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Monday, April 07, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 4/4/14 - 4/7/14

But Eckstein was a clubhouse lawyer...

The issue with the fielding is mostly tied to the spread that the system will estimate. For example, the 114 fielders in 2013 with at least 1000 innings, and including the “positional adjustment”, Fangraphs has those players with one standard deviation = 10.7 runs. http://tinyurl.com/fangraphsFLD2013 I presume that Win Shares is going to be less, probably half of that. So, if Fangraphs has [Manny] Machado at +34 runs, [Andrelton] Simmons at +32 and [Carlos] Gomez at +27 (and [Carlos] Beltran at -21!), this will drive the WAR result for many such players. Win Shares, by giving a fielding estimate a smaller standard deviation allows the offense portion to drive most of the results.

Right. And, to try to move the ball on this just an inch. .. .these discrepancies are caused by two issues. One issue is whether fielding events should be treated as proportional events or marginal events. A single only creates something like 0.29 runs; however, if one adds 100 ADDITIONAL singles to a team, marginal singles, then you’ll add something more than 60 additional runs. The marginal value of an offensive event is more than twice as great as the value of such an event integrated into the whole package. And second, there is an issue as to what is skill and what is luck. It is my view, based on what I know, that the differences between what is attributed to two fielders might equally plausibly be attributed to luck. In the same way that a hitter might hit .370 on balls in play one year and .230 the next, just based on luck; in the same way that a pitcher might give up 220 hits one year and 170 the next, just based on luck, it is reasonable to think that a fielder catching 70% of the catchable but non-routine plays, rather than 40%, might simply be luck. We don’t know. Unless or until we know, I’m using the conservative assumptions.

...I meet Rick Eckstein, when my Dad, took us to watch my nephew play while at UK. Rick was with Georgia. While talking to him I said, “If Boston had kept your brother, David in 2002 and let him play second, they would have won the WS and not the Angels.”... You got there in 2003, did anyone talk about that?

... yes, we would talk quite a bit about Eckstein, because he’s the perfect player to illustrate the need to focus on what players actually can do, rather than on how they look in the uniform. The Red Sox signed Eckstein in 1997; he hit .301 that year, hit .306 and scored 99 runs in 1998, 87-51 walks to strikeouts, hit .313 and scored 101 runs in 1999, 89 -48 walks to strikeouts, and then played decent at Pawtucket his first year at AAA, 2000—and we put him on waivers because he wasn’t athletic enough. It was ridiculous.

Hey Bill, are there pieces of baseball writing that you like to re-read (ostensibly for pleasure) every once in awhile? For me, Roger Angell’s “The Go Shouters” about the ‘62 Mets and their fans is particularly delightful, and of course the one about box scores (I think it’s simply called “Box Scores.” Thanks.

Thanks. But No; I don’t re-read anything. Even my own stuff. The only stuff I ever enjoyed re-reading was the stuff I would re-read to my kids.

...What did the Sox see after 2012 that convinced them that it was OK to let [Jonathan Papelbon] go that the Phils’ didn’t see and wasted $59 million?...

Well, actually, we didn’t let him go after 2012; we let him go after 2011, and it should be pointed out that he had a very good year in 2012 when, as I recall, we didn’t have such a good year and the guys we brought into replace him weren’t really too good. He actually left us. .. .I don’t know if you remember, but after the 2011 season we had a chaotic interval in which our manager and general manager both left, and some other people. Very early in that period, before we could get our feet back on the ground, Philadelphia made Papelbon a generous offer and he accepted it. I’m 99% sure we wouldn’t have matched the offer anyway, but I guess we’ll never know.

The District Attorney Posted: April 07, 2014 at 05:56 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james, david eckstein, fielding, jonathan papelbon, red sox, sabermetrics

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 07, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4681474)
For projection fine but for value, we give credit to the guy for hitting 370 on BIP. Lord knows the accuracy of defensive numbers can be questioned but giving credit for what actually happened is not one of WAR's faults.

I do wonder why we saw so many extreme totals last year. Has anybody come up with a good explanation for that yet?
   2. Walt Davis Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4681483)
The Eckstein premise in the question is absurd. James's answer is fine but in 2002, the Red Sox finished 6 games out of the wild card spot. And 2B wasn't that big of a sinkhole -- it was primarily Merloni (1.3 total WAR) and Rey Sanchez (1.4). Eckstein might have added 3 wins (2002 was his best season). You can't even make much of a "Eckstein would have freed up money to spend elsewhere" argument since Sanchez and Merloni were paid squat.

