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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Mike Cribier

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Pinch hitters on Jan 29, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Our next Pinch Hitter is Mike Cribier, and those of us stuck in the snow should be jealous. Mike up in Bergan County, N.J., but he’s now living in sunny San Diego. He’s been writing his blog High and Tight for about six years. “I guess my niche is pointing out hypocrisy and mistakes or general buffoonery in the sports media,” he wrote. Mike also noted that I’ve escaped his wrath, “so far.”

This is Mike’s third guest post here at LoHud. “I’m an avid poker player, am firmly in the camp that Jeter’s defense is overrated, believe strongly in sabermetrics, and am hopeful that one day Mariano Rivera will win a Cy Young award,” he wrote.

Are Strikeouts Really All That Bad for an Offense?

Ah, the strikeout. The K. The whiff. Immortalized in film as the ultimate in sports failure many times over and lending its name to failure in securing the favor of a member of the opposite sex.

While romanticized for sure, how much effect does the strikeout really have on a lineup or team? What’s the effect on how many runs are scored by lineups with high or low strikeout hitters? Overall, does the strikeout really matter much at all?

A number of years ago on my blog, I pushed for the Yankees to sign Adam Dunn (Or before that, trade for him. Or after that, trade for him. He was essentially the white whale to my Ahab). Dunn put up huge OPS numbers year after year and would hit 40+ home runs consistently. Yet, as a free agent, he got little interest and signed a two-year, $20-million deal with the Nationals. The biggest knocks on him? He strikes out too much, and he’s too slow. Constantly, I’d receive those complaints whenever I mentioned the guy as an incredibly undervalued player. “All or nothing,” the critics write.

Before we look at some numbers, let’s all agree that strikeouts are, of course, not good. Barring the unforeseen and rarely occurring event of the dropped third strike where the batter reaches first safely, nothing good comes from them for a hitter. Are they the *worst* possible outcome? Not necessarily. I’d rather see someone strikeout with a man on first than ground into a double play, for instance. Just to be clear however, the strikeout is not a good thing, nor is this an endorsement of them.

My theory on the strikeout is this — it’s an out. If a guy makes a bunch of outs, regardless of how they come, he’s not helping the team. I don’t believe the *type* of out is nearly as important.

Let’s look at a sample of the MLB hitters who were the top 100 in at bats in 2010. The top 15 in strikeouts averaged 160 each, but slugged to a .481 clip. The bottom 15 in strikeouts (65 on average) had an aggregate SLG of .412. Are those the best possible statistics to show a correlation? Let’s say not, but no matter where you pick those numbers from, which year, which sample size, strikeouts = power. Every era I plugged in showed the same results, and just thinking about it makes sense. Guys with big, powerful swings are more likely to swing harder and longer and miss more often. (By the way, Dunn had 199 Ks and SLG of .536 last year).

Part of the problem with trying to show statistical correlations in what is essentially a brief blog post is a lack of scale. So let’s take a look at team totals for the 2010 season and see how detrimental strikeouts were last year.

The easiest way to display a direct correlation would be through a scatter chart. The Y value (left) is total strikeouts for a team. The X value (bottom) is total runs scored by a team. Where the dots appear is where on the graph a team’s strikeout and run total match up.

The points are scattered all over the place, leading us to the conclusion that there is no correlation between high (or low) strikeout totals and the ability to score runs.

For a comparison, let’s look at SLG:

As you can see, a direct correlation. Higher SLG = more runs. The same applies for OBP:

So if this is the case — if the numbers do really show that high strikeout totals have no real effect on scoring runs — why all the backlash?

There’s still an “old school” of thinking out there. There are the people who vote for MVP based on RBI totals or Cy Young based on total number of wins. Thankfully this old method of thinking is dying, and people are relying more on statistics, but there are still plenty of people who “believe what they see.”

Regardless, next time you’re at a ballgame you’re sure to hear someone boo a slugger who strikes out, and praise a “scrappy little guy” for at least “putting the ball in play.” Perception can be a funny thing, but when it’s all said and done, both plate appearances are likely to net the same result.

Associated Press photo of Jeter, charts by Mike

 
 

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139 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Mike Cribier”

  1. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    There is a difference between a “productive out” , and a K.

    That is for sure.

    A Sac fly, or even a ball hit to the rt. side of the infield with the guy scoring from third is way better than just K’ing.

    Of course a K is better than hitting into a DP.

    But that ain’t sayin’ much IMO.

    Matsui was a master of “situational hitting”.

    Bring in those runs, or advance the runner.

    Way better.

  2. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I really don’t want to get into this debate again…..

  3. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Blake -

    Me neither. Shame on me. Too Bill James for my taste.

  4. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Blake-

    Red meat for the sabr crowd.

    :)

  5. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Jerkface won’t need any bacon to get him goin’ on this one.

    :)

  6. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I do think a K is the worst outcome for a hitter….nothing good comes from it and gives no chance for a positive for the offense…..even with a double play ball there is a chance of errors ….the ball taking a bad hop etc. What seperates Pujols is that he puts up those great numbers and doesn’t strike out.

    All that said, players can still be productive and even good while striking out a lot.

  7. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Question:

    With the market seemingly collapsed for Vlad, should the Yanks kick the tires on him? Would he prefer a reduced role with a chance to win over playing every day for Baltimore? I know there is a report out there that he has an 8 million dollar offer but Im not sure I believe that…..

  8. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Blake-

    I responded on Vlad in the last thread.

  9. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    The day the HOF starts putting sabermetric numbers on HOF plaques will be the day baseball dies. The only ones that give a crap about them are fantasy freaks and the serfs in King James kingdom.

    Try winning games without somebody driving in the runs. I don’t want to hear the BS about being dependent on somebody else, because so is every other stat. If the guys in front and in back of you aren’t getting on base, your chances of getting on are pretty slim and the chances are even slimmer of getting more than 3-4 at bats are even slimmer.

    Screw the saberfreaks and their “Magic Formulas”. They are dead to me.

