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Thread: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

  1. #91
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    That said, I see Jason's point. As a system, it might work out well, but as you divy up the responsibility, those models using linear weights are giving the fielder too much credit for the outcome of a given play. We can't give the fielders full credit for the outcome, positive or negative, of those events. Sure, the RE might have been altered up to .77 runs on that non-play, however, only some portion of that can truly be attributed to the fielder.
    I'll actually go out on a nice, sturdy limb and sum up the linear weights defensive values as this: most of the "credit" it wants to hand over to fielders who make the plays really belongs to the pitchers, and most of the "blame" it wants to hand out to fielders who don't make the plays also really belong to the pitchers.

    Historically, the game of baseball is divided as follows ... approximately 48 percent offense, 35 percent pitching, and 17 percent defensive fielding. That's historically, which means in today's era the pitching percentage is a bit higher with the defensive fielding percentage a bit lower. It wouldn't surprise me if defensive fielding is less than 15 percent of today's game with the pitching portion up over 37 percent. Back in 1917, however, the reverse would have been the case ... the pitching percentage was likely lower than 35 percent, and the defensive fielding percentage was likely higher than 17 percent.
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  3. #92
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    So what are we arguing here M2? The number of missed plays or the value of those missed plays?
    The latter, but it has to be grounded in the former.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    If you grant the 7 missed plays (I'm not sure on what basis you are arguing the 5 number) and a non-out, non-HR play results in .47 runs on average, the math is pretty clear.
    Like I said before, 7 extra plays is what you'd expect from a good defender, not an average one. Most 1Bs don't reach 80% of balls in their zone (only two full-timers did in 2007). I was just giving people an extreme outside figure to see if they could get to 4.1 using it. Which leads us to the next part of your post ...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    7 missed plays x .47 runs/play = 3.29 runs. So in 21 games Votto's missed plays resulted in 3 runs, not 4. Big whoop-de-doo Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here.
    So you're a run off even when using the high figure as opposed to a more reasonable one. Theoretically you'd want the high figure (7) to net you something above 4.1 so that you fall well within a comfortable range for Votto's fielding estimate. It should be noted that one run over 21 games of fielding constitutes a fatal error in the system. It's the equivalent of not being able to add 2 and 2 to get 4. The error range when you move into bigger numbers could be massive, causing you to radically overestimate the good or bad a player does in the field.

    And if we use the more likely "average" multiplier of 5 it means you're off by closer to two runs than one. You've basically missed the effect of Votto's poor defense in a small sample by double its actual amount. Once again, any system with that kind of wiggle on small samples could lead to catastrophic mistakes on large ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Can one of you clarify for me why it's ok to ignore the "not-an-out" part of the value. So if the run scoring portion of the non-play (the shouldn't have been base runner) is worth .47 runs, isn't the run prevention portion of the non-play (the should have been out) worth something too? The .47 treats the ball in play only as a part of the 36,224 event population, when the value of the play should incorporate the fact that it otherwise would have been part of the population of 130,000+ outs. We aren't going from non-existence to hit. We're going from out to hit. Or are these simply opposite sides of the same coin, not to be double counted? My thinking just isn't clear at the moment.
    No one's ignoring the not-an-out part of the value, but it's still part of pie that adds up to the total number of runs. If you want to start claiming greater values for it, then you need to lower other values in the run scoring mix. Otherwise you'll end up with hundreds (quite possibly thousands) of runs that never happened. You're right to bring up double counting as a potential error here, because a non-out is a non-out even if it theoretically should have been an out. Ultimately it will have the same run value as an equivalent, pristine non-out in the same situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I understand the importance of the distinction generally speaking, as extrapolating the difference in run valuation grows. However, it's clear in any case that poor defense can greatly cut in to the value of a player's offense and shouldn't be as discounted as it often seems to be in player valuation.
    Quite honestly, I think what you've got right there is a statement of the problem, not the answer. We know that poor defense is problematic, but I'd say these apples-to-oranges attempts at linear weights mashups are doing a poor job of providing much in the way of real insight. For instance, I don't need a system to tell me that Brandon Phillips playing quality defense at 2B makes him probably as valuable if not a little more valuable than Adam Dunn hitting the snot out of the ball, but stumbling around in LF. I already knew that, as I suspect most people did without having to run it through a calculator.

