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The Operator
08-14-2010, 11:59 PM
I've been meaning to start this since the Cardinals series but I just got around to it.

Over the last few years, and especially here lately - I feel like Welsh has been and is growing into one of the finest color commentators in the game. I've especially noticed it since The Reds brought Thom on board, maybe Chris feels more himself around Thom. Maybe he held back in respect to George. I don't know.

A few things have stuck out to me though. A few years ago, he and Thom were discussing a Reds player, I believe it was Adam Dunn - and Thom was just berating Adam because of his low average and high strikeout numbers. Impossible to imagine, I know. Then Chris chimed in that Dunn's value comes mostly from his plate discipline and his ability to watch pitches he knows he can't hit, while waiting on one he can. He then praised Adam's on base skills and ended with "I like those guys that don't make outs." That really impressed me.

Fast forward to The Cardinals series and something REALLY jumped out at me. He was talking to Paul Keels and they were discussing Jon Jay and his lofty batting average. Chris then came in with one of the best drop-ins a color guy has ever had, that I've witnessed. Chris Welsh explained that there's a stat that measures "batting average of balls in play" and based on that stat, he expected Jon Jay to cool down a bit as time went on. But that based on the same metric, he expected a guy like Brandon Phillips to continue at his current pace.

The BABIP part simply floored me. I felt like I was literally listening to some of the more respected stat gurus from this forum talking through Chris' voice.

Maybe it's just me, but I think we've got ourselves a highly intelligent and highly underrated TV man in "The Crafty Lefthander".

As an aside, 'ya think he reads RedsZone?

marcshoe
08-15-2010, 12:12 AM
I agree. I mentioned on another thread that Welsh has become one of my favorite color guys period. He's a student of the game, and he's not afraid to grow.

Crosley68
08-15-2010, 12:13 AM
I think he has come into his own since George left. I am not a George basher, I just felt that the tone was more cheerleader than commentator with George.

VR
08-15-2010, 12:22 AM
I've watched a few of the tech talks recently. Chris does an extremely good job on those.

sabometrics
08-15-2010, 12:23 AM
I agree Chris is very underrated imo. He's very good at taking the "other side" in any talking point that the PBP guy for that day makes, as you have pointed out. If Thom/Keels/whoever makes a criticism he always has the understanding to play the devils advocate and explain why say Dusty does something that is unpopular.

He's also very adept at continuing on after Keels completely botches something during a broadcast. It's a miracle that I can actually make it through a whole game that Keels does and Chris is the reason for that.

Playadlc
08-15-2010, 02:12 AM
Well said, TO. I am a huge fan of Chris Welsh. We are lucky to have him.

OesterPoster
08-15-2010, 07:46 AM
Plus, he's nice to have around as a lefty tossing batting practice. :) When the Reds were going to be facing a lefty in Chicago, Welsh was out there throwing BP to the guys. When he was done, he changed out of his Reds gear and was back out on the field wearing his Fox Sports stuff.

OnBaseMachine
08-15-2010, 09:15 PM
I agree with what everyone has said in this thread - Chris Welsh is very underrated. I like that he seems to value OBP and OPS and understands what BABIP is. He's one of the better color guys around, IMO.

Edskin
08-15-2010, 09:53 PM
Not to pile on George Grande (he seems like an extremely kind man), but I think his departure has allowed more actual baseball talk in the booth and tad less of the hokey, "smiling side of the scoreboard" type conversation.

In the past, I thought I could almost sense a frustration from Welsh when George would drift into nostaglia and the like. Not the biggest fan of Thom, but I do believe he maintains the flow of the game and allows Welsh to shine.

BCubb2003
08-15-2010, 10:03 PM
I'll never forgive him for the thing about "rally killers" but yes, he's underrated and a real plus as an analyst.

Edskin
08-15-2010, 10:43 PM
I'll never forgive him for the thing about "rally killers" but yes, he's underrated and a real plus as an analyst.

There is a chance this will derail the intent of the thread, but I'll continue to defend Welsh on that...to an extent at least.

If the Reds are losing 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th and there are two outs and a man on 1st, I would rather the batter in that situation draw a walk or hit a single than hit a HR.

I truly believe a pitcher would be more likely to tighten up with runners on than if the bases had been cleared.

My reasoning

1) Human nature. Something "cleansing" about a clean slate on the bash paths :)

2) Ego. Pitchers like their numbers. If a pitcher gives up a two run HR, I think he might actually loosen up a bit, knowing he's already had a poor statistical outing. Now he knows he just needs to get this batter out and end it.

3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.

In the end, I don't truly believe that a HR before the game is tied or won, "kills" a rally...but I do think there is some credence to what Welsh is getting at there, I really do.

RedsManRick
08-16-2010, 12:42 AM
3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.

