by folks like Thom Brennaman.

pedro
06-19-2007, 04:37 PM
I think it's pretty evident that if only some 4% of Dunn's AB's have come with a runner on third and less than 2 outs that the negative effect of K's is severely overstated in his case by folks like Thom Brennaman.

pedro
06-19-2007, 04:38 PM
Want to score more runs?

This year the top 6 teams in OBP are the top 6 teams in terms of runs and runs per game. Interesting, I wonder if there is a correlation there.

BTW, the Reds are 24th in OBP which explains why they have struggled to score(17th in runs per game) despite the HRs.

You're right about OPB but you really use both leagues in evaluating those numbers b/c of the DH.

btw- the Reds are 6th in OPS in the NL and 5th in runs. (11th in OBP)

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 04:40 PM
Let's get back to the argument being discussed by Thom last night: "is a strike out the same as any other out?"

if we're debating the value of a strikeout let's keep as all the variables constant except for the strike out.

I've done that, and 100 strikeouts is approximately one run worse than 100 non-strikeout outs. I really can't be anymore clear on that issue than I've already been.


Conclusion: the difference is strike outs and they must matter.

If four runs on the team level over the course of an entire season is a pressing matter for you, then sure they matter. Otherwise, they don't.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 04:41 PM
You make my point beautifully. Take Adam Dunn's power and cut back on his strike outs and you've got a very rare, perennial All Star caliber player. If his strike outs were the same as any other out that would not be the case.

Again, you are mixing micro and macro. Take away those strikeouts and replace them with balls in play (which have a chance to become hits) and Adam Dunn becomes Albert Pujols. Take away those strikeouts and replace them with ball in play OUTS, as Cyclone et. al. have discussed, and you have somebody who doesn't exist. Would Adam Dunn be better if he held everything constant except he put the ball in play 100 more times a year? Absolutely. He'd probably hit 60 homers and bat .300. Unfortunately, you cannot simply morph Dunn in to that player.

VERY few players can walk even 90 times and strike out less than 70. That list in 2006 includes Bonds, Pujols, Helton, and Brian Giles. Those are very different types of hitters than is Adam Dunn.

The argument is not "Are strikeouts equal to balls in play" -- that answer is obviously no, balls in play are much better. The argument is "are strikeouts equal to balls in play that turn in to outs"? Given that question, the answer is more or less yes.

Would Adam Dunn be better if he were Albert Pujols? Yes. But guess what, Scott Hatteberg rarely strikes out and he'd be better if he were Adam Dunn.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:43 PM
Let's get back to the argument being discussed by Thom last night: "is a strike out the same as any other out?".
From a statistical standpoint the answer is yes because the difference is small enough to be insignificant. It is why Bill James did not include it as a negative in his original work on runs created(he had considered it but his research showed it to be unimportant). He found the impact was so small that it had no meaning.

Objective analysis should lead us to re-evaluate what we believe when the analysis(objective) shows that a perceived notion(subjective) about the way the world works is incorrect.

IIRC, in one of Bill James early annuals he discussed the non-inclusions of Ks in his formula and how the statistical evidence on batter Ks did not conform to the perceieved notion of them in terms of conventional baseball wisdom.

Caveat Emperor
06-19-2007, 04:43 PM
It seems rather clear that the Reds are one of those organizations that have an institutional bias against batter strikeouts.

The fanbase certainly does, but I'm not so sure the organization does.

If Dunn gets traded, its not because he strikes out too much, its because he makes a lot of money and (hopefully) can bring several young, cheap and talented players back in return.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-19-2007, 04:44 PM
Personally I'm long past Adam Dunn. I'm convinced he'll always strike out 200 times a year and that ain't chanin'.


...and remain one of the top 20-30 run-producers in all of baseball.

M2
06-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Again, you are mixing micro and macro. Take away those strikeouts and replace them with balls in play (which have a chance to become hits) and Adam Dunn becomes Albert Pujols. Take away those strikeouts and replace them with ball in play OUTS, as Cyclone et. al. have discussed, and you have somebody who doesn't exist. Would Adam Dunn be better if he held everything constant except he put the ball in play 100 more times a year? Absolutely. He'd probably hit 60 homers and bat .300. Unfortunately, you cannot simply morph Dunn in to that player.

Hey, if you take Joe Crede and get him to strike out more, will he turn into Mike Schmidt?

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 04:47 PM
You may very well be right in Dunn's case, but that's pure speculation on your part. Let's get back to the argument being discussed by Thom last night: "is a strike out the same as any other out?"

By stating I don't get it you're changing the issue to the thought that Dunn has to strike out 200 times in order to maintain his power and OBP. That's a question limited to Adam Dunn, but if we're debating the value of a strikeout let's keep as all the variables constant except for the strike out. Hence I brought up other high OBP guys with power who do not strike out a lot and the answer was clear: those guys are superstars.

Conclusion: the difference is strike outs and they must matter.

And Cyclone's answer to that is: if you could trade strikeouts for other kinds of outs, you'd gain 1 run for every 90 that you trade in. In otherwords, yes Thom, all things considered, strikeouts are pretty much the same as any other out in terms of their ability to produce runs.

Where you're getting confused is that you want to trade in strikeouts for hits, not for other outs. The question was about the equivalence of outs. Pujols and company are putting the balls in to play instead of striking out, that's why they're better. Adam Dunn is not able to make contact at the same rate of those players. He compensates by crushing the pitches he does contact and walking a lot. But he cannot simply acquire the ability to make contact at a vastly greater rate.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 04:48 PM
I've done that, and 100 strikeouts is approximately one run worse than 100 non-strikeout outs. I really can't be anymore clear on that issue than I've already been.

If four runs on the team level over the course of an entire season is a pressing matter for you, then sure they matter. Otherwise, they don't.


Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 04:49 PM
You may very well be right in Dunn's case, but that's pure speculation on your part. Let's get back to the argument being discussed by Thom last night: "is a strike out the same as any other out?"

By stating I don't get it you're changing the issue to the thought that Dunn has to strike out 200 times in order to maintain his power and OBP. That's a question limited to Adam Dunn, but if we're debating the value of a strikeout let's keep as all the variables constant except for the strike out. Hence I brought up other high OBP guys with power who do not strike out a lot and the answer was clear: those guys are superstars.

Conclusion: the difference is strike outs and they must matter.

If strikeouts "must" matter, how do you explain Ryan Howard's success last season? Or Alfonso Soriano's? Or Jason Bay's?

The difference is not just strikeouts. It's ALL outs, and ALL bases acquired.


Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.

You're certainly entitled to that opinion, as is Thom Brennaman. But don't be surprised if that opinion gets challenged. A lot.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:51 PM
Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.
"In God we trust, all others must have data".

"Your eyes will deceive you, don't trust them".

If you aren't willing to subject what you perceive through your senses to some statictical analysis then on what basis do you know it to be true? From my point of view your belief system becomes purely anecdotal.

Chip R
06-19-2007, 04:52 PM
Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.


Thom Brennaman also thought Steve Finley would be a good pickup this off season.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 04:53 PM
Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.

Right, because Thom Brennaman's opinion from watching baseball games holds more weight than actual data pulled straight from the Retrosheet (http://www.retrosheet.org) play-by-play events themselves.

I wonder if Thom Brennamen could tell the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter without one ounce of help from the stat book. The difference is about one hit every two weeks, and my guess is he'd have no clue.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 04:53 PM
Personally I'm long past Adam Dunn. I'm convinced he'll always strike out 200 times a year and that ain't changin'.

Agreed. Now, after reading this thread, tell me why that matters.

pedro
06-19-2007, 04:54 PM
I find Thom Brennaman to be an insufferable, ignorant, judgmental fool myself.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 04:56 PM
I find Thom Brennaman to be an insufferable, ignorant, judgmental fool myself.Thom is certainly entitled to his opinion. But without the backing of objective information, it is only an opinion, purely anecdotal.


Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day.I doubt the appeal to authoriity(which Thom really isn't anyway) is unlikely to get you very far.

pedro
06-19-2007, 05:01 PM
Thom is certainly entitled to his opinion. But without the backing of objective information, it is only an opinion, purely anecdotal.

Certainly, but I'd feel the same way had he not said this last night so it really has nothing to do with it. It's the arrogant indignity he espouses every time someone makes a what he perceives as a mistake that really turns me off. i just think the guy is a jerk, just like his dad but worse.

M2
06-19-2007, 05:03 PM
Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day.

