MLB Regular Season: The 2012 Edition

04/05/2012 11:11 am
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The Brewers look to defend their Division Championship and take it one step further by getting to the World Series. The Twins look to rebound from a disappointing if not frustrating 2011 season that yielded 99 losses.


And awaaaay we go!
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
04/05/2012 @ 11:15:19 AM
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http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings/_/year/2011

ESPN announces their MLB predictions. A breakdown for relevant teams:
The Brewers: 17 of 51 panelists picked the Brewers to make the playoffs (33.33%) 11 of those panelists (21%) picked the Brewers to win the division. 2 people picked the Brewers to win the NL Pennant.
Analysis: for all the talk about the Brewers being written off after the loss of Prince Fielder, a fair number of people apparently still think their going to be pretty good again this year.

The Twins...{noentryfound}. I'm sure they'll do just fine.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
04/05/2012 @ 01:19:52 PM
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Only "The 2012 Edition"? I was hoping for the 2012 collector's limited unrated remixed special edition with bonus features, deleted scenes, and and a stick of late 80s baseball card gum.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
04/05/2012 @ 01:21:35 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:19:52 PM
Only "The 2012 Edition"? I was hoping for the 2012 collector's limited unrated remixed special edition with bonus features, deleted scenes, and and a stick of late 80s baseball card gum.


They usually release the regular edition, and then a few months later the special edition somes out with the features and the lasers and the GLAVIN! Maybe after the all-star break.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/05/2012 @ 02:32:24 PM
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Marlins new stadium. I'm posting this link for the picture. At first glance, the color scheme makes it look like a cheap, low budget amusement park that was built 30 years ago and never updated the asthetics. I saw Jeremy's tweet last night about the color being green screen, and it's hard not to think that. It's as if they designed the park to take full advantage of 3D television technology.

Lance Berkman said he didn't realize he was there for a baseball game until 15 minutes before it started.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/05/2012 2:34:32 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/07/2012 @ 08:37:55 AM
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Catholic, Good Friday, and Tailgating
''As much as we love the Brewers, unlike Jesus, they didn't die for your sins,'' Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said. ''With regard to beer and brats on Good Friday, let's just say that's why God created the three-game series.''
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/09/2012 @ 12:21:57 PM
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Corey Hart leads the majors with 3 home runs (ok, he's tied for the lead)! Two of his three cleared the bleachers in left field at Miller Park, prompting cardinals' left fielder Matt Holiday to not even move from his position as he watched them fly. Hopefully the Brewers pitching can settle down a bit.
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Scott perfected this at 04/09/2012 12:22:29 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/10/2012 @ 07:58:50 AM
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I'm not sure if the Brewers are going to be categorized as a "small ball" team; I don't think with the number of home runs they hit that this title will fit. But I do know that under their current manager (in his second year), they have been a lot more aggressive on the basepaths and at the plate with runners on. They bunt more than I've seen before, and it isn't always straight sacrifice bunts. The execute the squeeze play (both safety and suicide) like no other team I've ever seen, both in quantity and quality. They also will test a fielder's arm to the limit.

Last night was like a case study of how the Brewers can beat you offensively. The Brewers scored 4 runs last night on plays that produced an out. They scored on 2 sacrifice flies. On both plays, the ball was not hit all that deep, and I'm not sure if previous Brewer managers would have had the menatality to allow the runners to run. But both times, the runners went, and both times got in because of an off-target throw. This aggressive mentality seems to put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense.

They also scored 2 runs on squeeze bunts. One was a suicide squeeze with pitcher Shawn Marcum at the plate; he laid down a perfect bunt that died along the first base line. Later in the game, Gomez executed a safety squeeze, putting a perfect bunt along the first base line that was only thwarted by a perfect play and throw by the pitcher. Both of these plays scored runs

With that being said, Weeks also hit a home run that was hit so hard and so low, you jokingly might have wondered how it cleared the thirdbaseman's glove.

The only thing I might be willing to "take" from last night's game is simply that the Brewers philosophy of aggressive baserunning certainly paid off last year, and likely will lead to more runs than other past Brewer managers would have yielded.
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Scott edited this at 04/11/2012 10:48:53 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/10/2012 @ 08:01:33 AM
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Also, a side effect of the warmest March on record in the United States, the Ivy at Wrigley Field is probably more than 60% bloomed. I'm not sure I've ever seen the Ivy grown this early in the season.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
04/10/2012 @ 02:23:58 PM
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And Braun got picked of 1st on Sunday and Morgan got picked off 2nd last night.

And sending Gamel from 3rd with 2 outs and the pitcher coming up wasn't really a radical decision, although from where the RF caught the ball it should have been an out 75% of the time but his throw was about as poor as possible.

The bunts were nice though, Gomez should be safe at least half of the time on a bunt like that, great play by the pitcher.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/10/2012 @ 03:00:28 PM
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Well, you're going to have some bruises when you play aggressively.

