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Frater Perdurabo
05-25-2004, 11:09 AM
Interesting story on stolen bases, and the threat of steals, in today's Tribune (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-040525sox,1,5951413.story?coll=cs-home-headlines)

Ozzie supposedly is preaching the value of the threat of stealing bases, as a pitcher's attention is divided between the batter and the runner when the runner at least is a threat to steal a base. When the pitcher is not fully concentrating on the batter, he is more likely to leave a fat pitch over the middle of the plate.

What do we think?

Randar68
05-25-2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
Interesting story on stolen bases, and the threat of steals, in today's Tribune (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-040525sox,1,5951413.story?coll=cs-home-headlines)

Ozzie supposedly is preaching the value of the threat of stealing bases, as a pitcher's attention is divided between the batter and the runner when the runner at least is a threat to steal a base. When the pitcher is not fully concentrating on the batter, he is more likely to leave a fat pitch over the middle of the plate.

What do we think?

I don't think it's black and white, but several times this season I've seen Harris get a lot of attention at first only to have the pitcher throw up terribly fat pitches to the hitter...

Frater Perdurabo
05-25-2004, 11:17 AM
I know this isn't football, but I like the idea of the Sox having a multidimensional offense, utilizing power, speed and deception to advance runners and score runs. If anything, I'd like to see more speed, more left-handed hitters and more situational hitting to the opposite field, hit and run plays, etc.

I think Ozzie is on the right track.

Railsplitter
05-25-2004, 11:19 AM
If you have the speed, use it. Nobody who stole a base got earased in a double play, and a single or walk becomes a double.
I know the article I read on stealing bases was more than ten years ago, and I don't remember the publication, but it showed, at least in percentages, that stealing a base is easier than getting a hit.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Railsplitter
If you have the speed, use it. Nobody who stole a base got earased in a double play, and a single or walk becomes a double.
I know the article I read on stealing bases was more than ten years ago, and I don't remember the publication, but it showed, at least in percentages, that stealing a base is easier than getting a hit.

Strike out, throw out is a double play.

You need to steal at a rate higher then 80% or you will cost your team runs over the long haul.

pjthesox13
05-25-2004, 11:25 AM
Stealing does provide more of a threat in the game. An example would be the Marlins from last year. The Sox should utilize this as much as they can other than I don't want to see Konerko and Thomas try it.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by pjthesox13
Stealing does provide more of a threat in the game. An example would be the Marlins from last year. The Sox should utilize this as much as they can other than I don't want to see Konerko and Thomas try it.

Actually the Marlins sucked when they were running crazy last year. McKeon held back on the reigns, the Marlins ran less and they took off.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Strike out, throw out is a double play.

You need to steal at a rate higher then 80% or you will cost your team runs over the long haul.

Ahhh, the beauty. A simple number can make everything black and white, right?


bla!

Frater Perdurabo
05-25-2004, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Actually the Marlins sucked when they were running crazy last year. McKeon held back on the reigns, the Marlins ran less and they took off.

Yes, but I think the threat of steals by Pierre and Castillo distracted opposing pitchers and caused them to give up three-run homers (or RBI doubles) to Marlins hitters like Cabrera and Lowell at crucial moment last season.

daveeym
05-25-2004, 11:30 AM
The threat is huge. 1. Most guys have no move. 2. So many young guys on the hill right now that they can easily get rattled. 3. Really pisses a pitcher off when he's got his curve, change, etc. gripped and has to try to throw over to first and possibly throw it away.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Strike out, throw out is a double play.

You need to steal at a rate higher then 80% or you will cost your team runs over the long haul.

To make a point instead of just being sarcastic about it:

Stealing Bases is akin to gambling. Smart gamblers know how to beat the house by counting cards, playing high odds on the craps table, playing against other individuals instead of the house, etc etc...

Choosing who and when you run in a manner that benefits the situation and gaging the worth of that risk is where a manager will earn their money.

In the long haul, all things considered, taking a stat sheet from the last XX # of years, can provide you with a nice generalization and standard equation.

However, baseball is not simple math. There are ways to cheat the numbers and beat the odds. However, taking a BP article and tossing it around without the acceptance of those facts leads to people just blindly believing that 80% is some magical number that solves the world's ills.

It's fools gold, and you and people like yourself treat it as if it's baseball doctrine. Silly and naive.

samram
05-25-2004, 11:37 AM
Absolutely run. Stealing bases not only distracts pitchers, it reduces the amount of hits needed to score runs. You just can't get three hits in an inning every time you need a run. Luckily, the Sox can hit homeruns as well, but they won't always be hitting them. When Willie gets more confidence and starts going more, I think Ozzie will not be tempted to bunt as much (especially in the first inning) and will elect to go with more hit and run plays, which I think Uribe can be very good at. That will give the Sox the ability to score even when Maggs or Frank aren't hitting too well. Diversification is very important.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by samram
Diversification is very important.

What this offense has lacked for years is any sort of dimension other than power. Anyone who can bring speed and/or high OBP skillz to this teams should be welcomed with open arms right now...

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Randar68
To make a point instead of just being sarcastic about it:

Stealing Bases is akin to gambling. Smart gamblers know how to beat the house by counting cards, playing high odds on the craps table, playing against other individuals instead of the house, etc etc...

Choosing who and when you run in a manner that benefits the situation and gaging the worth of that risk is where a manager will earn their money.

In the long haul, all things considered, taking a stat sheet from the last XX # of years, can provide you with a nice generalization and standard equation.

However, baseball is not simple math. There are ways to cheat the numbers and beat the odds. However, taking a BP article and tossing it around without the acceptance of those facts leads to people just blindly believing that 80% is some magical number that solves the world's ills.

It's fools gold, and you and people like yourself treat it as if it's baseball doctrine. Silly and naive.

You can never beat the odds in the long term. The best way to beat the odds if hard and fast, meaning in Vegas terms, bet it all. You win, your money is double, if you lose, you lose. If your goal is too make money gambling in Vegas, never play it slow, you always lose. Expect single deck blackjack with counting the cards.
As for baseball, you have to play it over the long term. What is silly and naive is believing there isn't a break even point on stealing bases.

