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Friday, August 25, 2006

Daily Herald: Lack of HRs bigger issue than OBP, Baker says

Ev’rything’s Coming up Dusty!

Manager Dusty Baker took his turn addressing the team’s problems Thursday, and he didn’t seem too worried about the lack of baserunners.

“On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage,” Baker said. “On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isn’t that great to me.”

Baker’s focus would be improving the team’s power. The Cubs are tied for 10th in the NL with 124 home runs.

“I think the problem we have to address as much as anything is the home run problem,” Baker said. “They have out-homered us 2-1 in our own ballpark. That’s the bigger problem.”

Repoz Posted: August 25, 2006 at 11:22 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:10 PM (#2156300)
On-base percentage just to clog up the bases

so that would make sluggers "Drano"

(somehow, I don't think that nickname will catch on)
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:23 PM (#2156307)
Dusty... listen, man: YOU CAN'T SCORE THEM IF THEY DON'T GET ON BASE TO BEGIN WITH!!!!
   3. BFFB Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:25 PM (#2156308)
Dusty Logic, like fuzzy logic only more so.
   4. Jimmy P Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:34 PM (#2156312)
I love the logic. It's cloggin the bases if you walk or are a big guy, but it's hitting and doing the right things if you get a hit. What?
   5. sasquatch83 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:34 PM (#2156314)
Look here now

The Cubs want to score vast amounts of runs. And again, the bases are not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put baserunner on, he gets in line and he's going to be delayed by all the baserunners in front of him.
   6. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 12:38 PM (#2156316)
Dusty really seems obsessed with the concept of "clogging up the bases". Did he have Ron Cey batting ahead of him a lot in LA? Maybe he remembers having a lot of doubles taken away from him by the guys on base in front of him?
   7. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:00 PM (#2156325)
What I don't understand is why Dusty hasn't learned to BS people. He could just say, "yeah, we need to get guys on base more" and then forget about it. It would be so easy and a lot of people would get off his case. I guess I should respect him for not doing it, but handling the media and public perception is part of a mangager's job. Joe Torre is the master of this.
   8. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#2156328)
Dusty... listen, man: YOU CAN'T SCORE THEM IF THEY DON'T GET ON BASE TO BEGIN WITH!!!!

Not if they hit homers, which is kind of Dusty's point. Give him a bunch of .280/.300/.500 guys and he's happy.

I know this has been pointed out before, but what I still don't get is why he hates it so much when his pitchers give up a walk, but he also doesn't like when his hitters get walks.

Did he have Ron Cey batting ahead of him a lot in LA?

Yes, and Garvey, too. Neither known for speed, although Cey wasn't <u>that</u> slow. Really, he wasn't. But you may be on to something.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:06 PM (#2156331)
I wish someone would point out to Dusty that in 2005 the Cubs were 2nd in HR but 9th in runs, and in 2004 were 1st in HR (by a lot, 20) but 7th in runs. Sure HR are great, but if no one is on base, they are no better than a productive 4-3 RBI groundout.
   10. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#2156340)
I think the problem we need to address is the stupidity in both the dugout and the front office.
   11. Jimmy P Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:26 PM (#2156341)
I think the problem we need to address is the stupidity in both the dugout and the front office.

You surround yourself with people like you.
   12. Jimmy P Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:27 PM (#2156342)
“On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage,” Baker said. “On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isn’t that great to me.”

Only someone as enlightened as Dusty can tell the difference between the two.
   13. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:31 PM (#2156343)
Very funny stuff, sasquatch83.

I guess I should respect him for not doing it, but handling the media and public perception is part of a mangager's job.

I'd respect him for not doing it if he were doing his job of promoting good offensive personnel and tactics. He isn't. It's one thing to talk like a buffoon, another to act like one.

And what's particularly frustrating here is that he's the one who asked for speed, speed, speed. Guess what Dusty, the fast guys tend to be slap hitters.

I wish someone would point out to Dusty that in 2005 the Cubs were 2nd in HR but 9th in runs, and in 2004 were 1st in HR (by a lot, 20) but 7th in runs. Sure HR are great, but if no one is on base, they are no better than a productive 4-3 RBI groundout.

And when they were near the top in HR and mediocre at run scoring, his excuse was a lack of speed. Now that he has the speed, it's the lack of HR.
   14. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:34 PM (#2156345)
You surround yourself with people like you.

And people not like this group are unlikely to want anything to do with them.
   15. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:41 PM (#2156351)
SHINJO BATTED FOR FELIZ; Shinjo struck out;
   16. Clute Posted: August 25, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2156353)
OK Dustbag, here it. No one thing is more important to winning a ballgame than pitching. I think our fearless leader has some concept of this, but let's look at a team like the Twins to see how a fundamentally sound offensive club shows how Dusty just doesn't get it. The Twins have less HR's than the Cubs, but almost 100 more BB's and are some 40 points higher in OBP. Toronto has an almost identical BB's and OBP and almost 50 more HR's than the Twins, but are missing pitching. I can't believe Dusty gets paid $4 million a year and is so clueless. Oh that's right I forgot. He was hired by Hendry, who has even less of a clue. It all makes sense now. Just think Hendry is with us 2 more years unless McPhail pulls the plug on this guy. We know the Tribune Co. would rather eat their own children than a contract that has money owed but we do have a precedent here. McPhail canned GM, Ed Lynch when he stunk up the place, but the cover of all the injuries might keep him from doing whats right and avoiding an embarassing firing of the man you just gave a 2 year extension to.
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2156374)
What I don't understand is why Dusty hasn't learned to BS people.

Ummm...I think this is the BS.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2156378)
this (admittedly strange) idea of "clogging the bases" goes back to at least Leo Durocher/Johnny Mize, when Leo took over the Giants

Leo wanted to get rid of Mize & a bunch of other slow players

"back up the truck", is the way he put it to Stoneham
   19. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 25, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2156381)
We know the Tribune Co. would rather eat their own children than a contract that has money owed

sammy.
   20. Raskolnikov Posted: August 25, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2156384)
Is there anyway we can get Neifi back to the Cubs? Please, please.
   21. Jimmy P Posted: August 25, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2156428)
Is there anyway we can get Neifi back to the Cubs? Please, please.

