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View Full Version : Leyland: Tigers won't play "Moneyball"


Fenway
02-25-2007, 03:49 PM
LAKELAND, Fla. - They don't come any more "old school" in baseball than Jim Leyland, the gritty manager of the defending AL champion Tigers, who needed exactly one day to tell his new slugger Gary Sheffield: "I love ya, Gary, but lose the earrings." So it should also come as no surprise that, despite his young Tigers' deficiencies - most notably their lack of plate discipline - Leyland doesn't want to hear about the modern day "Moneyball" obsession with on-base percentage.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/500476p-422015c.html

WhiteSox5187
02-25-2007, 05:47 PM
The "Moneyball" concept is overrated. How many World Series titles has Oakland won with Billy Beane at the healm? How many pennants? Besides the Tigers have one of the best GMs in baseball who does not subscribe to this "Moneyball" concept.

jabrch
02-25-2007, 07:30 PM
Simply put - you can only walk if the pitcher fails to do his job. The OBP craze that was a piece to Moneyball (not the biggest piece - it was really market inefficiencies that Beane stressed) was a way poor teams could become mediocre. Without steroids, the Moneyball teams found that guys who walked meant very little without Giambi, Tejada, etc. to drive them in. They also found out that the Big 3 was an anomaly in terms of 3 Cy Young calibre guys being there at the same time, and all being healthy more of the time. They also ran out of the capital that they had from the Moneyball draft - extra picks - and now are struggling with their normal alottment of picks. Most importantly, the OBP craze fails to comprehend the fact that in order to win a WS you have to beat the best pitchers in baseball - consistently. They won't walk you. They won't give in to "patient" hitters. They will beat those hitters by throwing strikes and by throwing pitchers pitches. Waiting out bad pitches beats bad pitchers. Oakland has done a great job over the years with that. But Moneyball, if you are talking about hitters with high OBP, was not a blueprint to win a WS. Moneyball was a blueprint for how to find what other people don't value that might be helpful and use it to your advantage. The problem is that the next OBP will be harder to find than OBP was. Many say BB is now going after defense - but defense is only a small piece to the game. And good defensive players who aren't good offensive players won't build a championship team any more than guys who walk, but aren't great hitters did.

Oh, and did I mention that there is still a problem with the theory that Oakland's theory of drafting College Pitchers will get them anywhere fast? Zito, Mulder and Hudson weren't great because they were college pitchers. Harden is not bad because he didn't go to college. And then there's Jeremy Bonderman...

Moneyball is a nice story - but it is hardly a revolution. Lewis is a good story teller - but Beane/Epstein/McCraken/BP/etc. are only taking a different slant on a very old game - not revolutionizing the game, not changing it, and not finding new ways to win.

caulfield12
02-25-2007, 07:38 PM
Milton Bradley would definitely fit into that mold, and Shannon Stewart. But for every one that works (Frank Thomas too), there's a Bret Boone, Roberto Alomar or Tony Batista that's too long in the tooth.

They have Chavez, Kendall is a good defender but his arm isn't what it used to be, Kotsay is their best all-around outfielder, but Stewart and Swisher are liabilities wherever you stick them out on the field.

Crosby, Scutaro and Ellis are serviceable, although not GG quality defenders.

Overall, I think the defense of the White Sox is better across the board.

Craig Grebeck
02-25-2007, 07:41 PM
Completely dismissing On Base Percentage is ridiculous.

itsnotrequired
02-25-2007, 07:51 PM
Completely dismissing On Base Percentage is ridiculous.

Leyland isn't dismissing it, he just isn't going to obsess over it.

Daver
02-25-2007, 08:51 PM
Completely dismissing On Base Percentage is ridiculous.

So is the theory of judging a baseball player strictly on numbers, what the hell is your point?

Craig Grebeck
02-25-2007, 09:16 PM
So is the theory of judging a baseball player strictly on numbers, what the hell is your point?
And so is focusing on intangibles only, what the hell is yours? I think you and I can both agree there needs to be balance.

I understand not obsessing over it, but many people are so dismissive about it because they don't want to seem like a stathead.

Brian26
02-25-2007, 10:28 PM
They don't come any more "old school" in baseball than Jim Leyland, the gritty manager of the defending AL champion Tigers, who needed exactly one day to tell his new slugger Gary Sheffield: "I love ya, Gary, but lose the earrings."

