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Thread: Cliff Lee

  1. #121
    Member Captain Hook's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Not at all. The goal is to win Championships, not make the playoffs.
    Your certainly right about that but sometimes you have to crawl before you walk.

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  3. #122
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    So the Braves of the 90's did nothing for you then either?

    IMO the Twins model is more fun to watch than 90+ loss seasons.
    The Twins of the aughts have not had anyone the caliber of Smoltz, Avery, or even Glavine.

    Not sure what the comparison is. The Braves lost a lot in the postseason, sure, but they played in many World Series. Unlike the Twins and A's, the Braves took a lot of series to the last out of the 7th game.

    Twins and A's are One and Done Central.

  4. #123
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by Will M View Post
    #3 its possible the Twins/As model hasn't had more playoff success because they play in the AL. you have to get by the power house mega payroll teams to get a shot in the series. whereas in the NL the competition is better.

    #4 Perhaps the Twins model hasn't done better because they lack the TOR starters needed for playoff success. well the Reds of 2010-2015 should have these guys.
    Or it's possible that it hasn't worked out because 4 teams make the playoffs each year. Even with even odds, that's 4 playoff appearances for every WS appearance. With a little "bad luck" you could easily have a 25% chance of making the WS each time and have a Braves like run. Heck, if anybody had shut-down pitching it was the Braves and they only got to the WS once.

    Nate Silver did a study of this and found just 3 factors which had predictive value for making the WS, assuming you make the playoffs:
    • A power pitching staff, as measured by normalized strikeout rate.
    • A good closer, as measured by WXRL.
    • A good defense, as measured by FRAA.


    We can cite anecdotes supporting any argument we want, but people have tried to tease this out. You can give yourself a slight edge above & beyond what your won/loss record would suggest your chances are, but only a slight one.

    Bottom line is your chances of making the WS if you don't make the playoffs is zero. If you can build and sustain a playoff caliber team, then you can start worrying about tweaking the composition of that team to better your odds in the playoffs. But you have to get there first.

    Yes, the goal is to win championships. But worrying about tweaking the composition of your team to up your WS odds slightly before you even have a playoff caliber team is like debating what color to paint your house before you have a blueprint.
    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.

  5. #124
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Yes, I get the whole playoff randomness thing. But the Twins are 3-16 in the playoffs in the last 18 years. That's not being on the bad side of the odds of winning a playoff series.
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Yes, I get the whole playoff randomness thing. But the Twins are 3-16 in the playoffs in the last 18 years. That's not being on the bad side of the odds of winning a playoff series.
    They've done a heck of a Washington Generals impersonation in the AL.

  7. #126
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Yes, I get the whole playoff randomness thing. But the Twins are 3-16 in the playoffs in the last 18 years. That's not being on the bad side of the odds of winning a playoff series.
    They also have played only teams that are as good or better than them. And how many of those starts were made by Johan Santana, who was the best pitcher in the game at the time?

    Sure, 3-16 is horrible. But that doesn't necessarily make your specific explanation any more accurate.

    What are the odds of a playoff caliber team going 3-16 against equal or better competition? Good teams have bad stretches, bad stretches of 20 games even, especially against very good competition. A poor W-L is one thing. Naming a specific cause supported only by anecdote is another thing entirely, regardless of how much sense the story makes. I'm sure I could look at their team and come up with another logical explanation.

    I'm not sure that you (and most people for that matter) appreciate how randomness looks. Even given a completely random sample, a few observations are going to appear to result from something other than luck.

    Let's agree that having 2 great starters makes you more likely to advance in the playoffs. The question becomes: how much of an advantage is it? Is it worth chasing a 2 ace model even if it decreases your chances of making the playoffs in the first place? What if it only means decreasing your chances of making the playoffs in the future? These aren't easy answers. Given the choice, give me the playoff team with 2 aces. But I'm going to be MUCH more focused on building an organization that is capable of sustaining 85+ wins before I'm going to chase an ace at any cost.
    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.

  8. #127
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    They also have played only teams that are as good or better than them. How many of those starts were made by Johan Santana, who was the best pitcher in the game at the time.

    Sure, 3-16 is horrible. But that doesn't make your explanation any more accurate. Show me the odds of a playoff caliber team going 3-16 against equal or better competition. Good teams have bad stretches -- bad stretches of 20 games even -- especially against very good competition.

    A poor W-L is one thing. Naming a specific cause supported only by anecdote is another thing entirely, regardless of how much sense the story makes.
    I'm certain there's not just one cause, but if I'm guessing, it's the relative strength of the pitching.

    By the way, Santana had one of those three wins. The problem with the Twins is that they followed up Santana with Silva, Lohse, and Radke on too many occasions.

  9. #128
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I'm certain there's not just one cause, but if I'm guessing, it's the relative strength of the pitching.