No! He needs to continue getting regular playing time on the Tigers!
   22. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2156450)
Not if they hit homers, which is kind of Dusty's point.

But you can't bunt a guy over if he hits a homer.
   23. John DiFool2 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2156462)
Quick look at the team stats reveals a Dodger team with a SLG of .424, vs. the Cubs' .421. (Dodgers even have 23 fewer HR)
Main reason the Dodgers have outscored the Cubs by 89 runs? Their OBP is 29 points better, thanks mainly to 151 extra BB.

A manager complaining about baserunners clogging the bases is like Gen. Patton complaining about his tanks clogging the
roads. Yeah you might have a traffic jam but you have tons of *&^% tanks! Can you imagine Patton saying, "These
&^%$ tanks, wish they would all go away so our army convoys would flow fast and efficiently."
   24. Steve G. Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2156468)
I know this has been pointed out before, but what I still don't get is why he hates it so much when his pitchers give up a walk, but he also doesn't like when his hitters get walks.


Dusty probably subscribes to the old-school notion that walks are entirely the mistake of the pitcher and something that the batter really has no control over. Not only that, but in the process of drawing the walk, the hitter may have let a ball go by that could have been used to hit to the opposite field or put the ball in play to move a runner over, etc.
   25. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2156488)
Why is this a surprise?

HRs matter more to Dusty than anything else, even if they are solo shots, because they look impressive.

As far as Hendry and MacPhail are concerned, getting on base is not nearly as important as being able to knock guys in. Hitting with RISP is the most important stat and a guy who goes 0-3, but who can knock in a run in his 4th PA is far more important than a guy who is 3-3 with 3 runs score, but who fails to get a hit his last time up with a RISP.

Having a guy who is flashy with the glove, like Izturis, is the important thing to Hendry, even if the player is an injury prone OBP sinkhole whose defensive metrics show is actually only average in the field.

Having the park be used for corporate outings and day clinics is more important than allowing the team to practice. Even Dusty is overruled on this matter and can only say "I'm not in charge of that department."

It isn't necessary to spend the money to structurally maintain Wrigley Field; all the organization needs to do is put up a large net under the upper deck to collect falling concrete.

When the team is playing lousy and below expectations, it's better to get rid of the announcing team that draws attention to this and the players that criticize the announcing, than to remove the players who are actually underperforming.
   26. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2156490)
This is absurd he's still saying stuff like this. That quote from spring training '04 about walks clogging the bases could've been taken as a misquote or something taken out of context. But here he is, over two years later, saying pretty much the same thing.

It's unreal he doesn't realize that homers are so much more devestating when you have guys on base. You'd figure after a full season of watching other teams hit two and three-run homers, he'd grasp that concept.

Only one more month, only one more month...
   27. Sam M. Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2156496)
I would stop watching baseball if my team was managed by Dusty Baker and run by Jim Hendry. It just wouldn't be fun. Even if they played in Wrigley Field . . . it just wouldn't be fun.

How bad does a management team have to be to make baseball not fun?

Answer: now we know.
   28. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2156497)
I sometimes wonder if managers prefer quick and speedy player who can bunt, and hit-and-run over slow home run hitting players because the quick and speedy players justify the manager's role and existence on the team. Playing small ball helps demonstrate "strategeery" and the baseball smarts a manager's got... if you've got a lineup of home run hitting sluggers, all you do is fill out the lineup card and stay the heck out of their way. Dusty seems to me like someone who really needs to prove to everyone how he's a smart manager... having speed on the base paths just gives him one more outlet to demonstrate why he's smarter than you.
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2156504)
I would stop watching baseball if my team was managed by Dusty Baker and run by Jim Hendry. It just wouldn't be fun. Even if they played in Wrigley Field . . . it just wouldn't be fun.

I'm pretty much there, Sam, as are a lot of people around here. Look at the Cubs Game Chatters.
   30. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2156505)
Here's the thing: What exactly is "clogging the bases"? Why is it a problem?

Not that he's right in any way, but my guess is that what Dusty really means is that having men on base doesn't mean anything if they don't score, which means he'd rather have an inning go "out-out-solo HR - out" than "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out".
   31. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2156509)
Why is this a surprise?

HRs matter more to Dusty than anything else, even if they are solo shots, because they look impressive.


The problem is that Dusty's notions of how to build a winning ballclub are contradictory. Replacing Corey Patterson with "great leadoff hitter" Juan Pierre cost the Cubs 20-25 home runs. Replacing Todd Walker with "flashy glove man" Cesar Izturis cost the Cubs another 15-20 home runs. Give the Cubs an extra 20 home runs this year and they're in 5th place in the National League in home runs. Make all 20 of them solo homers, and the Cubs are still in last place in the National League in runs scored.
   32. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2156510)
Not that he's right in any way, but my guess is that what Dusty really means is that having men on base doesn't mean anything if they don't score, which means he'd rather have an inning go "out-out-solo HR - out" than "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out".

I don't think it means this at all. Two years ago Baker complained about hitters hitting HR with no one on base. He's just making excuses.
   33. Daryn Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2156513)
Not that he's right in any way, but my guess is that what Dusty really means is that having men on base doesn't mean anything if they don't score, which means he'd rather have an inning go "out-out-solo HR - out" than "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out".

