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Thread: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Tom Verducci sez patience at the plate isn't working any more and Joey Votto is the poster boy. I figured RZ would have a few comments on this.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb...aking-pitches/

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Tom Verducci sez patience at the plate isn't working any more and Joey Votto is the poster boy. I figured RZ would have a few comments on this.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb...aking-pitches/
    Don't let Votto read it.
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Not sure who this guy is, he may be a brilliant baseball mind. But not a whole lot of substance to the article.

    Because joe hasn't been getting extra base hits for a 2 week period we r rethinking baseball strategy???

    Yawn .....

    Where's the data on how the league is doing as a whole in runs produced ( a larger sample size)
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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou1990 View Post
    Not sure who this guy is, he may be a brilliant baseball mind. But not a whole lot of substance to the article.

    Because joe hasn't been getting extra base hits for a 2 week period we r rethinking baseball strategy???

    Yawn .....

    Where's the data on how the league is doing as a whole in runs produced ( a larger sample size)
    He probably wasn't very wise to use Votto as an example, but he actually made some very compelling points about the trend as a whole. And like he pointed out, the run scoring has been going down for the past 5-6 years (although it's undeniable that PEDs might have something to do with that).

    Run scoring IS down. If you think about it, we praise pitchers for their ability to strike hitters out because it eliminates the chances of hits falling when in play. It doesn't make sense, then, why we wouldn't hope hitters put the ball in play for the opposite reason.

    His point, I think, is that hitters should not be taking pitches for the sake of taking pitches. Like the guys of old used to say, if you get a good one, sock it.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    It's not just that hitters are taking more pitches. They also are no longer being protective when they get two strikes. Up until the late 90's, hitters would choke up and just make sure they made contact once they got two strikes. Almost no one does that anymore, they swing from their heels with two strikes. I'd love to see some research in how that has effected run scoring.
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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    The game at its apex is driven by action.

    Action is best derived from the bat hitting the ball, it engages the fielders, it gives the batter a chance to get more than one base and its just plain fun.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Until he denounces the Verducci Effect (its inner workings) I label Verducci as a hack.

    Then he goes and judges Votto for his batting with runners on base over a 3 week period. (Admittedly he does complement him as well).

    I don't like it.
    Last edited by kaldaniels; 04-24-2013 at 01:52 AM.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The game at its apex is driven by action.

    Action is best derived from the bat hitting the ball, it engages the fielders, it gives the batter a chance to get more than one base and its just plain fun.
    I do agree it is more fun to watch aggressive hitters.

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    On a 1-0 count Joey Votto just got a RBI single to tie the game.
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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Interesting article.
    Not sure I 100% agree with him, but I admire him for having the courage to express a different viewpoint, and he attempted to support his argument.

    I had no idea the swinging percentage at strikes was going down every year in baseball.

    He also makes a solid point that good teams invest heavily in the bullpen now, so the strategy of running up pitch counts to get to the pen isn't necessarily a good one. (Look at our own Reds, the amount of resources we've devoted to the pen. The game has changed in that regard.. Bullpen pitchers are traded for potential everyday players.. that was almost unheard of in the 80's)
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Until he denounces the Verducci Effect (its inner workings) I label Verducci as a hack.
    I'm with you Kal.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    I think the best example of how taking a couple strikes just to be taking is bad for hitters is our estranged CF - Mr. Drew Stubbs. The guy just didn't seem to want to swing unless he absolutely had to. He'd take fat pitches, get behind in the count and then he was toast.

    I've been saying for a while that plate discipline isn't just about taking and seeing a lot of pitches. The purpose is to wait for a good pitch to hit. The less discussed portion of plate discipline is the part where you jump all over the fat one that finally comes. Guys like Ted Williams (and Babe Ruth before him) weren't taking because the goal was to get a walk. Their purpose was to wait until they got a pitch they could murder. Walks are a nice consolation prize that helps the team and rewards a guy for not getting himself out, but the purpose is to smack the snot out of the ball not to simply draw a walk.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post