I'm not sure what the Sox were thinking in letting Eckstein go but he has one of the stranger minor-league lines you'll see -- lots of walks, a high number of HBP, ridiculously high OBPs with no power (esp at Pawtucket). That's not a line that often translates well to the majors and I don't think many guys ever HBP'd their way off the island. Given questions of whether he could handle SS, his upside must have looked like Luis Castillo with less speed. Then again, Merloni/Sanchez had no upside at that point.
   3. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4681522)
I'm not sure what the Sox were thinking in letting Eckstein go

I think they were scared of his representatives. His law firm was Babip, Pecota, Vorp and Eckstein.
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4681524)
I think they were scared of his representatives. His law firm was Babip, Pecota, Vorp and Eckstein.


An Italian, a Jew, and two Vogons.
   5. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4681526)
An Italian, a Jew, and two Vogons.

Why are you insulting Eckstein by calling him a Vogon?
   6. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4681539)
As a Tigers fan, I would've preferred Eckstein stayed in Boston.
   7. Sunday silence Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4681577)
there's a case to be made that defense may be underrepresented because hits/errors may bunch up and create more runs.

But I think I have a better idea. Errors (and potentially bad plays that arent ruled as errors) are happening more often in higher leverage situations. It was pointed out last year that Reached On Error is much higher with men on base. I guess if a ball is hard hit to third with no one on; that is one thing. But the same ball with two runners in motion, fielders moving around and a potential DP, this should cause the chance for an error to go up. How much I dont know.

has anyone suggested this?
   8. Chicken Stanley Has Smallpox Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4681579)
Why are you insulting Eckstein by calling him a Vogon?


If you read Eckstein's poetry, you'd know the truth...
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4681600)
It was pointed out last year that Reached On Error is much higher with men on base.


Do you know where you saw this? That's not what I would have guessed.
   10. Sunday silence Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4681610)
it would be better if I could just learn to do those search term thingies on Baseballrefernce.
   11. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4681617)

EDIT: Soshi actually it was a discussion on bunting strategy and it was pointed out that the standard evaluations do not take into account possible errors trying to field the bunt
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4681620)
EDIT: Soshi actually it was a discussion on bunting strategy and it was pointed out that the standard evaluations do not take into account possible errors trying to field the bunt


That I'd definitely agree with. That's probably one of the higher ROE percentage plays in baseball.

I'm not sure what the overall numbers would look like. My initial thought was that ROE would be somewhat similar to infield hits, which are less likely to happen with runners on base (the idea there being that a force at second allows for a shorter throw and a little more time, in some instances, after a bobble on the left side of the infield). But giving it some more thought, I wouldn't be surprised if the numbers indicate that more ROE happen with runners on, as the bunting situation and various other lead-runner attempts yield more miscues). I'd like to see the complete data.

Is there a bobm signal we can send up for situations like these?
   13. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4681621)
I guess if a ball is hard hit to third with no one on; that is one thing. But the same ball with two runners in motion, fielders moving around and a potential DP, this should cause the chance for an error to go up.

Sounds plausible - 2 out situations are the lower ROE/PA splits and potential force DP situations are among the higher ROE/PA splits.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/split.cgi?t=b&year=2013&lg=MLB#bases

2013 splits:

          Split ROE/PA ROE     PA
      1 out 1-3  1.70%  33   1936
      0 out 12-  1.46%  36   2464
      1 out 123  1.37%  22   1602
      0 out 1--  1.26% 127  10042
      1 out -23  1.26%  19   1509
on 3rd lt 2 out  1.20% 113   9420
on 1st lt 2 out  1.20% 405  33778
      1 out --3  1.17%  21   1797
            123  1.15%  48   4187
      1 out 1--  1.13% 134  11811
      0 out 123  1.13%   7    620
      0 out -2-  1.08%  35   3249
            1-3  1.04%  57   5468
            1--  0.99% 331  33522
      2 out 123  0.97%  19   1965
            12-  0.94% 116  12357

         Men On  0.93% 749  80246

           RISP  0.89% 418  46724
      1 out 12-  0.89%  39   4399
      2 out -2-  0.86%  60   6989
            -2-  0.82% 128  15593
      1 out ---  0.79% 259  32862
            -23  0.78%  31   3953
      0 out 1-3  0.77%   7    904

