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View Full Version : Just to Put the Smallball thing to rest


fquaye149
09-21-2006, 09:01 PM
I was wondering if we could settle this once and for all.

Does anyone have the following #'s (or could direct me to find them):

pct of times a runner from second scores with 2 outs or less (overall, not just our team)
(to determine what the odds are a runner moved over w/ sac bunt scores)

pct of times a runner from third with 1 out or less scores (overall, not just our team)
(same as above)

pct of at bats we hit x-base hits this year
(to determine whether there's an advantage to swinging away over the above considerations)

pct of risp situations (runner on 2nd no out, runner on third one out) we swung away and drove in the run this year
(self explanatory)

I don't suppose this will prove anything or settle anything...but will be pretty much black and white whether our "softball team" offense really hurt us that much over last year's allegedly "small ball" team

wassagstdu
09-21-2006, 09:38 PM
Give it a rest.

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 09:41 PM
Give it a rest.

I have like 7 posts in the clubhouse from the past 3 weeks. Give what a rest?

BiggestFan14
09-21-2006, 09:44 PM
They never ever played small ball. Ever. A few bunts and steals now and then but the homerun still rules.

eurotrash35
09-21-2006, 09:44 PM
your post makes my head hurt. watch more games and you won't even need the stats.

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 09:47 PM
your post makes my head hurt. watch more games and you won't even need the stats.

Oh goodness...I've watched plenty of games. I don't see how my asking a reasonable statistical question has anything to do with your anecdotal evidence.

it really sucks when people try to approach things rationally instead of saying "when you lose 9-0 it's because you didn't move the runners over"

wassagstdu
09-21-2006, 09:49 PM
It's obvious. Without small ball:
1-2, 14-2, 0-2. Total runs in series 15.
With small ball:
3-2, 4-2, 3-2. Total runs 10

Small ball cost 5 runs in one series!
But I seem to remember that ...
"Only one statistic matters. W"

If you don't care for parables, how about
2005, with small ball: W
2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, ... without small ball: L

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 09:53 PM
It's obvious. Without small ball:
1-2, 14-2, 0-2. Total runs in series 15.
With small ball:
3-2, 4-2, 3-2. Total runs 10

Small ball cost 5 runs in one series!
But I seem to remember that ...
"Only one statistic matters. W"

If you don't care for parables, how about
2005, with small ball: W
2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, ... without small ball: L

What small ball in 2005? You mean when we hit 200 HR?

And let's compare 2005 and 2006 ERA if you're going to be a dick about this.

I JUST WANT THE NUMBERS THAT PROVE THAT SMALL BALL IS WINNING GAMES. You say that small ball overrides the fact that we have score a ton more runs in 2006 than 2005. Fine. Can we just PLEASE look at the numbers instead of people saying "just watch the games dummy and then you'll know that I'm right and you're wrong"

Honestly, I am interested in whether it IS a good idea to give up outs when your 3,4,5 hitters combine for over 100 HR themselves, and are all hitting around .300. And when your 6 and 7 hitters are hitting .300. Honestly, I'm not trying to ask a loaded question. This is age old. Would we have been better off if we were giving ourselves up?

But instead of numbers I get people telling me that I'm a moron and it should be self evident.

No.

What is self evident is that our pitching sucks and that our hitting SEEMS to be better.

Let's actually examine this.

batmanZoSo
09-21-2006, 09:53 PM
It's obvious. Without small ball:
1-2, 14-2, 0-2. Total runs in series 15.
With small ball:
3-2, 4-2, 3-2. Total runs 10

Small ball cost 5 runs in one series!
But I seem to remember that ...
"Only one statistic matters. W"

If you don't care for parables, how about
2005, with small ball: W
2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, ... without small ball: L

This is the bestlineup of any of those years, easily. How could you attribute 2005's winning to anything other than the fact that that year's pitching staff was by far the best of any year in question?

eurotrash35
09-21-2006, 09:53 PM
Oh goodness...I've watched plenty of games. I don't see how my asking a reasonable statistical question has anything to do with your anecdotal evidence.

it really sucks when people try to approach things rationally instead of saying "when you lose 9-0 it's because you didn't move the runners over"

I don't think there was anything reasonable at all about the request. When you see runners stranded on 3rd time after time in one-run losses what do you need the percentage of times a runner has scored from 2nd on days when the relative humidity is above average and the cheese pizza wins a close race over pepperoni for?

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 10:05 PM
I don't think there was anything reasonable at all about the request. When you see runners stranded on 3rd time after time in one-run losses what do you need the percentage of times a runner has scored from 2nd on days when the relative humidity is above average and the cheese pizza wins a close race over pepperoni for?

You've got to be kidding me.

This team is going to score more than 100 more runs than they did last year.

No one's saying it's good to leave a runner stranded on third. In fact, quite the opposite.

THE QUESTION I'M ASKING IS ARE WE ACTUALLY HURTING OURSELVES MORE THAN LAST YEAR BY DOING THAT.

I'll repeat: we're going to score more than 100 more runs than last year. We're going to improve our run production by almost 15%. So the question is, is "shifting to 'softball'" the problem

You can quote Hawk and say "don't tell me what you hit but when you hit it" but you have to keep in mind that you're QUOTING HAWK

oh--and as for that bolded part--are you serious? are you seriously saying that crap? I asked for four statistics, none of which were outlandish in the slightest

twinkiesfan08
09-21-2006, 10:08 PM
Pitching wins baseball games, and generally leads to more low scoring games which make people think a team might be playing small ball, when if fact it's just good pitching and defense that make the score low. Only difference between this year and last in the small ball respect is you aren't stealing as many bases, but that's nitpicking a bit.

eurotrash35
09-21-2006, 10:12 PM
runs don't matter with this feast or famine offense. hell, that one game against the cardinals accounts for a full 1/5 of your 100 runs right there. it doesn't matter if you win by 1 or 100, so stop talking about run production as if it's some sort of measure of how great our offense is.

batmanZoSo
09-21-2006, 10:13 PM
Pitching wins baseball games, and generally leads to more low scoring games which make people think a team might be playing small ball, when if fact it's just good pitching and defense that make the score low. Only difference between this year and last in the small ball respect is you aren't stealing as many bases, but that's nitpicking a bit.

Good point, and not only that, but the 05 staff pitched into the 7th with 3 runs...pretty much every damn day. So there were a lot more instances where we only needed one run, therefore small ball was put into action. This year, we gave up a lot more runs, hence we found ourselves down by a crooked number (and up by a crooked number), which obviously renders small ball useless.

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 10:14 PM
runs don't matter with this feast or famine offense. hell, that one game against the cardinals accounts for a full 1/5 of your 100 runs right there. it doesn't matter if you win by 1 or 100, so stop talking about run production as if it's some sort of measure of how great our offense is.

Well I'm glad you've made up your mind. Kindly ignore this thread then while the rest of us look at the facts of what happens on windy days at 2 pm greenwich mean time when the wind is blowing south-southeast

eurotrash35
09-21-2006, 10:18 PM
Well I'm glad you've made up your mind. Kindly ignore this thread then while the rest of us look at the facts of what happens on windy days at 2 pm greenwich mean time when the wind is blowing south-southeast

Please do waste your time trying to figure out whether 162 games of home run derby is bad or not.

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 10:21 PM
Please do waste your time trying to figure out whether 162 games of home run derby is bad or not.

um...ok...

and have fun convincing yourself that this season's misfortune didn't have everything to do with our staff's ERA growing by a point and a half....and not the fact that we'll score 100+ more runs (even if 20 of those came v. Cardinals...after all, I'm sure we didn't have a series last year where we scored 20 runs...oh wait...colorado...so great point).

eurotrash35
09-21-2006, 10:33 PM
um...ok...

and have fun convincing yourself that this season's misfortune didn't have everything to do with our staff's ERA growing by a point and a half....and not the fact that we'll score 100+ more runs (even if 20 of those came v. Cardinals...after all, I'm sure we didn't have a series last year where we scored 20 runs...oh wait...colorado...so great point).

um, that was one game where we topped 20 runs. reading is fundamental. we scored about 35 runs that series.

