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That's okay. It's still pretty cool.
I guess it wasn't intentional. All Friends episode names begin with "The One..."
I dig the Friends reference.
They're not extinct, of course, just rare. Perhaps only one can exist at any one time.
^this is among the best advice your are ever likely to receive.
I think you read a different article.
What a fantastic article. One time reading it isn't enough.
To be fair, "Deadly Accurate" only applies to cases where it is somewhat accurate, or I mean predicted what everyone knew and that actually happened. I mean, they only ever put seven or so examples on the back cover.
Regarding no. 3, how did <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mark+Reynolds">Mark Reynolds</a></span> get around that?
That brings up how this wasn't controlled for age, because ARod is kinda super old to learn a new position.
Just (this moment) finished reading your article in the annual (after having just read this). You just keep getting better and better Russell. Thank you for being here.
Classically trained trumpet player here.That is a great example. I was in both concert band and jazz band, first chair in both. I could handle jazz just fine, could play the leads just fine, but when it came time to get out the Fake Book and turn to page whatever...there are the changes, have at it...I was completely lost. I had spent plenty of time playing it but very little time actually learning it. I could play a cadenza just fine, because that's the language I knew.
Just to be clear, I'm not trying to be a jerk or simply contrarian. I think what we are really talking about here is that what the eye doesn't "catch" the mind fills in the blanks.
The catcher is closer to the pitch than the umpire (obviously not by much.) Obviously, if pitch framing is a thing, and we acknowledge it is, the catcher would be doing far more than simply getting his glove in front of the ball. Let's play the substitution game here...the catcher has to be able to tell whether--in mid-flight--it ended up in an imaginary box...
I'll grant you that catchers have the advantage of knowing the specifics of the pitch coming, but I'm not buying the argument that umpires can't process the information fast enough to know the differences. Maybe the vantage point is disadvantageous.
Aren't catchers doing this very thing (resolving an image in three dimensions)? Consciously? Isn't that what framing is?
<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TAv" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TAv'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TAv</span></a> is not like WAR in any sense of what you said because TAv is the hitting basis of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a>, which is the model that is like WAR and even that values things just about as equally as every other model, albeit in a slightly different manner. Just going by pure hitting, TAv is basically equivalent to wOBA on a different scale. They both form the basis for a production to runs conversion, and they're not as different as they might seem.
History may not forgive, but it can forget.
If he was the nicest dude in the game you would have to change your numbers more than a little. He didn't lack employment solely based on personality.
My concern is there is no mention of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=Batting+Average" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('Batting Average'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">Batting Average</span></a> and it's relation to <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a>. When analyzing pre and post-Moneyball trends you would need to isolate BA from OBP to tell which one teams were really paying for.
No one has been dead set on trading Miller. He's returned <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57396">Jason Heyward</a></span> to a Cardinals team that had young arms to spare, and a ridiculous package being lampooned for its lopsidedness to the rebuilding Braves. He's fetched quite a bit of value and pitched just fine for a kid three years away from free agency. No one is passing on Miller, they're just turning him in for other things, almost as if he's an asset. I think this happens with young players from time to time.
This probably doesn't really need to be said, but I'll say it anyway:
the games in April and May count exactly as much in the standings as the games played on the last week of the season.
I think think what fawcetb meant to write is that "sometimes you should also talk to your model." I'm not sure that would have any effect, but I'm not against it.
Any guesses what Votto says as he's watching Iglesias shift back to normal position? It appears to me he's saying "that's right," or "that's fine."
The only winning move is not to play.
I love these GM in a Box write ups. Great stuff.
Actually, the low bird has been holding down that end of the bat just waiting to jump off and watch the other end crash to the ground. The low bird has all the leverage.
I had mistakenly requested Ryan to do one of these on Goldy last year not realizing he doesn't take requests. Here is the .gif I made that I really, really like. The motion of this swing is beautiful.
Thanks for doing this Ryan. I've been waiting for you to get around to Goldschmidt for a while.
Have you developed a stand up routine yet, Matthew?
I really enjoyed this, love the format.
Awesome Office Space reference!
I definitely noticed that every one of those throws (save the ones into second) were up the line.
Are there any rules that prevent me from starting a franchise from players I buy on Amazon? I have Amazon Unlimited, so I think I could put together a winner in less than a week. Plus, free audio books!
Not family friendly, but Hair of the Dog by Nazareth,
or for times when the strike zone has been treated unfairly Eyesight to the Blind by Sonny Boy Williamson (II).
I could've sworn we did this here before, but I may be misremembering.
My top choice for closer song: Blind by Korn. Best start to any debut album ever. "Are you ready!"
Second would have to be For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica. Because Cliff Burton, and also people would think it was Hell's Bells until...Cliff Burton.
I'd have to give an honorable mention to Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden.
The Texas Rangers comment...isn't it about time somebody said that?
Alex Gordon was drafted as a third baseman.
All I can say to that is that it's pretty obvious whoever is pulling the strings doesn't know what they're doing. A joke that got posted yesterday: "I heard today the Dodgers tried to hack into the DBacks computers but found nothing there."
I can supply the why not from the perspective of the AZ fanbase (such that it is these days). Because this isn't the first time, not even after the first time that this organization has done something like this. It is the way they do business. I'm not trying to represent how the entire fan base feels (such that it is these days), just what gets expressed on a daily basis among the more "dedicated."
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Okay, no more compliments for Sussman anymore.
Obviously it was enough to matter, hence this piece. Every team may have faced all the same other teams, but did every pitcher face all the same hitters? That's what this is getting at. Whether or not that's enough to matter is something that can be debated, but not simply dimissed out of hand.
All of my reply didn't make it somehow, but it really doesn't matter too much. Unless every division in baseball was uniformly strong, how could the division he pitched in be irrelevant? Saying the division he pitched in, the batters he faced, has nothing to do with the strength of his oppostion makes absolutely no sense. There must be some misunderstanding.
All of his games and opponents are relevant. If you want to make a claim about the quality of oppostion (just league average) that is one thing, but to claim that is irrevelvant is just weird.
A lot of people didn't seem very happy with Bauer's "eccentricities."
This was timely, as I was just thinking about that quote...if it was true, why have so many teams been hiring analysts from the outside? Teams have been raiding the Hell out of the BP staff just over the last two years alone, and we are to believe they are that far ahead? Are they just poaching talent because they don't know what to do with the data they have? I understand they have data we don't, but I'm not buying a gap that large. There very well might be, and maybe the gap has been widening (due to the talent poaching), but it wasn't all that long ago that front offices didn't have much of an idea about this stuff and didn't pay much attention even to the people they brought in to explore it.
If by chance you had read my comment on the previous Hit List and took that as incentive to surpass Mr. Kory's efforts, then congratulations are in order. You almost did it!
(Seriously, though, well done)
Kory, you absolutely killed it today. It was one louder.
"Which isn't to say it's surprising that they're good, or that their performance is fluky and unsustainable, or anything. It's just that this historic level of success doesn't match up with their talent or their performance."
Doesn't that make it sort of fluky and unsustainable?
I think you guys out to combine some of these into a Super Two series, or at least tag them as Super Two. I'm sure many of us here understand it fairly well, but it could definitely stand alone as a primer for those that don't. Or how about a roster manipulation tag? There's this and Rule 5, waiver wire, the various 40 man roster rules. This is real world stuff.
I'm a little chagrined that no one has commented on either of the articles today that tackle this subject.
Might as well do that for every team. They're all much hated by someone.
It does, just not in the official MLB standings. It's like Mitch Hedberg's joke about hotels not having 13th floors: "people on the fourteenth floor, you know what floor you're really on."
Good looking out, Josh. Sounds like the kid could have ended up in a world of crap without your help Sounds pretty stressful.
Two Wrongs don't make a Wright. (I had to do it)
That picture of the seal statue reminded me of this, as it almost always would:
I thought I would save that for an article that had something to do with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=7">Craig Biggio</a></span>.
That's awfully fine-grained. It could probably be done, but I'm not sure either that it's worth it or would even be accurate enough to be usable.
They've been good.
You guys forgot to mention the body armor Bonds was permitted to wear that allowed him to eclipse the inner third of the plate.
C'mon, man, that's not awful at all...it's far worse than that.
I'm a bit remiss to bring up this possibility, but could it be that he doesn't have the grip he needs for his secondaries because maybe he isn't "using" grip enhancements? I'm not trying to stir anything up here, but...maybe he's pitching naked.
Maybe the pitcher and catcher should just use headsets.
In 1916 Ferdinand Cole Lane wrote that batting average was "worse than worthless." To support this view he collected data to determine what percentage of a run each hit type was responsible for. His results are pretty similar to the weights you'll see in something like wOBA.
