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Friday, April 12, 2013

MLB: White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson no fan of sabermetrics

NEHRU: Not just another Sabermetric acronym.

Thanks to John Thorn.

 

Repoz Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. zonk Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4411834)
I'm not sure what would make for better primate catnip....

"Jeff Loria: I love Murray Chass' Blog!"

"Jeff Franceour Insists That He Needs his Tray Table Down at all Times In-Flight"

"Pavement to Reunite; Record Billy Joel Cover Album; Play Bud Selig Retirement Bash"

   2. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4411838)
"Pavement to Reunite; Record Billy Joel Cover Album; Play Bud Selig Retirement Bash"


That would make it Pavements first popular song :)

And probably their first venue with over 1000 fans.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4411841)
Chass - "Marlins Trade For Francoeur Good Move, Big Money Extension Better Move"
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4411845)
Let's make a list of other things Harrelson probably doesn't like:

1. Getting your stream of urine inside the toilet bowl.
2. Lox
3. Cloudy days
4. Girls who read Nabokov
5. Lefty scissors
   5. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4411851)
6. His past and present broadcast partners.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4411852)
hawk harrelson no fan of (fill in the blank)

--multi syllable words
--news stations
--thinking
--chewing gum while walking
--questions that are not yes/no
--questions
--dinners that do not include meatloaf
--colors
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4411857)
And probably their first venue with over 1000 fans.

Oh you! ::shakes fist::
   8. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4411860)
I'm not sure what would make for better primate catnip....

"Jeff Loria: I love Murray Chass' Blog!"

"Jeff Franceour Insists That He Needs his Tray Table Down at all Times In-Flight"

"Pavement to Reunite; Record Billy Joel Cover Album; Play Bud Selig Retirement Bash"


"Nickelback Elected to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Jack Morris to Introduce at Ceremony."
   9. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4411862)
That would make it Pavements first popular song :)

And probably their first venue with over 1000 fans.


Pavement is an appropriate name, because they are both things that dogs poop on.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4411863)
Pavement is an appropriate name, because they are both things that dogs poop on.

Oh you! ::shakes fist::
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4411866)
shooty

pretty weak sauce there sport

that's the best you got?
   12. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4411868)
I was watching MLB Now yesterday and saw this. The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win...
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4411869)
pretty weak sauce there sport

that's the best you got?


Pavement doesn't need any defense from the likes of me. They're like Mohammed or Winnie the Pooh. Above reproach and immune to the chatterings of the ignorant masses.
   14. Delorians Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4411870)
I bet sabermetrics doesn't like Harrelson either.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4411872)
#13--

[claps]
   16. Esoteric Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4411874)
Pavement doesn't need any defense from the likes of me. They're like Mohammed or Winnie the Pooh. Above reproach and immune to the chatterings of the ignorant masses.
This. And their work really is like Holy Scripture.
   17. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4411875)
Aw yeah. My fact checkin' cuzzes are joining in!
   18. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4411890)
The first (and only) time I heard a Pavement album (it was the one with "Shady Lane" on it), I was on a playdate with a very strange kid and his other friend (it was a surprise joint playdate; I hated those!). I was very confused, and then they started white-people-at-jam-band-concerts dancing (I know they're not really a jam band, but that's what these two ten year olds were dancing like, in retrospect).

So that's all I know about Pavement. Doesn't seem like it would be for me, but I can't really speak to it.
   19. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4411902)
I was very confused, and then they started white-people-at-jam-band-concerts dancing (I know they're not really a jam band, but that's what these two ten year olds were dancing like in retrospect).

I don't know what to say to this except that jam bands and white people are both awful and I will pray to the Malkmus for you tonight that this blasphemy of Pavement be removed for your memoroid case immediately.

