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Thread: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

  1. #61
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    Not that I disagree, but it's still really hard for me to wrap my head around why pitcher K's are such a big deal then.
    There are several reasons, I will touch upon a couple here.

    Strikeouts and walks are essentially the only things the pitcher has control over*. Once a ball is hit the outcome is up to the hitter, while the pitcher has very little to no influence on it. The defense and ballpark exert their influence as well of course.

    Pitchers have very little if any control over their BABIPs, and have only a small amount of control over their home run rates. Hitters have a lot of control over their BABIPs and almost complete control over their home run rates. Hitters also have a lot of control over their walk rates. So hitters can do things that compensate for strikeouts. In major league baseball, high strikeout players outproduce low strikeout players in general, which is counter-intuitive for most people.

    All the best pitchers have excellent K/BB rates, while almost all the worst pitchers have poor K/BB rates. Strikeout rate is a nearly infallible predictor of whether or not a pitcher is good or bad.

    Many of the best hitters strike out frequently. Many of the worst hitters rarely strike out. Strikeout rate is not a good predictor of whether or not a hitter is good or bad.

    * Pitchers have some control over their GB:FB ratio, but that doesn't have too much effect on their overall results in terms of ERA, certainly nowhere near as much as their K/BB ratio (or K%-BB%).

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    I'd rather have production then skill.
    We all would. Right?
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    We all would. Right?
    Then I'm not sure what Brutus is arguing about
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Absolutely and utterly untrue. It doesn't come anywhere near cancelling out.

    For starters, forceouts are immaterial because it's no different than a strikeout. But double plays don't come close to equaling the number of bases taken on hits and 'productive' outs.

    For instance: last year, the reds lost 100 baserunners because of double plays. However, the Reds also had 166 productive outs, reached on 63 errors and took an extra base 212 times on hits. That doesn't account for all the baserunners and hitters moving up the requisite bases on the hits themselves.

    The possibility of a double play doesn't come close to invalidating all the good that happens when the ball is put in play.
    Come on man, you know that is not how it works. This stuff has all been calculated and published a million times.

    You can't just add up the gain or loss in base runners or total bases, you have to factor in the huge value of the lost outs as well. A double play doesn't just eliminate an extra base runner -- it also wastes an extra out.

    What matters is not how often something happens, but rather its effect on the outcome of the game, measured in run values or expected runs. The double plays are less frequent than strikeouts but far more harmful to the team's run expectancy. The damage from these plays hurts the team a lot more than a "productive out" helps the team. You can't trade off one productive out for one double play. That is like saying that making a donation to your local homeless shelter will cancel out the bad karma from that murder you committed. One is much worse than the other was good.

    Not all double plays count as GIDPs either, in fact GIDPs are the least harmful double plays. You can line into a double play, possibly erasing a runner on 2nd or 3rd (which is worth far more than runner on 1st). You can also hit a fly ball that is caught by a fielder, then a runner tags up from 3rd and gets thrown out trying to score, which is far more harmful than multiple strikeouts. You also need to consider the fielder's choice plays where the lead runner was erased from 2nd or 3rd instead of retiring the batter, again these are far more harmful than a strikeout.

    When you add up all these possible scenarios, multiply them by their gains or losses in run expectancy, then multiply it by their frequency in real MLB games you get a chart that looks like this one: http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html or this one: http://insidethebook.com/ee/index.ph...lues_of_events

    It shows that strikeouts are worth -0.31 runs while contact outs in aggregate are worth -0.30 runs, which is an extremely insignificant and negligible difference.

    The "strikeouts are just another out" debate is old hat. This whole issue was settled long ago. Strikeouts are no more harmful than contact outs on average over a large sample size. Its a proven fact.
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    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 09-14-2013 at 07:41 PM.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    So in the macro, those high-strikeout guys that hit for power are valuable because they're going to create a lot of runs. But in the micro, the fact is the guys like Marco Scutaro have a ton of value because they're professional hitters that will put the ball in play and add a lot of hidden bases over the course of the season due to more hits and also more runners advancing. They're the guys that are more likely to create runs in tight situations with the game on the line.
    Is there some article about "hidden bases" I can read about? I don't doubt you necessarily, but I need to see it spelled out more. I've never seen anyone argue that Marco Scutaro is a better overall run creator than, say, Jay Bruce, but I won't discount it out of hand either.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Is there some article about "hidden bases" I can read about? I don't doubt you necessarily, but I need to see it spelled out more. I've never seen anyone argue that Marco Scutaro is a better overall run creator than, say, Jay Bruce, but I won't discount it out of hand either.
    See, this is Dusty's genius...peer pressure in 1-run 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

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Come on man, you know that is not how it works. This stuff has all been calculated and published a million times.

    You can't just add up the gain or loss in base runners or total bases, you have to factor in the huge value of the lost outs as well. A double play doesn't just eliminate an extra base runner -- it also wastes an extra out.