Lip Man 1
09-21-2006, 10:37 PM
From whitesox.com, posted tonight:

"A little insight into the White Sox second-half struggles can be gained simply by going beyond the numbers for their highly-charged offense. According to STATS, Inc., the White Sox lead the Majors with 45.8 percent of their runs coming via the home run (378-of-825). They rank just ahead of the Reds (45.3) and the Phillies (41.4).

Having somewhat of a strong reliance on home runs is not very different in comparison to White Sox teams from the recent past, with the franchise in its seventh straight season knocking out at least 200 long balls. But leading the American League with 121 solo home runs doesn't exactly take advantage of the home run's full potential.

"We don't execute well, and we not get on base enough," said Guillen of his team's 2006 dependence on home runs. "The bottom of the lineup struggled all year. Obviously, the numbers show up. Last year we hit home runs and so did this year, but last year we do the little things that we don't do this year."

The White Sox also have hit into 21 double plays over their last 16 games. Those numbers point out a lack of overall speed combined with a number of players who have been hitting the ball hard but right at the opposing defense.

Lip

fquaye149
09-21-2006, 10:58 PM
From whitesox.com, posted tonight:

"A little insight into the White Sox second-half struggles can be gained simply by going beyond the numbers for their highly-charged offense. According to STATS, Inc., the White Sox lead the Majors with 45.8 percent of their runs coming via the home run (378-of-825). They rank just ahead of the Reds (45.3) and the Phillies (41.4).

Having somewhat of a strong reliance on home runs is not very different in comparison to White Sox teams from the recent past, with the franchise in its seventh straight season knocking out at least 200 long balls. But leading the American League with 121 solo home runs doesn't exactly take advantage of the home run's full potential.

"We don't execute well, and we not get on base enough," said Guillen of his team's 2006 dependence on home runs. "The bottom of the lineup struggled all year. Obviously, the numbers show up. Last year we hit home runs and so did this year, but last year we do the little things that we don't do this year."

The White Sox also have hit into 21 double plays over their last 16 games. Those numbers point out a lack of overall speed combined with a number of players who have been hitting the ball hard but right at the opposing defense.

Lip


And yet if only we could just address what I'm asking here. We're talking about whether a team that will score more than 100 more runs than last year is worse off for it. So let's look at those four things...if you can think of other stats that are relevant by all means post them too...but can someone at least point me in the right direction what resources i might peruse, if you're not going to post the actual stats?

Lip Man 1
09-21-2006, 11:17 PM
I don't know if I can 'statistically' answer your question. My only impression is yes, this team is worse off because they are simply sitting back and waiting for the six run game changing home run.

Baseball just doesn't work that way. The best teams have a blend..of power, speed, pitching. Of being able to 'execute' when the game is on the line, of putting pressure on the opposition and of making other teams pay for their mistakes.

The White Sox simply have not been able to do this in 2006 (or 2001-2004). They did in 2005.

No one individual is at fault.

It's Ozzie for not getting in player's faces, it's Kenny for having a player like Boone Logan on the team to start the season, it's Posednik for not being able to get on base enough and run, it's Iguchi for not being able to get guys over in the #2 spot, it's Thome and Konerko for hitting into numerous double plays, it's Uribe because he doesn't give a damn anymore (and it shows), it's Freddy Garcia making frustrated gestures on the mound and 'blaming' the offense, it's a bad year for Buehrle and Cotts and so on.

Teams win together and lose together. It's not just one thing...it's everything. It's attitude, fatigue, injuries, execution, ability, unpreparedness and so on and it all builds one way or another, good or bad as the season goes along.

That's the best way that I know of to answer your question.

Lip

ondafarm
09-21-2006, 11:47 PM
And yet if only we could just address what I'm asking here. We're talking about whether a team that will score more than 100 more runs than last year is worse off for it. So let's look at those four things...if you can think of other stats that are relevant by all means post them too...but can someone at least point me in the right direction what resources i might peruse, if you're not going to post the actual stats?

I've actually seen the numbers and I'll start looking for them.

One guy who might be able to help is the baseball savant, he has a blog under that name.

The 2005 team did hit home runs, but they also could play small ball and won games were the other team's pitcher threw a pretty good game, but Pods got on and swiped a base and then somebody singled to drive him in. In tight games moving runners over, productive outs do pay off.

In every season, you have some laffers, you get blown out somedays and other games, you just sneak by manufactering a couple of runs. Champion teams do all of those things. With Pods as bad as he's been and Uribe 's average down and Brian in so sporadicly (now that he's hitting that is) the small ball just hasn't been happening.

batmanZoSo
09-21-2006, 11:59 PM
Baseball just doesn't work that way. The best teams have a blend..of power, speed, pitching. Of being able to 'execute' when the game is on the line, of putting pressure on the opposition and of making other teams pay for their mistakes.

The White Sox simply have not been able to do this in 2006 (or 2001-2004). They did in 2005.

No one individual is at fault.

It's Ozzie for not getting in player's faces, it's Kenny for having a player like Boone Logan on the team to start the season, it's Posednik for not being able to get on base enough and run, it's Iguchi for not being able to get guys over in the #2 spot, it's Thome and Konerko for hitting into numerous double plays, it's Uribe because he doesn't give a damn anymore (and it shows), it's Freddy Garcia making frustrated gestures on the mound and 'blaming' the offense, it's a bad year for Buehrle and Cotts and so on.

Teams win together and lose together. it's not just one thing...it's everything. It's attitude, fatigue, injuries, execution, ability, unpreparedness and so on.

That's the best way that I know of to answer your question.

Lip

I don't disagree with any of that, but if you take this lineup and insert it into the 05 season, you have a freakishly good team, probably 110 wins, maybe even challenging Seattle's record. For much of the 05 second half, the team didn't hit at all and that's when we treaded water and played around .500 for about two months.

This lineup, while not perfect, is much better and never did produce a long stretch of consistent futility like the 05 one did. Basically you eliminate that period after the break in 05 where the team couldn't put up runs and costed the starters many wins in otherwise fine performances along the way (and while much of that was due to Podsednik's injury, the 06 lineup has managed to produce far more despite a healthy, but overall much crappier version of Podsednik, so that at worst evens things out there).

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 12:04 AM
I've actually seen the numbers and I'll start looking for them.

One guy who might be able to help is the baseball savant, he has a blog under that name.

The 2005 team did hit home runs, but they also could play small ball and won games were the other team's pitcher threw a pretty good game, but Pods got on and swiped a base and then somebody singled to drive him in. In tight games moving runners over, productive outs do pay off.

In every season, you have some laffers, you get blown out somedays and other games, you just sneak by manufactering a couple of runs. Champion teams do all of those things. With Pods as bad as he's been and Uribe 's average down and Brian in so sporadicly (now that he's hitting that is) the small ball just hasn't been happening.

What about the 02 Angels or the 04 Red Sox? Mashers, through and through and good starting pitching--not stellar, but very good. What about the Swingin' A's of the 70s that three-peated? Were they known for moving runners over? Wasn't Earl Weaver's mantra something like "pitching, defense, and the three-run homer?" Baltimore fared pretty well in the 60s and 70s with that philosophy.

I'm not dismissing small ball, that it's not necessary or anything like that whatsoever--merely that it is necessary and furthermore that a lack of it was the downfall of the 06 White Sox.

The Critic
09-22-2006, 07:27 AM
While the 2005 Sox were not a "smallball" team, it did seem that in the first inning, at least, they did a fair amount of "get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in". That's the thing I remember most about last year's team. It seemed like they got at least one run in the first inning most of the time, and that obviously makes the other team play from behind right away. The hit-and-run is also sadly missing from this year's team's offensive gameplan.