Bill James is undebiably a very important figure in sabermetrics, but this statement completely ignores the contributions of others like <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FC" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FC'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FC</span></a> Lane, George Lindsey, and Earnshaw Cook. Lane looked at 1000 hits of different types and assigned what percentage of a run each was responsible way back in 1916 (in an effort to displace batting average.) George Lindsey devised the blueprint for win expectancy and linear weights in the early 1960s, even before Cook wrote his book Percetage Baseball. Bill James benefits from being a very engaging writer and is a true heavyweight in the field, but by no means was he the first to start "cribbing the numbers."
Great stuff, Ryan. I love these articles. Since I'm not so sure huztlers is going to give you an answer, I like Goldschmidt's swing a lot. I can't see anything wrong with it, but I'm learning the finer points through these articles. Can't wait for the next one.
Almost forgot...love the Mitch Hedberg quote. One of my favorite comedians. "Fruit on bottom, hope on top."
If all around encompasses the totality of their offense and defense, and you are sure that Harper will be the better offensive player, how can you be so sure? Trout has already lost some of his basestealing value and given what we know about what we don't know about defense...
If you see the pic, mouseover it.
Not a link, just an embedded animation. Are you on a tablet or phone, by chance?
Yeah, this reminds me of one of those YouTube "you think you know" series.
Oh, I agree. It should be great fun watching the two of them for the next ten years. I'm excited just to see how crazy-insane Harper's going to get during the run of this season.
I had an idea about how to find a lesser known player: look through the comps/similar players here and at B-R. Just pick some player from today or the recent past or whatever and see who pops up in the lists. Then maybe pick one of those and look through his comps.
Happy birthday, Josh. That's a great idea there. Really highlights the romanticism baseball engenders better than other sports.
What are the chances Harper ends up being better than Trout for the next six or so years?
I've been saying the same thing for years now. Maybe we'll see it happen someday.
That's what I like about the Phillies; I keep getting older, they...keep getting older, too.
Players (both sides) are allowed to ask for an appeal to either the first base or third base umpire. Why doesn't that happen in this case?
Guys, it's number two...I mean the second comment.
This is all anecdotal and speculative. How do you know what most players would say?
Given how much turnover there has been, top to bottom, I would find it hard to characterize BP as having an organizational stance on PEDs. It's a pretty widespread stance throughout the sabermetric community that it just isn't knowable how much PEDs affect performance. It's not a denial outright, it's just that...what do you want? How much of a debit should be applied to known PED users? If you really want to read hot-take hyperbole about the issue, there are many, many sources for that kind of stuff. Here we just basically go for baseball analysis that makes as much sense as it can. It would be every bit the turnoff for me if every other article had to mention PEDs. What do you want us to do about it? Maybe someone should start their own website...BPeds
Off-roadin' with Russell. Count me in.
Wow, I don't think I can add anything to the above comments about how amazing this story is, but I will say that this story needs sharing. Everyone should read this.
Man, you got me good on that one, Sam.
I remember that Zimmerman piece, and it had some problems with survival bias. I no longer have the code or the file, but I ran the numbers selecting for players that lasted at least 10 big league seasons and found nothing substantially different about player aging. It seems likely that there is a pretty good sized crowd of 23-25 year olds that get their shot and flame out before there is any aging curve for them to have.
I had to double check, but I was right...those Donruss cards that year were the ugliest baseball cards I had ever seen. Fortunately Upper Deck debuted the next year.
All day? Oh boy, have I got a stockpile of GIFs I'd like to send you.
This is where this comment was meant to go...and while I'm here, let me say I always enjoy the absolute Hell out of your articles. I probably spend far too much time staring at the GIFs over and over again. Addicting.
All day? Oh boy, have I got a stockpile of GIFs I'd like to send you.
During the season, outside of things like contract negotiations and roster moves (things you can't talk about), do clients often drop you a line to tell you how they're doing, how their season is coming, if they think they're about to go on a roll?
I'll keep my fingers crossed for your checkup, Joshua.
1) You state that Maddon "does this to show...that he is smarter than other managers" with no evidence. How do you know that Maddon does it for this reason and not because he genuinely believes he may be able to get some advantage from it?
2) The shaming of the #9 hitter. Assuming he would otherwise be batting 8th, how much shaming is there really to be done? It's not like he's getting bumped from the third spot in the order. I'm sure a tactful manager would explain to his batter that he's hitting him 8th because he feels it gives the team a better chance to win. That's a positive thing, not a personal slight. Again, we're talking about a guy that would be normally hitting 8th anyway, so how much better or worse is that bitter going to get?
What if you're a fan of one of the other 27 teams? It's going to be a long slap in the face for those fans. BP Cleveland ain't happening...that's not where the money is.
I got a good laugh out of that one, Matt.
How'd you enjoy Arizona, Mauricio?
"the best laid schemes of mice and Ben often go awry."
I like that.
Might the difference be throwing a breaking ball and throwing a breaking ball for strikes?
See what I mean?
Ken, either you don't write enough, or I don't read what you write enough. I dig your style my man.
All the same, Bryant is at the age where he either is or he isn't. I don't think it's likely that any more seasoning will make a difference in his future role, and in fact might be counter-productive. He has to hit at the highest level, or he isn't.
I checked, too, and noticed that it doesn't have regular baseball stuff, so I realized, hey, Rob is going to be the regular baseball writer. They couldn't have made a better choice.
A better way of stating the basic Occam's razor is that between explanations that are equally satisfying, the one that requires the fewest assumptions is preferable.
If I could vote for this one twice, I would.
I'll definitely be checking it out.
"I know from having made an attempt to collect bat cracks that manual data collection is a painstaking, error-prone, and difficult process."
This is very true. It's especially disheartening when you spend a couple of hours on processing a few dozen audio files and lose your place :(
Congrats, Robert. We will miss having a regularly scheduled <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/moonshot/">Moonshot</a> to read. Best wishes.
I didn't read the basketball study yet, so I wonder if one might be able to draw the conclusion that teams performing measurably better touch each other more often, rather than the other way around.
Venn diagrams of regrets?
Sam, thank you, and very well said.
Indeed, Matt has a sickness and we should deal with the problem through treatment and not punishment.
This will never make sense to posterity.
I see what you are doing, though. Maybe need some regex help?
Hmm, weird. <span class="bookdef"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393324818/baseballpro07-20/ref=nosim/" target="blank">Moneyball</a></span>.
Can't wait to see the Every Teams' <span class="bookdef"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393324818/baseballpro07-20/ref=nosim/" target="blank">Moneyball</a></span> Marlins edition.
"OH! and bring your prospectus handbook to the game. I think I might have convinced my entire row to buy it for next year. The thing sells itself."
I did this once. I found it very hard getting it back. So maybe buy two copies and take one with you.
It's possible to sanitize HTML.
Here might be a good place to look for destinations (complete with reviews from site members):
I don't know about there not being a go-to beer here...Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and Torpedo are pretty much everywhere; you can pick up a sixer in a 7-11 or Circle K for $8.99 if you're in a hurry. Total Wine and BevMo both have locations at Tempe Marketplace, which is just two miles down the road from Mesa Riverview and not at all far from Talking Stick. Four Peaks Brewery is not far either, on McClintock and University...you can call ahead to find out what's on tap. If you like to get your shopping done early, Sprout's Farmer's Market opens at 7am, has a decent selection (and lets you build your own six pack), and is also nearby, on McClintock and Southern. If you wouldn't mind giving some of the local small craft stores some love, there is Sun Devil Liquors that has a nice selection and a cellar pub located on Country Club Dr and University. DJ's liquor is a small place that also sells tobacco and accessories and also has a full humidor if you like cigars. It is located on Dobson and Southern, just three miles south of Mesa Riverview. Ask for Jeff...he knows just about everything about both cigars and beer.
There was once a saying: the best way to develop a major league pitcher is to start with five minor league pitchers. Works for staffs, too.
It's likely that being on the lists three or more years means you are young, highly regarded, and haven't done anything real enough yet. Probably lots of international 16 year olds in that area. You are right about the guys who come off the list due to promotion. That's why it's the sweet spot. Interestingly, this won't cover the out-of-nowhere guys like Pujols who are drafted in the later rounds and rocket through the system without making much of an appearance on lists. That's fairly rare, though...right?
Hamilton has been through the program (yes, that one). Hamilton self-reported his latest relapse. He's taken steps before, and by this action would almost certainly be prepared to take further steps (although that is just speculation on my part). The thing is, this is what happens with addicts. It's beyond hard work. There is this notion that "if they would just try hard enough!" That's not how it works...it's a lifetime of struggle. Not to say he shouldn't face any consequences, but I think the problem needs to be understood.