    What matters is not how often something happens, but rather its effect on the outcome of the game, measured in run values or expected runs. The double plays are less frequent than strikeouts but far more harmful to the team's run expectancy. The damage from these plays hurts the team a lot more than a "productive out" helps the team. You can't trade off one productive out for one double play. That is like saying that making a donation to your local homeless shelter will cancel out the bad karma from that murder you committed. One is much worse than the other was good.

    Not all double plays count as GIDPs either, in fact GIDPs are the least harmful double plays. You can line into a double play, possibly erasing a runner on 2nd or 3rd (which is worth far more than runner on 1st). You can also hit a fly ball that is caught by a fielder, then a runner tags up from 3rd and gets thrown out trying to score, which is far more harmful than multiple strikeouts. You also need to consider the fielder's choice plays where the lead runner was erased from 2nd or 3rd instead of retiring the batter, again these are far more harmful than a strikeout.

    When you add up all these possible scenarios, multiply them by their gains or losses in run expectancy, then multiply it by their frequency in real MLB games you get a chart that looks like this one: http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html or this one: http://insidethebook.com/ee/index.ph...lues_of_events

    It shows that strikeouts are worth -0.31 runs while contact outs in aggregate are worth -0.30 runs, which is an extremely insignificant and negligible difference.

    The "strikeouts are just another out" debate is old hat. This whole issue was settled long ago. Strikeouts are no more harmful than contact outs on average over a large sample size. Its a proven fact.
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    No it hasn't been settled and no it isn't a proven fact.

    Here are the facts: the Reds gained hundreds of net bases last year by putting the ball in play. They gained none when they struck out.

    No matter how hard you try, you can't spin that. Here's the total misnomer in your response about the value of an "out." What you're ignoring is that you are merely comparing all outs in-play to all strike outs. You're ignoring that errors aren't outs, sacrifices aren't included in the value of an out (as Tango includes them separately) and you're especially ignoring that merely putting the ball in play means 30% of the time, you're getting a hit.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-14-2013 at 07:58 PM.
    "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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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    I agree that a contact out can occasionally advance a runner and be a "productive out", which is a good thing. But that benefit is canceled out by the bad things that can happen when you make a contact out. These are the things people forget about when they preach the benefits of productive outs. Things like grounding into double plays, fielder's choice plays that eliminate a lead runner, liners that result in a runner being doubled-off, and fly balls that result in a runner tagging up and getting thrown out are all vastly more harmful than a strikeout would have been in that situation. When you factor in all the things (good and bad) that can happen by making a contact out it just so happens that contact outs on average are no more or no less harmful than strikeouts. This has been proven by adding up all the results of real major league games over each season. Over the course of any season or seasons of your choice, contact outs are not better than strikeouts.
    .
    I hear you. My point is, a strikeout has 0 chance to be productive. (unless, I suppose, a drop 3rd strike comes into play. So there is a teeny chance.)

    I believe the only more harmful out than a K is a double play, generally speaking. A FC that eliminates the lead runner isn't necessarily worse than a K. (Maybe the player that hit into the FC is faster than the original guy on base.)

    So the point there is, put the ball in play to have a chance. Yes, sometimes you'll hit into bad luck such as the line out that results in getting doubled off. But don't the stats also prove that line drives have a higher probability of being hits? So which is it? Is a line drive good or is a line drive bad? Your argument makes it sounds like a K is better than a line drive because the line drive might get caught and one of the runners might get doubled off.

    I know that's not what you are actually saying, but I just can't subscribe to the theory that not making contact is a better strategy than making contact.

    EDIT: I'd like to point out that this is an interesting debate, which is a refreshing turn of events from the purpose of the topic which was to hate on Dusty...again. I know many people are not fans of Dusty and that's fine. But now we're stretching for reasons to throw him out with the trash. The constant bashing isn't just excessive. It's boring.
    Last edited by Cant Touch This; 09-14-2013 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Add on
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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Of the 15 highest rate strikeout guys, 11 have an OPS over .750.
    Of the 15 lowest rate strikeout guys, 4 have an OPS over .750.
    Just asking, could you provide wOBA for those data sets?

    I'm conditioned to look beyond OPS, sorry.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Brutus nails it. When you make contact you get hits at your BABIP rate. THEN you have your outs which, yes, are equal to Ks but if you K you have ZERO chance of that hit. ONLY considering the effect of the out is a strikeout equivalent to any other out. Contact is far preferable. What the strikeout equals any out analysts ignore is the fact that making contact results in hits about 30% of the time on average. They are really analyzing only the damage caused by the outs when they do occur. In that case - outs are outs.

    Patrick Bateman is also correct, imo, Dusty's biggest problem is not that he doesn't understand hitting - he was very, very good hitter himself. It is that he is very, very poor at articulating his ideas and opinions. What he says and what he actually means get garbled. And he says things like "stat guys" that get people up in arms. Holy moly don't pick on the "stat guys". That alone will get you tossed out of the banquet hall. Those guys are a pack of rabid dogs protecting their junkyard.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Why should they be embarrased? Send the pitchers from today back to the 70's. Guys would be striking out 100+ times too. As someone who played the game for as long as he did, Dusty really should understand just how much better pitchers are today than ever before.