But as was mentioned before and numerous times, the main difference between the 2005 Sox and the 2006 Sox is the performance of the pitching staff, and the starting rotation in particular.

johnr1note
09-22-2006, 08:35 AM
I think the original post deserves some thought.

i agree that the major factor in what is different this year as opposed to last is the pitching. just consider Buehrle alone -- last year, he was 16-8 in 33 starts, with an ERA of 3.12. His career ERA before this year was 3.63. So far this year, he's 12-13 in 31 starts, with an ERA of 4.79 (highest he's ever had). Knock a run or 1.5 runs off his ERA, and he wins 5 more games, and we're back in the race. The bullpen is another sore spot. Last year, middle relief came through again and again (many of the decisions Buehrle didn't get last year were wins by the pen). We all recall the pen blowing leads, or giving up more runs as late inning rallies fell short. Last year, the bullpen was 24-18. This year, its 17-22. If those two factors combined were what we had last year, we would be the team counting down the magic number now, not the Twins of Tigers.

But there is a "small ball" factor to be considered. The 2005 Sox had 137 stolen bases, caught stealing 67 times, 53 sacrifices, and grounded into 123 double plays. The 2006 White Sox have 88 stolen bases, caught stealing 45, 43 sacrifices, and grounded into 113 double playes. What do these statisics say? The 2005 White Sox had a lot more going on the base paths. They were more aggressive. They were trying to manufacture runs. Indeed, they were successful at it, and the formula for winning baseball games in the playoffs is proof. Sure, they also hit for power, but when that is plugged into a backdrop and philospohy of a sort of recjless abandon on the bases, you get at least a "feel" of small ball.

One of the morons on Baseballprospectus published an article last year about how basestealing is actually detrimental to offensive stats. OK, fine. But for the first half of last year, whenever Podsednik was on base, it rattled the opposing pitcher. This was an intangible that went a long way.

I think there is an argument to be made that we lost something in losing this sense of "small ball" or "Ozzie ball." It may be hard to put your finger on, but its there.

Craig Grebeck
09-22-2006, 08:59 AM
I don't remember precisely, but I believe the odds of scoring from second with no outs are better than the odds of scoring from third with one out. I think it's something like 43% to 40%. I'll try to find it.

kitekrazy
09-22-2006, 09:09 AM
So what amount of homers does a team hit that removes them from the small category?

Sometimes it's the bunt or steal that sets up the homers.

I know many of the players are homerun hitters but many of them are batting around .300. Your 3-7 guys are around .300. What does that tell you? Your pitching really sucks.

ajismyhero
09-22-2006, 09:18 AM
For all of you who don't think small ball wins games, how do you explain the Twins perfection over the last month or so? A bunch of scrappy, little guys running the bases well and getting clutch hitting. Baseball is all about the mix, yeah you need your homeruns for crowd excitment etc., but you need your small ball so that when those homeruns are hit, othe players are on base.

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 09:32 AM
For all of you who don't think small ball wins games, how do you explain the Twins perfection over the last month or so? A bunch of scrappy, little guys running the bases well and getting clutch hitting. Baseball is all about the mix, yeah you need your homeruns for crowd excitment etc., but you need your small ball so that when those homeruns are hit, othe players are on base.

Great pitching, plus making the most of your adequate lineup.

Kind of like us in 2005. But with this lineup, if we had the pitching we had last year, we wouldn't have needed smallball.

But please, please, can we just stop with the anecdotal examples and maybe in just this thread TRY to approach this statistically? If you must must must approach it anecdotally I bet there's like 30 or 40 threads in the clubhouse where people are blaming this season on "that one time Crede didn't get the runner in from third and how he would have done it last year and what that symbolizes"

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 09:34 AM
I don't remember precisely, but I believe the odds of scoring from second with no outs are better than the odds of scoring from third with one out. I think it's something like 43% to 40%. I'll try to find it.

So that would be an argument against bunting the runner to third. Especially if we consider what are the odds are hitters get either an extra base hit or two base hits over the course of 3 outs.

I like this because it's statistical, and that's what I was asking for IN THIS THREAD:redneck

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 09:36 AM
For all of you who don't think small ball wins games, how do you explain the Twins perfection over the last month or so? A bunch of scrappy, little guys running the bases well and getting clutch hitting. Baseball is all about the mix, yeah you need your homeruns for crowd excitment etc., but you need your small ball so that when those homeruns are hit, othe players are on base.

They have Mauer and Morneau killing the ball and Hunter is anything but a scrappy hitter you'd associate with anything called "small ball." Yeah, they have some scrappy, speedy guys but so do we. We have a "mix," it's there. The difference is their bullpen is much, much better than ours and for much of the year they had two starters that almost never lose. Small ball is nice, but when your ace has a 4.79 ERA, you kind of have to hit a little to win games. We don't have the damn pitching to play small ball and the Twins do. The '05 Sox did.

spiffie
09-22-2006, 09:42 AM
For all of you who don't think small ball wins games, how do you explain the Twins perfection over the last month or so? A bunch of scrappy, little guys running the bases well and getting clutch hitting. Baseball is all about the mix, yeah you need your homeruns for crowd excitment etc., but you need your small ball so that when those homeruns are hit, othe players are on base.
How do I explain it?
Aug/Sept. ERA:
Santana - 2.08
Bonser - 3.73
Baker - 3.94 (September)
Silva - 2.25 (September)

Sept. batting stats:
Mauer - 311/442/443
Morneau - 385/443/551
Tyner - 333/375/429
Castillo - 294/385/353
Hunter - 317/333/598

For comparison in Sept.
Thome - 226/395/500 (14 H, 17 BB)
Dye - 257/338/514
Konerko - 338/405/515
Pierzynski - 250/274/433
Crede - 183/279/267

The only guy really producing in Sept. has been Paulie. Crede has basically vanished from the face of the earth this month.

southside rocks
09-22-2006, 09:58 AM
For all of you who don't think small ball wins games, how do you explain the Twins perfection over the last month or so? A bunch of scrappy, little guys running the bases well and getting clutch hitting. Baseball is all about the mix, yeah you need your homeruns for crowd excitment etc., but you need your small ball so that when those homeruns are hit, othe players are on base.

Speed. Youth and speed on the offense, and tremendous pitching. That's how I explain the Twins, may they rot forever in their tacky plastic dome.

The 2006 White Sox lineup has very little speed in it, and the guys with that speed, at the top and bottom of the order, have not reached base nearly enough to make that speed a factor in games.

Dye, Thome, Konerko, Pierzynski, and Crede are all slower than the dinosaurs that Carl Crawford says never existed. Speed has to happen around those 5 guys, which is awkward to begin with, and when the 2 above and 2 below in the order just don't get on, you have no smallball.

The Twins players are fast, they have speed, they don't hit homeruns (except Torii Hunter, but that's 1/9 of their lineup, not 5/9), they hit singles and doubles. So they manufacture runs in a way that the White Sox do not.

And then the Twins bullpen comes in and does not pour gasoline on an open fire, another way in which they differ markedly from our White Sox.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 10:06 AM
Speed. Youth and speed on the offense, and tremendous pitching. That's how I explain the Twins, may they rot forever in their tacky plastic dome.

The 2006 White Sox lineup has very little speed in it, and the guys with that speed, at the top and bottom of the order, have not reached base nearly enough to make that speed a factor in games.

Dye, Thome, Konerko, Pierzynski, and Crede are all slower than the dinosaurs that Carl Crawford says never existed. Speed has to happen around those 5 guys, which is awkward to begin with, and when the 2 above and 2 below in the order just don't get on, you have no smallball.

The Twins players are fast, they have speed, they don't hit homeruns (except Torii Hunter, but that's 1/9 of their lineup, not 5/9), they hit singles and doubles. So they manufacture runs in a way that the White Sox do not.

And then the Twins bullpen comes in and does not pour gasoline on an open fire, another way in which they differ markedly from our White Sox.

