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Thread: Small Ball

  1. #1
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Small Ball

    There seems to be a lot of hope that "small ball" is going to bring the Reds back from doom, and the "last 8 years of walk/homer ball".

    Not so much on the ORG but on the other side of the board and places like the Reds.com message board.

    My question for those that are in favor of playing more small ball, how many runs a game do you think the Reds can score playing that kind of game?

    Walt is building a smallball team, that's clear. What's the goal run wise?
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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  3. #2
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Just to put things in perspective, the Cubs scored 5.27 runs/game in 08 and the Brewers scored 4.64/game.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  4. #3
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    If you are going to play small ball, you better pitch and play great defense.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    If you are going to play small ball, you better get a shortstop and a third baseman.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  6. #5
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Can someone point me to a team that's made it to the playoffs in the last ten years that have been a "smallball" team?
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  7. #6
    Man Pills
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Can someone point me to a team that's made it to the playoffs in the last ten years that have been a "smallball" team?
    2001 D-Backs.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 12-28-2008 at 01:00 PM.

  8. #7
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Raisor, though I'm quite curious in the answers to your question, I think you've omitted one of the primary arguments for a "small ball" offense, better defense. Often I think that teams aren't actually building a small ball offense because of how much they like to bunt and score 1 run at a time. Rather it's that they feel that they can build an effective offense while still prioritizing defense across the board.

    With a certain generation of baseball people, winning games 4-3 is morally superior to winning games 6-5. Small ball is a much about allowing fewer runs as it is scoring runs in a more consistent manner -- which is that small ball proponents tend to claim is their objective.
    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.

  9. #8
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    The Reds are likely to play "no-ball".
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  10. #9
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    I think the notion of building a smallball team in a homer-friendly park is an example of the hubris that keeps teams from getting better--an obsession with what is assumed to be the right way of doing things that ignores raw reality. Didn't the Rockies try this in the Buddy Bell era?

  11. #10
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    I don't like the term "small ball". I prefer to call it "Run Suppression".
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  12. #11
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Weren't the Angels known for playing small-ball?

    Both them and the DRays won a lot of close games last year. Small-ball could be (read: probably was) a large part of that. Overall, they ranked 13th and 15th, respectively, in runs scored, but had the two best records. They pitched/played defense well, of course, but not THAT well.

    The key to small-ball is that you score runs when you need them. That means your record in close games matters as much or more than your run differential. The Angels, after all, only had 88 p-wins last year, but won 100 games because they were 61-28 in close games (decided by 2 runs or less). The Rays were 52-26 in close games.
    Last edited by kpresidente; 12-28-2008 at 01:23 PM.

  13. #12
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    2001 D-Backs.
    2007 D-Backs as well, I'd say. They played 11 games better then their pythagorean record, and they had a negative run differential.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  14. #13
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    Re: Small Ball

    I really think Walt wants to put defense on the field before he does some popgun offense. It's just that when you put a defense first team on the field, you're going to ding your offense. That's never not the case, unless you're the Yankees or Red Sox, who hoard all the few players who can defend and hit. There ain't too many David Wrights or Johnny Damons or A-Rods or Chase Utleys on non-coastal teams.

  15. #14
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    2001 D-Backs.
    You mean the team that scored 818 Runs while hitting more HR than all but three NL teams and stealing fewer bases than all but five? Finished third in BB. Second to last in the league in Sac Flies as well, but they did produce three or four more Sac Bunts than did the average team.

    Nothing at all "small ball" about that club.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  16. #15
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    I guess I haven't made it clear of what I'm asking.

    Around the internets the Taveras deal is actually pretty popular. People seem to be happy to get away from a homerun based offense and more towards a slap and steal offense.

    I'm wanting to hear from those people (and there are a few like that on the ORG). Now that the Reds are going to be the kind of offense some of you have wanted for years, how many runs/game do you expect? I've seen people predicting that the Reds will score more runs in 09 then they did the last few years. If you're reading this from the other side of the board, PM me. I'm just curious.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."


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