So have I. So have you. So has most everybody on this site.

I don't really care how much baseball anybody's watched. You can measure the effect of a whiff vs. ball-in-play outs. It's been done to death.

You can measure the offensive producivity of players, teams and leagues with high strikeout totals. You can collect the data on productive outs and see how much they affect the game. It's all been done.

This isn't brave, new world. It's old hat.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:04 PM
It's the arrogant indignity he espouses every time someone makes a what he perceives as a mistake that really turns me off.A lot of people that watch and cover the game have little idea how incredibly difficult even the simplest baseball tasks really are.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:06 PM
This isn't brave, new world. It's old hat.The brave new world is when you free yourself from assumptions about the way things work that aren't actually true.

Redsland
06-19-2007, 05:13 PM
Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.
The 52 years worth of data on this chart, which you've already seen in this thread, represents a lot more baseball than Thom Brennaman has seen, and it shows that there's "virtually no positive correlation between a team's strikeout totals and its runs-scored totals. When it comes to offense, an out is an out is an out."
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/images/2617_02.gif

Look, you thought strikeouts were bad. You're not alone. Your Little League coach told you that, your dad told you that, Marty and Thom told you that. Now that belief has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny. Exhaustive analysis of 52 years worth of Major League data says your belief is wrong, and right up there is the chart to prove it. If that's not enough to cause you to question the validity of your belief, and if all you have to fall back on is a radio broadcaster's bombast, then this thread has probably run its course.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 05:22 PM
"In God we trust, all others must have data".

"Your eyes will deceive you, don't trust them".

If you aren't willing to subject what you perceive through your senses to some statictical analysis then on what basis do you know it to be true? From my point of view your belief system becomes purely anecdotal.


Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:25 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.I would agree that someone is living in the land of Oz. :mooner:

I am sure many are eagerly awaiting the data that supports your theory.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 05:26 PM
The 52 years worth of data on this chart, which you've already seen in this thread, represents a lot more baseball than Thom Brennaman has seen, and it shows that there's "virtually no positive correlation between a team's strikeout totals and its runs-scored totals. When it comes to offense, an out is an out is an out."



I have no doubt that chart to be accurate. Teams such as the Big Red Machine struck out a lot but scored a lot of runs. My point is that strike outs still mattered. If your point is teams that strike out a lot also hit for a lot of power and often make up for it then I agree.

M2
06-19-2007, 05:27 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.

Here's the problem. You believe something. What others in this thread are telling you is that this isn't a matter of belief. None of us "believe" this. It is what it is. It would still be what it is even if we chose to believe some fallacy to the contrary, the same way 2+2=4 even if you believe it equals 5.

Redsland
06-19-2007, 05:28 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.
Seasons and seasons and seasons of data say it's true. It's okay to be surprised by that result, but to continue to insist that the data is wrong merely because you don't like it seems like, well, folly.

VR
06-19-2007, 05:28 PM
We all love Adam's HR rate.

As it relates to strikeouts....perhaps it would be realistic to look at Dunn's HR rate in any count before he acquires two strikes, and then look at his HR rate after he acquires two strikes. That data alone recommends that Adam needs to adjust once in pitchers' count.

He is a monster mistake/hitter's count threat....and a daisy of a pitcher's count threat. That's what statistics say, and that's where he needs to improve (which he has done so far this year)

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:28 PM
My point is that strike outs still mattered. Your opinion is understood. It's evidence that it is other than anecdotal that people are waiting for.

gonelong
06-19-2007, 05:29 PM
Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

If your lucky, you have watched a lot of games AND dug into the minutia of stats we discuss here, and then you can judge by BOTH means, weighing one against the other.



I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.


Thom, of course, is more concerned with the day-to-day as he is a broadcaster, and therefore to him a strikeout cannot possibly be just another out.

As a micro argument I would submit that Thom is correct.

In a single AB, the type of out a person commits can make a difference. A fly ball or a ground ball might score a run from 3rd and thats likely to be more valuable than a K in that one specific situation.

As a macro argument I would submit that Thom is incorrect.

Over the course of a year it amounts to next to nothing.

Thom is taking a macro argument and applying it to a micro situation, likely because he doesn't understand the macro argument to begin with, or somebody relayed the argument to him without all the particulars.

EDIT:


Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.


Again, you are makeing a micro argument, and everyone else is making a macro argument. Until we get past this there is no point in continuing.

GL

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 05:29 PM
Agreed. Now, after reading this thread, tell me why that matters.

In Adam Dunn's case strike outs are the reason he doesn't knock in 100 runs when he hits 45 HRs. If he only struck out 150 times like most sluggers he'd easily had 100 RBIs last year. We needed those RBIs last Sept when we were in a pennant race and he only had 3 RBIs. Lack of contact mattered a lot.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 05:30 PM
Thom Brennaman has seen a lot of baseball in his day. Probably hasn't studied the minutia of stats like has been discussed here, although I don't know that for sure. Some folks judge by stats, some judge by what they see by watching games.

I'm with Thom Brennaman on this one and I support his comments last night.

I can watch fish in a fish tank all day and talk about what they do, but that won't make me a marine biologist.

There's a difference between watching something and talking about it and watching something, analyzing data based on those observations, and synthesizing it into something meaningful. True insight comes from observation AND analysis, not one to the exclusion of the other.

registerthis
06-19-2007, 05:32 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.

Just curious, but where do you find fault with the statistics that have been put forth which state as true what you believe to be false? Was there an error in calculation? Was some pressing issue not considered?

You've continually stated that you don't believe that replacing strikeouts with batted balls results in such a minimal gain in runs, yet it has been shown by several on this thread that that is exactly the case. Either there is some component of the methodology used to make that determination that you find disagreeable, or you simply don't want to accept it as true. Which is it?

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 05:32 PM
Seasons and seasons and seasons of data say it's true. It's okay to be surprised by that result, but to continue to insist that the data is wrong merely because you don't like it seems like, well, folly.

To me (and Thom) it's pure folly to think that it's not more productive to put the ball in play rather than hitting a line drive to the catcher...

Redsland
06-19-2007, 05:32 PM
My point is that strike outs still mattered. If your point is teams that strike out a lot also hit for a lot of power and often make up for it then I agree.
They matter, as Cyc said, to the tune of about four team runs over a season. With teams scoring 750-850 runs a season, four isn't a lot in my book.

As for your second sentence, I think we're all starting to get on the same page.

:beerme:

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:32 PM
As a macro argument I would submit that Thom is incorrect.

The point really isn't that it's what someone any one of us submits.

The point is that it is what the actual observed data tell us to be true. Thus removing it from mere anecdotal observation into the realm of statistical fact.

M2
06-19-2007, 05:35 PM
In Adam Dunn's case strike outs are the reason he doesn't knock in 100 runs when he hits 45 HRs. If he only struck out 150 times like most sluggers he'd easily had 100 RBIs last year. We needed those RBIs last Sept when we were in a pennant race and he only had 3 RBIs. Lack of contact mattered a lot.

Had Adam Dunn batted like normal late last season, he'd have cruised past 100 RBIs. The problem was he got mired in one of the two worst slumps of his career. In fact, his strikeout rate in September (36 in 83 ABs) wasn't all that different from what it was in April (33 in 83 ABs). Yet he had a 1.046 OPS in April and a .500 OPS in September. Whiffs weren't the problem.

Sea Ray
06-19-2007, 05:35 PM
You've continually stated that you don't believe that replacing strikeouts with batted balls results in such a minimal gain in runs, yet it has been shown by several on this thread that that is exactly the case. Either there is some component of the methodology used to make that determination that you find disagreeable, or you simply don't want to accept it as true. Which is it?


I have no idea what methodology went into creating that stat that 358 strike outs vs 358 other outs equal 4 runs. Cyclone announced it earlier in this thread. I have no idea where it came from.

Some of you have time to debate this on and on and accumulate 20K posts on a message board. I've made my point & I'm moving on...

IslandRed
06-19-2007, 05:35 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.

Just keep in mind we're talking net runs here. Just like the A's in last night's game, putting the ball in play gives you runs in instances where a strikeout doesn't. Considerably more than four runs' worth in 358 batted-ball outs, I'd wager. But then you have to subtract out the cost of double plays -- batted-ball outs that are more damaging to overall run scoring than strikeouts would have been. Double plays cancel out much of the positive benefit of "just put it in play," leaving a very small net margin.

