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Lip Man 1
11-17-2012, 11:35 PM
I'll let those who more closely follow stats explain this one to me. Bill James in his latest book, according to Phil Rogers, says Konerko is the worst defensive first baseman in baseball having cost the Sox 11 runs.

Now I only know what I see and that's the fact that Paul's glove consistently saves runs by his digging out bad throws particularly from Ramirez.

I do agree with James' other contention, that Konerko is the slowest runner in MLB over the last 10 seasons.

Lip

DSpivack
11-17-2012, 11:51 PM
Zero range?

WhiteSox5187
11-17-2012, 11:55 PM
Konerko has minimal range these days and it is possible that after his concussion this year his defense suffered some but there is no way he is the worst defensive first baseman in baseball. He saves the Sox a ton of runs by digging balls out of the dirt.

I know that there are some in the sabermetric community that believe you don't have to watch a baseball game (Billy Beane was once quoted as saying he would be a better GM if he never watched a game) but defense is really one of those things where you need to watch a guy every day to get a sense of how bad or how good he is. The more you watch Konerko the more you appreciate his defense.

DSpivack
11-18-2012, 12:01 AM
Konerko has minimal range these days and it is possible that after his concussion this year his defense suffered some but there is no way he is the worst defensive first baseman in baseball. He saves the Sox a ton of runs by digging balls out of the dirt.

I know that there are some in the sabermetric community that believe you don't have to watch a baseball game (Billy Beane was once quoted as saying he would be a better GM if he never watched a game) but defense is really one of those things where you need to watch a guy every day to get a sense of how bad or how good he is. The more you watch Konerko the more you appreciate his defense.
I think a lot of people in the sabermetric community will tell you that defensive stats are rather flawed at this point.

shingo10
11-18-2012, 12:03 AM
I call bull**** on this one. This is something great for talk radio hosts but I can't for the life of me think of when Konerko has cost us big time over there. Sure he has a few errors now and then but if they are saying his range is what cost them then I disagree.

Like someone mentioned he has bailed out Alexi on numerous occasions and probably saved us more runs than he's cost us.

DumpJerry
11-18-2012, 12:21 AM
I do agree with James' other contention, that Konerko is the slowest runner in MLB over the last 10 seasons.

Lip
His pet turtle once escaped from its terrarium. Paulie chased it, but it got away.


He is.......the Slowest Man in the World. He doesn't run much, but when he does, a drunk with a walker outpaces him.

PaleHoser
11-18-2012, 12:27 AM
His pet turtle once escaped from its terrarium. Paulie chased it, but it got away.


He is.......the Slowest Man in the World. He doesn't run much, but when he does, a drunk with a walker outpaces him.

Disagree. Both of the older Molina brothers are timed in the 60 yard dash using a calendar. They both make Paulie look like a speed merchant in comparison.

aryzner
11-18-2012, 01:09 AM
Has Bill James ever seen Prince Fielder play first base?

DSpivack
11-18-2012, 01:21 AM
Has Bill James ever seen Prince Fielder play first base?

It's not like it's his personal opinion, I'm sure it's based on whatever metrics he uses (and defensive metrics are rather flawed, IMHO).

BainesHOF
11-18-2012, 01:26 AM
Yes, Konerko digs a lot of balls out of the dirt, but so do most first basemen. He has very little range.

What I've never understood about Konerko's defense is that he never stretches on close plays. I've come to believe that his back must hurt him. That definitely costs us some outs over the long haul.

soxnut1018
11-18-2012, 01:34 AM
Disagree. Both of the older Molina brothers are timed in the 60 yard dash using a calendar. They both make Paulie look like a speed merchant in comparison.

This is the most hyperbolic hyperbole I've ever seen.

LauraJ14
11-18-2012, 01:35 AM
Has Bill James watched Adam Dunn play 1st? He doesnt dig balls out of the dirt as well as Konerko does and usually lets Beckham chase any type of popup while he watches.

Noneck
11-18-2012, 03:03 AM
I have never seen anything special about him defensively. Just an average fielder.

kufram
11-18-2012, 03:42 AM
I love PK, want him to finish his career in Chicago, and have a statue one day. He digs everything out of the dirt and snags everything hit at him. It is the hits that go past him that, due to lack of range, cost runs as opposed to throws from infielders. Still, I can't see him being the worst defender as long as Fielder is around and it is price well worth paying to have him on our team.

34rancher
11-18-2012, 08:11 AM
That's crazy. I think the stat people who keep making up things to justify their position must be trying to justify their salaries after the giants this year. To say Paulie is worst first basemen on defense tells me they have ray Charles and Stevie Wonder calculating their stats. What a joke.

SI1020
11-18-2012, 09:57 AM
I think a lot of people in the sabermetric community will tell you that defensive stats are rather flawed at this point. They're not flawed, they're almost totally unreliable.

SephClone89
11-18-2012, 10:09 AM
They're not flawed, they're almost totally unreliable.

They're a work in progress. Anything is an improvement over errors/fielding percentage.

