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Thread: Dick Williams speaks

  1. #46
    he/him *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

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  4. #47
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Look, the only problem with Williams, is that he put one wrong person in a job: David Bell. Bell would be an excellent Head of Baseball Operations, but hes not suited to be an Xs and Os guy on the field, or a clubhouse motivator. No knock on him, its just not where his talents lie. Aside from that, Williams has put together a very talented team. Hes just got the wrong guy in the managers seat.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

  5. #48
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    Look, the only problem with Williams, is that he put one wrong person in a job: David Bell. Bell would be an excellent Head of Baseball Operations, but hes not suited to be an Xs and Os guy on the field, or a clubhouse motivator. No knock on him, its just not where his talents lie. Aside from that, Williams has put together a very talented team. Hes just got the wrong guy in the managers seat.
    This isn't football, it's not a "system" or "leadership" issue or game.

    Casey Stengel and John McGraw's robot baby couldn't magically create something better by putting on a Reds uniform and writing out a lineup card.

    What you have with Bell is a convenient lackey for the teams poor performance.

    That's it, nothing more, nothing less

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  7. #49
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Gack View Post
    Apparently, the Reds are the only team in the league where bad things are happening.
    Arizona and the Mets beg to differ

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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    I can buy some of the bad luck argument logically, but let's be honest the Reds as an organization do not deserve much in the benefit of the doubt department. Maybe that's unfair to David Bell and this year's team but at some point as an organization you have to put up or shut up. I no longer care why the Reds suck I'm just tired of watching a team that sucks.

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  10. #51
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Gant View Post
    TL;DR.

    Pro Tip: Don't use so many paragraphs.
    Your loss, not mine. If you don't want to read, try podcasts.
    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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  12. #52
    Probably not Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Will have to expand the pictures to view properly, however, what I have presented here are MLB team stat cast data for 2018, 2019, and 2020. The message I want to highlight is:

    -Over the last two full seasons, no team has missed their expected BA by more than 9 points. This demonstrates that the Statcast data is valid, and over long periods of time the results do normalize very close to expectation, and further demonstrates that in shorter periods such as the first 40 games, there is quite a bit of luck

    -The Reds 2018/2019/2020 season xBA have actually been pretty comparable, hovering in the mid to low .240's. The Reds hitting approach and team makeup aren't exactly new. The results have resulted in comparable batting averages around the low .240's, which generally ranks near the bottom of the league. Batting average is not the team's strongsuit, and they have been trading singles for walks and the odd homerun for numerous years now

    -The Reds are currently ranked 29th in team xBA so far in 2020. However, their peers, the 28th and 30th ranked teams are seeing real batting averages similar to expectations. The Reds arent the only team employing their current hitting philosophy, but are getting punished at a higher rate than their peers


    -The Reds actually aren't unique in how much they are below expectations so far... Texas is 31 points lower, Milwaukee 28 points lower, Padres and Yankees 28 points lower...... the Reds are not the only team that can play the luck card. The difference between the Reds, and say the Padres, is that the Padres have the #1 xBA, and the Reds have the #29. The Padres are so talented they can survive bad luck for periods and still be the best offensive team! They are crazy good. The Reds are more like a middle of the pack offense that looks like dreck when things go wrong.

    -The league as a whole is underperforming in aggregate compared to the last two years, with the median team being 13 points lower. The makeup of rosters, and the shift is seeing more high quality contact balls being converted into outs, and what we are seeing in front of ours eyes is not total bad luck, just more than other teams. If we tuned into other team's games, we would generally see similar frustration, just not to this degree.

    -In terms of total package offense, the Reds xWOBA ranks 12th in the league, compared to real scenario 22. That's the difference we are seeing from "luck", and how does it translate into runs? Well lets put it this way, their xWOBA is in line with the Cubs, higher than the Cardinals, and numerous other teams. If they had better luck, and scored at a similar rate to the Cardinals (Which would be on the low side), they would have an extra 24 runs, and put their pythag back at a league average team. Not what we wanted going in, but probably enough to get into the playoffs.

