rolling sabermetrics and statistics thread

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because i'm tired of all the outdated annual threads on this board. baseball prospectus has a new pitching metric, SIERA, and you can read all about it for free in these five articles:

tom tango and matt swartz (one of the two guys who came up with this) have a LENGTHY exchange about it here that i'm still working my way through:

i am not even close to comprehending of a lot of the math involved but their explanation of the stat is pretty readable. if it works, it's probably some of the most interesting stuff bpro has done in a while.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 February 2010 16:10 (twelve years ago) link

I just heard about SIERA this week...

Sorry, just started a new annual thread a minute ago; guess the specific book issues can go in there.

Fusty Moralizer (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 13 February 2010 17:54 (twelve years ago) link

yeah i was thinking we could use this one for any interesting statistical stuff no matter what the source

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 February 2010 17:55 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

Adam (Minneapolis)
Could you ever see a team going completely by the numbers? That is to say, being an "every day player" would be meaningless because the team would play the statistical matchups every day no matter what in an effort to maximize output.

Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
You mean like Casey Stengel in the 1950s? No, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Too many relievers on the roster, too many guys who would be unhappy with irregular playing time.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:47 (twelve years ago) link

(You guys have read about how Stengel used to use pitchers? Today's MSM would have a collective stroke.)

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:48 (twelve years ago) link

i always figured no one will actually do closer by committee these days because guys come up with the expectation of having a set role.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:49 (twelve years ago) link

u got a link i can read?

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:49 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, you'd have to insert a fatigue factor as well... haha, this sounds like MLB THE SHOW (nb: Dr. Morbius, this is a videogame).

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:49 (twelve years ago) link


cad, read the Robert Creamer bio of Stengel (or for the pre-Yankee years, S. Goldman's)

I belong to the "Your role is to pitch when you're needed" school.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 19:32 (twelve years ago) link

it'd be interesting to see an org try to adopt it from the low minors on up. you'd still have issues with outside guys though.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 19:40 (twelve years ago) link

dudes with dreams of a 10 figure contract to rack up saves would take umbrage with such a system

mayor jingleberries, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 20:00 (twelve years ago) link

huh - i was thinking about this last night.
i think all it will take is a team with morbs' (superior) "Your role is to pitch when you're needed" system to win the ws and we might see the floodgates open.

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:05 (twelve years ago) link

aka the "bullpen by committee"

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:06 (twelve years ago) link

zmg since when were high-leverage innings a Morbius creation!?!

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:18 (twelve years ago) link

didn't bobby cox have a 'platooned' closer last year with soriano and gonzalez

ciderpress, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 22:33 (twelve years ago) link

sort of -- it was like 70% Soriano/30% Gonzalez

millions now zinging will never lol (WmC), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 23:19 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

not really SABR but interesting stat:

Through the first 1/3 of the 2010 season, the AL East has four of the best five records in the league.

If the season were to end today, there would be 2 teams in the AL East NOT advancing to the playoffs despite better records than all but one other team in the league.

Tampa, Yanquis, Toronto and Boston are all on pace for 90-win seasons.

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 1 June 2010 16:44 (twelve years ago) link

more small sample size fun: 12 of the 16 starting catchers in the NL currently have an above average batting line by OPS+

ciderpress, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 05:44 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

49 years later, Roger Maris wins AL runs scored title:

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 22:07 (twelve years ago) link

four weeks pass...

I'll post this here, even though it has partly to do with some back-and-forth on the Pujols thread. Bear with me--and when you jump all over me, please remember that I bought my first Zander Hollander guide in 1970. I've been there and back, and back again.

There's a blogger in San Francisco I read, Steve Rubio (a Prospectus writer when it was still fairly new, I think), and the other day he linked to the following from Jennifer Doyle, who seems to mostly write about soccer. I love what she says, and she captures some of my own feelings when I get into old-vs.-new-stat discussions on this board:

"Beware of sports writers who pretend to mastery of the facts. I come across a different version of these people in academia--they can recite a bunch of dates, or quote Hegel, and for this reason they seem to think that they've figured it all out. The ones who listen, however, who have a good sense of humor and know how to hold contradiction in their head without trying to resolve it--those are the ones who are most likely to say something interesting, something insightful, something new...Reader, beware of the sense of mastery which comes at the cost of a sense of wonder."

