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bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 09:57 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1166492/index.htm

Discuss....

paulrichjr
03-05-2010, 11:43 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1166492/index.htm

Discuss....
Thanks for posting. Now for discussion...

Excuse me? I had no idea. Any of you stat geeks know if this is true? I will say this.... Drew Stubbs might be a very valuable (and highly sought after) player over the next 6 years.


The new Moneyball player looks a lot like Boston's new centerfielder: fast, athletic, a slick fielder who even at age 37 and for $8 million a year is a bargain. "Mike Cameron played on two of the 10 best defensive teams of all time [the 2001 Mariners and the 1999 Reds]," says Blengino. "Every team he's played for has gotten better. Every team he's left collapsed when he left. No, Mike Cameron's not a Hall of Famer. But he's clearly a winning baseball player."

Cedric
03-05-2010, 11:45 AM
I can just add that watching Pokey, Larkin, and Cameron up the middle was amazing. That was the foundation for a great team.

They made Parris, Villone, and Tomko look like all stars.

George Anderson
03-05-2010, 12:00 PM
. "Mike Cameron played on two of the 10 best defensive teams of all time [the 2001 Mariners and the 1999 Reds],"."

I don't think they were better than the BRM or the Orioles teams of the late 60's and early 70's.

bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 12:09 PM
I read this article last night and found it interesting. As I have stated in other in other treads I think the defensive statistics have been given a little too much value. I just think they are too difficult to place an accurate number on as well as have an accurate sample size.

Now my thoughts on the article.

Seattle has become the new vogue franchise. Starting with their attentiveness to defense but they only won 85 games last season with a $100M + payroll.

They did have an impressive off season, and I do see that they are committing to pitching and defense, but it does help when you can sign or trade for prized FA's.

I do agree that defense is at the most importance is up the middle.

Is it Mike Cammeron or is it the teams he has been on. I believe David Justice had a pretty impressive run making the post season 10+ years in a row. Seems like Cammeron is a nice player, but the teams he has been on haven't been chumps either.

Not mentioned in the article is Seattle is not using a weight room this year. I wonder what will take its place and how that will work out. IMO in every sport weight training and conditioning is at the up most importance.

An interesting quote. To me when something becomes to the forefront the advantage is usually moot. So I am wondering where the next movement will be.


"Defense might be the new OBP," says Blengino, "but at some point it's going to be something else that will be underappreciated. It may be something that has nothing to do with the statistical perspective. A team that figures out how to get 250 innings out of a starter, for example, is going to have a huge advantage. Who knows what the next inefficiency in the marketplace is going to be."

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 12:15 PM
Will Carroll has been arguing for years that the next great market inefficiency to be exploited will be health related, particularly with pitchers and likely through different usage patterns.

paulrichjr
03-05-2010, 12:21 PM
Will Carroll has been arguing for years that the next great market inefficiency to be exploited will be health related, particularly with pitchers and likely through different usage patterns.

Everyone is going to be taught how to pitch like Tim Lincecum.

blumj
03-05-2010, 12:57 PM
Will Carroll has been arguing for years that the next great market inefficiency to be exploited will be health related, particularly with pitchers and likely through different usage patterns.
If a team could figure out how to keep their pitchers healthier than everyone else's, they'd rule MLB, until everyone else figured out how they were doing it and copied them.

edabbs44
03-05-2010, 01:29 PM
Will Carroll has been arguing for years that the next great market inefficiency to be exploited will be health related, particularly with pitchers and likely through different usage patterns.

Carroll might be conflicted in saying that.

RED VAN HOT
03-05-2010, 03:43 PM
I don't think Seattle is alone in emphasizing defense. The Reds have been moving in the same direction. I see zero tolerance for players who cannot field their positions. That is the primary reason I am not sanguine about Francisco's future with the Reds.

Teams have been overpaying for power hitters and power pitchers for years. HR's are glamorous and fill the seats. Large market teams are, however, becoming more selective in free agent signings. They still give expensive contracts, but they are cherry picking sluggers who are also good defenders. Power hitters who are not good defensively are having more trouble getting jobs. Instead of ponying up for these second tier HR hitters, a strategy that might temporarily appease the fan base while ultimately producing a disappointing season, mid and small market teams are investing in defense. Personally, I prefer seeing my team turn a sure hit into a double play to seeing a HR.

