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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mets Today: Hatin’ on Shawn Green

Dial M for Murder…ing Shawn Green!

Oh, wait, no, actually his defense was awful, right? Dreadful. Horrendous. Disgusting. Or at least, that’s what the media and most rabid, perfection-seeking fans will tell you. They even have the “stats” to prove it

...Go ahead and follow that link … I’ll offer it again - it is the Baseball Think Factory’s defensive leaders by position for the American League and National League. I encourage you, because I do want you to see that Shawn Green was statistically ranked as the fifth-worst defensive right fielder in the NL last year (just ahead of, ironically, Moises Alou). However, I also want you to look at where that same system ranked Andruw Jones (second-to-last among CFs), Aaron Rowand (third-to-last), Garry Matthews Jr. (second-worst AL CF), Torii Hunter (fifth-worst), and Melky Cabrera (second-worst LF).

Repoz Posted: February 14, 2007 at 12:23 AM | 92 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. JMM Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:03 AM (#2297257)
he is a BALLPLAYER. Some people don’t know what that means,

You're a condescending, know-nothing jackass?
   2. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2297262)
Oh God. Not only do we have to live with Shawn Green in RF, now we have to hear people defending him. Whats next, someone cloning levski?
   3. Robert S. Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2297270)
At one time, he was one of the better corner outfielders in the game, and strong enough defensively that the Arizona Diamondbacks used him in centerfield for 41 games as recently as 2005.

He wasn't in center because of his glove; he was in center because the team's roster was poorly constructed and there was nowhere else to put him that would allow the team to play Chad Tracy, Tony Clark, Luis Gonzalez, and Troy Glaus. If memory serves, the only 'true' centerfielders available to the D-backs by the time Green moved to CF were McCracken, Terrero, and Andy Green.

He’s a solid, heady veteran and team player who plays hard, gets big hits in the postseason, and does all the little things you need to win. Isn’t that exactly the type of guy you want on your team?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
   4. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2297273)
that's a good reason to oppose human cloning, OFF.
   5. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2297276)
actually, for his current price, i'm more than happy to have Green as the 4th outfielder on my team.

him and Endy make an excellent bench.
   6. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2297277)
He's right about one thing. Green gets big hits in the post-season--for the Cardinals.
   7. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2297280)
It's a trap?
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2297282)
Put it this way. For one to have an above-average IQ scores necessitates other people having below-average IQ scores. Writers like this enable the fun, but lame SAT score bragging.
   9. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:34 AM (#2297285)
I'll say this: Shawn Green plays right field like there's an anvil strapped to his back.

But, I do have a feeling he’ll be better offensively this season. Rick Down does his best work retooling the swings of veteran hitters. He’s an extremely underrated hitting coach. He helped Reyes eradicate a lot of the bad habits holding him back, and was a tremendous help to Jose Valentin. So, maybe Green reaps the benefits of working with him for a full year.

I’ve always thought highly of Green, and it’s tough to watch, seeing his skills erode so quickly. He hasn’t been the same player since playing through that shoulder injury in 2003.
   10. Raskolnikov Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:38 AM (#2297288)
I read the article. It's not horrible and some of the highlighted segments were his worst paragraphs.

Likewise, Shawn Green isn't terrible, but he's not very good anymore either. I'm never going to hate or boo him, because in his limited span as Met, he shows that he's willing to give his maximal effort. But I'd be surprised if Green puts up anything more than a 820 OPS. He also has limited range, so he'll hurt us somewhat defensively. There are worst OFers starting, however, and I hope that Milledge becomes our starting RFer midseason (there's quite a bit that Milledge could learn if Shawn Green if he's willing to).
   11. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2297289)
What does Russlan think?
   12. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:44 AM (#2297295)
Some people are so down on Shawn Green they’re convinced that he won’t last the season as a Met. I for one, am hoping he does. He’s a solid, heady veteran and team player who plays hard, gets big hits in the postseason, and does all the little things you need to win. Isn’t that exactly the type of guy you want on your team?


I am 1k5v3L, and I approve of this message.
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:49 AM (#2297298)
But I think even Mike Cameron would have had some difficulty in those situations.

Really? I didn't know Cameron had one of his legs amputated.
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2297300)
But, I do have a feeling he’ll be better offensively this season.


It is hard to be worse offensively than Green was with the Mets last season. Or with the Dbacks, for that matter. So he certainly is a decent candidate to improve on his Mets debut.

PECOTA, for one, doesn't think much of Green's chances in 2007, however. It projects sub-.800 OPS and barely double digits in home runs in just under 400 at bats.
   15. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2297301)
that's a good reason to oppose human cloning, OFF.

And that is to say nothing of abortion, and capital punishment.
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:15 AM (#2297315)
It is hard to be worse offensively than Green was with the Mets last season.

A league average hitter? It's pretty easy to be worse than that. But don't let facts get in the way of good snark.
   17. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2297325)
What does Russlan think?

First, thank you for pretending that my opinion matters. That's always good for my vanity.