M2
06-19-2007, 05:37 PM
I can watch fish in a fish tank all day and talk about what they do, but that won't make me a marine biologist.

There's a difference between watching something and talking about it and watching something, analyzing data based on those observations, and synthesizing it into something meaningful. True insight comes from observation AND analysis, not one to the exclusion of the other.

Perfect analogy.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:38 PM
To me (and Thom) it's pure folly to think that it's not more productive to put the ball in play rather than hitting a line drive to the catcher...There are no doubt situations where other types of outs are preferable to strike outs, no one is arguing against that.

However, over the course of a season from a statistical standpoint strike outs simply do not correlate to runs scored.

Redsland
06-19-2007, 05:39 PM
To me (and Thom) it's pure folly to think that it's not more productive to put the ball in play rather than hitting a line drive to the catcher...
It's okay to think that. It's even better to test whether what you think is true. Thom hasn't tested it. But here in this thread, the matter has been covered pretty thoroughly. Given the evidence presented here, do you still believe that Thom Brennaman is right and that all of this exhaustive analysis is wrong?

M2
06-19-2007, 05:39 PM
I have no idea what methodology went into creating that stat that 358 strike outs vs 358 other outs equal 4 runs. Cyclone announced it earlier in this thread. I have no idea where it came from.

You should have an idea. He explained it for you.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 05:39 PM
I have no idea what methodology went into creating that stat that 358 strike outs vs 358 other outs equal 4 runs. Cyclone announced it earlier in this thread. I have no idea where it came from.

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html

Read the very last line, highlighted in green, and in the two columns labeled OUT and K. On average, a non-strikeout out is worth -0.299 runs and a strikeout is worth -0.310 runs.

That chart was generated from play-by-play data from 1999-2002, i.e. all the actual events that occurred in each game over the course of four seasons. Nobody is making any of this stuff up. The statistics generated in the chart in that link were generated based off the actual events that happened in real baseball games over an entire four year period.

And no, I'm guessing Thom Brennaman didn't watch every baseball game from 1999-2002 either.

flyer85
06-19-2007, 05:40 PM
Given the evidence presented here, do you still believe that Thom Brennaman is right and that all of this exhaustive analysis is wrong?I am assuming that is a rhetorical question.

Making observations at a micro level and applying them to a macro level is always a dangerous progression. That is what the entire point of objective data analysis is all about, because micro level observations can turn out to be false at a macro level.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 05:45 PM
In Adam Dunn's case strike outs are the reason he doesn't knock in 100 runs when he hits 45 HRs. If he only struck out 150 times like most sluggers he'd easily had 100 RBIs last year. We needed those RBIs last Sept when we were in a pennant race and he only had 3 RBIs. Lack of contact mattered a lot.

Dunn isn't driving in few runs because he doesn't make enough outs in the field. He doesn't drive in runs because he doesn't get enough its. Again, you're comparing to strikeouts to generic balls in play, not to OUTS on balls in play.

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 05:54 PM
Dunn isn't driving in few runs because he doesn't make enough outs in the field. He doesn't drive in runs because he doesn't get enough hits. Again, you're comparing to strikeouts to generic balls in play, not to OUTS on balls in play.

Yes.

If you add "less strikeouts does not necessarily mean more hits," you'd have it summarized perfectly.

jojo
06-19-2007, 06:33 PM
You're still not getting it.

He's not trying to.

jojo
06-19-2007, 06:35 PM
Believing that 358 strike outs vs 358 batted ball outs means four more runs is living in the land of Oz.

Well at least you've got an open mind and a willingness to formulate rational arguments.

registerthis
06-19-2007, 06:35 PM
Some of you have time to debate this on and on and accumulate 20K posts on a message board. I've made my point & I'm moving on...

Oh, snap!

jojo
06-19-2007, 06:39 PM
I have no doubt that chart to be accurate. Teams such as the Big Red Machine struck out a lot but scored a lot of runs. My point is that strike outs still mattered. If your point is teams that strike out a lot also hit for a lot of power and often make up for it then I agree.

Yet strikeouts are a scourge. Go figure.

MWM
06-19-2007, 06:54 PM
It boggles my mind how someone can look at the run chart that's been posted a couple of times in this thread and still state for the public to see that they believe strike outs make a difference.

Whether you know it or not, SeaRay, you're making a hypothesis that's easily testable - strike outs lead to less runs. That's already been proven not to be the case. Your response to that is that while runs might be the same regardless of strike outs, that teams scoring the same amount of runs while striking out a lot will tend to lose more games than those teams that score the same amount of runs while striking out less. Well, that's another thing that can quite easily be tested. And lo and behold, there's no correlation between wins and teams that strike out a lot while scoring similar runs.

There's really no way around this. If you believe that strike outs are detrimental there's only two possibilities - that they supress runs or that they lead to fewer wins per run scored. That's it. There's no other possible explanation. If you admit that strke outs don't lead to fewer runs (something you already admitted) and you admit that higher strike out totals don't influence the W-L records for teams with similar runs scored, you're left with nothing.

Not everything question can be answered precisely with stats. There's almost always other factors in play. That's what makes this question such a great one. It's an exception. This is one that can be answered easily by a simple look at the history of the game. That's also why I don't get why people hold to an opinion that's so cleary contradicted by evidence.

MWM
06-19-2007, 06:57 PM
Some of you have time to debate this on and on and accumulate 20K posts on a message board. I've made my point & I'm moving on...

I wasn't aware you atually made a point. :evil:

And pointing out post totals is always the last resort of the desparate who knows he's talking in circles.

jojo
06-19-2007, 06:57 PM
I have no idea what methodology went into creating that stat. Once again, I have no idea where it came from.

Why not take the time to thoughtfully investigate the methodology before arguing your position further?


Some of you have time to debate this on and on and accumulate 20K posts on a message board. I've made my point & I'm moving on...

I too hate message boards and wouldn't be caught dead say posting 22 times in a single thread during the course of a day....

Johnny Footstool
06-19-2007, 07:05 PM
It boggles my mind how someone can look at the run chart that's been posted a couple of times in this thread and still state for the public to see that they believe strike outs make a difference.

Whether you know it or not, SeaRay, you're making a hypothesis that's easily testable - strike outs lead to less runs. That's already been proven not to be the case. Your response to that is that while runs might be the same regardless of strike outs, that teams scoring the same amount of runs while striking out a lot will tend to lose more games than those teams that score the same amount of runs while striking out less. Well, that's another thing that can quite easily be tested. And lo and behold, there's no correlation between wins and teams that strike out a lot while scoring similar runs.

There's really no way around this. If you believe that strike outs are detrimental there's only two possibilities - that they supress runs or that they lead to fewer wins per run scored. That's it. There's no other possible explanation. If you admit that strke outs don't lead to fewer runs (something you already admitted) and you admit that higher strike out totals don't influence the W-L records for teams with similar runs scored, you're left with nothing.

Not everything question can be answered precisely with stats. There's almost always other factors in play. That's what makes this question such a great one. It's an exception. This is one that can be answered easily by a simple look at the history of the game. That's also why I don't get why people hold to an opinion that's so cleary contradicted by evidence.

I can see why some people cling to that opinion.

I hate watching strikeouts. I think most of us do. I cringe when Dunn takes a fastball on the inner half for a called strike three. It's more painful to watch than a weak grounder to second. It's a gut reaction to what I perceive as a wasted opportunity -- his failure to even attempt to put the ball in play.

Luckily, I also understand that strikeouts are a necessary by-product of being a late-count power hitter, and that Dunn's run production will more than make up for his strikeouts. The stats make those facts clear and mitigate the pain of watching him K.

But some people are reluctant to embrace that evidence, so they let their hatred of strikeouts influence their thinking.

mth123
06-19-2007, 09:29 PM
To add to that, if what you want is for Dunn to cut down on his Ks, what he probably has to do is be more selective at the plate. Dunn's not engineered to swing his way out of his Ks. Narrowing his personal strikezone and doing a better job of pounding pitches inside of it is the answer.

Smartest comment in a whole thread full of smart comments. Expanding your zone is the worst thing a hitter can do. It's not new, Babe Ruth knew it. See my sig.

mth123
06-19-2007, 09:37 PM
I find Thom Brennaman to be an insufferable, ignorant, judgmental fool myself.

Me too.

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 09:48 PM
It seems this thread sure has grown since I was here last night. Anyway, while I was driving around today I was thinking about some of the things that were said before I went to bed last night and I had a few thoughts that I'll throw in here, which will hopefully make some sense.

