Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Hal McCoy: The DBers are out (Dusty Bashers)

That goofuss-hatted rumble scene between The Dusty Bashers and The Jay Cocks in Gangs of New York was tops!

THE MOST PUZZLING criticism comes from the fact that with runners on second base and first base in the eighth inning, Baker had Brandon Phillips bunt to move the runners to second and third. Of course, the Angels walked Joey Votto intentionally, which raised the howls, “Because Dusty took the bat out of Votto’s hands.”

Well, that’s merely Baseball 101, especially on this day. And wasn’t that an oh-fer hanging around Votto’s neck after the game?

... And Baker had a legitimate explanation for ordering Phillips to bunt.

“Even if I don’t bunt with Brandon they’d probably walk Joey, pitch around him, anyway,” he said. “We couldn’t take a chance on Brandon hitting into a double play. If Brandon has one fault, it is hitting into double plays because he hits the ball hard on the ground a lot.”

Phillips led the team last year in GIDP’s with 19 and hit into 15, 14 and 21 the previous three years. He did it 26 times in 2007.

“The game was a lesson in futility on both sides as far as scoring runs,” said Baker. “A tough day for both sides — a bunch of strikeouts, missed opportunities.

“Leaving runners on based plagued us early last year and this spring (during exhibition games),” he added. “It seems like it is all over baseball, not just us leaving runners on third with less than two outs. Strikeouts get you nothing and we just have to get better at putting the ball in play. There are those who say strikeouts aren’t important, but they are important if you want to play winning baseball.”

Repoz Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:47 AM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. JJ1986 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4402964)
And wasn’t that an oh-fer hanging around Votto’s neck after the game?


In fact, he hadn't had a hit all season.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4402974)
Having an explaination for doing something doesn't make it the right choice. Even the dumbest decisions usually have a kernel of logic to them, doesn't make them right.

This gets to a point of modern stats in a broadcast being discussed in another thread. It's very easy to quickly identify that Phillips grounds into a DP about 15% of the time he has a chance. That can be contrasted with the 27% chance he has of getting a hit and bringing in a run.
   3. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4402986)
Excellent rebuttal here.
   4. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4403010)
What was the temperature like at the ball game? That might explain Dusty's rationale.
   5. Hack Wilson Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4403028)
Dusty's rationale.


Isn't that an oxymoron?
   6. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4403038)
I've long been using the term irrationale in such instances.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4403040)
It was a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning. He wanted to get the likely game-winning run in a position where it could score on an out, and avoid a potential double play from a guy who will hit into them with some frequency.

It may not have been, all things consdiered (particularly the man on deck), the best move in the world. But it's hardly unfathomable.

You do this in the bottom of the third, it's idiocy. But when one run probably wins you the game? Hardly.
   8. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4403073)
If Dusty had an ounce of self-reflection it might occur to him that one of the causes of leaving men on base is giving up free outs. But that's not going to happen.
   9. GregQ Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4403075)
Nice rebuttal, aside from the slide show.
   10. Dan Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4403085)
It was a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning. He wanted to get the likely game-winning run in a position where it could score on an out, and avoid a potential double play from a guy who will hit into them with some frequency.


I don't mind the avoiding the double play rationale in the general case of bunting with two on and no outs, but in this particular situation the IBB of Votto is guaranteed, which sets up the double play situation again, except now with 1 out already. So now that double play you feared would end the inning instead of leaving you with two outs and a runner on third base. Not sure who was hitting behind Votto (didn't Ludwick leave early with an injury?), but if it was Heisey then he's probably still a pretty good candidate to ground into a DP.
   11. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4403092)
It was a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning

Indeed, and a 1-1 tie at that. Seems like an acceptable time to play one-run baseball.
   12. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4403101)
Indeed, and a 1-1 tie at that. Seems like an acceptable time to play one-run baseball.
Except that, as Dan notes, in this particular instance this particular 1 run strategy didn't make sense. No matter what the base/out situation is otherwise, if 1st base is open Votto gets walked; by bunting with BP, you're only guaranteeing his walk makes it bases loaded, 1 out for Heisey. If, however, you let BP hit away there's a significant chance the situation won't let them intentionally walk Votto next.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4403105)
But the goal isn't "avoid getting an IBB for Votto," it's scoring a run.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4403112)
But the goal isn't "avoid getting an IBB for Votto," it's scoring a run.


Yes and the best way to score a run is to let Phillips swing there. Dusty was too concerned about the negative that he forgot the positives that could happen.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4403124)
dusty baker has been a better than average manager for a long time.

the only managers I can think of who had baker's tenure and even being in the ballpark successwise get the regular flack for decisions and having fan bases regard them as complete dumb8sses were these guys:

mike Hargrove
jimy williams
terry francona (and that lurched in different directions so it may be unfair to list him)
john McNamara (who was a numskull)

then you get to guys who never did anything other than manager a lot like ned yost

but these other guys won some stuff like baker.

anyway, this baker stuff has to stop. this community is embarrassing itself on the topic. the guy gets results and just because folks cannot really define why doesn't mean he's the idiot in the discussion.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4403126)
Except that, as Dan notes, in this particular instance this particular 1 run strategy didn't make sense. No matter what the base/out situation is otherwise, if 1st base is open Votto gets walked; by bunting with BP, you're only guaranteeing his walk makes it bases loaded, 1 out for Heisey. If, however, you let BP hit away there's a significant chance the situation won't let them intentionally walk Votto next.


That's one possibility how it will play out. But having the bases loaded with one out is actually a pretty good situation to be in, even accounting for the double play possibility. A fly ball scores a run. A walk scores a run. A passed ball scores a run.

I'm not saying that this particular sac bunt was the optimal choice. All I'm saying is that it's not nearly as batty as some are making it out to be.

Leave everything the same but make this the third inning, and it would indeed be foolish. But in a situation where one run is as valuable as it would have been here, then the sac bunt in this situation isn't so indefensible.
   17. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4403133)
Haven't the Reds invested a fair amount of money in the fact that Phillips is also a pretty good hitter?
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4403134)
Well, that’s merely Baseball 101, especially on this day.


