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View Full Version : 'Moneball' Strikes Again!


Lefty34
05-23-2008, 09:47 PM
This time, it's in the form of getting old people fired from their scouting positions. I saw this USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-05-18-Scouts_N.htm) article when I was in a hotel in Indiana for the NCBA D2 World Series this last weekend and just wanted to throw up. Let me hit the high notes for you:

After publication of the 2003 best seller Moneyball, a look at the Oakland Athletics' methods of statistical analysis, 103 scouts lost their jobs, according to Hemond.
"They've done everything they can to screw it up, but it's still a beautiful game," says Minor, who has worked since 1967 for the Mets. "You come to the ballpark every day, and something's going to happen that you've never seen before. That's why I love it."



"I trust my eyes," says LaMacchia, who pitched for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns in 1943, '45 and '46, "not some computer."


Why in the world do people (Joe Morgan especially) hate 'Moneyball' so much? Why is a new and cheaper and, sometimes, better way of thinking so loathed by so many people? Anyway, parts of this article made me ill (the parts about 'Moneyball' and how statistics are screwing up baseball) and I was just wondering what you guys thought of it.

Daver
05-23-2008, 09:50 PM
What the hell is moneball?


I agree with the scouts BTW, what team has won a damn thing using almost pure stats?

Lefty34
05-23-2008, 10:02 PM
What the hell is moneball?


I agree with the scouts BTW, what team has won a damn thing using almost pure stats?


Yeah I screwed up on the title of the thread, sorry about that, there are weird shadows cast on my laptop keyboard and sometimes my hands are offset by a key or so and I miss a key. And guess where my laptop is set up? MY MOM'S BASEMENT!

Anyway, to answer your question: the Oakland Athletics won their division in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006 and won the Wild Card in 2001. So umm...yeah.

Daver
05-23-2008, 10:11 PM
Yeah I screwed up on the title of the thread, sorry about that, there are weird shadows cast on my laptop keyboard and sometimes my hands are offset by a key or so and I miss a key. And guess where my laptop is set up? MY MOM'S BASEMENT!

Anyway, to answer your question: the Oakland Athletics won their division in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006 and won the Wild Card in 2001. So umm...yeah.


The Oakland Athletics have won how many World Series under Billy Beane?

They can't even win a playoff series. Wanna know why?

Their approach is flawed to say the least. Take your worship of the number elsewhere, everyone here already knows it's a huge pile of crap.

fquaye149
05-23-2008, 10:58 PM
Well, it's kind of hard to prove that a team is winning or losing based on scouting or statistics, strictly.

For instance, if I were to point out that the Red Sox won 2 world series in 4 years after hiring both a sabrmetrically inclined GM and a sabrmetrics legend as a consultant, people would, rightly, claim that the Red Sox's success has more to do with their high payroll than their moneyball approach.

So wouldn't it be fair to say that Oakland's failure in the playoffs has more to do with their lack of payroll than some sort of inherent flaw of statistical preference to personnel management?

i.e.:

Stat-based GM+ lots of money= lots of playoff appearances and 2 WS wins

Stat-based GM + small amount of money=lots of playoff appearnces with nothing to show for it.

Meanwhile Terry Ryan ran the Twins with a scouting and fundamentals approach, brilliantly, but the Twins, despite winning many division titles, failed to win a world series.

All the while, the Angels are run based more on scouting and fundamentals than stats, and they have a WS ring as well as an ALCS appearance recently.

What's the wild card there? Money.

Money doesn't win you anything, but it does seem that rather than point to "moneyball"--that is, what mostpeople choose to call a stats-based approach to gm-ing--as the problem with why midmarket teams can't win the big one, it might be worth noting that Beane has had about as much success as Ryan did, with about the same resources, financially.

Therefore, it doesn't seem to me that either one is better or worse than the other inherently

Lefty34
05-23-2008, 11:00 PM
The Oakland Athletics have won how many World Series under Billy Beane?

They can't even win a playoff series. Wanna know why?


Daver, they WON the division series over the Twins in 2006. However, they have not won a WS under Beane, thus minimizing their consistent divisional accomplishments. In fact, they haven't even made a WS appearance under Beane, jeez these guys suck! That must mean that every team that hasn't made a WS appearance since Beane took over the A's in 1998 must worship the "pile of crap" that is "the number" and suck just as much in some regard, right? So that means that the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Royals, Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Marlins, Phillies and Nationals are all bags of crap just like the Athletics are, even though some of the teams on that list haven't so much as sniffed at a divisional title in Beane's time.

Come on, winning the WS is great, and should be every team's ultimate goal. Look at the Braves, they haven't seen the WS since 1999, but they have won their division 6 out of the 8 years since, how is that bad? Who would not want to have a consistent division-winner?

fquaye149
05-23-2008, 11:02 PM
Daver, they WON the division series over the Twins in 2006. However, they have not won a WS under Beane, thus minimizing their consistent divisional accomplishments. In fact, they haven't even made a WS appearance under Beane, jeez these guys suck! That must mean that every team that hasn't made a WS appearance since Beane took over the A's in 1998 must worship the "pile of crap" that is "the number" and suck just as much in some regard, right? So that means that the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Royals, Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Marlins, Phillies and Nationals are all bags of crap just like the Athletics are, even though some of the teams on that list haven't so much as sniffed at a divisional title in Beane's time.

Come on, winning the WS is great, and should be every team's ultimate goal. Look at the Braves, they haven't seen the WS since 1999, but they have won their division 6 out of the 8 years since, how is that bad? Who would not want to have a consistent division-winner?


With the exception of the Twins, those teams are all pretty poorly run.

The Orioles, Rays, Royals, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Phillies, and Nats have all been brutally run during Beane's tenure.

Lefty34
05-23-2008, 11:04 PM
Well, it's kind of hard to prove that a team is winning or losing based on scouting or statistics, strictly.

For instance, if I were to point out that the Red Sox won 2 world series in 4 years after hiring both a sabrmetrically inclined GM and a sabrmetrics legend as a consultant, people would, rightly, claim that the Red Sox's success has more to do with their high payroll than their moneyball approach.

So wouldn't it be fair to say that Oakland's failure in the playoffs has more to do with their lack of payroll than some sort of inherent flaw of statistical preference to personnel management?

i.e.:

Stat-based GM+ lots of money= lots of playoff appearances and 2 WS wins

Stat-based GM + small amount of money=lots of playoff appearnces with nothing to show for it.

Meanwhile Terry Ryan ran the Twins with a scouting and fundamentals approach, brilliantly, but the Twins, despite winning many division titles, failed to win a world series.

All the while, the Angels are run based more on scouting and fundamentals than stats, and they have a WS ring as well as an ALCS appearance recently.

What's the wild card there? Money.

Money doesn't win you anything, but it does seem that rather than point to "moneyball"--that is, what mostpeople choose to call a stats-based approach to gm-ing--as the problem with why midmarket teams can't win the big one, it might be worth noting that Beane has had about as much success as Ryan did, with about the same resources, financially.

Therefore, it doesn't seem to me that either one is better or worse than the other inherently

Exactly, but I put a little more stock into stat-based GM + money, personally. I think you hit the nail right on the head. I just think it's great what Beane has done with such a crappy payroll and I hate the constant ragging Moneyballers get from old scouts like in the article above because they are "trying to ruin the game" (that is actually said by an old scout somewhere in the article).

fquaye149
05-23-2008, 11:09 PM
Exactly, but I put a little more stock into stat-based GM + money, personally. I think you hit the nail right on the head. I just think it's great what Beane has done with such a crappy payroll and I hate the constant ragging Moneyballers get from old scouts like in the article above because they are "trying to ruin the game" (that is actually said by an old scout somewhere in the article).

Scouts are extremely valuable.

Stats only really mean anything if you're looking at players

a.) coming out of college for the draft

b.) Playing in the minors at a level that should be reflected in terms of having reached their development peak

c.) analyzing MLB talent in terms of age and hidden value.

Otherwise, scouts are an extremely valuable resource, and Beane would be much better off to listen to them in terms of finding draft talent

Lefty34
05-23-2008, 11:17 PM
Otherwise, scouts are an extremely valuable resource, and Beane would be much better off to listen to them in terms of finding draft talent

Hold the phone, are you saying that Jeremy Brown wasn't a great draft choice?

Daver
05-23-2008, 11:25 PM
Daver, they WON the division series over the Twins in 2006. However, they have not won a WS under Beane, thus minimizing their consistent divisional accomplishments. In fact, they haven't even made a WS appearance under Beane, jeez these guys suck! That must mean that every team that hasn't made a WS appearance since Beane took over the A's in 1998 must worship the "pile of crap" that is "the number" and suck just as much in some regard, right? So that means that the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Royals, Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Marlins, Phillies and Nationals are all bags of crap just like the Athletics are, even though some of the teams on that list haven't so much as sniffed at a divisional title in Beane's time.

Come on, winning the WS is great, and should be every team's ultimate goal. Look at the Braves, they haven't seen the WS since 1999, but they have won their division 6 out of the 8 years since, how is that bad? Who would not want to have a consistent division-winner?

