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Thread: Managing ain't what it used to be

  1. #31
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    No one is saying it should be or even will be a perm slot for AG......why do you think that? Just beacuse it is AG you are upset about it? If it was EE ...or Conine who got hot would you complain then?

    Probably about Conine but not about EE?

    So far this year...AG looks like a better OBP than we might have imagined...but this is April and it could pass in a few days....of course people will be posting to move him down after his first bad AB...or game.

    Dunn seems to have these hot Aprils and then cools down...especially last year. This year he is already cooling down before April is out.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    It's not that it will be permanent, it's that it should not have happened once, much less three days running. I am saying that Gonzalez's bat, on balance, doesn't need to be in such a high leverage spot. Period. EE, Conine, Dunn, Phillips, whoever else, I don't care, just put Gonzalez at 7th and let him be who he is. But don't put him in spots where his general offensive inconsistency is magnified. Just don't.

  4. #33
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    No offense, but that blackjack analogy is simply terrible.
    I'm going to disagree with you, but not because I don't believe in "playing the hot hand", but that I think Narron changes the lineup so much that it all becomes meaningless. I don't think it's necessarily good for some players as well.
    Last edited by pedro; 04-29-2007 at 11:54 AM.
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  5. #34
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    People talk about the black hole at 7-8-9...heck 6-7-8-9 are black holes this year...on this team.......I know i would rather have Phillips and Dunn switch...but you have to do something to end the bad back end of this hitting lineup.

    It is the liek the back end of the reds rotation from 2001-2005.

  6. #35
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    No offense, but that blackjack analogy is simply terrible.

    The Reds moved Alex up when they saw that he was locked in.

    Look at his splits since St. Louis. He's been tearing the cover off the ball.

    And stats aren't the only factor used to make these decisions. Very often a player can be raking but be BABIP unlucky. You're rarely playing exactly the way your numbers reflect. A .300 hitter doesn't always hit .300. He has hot and cold streaks. That's why advance scouting is so important. You want to know who's hot and who's not at the CURRENT TIME.

    It's the difference between macro and micro evaluation. Both have their place. You have to take full advantage of the times when a player is hot to get the full effect of his abilities. That's one reason changing lineups around doesn't bother me much.
    I didn't think the blackjack theory was all that bad. I think looking at splits and all are good. I have no problem with moving a guy up in the line up if he has a history of hitting a team or a particular pitcher well. I think it's good to adapt your lineup taking into consideration of whether you're facing a righty or a lefty.

    However, I'm not a fan of moving a guy up just because he's got a "hot bat," especially if he's not normally a good hitter. I feel that when you do that, you are essentially reacting to short term results without considering likely future performance. If you move a guy up because he appears "locked in," how long do you keep him up there while he reverts back to his norm? Assuming guys hit in hot and cold cycles, by the time you realize someone has a "hot bat," he's already getting close to the high point in the cycle or else he has already started his decline back towards the mean.
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  7. #36
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    It's not that it will be permanent, it's that it should not have happened once, much less three days running. I am saying that Gonzalez's bat, on balance, doesn't need to be in such a high leverage spot. Period. EE, Conine, Dunn, Phillips, whoever else, I don't care, just put Gonzalez at 7th and let him be who he is. But don't put him in spots where his general offensive inconsistency is magnified. Just don't.
    You're not making sense. You're saying "I don't care if he is hot or not. Historically he is a weak bat." So what? Right now, he is not displaying offensive inconsistency, but just the opposite. Therefore, a manager would be stupid to not only recognize that, but to also place that hitter, especially when your entire offense is struggling to produce runs, and even on a temporary basis, in that high leverage spot to take advantage of it. And the opposite has also been true....When a player slumps, and is having a hard time fighting his way out of it, managers have moved that guy down in the batting order on a temporary basis. Anything wrong with that? Currently, Dunn is the epitome of an inconsistent bat. He is not producing. It will change. That's why lineups aren't written in stone.

    But right now, I could care less if it's Gonzo, Castro, or Narron's mother, that is holding the hot bat. I'd rather see them in that upper part of the order, as long as they are producing, then EE right now, who has a .192 BA .272 OB% .205 SLG = .477 OPS.