You don't need speed "throughout the lineup." What were the 90s Indians like? Lofton, Vizquel, then 7 power hitters in a row. And they won division after divison, plus two pennants, without even the benefit of great pitching, just "good enough" pitching. Our lineup is roughly the same as that model and not far behind in talent if at all. Now what if we got '05 pitching in '07?

southside rocks
09-22-2006, 10:20 AM
You don't need speed "throughout the lineup." What were the 90s Indians like? Lofton, Vizquel, then 7 power hitters in a row. And they won division after divison, plus two pennants, without even the benefit of great pitching, just "good enough" pitching. Our lineup is roughly the same as that model and not far behind in talent if at all. Now what if we got '05 pitching in '07?

No argument. I was saying that the Twins have speed through the lineup, which is one way of manufacturing runs. The Sox don't have that, so they manufacture runs differently.

In other words: The Twins play smallball. The Sox don't.

Absolutely right, that whatever way the runs come, the pitching has to give up fewer runs to the other team. Which of course has been the problem for the White Sox all season long.

If the Sox get '05 pitching and '06 longball in '07, there will be a second trophy at US Cellular. :D:

0o0o0
09-22-2006, 10:22 AM
Now what if we got '05 pitching in '07?

:drool:

Hell, just something close to '05 pitching will do.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 10:30 AM
If the Sox get '05 pitching and '06 longball in '07, there will be a second trophy at US Cellular. :D:

:drool:

Hell, just something close to '05 pitching will do..

Exactly. So, to conclude, who gives a **** about small ball?

0o0o0
09-22-2006, 10:32 AM
.

Exactly. So, to conclude, who gives a **** about small ball?

Speculating callers on postgame shows. :rolleyes:

SABRSox
09-22-2006, 11:11 AM
.

Exactly. So, to conclude, who gives a **** about small ball?

Speculating callers on postgame shows. :rolleyes:

Especially when the team is losing. When we were winning, I didn't hear anybody complaining about the lack of small ball.

stillz
09-22-2006, 11:41 AM
Dye, Thome, Konerko, Pierzynski, and Crede are all slower than the dinosaurs that Carl Crawford says never existed.

Two Crazy Carls!? MLB needs to make them take some classes.

southside rocks
09-22-2006, 12:13 PM
Two Crazy Carls!? MLB needs to make them take some classes.

OMG, I must have been lost in a trade fantasy when I typed that! :redface:

It's Carl Everett who said there were no dinosaurs.

It's Carl Crawford who should start in LF for the Sox next year.

Sorry!!

kitekrazy
09-22-2006, 12:32 PM
I would like to see more of the hitters going to the oppositie field more. Couldn't Thome just beat the Thome shift just once?


2 guys in the lines up that could do that consistently would be just great. Maybe you could get Cintron, Sweeney or BA to do that before they become inflexible veterans.

Lip Man 1
09-22-2006, 01:15 PM
Batman:

The 'Swingin' A's' of 1972, 1973 and 1974 had some guys you may have heard of:

Bert Campaneris, Billy North, Reggie Jackson (22 steals in 73!, 25 steals in 1974!!) and Herb Washington.

Check it out yourself.

The had the 'blend' I was talking about of power, pitching, speed and defense.

Lip

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 01:16 PM
Batman:

The 'Swingin' A's' of 1972, 1973 and 1974 had some guys you may have heard of:

Bert Campaneris, Billy North, Reggie Jackson (22 steals in 73!, 25 steals in 1974!!) and Herb Washington.

Check it out yourself.

The had the 'blend' I was talking about of power, pitching, speed and defense.

Lip

Sure they had the blend, but I suspect if we had the '05 pitching we'd be talking about how the '06 team had the blend as well

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 01:29 PM
So that would be an argument against bunting the runner to third. Especially if we consider what are the odds are hitters get either an extra base hit or two base hits over the course of 3 outs.

I like this because it's statistical, and that's what I was asking for IN THIS THREAD:redneckEven if you could find the numbers, they'd be meaningless because they're averages. An average is just a ratio of sums. Once it's divorced from the underlying probabilities, it's virtually meaningless, and even worse, often grossly misleading. That's the problem the statheads never seem to understand. Let me give you an example:

If Bill Gates walked into a mission in which two nuns were serving soup to 50 bums, the average net worth of everyone in the room would be $500 million.

Even worse is when people try to make computations based on averages. Suppose Bill Gates' annual income is $2.5 billion and he pays 40% income tax. The average annual income of everyone in the room would be $50 million and their average tax rate would be 0.8%. So the total tax paid is:

$50M x 0.8% x 50 people = $20 million.

Flight #24
09-22-2006, 01:40 PM
IMO the question is: How many of the close wins the Sox had last year involved them scoring using "smallball" tactics. Because it's not really important how frequently they used them as compared to how frequently they hit HRs (which is the oft-cited stats that XX% of their runs came on HRs). It's about that team having the ability to execute and play for 1 run either early or late (and, obviously the pitching to make that run stand up). That's the difference between "Ozzieball" and "smallball" - playing smart for the situation.

And FWIW, the "scoring % based on situation" as cited earlier in this thread is also misleading. Because it ignores a ton of other situational factors - such as that not all "runner on 2d, nobody out" situations are equal. In a 0-0 game in the 1st, you might want to bunt the guy over,but it it's 0-3 in the 8th, you might not - and that completely changes the chance of scoring that single run, but isnt' factored into the stats.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 01:56 PM
IMO the question is: How many of the close wins the Sox had last year involved them scoring using "smallball" tactics. Because it's not really important how frequently they used them as compared to how frequently they hit HRs (which is the oft-cited stats that XX% of their runs came on HRs). It's about that team having the ability to execute and play for 1 run either early or late (and, obviously the pitching to make that run stand up). That's the difference between "Ozzieball" and "smallball" - playing smart for the situation.

And FWIW, the "scoring % based on situation" as cited earlier in this thread is also misleading. Because it ignores a ton of other situational factors - such as that not all "runner on 2d, nobody out" situations are equal. In a 0-0 game in the 1st, you might want to bunt the guy over,but it it's 0-3 in the 8th, you might not - and that completely changes the chance of scoring that single run, but isnt' factored into the stats.This is a classic case where the use of averages is wrong, wrong, wrong. Think about what's really happening. You can't score 2.5 runs. What you really have is a distribution of probabilities. You have a certain probability of scoring 0 runs, 1 run, 2 runs, etc. What you're really doing when you bunt a runner over from first to second is increasing the probability of scoring 1 run and decreasing the probability of scoring 2 or more runs. (Remember, all the probabilities have to sum to 100%.) Baseball is a highly situational game. Whether a particular decision makes sense or not depends completely on the situation at the time. This includes not just the score and the inning, but who's the opposing pitcher on the mound, who the other team has warming up in the bullpen, who you have on deck, whether the wind's blowing out, who the other team has coming up next inning, etc. etc. etc. No two situations are ever exactly the same.

Settembrini
09-22-2006, 02:00 PM
Even if you could find the numbers, they'd be meaningless because they're averages. An average is just a ratio of sums. Once it's divorced from the underlying probabilities, it's virtually meaningless, and even worse, often grossly misleading. That's the problem the statheads never seem to understand. Let me give you an example:

If Bill Gates walked into a mission in which two nuns were serving soup to 50 bums, the average net worth of everyone in the room would be $500 million.

Even worse is when people try to make computations based on averages. Suppose Bill Gates' annual income is $2.5 billion and he pays 40% income tax. The average annual income of everyone in the room would be $50 million and their average tax rate would be 0.8%. So the total tax paid is:

$50M x 0.8% x 50 people = $20 million.

The averages may be useless, but statistics showing run distribution as it relates to winning certainly would help. The premise is that a smallball team will be better off than a power-heavy team because it scores more consistently and is less prone to scoring droughts. By looking at the distribution of runs (the number of times the team scored 1, 2, 3, etc. runs), you can then look at the number of times the team won when it scored each number. So if this year's Sox scored 7+ runs a bunch of times, and 0, 1, 2, or 3 a bunch of times, while last year's team was consistently in the 3-7 run range, last year's team would win more games because runs in the 3-7 range are more valuable given the average number of runs a pitching staff gives up per game (4-5).

