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Thread: What's your formula?

  1. #1
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    What's your formula?

    I have been thinking about doing this topic for about a month or better now. I just feel that by knowing each other's preferences for enjoying the game of baseball, it would lend itself to a bit more tolerance of each other's stance on a particular issue. For example what style of play do you prefer, Earl Weaver or Whitey Herzog or perhaps something different? Do you prefer to watch homegrown talent or are you all about signing big name FA's? Would you employ all power pitchers or do you like a nice mixture of styles? What type of stadium/field would your ideal team play it's home games in/on? Is it a pitcher's park or a hitter's paradise?

    Certainly we can all agree on the fact that winning is the most enjoyable aspect of watching the game. However if you could put together your ideal type of team to win, what would it look like. I like to keep in mind that there are always going to be financial constraints so you can't just always get what you want ideally at every position so perhaps make the team with the thought that you are a mid market team. Mine would be something like this.

    I prefer a balanced offensive attack 1-8 where each guy is versatile enough to do whatever is necc. given the situation albeit at varying levels. In other words I want no glaring weaknesses, for example my #4 hitter better be able to at least get a bunt down. He doesn't have to be great at it as I will likely only need him to do it a couple of times a season at best, but when called on I expect him to not be awful at it. Likewise I want a leadoff hitter who has enough pop that teams give him the respect that he can drive the ball if need be.

    Offense

    Consider this my ideal minimum lineup

    #1 - great baserunner/very good base stealer, very good plate patience/discipline, good batting avg, respectable amount of pop

    #2 - Less speed, slightly more pop, excellent situational hitter

    #3 - Hits for both high power & avg #'s, very good base runner and stealer

    #4 - More power, much less speed, knack for driving in runs, good base runner, ok base stealer

    #5 - Same as #4 except a tick down in everything except for knack for driving in runs and baserunning

    #'s 6 & 7- Same as 5

    #8 - Basically a lesser version of the #1 type hitter

    I prefer my leadoff guy be a LH or SH, assuming he can actually hit from both sides equally well. And for me the more true SH that I have in the lineup the better. I also prefer a LH-RH-LH-RH method, all other things being equal.

    Defense

    I will sacrifice some offense for defense especially but not limited too premium defensive positions (I.E. up the middle). Basically here I prefer to be no less than league avg at every non-premium position (the corners) and above avg at every premium defensive position. Actually if I could pull it off I would be above avg accross the board but that might cut too deeply into the offense.


    Pitching

    I want a mix of styles in my rotation. Both power and finesse, mostly power but just enough finesse to keep opposing lineups off balance. Variety of pitches being a determining factor all other things being equal. By example if I have a lot of guys in my pen that throw sliders then I want at least one or 2 guys to throw something else assuming there is no big drop off in production to keeping a curve guy over a slider guy.

    I prefer to have at least 1 LHP in my rotation and preferably he be the #2 or #3 starter assuming my best starter is RH. I also prefer at minimum 2 LHP's in the pen. I like the idea of 1 Closer and 2 guys capable of set-up, 1 LH and 1 RH. And I also prefer 1 guy for long relief/starter in a pinch. Preferably his handedness should be opposite of the majority of the back end of the rotation.

    The Park

    The park/field should play as Nuetral for both hitters and pitchers. And be versatile in it's own right. Milwaukee's Stadium suits me just fine.


    Again view most all of my preferences as the minimum, as any of us would love to have more. But basically I want to be able to play any type of ball that I need to, thus all the versatility/flexibility. Not a ton of strengths but absolutely no glaring weaknesses.
    Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 01-08-2008 at 07:30 PM.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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  3. #2
    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    When it comes to entertainment factor...

    FA's are cool, but in my opinion, nothing's more fun than watching a guy develop from draft day and contribute on the big league club. As far as pitchers go, I like "stuff" guys. Probably because I know very little about "crafty" pitching. Really good fastball/changeup guys are my favorite. (Yes I like Travis Wood in case you haven't got the hint yet)

  4. #3
    You're being very UnDude. sonny's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    I like my lineup to score runs.

    I like my pitching to prevent runs.
    Witty signature.

  5. #4
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonny View Post
    I like my lineup to score runs.

    I like my pitching to prevent runs.
    Go ahead, make it really difficult

  6. #5
    You're being very UnDude. sonny's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Go ahead, make it really difficult
    Its a wonder I'm not managing in the Big Leagues.
    Witty signature.

  7. #6
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    I would like to see the Cincinnati Reds win a World Series with this team. For some reason, I think it could happen only in a strike year, though.