You would think death is the most powerful deterrent, yet that doesn't make any difference to many addicts.
It's mysterious? Maybe there should be a name for like "the Coors Effect" or something.
This isn't a bad idea. I think it could be effectively implemented throughout baseball with an agreement between the MLBPA and MLB so it can cover the minor leagues. There's even a good way to sell it: career help. Just another piece of the development cycle.
Every time I read one of your articles, Josh, it reminds me that there are so many good guys out there with a dream to play baseball and that we should be rooting for all of them.
I'm not sure there is "teetering on the edge of addiction." There probably isn't a window within which it can be said "if you don't stop right now, you will become an addict." For some people the very first use could mean addiction. It's different from person to person. As far as having an effect on future addicts by how one person's case is handled...addiction is very powerful, and addicts only listen to their addiction. Many times it comes down to life or death before an addict will listen to reason. This is a massive topic with many angles. Hamilton, like any case taken singularly, has his own specific set of circumstances.
I had the same thought...that Hamilton might not survive very long if he were to leave baseball and the distraction it provides. I don't know if Hamilton is truly aware of it or not, but he is an addict for life and will always be in recovery. It sounds depressing, and it certainly can be, but people can learn to live with that.
It might just be that what this is really showing is the elusive clubhouse chemistry. So it would be the manager, the coaches, the players, the general manager, maybe even the owner.
That shines through in every article and comment you provide here. Thank you.
A number of things spring to mind thinking about this, which is too many to go through now, but:
Might there be cause for concern about pitcher injuries from rushing pitches?
What is the hitter's role in this? Does everybody have to be ready at the same time?
I honestly think a pitch clock should be implemented (if at all) in the minors only and, over time, I would be willing to bet that by the time the kids get to the bigs they are already conditioned to play faster.
"Nobody has done this outside the world of video games"
Steve Nebraska did it.
I would hope that everyone realizes that it's just math. You can criticize the results, and therefore the math, but it's not personal. It's just math.
How unlikely is it that the supermodel is also the village idiot? I don't think the two are exclusive.
Three inches is kinda a lot, I think. I'm not sure what three inches inside the zone would mean.
How about like:
I'm not so sure about that. I wouldn't think umpires are paying all that much attention to this kind of research or are being told to be aware of it. I'd like to think they will continue to "call 'em like I see 'em." If they ever did..."see 'em", that is. The secret to catcher framing may well be Umpire Whispering. We know umpires are blind, right?
Oh, does this bring back 12 year old me memories. On the All Star team they had me play SS full time, claiming they didn't have anyone else that could do it well enough, so I wasn't allowed to pitch...until they needed me for an emergency in an elimination game. Catcher had never caught me before, I hadn't pitched in two weeks, and said catcher had an annoying habit of opening his glove at the last moment to receive the pitch (which kept bouncing off the front of his glove). I was throwing gas straight down the middle and couldn't get a single called strike. Stupid catcher, you owe me ice cream.
Whoever you are POS, I am going to figure out who you are and I don't care why you follow me around and down vote all my comments. I don't really care about the comment ratings but you obviously want my attention, and you've got it. Congratulations. You may not like how this turns out.
Actually it is every bit as easy using the the R GUI that comes with the base installation. It's the exact same command. I do highly recommend R Studio.
Any ideas of introducing a comparable players approach into this?
Kendall, who did the face swap on that image?
What haiku, you ask?
Was at end of the column
Honestly, I'm touched by this. As much as you enjoy the readership, I must say we enjoy you that much more. Here's wishing you a smooth recovery and looking forward to your next column.
Yeah, well, that's just, like, you're opinion, man.
I don't think there is any need to keep going over this, which is why I think we don't keep going over it.
Well, I have always had a surly relationship with the media, but it's good you can overlook that.
Sussman voted for everyone. I'd feel very good about my chances of getting into the Hall if everyone voted like Matt.
Cool #Gory, bro.
Actually, smart teams with four great hitters ought to be in the market for platoon partners and insurance pieces to supplement the talent on it's way up from the farm. Or that's maybe another way to go.
"Whoa, let's not start a holy war, here."
"Jesus, I like him very much, but he no help with curveball."
Yeah, I interpreted it as "might be his Rookie of the Year self."
" relaxed in an offseason hibernation that dates back several color schemes"
And there is your problem. There may be large variation among the exclusive group of people that are allowed to work in prominent positions for baseball front offices, but that is just accounting for the variation within that limited group. I understand the difficulty in measuring things that don't exist, but it should be easy to admit the possibility that the very best are the elite of a mediocre group. I'm not saying that is definitely the case, but it has to be considered. I mean, you've selected out an entire subset on the same principle that makes inclusion in the "fraternity" nearly impossible to attain, namely the nebulous property of being "qualified."
Oh, Bill James...okay, you win. I forgot that Bill James has never been full of sh*t before.
You're missing something here...clubs already have many bright young interns that they pay virtually nothing for, and they may have brilliant ideas that go completely ignored. They don't necessarily need to expand front offices but perhaps simply listen to the ideas from the people that are working for virtually free. Then pay those guys some money. What's happening right now is really just overpaying for name-recognition hires. The market inefficiency right now would be to hire the smartest baseball-savvy nerd that no one has ever heard of for next to nothing. So I guess the evolution is that it becomes like player development in that you let the expensive guys go when you have young talent waiting in the wings to take their place.
" Even Bo and Deion were no more than decent MLB talents."
Dude, there is nothing about that sentence that fits in comfortably with reality. And you began the post "With regard to baseball players." If that's what you're citing as evidence, you don't really have any, either.
I've always wanted an authentic batting helmet, and it would be even better if it actually fit (which isn't likely). Bats, balls, gloves, and jerseys are all awesome, but there is just something about a nice shiny batting helmet with your team logo on it. Sadly, no one in my family reads this site.
"I'm not sure why we should expect the distribution of outcomes like OPS to be Gaussian."
We don't, because they're not.
"Skill might have a normal distribution,"
Not at the professional level.
You make the right observation with outcome probabilities. Namely, what is the probability of something happening that shouldn't have. I like your dice example since it reminds me of Strat-O-Matic.
It IS a very complex subject.
Awesome. Appreciate it.
There's an idea...all time wrong name teams. Imagine if instead of Mookie Wilson they had Hack Wilson. Or if instead of Mike Stanton they had Mike Stanton, or Mike Stanton as in Giancarlo Stanton.
I'd be happy for you to send me the data, if you're offering.
I think that is just really an intuitive thing to say. Of course a guy that pumps out the same kind of season year after year is easy(ish) to predict. The problem is: is it possible to identify that player beforehand? I hope we can find something to go on in that regard.
Did you find any commonality among the missed breakouts? Are they of similar ages, experience, batted ball profile, that kind of thing, or does it appear to be randomly distributed?
I think what is being overlooked here regarding Donaldson is that players that break in during their mid-twenties and breakout at 26-27 don't have a good track record for being very useful beyond the very brief peak (I'm currently thinking of Chris Duncan). It's more of a gamble to hang on to a guy like that than to get whatever you can for him. Robert did a survival study not long ago demonstrating the likelihood of career lengths based on debut age. I find this to be a very reasonable course of action.
Oops, my bad. Good news for Puig, though.
That is what it was called, and it was brilliant. It wasn't even a movie, it was a documentary. Sam can go spit.
I don't recall reading anywhere anyone speaking or writing about Tomas being a slam dunk. In fact, the talk around the D'backs internet watercooler is that he simply makes Trumbo redundant, in that he is just a younger version of the same...upside. I haven't read anyone going ball's out for the guy.
As for not many guys getting better after 24...have you looked at aging patterns? Granted, there isn't much evidence to examine regarding Cuban imports, but youngish baseball players are youngish baseball players from wherever they are. Tomas doesn't really fit in the Cespedes, Puig, Abreu as he's younger than all of them as he enters the league. And he also has time to get some coaching at that younger age.
As for the Red Sox and Yankees, Boston already went on their spending spree, and the Yankees are doing something else right now, so that is basically a not relevant. I don't think a move like this would make any sense for either of them at this point. Other GMs were vying for his services, however.
Are you meaning to say that Tomas is never going to progress beyond .230? You seem to be hinting that Tomas would be better off learning to hit Major League pitching by playing a few more years in Cuba, which I don't think is grounded in logic. We're not looking at a Wily Mo Pena type situation, here.
You are quite right. It is actually a movie about the vices and virtues of wealth and greed and what true friends are. And it's a hard movie to hate, because, John Candy.
He signals his retirement before the game is even finished, so that line of thought is never expounded upon. For all we know he may have allowed the trade or vetoed the trade, but it never gets to that point.
