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Billy Beane is no genius

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Postby reznorsboy » Thu May 12, 2005 8:08 am

Once again Conner is here to spread his cheer. Conner you need to realize that not everyone in Life is gonna agree with you. :-b

But I must admit is entertaining reading your arguments with EVERYONE
Last edited by reznorsboy on Thu May 12, 2005 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu May 12, 2005 8:15 am

RynMan wrote: But it is a fact that by giving up an out you DECREASE your chances of scoring a run.


not strictly true. i think what you are trying to say is that giving up an out decreases the expected number of runs scored, in other words the average number of runs that teams throughout history have scored in situation A (pre-sacrafice) is higher than the average number of runs that teams throughout history have scored in situation B (situation A + sacrafice).

what this does not comment on is this situation where the first run scored is the only one that really matters, ie if you need to score just one run to turn a tie game in to a victory (bottom of the 9th, tie game, etc.). in this case (or cases similar to it), it might be the better course of action to push the runner over, since you will be more likely to score that one run, even if your expected runs scored will decrease.

i hope that helped to clarify.
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Postby looptid » Thu May 12, 2005 8:27 am

Phatferd wrote:Here are 3 situations:
1) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Grounder to 2nd for 1 out. 1 run, runner to 3rd. Next batter sac fly to CF. 2 runs score...third out is mute for this arguments sake. (this is using outs not hits. A hit would only make this more ideal)

2) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Walk. Bases loaded. Groundball to 2nd double play 1 run scores. Next batter flys out. Inning over 1 run.

3) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Grounder to 2nd throws home then to first. Next batter flys out to CF. O runs.

I am using the grounder to 2nd and flyout to CF to show what would happen with the exact same situations occured to show my point and to keep the test accurate to each other.


You've got a point alright, but a hat will cover it.

First off, your hypothetical is missing one piece of information... what is the score and what is the inning. Basicially, are we:

A. Playing for one run.
B. Playing for more than one run.

Let's look at Scenario B first, which should, by the book, be applied to pretty much every situation before the 8th, if not 9th inning.

With a runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in 2004, teams averaged 2.1343 runs from that point on until the end of the inning. Now we factor in your scenarios. I am going to make a change to the scenarios because you have unfairly rigged the deck in your favor. I am only going to have the batter walk or the batter ground out to second. What will happen in the rest of the inning will already be factored in by what happened on average in those situations during the 2004 season.

1. Ground out to second. Man on third scores, man on second to third. One run on the board, runner on third with one out averages 0.9722 runs for the rest of the inning. 1 + .9722 - 2.1314 = -0.1592 Runs on Average.

2. Batter walks. Bases loaded, no outs averages 2.2548 runs for the rest of the inning. 2.2548 - 2.1314 = +0.1234 Runs on Average

In the case you have just described, based on the entire 2004 season, on average, that ground out instead of a walk just cost your team 0.2826 runs. And again, please keep in mind that the expected runs with the bases loaded and no outs already factors in the percentage of double plays turned in that specific situation last season and how those double plays affected run production.

Now, the other scenario, if the game is in the ninth inning, and the team at the plate either needs a run to tie or a run to win. Teams were able to score a single run with runners on second and third with no outs 89.0% of the time.

1. Batter grounds out to second, runner on third scores, runner on second is irrelevant, mission accomplished.

2. Batter walks. Bases loaded, no outs. New odds of scoring a run are 85.2%. 85.2 - 89.0 = -3.8%.

So if this situation occurs in the ninth inning when only one run is the goal, then the walk hurts your team's chances of scoring a run by 3.8%. But this really only applies to the ninth inning. Playing for a single run before that doesn't help your team, because the other team still has at bats to come and can still score more runs. You better you chances of winning even in the eight inning by playing for the big inning.

So to answer your question, in the vast majority of hypothetical situations, the walk does help your team. And the first scenario is pretty generous in having the runner on second take third. The man on third may be running on contact (but with no outs that would take a fairly agressive manager), but the runner on second probably isn't and won't have as big a jump).
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Postby RynMan » Thu May 12, 2005 8:56 am

George_Foreman wrote:
RynMan wrote: But it is a fact that by giving up an out you DECREASE your chances of scoring a run.


not strictly true. i think what you are trying to say is that giving up an out decreases the expected number of runs scored, in other words the average number of runs that teams throughout history have scored in situation A (pre-sacrafice) is higher than the average number of runs that teams throughout history have scored in situation B (situation A + sacrafice).

what this does not comment on is this situation where the first run scored is the only one that really matters, ie if you need to score just one run to turn a tie game in to a victory (bottom of the 9th, tie game, etc.). in this case (or cases similar to it), it might be the better course of action to push the runner over, since you will be more likely to score that one run, even if your expected runs scored will decrease.

i hope that helped to clarify.