    By the way, Santana had one of those three wins. The problem with the Twins is that they followed up Santana with Silva, Lohse, and Radke on too many occasions.
    And how many of those losses? I don't disagree that the Twins weren't exactly lining up aces. But as you point out, that's one factor among many. If you can get multiple aces on your way to building a sustainable 85+ win team, great. But I'll take 85+ wins every year and a regular shot in the playoffs over the model of one or two good runs a decade. Of course, either would be better than what we got 2000-2009.

    There's a reason the Twins haven't gone the 2 ace model. It's nearly impossible to do on a mid-level (or less) budget. The Diamondbacks just about destroyed their franchise going that route. It worked, but they've averaged 74 wins a season since Schilling left, made one decent run in the Brandon Webb era and aren't anywhere close to being a playoff caliber team today -- largely because they have next to no organizational depth.
    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. #129
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    And how many of those losses?
    Two--but one when he was just 23

  11. #130
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Two--but one when he was just 23
    He was awesome at 23, I'm not sure how that matters. So the Twins were 1-2 in starts by the best pitcher in baseball. Stuff happens.
    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.

  12. #131
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    And how many of those losses? I don't disagree that the Twins weren't exactly lining up aces. But as you point out, that's one factor among many. If you can get multiple aces on your way to building a sustainable 85+ win team, great. But I'll take 85+ wins every year and a regular shot in the playoffs over the model of one or two good runs a decade. Of course, either would be better than what we got 2000-2009.

    There's a reason the Twins haven't gone the 2 ace model. It's nearly impossible to do on a mid-level (or less) budget. The Diamondbacks just about destroyed their franchise going that route. It worked, but they've averaged 74 wins a season since Schilling left, made one decent run in the Brandon Webb era and aren't anywhere close to being a playoff caliber team today -- largely because they have next to no organizational depth.
    The Twins' problem is that they went from ace to garbage in their starting pitching sequence.

  13. #132
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    The Twins' problem is that they went from ace to garbage in their starting pitching sequence.
    Let's assume that the Twins had 50% odds of winning those games. We should have expected 9 or 10 wins. So they lost 6 more games than expected. Holding the overall quality of the team steady, how many more wins do we think they would have had given another ace? Johan lost more games than he won. So given them another ace who pitches 5 or 6 games. That gives them what -- 3 more wins? 4? 5? I think that's a stretch, but they're still losing more than they're winning. Does that win them a championship? That doesn't even get them to the championship. It maybe advances them to the 2nd round once.

    Again, my point remains, 2 aces are better than 1. But it's an irrelevant detail if you aren't in the playoffs to begin with. Trying to build a specific type of team instead of just one that wins a lot is part of the reason this franchise has stunk for the last decade.
    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. #133
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    He was awesome at 23, I'm not sure how that matters. So the Twins were 1-2 in starts by the best pitcher in baseball. Stuff happens.
    Twenty-three is awfully young, and it was his first year as a starter--he'd only thrown 108 innings that season.

  15. #134
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    If we're trading Jay Bruce, it needs to be for a player who will contribute for MULTIPLE seasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  16. #135
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Cliff Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Or it's possible that it hasn't worked out because 4 teams make the playoffs each year. Even with even odds, that's 4 playoff appearances for every WS appearance. With a little "bad luck" you could easily have a 25% chance of making the WS each time and have a Braves like run. Heck, if anybody had shut-down pitching it was the Braves and they only got to the WS once.

    Nate Silver did a study of this and found just 3 factors which had predictive value for making the WS, assuming you make the playoffs:
    • A power pitching staff, as measured by normalized strikeout rate.
    • A good closer, as measured by WXRL.
    • A good defense, as measured by FRAA.


    We can cite anecdotes supporting any argument we want, but people have tried to tease this out. You can give yourself a slight edge above & beyond what your won/loss record would suggest your chances are, but only a slight one.

    Bottom line is your chances of making the WS if you don't make the playoffs is zero. If you can build and sustain a playoff caliber team, then you can start worrying about tweaking the composition of that team to better your odds in the playoffs. But you have to get there first.

    Yes, the goal is to win championships. But worrying about tweaking the composition of your team to up your WS odds slightly before you even have a playoff caliber team is like debating what color to paint your house before you have a blueprint.

    There are some teams that are built for the playoffs and some that are not. It is not about regular season winning percentage, it's not just about what WMR talks about, deep starting pitching. It's more about having a dominant bullpen and closer.

    You can pick which teams will go deep in the playoffs by looking at their bullpen. It's what killed the Braves for so many years. So many stories of teams struggling in the playoffs, then they get strong pen, and then viola, they make the Series. If you can turn a game into a 6 or 7 inning affair, you stand a great chance of winning a 5 or 7 game series.

    Just look at the teams that made the Series over the last 20 years, that is what unites them all. Not TOR pitching, but a dominant pen. With a dominant pen, teams have been able to toss the 25% theory out the window and make the World Series more often. And likewise, teams with an average pen (maybe a good closer but nothing else) never make it past the first or second round.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein


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