I just finished reading Moneyball. Facinating read. I give Beane credit for what he's done in Oakland.
My question to our top analytical minds on the board is about speed and stolen bases w/respect to the philosophy behind Moneyball.
Obviously there are studies and statistics that show that the stolen base is overrated unless the success rate is extremely high.
But in watching the A's and Tigers, I was wonder if the complete lack of fear of the stolen base has an adverse affect on the offense.
If Team A doesn't utilize the stolen base, and everyone knows that they loathe giving up outs on the basepaths, I would think the following:
- With a runner on first, even one with good speed. The pitcher doesn't have to worry about him taking off and thus can focus on the batter. Also, he doesn't have to worry about pitchouts.
- The defense can settle in at double-play depth and not "cheat" to cover 2nd base.
- The hitter is less likely to get a steady diet of fastballs.
I doubt it can be proved, but there has to be some benefit to a team's offense when the threat of the stolen base exists. Even if they give the green light that often.