    Right now, EE is over matched IMO, and I don't think we need to be patient and leave him there to fight out of this thing. Why? It's costing us, and there are others who are producing. You play him every day to give him the ABs/experience; but move him down in the order until he starts to show signs he is coming out of it.

    But it seems you're saying you'd go with a set lineup, etched in stone, unalterable ever, and "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead, regardless of the outcome."
    Last edited by GAC; 04-29-2007 at 01:23 PM.
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    And MWM.... that was an excellent post. I just wish someone would explain to me, because it is always used in a negative way what connotates "old school"? If it's trying to manage the game today like 30-40 years ago, and beyond, then I would agree.

    But sometimes I'd like to punch Michael Lewis in the mouth!
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  9. #38
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    You're not making sense. You're saying "I don't care if he is hot or not. Historically he is a weak bat." So what? Right now, he is not displaying offensive inconsistency, but just the opposite. Therefore, a manager would be stupid to not only recognize that, but to also place that hitter, especially when your entire offense is struggling to produce runs, and even on a temporary basis, in that high leverage spot to take advantage of it. And the opposite has also been true....When a player slumps, and is having a hard time fighting his way out of it, managers have moved that guy down in the batting order on a temporary basis. Anything wrong with that? Currently, Dunn is the epitome of an inconsistent bat. He is not producing. It will change. That's why lineups aren't written in stone.

    But right now, I could care less if it's Gonzo, Castro, or Narron's mother, that is holding the hot bat. I'd rather see them in that upper part of the order, as long as they are producing, then EE right now, who has a .192 BA .272 OB% .205 SLG = .477 OPS.

    Right now, EE is over matched IMO, and I don't think we need to be patient and leave him there to fight out of this thing. Why? It's costing us, and there are others who are producing. You play him every day to give him the ABs/experience; but move him down in the order until he starts to show signs he is coming out of it.

    But it seems you're saying you'd go with a set lineup, etched in stone, unalterable ever, and "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead, regardless of the outcome."
    But in order to take full advantage of "hot bats," doesn't it require a bit of clairvoyance to determine who's going to get hot and who's starting a slump? How do you know when a guy is about to cool off and when someone else is about to break out? Moving guys around based on who's hot and who's not seems like you're going to be behind the curve more often than not. I think if someone displays consistent results, move them up. However, if it's likely a guy is having a hot series, it's probably better to leave him where he is.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Ah, the "do the right things" cult. I yield. By all means, let's put a horrific OBP/OPS guy on balance 5th as punishment because of the "do the right things" alleged shortcomings of this team. Awesome.
    You don't get it. If he's hot, ride him till he's not and then put him back when he cools off. It's all about who is producing right now on a team that is struggling offensively. Sometimes you have to get out of the book and into what's really happening on the field. Is Gonzalez going to put up the numbers over the entire season. Very, very doubtful, but I certainly don't have a problem taking advantage of the production while it's there. Your crappy "cult" argument is nothing but a poor defense of a bad position.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 04-29-2007 at 02:07 PM.
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    But in order to take full advantage of "hot bats," doesn't it require a bit of clairvoyance to determine who's going to get hot and who's starting a slump? How do you know when a guy is about to cool off and when someone else is about to break out? Moving guys around based on who's hot and who's not seems like you're going to be behind the curve more often than not. I think if someone displays consistent results, move them up. However, if it's likely a guy is having a hot series, it's probably better to leave him where he is.
    I don't think you have to be to clairvoyant to see who is hot and who is not. It's pretty darn obvious. Right now, the way the Reds are hitting, I would rather have the hot bat getting the extra at bats than the ones that aren't.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 04-29-2007 at 02:08 PM.
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    You don't get it. If he's hot, ride him till he's not and then put him back when he cools off. It's all about who is producing right now on a team that is struggling offensively. Sometimes you have to get out of the book and into what's really happening on the field. Is Gonzalez going to put up the numbers over the entire season. Very, very doubtful, but I certainly don't have a problem taking advantage of the production while it's there. Your crappy "cult" argument is nothing but a poor defense of a bad position.
    You are the one who chirped the magic "do the right things" phrase.