What makes this day different from all other days?
   19. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4403136)
What makes this day different from all other days?
Piece of advice: Do NOT save a seat at your table for Elijah Dukes.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4403138)
I agree completely with Harv in #15. Dusty overworked his pitchers ten years ago. Other than that, he has a pretty darn good track record and seems to get more out of his team than he should. He seems to excel at what IMO is the most important job a manager has to do - managing personalities. I'd take him for manager any day over Nedgar Yost.
   21. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4403140)
I enjoy the author's strawmanning in which he paints people that criticize Baker as people that believe Baker caused the Reds to go 3 for 42. What a dishonest tactic - people criticize a specific, almost undeniably bad strategic move, and his response is "YEAH, SURE, IT'S ALL DUSTY'S FAULT IN YOUR MIND".

anyway, this baker stuff has to stop. this community is embarrassing itself on the topic. the guy gets results and just because folks cannot really define why doesn't mean he's the idiot in the discussion.


Can't he simultaneously be a good manager and be a manager that makes decisions that should be criticized?
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4403146)
Haven't the Reds invested a fair amount of money in the fact that Phillips is also a pretty good hitter?

if you listen to anyone around the reds they regard Phillips offense as being an 'extra' because of how they perceive his defense, baserunning and his competitive spirit. Brandon phillip is loved not just in the city but in the dugout.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4403147)
You do this in the bottom of the third, it's idiocy. But when one run probably wins you the game? Hardly.


Yep, I don't get people getting worked up about this move in the 8th inning of a tie game. I think it would have been borderline criminal to not consider it.

I enjoy the author's strawmanning in which he paints people that criticize Baker as people that believe Baker caused the Reds to go 3 for 42. What a dishonest tactic - people criticize a specific, almost undeniably bad strategic move, and his response is "YEAH, SURE, IT'S ALL DUSTY'S FAULT IN YOUR MIND".


This move is not undeniably bad. I don't see how anyone could think that this was a clear cut time to not bunt. If anything this is one of the maybe 8 times a year that it was the right time to bunt.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4403148)
Even allowing for Dusty's success with the Reds and the Giants, he did a lot more dumb things with the Cubs than simply overworking the pitchers.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4403149)
anyway, this baker stuff has to stop. this community is embarrassing itself on the topic. the guy gets results and just because folks cannot really define why doesn't mean he's the idiot in the discussion.


The issue is that being a "good" manager and being a "good tactical" manager are not the same thing. I think it's very fair to criticize Baker for moves like this one, it was a bad move (in my opinion). As a baseball fan questioning the manager's moves is part of the experience.

Baker's success, and you're right to know that his track record is very good, is based on having good players and getting a lot out of them. That he bunts at the wrong time and stuff like that is fun to talk about but is probably not going to have nearly the impact that keeping Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips happy and motivated is.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4403156)
The issue is that being a "good" manager and being a "good tactical" manager are not the same thing. I think it's very fair to criticize Baker for moves like this one, it was a bad move (in my opinion). As a baseball fan questioning the manager's moves is part of the experience.

Baker's success, and you're right to know that his track record is very good, is based on having good players and getting a lot out of them. That he bunts at the wrong time and stuff like that is fun to talk about but is probably not going to have nearly the impact that keeping Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips happy and motivated is.


agreed. but you demonstrate a nuance not often in evidence in these discussions.

too often the singular event gets extrapolated into 'baker's a dimwit' followed with cubs fans showing up saying 'amen' (though they have some degree of justification)
   27. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4403157)
anyway, this baker stuff has to stop. this community is embarrassing itself on the topic. the guy gets results and just because folks cannot really define why doesn't mean he's the idiot in the discussion.


Create a new position for the dugout -- Managerial HR Director, Keeper of Ballplayer Psyches, or whatever -- fine...

He's very good at getting production from players capable of producing. He's very good at -- at least, initially -- handling the players and player personalities.

He sucks at in-game tactics, he sucks at maximizing the tactical advantages player skillsets can provide in specific situations, and he sucks at managing a pitching staff for the long haul.

The things he's good at, he's good enough at to make him a successful manager... but the things he's bad at, he's truly terrible at - and I wouldn't want him managing my team because of that.
   28. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4403159)
if you listen to anyone around the reds they regard Phillips offense as being an 'extra' because of how they perceive his defense, baserunning and his competitive spirit. Brandon phillip is loved not just in the city but in the dugout.

This undersells Phillips' place in the eyes of the Reds. Nine months ago Tony La Russa was going to be tried for crimes against humanity because he hadn't selected Phillips for the All-Star team.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4403162)

Create a new position for the dugout -- Managerial HR Director, Keeper of Ballplayer Psyches, or whatever -- fine...


The problem with that is something the right move from the HR Director's perspective is going to require that the Tactical Director (i.e. the game manager) do something he otherwise shouldn't.

For example, on Opening Day the Red Sox started Jarrod Saltalamacchia against CC Sabathia. Salty can't hit lefties worth a damn but having him start Opening Day rather than David Ross probably keeps Salty happy because it sends the message that he's the starting catcher.
   30. TJ Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4403163)
Two on, no outs, 8th inning, and your two best hitters coming up. You have two choices:

1) Let your best guys take their shot at getting in the run. You pay them large sums of money to do exactly this.
2) Have one bunt to avoid a double play possibility, thus insuring the other one gets intentionally walked and takes the bat out of both of their hands, putting the game on the line with the next hitter who doesn't even start for you and still faces a double play possibility.

We know which choice Dusty made. I imagine that the Angels manager was very happy Dusty chose Option 2 as well. As for Hal McCoy's article, he says that part of Phillips' responsibility as a #2 hitter is "to move runners up". If so, the Reds could save a lot of money by trading Phillips and signing David Eckstein to hit in the #2 hole.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4403164)
gb

the reds do more than love Phillips??

I don't know what the next level is.....................
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4403169)
zonk

I acknowledged the cubs fans perspective

and in the interests of fairness the only reason baker's player management wore off is that the atmosphere in Chicago became radioactive

baker did 10 good years in san fran and his record continues to improve in cincy. the man's team won 97 games last season with the best hitter (by far) on the shelf for 50ish games. that's managing in any league

any argument folks want to throw out against dusty quickly loses steam against a guy whose teams have won .525 of their games played, won numerous divisions, won in different ways and been 1st or 2nd in moy voting six times.

it's being on the cusp of a hall of fame career just as a manager. what the h8ll do people want from the sob??
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4403170)
2) Have one bunt to avoid a double play possibility....