Secondly, not surprising you show a complete lack of understanding behind truth of the 80% steal rate. What is says isn't that you shouldn't steal but you must take in the factors and only steal if you have a probability of succeeding higher then 80%. Knowing how to gamble is most important thing in gambling. Chose situations where the odds favor you. If I had Rickey Henderson, I'll steal a lot, he could get to first in 1.3 seconds while it took a catcher 1.6 to get the ball to second. That gives you a high probability of the runner being safe.

maurice
05-25-2004, 11:59 AM
A minority of pitchers / catchers are very good at preventing SB. You really need to pick your spots against those guys.

Certain pitchers / catchers are terrible at preventing SB. When facing these guys, all the credible base stealers on the team should get the green light, subject to common sense. Some of these guys are so bad that even very slow players can sneak a SB once in a blue moon.

Some players are fast and / or smart enough to steal virtually at will. These players should run like crazy, again subject to common sense.

A large number of SB (or bunt singles) in a game can be really demoralizing and distracting, forcing bad pitches and throws . . . but plenty of players lack the skills to play this type of game and really shouldn't try.

poorme
05-25-2004, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
As for baseball, you have to play it over the long term. What is silly and naive is believing there isn't a break even point on stealing bases.

I believe there is a break even point, but it differs depending on the game situation. So there are an infinite number of different break even points.

Anyway, can you explain the current 80% dogma? It used to be 67%, then 75%, now 80%. Funny how the break even point is always a nice round number.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
You can never beat the odds in the long term. The best way to beat the odds if hard and fast, meaning in Vegas terms, bet it all. You win, your money is double, if you lose, you lose. If your goal is too make money gambling in Vegas, never play it slow, you always lose. Expect single deck blackjack with counting the cards.
As for baseball, you have to play it over the long term. What is silly and naive is believing there isn't a break even point on stealing bases.

Secondly, not surprising you show a complete lack of understanding behind truth of the 80% steal rate. What is says isn't that you shouldn't steal but you must take in the factors and only steal if you have a probability of succeeding higher then 80%. Knowing how to gamble is most important thing in gambling. Chose situations where the odds favor you. If I had Rickey Henderson, I'll steal a lot, he could get to first in 1.3 seconds while it took a catcher 1.6 to get the ball to second. That gives you a high probability of the runner being safe.

Ok, I agree that as a manager, you pick your spots based on your perceived %chance of success. For example, there are situations where a 50% chance is an acceptable risk to a manager. Running with 2 strikes and your best hitter at the plate... if he is thrown out on ball 1 or 2, you lead off the next inning with your best player. There are many such situations.

However, what that statistic does not account for are failed hit-and-runs and the like. This accounts for a real portion of the data and cannot be measured because it is not recorded.

Also. In-game strategy and management is primarily risk-management. Every situation lends itself toward an "acceptable risk". Being able to recognize that appropriately and take advantage of putting pressure on the opposing team at the proper times or against the proper pitchers or catchers is a big determining factor in the success of a given manager.

Trying to pin some number on it is altruistic and pure naivete. Numbers are a great tool to add to a manager or team's repertoire, but they are not absolute nor are they applicable if you simply live and die by those numbers without consideration for the factors within each game/situation.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by poorme
I believe there is a break even point, but it differs depending on the game situation. So there are an infinite number of different break even points.

Anyway, can you explain the current 80% dogma? It used to be 67%, then 75%, now 80%. Funny how the break even point is always a nice round number.

It is rounded so it sounds better, this is baseball a smudge here or there won't cause people to die. There is debate at what the number is, range I have heard is from 70-80.

jabrch
05-25-2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by poorme
I believe there is a break even point, but it differs depending on the game situation. So there are an infinite number of different break even points.

Anyway, can you explain the current 80% dogma? It used to be 67%, then 75%, now 80%. Funny how the break even point is always a nice round number.


The one thing that the calculators cant take into account is how opposing teams adjust, both mentally as well as how they place fielders and pitch to hitters when they know there is always a chance that a team will run. I know the calculatorheads say 80%, but I don't buy it. To be a "basestealer" - a guy who attempts 60 sbs per year, maybe. but for a guy like Thomas, his succcess rate might be extremely low, but running is still a good idea from time to time. And even for a guy like Harris, lets say his rate is 70% instead of 80%, I'd trade a few more outs every now and then to have the IF always flying around before pitches, the pitcher distracted, while Uribe (or whomever is hitting number 2) can take advantage of that.

That 80% number sounds like bunk to me.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Ok, I agree that as a manager, you pick your spots based on your perceived %chance of success. For example, there are situations where a 50% chance is an acceptable risk to a manager. Running with 2 strikes and your best hitter at the plate... if he is thrown out on ball 1 or 2, you lead off the next inning with your best player. There are many such situations.

However, what that statistic does not account for are failed hit-and-runs and the like. This accounts for a real portion of the data and cannot be measured because it is not recorded.

Also. In-game strategy and management is primarily risk-management. Every situation lends itself toward an "acceptable risk". Being able to recognize that appropriately and take advantage of putting pressure on the opposing team at the proper times or against the proper pitchers or catchers is a big determining factor in the success of a given manager.

Trying to pin some number on it is altruistic and pure naivete. Numbers are a great tool to add to a manager or team's repertoire, but they are not absolute nor are they applicable if you simply live and die by those numbers without consideration for the factors within each game/situation.

If the gain isn't worth the risk then it is never acceptable. You are talking about intangibles, that may or may not have any effect. Guys can steal all day on Shoe, let he has pitched well. Intangibles for the most part are bull****, just things people say so they sound smart. 50% should never be acceptable and it would be stupid in your theory to steal. Just as runner puts pressure on the D, it puts it on your hitter. Hitters become less selective and increase their strike zone to protect the runner.

Paulwny
05-25-2004, 12:27 PM
Bunting, stealing, the threat of stealing, taking an extra base on a hit all put additional pressure on a pitcher and the defense, possibly leading to mistakes and errors.
But, as Maurice has pointed many players lack these skills.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by jabrch
That 80% number sounds like bunk to me.

