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Thread: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

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    Moderator The Operator's Avatar
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    Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I've been meaning to start this since the Cardinals series but I just got around to it.

    Over the last few years, and especially here lately - I feel like Welsh has been and is growing into one of the finest color commentators in the game. I've especially noticed it since The Reds brought Thom on board, maybe Chris feels more himself around Thom. Maybe he held back in respect to George. I don't know.

    A few things have stuck out to me though. A few years ago, he and Thom were discussing a Reds player, I believe it was Adam Dunn - and Thom was just berating Adam because of his low average and high strikeout numbers. Impossible to imagine, I know. Then Chris chimed in that Dunn's value comes mostly from his plate discipline and his ability to watch pitches he knows he can't hit, while waiting on one he can. He then praised Adam's on base skills and ended with "I like those guys that don't make outs." That really impressed me.

    Fast forward to The Cardinals series and something REALLY jumped out at me. He was talking to Paul Keels and they were discussing Jon Jay and his lofty batting average. Chris then came in with one of the best drop-ins a color guy has ever had, that I've witnessed. Chris Welsh explained that there's a stat that measures "batting average of balls in play" and based on that stat, he expected Jon Jay to cool down a bit as time went on. But that based on the same metric, he expected a guy like Brandon Phillips to continue at his current pace.

    The BABIP part simply floored me. I felt like I was literally listening to some of the more respected stat gurus from this forum talking through Chris' voice.

    Maybe it's just me, but I think we've got ourselves a highly intelligent and highly underrated TV man in "The Crafty Lefthander".

    As an aside, 'ya think he reads RedsZone?
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    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I agree. I mentioned on another thread that Welsh has become one of my favorite color guys period. He's a student of the game, and he's not afraid to grow.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I think he has come into his own since George left. I am not a George basher, I just felt that the tone was more cheerleader than commentator with George.
    Let's play two!!!

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I've watched a few of the tech talks recently. Chris does an extremely good job on those.
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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I agree Chris is very underrated imo. He's very good at taking the "other side" in any talking point that the PBP guy for that day makes, as you have pointed out. If Thom/Keels/whoever makes a criticism he always has the understanding to play the devils advocate and explain why say Dusty does something that is unpopular.

    He's also very adept at continuing on after Keels completely botches something during a broadcast. It's a miracle that I can actually make it through a whole game that Keels does and Chris is the reason for that.
    "He looked like a surfer kid from SoCal," manager Dusty Baker says. "He didn't say much, but you could tell he was cool."

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Well said, TO. I am a huge fan of Chris Welsh. We are lucky to have him.
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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Plus, he's nice to have around as a lefty tossing batting practice. When the Reds were going to be facing a lefty in Chicago, Welsh was out there throwing BP to the guys. When he was done, he changed out of his Reds gear and was back out on the field wearing his Fox Sports stuff.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I agree with what everyone has said in this thread - Chris Welsh is very underrated. I like that he seems to value OBP and OPS and understands what BABIP is. He's one of the better color guys around, IMO.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Not to pile on George Grande (he seems like an extremely kind man), but I think his departure has allowed more actual baseball talk in the booth and tad less of the hokey, "smiling side of the scoreboard" type conversation.

    In the past, I thought I could almost sense a frustration from Welsh when George would drift into nostaglia and the like. Not the biggest fan of Thom, but I do believe he maintains the flow of the game and allows Welsh to shine.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    I'll never forgive him for the thing about "rally killers" but yes, he's underrated and a real plus as an analyst.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    I'll never forgive him for the thing about "rally killers" but yes, he's underrated and a real plus as an analyst.
    There is a chance this will derail the intent of the thread, but I'll continue to defend Welsh on that...to an extent at least.

    If the Reds are losing 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th and there are two outs and a man on 1st, I would rather the batter in that situation draw a walk or hit a single than hit a HR.

    I truly believe a pitcher would be more likely to tighten up with runners on than if the bases had been cleared.