No, it's bunt to get the go-ahead run to third with less than 2 outs.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4403174)
I don't love dusty baker nor am I related

I acknowledge he didn't cover himself in glory the last 2 seasons in Chicago. he had barry bonds in san fran and that is half a division right there

what I want is for bbtf to stop sounding stupid. and when the group collective gets a bee in its bonnet about baker and the daggers come out bbtf looks dumb.

as in really godd8mn dumb

because the facts don't back up the contention that the guy is anything other than good at his job

so........just stop being dumb. please
   35. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4403177)
He sucks at in-game tactics

Do any of us think that any managers are good at in-game tactics? :)

Seriously, I've seen most pennant-winning managers roasted here and elsewhere for not knowing how to run a baseball game. It seems the eternal privilege of the thinking fan.
   36. Bug Selig Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4403180)
if you listen to anyone around the reds they regard Phillips offense as being an 'extra' because of how they perceive his defense, baserunning and his competitive spirit. Brandon phillip is loved not just in the city but in the dugout.


If that's the case for his value, he shouldn't be hitting in front of Joey Votto.

This move is not undeniably bad. I don't see how anyone could think that this was a clear cut time to not bunt. If anything this is one of the maybe 8 times a year that it was the right time to bunt.


This is absolutely a reasonable time to bunt - in 8 spots in the lineup. Unfortunately, there are 9, and in the one he was presented with he made a choice to encourage the opposition to put the game in Heisey's hands rather than Votto's. That's the tactical equivalent of leaving Shaq in a game situation in which you know the opponent is going to foul and then throwing your hands in the air when they foul the obvious candidate.
   37. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4403182)
because the facts don't back up the contention that the guy is anything other than good at his job


I still really don't understand why I can't both agree that he's good at his job and still think he's bad at a certain part of it. Maybe it's nitpicking, but it's a part of his profession that stands out and is easily visible, so of course people are going to notice it. In the same fashion that I can believe Jeter is bad at defense and one of the greatest shortstops ever, I can say that Baker's a pretty good manager that regularly makes bad tactical decisions.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4403185)
No, it's bunt to get the go-ahead run to third with less than 2 outs.


Yeah, that's the main idea. And, generally speaking in a tie game in the eighth, it's not a bad one.

It seems the eternal privilege of the thinking fan.


To be fair, railing about the idiocy of the hometown nine skipper isn't limited to us. It's pretty universal.
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4403187)
Do any of us think that any managers are good at in-game tactics?

other than his affection for bunting I am ok with the brewers manager. he handles his bullpen ok (the number one tactic a manager must have in today's game), he works his defense, he only has good base stealers run, and he doesn't get outmaneuvered too often at end of games.

he is way better than ken macha who never met an intentional walk he didn't like and light years ahead of ned yost who might as well walk around with a t-shirt saying 'I is stoopid'
   40. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4403189)
Do any of us think that any managers are good at in-game tactics?
Of course. I don't think you'd get much pushback against touting the tactical skill of La Russa, Maddon, Showalter, Davey Johnson, or even the beloved Bobby Valentine -- with the Mets, that is.

FWIW, Bill James has essentially said the same thing as Harveys here. From his pay site article on managers (2/20/13):
Dusty Baker has, in my opinion, 94% of a Hall of Fame resume.

In plain English, Dusty Baker may well be as much of an idiot as many of you claim that he is. I don’t really care; it’s not my problem. Good manager or bad, he has enjoyed a significant amount of success over a long period of time. He won 90 or more games with the San Francisco Giants five times, including 103 wins in 1993. He won a divisional title in Chicago, and has won two more in Cincinnati.

The San Francisco Giants won 75 games in 1991, and 72 games in 1993. They added Barry Bonds that winter—and Dusty Baker. They won 103 games.

Is it unrealistic to say that that team exceeded expectations by 27 games, given that they added Barry Bonds? Sure.

But the team did succeed. It is not unrealistic to say that the Giants exceeded expectations by 15 games in 1997, or that the Cincinnati Reds exceeded expectations by 15 games in 2012. Dusty Baker has had nine seasons in which his teams have exceeded expectations by a total 115 wins. That’s a very solid record.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4403190)


This is absolutely a reasonable time to bunt - in 8 spots in the lineup. Unfortunately, there are 9, and in the one he was presented with he made a choice to encourage the opposition to put the game in Heisey's hands rather than Votto's.


Though one thing that makes Votto so damn much better than anyone else on the Reds is that he walks so damn much.

   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4403191)
I can say that Baker's a pretty good manager that regularly makes bad tactical decisions.

you can. but you can count on one hand the number of bbtfer's who have written that first part
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4403197)
and if I am railing at the wrong folks I apologize. I interepreted this article as baker bashing and as the reader can tell I have had my fill
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4403201)
and when the group collective gets a bee in its bonnet about baker and the daggers come out bbtf looks dumb.

Speaking of pet peeves, I'll just reiterate my pet peeve that any one thread contains the collective wisdom/opinion of the BBTF commentariat. You know I love and tremble in terror of you Harvs, but except for the awesomeness of Pavement--of which no one whose opinion matters would disagree--and the fact Steve Phillips is a dork, I don't think there is such a thing as a consensus BBTF opinion.

I think Baker is a fine manager. I would have let Phillips hit. For me, the decision in the 2002 World Series when Baker let Lofton play center instead of Shinjo sums Baker up. Good man manager, kind of a dumb micro manager. I think over 162 games the former makes up for the latter.
   45. Bug Selig Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4403210)
Though one thing that makes Votto so damn much better than anyone else on the Reds is that he walks so damn much.


But that's not a problem. That just means that IF Phillips makes an out and Votto walks (neither of which is what you ideally want) you get the situation that was chosen in this case by the offense.

And to clarify - firing Dusty Baker and hiring me would be earth-shatteringly stupid. That doesn't make everything he does right, and it seems that he is great at the parts of the job that we don't see.