I didn't say anything about radical, just aggressive. And I'm assuming you're just making up the 75% number. I would have a tendency to doubt that the average outfielder is that accurate to make that long of a throw be perfect 75% of the time (heck, maybe the Brewers scouted the outfield and knew that the guy making that throw had a crappy, off-target 75% of the time arm; and the wind was like 20mph last night blowing out to right which would affect throws coming in from right, so maybe that played into the game plan regarding tagups from thirdbase). I've read a number of articles about the Brewers mathematical approach--moneyball-like, in that they don't just guess that a certain philosophy works, they play percentages. (One in particular pointed out that the Brewers implement defensive shifts more than most teams, and taking every batted ball all season into consideration, the brewers netted 56 runs saved last year* because of their defensive shifts). So while someone can point to the fact that Braun and Morgan got picked off, or when a runner gets thrown out at the plate, (in general, players getting picked off is more on the player than the manager, the manager says "steal", not "steal before the pitcher is starting his throw") and somehow think "oh well, the stupid Brewers just cost two runs because they're playing too aggressive", it seems that those same people (me included, at least at the beginning of last year), fail to see that it works far more than it fails.

Basically, no matter what philosophy someone chooses, you could point to every isolated failure and claim "well, that philosophy didn't work". The point is, the Brewers scored 4 runs last night using that philosophy. If you think they gave up 2 runs because of it, their still up 4. If you count the number of times a player gets caught in a situation like that, or a player is thrown out at the plate, vs the number of "close" plays where the runner was safe, it seemed like last year the positive was much higher than the negative. Although I don't have the actual numbers in hand either, so I'm not going to make it up.

I saw a stat that Gomez batted .400 last year when bunting for a base hit. The Brewers executed the squeeze play (both varieties) a whole bunch of times last year, and they were successful more often than they were unsuccessful.

*compared to 2010

http://www.billjamesonline.com/to_shift_or_not_to_shift/
Here's the article about runs saved by defensive shifts.
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Scott edited this 7 times, last at 04/10/2012 3:25:12 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/11/2012 @ 04:12:32 PM
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There was a guy on here a few weeks ago extolling the virtues of playing the game according to sabermetrically reached conclusions like "stealing is stupid." I'll see if I can find some way to contact him using the nutcan account data, you two might have a fun debate.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/11/2012 @ 09:47:51 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:12:32 PM
There was a guy on here a few weeks ago extolling the virtues of playing the game according to sabermetrically reached conclusions like "stealing is stupid." I'll see if I can find some way to contact him using the nutcan account data, you two might have a fun debate.


I'll address this with a number of bullet points:
A)I was not necessarily advocating a specific game plan more than I was rather reporting the findings of the research explained in the book Moneyball.
B) like any set of data, there are variables that when applied would change the conclusions one should come to

now to address the specific comments of mine in recent days
A)carlos gomez was one of the bunters. He had a runner on third. Gomez strikes out a lot, and batted .400 last season when bunting for a base hit. So I would say that it is a possible likelihood that attempting to bunt for a base hit would actually the "higher percentage" play in terms of assuring the run scores.
B)The other bunt was when the pitcher was up. I would imagine a pitcher who bats .150 and strikes out 30% of the time would also serve better by assuring that his out is productive with a runner on third.
C)the sabermetric data doesn't say "stealing is stupid", at least not the conclusions reported in Moneyball. Bill James' research concluded that stealing doesn't pay off until you steal at a 75% success rate. Braun had an 85% success rate last year. Besides, Braun didn't get caught stealing. He got picked off. If you can steal at 85% success rate, that's a good thing. Getting picked off the base is more on the player failing to execute than it is on a manager having a certain philosophy.

I'm not sure if my statements earlier about sabermetrics and moneyball were contradictory to what I said this week.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
04/11/2012 @ 10:19:58 PM
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Well, presumably if you weren't trying to steal you would get picked off less. (Though obviously not never.) You'd be closer to the bag, and people would care less about keeping you on.

Their conclusion was that "small ball" and stealing weren't worth it. There can be times when the odds shift, but with stealing you have to do it to find those odds, so it's not worth it. Gomez's bunting-for-a-hit, and possibly Braun's stolen base percentage, are potentially skewed by the fact that, previous to this season, they were taking what was there. Forcing the issue in "obvious" sacrificing/stealing situations changes the equation.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
04/11/2012 @ 10:32:11 PM
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But obviously yes, depending on the situation, it could be the "right" move. I was just teasing you because you were all excited about the revelation that was Moneyball, until the Brewers started in on the opposite of a lot of what it said, at which point that was the "case study" on how to win baseball games. emoticon
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Jeremy messed with this at 04/11/2012 10:34:26 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/11/2012 @ 10:53:29 PM
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Well, they did score 4 runs implementing "small ball" techniques (if you can count sacrifice flies as small ball). And I started my post this way:
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:58:50 AM
I'm not sure if the Brewers are going to be categorized as a "small ball" team;


and ended it like this:
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 07:58:50 AM

The only thing I might be willing to "take" from last night's game is simply that the Brewers philosophy of aggressive baserunning certainly paid off last year, and likely will lead to more runs than other past Brewer managers would have yielded.


