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  #91  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
That's not the argument, obviously good offensive teams are better than bad offensive teams, it's just that how often a team K's is not indicative of either.



No, a team's WPA (the probability that they will win based on in-game situation and historical data) will generally drop on plays that result in an out made and a run scored. Again, there are times when this is not true, such as in late game situations when a team is trailing, but generally speaking, for most of innings 1-8 it is never beneficial to make an out. That is a fact backed up numbers, you can choose to accept or deny it all you like. I suppose your WPA may increase on plays when you make an out and score two or three runs, but those are extremely rare. Generally speaking, in terms of win probability, it is beneficial to walk over hitting a sacrifice fly. It is better to walk than it is to ground out and score a runner from third. Outs are more precious because you only get 27 of them. Once they are gone, they are gone.

Runs are more precious because once you get one, it is yours to keep, and they are rarer than outs. It cannot be assumed a run will score after a walk when the same AB could have produced a SF. That's why you take the run even if you have to give up an out to do it.



Well OBVIOUSLY if you're going to stack the deck with your little fantasy you will prevail, but over here in reality (where I am trying to steer the conversation) you will notice that K rate is a very poor way to evaluate an offense. Generally speaking, it doesn't matter how a team makes their outs. I know you guys can harp on how you can advance runners or you can hit into an error over and over and over again, but there just isn't any evidence to suggest any of that really matters in the long run. Over the course of 162 games, outs are simply outs. Teams that make them more frequently are generally worse offensively than teams that don't. It doesn't matter how they are accrued.

Runs are more precious because once you get one, it is yours to keep, and they are rarer than outs. It cannot be assumed a run will score after a walk when the same AB could have produced a SF. That's why you take the run even if you have to give up an out to do it.

My example is not stacked. It compares two otherwise equal offensive teams with the only variable being SOs. Put it another way: If Team A and Team B played each other, started pitchers of equal caliber, had defenses of equal caliber, made the same type of outs, and each got 7 hits, 4 walks, and 1 reached by one-base error, which one is more likely to win, the team that SO just once, or the team that SO 7 times? Now, of course, it matters when the hits, walks, and errors happened within the game, but on average, which team would you prefer?

Striking out less is not in lieu of making less frequent outs. The two are not mutually exclusive.
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  #92  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by asindc View Post
Runs are more precious because once you get one, it is yours to keep, and they are rarer than outs. It cannot be assumed a run will score after a walk when the same AB could have produced a SF. That's why you take the run even if you have to give up an out to do it.
If that is what you believe, that's fine, I'm just point out that you're arguing against numbers.

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Originally Posted by asindc View Post
Striking out less is not in lieu of making less frequent outs. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Nobody has said that, you're arguing against nobody here, I am just merely pointing out that if you look at a team over the course of 162 games, it generally does not matter how often they strike out. For every good offense that strikes out rarely, there is a good offense that strikes out a lot. For every bad offense that strikes out a lot, there is a bad offense that strikes out very rarely. If you're trying to mold an offense around the concept that you don't want strikeouts, that is no guarantee you are building a successful offense.
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  #93  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:56 AM
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Doub, you state that outs are the most precious commodity. So, can you argue that a player who puts the ball in play will make fewer outs than a player who strikes out? What would you estimate, a quarter to a third of those balls in play will result in a hit or error, while all the strikeouts will result in an out?

Only compare strikeouts, as indc said. You can't throw in an assumption that higher strikeouts lead to more power. Fewer strikeouts will result in fewer overall outs. All I was addressing was the constant incorrect arguments that strikeouts don't matter because they're no worse than any other kind of out, because that makes the incorrect assumption that the alternative to a strikeout is some other out. The alternative to a strikeout is "not a strikeout" which is a very different thing.
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  #94  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:26 AM
SI1020 SI1020 is offline
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If many stat gurus say strikeouts are the most important stat for a pitcher then why doesn't it matter if a player or a team strikes out a lot?
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  #95  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Nellie_Fox View Post
Doub, you state that outs are the most precious commodity. So, can you argue that a player who puts the ball in play will make fewer outs than a player who strikes out? What would you estimate, a quarter to a third of those balls in play will result in a hit or error, while all the strikeouts will result in an out?