Irishsox1
11-18-2012, 10:56 AM
Paulie's attributes on the field and in the dugout outweigh his faults....by a lot.

TDog
11-18-2012, 03:54 PM
They're a work in progress. Anything is an improvement over errors/fielding percentage.

Not necessarily. At least with errors and fielding percentage, fans know they don't attempt to tell you much. If they don't, they are corrected with little debate. The idea that statisticians are contriving stats so they can quantify the unquantifiable, and that some people will defend them is not an improvement.

SI1020
11-18-2012, 04:44 PM
Not necessarily. At least with errors and fielding percentage, fans know they don't attempt to tell you much. If they don't, they are corrected with little debate. The idea that statisticians are contriving stats so they can quantify the unquantifiable, and that some people will defend them is not an improvement. Not only that, but it is a constant Winston Smith like revision of history. I'm coming to the conclusion that many who defend the new stats have no idea what alchemy is used to compile them, and defend the whole process in order to appear trendy and hip.

doublem23
11-18-2012, 04:59 PM
Not necessarily. At least with errors and fielding percentage, fans know they don't attempt to tell you much.

Well first, that's the definition of a pointless stat, but second, no, there are people who bring up errors and fielding percentage when discussing defense... Unfortunately, those are not universally derided stats.

doublem23
11-18-2012, 05:01 PM
Not only that, but is a constant Winston Smith like revision of history. I'm coming to the conclusion that many who defend the new stats have no idea what alchemy is used to compile them, and defend the whole process in order to appear trendy and hip.

No different than folks who completely disregard them without a second thought in some dim witted notion of preserving the purity of the game

TDog
11-18-2012, 05:41 PM
Not only that, but is a constant Winston Smith like revision of history. I'm coming to the conclusion that many who defend the new stats have no idea what alchemy is used to compile them, and defend the whole process in order to appear trendy and hip.

Some stats are organic to the game. They don't necessarily tell you much, but they don't purport to. They are what they are.

I am more skeptical about newer fielding stats than I am about fielding percentage because fielding percentage is something I can see when I'm watching the game. I can see its limitations.

If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games in a season, you don't take some contrived formulas that are not organic to the game and do the math. You find specific examples of games that were lost by his defense and balance them against games that were won by his defense.

SephClone89
11-18-2012, 05:53 PM
If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games in a season, you don't take some contrived formulas that are not organic to the game and do the math. You find specific examples of games that were lost by his defense and balance them against games that were won by his defense.

This is as arbitrary as any other approach.

TDog
11-18-2012, 06:00 PM
This is as arbitrary as any other approach.

But it is much more meaningful.

The Winston Smith analogy was appropriate.

SephClone89
11-18-2012, 06:05 PM
But it is much more meaningful.

Not really. Players' defense contributes to the outcomes of games in ways other than errors at "critical points" of the game.

The Winston Smith analogy was appropriate.

Not really. I don't see how anyone's "rewriting history", especially when in many cases the analytics movement has revived the fame and legacy of players who were revered in their time but "history" had forgotten.

PS: "revisionism" is a valid and valuable contribution to history as a discipline.

The Immigrant
11-18-2012, 06:49 PM
Paulie's attributes on the field and in the dugout outweigh his faults....by a lot.

Actually, I could use a little less of his Eeyore routine. Can't see how that possibly helps anyone in the dugout.

SI1020
11-18-2012, 06:50 PM
No different than folks who completely disregard them without a second thought in some dim witted notion of preserving the purity of the game I have spent more time on saber stats than most devotees I'd venture to say, beginning with Total Baseball, a couple of decades ago. I'm not a Luddite who curses technology or the changes of life just for the hell of it. I'm alive today because of a one medical procedure that wasn't available until several decades ago, that allowed a highly technical surgery still being perfected to this day. I don't know what else I can say. Perhaps some day I'll meet a saber devotee and we can go over the history, the formulas used and have a civilized argument. I've tried here and for the most part failed. I am now just about totally out of love with saber.

SI1020
11-18-2012, 07:17 PM
If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games in a season, you don't take some contrived formulas that are not organic to the game and do the math. You find specific examples of games that were lost by his defense and balance them against games that were won by his defense. It is gratifying when someone puts into words an idea better than you have done. Thank you.

doublem23
11-18-2012, 07:25 PM
I have spent more time on saber stats than most devotees I'd venture to say, beginning with Total Baseball, a couple of decades ago. I'm not a Luddite who curses technology or the changes of life just for the hell of it. I'm alive today because of a one medical procedure that wasn't available until several decades ago, that allowed a highly technical surgery still being perfected to this day. I don't know what else I can say. Perhaps some day I'll meet a saber devotee and we can go over the history, the formulas used and have a civilized argument. I've tried here and for the most part failed. I am now just about totally out of love with saber.