A lot of us can study baseball in the macro and see the trends and how things play out over the whole season, but we still watch the game in the micro, one game at a time. It's in these individual games that we aren't really thinking about the big picture. We have that gut reaction Johnny spoke of when someone strikes out, especially a taken strike. Perhaps we have been conditioned for so many years to believe that striking out is evil. We hear a player praised to high heaven if he shortens his swing with two strikes and just tries to put the ball in play, even if more often than not those two strike approaches lead to weakly hit outs or double plays.

Someone brought up how the Reds would have won a couple more games here or there with better exection and fewer strikeouts in key situations. Yes, that might be true, but I would like to think that there were a lot more factors that could have contributed to a few more wins. We can take any shortcoming, perceived or real, and find a few games that would have been won if that area of the game had been performed better. There might have been a few games where a sac fly could have tied the game and they fell a run short, or where a key hit here or there could have made the difference, but how many games are lost because the pitcher surrenders a walk in a seemingly unimportant part of the game, allowing some other hitter that extra plate appearance in the last inning where he gets the game winning hit. How many times does someone get on base to start an inning and the next hitter grounds into a double play but we don't pay much attention to it because it happened in the first couple innings of a scoreless game? How many times does a pitcher lose a hitter after being ahead 0-2? There are so many areas of the game where runs are lost or where scoring chances are either squandered or never materialize. If we take all of these into account, we might find more than 3 or 4 games the team could have won here or there.

I think the reason we notice those little failures is because in a close game they are magnified and we can maybe point to a particular inning during the game where the game was won or lost depending on execution. What we fail to realize is that many games are won and lost during a season where those "little things" don't come into play. The team pounds the ball like crazy and loses 12-8 or the team can't hit worth a darn and wins a game 1-0. We can argue all we want about how games are won or lost because of this or that, but in my book it really all comes down to pitching. If the team is pitching well, all that other stuff is pretty moot because an average offense with a good pitching staff is going win more often than not. The Reds, even with all their flaws, have at least an average offense, or one that could be above average with some better lineup construction. I'm worried less about hitters striking out than I am about pitchers who can't throw strikes.

vaticanplum
06-19-2007, 10:04 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/images/2617_02.gif

Every time somebody posts this chart I'm reminded that I need to go to Kinko's, print it out on glossy paper, frame it and hang it in my kitchen.

Anyway, a lot of people have touched on the point that I want to make, which is that if Dunn were to cut down on his strikeouts, he wouldn't suddenly be the same player he is now with fewer strikeouts. The argument that people seem to make is that if Adam Dunn cut down on his strikeouts, the team would score more runs. I am entirely unconvinced of this myself. Any cutdown on strikeouts large enough to impact his rate as a whole would mean a significant change in his hitting approach (which I don't believe is nor should be possible, but whatever), which would inevitably mean less power. I have zero faith that the Cincinnati Reds hitters behind Adam Dunn -- which often means those in the fifth or sixth through ninth spots -- would be able to bring him home as often as his home runs do.

Change Dunn's hitting approach to give him fewer strikeouts? Even if this were feasible, I think you'd end up with a worse team than you had when you started.

wheels
06-19-2007, 10:38 PM
Every time somebody posts this chart I'm reminded that I need to go to Kinko's, print it out on glossy paper, frame it and hang it in my kitchen.

Anyway, a lot of people have touched on the point that I want to make, which is that if Dunn were to cut down on his strikeouts, he wouldn't suddenly be the same player he is now with fewer strikeouts. The argument that people seem to make is that if Adam Dunn cut down on his strikeouts, the team would score more runs. I am entirely unconvinced of this myself. Any cutdown on strikeouts large enough to impact his rate as a whole would mean a significant change in his hitting approach (which I don't believe is nor should be possible, but whatever), which would inevitably mean less power. I have zero faith that the Cincinnati Reds hitters behind Adam Dunn -- which often means those in the fifth or sixth through ninth spots -- would be able to bring him home as often as his home runs do.

Change Dunn's hitting approach to give him fewer strikeouts? Even if this were feasible, I think you'd end up with a worse team than you had when you started.


Yup.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 10:41 PM
Every time somebody posts this chart I'm reminded that I need to go to Kinko's, print it out on glossy paper, frame it and hang it in my kitchen.

Anyway, a lot of people have touched on the point that I want to make, which is that if Dunn were to cut down on his strikeouts, he wouldn't suddenly be the same player he is now with fewer strikeouts. The argument that people seem to make is that if Adam Dunn cut down on his strikeouts, the team would score more runs. I am entirely unconvinced of this myself. Any cutdown on strikeouts large enough to impact his rate as a whole would mean a significant change in his hitting approach (which I don't believe is nor should be possible, but whatever), which would inevitably mean less power. I have zero faith that the Cincinnati Reds hitters behind Adam Dunn -- which often means those in the fifth or sixth through ninth spots -- would be able to bring him home as often as his home runs do.

Change Dunn's hitting approach to give him fewer strikeouts? Even if this were feasible, I think you'd end up with a worse team than you had when you started.

VP, when you make that trip to Kinkos and decide to print out that chart on glossy paper for framing, make sure you also print out your own post on that glossy paper beneath the chart and frame the whole darn thing.

;)

edabbs44
06-19-2007, 11:05 PM
Any cutdown on strikeouts large enough to impact his rate as a whole would mean a significant change in his hitting approach (which I don't believe is nor should be possible, but whatever), which would inevitably mean less power.

Just for kicks...why would that chain reaction have to happen? It seems like every time this conversation is initiated the following chain of events must be spelled out for the class:

Cutdown on strikeouts = significant change to hitting approach = less power

Like a "significant change to hitting approach" has to equal less power. I'm not sure why this is such a gimme. Maybe that "significant change" will lead to more power. Maybe it will lead to him hitting .300. Dunn was a .300 hitter in the minors with power. It's not like his whole life has been spent hitting in the lower .200s.

It might piss a lot of people off when the K or BA arguments come up, but they are legitimate arguments. When Dunn puts the ball in play good things happen. I'm not really sure why people don't mind when he doesn't put the ball in play.

MWM
06-19-2007, 11:07 PM
Well, if it's so feasible, I'd be interested to see some examples of high strike out power hitters in the history of the game who have been able to cut down on their strike outs; and what happened to their overall production. If I had the time I'd do the research myself, but my gut tells me we won't find a lot of power hitters who were able to significantly cut down on strike outs.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 11:08 PM
Just for kicks...why would that chain reaction have to happen? It seems like every time this conversation is initiated the following chain of events must be spelled out for the class:

Cutdown on strikeouts = significant change to hitting approach = less power

Like a "significant change to hitting approach" has to equal less power. I'm not sure why this is such a gimme. Maybe that "significant change" will lead to more power. Maybe it will lead to him hitting .300. Dunn was a .300 hitter in the minors with power. It's not like his whole life has been spent hitting in the lower .200s.

It might piss a lot of people off when the K or BA arguments come up, but they are legitimate arguments. When Dunn puts the ball in play good things happen. I'm not really sure why people don't mind when he doesn't put the ball in play.

Maybe it's just me, but hasn't he been "trying to cut down on his strikeouts" for about 4 years now? How's that working out?

IslandRed
06-19-2007, 11:10 PM
Just for kicks...why would that chain reaction have to happen?

You know, that's a fair point. I think the underlying assumptions go something like:

1. Dunn would be a better hitter if he struck out less
2. Dunn needs to change his hitting approach before he'll strike out less

So the logical conclusion is that the changes to his hitting approach would have the objective of reducing strikeouts, and the easiest ways to accomplish that usually sap a hitter's power.

But you're right, not all changes to his hitting approach would necessarily be to that end.

edabbs44
06-19-2007, 11:16 PM
Well, if it's so feasible, I'd be interested to see some examples of high strike out power hitters in the history of the game who have been able to cut down on their strike outs; and what happened to their overall production. If I had the time I'd do the research myself, but my gut tells me we won't find a lot of power hitters who were able to significantly cut down on strike outs.

Maybe it's not feasible. Who knows? But the argument isn't whether or not it is feasible, but rather whether or not Dunn would improve his production by striking out less.

