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Thread: Dick Williams speaks

  1. #61
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    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.
    This is really the point though. The good investors don't cut bait and sell low just because of how bad it feels bad to have a bad run. That's precisely how bad investors bust. They certainly look deeper and try to figure out if they're mis-analyzing something. But they still make their decisions on the basis of their best available analysis.

    Instinctively, I agree with you that something probably sits behind the repeated under-performance, at least as a contributing factor. What I disagree with most people about are the ideas that 1) there must be something and 2) that firing Williams is the solution.

    I know people have run out of patience. But this isn't counting on Milton to be an ace or Patterson to be a leadoff hitter. It just isn't. If and when people can describe specifically what is going wrong that is producing the bad outcomes, I'll discuss proposed solutions with them. But "Team bad! Fire GM! Fire manager!" is content for the ESPN message boards of old. I come to RedsZone to get away from that stuff.
    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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  4. #62
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Yep. This is a for profit business. Making profit is the primary goal. We'd like to think it's winning, and it certainly is a goal, but mostly because that increases profit.

    Hollywood doesn't make multiple movies about comic book super-heroes every year because they win a bunch of Oscars. They keep making them because they are raking in the dough. As long as that keeps happening, they are fine letting some other low budget, barely attended slow moving, sleep inducing drama win the awards.

    I think the Reds are the same way. If tanking is the path to profits, they tank. If sales start lagging after a few years, they make some moves to re-invigorate the fan base. Now that that seems to be wearing off, the next move is some other changes. Probably scape-goating the Manager and Coaches (though the Manager deserves to be canned) and blaming bad luck.
    While I don't disagree, and believe the majority of organizational issues originate from the top -- the ownership conglomerate -- there's one head-scratching dynamic at work here:

    Castellini suddenly going along with a plan of flat-out tanking / eschewing contingency plans -- once the original plan of a quick rebuild failed to materialize - seemed to run contrary to his previous actions of fighting tooth-and-nail against a full blown rebuild circa '15.

    In any event - and you pointed this out in a previous thread - anyone aspiring to assume Jocketty's role of day-to-day operations at the time who would not go along with the aforementioned plan of tanking was not going to get the job - related to ownership or not. Now, this is not to suggest that Dick Williams should not bear some of the responsibility for the current predicament -- even his staunchest Redzone supporters agree, contrary to popular belief -- and mistakes are inevitable with even the most astute organizations, but this is ownership's baby. And, IMHO, as long as they (ownership) continue to meddle, and believe that they are more knowledgeable than their baseball people, it's not going to matter who fills the current roles of Williams and Krall.
    Last edited by Revering4Blue; 09-09-2020 at 02:44 PM.
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  6. #63
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Red Man Rick I respect your analysis, what would YOU have done with Aquino this year

  7. #64
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    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.
    1) You included the team having a league average BABIP as one of the possibilities, which is why I addressed it.

    2) This wasn't one decision. It was a multitude of decisions, and just the tip of the iceberg. As I stated, I am not saying this explains it all, but it clearly is an example of poor decisions by the Reds. I can make a much longer list if you want. I would love to see your list of correct decisions and how smart the process has been so far.

    3) This is by far your worst argument. Everything is a small sample size. If we use that excuse, we should just abandon this entire endeavor of analysing what happened this season. Yet still, at the beginning, these decisions, and others were questions by many, because the overall evidence did not point to these guys getting that much playing time. The results from this short season only bolster that argument, they aren't the crux of it.

    4) Again, every team runs into bad luck, and the same good, well run teams overcome it. The Reds built a team that was .500 if everything went well, and it seems you too agree that is not a good plan. That really is the main problem. The poor BABIP just makes it clearer how bad a plan it was.
    “We’re going to get the pitching.” -Bob Castellini
    “You got the pitching, now what?” - Reds fans

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  9. #65
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by zigbeenuthouse View Post
    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.
    Good post with many solid points. Welcome aboard!
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    I think Bray was acquired in trade

  11. #67
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Berenyi View Post
    I think Bray was acquired in trade
    You are correct. Bray was acquired in that multi-player deal with Washington in July of '06.

    Not Krivsky's best day.
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Revering4Blue View Post
    You are correct. Bray was acquired in that multi-player deal with Washington in July of '06.

    Not Krivsky's best day.
    Thanks for the correction. He was not drafted as I first assumed.

    Bill Bray was on July 13, 2006 Traded by the Washington Nationals with Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris, Gary Majewski and Daryl Thompson to the Cincinnati Reds for Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Wagner.

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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Reds had the lowest offensive BABIP in the National League in 2019. The scale was different, the number was much higher than now. But still, dead last in the league.