    Yet when no work has been done to establish whether the fielding run really is equivalent to the RAR run (let alone as to whether those add up to the total run pie), then it gives rise to all sort of potential malfeasance. What is the relative value of defense to offense? Should a "run" in one area be more valuable? How accurate are the defensive systems? If, as often seems to be the case, the value of players at the extremes of good and bad defense gets overstated, then how much can that skew our overall player valuation?

    There's a lot to think about around these quick and dirty player valuations, which, IMO, give a false sense of tidiness. There's complexity that hasn't been factored and rigor that hasn't been applied.
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  4. #93
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Quite honestly, I think what you've got right there is a statement of the problem, not the answer. We know that poor defense is problematic, but I'd say these apples-to-oranges attempts at linear weights mashups are doing a poor job of providing much in the way of real insight. For instance, I don't need a system to tell me that Brandon Phillips playing quality defense at 2B makes him probably as valuable if not a little more valuable than Adam Dunn hitting the snot out of the ball, but stumbling around in LF. I already knew that, as I suspect most people did without having to run it through a calculator.
    Unfortunately, I think your intuition about relative value is ahead of 99.5% of fans and commentators.

    Many people would say that Dunn's defense negates nearly all of his offensive value and that an all-defense, no hit SS is worth his weight in gold.

    I certainly have a lot of learning to do about all the various systems. I know there are problems with them. However, I think that they give a much better picture than does most people's intuition.

    While the sabr community should continue to refine these analysis in an academically rigorous way, we also shouldn't discount the potential value of simply getting some of this type of analysis out there, flawed as it is, to start building momentum of acceptance.
    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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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Well, sure, if you're going to be all rational about it.
    And why do discussions often break down even in the hollowed grounds of the ORG?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    And why do discussions often break down even in the hollowed grounds of the ORG?
    misuse of words?
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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    And why do discussions often break down even in the hollowed grounds of the ORG?
    ???

    Seems to me we're having a discussion at this very moment. What degree of rigor and accuracy should we be demanding from player valuation? What sort of things do we need to keep in perspective when we go down that road?

    Hell of a good discussion if you ask me.
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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    It should be noted that one run over 21 games of fielding constitutes a fatal error in the system. It's the equivalent of not being able to add 2 and 2 to get 4. The error range when you move into bigger numbers could be massive, causing you to radically overestimate the good or bad a player does in the field.
    Actually that is only the case if you extrapolate a 21 game fielding sample (in this case 33 chances) to a full season, which no one does.

    Obviously you're trying to argue that the run values are wrong, but you're not doing it convincingly.

    I'm wondering though why the same standard espoused above in attempts to marginalize defensive run values isn't applied to a metric like runs created which obviously overvalues the contributions of players with high OBP and SLG while being based upon an interaction between an on base component and an advancement component that is frankly impossible for individual players.....
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  9. #98
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    misuse of words?
    Not be me... it's pretty clear by the statement quoted that one view has been deemed rational and the opposing one has been deemed irrational.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Have you questioned Dewan's multiplier? Are we really to believe that nearly two-thirds of "missed" plays come around to score?
    Dewan doesn't actually report defensive run values but both he and James have offered their opinions on what a rough translation might be. Personally, I'd prefer to be conservative when sticking my thumb into the air.

    Also, it's probably pretty obvious from comments I've made in the past that I prefer run values estimated by LWTS.
    Last edited by jojo; 11-12-2007 at 04:47 PM.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  11. #100
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Actually that is only the case if you extrapolate a 21 game fielding sample (in this case 33 chances) to a full season, which no one does.

    Obviously you're trying to argue that the run values are wrong, but you're not doing it convincingly.
    No one does that? No one pays attention to the margin of error when it comes to the responsible use of numbers? No one notes that small errors made on small samples could portend large errors made on large samples?

    I think they do. In fact, professionally speaking, I know they do. You wouldn't want your bank to have that kind of attitude. I can tell you that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I'm wondering though why the same standard espoused above in attempts to marginalize defensive run values isn't applied to a metric like runs created which obviously overvalues the contributions of players with high OBP and SLG while being based upon an interaction between an on base component and an advancement component that is frankly impossible for individual players.....
    Well, feel free to offer up a better replacement metric (RAR ain't it), but it rings kind of hollow to me for a guy who a while back tried to pass off a 50% correlation as meaningful to be grousing about something with a 95% correlation to runs scored. That's the thing about RC and runs. When you add up RC across the league, you end up with something extremely close to the total number of actual runs. We only know this because the folks behind various RC calculators have to put to that sort of stringent test, and not just for one or a few seasons, for the whole of recorded baseball history.