I was more so pointing to aggressive base running, coupled with the fact that the Brewers won 96 games last year using that philosophy, showing that the aggressive base running actually is working, and in so becomes in the spirit of moneyball.

But the point about moneyball (or at least what I took from it) wasn't "don't steal". The point of moneyball was moreso "don't just blindly accept things as fact without testing things first."
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Scott edited this at 04/11/2012 10:54:56 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 12:59:50 AM
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Well, not exactly. The Brewers aren't doing anything that hasn't been done 1,000 times before. Bill James, and his lackeys, actually reach conclusions, using historical data, projections, etc. The only thing knowing the Brewers won 96 games doing ____ gets you is knowing they won 96 games. There's no conclusion to be drawn, other than "96 is a lot so obviously what they're doing isn't disastrous", but that's not really the point. Maybe they win 91 without being aggressive....but maybe they win 101. "Moneyball" isn't just "do what wins" because you might succeed in spite of yourself, and feeling your way toward what doesn't not work would be pretty crappy/obvious/nebulous advice. "They aren't losing, so they must be winning all they can" would be specious reasoning.

Most things have been "tested," and there's not much the Brewers could do by way of "testing". By the time they had a large enough sample size to realize sacrificing and stealing were hurting more than helping they could have lost games. James et al might be wrong, of course, but they actually did conclude things that are meant to be applied "as is", including that sacrificing is bad, and stealing is probably not worth the risk. Otherwise you're just being analytical after the fact about your being unanalytical. The point is to not be wrong, not to use science after the fact to analyze the season and go "well shit, we've been hemorrhaging runs this whole time."

In other words: the outs, inning, baserunners, batter, etc all might be variables in the "will stealing/sacrificing help us more than hurt us" equation, but there's not a "2010 Mets" equation, and a "2012 Brewers" equation, that they have to "figure out" by systematic testing just in time for it to not matter anymore.

Moneyball isn't telling blackjack players "track your success, feel out what works, build a nice set of data on what cards you have, what the dealer is showing, and the outcome, and then come up with a numbers based system that works for you. When you start winning whatever you're doing must not only be right, but also maxing out your odds." Sure, you might come up with an ok system, and paying attention to stats will be better than winging it based on if you "feel" a 7 coming, but you've lost your house doing it, and it was a pointless endeavor, because all the data you needed exists. Moneyball is an attempt at saying to a blackjack player "You [your team] isn't a special snowflake, the fact that those past hands weren't your hands is irrelevent. This is the system. Don't deviate from it. These are the odds. This is the math. Don't play hunches. Don't have feelings. Insurance is a sucker deal, regardless of how many times you feel it's "saved you" in the past. This is an if-then-else process."

To James (or at least as his writings were passed along, perhaps second hand) outs are precious, and should essentially never be given away. They're the finite resource in baseball. 15 guys can bat and score 15 runs with only one out left, so for every time you can point to and say "the Brewers only won because that runner was in position to score because of the sacrifices" he would say "Yes, but you're ignoring two things. 1) You're assuming non intentional sacrifices wouldn't have done the job. 2) You're ignoring all the games you could have had 5 more runs, had you not traded outs for moving a guy over 3 times to try and 'manufacture' a run." The fact that sacrificing can look so productive, while the cost is so hidden and only accessible via analysis, is exactly why people roll their eyes at the "you're not looking at the big picture" Bill James' of the world.

It's certainly a theme in the book to not just accept things as true just because many people have always assumed they're true, and rather set about trying to demonstrate whether or not it actually is, but Bill James didn't stop at "just try to slap some numbers on whatever you conclude".
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Jeremy perfected this 21 times, last at 04/12/2012 2:18:42 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 08:12:33 AM
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What the Bill James stuff concluded was that over time, (and we are probably talking like a sample size in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions), is that certain things flat out make more sense and that they should be followed. But, based on the law of averages, there are outliers. While there may not be a "2012 Brewers" plan, it would be foolish to ignore the "Carlos Gomez" plan or the "Shawn Marcum (or any other pitcher)" plan.

Like I said:

Carlos Gomez last year batted .400 when bunting for a base hit. He struck out 28% of his at bats and got hits in only 25% of his at bats. So the historical data says that there are probably times when using Carlos Gomez someone unique ability (or at least above average) to bunt for base hits is actually the higher percentage thing to do. I don't have the data in front of me, and maybe no one does, but it's about determining when that best time is. With a runner on third and a guy who strikes out a lot but can bunt for a base hit at a pretty high pitch, I'd say the odds are better that since he's likely to make an out anyway (and the chance of his out being unproductive), the Brewers do something that has a higher percentage for that player but still might end up with an out while at least scoring the run. I wouldn't necessarily say that this scenario was the Brewers trading an out for a run since the intention was actually to get a hit. I think this scenario passes the Bill James test.