Just going by your posting habits I have seen on this board, I would say you have shown a fair and open mind to a lot of the newer stats out there even if you are skeptical about their function and usefulness. So I hope you didn't think my post was directed at you personally, just the sect of baseball fans out there, for better or worse (mostly worse) who think that anything beyond batting average, home runs, and runs batted in needs some kind of master's level-degree in statistics and math and is done by geeks in their basement for the purposes of mental masturbation. It is what it is.

SI1020
11-18-2012, 07:31 PM
Just going by your posting habits I have seen on this board, I would say you have shown a fair and open mind to a lot of the newer stats out there even if you are skeptical about their function and usefulness. So I hope you didn't think my post was directed at you personally, just the sect of baseball fans out there, for better or worse (mostly worse) who think that anything beyond batting average, home runs, and runs batted in needs some kind of master's level-degree in statistics and math and is done by geeks in their basement for the purposes of mental masturbation. It is what it is. We're fine. I like to read your posts and continue to feel free to fire away at mine if and when you think you need to.

doublem23
11-18-2012, 07:35 PM
If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games in a season, you don't take some contrived formulas that are not organic to the game and do the math. You find specific examples of games that were lost by his defense and balance them against games that were won by his defense.

The "contrived formulas" are still rooted in your precious "organic stats," so the idea that you have to whip out the old calculator to do such magical alchemy like "adding" and "multiplying" which suddenly renders the numbers useless is probably... well, there's no nice way for me to put it, so I will merely state it's either the result of blatant and deliberate ignorance.

And yes, there are them fancy number things that do help us quantify how much Paul Konerko helped and hurt the Sox last year. His oWAR was 2.7 (he added about 3 wins to the team at the plate compared to his position) and cost the team 2.2 wins defensively (though, I do admit I'm not as fond of the defensive stats, but pretty much anything is better than fielding percentage) so, when you remove the duplication built in for position, you get a WAR of Konerko of +1.4 last season, which essentially means that if Konerko had vanished off the face of the Earth in March 2012 and the Sox replaced him with the league average offensive and defensive 1B, they would have expected to win 83 or 84 games last year instead of the 85 they did win with his contributions.

WhiteSox5187
11-18-2012, 07:55 PM
Well first, that's the definition of a pointless stat, but second, no, there are people who bring up errors and fielding percentage when discussing defense... Unfortunately, those are not universally derided stats.

Errors can occasionally tell you something. From watching White Sox games this year it seemed to me that most of the time when they gave someone an error it was well warranted. It's not the end all be all and when being used with guys up the middle should be taken with a grain of salt, but if you have a first baseman with a lot of errors or an outfielder with a lot of errors I would say the vast majority of the time you have a defensive liability on your hands.

TDog
11-18-2012, 08:39 PM
The "contrived formulas" are still rooted in your precious "organic stats," so the idea that you have to whip out the old calculator to do such magical alchemy like "adding" and "multiplying" which suddenly renders the numbers useless is probably... well, there's no nice way for me to put it, so I will merely state it's either the result of blatant and deliberate ignorance.

And yes, there are them fancy number things that do help us quantify how much Paul Konerko helped and hurt the Sox last year. His oWAR was 2.7 (he added about 3 wins to the team at the plate compared to his position) and cost the team 2.2 wins defensively (though, I do admit I'm not as fond of the defensive stats, but pretty much anything is better than fielding percentage) so, when you remove the duplication built in for position, you get a WAR of Konerko of +1.4 last season, which essentially means that if Konerko had vanished off the face of the Earth in March 2012 and the Sox replaced him with the league average offensive and defensive 1B, they would have expected to win 83 or 84 games last year instead of the 85 they did win with his contributions.

The sad thing is that you beleive that.

Organic statistics aren't prescious, they are natural parts of the game. If your shortstop makes 40 errors, you don't say he cost your teams x-games based on his fielding percentage, but you know that his defensive game needs to be addressed if he is going to continue there. But you watched him play, so you probably already knew that. The fact that organic stats don't tell you that much has people trying to work out exotic formulas to try to tell them more.

If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games on defense last season, you have to be able to quantify that with what actually happened. Really, if you can't do the same for everyone on defense on every team, your numbers are invalid. That is the way science works.

If you are going to apply scientific formulas to baseball, the burden to show they match what we see actually happen is on you. Otherwise, your formuas are invalid.

russ99
11-18-2012, 09:10 PM
The "contrived formulas" are still rooted in your precious "organic stats," so the idea that you have to whip out the old calculator to do such magical alchemy like "adding" and "multiplying" which suddenly renders the numbers useless is probably... well, there's no nice way for me to put it, so I will merely state it's either the result of blatant and deliberate ignorance.

And yes, there are them fancy number things that do help us quantify how much Paul Konerko helped and hurt the Sox last year. His oWAR was 2.7 (he added about 3 wins to the team at the plate compared to his position) and cost the team 2.2 wins defensively (though, I do admit I'm not as fond of the defensive stats, but pretty much anything is better than fielding percentage) so, when you remove the duplication built in for position, you get a WAR of Konerko of +1.4 last season, which essentially means that if Konerko had vanished off the face of the Earth in March 2012 and the Sox replaced him with the league average offensive and defensive 1B, they would have expected to win 83 or 84 games last year instead of the 85 they did win with his contributions.