    I might even agree with you about the flaws of RC, but let's have a little perspective.
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  12. #101
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Obviously you're trying to argue that the run values are wrong, but you're not doing it convincingly.
    I don't know how much more convincing one needs when it's the simple fact that these types of linear weights systems simply do not measure fielding defense accurately relative to offensive performance and pitching performance. This is a foundation right here, and it's an important one. These systems seemingly skip right over this foundation without even having a clue how much total value fielding defense is worth relative to offense and pitching.

    All these magical runs people pull out of thin air and and assign to these players defensive run values are just that, pulled out of thin air. They're coming from somewhere, but nobody seems to want to show anybody else where. Probably because nobody frankly knows where. Like M2 said earlier, if somebody wants to start claiming these high run values with these defensive systems, then the first thing I want to see is where are these runs are coming from. Which side of the ledger - offense and/or pitching - are you taking these runs from? Or are people satisfied with some unknown number of magic runs just appearing out of nowhere?

    I'm wondering though why the same standard espoused above in attempts to marginalize defensive run values isn't applied to a metric like runs created which obviously overvalues the contributions of players with high OBP and SLG while being based upon an interaction between an on base component and an advancement component that is frankly impossible for individual players.....
    I know runs created overvalues high OBP and SLG. I've known it for 10 years now since I was in high school. But I also know that this issue doesn't even start to get meaningful until we're talking about extreme players such as Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle. I know those players have slightly inflated RC and RC/27 totals, but that doesn't bother me ... because after all, are we going to sit here and discuss whether those players are slightly overrated or not? Doubtful.
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  13. #102
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Cyclone, just curious, but what defensive metrics do you like? Or what approaches to defensive measurement do you think hold the most promise?
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  14. #103
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    With Linear Weights, you have to count the values of the outs too though, right?
    So, speaking hypothetically -- what's the actual offensive value of an extra out?

    For example, if you had an offense that somehow (through a Jedi Mind Trick) managed to convince the umpire that they should get 1 extra out per game over their opposition, how many extra runs would they be expected to score over the course of a season (162 games of 28 Out baseball)?
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  15. #104
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Cyclone, just curious, but what defensive metrics do you like? Or what approaches to defensive measurement do you think hold the most promise?
    None in particular, at least at the current moment. I think - combined - metrics such as UZR, ZR, and PMR provide roughly a decent idea of defensive prowess, but I'd only go so far as determining which player may be a better defensive player than somebody else. I've yet to see any of those metrics, or any other metric for that matter, convert defensive ability into runs with any sort of accuracy. Going further, I've yet to see any of those metrics determine how much defensive prowess matters relative to offensive ability or total run value with any sort of accuracy.

    Pretty much the only defensive metric I've seen that has a solid foundation in how it relates fielding defense relative to offense and/or pitching is defensive win shares. Some other metrics may be better in determining which player is better than who defensively, but defensive win shares is the only one I've seen which has a good idea how much fielding defense is worth relative to offense and pitching.

    If any defensive metric out there attempts to place a run value on defense, then the first thing I want to know is where are those runs coming from and how much does this system value fielding defense relative to offense and pitching. I've yet to see any system other than defensive win shares come up with any type of reasonable answer to that.
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  16. #105
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    Re: The Value of our 2007 Cincinnati Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    the current era of baseball we're witnessing is one in which fielding defense is even less important than any other previous era. So not only is linear weights handing over an absurd amount of runs to fielding defense, it's doing so in an era of baseball where the value of fielding defense is probably as low as it's ever been.
    Why do we dismiss the value of fielding? Becuase there are more home runs? What makes defense less valuable today than 10-20-30-40 or 50 years ago? An out is still an out, and the more you get on defense, the better. What am I missing here?

    As far as Joey Votto, he didn't even appear in 21 full games worth of innings defensively, yet people seem to conclude he cost the Reds over 4 runs compared to the average defender. Stretch that out to a rate of 162 games, and that's 31 runs worse than the average as a 1B/LF. That's simply not realistic, not even close. Yes, it's a small sample size and one game could alter the results, but it's still not realistic.
    Well, firstly, it is realistic. See Ryan Braun. Secondly though, 1 bad game or 2 bad games (think Adam Dunn at the start of last year) could have really messed up such a small sample. Just like Votto's offense over that time, his defense over that time is to be taken with a grain of salt and you can't project it over a full season.


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