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Thanks for the article! Funny and astute.
Thank you for the fun and thought-provoking article.
A small matter, but don't buy into <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Joe+Morgan">Joe Morgan</a></span> thinking--Michael Lewis is a reporter and writer, and <span class="bookdef"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393324818/baseballpro07-20/ref=nosim/" target="blank">Moneyball</a></span> was talking about Mr. Beane's way of thinking. Bill James and Lewis are doing different things.
Thank you, Sam, for this great article.
Thank you for the fun and interesting article.
Thank you for this article. Really enjoyed it.
It is a psychological truism that faced with uncertainty, humans in aggregate exhibit a strong tendency to 'avoid mistakes' rather than 'guess accurately'. Adding in the experiential knowledge of how pitchers approach counts, with significant swings in in-zone and out-of-zone depending on the count, means there will be a strong push (conscious or not) to the behavior noted in the article.
Our other umpires (judges) often report they are trying more to not make a mistake than to guess right, and adjust how that is implemented by demeanor and believability of witnesses and counsel. That is much more subjective experience than the fairly apparent pitcher behavior that baseball umpires use, so to me it is believable that umpires show this behavior across the board.
Good article and thoughts. I liked the concept there is randomness but not chaos. In effect, a perfectly played game is nothing but randomness.
Good luck and thank you. Great job every day.
How have you determined what part of his performance is skill based and what part 'luck'? Considering the wide range of actual performance around a talent level, I think ytou need more than half-a-season to make that judgment. Even if <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> is adjusting for current results, it would be fool-hardy to have a system for all players that jumps in with both feet on a half-season breakout. It would have to average that against all prior similar palyers who had such breakouts, and to the extent no comparables are available, it will as a systems matter discount the breakout considerably. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, even when it knocks on your door.
For that sort of cross-era comparison, DRA- would seem to be better, and the DRA- list is much more spread across the years.
This was really well-written---clear, interesting, and informative. Thanks.
Please be good to us.
Hmmm, I swear I watched all the Giant and Royals games, and they won almost every game played, without any unfairness from bad calls or natural disasters. Seemed like the best teams to me.
With the unbalanced schedule, I don't think you should make all too much out of a few games better or worse W-L record. And even 162 games has SSS issues, which is why as pointed out in the article letting a few more teams in lessens the chance the 'best' teams are not in the playoffs.
And it is just as much an article of faith for baseball that you have to win them on the field as it is that the champion should be the best team.
Teams today would demolish the teams of yesteryore. The expansion of the rosters to international players has greatly improved the average talent level. Almost every team has starters and closers that would have been the best pitcher anyone had seen for five years in the 50s or 60s.
This is the 'golden age'--King Felix, Kershaw, Fernandez, Cabrera, Trout, Harper, Cano, Wainwright, Cueto, McCutheon, Stanton, Ortiz, Chapman, Darvish, et al.--enjoy, it has never been better!
Really looking forward to the Royals-Giants--I hope both keep their mojo goin' and it is a classic.
Thank you for all your work---the prospects coverage went to a new and especially professional level of analysis and presentation. One of the marks of a successful leader is the team they develop---yours is first class.
But most of all I will miss your linguistic flights of fancy. Keep writing on the side.
Thank you, Ben, and good luck.
And I will add---yes, Scoresheet articles and ratings and services all very appreciated. I dropped roto leagues long ago for Scoresheet, and never regretted it.
If you do not have one, go look at Scoresheet's Web site and pick one up cheap to experience it. Just look through the teams. You can often find orphaned teams with a favorite star player to build around.
Also, Scoresheet "luck balancing" will take that underperforming week versus chance and give that player a boost for the next week.
I think you are seeing the effect of a hitter having fewer ABs due to platooning versus his real life ABs. The Scoresheet program just provides percentage chances---across the same number of ABs, chance and real will approach each other. With fewer ABs, more chance for divergent Scoresheet results, both up and down (and when they are up, you don't think "Scoresheet did me a favor there", you think "I am a brilliant manager").