  10. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    MTU,

    yea obviously I think they need pitching more but do I think Vlad makes them better for 4 or 5 million…..yea I do. He could DH against lefties and when Posada catches Pettite ;)

  11. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Simple formula :

    Get ‘em on, get ‘em over, and get ‘em in.

    Where have I heard that before ?

    :)

  12. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Interesting stuff on this one. I agree high strikeout totals are not a death sentence, but they are far from irrelevant.

    One of the issues I had with acquiring Dunn was that the Yanks were already a pretty high strikeout offense. Last year, for example the Yanks had 6 regulars with 100+ strikeouts and two others are 99 and 98. That’s a whole lot of huttin’.

    It’s why Arizona needed to shake up its lineup to cut down on the total strikeouts.

    Can’t see the Yanks pursuing Vlad after adding Andruw Jones as a potential extra RH bat on the bench. Now if Vlad could throw 95 with a decent slider……

  13. 108 stitches January 29th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Ross Ohlendorf back as a Yankee again. He could fill the bill in the back end of the rotation and get run support he’s never had in Pittsburgh.
    He wouldn’t cost major talent.

    http://pirates.mlb.com/team/pl....._id=456027

  14. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Blake-

    Now all you have to do is convince Cashman.

    Good luck as he’s gotten kind of tight lately.

  15. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    GB 7 — Amen Brother!

    The most under-appreciated stat in baseball is RUNS. The most over used stat on this blog is WAR.

  16. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    And the there’s Austin Jackson that led the AL in K’ with 170 s but only slugged .400.

    But I’m not sure I get this point of the graphs.

    High K’ don’t necessarily correlate to low run totals but high K’s generally correlate to high SLG% and high SLG% does correlate to high run totals ? But then high OBP also correlates to high run totals and obviously K’s do nothing to help achieve a high OBP.

  17. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    i would normally say thanks for writing the post and nice job. but since this is really just a continuation of a 2year campaign to add dunn to the yankees, i’ll refrain.

    you glanced right over a very impotant point, which was that even with all that power, nobody other than a desparite franchise even sniffed at him. basically 29 gm’s didnt want him on thier team, including all of the contending teams.

    so no matter what your charts say about the relationship between slug% or obp and runs, entire teams of baseball executives have determined that dunne would be a net negative for thier teams.

    thank goodness the yankees FO feels the same way.

  18. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Find ‘em, Chase ‘em, Sink ‘em

  19. Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    GB, you have to let your true, inner self come through. Stop holding your feelings back, and let us know how you truly feel.

  20. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    86,

    Yes, I agree Ks aren’t a death sentence for individual players but as you say they do matter and you certainly don’t want too many of those guys in one lineup…..that’s when it can be a big issue.

  21. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Joe-

    Yeah. I’ve tried to talk to GB about that to no avail.

    He continues to mince his words despite my best efforts.

    :)

    GB-

    Sounds like a WWII sub movie.

    :)

  22. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:36 am

    GB7 -

    So, this makes you an old fart like me, just give us old fashion baseball, like it was intended to be. All those numbers are just bull, I like to watch baseball and draw my own thoughts as to good, bad, right and wrong, and I don’t need some shart a** telling me what I’m seeing is wrong, because his numbers tell me I’m looking at it all wrong.

  23. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Find ‘em, chase ‘em, score ‘em.

    I like that one better.

    Even if we’re talkin’ baseball.

    ;)

  24. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:38 am

    smart – not shart, talk to gb7, spell like him

  25. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Good Morning everyone!

    Good post Mike. Well thought out and written.

    until

    ” Thankfully this old method of thinking is dying, and people are relying more on statistics, but there are still plenty of people who “believe what they see.”

    This was unnecessary and ruined the piece for me.

    As I posted the other day I “believe what I see” or GB or Blake Or Pat M or many others, over some anonymous person taking notes at a game and selling that information to Fangraphs.

  26. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    86 i’ve been saying that runs, though a very flawed stat, is still WAY undervalued.

    for this reason i say rickey henderson still doesnt get his due. in the history of baseball rickey who could hold his own defensivly and in power and plate discipline, scored more runs than any player in history. the 5% of HOF voters who did not name henderson on thier ballots should have had thier votes taken away.

  27. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Time to do my best Daniel Boone impersonation again.

    Catch you all later.

    :)

  28. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    MTU -

    That’s why, on many occasions, I wish Girardi would throw his book away, and manage by what his eyes tell him, and his gut.

  29. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2011 at 9:33 am
    GB, you have to let your true, inner self come through. Stop holding your feelings back, and let us know how you truly feel.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Joe, sorry about that. I knew the day was coming when one of the new, self-appointed keepers of the “proper way to enjoy baseball” game would show up and post a wall of babel. Pocket protector wearing geeks are trying their best to run the best part of baseball…the pure relaxation of watching or playing it. It shouldn’t include having to spend 10 hours after the game trying to figure out who who has the best WAR. Who gives a damned?

  30. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I do think runs and rbis have become undervalued……there is a knack to getting both.

  31. 108 stitches January 29th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Nothing within sabermetrics shows what a player’s grit and heart is. There’s no point in complicating a game that requires a hitter to use his talent to keep runners moving in the direction of home plate, small ball or powerwise. With pitchers, keep the ball in play and have faith in the 7 guys behind you plus your catcher and yourself.
    At the rate that sabermetrics is going, the back of player’s card will become a book.

  32. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    GB7 -

    Can you see Casey Stengel managing today, his head was what he used, not some stat book, and did a pretty good job of it.

  33. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Well there are those voters who will never vote for a first time guy so a 100% may never happen til those dinosaurs die off.

    I don’t think runs is a “flawed” stat. Yes, it is somewhat team reliant, hut as GB 7 pointed out you really can’t find any statistical category that is not influenced by the team around you. Nobody plays in a vacuum.

    To me RUNS is the measure of the effectiveness of your OBP, while RBI measures the effectiveness of your SLG. It gives some context to whether or not your individual stats are contributing to winning.

    Totally agree on Henderson. Only 7 players have scored 2,000 runs… the 8th and 9th are likely to be Derek Jeter (1,685) and Alex Rodriguez (1,757).