Naw, really though, Pavement isn't for everyone and I'm fine with that. Hell, they broke up 12 years ago so I think it's funny they still come up so often here. I definitely don't want to become one of those annoying baby boomers that can't shut up about the Rolling Stones 40 years later. These days I like Frightened Rabbit, Santigold and The National but no one seems obsessive about those acts yet.
   20. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4411927)
I saw the National open for Arcade Fire before they became bigger. I liked them then and now. And no whitejamband dancing was seen at that concert. Thank god. What IS that mess? I even saw whitejamband dancing when I went to see Al ####### Green. Just, no. If you can't figure out how to use your hips and not your aggressively weird shoulder-shaking for The Reverend, you sit the #### down.


Well, that comment escalated quickly.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4411933)
Naw, really though, Pavement isn't for everyone and I'm fine with that. Hell, they broke up 12 years ago so I think it's funny they still come up so often here. I definitely don't want to become one of those annoying baby boomers that can't shut up about the Rolling Stones 40 years later.


But when baby boomers talk about the Rolling Stones, they are talking about a band that random people most likely have heard of. Nirvana or Guns n Roses would be something more similar to the nostalgic 40 year from now type of bands.

They are brought up here frequently because there are an abnormal number of fans of them here, and then you have the "haters" (like me..mind you I don't have an actual opinion one way or another about the band, just think it's fun to shake the cage of their fans) who bring them up because for a band that no one has ever heard of, there are a lot of people here who like them. (My "Pavement" is Savatage...but at least they have the Trans Siberian Orchestra metamorphosis attached to the end of their resume)

It's just a little fun bit of ribbing.
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4411934)
I even saw whitejamband dancing when I went to see Al ####### Green.

I got to see Mr. Green at The Apollo and while there were a good number of hipsters there, they didn't break out any in jamdancing, thankfully. Man, if I were a rich guy, Al Green would be playing my wedding. Crap, now I've got to listen to some Al Green. Damn it, Blastin.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4411937)
It's just a little fun bit of ribbing.

Oh, I know. I'm playing along!
   24. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4411939)
The Reverend's voice has barely changed. And he seems so damn enthusiastic to be himself!
   25. spycake Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4411946)
"Jeff Franceour Insists That He Needs his Tray Table Down at all Times In-Flight"

Is this what led Delta to trade him out of ATL?
   26. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4411947)
The Reverend's voice has barely changed. And he seems so damn enthusiastic to be himself!

He's the best and that horn section he travels with is ####### incredible. When I saw him Mavis Staples opened up for him which reminds me I need to get her album that Jeff Tweedy produced. It's supposed to be really good.
   27. silhouetted by the sea Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4411948)
I was watching MLB Now yesterday and saw this. The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win...

This is easy for these types. The only players that wanted to win last year played for the Giants. I am sure he will be able to tell us what teams players wanted to win this year sometime in early November.
A question for anyone who has to watch this clown. What do the White Sox players usually say when he asks them why they didn't play to win?
   28. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4411951)
I saw him with BB King, who has slowed down (he was sitting during his set), but you're allowed to sit when you're 87 (or I guess he was 83 when I saw him).
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4411956)
I saw him with BB King, who has slowed down (he was sitting during his set), but you're allowed to sit when you're 87 (or I guess he was 83 when I saw him).

When I lived in Mississippi, most of the old blues guys I saw sat down and played. No shame in it.

I just remembered...Shuggie Otis is playing New York on Thursday. I almost forgot! I have no idea what to expect, but I want to see that.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4411965)
The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win...


Ah, the explanation for his failure as the Sox GM. He acquired too many guys who wanted to lose.

   31. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4411969)

That would make it Pavements first popular song :)

And probably their first venue with over 1000 fans.


>.<
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4411970)
I was watching MLB Now yesterday and saw this. The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win...


That is the weird part about the disconnect between the heart vs saber guys. The heart guys think they don't qualify their type of players, and when they do, they give them unquantifiable abilities that they are looking for, but don't seem to realize that doesn't actually give an answer.

I can think of a lot of players over the years who have been praised for their heart and determination and will to win, that haven't been on winners, and if I put them on the same team, there is probably very little chance that they will win. Manny Ramirez (or JD Drew) is the opposite of these claims(at least in visible attitude) yet has found himself on several winners.