I just don't think that when you get to the meat of your lineup, that's the time to start running scared. I don't have a problem with 2nd/third one out versus 1st/second none out. I do have a problem with constructing your lineup around Joey Votto's bat and then actively plotting to make it irrelevant.
   46. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4403212)
I don't think you'd get significant pushback against the tactical skill of La Russa, Maddon, Davey Johnson

Fair enough. Maddon is very widely admired around here, I know, and Johnson wins everywhere he goes, with whatever he's given. (The usual knock on Baker is that, as much as he's won, a good manager would have won a lot more; but that's hard to prove.)

LaRussa used to get a fair amount of heat for fussy doctrines and over-thinking, as I recall.
   47. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4403218)
such a thing as a consensus BBTF opinion

I can think of a couple of others: (1) Jeffrey Loria is a pinhead. And, (2) it's a trap!
   48. Ron J2 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4403224)
#16 Actual ability of the hitters matters in an analysis of this type, but Hidden Game (the source of the "never bunt" game state analysis) specifically mentions runners on first and second, nobody out, late/close as an exception.

Generally speaking, two bases for an out is a reasonable trade when it's late/close. Yes, the fact that Phillips isn't a bad hitter and Votto will be picking up an IBB changes the dynamics somewhat, but as managerial sins go this is pretty minor.

The problem with sac bunts in general is that they sharply diminish the chance of a big inning while trivially increasing the chance of a single run. Thing is in this scenario you get into diminishing returns pretty quickly. One run's pretty big, two is huge.
   49. PerroX Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4403225)
so........just stop being dumb. please


Practicing for BBTF Diplomat, Harvey?

RE: #44 -- micromanaging is the worst thing you can do with an experienced team, which Baker has, and that's the environment he excels in. It's easy to sit back and make calls from the sideline, and in isolation, but he's got to manage 162 games, not just one situation. And it's not as easy as plugging a formula, though Davey Johnson, another of my favorites, is a good counter-example, perhaps.

I believe the Think Factory's primary problem with Baker is that he doesn't explain himself in jargon acceptable to this crowd. You've got to admit it's not important to the big picture.
   50. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4403229)
except for the awesomeness of Pavement

Who/what is Pavement?
   51. PerroX Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4403230)
But then again, maybe it is important for a Black man in baseball to talk the talk if he wants to keep working and not have websites devoted to his ouster.
   52. PerroX Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4403232)
Who/what is Pavement?


Do you want to get banned?
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4403233)
But that's not a problem. That just means that IF Phillips makes an out and Votto walks (neither of which is what you ideally want) you get the situation that was chosen in this case by the offense.


And the sitaution that is being considered so godawful here. I'm merely noting that much of Votto's value is tied up in the very thing that the Angels were doing voluntarily. It's easy to put too much stock in the "taking the bat out of his hands."

In this game, I don't think I'd have done it, but it doesn't have much to do with Votto. Heisey strikes out too much to like him in a one-out, runner-on-third situation. But I still don't see the move as anything much more than arguably bad, rather than undeniably so.

Edit: Ron sums my feelings nicely in 48.
   54. TJ Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4403237)
Nasty Nate- "No, it's bunt to get the go-ahead run to third with less than 2 outs."

Dusty's quote from the article- “Even if I don’t bunt with Brandon they’d probably walk Joey, pitch around him, anyway,” he said. “We couldn’t take a chance on Brandon hitting into a double play. If Brandon has one fault, it is hitting into double plays because he hits the ball hard on the ground a lot.”

So yes, advancing the lead run to third with less than two outs was a consideration. But avoiding the double play was another, one that Dusty himself calls out. So the fear of the double play possibility affects the decision, making bunting a more attractive possibility to move that runner than anything else (hit and run, potential sacrifice fly, Phillips actually getting a hit or walk, etc). In doing so, neither Phillips nor Votto get a chance to swing the bat, leaving the game up to Chris Heisley (forget about Jay Bruce. If Heisey doesn't come through, Bruce is batting with two outs and needs a hit to drive in the run.) Putting the game in the hands of a backup and not your star players just doesn't make sense to me.

As for Dusty's call that the Angels would probably walk Votto, it was automatic that they would if Phillips bunts. If Phillips doesn't and the runners don't advance, does anyone really think the Angels would walk Votto and move the runner to third on their own, even if it made sense to take the bat out of Votto's hands? In all my years of watching baseball, I cannot remember ever seeing a manager make that call (though it is possible that someone did so to Barry Bonds or someone like that.)

I'm not one of those who argues against ever bunting, but when it disarms your offense to this degree in this situation, it's a bad call, and Dusty either A) let fear of a double play be too much of a factor in his decision, or B) is using it to justify a move that didn't work.
   55. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4403238)
Seriously, I've seen most pennant-winning managers roasted here and elsewhere for not knowing how to run a baseball game. It seems the eternal privilege of the thinking fan.


Most of us don't really see the vast majority of managers on a day-in, day-out basis, so we don't appreciate what they might have done over the long 162-game haul. Then we see them in exacting detail once they're in the postseason, and when a Ron Washington brings in the "wrong" reliever, people start talking about what a moron he is.

My personal opinion is that managing is such a complex job, and so much of it takes place behind the scenes, that we absolutely have to step back and look at the forest rather than the trees. But some of those trees are really easy to criticize.
   56. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4403240)
Do you want to get banned?

Oh wait. Didn't Pavement open for the Cover Girls and Stevie B at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center back in '89? [ducks]
   57. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4403241)
I think the reason so many of us really, really hate this move is because of a visceral reaction against the idea of a sac bunt that also takes the bat out of the hands of one of the five best hitters in baseball. I'm personally of the Earl Weaver mindset on this one ("you get those big *********** that can swing the bat..."), and I think that's the general tenor here.

That said, the win probability change here was probably very small.
   58. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4403242)
zonk

I acknowledged the cubs fans perspective

and in the interests of fairness the only reason baker's player management wore off is that the atmosphere in Chicago became radioactive

baker did 10 good years in san fran and his record continues to improve in cincy. the man's team won 97 games last season with the best hitter (by far) on the shelf for 50ish games. that's managing in any league

any argument folks want to throw out against dusty quickly loses steam against a guy whose teams have won .525 of their games played, won numerous divisions, won in different ways and been 1st or 2nd in moy voting six times.

it's being on the cusp of a hall of fame career just as a manager. what the h8ll do people want from the sob??