    C Guillermo Garcia
    C Miguel Perez
    1B Tim Belk
    1B Stephen Larkin
    2B Brian Koelling
    2B William Bergolla
    3B Pete Rose, Jr.
    3B Mike Bell
    3B Jim Chamblee
    SS Keith Kessinger
    OF Greg Tubbs
    OF Mike Frank
    OF Keith Gordon
    OF Mark Budzinski
    RP Mike Anderson
    RP Chris Bushing
    RP Matt Grott
    RP John Courtright
    SP Curt Lyons
    SP Eddie Priest
    RP Rick Greene
    SP Lance Davis
    RP Scott MacRae
    RP Chris Piersoll
    RP Justin Atchley
    SP Josh Hall
    RP Scott Randall
    RP Juan Cerros

  8. #7
    Go Reds Go! UKFlounder's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    I just like watching the game in a major league stadium. Obviously, I prefer it when the Reds win, but I just like baseball, and have no "formula" for what makes it better or worse.

    I understand stuff like speed at the top of the lineup and concepts of lineup construction, but those kind of discussions and a lot of the statistical talk don't catch my interest. I'm not saying they're wrong, they're just not what I care about much, if at all.

    Put the players on the field & play the game, making an attempt to win. That's what I look for.

  9. #8
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Run Scoring:
    1. OBP is life. You can score 800 runs without a ton of power if you don't throw away outs at the top and bottom of the lineup. If you throw away a lot of outs, no amount of speed or power will save you. If you have the skill to make high quality contact regularly (ie. hit .300), I won't bemoan a low walk rate. But if you can't, you better learn to take some pitches.

    2. Base running is more important than speed. You can steal 100 bases and if you get caught 40 times, you're doing more harm than good. Speed is a precision tool, best used when the reward clearly outweighs the risk. However, that sort of leveraged situation doesn't come along as often as you think it does. Good base running is applicable every single time a guy is on base.

    3. Don't ignore the small stuff. Call in the Brandon Phillips rule. He grounded in to 26 double plays last year. That hurts and it's not purely luck. When people talk about fundamentals, too often it's taken as not striking out when that specifically isn't a big deal. But there are little things that add up.

    Run Prevention:
    1. Keep guys off base. For run prevention, OBP is death. My #1 priority in a pitcher is a low walk rate. You can have a big park to offset fly ball tendencies. You can have a better defense to help offset low strikeout rates. You can't do anything about a pitcher putting guys on base all by himself.

    2. Ground balls. On a 1v1 basis, a ground ball and a fly ball are roughly worth the same amount, as grounders turn in to more hits, but fly balls turn in to more extra base hits. However, ground balls create double plays. Ground balls require a longer string of "bad luck" to amount to runs. And most importantly, ground balls can't be HR. A flyball from Scott Hatteberg is mostly harmless. A flyball from Dunn is not. Meanwhile, their groundballs are worth about the same. Unfortunately, as a pitcher (not named Greg Maddux), you can't really choose to allow a flyball to Hatteberg and a grounder to Dunn. Better to allow grounders to everybody.

    3. Defense, particularly up the middle where the most balls are hit, is more about range than hands. Due to the way human perception works, we discount the value of the absent. Given two SS, one might get to 15 of 20 balls and boot 2, ending up with 13 outs in 20 chances. Another might get to 12 and boot 1, ending up with 11 outs in 20 chances. But if we're just watching them, or worse, looking at a century old statistic, we might thing that the latter player is better. Furthermore, you can work with a guy to improve what he does when he gets to the ball. You aren't likely to make him any quicker or have much better route judgment.
    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.

  10. #9
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    Re: What's your formula?

    By batting order as someone else did:

    1. On-base first, then baserunning Ideal #: .390+ OBP, good baserunner
    2. On-base first, decent handler of the bat, few GIDP's. Ideal: .380 OBP, good handler
    3. On-base first, power second, not much else matters. Ideal: Adam Dunn type
    4. On-base first, power second (more OPS in the 3 hole than this one) Ideal: Griffey '07
    5. On-base first, Power second (third OPS from 3,4,5 orders) Ideal: .360 OBP, .480 SLG
    6. Next best OPS
    7. Next best OPS
    8. Next best OPS
    9. Next best OPS (doesn't always have to be pitcher...if I had Micah Owings (.333/.349/.683 in 60 AB's), he would not be batting 9th)
    Last edited by TOBTTReds; 01-09-2008 at 12:13 PM.