Wouldn't he think they were equal?
   34. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2156515)
I sometimes wonder if managers prefer quick and speedy player who can bunt, and hit-and-run over slow home run hitting players because the quick and speedy players justify the manager's role and existence on the team. Playing small ball helps demonstrate "strategeery" and the baseball smarts a manager's got..

bingo

by Jove, I think he's got it
   35. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2156527)
I sometimes wonder if managers prefer quick and speedy player who can bunt, and hit-and-run over slow home run hitting players because the quick and speedy players justify the manager's role and existence on the team. Playing small ball helps demonstrate "strategeery" and the baseball smarts a manager's got..

bingo

by Jove, I think he's got it


Well, that's just an unkind way of saying that some managers prefer to have more than one way to score runs on hand. Three-run homers are nice, but you're not going to get one every time you need one. Sometimes you've got to try to make something happen offensively.

And that's not to mention that a lineup full of sluggers at every position gets awfully expensive awfully quick, and not every team has unlimited resources, or would prefer to spend all those resources on acquiring sluggers.

The problem, of course, is when those speedy players you have get expensive, as well. Those guys can give you value for a while, but the trick is to cut bait with them before they weigh you down. I'm hoping against hope that the White Sox do this with Scott Podsednik.
   36. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2156528)
I know this has been pointed out before, but what I still don't get is why he hates it so much when his pitchers give up a walk, but he also doesn't like when his hitters get walks.


As #24 alluded this is a contradiction that a lot of "old time" baseball guys hold without realizing the inherent contradiction.


The chapter in 1988's Total baseball on the history of statistics revealed that it was actually controversial when MLB decided to make walks by batter an official statistics- baseball writers (and presumably managers & coaches) thought it was a complete waste of time- the argument was that a walk was something the pitcher did when the batter just happened to be standing there-

to be fair to writers from 100 years ago- some didn't like counting RBIs- correctly pointing out that a batter needed men on (and back then those runners probably had to be in scoring position) to get RBIs. First batter gets on, runner steals 2nd, second batter bunts him over, third guy drives him in with an out (a stereotypical deadball era scoring scenario). Why does the third guy get a Ribbie and the 2nd guy gets bubkes?
   37. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:06 PM (#2156532)
A manager complaining about baserunners clogging the bases is like Gen. Patton complaining about his tanks clogging the roads. Yeah you might have a traffic jam but you have tons of *&^% tanks! Can you imagine Patton saying, "These &^%$ tanks, wish they would all go away so our army convoys would flow fast and efficiently."

Having a lot of tanks don't do you much good if they aren't where you need them, when you need them there. Patton might not wish he had fewer tanks, but he might wish that some of them were elsewhere, where they might actually be doing some good.

As for Dusty, I've come to the conclusion that he doesn't actually have a philosophy about baseball. He just likes to complain about the press and give hugs to his players and make them feel better about themselves.
   38. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:06 PM (#2156533)
Why does the third guy get a Ribbie and the 2nd guy gets bubkes?

he gets a sacrifice!
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#2156535)
the argument was that a walk was something the pitcher did when the batter just happened to be standing there

Somebody else pointed this out before, but if you look at Dusty Baker's career (here), that seems to be true of him. His walk totals aren't bad, but they're a lot more random than for most players - for his full seasons they range from 43 in 638 PAs (1980) to 72 in 616 (1983) and his two biggest walk years happened at ages 34 and 25. It looks like, as a player, he did just kind of stand up there and, if a walk happened, it happened to him just because he happened to be standing there.
   40. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2156542)
Why does the third guy get a Ribbie and the 2nd guy gets bubkes?

he gets a sacrifice!


.300-30-100


I don't see sacrifices listed in the holy trinity...

Seriously, replace sacrifice with a ground ball to second that moves the runner to third...

When baseball stats were evolving in the 19th century, what's suprising is how CLOSE they came to getting it REALLY right (to be fair- in hindsight they did a great job- we forget they were working almost completely from scratch- some efforts had been made previously to compile stats with respect to Cricket, but in no sporting endeavor did it even occurr to people to compile statistical descriptions of specific individual events the way it was done for baseball), but for some reason the collection and analysis of stats froze early in the 20th century. The earliest "batting average" was actually runs scored per game and went through various permutations, including, at times, having outs as the denominator (yes Total Average was almost invented 100 years before Boswell unleashed it on the world), and for one year batting average included walks as both hits and at bats (basically it was OBP)
   41. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2156546)
The complaining about the lack of homers is to justify the burying of Matt Murton.
   42. H. Vaughn Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2156549)
I would stop watching baseball if my team was managed by Dusty Baker and run by Jim Hendry. It just wouldn't be fun. Even if they played in Wrigley Field . . . it just wouldn't be fun.

I'm pretty much there, Sam, as are a lot of people around here. Look at the Cubs Game Chatters.


I'm just about there as well and it's not through any kind of conscious protest. Watching the Cubs just kind of faded out of my consciousness this summer.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2156552)
kiko:

Actually, Dusty was a kid player with the Braves who idolized Hank Aaron and pretty much did everything Hank suggested. Aaron explained to Dusty the importance of being ready to play every day, that it's a long season, and a player needs to hold up to the grind. Baker has talked about Aaron's influence multiple times.

But another thing that I remember but that Baker does NOT talk about now is Henry's approach later in his career. The waiting for the pitch to drive. Patience. You can see that in Aaron's career that as his reflexes slowed a bit he became more selective at the plate and saw good results. I know he discussed that with Baker and other players on the Braves teams of the early 70's. It may seem obvious but at the time folks regarded it as some secret wisdom. And coming from a guy like Aaron it was treated as gospel. And while Baker didn't start walking 100 times a year he was showing signs of developing that skill.

Then Aaron leaves, Baker ends up as a Dodger, and after a discussion with Dodger coaches (can't remember if it was LaSorda's doing or not) Dusty came out swinging in 1980 and had a pretty good year. So he kept that up until he began to slow down himself and had to re-adjust.

I tried finding the articles that discussed these different events but didn't have any luck.

Anyway, I think that might explain Dusty's batting line a bit better.........
   44. bunyon Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2156554)
And when they were near the top in HR and mediocre at run scoring, his excuse was a lack of speed. Now that he has the speed, it's the lack of HR.

Give me fast players with power. And make them good defenders. Oh, yeah, make them experienced.