            ---  0.76% 800 104627

      0 out ---  0.76% 348  45592
      2 out 12-  0.75%  41   5494
      2 out ---  0.74% 193  26173
            --3  0.74%  38   5166
   on 3rd 2 out  0.65%  61   9354
      2 out 1-3  0.65%  17   2628
      1 out -2-  0.62%  33   5355
      2 out 1--  0.60%  70  11669
      2 out -23  0.54%  10   1853
      2 out --3  0.52%  15   2908
      0 out --3  0.43%   2    461
      0 out -23  0.34%   2    591


ETA: You rang? :)
   14. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4681622)
I think what the Sox understood about Papelbon was that he was a closer and not worth the money, one year hit to the bullpen be damned.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4681623)
ETA: You rang? :)


Thank you kindly.
   16. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4681624)
You're welcome. My pleasure.

My thanks to Sunday silence for raising an interesting point.
   17. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4681630)
I couldnt find it on BTF and I searched all of Nov and Oct; however google to the rescue produces this article:

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/6/24/4456142/when-is-an-error-more-likely-to-occur-in-a-game

scroll about half way down: bottom line; Errors are 60% more likely with men on base.

That stat alone should cause us to re think fielding metrics. Well, not alone, there should necessarily be more overthrows and such when runners are moving around. But then again if you're gong to make errors when people are running the bases then certainly those errors will be more costly.

SO I dunno, I guess it has to be carefully considered. But assuming 60% is a good estimate, then how much more linear wt should be assigned to an error. Thinking infield errors alone, I think the last time I saw this, the estimate was 0.45. So approx a single. But if add an additional 0.6 base runner and he averages 1.5 bases moved up, thats 0.37 (0.25/base move up) x 0.6 = 0.22

So if my math is right, that's about a 50% increase in value to the linear wt of an error.

So maybe we should evaluate fielders as 50% better in runs saved then what current models say?

Again this is just a guess. I did the math in my head and maybe my assumptions are messed up. But a 50% boost to defensive efficiency feels about right to me.

Note also, that the last two years during the playoff chatter I have been trying to emphasize (via the checkboxes) that tying or go ahead run scores owing in part to an error or a bad play. Anecdotally this happens a lot..
   18. Wahoo Sam Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4681631)
James ripped Tom Brookens (and Sparky Anderson, one of his favorite targets) 30 years ago, but he adored David Eckstein, who performed pretty much at the same level (OPS+ says so). Was Eck just cuter?
   19. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4681632)
bobm: is there any link to show us how to do those searches? I could not find any on baseballreference.

here's another somewhat more in depth study on this issue:

http://www.retrosheet.org/Research/RuaneT/error_art.htm
   20. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 08, 2014 at 06:23 AM (#4681646)
James ripped Tom Brookens (and Sparky Anderson, one of his favorite targets) 30 years ago

I never understood why Bill James hated Sparky so much. (My theory at the time was that Bill, as a kid, got beat up on the playground by someone with white hair who said "ain't" a lot...)
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4681747)
James ripped Tom Brookens (and Sparky Anderson, one of his favorite targets) 30 years ago, but he adored David Eckstein, who performed pretty much at the same level (OPS+ says so). Was Eck just cuter?


Eckstein was a shorstop, while Brookens was primarily a third baseman, so Lil' Davey was in fact more valuable.

That being said, James was probably harder on Brookens (and, definitely on Sparky) then his performance warranted.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4681788)
That stat alone should cause us to re think fielding metrics. Well, not alone, there should necessarily be more overthrows and such when runners are moving around. But then again if you're gong to make errors when people are running the bases then certainly those errors will be more costly.


Most fielding metrics do not care about errors in the slightest. At least the advanced fielding metrics don't. They look at status of the runners/outs before the play, after the play and how that is different from the average. They don't care how the runners got where they are ended up at, just that they got there.

   23. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4681792)
I never understood why Bill James hated Sparky so much. (My theory at the time was that Bill, as a kid, got beat up on the playground by someone with white hair who said "ain't" a lot...)


My guess is that Sparky received way too much praise for his body of work. Think about Derek Jeter and how he is perceived around here, most people will admit he's good but will find a lot of flaw with his game, flaws that they don't bother to look at for other players or even discuss.