Actually, I think this could be a neat toy statistic...salary translations. True earnings in present dollars. I'm sure there's an acronym in there somewhere.
In the Ted Williams section you write:
"So Williams, who debuted the same year as Aaron..."
which might confuse some people.
It's delightful the way the humanity shines through in your articles, Joshua. Very enjoyable.
I believe you didn't actually mean to be disrespectful. I also believe you won't forget again.
From White Men Can't Jump:
"Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs."
You must be a very hard person to shop for. The kid has a career line of .305/.395/.545 line through age 22 (three full seasons), 98 HRs, 102 SBs, two second place MVP finishes, one 10 win season and two nine win seasons. It's not fawning, it's recognition.
That's a bingo!
Just about anytime Mike Trout's name comes up I can't help but think of this player comment from one of the BP annuals (paraphrased here):
"Very few players burst on the majors as fully-formed Hall of Famers...it was clear almost right away what kind of player he was, which is why so many people expressed disbelief: They were seeing a player who, if he never grew, if he never peaked, if he just stayed right where he was, was going to be an annual MVP candidate."
The reader can probably guess which player the comment is about.
What a wonderful, strange comment.
I began the process months ago.
He makes no little plans.
One of the things I had wondered about managers is if there is a measurable effect of them getting ejected. I've seen some managers that seemed so passive, almost never coming out of the dugout to argue, that I wondered if that might make a difference in his players in some way. What I'm getting at is if a managers willingness to get run from a game defending his players to the umps might engender some level of trust that bonds the players with their manager.
Best wishes to the families.
But you can't trade anything for a guaranteed World Series victory, so it's a false choice. Even so, the Royals even being in this position is good enough, regardless of the results going forward. Hopefully. For them.
Alright, we have some jerk going around and voting down replies for no discernible reason. We have a troll that's invisitrolling. Maybe there should be no more voting on replies. I don't personally care, but this troll/person somehow does.
Maybe they will be if this isn't a one-year thing.
What happens if the Royals win 80 games next year? I don't see the Royals running off a dynastic streak...this feels quite random. No hater.
I see above comments from a violinist and a pianist. As a brass player, I can say there is a huge difference. Cottonmouth and nervous breathing will wreck a performance for a wind player (just ask one if you don't believe this one). So there are differing coping mechanisms, and differing levels of competence at coping with those mechanisms, or even knowing what they are if they may be ambiguous.
But, when you have reached a certain level, everyone knows what to do...some better than others.
Nicely spotted! That makes sense being that Anchor Steam is brewed in San Francisco.
Robert, I'm jealous of the red circle around the data point. I hadn't thought of that, and it honestly took me a good few seconds to figure it. Always a step ahead are you.
It could be that the lower strike zone has trained hitters in such a way that, over the course of the season, they are left unprepared for the high fastball. So maybe it is that with the hitters eyes trained down, pitchers have found that elevating a hard fastball can raise the hitters' eyes in a way that they will swing at balls that they can't catch up with simply because they are finally seeing a ball up, however high up is. "Up" being relative, which is the vulnerability.
You know, if you tightened that up it would make a nifty haiku.
Honestly, I'm surprised you guys put this much effort into this while the postseason is in full swing. And I don't think Rob would need to rewrite any queries. I would be able to tell right away if I saw the dataset. If there's any kind of date or pitch ID associated that would be all that's needed, really (I think). You might see if Rob Arthur wants to lend a hand...but yeah, on the side burner. Let's enjoy what's left of the season.
Why would someone downvote this? All I pointed out was that the hard part is composing a dataset, and after that manipulating it is relatively easy.
Well, you did begin with "this is a very complex topic." And it is. Even with perfect data it would be hard to know "did he really mean to throw that...there...now?" Which leads me to wondering if it would ever be possible to determine when the pitcher and catcher got crossed up.
Wait, there is no bad beat jackpot?
At the point you have the dataset (assuming the year is one of the variables) the rest is (relatively) easy. The really hard part is the sanity check.
We avoid this by making it its own single word "flyout." Baseball is it's own language.
I use poker analogies a lot, but only because they make sense. This reminds me of exactly how you must feel about that great hand that got beat, or that hand you folded that would've dragged a huge pot had you just called that ridiculously large raise. But you can't let those hands affect future hands...you have to let it go. If it was a mistake you made, you learn from it, but if it was just bad luck, you forget it or you'll just play your way into more bad luck. You have to have a short memory and a long memory.
I can imagine that there are quite a few people that get into the agent business chasing that one big hand and go bust, not realizing that it's a grind.
Either I misunderstood this post, or you just wrote:
"Anyway, as I said there is no particular reason to change an approach with runners in scoring position."
And then reeled off a list of particular reasons why a pitcher might do just that.
This season, Mariners/Astros, more than 16 pitches below the strike zone called strikes, Mark Carlson...got it.
Actually, come to think of it, about four years ago I got a hold of a man-sized wiffle ball bat and started hitting wiffle fungoes in the backyard. Had to start buying wiffle balls in bulk because I kept smashing them to bits. It was quite fun and harmless to all but the wiffle balls. And they actually do give you some feedback on the contact you're making.
Do it, you'll thank yourself.
You can't take a conversation between a Cubs fan and a Cards fan in that regard seriously. We're born to take the piss out of each other.
All things are particularly unreliable in the postseason, even regression.
"It’s an established fact that human hips are awesome."
Yes a thousand times. Power comes from using the hips properly.
Wow, Ryan, this was great.
I was fortunate enough to watch nearly all of Johnson's starts while he pitched in Arizona. It was a joy to watch him snap off that devastating slider, and quite fun on the occasions that a right handed hitter swung through the slider and got hit on the back foot with it.
Where did you find that YouTube video?
They certainly see it play out in real time, but you have to understand what that means. In real time, it doesn't look anything like what you see when you look backwards. It's like slowly watching your poker chips dwindle in front of you. You're only a little bit down from the previous time you were a little bit down. Is it a trend? Are you on tilt? Is it just random variation? They seem to have rebounded from it rather well after the big drop. But one thing you can always be certain of; when an opponent sees a weakness, they will attack it until it stops being one. It's like when you know an opponent is playing any two cards, you shove chips in his face while you've got the best of it until he finally stops or runs out of money.
There's an R package that you could use more effectively.
Sorry, I meant
LOL Twitter. I'll have to update the meme.
Don't you wish you'd have your turn one day? ;-)
That's considerably less than those that know what pavement is.
Let me try this another way.
Wouldn't it have been a more famous gaffe had Baker started Russ Ortiz in game six of the 2012 World Series when Russ Ortiz was out of baseball and Baker wasn't managing the Giants?
It's annoying, but I would dare say that for the "normal" Cardinals fan, we don't care. Like you say, winning. I never felt comfortable with the labels (before "best fans in baseball" it was "most knowledgeable fans in baseball"), and this is exactly why. Oh well, let them have their fun.
Having Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling was pretty helpful.
Russ Ortiz must be wondering where his 2012 game checks are...his postseason money, as well.
As do the Angels.
The Angels are reading this and thinking what a jerk you are. The Angles care very much, Robert.
"Grew up more than any player in baseball last year. Beckett's maturation started after A.J. Burnett had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Beckett, who'd been hiding elbow stiffness for three weeks, wisely told the Marlins he may need to sit a while. While on the DL, Dontrelle Willis mania took hold. Once considered the phenom, Beckett watched Willis get all the accolades, and he wasn't happy about it. After the All-Star break, he caught fire, putting up a 2.55 era and striking out 93 in 88.1 second-half innings. Called on to relieve Mark Redmond in game 7 of the NLCS, Beckett's four innings of one-hit ball pushed the Fish into the World Series. When Jack McKeon tapped him to pitch game 6 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium on three days rest, the debate raged over whether he'd succeed, or if his young arm could even take the burden. Beckett threw gas by Yankee hitters all night, throwing a five-hit shutout to win the World Series and a shoulder ride around the mound by delirious teammates.
With Torborg's butcherly inclinations gone and Beckett's blister problems apparently behind him, and with a wiser head on his shoulders, the Marlins just have to hope the added load on October has no long-term effect on Beckett's golden right arm. If it doesn't, the sky's the limit."
2004 seems to be missing for everybody. Guess you'll have to buy the book.
It wouldn't occur at the same time. The A's don't face all the teams at the same time. Advance scouts would be seeing what previous advance scouts were seeing, until something changed. Therefore it wouldn't be simultaneous...scouts noticing that the A's are flailing would notice it in succession.
"getting into specific types can be troublesome without better data."
Yes. The pitch types come with confidence %. It's an algorithm that ultimately determines the pitch type, amirite?
