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

  1. #91
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus'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 AtomicDumpling View Post
    ...
    Yes or no, simple question: do you agree it's better to put the ball in play than not put the ball in play?
    "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

    Yes or no, simple question: do you agree it's better to put the ball in play than not put the ball in play?
    This is not a simple question as it is utterly devoid of context.

    What is the macro-level proof that the traditionalists / situationalists have to lodge against the argument that AD is citing in this thread? (i.e. that K's aren't worse than other outs in the grand scheme of things).

    I've seen a lot of cyber yelling on this thread, and the so-called "saber crowd" has engaged with the situational evidence cited by the old-stat boys. What I haven't seen is evidence -- or at least compelling empirical evidence -- that strikeouts are different than other outs in the grand scheme.

    So... what's the counter-evidence to the Tango tables AD cited earlier? And please don't bring up such-and-such "common sense" game situations that have already been mentioned. That's not the plane of ideas I'm interested in here, and it's not what I need to be convinced.
    Last edited by RedEye; 09-14-2013 at 09:14 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Cant Touch This View Post
    I think walks are valuable.

    Sometimes it works out that a K is better than an alternate outcome (DP.)

    That said, it seems that the sabre crowd has fallen in love with walks and strikeouts. One of those I understand, the other I do not. So honestly, I'm not kidding when I say I think there are some people that would like batters to never swing the bat. Either take a walk or strike out. At least that way you will never hit into a double play.

    Or maybe they only think this way if there is a runner on base.

    "That was a sweet grand slam, but man, he took quite a risk swinging at a pitch with the bases loaded. He could have hit into a quadruple play!"
    The "sabre crowd" says you should swing HARD, because hard contact is how you get more hits (especially extra-base hits). The goal is to get on base (via hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) and get as far around the bases as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to swing HARD and swing only at the best pitches to hit. The "sabre crowd" hates all outs, including strikeouts (no more, no less -- the same). The object is to avoid an out and score a run. Trying to "put the ball in play" can often be counterproductive to that goal because that approach leads to weaker contact (which is less likely to be a hit or extra-base hit) and eliminates the possibility of a walk.

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  7. #94
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    It seems to me there's a spectrum, or maybe a grid, to all these comparisons. At one end, it's strikeouts vs. balls in play (not just outs in play). At the other end, it's strikeouts vs. attempting to cut down on strikeouts (which contains downsides of its own).

    But then, I'm starting to have random thoughts ...

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

    Avoid outs collect bases.

    The rest is besides the point and is just filler.
    "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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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Avoid outs collect bases.

    The rest is besides the point and is just filler.
    And we know the average run values of any out and a strikeout across all base/out states are virtually identical suggesting all of those "extras" that come with outs really aren't bearing the fruit intuition and counting bases from "productive outs" assume.

    We also know some of he most productive hitters in baseball strikeout more than Dusty probably likes.
    "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
    The "sabre crowd" says you should swing HARD, because hard contact is how you get more hits (especially extra-base hits). The goal is to get on base (via hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) and get as far around the bases as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to swing HARD and swing only at the best pitches to hit. The "sabre crowd" hates all outs, including strikeouts (no more, no less -- the same). The object is to avoid an out and score a run. Trying to "put the ball in play" can often be counterproductive to that goal because that approach leads to weaker contact (which is less likely to be a hit or extra-base hit) and eliminates the possibility of a walk.
    I agree with all of this up until the point of avoiding "putting the ball in play." And for that, I go back to a hitter behind in the count who makes adjustments to his approach for the purpose of making contact.

    Again, I realize some contact outs will be counterproductive. But I stand firmly that strikeouts have NO chance of accomplishing anything positive. So if a hitter has the opportunity to create action - do it.

    I guess where we disagree is this: To me, swinging hard (no adjustments) on an 0-2 count with a runner on second and nobody out is not a good approach. If I understand your argument correctly, you disagree with me on this.
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Everyone go read SteelSD's signature.
    "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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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Cant Touch This View Post
    I guess where we disagree is this: To me, swinging hard (no adjustments) on an 0-2 count with a runner on second and nobody out is not a good approach. If I understand your argument correctly, you disagree with me on this.
    You do acknowledge that there are dimensions of the game that are not purely situational, right? Meaning that citing x or y hypothetical moment in game play does NOT constitute compelling counter-evidence to what AD is arguing here.

    Until you understand that, you guys are going to keep talking past each other, I'm afraid.

  15. #100
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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
    The "sabre crowd" says you should swing HARD, because hard contact is how you get more hits (especially extra-base hits). The goal is to get on base (via hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) and get as far around the bases as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to swing HARD and swing only at the best pitches to hit. The "sabre crowd" hates all outs, including strikeouts (no more, no less -- the same). The object is to avoid an out and score a run. Trying to "put the ball in play" can often be counterproductive to that goal because that approach leads to weaker contact (which is less likely to be a hit or extra-base hit) and eliminates the possibility of a walk.
    Yes, putting the ball in play can be counterproductive to that goal, but striking out is ALWAYS counterproductive to that goal.