These heart and soul people are only really talking about separating players that are relatively similar in value. Scouts already do that when they look at a players makeup, but even in the scouting system a players makeup can't turn a 30 player into a 70 player or take a 70 player down to a 50.

   33. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4411971)
Ah, the explanation for his failure as the Sox GM. He acquired too many guys who wanted to lose.

And fired Tony LaRussa, the guy who wanted to win to the point of psychosis.
   34. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4411975)
Otis is only 59. Wow.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4411981)
Otis is only 59. Wow.

He was very young when he disappeared. I will admit I'd never heard of him and discovered his record in London of all places at a Rough Trade Records listening station. That was quite a What The Hell Is This moment for me. How does a record like that fall through the cracks?
   36. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4411984)
Well, he did have one hit before that, but yeah.
   37. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4411988)
MLB: Everybody No Fan of White Sox Announcer Hawk Harrelson
   38. jdennis Posted: April 12, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4412017)
I don't get the dichotomy in people's minds between basic modern stats and sabermetrics; they are almost the same to me. One is just more specific than the other and needs play by play data, which can be a slog if you don't know how to manage it with a computer I guess. Would Hawk just like to go back to the hands lost vs. runs system of the NABBP? No percentages, just counting? Are the basic modern stats like OBP pushing it for him? I guess people just want one rate per stat or something and once you get two it's a different animal to them.

And I mean, sabermetric types appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the game and grit and all that stuff, they just want to test whether they are biased in those feelings. They want to see if the numbers verify their feeling like the traditionalists.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4412035)
I don't get the dichotomy in people's minds between basic modern stats and sabermetrics; they are almost the same to me. One is just more specific than the other and needs play by play data, which can be a slog if you don't know how to manage it with a computer I guess. Would Hawk just like to go back to the hands lost vs. runs system of the NABBP? No percentages, just counting? Are the basic modern stats like OBP pushing it for him? I guess people just want one rate per stat or something and once you get two it's a different animal to them.


I think some of it has to do with the certainty espoused by pro-stat proponents in the past. When I was first getting into stats everyone was talking about how unimportant/overrated defense was, now it's evolved to the point that a no-hit, great field player(like Brendan Ryan) isn't seen as a complete liability to a team. Add in wins above average or the short period of time that everyone was pushing wins probability added, and you have a number with wins in it, that doesn't necessarily correlate with team wins.

Then of course you have the myth busting which creates a bit of a backlash. People would say Andruw Jones's glove saved them 100 runs a year, or that Joe Carters clutch ability made up for his comparative lack of hitting, or productive outs are a hallmark of a good team, and of course the stat community took umbrage to such notions. The people that supported these ideas had to get defensive(it's natural) and of course that push back might have gone overboard from time to time.

Then you have the probability that many stat guys are probably slightly autistic and take everything ever said by a Joe Morgan, Dusty Baker, Murray Chass or even Hawk Harrelson at their 100% literal meaning, instead of accepting that some of it is just cliched talk to simplify advanced concepts that are born out by years of exposure to the inner workings of baseball on a day to day basis, and finding fault with minor portions of these stated cliches(or in some cases putting the magical word "luck" out there as the answer for the variations)

Anti-stat guys have said for years that catcher defense is more important than the stat community thinks, and we are now finally getting the data to actually argue that is the case. It doesn't change the simple fact that the stat community has been vocally and incorrectly arguing against catchers defense for the better part of the previous 20 years.


And I mean, sabermetric types appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the game and grit and all that stuff, they just want to test whether they are biased in those feelings. They want to see if the numbers verify their feeling like the traditionalists.


This is the part I hate about the anti-stat arguments. The "get out of the basement and watch a game" argument. It's a very major insult to me and is wrong on every level. The funny part is this is the same type of comments that ballplayers used to level against the writers(who are now leveling it against the stat guys).
   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4412045)
This is the part I hate about the anti-stat arguments. The "get out of the basement and watch a game" argument. It's a very major insult to me and is wrong on every level.


