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Thread: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

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    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    The difference is illustrated here by Pete Rose:

    "Reds manager Dusty Baker loves Pete Rose and remembers when Rose once came up to him and asked, "How many hits you gonna get today, kid?"

    Said Baker, "Two-for-four," and Rose said, "What? You're going to waste two at-bats?"

    Baker laughed at the memory and said, "I guess that's why Pete has twice as many hits as me.""

    There is a vast difference between a solid approach to the game and a solid analysis of its results. I think somewhere in here lies the difference between the stats guys and the empirical guys.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    A "solid approach" should lead to good results. Otherwise, what value does it have? If someone's approach to the game is so great, then they should produce good results, most of which are easily measurable. If a player stinks they stink regardless of their "approach." Pete Rose is a good example. He was a great player, and his results prove it.

    And aren't "stat" guys the same thing as "empirical guys"?
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    "Reds manager Dusty Baker loves Pete Rose and remembers when Rose once came up to him and asked, "How many hits you gonna get today, kid?"

    Said Baker, "Two-for-four," and Rose said, "What? You're going to waste two at-bats?"

    Baker laughed at the memory and said, "I guess that's why Pete has twice as many hits as me.""

    There is a vast difference between a solid approach to the game and a solid analysis of its results. I think somewhere in here lies the difference between the stats guys and the empirical guys.

    Sounds like a couple of ballplayers discussing (the horror) stats. Last I checked, base hits were a stat and at bats were a stat. And when you divide base hits by at bats you get batting average which is yet another stat.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Juan Pierre's game is much more exciting to watch than Adam Dunn's (go with me here...). But Adam Dunn's game produces more runs and thus more wins. There's a similar dynamic for all activities and abilities. Perhaps a small ball inning requires a lot of work, leverages a lot of players and skills, and makes the players feel like their hardwork reading that pitcher's delivery has paid off. The inning where the pitcher walked two guys and the bopper drilled a 3 run homer just sort of happened.

    There's an aesthetic value, you might say athletic value, to the game which does not exactly square with the actual won/loss value of those activities. Particularly among the athletes themselves, there's a disproportionate value placed on those actions which result from hard work, study, and effort than that which results from talent or less practiced / more ingrained skills (like power and plate discipline).

    That's not to say that athletes somehow can't get "stat" approach, but merely that they come from a background which carries with it a set of biases that must be unlearned to a degree. Some are willing to do it. Some learn that while a single, a SB, a bunt, and a grounder to the right side feels more rewarding, a walk and a double off the wall is more valuable. Some learn differentiate between their well developed emotional connections to certain actions from the real mathematical value of it. But some simply shout louder that heart really does win games, that speed at the top of the lineup is more important than OBP, and that homers kill rallies.

    I think the difference is partially borne of personality. Some players seem to have the approach that once they're done playing, they know what they need to know about the game. Any announcing gig is merely an opportunity to enlighten the masses of how things work. Others are more curious and realize that what they needed to know to play the game well is not the same as doing accurate analysis.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-22-2008 at 02:12 AM.
    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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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Sounds like a couple of ballplayers discussing (the horror) stats. Last I checked, base hits were a stat and at bats were a stat. And when you divide base hits by at bats you get batting average which is yet another stat.


    Yep. How ironic that Pete Rose knew more about his own stats than any player who ever lived. And if the advanced metrics of today were in fashion when he played, he'd have known all about them too. He was more aware of his place in history than any player I've ever seen. And you measure that place, not just by hustle and heart, but also with numbers.

    Really, the argument shouldn't be stats vs. tradition. It's about choosing the right stats with which to measure. Traditionalists are all over traditional stats.

    And Rick, regarding your post.... Players don't get to decide if they like the idea of putting the ball on the ground to the right side to move a runner along or any other "small ball" tactic. If management is using that system or "offense" if you will, you do what management wants. If you don't, you'll be looking for a job elsewhere.

    Time and time again I see posters blasting guys for doing what they're told to do, what is expected of them.

    The criticism, if any, should be directed towards the management which encourages and REQUIRES them to approach the game this way. They're trained in situational hitting from the time they sign a contract, in varying degrees depending on the organization.

    You don't get to decide if you like the California Offense better than the T Formation in football. You run the offense that your team employs, regardless of your preferences.

    Same thing in baseball. Although there seems to be the massive disconnect between the fans who think a player should ignore the "small ball" approach DEMANDED by the manager and do something else.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Oh lord, another stats verus tradition thread.

    Well, Dunn's gone, I guess it had to be done.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Yep. How ironic that Pete Rose knew more about his own stats than any player who ever lived. And if the advanced metrics of today were in fashion when he played, he'd have known all about them too. He was more aware of his place in history than any player I've ever seen. And you measure that place, not just by hustle and heart, but also with numbers.

    Really, the argument shouldn't be stats vs. tradition. It's about choosing the right stats with which to measure. Traditionalists are all over traditional stats.

    And Rick, regarding your post.... Players don't get to decide if they like the idea of putting the ball on the ground to the right side to move a runner along or any other "small ball" tactic. If management is using that system or "offense" if you will, you do what management wants. If you don't, you'll be looking for a job elsewhere.

    Time and time again I see posters blasting guys for doing what they're told to do, what is expected of them.