So, I am in favor of platooning when you can, unless there is too big a gap between the players or a starter's splits are not big.
If your offense is decent, why give up the chance to come back? While comebacks are pretty rare after the 7th, earlier in the game they are not unusual. This is particularly true early in the season when some teams will have underdrafted pitchers, or not set up their relief corps well.
While randolph3030 is right on the facts (great week), he is wrong on the humor---that was an awesomely funny answer.
Thank you for all the work and enjoyable reading.
Cool hair, too.
Pedro has him by two inches but about the same weight.
And Pete Palmer's run expectancy matrix is essentially the "what" on which all the "why"s are generated.
Do not forget Tom Tango and Michael Lichtman.
This---go to answer any questions, and chaperone their wanderings. Much better; and they will settle down. Eventually.
I think of it more as comment on the odd way fate distributes the sticks and stones of chance, to which usually random coincidence we attribute narrative.
Thank you, Christina. Wonderful. And, also miss you.
Really fine! And more coherent than some of the 'blank ballot' pieces that have been drifting out lately.
I think Sabean's failure to be in more World Series during the Bonds years is a big negative; you have to be able to leverage such a prime asset with appropriate support. I think his work over the last four years has to be lauded overall (except Miggy--wtf?). I still believe he is living/dying on veteran hitters too much in trading, but I do not know what is avaialable. It seems he underexplores sending out pitching prospects for blocked position players who have a chance of being valuable for a number of years. (I thought the Beltran trade was fine; trying to win and got a great player for a prospect.) Anyway, fun article.
Fun article. Everyone of these trades should be made. I expect GMs are too timid, and like most people overweight the risk versus the gain.
Thank you for this comment, RC. Anyone who laughs, snickers, or feels uncomfortable with it---that's a warning sign about your own maturity and wisdom, and nothing more. Grow up.
Thank you. Great article, clever construction, good flow.
Wow...reading this site for a long time, and enjoyed and enjoy many of the contributors, but Kevin you had the most information and friendly manner of conveying it. Will really miss your thoughts, really appreciate all you did, and wish you the best in the new job. Thank you again.
Great article. Glad you are back.
Awesome...look forward to the rest.
Thank you very much, and good luck!
Thank you, Mike. Lots of great reads. Good luck!!
Exactly. Swisher and Martin were in much better position to effect games and did not come through, too.
Just wanted to add: Great article! I think this is a major effort that will lead to lots more work and discoveries, both analytic and coaching. I bet you see alot of 'frozen heads' in the playoffs.
Arod in 10 years accumulated more WAR than Jeter in 17. That is no knock on Jeter---but Arod is/was way better.
Ben: Thank you for filling the shoes and taking off in new directions from Christina. Ignore any nagging doubts about limiting yourself--this was fun just to read besides the interesting information.
Reader from the beginning: Thank you for years of interesting writing---the historical and cultural references maybe most of all. Good luck!!
Once your team is drafted, and lineups set up, it can just work itself. If you took an hour a week you could keep your team 'going'. If you want to build it up, then researching trades and the three mid-season drafts (for prospects) might take some more time. On the other hand, you can be fantatical about it, too, and adjust things every week. I tend to do alot for the first few weeks as players and roles settle out, then let it ride until I need to--usually because of trade or draft acquisitions, or noticeable playing time change.
I love Scoresheet and dropped all other fantasy formats to do it. If you are a regular BP reader, you know enough. I also recommend Baseball HQ (Ron Schandler's site) for some specific Scoresheet stuff, but also analysis that tends to look at the player 'in real life' more than many fantasy sites, and Scoresheet is that way.
You can never overdraft starting pitching.
Werth over Crawford if it is similar money
Huff---one year, Belt to follow
Panda backup at 3b and 1B unless proves self
Agreed. I only wish he had the philosophy of "pitching, pitching, pitching" while he had Barry. He signed nowhere ever veterans who couldn't hit when they were younger for the most part. Only getting the one WS shot for all those years of Barry is a failure, and this half-lotto win (I'll give the starting and bullpen pitching), doesn't make up for it.