Whatever the actual number is, it's not bunk.

What is bunk, is to try to say you should never steal unless you have an 80% chance of success. That totally ignores the millions of other in-game factors or situations that occur.

Taking all occurances of the past that ignore the situation, and applying it to the present that resides within a totally independant scenario is a poor application of the numbers.

Statistics should certainly be used to taylor your strategy. However, properly managing who and when to send is a science that is infinitely more complex than throwing out a nice round number and saying "there it is".

daveeym
05-25-2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
You can never beat the odds in the long term. The best way to beat the odds if hard and fast, meaning in Vegas terms, bet it all. You win, your money is double, if you lose, you lose. If your goal is too make money gambling in Vegas, never play it slow, you always lose. Expect single deck blackjack with counting the cards.
As for baseball, you have to play it over the long term. What is silly and naive is believing there isn't a break even point on stealing bases.

Secondly, not surprising you show a complete lack of understanding behind truth of the 80% steal rate. What is says isn't that you shouldn't steal but you must take in the factors and only steal if you have a probability of succeeding higher then 80%. Knowing how to gamble is most important thing in gambling. Chose situations where the odds favor you. If I had Rickey Henderson, I'll steal a lot, he could get to first in 1.3 seconds while it took a catcher 1.6 to get the ball to second. That gives you a high probability of the runner being safe.

Sorry Ricky isn't that fast. You're looking just above or below 3 seconds to first for ricky.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
If the gain isn't worth the risk then it is never acceptable.

No S***, Sherlock. However, those factors fluctuate throughout the game and in every different situation. Generaliazing it is ignoring the in-game fluctuations and ignores the small-picture for the sake of the big-picture.


Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Intangibles for the most part are bull****, just things people say so they sound smart. 50% should never be acceptable and it would be stupid in your theory to steal. Just as runner puts pressure on the D, it puts it on your hitter. Hitters become less selective and increase their strike zone to protect the runner.

Intangibles are something statheads like to ignore or denounce, because, many times, novice stat-heads don't have a clue about the game itself. Your choice to ignore in-game fluctuations, strategy, and intangibles for the sake of generalization essentially invalidates all of your points on the manner.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Intangibles are something statheads like to ignore or denounce, because, many times, novice stat-heads don't have a clue about the game itself. Your choice to ignore in-game fluctuations, strategy, and intangibles for the sake of generalization essentially invalidates all of your points on the manner.

Thanks for making my point.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
If the gain isn't worth the risk then it is never acceptable. You are talking about intangibles, that may or may not have any effect. Guys can steal all day on Shoe, let he has pitched well. Intangibles for the most part are bull****, just things people say so they sound smart. 50% should never be acceptable and it would be stupid in your theory to steal. Just as runner puts pressure on the D, it puts it on your hitter. Hitters become less selective and increase their strike zone to protect the runner.


Again, let's start from scratch here:

Do you know what a normal (or Gaussian) distribution is?

Do you agree that a Normal distribution is a collection of an infinitely large amount of data and fit to a curve based upon mean and standard deviation?

Do you also not agree that extremely large sample sizes also lends itself to being a collection of many sub-trends?


Under those guises, how is it so hard for you to accept that all of these sub-trends are left uncharacterized and undefined?

doublem23
05-25-2004, 12:48 PM
My two cents... Right now, with the big bats in the line-up clicking, I don't think the Sox need to be actively stealing as much as they just need to threaten to steal. When the bats are smoking there's no need to take extra chances. However, when the team is in a cool stage, I don't think that's when you need to force the issue when presented. But there's no reason to run into outs when you're swinging the bats as well as the guys have been over the last week.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Thanks for making my point.

You discounted them for lack of knowledge of them. If you want to discuss this, fine, but discounting things because you don't know how to characterize them or because there are too many of them for you to characterize is fuzzy logic and destroys any validity of the method when trying to apply it to each individual event.

samram
05-25-2004, 12:51 PM
Is the 80% number being used here in reference to success rate or to chance of success in a given situation? These two are not interchangeable. Success rate is a big picture issue, whereas chance of success is situation specific, combining success rate with battery traits. The acceptable risk in a given situation is very flexible, depending on game situation. To universally assign a number to the acceptable risk would be to oversimplify.

JRIG
05-25-2004, 01:02 PM
In the seven games when the Sox have scored more than ten runs, the team has stolen a total of three bases and have not been caught.

In the eleven games the team has scored 3 or fewer runs, the team has two stolen bases and have been caught five times. That's half of the team's caught baserunners in about 25% of the games.

I'd have to do more research, but I don't think it's a coincidence. Be smart about stealing and it can be a weapon. But most players on this team can't steal bases at a good enough clip to make the risk worthwhile. That's why I voted outs are precious.

jabrch
05-25-2004, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Whatever the actual number is, it's not bunk.

What is bunk, is to try to say you should never steal unless you have an 80% chance of success. That totally ignores the millions of other in-game factors or situations that occur.

Taking all occurances of the past that ignore the situation, and applying it to the present that resides within a totally independant scenario is a poor application of the numbers.

Statistics should certainly be used to taylor your strategy. However, properly managing who and when to send is a science that is infinitely more complex than throwing out a nice round number and saying "there it is".

I don't think you can put out one number and say that if your success rate isn't greater than that, than you shouldn't be running. To put a number out like that, to me, is bunk. There is no hard and fast rule. You run a bit for a number of reasons, most notably, to move a runner up a base, but also, and almost as important, is to keep other teams fearing that you will run.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by JRIG
In the seven games when the Sox have scored more than ten runs, the team has stolen a total of three bases and have not been caught.

In the eleven games the team has scored 3 or fewer runs, the team has two stolen bases and have been caught five times. That's half of the team's caught baserunners in about 25% of the games.

I'd have to do more research, but I don't think it's a coincidence. Be smart about stealing and it can be a weapon. But most players on this team can't steal bases at a good enough clip to make the risk worthwhile. That's why I voted outs are precious.