I was also thinking pitches seen per plate appearance.
Or advance scouts catching onto something.
I asked my Mexican coworker about this (and Mexican as in immigrant, so actually Mexican.) She says "Mehico no ha' no sandwishes." This is a true story.
Does that mean he might accept an NRI?
Case in point.
According to Eddie Izzard's "Holy Biblee" (we may change the pronunciation on that), the Meek inherent nothing. Perhaps on old picture of an aunt.
Eddy's in the space-time continuum.
I hope you're starting to see the problem here. You've gotten yourself so wrapped up in sandwich expansion that you don't even know what to think. You are teetering on accepting anything as a sandwich. You must gather yourself, man. The evildoers will stop at nothing.
You went overboard with the butter sandwich. Next thing you know we have an air sandwich.
The line is a dot to you.
Is this your way of saying you'd vote for Yasiel Puig?
If you keep making these implications people are going to think I'm the one with the dirty mind.
"I am with Dave (literally as I am also in Pittsburgh)"
You mean figuratively?
I ran "Chicago Italian Beef" through my sandwich database and got no results. Interestingly, I did get a result for Justin Verlander; his favorite sandwich is "NA."
I'm proclaiming ramen noodle soup as the world's best spaghetti, and also a sandwich. Do I need to take pictures and make menus and billboards or can I just get away with saying it?
I refuse to concede. These are just mind tricks.
How many logical fallicies did you plan on using in the construction of that post?
Honestly, this is my favorite comment in this thread. I think I'm about 50/50 with Rocco on this topic, but if I could just get him to understand the morality of the issue...
So what I mean to say is that the incompetence is that a hot dog isn't a sandwich. If it somehow becomes a sandwich, your dry cleaning bill goes up.
That's the most appealing point of a sandwich...you needn't worry about about connective breading. You have mustard stains on your lap, don't you Craig?
That's the most reasonable position I've seen you take yet. Plus, pizzas are trying to be "pies," apparently. Why do some many things want to be sandwiches? Just be yourself, hotdog/pizza/quesadilla (really?).
I vote yes to all of these things.
"Weiners in buns only, no condiments."
I'm going to upvote you because some unfeeling sob downvoted you, but keep this in mind:
Once you start down the Dark Side, forever will it dominate your destiny.
A hot dog bun is not two other things, it is one thing...a bun. You are so behind the times.
I'm for 'em! Let's form a club!
I just see him lifting his foot to start his stride, but the video may start after a toe tap.
Is this like a Big Hall/Small Hall kind of thing? If so, I'm with you.
If you fold it so that the single piece breaks in to two pieces of bread, you got yourself a sandwich.
I flew to close to the Sun on wings of pastrami.
Brown mustard, Kate. You can sneak it in to the park.
If you cut the dogs in half lengthwise and place them between two pieces of bread, I say sandwich.
To paraphrase a certain Supreme Court Justice, I know a sandwich when I see one.
In this case I'm inclined to agree with Nightmare above. You can "sandwich" things in an imitation of a sandwich, but it's just an imitation, not a sandwich proper. We gotta draw the line somewhere.
I was afraid it would come to this. We have to be careful here. You can't just put "sandwich" in the name of something and gain entry into the world of legitimate sandwiches. We have to be rational here.
If the hot dog bun was intended to enclose the weiner, it wouldn't split every time you tried to enclose it.
So you're saying it's a subcategory?
When I was a kid we had a quicksand box. I was an only child...eventually.
French fries? Okay, wait...bad quality french fries? Keep in mind that I'm a big-time-mega-super-huge potato guy, and I say go ahead.
I applaud you!
Hoagies are served on rolls. Not sliced bread. No go.
Yeah. What's with the rabid Anti Ketch-ites? Next they'll be saying we should have our own schools!
I'm a fify-fifty guy in optimal situations, but as ketchup quality decreases, mustard ratio increases. I think we're on the same page here. I can go ketchup-less but not all ketchup no mustard. Mustard is obligatory. In the golf course scenario (what golf courses are you playing?) I'd be inclined to ditch the bun and chow the dog solo. At the ballpark, condiments in packets only. I'm not dressing my chow from that disgusting open condiment bar.
I have to disagree. I sandwich goes on two or more slices of bread, not a bun, or even a bun cut in half. It has to be traditional bread, no buns. So, yes, I'm arguing against the hamburgers admission to the sandwich fraternity. Wanna hamburger sandwich? Make a patty melt.
Ahem, a club sandwich is classic sandwich. It is only cut into triangles for presentation and ease of consumption.
I've been ordering club sandwiches for years and I'm not even a member. I don't know how I've been getting away with it. <-I hope someone gets that reference.
I'm on your side bro. I am not ashamed to admit my usage of ketchup in preparing my hot dogs (onions, too. Anybody got a problem with that?) To Hell with the Anti Ketch-ites.
But, just out of curiosity, what if I use catsup?
Doesn't much matter if she's not even being considered, does it? I don't think she'd pass it up just because it's not her dream destination. It's a moot point, anyway.
There were quite a few of us here in Snakeland hoping that the org would go in that direction, but...you know, the Ol' Boys' Network. So apparently we get Dave Stewart. Cronies fly forever.
You're confusing "brain power" with A bright idea. Sure, some smart guys' bright idea will get copied, but if there truly is brain power behind it, there will be many more to come. The best will always stay ahead of the copycats.
I was about to say.
Hi, Jeff, thanks. I was going to qualify the question with "and don't say 'we don't know enough about him'." But I understand. At the same time, he has been in the game for a very long time, so we do know things about him. For reference, I'm a born StL Cardinals fan that lives in AZ and hangs out on a Dbacks forum. I share the skepticism towards La Russa (boy do I), however, I can't see him being a total disaster...maybe. I guess worst case is the Snakes end up with Paul Goldschmidt and a gaggle of super-utility players. The bar has been set pretty low in AZ.
I agree. I think it dovetails nicely with the article a few days ago on what is the second hardest thing to do in baseball.
Does the victim have to keep Amaro?
Since you posed the question initially to two Diamondbacks fans, I wonder where you (or they) would rank Tony La Russa.
That's a fair point.
For my two bits, I would agree that pitching is the second hardest. The whole pitcher v hitter thing is often the most chess-iest of chess-iness. And sometimes we can't really even tell who won.
This reminds me of a rather good anecdote from my days working at one of the (many) AZ courses. We'd go out to pick the pins (we don't leave them out overnight...the greenies are going to recut the cups the next morning anyway, so they reset the pins) in the afternoon, and the late afternoon golfers would complain that we were taking the flags away. Response: "just aim for the center of the green, you'll score better that way." So there's some free advice.
BTW, I share your hubris, just not as a rule.
I've wanted to address this one for awhile:
"Pitching is quite difficult. It's also one of the most unnatural things we can do with our bodies"
It's not, really. It's quite natural. So natural, in fact, that it precedes baseball. The unnatural part is doing it so frequently. Throwing something overhand as hard as you can? Sure. Doing it for a living? Weird.
Just to interject here from a golfer's perspective, you never (well...yeah, never) try to hole out from the fairway or the tee. Sometimes, oftentimes, you don't even aim directly at the hole. You almost always want to aim for a spot on the green that will leave you with a make-able putt. In many situations it can be downright disastrous to aim at the flag. So my point is, hitters try to go the other way and whatnot, golfers don't try hit it in the hole.
I'm sorry, but aren't projections based on "what they've done already?" Seriously. I may need to re-evaluate my entire stance on scientific inquiry.
No, Schere, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
This is a very complicated case. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's.
That random variation really tied the room together.
It could be random variation over a small sample.
You yada yada'ed over the best part.
I suppose I must now go screw myself as well.
It's kind of old-timey and not used very often.
I'd argue that baseball is different in the sense that if someone were employed in a situation where no amount of talent or effort resulted in the desired outcome, that someone could seek employment elsewhere to gain fulfillment. In baseball, players are effectively stuck in an organization for six years or so. If it becomes apparent that no amount of effort will bear fruit, some players may just decide the effort is no longer warranted. In our normal lives, it's relatively straightforward to decide that our current job is unsatisfactory and leave for greener pastures. Young ballplayers are swimming upstream the whole way. Performance likely suffers when there is a perception that you are stuck, here, in this godawful place.
I was under the assumption that this was dug up in the wake of the Ray Rice situation.
You're Penski material.
I think if you knew just how hard a player was hitting the ball during a streak you might be able to find something. It very well could be that pitchers realize at a point during a hot streak that "you can't throw it anywhere near him right now." Not because he's getting lots of bloopers, but because he's smoking the ball. Which leads to a question like, which kind of streak is likely to last longer, one based on luck, or one where a hitter is just locked in? My initial thought would be that pitchers perceiving a hitter's streak as lucky wouldn't care to pitch him much differently.