Also, those bone fragments in his hand robbed him of a good second half for two seasons. Despite age-related concerns of decline, I expect a better year from Paulie next season if he can swing pain-free all season.

DumpJerry
11-18-2012, 09:25 PM
Disagree. Both of the older Molina brothers are timed in the 60 yard dash using a calendar. They both make Paulie look like a speed merchant in comparison.
At least the Molinas have a time. Paulie is still out there completing his 60......

doublem23
11-19-2012, 01:29 AM
Errors can occasionally tell you something. From watching White Sox games this year it seemed to me that most of the time when they gave someone an error it was well warranted. It's not the end all be all and when being used with guys up the middle should be taken with a grain of salt, but if you have a first baseman with a lot of errors or an outfielder with a lot of errors I would say the vast majority of the time you have a defensive liability on your hands.

But that's the point, errors don't tell you anything that you don't need to verify with your own two eyes. Obviously I can tell you who are good and bad defenders on the Sox because I watch them 140-150 times per year, but I can't do that for the other 29 teams. I can't tell you how many times in the last 50-60 games this past year that a ball would be sharply hit in the direction of 3B that Youkilis would just simply watch go by him becauss he had literally no lateral movement left in his legs. No error, because he didn't come close to making any kind of play, but a ball you would clearly expect a MLB 3B to at least knock down, if not have a shot at. I don't know what Youkilis's fielding percentage was last year for the Sox (again, because, who cares?) but I can tell you he was a crappy 3B for most of the 2nd half.

The sad thing is that you beleive that.

Organic statistics aren't prescious, they are natural parts of the game. If your shortstop makes 40 errors, you don't say he cost your teams x-games based on his fielding percentage, but you know that his defensive game needs to be addressed if he is going to continue there. But you watched him play, so you probably already knew that. The fact that organic stats don't tell you that much has people trying to work out exotic formulas to try to tell them more.

If you want to argue that Paul Konerko cost the White Sox x-number of games on defense last season, you have to be able to quantify that with what actually happened. Really, if you can't do the same for everyone on defense on every team, your numbers are invalid. That is the way science works.

If you are going to apply scientific formulas to baseball, the burden to show they match what we see actually happen is on you. Otherwise, your formuas are invalid.

Well, first off, I don't believe I ever noted that I took those calculations as gospel, I only provide the information as a courtesy to other posters in these threads because we have these constant discussions where people **** all over the sabremetric stats but then fail to ever A) bring them up, B) put them in proper context and C) even bother to ****ing understand what they're measuring. For instance, dWAR is not calculated using errors or fielding percentage so yet again, your understanding of the stats you're trying to refute is so pathetically minuscule that anyone who spends 15 seconds on Google is more of an expert on the subject than you, so you're free to believe whatever you want about the big, bad sabrematrician boogeyman lurking out their to ruin all the fun of baseball.

But, and as I believe I have always noted when discussing the subject, even though I don't put a lot of weight, even if dWAR and ZR are calculating using such witchcraft as multiplying and adding things (EGADS, THOSE NERDZ) I can tell from having watched baseball for 20+ years that it is still a more reliable metric than errors and fielding percentage, which is a completely and utterly useless waste of everyone's time, if for no other reason than *******s like Orlando Cabrera can call the official scorer's office and bitch enough to get an error overturned, what more proof needs to be said? If you still put any credence into it, then I just can't help you.

Also, those bone fragments in his hand robbed him of a good second half for two seasons. Despite age-related concerns of decline, I expect a better year from Paulie next season if he can swing pain-free all season.

I agree. I don't think Paul ever stopped getting hits and drawing walks throughout his struggles last year, his power was just completely zapped. He finished with a .298 BA and .371 OBP, way over his career norms and very much in line with the previous 2 seasons when he was having legitimate MVP-caliber years, but his slugging percentage was a paltry .486. So, hopefully, he still has the physical capability to play at a high level, he just has to stay healthy, which is, of course, sometimes a bit of a scary proposition when you're banking on the health of a 37-year-old guy.

TDog
11-19-2012, 03:43 AM
Well, first off, I don't believe I ever noted that I took those calculations as gospel, I only provide the information as a courtesy to other posters in these threads because we have these constant discussions where people **** all over the sabremetric stats but then fail to ever A) bring them up, B) put them in proper context and C) even bother to ****ing understand what they're measuring. For instance, dWAR is not calculated using errors or fielding percentage so yet again, your understanding of the stats you're trying to refute is so pathetically minuscule that anyone who spends 15 seconds on Google is more of an expert on the subject than you, so you're free to believe whatever you want about the big, bad sabrematrician boogeyman lurking out their to ruin all the fun of baseball.