    -In summary, the Reds are what they are: Great starting pitching, below average bullpen, average offense, horrible defense..... this equates to a middle of the road team. You layer on 40 games of bad luck, and a middle of the road team turns into 6 games under 500 based on 3 games going unfairly the wrong direction. This isn't news, we see it demonstrated in early season baseball for teams of this calibre time and time again. Difference is we are very unlikely to see it correct in front of our eyes and is very frustrating to watch.

    -The moral of the story here isn't that we should forgive management for the way the season has gone, or we should write off everything to bad luck. The issue is both. Things have gone wrong from management plan, and the strategy employed was to try and create a true talent 90 win team. That is not happening, and thats a miss. The effort here is to better understand, with tangible data, the true talent level of this team, not overreact to a 40 game performance, and rather diagnose more precisely, what are the controllable events that can be fixed.


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    Last edited by Patrick Bateman; 09-09-2020 at 11:36 AM.

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  14. #53
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Bateman deserves another Reds cap for the above post. Great research, smartly and evenly reasoned.
    Were going to get the pitching. -Bob Castellini
    You got the pitching, now what? - Reds fans

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  16. #54
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Thanks for the work. You never disappoint.

    One slight, but meaningful correction.

    The Reds are 6 games under .500. Adding 2 wins still puts them under .500 at 20-22. Adding 3 wins puts them at .500 at 21-21. Adding 5 wins puts them at 23-19. For a team that was supposed to surprise this year, those numbers are disappointing. And that's if the Reds play up to their Pythag, which is far from certain.

    But let's look deeper and see if it really is just "luck."

    The big victim here is Suarez with a .188 BABIP. If you look at his batted ball numbers, it's not just luck. He has a 17% line drive rate, down from his 22% career rate. Now, it's hard to blame Williams for not predicting Suarez would slump so badly to start the season. But look at a group of players that were clearly part of the Williams' plan.

    Freddy Galvis, Josh VanMeter, Phil Ervin, and Christopher Colon. They combined for 213 PA, which is about the equivalent of two starting players. They all have BABIP below .200. Their line drive rates are all 11%, except for Colon's which is 5%.

    So 15% of the Reds PA's this year have come from 4 players who have a line drive rate of 11% or worse. Of course that doesn't fully explain the crazy low team BABIP, but it does reveal it's not just luck.

    That doesn't seem like luck to me. That seems like a front office that put it's faith in players who aren't that good.
    Except, you didn't look "deeper"; you looked "narrower". Every PA contributes (or doesn't) to team run production. I looked at the whole team's data because the problem is that the team's collective BABIP is so crap. You looked at a subset of players whose performance fit your preferred narrative.

    But that really misses the point. Every team has bad players. Every team has players having bad seasons. That's normal variance. The Dodgers have Joc Pederson (.179 BABIP), Cody Bellinger (.202 BABIP), and Max Muncy (.204 BABIP). But because variance tends to be random (some benefit from it), their team BABIP is still .274 (which is still very low), 37 points higher than the Reds.

    So sure, the 4 guys you cited have poor contact quality. And yet, as a team the Reds have a 21.8 LD%, 15th in MLB. The team's Barrel% (which is balls that have exit velo and angle corresponding to at least .500 BABIP and 1.500 slugging) is 8.2%, tied for 9th in MLB. If the problem was bad players sandbagging the team's overall production, shouldn't that actually show up in the team's overall numbers?