I agree. And yes, that is what I meant.....I didn't put it into a very good context.
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Postby Bas » Thu May 12, 2005 9:41 am

In 2002 Beane had 7 first round draft picks. How many of them have turned into impact players?
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Postby looptid » Thu May 12, 2005 9:43 am

How many first round picks in baseball turn into impact players? The Twins couldn't trade Adam Johnson for a bucket of paint this offseason.
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Postby Bas » Thu May 12, 2005 9:53 am

How many picks did they get? I probably wouldnt try comparing Oak and Min front office if I was gonna argue how good Beane is. If you hadnt noticed Min is still putting up great teams. Where is Oak in the standings this year?
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Postby Phatferd » Thu May 12, 2005 1:56 pm

RynMan wrote:Phatferd, in regards to an out helping you score runs it isn't true. The situation dictates the play, yes. If you are playing for only ONE run, then outs can help you to achieve it. But it is a fact that by giving up an out you DECREASE your chances of scoring a run. It is a proven fact. I would say its a statistical fact but I dunno how well that would go down. :-) The further a runner is around the bases with the least number of outs, the higher their chance of scoring. I'm not just assuming that, they have researched this.

And I do tend to agree with you in a sense regarding walks. The thing is that people who walk alot (i.e. the guys described in Moneyball) don't go up there looking for a walk. The underlying concept is that these guys have an extremely disciplined approach at the plate. It's their ability to lay off BAD pitches that makes them soo valuable. They don't give themselves up. They aren't afraid to battle by being behind in the count. And by doing this they:

a) may lead to a walk (increasing their chances of scoring a run)
b) run the pitcher's pitch count up
c) walk, which forces the pitcher into a set position
d) make the pitcher give them a pitch to hit
e) tend to go deep into counts

When you go up hacking, you swing at bad pitches and you dont make the pitcher throw to you. Walks simply indicate plate discipline, and OBP is bascially the product of hits and walks which is a better indicator of how valuable a guy is to his team's offense.

But the fact is, if you buy into the sabremetric theory that every time you preserve one of your team's 27 outs you are doing your team justice, then you are fine with walking. I'm not saying go up there not looking to swing. You just gotta go up there looking to swing at strikes only. There is such a thing as being too aggressive.

Phatferd, I'm just curious, have you read Moneyball?


I started to, but I found myself finding holes in his theory and was arguing in my head with Lewis (I know its as sad as arguing on these boards) so I just gave up. I read about half of the book before I put it down.

I have read countless things online, however, that probably have more substence than his book, so I feel comfortable talking about the flaws I see in some of these theories.

To your point about my scenario being a good example if 1 run was all I am looking for, well I agree with you. I think this is where our philosophies differ. I think in baseball you sacrafice an out for a run almost every single time. I believe you play it for 1 run at a time and 1 game at a time and so on.

I respect you RynMan and appreciate the way you go about discussions. I can discuss with you on this forever because you provide relevant data and don't go about it with a closed mind. There are a lot of great statheads on this site and I don't have a problem with all statheads just b/c they are statheads.
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Postby RynMan » Thu May 12, 2005 7:56 pm

Phatferd wrote:I respect you RynMan and appreciate the way you go about discussions. I can discuss with you on this forever because you provide relevant data and don't go about it with a closed mind. There are a lot of great statheads on this site and I don't have a problem with all statheads just b/c they are statheads.


Likewise, it doesnt annoy me that people view things differently, particularly as I used to view it the same way. And yeah, if you didn't enjoy Moneyball then it's obvious you won't agree with the principals we are arguing for. I respect that. But i thin you hit it right on the head - you gotta have an open mind.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu May 12, 2005 8:40 pm

Bas wrote:In 2002 Beane had 7 first round draft picks. How many of them have turned into impact players?


How many players drafted in 2002 have already turned into impact players?

Oakland's picks were numbers 16, 24, 26, 30, 35, 37, 39.

Of the 26 players drafted from pick 16 through 41 in round 1, here's how many have made it to the majors already:

4

Here's how many of those 4 were drafted by the A's:

3

So, if you are keeping score it's A's 3/7, rest of league 1/19

Advantage, A's, so far.
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