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Old 10-31-2019, 04:05 PM
TDog TDog is offline
WSI Prelate
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 18,680

Originally Posted by asindc View Post
50% chance is better than any other approach you can take in that situation.
The 50 percent thing isn't even accurate. Most baseball percentages and metrics don't have the meaning placed on them because they were determined without controls or context. You aren't looking at 50 percent success when a player who works on scoring a runner from third with one out focuses on driving in that run, perhaps shortening his swing, protecting the plate with two strikes. I have no reason to believe Rendon wasn't trying to hit a sacrifice fly when he popped up for the second out in the ninth. All I know is that he didn't execute.

Baseball is a game that produces percentages, and in that sense it is a game of percentages. If managerial decisions are based solely on those decisions (and with the Moneyball A's it had more to do with getting the most production out of what they could afford to spend), the percentages perpetuate themselves.

Winning baseball isn't looking at the percentages and deciding not to focus on scoring the runner from third with less than one out or advancing a leadoff double to third when you have a one-run lead in the ninth inning in a game that could win you the World Series. It's working to execute in those situations. In the above cases, Rowand's failed sacrifice attempt, Rendon's pop out didn't affect the outcome. In fact, going into the bottom of the ninth 14 years ago with a 1-0 lead and watching Uribe take over the game on defense looms large in the 2005 legend.

Still, if you want to insist that advancing runners and scoring runners from third with less than two out have lost their meaning in today's game, I would suggest that the team that works on executing yesterday's fundamentals would produce teams that could beat today's best teams on their terms, and make baseball more fun to watch in the process.

Sales of Astroball: The New Way to Win it All (still Amazon's best seller in baseball coaching, way ahead, sadly of Charley Lau's Art of Hitting .300.) can't be helped by a 10-8 postseason run culminating with four home losses in the World Series.
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