  34. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    geeks are trying their best to ***RUIN*** the best part of baseball

  35. MTU January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Al-

    IMO there is room for both in the game.

    But I agree sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

    The only downside is some people would have a harder time justifying their actions that way.

    Hiding behind a stat makes it easier to explain away a mistake.

    Like so many things it’s about finding the proper balance.

  36. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Let’s get rid of all stats on HOF plaques. Just quotes. “I saw him play and he was great.” “What a pitcher!”. “Could run like the wind.” “Great when the chips were down.” “His glove was where fly balls went to die.”. “No one better.”

    Who needs stats, whether invented in 1890 or 2007. I mean, haven’t those quotes told you everything you need or want to know?

    :(

  37. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    “I’m an avid poker player, am firmly in the camp that Jeter’s defense is overrated, believe strongly in sabermetrics,…”

    well, now that you have established the fact you like to sit on your butt both playing poker and studying sabermetrics, i will proceed reading your opinions with an open mind about baseball players who actually get off their butts and spend most of their lives running, hitting and throwing . you know breathing fresh air and other outdoor activities :)

  38. blake January 29th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    If Maddux doesn’t get 100% then I.don’t know know if anyone ever will….

  39. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    randy, you ought to e-mail those guys at fangraphs about your views on the sinker. They are serious over there, they’ll probably respond. Maybe you end up convincing them you are right.

  40. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    randy l. -

    breathing fresh air requires one to live where there still exists fresh air, places other than LA for sure.

    I agree with your thinking, because my bet is on the fact, most of the sabermetrics people never played the game of baseball in a serious manner, or any other sport, unless you count their electronic games.

  41. Erica in NY January 29th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I think we have all met Jerkface’s Lohud doppleganger…..

  42. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    blake -

    I could be wrong, but, I don’t think Joe D got 100%.

  43. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    “I agree with your thinking, because my bet is on the fact, most of the sabermetrics people never played the game of baseball in a serious manner”

    My guess is you are wrong.

  44. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 9:47 am
    GB7 -

    Can you see Casey Stengel managing today, his head was what he used, not some stat book, and did a pretty good job of it.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Funny how Stengel, McGraw, Houk and others were able to get their teams into the WS year after year without computers. Stengel and Houk managed in ways that would fry any computer. Stengel once pulled a right handed hitter for a left handed hitter against a left handed pitcher. The RH hitter was Hank Bauer and was 4-4 with a double and 2 homers that day. He also had big numbers against the pitcher. The left handed pinch hitter was Gene Woodling and never hd a hit off of the same hitter. Woodling hit a walk-off 3 run homer. Imagine what would happen in today’s computerized game? Having tendancies and stats in a book is good, but, you have to go on the flow of the game instinct sometimes.

    Stengel’s reason? Bauer’s luck would run out and Woodling was mad about not playing.

  45. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    WYH or Randy

    Read the response from David Appleman “creator of Fangraphs”

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....itch-types

  46. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Most people on this blog would not like Casey Stengel if he were reincarnated and managing today for a team other than the Yanks. He was too unconventional.

    If he was managing the Yanks everyone would love him because he would win.

  47. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    IMO, if you want an honest HOF vote, take it away from the pencil pushers, and allow a combination of veteran players, managers, and perhaps GM’s to vote, those that played the game, and know it best.

    Some of these sports writers can’t even walk to first base, no less run, and have no real idea of the game, having not played at the ML level.

  48. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    why does everybody think that every time girardi references his book, that he is managing the way the book indicates? couldnt he just be informing himself before making a decision?

  49. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    If RBIs are so meaningless to sabermetric geeks, why in the Hell do you make so much of players that leave runners on in scoring position? Why do you keep banging a player for not being “clutch”? Something’s wrong somewhere.

  50. bdog375 January 29th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Great analysis! Of course, when referring to RBIs and wins, you said “Thankfully this old method of thinking is dying, and people are relying more on statistics”. These are statistics too, just bad ones ;)

  51. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    AL,

    nobody ever has….im not even sure Joe D got in on the first ballot (somebody confirm). Its ridiculous…..voters with agendas.

  52. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I love RBI’s and YES I get the point that beyond the solo HR they require “help” to achieve them.

    Here’s a cool milestone to watch for this season. Only 10 players in MLB history have driven in more than 1,900 runs. If healthy, Alex Rodriguez should achieve this plateau in early August. He’s got 1,831. In 2012 he should reach 2,000. Aaron was the last guy to reach 2,000 in 1972. He’s the all time leader with 2,297. Babe Ruth has 2,213. Cap Anson is 3rd with 2,075. 3 guys – 140 years of MLB.

    Manny’s actually 1 behind Alex with 1,830 but health and suspension has limited him to only a total of 105 over the last 2 seasons.

  53. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:03 am

    GB7 -

    That’s what I’m talking about. I loved Casey, and Houk both great manager’s and could sure handle a team of stars.

  54. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    “If RBIs are so meaningless to sabermetric geeks, why in the Hell do you make so much of players that leave runners on in scoring position? Why do you keep banging a player for not being “clutch”? Something’s wrong somewhere.”

    Huh? Statheads don’t believe in an innate clutch ability. They also believe hitting with RISP is a random (CB would say noisy) result around a player’s basic hitting ability.

    It’s the traditional guys who go on ad nauseum about being clutch and hitting with RISP.

  55. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I have no problem with new stats that are actually stats like OPS, OPS , ERA +. However subjective numbers are not truly statistics. UZR is not a factual stat nor is WAR. That’s why I refuse to take them seriously.

  56. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:07 am

    blake -

    Joe D did not get in on the first ballot. That’s why you have to take HOF voting away from sports writers that simply don’t know the game, as other players and managers do. Too many sports writers vote against players to suit their own agenda.

  57. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Blake, that’s what the book says. DiMaggio wasn’t elected on the first ballot, but, they’ve changed the rules so many times over the years. He retired after the 1951 season and was elected in 1955. No 5 year waiting period.

  58. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Got to go, have a great day folks.