I concur. It's the smaller part of baseball that really gets inside you, the layer that's not so far removed from you and me. We all belong in that space and time, less separated by media distractions and trade deadlines and contract extensions.
I enjoyed this tremendously as well. Great piece.
"Wieners in buns, no condiments, it's Hank's way, anything else is wrong"
So mustard on hamburgers is out of the question? It's good, I eat it all the time!
Each AB is an independent event.
Hopefully Kirk Gibson will be available after the season ends.
Trivial. What "most memorable quotes" would you like?
I just want to leave one thing here, and that is:
Baseball has been "in crisis" for going on 20 years. It's always something, and it's always highly publicized. For a game that is supposedly losing its relevance, it sure gets a lot of publicity, almost always negative, and yet...
It just seems to me that under Selig's reign baseball has always been in the spotlight for negative reasons at precisely the wrong times. I mean, hey, Mike Trout!
<-Lifelong Cardinals fan, longtime BP reader, Jason Parks fan = three crooked hearts
I know I'm being pedantic here, but it's "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish." Don't misquote the dolphins.
Let me be the first to say, welcome to AZ, Mister Parks.
I think I can answer this, but I'm afraid to try. I would imagine that there is a "signature" that gets preserved in a relative way. Speaking as someone who has been in a recording studio as a trained musician, I would...ask the engineer.
I found it. I got a peak of 1.7 kHz. I think it was a pretty hard hit ball :-)
I'm not presuming to speak on Robert's behalf, but I tried removing the crowd noise. The problem I had was that removing that noise also removes some of the signal of the bat crack. But, if you isolate just the signal from the crack, cutting away all the noise surrounding it, you really only hear the crack of the bat. Give it a try.
Okay, I downloaded the .wav files and get the same results, but I still can't graph it like that.
Would it be possible to translate acoustical environments to a "neutral" acoustical environment?
plot spectrum and got what looks like the right results. I am also using the seewave package (the meanspec function). The results in R don't match. I can't even figure out how to get the f and a ranges like you get. I did a couple of Giancarlo Stanton HRs, but I don't trust that I'm doing it correctly. I'm having a lot of fun, but at the same time I'd like to get it right.
I double-checked before asking, and I did use the analyze-Aug 20, 2014 8:53 AM on The Analytic Value of the Crack of the BatGo To Comment
What function did you use to plot the frequencies? I'm not getting the same results on the same audio (well, not quite the same audio...I had to record it from the browser link). For instance, on the line drive audio I get peak amplitude at ~500 hZ.
Yes. among other things. I think that's what we want to find out.
When I saw that first screencap I immediately recognized Audacity and thought instantly, "why didn't I think of this?" Makes me appreciate this awesome article even more. I can't wait to see what's next. Outstanding stuff, Robert.
"Pain does not exist in this clubhouse, does it?"
"Fear does not exist in this clubhouse, does it?"
"Defeat does not exist in this clubhouse, does it?"
The first thing that came to my mind when reading the Boesch comment was a line from Broadcast News:
"That's a lot of alliteration from anxious anchors placed in powerful posts."
Having listened to them over that same stretch, I'm fine with it. It was certainly better than listening to the radio side where you could hear the sound of the ball hitting the backstop while they were in the middle of some stupid story and you were left wondering "what's the count?"
I was, in my youth, an avid skateboarder until my best friend split his head open and ended up in a coma with his skull stapled together (he lived). One of the crucial skills for survival in skateboarding is learning how to fall. There's a lot of body awareness to it and knowing how to pick the moment you're going to bail and take your lumps. Correspondingly, there is a moment when you might choose to hang in and pull off the trick. There's a fearlessness to hanging in coupled with increased risk, but there are skaters that simply have superior spontaneous risk assessment along with the ability to bail effectively (through repetition.)
What I'm getting at is that maybe baseball players aren't being taught to "fall" effectively, and that some players naturally have a skill like this.
J.D. Drew and his Medical Mystery Tour?
That's just the tip of the spear, but I don't want to clog up the thread.
This is absolutely my favorite feature. I can only lament that Robert will likely not be with us much longer (or you can just stay forever please)...let us enjoy it while we can.
We should get go the bottom of this.
"...negative numbers are hard"
That's why we square them. ;)
You must not have listened to many of the D'backs games he called. He was becoming truly unbearable to listen to. He literally couldn't let one game go by without a rant against sabermetrics and "these guys with their numbers." It really got annoying and was reaching the point of being unprofessional.
Also, the graphs show that hitters tend to swing more often in counts favorable to them (when they get ahead). Again not surprising.
The colors are logically organized (I didn't see it until you lodged this complaint). You've got warm tones (red, orange, yellow) for 0 ball counts, greens for 1 ball counts, blues for 2 ball counts, and purples for 3 ball counts. Once you realize how it's organized it is easy to spot the trends, which are hardly surprising (tendency to swing more often as the count gets deeper).
No, no I won't. You can't make a compelling argument by putting the onus on the party you are seeking to convince. You must present your case, not ask that it be "looked up."
Excellent work. Looking forward to the next installment.
"A pop song with a good hook and a certain timelessness."
You know, whenever there is a comment bringing up old favorites, I always think of one person, and somehow I haven't yet mentioned him. I think of all the people I miss most, it is Doug Pappas.
Very thought provoking article, Russell. A lot of good questions come to mind after reading this. That's what I like about a lot of your articles. Sometimes the answer IS the question.
BP is the big leagues...all the big players are the Yankees buying off our best players. Except, unlike the Yankees, these guys are being bought up in their prime. :(
WARP speed, Ben.
Any chance we can have a BP alumni day or week or something like that? Just think of the possibilities.
No kidding. My example of these would be when the Padres and Cardinals traded shortstops. Worked out pretty well for the Cards.
I've been saying for a while now (fifteen years?) that Age is the most important statistic in baseball. I can recall having a heated debate with a Phillies fan over Ryan Howard and why he would have a short peak based on his debut age (I swear it's true.)
Awesome, thanks. I started with R about six months ago and I don't think I'll ever be able (or want) to use anything else.
Out of curiosity, what program are you performing the tests in?
Yep, you can pick one up at Home Depot for cheap...o wait
You're overlooking the fact that MRI machines get scheduled use. There are very likely people that really very much need an MRI while a baseball player, you know, could wait. "This guy might be dying" vs "This guy might need to rest his arm."
I think it would be fair to question how "high" high leverage really is. After all, when was the last time you actually saw a pitcher hit for himself in a meaningful situation after, say, the fifth inning of a close game? Also, I think something that could be looked at regarding pitchers hitting is how effectively they're pitching that day. Managers will often let them hit if they think the guy's going so well that he won't need the runs he might miss out on by letting his hurler stand in. I know this article doesn't intend to go this far, but pitcher hitting (or lack thereof) is a fascinating topic.
The Beltre play is featured in today's WYNTK.
That's not quite what the Braves did. They traded plenty of top prospects, except that everybody but the Braves regarded them as top prospects (an oversimplification, sure). The Braves have just been really really good at evaluating their farm system.
It's only a subset of the data he already has, unless he didn't save the results. In R it could just be a dataframe, albeit a large one you don't want lingering in memory, but...
With all due respect, that doesn't tell the story.
Enjoyed this tremendously.
As a fan of two teams(Cardinals at birth, and Diamondbacks by proximity), I guess I've been both BIRGing and CORFing at the same time...so I guess I'm in a good place, fan-wise. To provide an anecdotal data point to the psychology of expected failure/expected success, in 2001 I was far more elated than I was in 2006. When the Diamondbacks won it all, I was emotionally involved, but my expectations weren't all that heavy, so I was thrilled. When "we" (the Cardinals) finally won again in 2006, it was my first time since I was eight, and while I was very happy, I felt mostly relief that we had finally done it again after so many years and near misses.
Kevin Towers makes Kevin Kennedy look like a good logical next choice. No one will ever say anything as nice about Kevin Kennedy after Towers gets fired.
You might want to include two additional terms for "covets", and "fetishes". They could go a long way to explaining some of the inefficient market practices.
My immediate reaction before the second paragraph began was basically the conclusion that was drawn. Because it makes sense, and not just on days when you might say the reliever just had a bad outing, but in general. There's a good reason why pitchers get used in these roles, and it's because they're volatile and prone to untrustworthy outings, otherwise they would be closing out games. In short, they're really not all that good on a consistent basis. Now you know why you hate the way your manager uses his bullpen.
Dissident. Off Vs.