Only compare strikeouts, as indc said. You can't throw in an assumption that higher strikeouts lead to more power. Fewer strikeouts will result in fewer overall outs. All I was addressing was the constant incorrect arguments that strikeouts don't matter because they're no worse than any other kind of out, because that makes the incorrect assumption that the alternative to a strikeout is some other out. The alternative to a strikeout is "not a strikeout" which is a very different thing.
No, you are absolutely correct and I apologize if that was the argument I seemed to be presenting. I was merely addressing the notion that a high number of strikeouts are some kind of harbinger of offensive doom, because they are not. Perhaps in a game-by-game, inning-by-inning analysis you can pick out spots where an out made on a ball in play would be super beneficial over a strikeout, the only argument I'm trying to present is that when viewed over a full season's worth, is that whether or not a team strikes out a lot is inconsquential compared to other, more important aspects of offense.
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  #96  
Old 01-30-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
No, you are absolutely correct and I apologize if that was the argument I seemed to be presenting. I was merely addressing the notion that a high number of strikeouts are some kind of harbinger of offensive doom, because they are not. Perhaps in a game-by-game, inning-by-inning analysis you can pick out spots where an out made on a ball in play would be super beneficial over a strikeout, the only argument I'm trying to present is that when viewed over a full season's worth, is that whether or not a team strikes out a lot is inconsquential compared to other, more important aspects of offense.
And going a little further, what you said about sacrificing...the numbers overwhelmingly show that sacrificing an out leads to less overall runs scored. Sure, there are instances where it makes sense to do it (like late in a game for a go ahead run), but there is solid, irrefutable statistics that show giving up outs leads to less runs scored in the long run.
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  #97  
Old 01-30-2013, 03:33 PM
sullythered sullythered is offline
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The top three teams in team strikeouts last season all had at least 90 wins.
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  #98  
Old 01-30-2013, 03:41 PM
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The top three teams in team strikeouts last season all had at least 90 wins.
It wasn't the strikeouts that did it for them.
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  #99  
Old 01-30-2013, 03:55 PM
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It wasn't the strikeouts that did it for them.
The team that won the World Series, in a dominating sweep, had only three more strikeouts than the team in the National League with the fewest strikeouts. The Giants, even though they didn't play in the DH league and had pitchers at the bottom of their batting order, had fewer strikeouts than all but three American League teams.

If one is going to argue that strikeouts are meaninless because winning teams struck out a lot, you could argue that home runs are meaningless because the team that won the World Series hit the fewest home runs in the majors.
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  #100  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:00 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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It all really just depends on the situation. I can think up situations where I want the walk, and other situations where I give up the out to get the sure (or high percentage) run, and other situations where I'm willing to risk the strikeout to give a hitter with a good slugging percentage and/or high career BABIP an opportunity to swing away for a big inning. This is why it is ideal to have a lineup filled with players who can do many things well with the bat. Short of that, at least give me a broad set of hitting skills throughout the lineup. And that's why a manager needs to have both the most up-to-date metrics and splits, and a good intuition, to make more calls that result in runs being scored.

Back on point, with the way the Sox roster presently is constructed, Rios is the best fit to hit third.
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  #101  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
If one is going to argue that strikeouts are meaninless because winning teams struck out a lot, you could argue that home runs are meaningless because the team that won the World Series hit the fewest home runs in the majors.