I have no problem at all with VORP and WAR and the like, as long as you view them as just more pieces of the puzzle. But I sometimes get the feeling that when someone throws VORP at me, it's like when someone yells "Challops!" on ILM, or "Muslim!" in Palin World--it's meant to end the discussion, not add to it. Obviously, we're a million miles ahead of the days when people used to think Steve Garvey was the best hitter in baseball because he'd go bat 700 times and knock in 100 runs. (Pointing out, however, that even James revised his thinking on Garvey when he reissued the Historical Abstract--one of many reasons I like James so much more than his disciples.) I wouldn't want baseball arguments to return to that level of thinking. But to echo Doyle's last sentence above, if your belief in the infallibility of VORP and WAR lead you to shrug your shoulders at the prospect of Pujols or Votto winning the Triple Crown, that's a place I don't want to end up.

I'll have more to say on this in my upcoming book, VORP: The God That Failed.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:22 (twelve years ago) link

haven't you heard, the triple crown is now comprised of VORP, WAR, and WPA/LI

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:40 (twelve years ago) link

WPA/LI: "Well Played, Albert (Lasting Impressions)"? I can't keep up.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:46 (twelve years ago) link

win probability added divided by leverage index

it's generally about the same as the batting component of WAR though, so not very useful. plain WPA is more interesting and kind of like the sabermetric equivalent of RBIs.

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:49 (twelve years ago) link

Thanks. I'm dying to find out what Ray Oyler's Leverage Index was for 1969--not very good, I'm guessing.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:52 (twelve years ago) link

clemenza otm. James revolutionized my thinking during the mid/late 80s, but my enthusiasm for the game waned in the 90s when it seemed like the New Math was press-ganged into service to fantasy baseball. In the late 90s I sort of got my mojo back by actually watching a lot of baseball instead of reading about a lot of baseball. Sabermetrics are good corrective lenses, but I had to remember to use them to watch baseball games, not read box scores. I get a lot more fun out of the game that way.

My totem animal is a hamburger. (WmC), Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:55 (twelve years ago) link

leverage index is just a value which quantifies how "important" any single plate appearance is to winning that game

so bases loaded, 2 outs in a tie game would have a really high value whereas bases empty in a blowout would be really low

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:59 (twelve years ago) link

Has a leverage index been developed for relief appearances? Inherited runners stranded/scored drives me bananas.

Andy K, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:01 (twelve years ago) link

Admission I'd rather not make: I'm still stuck in a place where I follow baseball primarily through the lens of statistics (more traditional statistics, but statistics nonetheless). Getting back to actually watching more baseball is my next therapeutic goal. (Part of this does have to do with the overload of baseball on TV. Somewhere along the way, it just became too much.)

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:02 (twelve years ago) link

well yeah it works both ways

if a game situation is a 1.5 LI for the hitter (1.0 is average) then it's a 1.5 for the pitcher too by definition

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

tbh i'm a math nerd and i love all the baseball stats stuff but i think sabermetrics folks tend to have too much confidence in their own metrics, there's not nearly enough self-evaluation in the "field".

i think the offense stats are pretty close to complete but there's still so much we don't understand about pitching, let alone defense or player development

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:06 (twelve years ago) link

I think there is plenty of self-evaluation in the field; the BP guys debate stuff all the time, and most if not all recognize that these metrics are imperfect tools.