Well, I wanted a World Series ;-).... something I'd note Dusty has only done once - and he lost.

But that said, I did say that he would probably have some significant success when he went to Cincy...

He's had success. He's not the worst manager in history (even if I think, when it comes to certain individual aspects of a manager's job -- I think he's in the discussion for 'worst').

I'm certainly sympathetic to the whole of "Just win, baby".... and Dusty does win, on a broad scale.

I am simply saying that if I owned or ran a team, I would not hire Dusty under any circumstance....
   59. JE (Jason) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4403244)
Nice rebuttal, aside from the slide show.

Sailing on the Titanic was an absolute dream, aside from that iceberg.
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4403245)
So yes, advancing the lead run to third with less than two outs was a consideration. But avoiding the double play was another, one that Dusty himself calls out.


As it should be. The reason you bunt is to move the runner, and the reason the Reds did it. One of the factors that go into your decision to bunt is the likelihood of the double play from the hitter in Phillips' position. To not consider that element would be foolish.


I'm personally of the Earl Weaver mindset


If you take pitchers out of the equation (since the O's pitchers didn't bat), Earl Weaver's position players had more successful sac bunts in 1978* than Dusty's did in 2012.

* I just chose that year at random.
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4403248)
Putting the game in the hands of a backup and not your star players just doesn't make sense to me.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, but it's not quite that simple. The backup has a much easier task than the star players.
   62. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4403256)

The problem with sac bunts in general is that they sharply diminish the chance of a big inning while trivially increasing the chance of a single run. Thing is in this scenario you get into diminishing returns pretty quickly. One run's pretty big, two is huge.


There was a situation in yesterday's Rockies game, first and third with one out, pitcher Jorge de la Rosa at the plate. Walt Weiss had de la Rosa bunt, which I thought was a horrible call, primarily because the gain from the bunt is so minuscule. (Todd Helton was the runner on third, so there was zero chance of him scoring on any kind of bunt.) Even if the sacrifice is successful, it basically pays off if and only if the next batter hits a single, and you get two runs rather than one. But if you have the pitcher swing away, maybe he hits a fly ball or, more likely, a weak grounder that doesn't turn into a DP, and you get another run out of it.

De la Rosa struck out anyway, and the Rockies didn't score any more that inning.

   63. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4403258)
I think the reason so many of us really, really hate this move is because of a visceral reaction against the idea of a sac bunt that also takes the bat out of the hands of one of the five best hitters in baseball. I'm personally of the Earl Weaver mindset on this one ("you get those big *********** that can swing the bat..."), and I think that's the general tenor here.


Bingo.

I guess he's dead now, but Earl Weaver is my ideal managerial candidate... In fact, one of my interview questions would be: "Who would you consider a managerial role model?" The answer "Earl Weaver" would pretty much auto-punch your ticket to the second round of interviews.

Again, as much as I have lifetime season tickets to the Dusty Hater club -- and ain't giving them up -- I have always said that there are a number of things that Dusty does as well as a manager as anyone ever...

1) He is extraordinarily good at properly resting and getting the most of out gimpy players... Bonds in SF -- but see also Ellis Burks and Moises Alou in Chicago. He's done it enough and long enough that I'm quite sure it's some sort of skill to know when a guy needs a day off, know how to talk to him or see something that maximizes talented, but injury prone position player availability.

2) He seems to very much be a "player's manager" -- players seem to really like playing for him, he gets a lot less grief from ex-players than most, and even when the Cubs situation turned toxic, it was more externalities bleeding into the clubhouse than it seemed to be "25 cabs" bleeding outwards. That seems to be a skill Dusty also possesses at a very high level.

3) Maybe as a corollary to 2) - he seems very good at "protecting" his players... One thing I hated about Don Baylor is that Baylor never seemed to have any qualm about tossing a player under the bus publicly. Dusty doesn't do that.

I cannot understate how extraordinarily good I think he is at "those things".

However, I think he also truly, horrifically dreadful at:

1) Managing a pitching staff... He doesn't care and has no desire to learn -- give him a veteran staff or a fungible staff, I suppose you can minimize it... but I would not let him anywhere near a staff with under 25 arms or young pitchers who are the core of my 'good team'.

2) Tactical in-game decisions... He gives away outs... Not as bad as Baylor or say, Bob Boone... but he doesn't appreciate the preciousness of outs. I suppose on this one, there are so many truly awful managers (like Baylor and Boone) that he doesn't qualify as 'truly dreadful', but he's still bad at it.

3) Managing a bullpen... He falls in love with guys, runs them into the ground, and never seems to understand that an 8 run lead is precisely WHEN you waste pitches from your mop-up guy. You don't have to go set-up followed by closer because you're in a 5-2 game.
   64. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4403261)
Oh wait. Didn't Pavement open for the Cover Girls and Stevie B at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center back in '89? [ducks]

I said in the opinion of anyone who MATTERS!
   65. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4403262)
If you take pitchers out of the equation (since the O's pitchers didn't bat), Earl Weaver's position players had more successful sac bunts in 1978* than Dusty's did in 2012.


If I have some time, I'll hunt down the numbers, but I'd wager that was a lot more of Belanger and a lot less Murray.

edit - Wait, that's also misleading as hell because it ignores era and league context. The Orioles were second to last in bunts in 1978, which suggests very strongly that Weaver was, in fact, disinclined towards bunting relative to his contemporaries.
   66. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4403263)

If you take pitchers out of the equation (since the O's pitchers didn't bat), Earl Weaver's position players had more successful sac bunts in 1978* than Dusty's did in 2012.

* I just chose that year at random.


Sure.... but I bet most of them came from Mark Belanger or Paul Blair (not bothering to check the '78 O's roster), both of whom couldn't really do much with the bat BESIDES bunt... but were defensively valuable enough (long before defensive metrics) that Earl knew it was worthwhile to have them in the lineup. I'd further bet that Eddie Murray, Doug DeCinces, or Lee May didn't have any of them.