What do I think?

From 2003-2005, Shawn Green was a solid if overpaid corner outfielder. He posted an OPS+ around 115 and played decent defense (fwiw, his ZR was nearly identical to that of Cameron's in rigtht in 2005). So, I think his upside next season is something like .285/.350/.450 with adequate defense. I think there's probably a less than 50% chance that he can do that for the Mets next season. If it were up to me, I'd give him a month or two during the season to prove that he can put up those numbers and let Milledge get a tad more seasoning in AAA. If he can't, I'd look for a replacement, being Milledge or someone else if the Mets decide to trade Milledge.

Shawn Green was a bad player in 2006. He was a solid player from 2003-2005. The 2003-2005 version of Green can help the Mets in 2007. The 2006 version can't as an everyday player.
   18. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2297332)
.285/.350/.450 is probably a reasonable projection IMO. As Russlan notes, it's easy to forgot that prior to 2006 he was still a consistently above average hitter (if overpaid).

I've never understood the griping about that trade. Green was a league average hitter for the Mets, and hit fairly well in the postseason. He was a very good insurance policy for Floyd. And if he puts up an .800 OPS in 400-500 PAs at RF, LF, 1b, and PH, he'll be very useful. He and Chavez give the team a fair amount of flexibility, and having them means they don't have to rush Milledge.
   19. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2297335)
Green was a league average hitter for the Mets,

Considering he was a right fielder with negative defensive value being a league average hitter means he stinks.
   20. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:56 AM (#2297349)
A league average hitter? It's pretty easy to be worse than that. But don't let facts get in the way of good snark.


What AJM said, in post 19.

Even though there are worse than league average right fielders, they are usually not starters and are usually not getting paid millions of dollars.

But don't let facts get in the way of a snarky comeback.
   21. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2297351)
Considering he was a right fielder with negative defensive value being a league average hitter means he stinks.

no...he was below average, but he was still a useful fill in for Floyd. Not being an above average player =/= stinks. And, again, having a league average hitter on the bench is a good thing.
   22. Lassus Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:07 AM (#2297356)
No one is actually addessing here one of the main points in the quoted paragraph, which is how far off the stats are for judging usefulness in the outfield. So, what are we trusting anyhow, anecdotal advice, which we all know - from hearing anyone giving an eyewitness account of ANYthing - is inaccurate, or statistical evidence which seems to rank the outfielders bizarrely, at the very best?

Please let it be known I'm not really defending Green here, who I used to love but is now pretty awful unless he actually starts to hit.
   23. shoewizard Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2297357)
I don't wish Green any ill will, but of course was ecstatic that JB finally was able to unload him. It was especially delicious that he got unloaded on the Mets, for obvious reasons.

I don't think there is any chance that Green does better than .800 OPS next year. I seriously doubt he will be playing RF for the Mets on May 15th, after another one of his patented slow starts.
   24. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:16 AM (#2297359)
What AJM said, in post 19.

Even though there are worse than league average right fielders, they are usually not starters and are usually not getting paid millions of dollars.

But don't let facts get in the way of a snarky comeback.


I see...so now you're trying to move the goalposts to avoid looking like an idiot.
   25. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:33 AM (#2297367)
Nothing like another name calling session late at night to make you feel like a big tough guy...

Give it another try, yjjjjjjhhhhh, and you'll sleep so well tonight...
   26. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2297368)
"Even though there are worse than league average right fielders, they are usually not starters and are usually not getting paid millions of dollars."

At least it's the Diamondbacks doing the paying. Thanks, Josh!
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:43 AM (#2297372)
Well, technically, it's "Thanks, Moorad and Kendrick!" And I couldn't be happier that they are paying for guys like Green and Ortiz, who are no longer on the roster. It's the price they pay for being morons.
   28. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2297374)
"It is hard to be worse offensively than Green was with the Mets last season. Or with the Dbacks, for that matter. "

For the Mets he hit about like Connor Jackson. Doesn't really look like he's going to amount to much. Sad.
   29. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:48 AM (#2297376)
Doesn't really look like he's going to amount to much. Sad.


Seems like we both feel the same way about Shawn Green then...
   30. metstoday.com Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:49 AM (#2297377)
Thank you for the kind words everyone. BTW, yes, I am a condescending jackass, though I wish I chose a more fitting username, like maybe "stp69.hornypenguin". And thanks to Dan, whose quote --

"Put it this way. For one to have an above-average IQ scores necessitates other people having below-average IQ scores. Writers like this enable the fun, but lame SAT score bragging."

-- proved that though he might have scored very high in math, he likely had some trouble in the verbal section of the SAT.

Back to the subject at hand ...

As Lassus pointed out, there's something amiss with the statistical analysis of outfielders. Or is 90% of baseball incorrect in thinking Andruw Jones is the best defensive centerfielder since Willie Mays? (p.s. I made up the 90% number)

For that matter, where did Willie Mays rank according to the BBTF system? Or Roberto Clemente, Garry Maddox, Paul Blair, and Curt Flood -- for example?
   31. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:50 AM (#2297378)
"
Seems like we both feel the same way about Shawn Green then..."