But, and as I believe I have always noted when discussing the subject, even though I don't put a lot of weight, even if dWAR and ZR are calculating using such witchcraft as multiplying and adding things (EGADS, THOSE NERDZ) I can tell from having watched baseball for 20+ years that it is still a more reliable metric than errors and fielding percentage, which is a completely and utterly useless waste of everyone's time, if for no other reason than *******s like Orlando Cabrera can call the official scorer's office and bitch enough to get an error overturned, what more proof needs to be said? If you still put any credence into it, then I just can't help you. ...

I don't know, have never known anyone who advocated that a fielding percentage of x or y numbers of errors at any given position translated to specific numbers of wins. I don't think I have ever, even while talking in my sleep, have defended the value of fielding poercentage. Errors raise red flags, but I would never judge any player's defense on any metrics, and wouldn't trust anyone who did.

Orlando Cabfrera lobbying th official scorer the way Ron Santo used to do is irrelevant to the discussion. It doesn't change my point that any metric that purports to show that a player cost a teach x number of games on defense during a season is invalid unless you can show which games the player lost.

wassagstdu
11-19-2012, 07:37 AM
...
And yes, there are them fancy number things that do help us quantify how much Paul Konerko helped and hurt the Sox last year. His oWAR was 2.7 (he added about 3 wins to the team at the plate compared to his position) and cost the team 2.2 wins defensively (though, I do admit I'm not as fond of the defensive stats, but pretty much anything is better than fielding percentage) so, when you remove the duplication built in for position, you get a WAR of Konerko of +1.4 last season, which essentially means that if Konerko had vanished off the face of the Earth in March 2012 and the Sox replaced him with the league average offensive and defensive 1B, they would have expected to win 83 or 84 games last year instead of the 85 they did win with his contributions.

By adding oWAR and dWAR you are putting the two statistics on the same level of credibility, which everyone agrees is not justified, and consequently the WAR number is no more credible than dWAR. So by taking WAR seriously you are throwing out all of your reservations about defensive stats relative to offensive. Them fancy number things are misleading to worthless.

amsteel
11-19-2012, 08:59 AM
PK doesn't make plays that other 1B can, simple as that. Is he good within his limited range? Absolutely.

doublem23
11-19-2012, 09:07 AM
By adding oWAR and dWAR you are putting the two statistics on the same level of credibility, which everyone agrees is not justified, and consequently the WAR number is no more credible than dWAR. So by taking WAR seriously you are throwing out all of your reservations about defensive stats relative to offensive. Them fancy number things are misleading to worthless.

It is possible to simultaneously be wary of stat's usefulness while at the same time, still believe it has some merit. Sabremetric defensive stats, while not perfect, are still unquestionably the best defensive stats out there. So while I don't take dWAR, WAR, or even oWAR for that matter, as 100% gospel all the time, it doesn't mean they're "misleading to worthless." You simply have to understand and contextualize the information you have and move on with it. To throw the whole the whole thing out because you're afraid of the 3rd grade level math that goes into developing them is silly.

It's no different than looking at 2 players; say Player A had 100 RBIs this year and Player B had 90. Manufacturing runs is the name of the business right? But you'd be foolish to automatically say Player A is better than Player B, even though he was 10% better at helping his team score runs based on this one, single stat. Nobody in their right mind would put all their chips in one basket. Just like nobody, ever, in the history of the world has ever said the WAR, dWAR, or oWAR are tell-all, be-all inclusive stats and everything else can be ignored. They're good because of what they measure and, in the case of dWAR, light years better than traditional fielding stats, but there's a lot they leave out so it takes a little understanding how to use them correctly. So you can either take the... 10 seconds required to understand them and have an educated opinion on them, or you can go the TDog route and hold your breath, throw a tantrum, and hope that all those dang kids with their dang spreadsheets who are 20-30 years younger than you will, I don't know, die of carpal tunnel syndrome and you won't have to be bothered with it any more.

:thumbsup:

chicagowhitesox1
11-19-2012, 09:22 AM
By adding oWAR and dWAR you are putting the two statistics on the same level of credibility, which everyone agrees is not justified, and consequently the WAR number is no more credible than dWAR. So by taking WAR seriously you are throwing out all of your reservations about defensive stats relative to offensive. Them fancy number things are misleading to worthless.

I could be wrong on this but Brett Lawrie was on his way to having a monster WAR season and most of it was due to his defense. The BlueJays would often position him in the outfield which made his range seem far greater which made him look like Brooks Robinson on paper. If this is correct then by all means you are right.

It's hard for me to believe that in 16 seasons Konerko has only gotten a 25.3 career WAR. Meanwhile in 7 seasons Ben Zobrist has gotten a 25.4 career WAR. There's no way Ben Zobrist has had a better career than Konerko. I don't disagree with Zobrist's numbers but I do disagree with how Konerko is viewed and it is because of his defense for the most part on why he is so low.

doublem23
11-19-2012, 09:54 AM
WAR is influenced by position so if 2 players have identical stat lines, but one is a middle infielder while the other is a first baseman, the middle infielder's WAR will be higher than the 1B since you expect to generate a lot more offense from your corner IF/OF than your infielders. Zobrist has played over 60% of his career games either at 2B or SS, so his offensive contributions are generally much greater than the league average middle infielder than Konerko, who, for most of his career, was just kind of an average offensive 1B.