There is a greater frequency of walk/HR than HR/HR, but that's primarily because walks are so much more common. Treating the two as a combo doesn't really make sense, as the events are essentially independent. The first plate appearance has little impact on the outcome of the second. That is to say, the likelihood of the 2nd batter hitting a home run is not substantially different after walk (bases loaded) than after a homer (bases empty). And, even if it were more likely, that difference wouldn't have to, on average, make up the difference of having 3 runs already scored vs. 3 guys still on base.

It's a bit myopic, preferring a minor increase in the chance of a specific outcome occurring over maximizing the value of the full set of possibile outcomes. You increase the chance of that specific thing happening at the cost of more runs on average. It's the same sort of logic that has managers shooting for a bunt, sac fly combo rather than letting 2 of their best hitters hit.

Sure, guys generally hit better with runners on base than without. But 1000's of games have shown us that teams are more likely to score 4+ runs with 3 in the bank and a guy at the plate than they are with those 3 still on the bags.

Anyway, to the point of the thread, I too was a bit taken aback by Welsh's deft use of BABIP. He went in to just enough detail to explain it without making it the least bit confusing to anybody with 1/2 a brain. It's funny, so many of the "new" sabermetric concepts are really just affirmations of some long held wisdom.

Reds Freak
08-16-2010, 02:40 PM
I agree with what everyone has said in this thread - Chris Welsh is very underrated. I like that he seems to value OBP and OPS and understands what BABIP is. He's one of the better color guys around, IMO.

IIRC, a few years ago he did a couple games on the radio with Marty and was very good at play-by-play. I always thought it should be Thom and Brantley on the TV side and Marty and Welsh on the radio...

Caveat Emperor
08-16-2010, 03:06 PM
IIRC, a few years ago he did a couple games on the radio with Marty and was very good at play-by-play. I always thought it should be Thom and Brantley on the TV side and Marty and Welsh on the radio...

He did one this year too, a few weeks back. Did a very nice job, from what I recall.

Welsh is a strong presence in the booth who usually provides solid analysis without getting in the way. He's a lot better than most jocks about fallling into the namedropping routine and/or turning into an apologist for the players.

Miss the 'stash, though.

Chip R
08-16-2010, 03:43 PM
There is a chance this will derail the intent of the thread, but I'll continue to defend Welsh on that...to an extent at least.

If the Reds are losing 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th and there are two outs and a man on 1st, I would rather the batter in that situation draw a walk or hit a single than hit a HR.

I truly believe a pitcher would be more likely to tighten up with runners on than if the bases had been cleared.

My reasoning

1) Human nature. Something "cleansing" about a clean slate on the bash paths :)

2) Ego. Pitchers like their numbers. If a pitcher gives up a two run HR, I think he might actually loosen up a bit, knowing he's already had a poor statistical outing. Now he knows he just needs to get this batter out and end it.

3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.

In the end, I don't truly believe that a HR before the game is tied or won, "kills" a rally...but I do think there is some credence to what Welsh is getting at there, I really do.


The name of the game is to score more runs than the opposition. A HR is an automatic run. Even a bases loaded single isn't an automatic run. We've seen Cordero wiggle out of enough jams with runners on that just putting runners on base doesn't automatically mean a run - or several - will score. If your're down 3, back-to-back-to back HRs ties the game. So much for killing rallies there. I understand the thinking behind solo HRs being rally killers but it's shortsighted thinking.

WMR
08-16-2010, 03:53 PM
Which is worse, a rally-killing HR or a base-clogging walk?

Nasty_Boy
08-16-2010, 03:53 PM
Huge fan of Welsh as a color guy... And I agree that since George left he has really felt free to add more analysis and not as many puppies and sunshine stories. I think he makes the effort to study the stats and give people a modern side of baseball that they may not get from the radio or if they don't visits sites like Redszone. I like listening to him and Thom, but I'm a huge fan of him and Keels... although many on here don't agree.

KronoRed
08-16-2010, 04:01 PM
Which is worse, a rally-killing HR or a base-clogging walk?

Put those together, you get a 2 run rally killing home run.

Oh the humanity.

BuckeyeRedleg
08-16-2010, 05:36 PM
Agree that Welsh is very underrated. He makes the broadcasts tolerable.

I remember meeting him one night back 10 years or so. We were sitting in the Cincinnati Bell box at Riverfront/Cinergy and he came in and introduced himself. He was very personable.

Earlier that day the rumor was that the Reds were going to sign an old veteran starter (James Baldwin maybe). I asked him what he thought about the possible pick up and he said something like, "That's just Jimbo throwing $--t against the wall to see what sticks."

I thought it was cool how candid he was with us.

By the way, what's the deal with the "Creeper" reference and how did I miss that?

RANDY IN INDY
08-16-2010, 05:57 PM
I like Welsh. He is very insightful and has a good presence in the booth.

The Operator
08-16-2010, 06:11 PM
Earlier that day the rumor was that the Reds were going to sign an old veteran starter (James Baldwin maybe). I asked him what he thought about the possible pick up and he said something like, "That's just Jimbo throwing $--t against the wall to see what sticks."