Obviously I was talking about Conor Jackson, whose upside looks a lot like Eric Karros. Some prospect.
   32. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:51 AM (#2297379)
"
As Lassus pointed out, there's something amiss with the statistical analysis of outfielders. Or is 90% of baseball incorrect in thinking Andruw Jones is the best defensive centerfielder since Willie Mays? (p.s. I made up the 90% number)"

What evidence is there that they aren't wrong?
   33. Robert S. Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2297380)
For the Mets he hit about like Connor Jackson. Doesn't really look like he's going to amount to much. Sad.

Green in NY - .257/.325/.442
Jackson - .291/.368/.441
   34. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2297383)
I'm sure Eric Karros and his family will have a very different opinion if they ever came here.

metstoday.com,

I believe hornyoenguin is taken... :)

Btw, Shawn Green is a really nice guy. Just for that, I hope he has a very good season.
   35. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2297384)
It's a good thing, Robert, that there's no such thing as park effects.

Green in NY - .257/.325/.442 (99 OPS+)
Jackson - .291/.368/.441 (101 OPS+)
   36. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2297386)
Methinks Mets fans should be thrilled to get Conor Jackson's production from Green in 2007...
   37. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2297387)
Green in NY - .257/.325/.442
Jackson - .291/.368/.441


True, but the difference in homeparks makes it closer than it seems. Jackson wasn't a good player last season either. He doesn't play a valuable position and he isn't a very good defensive player either. If Jackson doesn't improve as a hitter, he isn't a guy a good team should have in their everyday lineup. He's still pretty young so he'll likely get better.
   38. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:01 AM (#2297388)
"Methinks Mets fans should be thrilled to get Conor Jackson's production from Green in 2007..."

Of course, the response is who cares. Nobody is counting on Green. Zona has no today (methinks 80 wins would be a great triumph), so what then? Look forward to Jackson blossoming into a poor man's Kevin Youklis? Lol.
   39. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2297389)
Jackson is right around league average defensively at 1b, maybe just a nudge below. And while 1B isn't a premium position, someone has to play there too, otherwise Chad Tracy would pepper the poor folks behind the 1b dugout about twice as regularly as he does already. Conor has youth and enough upside in that bat to make himself valuable... and he'll be cheap enough over the next five years to make the Dbacks forgive him that he's not Albert Pujols...

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/dialed_in/discussion/2006_national_league_gold_gloves_as_i_see_it/
   40. The Holiday Armadillo Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:07 AM (#2297390)
And if he doesn't blossom to be quite Eric Karros, they can always sign somebody. Just as soon as they get through paying for the 2001 squad.
   41. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:08 AM (#2297391)
Well, I'm sure AZ can always trade for Shawn Green and put him at 1b..,
   42. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2297393)
Jackson is right around league average defensively at 1b, maybe just a nudge below. And while 1B isn't a premium position, someone has to play there too, otherwise Chad Tracy would pepper the poor folks behind the 1b dugout about twice as regularly as he does already. Conor has youth and enough upside in that bat to make himself valuable... and he'll be cheap enough over the next five years to make the Dbacks forgive him that he's not Albert Pujols...


Diamondback fans, I'm not trying to get involved in this little spat, so I'm asking this as a genuine baseball question. If Jackson doesn't improve offensively, would you be OK with him as the everyday firstbaseman over the next 5 years? If you aren't, how much does he have to improve offensively for you to be happy with him? Answer in OPS+ terms.
   43. Srul Itza Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2297395)
For that matter, where did Willie Mays rank according to the BBTF system? Or Roberto Clemente, Garry Maddox, Paul Blair, and Curt Flood -- for example?

I am just curious -- are you seriously asking this question? Did you bother to read any of the explanations for the defensive metrics? Do you know what Zone Rating is? Do you know how far back it does/does not go?

As for Andruw Jones -- he ain't the player he was when he came into the league. He is fatter and slower, and it shows.
   44. 1k5v3L Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:22 AM (#2297397)
Diamondback fans, I'm not trying to get involved in this little spat


What spat?

I personally expect Jackson to have a Garret Atkins v2006 type of season very soon, maybe as soon as 2007 or 2008, and maintain that after that. So I'll be OK with him.

But perchance that he indeed is just a poor Kevin Youkilis, I'm guessing we might see, say, Carlos Quentin, moving to 1B to make room for Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez.
   45. metstoday.com Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2297411)
I am just curious -- are you seriously asking this question? Did you bother to read any of the explanations for the defensive metrics? Do you know what Zone Rating is? Do you know how far back it does/does not go?


Indeed I am asking the question. Further, I'm having some trouble finding historical stats on this site so I'd appreciate some help, as the main links and search aren't helping. I did mention I was a jackass, didn't I?

And in fact I did read the explanations. Did you read my article? The point was that people specifically pointed to the BBTF metrics as proof of Shawn Green's incompetence in the field, and therefore those same people should therefore also believe that Green is better than Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand, etc.