Shawn Marcum is a pitcher who hits .150 and strikes out even more often than Gomez. But he has had good success bunting, so again, if he is just going to make an out anyway, might as well make sure that it is a productive out. This is certainly trading an out for a run, but since you know that an out is more likely than normal going into the at bat, it's not really a straight up trade. This seems to pass the Bill James test.

And stealing pays off if you succeed 75% of the time, Moneyball even says so much. I understand what you're saying that stealing has to be "risked" in order to see if it's going to work, but with a guy like Braun who steals at 85% (even nyjer morgan was successfull 76% last year), stealing actually pays off. And while stealing might be a variable equivalent to "hitting on 19" in terms of "you have to do it to see if it works", since historically you know that your guy has the skill to make it 85% of the time, it's hardly even a risk at that point. Again, it comes down to using it wisely, but their is a net increase in run production when stealing at such a high success rate. That doesn't violate the Bill James theories.

I'm not sure I'm advocating any of the things you are arguing against in your previous post (or that your claiming Bill James would be arguing). All I'm saying is that the Brewers are taking advantage of the fact that they have players with unique or above average abilities in some areas (gomez bunting, Braun stealing), and in my opinion they are using those abilities fairly wisely and efficiently. You have no control over successfully hitting on 19. Gomez and Braun have some control over their bunting/stealing ability.

If we are going to talk about specifics about moneyball relating to bunting and stealing, it's that in general bunting is a bad a idea and in general stealing isn't worth the risk. But those generalities are made based on data that includes everyone from the .125 hitter to the .388 hitter. When you take the individual out of it, you can still apply the same principals that lead James to conclude that bunting was generally a bad idea and now conclude that in player X's case, bunting is the most productive option (afterall, a strikeout is worth negative runs)

Also, sometimes baseball is just more fun when you don't think about it. Moneyball is great in the offseason. But as a fan, emotions take over and I just want to see them win.
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Scott screwed with this at 04/12/2012 8:16:35 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 08:19:42 AM
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Also, by "testing" I wasn't necessarily referring to live experiements that they figured out based on the previous day's game. Although that's not a terrible way of figuring some things out. I was more leaning towards the testing of (for example) Gomez's strikeout totals compared to his past success rate of bunting for a base hit, and things like that.

Besides, you can't just sit around and wait for the 3-run homer, Jeremy. Geez. emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
04/12/2012 @ 09:08:03 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:59:50 AM

In other words: the outs, inning, baserunners, batter, etc all might be variables in the "will stealing/sacrificing help us more than hurt us" equation, but there's not a "2010 Mets" equation, and a "2012 Brewers" equation, that they have to "figure out" by systematic testing just in time for it to not matter anymore.


Not to beat this too badly, but I thought of a good response to this, particular the bolded word. Gomez's bunt wasn't a sacrifice so that doesn't really apply here, and Marcum is a pitcher. The most likely results of Marcum swinging away are strikeout or groundball, both of which are outs. A strikeout doesn't score the run for obvious reasons. And, a ground ball probably doesn't score the run either, but even so, Marcum's probably still out. So to knowing that an out is by far the most likely result of a player's plate appearance, make it the most productive out you can, even if by your actions you are doing more to make the out intentionally.

The entire point of my original post was that the Brewers are so far being quite productive. Even when they are making outs, they are scoring runs. Aramis Ramirez is hitting under .100 right now, but he's got 5 RsBI. He might make outs, but he's making them productive (not by being stupid, but by having the ability to make contact and put balls in play instead of striking out); which, by the way, is something I've read a lot about Ramirez since the Brewers signed him--that's he's productive because he puts the ball in play even more than Fielder did (and actually has a higher career batting average). As are other Brewers so far. And the fact that the Brewers had 2 sac flies and two run scoring squeeze bunts in one game, which was the first time that happened in like 30 years.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 9:14:50 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 10:26:38 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:08:03 AM
Gomez's bunt wasn't a sacrifice so that doesn't really apply here, and Marcum is a pitcher.


It was, but that's not really the point. If you were to nutshell Bill James' points into a few words it would be "Don't play aggressive baseball", yes, there might be exceptions to the rule, but if there aren't, there aren't, or if the situation isn't, it isn't. It doesn't matter if Gomez is batting, or Braun's dreamy eyes are on first. They aren't special. Gomez is his OBP, his career bunting for a hit stats are irrelevant. Bill James is a fan of bunting for base hits. Bunting when people are expecting a bunt is a whole other ball of wax. Braun is his expected success rate in stolen base situations.