  59. pat January 29th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Thunder beat writer, Josh Norris’ interview with Cashman about the farm and rising stars.

    Road map for catcher #2 is going to be interesting.

    http://trentonian.com/articles.....=fullstory

  60. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    “However subjective numbers are not truly statistics. UZR is not a factual stat nor is WAR. That’s why I refuse to take them seriously.”

    Why you don’t believe “what some body’s eyes” recorded and than sold to an Internet blog could be wrong do you? :wink: You must be old.

  61. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    “I agree with your thinking, because my bet is on the fact, most of the sabermetrics people never played the game of baseball in a serious manner, or any other sport, unless you count their electronic games.”

    Why are you afraid of new ideas? I grew up before sabermetrics was invented. But even though I played sports all my life (and have the lingering injuries to prove it), I have found that some sabr principles have increased my enjoyment of the game. Isn’t that what a good college education is supposed to do, keep one curious about developments that may alter the way you have always thought about things? Some you reject and some you accept, but just making some baseless generalization is just anti-intellectual goofiness.

  62. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    GB,

    but did the voters seriously not elect him on the first attempt? I mean what the heck……hanging chads?

  63. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    “UZR is not a factual stat nor is WAR.”

    Offensive WAR is a “factual” stat, in the sense you mean. It is calculated using non-controversial measurements, like hits, HRs, outs, etc., regressed against league performance, runs scored and wins over very long periods of time.

    UZR, Total Zone, DRS, etc., and defensive WAR which is based on them, are also “factual” stats in the sense that they are based on something actually measured. What is currently controversial are the assumptions behind those measurements. But without taking the time to examine those controversies, you really can’t have anything meaningful to contribute to the debate.

  64. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I mean did they think he should have hit in 57 straight games or struck out less?

  65. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    there is also the problem of ‘stacking stats’ every stat has some failings. (which is why people keep inventing newer ones) so you have to beware right off the start with stats. now alot of these newer stats are combinations of the older stats, which just extends the possibility of error exponetially when you add 2 flawed stats together. add to that the failings of stats that require judgment like defensive stats and offensive stats where each hit has to be determined to be a fly, a grounder or a line drive.

    add all these factors together and you get an interesting # that says something. you also get a complation of statistical vagaries each with thier own failings and all these failings are multiplied exponentially into the final product.

    im ok with exploring the ideas brought up by newer stats, but i take all of them with a large dose of salt.

    sometimes you have to backtrack to the basics, like in this case, your stats seem to back up your point, so you have to go back to the old smell test, if this statistical compilation is so accurate, why did 29 teams (at least 10 of whom had lesser dh’s in thier lineup) pass on dunn? this reality check should have made you go back to find flaws in your statistical model because a whole lot of smart baseball people obviously disagree with your valuation of dunn.

  66. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    “are also “factual” stats in the sense that they are based on something actually measured.”

    Serious question-who measures them?

    I want to know who measured the Yankees last year.

  67. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I like WAR….and think its a cool idea. One number that gives you an idea of how good a player is. I am skeptical of how accurate the current one is……don’t thinlbit tells the whole tail but when you look at the guys with the highest WAR they usually are some of the best all around players.

  68. pat January 29th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “He?s the all time leader with 2,297. Babe Ruth has 2,213. Cap Anson is 3rd with 2,075. 3 guys ? 140 years of MLB.”

    Kenny talked about this on Yankee telecasts a few times last year. Said it was a number most players had no idea about unlike HR record or hit record.

  69. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Blake, Berra had to wait 2 extra years to get in. He retired as a player in ’65 and was elected in ’72. Ford was another. Retired after 1967 and wasn’t elected until 1974.

  70. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Wave —

    There’s no reason to be condescending. There are factual elements in those things, but also assumptions and judgments. I understand why. Purely objective defensive stats are misleading, but that doesn’t make subjective analysis “factual”.

    WAR means certain stats add up to a certain number of wins. I know what it is based on, but it doesn’t make it accurate. No player is objectively worth a fixed number of wins….. or losses for that matter.

    It doesn’t mean those numbers aren’t useful, somewhat informative or interesting. Just that those who use them as if they are “facts” are misrepresenting reality.

  71. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Rich in NJ -

    If you enjoy all the stats, and it helps you enjoy the game more, that’s fine.

    For me, I believe too many folks are just not sitting back enjoying a good game, but, rather they sit around and over analyze each players stats to the point they can’t see the forest for the trees. JMO, and you’re free to take the opposite view.

    I love a manager that can think on his feet and use common sense and his gut, over the Girardi type that appears to rely heavily on his stats book to manage a game. Joe should already know in his head what his players are capable in most situations, and use his vast knowledge of the game to guide him, again, JMO.

  72. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 10:28 am

    im certainly not a sabermetrician, im not a statistician and i dont have a blog. i was however a very early adapter of rotisserie baseball (in the pre-comptuer days when rotisserieers were real men!) and so i’ve paid attention to newer stats to try to see what advantage i can get in drafting. something works b/c i have won over 25% or all leagues i’ve entered) so i’m very cool with people coming up with new stats and i like what enlightenment they bring, BUT statheads go way overboard imo. they work out a stat and go crazy with it. instead of saying, heres a new stat that may help determine something, the new stat becomes some kind of gold standard that is questioned only by people not as clever as the creator and proponents of the new stat.

    i say thanks to the thinkers who come up with this stuff, but i caution you all to back off a little and let your new designer stat breathe a little before you declare brett gardner the most valuable OF in baseball…

  73. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    GB,

    Incredible.

  74. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:30 am

    pat, Norris and Ashmore have some great interview columns, as do Nalbone and Collins for Scranton. always interesting reads. For small town writers, like Chad before them are better than the big town writers. Maybe because they have to think a little more and get inventive to keep their readers reading. Those are some of the few columns that I never miss reading.

  75. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 10:30 am

    “there is also the problem of ‘stacking stats’ every stat has some failings. (which is why people keep inventing newer ones) so you have to beware right off the start with stats. ”

    You have to beware of everything. For example, AVG can be skewed by luck. But if you look at batted ball types, you get more information about how much, if any, luck was involved.

