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Do We Give Billy Beane to much credit?

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Postby George_Foreman » Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:23 pm

the reason park effects need to be accounted for when comparing annual statistics is becuase in a real game, both teams play the game in the same park. so if statistics are accumulated at different parks throughout the sesason, they mean different things. hitting a HR in coors doesn't mean the same thing as hitting a homer in, say, LA.

it's not so much about putting them on a "neutral field" per se as much as it is about putting them on the same field when you compare them. becuase when the dodgers play the rockies, they play on the same field whether it's in colorado or LA. it doens't make sense to look at unadjusted statistics because these statistics don't reflect the conditions that the stats were accumulated under. adjusting for park effects makes it possible to compare them between players who have played different numbers of games at different parks.

hope that clarified stuff a bit....
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:26 pm

Phatferd wrote:

you were discussing park effect and all that good stuff, which my point was that holds no merit in real baseball, since this topic was more focused on real baseball and not so much fantasy. You have to take your own park into effect not the other teams ballparks cause you only play in each park about 3% of your games and your home 50%...all of that is "Moneyball" strategy and I am saying that Moneyball doesn't hold too much merit in real world baseball. Don't tell me about the Red Sox and their 200 million dollar Salary, that isn't moneyball.

About Erstad, yes they won the WS with him in CF in 02, but they won their first division pennent in a long time with him at 1B, so in real world baseball it didn't hurt that team. I don't care what Bill James came up with, if you look at the standings, his move did not hurt the team.

Look at the teams of the past 5 years who have won WS. NY, Ari, Ana, Fla, and Bos....2 of those team spent boatloads of money on their teams 3 came from medium sized markets. Angels had a 60-70 million dollar budget the year they won. Arizona did have a lot of paid players, I might consider them a upper mid/lower high maket salary for that year.

Anyway, my point is moneyball has not won anything since it has become a "way of management." Yes, the A's have been successful in the regular season, but when the playoffs come around they don't do well. I couldn't tell you why because the strange thing is that their teams were built for the playoffs, based on their rotation. They had 3 studs to pitch in a short series and could never get it done.

Take the Twins for example, very similar salary situations and they get it done just as well if not better than the A's. Yes, they play in a very weak division but they have made it to the ALCS at least.

My point had nothing to do with Colorado, you were using numbers to say they were better than Blalock and Beltran and so forth and my point was numbers don't always mean anything.


You simply don't have a clue what you are talking about regarding park effects. Your point makes no sense at all. I claimed that in comparing team offense, you must adjust for the park effect. Cubsfan responding that adjusting was fine for a computer, but not for real life. That's absurd. To make valid comparisons in real life, you MUST adjust for park effects.

And that has NOTHING to do with Moneyball strategy. It's a simple statistical fact that player performance depends on run environment. It's not a strategy at all, it's a simple statistical adjustment so that you are comparing apples to apples.

As for comparing Beltran and Blalock to others, it seems your lack of reading comprehension is getting in the way of communication. I was arguing exactly the OPPOSITE of what you think I was saying. My point was that it was absurd to claim that Burnitz was as good as Beltran or Castilla was better than Blalock, yet that is what unadjusted numbers show. Once you adjust for park effects, you clearly see that Beltan and Blalock are better. Please try to understand arguments people are making before you start joining in the discussion.

Finally, far better people than me have ripped apart specious arguments like the ones you advance on the Angels, Twins, and A's. You would do well to read a little (after first addressing that rather sifficult reading comprehension problem) about the subject.
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Postby CubsFan7724 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:30 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
CubsFan7724 wrote:
Too bad they aren't playing in a neutral park? If they were playing in a computer and not in real life, I guess that would work.


Doesn't matter whether you're playing on grass, carpet, or bytes. The facts are that you judge a player or team based on their true performance. And the only way you can do that is by adjusting for the park effects. You're loony if you think the right way to judge a team or player's offense is to ignore the park effects. You really think Jeromy Burnitz is as good as Carlos Beltra? Because they both had the same OPS last year. You really think Castilla is better than Blalock and Chipper Jones? He outhit them last year. The only way you can compare players or teams is by adjusting their numbers for park effects. To not do that simply cannot be defended.

If you really want to defend the argument that you should ignore park effects when judging who has the better offense, be my guest. I'm going to step back so I don't get injured in the avalanche of Cafe members who will be happy to show you the lack of logic in that argument.