Earl's oft quoted cliche about the sacrifice bunt being at the bottom of a long-forgotten closet WAS hyperbole to some extent... I mean, what else are you going to have Belanger do with 2 men on and no one out? But he'd have never played for one run with say, Ken Singleton facing a RHP.
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4403269)


If I have some time, I'll hunt down the numbers, but I'd wager that was a lot more of Belanger and a lot less Murray.


Oh, no doubt. I just think we (with Earl's help) overstate his aversion to the sac bunt. His position players had 41 sac hits in 1978. Dusty's had 38 in 2012. I'm not claiming that proves that Dusty is not as willing to give up an out as Earl was. In fact, I'm positive that's not true. But I think it shows the gap between this managerial titan and this managerial maroon isn't nearly as large on this front as we like to believe.

   68. Steve Treder Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4403270)
There was a situation in yesterday's Rockies game, first and third with one out, pitcher Jorge de la Rosa at the plate.

The correct managerial call in that situation is and always has been to flash the "if you think you're going to hit into a double play, then strike out" sign.
   69. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4403271)
Sure.... but I bet most of them came from Mark Belanger or Paul Blair (not bothering to check the '78 O's roster), both of whom couldn't really do much with the bat BESIDES bunt... but were defensively valuable enough (long before defensive metrics) that Earl knew it was worthwhile to have them in the lineup. I'd further bet that Eddie Murray, Doug DeCinces, or Lee May didn't have any of them.


It's really easy to look this stuff up. Sac hits by the 1978 Orioles:

Belanger, 7
Singleton, 4 (!)
Pat Kelly, 4
Billy Smith, 4
Kiko Garcia, 4
Dempsey, 3
Dauer, 3
Harlow, 3
Skaggs, 3
Mora, 2
Murray, 1
Bumbry, 1
Roenicke, 1
Mike Anderson, 1

Lee May and DeCinces were the only guys with 200 ABs who didn't have a sacrifice hit.




   70. Ron J2 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4403272)
#60 Weaver bunted with guys like Belanger. But in this situation with a Belanger (it wasn't just Belanger. He often started glove first guys with reasonable speed. Larry Harlow for instance) up he'd have pinch hit.

He did have Murray sac once, but we're talking the 22 year old Murray. What is surprising is that he had Singleton sac 4 times. Still (as always) his sacs are heavily concentrated in middle infielders, non-hitting catchers and fast outfielders.

Murray's bunt was bottom of the 8th, score tied 1-1, runner on 1st, nobody out. Dauer was no threat to steal. Did not lead to a run. (IBB to Singleton, fielder's choice by May, Fielder's choice by Kelly)

Checking out Murray's sac I see Weaver also called for a sac with nobody out, runner on second (bottom of the 11th). Smith beat it out, which is something worth considering here. Phillips is certainly a threat to reach.
   71. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4403275)
I just think we (with Earl's help) overstate his aversion to the sac bunt...But I think it shows the gap between this managerial titan and this managerial maroon isn't nearly as large on this front as we like to believe.


I think that's right. Maybe my mistake was invoking Weaver in a way that screamed "Earl Weaver would never do this!" rather than just meaning that it's the spirit o' Weaver that drives the thinking for a lot of people here.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4403280)
He did have Murray sac once, but we're talking the 22 year old Murray. What is surprising is that he had Singleton sac 4 times. Still (as always) his sacs are heavily concentrated in middle infielders, non-hitting catchers and fast outfielders.


And Dusty's three best hitters in 2012, the only three regulars with an OPS+ above 100, had a grand total of one sac hit (Ludwick had one, Votto and Bruce each had zero). Likewise, the two leading sac bunters were guys who couldn't hit (at least one of whom was quite fast though).
   73. Spectral Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4403281)
On a side note, the '75 O's were a veritable bunt machine, with Belanger and Blair combining for 40 sacrifices between them. I don't think anyone's against those sorts of hitters bunting though.
   74. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4403284)
Nine months ago Tony La Russa was going to be tried for crimes against humanity because he hadn't selected Phillips for the All-Star team.


There are much better reasons to try LaRussa for crimes against humanity, the two-hour, seven-pitcher inning being foremost.


For example, on Opening Day the Red Sox started Jarrod Saltalamacchia against CC Sabathia. Salty can't hit lefties worth a damn but having him start Opening Day rather than David Ross probably keeps Salty happy because it sends the message that he's the starting catcher.


Or you could just, you know, tell Salty "Hey, you're the starting catcher, but we just happen to be facing a very tough lefty on Opening Day, so we're going to go with Ross for today. You'll be in there the rest of the week." I mean, really, are players that mentally fragile that you would have to make a tactically suboptimal decision in this type of case? Come on.
   75. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4403285)
The Singleton number surprises me... but then, I'd be interested to see how many of them came after Earl had already burned the other half of the platoon and didn't have the bat he wanted available.

BTW... I just want to state for the record that while I probably wouldn't vote for Dusty for the HoF if I had the chance, there's at least decent odds I might and in any case, I certainly wouldn't be averse to him making the HoF as a manager.
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4403288)
The Singleton number surprises me... but then, I'd be interested to see how many of them came after Earl had already burned the other half of the platoon and didn't have the bat he wanted available.


Singleton was a switch-hitter, so there was no other half of the platoon.

It also points up how times have changed: Even though Weaver's Orioles bunted what seems to be a fair amount, they were 13th out of 14 teams in sacrifice hits in the AL that year. "A manager who never bunts" means something different now from what it meant back in 1978.
   77. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4403294)
bunting is frustrating at times but you do force the defense to make a play and if you are facing a subpar defensive time putting nay kind of stress on the defense is a good thing.

among tactics that drive me crazy the item that buries the needle is the intentional walk. during the macha era I regularly went bonkers as macha would intentionally walk anyone at any time for whatever whacko reason in 2009. he backed off in 2010 after the torrent of criticism and seeing it go kaboom in his face umpteen times.

after that its general bullpen management and macha stunk at that too. so he was the double whammy of stink
   78. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4403298)

Singleton was a switch-hitter, so there was no other half of the platoon.