Agreed. I would bet your average sabermetric fan probably watches more baseball than most of the self-styled old school types. I love baseball, I love players like Ichiro! and David Eckstein and yes, even Jeff Francoeur. Enjoying them doesn't mean I have to delude myself into thinking they are better than they are. My favorite current Red Sox is probably Jarrod Saltalamacchia who I probably want to punch in the face at least once a game for his poor pitch framing or spectacular ability to strike out against any pitcher. Liking someone and thinking they are great are two vastly different things.
   41. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4412049)
Ah, the explanation for his failure as the Sox GM. He acquired too many guys who wanted to lose.

His players all wanted to win. They just got cheated because of too many bad calls by the umps.
   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4412050)
i confess to being disappointed that my earlier post did not generate a string of responses to my fill in the blank

thought i primed the pump

rats
   43. TJ Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4412052)
"I was watching MLB Now yesterday and saw this. The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win... "

How would Harrelson recognize such players, since he spent almost all of his career playing for bottom feaders Kansas City A's, Washington Senators, and Cleveland Indians? I guess those guys just didn't want to win. He is also the guy who created a mini-ruckus with a holdout, and retired at age 29 to try a professional golf career. Sounds like a "player who wanted to win" to me...
   44. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4412085)
Hawk: "VORP will never tell me how red a guy's ass is".
   45. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4412091)
Let's make a list of other things Harrelson probably doesn't like:

Steve Stone

Actually, in that same game, Hawk vented for some time at the lousy postgame spread the club had available. Just tore into them for that as well.
   46. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 12, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4412101)
How would Harrelson recognize such players, since he spent almost all of his career playing for bottom feaders Kansas City A's, Washington Senators, and Cleveland Indians? I guess those guys just didn't want to win. He is also the guy who created a mini-ruckus with a holdout, and retired at age 29 to try a professional golf career. Sounds like a "player who wanted to win" to me...


Harrelson was mocked during his career by writers as a player who cared only about money and celebrity, and not about the game itself. It's hard to convey just how controversial Harrelson was when he was playing, for his antics off the field, and his way of turning everything around him into a three-ring circus. Here is Jerome Holtzman's description of him from the 1970 Sporting News Official Baseball Guide. (Harrelson had staged a brief retirement when traded from Boston to Cleveland. He eventually relented when the Indians doubled his salary.)

"His popularity was due to his off-the-field manner. He was baseball's crown prince of the Mod Set, one of the new phenomena of the times, and had an immense following, mostly of teen-age girls who would squeal and scream when in his presence.

"He wore his hair long in the style of the Beatles, and dressed in the new fashion. His wardrobe was both exquisite and spectacular. He estimated he had 50 or 60 suits, 30 or 40 pairs of shoes, and 'hundreds of shirts and sweaters - I never counted.' His shirts and sweaters bore, at breast level, his insignia 'The Hawk'. In the opening paragraph of his autobiography, published in mid-season, Harrelson admitted that when he looked at himself in the mirror, he was pleased with what he saw, and would say, 'You handsome sono***un, don't you ever die.'...

"...one becomes aware that the reporters seldom mentioned his batting average, but inevitably described what he wore. Historians may wish to know that his costumes usually included multi-colored bell-bottom slacks, white cowboy boots, white belt with big brass buckle, turtleneck sweaters, and sometimes an oversized Ascot tie. Beautiful, he was!...

"...Harrelson joined the Indians on April 23, and was greeted at Cleveland's Hopkins Airport by 400 of his new fans, despite a driving rain, and near freezing weather. Magnificent in his russet-checked Edwardian suit, he emerged from his plane to the roar from the Mod fans who spilled out of the terminal building shouting "We love The Hawk!" A voluptuous model presented him with a bouquet of flowers, and then a kiss. In response, The Hawk took off his orange-tinted glasses and held two fingers aloft, flashing the V-sign for Victory and Peace."
   47. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4412106)
hawk harrelson no fan of (fill in the blank)

- Pretty much everyone that's ever had to share the booth with him.