Well, you can judge it in neutral park worlds, ones that don't apply to real baseball, and I guess I can judge it by who puts up the most runs, which does matter in real baseball. Not everything is fantasy, where things are done neutrally. Park effects are real and you cant ignore them when determining a offense. Many teams offenses are built to take advantage of the park. So when you take that away, it makes a team look better or worse than they are in real life. The fact that all the parks are different is something unique and part of baseball, which differentiates it from other sports. Basketball courts are all the same. Football fields are for the most part the same now, but baseball, the dimensions for every park are different. Its a fundamental part of the real life game and I don't see the sense in removing it when judging an offense.
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Postby swyck » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:49 pm

CubsFan7724 wrote:I wouldnt be surprised if the As finish 4th. They are in a very tough division, and their pitching is young and rebuilding. Their offense is mediocre at best. Not a good combination. Those other 3 teams are rather good in their division. So Im thinking the As miss the playoffs 2 years in a row.

I guess if people say this often enough, one of these years it will come true. Then no doubt they'll say "see he's no good, we were right all along."

Fact is the A's have been getting pretty far these last few years. I don't remember them being the favorite any of those seasons, so IMO Bean deserves to get some credit for keeping them in contention.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:49 pm

Yes, park effects are real, but you have totally misunderstood what they are.

Park effects are NOT the effect of building your team to take advantage of certain features of your home park.

Park effects are the simple fact that certain parks are built in a way that boosts offense of both the home and visiting team (like Coors) and certain parks are built in a way that reduces the offense of both teams (like Petco).

if you take the exact same player and give them 81 games in Coors versus 81 games in Petco they will ALWAYS hit better in Coors and it has NOTHING to do with how they hit, it has to do with the way the stadiums are built and where they are. Castilla is not a good hitter in Colorado and a bad hitter elsewhere. He's a BAD hitter everywhere and the effect of Coors simply makes him LOOK like a good hitter.

You MUST remove this effect when comparing teams or players. You need to do a little reading, friend, because you clearly have no idea even what a park effect is.
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Postby Phatferd » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:53 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
Phatferd wrote:

you were discussing park effect and all that good stuff, which my point was that holds no merit in real baseball, since this topic was more focused on real baseball and not so much fantasy. You have to take your own park into effect not the other teams ballparks cause you only play in each park about 3% of your games and your home 50%...all of that is "Moneyball" strategy and I am saying that Moneyball doesn't hold too much merit in real world baseball. Don't tell me about the Red Sox and their 200 million dollar Salary, that isn't moneyball.

About Erstad, yes they won the WS with him in CF in 02, but they won their first division pennent in a long time with him at 1B, so in real world baseball it didn't hurt that team. I don't care what Bill James came up with, if you look at the standings, his move did not hurt the team.

Look at the teams of the past 5 years who have won WS. NY, Ari, Ana, Fla, and Bos....2 of those team spent boatloads of money on their teams 3 came from medium sized markets. Angels had a 60-70 million dollar budget the year they won. Arizona did have a lot of paid players, I might consider them a upper mid/lower high maket salary for that year.

Anyway, my point is moneyball has not won anything since it has become a "way of management." Yes, the A's have been successful in the regular season, but when the playoffs come around they don't do well. I couldn't tell you why because the strange thing is that their teams were built for the playoffs, based on their rotation. They had 3 studs to pitch in a short series and could never get it done.

Take the Twins for example, very similar salary situations and they get it done just as well if not better than the A's. Yes, they play in a very weak division but they have made it to the ALCS at least.

My point had nothing to do with Colorado, you were using numbers to say they were better than Blalock and Beltran and so forth and my point was numbers don't always mean anything.


You simply don't have a clue what you are talking about regarding park effects. Your point makes no sense at all. I claimed that in comparing team offense, you must adjust for the park effect. Cubsfan responding that adjusting was fine for a computer, but not for real life. That's absurd. To make valid comparisons in real life, you MUST adjust for park effects.

And that has NOTHING to do with Moneyball strategy. It's a simple statistical fact that player performance depends on run environment. It's not a strategy at all, it's a simple statistical adjustment so that you are comparing apples to apples.

As for comparing Beltran and Blalock to others, it seems your lack of reading comprehension is getting in the way of communication. I was arguing exactly the OPPOSITE of what you think I was saying. My point was that it was absurd to claim that Burnitz was as good as Beltran or Castilla was better than Blalock, yet that is what unadjusted numbers show. Once you adjust for park effects, you clearly see that Beltan and Blalock are better. Please try to understand arguments people are making before you start joining in the discussion.

Finally, far better people than me have ripped apart specious arguments like the ones you advance on the Angels, Twins, and A's. You would do well to read a little (after first addressing that rather sifficult reading comprehension problem) about the subject.


