Wednesday, November 06, 2013
The Phils’ front office believes it took a step in the right direction recently when it hired Scott Freedman from Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations Department, where he has worked on salary arbitration cases, provided financial guidance to teams and gained a deep knowledge of advanced metrics.
“He’s going to help us explore more thoroughly what the options are for using these metrics,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Tuesday. “We’re looking at them to compliment the opinions of our scouts.”
“I don’t know if it’s going to change the way we do business, necessarily,” Amaro said recently. “We still plan to be a scouting and player development organization, but I think it’s important to get all the information and analyze not just what we’re doing, but how other clubs are evaluating players.”
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Carpenter 3rd on my imaginary MVP ballot, FWIW.
During Monday’s game, St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter led off the game. They showed a graphic about Carpenter and talked about it for a few seconds. The graphic showed this:.
Matt Carpenter in first 8 postseason games: .100 average.
Matt Carpenter in last 7 postseason games: .300 average.
The idea was to point out — I guess — that Carpenter was hitting better in his last seven games than his first eight. Like a light turned on or something. But of course it actually meant almost nothing. What is eight games? What is seven? This is the ebb and flow of baseball. not any kind of trend, everybody knows that. And the numbers are so small, they bend to the slightest touch…
It feels to me that the broadcasts are overloaded with such needless minutia. You know, Matt Carpenter is the son of a high school baseball coach. He was a high school teammate of James Loney. He had some pretty serious injuries in college. He was a 13th round pick and was signed for $1,000. He was widely viewed as a non-prospect because of his lack of speed and lack of power. He might have been the best player on the St. Louis Cardinals this year.
Seriously … talk about THAT rather than giving us these dreary, pointless, meaningless, dreadful statistics. Talk about how good Matt Carpenter was this year; I don’t think that casual baseball fans know that he should be a legitimate MVP candidate. Or talk about how the Cardinals, after losing the great Albert Pujols in 2011 (just after the Cardinals won the World Series) they went into their farm system and major league bench and pulled out an eighth-round pick (Allen Craig), a 13-round pick (Carpenter), a 23rd-round pick (Matt Adams) and this year scored 21 MORE runs than the did that year.
But no. Instead it’s breaking down Matt Carpenter’s postseason into meaningless bite-sized portions…
And what bothers me most is that I think this is exactly why some people are anti-baseball stats. Heck, when you’re getting those distracting and often misleading stats jabbed in your face nonstop you should be anti-baseball stats. I think that’s why whenever you hear someone doing a satirical baseball statistic to prove what nerds we all are, they will say something like: “Oh, look, David Ortiz is hitting .293 on Tuesday day games against right-handed pitchers when the dew point is 60 degrees or lower and the defending American Idol winner has a T in his or her name.” That’s the cliche. But truth is that nobody who loves baseball stats cares about ANY of that stuff, even Ortiz’s batting average.That just matches the needless stuff they will say on television…
At some point during Game 5, David Ortiz reached base for the ninth consecutive time, tying a World Series record. I will admit that I wasn’t listening too carefully, but I thought I heard Joe Buck twice refer to the record without actually saying who held the record. Maybe he did mention that it was Billy Hatcher’s record, but I didn’t hear him do so. I certainly did not hear him expound on it. Maybe I missed it.
And that gets to the heart of things. The fact that David Ortiz tied the World Series record for consecutive times reaching base means almost nothing to me. I already use up way too many gigabytes in my brain remembering goofy baseball records — there’s no room in there for the “most times reaching base consecutively in a World Series” record. BUT I care that he tied Billy Hatcher. Just seeing that name takes me back to 1990 and one of the most preposterous World Series ever… Stop giving me statistics. Stop weighing the game down with numbers. Show me something. Tell me something. Take me somewhere. Big Papi has been absurd this World Series. He reached base nine times in a row. Incredible. Has that ever happened before? Yes. Was it a superstar like Papi who did it? No. It was a little baseball journeyman named Billy Hatcher who played for seven teams in 12 years and, for two glorious games in October, was about as good as a player can be. That’s what October can be. That’s what baseball can be.
Friday, September 06, 2013
Interesting article on tracking players during games to allow statistical analysis. Seems like something that could be applied to defensive analysis in MLB.
Posted: September 06, 2013 at 10:36 AM | 2 comment(s)
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Poz’s Neat-O Stat of the Day! (Sponsored by no one.)