In low-scoring games, trying to get runners into scoring position, put pressure on the defense, etc is part of the way you manufactire runs. If you aren't hitting a guy or the bats are asleep, you have to try something instead of waiting for 3 hits in an inning...

Paulwny
05-25-2004, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Just as runner puts pressure on the D, it puts it on your hitter. Hitters become less selective and increase their strike zone to protect the runner.

This is true however,I've heard this a few times, Torre likes to put on the hit and run if the batter is in a slump. He feels the batter will concentrate more on the pitch and try to make contact instead of swinging for the fences, hoping to break the slump.
I don't know if this works, just another idea.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 01:51 PM
Chart of 2001 - 2004 Stolen Base to Wins.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Chart of 2001 - 2004 Stolen Base to Wins.

OK, would you now like to explain this vague bit of evidence?

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:04 PM
Regression

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
OK, would you now like to explain this vague bit of evidence?

Ok first, I look is there is a connection between stolen bases and wins. The evidence shows a very small connection, that more stolen bases cause more losses.

Like Randar said, I am only looking at a three year time frame, so I could be seeing a fluke. Two, there isn't a major linear relationship between one variable and wins, but one would think you should see some evidence of relationship if it matter.

But if stolen bases increased your intangibles and intangibles matter in winning, we should see a relationship between stealing and positive residuals. There isn't one.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Ok first, I look is there is a connection between stolen bases and wins. The evidence shows a very small connection, that more stolen bases cause more losses.

Like Randar said, I am only looking at a three year time frame, so I could be seeing a fluke. Two, there isn't a major linear relationship between one variable and wins, but one would think you should see some evidence of relationship if it matter.

But if stolen bases increased your intangibles and intangibles matter in winning, we should see a relationship between stealing and positive residuals. There isn't one.

Please either explain the data or point to what exactly causes you to belive there is a correlation with more stolen bases (again, completely ignoring the many different scenarios involved) and losing more games...

Also, wasn't this discussion about SB% not totals?

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Please either explain the data or point to what exactly causes you to belive there is a correlation with more stolen bases (again, completely ignoring the many different scenarios involved) and losing more games...

I really don't believe that, honestly, I don't there is much too stolen bases and wins. Look at the R2 and adjusted r2.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
I really don't believe that, honestly, I don't there is much too stolen bases and wins. Look at the R2 and adjusted r2.

Steals and wins, over this sample size, appear to be totally unrelated given the margin for error, no?

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Steals and wins, over this sample size, appear to be totally unrelated given the margin for error, no?

Yep. That doesn't answer the question of SB% and wins though. But it total amount of steals and wins are unrelated, wouldn't be logical to say since a steal doesn't help, we need to be careful when to use it.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Yep. That doesn't answer the question of SB% and wins though. But it total amount of steals and wins are unrelated, wouldn't be logical to say since a steal doesn't help, we need to be careful when to use it.

I would love to see a comprehensive study, but some of the factors for such are simply not recorded.

There are just many different situations to consider, hit-and-runs, pick-offs that turn into SB attempts because the runner goes towards second, etc etc...

A straight steal is something that is not distinguishable in a stat-sheet from these other factors that cloud the over-all numbers.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Yep. That doesn't answer the question of SB% and wins though. But it total amount of steals and wins are unrelated, wouldn't be logical to say since a steal doesn't help, we need to be careful when to use it.

I think with statistics like these trying to gauge the effectiveness, decade-by-decade examinations should probably be done as far back as possible. The underlying strategies and tendencies are somewhat cyclical and have gone back and forth over time. Based on season-total stats, it's hard to do any kind of conclusive statistical analysis on such a small number of seasons...

soxtalker
05-25-2004, 02:47 PM
What is interesting about this poll is the overwhelming response in favor of stolen bases. Now, one may question the statistics (as many of you have), but I find it hard to believe that the true answer is so clearly in favor of one side. What I think that this does show, however, is that fans like to see stolen bases attempted.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I think with statistics like these trying to gauge the effectiveness, decade-by-decade examinations should probably be done as far back as possible. The underlying strategies and tendencies are somewhat cyclical and have gone back and forth over time. Based on season-total stats, it's hard to do any kind of conclusive statistical analysis on such a small number of seasons...

True, but we can see newer trends as the game changes. Back in the 60's when pitchers dominated the game, stolen bases were probably much more valuable then they are now. I would guess some of the theories of successful baseball in the 60's may not hold true anymore.

Dadawg_77
05-25-2004, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
What is interesting about this poll is the overwhelming response in favor of stolen bases. Now, one may question the statistics (as many of you have), but I find it hard to believe that the true answer is so clearly in favor of one side. What I think that this does show, however, is that fans like to see stolen bases attempted.

It is exciting, stolen bases are a bang bang play which fans like. That doesn't mean it is good or bad strategy for winning a game.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
True, but we can see newer trends as the game changes. Back in the 60's when pitchers dominated the game, stolen bases were probably much more valuable then they are now. I would guess some of the theories of successful baseball in the 60's may not hold true anymore.

Is that really so, or is it just because managers and popular belief has drifted away from that strategy. As a whole, MLB teams wait for the HR these days, particularly AL teams, but it seems to me the successful ones commonly use hit-and-runs and movement on the basepaths. Who's to say that running when you have the talent to do so, and of course do so in an intelligent manner, can't succeed today?

*note: Florida still ran quite a bit after the regime change there, but guys didn't have the green-light ALL the time like they previously did, and they were running in the correct situations, not indiscriminately...

MRKARNO
05-25-2004, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Is that really so, or is it just because managers and popular belief has drifted away from that strategy. As a whole, MLB teams wait for the HR these days, particularly AL teams, but it seems to me the successful ones commonly use hit-and-runs and movement on the basepaths. Who's to say that running when you have the talent to do so, and of course do so in an intelligent manner, can't succeed today?

*note: Florida still ran quite a bit after the regime change there, but guys didn't have the green-light ALL the time like they previously did, and they were running in the correct situations, not indiscriminately...