    And, no, I am not a fan of moving guys who are hot for the reasons Yachtzee related and others. Look, I am rooting like hell for Alex G, I have him on my fantasy team, I want him to hit 20 homeruns this year. Heck I think he can. But I would rather he do it from the seven hole, where his historical (based on MANY at-bats) low OBP does the least damage and his power might do the most good. That's all.

    But, hey, if my railing on the move jinxes him to more homeruns, like today, fine by me.

  13. #42
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post

    However, I'm not a fan of moving a guy up just because he's got a "hot bat," especially if he's not normally a good hitter. I feel that when you do that, you are essentially reacting to short term results without considering likely future performance. If you move a guy up because he appears "locked in," how long do you keep him up there while he reverts back to his norm? Assuming guys hit in hot and cold cycles, by the time you realize someone has a "hot bat," he's already getting close to the high point in the cycle or else he has already started his decline back towards the mean.


    I understand everyone's problem with the "hot hand" approach.

    But if you didn't look at it this way, what would be the point of advance scouting?

    It's the perfect example of the micro vs. macro argument. Long term stats are perfect for the macro. They are much more important in analyzing personnel moves. But every player has ups and downs, injuries and hot streaks throughout the season. And on top of the short term stats, the coaching staff is watching Alex's stroke, and it's not hard to see he's raking. Will it last forever? Probably not. But let's maximize the return while we can.

    Making these kind of subjective judgments, in concert with an understanding of stats, that's what the smart teams do.

    Sabrmetrics tells us in no uncertain terms that lineup construction doesn't matter. I don't agree with that, and I do believe that certain players are better suited for different slots in the lineup, especially if you are expecting your number two hitter to move runners over by either bunting or hitting it on the ground to the right side. I'm not pushing that approach either. Just commenting on how different game plans require different skill sets.
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  14. #43
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    I understand everyone's problem with the "hot hand" approach.

    But if you didn't look at it this way, what would be the point of advance scouting?

    It's the perfect example of the micro vs. macro argument. Long term stats are perfect for the macro. They are much more important in analyzing personnel moves. But every player has ups and downs, injuries and hot streaks throughout the season. And on top of the short term stats, the coaching staff is watching Alex's stroke, and it's not hard to see he's raking. Will it last forever? Probably not. But let's maximize the return while we can.

    Making these kind of subjective judgments, in concert with an understanding of stats, that's what the smart teams do.

    Sabrmetrics tells us in no uncertain terms that lineup construction doesn't matter. I don't agree with that, and I do believe that certain players are better suited for different slots in the lineup, especially if you are expecting your number two hitter to move runners over by either bunting or hitting it on the ground to the right side. I'm not pushing that approach either. Just commenting on how different game plans require different skill sets.
    I agree with what you say for the most part. If a guy genuinely appears to have figured things out with his swing and plate approach, that's something to take into account. However if a guy is doing the same things he has always done and is just getting lucky, I think it's folly to reorganize the lineup around luck. A guy who seems dialed in today could put on the "golden sombrero" tomorrow.

    Personally, I think lineups should be organized around OBP. Guys with good OBP should bat at the top of the lineup because a high OBP shows that they're good at not making outs. On one level, it means they're getting on base. But it also means that if someone is on base ahead of them, they could also be moving the runner over and not making outs. I want these guys to get the most ABs in a game. Guys with lower OBP, I'm probably going to bat lower in the order. I might actually ask them to lay down a bunt or something like that because I'm not as certain they'll get on base, I might be more willing to give up an out in order to move a runner over. But I'm fine if a manager takes micro decisions into account, as long as those decisions are based on some real information and not just because a guy is getting lucky for a week with his hits falling in.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  15. #44
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    But in order to take full advantage of "hot bats," doesn't it require a bit of clairvoyance to determine who's going to get hot and who's starting a slump? How do you know when a guy is about to cool off and when someone else is about to break out?
    Solid statement. I base it mainly on the fact that when your entire team, offensively, is struggling like the Reds have been doing this first month of the season, it's not an uncommon practice for any manager to "shake it up" when it comes to the batting order to try and get a lethargic offense going. After 4 weeks it's not hard for a manager to see, when looking at one's statistics, as well as watching them at the plate, who is struggling and possibly in a slump, as well as who looks as if they are coming out of it.