I worry he'll think hsi mojo works and give up on getting hitters. This is a team that should sign Dunn or Crawford, and be drafting 2b-SS-3B like mad.
Good to very good job on the whole during the season, other than things didn't need to be so dicey about making playoffs if Posey had come up earlier. But he set himself up to make all these moves by again not getting enough offense, whether through draft or pick ups, a problem he has had for years.
Aahh, I love the smell of MGL in the morning......
Talent drain? Seidman, Wyers, Swartz, Normandin, all newer, have talent to burn, and have significantly upgraded BP in their areas. Goldstein, Goldman, Kahrl, Jaffe, et al., more talent. Changed talent? Yes. Drained? No.
Shandler's position seems more subtle than that. He says for fantasy purposes exact ordinal listing of each player is not necessary as injuries/luck/playing time fudge the margins such that baskets of approximately similar players is enough---the talent is in bidding strategy, draft strategy, guesses on roles, etc.
Yes, the CF games played chart cannot be right. Not sure it effects the analysis, though.
Bonds' amazing 2007 was three years into PED testing. A rational team would figure it was more likely than not that his results were not PED-influenced.
I agree teams made the decision the negatives outweighed the positives---I agree with Joe that I think this was a miscalculation. I don't know how orchestrated it was, but I'm sure some weight was given to media reaction and I think teams way overrate their local media's influence over fan attendance.
As to Bonds---having watched perhaps 5 or 6 hundred at bats, many in person behind the plate, the remarkable fact was not the power but the pitch selection. He wouldn't flinch at balls just off the plate.
Along with PEDs to make himself stronger and game ready (able to workout longer and recover more quickly), I think by late 1990s he entered the Ted Williams' 'zone'---where he could calmly just wait on the pitch he wanted with utmost concentration and discipline. This later attribute had nothing to do with PEDs.
Joe is right---we were cheated of seeing him play a season or more, and teams miscalculated in not having him on their team.
DPD is becoming my favorite place at BP. Please continue. This (little longer) one on Russ Christopher was great. Thank you.
It's good to know Manny Acta has a sense of humor. He'll need it.
Thank you, Joe, and good luck!
Thank you Joe for many insightful articles. Good luck!
Thank you remaining BPer's for a great site. Keep working on it.
I reiterate many readers' point that interesting reading (SG, KG, CK, et al.) is one of the main attractions here, so please keep it in mind. I also, however, like the additions (PizzaCutter, Colin, Eric, Matt) as I think there is still lots to be revealed stats-wise. Lots to do in pitch-by-pitch analysis and defense.
I think John Perotto is head-and-shoulders above 'wire service', by the way. And Matt and Eric have the writing chops---give them time to develop.
Richie--you are gaining 100 points of SLG and four times the HR per AB by using Thome for Martin, even against Erye. Better than "not gaining much at all".
Besides kickstarting testerone production after steroid cycle, hCG is also used to mask artificial testerone usage, by driving up natural testerone. By driving up testerone, works as weight reducer, too.
You all missed my (I guess poorly written) point. I know walks are not used to calculate SLG. My point was that by having so many IBBs and so many regular walks, many of which were really IBBs, it hurt Bonds' SLG---all the lost opportunities to hit doubles and HRs.
As to Pujols's OPS advantage over Bonds: 1) Let's see how Albert's post-35 years go. 2) All those walks diminish Bonds' SLG. Normalize his walk rate to Albert's, give him the same non-walk percentages as for his other at bats (probably optimistic), and I wonder (because I don't have the stats skills to do it) what his OPS+B (special Bonds OPS) would be? Not to criticize Pujols at all; just not Barry, I think, though the above would reduce Bonds' OBP.
Teixeira\'s VORP for 2008 places him in the top 10. Ibanez was not higher---he barely beat Teixeira\'s third-plus of a season at Anaheim.