I dont mind running at some points, but really, outside of Olivo or whoever is at the 9 spot and the leadoff man, no one should be running often in general. I dont want to see any steals unless this team is stuggling offensively. When we've been going like we have been over the past week or so an out is a lot to risk for one base. When we look dead, though, it might be a wise idea to run, especially if you have a situation where Carlos is on first with 1 out and Konerko is at the plate (DP candidate) it might be wise to run or to do a hit and run to avoid the double play.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I dont mind running at some points, but really, outside of Olivo or whoever is at the 9 spot and the leadoff man, no one should be running often in general. I dont want to see any steals unless this team is stuggling offensively. When we've been going like we have been over the past week or so an out is a lot to risk for one base. When we look dead, though, it might be a wise idea to run, especially if you have a situation where Carlos is on first with 1 out and Konerko is at the plate (DP candidate) it might be wise to run or to do a hit and run to avoid the double play.

I would love to see them hit-and-run more. I really think a guy like Carlos is better in a situation when you're just asking him to shoot the ball the other way etc etc. He can get way too pull-conscious. Crede, Konerko and Alomar are similar. Unfortunately, none of those guys often come up with guys on base who wouldn't be dead ducks.

I still like Carlos at #2, but it's hard to argue with Uribe for the time being...

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 04:10 PM
Alright, a few notes for this thread:

First of all, "statheads" are often critisized because of their inflexibility and strict adherence to exact totals (such as 80%) but in my opinion this thread is a prime example of the non-"statheads" being primarily responsible for creating that perception. Just because the figure 80% is thrown out does not mean it is an end all do all number, just a guideline. In my opinion giving an approximate number paints a more clear picture of what one is trying to get accross that using language such as "rarely" or "most of the time" which can be extremely vague. Clearly 80% is not an exact guideline. How could anyone ever calculate whether they had a 78% or 80% chance of successfully stealing a base anyways? The point is simply that you need to be quite successful to turn stolen bases into increased chances of scoring runs.

As far as Foltman's arguement in the Trib, it is completely nonsensical to me. I don't understand why you'd have to be thrown out carelessly stealing to increase the pressure placed on pitchers. The issue is not that steals distract the pitcher, it is that the threat of stealing distracts the pitcher. Therefore if there is a runner who has the potential to run on the bases, the pitcher should expend energy keeping him close and become distracted regardless of whether or not the player actually does steal. If the pitcher decides not to keep the runner close because he doesn't run wild enough then you know what? That runner should be able to swipe some easy bases which will increase the team's chances of winning. I don't think anyone can argue that occasionally wrecklessly stealing bases with a slow player will cause that player to be viewed as a nuisance on the basepaths and distract pitchers. Has Konerko been distracting pitchers a great deal since his early season steal? I don't think they've been expending a lot of energy throwing to first or shortening their delivery when he's on.

Frater Perdurabo
05-25-2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
The issue is not that steals distract the pitcher, it is that the threat of stealing distracts the pitcher. Therefore if there is a runner who has the potential to run on the bases, the pitcher should expend energy keeping him close and become distracted regardless of whether or not the player actually does steal. If the pitcher decides not to keep the runner close because he doesn't run wild enough then you know what? That runner should be able to swipe some easy bases which will increase the team's chances of winning. I don't think anyone can argue that occasionally wrecklessly stealing bases with a slow player will cause that player to be viewed as a nuisance on the basepaths and distract pitchers.

That's exactly my point. It's the threat of stealing that impacts pitchers. It's more of a mental thing; part of the chess match that is baseball. However, if a team never attempts to steal, the opposing team doesn't have to worry about the threat of stealing. You have to send the runner sometimes to create the threat. If that means sacrificing some outs early in the season, so be it. I think Ozzie has been smart with it so far and I think it is paying dividends.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Alright, a few notes for this thread:

First of all, "statheads" are often critisized because of their inflexibility and strict adherence to exact totals (such as 80%) but in my opinion this thread is a prime example of the non-"statheads" being primarily responsible for creating that perception. Just because the figure 80% is thrown out does not mean it is an end all do all number, just a guideline. In my opinion giving an approximate number paints a more clear picture of what one is trying to get accross that using language such as "rarely" or "most of the time" which can be extremely vague. Clearly 80% is not an exact guideline. How could anyone ever calculate whether they had a 78% or 80% chance of successfully stealing a base anyways? The point is simply that you need to be quite successful to turn stolen bases into increased chances of scoring runs.

As far as Foltman's arguement in the Trib, it is completely nonsensical to me. I don't understand why you'd have to be thrown out carelessly stealing to increase the pressure placed on pitchers. The issue is not that steals distract the pitcher, it is that the threat of stealing distracts the pitcher. Therefore if there is a runner who has the potential to run on the bases, the pitcher should expend energy keeping him close and become distracted regardless of whether or not the player actually does steal. If the pitcher decides not to keep the runner close because he doesn't run wild enough then you know what? That runner should be able to swipe some easy bases which will increase the team's chances of winning. I don't think anyone can argue that occasionally wrecklessly stealing bases with a slow player will cause that player to be viewed as a nuisance on the basepaths and distract pitchers. Has Konerko been distracting pitchers a great deal since his early season steal? I don't think they've been expending a lot of energy throwing to first or shortening their delivery when he's on.

Originally posted by Dadawg_77
You need to steal at a rate higher then 80% or you will cost your team runs over the long haul.

Originally posted by Dadawg_77
What is silly and naive is believing there isn't a break even point on stealing bases.

Yes, it's the non-stat-heads perpetuating this "myth"...

I agree that allowing Frank, Konerko, Crede, etc to steal, unless they aren't being held and it's a "sure-thing" is unwise.

My problem with generating a number based on things so difficult to separate is grouping a large # of independent strategic ideas into a lump-sum.

You're not separating Pick-offs turned into CS, dead-ducks on hit-and-runs, squeeze-plays, etc. from the straight-steal. That is my problem with generating a straight number on such a complex variable.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
That's exactly my point. It's the threat of stealing that impacts pitchers. It's more of a mental thing; part of the chess match that is baseball. However, if a team never attempts to steal, the opposing team doesn't have to worry about the threat of stealing. You have to send the runner sometimes to create the threat. If that means sacrificing some outs early in the season, so be it. I think Ozzie has been smart with it so far and I think it is paying dividends.