Everyone automatically thinks it's a mortal lock that changing his hitting approach would turn him into Juan Pierre. I think that assumption is a tiny bit flawed. That's all I said.

vaticanplum
06-19-2007, 11:17 PM
Well, without getting into stats or the deep science of hitting (which I'm not qualified to speculate on, really) my first instinct is to say that wouldn't a serious attempt to make him a contact hitter mean that he'd be swinging a lot more? And I would think that would take away from his home runs regardless of the result the swinging brings him. One of the reasons Dunn is a power hitter is because he's a selective hitter. He waits until he has a fat pitch to hit. He doesn't get them enough not to strike out looking a lot. But if he were swinging more, he'd see even fewer.

edabbs44
06-19-2007, 11:32 PM
Well, without getting into stats or the deep science of hitting (which I'm not qualified to speculate on, really) my first instinct is to say that wouldn't a serious attempt to make him a contact hitter mean that he'd be swinging a lot more? And I would think that would take away from his home runs regardless of the result the swinging brings him. One of the reasons Dunn is a power hitter is because he's a selective hitter. He waits until he has a fat pitch to hit. He doesn't get them enough not to strike out looking a lot. But if he were swinging more, he'd see even fewer.

Swinging more doesn't really have much to do with it, IMO. He swings and misses plenty. If he put the bat on the ball in more of those instances, then he would probably improve his production.

RedsManRick
06-19-2007, 11:34 PM
Swinging more doesn't really have much to do with it, IMO. He swings and misses plenty. If he put the bat on the ball in more of those instances, then he would probably improve his production.

Presumably, Dunn is already swinging at the things he can hit well. It stands to reason that if he starts swinging at things he can't hit as well, he's not only going to put those balls in to play weakly, but he'll potentially be robbing himself of the opportunity to square one up on a pitcher he would've gotten later in the at bat.

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 11:40 PM
VP, when you make that trip to Kinkos and decide to print out that chart on glossy paper for framing, make sure you also print out your own post on that glossy paper beneath the chart and frame the whole darn thing.

;)

After you're done framing it, send it to Marty.

vaticanplum
06-19-2007, 11:43 PM
Swinging more doesn't really have much to do with it, IMO. He swings and misses plenty. If he put the bat on the ball in more of those instances, then he would probably improve his production.

I'd like to see stats on that (Dunn's strikeouts looking v. swinging). it seems to me that the second-most used phrase I hear out of Marty behind "titanic struggle" is "...and Adam Dunn never took the bat off his shoulder!!!"

Besides, if putting a bat to a ball you're already swinging at was that easy, why wouldn't more baseball players do it? Again, we're dealing with a fundamental approach to his hitting even if you're correct.

edabbs44
06-19-2007, 11:53 PM
Presumably, Dunn is already swinging at the things he can hit well. It stands to reason that if he starts swinging at things he can't hit as well, he's not only going to put those balls in to play weakly, but he'll potentially be robbing himself of the opportunity to square one up on a pitcher he would've gotten later in the at bat.

That's a pretty bold assumption. That he is "already swinging at the things he can hit well." I'd be willing to bet that there are some pitches he doesn't swing at that he could have gotten a hold of and also some that he swings at which aren't strikes.

But that happens to every player. No one is perfect.

What about this, though?

Dunn's career ratios: 1 K for every 3 AB and 1 HR for every 14.19 AB. Career .895 OPS.

After the count reaches 0-1, he has a 1/2.31 K/AB ratio and 1/18.7 HR/AB ratio. Career OPS after the count reaches 0-1? .696.

Why not change the approach at this point? Tell him "Adam, if the count is 1-0 on you, feel free to swing for the stars. But if you fall into a 0-1 hole, shorten up that swing. You turn into Juan Pierre after the count reaches 0-1, so you might as well try something new."

OldRightHander
06-19-2007, 11:54 PM
If I were coaching him, I would tell him to be as selective as he wants to be and to rip away when he sees one he likes. Sure, he misses a fair number of the ones he swings at, but he mashes a fair number of them as well. I just wish more folks could enjoy watching him do what he does best.

I remember as a wee one watching the BRM that I would hear folks criticize Foster for striking out a lot too. Of course the team was winning, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but he still caught flak about it. Then Eric Davis caught the same ire as well. Now that both of them are former players, all I seem to hear is people talking about how lucky they were to have seen them play. Years from now after Dunn is retired, people will say the same things. They will be telling their children about how they saw him play and about what a great power hitter he was. Cincinnati fans never really appreciate a player while he's here as much as they do after he's gone, unless he's Charlie Hustle Jr.

edabbs44
06-19-2007, 11:56 PM
I'd like to see stats on that (Dunn's strikeouts looking v. swinging). it seems to me that the second-most used phrase I hear out of Marty behind "titanic struggle" is "...and Adam Dunn never took the bat off his shoulder!!!"

Besides, if putting a bat to a ball you're already swinging at was that easy, why wouldn't more baseball players do it? Again, we're dealing with a fundamental approach to his hitting even if you're correct.

So if he is looking at too many strikes then he should swing more. I don't follow the logic. If he is looking at too many strikes, start swinging the bat. What's the big change of approach he will have to undergo? Swinging at pitches which might be a cm off the center of the plate instead of splitting the plate?

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 12:09 AM
What about this, though?

Dunn's career ratios: 1 K for every 3 AB and 1 HR for every 14.19 AB. Career .895 OPS.

After the count reaches 0-1, he has a 1/2.31 K/AB ratio and 1/18.7 HR/AB ratio. Career OPS after the count reaches 0-1? .696.

Why not change the approach at this point? Tell him "Adam, if the count is 1-0 on you, feel free to swing for the stars. But if you fall into a 0-1 hole, shorten up that swing. You turn into Juan Pierre after the count reaches 0-1, so you might as well try something new."

You're missing the context.

Here's the ratios you need to put alongside Dunn's for the proper context ...

Total: 1 K for every 5.80 PAs and 1 HR for every 40.68 PAs with a .736 OPS.

After 0-1: 1 K for every 3.99 PAs and 1 HR for every 49.03 PAs with a .629 OPS.

That's the National League as a whole. The point? What happens to Dunn after 0-1 happens to most everybody after 0-1.

Context is important.

edabbs44
06-20-2007, 12:17 AM
edit

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 12:18 AM
Well, if it's so feasible, I'd be interested to see some examples of high strike out power hitters in the history of the game who have been able to cut down on their strike outs; and what happened to their overall production. If I had the time I'd do the research myself, but my gut tells me we won't find a lot of power hitters who were able to significantly cut down on strike outs.

I haven't looked at this in-depth, but I've glanced these types of things over from time to time. I've found exactly one power hitter with moderate or high strikeout totals who reduced his strikeouts while simultaneously increasing his production.

That dude entered tonight with 748 career home runs.

A few others I've noticed ...

Mike Schmidt cut his strikeouts down a bit, but his production remained the same rather than improving
Harmon Killebrew cut his strikeouts down a little bit, and the only increase in production he saw was a few more walks, nothing more.
Lou Gehrig cut down his strikeouts a bit, but he was never a high strikeout hitter to begin with. Ironically, Gehrig's best season (1927) was also his highest ever strikeout season.

Your question posed to those who think it's feasible for Dunn to cut down on his strikeouts is a great one, though, and I'd definitely love to see some people present some of these hitters. Other than that dude currently sitting on 748 home runs, I haven't found any power hitters with moderate or high numbers of strikeouts who were able to cut down on their strikeouts and improve offensive production.

edabbs44
06-20-2007, 12:23 AM
You're missing the context.

Here's the ratios you need to put alongside Dunn's for the proper context ...

Total: 1 K for every 5.80 PAs and 1 HR for every 40.68 PAs with a .736 OPS.

After 0-1: 1 K for every 3.99 PAs and 1 HR for every 49.03 PAs with a .629 OPS.

That's the National League as a whole. The point? What happens to Dunn after 0-1 happens to most everybody after 0-1.

Context is important.

Dunn isn't paid like most everybody and is more talented than most everybody in the NL. He should perform better than most everybody in the NL.

It's kind of ridiculous to compare Dunn to the whole NL. If it is acceptable for him to perform like the average NLer, then maybe he should be paid like it and then use the saved money elsewhere.

Dom Heffner
06-20-2007, 12:29 AM
One of the reasons Dunn is a power hitter is because he's a selective hitter. He waits until he has a fat pitch to hit. He doesn't get them enough not to strike out looking a lot. But if he were swinging more, he'd see even fewer.


My thing is this: other hitters have done it, so it can be done.

The only problem is that this may be Dunn's game and he's unable to change it.