I think he was much stronger against RHP and usually sat against LHP, no?
   79. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4403299)
1) Managing a pitching staff... He doesn't care and has no desire to learn -- give him a veteran staff or a fungible staff, I suppose you can minimize it... but I would not let him anywhere near a staff with under 25 arms or young pitchers who are the core of my 'good team'.

3) Managing a bullpen... He falls in love with guys, runs them into the ground, and never seems to understand that an 8 run lead is precisely WHEN you waste pitches from your mop-up guy. You don't have to go set-up followed by closer because you're in a 5-2 game.


I think Dusty has learned a lot from/since Chicago. Johnny Cueto has been fairly healthy and just about never goes more than 120 pitches. Mat Latos was great last year, even with the extreme adjustment of Petco to GABP. Mike Leake has been in the rotation since day 1 and has pitched reasonably well (and stayed healthy) for a back-end guy. The regular rotation missed ONE start all of last year - I think Baker has to get at least some of the credit for managing a healthy and effective staff.

With relievers, he's as push-button as most any manager you're going to find. He'll rarely stray from the assigned roles but is also good about distributing work. 6 relievers last year threw between 54 and 71 innings. He does go by the save rule, but is good about using the long guys for the mop-up work.
   80. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4403301)
People keep trying to ruin this bash by bringing up facts!
   81. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4403306)
after that its general bullpen management and macha stunk at that too. so he was the double whammy of stink

Remember all the crying when Billy Beane fired him? Good times!
   82. Ron J2 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4403315)
#78 Nope. Singleton was pretty much always in the lineup. He did have a platoon split as you suggest but he wasn't exactly helpless against LHP.

Weaver bunted with him in part because he was a really good bunter. Memory says he discusses this in one of his books.
   83. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4403332)
If you guys aren't just to take my assumptions, suppositions, and guesses as fact -- then I'm just going back to the OTP thread to talk about Battlefield Earth.
   84. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4403335)
I think he was much stronger against RHP and usually sat against LHP, no?


Singleton was 2nd on the '78 Orioles in PAs. Toward the end of his career, he had an injury that made him terrible from one side of the plate (in 1982, his OPS v. RHP was .802 vs. .529 v. LHP), but for his career, his platoon split was less extreme and he played every day for the Orioles (career OPS split, .855/.743; over 600 PAs every non-strike season with the Orioles until his very last year when he was 37 years old and stunk from both sides of the plate).
   85. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4403348)
Fine...

Forget I ever brought up Singleton!
   86. jdennis Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4403391)
if only more players would master the drag bunt, this wouldn't even be a conversation
   87. Steve Treder Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4403399)
You know who was quite a good bunter? Dave Kingman.

Yes, it makes utterly no sense, but it's a fact nonetheless. The universe is a weird place.
   88. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4403454)
1. C'mon folks, there are more outcomes from a sacrifice attempt than an out with runners advancing.

2. Wow ... we're the ones spouting stuff about taking the bat out of a guy's hands? Have we forgotten that we HATE it when teams give out IBB, that even when Bonds was at his peak there were only a handful of situations where it was good to walk him?

3. If it's such a good idea to IBB Votto there, why not do it with men on first and second anyway?

4. Phillips has apparently bunted fair 52 times in his career. 29 have been successful sacrifices, 11 have been hits, one he reached on error, zero have resulted in a DP (although I suspect that wouldn't count any pop-up DPs he may have bunted into). I have no idea how many of those hits came on sacrifice attempts.

5. According to b-r, the win expectancy went from 76% before the bunt to 78% after the bunt. It was at 77% after the IBB. It was still at 63% even after Heisey's K.

So our fancy numbers say it was a perfectly defensible move. I don't think those win expectancies take into account who's batting so the shift is probably slightly the other way given Phillips and Votto are above-average hitters. But in either case the effects are going to be minimal and potentially easily swayed by consideration of Phillip's bunting ability and speed, who the 3B was (still Callaspo I think), etc.

He's done it enough and long enough that I'm quite sure it's some sort of skill to know when a guy needs a day off, know how to talk to him or see something that maximizes talented, but injury prone position player availability.

I doubt Dusty has any special skill here. He's a pretty rigorous "old dudes get day games after night games off" guy not "you are not one with the Force today my son" guy. But, yes, he's quite good at resting his regulars. That has its downside since it means he plays his bench more and, especially in Chicago, he doesn't put together great benches.

In the end, it may have been the Baker-Hendry "synergy" in Chicago that was the problem. Hendry seemed committed to giving Baker the team he wanted but Baker is not a guy I'd trust to make personnel decisions.
   89. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4403470)
You know who was quite a good bunter? Dave Kingman.

Yes, it makes utterly no sense, but it's a fact nonetheless. The universe is a weird place.


Actually, my recollection is that Kingman really hated to run... so assuming he saw the bunt (sac bunt, I guess) as another way to avoid running it makes some degree of sense. The obvious follow-up is why he'd never take a walk, but that's explained by the fact he'd have to potentially deal with what happens from 1B to 2B to 3B back to the plate.
   90. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4403472)
If Phillips doesn't and the runners don't advance, does anyone really think the Angels would walk Votto and move the runner to third on their own, even if it made sense to take the bat out of Votto's hands? In all my years of watching baseball, I cannot remember ever seeing a manager make that call (though it is possible that someone did so to Barry Bonds or someone like that.)
They wouldn't literally IBB him, but they might not give him anything to hit. Is it stupid to do that when it advances runners? Yes. But if anything, it seems that as time goes on, semi-intentionally walking any decent hitter has become more, not less, common. If anything, the pro-Dusty argument in response should be that if the Angels want to do that, let them.

I do think the bunt is a lot more justifiable with a high-GIDP hitter. That certainly makes sense in Strat-O-Matic, anyway.

But, as is often pointed out, the difference between Strat-O-Matic and real life is that you have to consider the emotions of the players. It's kinda funny here that the alleged psychological mastermind is sending the message "one of our best hitters, who is also known for his speed, is probably going to hit into a double play." I mean, I'm not saying Phillips would necessarily care -- I have no idea -- but at least from our outsider point of view, I don't see how it's any less likely than "starting Salty against a lefty will boost his confidence", or the other rationalizations we generally use to excuse less-than-strategically-optimal moves.

