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Saturday, November 09, 2019

How Should We Measure Team Success in 2019?

The 2019 Houston Astros were not a failure. Neither were the Dodgers. Nor were the Twins, Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs or even the Mets. (Believe it, Mets fans.)

None of these teams won the World Series in 2019. But in this modern climate of baseball when burn-it-to-the-ground rebuilds are encouraged and high-end free agents are invisible to all but a select few clubs, the teams that try to win deserve to be celebrated. That’s where the sport is right now.

As it relates to the Astros, it’s worth remembering the tanktastic 2011-2013 seasons that paved the way for every ongoing rebuild. That awful stretch ultimately led to a championship in 2017 and put the team on the doorstep of another title in the two years since. Now here we are celebrating the Astros among other talented teams that didn’t win it all–because too many other clubs are trying to do what the Astros did. The irony is not lost.

There were amazing moments in Houston’s 117 total wins this season, and specifically the 10 October victories. There was Gerrit Cole’s 15-strikeout destruction of the Rays. There was Jose Altuve’s walk-off, pennant-winning home run against Aroldis Chapman. There were the team’s three road victories in the World Series after falling behind 0-2 to the Nationals.

A consideration of one of the least savory elements of the game as things stand, by looking at teams currently going against the trend.

 

QLE Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tanking

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   1. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: November 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5899919)
I think we can safely put the Tigers in the "failure" category.

Lord, what a sh!tshow this team is. They had exactly one player on the entire roster with a 100+ OPS+: Castellanos, with a measly 105...and of course is now a Cub. (Victor Reyes managed to hit 100 on the button, thanks to his mostly empty .304 average in 276 AB, aided mightily by his .384 (!!) BAbip.) They had 17 -- count 'em, 17 -- players with a negative WAR, sucking up a terrifying 3,615 PA (out of 6,039 total). They had deadweights and gaping chest wounds like Josh Harrison, Grayson Grenier and Travis Demeritte. They had Mikie Mahtook, who went 0-for-23, becoming only the seventh non-pitcher in MLB history to get that many AB in a season without a hit (plus, he's named Mikie Mahtook. When did six-year-olds start playing in the major leagues?)

Pitching? The Tigers had Boyd, Turnbull and Norris, all of whom would make perfectly cromulent fourth starters on a real team; unfortunately, in Detroit, they're expected to be the aces of the staff. And Jordan Zimmerman, who was paid the GDP of Uganda to go out there and suck like Monica every fifth day. And Shane Greene, who somehow managed to save 22 of the Tigers 47 victories before escaping to Atlanta. And Buck Farmer, whose six wins were second on the team. Also, Buck Farmer. Buck Farmer, Buck Farmer, Buck...ahem, sorry. (Fun fact: Buck's real middle name is "Runie".)

Farm system? Daz Cameron is 22, but was overwhelmed by AAA pitching, with a Tebowesque 214/330/377 (and 152 strikeouts). Jake Rogers showed promise at AA, but he's already 24 and when he was promoted to Detroit promptly stunk up the joint. 20-year-old Issac Paredes also showed promise at Erie, but faltered in Arizona this fall. Matt Manning and Casey Mize looked good in AA, but, well, TINSTAAPP.

One more thing: this horrific blot on the baseball landscape cost no less than $97,818,500, plus whatever they paid the peanut vendors. Your ticket dollars at work, Tigers fans. Sigh.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: November 09, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5899934)
I use wins and losses to evaluate how the team I root for is doing. It's crazy I know.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 09, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5899941)
I use wins and losses to evaluate how the team I root for is doing. It's crazy I know.

Amazing that the questions needs to be asked. If you want to judge who was the best team over say a decade, total wins is the single best metric.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: November 09, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5899943)
I would think that you two would agree with the overall thrust of the article, which is that:

1. A team can be a success even if it doesn't win the WS, and
2. The teams that actually tried to win this year deserve some extra appreciation
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5899947)
I would think that you two would agree with the overall thrust of the article, which is that:

1. A team can be a success even if it doesn't win the WS, and
2. The teams that actually tried to win this year deserve some extra appreciation


1. Usually. Depends how they lose, but, in general, any team that wins its division had a successful season.
2. Absolutely.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5899949)
2. The teams that actually tried to win this year deserve some extra appreciation


Agreed. Yes, the Mets came up short of the postseason. But actually taking on talent at the deadline instead of dumping it made for an exciting final two months of the season. From a fan's standpoint, that's valuable.

   7. Baldrick Posted: November 09, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5899953)
How Should We Measure Team Success in 2019?

The first thing I do is count the number of games they win.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: November 09, 2019 at 07:46 PM (#5900113)
the Mets' 42-21 stretch run (even with a 6-game losing streak in the middle!) was eminently enjoyable.

I even went to a couple of extra games, including the finale - a 7-6 11-inning walkoff on a 2-out, 3-run pinch HR by effervescent Dom Smith, who due to injury got this first AB since July.
   9. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 09, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5900121)
I use wins and losses to evaluate how the team I root for is doing. It's crazy I know.

Sure. But I think you also have to take reasonable expectations into consideration as well. And also things like divisional strength, and WC standings.

84 wins was definitely a failure for this Red Sox team for example. Was 85 a failure for the DBacks? I would say no, even though both missed the playoffs. And of course for teams like the Orioles, Tigers, or Marlins, 84 would have been fantastic.

89 wins would have still missed the playoffs for the Red Sox and would still have been a failure. But the Brewers made the WC with 89, which means they had a much more successful season.
   10. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: November 09, 2019 at 09:55 PM (#5900137)
personally, i measure the quality of a team based on the amount of money they're able to spend in free agency. ymmv.
   11. flournoy Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5900304)
If you want to judge who was the best team over say a decade, total wins is the single best metric.


Maybe, but it definitely doesn't paint a complete picture. Did the Braves (843-776 plus garbage postseason performance from 2010-2019) have a better decade than the Giants (821-799 with three World Series victories)? I would say "not even close."
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5900311)

Maybe, but it definitely doesn't paint a complete picture. Did the Braves (843-776 plus garbage postseason performance from 2010-2019) have a better decade than the Giants (821-799 with three World Series victories)? I would say "not even close."


You changed the metric. "Better decade" includes post-season performance, which is largely luck.

I said "best team". Over any period "X", I would say the best team is the team that won the most games in period "X".
   13. flournoy Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5900328)
Very well. Including the postseason, the Braves went 848-789 (.518) from 2010-2019. The Giants went 856-820 (.511) over the same stretch. Nonetheless, I contend that the Giants had a much better decade than the Braves, and were a better team.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5900332)
I contend that the Giants had a much better decade than the Braves

No one would dispute that.

and were a better team.

Looks like about the same to me. I don't see how the fact that three marginal playoff teams got lucky in October means they were better.

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