What part of flawed do you exactly fail to comprehend?

Lefty34
05-23-2008, 11:42 PM
What part of flawed do you exactly fail to comprehend?

Apparently the part where consistent post-season appearances (regardless of a WS win) is considered worthless.

fquaye149
05-23-2008, 11:48 PM
What part of flawed do you exactly fail to comprehend?

Oh come on, Daver. Was Terry Ryan's system flawed?

Daver
05-23-2008, 11:48 PM
Apparently the part where consistent post-season appearances (regardless of a WS win) is considered worthless.

Get back to me when it wins a ring, till then it is a worthless pile of crap.

Daver
05-23-2008, 11:51 PM
Oh come on, Daver. Was Terry Ryan's system flawed?

Yes.

He refused to deal minor league talent for players that were established MLB players, at the cost of winning in the post season.

FarWestChicago
05-23-2008, 11:52 PM
Why in the world do people (Joe Morgan especially) hate 'Moneyball' so much?For a genius you are oblivious to the obvious. The answer is YOU, and people like you. :nod:

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 12:00 AM
Yes.

He refused to deal minor league talent for players that were established MLB players, at the cost of winning in the post season.

fair enough. I'll buy that.

Jpgr91
05-24-2008, 12:36 AM
The problem with moneyball is that using only statistics to project the performance of a baseball player is that you are analyzing a very very small sample size. There is no way to project performance when there is such a strong possibility that any "positive" performance is just variation, rather than expectation.

Lip Man 1
05-24-2008, 12:44 AM
Lefty:

With respect we are going to have to disagree with this.

When (or if) the day comes when a computer in the off season can put together a team and have them go out and win (because the G.M. will follow everything it says to do) then I'll bow to your convictions.

Till them I'm sorry, no computer or no mathematician can predict or put together with accuracy a team that will win a human game like baseball.

BP pegged the Sox record with complete accuracy last year. They also blew it with the Sox in 05 (and refused to even admit that they blew it) they blew the three straight Twins crowns (didn't add up to the Pythagorean theorem) and they couldn't comprehend last season (and they said that in print in S.I.) how the D'backs could win the division and get as far as they did in the post season when they allowed more runs then they scored.

Seems to me if this was such an established way to do things that the computer would have "foreseen" these "little" anomalies don't ya think?

:?:

Lip

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 12:53 AM
Get back to me when it wins a ring, till then it is a worthless pile of crap.

Come on, Beane, and others like him, with the help of those fear-instilling machines known as computers has revolutionized the game of baseball and at least helped (clearly not by itself) bring teams into the post-season and win at least two World Series.

For a genius you are oblivious to the obvious. The answer is YOU, and people like you. :nod:

I disagree. I believe the correct answer is all the other people who are so confused/infuriated by this new way of looking at the game. These are the people who refuse to believe that there can be another way of looking and thinking about something and that this new way might actually work. And, indeed, this has been true of new ideas throughout history: Michel de Montaigne was forced to submit many of his political works anonymously for fear of being sent to the chopping block for his new political ideas.

Now, am I equating "Moneyball" to "Of Experience"? No, of course not. But the way new and innovative ideas have been treated by the established powers-that-be in the past and in the present can be considered nothing short of laughable.

drewcifer
05-24-2008, 01:05 AM
Come on, Beane, and others like him, with the help of those fear-instilling machines known as computers has revolutionized the game of baseball and at least helped (clearly not by itself) bring teams into the post-season and win at least two World Series.



I disagree. I believe the correct answer is all the other people who are so confused/infuriated by this new way of looking at the game. These are the people who refuse to believe that there can be another way of looking and thinking about something and that this new way might actually work. And, indeed, this has been true of new ideas throughout history: Michel de Montaigne was forced to submit many of his political works anonymously for fear of being sent to the chopping block for his new political ideas.

Now, am I equating "Moneyball" to "Of Experience"? No, of course not. But the way new and innovative ideas have been treated by the established powers-that-be in the past and in the present can be considered nothing short of laughable.

Why are you doing this?

Sabercrap is not new.

And as has been pointed out to you - there's no proof it wins championships.

Root for Billy Beane and low budget underdogs all you want. Just remember where you are.

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 01:06 AM
Lefty:

With respect we are going to have to disagree with this.

When (or if) the day comes when a computer in the off season can put together a team and have them go out and win (because the G.M. will follow everything it says to do) then I'll bow to your convictions.

Till them I'm sorry, no computer or no mathematician can predict or put together with accuracy a team that will win a human game like baseball.



I made a point of saying that the Athletics (I think we can all agree they are about as close as you can get to a "computer-run" team) haven't won a WS with Beane at the helm. They have however, been able to field teams that have made the post-season more often than not in this decade, which I count as "winning". If by "win" you mean a team that can go out and win the World Series, I will (again) concede that no "computer-run" team has done that, but I think we should all keep in mind that there is usually only one team or GM a season that can put together a team that wins the Big One, isn't there?

My point is, and has always been (when regarding things like "Moneyball"), that this new way of making baseball decisions, while it certainly isn't the Holy Grail of Baseball, is doing quite well for itself, and the ability of the Athletics to consistently appear in the post-season is a testament to that. Also, I don't think that this way of thinking and doing things deserves all the flak it gets.

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 01:11 AM
And as has been pointed out to you - there's no proof it wins championships.


Even if I did equate Saber-"crap" to immediate championships, I have withdrawn that statement and, if you even read the post you quoted, have said it "at least helps" win those championships. Will it win a championship(s) outright? Who knows. However it has certainly made those low-budget underdogs compete and win against the bigger-budget teams hasn't it?

gobears1987
05-24-2008, 01:14 AM
# of World Series titles won by Billy Beane: 0
# of World Series titles won by Kenny Williams: 1


If Moneyball and sabermetrics truly worked in baseball, then BP would be correct each year in their predictions.

You can talk to me about playoff appearances, but I don't think that really matters. Tell me, do you still reflect a lot on the 2000 Sox and rush to watch replays of games from that season? Probably not. It was fun at the time, but years later 2000 means nothing compared to something like 2005. 2005 will be remembered for the rest of your life while 2000 will be little more than a footnote in our memory.

drewcifer
05-24-2008, 01:18 AM
Even if I did equate Saber-"crap" to immediate championships, I have withdrawn that statement and, if you even read the post you quoted, have said it "at least helps" win those championships. Will it win a championship(s) outright? Who knows. However it has certainly made those low-budget underdogs compete and win against the bigger-budget teams hasn't it?

Cut the crap - WHO are you talking about? Oakland or Boston?

Make your point and get on with it.

Oakland has made the playoffs A LOT and failed. Usually out very quickly. So have the Twins - They aren't known for being saberheads...

Boston has had recent success, but had the benefit of expanded payroll. You can argue that extra $ spent in July yielded ineffective players, if you want, but what about how other teams perceive a richer team?

Point is - You could go day and night on this.

Daver said it best. Win something. All the way.

We did it with mediocre hitting, mediocre OBP, good pitching (under 3.5 as a rotation), sound defense... I'd agree with you if we were talking about a book called CONSISTENCYBALL, but we aren't.

You are entrigued with some shortcut with fancy math and that's ok.

But who has won and who hasn't?

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 01:32 AM
You are entrigued with some shortcut with fancy math and that's ok.



Fancy math? OBP, SLG and OPS are created using fancy math? Ok, OPS+ is a little bit more complicated, but not all that much, and I have never put any stock into PECOTA. These are numbers taken from the game, what is so daunting about that?

And shortcut? What am I cutting out? Do you mean the act of sending (costly) humans to baseball games to watch a player and tell me everything about his baseball play, most of which I could get from the aforementioned "fancy" stats using a (relatively inexpensive) computer? There is no shortcut here, just a different way of evaluating players. So instead of telling me to cut the crap, you should take a second and ask yourself "who are you crappin".

drewcifer
05-24-2008, 01:38 AM
Fancy math? OBP, SLG and OPS are created using fancy math? Ok, OPS+ is a little bit more complicated, but not all that much, and I have never put any stock into PECOTA. These are numbers taken from the game, what is so daunting about that?

And shortcut? What am I cutting out? Do you mean the act of sending (costly) humans to baseball games to watch a player and tell me everything about his baseball play, most of which I could get from the aforementioned "fancy" stats using a (relatively inexpensive) computer? There is no shortcut here, just a different way of evaluating players. So instead of telling me to cut the crap, you should take a second and ask yourself "who are you crappin".

The answer was: 2005 White Sox

Thanks for playing.

G'night Lefty. Have a VORPy = +x2 night ERA+!



I love 'ya buddy.

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 01:50 AM
The answer was: 2005 White Sox

Thanks for playing.

G'night Lefty. Have a VORPy = +x2 night ERA+!



I love 'ya buddy.