I'm not a big fan of Leyland, but that quote made me chuckle.

jabrch
02-25-2007, 11:17 PM
Leyland isn't dismissing it, he just isn't going to obsess over it.

NOBODY completely dismisses it. But most good baseball people realize that a walk is very much out of the hitters control. Great pitchers neutralize walkers very quickly.

ComiskeyBrewer
02-26-2007, 09:04 AM
Completely dismissing On Base Percentage is ridiculous.

OPS FTW!!!!

ComiskeyBrewer
02-26-2007, 09:05 AM
I'm not a big fan of Leyland, but that quote made me chuckle.

I'm less of a fan of Gary. That giant Turd. :angry:

brewcrew/chisox
02-26-2007, 09:38 AM
Agreed,

He's one of the few people that i go out of my way to boo during a game.

ondafarm
02-26-2007, 06:44 PM
Look, my feelings on stats and evaluation of players is this.


I watch a ball game. I try to figure out who has contributed solid play on both sides. Sometimes thats easier than others. A guy who hits three home runs and triples the fourth time up is probably contributing. A guy loafing and positioning poorly in the outfield is probably not. But there are a lot of small things that go into winning most games. Getting a sacrifice down, turning a tough double play, the one-hitter relief man, choking up in your last at bat to get the single and drive in the run. Not all of those show up in stat sheets.

When I am asked to evaluate a player, I always describe him doing or being ignornat of the little things. Sure, certain numbers tell a lot. A .242 hitter just isn't going to have a big impact hitting the ball. A great defensive shortstop might. Most of the time, the numbers are pretty clear to interpret. Even the fancy numbers are typically fairly comparable.

Winning depends on the numbers, but also requires the little stuff. The numbers aid my opnion of a player, but never complete it. I've seen guys hit .300 who were over-matched and I've seen .220 hitters who were contributing. Numbers help, but aren't the only thing.

ma-gaga
02-26-2007, 07:23 PM
They also ran out of the capital that they had from the Moneyball draft - extra picks - and now are struggling with their normal alottment of picks.
...
Moneyball was a blueprint for how to find what other people don't value that might be helpful and use it to your advantage.
...
Oh, and did I mention that there is still a problem with the theory that Oakland's theory of drafting College Pitchers will get them anywhere fast?

This article is crap. Any old school writer can write a "Manager X won't play Moneyball" and come off fine with 50% of the readers, who are skeptical of any advanced analysis to Baseball. Maybe it's an excercise in marginal returns, but that's baseball to a tee. 'Each team wins 60 games, each team loses 60 games, it's how you deal with the other 42 games that seperates the good from the bad.' blah blah blah. It's all the same thing. Good baseball teams win because they have an edge. Talent, or managing. Any edge a GM can give a team helps, and that's what MB is about, not a complete reliance on OBP.

The A's won their division last year. To be dismissive of the A's because they haven't won a WS is a little petty. Besides, the opposite of moneyball is the true and tried method to putting together a winning team is thrown $120mm payroll together. Is that fun to write an article about? No. Nobody likes to mock their gravy train by making fun of a generous owner.


Again, if you can slug the ball like the Tigers did last year, and pitch like they did, they don't have to play for walks. But that's the makeup of their team. So Leyland is right to not try and change his team. But adding Sheffield clearly was an attempt at adding some OBP/SLG to the team. And that's a little bit of Moneyball by the GM.

:gulp:

PaulDrake
02-26-2007, 08:15 PM
Winning depends on the numbers, but also requires the little stuff. The numbers aid my opnion of a player, but never complete it. I've seen guys hit .300 who were over-matched and I've seen .220 hitters who were contributing. Numbers help, but aren't the only thing. That's it in a nutshell. Most statheads are superficial creatures who can't see the forest for the trees.

Daver
02-26-2007, 08:33 PM
And so is focusing on intangibles only, what the hell is yours? I think you and I can both agree there needs to be balance.

I understand not obsessing over it, but many people are so dismissive about it because they don't want to seem like a stathead.

I don't dismiss it, hell find me a guy that has absolutely perfected the HBP, and he is your perfect number nine hitter.