Frater Perdurabo
11-19-2012, 10:32 AM
Many of us don't buy into the hype of these metrics - not because we are afraid of math - but because these metrics cannot explain what happened on the field that resulted in a particular game being won or lost.

These metrics have some utility when comparing players to each other, for instance when comparing players who play the same position, such as debating Sox left fielders over the years.

But ultimately, the game is played on the field, and no one watching the game gave a fat rat's *** what Scott Podsednik's WAR was; Sox fans always will remember him for his amazing World Series walkoff HR.

chicagowhitesox1
11-19-2012, 10:40 AM
WAR is influenced by position so if 2 players have identical stat lines, but one is a middle infielder while the other is a first baseman, the middle infielder's WAR will be higher than the 1B since you expect to generate a lot more offense from your corner IF/OF than your infielders. Zobrist has played over 60% of his career games either at 2B or SS, so his offensive contributions are generally much greater than the league average middle infielder than Konerko, who, for most of his career, was just kind of an average offensive 1B.

Thats true, I always thought catchers should get a sliding scale due to they miss out every 5th game or so.

SI1020
11-19-2012, 10:59 AM
I could be wrong on this but Brett Lawrie was on his way to having a monster WAR season and most of it was due to his defense. The BlueJays would often position him in the outfield which made his range seem far greater which made him look like Brooks Robinson on paper. If this is correct then by all means you are right.

It's hard for me to believe that in 16 seasons Konerko has only gotten a 25.3 career WAR. Meanwhile in 7 seasons Ben Zobrist has gotten a 25.4 career WAR. There's no way Ben Zobrist has had a better career than Konerko. I don't disagree with Zobrist's numbers but I do disagree with how Konerko is viewed and it is because of his defense for the most part on why he is so low. If I had the time and energy I could point out countless examples going all the way back to Bill James' original big hit Total Baseball. I'd also like to point out AGAIN, that way back in the Stone Age when I first began to play and follow baseball it was not unknown that the metrics we used (we didn't call them that) were flawed. My all time favorite White Sox player is Billy Pierce. I never thought that Whitey Ford was that much better than Pierce, if in fact he was better at all. It's easier to pitch when Mantle, Maris, Skowron, Berra, Howard etc have staked you to an early 3-5 run lead then when you know if you make one big mistake you're probably going to lose. Pierce is one player that really suffered in the HOF voting because of strict adherence to the established ways of looking at players. Back to Konerko. If there's one thing I want defensively from my 1B man it is to dig out those errant throws. He's not a Vic Power or George Scott when it comes to that, but he's damn good. Another reason why you can look fish eyed at your other infielders fielding percentages, they can be so much at the mercy of your 1B man. Even one like Konerko who is considered a dog by the saber people.

Zisk77
11-19-2012, 12:13 PM
The problem is with defensive metrics is that they consider range. However, 1b is a reaction and not a range position. All 1b man with range do is take balls away from easy chances for 2nd baseman and forces pitchers to cover the bag because the 1b man is out of position.

SI1020
11-19-2012, 01:22 PM
WAR is influenced by position so if 2 players have identical stat lines, but one is a middle infielder while the other is a first baseman, the middle infielder's WAR will be higher than the 1B since you expect to generate a lot more offense from your corner IF/OF than your infielders. Zobrist has played over 60% of his career games either at 2B or SS, so his offensive contributions are generally much greater than the league average middle infielder than Konerko, who, for most of his career, was just kind of an average offensive 1B. They totally mangled their computations. On a whim it seems. The radical shifting of WAR ratings and rankings, particularly DWAR last spring rendered them useless in my opinion. This is what I meant by the Winston Smith remark. As Frater said we're not afraid of math, or of progress I might add. This is just BS. Lipstick on a pig.

doublem23
11-19-2012, 01:42 PM
They totally mangled their computations. On a whim it seems. The radical shifting of WAR ratings and rankings, particularly DWAR last spring rendered them useless in my opinion. This is what I meant by the Winston Smith remark. As Frater said we're not afraid of math, or of progress I might add. This is just BS. Lipstick on a pig.

If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry.

WhiteSox5187
11-19-2012, 02:46 PM
But that's the point, errors don't tell you anything that you don't need to verify with your own two eyes. Obviously I can tell you who are good and bad defenders on the Sox because I watch them 140-150 times per year, but I can't do that for the other 29 teams. I can't tell you how many times in the last 50-60 games this past year that a ball would be sharply hit in the direction of 3B that Youkilis would just simply watch go by him becauss he had literally no lateral movement left in his legs. No error, because he didn't come close to making any kind of play, but a ball you would clearly expect a MLB 3B to at least knock down, if not have a shot at. I don't know what Youkilis's fielding percentage was last year for the Sox (again, because, who cares?) but I can tell you he was a crappy 3B for most of the 2nd half.