If you do that, I'd probably win, but we'll have to wait to know until the pitchers aren't injured.
   45. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2156555)
Thanks Harveys. Dusty was in his prime when I first started following baseball, but he was on the West Coast playing in the National League while I was on the East Coast following the American League at the time, so I was only vaguely aware of him. The Hank-idolization is still REALLY obvious even today. I always appreciate your insights.
   46. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#2156560)
kiko:

You are quite welcome. Henry always took a special interest in the younger African-American players. He took his role as an "elder statesman" very seriously. I always wonder how Hank would have coped with a Gary Sheffield or Albert Belle. I would like to think that Aaron's stature would force even those gents to allocate some degree of respect. But since Gary called Dave Parker "a washed up has-been" to his face who knows?
   47. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2156564)
Anyway, I think that might explain Dusty's batting line a bit better.........


possibly, but what's odd is-
1: One of his idols taught him the virtues of working the pitching
2: Late in his career he began working the count more (after having abandoned that approach in the middle of his career)
3: He managed teams in SF that had good team walk totals- not just Bonds, but players like Mueller and Snow and Javier and Hamilton and Santangelo and Kent all had years where they walked at a good clip; and

then he comes to Chicago and openly disparages batting patience, repeatedly-
and his Chicago teams (which drew 585 walks the year before he got there) have drawn 492, 489, 419 walks and are now on pace for 393 walks.

I don't think he's BS-ing at this point- I don't think he sees any value in walks, at least none that would outweigh the "loss of agressiveness" that walking more would entail in his mind, and I don't think he sees any connection between the offense sputtering the last few years, and the Cub's inability to get on base.
   48. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2156567)
But since Gary called Dave Parker "a washed up has-been" to his face who knows?


Yeah, but Parker was a cokehead who flushed several years of his career down the toilet and couldn't be bothered to stay in shape-

Aaron respected himself and he respected the game
   49. bunyon Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#2156568)
How much of that was Bonds? For the last few years he was in SF, he watched Bonds walk six times a game and it probably seemed like it was killing them. I mean, I don't think it was, but could that have changed his mind about walks?
   50. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2156580)
JP:

I doubt very much that Gary had much idea about Parker's issues from the early 80's. Gary didn't much awareness of anything other then he knew he could hit better then Parker. And at this point of his career Parker had achieved "elder statesman" status himself. Though not to the level of Aaron.

All I know is what I heard and read at the time. Feel free to ignore it if you doubt the accuracy. But anyone who has listened to Baker talk for more then 15 minutes knows he worships Henry Aaron.

I wish a Dodger fan were here to talk about Baker's altered hitting approach. It was something of a topic of discussion in its day.
   51. VG Posted: August 25, 2006 at 04:56 PM (#2156584)
Not that he's right in any way, but my guess is that what Dusty really means is that having men on base doesn't mean anything if they don't score, which means he'd rather have an inning go "out-out-solo HR - out" than "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out".

The man wants to get home at a decent hour.
   52. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2156592)
I don't think it means this at all. Two years ago Baker complained about hitters hitting HR with no one on base. He's just making excuses.

Possibly, but what on earth does "clogging the bases" mean then? The only real explanation I can think of is that you have a guy like Henry Blanco in first when Juan Pierre hits a ball into a gap, forcing Pierre to stop at 2B when he would otherwise have a triple. This obviously isn't what Dusty is talking about, however.

So what does he mean? Why is "clogging the bases" bad?
   53. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 05:25 PM (#2156605)
So what does he mean? Why is "clogging the bases" bad?

It doesn't have any rational meaning -- it's nonsense. It's a front of Old Schoolness. Walks are something bad that pitchers do, not something good that hitters do. I suppose there's a grain of truth in that walks don't move runners along unless they're forced, but in Dusty's mind, hits are the only thing that matters.
   54. Jim P Posted: August 25, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2156608)
When I was playing Little League as a kid in 1975 in Pittsburgh, we were all pretending to be our favorite players. "I'm Willie Stargell," said one. "I'm Dave Parker," said another. Finally, one says, "I'm Dusty Baker." Whaat?
   55. smileyy Posted: August 25, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#2156618)
Primey for #23
   56. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2156633)
So what does he mean? Why is "clogging the bases" bad?


Tim McCarver once explained it when talking about how Harmon Killebrew played his last season for the 1975 KC Royals, he said Killebrew *still* had the fastest bat on the team (he was 39 and hit .199/.317/.375- his OPS+ was in it's 3rd straight season under 100)
but he was slow
so he was clogging the bases
so he had to go.

This was in the 80s, back then starting out McCarver actually was (believe it or not) more astute than the average broadcaster (and back then the average announcer was more astute than the average one today...)
but every now and then he'd throw out somthing that'd make you do a spit take
and year by year the # of spit takes increased, and the number of cogent comments decreased, eventually the bad overtook the good...

... and god help us, he kept gettimg worse even after that point.
   57. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:12 PM (#2156637)
then he comes to Chicago and openly disparages batting patience, repeatedly-
and his Chicago teams (which drew 585 walks the year before he got there) have drawn 492, 489, 419 walks and are now on pace for 393 walks.


Yes, but it's not like Jones and Pierre were known as walkmeisters before they came to the Cubs. In fact, there is evidence that players walk more with Dusty as manager than with other managers, after correcting for age and park.
   58. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#2156638)
So what does he mean? Why is "clogging the bases" bad?

Agreed, it doesn't mean anything. Just a sound bite for the old school types. Kind of like when a pitcher gives up 8 runs on 12 hits and 5 walks in 5 IP and gets the win and the MGR. in a post-game interview mentions that the pitcher "got the job done" and "came away with the win" and that's what matters.