In all honesty, just to be up front (and I hate to keep using poker analogies), it's really about gloating. You've successfully inflicted pain upon me...congratulations, take your bases. Ever seen a crazy reaction when someone slow rolls a player in poker and gloats? It's comparable.
I remember the first time I caught a pitcher in a game and he got homered off of...guy stands there like he just painted the Mona Lisa. I was like "Is that your first one? Then fucking run asshole. We still have a game to play." You think I want to watch him stand there for however long he wants? Besides, the mound and the catcher's areas are highly territorial. It's a whole thing.
A wise man once said, "Sticks and stones may break your bones but words cause permanent damage."
On a related note, Mike Trout's two pair beats Chuck Norris' royal flush.
A team of cloned Mike Trouts splits the pot Mike Trout ways. A Mike Trout, however, wins every hand every time. Mike Trout beats a straight flush.
I didn't have time at the moment to complete my comment above and how it relates to the article.
Mike Caro had a series of "lectures" on his website a long time ago (I printed them out back then, I can't find them online at this time). They were absolute gold. The advice he would give at the end of every article would be along the lines of "in your next session, every time you are last to act and the action is checked all the way to you, I want you to bet." Caro would give you a profitable strategy and tell you to try it and see what happens. No global learning, just bit by bit.
I think that could work here. Encourage small risks/rewards and if the coaches see the profitability, maybe they'll come around, bit by bit.
Poker players understand this very well...well, good professional poker players. Perhaps it can be explained in those terms. You are going to have bad beats even when you are well ahead in the hand (it happens), and sometimes you will make a marginal call because the pot odds justify it even though you are behind in the hand. If you don't play that way, you lose money.
Is that you, Dayton Moore?
Could be a good idea to find out how bad B.J.'s golf swing is. Might be a good diagnostic test.
While I certainly don't qualify for membership, I did regularly throw a knuckleball as an out pitch and change of pace offering in my limited amateur days. It's a fun pitch, although who it is fun for is difficult to pinpoint. Getting called strikes with it was not easy. There is an excellent documentary currently on Netflix called Knuckleball that I recommend to all.
I say award bases. I haven't done the thought experiment out to imagine the ways it could be abused, but then, the leading cause of problems is solutions.
I can't remember the year, But I seem to recall a Sports Illustrated doing an analysis of the similarities between the golf swing and the baseball swing, specifically at impact...specifically spine angle, shoulder rotation, upper body torsion, etc. I've seen lots of baseball players with pretty bad golf swings, but they were all appreciably better than Charles Barkley's.
Oops, nevermind. You can do that for 20014, though :)
There is; download the PECOTA spreadsheet and order it by HRs.
Of course, and the rational move is to pay them less than market value. They don't have the bargaining power. It's a hard position to win...the FOTs are at least as valuable as let's say, an average player? I look forward to seeing the argument.
They used to have two.
Speaking of this type thing:
I took a friend that had never been to a ballgame, had watched them in bars, but never paid any serious attention. I had him trained by the third inning to pay special attention to 2-0, 2-1 counts. It so happened that game that nearly every count that went 2-0 ended with loud contact within the next two pitches. I didn't need to say anymore about that. When he eventually asked why it is, I told him, "he's gotta throw him a good pitch here, something he can hit." The explanation was actually longer than that, but you know what it is. He got it. I think if you can point out some of the subtleties, baseball can fairly explain itself.
Football doesn't have the kind of guaranteed contracts and arbitration system as baseball. Baseball contracts are much less fluid.
What I think is missing from this article is the (more or less) rigid nature of budgeting for player expenditures. You want to spend more on FOT? You have less for player payroll. It boils down to arguing that either there should be a bigger pie or that the pie should be split differently. I don't think the pie is going to get any bigger, not to the extent that FOT are going to get substantial raises.
At any rate, the real problem is that being really very smart at building teams gets squashed by the ability of certain teams to skew the market for wins. At that point, being the smartest GM boils down to a matter of need, as you are probably running a small budget team, in which case paying the execs more money is self-defeating.
I got this one:
"A good friend of mine used to say, This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."
Thanks for the link, Ben!
Luke, the force is strong with you.
This seems to be a very persistent skill, one not likely to change in any large way. Which makes me wonder if it is a skill that can be learned and improved through coaching, if it improves with age and similarly declines, or if it is just Born Catcher Magic/Jedi Mind Trick.
The problem is that it would be redundant. The data gathered already provides those solutions. I don't think they can spend the kind of resources NASA does.
As well as bandwidth, diskspace, and processor speed.
This is the best article of the year anywhere, on the internet or otherwise. I don't care what anyone says, baseball just keeps getting better.
In case it was unclear, the article contains an error wherein it claims Jason Heyward earned 6.7 WARP in 2013. The error has likely been allowed to persist long enough.
I told you so.
Re: Jason Heyward
"He's the same player who posted 6.7 WARP in 2013"
You want to know if it equals or exceeds 350? That's reasonable.
Bring back HACKING MASS.
I'm being denied access, and, needless to say, it isn't making me happy.
My guess would be how hitters respond to pitch types and sequencing. eg how they adjust to being fed fastballs more often.
Thanks for the fine example of Truthiness. One only has to think about it, One needs no further proof.
Allow me to sum up my position with a parallel from my favorite television show of all time: Seinfeld.
Jerry: I think Tim Whatley has converted to Judaism purely for the jokes.
Priest: And this offends you as a Jewish person?
Jerry: No, it offends me as a comedian!
This isn't about race, it's ahout interpreting data.
You can't effectively state, "these are the facts" without providing, you know, actual facts. Unless you have something to back your statements up with, they are nonsense, and offensive.
No, the point is that you are not offering any further analysis in response to questioning, only reasserting that the evidence you presented "seems" and "appears" to prove your point.
Wow, you might want to rethink the position you're taking here. Saying "I don't care" about an issue being raised and essentially saying "I've done all the work I'm going to do on this" won't reflect very well on you in the world out there when people paying you money start asking questions.
In thinking about this, the questions posed by Peter and Robert, to my thinking, are what make this article a successful exercise. The questions are as important as the answers. I seem to recall Russell espousing the sentiment that, at this point in sabermetrics, we should be as creative with our questions as with our answers. This is a great way to further exploration in the field. I think it would be helpful if more of the people with interesting questions had the tools to provide their own answers. Maybe there could be a tutorial series on this site showing how to reproduce some of the studies.
If I'm reading this right, and I like to think I am, this is just the beginning, the ground floor. Models don't come forth fully formed; there is work to be done before you know where you're going. To lay out the whole thing in one article would make it the length of an academic research paper.
Not just that, but there wasn't any mention of the composition of the survey sample in regards to knowledge of or level of interest in baseball. Bonds is famous in a non-baseball context in a way that, say, Gary Sheffield isn't. In addition, we don't have any information about how attitudes towards baseball rules and PEDs break down along racial lines in a general sense. Also, Bonds utter lack of contrition may play a role in how he is viewed within certain racial groups.
In fairness, the author did highly recommend reading the cited material in full, citing the difficulty in summarizing the findings within the brevity of this article.
So would it be fair to say that a frontline starter is nominal ace/#2/#3, mid rotation type is a weak #2/good #3/excellent #4?
Follow the story. ARod was taking his drugs at scheduled intervals precisely to be able to pass a test after a game. He had a designed drug taking schedule fitted just for him specifically.
It's posturing...spin control. ARod needs to get something on the books in his defense, and it doesn't matter how preposterous. Plausible "I'm not the biggest douchebag in all this?"
CAPS LOCK WON'T SAVE YOU! I NEVER WROTE "FOLLOWED" ANYWHERE IN MY POST!
The process that was _agreed to_ is what unfolded. If you want to make an argument that MLB violated some law, that's a different argument, but still not germane to the issue at hand. The arbitration process, as agreed to by the union and MLB, will most assuredly be upheld. The collection of evidence outside of that process, however repugnant to our sensibilities, will not matter to the court.
None of that matters one little teeny tiny bit. There are rules that were agreed to, found to be violated by a process that was agreed to. He would basically have to prove malice. Not being number one on some arbitrary list doesn't really count as "aggrieved."
A Cubs posts right below my Cards post.
"You could have the same database that I use on your computer within about 20 minutes, if you are so inclined."
It's not quite that easy, Russel. But it can be done. If you were to write a free e-book detailing all the steps to get someone up and running and doing detailed baseball studies using the free datasets, well, I'd vote you in.
Why not just have a preliminary survey to identify who, say, 90% of the voters consider a no-doubt HoFer, induct those players, and then have an actual ballot for the rest? It seems silly to take a vote for a player like Maddux when it's overwhelmingly obvious that he's getting in.
Tom Ferrick has a report on Lankford as well, from '93. 6 hit, 6 power, 7 run, 6 field. "front line CF"..."Allstar type."