That's awesome. I get the feeling that JimBo was never too popular among those who worked for/with The Reds.


By the way, what's the deal with the "Creeper" reference and how did I miss that?

I could be wrong, but I think it's poking fun at his fastball. I don't think he was known for his velocity.

Redsfan320
08-16-2010, 06:18 PM
Hope you like his PBP, too.

From arkimadee of the Sun Deck, from Cincinnati.com


New Reds TV duo

Reds fans will see a new TV team when the team plays in Colorado Sept. 6-8, as analysts Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley call the game. So far this year, each has worked only with play-by-play announcers Thom Brennaman or Paul Keels.

320

The Operator
08-16-2010, 06:52 PM
I could see that being a pretty fun set of games with those two behind the mic.

It could also be an unmitigated disaster, but we shall see.

top6
08-16-2010, 07:47 PM
I could see that being a pretty fun set of games with those two behind the mic.

It could also be an unmitigated disaster, but we shall see.

I'm not sure I see how these two outcomes are different.

Ron Madden
08-17-2010, 04:28 AM
Put those together, you get a 2 run rally killing home run.

Oh the humanity.

Are you sayin' a team can score runs without getting a hit with runners in scoring position and not hitting a sacrifice fly? :confused:

Ron Madden
08-17-2010, 04:38 AM
I like Welsh. He is very insightful and has a good presence in the booth.

I agree. Chris is very good doing the color commentary on TV and/or radio.
Heard him do PBP on radio a couple times and thought he did a fine job. Welsh is much better than Brantley.

GAC
08-17-2010, 04:58 AM
I simply echo the sentiments about Welsh already stated.

Did anyone by chance listen to Marty about a week ago, when the banana phone was going during a rain delay, and a caller ask him why he doesn't step over into the booth and do more TV? Marty said it was because FSO is cheap and wants him to do it for free, and he don't do nothing for free. LOL

redsmetz
08-17-2010, 06:26 AM
The name of the game is to score more runs than the opposition. A HR is an automatic run. Even a bases loaded single isn't an automatic run. We've seen Cordero wiggle out of enough jams with runners on that just putting runners on base doesn't automatically mean a run - or several - will score. If your're down 3, back-to-back-to back HRs ties the game. So much for killing rallies there. I understand the thinking behind solo HRs being rally killers but it's shortsighted thinking.

Chip, I think a bases loaded single can automatically mean a run. Ain't nowhere to put that boy. :)

RFS62
08-17-2010, 07:15 AM
I always thought the whole "rally killer" thing was more about keeping the pitcher in a stretch and the defense tighter with men on base.

Chip R
08-17-2010, 09:49 AM
Chip, I think a bases loaded single can automatically mean a run. Ain't nowhere to put that boy. :)


Not necessarily. Guy from 3rd might get thrown out at the plate. Of course then it's scored as a fielder's choice but the point stands.

bucksfan2
08-17-2010, 11:06 AM
I always thought the whole "rally killer" thing was more about keeping the pitcher in a stretch and the defense tighter with men on base.

I agree. I think at times a bases clearing HR can clean the slate for a pitcher. It can allow a pitcher to work more freely and not worry about a runner on base. It can allow the defense to shift back into normal positioning.

I am more inclined to agree with Welsh considering that he was a relief pitcher who pitched in tight situations and has first hand knowledge of what situational baseball is all about.

FWIW I think Welsh has done a great job lately. I don't know if saber will ever be fully brought into the broadcasters booth because of the complexity, but I think Welsh does a great job of using and describing more advanced stats. His use of BABIP was fantastic because every Average Joe could understand what he was talking about. Now if Welsh had used UZR or UZR/150 that would be a different story.

Caveat Emperor
08-17-2010, 02:25 PM
I always thought the whole "rally killer" thing was more about keeping the pitcher in a stretch and the defense tighter with men on base.

And, really, half that argument is lost once you get to the bullpen, where lots of guys pitch exclusively out of the stretch.

Hoosier Red
08-17-2010, 03:00 PM
I always thought the whole "rally killer" thing was more about keeping the pitcher in a stretch and the defense tighter with men on base.

I think the whole Rally Killer discussion misses the point. I don't think anyone would begrudge someone for hitting a solo home run but it's not a rally. That doesn't mean it's not useful. Solo Home runs count for one run. That's an excellent thing to have, and in fact a lot of rallies, or potential rallies don't plate one run even.
But I would guess a pitcher feels a lot more pressure and strain from an inning where he gives up a couple base hits and a walk before getting a double play and a popout to only give up one run than he would if he gave up a solo home run and then got three outs.

That said, I think Chris' comment was more about feeling than about actual empirical data. If a pitcher gives up a solo home run, I don't know if he's actually more or less likely to give up additional hits and walks later in the inning than if he doesn't. I'm guessing Chris didn't have any data on that either.