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Thread: The Reds & and the new DH debate

  1. #226
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    I don't get the position of some posters that the only tactical difference between DH-ball and baseball occurs during a pitcher's turn to bat.

    Because the pitcher is such a weak hitter, apart from scoring runs the offensive team is trying to turn over the lineup and avoid having the pitcher lead off the next inning. On the other side of the coin, the defensive team would love to have the pitcher's spot leading off the next inning, but obviously not at the expense of giving up runs.

    I like thinking about the decisions as they are being made while the bottom half of the order is batting and how the might impact that secondary goal. Add the unknown of whether the manager might remove his pitcher in order to improve his odds of scoring and you have enough variables to keep the most analytic person busy.
    I guess I feel that every batter is trying to avoid making an out every time up, regardless of whether there is a DH or not.

    But you're right, there's a greater impact that the pitchers' at bat.
    We often get to watch the #8 hitter get pitched around when men are in scoring position, because the pitcher is a much easier out to record.
    I guess I don't consider it exciting when Hannigan walks so the opposing pitcher can pitch to our pitcher. It's maybe exciting in the 2 games per year when our pitcher lucks into a hit, but most of the time, it's tedious.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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  3. #227
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    I guess I feel that every batter is trying to avoid making an out every time up, regardless of whether there is a DH or not.

    But you're right, there's a greater impact that the pitchers' at bat.
    We often get to watch the #8 hitter get pitched around when men are in scoring position, because the pitcher is a much easier out to record.
    I guess I don't consider it exciting when Hannigan walks so the opposing pitcher can pitch to our pitcher. It's maybe exciting in the 2 games per year when our pitcher lucks into a hit, but most of the time, it's tedious.
    But when the #7 guy gets on first with 2 outs should he try and steal? What if there is also a runner on third? Under what circumstances would have the #7 hitter bunt? Does the pitcher challange or work around the #8 hitter - does he try to eliminate any chance of giving up a run this inning or does he set up the next inning with the pitcher leading off? There are a lot of decisions to be made even in the early innings that are directly related to the fact that the pitcher is hitting.

  4. #228
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    What if pitchers learned to hit?

  5. #229
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    But when the #7 guy gets on first with 2 outs should he try and steal? What if there is also a runner on third?
    Under most circumstances, no he should not try to steal, because that means the #8 hitter will be walked to get to the pitcher.

    Under what circumstances would have the #7 hitter bunt?
    Almost never. I can't think of a time when he should, because again.. if he successfully bunts, the #8 hitter will be walked because there's an open base.
    Let's say there's zero outs. Bunt successful. #8 walked. Pitcher gets out.
    Now you've gone from a man on first and no outs (run expectancy = .941) to 1st and 2nd, 2 outs (Run expectancy .471).. Of course, with one or more out, it makes even less sense to bunt.. Now granted, the pitcher is likely an automatic out, so it's not completely fair to use run expectancy, but the bottom line is that the #7 hitter should always try to get on base if the pitcher is going to hit.


    Does the pitcher challange or work around the #8 hitter - does he try to eliminate any chance of giving up a run this inning or does he set up the next inning with the pitcher leading off? There are a lot of decisions to be made even in the early innings that are directly related to the fact that the pitcher is hitting.

    It almost depends on the score of the game. If it's a close game, the #8 hitter is almost always pitched around. If the pitcher has a lead, he will challenge the #8 hitter.

    I guess I don't see how there's a lot of heavy thinking in these scenerios.. When I watch the games, it almost always seems to end up with the same decision, regardless of who is managing.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  6. #230
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Maybe there's a stat for that, but this one isn't it. Around 40% of all games would be non-competitive by this measure. And of course there are more NL games than AL games (2 extra teams).
    Turns out baseball is often boring in both leagues... expressed as a percentage of total games, 42% of AL games were decided by > 4 runs over the last decade while 41% of NL games were decided by > 4 runs.

    Regardless, I don't think the difference between the two leagues is great enough to support a bold statement that AL games are noticeably less competitive than NL games.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  7. #231
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    I like the NL game if only because the pitcher batting gives the game more shape. In AL games, I'm often losing interest in the middle innings. The question of when the pitcher is going to come out simply isn't a topic of conversation. But with the factor of him hitting and that being a prime opportunity to make a strategic move, it adds an element that the AL game just doesn't have.

    As for watching pitchers hit. I like having that reminder of just how hard it is to play the game. It makes watching a guy like Votto all the more enjoyable while also creating a fun "root for the underdog" moment a few times a game.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  8. #232
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I don't expect to change anyone else's mind, but I hate the DH. If the DH is made universal, baseball will get significantly less of my attention and my money. This is not an idle threat. I will hold this grudge effectively. And you can't really call me a "traditionalist" for feeling this way, because the DH has been in effect since 1 was one years old. It's been a reality since I became aware of baseball, and the more I learn about baseball, the more I don't like it.