Actually, the correct answer is: there is no definitive answer (http://643sports.blogspot.com/) (2nd post down). You can give me WS Champion after Champion with sub-par OBP's and SLG's and I can show you Champ after Champ with top-of-the-league numbers in the same categories. Moneyball-ing is just a different way of evaluating talent and putting together a team based, in part, on the above statistical categories.

So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light Naysayer of Numbers, and thank you for thinking OBP is fancy math.

35th and Shields
05-24-2008, 01:54 AM
You can talk to me about playoff appearances, but I don't think that really matters. Tell me, do you still reflect a lot on the 2000 Sox and rush to watch replays of games from that season? Probably not. It was fun at the time, but years later 2000 means nothing compared to something like 2005. 2005 will be remembered for the rest of your life while 2000 will be little more than a footnote in our memory.
Obviously once something like 2005 happens your going to forget 2000, but prior to 05 did you not wish that the sox would just make the playoffs? Sure, if I knew that the sox would have decent seasons from 01 to 04 and win the world series 05 I would take it in a heartbeat, but at the time there was no way I saw that happening. For teams that don't have huge payrolls (Oakland) making the playoffs is a big deal, especially when you account the fact that only eight teams make the playoffs each year.

Jpgr91
05-24-2008, 01:57 AM
Actually, the correct answer is: there is no definitive answer (http://643sports.blogspot.com/) (2nd post down). You can give me WS Champion after Champion with sub-par OBP's and SLG's and I can show you Champ after Champ with top-of-the-league numbers in the same categories. Moneyball-ing is just a different way of evaluating talent and putting together a team based, in part, on the above statistical categories.

So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light Naysayer of Numbers, and thank you for thinking OBP is fancy math.


If you can with with a team that produces stats that are in the top 2, and you can win with a team that has stats in the middle of the pack, what value does the math actually have? Doesn't that say there are other significant factors involved in baseball that can not be statistically quantified?

Lefty34
05-24-2008, 02:01 AM
If you can with with a team that produces stats that are in the top 2, and you can win with a team that has stats in the middle of the pack, what value does the math actually have? Doesn't that say there are other significant factors involved in baseball that can not be statistically quantified?

Yes it does. There are things in baseball that cannot be quantified or prepared for statistically. However the fact that you can win with either gives legitimacy to the Moneyball way of doing things. Whereas that way of doing things would be rendered useless if all the WS champs were at the bottom of the barrel in OBP and top of the league in SAC and SB.

Jpgr91
05-24-2008, 02:08 AM
Yes it does. There are things in baseball that cannot be quantified or prepared for statistically. However the fact that you can win with either gives legitimacy to the Moneyball way of doing things. Whereas that way of doing things would be rendered useless if all the WS champs were at the bottom of the barrel in OBP and top of the league in SAC and SB.

As a tool used in the evaluation process, but not as the only way to build your team.

FarWestChicago
05-24-2008, 08:08 AM
I disagree. I believe the correct answer is all the other people who are so confused/infuriated by this new way of looking at the game. These are the people who refuse to believe that there can be another way of looking and thinking about something and that this new way might actually work.You can disagree all you want. But, you are completely incorrect. Look at this thread. Why aren't people fond of statheads? Read the whole thread again and try to figure it out. If you do this and still don't get it, please submit your genius resignation. You are behaving in a more annoying manner than a Scientologist. They have all the answers for us lesser people, too. :rolleyes:

Oblong
05-24-2008, 09:53 AM
Moneyball wasn't about just using stats to "replace" traditional scouting beause it's better. It was because most others used traditional scouting and Beane's payroll disadvantage lured into trying something that the others weren't doing. If the 29 other clubs were using stats instead of traditional scouting then he would have used traditional scouting.

The traditional scouting is only as good as the scouts and the people who listen to them. Dave Dombrowski talked about the importance of scouts and that it was just as important that you ask them the right questions. They are your eyes out into the country and the world. Getting the data is one thing, analyzing it and using it is altogether another skill set in and of itself.

I personally think the best combination is a mixture of the two. In the end you have to follow your gut but it's also good to have as much information as you can to shape that decision. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

Stats are useful in combatting perception problems. It's impossible to watch every player for every game. Any player can have a great stretch and a bad stretch. The difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter is something like a hit a week. In order to notice that hit you have to keep the stats.

In the Hardball Times annual they did a chapter on Derek Jeter's defense. He was whining in an article about his critics and said something like "Like every player has the same pitchers and same runners". They were able to break down the numbers to show that he just wasn't making as many outs as other SS were. You could come up with an endless number of scenarios. Compare Jeter to every other SS to play in Yankee Stadium and count the number of outs made by the SS. Compare him to every other SS who's played for the Yankees during his career. Compare him to every other SS who has played for a particular pitcher. You can break it down by outs or with runners on base. You can even go by individual runners on base. Every scenario showed him near the bottom or at the bottom.

Stuff like that is fascinating and relatively easy to use once you get the data. Is that sabermetric? I'm not sure it is. It's just an enhancement on stuff you'd see with your eyes.

Where the stat guys lose me is when the formulas get too complicated and they start adding variables and other stuff that seems to be too arbitrary and random. But using tools like pitching f/x and play by play data is awesome.

Craig Grebeck
05-24-2008, 10:31 AM
I hate this debate. The two sides will never agree. I've become much more neutral in this debate in the last year or so, as I have spent a lot of time researching scouting and its value to the minor leagues.

All I ask is that the "old-school" side look into ERA+ and OPS+ -- as they are not at all complicated and extremely valuable. I also ask that the "new-school" side not completely dismiss scouting -- as it is incredibly value in the minor leagues. There are bad scouts, and there are great scouts.

Oblong
05-24-2008, 11:03 AM
I hate this debate. The two sides will never agree. I've become much more neutral in this debate in the last year or so, as I have spent a lot of time researching scouting and its value to the minor leagues.

All I ask is that the "old-school" side look into ERA+ and OPS+ -- as they are not at all complicated and extremely valuable. I also ask that the "new-school" side not completely dismiss scouting -- as it is incredibly value in the minor leagues. There are bad scouts, and there are great scouts.

that about sums it up. When these arguments come up I usually find myself just in it to play devil's advocate. The minors situation is a key point. Because of the disparity that can take place you really have to rely on those who watch them play. Talk to scouts, talk to coaches, heck, talk to fans. They can tell you if a guy runs well. There's too many other variables to rely solely on stats. In A ball the defenses can be bad beause it's kids playing. So it might not be a great idea to look at ERA for a pitcher. Or a player could be 23 years old going up against 18 or 19 year olds. You have to take that into consideration when looking at the numbers.

I think what happens particularly here is that the venom towards BP is taken out on the whole stat community. It's not a monolithic thing. Just because someone calls themselves a saber guy or throws out BABIP or FIP doesn't mean they are Joe Sheehan and don't like the White Sox.

It's like blackjack theories. Everybody's got one. Every theory has it's pitfalls. But just like it still depends on the cards in the deck it still depends on the guys on the field.

russ99
05-24-2008, 11:10 AM
Moneyball wasn't about just using stats to "replace" traditional scouting beause it's better. It was because most others used traditional scouting and Beane's payroll disadvantage lured into trying something that the others weren't doing. If the 29 other clubs were using stats instead of traditional scouting then he would have used traditional scouting.

The traditional scouting is only as good as the scouts and the people who listen to them. Dave Dombrowski talked about the importance of scouts and that it was just as important that you ask them the right questions. They are your eyes out into the country and the world. Getting the data is one thing, analyzing it and using it is altogether another skill set in and of itself.

I personally think the best combination is a mixture of the two. In the end you have to follow your gut but it's also good to have as much information as you can to shape that decision. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.

Stats are useful in combatting perception problems. It's impossible to watch every player for every game. Any player can have a great stretch and a bad stretch. The difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter is something like a hit a week. In order to notice that hit you have to keep the stats.

In the Hardball Times annual they did a chapter on Derek Jeter's defense. He was whining in an article about his critics and said something like "Like every player has the same pitchers and same runners". They were able to break down the numbers to show that he just wasn't making as many outs as other SS were. You could come up with an endless number of scenarios. Compare Jeter to every other SS to play in Yankee Stadium and count the number of outs made by the SS. Compare him to every other SS who's played for the Yankees during his career. Compare him to every other SS who has played for a particular pitcher. You can break it down by outs or with runners on base. You can even go by individual runners on base. Every scenario showed him near the bottom or at the bottom.

Stuff like that is fascinating and relatively easy to use once you get the data. Is that sabermetric? I'm not sure it is. It's just an enhancement on stuff you'd see with your eyes.

Where the stat guys lose me is when the formulas get too complicated and they start adding variables and other stuff that seems to be too arbitrary and random. But using tools like pitching f/x and play by play data is awesome.

Finally someone on this thread actually read the book. :D:

Beane never ditched traditional scouting. He only tried to find a competitive edge by using a tool that others weren't because the A's didn't have the money to compete otherwise.

Like anything in baseball, any competitive edge like this only works for so long, until the rest of the league is either on to it or catches up. This point can even be made for Ozzieball.