(not that I have the time to read all the articles or watch a game every day, understand)

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:09 (twelve years ago) link

i think the offense stats are pretty close to complete but there's still so much we don't understand about pitching, let alone defense or player development

Agreed. And just to really horrify VORP disciples, I think you can even learn something from Joe Morgan when it comes to "in the field" stuff. I realize Morgan is considered a human punchline by most everyone who's been influenced by James, but if you can look past the many blind spots that someone of his generation probably carries around (having to do with character, clutch play, the value of a .300 average in and of itself, etc.), there are going to be some things that he's learned about the game that I just don't believe you can arrive at through abstract statistical analysis. So treat him skeptically, for sure, but don't try to ridicule him out of extistence. (When the influence of James on me was at its peak in the late '80s/early '90s, Kubek used to drive me up the wall for the same reasons.)

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:19 (twelve years ago) link

So treat him skeptically, for sure, but don't try to ridicule him out of extistence.

Not sure I can follow you this far.

My totem animal is a hamburger. (WmC), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:24 (twelve years ago) link

Morgan does not deserve to have the most prestigious color commentary job for baseball in the world. That doesn't mean he's never insightful. But the fact that he has insights into baseball is meaningless. He lacks the ability to express those insights or the work ethic to learn about the teams he's watching. Orel Hershiser is a far better analyst. Keith Hernandez is another guy I've enjoyed. Neither of those guys is a stats guy, but both actually do the legwork to bring some on-the-field insight to the presentation.

Also, while I have my issues with Morgan, there are plenty of guys who are worse. Rob Dibble springs to mind.

no gut busting joke can change history (polyphonic), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:26 (twelve years ago) link

Orel Hershiser is a far better analyst.

Which reminds me, John Smoltz has been an absolute treat this year since he sorta retired.

My totem animal is a hamburger. (WmC), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:34 (twelve years ago) link

Keith Hernandez is listenable mostly for the crazy shit he comes out with. He calls Jeff Francoeur "a streaky hitter."

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:38 (twelve years ago) link

I probably haven't listened closely enough to Morgan to be defending him. The back-and-forth between Miller and him is easy enough on my ears that I've never quite understood the intensely negative feelings about him that I keep encountering, but maybe that's all credit to Miller. And I have the additional bias that the mid-'70s Reds were my favourite team. This goes back a ways, but I used to think Palmer, Seaver, and Reggie were great in the booth. As analysts, I can't remember. I just liked them.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:39 (twelve years ago) link

to clemenza, i don't know dude, you seemed pretty "blinders-on" when discussing Bonds' achievements and were in the process of pooh-poohing him on the Pujols thread so........... idk, was tbh hard to take you seriously in your short shrift dismissal of him as a legit triple crown candidate given the 232 BBs that got in the way of him chasing such a "retro-cool" counting achievement (all the while destroying almost every offensive record in the process).

but kudos to all y'all who were reading bill james in the summer of love~~~

i don't mind Morgan and Miller, because they're both local guys. Morgan seems way worse on the page then in the booth ime.

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:45 (twelve years ago) link

francoeur is a streaky hitter in that he has a lot of cold streaks

ciderpress, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:49 (twelve years ago) link

Steroids notwithstanding, I really wasn't discounting the magnitude of Bonds's statistical achievements--just that I thought the walks ruled out him ever having a realistic shot at the Triple Crown. Not just in terms of RBI, but, I thought, also in BA. But Ciderpress's math made me realize that he in fact likely would have won one, maybe even two. Which was your point to begin with--you were right, I was wrong. What I didn't appreciate, though, was pulling out VORP as kind of a gotcha moment, like I'd just been teleported out a 1974 issue of Baseball Digest. (Not to knock BD, which I used to love.) Again, I've been reading James forever.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 August 2010 19:58 (twelve years ago) link

That's cool, just like I said, you appeared to be full blinders in your take on Bonds achievements.

Also, VORP was introduced 9 years ago by Keith Woolner. Bill James has always preferred win-shares and runs-created in my 10 years of being familiar with SABR. IIRC.