This pales in comparisson to Dusty's press conference earlier in the year where he isolated the main problem that the Cubbies were having was they were having difficulty with "clutch hitting" and "situational hitting". Dusty noted that the coaching staff had taken notice of this and they were going to practice and work on their clutch hitting in order to try to break out of the funk. Nobody asked Dusty how he intended to "work on clutch hitting". Was the staff going to:

- simulate a high stress game-time situation during batting practice by putting Ryan Theroit and Henry Blanco on 2nd and 3rd base in street clothes during batting practice and having Dusty impersonate Mel Allen, mocking the broadcaster's hard-nosed style that we all impersonated as children while taking fungo swings: "And here comes Michael Barrett, bottom of the 9th inning 2 outs here in the World Series, Cubs facing those dastardly New York Giants for the coveted NL-pennant. 3-2 count, 2 outs bottom of the ninth Cubs trailing 5-4. A hit by Barrett will capture the pennant for the loveable north-siders, anything less will cause heart wrenching defeat...and here's the pitch....."

- Kidnap the wives and children of players and hold them at gun point on the third base-line while threatening to kill them if the hitter doesn't get a hit. Now if that's not a clutch, high-stress situation, I don't know what is.



Obviously, there is no shortage of IDIOT managers in the Majors (many of them manage to be succesful despite their shortcomings...I vaguely remember Ozzie lambasting a player for trying to get to 1st base safely on a bunt, when Ozzie clearly instructed him to go for a sacrifice bunt..Ozzie said something about how players need to understand the importance of sacrifice)...Just curious, Which managers are viewed as "smart" by the BBTF crowd? I don't pay to much attention to in-game management for several managers (I tend to mainly watch local games so my "feel" for many managers is limited, I rely on box-scores and anectdotes and obviosuly there is no shortage of "smart" maangers that give "dumb" soundbytes for the media)?
   59. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#2156643)
I think the problem with clogging the bases is that it leads to you having a higher ratio of
"Runners Left on Base" to "Total Runners". If you have Brad Hawpe on second base 100 times a year, you're going to have more innings that end with a runner on third than you would if you had Juan Pierre on second base 100 times a year. The fact is that in actuality, Juan Pierre is likely to be on second base much more often than Pierre is, and thus scores more runs. But per time on base, you get more stranded runners, which can lead to frustration, I guess.
   60. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2156644)
Juan Pierre is likely to be on second base much more often than Pierre is

I think you know what I mean here. Ugh, time to get back to work.
   61. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2156645)
Not that he's right in any way, but my guess is that what Dusty really means is that having men on base doesn't mean anything if they don't score, which means he'd rather have an inning go "out-out-solo HR - out" than "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out".

Wouldn't he think they were equal?


Maybe, but he'd be wrong. The "walk-out-walk-out-single-walk-out" scenario hurts the opposing pitcher more than the other scenario.
   62. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2156650)
It doesn't have any rational meaning -- it's nonsense. It's a front of Old Schoolness. Walks are something bad that pitchers do, not something good that hitters do. I suppose there's a grain of truth in that walks don't move runners along unless they're forced, but in Dusty's mind, hits are the only thing that matters.

You're missing my point -- I agree that what Dusty is saying is backward, old school thinking that makes no sense. I'm just trying to find out what it is that Dusty is saying (even if we know it's wrong).

Specifically, what exactly is "clog[ging] up the bases"? Is he saying that he doesn't want to see Henry Blanco on base when Juan Pierre comes to the plate, because Blanco will slow Pierre down on an extra base hit? If that's what Dusty is talking about (as McCarver did), I can at least understand it -- even if it's stupid.

In this case, though, I don't believe this is what Dusty is talking about -- Dusty's point is that OBP clogs the bases, even if it happens to be Juan Pierre that is on base.

So what does he mean? Is he saying that he likes to keep bases free for some other reason?
   63. King Kaufman Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2156652)
the trick is to cut bait with them before they weigh you down. I'm hoping against hope that the White Sox do this with Scott Podsednik.

Yeah, hate for them to be late pulling that trigger.
   64. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2156654)
In fact, there is evidence that players walk more with Dusty as manager than with other managers, after correcting for age and park.

Where is this evidence?
   65. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#2156658)
The only way Dusty is right about "clogging up the bases" is in the case of the slow footed singles hitter. The guys who hit .330 every year but have trouble going from 1st to 3rd or scoring from 2nd on a base hit...those guys hurt you almost as much as they help.

I was that player.
   66. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2156659)
clogging the bases..what rubbish.

whenever people get all old school with me about OBP i always change it around and call it the "not making outs percentage" and ask if they really think that there is anything more important to a batter than not making outs.
   67. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2156660)
In fact, there is evidence that players walk more with Dusty as manager than with other managers, after correcting for age and park.


That evidence is getting old- in SF he seemed to have that effect on some players in Chicago there is no evidence he ahs that effect AND he states a preference for guys who hack away, AND the Cubbies have gone out and gotten guys who hack away.

This isn't a situation where a manager anounces some platitudes or repeats some old time baseball spiel-and then does the opposite- he (in conjunction with Hendry) seems to be acting on his/their beliefs that agressiveness (at bat) and "chemistry" (as they see it in roster construction) are the most imporatant elements in assembling a club.


The 2003 club that almost went to the WS
1: Only won 88 games
2: Top 4 starters each pitched 200+ip and posted ERA+ of 175, 136, 133 and 103

what the team needed most was baserunners- but they didn't look for baserunners and openly disparaged the idea of needing baserunners

The next year the Cubbies won 89 games
the top 6 starters (100+ ip) put up ERA+'s of
165, 131, 123, 122, 113 and 113- but only 2 had 200+ip BUT THAT's 6 starters with approx 1000 ip between them and each had an era+ over 100
The team's biggest need? Baserunners again (they hit 235 homers)

2005: The teams top 5 starters post ERA+ of 131, 116, 109, 101, 94
2 guys with 200+ip, teh wheels are starting to come off
but this was still a staff performance most teams would love to have

the team's biggest shortcoming- yet again a lack of baserunners

what does the team do about that?
essentially NOTHING, bring in proven verterans Jones and Pierre and says IF OUR PITCHING IS HEALTHY...

