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Friday, June 13, 2014

Does Ruben Amaro Know That Walks Are Valuable?

Count the ring you nerds.

Amaro is talking about Jimmy Rollins’ pursuit of the club hit record and is comparing Rollins to Mike Schmidt.  As transcribed by Scott, here’s what Amaro said:

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

You can go to the Crossing Broad site and listen to the clip yourself if you don’t believe it.  If you don’t want to go there, trust me, this is a faithful transcription.

This is truly astounding.  Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies General Manager, in 2014, doens’t “quite understand” how Mike Schmidt and Jimmy Rollins can have the same career batting average but have about a 1000 plate appearance differential.

And don’t misunderstand - this isn’t a case of someone being prompted to talk about something without preparation.  As the quote shows, Amaro has been thinking about this for at least a day.  He was not caught off-guard here.  And he’s not saying “I don’t quite understand” as an expression of amazement.  He truly sounds bewildered on the recording.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies, ruben amaro, walks

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   1. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4725288)
Today's daily dose of "How is Amaro still employed?"
   2. Batman Posted: June 13, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4725317)
When I saw the headline, I wondered where Amaro worked now, probably as a radio host or an assistant GM somewhere. I was certain he wasn't still with the Phillies.
   3. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4725363)
Another article on baseball's biggest idiot ever: http://section215.com/2014/06/13/ruben-amaro-howard-utley-rollins-future-phillies/
   4. John Northey Posted: June 13, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4725404)
Wonder if Carlos Ruiz is available cheaper than he should be due to the walks. I'm sure other teams GM's are checking.
   5. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 13, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4725452)
This is *way* funnier than the headline suggests! It's not that Amaro doesn't value walks, it's that he *literally* doesn't understand the difference between an at-bat and a plate appearance. From the transcript in TFA:


“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”


I can't, I just can't.
   6. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 13, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4725455)
He probably, like my beloved Baseball Pro 98, thinks walks are the sole function of the pitcher and therefore are just evenly distributed amongst the hitters.
   7. DA Baracus Posted: June 13, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4725457)
Thanks for being you RAJ.
   8. Sunday silence Posted: June 13, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4725495)
I am not sure I understand what that quoted part is supposed to mean. It doesnt necessarily mean Amaro doenst understand PA vs AB, he might not understand averages or maybe it means somethign totally other...

He says Schmidt has a 1000 more plate appearances than Rollins, but their average is about the same. Well, why would that surprise anyone?

Someone could have 10 AB (or PA) and someone 10,000 AB (or PA) and they could still have the same batting average.

What am I missing here? ANd why the emphasis that Amaro doesnt understand PA? That someone can have the same ba w/ less PA has more to do with averages and very little to do with the difference between an AB and PA.

But again maybe I am totally not getting this...

EDIT: OK I get it. The part quoted above says "same batting average" but really in the clip Amaro is talking about getting the same NUMBER OF HITS, with about the same batting average, but 1000 more PA.

So yeah apparently Amaro forget about walks.

Still the part quote above leaves out an important part of that.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: June 13, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4725502)
Sunday Silence, I was confused too. But I think what it's about is that both Schmidt and Rollins have about the same amount of hits, and about the same batting average - yet Schmidt has a 1000 more PA's.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: June 13, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4725509)
Yes, Nate is right, they were talking about the career hit totals between Schmidt(2233) and Rollins(2234) and how they have pretty close batting averages(.267 vs .268) but that Amaro couldn't understand how that is, since Schmidt has about 1000 more plate appearances(technically 890 going into today's action)
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4725532)
Well, it is kind of "weird" ... but not hard to understand.

Similarly weird:

Morgan with Reds: 1155 H, 220 doubles, 152 HR, 612 RBI
Phillips thru 2012: 1160 H, 209 doubles, 142 HR, 563 RBI

What's 600 extra walks between friends?
   12. bobm Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4725604)
Math is hard.
   13. eddieot Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4725632)
And this is why MLB forced the Phils to hire one of their stats guys. OMG, this is pathetic. Thank God for the fleeting comet that was Pat Gillick.
   14. Cblau Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4725651)
A better headline might be: "Does Ruben Amaro Know That Walks Exist?"
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4725727)
Wild.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: June 14, 2014 at 05:07 AM (#4725753)
Next time someone makes a dumb 'appeal to authority' argument in baseball...please refer to this.
   17. TJ Posted: June 14, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4725764)
"Does Ruben Amaro Know _________?" Fill in the blank with any baseball-related word or phrase you wish, and the correct answer is still always "No".
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4725782)
Math is hard.


This may be a nitpick to a sarcastic comment, but Amaro's problem is not "math." I'm sure he can do arithmetic, or use a calculator. It's that he doesn't understand the concept of what goes into a PA vs an AB.

I don't know what else we can assume from this. But when he sees two players with similar BAs, does he just assume they have similar OBPs? If not, does he understand that walks are the main driver of the difference in OBP between two players who have similar BAs? Does he just think that walks are random, or purely a function of the pitcher? Does he properly value walks, and OBP? It raises a whole host of questions.

   19. Accent Shallow Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4725791)
He probably, like my beloved Baseball Pro 98, thinks walks are the sole function of the pitcher and therefore are just evenly distributed amongst the hitters.

The Twins seem to think this, actually. They love soft-tossing RHP with low walk rates.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4725797)
I think it's most likely that he just doesn't know what the term "plate appearances" encompasses. I don't know how that's possible, but it doesn't really mean that he doesn't value walks.
   21. bobm Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4725798)
This may be a nitpick to a sarcastic comment, but Amaro's problem is not "math." I'm sure he can do arithmetic, or use a calculator. It's that he doesn't understand the concept of what goes into a PA vs an AB.

To nitpick a nitpick: arithmetic is a small part of what math is. The concepts he demonstrably fails to grasp are math.

From wikipedia:

Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity (numbers),[2] structure,[3] space,[2] and change.[4][5][6] There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.[7][8]
Mathematicians seek out patterns[9][10] and use them to formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, then mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4725803)
Well, in any event, his main problem is that he doesn't understand that PA encompasses walks/etc while BA does not. And I think it should lead us to question just what in the hell he does and does not understand about all of this.


   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 14, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4726067)
And I think it should lead us to question just what in the hell he does and does not understand about all of this.

Hits, HRs and RBIs. I truly believe that those are his offensive evaluation tools.
   24. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 14, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4726070)
FYI, Rollins broke Schmidt's team record today. Schmidt went put to 1B to congratulate him before the teammates came out. Congrats to Jimmy.
   25. Srul Itza Posted: June 14, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4726185)
But when he sees two players with similar BAs, does he just assume they have similar OBPs?


That presupposes he has even heard of OBP. I ain't so sure.
   26. steagles Posted: June 14, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4726220)
amaro is getting too much #### from you people for not being a stats guy. he's just not that.


on the other hand, he's not getting nearly enough #### from anyone for being a scouting/development guy who's done ######### in either of those two areas. his aggressive dismissal of numbers is one thing, but the fact that his scouting hasn't found even one good bench player for as long as he's been here, the fact that his bullpen has been a ####### shambles for as long as he's been here, that's unforgivable.
   27. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 16, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4727576)
amaro is getting too much #### from you people for not being a stats guy. he's just not that.

There's a difference between not being a stats guy and not knowing what a plate appearance is.

Even an old country doctor knows what a kidney is. A retired chemistry teacher has probably heard of nitrogen. The kid making my hamburger at McDonald's may not be into food science, but I'm guessing the phrase "What the #### is ketchup?" doesn't come up that often.

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