But anyway, solely from a tactical point of view, I think the Phillips GIDP logic is in fact pretty logical. Also, it's not like Heisey is terrible.
   91. Steve Treder Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4403486)
Actually, my recollection is that Kingman really hated to run

That was certainly true later in his career. But in his early years with the Giants, Kingman had legitimately good speed, and he liked to show it off.

He was a very strange bird.
   92. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4403520)
No, it's bunt to get the go-ahead run to third with less than 2 outs.


The worst case scenario is a runner on third with 2 outs and Votto up next. Presumably Votto is walked and you get 1 AB with at least a 25% chance of scoring (not factoring in errors, wild pitches and bad throws).

And 1 run, even with 104 MPH waiting in the pen, isn't a lock. As has been pointed out, 2 runs increases the win expectancy even more.

Lastly, I like the idea of giving my hitters more real ABs, especially in pressure situations. Repetition always helps and its harder to get in a groove if you only get 2-3 ABs every day.

   93. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: April 03, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4403555)
1) He is extraordinarily good at properly resting and getting the most of out gimpy players


Tell it to Chad Fox.

   94. smileyy Posted: April 03, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4403573)
if you listen to anyone around the reds they regard Phillips offense as being an 'extra' because of how they perceive his defense, baserunning and his competitive spirit.


I'm late in responding, but I suspect the Reds love for all of these attributes would be much more tempered if he were putting up a ~70-80 OPS+, instead of a ~100 OPS+
   95. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4403682)
Actually, my recollection is that Kingman really hated to run... so assuming he saw the bunt (sac bunt, I guess) as another way to avoid running it makes some degree of sense.

Nah. And I didn't think it was as odd as Steve portrays -- rare but sensible. When, say, playing at Wrigley with Kingman at the plate, the 3B would position himself as close to Rockford as his manager would let him. If he got the bunt fair and anywhere near the 3B line, he could have been as slow as Bengie Molina and still had a chance to beat it out.

I recall him bunting for a hit once for the Cubs with a man on 3rd. Perfectly OK play but the runner was so surprised he didn't advance.
   96. Bug Selig Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4403697)
The problem with sac bunts in general is that they sharply diminish the chance of a big inning while trivially increasing the chance of a single run. Thing is in this scenario you get into diminishing returns pretty quickly. One run's pretty big, two is huge.


Exactly. "Trivially". And Votto>Phillips>Heisey is not trivial.

Going into this, you have arguably your 2 best hitters coming up in a situation where a hit from either of them probably wins the game - and you're not going to let either of them hit. The defense isn't pitching around them - the offensive manager is voluntarily preventing his best players from determining the outcome.
   97. Bug Selig Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4403705)
Question for those who watched the game -

Was it a straight-up "I'm going to bunt" bunt? Or was the third baseman back, giving some element of surprise/chance of Phillips being safe?
   98. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4403732)
I haven't followed the Reds closely enough to know if this is still true, but Dusty also never had a young hitter develop under him. In SF I think that the best "young" hitter to come up under Dusty was Bill Mueller, who IIRC, didn't get 400 AB until he was 27. He developed nobody in Chicago. Obviously there's Votto in Cincy, but guys like Stubbs have come and gone.

Of course, one side can say "Dusty ruined Choi" and the other side can say "Choi was never really that good", so on a case by case basis it's an unwinnable argument. On a macro level, same thing, you can say "The Giants and Cubs never had any young hitters worth anything" or you can say "The Giants and Cubs had some prospects and they never panned out". But if we are looking at Dusty's win% while saying "Sure he had Bonds and Sosa, but still...", then we also have to look at his overall development track record and say that as far as hitters go, it stinks.

Having said that, I admit that Dusty's sweet spot is with a veteran team. You can't expect a manager to be good in every situation that he might be in. I think a GM would be an idiot to hire Dusty with a young, developing team. The young hitters wouldn't develop and the pitchers would blow their arms out (exaggeration for effect). Give him a veteran, talented team and he does well. And those of us in Chicago should certainly appreciate that having an established, talented team doesn't always lead to success and that there is value in having the right guy leading them. See Jordan-Pippen-Grant pre and post Phil Jackson hiring.
   99. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4403805)
Couple of other points: Heisey's more of a fly-ball hitter than Phillips, and he also runs better, so if he does hit one on the ground he's more likely to beat the rap on the back end. And if Phillips does happen to hit into a double play Votto's likely to get the IBB anyway, with Heisey then needing to deliver a hit to get a run across.

I don't think I'd have done it either, but I agree that it's not a horrible decision given the point of time in the game in which it happened.

-- MWE
   100. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:03 PM (#4403813)
greg

well, it was dusty who stuck jay bruce in the lineup at age 22 and stuck with him despite some slumps that would make yuni Betancourt look like ichiro

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNL WILD CARD 2014 OMNICHATTER
(34 - 2:24pm, Oct 01)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogDayton Moore's vision for Kansas Royals validated - ESPN
(25 - 2:20pm, Oct 01)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogLinkedIn: 10 Sales Lessons From “The Captain”
(14 - 2:18pm, Oct 01)
Last: Curse of the Andino

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(59 - 2:15pm, Oct 01)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogNed Yost on the sixth inning and his bullpen usage: “its just one of those things” | HardballTalk
(82 - 2:14pm, Oct 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogWSJ: Playoff Hateability Index
(33 - 1:58pm, Oct 01)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogWhy the Nats will win the World Series - ESPN
(6 - 1:43pm, Oct 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogSpector: Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you
(50 - 1:21pm, Oct 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(15 - 1:18pm, Oct 01)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(461 - 1:04pm, Oct 01)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(401 - 12:49pm, Oct 01)
Last: Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2014
(10 - 12:32pm, Oct 01)
Last: Batman

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4087 - 11:33am, Oct 01)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(181 - 11:31am, Oct 01)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogThe Economist: The new market inefficiencies
(23 - 11:01am, Oct 01)
Last: AROM

Page rendered in 0.8663 seconds
75 querie(s) executed