I haven't run the stats to verify the theory that smallball=consistency, but others have posited that's the case, and I remember reading midway through last year that the Sox had scored 10+ runs far fewer times than the powerful 2004 team, but had scored less than 2 runs only twice, compared to 10 times at that point in 2004.

In sum, there's something to be said for consistency in run production, but the pitching staff has to be able to hold the opposition to fewer runs than the consistent number you are scoring. That was the case last year, but it wouldn't be the case this year. So I'd say, since we're likely to win about 10 less games this year, 5 can be attributed to uneven offensive distributions stemming from the lack of runner advancement, and 5 to the dropoff in our pitching.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 02:07 PM
The averages may be useless, but statistics showing run distribution as it relates to winning certainly would help. The premise is that a smallball team will be better off than a power-heavy team because it scores more consistently and is less prone to scoring droughts. By looking at the distribution of runs (the number of times the team scored 1, 2, 3, etc. runs), you can then look at the number of times the team won when it scored each number. So if this year's Sox scored 7+ runs a bunch of times, and 0, 1, 2, or 3 a bunch of times, while last year's team was consistently in the 3-7 run range, last year's team would win more games because runs in the 3-7 range are more valuable given the average number of runs a pitching staff gives up per game (4-5).

I haven't run the stats to verify the theory that smallball=consistency, but others have posited that's the case, and I remember reading midway through last year that the Sox had scored 10+ runs far fewer times than the powerful 2004 team, but had scored less than 2 runs only twice, compared to 10 times at that point in 2004.

In sum, there's something to be said for consistency in run production, but the pitching staff has to be able to hold the opposition to fewer runs than the consistent number you are scoring. That was the case last year, but it wouldn't be the case this year. So I'd say, since we're likely to win about 10 less games this year, 5 can be attributed to uneven offensive distributions stemming from the lack of runner advancement, and 5 to the dropoff in our pitching.IMO, you've framed the situation wrong. The point isn't that a smallball team is going to win more games than a power-hitting team. The point is that a team with the ability to do both will outperform either because they can succeed in more situations. That was the case last year. The Sox hit 200 HR last year. They were not a small-ball team. Rather, they were a team that could play small ball successfully when the situation dictated it. Big difference.

Melevans
09-22-2006, 02:12 PM
I was just wondering if anyone heard the interview that Pail Konerko did about how he was still tired from last year? I was at the ballpark yesterday and i know that alot of people were talking about it, but i was not sure what was said or who he said it to.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 02:19 PM
Batman:

The 'Swingin' A's' of 1972, 1973 and 1974 had some guys you may have heard of:

Bert Campaneris, Billy North, Reggie Jackson (22 steals in 73!, 25 steals in 1974!!) and Herb Washington.

Check it out yourself.

The had the 'blend' I was talking about of power, pitching, speed and defense.

Lip

The three-peat saw averages of 684 runs, which is a pretty healthy sum for the time and a sparkling 2.94 ERA, which is damn good in any ERA. As for the steals, the 72 team specifically, just had Campaneris with 53 and no one else in double digits. Sounds a lot like this team. But stolen base figures alone don't really dictate a club's style of play. I mean it's one thing for a player to steal 22 bases, but when it's Reggie Jackson, that doesn't figure much into a small ball philosophy. Given the differing eras, and the decidedly less aggressive baserunning approach of today's game, we're probably about as "blended" or "balanced" as those A's teams were.

Settembrini
09-22-2006, 02:19 PM
IMO, you've framed the situation wrong. The point isn't that a smallball team is going to win more games than a power-hitting team. The point is that a team with the ability to do both will outperform either because they can succeed in more situations. That was the case last year. The Sox hit 200 HR last year. They were not a small-ball team. Rather, they were a team that could play small ball successfully when the situation dictated it. Big difference.

Okay, I won't label the 2005 Sox a "smallball team," but that doesn't change the fact that a) last year's team probably scored more consistently in the 3-7 range because they could play smallball (in addition to the home runs), and b) this year, there are more games in the 0,1,2,3 range because they don't have the ability to do both. So I guess we agree.

I think my conclusion stands -- the inability to advance runners cost them games in equal amounts to the lack of pitching.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 02:28 PM
Okay, I won't label the 2005 Sox a "smallball team," but that doesn't change the fact that a) last year's team probably scored more consistently in the 3-7 range because they could play smallball (in addition to the home runs), and b) this year, there are more games in the 0,1,2,3 range because they don't have the ability to do both. So I guess we agree.

I think my conclusion stands -- the inability to advance runners cost them games in equal amounts to the lack of pitching.Actually, I postulated the same thing a few weeks ago and Lip came up with the numbers. The Sox scored 3 or fewer runs LESS FREQUENTLY than last year.

It's not just about how many runs you score...it's about when you score them. If you have the ability to manufacture runs, you have a better chance of winning tight games late, and that's a big part of why the Sox were so successful in 1-run games last year, and so unsuccessful this year. A more balanced offense has a better chance of being able to produce just enough runs to win in any given game, which translates into more wins.

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 02:40 PM
Even if you could find the numbers, they'd be meaningless because they're averages. An average is just a ratio of sums. Once it's divorced from the underlying probabilities, it's virtually meaningless, and even worse, often grossly misleading. That's the problem the statheads never seem to understand. Let me give you an example:

If Bill Gates walked into a mission in which two nuns were serving soup to 50 bums, the average net worth of everyone in the room would be $500 million.

Even worse is when people try to make computations based on averages. Suppose Bill Gates' annual income is $2.5 billion and he pays 40% income tax. The average annual income of everyone in the room would be $50 million and their average tax rate would be 0.8%. So the total tax paid is:

$50M x 0.8% x 50 people = $20 million.

You miss the point. My point is, is it generally a better idea to give yourself up, take and out to advance the runner, especially when the middle of your lineup is all hitting .300+?

My question is, "is small ball the right percentage play."

If you have a basketball team that has a high 3-pt. percentage, it is smarter to take 3-pt shots than if you they have a low 3-pt. percentage. It's worth it to take the low-pct shot (aka, waiting for the three run homer) if in fact the statistical likelihood of low-pct play when weighed against its rewards outweighs the statistical likelihood of the high-pct play weighed against its rewards.

That is, if we are 50% likely to score when bunting a runner to second with no out, that play is worth about .5 a run.

If we are 25% likely to hit a two run home run with a man on first with no out, then that is also worth about .5 a run.

These are obviously not the situations, but that is what I'm trying to find out by asking these questions.

To reiterate, what I'm NOT trying to find out is if "like, one time, I saw Crede, like, strand a runner on third with one out and then we, like, lost that game by one run."


I recognize that if we COULD have played small ball more successfully this year, we would have been better. What my suspicion is, though, is that we weren't worse off offensively than last year, despite not playing small ball well when the situation called for it.

My suspicion is that this year's lineup put us in position for a lot more wins than last year's lineup, and that the pitching should bear the preponderance of blame for our futility, not the "fundamentals of the offense"

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 02:43 PM
You miss the point. My point is, is it generally a better idea to give yourself up, take and out to advance the runner, especially when the middle of your lineup is all hitting .300+?

My question is, "is small ball the right percentage play."

If you have a basketball team that has a high 3-pt. percentage, it is smarter to take 3-pt shots than if you they have a low 3-pt. percentage. It's worth it to take the low-pct shot (aka, waiting for the three run homer) if in fact the statistical likelihood of low-pct play when weighed against its rewards outweighs the statistical likelihood of the high-pct play weighed against its rewards.

That is, if we are 50% likely to score when bunting a runner to second with no out, that play is worth about .5 a run.

If we are 25% likely to hit a two run home run with a man on first with no out, then that is also worth about .5 a run.

These are obviously not the situations, but that is what I'm trying to find out by asking these questions.

