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Thread: Analyzing Bowden's Trades by Win Shares

  1. #16
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Hoosier Red:
    <strong>All right D-man, you made a big mistake here. You've gotten me to the blissful point of interest and confusion.

    "A player will get the same number of wins shares if he is on a bad team as he would on a good team, but his teammates would get fewer on a bad team."

    How is this possible, somebody has to be getting screwed here. Who gets the same number of win shares on a bad team and who doesn't.

    For example.
    Does Sean Casey(PLAYER) get 18 ws on a good team or a bad team, but Ken Griffey Junior(TEAMMATE) gets less because he's on a bad team.
    or
    does Ken Griffey Jr.(Player) get 14 WS whether on a good team or a bad team, but Sean Casey(Teammate) was limited to 18 because he was on a bad team.

    Isn't everyone a player, and a teammate?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Sorry once again for the lack of clarity.

    Casey would get 18 win shares if he was on the Braves, Expos, Reds, or on whatever team. His performance is NOT dependent on what his teammates do.

    Casey's fellow TEAMMATES would get fewer win shares if, say, the team only had 66 wins as opposed to 97 wins because the teammates wouldn't be contributing as much. This is just another way of saying that good players tend to make contributions that help teams win.

    Take the 2001 Reds and compare them to the 2001 Braves:

    Braves (88-74) Reds (66-96)
    Hitting 104.1 WS 105.3 WS
    Fielding 46.4 28.1
    Pitching 113.5 64.6

    The reason the Braves won 88 games and the Reds only 66 should be quite evident from the above. The Reds actually had better hitting than the Braves in 2001, but the fielding and pitching were A LOT worse. If you take Casey and put him on the Braves, he would still get 18 win shares, but the TEAM as a whole would be better because the Braves had much better fielders and pitchers than the Reds did in 2001. The better fielders and pitchers made the Braves a winning team, just as the lack of good fielders and pitchers made the Reds a bad team in 2001.

    Does this make more sense now? Sorry about the lack of clarity in my writing.

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  3. #17
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    Beautiful, thanks for the lessons professor.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
    ---Joe Posnanski

  4. #18
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    westofyou:
    In case you were interested, I posted his win shares below (and Konerko's, for a point of reference).

    Sean Casey
    1999: 23 WS
    2000: 17
    2001: 18

    Paul Konerko
    1999: 14
    2000: 15
    2001: 17

    Keep in mind that an all star player generally gets 20-30 win shares per year, and an everyday player usually gets 10-20. . .This appears to me that Sean Casey is a pretty good player; not a great player, but a good one. He hit his peak in 1999, but I wouldn't say he is spiraling downward into oblivion, as others have suggested that he is. I tend to think that his decline in 2002 is either, a.) health related; or b.) another data point in his tendency to have Jekyll-and-Hyde in-season splits.

  5. #19
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    D-Man

    I have a follow-up to Hoosier Red's question about distinguishing between players and their teammates (plus, I like to see this thread toward the top).

    Suppose two teams are IDENTICAL statistically, and each of their component parts is identical statistically, with the only difference being a handful of wins. Say, a team with all the attributes of the 2001 Reds but with two extra 1-run wins and an extra 2-run losing margin in a blowout. All team ERAs, BAAs, OPSes, etc. would be equal. The hypothetical Reds team would have 6 extra win shares to distribute. Who gets them? Couldn't Casey, or whomever, get an additional share?

    Forgive me if I misunderstand the methodology. I have not read the book.

  6. #20
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by cincinnati chili:
    <strong>Ayala, if memory serves, hurt the Mariners badly in at least one of his years. The Mariners would have been better off picking up some righty at random off the waiver wire. So if win shares were tweaked to account for this fact, I don't think that the Wilson and Ayala trade would have been so bad for the Reds.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Here are Ayala's win shares totals from 1994-1998:
    94: 10 WS
    95: 7
    96: 4
    97: 9
    98: 0

    And here are his raw numbers from those years:
    94: 56 innings, 76 Ks, 2.86 ERA, ERA is 71% better than league average
    95: 71 innings, 77 Ks, 4.44 ERA, ERA is 10% better than league average
    96: 67 innings, 61 Ks, 5.88 ERA, ERA is 16% LOWER than league average
    97: 97 innings, 92 Ks, 3.82 ERA, ERA is 19% better than league average
    98: 75 innings, 68 Ks, 7.29 ERA, ERA is 36% LOWER than league average

    Based on this basic data, I tend to think that win shares does a pretty good job of assessing how many wins Ayala contributed, with his 1996 season as the only possible exception. I haven't done all the math, but there could be other possible explanations for why Ayala got 4 win shares in 1996--maybe he was unlucky (unusual # of hits on balls in play), maybe there's a ballpark effect that distorts the raw numbers, maybe other relievers let all his runs score (i.e., he was hurt by the rest of the bullpen). I assume James has run the numbers on all this stuff.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by cincinnati chili:
    <strong>I think Win Shares are a good, but flawed analytical tool. My problem comes in the fact that all values are positive. Players don't get a negative score if they have a season substantially below replacement level. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">True. And I can understand your concern. Ayala's 1998 was indeed horrific, and in your view, he should've been penalized for that.