  11. #10
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Run Scoring:
    1. OBP is life. You can score 800 runs without a ton of power if you don't throw away outs at the top and bottom of the lineup. If you throw away a lot of outs, no amount of speed or power will save you. If you have the skill to make high quality contact regularly (ie. hit .300), I won't bemoan a low walk rate. But if you can't, you better learn to take some pitches.

    2. Base running is more important than speed. You can steal 100 bases and if you get caught 40 times, you're doing more harm than good. Speed is a precision tool, best used when the reward clearly outweighs the risk. However, that sort of leveraged situation doesn't come along as often as you think it does. Good base running is applicable every single time a guy is on base.

    3. Don't ignore the small stuff. Call in the Brandon Phillips rule. He grounded in to 26 double plays last year. That hurts and it's not purely luck. When people talk about fundamentals, too often it's taken as not striking out when that specifically isn't a big deal. But there are little things that add up.

    Run Prevention:
    1. Keep guys off base. For run prevention, OBP is death. My #1 priority in a pitcher is a low walk rate. You can have a big park to offset fly ball tendencies. You can have a better defense to help offset low strikeout rates. You can't do anything about a pitcher putting guys on base all by himself.

    2. Ground balls. On a 1v1 basis, a ground ball and a fly ball are roughly worth the same amount, as grounders turn in to more hits, but fly balls turn in to more extra base hits. However, ground balls create double plays. Ground balls require a longer string of "bad luck" to amount to runs. And most importantly, ground balls can't be HR. A flyball from Scott Hatteberg is mostly harmless. A flyball from Dunn is not. Meanwhile, their groundballs are worth about the same. Unfortunately, as a pitcher (not named Greg Maddux), you can't really choose to allow a flyball to Hatteberg and a grounder to Dunn. Better to allow grounders to everybody.

    3. Defense, particularly up the middle where the most balls are hit, is more about range than hands. Due to the way human perception works, we discount the value of the absent. Given two SS, one might get to 15 of 20 balls and boot 2, ending up with 13 outs in 20 chances. Another might get to 12 and boot 1, ending up with 11 outs in 20 chances. But if we're just watching them, or worse, looking at a century old statistic, we might thing that the latter player is better. Furthermore, you can work with a guy to improve what he does when he gets to the ball. You aren't likely to make him any quicker or have much better route judgment.
    Explain #3 a little further, Rick.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  12. #11
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Phillips GIDP are often the result of him hacking in hitters counts, which also is the best time he's shown as the moments that he produces. It's a case of a lot of good and some bad,

    15 of his GIDP were in his first 3 pitches seen
    Code:
    1st Pitch  	.333/.340/.549 - 5/GIDP
    1-0 		.317/.333/.583 - 9/GIDP
    2-0 		.438/.438/.563 - 1/GIDP

  13. #12
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    Explain #3 a little further, Rick.
    This is the stuff that often gets derided by us stats guys. It's the performance which doesn't show up necessarily in OPS, but has a tangible effect on the outcome of games, both in specific circumstances and over time.

    It's "fundamentals" if you will. It's what makes a 92 win team a 96 or 98 win team. It's a solid base of performance that helps you deal with those performance variations that simply cannot be prevented. You can't hit a HR every time it counts, but there's no excuse for missing the cutoff man. And sometimes, not hitting the cutoff man can cost you a game.

    Now, don't get me wrong, doing these things well does not excuse a 65% SB success rate or a .310 OBP. You can be the best fundamentals guy or team in the world and still stink if you don't get the big things right. However, doing these things can be considered that last 10%, the things that help take you from division winner to champion or mere contender to wild card winner.

    So, GIDP rates are one thing. Hitting a sac fly in a high leverage situation in which a guaranteed run is worth an out is another. You could put not getting picked off in here as well, though it's really #2. It's running out of the box on a routine grounder. It's putting the ball in play with runners on base and two outs and being behind in the count. I suppose it also covers defense as well. It's turning the double play when the opportunity arises. It's hitting the cutoff man to keep the batter from advancing to second base. It even goes to managers. It means not using a lefty as a LOOGY when he doesn't have splits. It means letting a middle reliever close a game out with a 3 run lead and a tired closer. It means taking a pitcher out when he's tired and struggling even though he's Pedro Martinez.

    The conventional measurements of contribution simply don't account for these things. But they matter. Let me reiterate, these things cannot offset a lack of the big things. We have a tendency, as humans, to want to give more weight to those things we control and discount the value of things we consider inherent. David Eckstein gets credit for making the most of his abilities. However, while that's certainly valuable and laudable, it doesn't make him more valuable than ARod. While Derek Jeter is a very intelligent defender, it doesn't begin to make up for his horrific lack of range.