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 26 August 2010 20:11 (twelve years ago) link

who went to the pitchF/X summit in SF?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 30 August 2010 02:38 (twelve years ago) link

i liked this little bit from the pitchFX summary on bpro:

5:39: Brad Hawpe play: starts with a >80% chance of catching the ball, but freezes in place and fails to make the play. Difficult to represent visually, because the out probability plummets while Hawpe stands in place and time elapses. In a different Hawpe play, his first step gives him a lower probability of catching the ball, since he broke in the wrong direction. Rumor has it no Rockies reps are in attendance, but they’re not missing out, since they’ve enjoyed a front-row seat for this sort of action for the last several years.

ciderpress, Monday, 30 August 2010 20:05 (twelve years ago) link


no gut busting joke can change history (polyphonic), Monday, 30 August 2010 21:23 (twelve years ago) link


call all destroyer, Friday, 3 September 2010 16:14 (twelve years ago) link


kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 3 September 2010 16:57 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

players w/an OPS of 1.000 or more in 2000

Todd Helton
Manny Ramirez
Carlos Delgado
Barry Bonds
Jason Giambi
Gary Sheffield
Vladimir Guerrero
Frank Thomas
Sammy Sosa
Moises Alou
Jeff Bagwell
Nomar Garciaparra
Richard Hidalgo
Alex Rodriguez
Brian Giles
Jeff Kent
Mike Piazza
Troy Glaus
Edgar Martinez

players w/an OPS of 1.000 or more in 2010

Josh Hamilton
Miguel Cabrera
Joey Votto
Albert Pujols

('_') (omar little), Monday, 4 October 2010 06:32 (twelve years ago) link

jim thome and justin morneau deserve a mention on that too for partial seasons of 1.000+

ciderpress, Monday, 4 October 2010 16:41 (twelve years ago) link

C'mon, the 3D one even casts a shadow--worth the price of admission alone.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 January 2020 21:28 (two years ago) link

not exactly sabermetrics, but: the details behind pitch classification

mookieproof, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:33 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

this seems like a wild stab in the dark to me, but

We created a dashboard for NCAA WAR over the past four seasons. Calculate WAR based on school, year, name, and more:

You can read an introduction to cWAR and what went into the dashboard here:

— Driveline Baseball (@DrivelineBB) June 10, 2020

mookieproof, Thursday, 11 June 2020 15:32 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

i'm with John Thorn

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 July 2020 21:58 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Dallas Keuchel is 6-2 w/ a 2.19 ERA. He has 1.7 bWAR & 1.5 fWAR.

Rick Porcello is 1-5 with a 6.06 ERA. He has 0.0 bWAR.& 1.5 fWAR.

— David Laurila (@DavidLaurilaQA) September 17, 2020

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 September 2020 14:55 (two years ago) link

thing is, both bWAR and fWAR are useful, for pitchers, they just measure different things. bWAR lines up with what people think they're getting out of WAR, and is based on results. fWAR for pitchers is based on FIP, so it's more of a measure of how they "should" be doing. which is confusing, agreed on that. wish that both b-r and fangraphs would offer both versions - give me both a results-based WAR and a peripheral based WAR, and just keep them separate imo

i like having them both because i can look at porcello's line and immediately know that he's been unlucky in terms of his results (likely he has been giving up a ton of home runs, or his LOB% is way lower than it normally would be because of bad sequencing luck).

Karl Malone, Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:48 (two years ago) link

actually porcello's given up very few homers and his babip's a nightmare, which is no doubt why fangraphs likes him

i'm willing to grant that he's been unlucky with balls in play and LOB (the mets defense probably doesn't help). but i suspect his 5.7% HR/FB this season (12% for career) is luck too. meanwhile his WHIP is over 1.5, he doesn't have great strikeout numbers for this day and age, and he goes less than five innings per start.

and keuchel's been *insanely* lucky in every facet! so i guess i feel like they should both have lower fWAR

(this is not to argue with your larger point, which is otm)

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 September 2020 17:23 (two years ago) link

it also seems likely that i have an outdated idea in my mind of what one should expect from a (good/average/replacement-level) major league starter

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 September 2020 17:25 (two years ago) link