    Scarcity is interesting on a macro level. When conditions of scarcity exist, decisions have to be made. Decisions are interesting. Those of you who say it's less interesting on a micro level to watch a pitcher hit than to watch a good position player hit are correct; however, this has a highly positive effect on the macro level. Even if I have to suffer through a couple at-bats per night from a starting pitcher, I like the fact that if the hitters in your starting lineup fail to score runs, your ace pitcher might have to come out of the game in the 7th inning. It's a team sport, after all.

    The way the game is now, if you fail to field a balance team, your team gets punished. Punishment is awesome:

    Punishment: If your team can't score runs, and if your starting pitcher (like 99% of starting pitchers) can't hit either, he might have to get pinch hit for in the late innings

    Punishment: If you have a slugger who's a butcher with the glove, then he should be forced to humiliate himself and amuse the rest of us by having to play the field.

    Bud Selig is going to retire in the next few years (I assume), and this issue is one of the only things I care about in terms his successor. I could live with a 2 or 3 year work stoppage in exchange for another 40-50 years in which the Reds get to play DH-free baseball. Let me put it another way:

    I'd be just fine with Mahmoud Abedinejad as the next commissioner of baseball, so long as he will prevent expansion of the DH.

    As an aside, I think the importance of field goal kicking has hurt football immensely. I think it's absurd that a specialized skill which is so removed from the essence of the game can decide whether a team wins or loses a championship. If I were king of the world in football, anyone who hadn't appeared in one of the prior 3 plays from scrimmage would not be allowed to kick the ball.

    As another aside, I am highly skeptical of the post above which said that the Red Sox would not have won the World Series in 2004 were it not for the DH. If the DH wasn't an option, Ortiz would have played 1B more often (btw, he started 31 games there in 2004). And they would have been fine. He's not a great defender, but Miguel Cabrera isn't a great 3B either. The Tigers did okay this year.

    I could also argue (probably correctly) that if Edgar Martinez played in the NL he would have played 3B and or 1B, he would have won several batting titles, nobody would really notice his subpar defense (heck, he might have even improved over time), and he'd be in the Hall of Fame now.
    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I like to play poker... I like to play poker without wild cards.

    The DH is baseball's equivalent of the wild card.

    You may like it I don't.

    Let's remember that some of us don't like wild cards
    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    For the price of watching a pitcher hit a couple of times a game, I receive in return:

    -More competitive (fewer early inning blowouts), closer and shorter games.
    -Fewer mid-inning pitching changes (very boring-still too many for my taste)
    -More complex game strategy.

    The frustration of seeing my team's pitcher fail at bat in a early inning situation, is offset by relief when the opposing pitcher does likewise and my team can stay in a game that may be otherwise blown open.

    -I admit that in DH-less baseball it is more difficult to surmount a large deficit. But then those large deficits are more common with a DH hitting instead of auto-out pitchers.

    -I also admit that the DH gives a shot to some experienced hitters to get playing time that they may not otherwise get. Those ABs can be fun to watch.

    Overall however, for me, the entertainment experience of the NL game is far superior. I really hope the DH is not adopted.
    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    But when the #7 guy gets on first with 2 outs should he try and steal? What if there is also a runner on third? Under what circumstances would have the #7 hitter bunt? Does the pitcher challange or work around the #8 hitter - does he try to eliminate any chance of giving up a run this inning or does he set up the next inning with the pitcher leading off? There are a lot of decisions to be made even in the early innings that are directly related to the fact that the pitcher is hitting.
    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I like the NL game if only because the pitcher batting gives the game more shape. In AL games, I'm often losing interest in the middle innings. The question of when the pitcher is going to come out simply isn't a topic of conversation. But with the factor of him hitting and that being a prime opportunity to make a strategic move, it adds an element that the AL game just doesn't have.

    As for watching pitchers hit. I like having that reminder of just how hard it is to play the game. It makes watching a guy like Votto all the more enjoyable while also creating a fun "root for the underdog" moment a few times a game.


    Nice work, guys. Many others too, didn't want to quote them all.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  10. #233
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    One good thing about the DH is that it's a dandy way to stir the pot. If discussion over beers is getting slow, just throw out "I think the DH is great/sucks". Next thing you know, you've got the Huegenot Rebellion on your hands.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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  12. #234
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    One guy is such a lousy hitter that it becomes a "strategy."