    Sure, some guys are simply not hitting well, making poor contact and not getting hits. But other guys are making good contact and not getting hits. For example... this is all guys with 50+ PA. "bacon" is batting average on contact, which is like BABIP that includes homers. xbacon and xwoba are based on the quality of contact. Every team has guys who are unlucky. But they also have guys are lucky. Where is the Reds batter who's getting lucky?
    Code:
    last_name	 PA	avg	x_avg	 diff	bacon	xbacon	diff	woba	xwoba	woba_diff
    Castellanos	 169	.237	.292	-.055	.337	.418	-.081	.359	.410	-.051
    Suarez	 	164	.199	.230	-.031	.283	.328	-.045	.328	.354	-.026
    Votto	 	148	.224	.261	-.037	.275	.320	-.045	.324	.360	-.036
    Winker	 	143	.286	.289	-.003	.415	.421	-.006	.413	.414	-.001
    Akiyama	 	122	.210	.261	-.051	.265	.330	-.065	.267	.331	-.064
    Galvis	 	110	.202	.230	-.028	.250	.285	-.035	.296	.309	-.013
    Moustakas	100	.235	.241	-.006	.339	.349	-.010	.317	.325	-.008
    Barnhart	82	.192	.221	-.029	.264	.305	-.041	.276	.301	-.025
    Casali	 	66	.226	.219	 .007	.353	.342	 .011	.387	.357	 .030
    Farmer	 	56	.245	.266	-.021	.310	.337	-.027	.258	.331	-.073
    Senzel	 	53	.244	.288	-.044	.306	.364	-.058	.338	.372	-.034

    Ultimately, I don't think you fully appreciate just how much of an outlier the Reds collective is nor how unsupported that low BABIP is by their quality of contact. All teams have a handful of players who struggle. It would be one thing if they were collectively making crap contact. But they aren't.

    Again, I'm fully open to the possibility that there's actually something rotten going on that is within the team's control and not mere bad luck. But nobody in this thread (or any other) has put their finger on it yet. And focusing on guys who have collectively gotten 14% of the team's total PA doesn't get us there.
    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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  18. #55
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    what would the record be with an above average bullpen

    They won the league opener then led in the next couple of games against tigers,, the momentum and approach of the team might have been different if they were 2-0 or 3-0,, how about ninth inning losses to st louis and pittsburgh,, I think the team would be over .500 with an average to above average bullpen

  19. #56
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Except, you didn't look "deeper"; you looked "narrower". Every PA contributes (or doesn't) to team run production. I looked at the whole team's data because the problem is that the team's collective BABIP is so crap. You looked at a subset of players whose performance fit your preferred narrative.

    But that really misses the point. Every team has bad players. Every team has players having bad seasons. That's normal variance. The Dodgers have Joc Pederson (.179 BABIP), Cody Bellinger (.202 BABIP), and Max Muncy (.204 BABIP). But because variance tends to be random (some benefit from it), their team BABIP is still .274 (which is still very low), 37 points higher than the Reds.

    So sure, the 4 guys you cited have poor contact quality. And yet, as a team the Reds have a 21.8 LD%, 15th in MLB. The team's Barrel% (which is balls that have exit velo and angle corresponding to at least .500 BABIP and 1.500 slugging) is 8.2%, tied for 9th in MLB. If the problem was bad players sandbagging the team's overall production, shouldn't that actually show up in the team's overall numbers?

    Sure, some guys are simply not hitting well, making poor contact and not getting hits. But other guys are making good contact and not getting hits. For example... this is all guys with 50+ PA. "bacon" is batting average on contact, which is like BABIP that includes homers. xbacon and xwoba are based on the quality of contact. Every team has guys who are unlucky. But they also have guys are lucky. Where is the Reds batter who's getting lucky?
    Code:
    last_name	 PA	avg	x_avg	 diff	bacon	xbacon	diff	woba	xwoba	woba_diff
    Castellanos	 169	.237	.292	-.055	.337	.418	-.081	.359	.410	-.051
    Suarez	 	164	.199	.230	-.031	.283	.328	-.045	.328	.354	-.026
    Votto	 	148	.224	.261	-.037	.275	.320	-.045	.324	.360	-.036
    Winker	 	143	.286	.289	-.003	.415	.421	-.006	.413	.414	-.001
    Akiyama	 	122	.210	.261	-.051	.265	.330	-.065	.267	.331	-.064
    Galvis	 	110	.202	.230	-.028	.250	.285	-.035	.296	.309	-.013
    Moustakas	100	.235	.241	-.006	.339	.349	-.010	.317	.325	-.008
    Barnhart	82	.192	.221	-.029	.264	.305	-.041	.276	.301	-.025
    Casali	 	66	.226	.219	 .007	.353	.342	 .011	.387	.357	 .030
    Farmer	 	56	.245	.266	-.021	.310	.337	-.027	.258	.331	-.073
    Senzel	 	53	.244	.288	-.044	.306	.364	-.058	.338	.372	-.034