Buddy, I don't know what your problem is, but I didn't make it personal with you, so why did you make it personal? If the only way you can win an argument is to resort to name calling then you have more issues to deal with. Name calling is for 6 year olds, not adults. I didn't question your intelligence, I have more respect for people on here than to resort to that kind of crap. This is a discussion board and I don't mind debate, I enjoy talking baseball, but I don't come on here to get into childish arguments. I prefer the adult type where we can go back and forth and bring good dialogue to the table.

Back to the discussion, If you read a little more into my argument and I know you are smart enough to do that because you make good arguments. I don't agree with your argument, but they have merit. You will notice that my whole argument is that I do not buy into the park effect theory, so telling me I do not understand park effect is a mute point, because I do not agree with it.

It's like telling a women to understand what it feels like to be a man and vice versa no one will ever know the opposites feelings. One reason I don't agree with it is because of a reason I am about to explain. You say that we have to grade numbers on an even field or according to park effects, whatever. I say this, you can always take an OK hitter and make him an above average hitter (production wise) by putting him in Coors, Ameriquest and Citizens Bank. However, on the flip side you have a guy like Beltre last year who did what he did in a very difficult park to hit in. Are you saying that if he were in Coors last year he would have hit 360 with 65 HR and 170 RBI?I do not think so. He may have hit a little better but you can't really get much better than that. So park's to me play a part, but not in the overall value of your team. A good team will win a majority of their games on the road and a majority at home. My point is you have to look at your own stadium to evaluate your team.

Anyway, I just don't buy into the theory. I may not be right, but I just do not buy into those kind of theories (for the most part). It doesn't mean I am less intelligent. It just means I do not support your way of thinking for my personal self.
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Postby baseballnewb » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:57 pm

you were discussing park effect and all that good stuff, which my point was that holds no merit in real baseball, since this topic was more focused on real baseball and not so much fantasy. You have to take your own park into effect not the other teams ballparks cause you only play in each park about 3% of your games and your home 50%...all of that is "Moneyball" strategy and I am saying that Moneyball doesn't hold too much merit in real world baseball. Don't tell me about the Red Sox and their 200 million dollar Salary, that isn't moneyball.


No but moneyball is trading players whose stats are inflated by your park effects at their standard stat values thus getting more for them than they are worth. An OF that goes to KC and hits .300 seems pretty valuable, in reality that park pumps avg so much that he's really a 270 hitter. You trade him as a 300 hitter, get more than he's worth. Park effects are very important when it comes to managing a baseball team in real baseball.
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Postby Phatferd » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:06 am

Phatferd wrote:Angel fan here I hate the A's, and think Beane is overrated as a whole, but I agree with his trades this offseason. To an extent that is.

I think he could have gotten more for those 2 pitchers, even though he got some good young arms, he could have done better.

With that said, I think he traded those 2 (yes, they were the best 2) because knew if he only keeps 1 and say it was Hudson who is the best, they still don't have a chance. So he traded the 2 best so he could get the MOST BACK in return to reload this team for a 4-5 year stretch after this season.


To the person who just posted above me, I think I made that point on the first page. I totally agree. ;-D
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Postby CubsFan7724 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:27 am

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:Yes, park effects are real, but you have totally misunderstood what they are.

Park effects are NOT the effect of building your team to take advantage of certain features of your home park.

Park effects are the simple fact that certain parks are built in a way that boosts offense of both the home and visiting team (like Coors) and certain parks are built in a way that reduces the offense of both teams (like Petco).

if you take the exact same player and give them 81 games in Coors versus 81 games in Petco they will ALWAYS hit better in Coors and it has NOTHING to do with how they hit, it has to do with the way the stadiums are built and where they are. Castilla is not a good hitter in Colorado and a bad hitter elsewhere. He's a BAD hitter everywhere and the effect of Coors simply makes him LOOK like a good hitter.

You MUST remove this effect when comparing teams or players. You need to do a little reading, friend, because you clearly have no idea even what a park effect is.

I did nothing to insult your intelligence, so why did you feel the need to flame me? I know what park effects are, and I never said park effects were teams building around their park. So thanks for putting words in my mouth. How do you adjust for park effects, anyways? Can you explain? Id like to see.
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Postby Phatferd » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:36 am

I wasn't flaming you i quoted GoToWarMissAgnes, if you saw that I copied his quote it wasn't you. I was calling him out for making it personal. I didn't flame. I was respectful in all my posts and still am. I still think he has intelligent things to say, I just dont appreciate that he started name calling in an adult discussion regarding baseball.
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