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Thread: Warm

  1. #1
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Warm

    The thread title was supposed to be WARM, all caps, sorry.

    No, this is not a thread about temperature. Nor is it a thread about a real stat. But I was having a discussion with a friend about the Macha-A's situation, and it touched on a few subjects are often discussed, namely: How much credit should a manager get? How replaceable is a manager? Is he worth more or less than the players he manages? I've always held the belief that most managers are just interchangeable guys that will lead a team to about the record you'd expect given the talent on hand and circumstances not in his control, i.e. most if not all injuries. True difference-makers in the dugout (and that could be bad as well as good) are rare.

    So I got to thinking about the value of a manager versus a top player, and what the effect would be if you replaced a manager -- Jerry Narron, let's say -- with Generic Guy. BP uses the Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) metric to do that for players. A metric for a manager could be Wins Above Replacement Manager (WARM). If my belief is correct, a much higher percentage of managers are Replacement Level than are players.

    The problem is, measuring a manager is a lot harder than measuring a player, not that measuring players is an exact science either. So we're going to have to go on perception here. Based on your perception of various MLB managers, if you took his team and replayed 2006 with Generic Guy at the helm, what effect would it have? Over time, what value would you assign to "name" managers like Larussa, Leyland, Piniella, Torre, etc. in terms of WARM?
    Not all who wander are lost

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  3. #2
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Warm

    You could get all computery about it and figure out what a team's optimal lineup should be, then figure out how many runs a manager's lineup cost the team vs. the optimal lineup.

    You could do the same for defense.

    You could set an "effectiveness range" for each pitcher that indicates how many pitches he can throw and still achieve a level of effectiveness, then see how often a manager pushed a pitcher past that number of pitches.

    If you really want to do it, you've got a lot of work cut out for you.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: Warm

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    You could get all computery about it and figure out what a team's optimal lineup should be, then figure out how many runs a manager's lineup cost the team vs. the optimal lineup.
    Of course, while a computer can tell you an optimal lineup based on statistics, it can't tell you about the player that might have been up all night w/the flu and is sitting out a game. Or a guy being dropped down because of a slump, getting a rest because he's played 21 out of 22 games, etc.

    Last night when LaRussa put Duncan in against the LH Feliciano...which statistically made no sense, but resulted in a HR. Who knew. It actually left Tim McCarver speechless, which is almost statistically impossible in itself and yet still an optimal result.

  5. #4
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Warm

    The Bill James Handbooks have manager stats, it tracks Subs (PH, PR, DS, REL, LO (Long Outings) Lineups, Tactics (SBA, SA, IBB, PO (Pitch Outs)

    It might be my favorite part of the book.

  6. #5
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Warm

    Other ways to look at managers have been attempted, some not so analytical.

    Thomas Boswell created one of my favorites and wrote in, “Why Time Begins on Opening Day” that all managers could be shoehorned into a specific family, or “types” of managers.

    They are as follows:

    The Little Napoleon - Fiery, pugnacious and most often smart, they tend to burn out from their intensity and tend to alienate players on their own team quite often. Good examples are the Godfather John McGraw, Earl Weaver, Billy Martin and Lou Pinella.

    The Peerless Leader - Quiet, folded arms and a stern gaze into the distance personify the peerless leader, they tend to be known for their no nonsense approach and fairness. The Godfather of this type would be Frank Chance. Recent types would be Frank Robinson, Jerry Narron, and Buck Showalter.

    The Tall Tacticians - Similar to the above they tend to be quiet and stern, the difference lies in what Boswell called “Class” and the inability to ever get fired for something that they did, often living more on reputation then results. The Godfather of this would be Connie Mack. With recent examples being Gene Mauch, Davey Johnson, Tony LaRussa and Jim Leyland.

    The Zeppo of this quartet would be the Uncle Robby, a necessary role in a world of intensity.

    The Uncle Robby - The Uncle Robby is noted by a hangdog look on most occasions and possesses an affable demeanor that often puts everyone at ease and relaxes the clubhouse. Often after one of the above flame out the Uncle Robby is hired to smooth the corners out in the clubhouse. Uncle Robby’s are usually of the attitude that screams, “Let em play.” Of course Uncle Robby is Wilbert Robinson and some of his followers are Jack McKeon, Tom Lasorda, Don Zimmer and Dusty Baker

  7. #6
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Warm

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds View Post
    Of course, while a computer can tell you an optimal lineup based on statistics, it can't tell you about the player that might have been up all night w/the flu and is sitting out a game. Or a guy being dropped down because of a slump, getting a rest because he's played 21 out of 22 games, etc.
    The optimal lineup would be based on the players available on a given night. If Phillips has the flu, starting Clayton in his place wouldn't count against Narron. However, batting Clayton second certainly would.

    Last night when LaRussa put Duncan in against the LH Feliciano...which statistically made no sense, but resulted in a HR. Who knew. It actually left Tim McCarver speechless, which is almost statistically impossible in itself and yet still an optimal result.
    If LaRussa had some information about Feliciano (only throws fastballs to lefties?) and Duncan (crushes fastballs?), then he gets credit for a great move. If he simply played a hunch, I give him about as much credit as I give someone who hits the jackpot on a slot machine.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Warm

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    The optimal lineup would be based on the players available on a given night. If Phillips has the flu, starting Clayton in his place wouldn't count against Narron. However, batting Clayton second certainly would.
    He should be beaten senseless for batting Clayton second...agreed.

    If LaRussa had some information about Feliciano (only throws fastballs to lefties?) and Duncan (crushes fastballs?), then he gets credit for a great move. If he simply played a hunch, I give him about as much credit as I give someone who hits the jackpot on a slot machine.
    My hunch on this is that it was the 6th inning and LaRussa didn't want to use his best option (Spezio) that early and w/nobody on. He likes to use Taguchi as a defensive replacement. He wouldn't use the backup catcher (Bennett), or his only backup middle infielder (Miles). Two LH hitters remained...Duncan and Rodriguez. Duncan was his best shot at an extra base hit.

    Or he played a hunch...


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