And though the point is moot, I have read the theory behind Zone Rating and don't really give it much consideration. I do find it interesting, but also find it limiting in many cases; it just doesn't tell the whole story. But you've probably figured out by now that I believe there's more to baseball than the extracted numbers. So shoot me.
   46. metstoday.com Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2297412)
I am just curious -- are you seriously asking this question? Did you bother to read any of the explanations for the defensive metrics? Do you know what Zone Rating is? Do you know how far back it does/does not go?


Indeed I am asking the question. Further, I'm having some trouble finding historical stats on this site so I'd appreciate some help, as the main links and search aren't helping. I did mention I was a jackass, didn't I?

And in fact I did read the explanations. Did you read my article? The point was that people specifically pointed to the BBTF metrics as proof of Shawn Green's incompetence in the field, and therefore those same people should also believe that Green is better than Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand, etc.

And though the point is moot, I have read the theory behind Zone Rating and don't really give it much consideration. I do find it interesting, but also find it limiting in many cases; it just doesn't tell the whole story. But you've probably figured out by now that I believe there's more to baseball than the extracted numbers. So shoot me.
   47. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:27 AM (#2297419)
Let me tell ya somethin’ about stats … as the great longtime minor league official Bobby Bragan once said, “Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage, you should be perfectly comfortable.”


I gotta say, I like this quote.
   48. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:36 AM (#2297424)
Small sample size, Bragan.
   49. Portia Stanke Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:38 AM (#2297425)
But you've probably figured out by now that I believe there's more to baseball than the extracted numbers. So shoot me.


We'd love to, but the smoke from your burning straw man is obscuring our aim.
   50. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:00 AM (#2297428)
But you've probably figured out by now that I believe there's more to baseball than the extracted numbers.

Ok then, have you seen Green "play" right field? Routine pop ups fall in for doubles (or triples if he decides to kick the ball around).
   51. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:12 AM (#2297431)
there actually are some historical numbers kicking around here. and, wouldn'tcha know, they show that guys like Ozzie Smith were amazing fielders. they're hardly perfect, and i don't think anyone would defend them as such, but they're a damned sight better than what we used to have.

Hunter, btw, was ranked well above average through the august edition of the numbers. he fell apart at the end of the year due to an injury that vastly decreased his range over the last part of the season, he was a totally different player after that.

so quit trying to grab a quick piece of 15 seconds of fame pie, scamp.
   52. scareduck Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:12 AM (#2297432)
   53. billyshears Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:13 AM (#2297434)
But you've probably figured out by now that I believe there's more to baseball than the extracted numbers.

True - you also have to consider the implanted numbers.
   54. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:29 AM (#2297439)
implanted numbers just don't feel real. i don't care what people say.
   55. If theres a bunt w'all remember twas back in ol 92 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:34 AM (#2297441)
I think our information on defence is obviously more limited than our information on offence.
But I don't see how that is any reason to disparage it.

Unless of course you have some more accurate way of measuring Green's defensive contribution.
If not, then are you suggesting we abandon the progress made in defensive evaluations simply because they aren't perfect yet?
I just don't see what you're providing that is any more useful than UZR or Dial's numbers.

And I have to second other posters...as a Jays fan I don't get to see many NL games, but from what I saw of Green in the playoffs, I don't really know where you're coming from on this not-awful-defence stance.
   56. scareduck Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:35 AM (#2297443)
More seriously:
Go ahead and follow that link … I’ll offer it again - it is the Baseball Think Factory’s defensive leaders by position for the American League and National League. I encourage you, because I do want you to see that Shawn Green was statistically ranked as the fifth-worst defensive right fielder in the NL last year (just ahead of, ironically, Moises Alou). However, I also want you to look at where that same system ranked Andruw Jones (second-to-last among CFs), Aaron Rowand (third-to-last), Garry Matthews Jr. (second-worst AL CF), Torii Hunter (fifth-worst), and Melky Cabrera (second-worst LF).


Those numbers sound bad... but I'm not terribly surprised. Jones is league average according to BP's Rate2, Matthews, Jr. is appreciably below average... what are we supposed to believe here, that because these players are all famous that they're automatically good? This is argument from incredulity, a logical fallacy. But of course you reject statistics anyway -- while proving you don't even understand what you're rejecting:
And in fact I did read the explanations. Did you read my article? The point was that people specifically pointed to the BBTF metrics as proof of Shawn Green's incompetence in the field, and therefore those same people should also believe that Green is better than Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand, etc.

Chris Dial expressly said that the ratings were against a player's peers at a particular position. Instead, you make the completely incorrect leap that right fielder Green (whose RS/150 score is -6) is a better flycatcher than center fielder Jones (-9 RS/150). Maybe you did read the explanations, but you failed utterly to grasp them.