    But one issue I've always had with replacement level statistics (which won't preclude me from using them in the future, anyway ) is: how do you come to a final conclusion as to where the "true replacement level" is? Personally, I haven't seen anything that has left me 100% confident with it.

    Plus, I like the fact that win shares uses simple numbers.

    <small>[ 07-11-2002, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: D-Man ]</small>

  7. #21
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by backbencher:
    <strong>D-Man

    I have a follow-up to Hoosier Red's question about distinguishing between players and their teammates (plus, I like to see this thread toward the top).

    Suppose two teams are IDENTICAL statistically, and each of their component parts is identical statistically, with the only difference being a handful of wins. Say, a team with all the attributes of the 2001 Reds but with two extra 1-run wins and an extra 2-run losing margin in a blowout. All team ERAs, BAAs, OPSes, etc. would be equal. The hypothetical Reds team would have 6 extra win shares to distribute. Who gets them? Couldn't Casey, or whomever, get an additional share?

    Forgive me if I misunderstand the methodology. I have not read the book.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">So you're asking, what if the # of team wins doesn't match with the actual performance of that team's players? I.e., what if a team got more wins than it otherwise could've expected, and how do you distribute those extra wins?

    Well, to be perfectly frank, I don't know yet!!! I didn't read the entire explanation section of how the win shares system is allocated (the explanation of the long method is more than 100 pages). I only got throught 25 or so pages before I decided to skip ahead to the "random essays" part of the book (I always enjoy James's essays). I've also spent a lot of time looking through the various lists and charts. . . I'm kinda working my way backwards.

    Perhaps this will serve as an impetus for you to buy the book!

    <small>[ 07-11-2002, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: D-Man ]</small>

  8. #22
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Does anyone have a Win Share link? Did a little search with no luck.

    As far as Casey is concerned, I am concerned that his production (Win Shares, HR, RBI, however you measure it) is dropping as his salary is increasing. His 2002 WS numbers can't be to impressive either, showing a clear downtrend since '99.

    I'd be curious as to his rank in Win Shares for 1B across the league during his tenure. I'd bet he'd be a league average or below.

    The big question is how easily can his Win Shares be replaced? Thats the only question you have to answer IMO. According to VORP it shouldn't be too hard to find a replacement for his based on this years stats.

    1999 VORP 42.3
    2000 VORP 21.3
    2001 VORP 18.9
    2002 VORP 3.5

    Useless? No. Replaceable? Yes, and most likely at a substantial cost savings.

    GL

    <small>[ 07-11-2002, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: gonelong ]</small>

  9. #23
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> So you're asking, what if the # of team wins doesn't match with the actual performance of that team's players? I.e., what if a team got more wins than it otherwise could've expected, and how do you distribute those extra wins?
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Yes, exactly. I phrased it differently because I am just not enough of a sabrehead to buy into this portion of it:

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> than it otherwise could've expected </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I probably will buy the book.

  10. #24
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    Ayala's 96 season was spent in a hitter's park -a good hitter's park. That may make his stats league avg. after you include the park adjustment.

    Chili: I've read alot of the stuff on Baseball Primer and Fanhome and I still am not sure that the folks that advocate for negative values are correct in their thinking. True replacement values (as D-Man alluded to) seem to move all over the place.

    Also, in the case of Ayala -how do you know when to send him down to bring up a replacement level player? Seems as if you can only do that once you know where replacement levels have been set...after the fact. It would be silly to send him down to bring up another player who would be replacement level quality until you know what those values are. Ayala had, at that point, 2 good seasons in a row- how do you know when to throw in the towel and bring up the replacement level player? Based on what values? Good god, I sound anti-sabermetrics today, but i think I'm making some sense.

  11. #25
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by gonelong:
    <strong>Does anyone have a Win Share link? Did a little search with no luck.

    As far as Casey is concerned, I am concerned that his production (Win Shares, HR, RBI, however you measure it) is dropping as his salary is increasing. His 2002 WS numbers can't be to impressive either, showing a clear downtrend since '99.

    I'd be curious as to his rank in Win Shares for 1B across the league during his tenure. I'd bet he'd be a league average or below.

    The big question is how easily can his Win Shares be replaced? Thats the only question you have to answer IMO.

    GL</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I don't think each player's win shares are published anywhere on the Internet. I think that if this data becomes available, we'll probably have to pay for it because Stats Inc. will probably have proprietary rights to it . I think Bill James mentioned in an online chat he had on ESPN.com that Stats Inc. was thinking about doing a CD that you could use to crunch raw data.

    I can't seem to find the link to that chat, though. . . I'll keep looking.

    Here's a link to Rob Neyer's column on the book:
    <a href="http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1366976.html" target="_blank">http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1366976.html</a>

    Here's a link to the book, which is where I got all the data from:
    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1931584036/qid=1026413651/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-7259200-3177641" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1931584036/qid=1026413651/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-7259200-3177641</a>


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