    Also, observation is necessarily subjective. You may have heard it said that in court, circumstantial evidence is sometimes more reliable than eye witness testimony.

    The point is to be critical of all information, and to use (and evaluate) every tool at your disposal.

    But to just make some blanket critique of stats is to risk missing out on a lot of useful information.

  76. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    mickey mantle spent over seven years of his career striking out and walking .

    if you really want to show the value of striking out you really should talking about it’s relations to walking.

    the reason that a hitter like swisher strikes out 130 times a year is because he puts himself in the position of hitting in a lot of full counts where it becomes more likely he’ll strike out but also more likely he’ll get a walk. swisher walks a lot and strikes out a lot for the same reason. he takes a lot of pitches.

    brett gardner strikes out over a 100 times also because he takes a lot of pitches and creates walks and strikeouts.

    now some hitters just simply create strikeouts because they swing and miss a lot. all strike outs are not created equally.

    a hitter who strikes out a lot because he chooses to go deep in the count to get walks but who can put the ball in play on a 3-2 count at will is much different than a guy who goes to a 3-2 count because he swings and misses a lot and the pitcher throws balls trying to get him to chase which creates the balls.

    this swinger/ misser with a guy on third with one out is no where as valuable as the guy who can get to 3-2 and put the ball in play.

    this is the reason why we used to cringe when arod came up with a runner on third with less than two outs because we knew he knew he didn’t know if he could get the bat on the ball at will.

    guys can pile up strikeouts and empty slugging percentages simply by swinging all out all the time. this looks great for slugging percentages and OPS , but because this kind of hitter can’t get the ball in play at will with a shortened up two strike swing a lot of guys are left at third base when it matters.

    when you wonder why the pythagorean theorem doesn’t always hold up with wins look no further than the fact all runs are not equal. guys that swing freely create a lot of empty worthless runs. guys that can put the ball in play at will create a higher percentage of runs that matter.

    oh, by the way, mantle created a lot of walks because pitchers were scared to death to pitch to him :)

  77. Betsy January 29th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Big Al, how are you doing? I’m no fan of sabremetrics either and all those alphabet soup ways of evaluating baseball players. I’m a sports fan, not a mathematics fan

  78. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    The most asinine stat was “Win Shares”. Most of the other “new wave stats” aren’t far behind.

  79. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    BIG AL

    As long as you realize that a statistical understanding of the game and having played it are not mutually exclusive.

  80. blake January 29th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Yea I think its tough (maybe even impossible ) to accurately tell the “# of wins that a player adds”…..but I like the idea.

  81. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Baseball has always been a game of stats. Watch any game and you are amazed at some of the stats they come up with. I don’t pretend to understand all of the newer stats, but some of them are useful, even to me! Sometimes you have a perception of a player that really isn’t valid, it is just based on whether you like him or not. It also helps in comparing players that you might not see very often.

    All that said, when I watch a game I am not thinking about the stats. I am watching Robbie’s sweet swing or Jeter’s jump throw or Tex picking another throw out of the dirt. I am guessing that is true for many so called saber geeks as well.

  82. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    rich i agree completly. the more intricate a stat, the more you have to be wary of it. but blank dismissal of them is ignorant, imo. im really glad that girardi pays attention to computer analysis info, but i dont think he allows ‘the book’ to make deciscions for him, i think he just looks for as much info he can get to inform a decisioin before he makes it. some people tear him up over it, but why would you NOT want your manager to be as informed as possible before he makes what could be a critical decisioin?

  83. Betsy January 29th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Wave, all the stats I need to know are the ones I found on my old baseball cards: BA, RBIs, strikeouts, walks, etc…………….. I think frankly sabre people chalk way too much up to luck or no luck. I just don’t believe in reducing the game to #s. I’m glad I don’t know much about WAR – who gets to decide just how many games better than another player a player is? The whole thing seems kind of silly to me. I have no problem with other people using these methods to evaluate players, but it’s not for me

  84. BIG AL January 29th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Betsy -

    Doing well. Did you take the winter off the blog, if so, it was most likely a good move.

    Need to run, hope you have a good day, catch you later.

  85. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    do we associate adam dunn with being on winning teams?

    i don’t.

    could be wrong though.

  86. pat January 29th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    GB

    I enjoy reading the minor league beat writers work as well especially their interviews with some of the more behind the scenes Yankee officials or those involved at the minor league levels.

    We hear interviews with Cashman all the time but their columns is where I’ve become more familiar with the pieces that make up the organization behind Cash.

  87. Betsy January 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Also, these stats can be manipulated to reflect that person’s point of view. I remember reading how Phil was soooooo lucky at the beginning of last yer because his BABIP was low. Well I remember those games and he did not give up a lot of hard hit balls. If you weren’t able to watch the games, then you’d assume by the stat that he probably gave up his fair share of hard hit balls that found peoples’ gloves…………..but that’s a lousy way to judge; you had to have watched him to see it wasn’t true. We didn’t see Clay Buchholz on a nightly basis, but the same thing is being said about him now. Mo has a low BABIP very likely – is that luck? As to HRs, remember Phil gave up few HRs early – what was it, few HRs per FB? But I recall that his FBs were not particularly deep ones. It’s not like he gave up FBs that were thisclose to going out and just didn’t. Again, another instance where if you look at just the #s you’d think it was all a matter of luck.

  88. 86w183 January 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    have a great day all……

  89. austinmac January 29th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    As an admitted old guy I have doubts about such things as a high BABIP says bad luck. I say it may suggest rocket line drives. For example, I didn’t perceive Joba as victim to a lot of cheap hits. It is more likely that the luck factor evens up over the course of time than to believe a high BABIP tells us the pitcher is likely to improve.

  90. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Randy
    excellent points on comparing Ks w/ BBs…why I bet there is even a stat for that!

  91. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Randy, it always bothered me that Mantle’s last two seasons put his career BA under .300. They were bad by his standards but still, it was 9 points over the league average in ’67 and5 points over in ’68. He always said that was his one major game regret.