Many RZ'ers have been ready to dismiss Janish because of his poor offensive contribution. Will the team defense be as good with Cabrera? Perhaps, but it has not yet been proven. Despite a .211 average, the Reds were winning with Janish. It makes sense to me to keep Janish on the roster, give him an occasional start, and review the results as objectively as possible. A game winning hit is much more obvious than a gold glove caliber play in the early innings. Yet, each could decide a game.

jojo
03-05-2010, 04:12 PM
I don't think Seattle is alone in emphasizing defense.

You're right. They're building a team by emphasizing efficiency and maximizing impact.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 04:35 PM
If a team could figure out how to keep their pitchers healthier than everyone else's, they'd rule MLB, until everyone else figured out how they were doing it and copied them.

And yet, how much do you think teams spend on their training staff, facilities, and research each year? I'm guessing it's something in the neighborhood of the salary of 1 decent middle reliever.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 04:36 PM
Carroll might be conflicted in saying that.

Obviously he's got a selfish interest in teams spending more on injury analysis and research -- but that doesn't invalidate his point.

bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 04:42 PM
And yet, how much do you think teams spend on their training staff, facilities, and research each year? I'm guessing it's something in the neighborhood of the salary of 1 decent middle reliever.

Its what the market bears. Heck the POTUS makes less than 1 decent middle reliever.

FWIW if you want to advance the health and stamina, without PED's, you have to go all the way back to little league and high school. Get good coaches in high school who teach not only proper mechanics, but follow a pitching schedule that allows a pitcher to throw on a set schedule. You would have to go to the college ranks and make sure coaches didn't abuse pitchers as they advance through tournaments.

I think Nolan Ryan has a good idea, get rid of pitch counts, but that has to start very early in a players baseball career. But inevitably it all goes back to physics, the throwing motion is an un-natural violent motion. Unless you can create some kind of magic formula you will continue to see pitchers have arm injuries.

Mario-Rijo
03-05-2010, 04:42 PM
I've been harping on defense since I've been on RZ as have many others for just the reasons (amongst others) expressed in that piece. It was always real simple to me that it comes cheap and can help your team improve alot, why does it take these "genuises" so darn long to notice the obvious? I'd much rather watch/follow a team like the one we have now than the ones we had for the 1st half/three quarters of the decade. But I guess I am not in the majority as most people think the sport is too boring anyway.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 04:45 PM
Dave Cameron just posted on this issue over at fangraphs, but the point stands here given the Seattle observation and in light of comments I've heard from the Reds.

Winning baseball games is about scoring more runs than your opponents. Period. You do that through a combination of offense, defense, and pitching.

Smart teams don't choose one or two of those things to focus on and build a team around that concept. Rather, they ask themselves: "given our resources, what's the most production we can possibly get?"

In the early 2000's, one answer to that question was by looking at players whose OBP driven production was under-priced by the market. In 2010, it's looking at players whose defense driven production is under-priced by the market.

The smart teams recognize that while the question remains the same, the answer changes based on market inefficiencies leading to varying prices for sources of production. The dumb teams focus on a specific type of production and pay whatever price the market dictates -- and usually run out of money before they get enough of that production to put a winner on the field.

Mario-Rijo
03-05-2010, 04:48 PM
If a team could figure out how to keep their pitchers healthier than everyone else's, they'd rule MLB, until everyone else figured out how they were doing it and copied them.

Can't recall the former pitcher who thinks he has figured that out and no one seems to buy his goods. I remember he is based in Florida and his philosophy has something to do with mechanics.

Also the piece states that this trend started in Boston in '04, I would disagree with that. I think Minnesota has been the standard for this model for longer than that.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 05:08 PM
Can't recall the former pitcher who thinks he has figured that out and no one seems to buy his goods. I remember he is based in Florida and his philosophy has something to do with mechanics.

Also the piece states that this trend started in Boston in '04, I would disagree with that. I think Minnesota has been the standard for this model for longer than that.

Mike Marshall.

http://www.drmikemarshall.com/
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/marshmi01.shtml?redir

As a guy who pitched over 200 innings as a reliever and won a Cy Young in the process, there might just be something to his approach. The problem, I imagine, is that it's such a radical departure from normal that by the time gets on the radar of a major league team, you don't want to so radically change his mechanics.

Of course, Tim Lincecum is a perfect example (so far) of how the conventional thinking might just not be best. To say nothing about how the Asian's do it...

bucksfan2
03-05-2010, 05:27 PM
Dave Cameron just posted on this issue over at fangraphs, but the point stands here given the Seattle observation and in light of comments I've heard from the Reds.

Winning baseball games is about scoring more runs than your opponents. Period. You do that through a combination of offense, defense, and pitching.