But I think if the other team never worries about you stealing then you get to the point where you can steal bases very easily, helping you to win games. Then, teams will start to pay more attention.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
That's exactly my point. It's the threat of stealing that impacts pitchers. It's more of a mental thing; part of the chess match that is baseball. However, if a team never attempts to steal, the opposing team doesn't have to worry about the threat of stealing. You have to send the runner sometimes to create the threat. If that means sacrificing some outs early in the season, so be it. I think Ozzie has been smart with it so far and I think it is paying dividends.

I agree with Jeremy some. Sending guys like Frank, Konerko, Crede or Alomar is essentially a suicide mission unless it's part of a hit-and-run. I don't think 3-5 SB's in a year from any of those guys is going to make the pitchers and catchers worry too much. I know it's a team-wide philosophy, but giving those outs up is not smart strategy, IMO...

Running with Jose, Uribe, Maggs (VERY occassionally), Carlos, Harris, Timo, Rowand, Olivo... I definitely think some of those guys feed off of that aggressive style and some of those guys have already been huge distractions to opposing pitchers, and it's early...

Randar68
05-25-2004, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
But I think if the other team never worries about you stealing then you get to the point where you can steal bases very easily, helping you to win games. Then, teams will start to pay more attention.


HUH!? That's some backwards logic, IMO.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Yes, it's the non-stat-heads perpetuating this "myth"...

I agree that allowing Frank, Konerko, Crede, etc to steal, unless they aren't being held and it's a "sure-thing" is unwise.

My problem with generating a number based on things so difficult to separate is grouping a large # of independent strategic ideas into a lump-sum.

You're not separating Pick-offs turned into CS, dead-ducks on hit-and-runs, squeeze-plays, etc. from the straight-steal. That is my problem with generating a straight number on such a complex variable.

I don't think DaDawg made it seem as though 80% was an exact number. First of all 80% is a very round number. You'd think if someone was going to argue for an unreasonably exact number they'd say "You must succeed at a 78.3 % level." Also, he later gave the range of 70-80%.

Secondly, the huge difference here is the notion of a break even point in theory and in practice. Stating that a point in theory exists (which it does regardless of whether or not current figures are skewed by hit and runs and pickoffs) doesn't necessarily mean one should or can blindly adhere to this figure in practice. As I said before, no one could argue that managers and baserunners can calculate the exact odds of a steal attempt prior to sending a runner. Recognizing that a break even point exists isn't the same as knowing exactly what it is or strictly dictating certain in game strategy based on any figure.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
HUH!? That's some backwards logic, IMO.

The reason you take a pitcher out of the game according to the logic in the Foltman article is because the pitcher is distracted trying to prevent the runner through stealing by throwing to first, using sidesteps, etc. which leads him to lose focus on the batter and throw fat pitches, correct? Well if you were not distracting the pitcher then it would follow that the pitcher is not utilizing pickoff throws or sidesteps allowing the runner to take large leads and lengthening the time the pitcher takes to go to home allowing for very easy stolen base opportunities, increasing the team's chances of scoring runs.

Which part is backwards?

Randar68
05-25-2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
As I said before, no one could argue that managers and baserunners can calculate the exact odds of a steal attempt prior to sending a runner. Recognizing that a break even point exists isn't the same as knowing exactly what it is or strictly dictating certain in game strategy based on any figure.

I completely agree, and although nobody made the point earlier, I assumed it was an obvious part of the problem with stating XX%.

Basically, all the number does is look like a lot of work, and tell managers to "Be pretty certain you can succeed if you're going to straight steal."

I would venture to say, if the actual % was 75%, I would knock 5-10% off that for the straight steal, minimum, considering all the other strategic issues involved in the original stat.

So, you're then looking at, for example again, telling a manager that if you're going to send a guy on a straight-steal, that you'd better be 65-70% sure he'll make it. I would also argue that early in an inning, you can skew that down to around 55-60% and later in an inning, go the opposite direction.

It's a number generated for informational purposes only. Applying it is almost impossible, as you inferred.

Frater Perdurabo
05-25-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I agree with Jeremy some. Sending guys like Frank, Konerko, Crede or Alomar is essentially a suicide mission unless it's part of a hit-and-run. I don't think 3-5 SB's in a year from any of those guys is going to make the pitchers and catchers worry too much. I know it's a team-wide philosophy, but giving those outs up is not smart strategy, IMO...

Running with Jose, Uribe, Maggs (VERY occassionally), Carlos, Harris, Timo, Rowand, Olivo... I definitely think some of those guys feed off of that aggressive style and some of those guys have already been huge distractions to opposing pitchers, and it's early...

I agree completely. The Sox shouldn't be reckless, careless or stupid, but they should be intelligently aggressive.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
The reason you take a pitcher out of the game according to the logic in the Foltman article is because the pitcher is distracted trying to prevent the runner through stealing by throwing to first, using sidesteps, etc. which leads him to lose focus on the batter and throw fat pitches, correct? Well if you were not distracting the pitcher then it would follow that the pitcher is not utilizing pickoff throws or sidesteps allowing the runner to take large leads and lengthening the time the pitcher takes to go to home allowing for very easy stolen base opportunities, increasing the team's chances of scoring runs.

Which part is backwards?

Here is the problem with that. If team A is not aggressive on the basepaths and suddenly starts taking larger leads or running, any catcher, bench coach, or manager worth his salt is going to notice. The threat has to always be there so you cannot tell the difference between not going and going.

Jjav829
05-25-2004, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Here is the problem with that. If team A is not aggressive on the basepaths and suddenly starts taking larger leads or running, any catcher, bench coach, or manager worth his salt is going to notice. The threat has to always be there so you cannot tell the difference between not going and going.