Yes, a career .150 hitter with a runner on base might be an exception, but if it isn't, it isn't.

You could analyze every play and come up with some justification, but as a whole the claim is that you shouldn't have that aggressive/risky outlook, because it wont pay off in the aggregate. Not to mention the outcome isn't the point, the intent is.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 10:31:25 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
04/12/2012 @ 10:45:37 AM
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I'm not sure what you're saying with all that. IF Braun is his expected success rate, than stealing for him isn't a risk, it's the thing to do. And if Gomez is his OBP, and his .400 success rate at bunting for base hits (selectively used, obviously), then using Gomez to bunt for a base hit is actually playing the percentages. I'm not sure where the disagreement is. It seems like you are saying the exact same thing I am, except in a much more confusing way.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:26:38 AM
Yes, a career .150 hitter with a runner on base might be an exception, but if it isn't, it isn't.

brain hurting.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:26:38 AM
You could analyze every play and come up with some justification, but as a whole the claim is that you shouldn't have that aggressive/risky outlook, because it wont pay off in the aggregate. Not to mention the outcome isn't the point, the intent is.

I think even bill James would admit that all of these averages assume an average player. When you have a player that is above average at what he does, I would imagine the aggregate production for that player increases when you take advantage of those skills. I say "imagine" because I don't have the data in front of me to prove it (and I'm assuming neither do you). So while bunting or stealing may seem like the "aggressive" move on the face of it, Gomez bunting isn't necessarily aggressive in certain situations as much as it is smart because he is decidely more efficient at getting on base with a bunt than he is when not bunting* (having him bunt in certain situations is the higher percentage play, which is what moneyball is advocating). And Braun stealing isnt' necessarily aggressive in most situations since his ability to be successful has a net positive effect on run production.

(and I'm using Braun and Gomez as examples only because I know of their specific bunting/basestealing abilities).

*obviously, you don't look at Gomez's bunting success and say "well, he should bunt all the time". The fact that he is successful is somewhat dependent on the fact that he doesn't attempt it all the time. An example from Moneyball is when someone pointed out that Scott Hatteberg had a really high batting average when he swings at the first pitch, which lead people to think "why don't you swing at the first pitch more?" His response was, "I have a high BA when swinging at the first pitch because I only swing at the first pitch if I think I can hit it."
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Scott edited this 3 times, last at 04/12/2012 10:50:05 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 11:25:23 AM
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Gomez bunting for a single, when it's there, is the right move. But that's not what we're talking about. Basically you can't take data collected from situations that not only include, but are heavily screwed by, "surprise" bunts and apply it to a sac bunting situation.

Also, the fact that Gomez might actually get aboard on a sac bunt attempt once in a while doesn't change that the intent was to exchange an out for an advancement any more than hitting on 19 is "right" just because you got a 2.

Player ability factors in only insofar as their numbers factor in. Ryan Braun isn't a special exception, he isn't even Ryan Braun. All he is in James' universe is "If everyone knew he was stealing, would he steal 75% of his bases, or not". The moneyball A's didn't steal, and they had many players who were "above average" at it. It's barely worth the risk in terms of that player eventually scoring, and there is no correlation between winning games and stolen bases.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 11:36:16 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
04/12/2012 @ 12:11:36 PM
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But it wasn't a sac bunt just because there was a guy on third. The intent wasn't to trade an out for a run with Gomez. The intent was to put the ball in play and to have Gomez actually make it to first safely. I highly doubt (but don't have the data) that Gomez hit .400 while bunting for a base hit in situations that were only sitations that were "surprise" bunts. Gomez didn't give himself up, and the only reason he was thrown out was because the pitcher made a sensational play to get him. Obviously the Cubs weren't expecting it, otherwise it wouldn't have been as close of a play as it was. It might have gone down in the scorebook* as a sacrifice, but was in no way, shape, form, or intent a sacrifice bunt. I'm not sure I agree with your argument about the situation being a "sac bunt" situation; the Cubs apparently didn't think it was. Gomez doesn't sac bunt. He pretty much only bunts for a base hit. And he doesn't do it all the time, either, which makes it all the more effective when he does.

Marcum's was a sacrifice. The intent was to put the ball in play with almost no effort to actually have Marcum get to first base safely.

I'm still lost on your reasoning about stealing. If a player can steal bases successfully 85% of the time which meets James' threshold (by a good margin) of being a net possitive gain in runs produce, how is that not the smart move? And the point about "if everyone knew he was stealing" is exactly the point, because they don't know he is stealing, so he is shifting the advantage in his favor.