  13. #235
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    How about a designated tackler on kickoffs/punts in the NFL? As soon as the ball is kicked the weak kicker sprints off the field and is replaced by a real defensive player who suddenly becomes "the last man to beat"?

    I kid of course but I do favor the pitcher hitting. Why? No good reason.

    Pitchers typically stink as hitters, and I'm fine with that. Mock if you must, but I enjoy how that does often throw a wrench into things. And on the flipside, it's fun to see a noodle-bat pitcher help himself out. I totally get that others feel differently and that's ok.

  14. #236
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    From a purely anectdotal perspective, I think the NL stands to lose more fans by adopting the DH than the AL stands to lose by dumping it. The value of the DH has been debated most of my life since I was born 2 years before it's adoption. In all the dicussions I've been involved in, I've heard a lot of NL fans say they would stop watching baseball if the DH were adopted. I've also heard lots of AL fans say they like the DH, but never have I heard them say they would quit watching baseball if the AL did away with it. Would those NL fans quit? Maybe, maybe not. But they'll definitely be upset. It's never a good idea in business to make changes likely to upset a significant portion of your core consumers unless the benefits significantly outweigh the costs. From what I can see, the slight benefits of the DH on scoring don't justify risking fans choosing to spend less money on baseball because they're mad at you.

    Adopting the DH in the NL would be a "New Coke" move.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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  16. #237
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    For me personally, I've grown up with NL-style baseball. The AL is foreign to me, like turkey bacon. It may look and smell like bacon, but it's not bacon.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  17. #238
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Trajinous View Post
    What if pitchers learned to hit?
    Championships Matter.
    23 Years and Counting...

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  19. #239
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    One guy is such a lousy hitter that it becomes a "strategy."
    Part of the strategy, variation adds to strategy.

    Would chess be more or less interesting if pawns were given the power of queens?
    Last edited by puca; 03-20-2013 at 08:42 AM.

  20. #240
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    Re: The Reds & and the new DH debate

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Under most circumstances, no he should not try to steal, because that means the #8 hitter will be walked to get to the pitcher.
    I disagree. If the #8 hitter has little extra base power it actually might be a good strategy to steal.

    The runner on 1st will not score from first anyhow without an extra base hit. Even if the #8 hitter gets a single or walks, by your reasoning the pitcher will end the inning. On the other hand if your #8 hitter makes an out, which he will 70% of the time, the pitcher will be leading off the next inning which is a big disadvantage. Again using your assumption that the pitcher is an automatic out the run expectancy of the next inning goes from .54 (0 on 0 out) to .29 (0 on 1 out) with the pitcher leading off.

    If you successfully steal and the #8 hitter is walked and the pitcher makes the last out you lead off the next inning with the top of the order thus improving your run expectancy. Even if the runner is caught stealing, you lead off the next inning with the #8 hitter. That at least gives you a 30% chance that there will be a runner on base when the pitcher bats so he can advance the runner during his 'automatic out'.


    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Almost never. I can't think of a time when he should, because again.. if he successfully bunts, the #8 hitter will be walked because there's an open base.
    Let's say there's zero outs. Bunt successful. #8 walked. Pitcher gets out.
    Now you've gone from a man on first and no outs (run expectancy = .941) to 1st and 2nd, 2 outs (Run expectancy .471).. Of course, with one or more out, it makes even less sense to bunt.. Now granted, the pitcher is likely an automatic out, so it's not completely fair to use run expectancy, but the bottom line is that the #7 hitter should always try to get on base if the pitcher is going to hit.
    Run expectancy is way out of whack when dealing with the bottom of the order. If you count the pitcher as an automatic out then the run expectancy of 1 on 0 out and the #7 hitter up is much less than .941 - but you sort of conceded that fact already. I basically agree with your last point - if you are not willing to pinch hit for your pitcher then you probably don't bunt. However that decision point along with the penalty of doing it, only exists if there is no DH.


    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    It almost depends on the score of the game. If it's a close game, the #8 hitter is almost always pitched around. If the pitcher has a lead, he will challenge the #8 hitter.
    If it is not a close game then it really isn't that exciting anyhow (at least to me). Anyhow I disagree that it is so cut and dried because of the option, and associated penalty, of pinch hitting for the pitcher and the relative advantage/disadvantage of having the pitcher's spot leading off the next inning.

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    I guess I don't see how there's a lot of heavy thinking in these scenerios.. When I watch the games, it almost always seems to end up with the same decision, regardless of who is managing.
    I don't think you are watching (or listening) carefully enough then. Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker often made very different in-game managing decisions.
    Last edited by puca; 03-20-2013 at 08:58 AM.


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