But for me, it is possible to make more contact without cutting the power. That doesn't mean that he has to become an 87% contact hitter, but improving a bit would definitely cut down outs and give him a jump in production.

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 12:29 AM
Dunn isn't paid like most everybody and is more talented than most everybody in the NL. He should perform better than most everybody in the NL.

It's kind of ridiculous to compare Dunn to the whole NL. If it is acceptable for him to perform like the average NLer, then maybe he should be paid like it and then use the saved money elsewhere.

Now you've missed the point. In fact, you're not even in the same ball park as the point.

If you're going to try criticize Dunn for an apparent wrong approach in your mind and a dropoff in production after an 0-1 count, then it stands to reason that those numbers should be placed in their proper context against the rest of the league. You've tried to identify what you feel is a problem with Dunn's game, but now you refuse to accept the fact that what happens to Dunn in those situations happens to just about everyone else, except for maybe ... Albert Pujols.

Every hitter deserves to have their statistics evaluated in the proper context, whether it's Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, Scott Hatteberg, Juan Castro, or anybody else.

All you're doing is reaching for some statistic to try to prove a point that likely doesn't exist, because the proper context in this specific situation shows that it doesn't exist. Instead, what you should be doing is looking for all the objective data, place it in a proper context, and then evaluate the results.

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 12:34 AM
My thing is this: other hitters have done it, so it can be done.

The only problem is that this may be Dunn's game and he's unable to change it.

But for me, it is possible to make more contact without cutting the power. That doesn't mean that he has to become an 87% contact hitter, but improving a bit would definitely cut down outs and give him a jump in production.

As MWM inquired already ... who has done it?

vaticanplum
06-20-2007, 12:49 AM
Dunn isn't paid like most everybody and is more talented than most everybody in the NL. He should perform better than most everybody in the NL.

Your baseball-focused arguments have already been addressed, but I'll take a stab at this one. Talent can't be quantified so I'll leave that alone. Regards salary, though, there are 21 players in the National League (in itself a significantly lower-paid leage than the AL) making more money than Adam Dunn this year. That's almost an entire roster. This list of 21 includes such players as Mike Hampton, Rafael Furcal and Pedro Martinez, all of whom are currently on the DL and so not presently performing significantly better than Adam Dunn. The list also includes Scott Rolen, Shawn Green and Billy Wagner. Todd Helton makes 50% more money than Dunn; is he really 50% better than Dunn? And right behind Dunn, within $500,000, are Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, and Freddy Garcia (also on the DL). Dunn regularly plays above 160 games a year; I doubt that ANY of the men ahead of him on the salary list have played as many games as he has through the last three seasons.

The salary argument is quite a porous one in my opinion. It's dependent on a number of factors besides talent, including service time, makeup of the team, and agent employed. Do you honestly think that Dunn, consistently among the top 1-3 on his team in terms of VORP and simple production, is worth less to his team than any of the men listed above?

jojo
06-20-2007, 01:00 AM
Talent can't be quantified so I'll leave that alone.

OMG it so can too.... :D

pedro
06-20-2007, 01:06 AM
OMG it so can too.... :D

I think what VP meant is the existence of talent above and beyond an individual players typical performance.

A lot of people assume b/c Adam Dunn hasn't improved it's b/c he doesn't want to or won't work for it. That's based on the assumption that he has untapped talent. OTOH, perhaps he hasn't improved b/c he's already tapped what talent he has. We'll just never know.

jojo
06-20-2007, 01:06 AM
I think what VP meant is the existence of talent above and beyond an individual players typical performance.

A lot of people assume b/c Adam Dunn hasn't improved it's b/c he doesn't want to or won't work for it. That's based on the assumption that he has untapped talent. OTOH, perhaps he hasn't improved b/c he's already tapped what talent he has. We'll just never know.

I was teasing.

RedsManRick
06-20-2007, 01:07 AM
Of the people better than Dunn, how many make less and are of equal or greater service time?

OldRightHander
06-20-2007, 01:07 AM
OMG it so can too.... :D

I think what she means is that at times you have a player who has all the "talent" in the world, but through lack of a good work ethic, laziness, or a host of other reasons, never seems to put it all together. Then you have other players who weren't exactly blessed with as many physical skills who are very successful. Hard work and determination can go a long way toward success. It is difficult to quantify raw talent, so I'd rather just measure results.

Dom Heffner
06-20-2007, 01:16 AM
As MWM inquired already ... who has done it?


My apologies. What I mean is, other players are doing it. There are players that have the same power as Dunn but who do not hit for such a paltry average.

I realize the question is can Dunn become that player, and I'm with you- we'd be asking him to become something he's not and something nobody else has done.

I think I'm in the minority of Red's fans who takes Dunn for what he is: a guy with loads of power who walks a lot and hits for a low average. I don't need a player's production to come by a certan means- as long as he produces, it's all good.

That town runs everybody out from Boomer to Eric Davis.

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 01:25 AM
My apologies. What I mean is, other players are doing it. There are players that have the same power as Dunn but who do not hit for such a paltry average.

I realize the question is can Dunn become that player, and I'm with you- we'd be asking him to become something he's not and something nobody else has done.

I think I'm in the minority of Red's fans who takes Dunn for what he is: a guy with loads of power who walks a lot and hits for a low average. I don't need a player's production to come by a certan means- as long as he produces, it's all good.

That town runs everybody out from Boomer to Eric Davis.

I'm with you there. If a guy produces, I like him. It doesn't matter which manner he produces; production itself is what's important for me.

You're right that other players do hit for power, hit for average, and strike out far less. Of course, those players are exceptionally rare, and not many guys are able to do what they can. That's why guys like Pujols are just total freaks of nature. We all want a Pujols, but there's only one Pujols and a small handful of guys close to a Pujols. I think a lot of Reds fans have a difficult time comprehending this, and they loathe Dunn because he can't become a Pujols-like player. That's just simply a shame, IMO.

But what's important, and what you've keyed in on, is a guy like Dunn still brings something to the table that is rare and not many guys can do what he does. Unfortunately, too many Reds fans aren't satisfied with what he does bring to the table and have a misguided belief that he doesn't produce.

Mario-Rijo
06-20-2007, 01:45 AM
As MWM inquired already ... who has done it?

Derek Lee?

From 2000-2004 he avg. 134.5 K's per season


In the spring of '05 it was chronicled that he made a slight adjustment in his approach. It seems he had a hole that allowed pitchers to get him out inside. He adjusted and took away the hole.

2005 109 K's

And as we know it turned him into the hitter he was in '05 and beyond (of course he only had 177 ab's in '06 with the wrist injury) but since he has been quite dominant.


IMO Dunn's K's are an issue but only because I don't believe like alot of folks here that he is what he is, I believe he can be better. And the fact that he hasn't is the sore point I have with both him and the organization. He has not been supplied with very good coaching and I think in turn he has lost some confidence and desire.

I have been preaching for the last couple of years that he needed to get those hands down, and lo and behold the hitting coach comes in and moves his hands down. Of course I think they need to go further down because his bat speed isn't on par with upper echelon guys and therefore he isn't getting around on slightly above avg FB's when the count doesn't necc. call for a FB.

.223 Avg Vs. "Power Pitchers" (Power pitchers strike out or walk more than 28% of batters faced)

.244 Avg Vs. "Nuetral Pitchers"

.275 Avg. Vs. "Finesse Pitchers" (Finesse pitchers strike out or walks less than 24% of batters faced)

Now I don't know what the league avg. is for these different categories, but I'm willing to bet that guys who are considered to be "Annual All-Stars" are hitting anywhere from 20-30 points higher in all of these categories. Basically his #'s are coming from guys who exclusively depend on contact to be successful, if not for those guys he wouldn't be hitting enough to even be on the field.

jojo
06-20-2007, 01:47 AM
I think what she means is that at times you have a player who has all the "talent" in the world, but through lack of a good work ethic, laziness, or a host of other reasons, never seems to put it all together. Then you have other players who weren't exactly blessed with as many physical skills who are very successful. Hard work and determination can go a long way toward success. It is difficult to quantify raw talent, so I'd rather just measure results.

I think I understood her point. She makes pretty good ones quite often and this one raises an interesting issue IMHO. Is it really raw talent that is unrealized because of a poor work ethic? Or is it that scouts overestimated his ceiling and we ascribe the difference between their dreams and the reality that is Dunn as unrealized takent due to poor work ethic?

