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Thread: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

  1. #16
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Fielding is half as important as offense? Not worthy of a response really. I won't be rushing out to by his latest book.
    Well there's some pretty smart people out there that would disagree, one of which that was recently hired by a successful MLB organization because of the statistical research they have done on baseball.

    You would think that if such a hypothesis didn't even approach passing the smell test that it would be easily disproavable. Care to share your findings?

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  3. #17
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    BTW, the latest Fielding Bible is a great read.
    "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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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Tango has argued for a split of offensive being 42%, pitching being 33%, and fielding being 25% when breaking the talent distribution out into those components.
    So, pitching + defense = 58%

    Pretty big number.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  5. #19
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    So, pitching + defense = 58%

    Pretty big number.
    So is it pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching or position player, position player, position player?
    "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

  6. #20
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    So is it pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching or position player, position player, position player?
    The adage is, you can never have too much pitching, right? Lends credence to the idea you can get by with a good-glove, no-hit SS, or maybe CF. The catcher's influence on run prevention remains an interesting mystery.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  7. #21
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Not exactly a eureka moment there for Dewan. First off, comparing the difference between the best and worst in offense and defense is a pretty arbitrary measure of the actual value of those things.

    Second, you're comparing one actual thing (offense) with one highly theoretical thing (runs saved/cost on defense). The best Dewan can say is he thinks that's where the defense landed.

    Third, if he's right, then the real revelation isn't that defense is worth 50% of offense, it's that it's exactly as valuable as pitching. Half the game is scoring runs, half the game is preventing runs. If defense is more valuable than we thought, then the thing that becomes less valuable is pitching.
    Makes me wonder what the best-worst spread is for pitching when evaluated using the defense-independent metrics.
    Not all who wander are lost

  8. #22
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    So, pitching + defense = 58%

    Pretty big number.
    I think that only shows that there's a flaw in these figures. Since one run scored is exactly equal to one run given up, how can offense vs. pitching/defense not be exactly 50/50?

  9. #23
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by ochre View Post
    I read it as him saying that the pythag theory is valid. No more no less. I'm probably over-simplifying, though. I had the odd impression he was saying that if you divide the circumference of a circle by it's diameter you'll always get teh same number.

    It's more interesting to know the relationship between pitching and fielding. Offense vs. Defense is pretty straight forward. Score more runs than you allow and you win.
    ... but did Dewan have his work validated by Raisor (father of the pyt)?

  10. #24
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    I think that only shows that there's a flaw in these figures. Since one run scored is exactly equal to one run given up, how can offense vs. pitching/defense not be exactly 50/50?
    Because a run saved is worth more than a run scored.

  11. #25
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Because a run saved is worth more than a run scored.
    Please explain.

  12. #26
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Please explain.
    Well, you can win a game 1-0. You can't always win a game when you allow a run. Thats on a very basic level of course. But its all about the run scoring environments.

    In lower run scoring environments, each run is more valuable. If you prevent a run, it keeps the scoring environment lower. For example, in todays run scoring environment, +10 runs is worth 1 win. That isn't always the case though.

    Lets use the pythag record to demonstrate.

    A team that averages .5 run more per game than they allow is going to outscore their opponents by 81 runs on the season. Well lets now assume that team scores 800 runs, meaning they would be allowing 719 runs. The closest team was the 1985 Boston Red Sox who scored 800 and allowed 720. Their pythag had them at 89-73. Thats a 10 run per win environment similar to todays.

    However the 1965 Dodgers scored 608 runs and allowed 521 runs (87 run difference, or 8-9 wins in a 10 run environment). However, since their run environment was much lower (1129 runs in their games compared to the 1520 in the 85 Sox season), their pythag projected them at 92-70, which is actually +12 wins.

  13. #27
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Thanks Doug, that leads to something I've been thinking about for a while.

    Many people have been saying the Reds are now going to lose games 3-2 instead of 6-5. And I've been trying to wrap my mind around the idea that its easier to find the figurative 3rd run, rather than the 6th run.

    Maybe its not, and I'm crazy. But your numbers seem to suggest that yes, if you can hold a team to an average of 4 runs or less per game, its easier for the offense to over perform and get the 4th run.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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  14. #28
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    But Doug, even if the value of a run relative to a win changes, there is still equal balance between run production and run prevention. While win you every game in which the opponent scores zero, as in your 1-0 example, you lose every game in which you score zero. They are by definition the opposite sides of the same coin.

    Where they differ is when they are applied against the distribution of talent which determines run production and prevention. As we've seen earlier, there are essentially three pieces of the pie: offense, defense, and pitching. The talent which generates production in each of these areas is not distributed the same way. Defensive talent is more common than offensive talent which is more common than pitching talent. Thus, based on this scarcity, the market prices those skills accordingly. And because of the inextricable link between offense and defense for position players, and the relationship of offense and defense as contributions to winning we find greater variance among offensive performance.

    In the end, the math may work out such that it is cheaper to save a run through increased defensive production than it is to prevent that run through pitching or togenerate an extra run through offense. However, a run saved has the exact same effect on your chances of winning as a run created. The environment is irrelevant because runs are produced and scored in the same environment.
    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. #29
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    If you're only considering offense and defense as variables, the spread in true talent is a 50/50 spit.

    If baseball is broken into three variables-offense, pitching, defense, then it's a 42/33/25 split.

    If baseball is broken into two variables-non-pitchers/pitchers, than the spread in true talent is: 58/42%.

    Here's a thread explaining why the math does add up, but be warned-it's not likely to be a fun read for those who don't like math especially when it's applied to baseball.
    "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

  16. #30
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: John Dewan - Defense worth 50% of offense

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    If you're only considering offense and defense as variables, the spread in true talent is a 50/50 spit.

    If baseball is broken into three variables-offense, pitching, defense, then it's a 42/33/25 split.

    If baseball is broken into two variables-non-pitchers/pitchers, than the spread in true talent is: 58/42%.

    Here's a thread explaining why the math does add up, but be warned-it's not likely to be a fun read for those who don't like math especially when it's applied to baseball.
    Gassko gently skewered Tango in that thread. The fundamental problem is Tango can't show the mathematical relationship of 50/50 to to 42/33/25. All he can do is repeat the trick of turning the numbers on their sides and exclaiming "See? It works!" He's buried at the bottom of a theoretical mudslide.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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