Starters? pfffft. Give me a listicle of the top 500 openers in the game (globally, including little league) and I'll be projecting HOF eligibility by sundown.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 17 September 2020 17:49 (two years ago) link

there's always been this...WAR (sorry)... between BR and fangraphs with the WAR stats. honestly, i think fangraphs needs to change, because their WAR philosophy inconsistent between the pitchers and hitters. for hitters it seems more (though not entirely) results-based, like BR. but for pitchers it's more peripheral. it's just kind of weird, especially when you're trying to compare value between pitchers and hitters.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 17 September 2020 18:06 (two years ago) link

Do you really want to get me started about how flawed their defensive metrics* are and how that number is quietly folded into each site's "offensive" WAR and just published as QED gospel?

*just about every other season there is some radical makeover of defensive stats causing some huge ripple in the lists that appeal to whatever you call the devotees of "MOJO-magazine equivalents of baseball"-type content.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 17 September 2020 18:21 (two years ago) link

oh yeah, i feel you on that for sure. i've never understood why it's not just clearly bifurcated as offense WAR and defense WAR.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 17 September 2020 18:24 (two years ago) link

it is! At least on bbref it is, there's oWAR and dWAR (which doesn't actually add up to WAR because it includes the position adjustment bonus in each)

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Friday, 18 September 2020 02:38 (two years ago) link

oh d'doh, i just mean on fangraphs. i still hate the baseball-ref style/format, and rarely visit it for that reason alone. you know how there are chrome extensions? and particularly for some websites (like discogs) that reorganize the data on the fly? i wish someone would do that for either baseball-ref or fangraphs.

Karl Malone, Friday, 18 September 2020 06:36 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Good Posnanski piece that definitely spotlights a major flaw in bWAR.

(That's his "share this piece" link, so should work.)

clemenza, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:41 (one year ago) link

the fog of glove again

mookieproof, Friday, 17 September 2021 20:31 (one year ago) link

great article, thanks for taking the time to share!

however, i ran across a similar anecdote the other day and removed it from my memories, and i am afraid i am about t delete this again for similar reasons:

*By the way, do you know who IS playing in front of the 1970s Baltimore Orioles defense? Adam Wainwright. DRS does show the Cardinals being a terrific defensive team, but even that underrates how good they’ve been behind Wainwright; the Cards are 22 Outs Above Average when Waino is on the mound. That is more than double anyone else in baseball.p

i don't know what the previous series of deleted words was about, but one thing i know is that adam wainwright is on his way to be being the best pitcher in baseball again, and it's definitely related to luck!

i prefer fWAR to bWAR a lot for pitching, though i find that bWAR defenders tend to be way more defensive about it than fWAR defenders. people really just don't like the concept of FIP. but the thing tango said about halving the value of DRS should apply to hitters too... it results in massive outlier seasons because DRS is so springy when UZR is more conservative. it really seems to impact MVP conversations too even though no one really trusts defensive stats. you get these wild 10+ WAR hitter seasons because someone put up a DRS of 8 million (and a UZR of 15)

should also point out that fWAR isn't just FIP, there are also adjustments for IFFBs and catcher framing (though that's controversial for some people too)

, Monday, 20 September 2021 00:16 (one year ago) link

that said i do appreciate that bWAR updates its position adjustment values season by season, fangraphs just keeps pretending that playing shortstop is as valuable now as it was 20 years ago despite teams now feeling comfortable parking their trucks there

, Monday, 20 September 2021 00:18 (one year ago) link

yeah it is a fluid situation for sure

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:49 (one year ago) link

trying to figure out why there's such a huge disparity between the 2015 phillies' UZR (-15) and DRS (-98) - one thing i didn't know was that DRS also calculates pitcher defense while UZR doesn't even attempt to. a lot of the difference between the two is just DRS giving a lower rating to their defenders across the board, but there's also 22!!! runs lost by the pitching staff. 5 pitchers have a DRS of 1 and the rest have a combined DRS of -27. there are 3 pitchers worth -4 runs and 2 of them are relievers. refuse to believe that ken giles, who had 1 error all year, somehow cost his team 4 defensive runs in 70 innings of work