    My reasoning

    1) Human nature. Something "cleansing" about a clean slate on the bash paths

    2) Ego. Pitchers like their numbers. If a pitcher gives up a two run HR, I think he might actually loosen up a bit, knowing he's already had a poor statistical outing. Now he knows he just needs to get this batter out and end it.

    3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.

    In the end, I don't truly believe that a HR before the game is tied or won, "kills" a rally...but I do think there is some credence to what Welsh is getting at there, I really do.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.
    There is a greater frequency of walk/HR than HR/HR, but that's primarily because walks are so much more common. Treating the two as a combo doesn't really make sense, as the events are essentially independent. The first plate appearance has little impact on the outcome of the second. That is to say, the likelihood of the 2nd batter hitting a home run is not substantially different after walk (bases loaded) than after a homer (bases empty). And, even if it were more likely, that difference wouldn't have to, on average, make up the difference of having 3 runs already scored vs. 3 guys still on base.

    It's a bit myopic, preferring a minor increase in the chance of a specific outcome occurring over maximizing the value of the full set of possibile outcomes. You increase the chance of that specific thing happening at the cost of more runs on average. It's the same sort of logic that has managers shooting for a bunt, sac fly combo rather than letting 2 of their best hitters hit.

    Sure, guys generally hit better with runners on base than without. But 1000's of games have shown us that teams are more likely to score 4+ runs with 3 in the bank and a guy at the plate than they are with those 3 still on the bags.

    Anyway, to the point of the thread, I too was a bit taken aback by Welsh's deft use of BABIP. He went in to just enough detail to explain it without making it the least bit confusing to anybody with 1/2 a brain. It's funny, so many of the "new" sabermetric concepts are really just affirmations of some long held wisdom.
    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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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I agree with what everyone has said in this thread - Chris Welsh is very underrated. I like that he seems to value OBP and OPS and understands what BABIP is. He's one of the better color guys around, IMO.
    IIRC, a few years ago he did a couple games on the radio with Marty and was very good at play-by-play. I always thought it should be Thom and Brantley on the TV side and Marty and Welsh on the radio...
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    IIRC, a few years ago he did a couple games on the radio with Marty and was very good at play-by-play. I always thought it should be Thom and Brantley on the TV side and Marty and Welsh on the radio...
    He did one this year too, a few weeks back. Did a very nice job, from what I recall.

    Welsh is a strong presence in the booth who usually provides solid analysis without getting in the way. He's a lot better than most jocks about fallling into the namedropping routine and/or turning into an apologist for the players.

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    Re: Chris Welsh Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    There is a chance this will derail the intent of the thread, but I'll continue to defend Welsh on that...to an extent at least.

    If the Reds are losing 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th and there are two outs and a man on 1st, I would rather the batter in that situation draw a walk or hit a single than hit a HR.

    I truly believe a pitcher would be more likely to tighten up with runners on than if the bases had been cleared.

    My reasoning

    1) Human nature. Something "cleansing" about a clean slate on the bash paths

    2) Ego. Pitchers like their numbers. If a pitcher gives up a two run HR, I think he might actually loosen up a bit, knowing he's already had a poor statistical outing. Now he knows he just needs to get this batter out and end it.

    3) I'm not sure on this, but I'd guess there is a higher statistical probability of a walk/HR combo than a HR/HR combo.

    In the end, I don't truly believe that a HR before the game is tied or won, "kills" a rally...but I do think there is some credence to what Welsh is getting at there, I really do.

    The name of the game is to score more runs than the opposition. A HR is an automatic run. Even a bases loaded single isn't an automatic run. We've seen Cordero wiggle out of enough jams with runners on that just putting runners on base doesn't automatically mean a run - or several - will score. If your're down 3, back-to-back-to back HRs ties the game. So much for killing rallies there. I understand the thinking behind solo HRs being rally killers but it's shortsighted thinking.
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