This is the kind of garbage they pay Buster Olney to write.
   57. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:21 AM (#2297451)
Buster Olney to write

Olney gets paid?.....And he still has that haircut!?
   58. rdfc Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:25 AM (#2297471)
The defensive stats may not be extremely accurate, but the examples he gives are not nearly as telling as people think.

Andruw Jones is nowhere near the defensive player he was when he first came up; he is much more bulked up and much slower. Aaron Rowand's defense declined precipitously after his injury. Melky Cabrera has the outfield instincts of a frightened deer. Gary Matthews Jr. is 30 years old and doesn't really have good legs under him anymore. Torii Hunter, like Jones, is slower than he used to be.

That doesn't mean I think the sat ranks them perfectly appropriately, only that the results are far from ludicroust
   59. metstoday.com Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2297515)
Chris Dial expressly said that the ratings were against a player's peers at a particular position. Instead, you make the completely incorrect leap that right fielder Green (whose RS/150 score is -6) is a better flycatcher than center fielder Jones (-9 RS/150). Maybe you did read the explanations, but you failed utterly to grasp them.


And you utterly fail to grasp the notion that I don't put much stock into defensive statistics, no matter which way you want to describe them.

then are you suggesting we abandon the progress made in defensive evaluations simply because they aren't perfect yet?

I respect the fact that there are many people who think it's awesome to try and break down a player's performance into a numerical, finite value. Have fun and enjoy yourselves, whatever makes you happy. I've yet to personally attack the efforts. I may not agree with the results, and I may challenge them, but I won't attack the effort, nor suggest that people stop trying.

My issue is when people already have a bias for or against a player, then hunt the internet for hours until they find a statistic --- however obscure --- that they can cite as support of their argument. This was how I came upon the BBTF line on Green --- because some newspaper columnist who likely thinks Range Factor has something to do with raising organic chickens, yet will point directly to Dial's numbers as hard evidence that Green is a poor outfielder. In fact just a few paragraphs later the same writer probably wrote that Andruw Jones was deserving of the 2006 Gold Glove.

Maybe I should have made that point more clear, but I had no idea my article would get pulled into the BBTF forums.
   60. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2297516)
implanted numbers just don't feel real. i don't care what people say.

But they stand up real well.
   61. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2297518)
Maybe I should have made that point more clear, but I had no idea my article would <strike>get pulled into the BBTF forums</strike> be read by people with working brains.

Ahhhh...
   62. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2297543)
FWIW, PMR has Green as a couple runs below average defensively -- bad but not horrific. All in all, I think it's probably fair to say that Green is a below average RF but not as awful as he's sometimes made out to be. And for the nth time, as a 4th OF, backup 1b, and PH, he's a useful player. It's a question of expectations -- he's an albatross if you compare him to the S. Green of a few years ago, if you're counting on him to be a key offensive cog, and if you're paying him his full salary. On the Mets, where he's not going to be a full time starter and he doesn't need to play a big role in the offense, he's fine.
   63. Raskolnikov Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:07 PM (#2297555)
My issue is when people already have a bias for or against a player, then hunt the internet for hours until they find a statistic --- however obscure --- that they can cite as support of their argument.

Umm, it seems that maybe you're the one with the bias towards this player. Most Mets fans would love it if Shawn Green were an excellent player, the player he was 3-5 years ago. But he's not. The metrics indicate that he's not. Watching the games indicates that he's not. So there is a reasonable consensus that's he's not very good anymore.

On the other hand, it appears that you've concluded that Green is a good player and are digging for any reasons to support the stance. In doing so, you've tried to bash metrics which have taken decades to develop and are far more rigorous and nuanced that you are willing to recognize.
   64. Cowboy Popup Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:07 PM (#2297557)
"Melky Cabrera has the outfield instincts of a frightened deer."

Had the instincts of a frightened deer. ZR supports the notion that Melky got better in the field as he got more comfortable. You can check out SG's work on that here.
   65. CrosbyBird Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:45 PM (#2297599)
And you utterly fail to grasp the notion that I don't put much stock into defensive statistics, no matter which way you want to describe them.

I don't put much stock into this theory of gravity. Yet somehow, the objects around me manage to stay grounded.

And for the nth time, as a 4th OF, backup 1b, and PH, he's a useful player. It's a question of expectations -- he's an albatross if you compare him to the S. Green of a few years ago, if you're counting on him to be a key offensive cog, and if you're paying him his full salary. On the Mets, where he's not going to be a full time starter and he doesn't need to play a big role in the offense, he's fine.

This is pretty much how reasonable Met fans feel. Certainly we're gunshy about him starting full-time, and especially if that means we're "set" in the OF, freeing us up to trade Milledge. It looks like the Mets haven't made that sort of commitment to Green, especially not picking up his option for 2008. Counting the buyout, Green is getting around $4M per from the Mets. Not enough to really get worked up about.

Used properly, Green has value. I'd expect some success against right-handed pitching, either as a starter, or a pinch-hitter. You could do a lot worse than having Green on the bench; he's no longer a very good hitter, but he's not useless and something in the .260/.350/.450 range is far from an outrageous projection.