, Monday, 20 September 2021 01:00 (one year ago) link

i generally get that, but then i remember jon lester playing his position a few years ago, when he forgot how to throw first base for a while

those would generally register as errors though wouldn't they? so what's the knock against giles, he wasn't rangy enough? hard to figure out what the individual components are on bbref pages. lester did have a pretty bad season (-7 DRS) though he never had more than 3 errors in a season - i think that's mostly because he allowed a lot of SBs that year.

thing is, i don't think pitcher bWAR includes individual defense, but i think individual pitcher DRS contributes to the overall defensive adjustment. so hypothetically a pitcher could have a really bad DRS which wouldn't lower their WAR at all, but might actually raise their WAR by contributing to a bad team defense adjustment. but i'm not sure of that.

, Monday, 20 September 2021 01:38 (one year ago) link

lester allowed a lot of SBs that year because he was yips-unable to throw to first and keep runners honest. so, not an error, but a definite problem on defense.

that *was* kind of an outlier though, and the ken giles example seems unreasonable

mookieproof, Monday, 20 September 2021 02:04 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

Have statskeepers ever tried to account for walkoff singles that would have been doubles or triples if they'd played out in a non-walkoff situation? Like last night, Austin Riley's walkoff would have been a double in any other inning.

Profiles in Liquid Courage (WmC), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:46 (one year ago) link

no idea, but I’d guess that these are so rare that the difference would be negligible

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Monday, 18 October 2021 00:06 (one year ago) link

Sounds like irresistable bait to statheads to me.

Profiles in Liquid Courage (WmC), Monday, 18 October 2021 00:37 (one year ago) link

well there are def stats out there that rate hitters on hit probability based on predicted batted ball outcomes measured by contact speed off the bat, launch angle etc that would prob see such a hit as something more than a single (would not even know that it was recorded as a single) and thus reward austin riley for it based on that

J0rdan S., Monday, 18 October 2021 00:54 (one year ago) link

yeah that’s a good point, his xwOBA doesn’t take a hit because he’s only credited with a single

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Monday, 18 October 2021 01:07 (one year ago) link

xp interesting, thx

Profiles in Liquid Courage (WmC), Monday, 18 October 2021 01:24 (one year ago) link

As EW pod


From Robert Christgau's monthly reader-questions column (it has a terrible name...):

Professional baseball is rapidly changing. Are you familiar with sabermetrics baseball and its implications? Or is this just too nerdy a thing to ask? — KBW, South Korea

I was reading sabermetrics pioneer Bill James as early as the ‘70s, I think--long ago, anyway. Thought all of his analysis was fascinating and a lot of it worth incorporating into the game. It really changed pitching, although not as much as the revised strength training stratagems that have generated so many near-100 fast balls. But if I remember correctly, even then I didn’t like how down he was on stolen bases--they’re too much fun (I loved how much the Yankees stole late in the past season). And when I watch the game with its radical shifts these days I sometimes get nostalgic for the old days, as well as wishing more players would settle for singles by exploiting shifts. In particular I still prefer human umpires calling balls and strikes even though what was clearly a bad call on a held-up swing prematurely ended the Dodgers-Giants championship game.

clemenza, Wednesday, 20 October 2021 21:48 (one year ago) link

xxxxp i thought official scorers were supposed to use their judgment on walk-off hits . . . and i was wrong. this seems unnecessarily complicated, especially with the ground-rule double possibility:

2019 OBR rule 9.06(f) Subject to the provisions of Rule 9.06(g), when a batter ends a game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the Official Scorer shall credit such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run.

Rule 9.06(f) Comment: The Official Scorer shall apply this rule even when the batter is theoretically entitled to more bases because of being awarded an “automatic” extra-base hit under various provisions of Rules 5.05 and 5.06(b)(4)…

mookieproof, Wednesday, 20 October 2021 22:04 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

When interpreted literally, does WAR really work with an extreme closer like Josh Hader?