- Tony LaRussa. Well, back when LaRussa was young.

- Kids on his lawn.

- Scooby and that gang of darn meddling kids messing up his plans.

- Umpires that don't make every call for the White Sox.
   48. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4412112)
Actually, in that same game, Hawk vented for some time at the lousy postgame spread the club had available. Just tore into them for that as well.


Hawk: "Cheap tongue don't know how to win".

Anti-stat guys have said for years that catcher defense is more important than the stat community thinks, and we are now finally getting the data to actually argue that is the case. It doesn't change the simple fact that the stat community has been vocally and incorrectly arguing against catchers defense for the better part of the previous 20 years.


Since I never get salaries close to right I'll take a moment here to note I thought it possible catcher D could easily be worth multiple wins in each direction and posted so here on multiple occasions. Pretty sure I wasn't the only one.

It seemed silly to assume it couldn't be enormously valuable, or enormously detrimental. We're also not remotely close to the value of a catcher's pitch calling ability. What's the best pitch framer worth if he's also an excellent game caller?

In response, The Hawk took off his orange-tinted glasses and held two fingers aloft, flashing the V-sign for Victory and Peace."
Victory and Peace?? The man is a walking contradiction.
   49. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4412132)
Vortex - thank you. That is awesome.
   50. Shredder Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4412151)
mind you I don't have an actual opinion one way or another about the band, just think it's fun to shake the cage of their fans
What's funny is that this is more or less my position, aside from the shaking the cages part. I like Pavement, but I've had a hard time really penetrating all of their stuff in such a way to consider them real luminaries. Rip on Deerhunter, however, and we've got issues.
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4412157)
That stuff from Vortex amazes me. In fact, I'm sure I've read that before, but never realized that this George Best-like figure of rebellion and hedonism ("Ken Harrelson") was the same person who less than two decades later was acting like Harry Caray's folksier uncle ("Hawk Harrelson").

How would Harrelson recognize such players, since he spent almost all of his career playing for bottom feaders Kansas City A's, Washington Senators, and Cleveland Indians? I guess those guys just didn't want to win. He is also the guy who created a mini-ruckus with a holdout, and retired at age 29 to try a professional golf career. Sounds like a "player who wanted to win" to me...

Perhaps this is like toolsy bust Billy Beane realizing that it is not enough to just look for toolsy guys. Harrelson is saying "Just give me guys who want to win. I should know. I didn't want to win, and look what happened, my teams never won."
   52. Transmission Posted: April 12, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4412174)
so sonofagun gets nannied? huh.

And yeah, that is just amazing, Vortex, thanks.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4412210)
so sonofagun gets nannied? huh.


Just the letters between the o and u, so I wonder if it nannies all such midword instances.

I'd like to visit Port Safaga.

Edit: Guess not.

   54. Walt Davis Posted: April 12, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4412214)
C'mon ... like any of us would have done it differently than the young Hawk.

As to the transformation ... well, none are more zealous than the convert. A lot of Hawk's "winners baby" attitude probably does stem from the fact that he wasn't and his teammates weren't. I bet if you caught Hawk at, say, age 35-40 before he became encrusted, he'd tell you he wishes he could do it all over again "the right way."

   55. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 12, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4412223)
The Hawk Harrelson fake twitter account (@nothawk) is really well done.
   56. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 12, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4412229)
"He wore his hair long in the style of the Beatles, and dressed in the new fashion. His wardrobe was both exquisite and spectacular. He estimated he had 50 or 60 suits, 30 or 40 pairs of shoes, and 'hundreds of shirts and sweaters - I never counted.'

Old hat to denizens of the SI cover vault, who have long recognized The Hawk as "The Swinger." (September 2, 1968 -- near the end of his MVP-3 season that titillated Red Sox Nation, a year after his veteran leadership helped steady the Sox on their way to The Impossible Dream.)
   57. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 12, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4412231)
so sonofagun gets nannied? huh.