I have in my mind a friend who is a big baseball fan but does not like advanced statistics at all. I think he would love RE24 (with a different name) and a few other advanced stats if given a chance. So I’m going to explain RE24 with him in mind—I suspect it will be too slow for the rest of you. Apologies in advance.
The statistic is called RE24 because, as you might know, there are 24 different possibilities when a batter comes up in any given inning. There are eight “states.” They are:
Man on first.
Man on second.
Man on third.
Man on first and second.
Man on first and third.
Man on second and third.
So that’s eight states. You get 24 total possibilities because of the outs—all of these states are possible with zero outs, with one out or with two outs. That makes 24 different possibilities in any inning.
Now, each of these possibilities offers a run expectation—that is to say how many runs a team might be expected to score in the inning… All RE24 does is add up the run value a player adds (or takes away) from any given situation…
that’s really all you need to know… RE24—which is Tom Tango’s preferred metric, by the way—adds up a players value over the season. You might have heard of WPA—Win Probability Added—which works in a similar way. But there’s a difference: WPA adds up the WIN expectation rather than RUN expectation. That means that a leadoff double in the ninth inning of a tie game is worth A LOT more than a leadoff double in the third inning when the team is down by five runs.
Maybe that kind of measurement speaks more to you—I like RE24 better because it doesn’t have the wild swings that WPA has and isn’t as context driven (if you play on a lousy team that is often down five runs, it really doesn’t matter what you do).
Here’s the main reason why I think you will like RE24 better than other statistics.
RE24 AL Leaders:
Miguel Cabrera, 75.37
Chris Davis, 66.32
Mike Trout, 65.97
Edwin Encarnacion, 41.80
Robinson Cano, 38.57
RE24 NL Leaders
Paul Goldschmidt, 55.44
Allen Craig, 48.16
Freddie Freeman, 47.30
Joey Votto, 42.97
Shin-Soo Choo, 42.87
I think that will come closer to matching people’s MVP votes than just about any other stat, including WAR (especially in the American League). Yes, it does miss Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen—my personal MVP because of his brilliant all-around game (he ranks 10th with a 31.88 RE24)—but I think in general RE24 is the advanced stat that comes closest to matching what many so-called “anti-stat” people really think of as “value.”
What seems to make many Cabrera fans so angry about the Trout lead in WAR (and, as expected, the lead is widening—Baseball Reference now has Trout with 8.2 WAR, Cabrera with 6.9) is that it just does not seem to give him enough credit for his offensive awesomeness. The guy’s a hitting Terminator. He’s hitting .358. He’s got 130 RBIs in 127 games. He’s a demigod. And WAR just doesn’t speak to these fans. The argument goes that WAR, with all its contextual adjustments and its various attempts to give value to things that statistics have generally not valued in the past, does not give Cabrera enough credit for simply being the Incredible Hulk of hitting.
Well RE24 does give him credit. As you can see, Cabrera has a MASSIVE lead in RE24 over everyone else in baseball. Not only that, it is the highest RE24 in baseball since Albert Pujols in 2009, and the season ain’t over yet—he could finish with the highest RE24 in a decade.*
*Just to give you one more idea of how ridiculous the big-headed Barry Bonds was, his RE24 in 2004 was 128.8 which was almost DOUBLE anybody else in baseball, and is almost 30 runs better than Mickey Mantle’s Triple Crown season in 1956.
So, maybe RE24 is a good stat for you when you think about MVP. I mean, I wouldn’t put TOO much stock in it. Last year, while the Trout-Cabrera MVP debate raged, it was actually Edwin Encarnacion who led the American League in RE24. But, anyway, RE24 is fun to talk about, though it definitely needs a better name.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Malcolm Gladwell channels Allen Iverson. We’re talking about practice.
Posted: August 22, 2013 at 03:33 PM | 32 comment(s)
Sunday, July 28, 2013
I break my mistakes into three broad categories:
Pitching—Blown Saves (BS), Hit by Pitch (HBP), Balks (BK), Wild Pitches (WP), Passed Balls (PB), Errors in Pitching (EP) and 2-Out Runs (2oR)
Fielding—Errors (E) and Unearned Runs (unER)
Base Running—Errors in Base Running (eBR) and Errors in Bunting (eBU)
Posted: July 28, 2013 at 02:02 PM | 1 comment(s)
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