    So, get fundamentally sound players. Teach the fundamentals to your players. Emphasize them not-stop. The Angels have had great success doing this. Just don't do it at the expense of things like OBP and defensive range. A fundamentally poor Adam Dunn is still immensely more productive, and thus more valuable, than a fundamentally sound (go with me here...) Norris Hopper; even if it doesn't make us feel warm inside to admit it.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 01-09-2008 at 01:55 PM.
    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.

  14. #13
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Phillips GIDP are often the result of him hacking in hitters counts, which also is the best time he's shown as the moments that he produces. It's a case of a lot of good and some bad,

    15 of his GIDP were in his first 3 pitches seen
    Code:
    1st Pitch  	.333/.340/.549 - 5/GIDP
    1-0 		.317/.333/.583 - 9/GIDP
    2-0 		.438/.438/.563 - 1/GIDP
    I think it's somewhat akin to Dunn and his strikeouts. They are part and parcel to his approach. You just have to make sure you properly account for them when considering the value of the whole package. Dunn gets killed for striking out, but nobody wants to talk about Phillips killing innings by hitting in to more than twice as many double plays as Dunn.

    I'm not saying Phillips can stop hitting in to them any more than Dunn can stop striking out or hit sac-flys on command, but they should not be ignored when considering the player. We've historically focused on just some of these things and ignored others, unjustly so given their relative impacts on the outcomes of games.
    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.

  15. #14
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I think it's somewhat akin to Dunn and his strikeouts. They are part and parcel to his approach. You just have to make sure you properly account for them when considering the value of the whole package. Dunn gets killed for striking out, but nobody wants to talk about Phillips killing innings by hitting in to more than twice as many double plays as Dunn.

    I'm not saying Phillips can stop hitting in to them any more than Dunn can stop striking out or hit sac-flys on command, but they should not be ignored when considering the player. We've historically focused on just some of these things and ignored others, unjustly so given their relative impacts on the outcomes of games.
    Some of your best posts I've ever seen are in this thread. Well said.

  16. #15
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: What's your formula?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    This is the stuff that often gets derided by us stats guys. It's the performance which doesn't show up necessarily in OPS, but has a tangible effect on the outcome of games, both in specific circumstances and over time.

    It's "fundamentals" if you will. It's what makes a 92 win team a 96 or 98 win team. It's a solid base of performance that helps you deal with those performance variations that simply cannot be prevented. You can't hit a HR every time it counts, but there's no excuse for missing the cutoff man. And sometimes, not hitting the cutoff man can cost you a game.

    Now, don't get me wrong, doing these things well does not excuse a 65% SB success rate or a .310 OBP. You can be the best fundamentals guy or team in the world and still stink if you don't get the big things right. However, doing these things can be considered that last 10%, the things that help take you from division winner to champion or mere contender to wild card winner.

    So, GIDP rates are one thing. Hitting a sac fly in a high leverage situation in which a guaranteed run is worth an out is another. You could put not getting picked off in here as well, though it's really #2. It's running out of the box on a routine grounder. It's putting the ball in play with runners on base and two outs and being behind in the count. I suppose it also covers defense as well. It's turning the double play when the opportunity arises. It's hitting the cutoff man to keep the batter from advancing to second base. It even goes to managers. It means not using a lefty as a LOOGY when he doesn't have splits. It means letting a middle reliever close a game out with a 3 run lead and a tired closer. It means taking a pitcher out when he's tired and struggling even though he's Pedro Martinez.

    The conventional measurements of contribution simply don't account for these things. But they matter. Let me reiterate, these things cannot offset a lack of the big things. We have a tendency, as humans, to want to give more weight to those things we control and discount the value of things we consider inherent. David Eckstein gets credit for making the most of his abilities. However, while that's certainly valuable and laudable, it doesn't make him more valuable than ARod. While Derek Jeter is a very intelligent defender, it doesn't begin to make up for his horrific lack of range.

    So, get fundamentally sound players. Teach the fundamentals to your players. Emphasize them not-stop. The Angels have had great success doing this. Just don't do it at the expense of things like OBP and defensive range. A fundamentally poor Adam Dunn is still immensely more productive, and thus more valuable, than a fundamentally sound (go with me here...) Norris Hopper; even if it doesn't make us feel warm inside to admit it.
    Great post!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden


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