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View Full Version : Francona's Post Game Interview (RE: Not taking walks)


jabrch
10-05-2005, 11:42 PM
Paraphrasing...

I know it is our team's philosophy to work counts and take walks. But if you try that against guys like Buehrle and Contreras, you will be 0-2 nearly every time. You can not beat these guys by trying to take pitches.


That's been my main beef with the entire OBP thing that has come over factions of the baseball world the past few years. (almost)Nobody argues that walks aren't important. Nobody says working a count is bad. It just isn't a sustainable model to regularly win. Boston didn't win last year because they walked. They won because they MASHED the ball. I have never seen a team walk their way into a World Series victory. At the end of the day you have to hit the ball to win. Walks are nice. Hits are better. I'm closer and closer to convinced that I'd even take a guy with a lower OBP and a higher batting average because against the best pitchers, in crunch time, you need a hit, not a walk.

dugwood31
10-05-2005, 11:52 PM
Agreed. The moneyball/OBP strategy works when you face bad pitchers. Good pitchers force the issue and aren't afraid of guys hitting the ball. In general, it's a passive style, and it shuts out options.

That said, I'd love it if our Pale Hose walked more.

Banix12
10-06-2005, 12:59 AM
I was reading on a Red Sox board and they kept crying up and down about not taking walks. "Why you swingin' out of the strike zone Ortiz!" and phrases similar to that.

You know it is really difficult to lay off a good curveball or a Jose Contreras Forkball. It's not as simple as just waiting around. Pitchers like Buehrle throw strikes and force you to hit and guys like contreras have electric stuff that can make you look stupid.

Especially at this time of year when the pitchers you face are usually really good (except for Matt Clement)

Optipessimism
10-06-2005, 01:25 AM
Agreed. The moneyball/OBP strategy works when you face bad pitchers. Good pitchers force the issue and aren't afraid of guys hitting the ball. In general, it's a passive style, and it shuts out options.

That said, I'd love it if our Pale Hose walked more.

Maybe that's why the Moneyball teams can get into the playoffs by facing mostly bad pitching and coming out on top, but always SUCK in the playoffs when it counts?

JRIG
10-06-2005, 06:12 AM
Maybe that's why the Moneyball teams can get into the playoffs by facing mostly bad pitching and coming out on top, but always SUCK in the playoffs when it counts?

Boston did win the World Series last year...

Randar68
10-06-2005, 09:35 AM
Boston did win the World Series last year...
A team with a 100+ million dollar payroll, a HOF pitching staff and 2 of the best and most expensive middle-of-the-order hitters hardly counts as "a moneyball team" simply because of their GM's name...

Randar68
10-06-2005, 09:39 AM
I'm closer and closer to convinced that I'd even take a guy with a lower OBP and a higher batting average because against the best pitchers, in crunch time, you need a hit, not a walk.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I also think the pitches/AB seen by each player is very important. Uribe and AJ are 2 of the worst in the league in pitches per AB, and it forces others to take pitches to try to tire pitchers out, get their pitch-counts up, get the bullpen involved...

That's a VERY important aspect that often gets wrapped-up or lost in the OBP/walks debate...

Working pitchers, tiring them out... your chances for seeing a mistake by a pitcher go up dramatically when you can force him into longer innings, get that pitch-count up in the 50-100 range and then get him into a 20-30 pitch inning... That takes a huge toll on most pitchers.

34 Inch Stick
10-06-2005, 10:43 AM
But again, getting into the bullpen is not a universal solution...Think about it with the Twins where they have good starters and great relievers or even the Padres who have very average starters but a much better bullpen.

I wanted Matt Clement in that game on Tuesday for as long as humanly possible.

voodoochile
10-06-2005, 10:58 AM
Damon struck out last night in the ninth and never saw a single pitch that was a strike.

Yeah, Jenks threw some nasty cutters/sliders which broke in late and were up in the zone (he'd have just popped them up anyway), but he saw 6 pitches all balls and struck out.

Just thought it was interesting, not saying... I'm just saying...:rolleyes:

FarWestChicago
10-06-2005, 04:04 PM
A team with a 100+ million dollar payroll, a HOF pitching staff and 2 of the best and most expensive middle-of-the-order hitters hardly counts as "a moneyball team" simply because of their GM's name...The "adoption" of the Wrong Sox as a "Moneyball" team by FOBB's is perhaps the greatest indictment of "Beane as god" there is. Wow, you talk about desperation breeding silliness. :o:

Jerome
10-06-2005, 04:33 PM
The "adoption" of the Wrong Sox as a "Moneyball" team by FOBB's is perhaps the greatest indictment of "Beane as god" there is. Wow, you talk about desperation breeding silliness. :o:

I agree. I cheer for the teams with small payrolls (well of course besides the injuns and twinkies). Calling the red sox a moneyball team because they have some statistical analysists on the payroll? Please. The Blue Jays and A's, maybe the Dodgers. But of course they suck, even with the big payroll.

jabrch
10-06-2005, 09:09 PM
Boston did win the World Series last year...

Not by walking - and not by "Moneyball" - they have a $150MM+ payroll. They did it the same way the Yankees did. Sure - they have some guys who take walks - but that was not a team that lived and died from taking walks. They lived and died with their 20mm left fielder, their slugging DH, their two 10mm starters, and their 8mm closer. Yes - that's right - They spent about 50mm on 5 players. That's not "Moneyball" - that's MONEY.

jabrch
10-06-2005, 09:11 PM
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I also think the pitches/AB seen by each player is very important. Uribe and AJ are 2 of the worst in the league in pitches per AB, and it forces others to take pitches to try to tire pitchers out, get their pitch-counts up, get the bullpen involved...

That's a VERY important aspect that often gets wrapped-up or lost in the OBP/walks debate...

Working pitchers, tiring them out... your chances for seeing a mistake by a pitcher go up dramatically when you can force him into longer innings, get that pitch-count up in the 50-100 range and then get him into a 20-30 pitch inning... That takes a huge toll on most pitchers.

I agree Randar - swinging at the first pitch every time is bad too. But against top tier pitching talent, especially a guy who throws strikes like Mark Buehrle, if you try to take walks, you will be hitting 1-2 and 0-2 quite a bit. Now Boston was able to hit with two strikes yesterday against Mark for a few innings - but they weren't able to put him away.

If you look to not swing the bat against top pitching talent, you are unlikely to fare very well. If you look to swing the bat at close pitches, but take bad ones, you will do fine. Walks are important. Working the count is important. But at the end of the day, you win by hitting - not by walking.

infohawk
10-07-2005, 09:39 AM
The "Moneyball" concept as it applies to walks is really more about a hitter possessing a keen awareness of the strikezone. While walks are one byproduct of this skill, the real benefit is the ability to lay off bad pitches by working the count to a point where a hitter can anticipate getting a good pitch to hit. One could argue that the reason the Red Sox have been such a good-hitting team is because they generally have laid off bad pitches and swung at pitches that provide them with greater odds of getting hits.

jabrch
10-07-2005, 07:40 PM
The "Moneyball" concept as it applies to walks is really more about a hitter possessing a keen awareness of the strikezone. While walks are one byproduct of this skill, the real benefit is the ability to lay off bad pitches by working the count to a point where a hitter can anticipate getting a good pitch to hit. One could argue that the reason the Red Sox have been such a good-hitting team is because they generally have laid off bad pitches and swung at pitches that provide them with greater odds of getting hits.

Wow - that's some real spin.