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  #121  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:55 PM
mzh mzh is offline
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For whatever it's worth, the Houston Astros employ far and away the least number of scouts of any big league organization, while also having the largest analytics department. Seems to have worked out pretty well for them.

If you think the focus on numbers has led to a less entertaining or aesthetically pleasing game, that's totally subjective and I won't argue about that. Everyone's entitled to their own preferences there.

However. There is plenty of evidence, empirical and circumstantial, that there is a strong correlation between understanding and utilizing data and constructing a winning baseball team. If somebody thinks that isn't true, then I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding about what exactly baseball analytics are and what they're used for.

And I don't think any of that has anything to do with why attendance is declining.

Last edited by mzh; 05-13-2019 at 09:05 PM.
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  #122  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:56 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by I_Liked_Manuel View Post
These are not the statistics or analyses that you are citing. Please, feel free to detail the models upon which you use to opine on their predictive usage. I can't wait to read it.
I'm not a major league GM, nor have I ever held a job creating any mathematical models to help a major league GM. I trust those who do, though. I don't consider them some group of misguided simpletons who don't know anything about math. You do, and you are free to do so, but I'm going to put more faith in what they say than what you say.
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  #123  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:03 PM
mzh mzh is offline
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Originally Posted by I_Liked_Manuel View Post
These are not the statistics or analyses that you are citing. Please, feel free to detail the models upon which you use to opine on their predictive usage. I can't wait to read it.
Using advanced statistics and data to predict future performance is no different than any other way anyone's tried to predict future performance. They're just concrete ways of quantifying things that we couldn't quantify in the past. The difference is, large amounts of data tell a much more complete story than we ever could with our eyes. Whereas in the past, a scout might have said "I like the way he consistently makes solid contact, I think we should sign/draft/whatever them," we can now back that statement up with exit velocities, barrel percentages, launch angle, etc. The numbers aren't just some abstract concept that have nothing to do with the game of baseball, they're just more detailed ways of describing things that we've observed in baseball players for decades. And if you have a whole lot of those details with a very large sample size, you can make a prediction about future performance with a lot more certainty that you would just by eyeballing a swing or watching a single outing from a starter.
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  #124  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:57 PM
AZChiSoxFan AZChiSoxFan is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
I wouldn't phrase it that way. Like a lot of analytics that look complex on the surface, I think that's an oversimplification. Teams with analytics aren't necessarily wrong, but no matter how trendy, they aren't trend setters. Analytics is a process of following trends. Knowing the trends and following the trends are two different things. Using analytics to influence in-game decisions is different from using analytics to determine in-game decisions. Using analytics to make in-game decisions and build a team is different from using analytics to figure out out how to do it better than everyone else.

The people who put analytics first are nothing more than efficiency experts, My wife's father worked in an agricultural machinery dealership and hated efficiency experts, people who really didn't understand what you were doing and certainly couldn't do what you were doing but would tell you what you were doing wrong and how you could do it more efficiently. There is no innovation in surrendering to analytics, and doing so shifts the responsibility for failure.

The reason the issue is in this thread is that the laziness, the CYA mentality of using analytics to build teams and make in-game decisions and, saddest of all perhaps, to develop talent (how can you develop someone you expect to be a superstar without teaching him a position?) is that playing to the analytics is making the game unwatchable for anyone who cares about more than the final score. Many of us believe that with teams themselves unwilling to improve the entertainment value of the product in order to win games, baseball should make tweaks to change, not them number of times teams are allowed to change pitchers or decrease the endless tedious hours spent with intentional walks (by the way, if you are going take away the tedium of intentional walks, why not simply prohibit intentional walks?), but by tweaking the game to reduce the value of the analytics -- i.e. enforcing a bigger strike zone.

But that is only part of it.

Billy Beane wasn't an innovator, although he could be called a trend setter. He was looking for a way to compete while spending less money, and although he never won a championship, he had enough success that the production that was affordable to make Moneyball work ended up costing more than Moneyball could afford, increasing, as Bill Veeck might say, the high price of mediocrity.

Branch Rickey was an innovator long before he signed Jackie Robinson, although, of course, there was that. Rickey's concern wasn't to look at what successful teams were doing to follow them. He was looking at ways to beat other teams at what they were doing. Picasso wasn't a cubist because he couldn't paint like a normal artist.

That requires an innovative GM, which the White Sox don't have. That would require an innovative manager, which the White Sox don't have. If they do, the aren't demonstrating it.

I think it's obvious that if you built a team that was able to make contact to negate defensive shift; if you developed contact hitters who could pressure defenses; if you built a team that was focused on scoring runners from third base with less than two outs, for that matter scoring runners from second with no outs, for that matter focused on driving in runs; that if you had pitchers (i.e. Mark Buehrles, the sort of pitchers who never struck out 20 in a game but on the other hand never had to sit out the next season with an arm injury and was never the same) who focused on pitching to weak contact to minimize the effort it takes them to get though a batting order so they can pitch more innings, I think you would have a winning team that would require teams to think beyond analytics to beat you.

As it is, there are more losing teams than winning teams devoted to the analytics. The analytics aren't the difference. (Here I resist the pun using a psychological term that may be apparent to some.)

I believe I am right in what I've written. I don't believe, as Ken Harrelson once did, that I could be a general manager. But I'm waiting to embrace the next Branch Rickey and hope baseball doesn't continue to play to the analytics that run it through the dull machine.
Spot on T-Dog!! Thanks for all of your comments in this thread in particular. Great stuff!
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  #125  
Old 05-23-2019, 04:03 AM
Grzegorz Grzegorz is offline
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Originally Posted by mzh View Post
And if you have a whole lot of those details with a very large sample size, you can make a prediction about future performance with a lot more certainty that you would just by eyeballing a swing or watching a single outing from a starter.

One (large sample size/numbers) doesn't necessarily lead to the other (spot scouting/personal evaluation).
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  #126  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:13 PM
asindc asindc is offline
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About those increased K rates...:

https://www.southsidesox.com/2019/6/...ou-whiff-whiff
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  #127  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:57 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by asindc View Post



Obviously, striking out more limits what you can do, how you can score runs. The total runs being scored in baseball is irrelevant because the only runs I care about is the difference between the runs my team scores and allows in the game at hand.
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