TheOldRoman
05-24-2008, 11:31 AM
The Oakland Athletics have won how many World Series under Billy Beane?
Countless.

They have won countless championships under Beane... because you can't count to zero.:duck:



Wait, I have another one...



The A's have won A NUMBER of championship under Beane. Zero is a number.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 11:52 AM
I don't know what's more ridiculous, the people who say "Sabrmetrics are great, yes I live in my mother's basement lol, you love Eckstein."

Or the people who say "Billy Beane hasn't won a championship, a computer can't put a team together, there's no proof Sabrmetrics works"

There's a lot of black and white. The Red Sox probably woudln't have won two world series without Sabrmetrics, but at the same time, they wouldn't have won **** without scouting either.

Billy Beane doesn't JUST use computers to put together a team, and Kenny Williams certainly doesn't eschew stats.

Let's get over this fabricated polarization. Jebus.

pmck003
05-24-2008, 11:53 AM
I hate this debate. The two sides will never agree. I've become much more neutral in this debate in the last year or so, as I have spent a lot of time researching scouting and its value to the minor leagues.

All I ask is that the "old-school" side look into ERA+ and OPS+ -- as they are not at all complicated and extremely valuable. I also ask that the "new-school" side not completely dismiss scouting -- as it is incredibly value in the minor leagues. There are bad scouts, and there are great scouts.

Horray! I'm not always a fan of compromise, but this makes good sense.

Lip Man 1
05-24-2008, 01:08 PM
Then I have to respectfully have to ask the question again.

If stats are so complete and some find them to be the "be all and end all," then WHY can't BP forecast with 100% accuracy the final seasonal records of EVERY team in MLB EVERY season?

I'm not trying to go to an extreme here, I'm serious...if they have everything figured out then why aren't the pre season win/loss numbers accurate at the end of the season?

How could the D'backs win last season while being outscored? How could the Sox win it all in 05? How could the Twins win three straight titles?

I'm not trying to be an ass, just trying to make a point. If they have it all figured out, there would be no "surprises" correct?

Obviously it isn't all figured out is it? Yet the attitude of some ESPECIALLY the pompous ingrates at BP appear to show otherwise.

I've always said I don't hate stats, I hate the attitude of those who think they have all the answers to a human game, then have the gonads to act like nothing is wrong when their stats are totally, completely, unequivocally wrong.

Stats have a place in baseball (personally I think they only belong on the back of a baseball card but that's just me...) but not as large a place as some of the geniuses think they should have.

Lip

sullythered
05-24-2008, 01:12 PM
This is sort of off topic, but I think it's interesting. The Bulls big decision on draft day kind of falls into this argument in a way. The stats say go with Beasly, but the eyes say go with Rose.

Anyway, I was wondering what kind of system the Twins use when evaluating talent. They seem to be, by far, the most consistently good team with a tiny payroll. Anybody know?

Craig Grebeck
05-24-2008, 01:32 PM
Then I have to respectfully have to ask the question again.

If stats are so complete and some find them to be the "be all and end all," then WHY can't BP forecast with 100% accuracy the final seasonal records of EVERY team in MLB EVERY season?

I'm not trying to go to an extreme here, I'm serious...if they have everything figured out then why aren't the pre season win/loss numbers accurate at the end of the season?

How could the D'backs win last season while being outscored? How could the Sox win it all in 05? How could the Twins win three straight titles?

I'm not trying to be an ass, just trying to make a point. If they have it all figured out, there would be no "surprises" correct?

Obviously it isn't all figured out is it? Yet the attitude of some ESPECIALLY the pompous ingrates at BP appear to show otherwise.

I've always said I don't hate stats, I hate the attitude of those who think they have all the answers to a human game, then have the gonads to act like nothing is wrong when their stats are totally, completely, unequivocally wrong.

Stats have a place in baseball (personally I think they only belong on the back of a baseball card but that's just me...) but not as large a place as some of the geniuses think they should have.

Lip

Why is your attitude so condescending? I don't get it. No one at BP has ever said that they "have it all figured out." Also, you are mistaking PECOTA -- a forecast system that IS essentially a computer -- for statistics, which are factual evidence of recorded events. They use PECOTA to forecast player and team performance in a given season or over the course of five seasons. It has been the best projection system -- they have never claimed that it has it all "figured out."

AZChiSoxFan
05-24-2008, 01:37 PM
Apparently the part where consistent post-season appearances (regardless of a WS win) is considered worthless.


I'll tell you what's worthless (besides you and all of the other BB worshippers). A bunch of geeks who never actually watch games but pretend that they can predict everything about baseball based on the RF's GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average on games played during full moons on sunday nights in June.

Craig Grebeck
05-24-2008, 01:47 PM
I'll tell you what's worthless (besides you and all of the other BB worshippers). A bunch of geeks who never actually watch games but pretend that they can predict everything about baseball based on the RF's GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average on games played during full moons on sunday nights in June.
Really? This? Come on. I am neutral in this, and feel like there needs to be a middle ground -- but this kind of generalization is really ridiculous.

pudge
05-24-2008, 01:52 PM
I'll tell you what's worthless (besides you and all of the other BB worshippers). A bunch of geeks who never actually watch games but pretend that they can predict everything about baseball based on the RF's GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average on games played during full moons on sunday nights in June.

That's the problem - there's an extreme in both camps that disgust each other, so the two don't seem to be able to "marry" when in reality they should. I think the Red Sox organization has done a pretty good job of realizing a) stats have more value then old timers give them credit for b) money still wins and c) the old scouts still have a heck of a lot to offer. If you can grasp all three of the above, this debate becomes worthless. Filter out the ultra geeks and the old-timers who insist stats mean nothing, and you're good to go.

Oblong
05-24-2008, 01:52 PM
Then I have to respectfully have to ask the question again.

If stats are so complete and some find them to be the "be all and end all," then WHY can't BP forecast with 100% accuracy the final seasonal records of EVERY team in MLB EVERY season?

I'm not trying to go to an extreme here, I'm serious...if they have everything figured out then why aren't the pre season win/loss numbers accurate at the end of the season?

How could the D'backs win last season while being outscored? How could the Sox win it all in 05? How could the Twins win three straight titles?

I'm not trying to be an ass, just trying to make a point. If they have it all figured out, there would be no "surprises" correct?

Obviously it isn't all figured out is it? Yet the attitude of some ESPECIALLY the pompous ingrates at BP appear to show otherwise.

I've always said I don't hate stats, I hate the attitude of those who think they have all the answers to a human game, then have the gonads to act like nothing is wrong when their stats are totally, completely, unequivocally wrong.

Stats have a place in baseball (personally I think they only belong on the back of a baseball card but that's just me...) but not as large a place as some of the geniuses think they should have.

Lip

Has anybody ever claimed that they have it all figured out and that it's the be all and end all?

Yes the people at BP and similar sites can be jerks but people on the other side are just as bad about doing it too. The jokes about living in the basements, the propellerheads, never kissing a girl, never looking up from a computer, never playing the game, etc.

They're not supposed to be taken to mean it's absolute.

Oblong
05-24-2008, 01:58 PM
I'll tell you what's worthless (besides you and all of the other BB worshippers). A bunch of geeks who never actually watch games but pretend that they can predict everything about baseball based on the RF's GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average on games played during full moons on sunday nights in June.

Not as worthless as a guy with half his jaw removed from lip cancer, who's 300 pounds overweight, hasn't left southwest Arkansas since 1993, and hasn't put on a pair of baseball cleats since the Johnson administration trying to tell me that "Spike" will go a long way because he hit a ball 475 feet and he has "the look of a baseball player.".

sullythered
05-24-2008, 02:01 PM
Not as worthless as a guy with half his jaw removed from lip cancer, who's 300 pounds overweight, hasn't left southwest Arkansas since 1993, and hasn't put on a pair of baseball cleats since the Johnson administration trying to tell me that "Spike" will go a long way because he hit a ball 475 feet and he has "the look of a baseball player.".

I find tremendous value in both the GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average, and that guy's opinion.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 02:11 PM
Then I have to respectfully have to ask the question again.

If stats are so complete and some find them to be the "be all and end all," then WHY can't BP forecast with 100% accuracy the final seasonal records of EVERY team in MLB EVERY season?

Because no one makes the claim that stats are the "be all and end all" except people who misunderstand what sabrmetrics is about


I'm not trying to go to an extreme here, I'm serious...if they have everything figured out then why aren't the pre season win/loss numbers accurate at the end of the season?

The preseason numbers are a projection not a prediction.


How could the D'backs win last season while being outscored? How could the Sox win it all in 05? How could the Twins win three straight titles?

The preseason numbers are a projection not a prediction


I'm not trying to be an ass, just trying to make a point. If they have it all figured out, there would be no "surprises" correct?


The preseason numbers are a projection not a prediction


Obviously it isn't all figured out is it? Yet the attitude of some ESPECIALLY the pompous ingrates at BP appear to show otherwise.

It seems to me that that's actually the attitude you project on them. They read stats and try to interpret them, express surprise at things that exist among outliers, and maybe put a little bit of personal analysis in.