My disdain for Whitey Herzog isn't because he wasn't a good manager, it's because the crowd of people in St Louis have built a cult of worship around him, that doesn't match up to reality. I can imagine Bill James feeling the same way about Sparky getting all the credit, when it's as much about the great talent he had that really didn't lend itself to much insight in being a manager.
   24. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4681808)
My disdain for Whitey Herzog isn't because he wasn't a good manager, it's because the crowd of people in St Louis have built a cult of worship around him

you misspelled "Tony LaRussa"

and the disdain that James had for Sparky seemed to be based on the demonstrably stupid things that Sparky SAID, rather than anything that Sparky actually DID as a manager
   25. AROM Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4681827)
Eckstein was a shorstop, while Brookens was primarily a third baseman, so Lil' Davey was in fact more valuable.

That being said, James was probably harder on Brookens (and, definitely on Sparky) then his performance warranted.


Agree.

Eckstein had an 87 OPS+, Brookens 83. Seems close, but Eck is probably average for his position, or at least very close to it, while Brookens is probably 17 points below his position average. In addition, this is a case where the shortcomings of OPS+ are apparent. OBP is more valuable than SLG, and Eckstein beats Brookens by 50 points in OBP.

Brookens was a good fielder, and for a few years his glove made him an average overall player.
   26. AROM Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4681835)
The Eckstein premise in the question is absurd. James's answer is fine but in 2002, the Red Sox finished 6 games out of the wild card spot. And 2B wasn't that big of a sinkhole -- it was primarily Merloni (1.3 total WAR) and Rey Sanchez (1.4). Eckstein might have added 3 wins (2002 was his best season).


Is it absurd? How many games do the 2002 Angels win if Eckstein is not there, and Benji Gil is playing short everyday?
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4681842)
you misspelled "Tony LaRussa"


Nope, I love TLR, and the people in St Louis barely tolerate him.
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4681844)
Errors are 60% more likely with men on base.


These probably need to be split out into errors that allow runners to get on, and errors that allow a runner to advance. Because there are more opportunities for runners to move up a base I'd guess that throwing errors on advancements make up much of the increase with runners on.

-- MWE

EDIT: One that I see a lot in the minors: Runner on 1st, DP grounder, pivot man throws the ball away to first, allowing advancement. That's one that you don't get a lot without a runner on.
   29. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4681907)
[19] I suggest the following for more info on BR and Play Index

http://www.sports-reference.com/blog/category/baseball-reference-com/

Baseball-Reference Player Page Tutorial Video - YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3wNQvJH-5Q
   30. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4681937)
I do wonder why we saw so many extreme totals last year. Has anybody come up with a good explanation for that yet?

It's the way shifts are defined, requiring three infielders on one side of second base. There's lots of novel positioning that doesn't meet that standard and is consequently unaccounted for; when Andrelton Simmons is positioned two feet to the left of second base and fields a grounder hit right at him, he's being credited as though he started from a standard position and stole a sure hit, when it was actually as routine a play as you'll see.
   31. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4681940)
[13] If you subtract out BB, SO, HR and HBP from PA, the ROE rate is 1.11% bases empty versus 1.35% with men on for 2013.
   32. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4681952)

Most fielding metrics do not care about errors in the slightest. At least the advanced fielding metrics don't. They look at status of the runners/outs before the play, after the play and how that is different from the average.


I think that's correct, however: most of these fielding metrics are proprietary yes? So we cant be sure.

Also I was thinking more about infielders. If say infield errors are occuring 60% more often with men on base, then also the failure to get to a ball (expressed as fieldrange) might also be more likely with men on base. So that's where my thinking was leading
   33. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4681957)
Did Sparky's comment about Bill James being a fat little guy who didn't know anything about baseball come before or after James's hatred?
   34. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4681962)
Did Sparky's comment about Bill James being a fat little guy who didn't know anything about baseball come before or after James's hatred?

during

and the quote was "a short, fat guy who doesn't know nothin' about nothin'"
   35. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4681968)

[13] If you subtract out BB, SO, HR and HBP from PA, the ROE rate is 1.11% bases empty versus 1.35% with men on for 2013.


that second link I posted has breakdown for various out/base situations; and it does vary considerably with different situations. The DP situation for instance has more errors.
   36. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4681975)

These probably need to be split out into errors that allow runners to get on, and errors that allow a runner to advance. Because there are more opportunities for runners to move up a base I'd guess that throwing errors on advancements make up much of the increase with runners on


I was thinking that too, but my point was really not about errors per se, it was more about any failure to make a play as expressed by someone having a lower fielding range.