    I've been saying for a while that plate discipline isn't just about taking and seeing a lot of pitches. The purpose is to wait for a good pitch to hit. The less discussed portion of plate discipline is the part where you jump all over the fat one that finally comes. Guys like Ted Williams (and Babe Ruth before him) weren't taking because the goal was to get a walk. Their purpose was to wait until they got a pitch they could murder. Walks are a nice consolation prize that helps the team and rewards a guy for not getting himself out, but the purpose is to smack the snot out of the ball not to simply draw a walk.
    Amen.
    I like the idea of Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch. It used to drive me nuts to see someone such as former Red Drew Stubbs take a down-the-middle, nothing fastball on a 3-0 count, only to eventually strike out. I'm not sure I would give Stubbs a swing away sign on 3-0, but I sure would tell Votto and Choo and Bruce and Phillips that if they get a 3-0 pitch that they can murder, go for it.
    Obviously this would depend upon the hitter and the situation. If a hitter has vitually no power, making a walk as good as a hit, or if the Reds are several runs down and just need baserunners, then maybe I tell the hittter to take. If the hitter has no plate discipline and will take a swing away sign as the okay to swing at anything, then I have him take. However if Votto is up and he gets a 3-0 pitch he can murder, I want him to try to murder it. Sometimes even the best hitters will fail to murder the pitch they should murder-it's a hard game-but I hate to see the one pitch they get in an at bat that they can really drill float by.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    His data refutes part of his own argument. In 93-98 the first pitch swing percentage stayed the same, but the K rate increased 1.8% (second most in his chart). Same thing happens in 2003-2008. From 88-93 the swing % dropped 2% (second highest), and the K% only went up 0.4% (second lowest increase on his chart). 98-2003 was even more drastic. The biggest reduction in first pitch swing actually led to a decrease in strikeouts. Pretty bad correlation.

    He also doesn't touch the fact that even though offense is decreasing right now, throughout much of that timeframe offense increased drastically. It is only in recent years offense has gone down. Yet strikeout rates increased from the 80's until now while offense was well up vs. the 80's.

    On top of all of that, he keeps using strikeouts. Yes, strikeouts are up, and the current approach to hitting is very much a part of that. Yet there is also a lot of data showing that strikeouts don't correlate too well to a reduction in offense. That is the biggest flaw in his whole argument.

    Finally, he uses data from this year for Votto. Complete joke. Any person in their right mind knows better than to make an argument based on a small sample size, especially for a player still recovering from an injury. Last year he slugged .673 with men on base (highest of his career), and that includes the end of the year where his slugging was way down due to injury.
    Last edited by scott91575; 04-24-2013 at 07:08 AM.

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    Re: SI Verducci: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    He probably wasn't very wise to use Votto as an example, but he actually made some very compelling points about the trend as a whole. And like he pointed out, the run scoring has been going down for the past 5-6 years (although it's undeniable that PEDs might have something to do with that).

    Run scoring IS down. If you think about it, we praise pitchers for their ability to strike hitters out because it eliminates the chances of hits falling when in play. It doesn't make sense, then, why we wouldn't hope hitters put the ball in play for the opposite reason.

    His point, I think, is that hitters should not be taking pitches for the sake of taking pitches. Like the guys of old used to say, if you get a good one, sock it.
    The problem is going deeper in the count is not a new trend. This idea was becoming a big part of baseball in the 90's. I remember being a part of that discussion, and I have a family member that played MLB in the 90's. His manager (I am not going to get into who it is) believed in taking the first pitch and working the count (I still remember watching games with my dad and him getting ticked how the entire team seemed to watch the first pitch every time). As we can see from the chart, this idea continued to grow into the 2000's. Yet it is not until recently that we have seen a reduction in runs. This not only doesn't even touch on causation, it doesn't even correlate if you look at 1990-2008. His numbers are cherry picked, and even then the basis for his argument (strikeouts means less offense) is poor. So not only does he not provide legit causation, he ignores obvious lack of correlation. Runs have simply returned to the level we saw commonly in the 80's despite the change in approach. Yet saying it doesn't help is also ignoring the improvements in pitching since then.

    What all this says to me is the approach offsets the improvements in pitching, and there was something else in the 90's into the late 2000's that caused an increase in offense. Yet I really don't want to rehash that argument.


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