The fact that you have preseason projections confused with predictions causes me to suspect you are going into this with the attitude that they are trying to be pompous.

Whoever says "Vegas had the White Sox as 15-1 underdogs to win the WS in 2005. WE SHOWED THOSE POMPOUS BASTARDS!"


I've always said I don't hate stats, I hate the attitude of those who think they have all the answers to a human game, then have the gonads to act like nothing is wrong when their stats are totally, completely, unequivocally wrong.

Whoever said there was nothing wrong with their stats?

And how do you figure their stats are totally unequivocally wrong? Stats can't be unequivocally wrong, only the analysis of those stats.

I'll remind you: pecota projections are PROJECTIONS not PREDICTIONS


Stats have a place in baseball (personally I think they only belong on the back of a baseball card but that's just me...) but not as large a place as some of the geniuses think they should have.

Lip

Which geniuses? You mean, like Theo Epstein and Bill James?

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 02:12 PM
I'll tell you what's worthless (besides you and all of the other BB worshippers). A bunch of geeks who never actually watch games but pretend that they can predict everything about baseball based on the RF's GOWEORPERPEWRPWRE average on games played during full moons on sunday nights in June.

I'm pretty sure those people don't exist. People don't become enthusiastic about baseball statistics because they don't watch baseball. :rolleyes:

voodoochile
05-24-2008, 02:13 PM
Why is your attitude so condescending? I don't get it. No one at BP has ever said that they "have it all figured out." Also, you are mistaking PECOTA -- a forecast system that IS essentially a computer -- for statistics, which are factual evidence of recorded events. They use PECOTA to forecast player and team performance in a given season or over the course of five seasons. It has been the best projection system -- they have never claimed that it has it all "figured out."

PECOTA doesn't really say much. I mean at 99% accuracy (3 standard deviations). Most teams have a 24 game swing. I mean if I were to tell you the Sox will win between 70 and 94 games this year with an expected win total of 82. It's not a lot of new information. It sells great but the game has too many variables to be modeled accurately.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 02:15 PM
PECOTA doesn't really say much. I mean at 99% accuracy (3 standard deviations). Most teams have a 24 game swing. I mean if I were to tell you the Sox will win between 70 and 94 games this year with an expected win total of 82. It's not a lot of new information. It sells great but the game has too many variables to be modeled accurately.

Nobody takes PECOTA very seriously.

It's just a way to look at what has happened and say "what is more or less likely to happen"

Obviously it has no bearing on anything, it's just an analysis of trends--both of the players involved and players similar to those players who have played in the past.

I don't put hardly any stock in it...I don't even look at them because frankly I don't give a **** about them. However, even those who do enjoy PECOTA predictions certainly don't look at them as expected results...just a kind of guide as to what is most likely to happen.

I said it in my previous post and I'll say it again--they're a lot like Vegas odds. Nothing more nothing less

Craig Grebeck
05-24-2008, 02:15 PM
PECOTA doesn't really say much. I mean at 99% accuracy (3 standard deviations). Most teams have a 24 game swing. I mean if I were to tell you the Sox will win between 70 and 94 games this year with an expected win total of 82. It's not a lot of new information. It sells great but the game has too many variables to be modeled accurately.
It has been the best of the projection systems. In terms of projecting player performance, it has also been quite solid. It's not flawless by any means, but it is acceptable.

voodoochile
05-24-2008, 02:15 PM
That's the problem - there's an extreme in both camps that disgust each other, so the two don't seem to be able to "marry" when in reality they should. I think the Red Sox organization has done a pretty good job of realizing a) stats have more value then old timers give them credit for b) money still wins and c) the old scouts still have a heck of a lot to offer. If you can grasp all three of the above, this debate becomes worthless. Filter out the ultra geeks and the old-timers who insist stats mean nothing, and you're good to go.

You need to switch A and B.

FarWestChicago
05-24-2008, 02:33 PM
Because no one makes the claim that stats are the "be all and end all" except people who misunderstand what sabrmetrics is about:scratch:

How long have you been around here? How many condescending ******* statheads have come in here and insulted everybody not in their cult? Look at your boy Lefty here. "Agree with me because I am far more intelligent than you". That's all he says. Contrary to what people like him think, a lot of us love statistics. He asked what the problem was and I hit the nail on the head. It's people like him. This isn't an argument about stats and scouting. That's a thread hijack.

kaufsox
05-24-2008, 02:52 PM
:scratch:

How long have you been around here? How many condescending ******* statheads have come in here and insulted everybody not in their cult? Look at your boy Lefty here. "Agree with me because I am far more intelligent than you". That's all he says. Contrary to what people like him think, a lot of us love statistics. He asked what the problem was and I hit the nail on the head. It's people like him. This isn't an argument about stats and scouting. That's a thread hijack.

Wow, you're flaying Lefty unfairly. He never said "Agree with me..." no made any mention that he was smarter than anyone on this board. He started a thread for discussion, that's about it. He finds value in stats, not everyone here does. You've misread his comments because of your bias.

What is hilarious is most WSI of the "anti" would call Beane a genius if he had similar results in Chicago, using similar methods. The same folks who constantly remind us that 2006 was not a failure, yet the A's winning a division is. No team, not even the A's use stats only. Beane has some of the best scouts in baseball who continually find him young talent, especially pitching. Without his scouts finding his pitching, much of which was there before Beane, his run in the late 90's and early 2000's would not have happened. Finally, even the White Sox use stats. Do you honestly think they scout every player in HS, College, and the minors? No team could afford that type of scouting system.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 03:02 PM
:scratch:

How long have you been around here? How many condescending ******* statheads have come in here and insulted everybody not in their cult? Look at your boy Lefty here. "Agree with me because I am far more intelligent than you". That's all he says. Contrary to what people like him think, a lot of us love statistics. He asked what the problem was and I hit the nail on the head. It's people like him. This isn't an argument about stats and scouting. That's a thread hijack.

I have been around here a long time.

I have also read Lefty's posts. He doesn't communicate what he's saying very well, but I doubt that he thinks stats are the be all and end all.

Yes, he's condescending, but so are a lot of the people on the other side of the argument. You can say this is a thread hijack, the whole Lipman/Oblong stuff going on here, but that's the way it always goes with stats.

You have the people like Lefty on one side saying "You guys probably hate stats and think I live in my mother's basement," and you have the other guys who say "Baseball's not played by numbers and you'd know that if you ever watched a game, which you don't, since you only love numbers not baseball"

Daver
05-24-2008, 03:11 PM
Anyway, I was wondering what kind of system the Twins use when evaluating talent. They seem to be, by far, the most consistently good team with a tiny payroll. Anybody know?


There is not a single team in MLB that scouts more amateur players than the Twins, none. For every single player the Sox scout, the Twins scout five of them. The fact that they spend the time to develop their players helps quite a bit as well.

sullythered
05-24-2008, 03:23 PM
"and I live in my mother's basement"
For the next few months, I'm gonna go ahead and ask everybody here to stop using this example. Reason being, I actually do live in my parents basement right now. Transitional period from bachelorhood to married life and saving cash until the wedding, and all...

Anyway my ego takes a little thump every time somebody says "LOOOSER STATHEAD!!! YOU LIVE IN YOUR MOM'S BASEMENT!" :(:

Oh, and I have become more and more neutral on the topic at hand. I can really see value in both sides.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 03:34 PM
For the next few months, I'm gonna go ahead and ask everybody here to stop using this example. Reason being, I actually do live in my parents basement right now. Transitional period from bachelorhood to married life and saving cash until the wedding, and all...

Anyway my ego takes a little thump every time somebody says "LOOOSER STATHEAD!!! YOU LIVE IN YOUR MOM'S BASEMENT!" :(:

Oh, and I have become more and more neutral on the topic at hand. I can really see value in both sides.

I was actually talking about the statheads who are immediately defensive and try to preempt what they feel to be the inevitable "you live in your mother's basement" comment by saying it sarcastically about themself

sullythered
05-24-2008, 04:00 PM
I was actually talking about the statheads who are immediately defensive and try to preempt what they feel to be the inevitable "you live in your mother's basement" comment by saying it sarcastically about themself
I know. I'm just screwing around.:D:

jabrch
05-24-2008, 05:07 PM
Daver, they WON the division series over the Twins in 2006. However, they have not won a WS under Beane, thus minimizing their consistent divisional accomplishments. In fact, they haven't even made a WS appearance under Beane, jeez these guys suck! That must mean that every team that hasn't made a WS appearance since Beane took over the A's in 1998 must worship the "pile of crap" that is "the number" and suck just as much in some regard, right? So that means that the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Royals, Twins, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Marlins, Phillies and Nationals are all bags of crap just like the Athletics are, even though some of the teams on that list haven't so much as sniffed at a divisional title in Beane's time.

Come on, winning the WS is great, and should be every team's ultimate goal. Look at the Braves, they haven't seen the WS since 1999, but they have won their division 6 out of the 8 years since, how is that bad? Who would not want to have a consistent division-winner?