I think that errors can serve as sort of a red flag for teams you don't watch everyday. Lets say the Tigers have a first baseman who makes something like 40 errors, you can look at that and say "Whoa! That's a high number of errors!" There might be extenuating circumstances obviously (this is usually the case with middle infielders) but it serves as a good way to garner some cursory information into a guy's defense. It doesn't tell the whole story obviously but I think some information can be gleaned from the number of errors a guy has.

TDog
11-19-2012, 03:15 PM
If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry.

I'm not coming at this from a position of ignorance. I was reading Earnshaw Cook before I was reading Bill James. For all I know, I was reading Cook before James was reading Cook. (I've even read Robert Adair, who wrote about the actual science of baseball, unlike Cook and James, but it is relevant because people who know me have always considered me quite the baseball nerd.) The problem I have isn't that this numbers frighten and confuse me as if I am some unfrozen caveman baseball fan, but that I disagree with their validity on several levels, including my belief that they aren't predictive and that they don't keep up with the curve of what winning requires at the major league level.

Saying batting average is a useless stat not unlike a traditionalist saying OPS is a useless stat. Really, when you get down to it, OPS is a contrived stat, adding two averages, both of which have a foundation of batting average. But one difference is that the people who believe in sabermetics and argue that they are more meaningful than traditional stats believe they have much more meaning than fans place on traditional stats.

At the same time, the idea that on-base percentage is more important than batting average is seriously flawed. You want your lead-off man to reach base. You don't particularly care how. The problem is that scoring runs and winning games isn't only about putting men on base, as Ken Harrelson would tell you if he weren't seething in silence over the White Sox sqandering scoring opportunities in a close game. When your RBI men comes up with runners on base, their on-base percentages are irrelevant. You want them to drive in the runs with hits or productive outs depending on the situation. I want my No. 3 hitter to have a big batting average. In 2012, the No. 3 hitter for the White Sox had more RBI chances than any other position in the lineup. The fact that it had an overall .210 batting average, second worst on the team, is more telling than the fact that it had an .800 OPS, third best on the team. I don't have a statistical formula for how many games the White Sox would have won with a higher batting average serving as a foundation for the .800 OPS, just as I don't have a formula for how many games Konerko's lack of range cost the White Sox while ignoring throws in the dirt on inning-ending, men-on third double plays in close games.

Baseball isn't some Newtonian universe that exists in a vacuum of perfect spheres. It is chaos. I once asked former AL All-Star shorttop Jim Fregosi what his range factor was just to see the look on his face. Baseball is about coaches position players. It's about bad hops. It's about stealing signs. It's about a lot of things, but it isn't about that statistics that fall out or that people create because they are disatisfied that the statistics that fall out don't tell them more. In any given situation, OPS can be more useless than batting average and WHIP can be more meanigless as wins and losses (as fans who have followed Gavin Floyd may have noticed).

Condemning people for not accepting your stats is as bad as people condeming your stats for theirs. And I hope the traditionalists aren't as smug as the sabermetrics people.

doublem23
11-19-2012, 03:22 PM
Condemning people for not accepting your stats is as bad as people condeming your stats for theirs. And I hope the traditionalists aren't as smug as the sabermetrics people.

too late

http://www.freep.com/article/20121116/COL01/311160108/1050/sports02

Domeshot17
11-19-2012, 04:29 PM
I think people tend to, overate, PK's ability to pick it. He is great at it, but, using the traditionalist eye test, he has been missing more throws lately. Furthermore, most mlb first basemen are pretty solid at this skill. I am in agreement PK is probably in the top 50% here, but he is easily in the bottom 50% of Range. In the future, him moving to DH and getting a younger, more athletic 1b would be essential.

Domeshot17
11-19-2012, 04:30 PM
The problem is with defensive metrics is that they consider range. However, 1b is a reaction and not a range position. All 1b man with range do is take balls away from easy chances for 2nd baseman and forces pitchers to cover the bag because the 1b man is out of position.

This is very incorrect.

Nellie_Fox
11-19-2012, 04:51 PM
This is very incorrect.And this is a very unhelpful post.

If you're going to say he's incorrect, at least give a reasoned response as to why you say he'd incorrect.

TDog
11-19-2012, 05:45 PM
I think people tend to, overate, PK's ability to pick it. He is great at it, but, using the traditionalist eye test, he has been missing more throws lately. Furthermore, most mlb first basemen are pretty solid at this skill. I am in agreement PK is probably in the top 50% here, but he is easily in the bottom 50% of Range. In the future, him moving to DH and getting a younger, more athletic 1b would be essential.

To the best of my knowlege, there is no objective measure of a first baseman's ability to catch poor throws. A throw in the dirt that goes as an error isn't going to go to the first baseman even if the bounce is long and true. There is no universally accepted degree of difficulty for the angle of a bounce on a throw in the dirt. The official scoring default is that the throw is bad and the first baseman is exceeding normal effort to field it. The same applies for throws where the first baseman has to come off the bag and tag the runner coming down the line. The records only show that a fielder fielded the ball and threw to first to get the out. The difficulty in fielding the throw is ignored, at least officially.