The Mets are likely to have a quick hook with their starting pitching. I expect we'll see quite a few substitutions of Chavez for Green in the 5th and 6th innings this year.
   66. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2297605)
This is pretty much how reasonable Met fans feel. Certainly we're gunshy about him starting full-time, and especially if that means we're "set" in the OF, freeing us up to trade Milledge. It looks like the Mets haven't made that sort of commitment to Green, especially not picking up his option for 2008. Counting the buyout, Green is getting around $4M per from the Mets. Not enough to really get worked up about.

I had the same concern, but at this point it doesn't look like there's any reason to think they're going to trade Milledge or promising Green a fulltime job.

Used properly, Green has value. I'd expect some success against right-handed pitching, either as a starter, or a pinch-hitter. You could do a lot worse than having Green on the bench; he's no longer a very good hitter, but he's not useless and something in the .260/.350/.450 range is far from an outrageous projection.

Right -- there's a tendency to forget that league average hitters are not freely available, and therefore are pretty useful. There's also a tendency to get caught up in positional adjustments (VORP, RCAA). Those metrics have their uses, but they're not necessarily all that relevant when looking at bench players and multiposition players.
   67. Brian Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2297625)
Just looking at this thread for the first time and I have one question: is Holiday Armadillo brain damaged?
   68. zack Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2297638)
My issue is when people already have a bias for or against a player, then hunt the internet for hours until they find a statistic --- however obscure --- that they can cite as support of their argument. This was how I came upon the BBTF line on Green --- because some newspaper columnist who likely thinks Range Factor has something to do with raising organic chickens, yet will point directly to Dial's numbers as hard evidence that Green is a poor outfielder. In fact just a few paragraphs later the same writer probably wrote that Andruw Jones was deserving of the 2006 Gold Glove.


Statistics don't kill people; people kill people.
   69. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2297641)
Just looking at this thread for the first time and I have one question: is Holiday Armadillo brain damaged?

Signs point to yes.
   70. Biscuit_pants Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2297650)
Just looking at this thread for the first time and I have one question: is Holiday Armadillo brain damaged?

Signs point to yes.
can't be sure until I see metrics that take factors like age and what his nature vs. nurture ratio is:)
   71. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2297658)
Just looking at this thread for the first time and I have one question: is Holiday Armadillo brain damaged?

Base-ically, yes.
   72. scareduck Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2297660)
And you utterly fail to grasp the notion that I don't put much stock into defensive statistics, no matter which way you want to describe them.


There's ignorance, and there's stupidity. Congratulations, buddy, you just landed on the latter square.
   73. PerroX Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2297663)
That he took his moniker from a lame ep of 'Friends' points to yes.
   74. PerroX Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2297666)
That Mr. Met had no idea his bit would get pulled here lands him on the latter square as well.
   75. shoewizard Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2297696)
Diamondback fans, I'm not trying to get involved in this little spat, so I'm asking this as a genuine baseball question. If Jackson doesn't improve offensively, would you be OK with him as the everyday firstbaseman over the next 5 years? If you aren't, how much does he have to improve offensively for you to be happy with him? Answer in OPS+ terms.


This is a very legit question.

First off, I want to say that I am not disapointed at all in Jackson's rookie year. He had his ups and downs, but finished strong, and it was an acceptable year for a rookie in my book.

Now If he does not improve at all offensively, i.e., is just a 100 OPS+ guy, then of course I would NOT be Ok with him there for the next 5 years. In fact, I would not be OK with him for the next two years, (pre arb) with a 100 OPS+. For a pre arb first baseman, I would like to see him at a minimum of 110 OPS+. So the minimum "satisfaction" level for 2007 and 2008 is 110 OPS+.

Once he hits arbitration in 2009, and the salary gets into the millions, I would like to see a minimum of 120 OPS+ out of our everyday first baseman.

Jackson is such an interesting case really. The only question is whether or not he will hit for power. His BA and OBP skills were on display in his rookie year, and those numbers were very good for a rookie first baseman. I don't think there is much doubt he can and will do as well or better in BA and OBP going forward. Of course, nobody has a crystal ball, but at his size, and with his profile, and his historical double/ab ratio in the minors, one would expect him to develop into a 25-30 homer guy. But until he actually does it, the questions will remain.

As Lev pointed out, a good comp for Jackson well might be Garret Atkins. If you line them up at age for level it's really quite interesting. But Jackson now needs to make a quantum leap forward to keep pace with that comp.

FYI, his top 3 BP comps, with almost identical scores, are Carmelo Martinez, Kevin Young, and Paul Konerko. Guess which one I'm pulling for? LOL
   76. RyanMcC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2297717)
My issue is when people already have a bias for or against a player, then hunt the internet for hours until they find a statistic --- however obscure --- that they can cite as support of their argument. This was how I came upon the BBTF line on Green --- because some newspaper columnist who likely thinks Range Factor has something to do with raising organic chickens, yet will point directly to Dial's numbers as hard evidence that Green is a poor outfielder.