If you take Steroids away from Oakland, what did they have? NOT MUCH....

Between what they won from known cheaters, to what those known cheaters got them in trade, Beane hasn't proven **** yet.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 05:10 PM
If you take Steroids away from Oakland, what did they have? NOT MUCH....

Between what they won from known cheaters, to what those known cheaters got them in trade, Beane hasn't proven **** yet.


Consdering Tejada and Giambi haven't been on the team since 2001 and 2002 respectively, *** are you talking about?

Craig Grebeck
05-24-2008, 05:29 PM
If you take Steroids away from Oakland, what did they have? NOT MUCH....

Between what they won from known cheaters, to what those known cheaters got them in trade, Beane hasn't proven **** yet.
Yeah...I'm not quite sure what the hell you are talking about. Neither Giambi nor Tejada were traded.

Daver
05-24-2008, 05:43 PM
If you take Steroids away from Oakland, what did they have? NOT MUCH....

Between what they won from known cheaters, to what those known cheaters got them in trade, Beane hasn't proven **** yet.

The steroids in Oakland dropped significantly when Tony LaRussa was shown the door.

Coincidence?

I think not.

chaerulez
05-24-2008, 07:43 PM
I think people missed the point of Moneyball. It wasn't, "Hey, sabermetrics are great everything else sucks!". It was how Beane had to deal with a relatively low payroll and field a competitve team. To do that he had to look at stats that were devalued at the time. Teams didn't focus that much on OBP and pitchers that didn't throw hard but had low WHIP and good GB/FB ratios. So he got players like that, didn't have to pay them much and was able to win divison titles despite having a low payroll. Yes, statheads can get annoying by over relying on stats, but I don't think the book Moneyball is to blame, it's the statheads themselves.

Daver
05-24-2008, 07:45 PM
I think people missed the point of Moneyball. It wasn't, "Hey, sabermetrics are great everything else sucks!". It was how Beane had to deal with a relatively low payroll and field a competitve team. To do that he had to look at stats that were devalued at the time. Teams didn't focus that much on OBP and pitchers that didn't throw hard but had low WHIP and good GB/FB ratios. So he got players like that, didn't have to pay them much and was able to win divison titles despite having a low payroll. Yes, statheads can get annoying by over relying on stats, but I don't think the book Moneyball is to blame, it's the statheads themselves.

It doesn't change the fact that he is promoting a flawed system.

Hell the A's aren't even a fundamentally sound baseball team as far as I am concerned.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 07:54 PM
It doesn't change the fact that he is promoting a flawed system.

Hell the A's aren't even a fundamentally sound baseball team as far as I am concerned.

Ok--but you admitted that the next most successful system (Terry Ryan's) was also flawed.

So what's a team with money concerns supposed to do? Beaneball is flawed, as is Twinsball.

They both have had about the same amount of success with about the same amount of payroll....

So to say "it's a flawed system" is pretty much pointless. It's no more flawed than any other mid-market system, and the Red Sox have shown that it CAN be successful when there's payroll behind it. After all, 2 World Championships in 4 years can't be a fluke can it?

Daver
05-24-2008, 08:01 PM
Ok--but you admitted that the next most successful system (Terry Ryan's) was also flawed.

So what's a team with money concerns supposed to do? Beaneball is flawed, as is Twinsball.

They both have had about the same amount of success with about the same amount of payroll....

So to say "it's a flawed system" is pretty much pointless. It's no more flawed than any other mid-market system, and the Red Sox have shown that it CAN be successful when there's payroll behind it. After all, 2 World Championships in 4 years can't be a fluke can it?

Terry Ryan's system is flawed by his own choice, not from the system itself, and the Boston Red Sox employ a helluva lot more scouts than statisticians, the same cannot be said for the A's.

The fact that Billy Beane refuses to promote sound fundamental baseball tells me he is far more interested in his own ego than in building a winning baseball team.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 08:12 PM
Terry Ryan's system is flawed by his own choice, not from the system itself, and the Boston Red Sox employ a helluva lot more scouts than statisticians, the same cannot be said for the A's.

The fact that Billy Beane refuses to promote sound fundamental baseball tells me he is far more interested in his own ego than in building a winning baseball team.

Well you SAY that, but a lot of the choices driving Beane's personnel moves (i.e. having to choose between Chavez and Tejada) have to do with the same reasons why the Twins haven't retained talent.

I don't love the A's, and I think they'd be better off with a lot more scouts, but when it comes down to it, they've drafted all right, and a lot of their trades for young players have worked out incredibly well

Daver
05-24-2008, 08:21 PM
Well you SAY that, but a lot of the choices driving Beane's personnel moves (i.e. having to choose between Chavez and Tejada) have to do with the same reasons why the Twins haven't retained talent.

I don't love the A's, and I think they'd be better off with a lot more scouts, but when it comes down to it, they've drafted all right, and a lot of their trades for young players have worked out incredibly well

Personnel decisions have little to do with fundamental baseball, and everything to do with budget, the Twins play sound baseball on a lower budget.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 08:25 PM
Personnel decisions have little to do with fundamental baseball, and everything to do with budget, the Twins play sound baseball on a lower budget.

Ok, but then, some might say fundamental baseball may or not actually be reflected in the standings.....if it's true that the A's play worse fundamental baseball than the Twins, yet still compete at a similar level

Oakland 2008 payroll: 47 million
Minnesota 2008 payroll: 56.9 million

Daver
05-24-2008, 08:36 PM
Ok, but then, some might say fundamental baseball may or not actually be reflected in the standings.....if it's true that the A's play worse fundamental baseball than the Twins, yet still compete at a similar level


You have to take the competition they both play to see the whole picture, the Twins play a tougher schedule for the most part.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 09:01 PM
You have to take the competition they both play to see the whole picture, the Twins play a tougher schedule for the most part.

I think that's a fair point, but let's not pretend the divide is all that great between the two teams...

FarWestChicago
05-25-2008, 08:14 AM
I have been around here a long time.

I have also read Lefty's posts. He doesn't communicate what he's saying very well, but I doubt that he thinks stats are the be all and end all.

Yes, he's condescending, but so are a lot of the people on the other side of the argument.You have now hit the crux of the biscuit. Stay with me here instead of getting all fired up. How many times have you seen a non-stathead start a thread to personally attack stathead members of this community? Think... Yes, there are posts attacking BP. However, those are not personal and have nothing to do with people here. Now, how many times have you seen a stathead start a thread to tell everybody who doesn't agree with him they are morons? How many powers of ten do you come up with? You're a smart guy. I'm sure you get it now. Statheads are not poor, maligned victims. They start ****, get pissed when somebody else finishes it and cry "Oh the injustice". Indeed, most of the statheads here are detrimental to the very viewpoint they are trying to advocate.

FarWestChicago
05-25-2008, 08:15 AM
Yes, statheads can get annoying by over relying on stats, but I don't think the book Moneyball is to blame, it's the statheads themselves.You are a wise man. :nod:

fquaye149
05-25-2008, 11:58 AM
You have now hit the crux of the biscuit. Stay with me here instead of getting all fired up. How many times have you seen a non-stathead start a thread to personally attack stathead members of this community? Think... Yes, there are posts attacking BP. However, those are not personal and have nothing to do with people here. Now, how many times have you seen a stathead start a thread to tell everybody who doesn't agree with him they are morons? How many powers of ten do you come up with? You're a smart guy. I'm sure you get it now. Statheads are not poor, maligned victims. They start ****, get pissed when somebody else finishes it and cry "Oh the injustice". Indeed, most of the statheads here are detrimental to the very viewpoint they are trying to advocate.


Jabrch does it all the time.

Like I said, I don't know what's more annoying--those who think understanding stats gives them a superiority, or those who think that the fact that they don't care about stats gives them a superiority.

Zisk77
05-25-2008, 12:09 PM
I'm not going to bother to read this entire thread so excuse me if this has been said before. The A's were successful because they had Zito, Hudson, and Mulder pitching in their prime. Thats 3 Cy Young candidates on one staff in a division where they had to beat usually one good team for the title. Pitching wins always has, always will.

Then they got to the playoffs and the hr hitters couldn't hit hr's against top level pitching. The opponents didn't walk the A's and the A's couldn't steal bases or lay down bunts. Not to mention their Defense at some positions.

Could they have gotten hot and won...sure, but they were seriously flawed and they could not hide those flaws, so they lost.

jabrch
05-25-2008, 12:47 PM
The steroids in Oakland dropped significantly when Tony LaRussa was shown the door.

Coincidence?

I think not.

While that is true, they are still to this day reaping the benefits of it. They got ton of picks and prospects from their cheaters.

Just look at the Beanies who have been given GM jobs since...

Other than Theo and his 200mm payroll, they have all proven unable to successfully run an organization and move it forward. Some have had huge payrolls and free reign to go out and make moves and have still stunk.