Also in the report are Greg Jeffries, who he rates average across the board, Jose Oquendo, who he calls "not an everyday player, good glove, defense and sb, no power, contact type" and Tom Pagnozzi who gets good marks for defense.
I think most of that was obvious by the time this report was filed.
Because Ray Lankford is my favorite player ever and Mike Rizzo would've been my choice for the Diamondbacks GM position, I found two reports Rizzo filed on Lankford in 1990.
Strong points:"Good looking athlete with all the tools. Hits w/ quick bat and some pop. Runs well and is a plus CF"
Weak points:"Needs some work in CF to become plus CF. Also needs to be more selective at the plate"
Summation:"Young player w/ above ave tools across the board. Will be an impact player. Will arrive in ML soon"
His summation from a report filed about a month later:
"Great young talent that can hit, power, run, and field. Will be a good one"
I found this very interesting and entertaining. It also gave me an idea...I think it would be every bit as interesting, albeit much more work, to explore the "misses" where the scouts vastly overrated a player. Of course there would need to be leniency for players that didn't pan out due to unforeseeable circumstances.
It’s pronounced “és queue el.”
Yes it is. If I hear one more person call it "sequel", I'll say stop again.
well, that was my first reply to this thread, so I'm not certain it's fair for you to wonder why I'm searching for reasons against your results. Maybe you aren't directly adressing "me."
I find your work reasonable, but I also wonder what may be missing. There may be some confirmation bias? I don't mean to criticize without purpose...I'd love to join in the effort when time permits I have much longer thoughts on this, but i don't think this the space for it.
Have you considered that by the fourth time through the lineup it is maybe no longer the same lineup? Pinch hitters, defensive replacements...those guys are first -timers. Not to mention the nature of the score and the pitch count. Is the starter still in there because his pitch count is low and the game is easily in hand and he's being given the opportunity to get the CG/PG/No-No? Have the hitters just given up more or less because it's a blowout and their best team is no longer playing (garbage time)?
Lighten up, Francis.
It's the Establishment Clause.
The young kid will eventually "earn" his if he's really that good. The established veteran has proven himself over the years. I'd liken it to the perceived hazing young players go through in regards to calls on close ball/strike safe/out plays.
It came to light far before that. Lke, way far before that. Like almost from the advent of RBI.
there's so much misdirection and misunderstanding in this post that I'm left wondering why it's author left it here of all places. I will not be one of the people down voting this.
Let us not forget hitters that are so inclined, time permitting, to run into the video room and watch their at bats to see how they were pitched and whatever else they have time to observe.
i'm surprised that the hiring of AJ Hinch by Josh Byrnes goes unmentioned. That went over like...well, it didn't go over at all. There was a recent article here at BP that sort of highlighted this kind of thing; trendsetters are really following a trend set by someone who gets skewered for the idea and forgotten.
Yes, I know how to use an SQL database and I can write code in R. Am I hired?
Congratulations Colin. I can only imagine how exciting this news must be for you.
This is a math site, not a baseball site. :rollseyes:
Nearly any of these for me would involve me screaming at the television "get him out of there!" I advocate hard for having managers watch the game in the clubhouse on TV...please recognize when your pitcher has lost it. Every manager I've ever watched manage has frustrated the hell out of me with not seeing his pitcher is finished. Three runs later...
It's good to be a cards fan.
Don't Cardinals fans ever want to just be mean?
[shakes fist] SUSSMAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
How did I know the quote from the Boston Globe column was Bob Ryan before clicking the link? Ryan just gets more ridiculous over time.
I'm not certain you are correct here. Standard error and standard deviation aren't very different, unless you mean some other use of the term standard error.
If Colin is using samples to estimate a mean and thus estimate a standard deviation from the sample means, he is using standard error correctly.
impossible? No, improbable. Please learn the difference
So you want BP to set up a league wide test case study with a control group? Sure, consider it done.
Listen, people, this really is an issue that has to be ignored in a statistical sense in the absence of data. Data we will never get. We will never know who took what when and for how long or in what dosage. It's analytically irresponsible to aply anectodal evidence to objective pursuits without any other data. You want a definitive analysis? Let them use whatever they want and we'll collect the data and run the analysis. Otherwise there is really no point in knee-jerk, high horse moralizing. We analyze the data we have at our disposal...there are plenty of columnists doing the other thing.
He had two dogs named Shamsky. There was an episode where Raymond went to Cooperstown to cover a HoF event that Robert begged into just to meet Art Shamsky.
This is exactly the sort of thing that gets mentioned around the batting cages. Players can become hated for these things.
The incident that answers the riddle happened in the eighth...DeShields was already on base
"I give you a gift and you stand there and show up my pitcher? Run dummy!"
You beat me to it. Liriano was to be my next thought. Never seen someone so electric. I always hope for him.
For a bit of context regarding the names involved, from BP 2005:
" Back problems suck. They destroyed the career of Don Mattingly, and Sweeney, as good a hitter as he is, is no Don Mattingly."
I second the mentions (and was waiting for these names while reading the article) of Don Mattingly, Eric Davis, Ken Griffey, Jr, and Bo Jackson. I would like to add Mike Sweeney. Please let us not forget Sweeney.
Why has the Law of Large Numbers never been interjected into these debates? I know it is in essence sample size, but not entirely.
Hawk and Harold don't want to know the percentages? I want to play poker with those fellows. And I would never dare tell them they are wrong.
You're thinking of Tom Glavine and his Personal Strike Zone.
Regarding the Diamondbacks...well, many of us Snakes fans thought the org was looking like a dynasty in the making. Then Jeff Moorad decided he had to have Eric Byrnes to the tune of 3 years and 30 million, which crowded the outfield and basically got Quentin and Carlos Gonzalez traded. Things could have gone better.
It's doubtful. I just think of you as "Wojo."
*Voice of Muddy Waters* got my Wojo working!
The thing is, a knuckler isn't just one pitch, it's a thousand different pitches thrown the same way. There is no getting used to it. A tailing fastball tails in a predictable way...a knuckleball does nothing in a predictable way.
John Kruk might disagree.
"Warren Corbett, argues in a SABR article that Richards was far ahead of his time in terms of modern baseball analysis, using OBP, for example, long before Total Baseball or The Bill James Abstracts."
Sorry, Erubiel Durazo.
And so ends the Official Annual Nick Johnson Injury Watch...officially. I think he goes into the Erubiel Dorazo Hall of Fame.
This was addressed via:
Watson generously gives Holmes credit for predicting a “popup to center.”
I love how Dusty Baker gets dinged in this article...really puts it over the top.
That pitch that hit him in the stomach hit him in the forearm first. He was hit two times by one pitch.
Turns out I was paraphrasing. The actual quote is:
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."
It seems like quite a few people have misunderstood the tone and point of this article.
"Too often, that doesn’t seem to happen in baseball. But I guess if it did, we wouldn’t have anything left to debate. And what fun would that be?"
Nick is actually telling you that the uncertainty is what makes it fun. Certitude would make it easy. To quote a famous baseball movie: "Hard is what makes it great. If it were easy, everyone would do it."
Baseball analysis is hard. That's what makes it great.
Really, skill is he ability to keep luck from mattering. Skill should eliminate luck. Luck is a coin toss. Skill would create situations that avoid coin tosses, not create them...because they can't be taken advantage of reliably.
Interesting to note this part of the press release from Braun's camp:
" there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program"
Soooooo, there was no _intentional_ violation, but a violation nonetheless? That's an admission. Are we going to hear the "never knowingly took them" line next?
Precisely, he is arguing that too many of them got it right, implying there;s a problem that more of them didn't get it wrong.
You cannot be serious. If you're going to focus on results? What would you have the awards based on if not results? Did you actually think before you wrote that _and_read it before you hit submit?
The problem with Tony isn't that he overmanages...he's a fine Strat-O-Manager. The problem is the pieces he chooses to manage with. If he could season his own meat instead of picking over others beef jerky, he might have more rings.
Nomar's got no shot at the Hall...don't be silly.
Well, the fact of the matter is that a decision can be a win or a loss, but a no decision can never be a win. Percentage of wins fails for the same reasons accounting for pitcher wins fails. It's going to fluctuate wildly with no real logic involved.
Forgetting about the 300 win threshold, which of those pitchers do we think will make the HOF? I don't see how they can keep Pedro out, Santana certainly has a chance, Halladay should see consideration, Peavy and Oswalt seem like good candidates going forward. I think this class of pitchers will set the new threshold for wins by a starting pitcher.
On the one hand, is Selig stupid? On the other hand, is he a liar? As Joey from Friends would say: put your hands together.