To reiterate, what I'm NOT trying to find out is if "like, one time, I saw Crede, like, strand a runner on third with one out and then we, like, lost that game by one run."You missed my point. The point is, you can't answer the question generally. (Well, you can. The statheads do all the time. But it's meaningless.) You have to answer it for each specific situation, and you can't do that using some global average.

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 02:44 PM
You missed my point. The point is, you can't answer the question generally. (Well, you can. The statheads do all the time. But it's meaningless.) You have to answer it for each specific situation, and you can't do that using some global average.


The point is, whatever merit my question has, that was my question.

That is what I wanted to know. My post you just quoted is the reason I wanted to know it.

I don't care what your personal opinion about statheads is, I just want to know what the stats are in the four situations I listed above.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 02:50 PM
The Sox scored 3 or fewer runs LESS FREQUENTLY than last year.

And let's not overlook that there was definitely some, let's say, anomalous elements to '05. I mean that team was dominant in one run games and had an insane record in games in which they scored 3 or less.

They were a weaker hitting team and a superior pitching team, both of which create a lot of close games which produces the opportunity and need for small ball situations. This year's team certainly had less games with a tie or a one run differential late, whether we be ahead or behind.

Settembrini
09-22-2006, 02:51 PM
Actually, I postulated the same thing a few weeks ago and Lip came up with the numbers. The Sox scored 3 or fewer runs LESS FREQUENTLY than last year.

It's not just about how many runs you score...it's about when you score them. If you have the ability to manufacture runs, you have a better chance of winning tight games late, and that's a big part of why the Sox were so successful in 1-run games last year, and so unsuccessful this year. A more balanced offense has a better chance of being able to produce just enough runs to win in any given game, which translates into more wins.

So it's your claim that the ability to play small ball has nothing to do with consistent run production and more to do with pushing a needed run across at the right time? I agre that's part of it but I'll maintain there's a consistency factor as well. Do you have those numbers or a link? If it was a few weeks ago, things may have changed, because the Sox have 10 losses in Sept. alone where they've scored 3 runs or fewer, plus an 11th loss on August 31. Seven of those losses were by 1 or 2 runs, meaning a runner advancement here or there = more games in the 3-7 range = three or four more wins in Sept. alone.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 02:52 PM
The point is, whatever merit my question has, that was my question.

That is what I wanted to know. My post you just quoted is the reason I wanted to know it.

I don't care what your personal opinion about statheads is, I just want to know what the stats are in the four situations I listed above.OK, I'll try again. Even if you knew the averages for each situation, it wouldn't tell you what you want to know, which is "is small ball the right percentage play." You're falling into a common trap in misinterpreting statistical averages. What you want is probabilities. Averages tell you NOTHING about probabilities.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 02:56 PM
The point is, whatever merit my question has, that was my question.

That is what I wanted to know. My post you just quoted is the reason I wanted to know it.

I don't care what your personal opinion about statheads is, I just want to know what the stats are in the four situations I listed above.

You ain't gettin' an answer. Let it go, man. Let it go...

:D:

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 02:57 PM
OK, I'll try again. Even if you knew the averages for each situation, it wouldn't tell you what you want to know, which is "is small ball the right percentage play." You're falling into a common trap in misinterpreting statistical averages. What you want is probabilities. Averages tell you NOTHING about probabilities.

Statistical averages suggest probabilities, especially when applied over time. The first two numbers I asked for would be probabilities.

The second would, admittedly, have a relatively small sample size, but at least we could use them to suggest a probability and risk-reward instead of speaking whimsically and abstractly about baseball lore

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 02:58 PM
You ain't gettin' an answer. Let it go, man. Let it go...

:D:

I know...I know...:whiner:

batmanZoSo
09-22-2006, 03:02 PM
I know...I know...:whiner:

I was just hoping he could get a little insight into the Southern Colonies!

spiffie
09-22-2006, 03:09 PM
IMO the question is: How many of the close wins the Sox had last year involved them scoring using "smallball" tactics. Because it's not really important how frequently they used them as compared to how frequently they hit HRs (which is the oft-cited stats that XX% of their runs came on HRs). It's about that team having the ability to execute and play for 1 run either early or late (and, obviously the pitching to make that run stand up). That's the difference between "Ozzieball" and "smallball" - playing smart for the situation.
Last year's team in the 7th inning and later had (% of total)
67 HR (34%)
36 SB (26%)
19 CS (28%)
82 2B (32%)
211 R (28%)

This year's team thus far:
70 HR (31%)
29 SB (33%)
11 CS (24%)
71 2B (26%)
234 R (28%)

So basically this year we've actually executed one aspect of small ball better, hit less HR in the late innings than last year's team, and scored the exact same percentage of runs in the late innings as we did last season.

The problem of perception is this:
2005 BA Innings 1-6: .269 Innings 7-9+: .249
2006 BA Innings 1-6: .293 Innings 7-9+: .258

So even though we actually have been more effective or equally as effective in later innings than we were last year, it looks worse, and allows much more anecodtal evidence, because the drop off from the first six innings to the last 3 is so severe. So because our eyes tell us something that appears one way, we believe it.

The real problem for why we lose in late inning games:
2005 relievers: 156 runs allowed out of 645 (24%)
2006 relievers: 203 runs allowed out of 737 (28%)

Not only are they allowing more runs overall, but a greater % of guys coming in is when a reliever is on the mound. Last year the pen inherited less bad situations, and made less bad situations worse, and more bad situations better.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 03:13 PM
So it's your claim that the ability to play small ball has nothing to do with consistent run production and more to do with pushing a needed run across at the right time? I agre that's part of it but I'll maintain there's a consistency factor as well. Do you have those numbers or a link? If it was a few weeks ago, things may have changed, because the Sox have 10 losses in Sept. alone where they've scored 3 runs or fewer, plus an 11th loss on August 31. Seven of those losses were by 1 or 2 runs, meaning a runner advancement here or there = more games in the 3-7 range = three or four more wins in Sept. alone.That's exactly my claim. How many runs can you expect to score using a solely small-ball approach? You only find yourself in that situation a few times during a game. The ability to score 3 runs consistently is going to get you a lot of losses. Think about what small-ball really means. It's being able to score a small number of runs with a high probability as opposed to scoring a lot of runs with a lower probability. Baseball is a highly situational game, and the ability to succeed in all situations translates into more wins than being very good at one type of situation.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 03:30 PM
Statistical averages suggest probabilities, especially when applied over time. The first two numbers I asked for would be probabilities.

The second would, admittedly, have a relatively small sample size, but at least we could use them to suggest a probability and risk-reward instead of speaking whimsically and abstractly about baseball loreAverages have virtually nothing to do with probabilities. The mean is nothing but a ratio of sums. It's one point on the probability distribution, but knowing one point tells you NOTHING about the probabilities. In my Bill Gates example, the average net worth is downright misleading, and using the average net income and the average tax rate gives you an answer that's wrong by a factor of 50.

This has nothing to do with whimsey and baseball lore and everything to do with understanding the proper use of statistics, and averages in particular.

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 03:36 PM
Averages have virtually nothing to do with probabilities. The mean is nothing but a ratio of sums. It's one point on the probability distribution, but knowing one point tells you NOTHING about the probabilities. In my Bill Gates example, the average net worth is downright misleading, and using the average net income and the average tax rate gives you an answer that's wrong by a factor of 50.

This has nothing to do with whimsey and baseball lore and everything to do with understanding the proper use of statistics, and averages in particular.


Joe Blow had a .300 average this season.

Looking back on his season, in any given at bat, what is the probability he got a hit?

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 03:47 PM
Joe Blow had a .300 average this season.

Looking back on his season, in any given at bat, what is the probability he got a hit?In your example, since you're looking backwards, the probability is either 0% or 100%. Either he did or he didn't. Probability is meaningless when you're talking about an event that already happened.