Beane is a myth perpetuated by Steroids, the Blogosphere and the mainstream media who benefitted greatly from the near impossibility of 3 Cy Young calibre pitchers all coming up at the exact same time.

jabrch
05-25-2008, 12:49 PM
The problem isn't statistics or statheads....

The problem is people who don't understand statistics and their relevance/usefulness.

fquaye149
05-25-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm not going to bother to read this entire thread so excuse me if this has been said before. The A's were successful because they had Zito, Hudson, and Mulder pitching in their prime. Thats 3 Cy Young candidates on one staff in a division where they had to beat usually one good team for the title. Pitching wins always has, always will.

Then they got to the playoffs and the hr hitters couldn't hit hr's against top level pitching. The opponents didn't walk the A's and the A's couldn't steal bases or lay down bunts. Not to mention their Defense at some positions.

Could they have gotten hot and won...sure, but they were seriously flawed and they could not hide those flaws, so they lost.


It seems to me that they've been succesful after Mulder and Hudson left

fquaye149
05-25-2008, 12:59 PM
While that is true, they are still to this day reaping the benefits of it. They got ton of picks and prospects from their cheaters.


:rolling:

Like who? Giambi and Tejada who left in free agency?

Or the phantom juicer who shan't be named? :rolleyes:

Craig Grebeck
05-25-2008, 02:48 PM
While that is true, they are still to this day reaping the benefits of it. They got ton of picks and prospects from their cheaters.

Just look at the Beanies who have been given GM jobs since...

Other than Theo and his 200mm payroll, they have all proven unable to successfully run an organization and move it forward. Some have had huge payrolls and free reign to go out and make moves and have still stunk.

Beane is a myth perpetuated by Steroids, the Blogosphere and the mainstream media who benefitted greatly from the near impossibility of 3 Cy Young calibre pitchers all coming up at the exact same time.
You are so far out of your element it's hilarious. If you can't see the clever moves Beane makes to keep his small market club in contention, I don't know what to tell you. He's one of the top ten-fifteen GMs in the game -- deal with it.

Lefty34
05-25-2008, 05:03 PM
Beane is a myth perpetuated by Steroids, the Blogosphere and the mainstream media who benefitted greatly from the near impossibility of 3 Cy Young calibre pitchers all coming up at the exact same time.

So blogging is to blame for "Moneyball" and the A's continued success in the AL West? Why not just go all they way like Buzz Bissinger did and say all blogs suck just because they are blogs?

Yes, Beane greatly benefited from those 3 pitchers coming up and pitching brilliantly. However, those pitchers had nothing to do with his teams being in the Top 10 for OBP in 4 out of the last 6 years. His moves to keep his offense competitive in recent years have been above average, especially given his limited payroll.

Daver
05-25-2008, 05:12 PM
So blogging is to blame for "Moneyball" and the A's continued success in the AL West? Why not just go all they way like Buzz Bissinger did and say all blogs suck just because they are blogs?

Yes, Beane greatly benefited from those 3 pitchers coming up and pitching brilliantly. However, those pitchers had nothing to do with his teams being in the Top 10 for OBP in 4 out of the last 6 years. His moves to keep his offense competitive in recent years have been above average, especially given his limited payroll.


Why don't you find an A's site to post this utter crap at?

FarWestChicago
05-25-2008, 05:43 PM
Like I said, I don't know what's more annoying--those who think understanding stats gives them a superiority, or those who think that the fact that they don't care about stats gives them a superiority.It's the former. :yup:

jabrch
05-25-2008, 08:45 PM
So blogging is to blame for "Moneyball"

I didn't say that - don't put words in my mouth.

and the A's continued success in the AL West? Why not just go all they way like Buzz Bissinger did and say all blogs suck just because they are blogs?

Again - you are absolutely not accurately portraying wha I said - please reread it...

Nah - I'll help...

I said that steroids, blogosphere and the mainstream media are responsible for building a reputation on Beane that he doesn't deserve. I said nothing about "moneyball" in the capacity you implied. And I never said blogs suck. And I never said anything about what Bissinger said/did. I was specifically talking about the creation of the myth of the genius of BB - which I do credit partially to the groupthink culture of the world of baseball blogs - where one dope with a podium creates something and a whole minyon for dopitos follow it like it is gospel.



Yes, Beane greatly benefited from those 3 pitchers coming up and pitching brilliantly.

Without it - and it happens once or twice in a decade (we may be seeing it now with this Sox team if we are lucky....)

However, those pitchers had nothing to do with his teams being in the Top 10 for OBP in 4 out of the last 6 years. His moves to keep his offense competitive in recent years have been above average, especially given his limited payroll.

That's correct - and if you would go back and reread my post, I credit a lot of that to steroids and the benefits they have reaped from their steroid users. Look at the benefits in picks and players they have gotten from the Big 3 (pitchers and hitters) If you take out those 6, and the entire trickledown of them, this team is mediocre.

fquaye149
05-25-2008, 08:54 PM
Without it - and it happens once or twice in a decade (we may be seeing it now with this Sox team if we are lucky....)



That's correct - and if you would go back and reread my post, I credit a lot of that to steroids and the benefits they have reaped from their steroid users. Look at the benefits in picks and players they have gotten from the Big 3 (pitchers and hitters) If you take out those 6, and the entire trickledown of them, this team is mediocre.

So you're calling Mulder and Hudson steroids users? Because those are the only players they have gotten anything for out of Zito, Tejada, Giambi, Mulder and Hudson

I guess if you would take away the 6 best players any team had (as well as the players that team got for them) they would look quite mediocre :rolleyes:

Beane is overrated by many, but his best moves had absolutely nothing to do with Zito, Mulder and Hudson--deals like getting Frank for dirt cheap, getting Foulke for Cotts and Koch, and getting Bradford for Miguel Olivo.

But go ahead and throw out all his accomplishments because of some ridiculous theory you have that the only reason the A's have been successful has to do with 5 players who are no longer on the team, 3 of whom didn't bring them any value since they left as FA's

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 12:13 AM
That's correct - and if you would go back and reread my post, I credit a lot of that to steroids and the benefits they have reaped from their steroid users. Look at the benefits in picks and players they have gotten from the Big 3 (pitchers and hitters) If you take out those 6, and the entire trickledown of them, this team is mediocre.

That statement is completely arbitrary and pointless. Of course if you take away a team's best players (steroid users or not) the team is going to have a fall-off. That is the same as saying: "If you take away the big performances of Garland, Contreras and Buehrle the 2005 White Sox would be pretty mediocre." Of course, those three weren't potential Cy Young contenders at the same time, Beane was still somewhat responsible for their upbringing within the system, and should be credited with that.

And in terms of putting words in your mouth, you said "blogosphere", and nothing more than that. Which would lead a normal person to believe that you were saying that the whole of blogs have over-hyped this myth that is Billy Beane and his worthless success with 'Roided up players. You did not say: "the blogs promoting Billy Beane have credited him with too much of the Athletics's success," which would have been acceptable and given you grounds to attack my statements. Thus you have fallen into the ways that fquaye condemns me for: not clearly communicating your point.

jabrch
05-26-2008, 12:30 AM
That statement is completely arbitrary and pointless.

There is nothing "arbitrary" about it. And you may not like my point, but it is clear.

Of course if you take away a team's best players (steroid users or not) the team is going to have a fall-off.

And I was not saying to take their best players.... If EITHER the steroids and their remnants never existed, OR the luck of having 3 CY Young calibre pitchers come up and be nearly perfectly healthy for almost all of their ~18 combined seasons didn't happen... That's a different story.


That is the same as saying: "If you take away the big performances of Garland, Contreras and Buehrle the 2005 White Sox would be pretty mediocre."

And there'd be no way I'd waste 30 seconds going to an As board to argue that point. Why exactly are you here?

Of course, those three weren't potential Cy Young contenders at the same time, Beane was still somewhat responsible for their upbringing within the system, and should be credited with that.

Again - read my point...not that the Big 3 Arms weren't good...not that they weren't great even...that it takes amazing luck for a team to have 3 Cy Young calibre guys come up together and be nearly completely healthy during their ~18 seasons.


And in terms of putting words in your mouth, you said "blogosphere", and nothing more than that. Which would lead a normal person to believe that you were saying that the whole of blogs have over-hyped this myth that is Billy Beane and his worthless success with 'Roided up players. You did not say: "the blogs promoting Billy Beane have credited him with too much of the Athletics's success," which would have been acceptable and given you grounds to attack my statements.

So you admit to putting words in my mouth - instead of understanding what I was talking about before dumping your drivel on me?

Thus you have fallen into the ways that fquaye condemns me for: not clearly communicating your point.

You take that up with him - I have no interest in it. Just don't put words in my mouth.

itsnotrequired
05-26-2008, 12:53 AM
There is nothing "arbitrary" about it. And you may not like my point, but it is clear.



And I was not saying to take their best players.... If EITHER the steroids and their remnants never existed, OR the luck of having 3 CY Young calibre pitchers come up and be nearly perfectly healthy for almost all of their ~18 combined seasons didn't happen... That's a different story.