GUESS WHAT IF YOUR PITCHING IS HEALTHY YOU TOP OUT IN THE MID 80s again* because fundamentally you do not have a good team- you have a few good players and a lot of dreck


* Which might be enough this year- but you wouldn't know in the off-season
   68. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2156661)
In this case, though, I don't believe this is what Dusty is talking about -- Dusty's point is that OBP clogs the bases, even if it happens to be Juan Pierre that is on base.

So what does he mean? Is he saying that he likes to keep bases free for some other reason?


Obviously solo home runs are much more fun than multi-run home runs, because the hitter doesn't have to worry about running too fast and overtaking the other runners.
   69. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2156662)
This pales in comparisson to Dusty's press conference earlier in the year where he isolated the main problem that the Cubbies were having was they were having difficulty with "clutch hitting" and "situational hitting". Dusty noted that the coaching staff had taken notice of this and they were going to practice and work on their clutch hitting in order to try to break out of the funk.

In at least two interviews I've heard of Hendry, as well as one of MacPhail, they've talked about the fact that the reason the team was so lousy in May/June was solely due to hitting with RISP . . . which Hendry himself chalked up to luck.

Of course, he also said that hitting with RISP is the most important stat that he looks at, even more than OBP.

I don't believe he's yet figured out that he's saying that he's looking for luck.
   70. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#2156673)
When baseball stats were evolving in the 19th century, what's suprising is how CLOSE they came to getting it REALLY right

Batting averages were first calculated in 1865. In 1880, the number of called balls required for a walk was *reduced* to eight (and further reduced over the next decade to the present-day four). When it takes 8 or 9 wide ones to put a batter on, then batting average basically *is* OBP, and walks pretty much *are* something the pitcher does while the batter just happens to be standing there.

I guess Dusty is even older school than I thought.
   71. strummer Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#2156680)
Can you imagine Patton saying, "These
&^%$ tanks, wish they would all go away so our army convoys would flow fast and efficiently."


No, but right now I am imagining Gen. Samuel L. Jackson saying "I am sick and tired of these $%&*%$@ tanks on this %$&*%$@ road", if that is any consolation.
   72. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#2156682)
Yeah, hate for them to be late pulling that trigger.

You joke, but Podsednik is making about $2 million this season. The Cubs are talking about forking out 4-5 times as much for a guy who's basically the same player with a bit more defensive value.

I don't believe he's yet figured out that he's saying that he's looking for luck.

Isn't this the mantra of the Cubs brass ever since October 2003? That it's just bad luck that's holding them back?
   73. K-BAR, J-BAR (trhn) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2156684)
I think the idea of clogging the bases makes a certain amount of sense. A couple of years ago, Baseball Prospectus put out an article that tried to prove that Jose Reyes' ability to run the bases and score runs made his low OBP worth more than it would appear. It seems to me that poor baserunners might be worth less than their raw OBP would suggest. Getting on base is not an end in and of itself; the ability to turn a higher percentage of appearances on the bases into runs is a useful skill that should be considered in evaluating a player.

That said, even in a leadoff hitter, I thikn baserunning should behind OBP on the list of priorities. Any other spot and it should be even further down the list.
   74. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2156691)
In this case, though, I don't believe this is what Dusty is talking about -- Dusty's point is that OBP clogs the bases, even if it happens to be Juan Pierre that is on base.

I think you are hitting the nail on the head the first time. Why do you think Dusty isn't talking about slow guys holding up the faster guys? I really think he is. It makes perfect sense when considered with his speed obsession.

Excuse me? They didn't call him the penguin for nothing. He ran like he had a dick up his ass.

It was his gait, not his speed, that earned him that name. Sure, by the end he was slow, but in his prime, he wasn't a base-clogger. He wasn't Alfredo Griffin, but he was O.K.
   75. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 25, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2156700)
Dusty's point is that OBP clogs the bases, even if it happens to be Juan Pierre that is on base.

What he's saying is garbled and nonsensical. He probably equates OBP with walks, and he doesn't like people who talk about OBP and walks.
   76. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#2156705)
Isn't this the mantra of the Cubs brass ever since October 2003? That it's just bad luck that's holding them back?

2003? Long before that, I tells ya.
   77. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2156708)
I think the idea of clogging the bases makes a certain amount of sense. A couple of years ago, Baseball Prospectus put out an article that tried to prove that Jose Reyes' ability to run the bases and score runs made his low OBP worth more than it would appear. It seems to me that poor baserunners might be worth less than their raw OBP would suggest. Getting on base is not an end in and of itself; the ability to turn a higher percentage of appearances on the bases into runs is a useful skill that should be considered in evaluating a player.

Of course OBP isn't the only thing that matters, and speed is an important skill. If you have Kevin Youkilis with a .360 OBP and Jose Reyes with a .340 OBP, I would prefer Reyes as my leadoff hitter.

But with Youkilis at .380 and Reyes at .320, I'd probably take Youkilis.
   78. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2156714)
Getting on base is not an end in and of itself; the ability to turn a higher percentage of appearances on the bases into runs is a useful skill that should be considered in evaluating a player.

I recall a similar (perhaps the same) article that charted how often guys got into scoring position, and I recall one guy in particular that stood out as superior in this respect despite his low OBP: Corey Patterson.
   79. Kirby Kyle Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2156715)
What are the situations in which a baserunner can legitimately impede someone running behind him from taking an extra base?

1. Slow guy on first, batter gets a hit that he might try to stretch into a double, but is held up by the runner stopping at second.
2. Slow guy on first, batter wants to stretch a double into a triple, but is held up by the runner stopping at third.
3. Slow guy on second, fast guy on first, a single fails to score the man from second and the trailing runner has to stop at second.
4. Slow guy on third with bases loaded fails to score on a grounder or fly, so the man on second can't take the extra base.

