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Thread: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

  1. #31
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I produced quotes where the author literally says hiring Dusty Baker to be your manager is like hiring your mother.
    I wonder if there was more subtext to that statement. I think one of Dusty's faults was going overboard as a player's manager i.e. making sure a starting pitcher goes 5 innings so he can qualify for a win even if the team is down by a few runs; making sure the closer pitches in as many save opportunities as possible, etc. Like if your mom was running the team she would give you every opportunity for you to get your numbers.
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  3. #32
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    The writer also makes a huge assumption based on anecdotal evidence - the antithesis of sabremetrical analysis. That is - that stupid decisions cost a team far more wins than the two or three that a smart manager can gain. Yet he offers no analysis or studies that back this up - just his gut. The fact is that the huge amount of random variable action in a baseball game may well mask most "stupid" maneuvers. Quite possible an analysis done by numbers would show little real difference. Then again - it might show a significant negative edge. But if you are such a sabre guy - SHOW US THE NUMBERS!
    I had the same reaction. The problem is the evidence isn't there. The Reds scored roughly what they should have scored given the performance of their players this season. In fact, they were slightly above average when it comes to offensive efficiency. So, as crazy as it was to hit Cozart 2nd, the Reds didn't actually pay a price. The reality that lineups largely don't matter seems to have neutralized managerial stupidity.

    Last season there was a strong argument that poor lineup construction indeed cost the Reds runs (when the team boasted the least efficient offense in MLB). However, thanks to some luck distribution, the Reds sauntered to 1st place and no one complained overly much. Apparently that can neutralize stupid too.

    And what made the offense more efficient wasn't getting everything right down to the last detail. It was acquiring Shin-Soo Choo and hitting him somewhere in front of Votto, who in turn was hitting somewhere in front of Bruce. Baker did the obvious. It generally worked. Neither smart nor stupid had much bearing on how things shook out.
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  5. #33
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    The writer makes good points about generally really dumb decisions hurt you worse than really good decisions help you. But using Baker as evidence of this is simply wrong. Baker's biggest fault is that he goes strictly by the old book, which is pretty standard, boring stuff. Baker doesn't make crazy stupid decisions that make no sense, as the writer accuses him of doing.
    My bad on the quote. You are right, he does use the "mother" reference (though he is obviously paraphrasing someone else).

    I would argue that putting Cozart second in the lineup is crazy, potentially stupid decision. Even some old school managers know better.

    And look, if this is the worst type of argument you get from the "stats" side (and it is probably one of them), it is still FAR better than the sorts of pot shots that Doc and others take daily at "stat heads." This guy is basically writing a post where he links to a bunch of other more developed analysis and trolls for more hits with some provocative wording. If it insults you so much, do like I do with Doc -- just avoid the click in the future.
    Last edited by RedEye; 10-08-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  6. #34
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I had the same reaction. The problem is the evidence isn't there. The Reds scored roughly what they should have scored given the performance of their players this season.
    A bit of a circular argument since we will never have a control group to compare them to. By that rationale, neither side will really have evidence of the type you are demanding here.

    We do know, though, that lineup optimization does exist, and that it should produce more runs -- some say up to 2-3 wins a season worth. If I'm the manager, I take my chances giving my better hitters more PA's.

    But these are old arguments and Dusty is gone. Hopefully the next guy makes more intuitive choices and we won't go round and round like this on RZ anymore.

  7. #35
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    The batting Cozart second was amazingly dumb. Tom Verducci, who broadcasted only 2 Reds games all season, even wondered in the 1st inning why you hit a guy second who pulls everything into the shortstop's hole on the ground or hits liners to left field. If you wanted to get Choo cleared off the bases with a dp, great strategy.

  8. #36
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    BP and other similar sites should just have a standing article titled "We Don't Agree With Dusty, Ever" and it would save everyone a lot of time.

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  10. #37
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    A bit of a circular argument since we will never have a control group to compare them to. By that rationale, neither side will really have evidence of the type you are demanding here.

    We do know, though, that lineup optimization does exist, and that it should produce more runs -- some say up to 2-3 wins a season worth. If I'm the manager, I take my chances giving my better hitters more PA's.

    But these are old arguments and Dusty is gone. Hopefully the next guy makes more intuitive choices and we won't go round and round like this on RZ anymore.
    Yet we do have evidence. We know what a team's RC/27 is and we know how close their actual scoring is to that number. If lineups are truly being optimized then a team's rpg will inch up closer to that RC/27 figure. Yet Dusty Baker's offense came closer to its RC/27 this season than Joe Maddon's and John Farrell's.

