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Thread: Play the game "the right way"

  1. #1
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Play the game "the right way"

    This terms gets bandied about by players, manager, and on this board quite frequently. However, I'd love to see a discussion about what "the right way" is. Furthmore, discussion about the validity of having a "right way".

    Some quick thoughts:

    - When was the game ever played "the right way"?
    - Is "the right way" a set of skills/actions, or a general philosophy?
    - Can that list of skills be enumerated, or the philosophy described?
    - What is wrong with the "wrong way"?
    - Does "the right way" really lead to more wins?

    I think this topic is raised by the ongoing and increasing debate between "old school" beliefs and assumptions vs. sabermetric/analysis driven strategies.

    There is a second, quite related conversation here too which was raised in an email exchange posted by Yahoo. That is, is there inherent value in certain skills or abilities, aside from solely their contribution towards winning a game -- be it aesthic, sentimental, etc.? Is there some hidden value in an Ichiro or Wade Boggs who played the game the "right way" versus an Adam Dunn who arguably does not; even if Dunn has more Win Shares, should we deride him for not playing "the right way".

    Thus, rather than a scout/stats argument, it becomes experience vs. analysis argument. In my opinion, "the right way" is an attempt to mystify the value of experience and protect it (if you will) from the rigor of analysis. There is a skepticism of analysis (some healthy, some born purely of ignorance) which says "we cannot quantify the game 100%" and further that "my experience tells me winning teams bunt guys over"

    For psychological reasons (I've made this case before), people place value in their knowledge, and expertise, which is frequently born out of experience. If a person's knowledge/expertise is questioned, or worse yet devalued (particularly by some other paradigm they don't understand), it threatens their security -- their ego, their job, their ability to support their family, their ego, and most importantly, their ego. So, rather than question events on their merit and explain why or why not a certain action is good/bad, they use the phase "the right way" to pump up their own supposed value while questioning the wrong action. We don't get to know whether "the wrong way" is wrong because it leads to losses, because it hurts feelings, or because the person saying it is full of BS....

    Thoughts?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  3. #2
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    The best way to not go about "the right way" is Vlad Guerro... He may have mastered his swing but dont ever use him as a model to the "right way"

  4. #3
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    I've just got a couple of minutes, but I find this thread intriguing. I think the beauty of baseball (and I'm probably going to get all zen on you now) is its simple complexity - ok, I pulled that out of my rear, but here is what I mean:

    There are so many different things that factor into how to play the game "right" that it makes it the exciting game it is. Conventional wisdom may say bunt the guy over and play for the run, but then you've got Whitey Herzog having a batter slug bunt and wham, you've got two runners on. Or you have a line out and yikes! Or the manager puts the shift on, as we are discussing elsewhere today, and the batter bloops it into short leftfield (or like Ted Williams, had his only inside the park homerun!).

    I love watching a game on TV when they have the camera view from the blimp. The movement, as if one entity, of the team when the ball is put in play. It's watching a shortstop on the balls of his feet anticipating the pitch and the hit and sometimes they know, and other times, the pitch isn't where it should be and boom, it all blows up in your face.

    It's the strengths and weaknesses of your various players. The all glove, no stick guy, the stud hitter who is a bit clunky in the field. The pitcher who can drop a ball right in, it takes your breath way.

    You know the drill.

  5. #4
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Which stat is used to measure whether or not you play the game the right way?
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

  6. #5
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfanmia
    Which stat is used to measure whether or not you play the game the right way?
    Wins and Losses
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  7. #6
    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    and RS v. RA is one of the best available indicators of a cumulative W-L record. Along with that, OPS is one of the best indicators of the accumulation of runs scored. I think OPSa is generally equally reliable in determining, generally how many runs will be allowed.

    So, by extrapolation from Randy's post there, OPS and OPSa are pretty darn good measures of 'playing the game the right way'.

    4009



  8. #7
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Most people consider "the right way" to be the way they were taught in little league. Don't strike out, don't make errors, swing the bat, and put the ball in play. Personally, I think that works great for little leaguers, but as players mature and develop, their skill sets need to develop as well.

    The only "right way" to play the game is to score more runs than your opponent.

    The means by which you do that should fit your player's skill sets.

    Home runs, walks, and working the count are a big part of playing "the right way." Always have been.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    There is no "right way to play the game", because no stat can back it up. It's been proven.
    Last edited by guttle11; 05-23-2006 at 05:23 PM.
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute

  10. #9
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?

  11. #10
    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM
    Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?
    If they are supremely talented I would think so.
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  12. #11
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM
    Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?
    Yes.

    But..because they won they were playing the right way..but it was the wrong way..but..but...
    Go Gators!

  13. #12
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    What exactly is the wrong way? Is it anything Adam Dunn does well?

  14. #13
    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    The "wrong" way to play the game is to score less runs than the other team.
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute

  15. #14
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Isn't scoring runs captured in a stat somewhere?

  16. #15
    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: Play the game "the right way"

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM
    Isn't scoring runs captured in a stat somewhere?
    Only for individuals. Team runs don't matter.
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute


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