Assuming that failure to make a play occurs more often with men on base might be more what I am saying.
   37. Ron J2 Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4682045)
It's fairly old, but here are the results for all bunts put in play. Does not include PAs where the guy attempting to bunt either fouled off two bunt attempts and had to hit away down in the count or struck out:

Here are the most recent numbers I have (from the Stats Scoreboard)
Does not include attempts to bunt their way on.

Successful Sac Bunt        71%
Pop Out                    10%
Forceout                    7%
Base hit                    5%
Sac error                 3%
Fielder's choice, all safe  2%
Bunt into DP                1%
Pop Out, DP                 1% 


(From an old STATS Scoreboard)

In other words, any bunt/no bunt analysis that simply assumes base for an out is clearly wrong.
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4682080)
I think what the Sox understood about Papelbon was that he was a closer and not worth the money, one year hit to the bullpen be damned.


A Redsox fan in my office insisted at the time:

Papelbon was a clubhouse cancer despised by his teammates [I have no idea whether that is true or not]

Pabelbon was losing stuff rapidly [I was unsure then- but all pitchers lose stuff as time goes by- he looked as good in 2012 as he had with the Redsox to me...]

Amaro was a moron who grossly overpaid (no arguments from me]
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4682081)
I think that's correct, however: most of these fielding metrics are proprietary yes? So we cant be sure.


Most of them are still open enough to give the "reader" a fairly good idea of how they are achieved. UZR more or less looks at the state of the runners and outs before the play. Then they look at the state and outs after the play and compare it against what happens on league average when a ball is hit into that zone. Errors do not figure into the computation in the slightest it's the difference between the average and the actual result in regards to the run score matrix.

I cannot think of any advance stat that uses errors in the mix...DRS doesn't, fielding bible doesn't..hard to tell with prospectus...
   40. Ron J2 Posted: April 08, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4682207)
I can only recall one really pointed anti Sparky comment by James and it was with regards to Anderson defending Enos Cabell as a "we player". Pretty clear Anderson wasn't among his favorites, but this wasn't a Peter Bavasi situation (little doubt James could not stand Bavasi. Not that he was alone)

He took a lot of flack for his line about Anderson in his review of managers. But the "paining houses" line is actually what Anderson himself said he'd be doing if he wasn't a major league manager.
   41. The District Attorney Posted: April 08, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4682209)
An endearingly muffed reference in James' latest mailbag:
Caspar Wells had more swings and misses than foul balls, 65-52, Yasiel Puig 272-257, Ryan Howard 218-203, Chris Collabello (I must have more Colabello), 121-115.
   42. bjhanke Posted: April 08, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4682245)
Is it possible that the increase in ROE with men on is largely derived from the pressure on the infielders to turn the DP? You try to hurry up your play, you will make the occasional error.

Cardsfanboy is right in that a Markov Chain analysis will ignore how a base/out situation came to be; all Markov wants to know is how the play turned out.

Eckstein is a type of player that Bill James likes. No power, makes his living by taking walks, slapping singles and HBP. Craig Biggio and Brett Butler get extremely good reviews from Bill. The New Historical Abstract, not noted for liking 19th-century ballplayers, has Sliding Billy Hamilton ranked higher, at his position, than anyone else from that era. Hamilton is 9th among CF; Cap Anson is 11th at 1B, and it's downhill from there.

Sparky was sort of the anti-Gene Mauch. Mauch was an outstanding strategist and tactician, but he could not resist the urge to take on a project instead of a ballclub. Sparky was not exactly noted for his strategies or tactics, but he had excellent taste about what jobs to take, and which ones will just lead to failure. Saying things like that about Sparky probably doesn't endear you to him. - Brock Hanke
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4682252)
Is it possible that the increase in ROE with men on is largely derived from the pressure on the infielders to turn the DP? You try to hurry up your play, you will make the occasional error.


I imagine so, also that there are effectively 3 plays that need to be made to avoid an error versus 2. Even if the rate of error was the same on every type of play, you would expect a higher number of errors with men on base, simply because there is often times going to be an extra attempt at a play being made.

Note: although since you can't assume the out on the double play, the only time an error is going to be assigned on the second half of the play is if it's thrown away and the batter/runner is able to advance another base. So there is some room for mistakes on the second part that won't result in a negative to fielding percentage, although advance stats will note it, because, again it's relative to average for that play.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: April 08, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4682301)
[13] If you subtract out BB, SO, HR and HBP from PA, the ROE rate is 1.11% bases empty versus 1.35% with men on for 2013.