    Ultimately, I don't think you fully appreciate just how much of an outlier the Reds collective is nor how unsupported that low BABIP is by their quality of contact. All teams have a handful of players who struggle. It would be one thing if they were collectively making crap contact. But they aren't.

    Again, I'm fully open to the possibility that there's actually something rotten going on that is within the team's control and not mere bad luck. But nobody in this thread (or any other) has put their finger on it yet. And focusing on guys who have collectively gotten 14% of the team's total PA doesn't get us there.
    When 15% of your PA’s are from players with 11% line drive rate or lower, your team is going to struggle offensively. 11% is half of what is expected from good hitters. That’s not luck. That’s bad players. And that’s not including some bad players whose BABIP was actually decent, like Jankowski and Davidson.

    You claimed that you liked Dick Williams’ plan and process. All four players I listed are specifically players that many here have questioned as to why they were on the team getting so much playing time. They were because that was Dick William’s plan and process. It’s hard to defend a plan and process that gives players like that so many PA’s.

    Again, I am not blaming it all on these 4 players, just showing that the low BABIP isn’t all because of luck. 15% of the PA’s that drive the low BABIP are because the players were just bad. Quick guesstimate leads me to believe that with these players getting these PA’s, and luck evening out, the Reds still have a low BABIP, below league average.

    And in that case, according to your numbers, the Reds would at best be a .500 team. Which is what Patrick Bateman’s excellent post reveals. And that is quite disappointing considering the money and prospects that were spent to build this team.

    One more general point. As I quoted Branch Rickey before, luck is the residue of design. Every team experiences bad luck. The well run teams build a strong enough team to weather the bad luck. If the Reds are built to win only if everything falls into place, they are poorly built, imo. That’s not a smart plan or process.
    Were going to get the pitching. -Bob Castellini
    You got the pitching, now what? - Reds fans

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  21. #57
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Again, I'm fully open to the possibility that there's actually something rotten going on that is within the team's control and not mere bad luck. But nobody in this thread (or any other) has put their finger on it yet. And focusing on guys who have collectively gotten 14% of the team's total PA doesn't get us there.
    Thanks for all the work RMR, its definitely eye opening.

    I think, without any statistical data to back it up, there is something in the organization that needs to change. This will be the third straight season in which a slow start doomed the season. It has been two managers with different philosophies, but nothing drastically has changed. Last years start doomed the season before it even got going, and by May the Reds were out of it. We hear from time to time that player X is historically a slow starter. If that is true, especially in a short season, that would need to be taken care or worked with in order to construct a proper team.

    Data says the Reds are unlucky, which I do tend to buy. The tricky question is why? Why are the Reds such a drastic outlier this season? And why have things seemingly plagued the team for a number of years now? Could you make an argument that the Reds strategy this season is more suited to a 162 game season and not a sprint? It wouldn't shock me one bit to see the Reds rip of 10 in a row and all of a sudden swing the numbers back to normal. As a fan its frustrating because you see a team assembled to compete, but they aren't competing. You see the team fall behind early and just think, well I will watch something else.

    Data says the Reds are underperforming, and maybe that is true, or maybe new data will come around that could explain why they really aren't underperforming, its just a flawed team.

    Dick Williams has a background in Wall Street. Sometimes your metrics say a security is a good buy, and you continue to load up on that security but it never performs like you think it should. You can continue to load up, or you can cut bait. Digging in your heels on a bad investment is a way to lose a lot of money. But at the same time, staying the course can reap huge rewards.
    Last edited by bucksfan2; 09-09-2020 at 12:47 PM.