Who was this enlightened newspaper columnist? The New York Sun's Tim Marchman?

[From the MetsToday.com article] Interestingly, Endy Chavez misplayed at least two balls in the same game, yet he is forgiven — probably because he later made the second-greatest catch in the history of postseason baseball.

I assume Willie Mays's over-the-shoulder catch was the best? Or were you referring to Kirby Puckett's snag in the 1991 World Series? It may not have been as consequential as either, but Endy has a solid case for #1.

The same people that judge Green on those three plays also have erased Oliver Perez’s 6.55 ERA, based on 12 innings pitched

Which group bothers you more: a) the people who cite empirical evidence supporting Green's defensive shortcomings or b) the people who watched Green flub numerous plays and base their opinions on those impressions? You seem to be bothered by both, yet don't offer up any evidence supporting your view other than that he's a BALLPLAYER who hits cutoff men, hustles and makes productive outs.
   77. sardonic Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2297721)
C'mon guys, there's no need to resort to name calling.

MetsToday,
While defensive stats aren't perfect, they are a starting point for discussion, and at this point any defensive analysis of a player should incorporate subjective analysis as well.

When it rates Andruw Jones as below average for CFs, while observers see him to be one of the better (for what it's worth, I think most observers feel like he's not as good as he used to be) CFs in the game, then there's definitely room to be critical of the system.

However, for the most part, the basis for Zone Rating is sound, in my opinion -- the amount of balls that a RF catches in RF is certainly a big part of defense. It doesn't take into account if there are more line drives into his zone or whatever, but I think it gets you most of the way there.

In the case of Shawn Green, the thing is, not only does ZR (and other advanced metrics, which don't include Range Factor, btw) find him bad, most Mets fans here, who watch the games, also think he's terrible. The Diamondbacks fans here agree. Which is plausible given his age and injuries. So the case that he is poor defensively is pretty strong, in my opinion.
   78. If theres a bunt w'all remember twas back in ol 92 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2297726)
Metstoday.com:

I don't want to be seem too snarky, but let me see if I have this straight.
It's not so much that the defensive metrics are inaccurate, it's that you just don't think coming up with a value for what a player contributes on defence is a good idea?

I assume you look at some kind of statistics to determine what kind of season a particular player had with the bat, why wouldn't you want to do the same thing with the glove?
   79. metstoday.com Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:14 PM (#2297825)
I don't want to be seem too snarky, but let me see if I have this straight.
It's not so much that the defensive metrics are inaccurate, it's that you just don't think coming up with a value for what a player contributes on defence is a good idea?

I assume you look at some kind of statistics to determine what kind of season a particular player had with the bat, why wouldn't you want to do the same thing with the glove?


It's already been pointed out that I'm ... hmm ... let's see:

- stupid
- ignorant
- a writer of garbage
- a jackass (and a condescending one at that!)
- a scamp

... yet you're still looking to me for answers ? Amazing ... well, whatever ... I'll try to extend my "15 minutes of fame" another few minutes.

Personally I'm not a huge follower of defensive statistics, because 1. in my opinion it's difficult to measure and 2. those who are trying to measure it admit it is flawed. This is my opinion, and if some people think that's stupid, ignorant, whatever, so be it. I'll state again: I'm not suggesting that the research should stop, I'm just not buying into it yet.

As far as batting statistics, sure. I look at batting average, home runs, RBI, walks, K -- the usual suspects. But I don't necessarily measure a player specifically by his offensive stats, because the numbers may not tell the whole story, all the time. For example, Anderson Hernandez hits over .300 every winter, but almost never hits the ball out of the infield. So that batting average doesn't say much. Also, is there a numerical value for a batter who hits a ground ball to second base with no outs and a man on second? He moved the runner, but it wasn't a sacrifice, so it's an out. Yet to me a player who can do that is valuable to a winning team. Likewise, is there a stat showing how good a player is at executing the hit-and-run? And I know people are tracking players who go deep in counts, but where is that stat incorporated in the overall value of a player? It doesn't always show up in OBP because deep counts don't always result in walks.

And yes I know that there are things like park factor and OPS and all kinds of ways to look at a player's full line of statistics but I don't have much interest in analyzing numbers so deeply. For me baseball is something to watch and talk about, not count and measure. And again I fully respect everyone who follows baseball "by the numbers" and enjoys distilling a player's output into hard, numerical values. To each his own.
   80. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2297848)
actually, there is a statistic for moving the runner over, and it is considered a sacrifice. hope that helps.

And again I fully respect everyone who follows baseball "by the numbers" and enjoys distilling a player's output into hard, numerical values. To each his own.


well, gee, you have a funny way of showing that respect.
   81. Ron Johnson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2297853)
I may have missed it, but I don't think anybody's actually answers Mets' question.

Chris Dial's written a really good intro to ZR.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/dialed_in/discussion/dr_strangeglove_or_how_i_learned_to_stop_worrying_and_love_zone_rating1/

And most of the discussions in his dialed in blog revolve around either the Mets or defense.