Other situations, such as man on second who fails to score on a single, can't be called clogging the bases, because he's not holding up anyone behind him. It seems to me that in most of the situations described above, the trailing runner is probably taking a chance on the extra base; even the slowest runners can go from first to third on a solid double or first to home on a standup triple. How frequently does it happen that a runner legitimately has to put on the brakes and give up a base because of the guy lumbering in front of him? I'd be surprised if it happens more than a dozen times a season.
   80. rsmith51 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#2156716)
[70] Earlier in the season my father-in-law was saying just that. The reason the Cubs weren't winning was because they weren't getting hits with runners in scoring position. He bought it hook, line, and sinker. I am guessing a lot of fans buy that garbage if they are fed it enough.
   81. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2156729)
Earlier in the season my father-in-law was saying just that. The reason the Cubs weren't winning was because they weren't getting hits with runners in scoring position. He bought it hook, line, and sinker. I am guessing a lot of fans buy that garbage if they are fed it enough.

Well, its true--they weren't getting enough hits with runners in scoring position. But the root cause was that they haven't had enough runners (in scoring position or otherwise).

If your team gets an extra couple hundred baserunners a season, you'll still score more runs even if you hit .200 rather than .300 with RISP.
   82. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2156731)
I'd like to know why the headline wasn't, "Dusty Explains Why He Should Have Been Fired a Long Time Ago." Because that about sums it up.
   83. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 25, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2156735)
Other situations, such as man on second who fails to score on a single, can't be called clogging the bases, because he's not holding up anyone behind him.

I think the effect of Slow Guy seeming to be constantly stranded at third when innings end might explain why his manager gets irrationally annoyed.
   84. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2156756)
Cubbies have hit .265/.324/.421 with runners on (league hits .271/.348/.432)
Cubbies have hit .270/.315/.420 with nobody on (league hits .261/.323/.425)
Cubbies have hit .257/.331/.417 with RISP (league hits .266/.356/.422)
Cubbies have hit .220/.315/.392 with RISP 2 outs (league hits .240/.349/.386)

actually with RISP the cubbies are a little better, relative to league- at slugging anyway...

Situational hitting isn't their problem- lack of overall hitting is their problem
   85. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2156763)
Situational hitting isn't their problem- lack of overall hitting is their problem

It's simply mind-blowing to me that anybody couldn't look at a page of statistics and not immediately pinpoint the Cubs problem. From ESPN, here's the Cubs rank in the National League in various offensive categories.

Batting average - 5
Slugging - 12
Doubles - 16
Triples - 4
Home Runs - 10
K's (fewest) - 2
Stolen bases - 5
Stolen base percentage - 8
Sacrifice hits - 2

So, this is a team that's obviously fast (SB, Triples), has poor but not god-awful power (HR), and likes to play small ball (SB, SH).

Looking at these numbers, you'd think this team is certainly below-average in run-scoring but probably no worse than 10-12 in the 16-team National League, right?

Then there's this:

Walks - 16: here they trail the 15th team (Pitt) by 57 walks. By contrast, Pittsburgh trails the 7th-place New York Mets by 57 walks.

And hence, they end up here:

Runs - 16

IT'S THE WALKS! HOW CAN IT BE ANYTHING BUT THE WALKS!!?
   86. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 08:19 PM (#2156764)
By the way, that yelling was directed at Dusty/Hendry, obviously not at anybody on this thread, in case that wasn't clear.
   87. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: August 25, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#2156785)
Especially a bad thing when the Cubs also rank 1st in walks given up by their pitchers, by a pretty significant margin.
   88. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 25, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#2156787)
They're trying to clog up the bases for their opponents.
   89. Gainsay Posted: August 25, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2156800)
If base-clogging were a real problem, you'd see teams intentionally walking base-cloggers to really stick it to the other team. I'm pretty sure I've never seen that(walk the slow guy to impede the fast guy hitting next) happen.
   90. billyshears Posted: August 25, 2006 at 09:49 PM (#2156816)
And when they were near the top in HR and mediocre at run scoring, his excuse was a lack of speed. Now that he has the speed, it's the lack of HR.

And they ran Corey Patterson, who has power and speed, out of town. The Cubs seem to be an example of what happens when you construct a team based on characteristics that have no rational relationship to winning ballgames.
   91. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 25, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#2156820)
The Cubs seem to be an example of what happens when you construct a team based on characteristics that have no rational relationship to winning ballgames.

The really sad thing is that, when I was looking the team offensive stats at ESPN, it's obvious that the Cubs actually had a plan and they've executed it. They have batters who put the ball in play, generally on the ground (they have the highest GB/FB ratio in the NL by a pretty wide margin). They're a fast team (although largely clueless about baserunning), so they like to play a lot of small ball.

The problem is that their ideas are the exact opposite of what you want to do. Fly balls are better than ground balls because you get extra-base hits instead of singles and avoid GDPs. Balls in play are a pitcher's second-best friend, not a hitter's. Stealing bases and bunting aren't worth much.

So, not surprisingly, the Cubs are dead last - by a pretty solid amount - in the National League in run-scoring - and there's simply no evidence that anybody in any sort of leadership role - Dusty, Hendry, McPhail - has been able to figure this out. They've executed their plan just fine; the problem is that their plan stinks.
   92. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2156826)
What he's saying is garbled and nonsensical. He probably equates OBP with walks, and he doesn't like people who talk about OBP and walks.

Not really. Read it again, in light of his comments on HRs. Dusty seems to be stressing that his biggest concern is having guys who hit the ball out of the park, not guys who merely "get on base."

Yes, he's used this in the past to specifically refer to walks, but in this context I believe he is being more general -- talking about the urge for HRs over singles.


Why do you think Dusty isn't talking about slow guys holding up the faster guys? I really think he is. It makes perfect sense when considered with his speed obsession.

That would be both consistent and comprehensible. The problem, though, is that if this was Dusty's view, he would say something like "I don't want [Blanco, Ramirez, Barrett, et al.] just clogging the bases for [Pierre, Izturis, Cedeno, et al.]."