  92. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Rich

    Personally I have no problem with information. The more the better.

    What gets me annoyed is the Sabre argument of “trusting one’s eyes” over a particular stat.

    What I have come to realize is that is exactly how a lot of these stats are compiled. Trusting some anonymous person’s eyes to record accurate data.

    Just hoping that sheer numbers will average out discrepancies is not very convincing. Especially if the “discrepancies are repeated by some sort of bias. There is just not enough transparency in how the data is collected IMO.

    I like this article on the subject.

    http://www.baseballprospectus......leid=11476

  93. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    pat January 29th, 2011 at 10:40 am
    GB

    I enjoy reading the minor league beat writers work as well especially their interviews with some of the more behind the scenes Yankee officials or those involved at the minor league levels.

    We hear interviews with Cashman all the time but their columns is where I’ve become more familiar with the pieces that make up the organization behind Cash.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    They all do a great job with interviewing the kids on the farm, too, and not just the big name kids. I wish they could hook up with writers in the lower part of the system, too. Everyone knows the big names and their whole stories. It’s the lesser names that sometimes are more interesting. Like one MLB-TV, I’m sick of seeing and hearing how Josh Hamilton overcame his “adversities”…that he created.

  94. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    my criticism of sabermetrics is not that it’s proponents haven’t played the game. it’s that because they haven’t played the game they tend to apply their statistical mathematical skills in the wrong way .

    most of the sabermetricians really aren’t very good connecting their numbers to the realities of the game.

    mike talks about strikeouts , but i didn’t see anything in his post that showed any understanding how strikeouts are created.

    to me sabermetrics ,the way mike uses it, is just simplistic. rather than being some advanced form of mathematics i see it as simplistic mathematics that is just plain wrong much of the time for a variety of reasons..

    most sabermetricians aren’t even good statistical analysts. i believe there is more dogma in the sabermetric world than there is in old school baseball. it’s more a new religion rather than a new science.

    so i’m not against real statistical analysts who really understand and measure baseball. i’m against amateur stat heads who neither understand baseball or statistical analysis very well. i believe this is most of them.

  95. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Rivera may be the unluckiest pitcher around. Maybe 20% of his hits are really “ripped’. The vast majority seem to be bloops, nubbers and broken bat dunkers.

  96. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    From “Fangraphs” on UZR and aging:

    The notion that a player learns how to play defense in the major leagues is largely nonsense. He might learn and improve upon some specific defensive skills, but his overall defensive value is likely already declining by the time he gets to the majors.

    Know the pitcher you’re playing behind. Know the hitter he’s facing. The notion that this knowledge doesn’t help you? That’s nonsense.

  97. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Sabermatrics is more than religion. It’s a cult, like Moonies and Heaven’s Gate and just as dangerous…to the game. Hopefully they will disappear when Bill James is taking a dirt nap.

  98. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    “So if this is the case — if the numbers do really show that high strikeout totals have no real fect on scoring runs — why all the backlash?”

    Actually, you could make a case for saying that high strikeout totals DO have a real effect on scoring runs since

    A. the players with the highest strikeout rates also have higher slugging and on base percentages

    B. higher slugging and OBP correlate with more runs scored

    therefore

    c. high strikeout rates correlate with more runs scored!

    ;)

    that’s how syllogisms worked when I went to college, anyway!

    *******************

    WAR, good God y’all, what is it good for
    Absolutely nothing!

    *******************

    For the record, I adore Adam Dunn, based on what my eyes told me every time I watched a Nats game (which I did often). Despite his strikeout rate he was responsible for most of the power on the Nationals, a team that had surprisingly good offense. More teams looked at the Dunn than the White Sox. And the White Sox aren’t exactly chopped liver.

    While I’ve come to accept that statistics do fit into the equation somewhere, I still believe what my eyes tell me. I’m really pretty tired of hearing the old “Derek Jeter is one of the worse fielding SS in baseball” from one of my Sux pals because some stat head with nothing better to do decided to come up with the way we should look at the game.

    I’m thinking that when scouts go to take a look at players, they don’t necessarily have their noses stuck in Bill James’s sabermetrics.

  99. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    “Randy, it always bothered me that Mantle’s last two seasons put his career BA under .300.”

    gb7-

    yes , that bothered all of us at the time as the .300 BA was a gold standard of sorts.

    the fact mickey ended up with a .421 lifetime OBP and a .977 OPS takes a little off missing out on .300 BA.

    ironically the new statheads would tell mickey not to worry about the BA because it doesn’t matter compared to his other stats. . mantle is one player old school and new school can agree on. he’s just plain great.

  100. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    has anybody read or seen anything that gives insight into what stats girardi uses, how much weight he gives them and how often he goes ‘by the book’ and how often he ‘follows his gut’?

    i’d be very interested. even with his ‘book’ i see him as alot more ‘old school’ than say a guru-type like maddon or a player’s manager like tito.

  101. David in Cal January 29th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Here’s a list of the 15 career leaders in strikeouts. Looks to me like a pretty darn good group of hitters!

    Rank Player (age) Strikeouts Bats
    1. Reggie Jackson+ 2597 L
    2. Jim Thome (39) 2395 L
    3. Sammy Sosa 2306 R
    4. Andres Galarraga 2003 R
    5. Jose Canseco 1942 R
    6. Willie Stargell+ 1936 L
    7. Mike Schmidt+ 1883 R
    8. Fred McGriff 1882 L
    9. Tony Perez+ 1867 R
    10. Mike Cameron (37) 1842 R
    11. Alex Rodriguez (34) 1836 R
    12. Dave Kingman 1816 R
    13. Manny Ramirez (38) 1809 R
    14. Ken Griffey (40) 1779 L
    15. Bobby Bonds 1757

  102. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    “Sabermatrics is more than religion. It’s a cult”

    gb7-

    precisely.

    i have to hand it to mike with his post today. he polarized the blog quite nicely.

    lgy and jerkface will be waking up soon and will be reinforcements for the beleaguered and shorthanded stathead brigade .

    make sure to save some of those zingers when we need them. you’re a clutch ragger. we’ll be counting on you.