    Again, the Reds have two starters with breaking balls that they throw faster than the average fastball in the game 30 years ago. Guys are striking out more today? Of course they are. Look at how good the pitching is.
    So they should just accept it? They shouldn't be disappointed that they failed to get the job done? They shouldn't be embarrassed that they let their teammates down? They should act like it's par for the course? From my point of view, Dusty thinks that it should bother them...or at least it should appear to bother them...and he doesn't think it seems to.

    I've heard it said numerous times from sabermetric guys (and no, I'm not saying they all think like this...just that when I hear it it is from that group) that strikeouts are "just another out" and that strikeouts "only hurt your feelings". I'm sorry, but all outs are not created equal. And IMO a strike out is worse than any other type of out. Even a double play. You can score a run on a double play at least. (slightly exaggerated my point a bit...but not by much I don't think). A K with a man on 1st or with nobody on...not a huge deal. But a K with a man on 3rd? I'm sorry, that batter should be embarrassed doing that. Choke up, shorten your stroke, do anything you can do in that situation to put bat on ball and put the ball in play. Good things can happen...often.
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    It's begging the question to assume that putting the ball in play for the sake of contact will increase rather than decrease BABIP.
    "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

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    No it hasn't been settled and no it isn't a proven fact.

    Here are the facts: the Reds gained hundreds of net bases last year by putting the ball in play. They gained none when they struck out.

    No matter how hard you try, you can't spin that. Here's the total misnomer in your response about the value of an "out." What you're ignoring is that you are merely comparing all outs in-play to all strike outs. You're ignoring that errors aren't outs, sacrifices aren't included in the value of an out (as Tango includes them separately) and you're especially ignoring that merely putting the ball in play means 30% of the time, you're getting a hit.
    And they lost a ton of net bases with double plays and fielder's choices, plus a ton of outs too.

    Errors and sacrifices are certainly included in the calculus and given full credit for their contributions. You are obfuscating there. And all those hits are already included under the various types of hits in the chart. You want to count them twice? We have already shown how "merely putting the ball in play" does not improve one's offensive production at all (players who put the ball in play the most are outproduced by those who put the ball in play the least).

    There is no point in debating issues that were solved years ago. You don't have to admit you're wrong if you can't do it, but don't dig your hole even deeper than it already is.

    The stat experts have shown you are wrong. This isn't my theory, it is accepted fact in sabremetric circles. I am just trying to explain it to those who haven't been following sabremetrics for years and years. Some people are interested in learning something new to them.

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  21. #74
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    And they lost a ton of net bases with double plays and fielder's choices, plus a ton of outs too.

    Errors and sacrifices are certainly included in the calculus and given full credit for their contributions. You are obfuscating there. And all those hits are already included under the various types of hits in the chart. You want to count them twice? We have already shown how "merely putting the ball in play" does not improve one's offensive production at all (players who put the ball in play the most are outproduced by those who put the ball in play the least).

    There is no point in debating issues that were solved years ago. You don't have to admit you're wrong if you can't do it, but don't dig your hole even deeper than it already is.

    The stat experts have shown you are wrong. This isn't my theory, it is accepted fact in sabremetric circles. I am just trying to explain it to those who haven't been following sabremetrics for years and years. Some people are interested in learning something new to them.
    A fielder's choice is no different than a strikeout or flyball, so nothing is harmed if they ground into a force play

    But like I said: they gained at least 166 bases on productive outs and reached base on an error 63 times compared to just 100 double plays. Add in hits and all the bases taken on hits, and it's inarguable that it's not better to put the ball in play. That's absolute common sense and to argue otherwise is lacking it.

    The real problem here is when stubborn individuals don't understand what it is the research is telling them. This isn't about the value of a strikeout versus generic outs. This is about strikeouts versus putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play and account for everything that could happen, there is absolutely no argument. It's far, far, far better to put it in play.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-14-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Brutus nails it. When you make contact you get hits at your BABIP rate. THEN you have your outs which, yes, are equal to Ks but if you K you have ZERO chance of that hit. ONLY considering the effect of the out is a strikeout equivalent to any other out. Contact is far preferable. What the strikeout equals any out analysts ignore is the fact that making contact results in hits about 30% of the time on average. They are really analyzing only the damage caused by the outs when they do occur. In that case - outs are outs.
    You have a disconnect with reality there. You don't get a do-over on your strikeouts while keeping the outcome of all your good at-bats.

    If your theory were correct then why do the high strikeout hitters outproduce the low strikeout hitters? You have it completely backwards.

    Is Joey Votto's OBP higher than his BABIP? How about all the other good hitters? Why is that? If he were to make contact every single time he came to the plate his OBP would go down, not up.

    If he changed his approach and his swing to try and make contact every time how many home runs would he hit? More or less? Changing your approach and/or swing alters the results of all your ABs, not just the strikeouts. You can't isolate the strikeouts and change your approach on those alone.


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