*edit: ESPN's playbyplay actually says "sacrifice bunt to pitcher". If you watch it the play, it's hard to believe that it could be considered a sacrifice. But I guess if a run scores it doesn't hardly matter the intent as far is the official scoring goes.
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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 04/12/2012 12:24:41 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 12:21:39 PM
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http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?c_id=mlb&content_id=20490871&query=game_pk%3D317786
video of the bunt. I don't see an attempt to trade a run for an out there. I see a guy doing everything he can to put the ball in play to get on base, when the alternative (with gomez at the plate) is a high percent chance of a strikeout or a ground ball double play to end the inning*. And to top it off, the throw only beat Gomez by like half a step. Bunting, in that situation, given all the variables, was the high percentage play and would fall smack dab into the Moneyball gameplan. It isn't so much that Gomez is a good bunter, it's that he's terrible at every other aspect of batting. Game, set, match!

*there were runners on first and third and 1 out.
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:25:23 AM
Gomez bunting for a single, when it's there, is the right move. But that's not what we're talking about.


That's what I'm talking about, because it was there. The first baseman was holding the runner own first, so there was a good chance to push a bunt that direction and get on. Does all that data account for times when the first baseman is holding a runner on and thus opening up a hole on the short right side of the infield between the runner and the grass with a speedy guy good at laying down bunts at the plate? I doubt it. I want to see all the data for bunt attempts and probability of success for when the variables are in place just as it was on that play.

I think one of the traps of Moneyball is over-relying on what is actually incomplete data, and the inability to discriminate between all bunts and bunts that are done with the intent to reach base (not to mention the number of runners on base, number of outs, if the first baseman is holding the runner on, how good a defender the pitcher is, past success of the guy at the plate). I would guess that they are most likely all lumped into one large dataset. Besides, we're both citing the same data, which is to say we are citing the same book and sort of making up data as we go. I'm saying that given certain situations, bunting with the intent to reach (with a player who is decent at it) can be the higher percentage play; of course I'm speculating because I don't have the data, but given the alternative potential results given Gomez's data set, bunting seems like a good idea.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:25:23 AM
All he is in James' universe is "If everyone knew he was stealing, would he steal 75% of his bases, or not".

Another thought on this. If the answer to that question turns out to be "yes, Player X steals 85% of the bases he attempts to steal", and he does so by attempting to run at his own discression, wouldn't the correct conclusion be to that having that guy steal at his own discression? (I'm not being joe morgan and saying "you have to steal bases to win games". I'm taking the conclusions I read in the book and applying them to a player's historical performance data. I'm more so saying "if anything above 75% produces a positive net gain in runs, isn't an 85% guy adding runs by stealing?")



edit: there was a fair amount of rambling on this post and the last one. I finished a thought, moved on to the next one, and if I thought of something related to a previous thought, I didn't go back and add to it, I just started a new paragraph.
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Scott messed with this 13 times, last at 04/12/2012 12:48:25 pm
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
04/12/2012 @ 01:32:29 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:53:29 PM
Well, they did score 4 runs implementing "small ball" techniques (if you can count sacrifice flies as small ball).


Personally, I don't count sac flies as small ball. For all you know those batters were swinging their hardest trying to hit home runs (generally the exact opposite of small ball) and they just happened to hit fly balls to the outfield.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/12/2012 @ 02:31:42 PM
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I see that "sacrifice situation" is generally defined as having runners on base with less than two outs. So Gomez's bunt was technically a sacrifice situation.

BUT

The conclusion of money ball about bunting was something like this:
having a runner on first with no outs is worth .95 runs, and having a runner on second with 1 out is worth .75 runs. So you generally score more runs when you have a runner on first with no outs. BUT, how many times do you score at least 1 run in both of those situations. The later you get in the game, the more just scoring any runs becomes important. So in the 8th inning, you might be willing to sacrifice the "big inning" to make sure that you score at least one run, and bunting does that for you.

So lets say late in the game you have a 1 run lead (or any scenarios of being close and late), and you have runners at the corner with 1 out and a strikeout prone batter at the plate. The appropriate question is not necessarily “Which decision will give me on average the most runs”. The appropriate question is probably more like “Which decision gives me the highest probability of scoring at least one run?” This is especially true if you are trailing by one. Which is the higher probability, scoring lots of runs with a runner on 1st and no outs, or scoring >=1 run with a runner on 2nd and 1 out? You are probably more likely to score lots of runs with 1st and no out than second and 1 out, but you are probalby more likely to score at least 1 run with runner on 2nd and 1 out and runner on first.

In Gomez's case, it was the eighth inning of a close game. The Brewers decided that it was more important to score at least one run than it was to take the chance of scoring a bunch of runs.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:38:47 PM
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Yeah, I think generally most of James' argument apply to bunting, where, while the player is obviously going to try to be safe at first himself, the intent is a little less muddy, and more controllable in the first place. A player can bint at will more than they can hit a flyball at will.

Back to Scott:

Actually, that's exactly why people who believe it think it's so eligant. There is just so much data there, that it all comes out in the wash. This is why "Braun" vs "the average" doesn't matter, unless you have a player that is just so far above the field that he breaks the model, players like Braun are already factored in there. Every situation is already factored in there. Teams are going to steal more with their "better" stealers than they are with their Jim Thome's. There's no correlation between winning games, and stealing, so even if it doesn't HURT more than it helps if you steal at 75%, it's still not worth the risk.