    No, it's not a scientific approach. Not every decision in the game of baseball (during a game) has to be based on science. Call it playing a hunch based on observation I guess. But if I see that someone, as rfs mentioned earlier, appears to be "zoned in" - and it could be a guy who is normally a .240 hitter - then I'm gonna try to maximize that, even on a temporary basis.

    When EE first came up, didn't he bat in the lower part of the batting order? And didn't some suggest that is where Hamilton should also start out? Why? Due to their youth and inexperience people didn't want to immediately see their feet thrown into the fire in a high pressure situation where one is required to produce.

    It's just not uncommon for a manager to use that bottom half of the batting order, where there isn't that pressure, to help a struggling/slumping player. And the opposite is also true when a player gets hot, while someone in that top slot is slumping.

    I've really been watching EE over the last week. His plate approach is looking much better. He was still making outs, but he was also making solid contact on the ball. His timing has looked much better. I personally felt things were gonna start to fall in for him. Again, it's not scientific, just based on observation.

    But hasn't it also been said somewhere, and even discussed on this forum, that when it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter WHERE one bats in the lineup? Maybe that is a subject matter for another thread topic?
    Last edited by GAC; 04-29-2007 at 09:11 PM.
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  16. #45
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    Re: Managing ain't what it used to be

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    Solid statement. I base it mainly on the fact that when your entire team, offensively, is struggling like the Reds have been doing this first month of the season, it's not an uncommon practice for any manager to "shake it up" when it comes to the batting order to try and get a lethargic offense going. After 4 weeks it's not hard for a manager to see, when looking at one's statistics, as well as watching them at the plate, who is struggling and possibly in a slump, as well as who looks as if they are coming out of it.

    No, it's not a scientific approach. Not every decision in the game of baseball (during a game) has to be based on science. Call it a hunch I guess. But if I see that someone, as rfs mentioned earlier, appears to be "zoned in" - and it could be a guy who is normally a .240 hitter - then I'm gonna try to maximize that, even on a temporary basis.

    When EE first came up, didn't he bat in the lower part of the batting order? And didn't some suggest that is where Hamilton should also start out? Why? Due to their youth and inexperience people didn't want to immediately see their feet thrown into the fire in a high pressure situation where one is required to produce.

    It's just not uncommon for a manager to use that bottom half of the batting order, where there isn't that pressure, to help a struggling/slumping player. And the opposite is also true when a player gets hot, while someone in that top slot is slumping.

    But hasn't it also been said somewhere, and even discussed on this forum, that when it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter WHERE one bats in the lineup?
    Those are things to be taken into consideration, sure. I might drop Encarnacion down in the batting order because he's just having a real hard time. I don't get to watch the Reds on TV, so I don't really know if Gonzalez is doing better because he's being more patient or has changed his stance to close a hole in his swing or something, but based on what he's doing right now vs. his usual self, I have to feel he won't keep this up much longer. Meanwhile, some of the other guys who are slumping right now are likely to turn things around. When do you drop Gonzalez back down? And if dropping the cold bats is the way to go, why not bat Freel 7th or 8th? He's been just as much an out machine as Encarnacion lately.

    I think that it has been said that where one bats in the lineup is used in the context that ordering a lineup so that you have a light hitting on base guy first, a bunter/slap hitter "move 'em over" type second, and power hitters 3rd and 4th really only matters in the first trip through the lineup. If that's the case, I look at lineups from the perspective of conserving outs. I want guys who get on base and don't make outs up top because they'll come to the plate more often. If they get on base, that keeps the inning alive, scores runs, sets the table for guys down the line up, and wears down the pitcher faster. I put out-machines in the lower half of the lineup because I want to score as many runs as I can before one of these guys has to bunt a guy over or grounds into a double play. That's the general philosophy. Do I modify it based on short term considerations? Yes. But I resist the temptation to drop guys who get on base and hit for power down in the lower half of the lineup because of a slump. There are other candidates on this team who are slumping just as bad, if not worse, than Adam Dunn who should be batting lower in the order in favor of Gonzalez.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.


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