Smart teams don't choose one or two of those things to focus on and build a team around that concept. Rather, they ask themselves: "given our resources, what's the most production we can possibly get?"

In the early 2000's, one answer to that question was by looking at players whose OBP driven production was under-priced by the market. In 2010, it's looking at players whose defense driven production is under-priced by the market.

The smart teams recognize that while the question remains the same, the answer changes based on market inefficiencies leading to varying prices for sources of production. The dumb teams focus on a specific type of production and pay whatever price the market dictates -- and usually run out of money before they get enough of that production to put a winner on the field.

I don't quite think that its the "smart" teams that have succeeded by using the defensive measures. The three main teams that were talked about were the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mariners. All three have payrolls over $100M and didn't exactly sign no hit all field players

The Yankees were talked about how they shifted to a defensive focus, but rather they signed the top 3 FA's last season (Tex being a GG defender) and the year before re upped with ARod who is a plus defender.

The Red Sox were able to trade Nomar because they had depth and offense elsewhere. IIRC Dave Roberts and Doug Mientkiewicz were defensive substitutions that played minimal rolls in the success. Although Dave Robert's antics in game 4 against the Yankees led to the WS championship.

The Mariners also didn't exactly sign bad baseball players because of D. Figgens was probably the top 3b on the market and Cliff Lee was CY Young caliber pitcher coming off a great playoff performance. Jack Wilson is really the only player who fits a defensive specialist model that is being lauded.

I really wonder if in this post-PED era an increased awareness to defense is a necessity. Guys just aren't putting up astronomical offensive numbers making defense more important.

edabbs44
03-05-2010, 06:00 PM
Obviously he's got a selfish interest in teams spending more on injury analysis and research -- but that doesn't invalidate his point.

But it raises questions as to his objectivity.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 06:15 PM
But it raises questions as to his objectivity.

Who cares why he raised the question/point? Ad hominem attacks only make sense when personal reputation is the only evidence for the legitimacy of the claim. Does the argument make sense on its merits? Yes, they do.

RedsManRick
03-05-2010, 06:24 PM
I don't quite think that its the "smart" teams that have succeeded by using the defensive measures. The three main teams that were talked about were the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mariners. All three have payrolls over $100M and didn't exactly sign no hit all field players

The Yankees were talked about how they shifted to a defensive focus, but rather they signed the top 3 FA's last season (Tex being a GG defender) and the year before re upped with ARod who is a plus defender.

The Red Sox were able to trade Nomar because they had depth and offense elsewhere. IIRC Dave Roberts and Doug Mientkiewicz were defensive substitutions that played minimal rolls in the success. Although Dave Robert's antics in game 4 against the Yankees led to the WS championship.

The Mariners also didn't exactly sign bad baseball players because of D. Figgens was probably the top 3b on the market and Cliff Lee was CY Young caliber pitcher coming off a great playoff performance. Jack Wilson is really the only player who fits a defensive specialist model that is being lauded.

I really wonder if in this post-PED era an increased awareness to defense is a necessity. Guys just aren't putting up astronomical offensive numbers making defense more important.

I think you missed my point -- this sentence was my thesis:

Smart teams don't choose one or two of those things (offense, defense, pitching) to focus on and build a team around that concept. Rather, they ask themselves: "given our resources, what's the most production we can possibly get?" Don't ignore the "given our resources" part of it. If the Yankees didn't take advantage of their cash advantage by securing the best free agents they'd be idiots. Same with the Red Sox's depth and the Nomar situation.

Though don't forget the Sox got Orlando Cabrera. Add in the defensive upgrade he was over Nomar to the differences in the way they hit post-trade and I'm not sure they didn't come ahead on the field between those two alone. Being able to plug in Doug M. at 1B in the late innings was icing on the cake.

Nomar: .297/.364/.455
Cabrera: .294/.320/.465

Maximizing production given available resources. That's the game. And a laser focus on a certain flavor of production or type of talent acquisition regardless of the current circumstances and the value those provide is the hallmark of a crappy organization.

RED VAN HOT
03-05-2010, 09:02 PM
One of the things I love about the game is that strategies never reach an equilibrium. As other teams change their approaches to building winners, the competitive environment changes and creates openings for new strategies.

Not to get too far off subject, but there is something that has always bothered me about offensive stats. I suspect that some players build their stats against bottom of the rotation starters and middle relievers. The presumption is that these things balance out....a relatively better power hitter is also relatively better against the top pitchers. But is this really true? A single HR in a 3-2 game against a #1 is more valuable than three HR's against a #5 in a 10-2 game. Are stats kept that measure HR productivity in relation to opposition ERA?