He's not saying that and has never mentioned speed or baserunning in connection with "clogging the bases"; instead, he's taking the stand that his most pressing problem is the lack of HRs and guys who "just get on base" don't help him.


I don't believe he's yet figured out that he's saying that he's looking for luck.

--Isn't this the mantra of the Cubs brass ever since October 2003? That it's just bad luck that's holding them back?


Sure, but it's one thing to complain that you've had bad luck; it's another thing to specifically target guys based on statistics driven primarily by luck.

Put another way, even if you believe that you've lost the last few years because you've guessed wrong on coin flips, it doesn't mean that you should try to get guys who have guessed right the last few times.
   93. JPWF13 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#2156830)
They've executed their plan just fine; the problem is that their plan stinks.


Usually a bad plan is better than no plan if executed well- in this case not so much- of course part of their plan was a healthy Wood & Prior and they didn't execute that part very well.
   94. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#2156831)
Pass.
   95. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 25, 2006 at 10:48 PM (#2156840)
In fact, there is evidence that players walk more with Dusty as manager than with other managers, after correcting for age and park.

Actually, on closer inspection, that appears to be true (at least in Chicago).

Coming into this season (using numbers through 2005), here have been the players with more than 250 PAs as a Cub under Dusty --

Miller: BB/PA was 9.8% under Dusty, versus 8.4% under others
Karros: 10.1% under Dusty, 7.8% under others
Grudzielanek: 5.6% under Dusty, 4.6% under others
Ramirez: 7.4% under Dusty, 5.7% under others
Alou: 10.0% under Dusty, 9.4% under others
Patterson: 5.5% under Dusty, 3.4% under others
Sosa: 10.5% under Dusty, 9.3% under others
Choi: 14.6% under Dusty, 12.4% under others
Bako: 10.0% under Dusty, 9.5% under others
Barrett: 7.4% under Dusty, 7.3% under others
Walker: 8.6% under Dusty, 8.0% under others
Garciaparra: 6.5% under Dusty, 6.4% under others

That's twelve. There are seven who declined --

Gonzalez: 6.9% under Dusty, 7.1% under others
Goodwin: 6.4% under Dusty, 8.6% under others
Lee: 11.1% under Dusty, 11.2% under others
Macias: 2.8% under Dusty, 5.9% under others
Hollandsworth: 7.7% under Dusty, 7.8% under others
Burnitz: 8.5% under Dusty, 11.9% under others
Hairston: 7.2% under Dusty, 7.8% under others
   96. Walt Davis Posted: August 25, 2006 at 10:55 PM (#2156842)
I know this has been pointed out before, but what I still don't get is why he hates it so much when his pitchers give up a walk, but he also doesn't like when his hitters get walks.

But does he hate his pitchers giving up walks? If he says so, he's BS'ing. Since Baker took over in 2003 the Cubs have been 16th, 8th, 13th, and 16th in BB allowed.

The really sad thing is that, when I was looking the team offensive stats at ESPN, it's obvious that the Cubs actually had a plan and they've executed it. They have batters who put the ball in play, generally on the ground (they have the highest GB/FB ratio in the NL by a pretty wide margin). They're a fast team (although largely clueless about baserunning), so they like to play a lot of small ball.

Time to recycle a joke I told earlier this season: The Cubs clearly tried to emulate the White Sox, only they accidentally looked at the Stats for the 1959 White Sox. Or maybe they just listened to what Ozzie said instead of looking at the 2005 Sox stats.

Hmmm...I wonder

2006 Cubs: 268/319/421 with 4.25 r/g, 698 K, 308 BB, 89 SB, 42 CS
1959 Sox: 250/324/364 with 4.29 r/g, 634 K, 580 BB, 113 SB, 53 CS

So we just about got it right ... except for the walks :-)
   97. Tom (and his broom) Posted: August 25, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#2156857)
The really sad thing is that, when I was looking the team offensive stats at ESPN, it's obvious that the Cubs actually had a plan and they've executed it. They have batters who put the ball in play, generally on the ground (they have the highest GB/FB ratio in the NL by a pretty wide margin). They're a fast team (although largely clueless about baserunning), so they like to play a lot of small ball.


I think you will find that whether on an individual or team basis GB% is closely, and inversely, linked to BB%, if a hitter swings at bad pitches more often than not it will be pounded in the dirt to SS. And if a pitcher knows a hitter is not selective they are more likely to work down in the zone where it is harder to drive get a pitch in the air.
   98. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 25, 2006 at 11:44 PM (#2156886)
This stuff about whether batters walk more (or less) under Dusty is so loaded with statistical red flags that IMO it is silly to even dig up and look at those numbers. The bottom line is that Baker says what he says about BBs, and that is how he should be judged in this area.
   99. Inquisitor Posted: August 25, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#2156899)
"I know this has been pointed out before, but what I still don't get is why he hates it so much when his pitchers give up a walk, but he also doesn't like when his hitters get walks."

What about when we don't like it when pitchers don't get strikeouts, but don't care when hitters get struck out? ;-P



Anyway, you guys are just twisting what Dusty is saying. What he means is that hitters who take walks are just being selfish pricks who are trying to pad their nerd quotient. Instead of taking the wussy way out and not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, they should be trying to mash those balls out of the yard. If you think like Vlad, you'll hit like Vlad.
   100. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: August 26, 2006 at 12:21 AM (#2156950)
If you think like Vlad, you'll hit like Vlad.

The Cubs do think like Vlad. Vladimir Nunez.
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NewsblogPetriello: Bregman's split-second call preserves shutout
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Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogDeadspin: Please Enjoy(?) 21 Years Of Joe Buck Hyping Forgotten Fox Shows
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NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
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NewsblogALCS Game 6 OMNICHATTER, for October 20, 2017
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NewsblogDusty Baker Will Not Be Back as Manager
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NewsblogOT - October 2017 College Football thread
(88 - 2:13pm, Oct 22)
Last: don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all

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