If you're genuinely interested in discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the statistical
approach, you might be interested to know that Chris used to call himself the anti-stathead
(Didn't stop us from giving him the secret handshake)

Are statistical based evaluations of defence perfect. Hardly. There are many potential problems (not least park effects and unequal distribution of difficult chances). I'd say that we've got the standard error on defensive players down to the 7 or so run range for full-time players (it's in the range of 5-6 runs for offense and the scale is larger. Basically I think ZR does a slightly better job of ranking defensive players than batting average does of ranking offensive players. It's not that batting average is useless, it's just not respected because there are better metrics. Fielding's more complex but we're making a lot of progress) . I'm still more comfortable with letter grades.

However they are an objective recording of opportunities and conversion of those opportunities into outs.

I have a specific challenge that I make to anybody complaining about the results of (say) ZR. Rather than list potential flaws with the metric, tell us which of the potential flaws you think apply in the case under discussion.
   82. 100MPH Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2297878)
actually, there is a statistic for moving the runner over, and it is considered a sacrifice. hope that helps.

when you want to be snarky, be real sure you're not making a mistake. Moving a runner from second to third, when accomplished by grounding to the second baseman, is not measured as a sacrifice. I certainly hopes that helps you.

Everything Metstoday stated, to me, seems to have been done with enough respect, given the names and attitude thrown his way. Simply questioning the way you look at baseball does not fail to give you or your choice respect.
   83. Brian Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2297881)
Base-ically, yes.

Ah, I see. Makes sense now.
   84. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:22 PM (#2297931)
hmm. good point. it's not a sacrifice. i should have said it IS a statistic.

it may still be counted as an out, but then, iirc, it's also been the main component of the productive outs statistic.
   85. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:27 PM (#2297934)
i'd also like to point out that i'm the clarence thomas of posters for a reason. i'm not that bright.
   86. shoewizard Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2297971)
It's already been pointed out that I'm ... hmm ... let's see:

- stupid
- ignorant
- a writer of garbage
- a jackass (and a condescending one at that!)
- a scamp


While I don't agree with much of what you wrote in your article, and you DID take a couple of shots at the statistical community, and specifically a metric which you did not endeavor to truly understand, I still think the treatment you have received here has been apalling. It's the one thing I dislike about this site the most. For a place that is supposed to be so smart, and intellectual, the level of name calling is no better than you might find on the CBS or ESPN message boards. This doesn't stop me from reading and posting here. I still learn alot. But the level of discourse on this site really could really be improved a great deal.
   87. Gary Hoggatt Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:08 PM (#2297976)
"Also, is there a numerical value for a batter who hits a ground ball to second base with no outs and a man on second? He moved the runner, but it wasn't a sacrifice, so it's an out. Yet to me a player who can do that is valuable to a winning team."

As an Angel fan who has seen more than enough of Darin Erstad, let me disagree with that premise.
   88. scareduck Posted: February 15, 2007 at 07:12 AM (#2298137)
I still think the treatment you have received here has been apalling.

Yes, because demanding that he actually defend his vacuous "analysis" is apparently too much. How is it possible to have any respect for someone so thoroughly determined to misunderstand that which he decries? #82 is the more grownup way to put it, but Mr. metstoday won't do any of it, quite frankly because he understands none of it and makes no effort to do so.
   89. Ron Johnson Posted: February 15, 2007 at 07:57 AM (#2298143)
Also, is there a numerical value for a batter who hits a ground ball to second base with no outs and a man on second? He moved the runner, but it wasn't a sacrifice, so it's an out. Yet to me a player who can do that is valuable to a winning team.


You can assign a value to this if you want to do either run probability added (RPA) or win probability added (WPA) type analysis.

For RPA, I'll use some slightly out of date charts. Using data from the 2000 season, with a runner on second, two out you expect to score 1.18 runs. Runner on third, one out you expect to average 1.00 runs. So the out's cost you .18 runs (and a strikeout, or any other form of non-productive out leaves you at .73)

However the out has slightly increased your chance of scoring at least one run (from .64 to .67)

Most of us aren't terribly interested in productive outs in evaluating players because we've checked and it just doesn't happen often enough to care.

You can see the 2004 season results here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/productive (note that the totals include sac flies and successful sac bunts)
   90. If theres a bunt w'all remember twas back in ol 92 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2298224)
For what it's worth John Walsh at THT http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/best-outfield-arms-of-2006/
just did his evaluation of outfield arms (obviously not the largest component of outfield defence) and Shawn Green came in dead last.
One a sidenote, hooray for tops in RF Alex Rios!
   91. metstoday.com Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2298385)
but Mr. metstoday won't do any of it, quite frankly because he understands none of it and makes no effort to do so.


Finally! Somebody gets it !

It's true --- I don't understand it, I don't want to understand it, because I don't care about the mathmetics of baseball!

I really, really don't.

What shoewizard was trying to get across was that it's not nice to make personal attacks against people who think differently from you.

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