Well, no not really because only a neanderthal would come to this conclusion for several reasons:
  1. No one has ever said "winning teams strike out a lot." So, first and foremost, you're setting a defense against people who don't exist. The argument is that strikeouts are a meaningless indicator of offensive ouput. Sometimes teams with a good offense strike out a lot. Sometimes teams with bad offenses don't strike out very much. There just isn't a lot of correlation between the two. But that doesn't automatically assume that winning teams will always have a great offense. There are plenty of teams that win with below average offenses and plenty of teams that lose with high powered offenses. This discussion has only been framed between strikeouts and offense.
  2. As has been hashed and rehashed over and over again, the playoffs are a general crapshoot, so if you're argument is based on playoff success, it's already a losing proposition. No one in the history of the world who understands how math and statistics work would take an 11-22 game sample size over a 162 games. So that's pointless.
  3. Even most general rules of thumb have aberrations from time to time. It's why the Twins can beat the Tigers. It's why the career .205 hitter can hit a homer off the best pitcher in baseball. Crazy stuff just happens in baseball. That's what makes it so wonderful. But that doesn't mean because Crazy Thing A happens that it invalidates everything you've learned beforehand. Teams that hit more home runs generally win more games. That's just what some very basic numbers say. You can believe it not, if you like. You can think teams should all be playing 1950's-style ball with slap hitters laying down sacrifice bunts all night long if you want, but those teams, more often than not, just don't win enough games. I'm sorry.
So, therefore, you can see why no one, and certainly not anyone on these boards, I'm sure, would be silly enough to argue that point.
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  #102  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
Well, no not really because only a neanderthal would come to this conclusion for several reasons:
  1. No one has ever said "winning teams strike out a lot." So, first and foremost, you're setting a defense against people who don't exist. The argument is that strikeouts are a meaningless indicator of offensive ouput. Sometimes teams with a good offense strike out a lot. Sometimes teams with bad offenses don't strike out very much. There just isn't a lot of correlation between the two. But that doesn't automatically assume that winning teams will always have a great offense. There are plenty of teams that win with below average offenses and plenty of teams that lose with high powered offenses. This discussion has only been framed between strikeouts and offense.
  2. As has been hashed and rehashed over and over again, the playoffs are a general crapshoot, so if you're argument is based on playoff success, it's already a losing proposition. No one in the history of the world who understands how math and statistics work would take an 11-22 game sample size over a 162 games. So that's pointless.
  3. Even most general rules of thumb have aberrations from time to time. It's why the Twins can beat the Tigers. It's why the career .205 hitter can hit a homer off the best pitcher in baseball. Crazy stuff just happens in baseball. That's what makes it so wonderful. But that doesn't mean because Crazy Thing A happens that it invalidates everything you've learned beforehand. Teams that hit more home runs generally win more games. That's just what some very basic numbers say. You can believe it not, if you like. You can think teams should all be playing 1950's-style ball with slap hitters laying down sacrifice bunts all night long if you want, but those teams, more often than not, just don't win enough games. I'm sorry.
So, therefore, you can see why no one, and certainly not anyone on these boards, I'm sure, would be silly enough to argue that point.
Looking at statistics in isolation will give you a distorted view of what it takes to win baseball games. Robin Ventura doesn't deal in the abstract fantasy world of theory. He manages in the real world and expressed concern over the high number of strikeouts, not because he isn't well-versed in sabermetrics, but because he was frustrated with the high number of strike outs last season, missed opportunities to score.

Anybody who doesn't believe you are overall better offensively by putting the ball in play, isn't watching baseball. Ultimately, hitting is about hitting the baseball.

Arguing that strikeouts are meaningless is beyond silly.
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  #103  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
Looking at statistics in isolation will give you a distorted view of what it takes to win baseball games. Robin Ventura doesn't deal in the abstract fantasy world of theory. He manages in the real world and expressed concern over the high number of strikeouts, not because he isn't well-versed in sabermetrics, but because he was frustrated with the high number of strike outs last season, missed opportunities to score.

Anybody who doesn't believe you are overall better offensively by putting the ball in play, isn't watching baseball. Ultimately, hitting is about hitting the baseball.

Arguing that strikeouts are meaningless is beyond silly.
And I would argue anyone who watched the Sox last year and thought "man, this team strikes out too much" has no comprehension of baseball outside of the Sox (and therefore, a distorted view of the game) because the Sox didn't actually strike out that much. Not near the league lead.
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  #104  
Old 01-30-2013, 04:55 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Again, it's all situational. It's not a big deal if Dunn strikes out with the bases empty in the first inning. It's a huge deal if he strikes out with two outs in the ninth inning with the tying run at third base.
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  #105  
Old 01-30-2013, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
Again, it's all situational. It's not a big deal if Dunn strikes out with the bases empty in the first inning. It's a huge deal if he strikes out with two outs in the ninth inning with the tying run at third base.
Hell, it's worse when there's only one out. I hate to quote Hawk, but don't show me what you did. Show me when you did it.
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