But looking forward, the answer is, it depends on a host of factors: who is the opposing pitcher, who's on base, whether he had a fight with this wife that morning, etc. etc. etc. That's the point. You can't just blindly use a global average to predict a specific event. In fact, you can't even predict he'll hit .300 the next year, because all the contributing factors may not be the same.

How about we make a bet? Flip a coin 10 times. I'll bet you $100 it doesn't come out 5 heads and 5 tails. I'll even give you 2:1 odds.

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 04:04 PM
In your example, since you're looking backwards, the probability is either 0% or 100%. Either he did or he didn't. Probability is meaningless when you're talking about an event that already happened.

But looking forward, the answer is, it depends on a host of factors: who is the opposing pitcher, who's on base, whether he had a fight with this wife that morning, etc. etc. etc. That's the point. You can't just blindly use a global average to predict a specific event. In fact, you can't even predict he'll hit .300 the next year, because all the contributing factors may not be the same.

How about we make a bet? Flip a coin 10 times. I'll bet you $100 it doesn't come out 5 heads and 5 tails. I'll even give you 2:1 odds.
Don't be obstinate. In gambling, all you can do is bet the best odds.

And you determine those odds by looking at probability. If you don't know the outcome (for instance, when you bunt a runner to second you don't know whether he is going to score) you have to make the best decision based on the likelihood, the percentages, of the situation in the past.

For instance, if you bring in a relief pitcher to face a hitter, you bring in a lefty vs. lefty and vice versa. You do this because IN THE PAST lefties have shown to be on avg more successful than righties against lefties.


In your coin example, you're absolutely right about it not being likely to be 5 and 5. But if you had to roll a three sided die, and had to predict on ONE ROLL whether it would come up "1" or "2 or 3" you'd be smart to pick "2 or 3"...if likewise statistics show you're more likely to score more runs waiting for 3 run homers whne you have 4 30+ HR guys on your team, then you are probably better off giving your teams more outs in which to hit 30+ HR. Of course, if the stats do not show that, then you should try smallball, statistically speaking.


But now what are you going to pull out of your hat to "prove me wrong"?

Craig Grebeck
09-22-2006, 04:07 PM
Looking at things objectively and using more than flimsy anecdotal evidence=stathead...simple as that.

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 04:16 PM
Don't be obstinate. In gambling, all you can do is bet the best odds.

And you determine those odds by looking at probability. If you don't know the outcome (for instance, when you bunt a runner to second you don't know whether he is going to score) you have to make the best decision based on the likelihood, the percentages, of the situation in the past.

For instance, if you bring in a relief pitcher to face a hitter, you bring in a lefty vs. lefty and vice versa. You do this because IN THE PAST lefties have shown to be on avg more successful than righties against lefties.

But now what are you going to pull out of your hat to "prove me wrong"?What you're trying to do is apply game theory to baseball. The BP people have done this many times. For example, they determined the average runs scored with a runner on first, the average runs scored with a runner on second, the average runs scored with no one on base, and computed that a prospective base stealer needs to be effective 70% of the time to have a net positive outcome. The problem is, game theory doesn't apply.

If I throw a pair of dice, there are 36 possible outcomes, 6 of which equal 7. Therefore, if I offer you 7:1 odds, it's a good bet for you. If I offer 5:1 odds, it's a bad bet. But this only works because the throwing of dice satisfy two key criteria:

1. the outcome of each throw is random
2. the outcome of each throw is completely independent of other throws.

I can't overemphasize the importance of satisfying both of these criteria. It's only because of these two criteria that you can assume that the probability for any throw of the dice is the same. Neither of these criteria apply to baseball. Outcomes are not random, and more importantly, they're not independent events. Each event depends heavily on other events, and therefore, the probability matrix will be different for every event. Game theory cannot tell you what you want to know.

The Dude
09-22-2006, 04:37 PM
You've got to be kidding me.

This team is going to score more than 100 more runs than they did last year.

No one's saying it's good to leave a runner stranded on third. In fact, quite the opposite.

THE QUESTION I'M ASKING IS ARE WE ACTUALLY HURTING OURSELVES MORE THAN LAST YEAR BY DOING THAT.

I'll repeat: we're going to score more than 100 more runs than last year. We're going to improve our run production by almost 15%. So the question is, is "shifting to 'softball'" the problem

You can quote Hawk and say "don't tell me what you hit but when you hit it" but you have to keep in mind that you're QUOTING HAWK

oh--and as for that bolded part--are you serious? are you seriously saying that crap? I asked for four statistics, none of which were outlandish in the slightest

The Twinkie fan makes much more sense than that trash heaper!

fquaye149 - I hear ya man!
We just need better pitching and this lineup needs a little tweaking at the top and bottom but the middle is fine..

fquaye149
09-22-2006, 04:38 PM
What you're trying to do is apply game theory to baseball. The BP people have done this many times. For example, they determined the average runs scored with a runner on first, the average runs scored with a runner on second, the average runs scored with no one on base, and computed that a prospective base stealer needs to be effective 70% of the time to have a net positive outcome. The problem is, game theory doesn't apply.

If I throw a pair of dice, there are 36 possible outcomes, 6 of which equal 7. Therefore, if I offer you 7:1 odds, it's a good bet for you. If I offer 5:1 odds, it's a bad bet. But this only works because the throwing of dice satisfy two key criteria:

1. the outcome of each throw is random
2. the outcome of each throw is completely independent of other throws.

I can't overemphasize the importance of satisfying both of these criteria. It's only because of these two criteria that you can assume that the probability for any throw of the dice is the same. Neither of these criteria apply to baseball. Outcomes are not random, and more importantly, they're not independent events. Each event depends heavily on other events, and therefore, the probability matrix will be different for every event. Game theory cannot tell you what you want to know.

I'm not saying it is the be all and end all but it's the best way to do things...

you have to work with what you have. is the outcome random? no. But we can make a good distinction between whether we were better off this year or not by looking at the numbers.

to do anything else is like trying to say what color eyes God has or how many toes an alien's foot has.

Hangar18
09-22-2006, 04:45 PM
Oh goodness...I've watched plenty of games. I don't see how my asking a reasonable statistical question has anything to do with your anecdotal evidence.

it really sucks when people try to approach things rationally instead of saying "when you lose 9-0 it's because you didn't move the runners over"


I heard some stats on their "small-ball" approach on the Score the other day.
it wasnt pretty. Once the season ends, we'll be seeing plenty of stats for sure. One thing thats funny (or not funny) is the remarkable number of threads and posts the last couple of days, all about Small Ball and Lack thereof and the reasons people think we stunk this year.
Feels like 2001 all over again .........

Theres a thread saying there was a lack of smallball and people ripping each other there, and theres another thread admitting there wasnt enough smallball and everyone in agreement. LOL

Paulwny
09-22-2006, 04:46 PM
FWIW, lengthy article, graphs,stats, etc

Conclusion

With all due respect to Maury Wills, no team will steal a pennant any time soon, nor will any team bunt, sacrifice, or hustle their way to one, either. Teams that rely on manufactured runs score less than teams that swing for the fences, and they donít really score more consistently, either. A small ball teamís scoring opportunities are generally limited to those situations when a runner is in scoring position, while a slugging team is a threat to score at any time. Small ball teams tend to be harder on the old ticker, playing in many more close games but not doing any better in them than slugging teams. Finally, there is no apparent reason to believe that a team managed by Whitey Herzog would do better in the playoffs than a team managed by Earl Weaver.

http://www.northsidebaseball.com/Articles/ArticleText.php?ArticleID=68

Hangar18
09-22-2006, 04:49 PM
FWIW, lengthy article, graphs,stats, etc

Conclusion

With all due respect to Maury Wills, no team will steal a pennant any time soon, nor will any team bunt, sacrifice, or hustle their way to one, either. Teams that rely on manufactured runs score less than teams that swing for the fences, and they donít really score more consistently, either. A small ball teamís scoring opportunities are generally limited to those situations when a runner is in scoring position, while a slugging team is a threat to score at any time. Small ball teams tend to be harder on the old ticker, playing in many more close games but not doing any better in them than slugging teams. Finally, there is no apparent reason to believe that a team managed by Whitey Herzog would do better in the playoffs than a team managed by Earl Weaver.