Which is a rather trivial effect, a difference of .0024 of the probability of reaching base. The average 2013 AL team had about 1800 such PA (i.e. BIP) with men on base -- we're talking 4 more ROE over 162 games.
   45. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 08, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4682383)
Note: although since you can't assume the out on the double play, the only time an error is going to be assigned on the second half of the play is if it's thrown away and the batter/runner is able to advance another base.


For the record, if the first baseman drops or mishandles the throw on the back half of a would-be double play, that is an error (or, well, the scorer is free to assume the DP in that instance and grant the error). Of course, this almost never happens.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4682399)
For the record, if the first baseman drops or mishandles the throw on the back half of a would-be double play, that is an error (or, well, the scorer is free to assume the DP in that instance and grant the error). Of course, this almost never happens.


I've never seen it called that way. I'm not doubting you on that, but at least a half dozen times(or more) a year, that exact situation happens, and I've never seen it called. The announcer always says "you can't assume the double play". Your interpretation makes more sense of course, but again, I've never seen it. (Well I have seen it once, and the announcers were a little shocked, and it was changed pretty much immediately)
   47. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 08, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4682421)
A single only creates something like 0.29 runs; however, if one adds 100 ADDITIONAL singles to a team, marginal singles, then you’ll add something more than 60 additional runs. The marginal value of an offensive event is more than twice as great as the value of such an event integrated into the whole package.


This has gone unchallenged, so I assume it's true. But can someone explain it to me? If a team adds 100 additional singles and it adds 60 runs, why isn't the value .6?
   48. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4682438)
I think what he meant is that you can talk about the marginal value of one single, but when you add 100 singles, then some of those singles will put men on base for the other singles to drive in -- there's a snowball effect that goes beyond the marginal value of one single x 100.
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4682451)
Your interpretation makes more sense of course, but again, I've never seen it.


It's not my interpretation. The rule is spelled out directly:

Rule 10.12(d) Comment: When a fielder muffs a thrown ball that, if held, would have completed a double play or triple play, the official scorer shall charge an error to the fielder who drops the ball and credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw.

If official scorers aren't scoring the play this way, they're defying the book.

   50. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4682462)
cardsfan: if I understand you you are saying that the fielding metrics should already take into account the effect of more base runners on base when plays are not made? With the exception of errors which most dont account for. Just trying to figure exactly where you come out on that.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4682467)

If official scorers aren't scoring the play this way, they're defying the book.


It's probable I'm just not paying enough attention and focus more on the "can't assume the double play" comments than on the situations where it happens and is scored the way it should be.
   52. GordonShumway Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4682535)
Pretty clear Anderson wasn't among his favorites, but this wasn't a Peter Bavasi situation (little doubt James could not stand Bavasi. Not that he was alone)


In the Willie Stargell write-up of the first Historical Abstract, James mentioned that among baseball insiders, there was a near unanimous agreement of who the worst person in baseball is. James referred to an unnamed GM who was apparently known for lying, bullying, bragging, cheating, and otherwise being a horrible person.

I always wondered who James was talking about. Was this unnamed GM Bavasi or someone else?
   53. Sunday silence Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4682557)
any reason to PR for Moustakas here?
   54. bjhanke Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4682570)
The error on a muffed ball by the 1B on a DP attempt has happened at least once this year. It should be easy to find if you can get to BB-Ref or somewhere (I am very close to getting a new computer, because my current one won't do that). It's an early Cardinals game. Matt Adams was the 1B who was charged the error, the third in the game that the Cards made (hopefully making it easier to find). The announcers had quite a debate about that. One of them was sure that it could not stand as an error, because you can't assume the DP. The other one had read and remembered the rule, and knew exactly what circumstances would allow the error. That surprised me; all my life of baseball fandom, which is 60 years now, I've heard the mantra "you can't assume a DP." It turns out that there is an exception. And it has happened already once this year.

I think the marginal value of 60 singles thing is related to, possibly just an application of, Bill's realization that offensive events interact with each other, which he goes to great lengths to correct for in Win Shares. In general, what Bill says is that you can't treat offensive events, at least for the same player, as though they interacted with each other. You have to use a more general context. It makes sense that this would apply at the team level as well. - Brock Hanke

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