  103. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    “even with his ‘book’ i see him as alot more ‘old school’ than say a guru-type like maddon or a player’s manager like tito”

    I agree Ysguy.

  104. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    How in hell did baseball survive all these years and teams make successful trades without the help of Bill James? I shudder to think…

    :roll:

  105. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    randy, old time players thought the same about Mantle. Ted Wikkiams and Ty Cobb said in an interview that Mantle was one of the few players with the talent to play in any era. Cobb said that with his ability and skills, he could hit .400 often. Williams agreed, adding that only Mantle’s stubborness to cut back on the swing only a fraction would increase his hits and home runs considerably. Stengel and Houk said that he was the most coachable player they ever saw, except for one thing…his swing and approach to hitting. He learned it from his father and refused to change it. Stengel thought that it was Mantle’s way of honoring his one hero…his father. Williams said that he had long talks with Mantle, explaining his hitting philosophies and Mantle, listened, agreed and at the end, said, “All I understand is see the ball and hit the Hell out of it.”

  106. Mell January 29th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    “Joe D did not get in on the first ballot. That’s why you have to take HOF voting away from sports writers that simply don’t know the game, as other players and managers do”

    While it’s a travesty that DiMaggio didn’t get in on the 1st ballot, players and managers have proven equally as bad as the writers when it comes to these kind of votes.

  107. Pauldanand January 29th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Argh… more statistics .

    “I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.”

  108. 108 stitches January 29th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    trisha – true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 11:15 am
    How in hell did baseball survive all these years and teams make successful trades without the help of Bill James? I shudder to think…

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Almost beyond comprehension. :)

  109. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Randy, I’ll do my best. I think that I’ll need to do it on an empty stomach, though. Reading their stuff makes me want to throw up. It’s not the numbers that I object to…it’s they way they decide to use them….that and the fact that they believe that the game can’t be enjoyed or fully understood without them. Trust me…most people understand when a player isn’t doing his job, and try as they might, their “magic formulas” will never explain why they’re having trouble. A wise man once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”.

  110. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Ted ***Williams*** and Ty Cobb

    I guess I’m just not a clutch typist.

  111. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Is this the latest photo of Joba Chamberlain?

    http://yfrog.com/h5192ygtj

  112. YsGuy January 29th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    cal ripken is on ‘wait, wait’ on npr. he was actually very revealing for the first time i can remember.

  113. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    GB
    just wait til Joba gets to ST…that round belly will just melt right away :)

  114. Against All Odds January 29th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    # GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Is this the latest photo of Joba Chamberlain?

    http://yfrog.com/h5192ygtj

    ————————-

    SMH the kid doesn’t take it seriously. He wasn’t going to start anyway but that photo cements it.

  115. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Statistical analysis does a great job helping one to understand non-human activities and processes. It does a poor job explaining human behavior and activity in my opinion.

  116. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    “I’m actually going to remove sinkers from the split-fingered bucket and just put them in the regular fastball bucket just for consistency sake” – david appleman creator of fangraphs

    thanks tar.

    the above is right from the horses mouth, the creator of that sabermetric mecca of statheads.

    i love the highly technical bucket analogy. he’s kind of saying “we’ll just take that hard to distinguish sinker that we all know wang throws , and stick it it in that other easier to measure fastball bucket.”

    these guys aren’t just bad baseball people , they are bad statistical analysts.

    david appleman is a buckethead.

    everyone knows that wang throws a sinker that was devastating. everyone knows it wasn’t just another two seam fastball. but does fangraphs measure it ?

    no, they throw it in another “bucket”.

    how many other places in fangraphs is this kind of lazy thinking going on ?

    these guys try to dazzle you with how smart they are , but when you look close they do really dumb things like throw one hard to measure pitch ,the sinker, into an easy to measure”bucket”.

    these numbers look great after that after they are cleaned up. the only problem is they are just plain wrong and worthless.

  117. LordD99 January 29th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The evidence on this is quite clear. As strikeouts have increased, offense has increased. That’s not to suggest that strikeouts are somehow “good,” because they are an out, and an out is bad! Yet the more aggressive approach by hitters that has led to an increase in strikeouts has also increased offense. Even players like Derek Jeter, a top-of-the-order hitter, strike out 100 times, something that only power hitters were allowed to do in days gone by. Yet he’s a lifetime .320 hitter at short. I’ll take a Derek Jeter and his 100 strikeouts any day compared to a Bucky Dent, who put that bat on the ball, but was a poor hitter.

  118. West Coast Yankee Fan January 29th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I would bet one could sit in the stands and keep the box score in a program all year and be able to fully understand exactly who did what and why — and who should play and why.

  119. blake January 29th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    All things being equal Ill take the good hitter that doesn’t strike out (Pujols) over the guy who does (Howard).

  120. Stoneburner January 29th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    http://www.johnny-web.com/dimaggio_hof.htm

    Interesting stuff to counter the Joe D HOF stuff – shows also how watered down the HOF kind of has become – do not need to elect guys every year – plus there was a backlog – that being said BBWA voting for the HOF currently are some of the biggest hypocrites out there on the PED stuff. . . .

  121. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 11:38 am
    GB
    just wait til Joba gets to ST…that round belly will just melt right away

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    I’m hoping that the lump just below his back melts away, too. Would love to see him come in looking like Bruney did. I have to think that would make it less of an strain on his arm and allow his mechanics to remain more consistant.fort

  122. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    No problem Randy.

    It sure raises a lot of questions as to who is charting the pitches? Is it even one person? where are they sitting, are they even at the game or watching a monitor? Does one person stick with the same team, or at one stadium? So many questions. Enquiring minds want to know.

  123. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:56 am

    at the end of the game, give me a hitter who can get in the run any way possible. I’ll take a hitter that knocks in 50 runs with ground outs over a guy that have 50 useless hits or walks instead of knocking in the winning run on a groundout.

  124. jacksquat January 29th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I see we are celebrating ignorance here.

    What’s next, queue the country music?

