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Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby OBPlover » Sun May 20, 2012 7:57 pm

bayside wrote:dude do you really think he can get rid of 2/3 of the starting lineup in 1 year?
they do need to field a team.
it takes time and hes clearly exploiting other teams. its not ALL about obp, despite what your user name may indicate.


Actually you made a good argument, as Rasmus and Kelly Johnson immediately helped the team's projected OBP. But it remains to be seen if it's a coincidence or not. After all of AA's mistakes, I'm afraid the jury is still out.

And Yes it is all about OBP, You think the A's would have built low budget contenders for nickels, focusing upon Outfield Defense?
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby Skin Blues » Sun May 20, 2012 8:03 pm

OBPlover wrote:
". There is no more OBP market inefficiency. So forget about that.


You know I respect you, but you really need some stats to support a bold statement like that.

There is definitely still OBP market inefficiency. Too many lineups are riddled with hitters that do not walk. You can look it up.

You should have kept reading my next sentence:
Skin Blues wrote:There will always be bad players in MLB, and they will be cheap, and they have to play for somebody.

It's not like there's a hidden treasure trove of .375 OBP guys hiding in the minor leagues. The book came out forever ago, and every team hires sabermetricians these days. There are a million different things to consider when acquiring and evaluating players, not just OBP. And not all teams are merely trying to meet the minimum talent requirements of an MLB team like Beane is forced to. Sure, there's diminishing returns when you start investing more money, but to a lot of teams it's worth it. The point isn't to have the best win-per-dollar-spent ratio. It's to have the most wins.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby OBPlover » Sun May 20, 2012 8:15 pm

Ok Skin, you seem like an intelligent guy.

So let me ask you this...

First, look at the last 10 callups in the major leagues. Let's limit it to First basemen and Outfielders (Ie spots that generally have good Offensive numbers compared to SS 2B etc).

I haven't done the research, but I'm going to bet my last donut that says at least half of that crop of players could have been replaced by someone else on the same minor league team with a better OBP.

If I'm right, would you concede that OBP is still overlooked?
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby kab21 » Sun May 20, 2012 9:25 pm

OBPlover wrote:What do you mean 10 years ago? It is now almost universally accepted that 10 years ago every other hitter was jacked up on steroids. That's why Offense was up compared to now.

There's no huge increase in great pitching for the past 3 years, strikeouts are NOT up but walks are down, which is proof that teams are not giving OBP it's proper due.


I picked 10 years ago because that's about when the book came out. 3 years ago it wasn't new info and if you want to see the effect it has then you look at when it was new info. I agree that there are a lot of other factors that contributed to the offensive decline and pitching's recent surge.

But if you read the book and thought OBP was the most important point made then you misread the book. the book was about market inefficiencies and how a team could buy OBP relatively cheap on the market. Since the book came out that's really not true. If you want to see the impact of the book then look at how many teams employ a stats guru. It's easy to point out a questionable decision but teams are paying more and more attention to advanced stats.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby OBPlover » Sun May 20, 2012 10:54 pm

I read the book many times, though it's been a while since my last reading.

Anyways, I agree that the key point of this book was about market inefficiencies. However, the importance of the book comes from OBP. If the book was about how the Oakland A's managed to win an extra 1.5 games a season because they found a market inefficiency based on not having enough team speed, then this book would have been long since forgotten.

The key to the book, is that THE most important statistic for hitters in all of baseball (Not a bit important, not somewhat, but the MOST) was being completely ignored by most of the people in charge of running multi-million dollar baseball teams.

It's like a mathmetician walking into a hospital and telling the surgeons how to perform open heart surgery. Unheard of. And guaranteed to offend the staus quo.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon May 21, 2012 3:15 am

OBPlover wrote:Ok Skin, you seem like an intelligent guy.

So let me ask you this...

First, look at the last 10 callups in the major leagues. Let's limit it to First basemen and Outfielders (Ie spots that generally have good Offensive numbers compared to SS 2B etc).

I haven't done the research, but I'm going to bet my last donut that says at least half of that crop of players could have been replaced by someone else on the same minor league team with a better OBP.

If I'm right, would you concede that OBP is still overlooked?

That's a terrible argument. First off, sample size. Second, OBP isn't the be-all, end-all stat. If there was a player with a .400 OBP, 0 steals, and 0 HR, give me a player with a .250 OBP but 50 HR and 50 SB. Third, just because two people are hitting AAA pitching the same way doesn't mean they can hit MLB pitching the same way. Wily Mo Pena out-OBPed and out-OPSed Brett Lawrie in AAA last year, but I dare you to draft Pena higher. Fourth, sample size, but of a different kind.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby OBPlover » Mon May 21, 2012 3:21 pm

First off, sample size.