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  23. #58
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I watch most of the games, focus on the stats, and dont agree that Reds are hitting .210 mostly due to bad luck. The hitting approach suppresses BABIP. But also, consider the roster.

    Davidson, Van Meter, Colon, Garcia, Barnhart, Aquino, Shogo (earlier), Galvis, Farmer, Ervin, Jankowski, Payton.

    Reds have a few good main hitters but the depth wasnt there as injuries occurred. Right now the lineup is about five or six hitters deep. When that happens, pressure on a few guys usually leads to a bad result.
    Bingo #1 problem with this team. Fire the hitting coach.

  24. #59
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    When 15% of your PA’s are from players with 11% line drive rate or lower, your team is going to struggle offensively. 11% is half of what is expected from good hitters. That’s not luck. That’s bad players. And that’s not including some bad players whose BABIP was actually decent, like Jankowski and Davidson.
    So many things here

    1) You are arguing a straw man. Nobody is saying that every ounce of bad BABIP is bad luck and that the Reds should necessarily have a league average BABIP. NOBODY.

    2) Regarding Williams, I judge a complex process by it's overall results, not by whether every single decision produces the desired immediate outcome. I can (and often do) quibble at any number of decisions he's made. Colon, for example, would not be anywhere near my major league roster under almost any circumstance. But in the big scheme of the things....

    3) ~50 PA of an individual player tells us approximate nothing whatsoever about his ability nor the wisdom of giving him the opportunity to have ~50 PA. That 4 roughly replacement level players who were mostly in backup roles played at below replacement level for the equivalent of ~3 weeks is quite possibly the least interesting thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

    4) Every single team in baseball has a some selection of players who are hitting crappy. And just like on every single other team, those players' performances are included in the team's overall level of performance. The fact is, including the horrific LD% of those 4 players, the Reds still have a collective team LD% that is league average. That means the guys making up the other 86% have actually put up LD% above league average. And yet, those guys still have have a collective BABIP that is in the historical toilet.

    Let me draw this example. Let's roll 7 six-sided die. Knowing nothing, we'd expect our 7 die to roll 3.5 on average. Now let's say we know that 1 of those die (~14%) is weighted to be a 1 (because it sucks at hitting line drives). Our expected team average roll is now 3.1 instead. In this example, the Reds team average is like 1.5, basically as low as you can possibly get given fair dice and bad luck. You're sitting here arguing about the 1 die not being fair (sucking) and that that drops the expected average to 3.1. Meanwhile, you're acting as if the people complaining about the 1.5 being horrible luck were missing the real story. Even if we stipulate that we shouldn't be expecting 3.5, even if we know 1 of the is gonna roll a 1, an outcome of 1.5 is INSANELY LOW.

    (Of course, in our example, the team's expected average is actually still closer to 3.5 since the other players are actually making better than average contact).

    As for luck as the residue of design... what that actually means is that "luck" isn't luck. It's about the nature of opportunity and preparedness, about being able to capitalize on chance events. In terms of good teams weathering their bad luck, I agree for the most part. Unfortunately, we're in a 60 game season, which is much too short for the distribution of luck in baseball to work itself out. I'm 100% on board lamenting that this organization should be able to do better than building a team that deserves to be about .500. But I refuse to confuse that frustration with the frustration of having that .500 caliber team get crapped on by the BABIP gods. It's OK to be mad about more than one thing.
    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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  26. #60
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Not all that complicated. Good teams have good drafts. Reds may be on their way with India, Garcia, Stephenson, Mahle, Antone, Senzel, Lodolo, Greene, which are better than the past with the likes of Ervin and Robert Stephenson, Ben Lively, just off top of my head. Those poor drafts have caught up with this club. When they had a minnie surge around 2010 they were blessed with some good draft picks like Bruce and Votto, Bailey, Travis Wood, Drew Stubbs, Cueto, Heisey, Alonso, Leake, Ondrusek, Chapman, Bray, and LeCure and Burton was good rule 5 pick. Granted not all of those were going to stay on this club and be great but they did contribute and they were drafted. Stay the course.


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Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

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