I think the confusion might be that I'm talking about being leery of what data you're looking at, and what it means to draw a conclusion from it, and apply it to something else. Ryan Braun's stole base numbers, if derived from "taking what the defense gives him" shouldn't be applied to "we can make a habit of being aggressive and asking players like Braun to steal" anymore than Scott Hattiberg's first pitch numbers should conclude "swing at more first pitches".

As to your last point, save for maybe the bottom of the 9th I think the answer is almost always "doing what will score the MOST runs is preferable to doing what will more likely score you one, over the course of hundreds of games." For every "one run game" that might have been different if you sold out to tie it, there's > 1 game where you were up a few, or scored few and then winded up needing them. Selling out to tie the game in the 8th doesn't buy you a whole lot if the team scores 3 in the 9th.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 2:41:14 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:39:33 PM
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For steals:

The question to ask should be "is stealing bases worth the risk?" The answer depends on the success rate of the player. based on http://longgandhi.com/formulas.html a stolen base is worth .3 runs, caught stealing is worth -.6 runs. So there getting caught is worth double in the opposite direction of being successful. But you have to apply that on an individual basis (or a team basis) Braun had 33 steals and was caught 6 times. so {(33*0.3)+(6*-0.6)}= 6.3 runs positive. Ryan Braun gained 6.3 runs last season because of his total stolen bases.
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Scott messed with this at 04/12/2012 2:46:04 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:45:47 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:38:47 PM

I think the confusion might be that I'm talking about being leery of what data you're looking at, and what it means to draw a conclusion from it, and apply it to something else. Ryan Braun's stole base numbers, if derived from "taking what the defense gives him" shouldn't be applied to "we can make a habit of being aggressive and asking players like Braun to steal" anymore than Scott Hattiberg's first pitch numbers should conclude "swing at more first pitches".


This I agree with you. I'm not suggesting that Braun should run every time he reaches first base. For the same reason that Scott Hatteberg shouldn't swing at every first pitch. Braun should decide to steal using the same type of discretion that Hatteberg used for the first pitch. If Braun does that, he most likely maintains his 85% success rate, and he gains runs in the process. The lack of correlation doesn't necessarily mean nothing, it just means that even bad teams have players that are good at stealing bases. BUT, there is a strong correlation between wins and runs, and stealing is a means in which to produce runs, as i mentioned in the above post.
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Scott perfected this at 04/12/2012 2:47:37 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:46:35 PM
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The problem people have with conclusions like you've posed above is that, were that true and that straight forward, you would see an overall coloration between stolen base totals and win totals, and there isn't one, so there must be some costs that equations like you posted aren't accounting for.*

*I'm not basing this on anything, but one of my hunches is that formulas like the one above assume stealing a base, or being aggressive on tthe base paths, is an isolated event, while that is almost never true. The batter is helping, either by trying hacking at pitches they'd rather not because a hit and run is on, laying off good pitches because they don't want to spoil a steal, or just plain being worried about either of those. You might have "successfully" stolen the base, but now the batter is half out.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 2:51:27 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:51:33 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:46:35 PM
The problem people have with conclusions like you've posed above is that, were that true and that straight forward, you would see an overall coloration between stolen base totals and win totals, and there isn't one, so there must be some costs that equations like you posted aren't accounting for.


Well, even bad teams have guys that are fast.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:54:28 PM
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You should still see a correlation between wins and steals. No one would expect a straight line, obviously, but, as I understand it, there would be a stronger statistical relationship between hot dogs sold and wins, than steals vs wins. It's noise.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 02:55:59 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 02:51:33 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:46:35 PM
The problem people have with conclusions like you've posed above is that, were that true and that straight forward, you would see an overall coloration between stolen base totals and win totals, and there isn't one, so there must be some costs that equations like you posted aren't accounting for.


Well, even bad teams have guys that are fast.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/11/the_bill_james.php
http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2006/10/net_stolen_base.php
apparently Bill James does think that stolen bases are somewhat important.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/12/2012 @ 03:01:31 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:54:28 PM
You should still see a correlation between wins and steals. No one would expect a straight line, obviously, but, as I understand it, there would be a stronger statistical relationship between hot dogs sold and wins, than steals vs wins. It's noise.