And there'd be no way I'd waste 30 seconds going to an As board to argue that point. Why exactly are you here?



Again - read my point...not that the Big 3 Arms weren't good...not that they weren't great even...that it takes amazing luck for a team to have 3 Cy Young calibre guys come up together and be nearly completely healthy during their ~18 seasons.




So you admit to putting words in my mouth - instead of understanding what I was talking about before dumping your drivel on me?



You take that up with him - I have no interest in it. Just don't put words in my mouth.

:violin:

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 12:58 AM
So you admit to putting words in my mouth - instead of understanding what I was talking about before dumping your drivel on me?


I was not putting words in your mouth, for the last time. YOU SAID " THE BLOGOSPHERE"! You said it without making the distinction between blogs that legitimize Beane's efforts and the blogs that attack his way of thinking (rightly or wrongly, it does not matter here, we can discuss that later) or even the blogs that talk about making a great blueberry crepe. You simply said: "the blogosphere", just like Bissinger said in his pitiful spot on "Costas Now". You lumped all blogs (baseball or not) together when you said "Beane is a myth perpetuated by...the BLOGOSPHERE." You made no distinction between baseball blogs, nor did you make a distinction between blogs in general.

You definitely make it hard for someone, trying to interpret what you said, to not put words in your mouth when you use vague and ambiguous terms like "the blogosphere". So please do not label my posts as "drivel" when they are merely trying to sift through the vague crap that you posted.

drewcifer
05-26-2008, 01:56 AM
I was not putting words in your mouth, for the last time. YOU SAID " THE BLOGOSPHERE"! You said it without making the distinction between blogs that legitimize Beane's efforts and the blogs that attack his way of thinking (rightly or wrongly, it does not matter here, we can discuss that later) or even the blogs that talk about making a great blueberry crepe. You simply said: "the blogosphere", just like Bissinger said in his pitiful spot on "Costas Now". You lumped all blogs (baseball or not) together when you said "Beane is a myth perpetuated by...the BLOGOSPHERE." You made no distinction between baseball blogs, nor did you make a distinction between blogs in general.

You definitely make it hard for someone, trying to interpret what you said, to not put words in your mouth when you use vague and ambiguous terms like "the blogosphere". So please do not label my posts as "drivel" when they are merely trying to sift through the vague crap that you posted.


And so we come full circle.

Speaking of crap posts, you never answered some very basic questions going all the way back to page 2 (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=1901986&postcount=21)

Why are you doing this?

This is a White Sox forum. Do you know anything about the White Sox? Do you watch them? We are not a poor team. We don't ignore stats. We have a GM that is concerned about trying to put out a balanced team (though for some reason, they always end up all trying to be power hitters, even the little ones :tongue:)

The writing was on the wall when YOU posted this, which...in this land is CRAP.

We are not a moneyball team. We probably never will be. I hope we never will, as do many others.

There is no proof it is better.

Billy Beane is your friend.

Nobody is enlightened. It's not new, we've seen his success, we've seen his failures. Now let's all stop squeezing each other's tits over this stupid ****.

And Lefty - this happens EVERY time.

No winners.

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 02:19 AM
And so we come full circle.

Speaking of crap posts, you never answered some very basic questions going all the way back to page 2 (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=1901986&postcount=21)

Why are you doing this?

This is a White Sox forum. Do you know anything about the White Sox? Do you watch them? We are not a poor team. We don't ignore stats. We have a GM that is concerned about trying to put out a balanced team (though for some reason, they always end up all trying to be power hitters, even the little ones :tongue:)

The writing was on the wall when YOU posted this, which...in this land is CRAP.

We are not a moneyball team. We probably never will be. I hope we never will, as do many others.

There is no proof it is better.

Billy Beane is your friend.

Nobody is enlightened. It's not new, we've seen his success, we've seen his failures. Now let's all stop squeezing each other's tits over this stupid ****.

And Lefty - this happens EVERY time.

No winners.

You want an answer? Look where this thread was posted . Did I post this in the "Sox Clubhouse" asking why KW wasn't more like Billy Beane? No. This is the "Talking Baseball" section you imbecile, and while this thread has somewhat deviated from talking baseball, it has not, in any way, shown that I am not a Sox fan.

Are you really asking if I watch the Sox? If I favor them? If I root for them? Look at all my posts. How dare you call a thread that I started in the "Talking Baseball" section of this forum (read the description for yourself). This in no way shows that I do not like the Sox or do not root for them. I should not have to vindicate myself to you especially when you make such a bogus accusation.


Mod edit: And now you've made it personal. This is an official warning.

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 02:30 AM
And Lefty - this happens EVERY time.

No winners.

Oh yeah, and I don't care if there are winners or losers in this debate. All I care to do is to display a viewpoint (however pompously) so that others may view it and take it into consideration when thinking of baseball however they see fit.

drewcifer
05-26-2008, 02:32 AM
You want an answer? Look where this thread was posted you ****ing moron. Did I post this in the "Sox Clubhouse" asking why KW wasn't more like Billy Beane? No. This is the "Talking Baseball" section you imbecile, and while this thread has somewhat deviated from talking baseball, it has not, in any way, shown that I am not a Sox fan.

Are you really asking if I watch the Sox? If I favor them? If I root for them? Look at all my posts you dip-****. How dare you call a thread that I started in the "Talking Baseball" section of this forum (read the description for yourself you simple-minded ****). This in no way shows that I do not like the Sox or do not root for them. I should not have to vindicate myself to you especially when you make such a bogus accusation. So **** off


You're off to a hot start. I asked a simple question, you STILL didn't answer it, yet managed to break numerous rules making things personal and asking irrelevant questions.

When I ask, Why bring up a moneyball approach - I was hoping for something more enlightening then:

****ing moron
imbecile
dip-****
"..simple-minded ****"

I don't see why anybody should entertain your ideas of why Billy Beane's methodology is good for this team, if the best you can come up with when somebody asks you why, is this.

And they may be great ideas in your mind, but I can't possibly pretend to know you well enough to understand why you think they'd be a good fit.

Nice job.

Did you think this is BLOGOSPHERE?

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 02:36 AM
Ok, you're right, I have yet to answer your question. The reason I bring up the Moneyball approach is because I think it is a very intriguing notion that has great implications for the game of baseball, and the reason I defend it so readily is because I do not want people to bash it simply because it is different or may offend some of the ways people traditionally look at baseball (this fact is undeniable).

(I have since edited my last post to remove those parts that may have been offensive to you)

drewcifer
05-26-2008, 03:00 AM
Ok, you're right, I have yet to answer your question. The reason I bring up the Moneyball approach is because I think it is a very intriguing notion that has great implications for the game of baseball, and the reason I defend it so readily is because I do not want people to bash it simply because it is different or may offend some of the ways people traditionally look at baseball (this fact is undeniable).

(I have since edited my last post to remove those parts that may have been offensive to you)

Well, thanks for classing up the joint.

It's really not that interesting. A lead off that steals almost 60 bases can make a big difference. Stealing is important. So is speed, if you haven't noticed the 30 something plod parade we have in the middle if/when they're not hitting. Sticking them all on base doesn't mean ****. The pitchers will sooner or later go after them when they see there's no reason to walk them anymore (ref: last 2 years).

They don't "eventually score"... They eventually demoralize the team.

HRs are more valuable than any other hit, though they should not be desired, they're value is the highest.

I don't see anything in the "moneyball" philosophy, played out in a Giant cave with retarded foul grounds, in a 4 team division, on top of all of the above, that proves to be undeniably necessary FOR US.

He's made some great trades, no question. He's made bad ones too.

Lefty34
05-26-2008, 03:07 AM
Well, thanks for classing up the joint.

It's really not that interesting. A lead off that steals almost 60 bases can make a big difference. Stealing is important. So is speed, if you haven't noticed the 30 something plod parade we have in the middle if/when they're not hitting. Sticking them all on base doesn't mean ****. The pitchers will sooner or later go after them when they see there's no reason to walk them anymore (ref: last 2 years).

They don't "eventually score"... They eventually demoralize the team.

HRs are more valuable than any other hit, though they should not be desired, they're value is the highest.

I don't see anything in the "moneyball" philosophy, played out in a Giant cave with retarded foul grounds, in a 4 team division, on top of all of the above, that proves to be undeniably necessary FOR US.

He's made some great trades, no question. He's made bad ones too.

I have tried my best to stay away from saying that the Moneyball approach would work best for the Sox. This is especially why this thread was posted in the "Talking Baseball" section, as previously mentioned. True, Beane has made some bad decisions regarding players, but his ability to maximize inefficiencies (and, indeed, the desired ability of the "Moneyball" philosophy to maximize inefficiencies in the market as a whole) cannot be denied. You asked me before why I was doing this and others have asked me to remember where I was, now I ask you to look and to remember where this thread is posted: Talking Baseball (i.e. not the Sox Clubhouse).

Nellie_Fox
05-26-2008, 03:13 AM
With apologies to Daver for treading on his copyright, I've seen enough of this crap.