I used 10 to just show for the "purposes of example", but I'm sure it would work fine for lthe last 100 or more call ups. But if you go back too far and take too large a sample size, you'll start going back to a time when GM's clearly didn't give a hoot about OBP, defeating the purpose of the study.

OBP isn't the be-all, end-all stat. If there was a player with a .400 OBP, 0 steals, and 0 HR, give me a player with a .250 OBP but 50 HR and 50 SB.


Good sir, if you can find me an example of a player with 50 HR, 50 SB and a .250 OBP within the last 25 years I'd be willing to send you a free giant sized pizza-cookie.

You are just pulling those numbers out of thin air. You might as well say, give me a player with 100 Hr's and 100 SBs but with a .250 OBP against a guy with a .251 OBP and hits no HRs.

They DO measure these things and they do have a runs created formula and they DO measure the tradeoff between OBP and Slugging.

Furthermore, A player with a high OBP is more likely to excel at both SBs (getting on base means getting more steals) and HR's (getting ahead of the count is good business for power hitters).

That's actually one of the most important points. OBP is not at "war" with other statistics, it supports them. All offensive statistics benefit from patience. Finding low avg, high obp players is not the end of all/be all of offense, I would agree. But once you find your patient hitters, your odds of finding great OVERALL hitters goes up dramatically. Go ahead and use Baseball Encylopedia and research the stats of hall of famers and I promise you a nifty correlation between walks and entry to the hall of fame.

Wily Mo Pena out-OBPed and out-OPSed Brett Lawrie in AAA last year, but I dare you to draft Pena higher. Fourth, sample size, but of a different kind.


Brett Lawrie had amazing success in a limited role in Toronto last year. That's why he got drafted so high. If he never showed anything in the Majors, I doubt he would have gone as high in as many drafts.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby Ender » Tue May 22, 2012 1:08 pm

A lot of managers still incorrectly value OBP I'm sure, just like they don't value defense enough and value veteran grittiness too much. I don't think it is to such a strong degree that you would call it a market inefficiency though. There has been a trend towards having pithers throw more strikes so they can go deeper into games over the past few years so it is going to make proving this one way or the other rather difficult since there is more to OBP than just the hitter.
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Re: Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby bigh0rt » Tue May 22, 2012 1:12 pm

Ender wrote:A lot of managers still incorrectly value OBP I'm sure, just like they don't value defense enough and value veteran grittiness too much. I don't think it is to such a strong degree that you would call it a market inefficiency though. There has been a trend towards having pithers throw more strikes so they can go deeper into games over the past few years so it is going to make proving this one way or the other rather difficult since there is more to OBP than just the hitter.
This is the real crux of the argument here. People see OBP and immediately think "oh, okay, batters started viewing walks as a good thing, realizing that they're lengthening the game, making the pitcher throw more pitches, getting to bullpens, yadda yadda yadda" while turning a blind eye to the fact that pitchers also became privy of this and have since started to try and limit walks, so on and so forth. It's a much more dynamic happening than a lot of people seem to be trying to make it out to be over the last several pages; though far be it from me to stand in the way of anybody pretending to know what the hell they're talking about.
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Ummm, what happened to MoneyBall?

Postby lastingsgriller » Tue May 22, 2012 2:11 pm

while OBP was an underlying theme of moneyball, it was not the point. OBP was more valuable than most GMs thought in 2002. But that was 2002 and not today. If you are trying to apply moneyballs statistical theories to todays game, then you've not only missed the point, but you are going against the point entirely.

The thought process behind moneyball is that you have to be able to adapt to a changing game to stay ahead of the curve. If you want to operate on a small budget, you have to change the game instead of react to the games changes. If you are discussing theories from 10 years ago, you have no chance. So, forget all that stuff. Put it out of your mind. Stop discussing it. It's gone.

Today's game is very different from the game 10 years ago. For various reasons there are a lot less runs. Beane knew that in 02 you needed to play for the big inning, because 3 or 4 runs wasn't winning baseball games. That's why OBP was so important to him. That's why he rarely stole. It was important to have runners on base when the HR or double happened.

Its not the same now. having the big inning is not as important as just putting a number on the board. Because of that, stealing and run prevention have a greater importance. Thus, he adapts. You don't see the same oafy base cloggers out there, because he's no longer playing station to station baseball.

Stop discussing OBP. It is now as ancient of a tool for finding a winning baseball player as batting average is. If you want to discuss moneyball, you should be discussing which measure will help a team win in today's game. Not which measure will help a team win in 2002.
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