I hope that came out correctly...

redsrule2500
06-20-2007, 01:55 AM
I think Thom annoys everyone because he says what everyone DOESN'T want to say, but is thinking.

Good example, right now, he just openly complained about the Reds NEVER making it easy to win a game. ("it is never, ever, ever , ever, ever easy")

It annoyed me, but honestly, that's what I was thinking. I guess I want a George Grande... lol

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 01:55 AM
Derek Lee?

From 2000-2004 he avg. 134.5 K's per season


In the spring of '05 it was chronicled that he made a slight adjustment in his approach. It seems he had a hole that allowed pitchers to get him out inside. He adjusted and took away the hole.

2005 109 K's

And as we know it turned him into the hitter he was in '05 and beyond (of course he only had 177 ab's in '06 with the wrist injury) but since he has been quite dominant.

Well ...

Lee had a PA/K ratio of 4.75 from 2000-2004. Over 600 plate appearances, that's 126 strikeouts.

In 2006-2007, Lee has a PA/K ratio of 5.13. Over 600 plate appearances, that's 117 strikeouts.

Nine strikeouts in 600 plate appearances isn't at all a significant improvement. His 109 strikeouts in 691 plate appearances in 2005 so far seems to be a fluke happening that he's showing he's unable to repeat (sort of like Dunn's 2005 compared to his 2004, 2006, and 2007).


IMO Dunn's K's are an issue but only because I don't believe like alot of folks here that he is what he is, I believe he can be better. And the fact that he hasn't is the sore point I have with both him and the organization. He has not been supplied with very good coaching and I think in turn he has lost some confidence and desire.

I have been preaching for the last couple of years that he needed to get those hands down, and lo and behold the hitting coach comes in and moves his hands down. Of course I think they need to go further down because his bat speed isn't on par with upper echelon guys and therefore he isn't getting around on slightly above avg FB's when the count doesn't necc. call for a FB.

.223 Avg Vs. "Power Pitchers" (Power pitchers strike out or walk more than 28% of batters faced)

.244 Avg Vs. "Nuetral Pitchers"

.275 Avg. Vs. "Finesse Pitchers" (Finesse pitchers strike out or walks less than 24% of batters faced)

Now I don't know what the league avg. is for these different categories, but I'm willing to bet that guys who are considered to be "Annual All-Stars" are hitting anywhere from 20-30 points higher in all of these categories. Basically his #'s are coming from guys who exclusively depend on contact to be successful, if not for those guys he wouldn't be hitting enough to even be on the field.

2007 NL

vs. power pitchers = .238/.315/.381/.695
vs. neutral pitchers = .260/.329/.414/.743
vs. finesse pitchers = .275/.335/.426/.761

Power pitchers are typically the league's better pitchers, which is why they have better success against most hitters, including Dunn.

FWIW, I agree with you that the coaching Dunn has been supplied while with the Reds has been less than impressive.

OldRightHander
06-20-2007, 02:00 AM
I think I understood her point. She makes pretty good ones quite often and this one raises an interesting issue IMHO. Is it really raw talent that is unrealized because of a poor work ethic? Or is it that scouts overestimated his ceiling and we ascribe the difference between their dreams and the reality at is Dunn as unrealized takent due to poor work ethic?

I hope that came out correctly...

However it came out, I think I see what you're saying. Scouts might occasionally exaggerage a player's talent? No, that never happens.

jojo
06-20-2007, 02:12 AM
However it came out, I think I see what you're saying. Scouts might occasionally exaggerage a player's talent? No, that never happens.

Well since it is a Moneyball related thread, Michael Lewis suggests a scout's job is to look at a player's tools and dream about what the player could become. There's a good deal of wiggle room there for the honest, sincere dream to be sweeter than the true ceiling for a variety of reasons.

As Steel pointed out earlier, it's not like Dunn has missed the projections in a flame-out fashion. The Reds have no reason to feel jipped by his production over the years they've controlled him when placing him in the context of his fellow LFers.

Mario-Rijo
06-20-2007, 02:21 AM
Well ...

Lee had a PA/K ratio of 4.75 from 2000-2004. Over 600 plate appearances, that's 126 strikeouts.

In 2006-2007, Lee has a PA/K ratio of 5.13. Over 600 plate appearances, that's 117 strikeouts.

Nine strikeouts in 600 plate appearances isn't at all a significant improvement. His 109 strikeouts in 691 plate appearances in 2005 so far seems to be a fluke happening that he's showing he's unable to repeat (sort of like Dunn's 2005 compared to his 2004, 2006, and 2007).

FWIW, I agree with you that the coaching Dunn has been supplied while with the Reds has been less than impressive.

I don't know if it's fair to suggest that just yet, he only had 204 PA's in '06 and everyones prone to a slump especially when you are not being pitched too. Then his pretty severe wrist injury occured. Also take into account he had an extremely long off-season and has only had 278 PA's thus far. I'm not necc. saying 278 is not enough but whose to say it is?

I was just tossing that out there though as someone who did decrease there K's (albeit perhaps small) and increased production by leaps and bounds. And anybody who has seen him swing a bat pre-'05 and then after it's pretty apparent that '05 and since was/is no fluke. He's a completely different hitter, no doubt about it.

However the important thing to note isn't so much his K's but moreso his production since making a slight adjustment. Dunn may not need to change his approach to improve, he just needs to make it tougher for guys to K him when they absolutely have to.


2007 NL

vs. power pitchers = .238/.315/.381/.695
vs. neutral pitchers = .260/.329/.414/.743
vs. finesse pitchers = .275/.335/.426/.761

Power pitchers are typically the league's better pitchers, which is why they have better success against most hitters, including Dunn.


Yes I know, he has brought his hands down some this year. But is it possible to find out what the league avg for these categories are for the years that Dunn has been in the league?

Mario-Rijo
06-20-2007, 02:26 AM
In 2006-2007, Lee has a PA/K ratio of 5.13. Over 600 plate appearances, that's 117 strikeouts.

Wait a sec that's not right he hasn't had over 600 PA's since the start of '06. You almost got me there. :p:;) it's actually 482 I believe.

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 02:30 AM
As Steel pointed out earlier, it's not like Dunn has missed the projections in a flame-out fashion. The Reds have no reason to feel jipped by his production over the years they've controlled him when placing him in the context of his fellow LFers.

In the casual fans' eyes (important distinction here), I think Dunn's 2001 season pretty much resulted in screwing himself over with creating expectations.

I remember the 2001 season vividly. Dunn started off by absolutely destroying AA pitching to a tune of .343/.449/.664/1.113. The Reds ... stunk. Dunn was then promoted to AAA and subsequently destroyed AAA pitching to the tune of .329/.441/.676/1.117. The Reds ... stunk.

The daily pressure from the press and fan base to call up Dunn during that 2001 season was insane. Dunn was the offensive threat to pair up with Griffey. Dunn was a guy who was going to deliver the goods. Dunn was ... the savior. This all sounds similar to another super-hyped player this season, doesn't it?

Then Dunn was finally promoted in July to a roaring applause, and while his batting average dipped in the majors, he still hit 19 home runs to go alone with his 32 minor league home runs. It was then that the expectation for Dunn almost seemed to morph into he should develop into a .300 hitter who hits 50 home runs a season. When it became apparent over the next few years that Dunn wasn't going to do that, the fan base turned on him and has essentially highlighted his faults while seemingly ignoring his qualities.

The sad thing is we've seen the same thing happen with Homer Bailey now over the past year. To the casual fan (another important distinction), Bailey has absolutely dominated the minors. Bailey threw up a 1.59 ERA in Chattanooga last season, then a low 2ish ERA for Louisville this season. The expectation from the casual fan base will probably be that Bailey should eventually turn into a sub 3 ERA pitcher for the Reds. If he doesn't develop into that, it will be interesting at what point the fan base turns on him too. They probably won't turn on him to Dunn proportions, but I bet there will be disappointment abound if Bailey puts up 3.50-4ish ERAs.

The torches and pitchforks crowd in Cincinnati will always have a victim.

Cyclone792
06-20-2007, 02:37 AM
I don't know if it's fair to suggest that just yet, he only had 204 PA's in '06 and everyones prone to a slump especially when you are not being pitched too. Then his pretty severe wrist injury occured. Also take into account he had an extremely long off-season and has only had 278 PA's thus far. I'm not necc. saying 278 is not enough but whose to say it is?

