Amazinz wrote:I understand what he is saying but there is no evidence to suggest that this is true. You can prove that a pitcher becomes more hittable with a man on base. Neyer did a little study about this awile back, taking into account the difference when the man on base was a base-stealing threat. There was no difference. Does that prove that these intangibles don't exist? No but I think it's enough evidence for me to believe that they don't.
Neyer is fun to read, and his aggressive attitude about data and baseball is refreshing, but he is just not that good of a statistician. I haven't read the article you're talking about, but here're my problems against the usual sort of analyses he comes up with. First, he tend to lump players together. If you believe players are all iid, yeah sure, but they're not. Some pitchers, e.g., Jose Contreras, are more prone to being affected than others. Pooling them is going to blow up the variance of your sample, so as to not being able to draw any firm conclusions.
Anyway, maybe I should put my money where my mouth is. Then again it might be a lot of work, and I don't get paid for it.
athxu wrote:This is a similar argument to the one made by people who believe in clutch hitters. I can't disprove your opinion but in my opinion MLB players are the creme of the crop. I do not believe a base-stealing threat in the late innings of a playoff game would have any more effect than in any other game.
I'm skeptical about the clutch hitting idea, but this is based on a much more plausible story. The idea is that the pitcher has to divert some of his attention away from the batter and to the runner, if the runner is a known base stealer. One would think pitching requires focus...
I just had an idea for a simple study to run. I'll post it to another thread, since this one's getting kind of long. I don't know where I would be able to get data for this sort of thing, but others might.