I agree that most professional first basemen dig balls out of the dirt. It is something they work on. Some are better at it than others. Konerko is much better at it than Dunn. On the Giants, Belt is much better at it than Posey. Players who are moved to first base to keep their bat in the lineup tends to make for weaker infields. Dick Allen, when he was with the Sox, blamed his high error total as a Phillies third baseman on Dick Stuart (aka Dr. Strangeglove) playing first much of the time. But even Fielder, who isn't particular good at digging balls out of the dirt, with sometimes field balls in the dirt. Often if a player has a reupation at being good at something, his failures are more noticable and vice versa.

You can't go back and see how many games Fielder won or lost on throws in the dirt by looking at the game summaries. But he led AL first baseman in errors, and it wasn't because he was ranging far off the base, spinning and throwing to a base where the pitcher failed to cover. You actually can find games Tigers games that lost in large part because of late Fielder errors. I don't know if that matches what his defensive numbers say, however.

Zisk77
11-19-2012, 06:57 PM
This is very incorrect.


No it isn't...see I can do that too.

Domeshot17
11-19-2012, 08:36 PM
No it isn't...see I can do that too.

Sorry, I actually wanted to finish my comment and got called into a meeting at work. I wish work would get its priorities straight haha.

Anyway, I played first base through college, and I do agree its a more reactionary position. However, range is huge to that reaction. In the MLB most 1b play at the back of the dirt. The ability to get 2 more steps than a less mobile 1b is often the difference between a double and an out. Furthermore, more agility means more balls get caught when diving. A good example that should be fresh is Derek Lee. He could pick it as good as anyone, but he also could get up and catch a high throw (PK doesn't do that well) and also sucked up anything in his vicinity. PK can stab anything hit directly at him, but Range for a 1b is a very important step or 2 to the right and left, and PK does not do that well.

SI1020
11-19-2012, 09:01 PM
If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry. Things are changing. King Felix got his Cy Young, deservedly so I might add.

TheVulture
11-19-2012, 10:28 PM
Seems like if WAR is actually measuring relative value of a player to a replacement specifically at his position, the relative value would have to be based on the average or median of production at that position, and therefore the net sum of all WARs would be zero or close to it. However,every team in the American League has a positive net offensive WAR while the league total is 264. I don't see how that can be a valid stat if the net is 264. How could a league have 264 more wins? I don't think they dominated the NL that much, the NL has 251! Where did they get all these wins? Last I checked the league went .500 - again.

SephClone89
11-20-2012, 07:36 AM
Seems like if WAR is actually measuring relative value of a player to a replacement specifically at his position, the relative value would have to be based on the average or median of production at that position, and therefore the net sum of all WARs would be zero or close to it.

The "replacement level player" isn't the average player at his position, since the assumption is that a team doesn't have a league average player just sitting waiting on the bench or in AAA. An average player, of course, is actually quite valuable--he's better than half the league. For that reason, "replacement level" is kind of a fringe bench/AAAA player.

Zisk77
11-20-2012, 03:02 PM
Sorry, I actually wanted to finish my comment and got called into a meeting at work. I wish work would get its priorities straight haha.

Anyway, I played first base through college, and I do agree its a more reactionary position. However, range is huge to that reaction. In the MLB most 1b play at the back of the dirt. The ability to get 2 more steps than a less mobile 1b is often the difference between a double and an out. Furthermore, more agility means more balls get caught when diving. A good example that should be fresh is Derek Lee. He could pick it as good as anyone, but he also could get up and catch a high throw (PK doesn't do that well) and also sucked up anything in his vicinity. PK can stab anything hit directly at him, but Range for a 1b is a very important step or 2 to the right and left, and PK does not do that well.


I would still call that reaction and not range (a quick step or 2). True guys like Teixeira would be better than Paulie with that. However how many times in a year was a double down (that anyone would have a chance at) the line really been a problem? Konerko not only saved many a run with his picks at first, but was great at feeding the pitcher on tough 3-1 put-outs, and maybe the best at turning the 3-6-3 or 1 dp of any right hand throwing 1b.

That being said, DH may be in Paulie's near future.

pudge
11-21-2012, 03:17 AM
They're a work in progress. Anything is an improvement over errors/fielding percentage.

They're not a work in progress, they're total crap. Why does defense need a number? Why does "range" need a number? I love baseball stats as much as the next guy, but the direction saber and "statheads" have gone is just insanity. I'm all for modern technology moving us forward, but there are times when it's overkill and not needed.

MISoxfan
11-24-2012, 06:09 PM
The "replacement level player" isn't the average player at his position, since the assumption is that a team doesn't have a league average player just sitting waiting on the bench or in AAA. An average player, of course, is actually quite valuable--he's better than half the league. For that reason, "replacement level" is kind of a fringe bench/AAAA player.

I just don't believe that replacing Konerko with an average fielding player who hits like Eric Hosmer will only cost the Sox 1.4 wins.