    Lineup optimization exists in concept and it makes sense on paper, but in practice it's a bit of a bigfoot. You can spend a lot of time out in the woods and never find lineup optimization.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  12. #38
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Yet we do have evidence. We know what a team's RC/27 is and we know how close their actual scoring is to that number. If lineups are truly being optimized then a team's rpg will inch up closer to that RC/27 figure. Yet Dusty Baker's offense came closer to its RC/27 this season than Joe Maddon's and John Farrell's.

    Lineup optimization exists in concept and it makes sense on paper, but in practice it's a bit of a bigfoot. You can spend a lot of time out in the woods and never find lineup optimization.
    Isn't this mixing RC projection with actual results? We know what the Reds' projected RC/27 was prior to the season, and we can see whether or not they achieved that mark by running their stats afterwards. What that still doesn't account for, though, is what that RC/27 could have been were the lineup better optimized during the season.

    I agree that lineup optimization is a blunt instrument. But is it not still intuitive to give more PA's to your better hitters?

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  14. #39
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    If you apply strict Game Theory, technically if everyone's doing the smart/conventional thing then the only thing that will give you a competitive advantage is doing something stupid.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  15. #40
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    If you apply strict Game Theory, technically if everyone's doing the smart/conventional thing then the only thing that will give you a competitive advantage is doing something stupid.
    It's so crazy, it just might work.

    But even Dusty's most frustrating moves had their reasons, and some thought behind them. It wasn't like he forgot he put Cozart in the 2 spot. He wanted a slap hitter who could move the lead-off runner over, and he was trying to do something about the huge drop-off in the bottom half of the lineup by spreading it around. Maddening, I know, but Dusty had a school of thought.

    And of course the Deadspin headline was totally sensationalized, but that's what they do.

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  17. #41
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Isn't this mixing RC projection with actual results? We know what the Reds' projected RC/27 was prior to the season, and we can see whether or not they achieved that mark by running their stats afterwards. What that still doesn't account for, though, is what that RC/27 could have been were the lineup better optimized during the season.

    I agree that lineup optimization is a blunt instrument. But is it not still intuitive to give more PA's to your better hitters?
    RC/27 gives you a hypothetical guess at how many runs a player with those specific stats would score in a general setting. It is independent of things like lineups, pitchers faced, leverage of AB 's etc. A team's RC/27 is simply the addition of each individual player's RC/27.

    Projected RC/27 at the beginning of the season would simply be another way of displaying what the projected individual stats for each player would be. Comparing a teams projected RC/27 from the beginning of the season to actual RC/27 at the end of the season only tells us if the players on the team overachieved or underachieved their projections. It tells us nothing about the effect the team's lineup had on actual scoring.

    Because RC/27 is purely hypothetical, independent of the effects of the team's lineup, if you compare a team's final RC/27 to their actual, real runs scored, you can see the effect that a team's lineups had on run scoring.

    If a team scored 50 more runs than their RC/27 said they would, then that suggests that the team had optimal or near optimal lineups. If a team scored 50 less runs than their RC/27 said they would, then that would suggest the team's lineups were hurting their run scoring. If there wasn't much difference between a team's RC/27 and their actual runs scored, that suggests that the team has average lineups that didn't help or hurt their run scoring.
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  18. #42
    Member Ironman92's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    63 out of 82 = about half

  19. #43
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Well, I can't neutralize the stupidity of that blog. The nicest thing I can say about it is that it is one of the biggest steaming piles of crap I have ever read.
    It's Baseball Prospectus. They've jumped more sharks than Fonzie. They were good several years ago. Now they are just pompous.
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  21. #44
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    But these are old arguments and Dusty is gone. Hopefully the next guy makes more intuitive choices and we won't go round and round like this on RZ anymore.
    Oh, wow...do you wanna bet on that??? LOL
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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  23. #45
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    I wonder if there was more subtext to that statement. I think one of Dusty's faults was going overboard as a player's manager i.e. making sure a starting pitcher goes 5 innings so he can qualify for a win even if the team is down by a few runs; making sure the closer pitches in as many save opportunities as possible, etc. Like if your mom was running the team she would give you every opportunity for you to get your numbers.
    I think that's exactly what the author was implying. The real question is would your mother take away your locker room leather chair.

    And whatever happened to Dunn's leather chair? Should be in the lobby of the Reds HOF.


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