  125. upstate kate January 29th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    the mlb network just had a funny segment w/ Reynolds, Williams and Hart selecting their hockey team comprised of baseball players. When they got to select their Captain, Williams and Hart just turned to HR and laughed…he has such a man crush on Jeet. Mitch selected Ryan Howard for his team and HR was hysterical over that…a brotha playing hockey!?

  126. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Tar, another question is, do they even know for sure what the pitch actually is? Do they differentiate between 2 seam and 4 seam fastballs, a sinker, or a forkball and split finger?

  127. charlestonchew January 29th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Look at what the poster is saying instead of tearing it apart and grasping at straws.

    He is saying that yes, strikeouts aren’t a good result. In fact, they’re not as good as a groundball or a flyball, especially if that groundball or flyball advances a runner, scores a run, or tires a fielder.

    But people who scream from their mountaintops about situational hitting and how important it is are overvaluing it. Certainly, you’d prefer a situational hitter if you were comparing players of the same stats. But when you’ve got the choice between Adam Dunn at 10 million and Johnny Damon at 10 million, you should be choosing Adam Dunn because, despite the strikeouts, he is a far more valuable player to the team (at DH, that is). He will score you runs, drive in runs, and yes, he will strike out a lot.

    It’s evaluating a player as an OVERALL picture instead of simply metric by metric. There are players who strike out a lot who are incredibly productive (ARod, Jeter, Dunn). Look at Austin Jackson. He had a decent rookie year and struck out a lot. He needs to strike out less, yes, but if he cuts it down by 30-40 and raises the average a little, he’s all of a sudden a very solid ML player who strikes out a lot.

  128. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “Yet he’s a lifetime .320 hitter at short. I’ll take a Derek Jeter and his 100 strikeouts any day compared to a Bucky Dent, who put that bat on the ball, but was a poor hitter.”

    so there are only two buckets to put hitters into?

    one for free swinging derek jeters and one for slap hitting bucky dents?

    where do we put boggs or dimaggio or even robinson cano who doesn’t strike out much?

    should cano go in the bucky dent bucket?

    there’s more to it than just strikeouts .

    it’s how a hitter’s strikeouts are created and that seems too complex for statheads to quantify so they don’t.

  129. pfisher518 January 29th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, I just read the comments here for the first time in a while. You have an awesome blog Chad, but your commenters are pretty ignorant/rude/stupid/mean. Good post Mike!

  130. SAS January 29th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Give and take :arrow:

  131. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    One change in pitch terminolgy is to rename the “cutter” to “The Rivera”. Long overdue.

  132. randy l. January 29th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    “I see we are celebrating ignorance here.”

    don’t be so hard on the staheads. they mean well. calling them ignorant is a little extreme. :)

  133. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    pfisher518 January 29th, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    Wow, I just read the comments here for the first time in a while. You have an awesome blog Chad, but your commenters are pretty ignorant/rude/stupid/mean. Good post Mike!

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    How’s this for rude and mean? Stick it.

  134. Tar January 29th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    GB

    Exactly. I have come to realize we know little or nothing about the process of collecting all this data. It’s not a computer making these determinations, it’s people some smarter than others doing it. For instance I want to know who the person is, who after watching Tex all year, decided that he is a below average 1b.

  135. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Tar, like you, I want to know that these aren’t some pizza stuffing clowns that sit there and decide a fielder should have gotten to the bal…never mind that the pitcher crossed up everyone by throwing in instead of away, or the wrong pitch, or the field conditions. To much is not accounted for when deciding a player’s “range” and perceived ability to field. For the life of me, why would I want a fielder that gets to 20% more balls and make 30% more errors. I’ll take the sure hands and arms or the Fancy Dans that look good while making an error.

  136. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 29th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Note to myself: when flying off an angry, lengthy, intense, totally-commited post, do a copy and paste before hitting “submit comment”. Every once-in-a-while posts disappear into cyberspace.

    :(

    And somehow the “repeat” is never quite the same.

    I may try again.

  137. Dill Pickler January 29th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Yeah, let’s get rid of all those old “baseball people” who “believe what they see” and replace them with a bunch of nerds who’ve never played the game and sit around in their underwear on their computers and obsess over statistics and charts. They’re the ones who know what they’re talking about!

    While a strikeout may just be an out most of the time, there are times — especially in the postseason — when it’s important to just put the ball in play, and when you have a team full of guys who don’t know how to do that when they have to, it can sometimes cost your team big-time. Like it did in 2003 and 2004 for the Yankees. in both cases, the Yankees were on the verge of winning series or taking a stranglehold in the series, and failed because they couldn’t put the ball in play. Against the Marlins in 2003, the Yanks were up 2 games to 1 in the series. Game is tied in extra innings. Top of the 11th, the Yanks have the bases loaded with one out, and if Aaron Boone can just put the ball in play, the Yanks will likely take the lead and bring Mariano Rivera in to close it out, go up 3-1 and, in all likelihood, go on to win the series. But instead Boone strikes out, the Yanks don’t score, end up losing in 12, and losing the series.

    Against Boston in 2004, game 5 with the Yanks ahead 3 games to 1, the yanks lead the game 4-2 in the top of the 8th. Miguel Cairo leads off with a double, Jeter bunts him to 3rd, and if Alex Rodriguez just puts the ball in play, the Yanks likely score, take a 3-run lead. Instead ARod strikes out, the Yanks don’t score, the Red Sox score 2 runs to tie it in the bottom of the 8th and then win it in the 14th.

    So yes, a strikeout is just an out, but the ability to simply put the ball in play when it is absolutely necessary cannot be overstated. To discount it is folly, and those two cases in point likely cost the Yanks two world titles.

  138. Disco January 29th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I read Green Beret’s first comment and it may be one of the more ignorant, arrogant, dumb, and BS statements I’ve ever read.

  139. Mr. Faded Glory January 31st, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I’m glad everyone freaked out about “stats” here. I know I used advanced and confusing statistics like “strikeouts” “runs” “on base percentage” and “slugging percentage.”

    These obscure stats may be too “out there” for some of you old timers, so next time I’ll try to dumb things down for you guys.


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