Hader has pitched 28.2 dominant innings and is 1.3 WAR on Baseball Reference. He's saved 26 games out of 27 save opportunities. If you actually did swap him for a replacement-level closer, wouldn't that guy likely blow at least three or four of those games?

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 12:59 (four months ago) link

Are you suggesting blowing a save should earn you -1 WAR? There's a whole 8 innings of player performance that happened beforehand

, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 16:05 (four months ago) link

I don't even know what I'm just doesn't seem to jibe. The way a poor inning can be directly translated into a loss at that stage in the game, and the way all of Hader's innings fall into that category, throws me. But I guess he's no different than any closer since the advent of save-only usage.

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 16:34 (four months ago) link

how would you feel differently if he were just pitching the sixth inning every second or third day

mookieproof, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 16:38 (four months ago) link

Because the leverage would be much less, I'd assume.

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 17:01 (four months ago) link

Anyway, just asking, and ✖'s reductio ad absurdum explanation basically makes sense to me.

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 17:03 (four months ago) link

If WAR considered game situation like that it be a very different (and not very useful imo) stat... if you're giving things like blown saves and GWRBI that much credit it throws everything else off. There's only a finite amount of WAR to go around in a season. If you're going to give -1 WAR to a reliever for 10 bad pitches, do you give +1 WAR to the two or three batters who hit them? What do you give to the completely unrelated hitter that hit 3 HRs earlier in the game to get their team in a position to do that? Or to the starting pitcher who gave up those 3 HRs and set up the save situation by pitching badly? If one inning can swing WAR a full win either way, WAR totals would be insane and meaningless.

But for what it's worth, the fWAR formula adds a leverage adjustment to relievers which gives them more WAR for pitching in later innings. Not sure if rWAR does that too.

, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 19:54 (four months ago) link

yeah both WARs give a leverage boost to relievers (which I think is silly)

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Tuesday, 12 July 2022 19:56 (four months ago) link

Hader has given up 4HR in 29 innings. "Not blowing games" is partly a measure of circumstance, not ability. It so happens that none (or maybe one) of those HRs happened with a one run lead.

Projected over 200 IP, it works out to about 9 WAR (better than Clayton Kershaw's best season) so if Hader was putting up these numbers as starting pitcher we wouldn't be having this discussion.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 14 July 2022 11:26 (four months ago) link

Actually made the same calculation in my head but took it further: Hader's innings and WAR x 10 = 282 innings and 13 WAR, which would be in line with Dwight Gooden in 1985 (276.2 IP, 12.2 WAR).

Did that a couple of days ago--Hader got shelled yesterday.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 July 2022 13:41 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Not sure where to put this...James just conducted some poll on Twitter on who was the best hitter between Carew, Boggs, and Gwynn. Gwynn won handily with 65.5% of the vote; Boggs got 21.5%, Carew 13% (~1,800 voters in total).

My assumption was that Boggs would have a clear statistical edge because of all his walks, but by at least one metric, the three of them are dead even: Boggs and Carew had a career OPS+ of 131, Gwynn's was 132.

Here's the thing that caught my eye as I looked over their three career boxes. In their 57 combined seasons, they only failed to hit .300 eight times: Gwynn once (.289), Boggs three times (.259, .292, .280), and Carew four times (.292, .273, .295, .280). It's like Bill Russell's championships: they were probably only 150-200 hits short of 57/57 .300 seasons.

clemenza, Saturday, 6 August 2022 19:05 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Never seen a saber guy on a beer before

Stuff+, now in liquid form

— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) September 2, 2022

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 2 September 2022 18:18 (three months ago) link

clemenza: which beverage should put Bill James on their label?

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 2 September 2022 18:20 (three months ago) link

What beverage do ornery, disagreeable old guys drink?

clemenza, Friday, 2 September 2022 19:20 (three months ago) link

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