    The criticism, if any, should be directed towards the management which encourages and REQUIRES them to approach the game this way. They're trained in situational hitting from the time they sign a contract, in varying degrees depending on the organization.

    You don't get to decide if you like the California Offense better than the T Formation in football. You run the offense that your team employs, regardless of your preferences.

    Same thing in baseball. Although there seems to be the massive disconnect between the fans who think a player should ignore the "small ball" approach DEMANDED by the manager and do something else.
    Very well said. When it comes to decisions of strategy and tactics, the blame/credit falls directly on those that make the decision, i.e. management who calls for such plays and the front office for acquiring players whose skillsets favor a certain strategic philosophy. I think if you gave no other instruction to a ballplayer other than the rules of the game, I'm willing to bet most of them would just try to get on base.
    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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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I think if you gave no other instruction to a ballplayer other than the rules of the game, I'm willing to bet most of them would just try to get on base.


    That's an interesting thought, but it will never be manifested in the real world.

    "Playing the game the right way" is an institutionalized system of coaching and teaching that has deep, deep roots. It's taught from day one all over the world.

    Sure, there are mavericks who are trying to spread the gospel of OBP and not giving outs away, but it's far from mainstream at this point.

    The only way it's going to become mainstream is when teams start winning with that method and it becomes recognized throughout the baseball universe as the reason why.

    That's already happening to a degree, but it's going to a long, long while before you stop hearing George Grande yapping on about "get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in".

    And frankly, I don't believe the day will EVER come where that offensive philosophy is retired.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Juan Pierre's game is much more exciting to watch than Adam Dunn's (go with me here...). But Adam Dunn's game produces more runs and thus more wins. There's a similar dynamic for all activities and abilities. Perhaps a small ball inning requires a lot of work, leverages a lot of players and skills, and makes the players feel like their hardwork reading that pitcher's delivery has paid off. The inning where the pitcher walked two guys and the bopper drilled a 3 run homer just sort of happened.

    There's an aesthetic value, you might say athletic value, to the game which does not exactly square with the actual won/loss value of those activities. Particularly among the athletes themselves, there's a disproportionate value placed on those actions which result from hard work, study, and effort than that which results from talent or less practiced / more ingrained skills (like power and plate discipline).

    That's not to say that athletes somehow can't get "stat" approach, but merely that they come from a background which carries with it a set of biases that must be unlearned to a degree. Some are willing to do it. Some learn that while a single, a SB, a bunt, and a grounder to the right side feels more rewarding, a walk and a double off the wall is more valuable. Some learn differentiate between their well developed emotional connections to certain actions from the real mathematical value of it. But some simply shout louder that heart really does win games, that speed at the top of the lineup is more important than OBP, and that homers kill rallies.

    I think the difference is partially borne of personality. Some players seem to have the approach that once they're done playing, they know what they need to know about the game. Any announcing gig is merely an opportunity to enlighten the masses of how things work. Others are more curious and realize that what they needed to know to play the game well is not the same as doing accurate analysis.
    i.e. work smarter, not harder.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    That's an interesting thought, but it will never be manifested in the real world.

    That's already happening to a degree, but it's going to a long, long while before you stop hearing George Grande yapping on about "get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in".

    And frankly, I don't believe the day will EVER come where that offensive philosophy is retired.
    Not to mention the current coaches and managers will obviously feal the need to do something out there. It's only natural that they will want to impart their brillant guidance and wisdom to the next generation. Much (if not all) of that guidance is based on PTGTRW.

    I mean, if they just sit back and let the players play what will happen?!?!!?

    My direct supervisor is great. He's hands off, don't try to impose the same style of selling on his various guys and just lets us play to our strengths. He'll smack you around if needed, but basically he just lets us do our thing. Our group is the top producing group in the company and has been for a while.

    The division manager, while a great guy, is VERY hands on. It's stifling. Hes got some good ideas but some real clunkers too. And he wants all the guys selling in the same way. Unfortunatley, each of the sales guys has their own strengths and weaknesses. So some of the guys are having their strengths minimized, and some of the guys are having their weaknesses magnified.

    Almost like trying to make Brandon Phillips be a power hitter.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  12. #11
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    I think stats and the eyes need to be melded-together they can really inform. Separately, each approach has value but each can also miss important information.

    In other words, each "polar position" in the stats vs tradition argument could benefit greatly by moving more to the middle.

    BTW, I agree, if you quizzed a group of kids who are passionate about playing baseball, i'll bet to a person they'll say they absolutely HATE making an out while batting but absolutely love making one in the field.
    Last edited by jojo; 08-22-2008 at 09:55 AM.
    "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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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Sure, there are mavericks who are trying to spread the gospel of OBP and not giving outs away, but it's far from mainstream at this point.

    Like Branch Rickey? :
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  14. #13
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Sabermetrics is the art of explaining statistical analysis to someone who thinks he's giving 110 percent.

    Pete Rose knew more about baseball than any player who ever lived, and lost money betting on it.

  15. #14
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Like Branch Rickey? :

    What percentage of little league and high school coaches around the world know about Branch Rickey's beliefs about this?

    How many even know who he was?

    :
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Analyzing the game and playing the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Sabermetrics is the art of explaining statistical analysis to someone who thinks he's giving 110 percent.

    Pete Rose knew more about baseball than any player who ever lived, and lost money betting on it.


    Outstanding, BCubb.

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain


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