I'd posted that quote before, and saved it in case I wanted to use it again if a similar discussion arose (such as this one), and the nanny is from the previous posting. I have no idea exactly how the nanny works.

Glad people liked the quote. It really does reflect the attitude of the time...

   58. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 12, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4412268)
I bet if you caught Hawk at, say, age 35-40 before he became encrusted, he'd tell you he wishes he could do it all over again "the right way."


Seriously. I mean, at most two girls at once? Orgies were more of an 80s thing. Hawk missed out, big time.

Oh. That's not the "encrusted" you had in mind?
   59. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 12, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4412278)
He probably is a fan of Pete Kozma.
   60. zenbitz Posted: April 12, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4412291)
I have invented a new stat to measure "will to win". I call it Winning Associated Redassery, or WAR for short. You can look for it on baseball-reference and fan graphs!
   61. Moeball Posted: April 12, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4412331)
Anti-stat guys have said for years that catcher defense is more important than the stat community thinks, and we are now finally getting the data to actually argue that is the case. It doesn't change the simple fact that the stat community has been vocally and incorrectly arguing against catchers defense for the better part of the previous 20 years.


Well, there may be some misconceptions on both sides. "Anti-SABR" folks emphasized the importance of catcher defense to such a degree that they were convinced Mike Piazza was a horrible catcher no matter how well he hit(and Ted Simmons before him). This opinion was based almost entirely on perceived poor percentages for caught stealing (and we now know Simmons' percentages actually weren't nearly as bad as Piazza's were, but he also played at a time when such stats weren't carefully tracked, so it was much easier for prevailing opinion, whether truthful or not, to carry the day). This view of them as being poor defensively has hampered their HOF voting results although, in Piazza's case, there are obviously other issues at play here as well.

But we can now actually measure the results of all the stolen bases taken against catchers (this doesn't even take into account how many stolen bases are really taken against pitchers with poor moves regardless of the catcher's throwing arm) and how many runs result from these stolen bases(thanks to play-by-play data that wasn't generally available 40 years ago) . It's not actually that big an impact. That's not an opinion, it is statistically measureable and verifiable. That's why Bill James, Pete Palmer and others started saying that too much emphasis was being placed on caught stealing percentages. On the one side, many in the anti-SABR crowd (you know, probably 90% of the BBWAA) took this to mean that SABR-types were saying catcher defense wasn't important and took offense. On the other side of the coin, a lot of SABR-types also took this to mean that catcher defense is not that important. I think both sides actually missed part of the picture. Many components impact a catcher's defensive contributions other than throwing arm - how is he at handling pitchers (including psychologically), pitch selection, framing pitches, knowledge of opposing hitters' strengths and weaknesses, blocking pitches to prevent passed balls, blocking the plate when runners try to score - there's a whole slew of things a catcher can be good at even if he doesn't throw very well. Or these might be things a catcher is poor at even if he does throw pretty well. I would say it's not that catcher defense isn't important, it's just that we still haven't necessarily found the best ways to measure this. But just because we don't know the best way to measure something doesn't mean it is unmeasureable.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4412388)
But we can now actually measure the results of all the stolen bases taken against catchers


Stat guys focused way to much on caught stealing...and so did anti-stat guys did the same thing when bad mouthing Piazza and Simmons. New studies are looking into catchers ability to affect pitch calling. Stat guys for years have dismissed this as a non-existent(or unmeasurable) skill, while anti-stat guys have pushed that catchers handling of pitchers was very important, if not more important than their ability to hit, which is why guys like Mike Matheny or Brad Ausmus would get jobs and the stat guys would criticize the move. (Heck War still doesn't accurately account for catchers defense)

My point was not at all about caught stealing defense. It's the least important aspect of catchers defense, and currently the only one we can actually grade with any confidence.