HEHEH HEHEH.
Now post this in the various threads around here all talking about the same thing ..........

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 04:58 PM
I'm not saying it is the be all and end all but it's the best way to do things...

you have to work with what you have. is the outcome random? no. But we can make a good distinction between whether we were better off this year or not by looking at the numbers.

to do anything else is like trying to say what color eyes God has or how many toes an alien's foot has.I think you're underestimating the importance of non-random events. A manager does not roll a pair of dice to decide when to bunt. He makes the decision based on his judgement of the probability distrubution based on a host of non-random factors (even if he doesn't realize it at the time). The computation you're trying to do makes no distinction between being down 8-0 in the 3rd inning and being tied in the bottom of the 9th, but the decision is obviously very different. Any time a non-random factor is introduced, pretty much every thing you think you know that's based on random probabilities goes out the window.

Another example, strictly for your amusement, will be familiar to those who remember the TV game show "Let's make a deal". Suppose I have three boxes, one of which contains $1000 and two of which are empty. I know which is which, but you don't. I offer you the chance to pick one for $200. At this point you have a completely random choice, and it's a good bet. After you pick one box, I turn over one of the others and show you it's empty, and then I offer you an opportunity to change your pick for an additional $100.

What do you do?

If you forget that my turning over one box is a non-random event, you'd assume you now have a 50% chance of being right. You'd be wrong. Because my turning over the box is non-random, the probability of your having the right box has not changed from when we started - it's still 33%, which means the probability of the other box being the right box is now 67%. You'd be smart to switch choices, even at the expense of an additional $100.

OG4LIFE
09-22-2006, 05:19 PM
Staff ERA last year: 3.62 (entire staff)
Staff ERA this year: 4.53

difference of 0.91 runs/game.

0.91 runs/game *162 games = 147 more runs given up (earned)

In terms of total runs surrendered per 9:

last year: 3.94
this year: 4.83

thats a difference of 0.89. From a high point of view, that almost tells me our defense has been better this year (my eyes tell me different). I know, earned/vs unearned is very subjective.

If you score an extra 100 runs, but give up an extra 147, you lose more games.

Poor offensive execution (smallball??) and questionable managing have also been factors, but I agree with the original poster that the pitching has been far and away this teams downfall.

champagne030
09-22-2006, 07:34 PM
Staff ERA last year: 3.62 (entire staff)
Staff ERA this year: 4.53

difference of 0.91 runs/game.

0.91 runs/game *162 games = 147 more runs given up (earned)

In terms of total runs surrendered per 9:

last year: 3.94
this year: 4.83

thats a difference of 0.89. From a high point of view, that almost tells me our defense has been better this year (my eyes tell me different). I know, earned/vs unearned is very subjective.

If you score an extra 100 runs, but give up an extra 147, you lose more games.

Poor offensive execution (smallball??) and questionable managing have also been factors, but I agree with the original poster that the pitching has been far and away this teams downfall.

I actually read in the Cubune today that we have a better fielding % this year than 2005. Another reason that BP and friends of BP cannot determine the outcome of a season based solely on statistics.

ma-gaga
09-22-2006, 10:50 PM
I actually read in the Cubune today that we have a better fielding % this year than 2005. Another reason that BP and friends of BP cannot determine the outcome of a season based solely on statistics.

Fielding percentage is one of the worst 'stats' out there. It is completely reliant on a subjective decision by the teams' official scorer, and the number of chances that the player gets, which is completely dependant on the team's pitching staff.

My advice is to use a better analysis of defense that is somewhat objective, like defensive efficiency. Ball in play turned into outs. It's a good 'back of the napkin' look at teams. Right now it looks like the W.Sox have a DER of 0.697 (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/teams/) tied for 3rd in the AL with Toronto...

Bottom line, defensive stats' suck, but there are some that have some merit.

caulfield12
09-22-2006, 11:11 PM
Fielding percentage is one of the worst 'stats' out there. It is completely reliant on a subjective decision by the teams' official scorer, and the number of chances that the player gets, which is completely dependant on the team's pitching staff.

My advice is to use a better analysis of defense that is somewhat objective, like defensive efficiency. Ball in play turned into outs. It's a good 'back of the napkin' look at teams. Right now it looks like the W.Sox have a DER of 0.697 (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/teams/) tied for 3rd in the AL with Toronto...

Bottom line, defensive stats' suck, but there are some that have some merit.


I think we would all agree the defense has been on its heels this year, they've been on the field a lot more (timewise and perception), there have been an incredible number of plays not made (DP's turned or ball dropping in front of outfielders not turned into outs) that have led to 'crooked numbers,' usually with 2 outs, as our pitchers have not picked up the D and vice-versa.

At least tonight's loss was easier to take because I got to laugh for an hour and a half straight at Jack--- II this afternoon.

Frater Perdurabo
09-22-2006, 11:34 PM
Bottom line: the 2005 Sox often scored with homers, often with men on base. But they also were able to execute "small ball" when they needed to in order to win tight games. The 2006 Sox, OTOH, have scored lots of runs with homers, many with men on base. But they have been generally unable to manufacture runs. Heck, they don't even hit that many doubles, either.

Ozzie sarcastically remarked that it takes five hits to score Frank Thomas from first base. Well, there have been many occasions when the Sox have loaded the bases on four straight singles (or combinations of walks and singles) with no outs and then have failed to score a run.

The situational hitting has been atrocious this year, and I don't need stats to tell me that.

Finally, I must needle Ol' No. 2: If averages are of such limited utility, why were you among the most vocal proponents of benching/demoting Anderson earlier this year? And furthermore, even after Anderson began to outperform Mackowiak at the plate (beginning mid-June or so), why did you continue to defend Ozzie's inexplicably asinine decision to start Mackowiak 40% of the time in CF?
:tongue:

Ol' No. 2
09-22-2006, 11:56 PM
Bottom line: the 2005 Sox often scored with homers, often with men on base. But they also were able to execute "small ball" when they needed to in order to win tight games. The 2006 Sox, OTOH, have scored lots of runs with homers, many with men on base. But they have been generally unable to manufacture runs. Heck, they don't even hit that many doubles, either.

Ozzie sarcastically remarked that it takes five hits to score Frank Thomas from first base. Well, there have been many occasions when the Sox have loaded the bases on four straight singles (or combinations of walks and singles) with no outs and then have failed to score a run.

The situational hitting has been atrocious this year, and I don't need stats to tell me that.

Finally, I must needle Ol' No. 2: If averages are of such limited utility, why were you among the most vocal proponents of benching/demoting Anderson earlier this year? And furthermore, even after Anderson began to outperform Mackowiak at the plate (beginning mid-June or so), why did you continue to defend Ozzie's inexplicably asinine decision to start Mackowiak 40% of the time in CF?
:tongue:What have I been saying? Baseball is a situational game. Saying "Anderson began to outperform Mackowiak at the plate" ignores the situational factors. A big part of the reason Anderson's average was as high as it was is precisely because he sat against tough RH pitchers.

Besides, the point wasn't that averages are useless. The point was that using averages without considering the underlying distribution often leads to the wrong conclusion.

champagne030
09-23-2006, 08:04 PM
What have I been saying? Baseball is a situational game. Saying "Anderson began to outperform Mackowiak at the plate" ignores the situational factors. A big part of the reason Anderson's average was as high as it was is precisely because he sat against tough RH pitchers.

Besides, the point wasn't that averages are useless. The point was that using averages without considering the underlying distribution often leads to the wrong conclusion.

BULL****, and you know it. You did defend the use of Mack in CF earlier in the season (and far past the the all-star break). The facts show that BA hits power RH better than powder puff LF's. You know it, I know it, everyone is aware except Ozzie. Ozzie hurt BA's average with his "matchup" lineup card.