    As someone posted, luck is the residue of design. Since the day Reds adopted the “launch angle” long ball style, the team’s BABIP has suffered severely.

    I’m not sure xBA and similar stats fully capture the impact this style has on some hitters. I appreciate the good posts on this, but continue to think it’s not only bad luck but also this batting approach as applied to a number of hitters who don’t seem able to withstand it.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-09-2020 at 04:18 PM.

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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Reds had the lowest offensive BABIP in the National League in 2019. The scale was different, the number was much higher than now. But still, dead last in the league.

    As someone posted, luck is the residue of design. Since the day Reds adopted the “launch angle” long ball style, the team’s BABIP has suffered severely.

    I’m not sure xBA and similar stats fully capture the impact this style has on some hitters. I appreciate the good posts on this, but continue to think it’s not only bad luck but also this batting approach as applied to a number of hitters who don’t seem able to withstand it.
    I think the main concluding point here, Kc, is that what you are seeing and analyzing in front of you is absolutely bang on. Your eyes are not deceiving you. The team's approach does consistently drive a BAPIP towards the bottom of the league. Its also an approach that is pretty unsavoury to watch, even when its working. A well constructed inning with 3-4 hits and situation hitting to score 2 runs is a lot more compelling than one that features a walk, a couple K's, an a homer to score 2.

    The advanced data on exit velocity is telling the same story. The Reds should be near or at the very bottom in BAPIP. They have been in the past, and they are now.

    But overall, we can understand based on past data, that similar approaches and quality of contact the Reds are displaying, don't make a team BAPIP this bad. They should be at the bottom, not two standard deviations below the bottom. They truly have been super unlucky, and other teams are experiencing this in their last 40 games. It does happen occasionally, and it really sucks its happening to us in such a small term sample.

    The Reds approach to offensive roster construction this year reminds me most of the Rays who typically employ platoons, and patient power at the behest of getting BAPIP line drive hitters. Typically the Rays also find better defenders to do these same roles, but the offensive profile is similar. They make similar quality of contact, but enough balls in play are falling in for them so that they can hit their expected mark, .240. Thats not good either, and ranks near the bottom of the league... but its close enough to the pack that when combined with patience and power it does pay off long term. Its an approach that can possibly rank near the top of the league in runs scored, and it is for them.

    I just wish we had 162 games to find out where we would end up ranking when our BA would normalize close enough to expectation to get to a .240 BA mark. It would still be near the bottom, but our run production, without question, would not be.

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  18. #71
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    This is really the point though. The good investors don't cut bait and sell low just because of how bad it feels bad to have a bad run. That's precisely how bad investors bust. They certainly look deeper and try to figure out if they're mis-analyzing something. But they still make their decisions on the basis of their best available analysis.

    Instinctively, I agree with you that something probably sits behind the repeated under-performance, at least as a contributing factor. What I disagree with most people about are the ideas that 1) there must be something and 2) that firing Williams is the solution.

    I know people have run out of patience. But this isn't counting on Milton to be an ace or Patterson to be a leadoff hitter. It just isn't. If and when people can describe specifically what is going wrong that is producing the bad outcomes, I'll discuss proposed solutions with them. But "Team bad! Fire GM! Fire manager!" is content for the ESPN message boards of old. I come to RedsZone to get away from that stuff.
    I think Dick Williams has the organization heading in the right direction. I think he was able to bring in the new age thinking that Jocketty for the most part ignored. I don't think this is the age old sabermetrics debate that we used to have on RZ (those were legendary) but I think it's importing and using more data. More data based decision making as opposed the the school of thought Jocketty came from.

    All that said, I brought Wall Street into the mix because each and every fund manager has a method. They all look for certain things, often times two people are looking at the same fundamentals from the opposite side of things. I remember there was this legendary disagreement on a company called Herbalife, where to pretty noted fund managers took opposite sides and went at it. Now granted a lot of the hooplah was for TV, but they both went head to head neither admitting they were wrong.

    My question would be, is Dick Williams model wrong? Or does his model have holes that are being exploited right now. I don't think anyone can argue with the players he brought in over the past 18 months. But do those players individually mesh to form a better unit? Or do the sum of the parts not add up to the whole? Are there too many like players with like attributes that don't mesh together?

    My main concern right now is they are moved so far analytically that they are missing a key component of building a roster that doesn't deal with raw data.

  19. #72
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Berenyi View Post
    Red Man Rick I respect your analysis, what would YOU have done with Aquino this year
    If Rick was the GM of the Reds, I would assume that he would be watching and analyzing Aquino at Prasco, along with being in tune to his development program and getting progress updates from the coaching staff to determine with the technology available if he was improving on his faults before being exposed to major league pitching.