    While this thread got off to a horrible start by the wording in the original post (fire this clown?), I do see good argumentative points from both sides of this argument. I personally feel that putting the ball in play is generally better than striking out, but I can also see there are times when a K woulda been better than say grounding into a double play.

  16. #101
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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
    You do acknowledge that there are dimensions of the game that are not purely situational, right? Meaning that citing x or y hypothetical moment in game play does NOT constitute compelling counter-evidence to what AD is arguing here.

    Until you understand that, you guys are going to keep talking past each other, I'm afraid.
    Of course I do - but that goes both ways.
    A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho

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  17. #102
    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 _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I personally find it offensive to still hear people say that "strikeouts are just another out". I couldn't give a darn what any formula tells you it it completely contradicts simple common sense.

    Man on 2nd or third. Less than 2 outs. Outside of a double play, a strikeout is your worst possible outcome IMO and it's not even close. An out via contact...yes, it MAY have the same result as the strikeout (an out without any runners advancing), but it also may have many, many, MANY other possibilities. And this example is only one of MANY that can be described the same darned way. Yes, a strike out is an out. But it's not "JUST" another out. It's an out with zero chance of anything positive occurring. My comment earlier about it being worse than a DP, my point was that while it's also a negative outcome, it does have at least a possibility of a positive outcome attached to it...but the extra out still makes it worse than a K IMO.

    I'm sorry, but I'll never be able to wrap my head around a formula (no matter how much data it's based on) that tells me that a K isn't worse than an out from a ball put into play.

    Put the ball into play and you FORCE the defense to make a play. If the opponent makes the play...tip your cap.
    I'm guessing you haven't been reading all the posts by the folks on the other side because that exact situation has already been given as an example. Couldn't the batter hit a ball that causes the man on 2nd or third to be erased? Happens every day. That causes the offense to suffer a big hit to their run expectancy, much more than a strikeout would.

    As an offense, one of the worst things that can destroy your chances of scoring is a double play. It is 3x worse than a strikeout on average (-0.31 runs vs -0.85 runs). Still think a strikeout is as bad as a double play?

    Again, you see the advantages of a productive out, but you can't see the crippling effects of double plays and some fielder's choice plays.

    Once EVERYTHING is factored in at the frequency at which it occurs in real MLB games it is quite clear that on balance over the course of a season strikeouts and contact outs have the same negative effect.

    Instead of fretting about how certain outs are made, fret about how many outs are made. Instead of counting how many hits a player gets, factor in the quality of those hits (and walks) as well.

    If you ask a player to change his approach to reduce his strikeouts you are likely going to see a reduction in his overall production.

  18. #103
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Remember when espn used to keep track of productive outs, and they were going to prove just how important they were to run production?

    Remember at the end of the season the top three or four teams in productive outs were the three or four worse teams at scoring runs?

    Remember how espn stopped keeping track if productive outs?

    Good times.
    "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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  20. #104
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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
    The "sabre crowd" says you should swing HARD, because hard contact is how you get more hits (especially extra-base hits). The goal is to get on base (via hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) and get as far around the bases as possible. The best way to accomplish this is to swing HARD and swing only at the best pitches to hit. The "sabre crowd" hates all outs, including strikeouts (no more, no less -- the same). The object is to avoid an out and score a run. Trying to "put the ball in play" can often be counterproductive to that goal because that approach leads to weaker contact (which is less likely to be a hit or extra-base hit) and eliminates the possibility of a walk.
    This I get - and I also get what Brutus says. They seem contradictory but really aren't. The perfect player would swing hard and wouldn't miss - he'd always make contact. That guy does not exist. You can't get a hit without making contact. Brutus is correct. But - the returns rapidly diminish to nil when you try to cut down your swing to "meet" the ball. It doesn't work. Weaker contact means lower BABIP and more outs. The problem occurs when a team has a lot of guys who strike out a lot and don't produce solid .OPS numbers either by high .OBP or Slugging or a fairish average of both. Fingers get pointed at the strikeouts but, really, would it matter if their .OPS was the same and the outs were ground outs and fly balls and half as many strikeouts? That would actually mean they would have lower BABIP, be making weaker contact, and be even worse hitters. I think. I'm just an old mule trying to wrap his head around this numbers talk.

  21. #105
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    I also acknowledge that I'm sitting at home, engaged in an online debate at 9:24 PM on a Saturday night. I'd say that's worse than a strikeout or a double play. More like a strike 'em out, throw 'em out.
    A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho

    www.OnCampusSports.com -- college sports covered by college students

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