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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Bill James: Why We Need Runs Saved Against Zero

        Absolute values, measured from zero up, create structure to our thought.  Absolute values make analysis possible.  Without reference points, it is very, very difficult to create a map, because every little error magnifies itself over space, creating an uncertain relationship between distant points.  “Surveying” is a matter of accurate measurement, yes, but it is also a system of creating multiple reference points.  Every map starts with a zero point; you don’t know what it is, but the guy who created the map does.  (For Google Earth, by the way, the zero point is in Lawrence, Kansas.  Really.)

        I understand, of course, why fielding is difficult to measure in absolute terms.  It is difficult to measure in all sports.  Offense is measured from the ground up.  Defense is measured from the sky down.  How tall is Charlie, measuring down from the sky?  It’s a hard problem.

        But the lack of a zero point, in measuring fielding, creates chaos in our ability to analyze fielding.  It creates just as much confusion in measuring fielding as it would in measuring income, or in creating a map.  And, because we have been measuring fielding in this odd way, there are lots and lots and lots of things about fielding that we SHOULD know, but we just have no way of knowing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 01:00 PM | 202 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james

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Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3
   201. SoSH U at work Posted: July 18, 2020 at 01:03 AM (#5963821)

I don’t think Trammell could have played 1B as well as Keith, nor that Keith could play short as well as Alan.


I also don't think Trammell could have played first as well as Keith. And there's simply no way Keith could have played short as well as Tram.

As Howie alludes to, Hernandez took full advantage of the inherent advantage a lefthander has at first. Trammell could not have made many of those throws to second or third that Keith did.
   202. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 18, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5963921)
that's a real good pt. The RH throwing to second base in this case is going to be a little harder.
Page 3 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3

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