    Whether we like the way he said it or not, Williams absolutely has a fair point about us commoners not having access to all of the information about what Aquino has been doing. We are just looking at the back of the baseball card stats and crossing our fingers that Aquino would continue bringing fourth similar production. But we know its more complicated than that.

    I respect Williams answer in that he's not saying he is without a doubt correct, but he is attempting to make educated decisions based on the collection of evidence that he has, and recognizes that the average Joe simply doesnt have access to the same information. The approach doesnt bother me, but I have no way of knowing whether I, or Rick would have made the same decisions with the same information.

    I will say that I have found Aquino to be much more patient at the plate, and better recognition of spin in the first few handful of at-bats we have seen in him lately. If that is hint of what is to come, it is a sign of the work being put in, and the developmental program in front of him. I would rather have Aquino improved long term, than throwing him to the wolves right away because he might have been a better bandaid than the myriad of players that have failed this year.

    Overall, I think the question you pose is more complex than its been given credit for, and it will take some time to determine whether the Reds' patience and decision making process with him was viable.

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  21. #73
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    How long a rope does a GM get though? Dick is on his 5th season and the team has had a losing record every year of his tenure.

    I’ve mentioned this before recently, but Dick gets a lot of credit for bringing the Reds into the modern age of baseball, but I don’t think he deserves any special credit for that. The Reds aren’t at the cutting edge of baseball with their analytical or developmental approach, they’re just finally up to speed with everyone else in the league.

    Williams shouldn’t get massive praise for just merely making this a competent organization. And I have seen zero evidence that he’s made them exceptional in any way. Especially considering how bad the results on the field still are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sheed View Post
    When it comes to crow, I'd like nothing more than to eat Dick's all season long and into the postseason.

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  23. #74
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    I think the main concluding point here, Kc, is that what you are seeing and analyzing in front of you is absolutely bang on. Your eyes are not deceiving you. The team's approach does consistently drive a BAPIP towards the bottom of the league. Its also an approach that is pretty unsavoury to watch, even when its working. A well constructed inning with 3-4 hits and situation hitting to score 2 runs is a lot more compelling than one that features a walk, a couple K's, an a homer to score 2.

    The advanced data on exit velocity is telling the same story. The Reds should be near or at the very bottom in BAPIP. They have been in the past, and they are now.

    But overall, we can understand based on past data, that similar approaches and quality of contact the Reds are displaying, don't make a team BAPIP this bad. They should be at the bottom, not two standard deviations below the bottom. They truly have been super unlucky, and other teams are experiencing this in their last 40 games. It does happen occasionally, and it really sucks its happening to us in such a small term sample.

    The Reds approach to offensive roster construction this year reminds me most of the Rays who typically employ platoons, and patient power at the behest of getting BAPIP line drive hitters. Typically the Rays also find better defenders to do these same roles, but the offensive profile is similar. They make similar quality of contact, but enough balls in play are falling in for them so that they can hit their expected mark, .240. Thats not good either, and ranks near the bottom of the league... but its close enough to the pack that when combined with patience and power it does pay off long term. Its an approach that can possibly rank near the top of the league in runs scored, and it is for them.

    I just wish we had 162 games to find out where we would end up ranking when our BA would normalize close enough to expectation to get to a .240 BA mark. It would still be near the bottom, but our run production, without question, would not be.
    Not challenging any of this, appreciate the analysis Patrick. But I also believe the Reds have lacked sufficient hitting ability among secondary hitters - who’ve received lots of PAs - that has made this problem worse.

    I listed a dozen secondary Reds hitters who have not hit well and found that they have 617 total PAs in 2020. Astonishing! There is no such group on the Dodgers, Cubs, or Phils getting that kind of use.

    The Reds can’t control bad luck but there are elements of this problem they can control. Not only hitting approach but roster construction. A deeper group of quality hitting position players and I suspect the results would be better.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-09-2020 at 05:31 PM.

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  25. #75
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    Re: Dick Williams speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    How long a rope does a GM get though? Dick is on his 5th season and the team has had a losing record every year of his tenure.

    I’ve mentioned this before recently, but Dick gets a lot of credit for bringing the Reds into the modern age of baseball, but I don’t think he deserves any special credit for that. The Reds aren’t at the cutting edge of baseball with their analytical or developmental approach, they’re just finally up to speed with everyone else in the league.

    Williams shouldn’t get massive praise for just merely making this a competent organization. And I have seen zero evidence that he’s made them exceptional in any way. Especially considering how bad the results on the field still are.
    It reminds me a lot of Neal Huntington and Rick Hahn. Really smart guys who say all the right things in interviews but at the end of the day their teams don't win more games than they lose...

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