On the one side, many in the anti-SABR crowd (you know, probably 90% of the BBWAA) took this to mean that SABR-types were saying catcher defense wasn't important and took offense. On the other side of the coin, a lot of SABR-types also took this to mean that catcher defense is not that important.


The problem is that many pro-stat crowd were loudly declaring defense(and baserunning) doesn't matter, while the anti-stat guys were arguing against it(which makes the entire Trout/Cabrera debate hilarious when you look at where the two camps fell)
   63. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 12, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4412397)
I bet if Tom Tango could discover a stat showing the hidden value of moving your Hall of Fame catcher to LF against his wishes, Hawk would do a total 180 on SABRmetrics
   64. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 13, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4412910)
"He wore his hair long in the style of the Beatles, and dressed in the new fashion. His wardrobe was both exquisite and spectacular. He estimated he had 50 or 60 suits, 30 or 40 pairs of shoes, and 'hundreds of shirts and sweaters - I never counted.' His shirts and sweaters bore, at breast level, his insignia 'The Hawk'. In the opening paragraph of his autobiography, published in mid-season, Harrelson admitted that when he looked at himself in the mirror, he was pleased with what he saw, and would say, 'You handsome sono***un, don't you ever die.'...

So Buzz Bissinger is merely going through a Hawk Harrelson phase?
   65. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4412914)
My point was not at all about caught stealing defense. It's the least important aspect of catchers defense, and currently the only one we can actually grade with any confidence.


What's interesting about Simmons is that he possibly saved more runs on SBA than Bench did.

Simmons threw out players at a 34 percent rate during his career. But guys ran on him all the time (check out his SBA numbers - only one season in his career did he not rank in the Top 3 of his league). His SBA allowed is 17th in history. His CS ranks 44th. But since he was throwing out runners well ahead of the breakeven point (in the mid 70 percent range in his era), he was adding value with his arm that a guy who teams shied away from running on was not.

   66. cardsfanboy Posted: April 13, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4413021)

What's interesting about Simmons is that he possibly saved more runs on SBA than Bench did.

Simmons threw out players at a 34 percent rate during his career. But guys ran on him all the time (check out his SBA numbers - only one season in his career did he not rank in the Top 3 of his league). His SBA allowed is 17th in history. His CS ranks 44th. But since he was throwing out runners well ahead of the breakeven point (in the mid 70 percent range in his era), he was adding value with his arm that a guy who teams shied away from running on was not.


What I find interesting about Simmons, is that I haven't been able to find any quotes or innuendo from his own pitchers that they preferred to have someone else catching. Al Hrabosky to this day prefers Simmons to any catcher. His reputation as a poor catcher seems to have been created solely by the writers and Whitey Herzog. It's somewhat sad that his hof chances are being kept out by the story of his poor defense, created by the media, since they seem to only focus on the caught stealing part. Just like Piazza but even worse as you pointed out, his caught stealing is ultimately a plus.

It's easier to find people bad mouthing Irod for his poor pitcher handling, than it is to find people bad mouthing Piazza or Simmons for it. Yet Irod is the defensive god.
   67. bobm Posted: April 13, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4413102)
[43]
"I was watching MLB Now yesterday and saw this. The best part was Hawk's claim as to how to win (since sabermetrics is a failure) - "Just give me players who want to win". Seriously? I'd like to know which players he thinks don't want to win... "

How would Harrelson recognize such players, since he spent almost all of his career playing for bottom feaders Kansas City A's, Washington Senators, and Cleveland Indians? I guess those guys just didn't want to win. He is also the guy who created a mini-ruckus with a holdout, and retired at age 29 to try a professional golf career. Sounds like a "player who wanted to win" to me...


Sounds like projection and self-loathing by Hawk ...

Standard Batting (1963-1971)
                                                  
Year   Age Tm Lg   G   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
9 Yrs            900 3364 .239 .325 .414 .740  110


Postseason Batting
                                                          
Year   Age  Tm Lg Series Opp Rslt G PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
1967    25 BOS AL     WS STL    L 4 14 .077 .143 .077 .220

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