I have to agree. So, you would not attempt a steal for what, a month, 2 months, to try to make the opposing pitchers believe you won't steal? Then once you have them believing that you won't steal, which has taken you weeks to develop, you all of a sudden start running again - which should take any catcher, pitcher, coach, or advanced scout less than 5 steal attempts to realize. Then what? You go about developing the idea that you won't steal for a few more weeks so that you can be successful in stealing for another 2 games. That's bad logic IMO.

As a team, you have to develop your strategy for stealing bases. It's obvious Ozzie's mentality is that action on the bases is a good thing.

voodoochile
05-25-2004, 05:33 PM
I love it when Jose, Willie, Uribe and Olivo try to steal bases. Carlos too on occasion.

But, they shouldn't overdo it. Willie is the only one who should be given the green light all the time.

And absolutely everyone else should stay put. They shouldn't even be sent on a H&R, IMO.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Here is the problem with that. If team A is not aggressive on the basepaths and suddenly starts taking larger leads or running, any catcher, bench coach, or manager worth his salt is going to notice. The threat has to always be there so you cannot tell the difference between not going and going.

Well you can always take large leads as long as they're not dangerously large. I think that you're right the coaches and managers probably notice but I think you get a couple stolen bases first. Then once the coaching staff notices you'd assume they'd talk to the pitcher/catcher and call more pitchouts, sidesteps, and throws to first leading to distractions, no? I don't see why you can't always be either distracting the pitcher or taking advantage of the pitcher's lack of attention and swiping easy bases.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Well you can always take large leads as long as they're not dangerously large. I think that you're right the coaches and managers probably notice but I think you get a couple stolen bases first. Then once the coaching staff notices you'd assume they'd talk to the pitcher/catcher and call more pitchouts, sidesteps, and throws to first leading to distractions, no? I don't see why you can't always be either distracting the pitcher or taking advantage of the pitcher's lack of attention and swiping easy bases.

If baserunners are not regularly aggressive or an active threat, they will not risk taking significant leads and will be lazy by nature. It's just the way it is, but nobody is going to regularly take aggressive leads and dance around if they're NEVER going to run.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Jjav829
So, you would not attempt a steal for what, a month, 2 months, to try to make the opposing pitchers believe you won't steal? Then once you have them believing that you won't steal, which has taken you weeks to develop, you all of a sudden start running again - which should take any catcher, pitcher, coach, or advanced scout less than 5 steal attempts to realize. Then what? You go about developing the idea that you won't steal for a few more weeks so that you can be successful in stealing for another 2 games. That's bad logic IMO.

As a team, you have to develop your strategy for stealing bases. It's obvious Ozzie's mentality is that action on the bases is a good thing.

Well if it does take weeks to convince opposing teams then in the mean time you'd still benefit from the pitcher's being distracted by the runners, right? I was addressing the situation entirely from the added benefit of distracting pitchers leading to better hitting by a club, not stealing a lot of bases. They should function as two seperate concepts though. My point is merely that stealing bases is different from pitchers perceiving the threat of a stolen base.

Essetienally the entire argument boils down to: the only time the benefits of the perceived threat of stealing would be diminished is if a team or pitcher became convinced a team or player will not steal. In this event, runners should be paid less attention to and therefore be able to steal bases at a rate that cancels out the loss of the positive effects of pitchers being distracted.

Edit: Also, it is critical to note that stealing bases is not an all or nothing approach. Runners should steal always at levels in which the odds are strongly in favor of succeeding. I'm not talking about telling no one on the team to steal for 2 months, I'm talking about stealing in situations that lead to success.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
If baserunners are not regularly aggressive or an active threat, they will not risk taking significant leads and will be lazy by nature. It's just the way it is, but nobody is going to regularly take aggressive leads and dance around if they're NEVER going to run.

I'm not talking about never running. Harris is a great example, he's 6 of 7. That's great. The article by Foltman really kindof supports the "stathead" point of view it's trying to discredit in that method. Harris has only run 7 times, he's not running like a chicken with his head cut off yet he's still enough of a threat to distract pitchers while running rarely enough to be highly successful.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:25 PM
Looking at the team stats, it's really not only Harris but almost the entire club that supports a "stathead" approach to basestealing in my opinion which is why Foltman's article and the options in these polls are somewhat misleading. If you remove Magglio and Carlos' steal attempts (a combined 3 out of 7) the team's success rate is a strong 75%. Even with those two players we're looking at a small sample size so they shouldn't stop running, they apparently just need to pick their spots a little bit better. The Foltman article and the second option in this poll assume the team is running for the sake of running and taking Ozzie's idiotic advice that it doesn't matter if you get thrown out which is not the case at all.

Randar68
05-25-2004, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I'm not talking about never running. Harris is a great example, he's 6 of 7. That's great. The article by Foltman really kindof supports the "stathead" point of view it's trying to discredit in that method. Harris has only run 7 times, he's not running like a chicken with his head cut off yet he's still enough of a threat to distract pitchers while running rarely enough to be highly successful.

He's not been running lately (6 of the SB's were in April):

1) Because the offense has been on fire and Ozzie hasn't had to try to manufacture runs
2) He's a threat and is being paid ULTIMATE attention to when on base, many multiple-throws over per AB, etc etc.

Your theory is bass-ackwards and I think even you know that at this point. It completely ignores the human effect, and for someone who so often criticizes others for unsupported conjecture, your theory is WAY out in the weeds...

Randar68
05-25-2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
the second option in this poll assume the team is running for the sake of running and taking Ozzie's idiotic advice that it doesn't matter if you get thrown out which is not the case at all.


Huh? That is one hell of an assumption there. Talk about a LEAP!

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
He's not been running lately (6 of the SB's were in April):

1) Because the offense has been on fire and Ozzie hasn't had to try to manufacture runs
2) He's a threat and is being paid ULTIMATE attention to when on base, many multiple-throws over per AB, etc etc.

Your theory is bass-ackwards and I think even you know that at this point. It completely ignores the human effect, and for someone who so often criticizes others for unsupported conjecture, your theory is WAY out in the weeds...

I don't see how your second point doesn't completely support my argument that you can be a threat and distract pitchers without running often.