I was just tossing that out there though as someone who did decrease there K's (albeit perhaps small) and increased production by leaps and bounds. And anybody who has seen him swing a bat pre-'05 and then after it's pretty apparent that '05 and since was/is no fluke. He's a completely different hitter, no doubt about it.

However the important thing to note isn't so much his K's but moreso his production since making a slight adjustment. Dunn may not need to change his approach to improve, he just needs to make it tougher for guys to K him when they absolutely have to.

Lee is a different hitter now than he was then, and his adjustments have turned him into a different hitter because he's now able to hit the ball harder with more frequency and with more power.

However, his strikeout numbers alone since the beginning of 2006 aren't really any different than they were in 2004 and earlier. If Lee's strikeout rates in 2006 and 2007 were similar to his 2005 levels, then you'd probably be on to something here. But his 2006-07 strikeout rates are considerably closer to his 2000-04 levels than his 2005 levels. Baseball players have aberration seasons all the time, even with strikeouts. Unless Lee is able to trend back toward his 2005 strikeout rates in 2007 and beyond, then his 2005 strikeout total will be simply another of many anomalies.


Yes I know, he has brought his hands down some this year. But is it possible to find out what the league avg for these categories are for the years that Dunn has been in the league?

http://www.baseball-reference.com has all the league average splits for those categories for probably every season in the last 40+ years. ;)

BCubb2003
06-20-2007, 05:06 AM
Just to be a troublemaker, isn't a strikeout the only out that has the potential to add a runner to the total already on base?

edabbs44
06-20-2007, 06:53 AM
Now you've missed the point. In fact, you're not even in the same ball park as the point.

If you're going to try criticize Dunn for an apparent wrong approach in your mind and a dropoff in production after an 0-1 count, then it stands to reason that those numbers should be placed in their proper context against the rest of the league. You've tried to identify what you feel is a problem with Dunn's game, but now you refuse to accept the fact that what happens to Dunn in those situations happens to just about everyone else, except for maybe ... Albert Pujols.
Every hitter deserves to have their statistics evaluated in the proper context, whether it's Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, Scott Hatteberg, Juan Castro, or anybody else.

All you're doing is reaching for some statistic to try to prove a point that likely doesn't exist, because the proper context in this specific situation shows that it doesn't exist. Instead, what you should be doing is looking for all the objective data, place it in a proper context, and then evaluate the results.

That's where you are wrong. You are using the cumulative average of the NL. So what happens to Dunn doesn't "happen to everyone". I'm sure most players become somewhat less effective when the count reaches 0-1, but not useless like Dunn. Like Lance Berkman. .799 OPS. Or Sheffield. .785 OPS.

So don't say it happens "to everyone." Because it doesn't. Everyone might become less effective, but they don't turn into Juan Castro.

mth123
06-20-2007, 06:54 AM
In the casual fans' eyes (important distinction here), I think Dunn's 2001 season pretty much resulted in screwing himself over with creating expectations.

I remember the 2001 season vividly. Dunn started off by absolutely destroying AA pitching to a tune of .343/.449/.664/1.113. The Reds ... stunk. Dunn was then promoted to AAA and subsequently destroyed AAA pitching to the tune of .329/.441/.676/1.117. The Reds ... stunk.

The daily pressure from the press and fan base to call up Dunn during that 2001 season was insane. Dunn was the offensive threat to pair up with Griffey. Dunn was a guy who was going to deliver the goods. Dunn was ... the savior. This all sounds similar to another super-hyped player this season, doesn't it?

Then Dunn was finally promoted in July to a roaring applause, and while his batting average dipped in the majors, he still hit 19 home runs to go alone with his 32 minor league home runs. It was then that the expectation for Dunn almost seemed to morph into he should develop into a .300 hitter who hits 50 home runs a season. When it became apparent over the next few years that Dunn wasn't going to do that, the fan base turned on him and has essentially highlighted his faults while seemingly ignoring his qualities.

The sad thing is we've seen the same thing happen with Homer Bailey now over the past year. To the casual fan (another important distinction), Bailey has absolutely dominated the minors. Bailey threw up a 1.59 ERA in Chattanooga last season, then a low 2ish ERA for Louisville this season. The expectation from the casual fan base will probably be that Bailey should eventually turn into a sub 3 ERA pitcher for the Reds. If he doesn't develop into that, it will be interesting at what point the fan base turns on him too. They probably won't turn on him to Dunn proportions, but I bet there will be disappointment abound if Bailey puts up 3.50-4ish ERAs.

The torches and pitchforks crowd in Cincinnati will always have a victim.

Exactly.:clap:

Highlifeman21
06-20-2007, 08:06 AM
Just to be a troublemaker, isn't a strikeout the only out that has the potential to add a runner to the total already on base?

Depending on how many outs, and where the runners are on base, sure.

Theoretically a pitcher could have way way way more than 27 K in a complete game thanks to the dropped 3rd strike rule.

Heck, there have been pitchers that have had 4+ Ks in 1 inning.

dabvu2498
06-20-2007, 09:02 AM
To quote everyone's favorite book, from Moneyball, Chapter 8: "Scott Hatteberg, Pickin' Machine," page 171 of the hardback edition:


His talent for avoiding strikeouts was another of his secondary traits that, in the Oakland calculus, added value, subtly, to Scott Hatteberg. The strikeout was the most expensive thing a hitter could do. There had been a lie at the heart of the system to train the A's minor league hitters. To persuade young men to be patient, to work the count, to draw walks, to wait for the pitcher to make a mistake that they could drive out of the park, the A's hitting coaches had to drill into hitters' heads the idea that there was nothing especially bad about striking out. "For a long time I think they believed that a strikeout was no different from making any other out," said Paul [DePodesta]. "But it is."

From there it goes on to talk about how, ideally, a hitter wouldn't have to change approaches to avoid strikeouts, but that it would "come naturally," ideally.

Unfortunately there's no more discussion of why DePodesta, and presumably the A's as a whole, felt that a strikeout is the "most expensive" thing a hitter can do and why they are different from other outs.

Just wanted to throw that out there.

jojo
06-20-2007, 09:24 AM
That's a pretty bold assumption. That he is "already swinging at the things he can hit well." I'd be willing to bet that there are some pitches he doesn't swing at that he could have gotten a hold of and also some that he swings at which aren't strikes.

But that happens to every player. No one is perfect.

What about this, though?

Dunn's career ratios: 1 K for every 3 AB and 1 HR for every 14.19 AB. Career .895 OPS.

After the count reaches 0-1, he has a 1/2.31 K/AB ratio and 1/18.7 HR/AB ratio. Career OPS after the count reaches 0-1? .696.

Why not change the approach at this point? Tell him "Adam, if the count is 1-0 on you, feel free to swing for the stars. But if you fall into a 0-1 hole, shorten up that swing. You turn into Juan Pierre after the count reaches 0-1, so you might as well try something new."


But that's an unwise approach because these opportunities can all follow an 0-1 outcome (with Dunn's career splits for each):

1-1: .390/.400/ .859 OPS: 1.259
2-1: .421/.428/.803 OPS: 1.231
3-1: .380/.770/.930 OPS: 1.700

Here is a recent thread on pitch count and leverage (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57416&highlight=jojo+value+strike).

If nothing else it suggests splits like performance after 0-1 or after 1-0 counts are uninformative because they are too blunt (i.e. there are too many subsequent roads to dramatically different leverage counts). Importantly, it's not strike one that gives the pitcher leverage and it would be unproductive for Dunn (actually it would be disastrous) to concede his approach at the plate on such a count.

Cyclone is dead on with his criticism. The majority of hitters have a worse after 0-1 split than an after 1-0 split. It's a rare hitter that doesn't. That's because more PAs end up in a pitcher's leverage count after 0-1 than after 1-0. It's doesn't seem fair to criticize Dunn for that-in a way it's like criticizing humans for not being able to breathe underwater. Basically if you find one that can, tip your cap and say wow.

edabbs44
06-20-2007, 09:43 AM
[U]Cyclone is dead on with his criticism. The majority of hitters have a worse after 0-1 split than an after 1-0 split. It's a rare hitter that doesn't. That's because more PAs end up in a pitcher's leverage count after 0-1 than after 1-0. It's doesn't seem fair to criticize Dunn for that-in a way it's like criticizing humans for not being able to breathe underwater. Basically if you find one that can, tip your cap and say wow.

But there is a difference. I'm not talking about getting worse. That's understandable. But having a .695 OPS after going 0-1 is basically turning into Juan Castro. There is a difference.