As far as arguments against my reasoning we have:
1) My theory is "bass-ackwards"
2) You think I know it is.
3) It ignores the "human effect" (I don't understand what that means at all)
4) My argument is unsupported (It's a theoretical argument, I think I've explained it a lot)

I'm sorry but these just seem like arguments calling my theory bad not explaining why.

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Huh? That is one hell of an assumption there. Talk about a LEAP!

By giving two options 1) outs are precious 2) steals are necessary to the Sox offense the poll gives the impression that the Sox's attempts to steal thus far have disregarded the notion that outs are precious. I don't feel that's the case. Why can't outs be precious and the Sox have treated them that way and therefore, due to that caution SB's have become an important component of the team's offense?

Randar68
05-25-2004, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
By giving two options 1) outs are precious 2) steals are necessary to the Sox offense the poll gives the impression that the Sox's attempts to steal thus far have disregarded the notion that outs are precious. I don't feel that's the case. Why can't outs be precious and the Sox have treated them that way and therefore, due to that caution SB's have become an important component of the team's offense?

Saying it was too black-and-white is different than proclaiming anyone who could vote for the "running" option was wanting to run like hell and crazy until they dropped, "like Ozzie suggests"...

Randar68
05-25-2004, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I don't see how your second point doesn't completely support my argument that you can be a threat and distract pitchers without running often.

As far as arguments against my reasoning we have:
1) My theory is "bass-ackwards"
2) You think I know it is.
3) It ignores the "human effect" (I don't understand what that means at all)
4) My argument is unsupported (It's a theoretical argument, I think I've explained it a lot)

I'm sorry but these just seem like arguments calling my theory bad not explaining why.

Do we have to do this dance again?

You said that running a couple times every blue moon would lull opposing teams to sleep making it more effective. That is absolute horse-phooey. I shouldn't have to go into a long-winded argument about why that is, jeremy.

Again, you seem to think the more words you type, the more it supports what you're saying. Not the case.

- You've assumed that these players will give the "aura" of a threat, despite not running or being a threat for long periods of time. GMAB. What world is that in?
- You've assumed by suddenly being active basestealers, these same lethargic runners would not suddenly and obviously have had a noticeable change in body-posture and lead-off, etc
- You've assumed pitchers and catchers won't pay attention to at least your fast runners all of the time, whether you're sending them or not
- You've assumed that all "attention" paid to baserunners is the same.
- You've assumed that Willie Harris doesn't have the green light now (which from what I've seen, isn't the case).


You know what they say about assumptions... ass/u/me

jeremyb1
05-25-2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Do we have to do this dance again?

You said that running a couple times every blue moon would lull opposing teams to sleep making it more effective. That is absolute horse-phooey.

That's not my argument. My argument is that IF running infrequently (in the event that doing so is required to steal at an effective clip) could negate the positive effects of a player/team distracting the pitcher then the negatives would be cancelled out by greater, more efficient stealing.

Originally posted by Randar68
I shouldn't have to go into a long-winded argument about why that is, jeremy.

Again, you seem to think the more words you type, the more it supports what you're saying. Not the case.

I'm using more words because you don't seem to understand the point I'm making.

Originally posted by Randar68
- You've assumed that these players will give the "aura" of a threat, despite not running or being a threat for long periods of time. GMAB. What world is that in?

I've never intended to concretely say that either the pitcher is distracted by the runner or he's not. I'm trying to argue that it doesn't matter whether or not he is with a good runner on base. If the pitcher is distracted then we win because the pitcher throws fat pitches to the hitters and we crush the ball (this is the argument made by Foltman, Harris, and a number of posters in this thread). If the pitcher is not at all distracted then we have practically a free pass. If a pitcher makes no effort to keep a runner on as in the Baltimore series, your faster runners can steal a lot of bases with great ease which is going to help you win games. I haven't meant to assume that basestealers will or will not create a threat, only that it is a win win situation.

Originally posted by Randar68
- You've assumed by suddenly being active basestealers, these same lethargic runners would not suddenly and obviously have had a noticeable change in body-posture and lead-off, etc

Stealing bases is about deception. If a runner is clearly going to go then a pitchout or pickoff move can be called and he's a dead duck. I don't see how it's unreasonable to expect major league runners to deceive opposing teams. That's what baserunning is.

Originally posted by Randar68
- You've assumed pitchers and catchers won't pay attention to at least your fast runners all of the time, whether you're sending them or not

Nope. Intially, that was the point I was hoping to make. That you don't have to wrecklessly steal bases to distract an opposing pitcher. The Foltman article argues stealing a lot is good because pitchers are distracted but I think they can most likely be distracted anyways with runners that pose any sort of threat. If I'm wrong and then as I said they'll stop paying attention to Willie Harris, he'll steal 4 times in a game and we'll win. There are two parts to the argument:

1) I believe the threat is the issue and that stealing does not need to occur on a regular basis to create the threat. Good basestealers are always a threat.

2) Even if I'm incorrect it doesn't matter because if great basestealers ever cease to become a threat they can more than make up for the lack of fat pitches generated by the pitchers distraction by running wild.

Originally posted by Randar68
- You've assumed that all "attention" paid to baserunners is the same.

Not true, one of my arguments was that attention is not going to be paid to Konerko no matter what. He's not a threat so he can't distract a pitcher nor can he steal often if he's ignored. He's a failure at both ends of the spectrum.

If you're arguing that I'm assuming pitchers either pay attention or don't as opposed to varying levels of attention. That's a good point. If there's a flaw in my argument that's it. However, I still think it applies. Basically, the amount of attention paid to your runners should relate to how often they run. So if (on a scale of 1-10) pitchers pay 4 to Harris then he steals pretty often although not a ton and the batters see some fat pitches but not a lot. If it's a 10 no steals, a ton of fat pitches. If it's a 1, no fat pitches but a ton of steals. I think it still makes sense in between.


Originally posted by Randar68
- You've assumed that Willie Harris doesn't have the green light now (which from what I've seen, isn't the case).

No, I just assumed he's stealing when it is likely he'll be safe. I don't know whether that's his decision or the coaching staff's.