Well, it's obviously possible to win without stealing, and it's obviously possible to win with stealing, and it's obviously possible to lose with stealing, and it's obviously possible to lose without stealing. So just because there's no correlation doesn't mean that it can't help you win. Runs are the premium, and several sources I've seen recently have all pointed to the 75% threshold. So if you can steal better than that, you are creating runs. I can't explain it the lack of correlation, but that doesn't mean nothing either. It means "don't pay a guy big money because he's a good base stealer".
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/12/2012 @ 03:12:49 PM
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The fact that there is no correlation also means that it doesn't hurt either. So at the very worst it's something that just makes the game more exciting.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 3:13:10 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 03:13:22 PM
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No, it literally means it doesn't help (or hurt) as a whole. There's no statistically significant correlation, which almost certainly wouldn't be the case if Ryan Braun's stolen bases alone "created" 6.3 runs, which is damn near 1 WAR.
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Jeremy perfected this at 04/12/2012 3:17:39 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
04/12/2012 @ 03:17:10 PM
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Well, I'm pretty sure I got that number from mr. james's own calculations.
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Scott edited this at 04/12/2012 3:27:43 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/12/2012 @ 03:25:09 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:13:22 PM
No, it literally means it doesn't help (or hurt). There's no statistically significant correlation, which almost certainly wouldn't be the case if Ryan Braun's stolen bases alone "created" 6.3 runs, which is damn near 1 WAR.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/05/the_value_of_th.php
There has to be a run value associated with stolen bases. It's not possible for there not to be. a runner on first base with no one out is worth approximately 0.864 runs. A successful steal of second base would raise that figure to 1.173. However, a failed stolen base attempt drops that number to 0.270. In this example, the loss is nearly two times the gain.

That's where the 75 percent comes in. So there is a point where you are creating runs with a ratio of about 5.5-1. I can't find it definitively, but it's there. And I'll find it.

But, the 6.3 isn't comparing it to the "replacement", braun had a Rbaser (baserunning WAR basically) of 4 last year. So it's all part of it somehow. And, Braun had a "runs above replacement" of 76, so it shouldn't be shocking that a guy with 33 steals at 6 cs netted 8% higher run production than an average player. Braun had a WAR of 7.7 last year. It's not like he had a WAR of 4 and 1 of those was from stolen bases.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/braunry02.shtml
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Scott edited this 3 times, last at 04/12/2012 3:30:38 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
04/12/2012 @ 03:26:12 PM
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I'm not sure where, other than the run expectancy values themselves, which might not be directly addable like that.

If it helps, I don't know if I believe that there's no correlation either, seems like good or bad, there should be something, but so says every source I've seen that mentioned it thus far.
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Jeremy perfected this at 04/12/2012 3:26:39 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/12/2012 @ 03:34:17 PM
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I'm not disagreeing with you that there is no correlation with wins. The strongest correlation to wins is runs, and you can score runs lots of ways. Stolen bases can't HURT if you do it at the breakeven percent. Teams that a bad but have a good stolen base percentage are probably bad at a lot of other things. If it isn't hurting, it can only make it more fun. Sometimes you have to go all Stephen Colbert on things and just "feel" like it's important. For what it's worth, I generally will not fault a manager for "just letting the guys play" (by which I mean, not micromanaging ala LaRussa). Get to the playoffs and all bets are off.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 04/12/2012 3:36:12 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
04/12/2012 @ 11:39:25 PM
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Here, you'll like this Scott, Brewers are leading in Base Running Runs created.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1091215

Also in reference to one of your posts up there somewhere, caught stealing does get factored into SB%. The whole point of taking a big lead and/or getting a good jump is to steal a base (mostly, 2 out situations you could be trying to get a good jump too), so you can't just ignore when guys get picked off. And like Jeremy said, if your manager is not preaching aggresive baserunning and guys aren't thinking about stealing there's really no reason to ever get picked off.

Isn't runs pretty much the only stat that on it's own has a meaningful correlation to wins? That doesn't automatically mean that stealing bases is pointless, as they're a way of generating runs. But clearly it's about the SB% and opportunity cost, not just racking up the most steals, as noted only months ago:

Scott Wrote - 02/29/2012 @ 12:14:57 PM
also, while we're on this subject, last season stolen base attempts or stolen bases in general were no indication of success, at least in the NL. The Brewers and Cardinals were 12th and 16th respectively in stolen bases, and Arizona was number 2 in stolen bases. And San Diego, the Mets, and the Dogers were 1, 3, and 4 in total stolen bases. All three of those teams were well behind in their divisions all year. Interesting.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
04/13/2012 @ 10:01:07 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:39:25 PM
Isn't runs pretty much the only stat that on it's own has a meaningful correlation to wins? That doesn't automatically mean that stealing bases is pointless, as they're a way of generating runs. But clearly it's about the SB% and opportunity cost, not just racking up the most steals, as noted only months ago:

Scott Wrote - 02/29/2012 @ 12:14:57 PM
also, while we're on this subject, last season stolen base attempts or stolen bases in general were no indication of success, at least in the NL. The Brewers and Cardinals were 12th and 16th respectively in stolen bases, and Arizona was number 2 in stolen bases. And San Diego, the Mets, and the Dogers were 1, 3, and 4 in total stolen bases. All three of those teams were well behind in their divisions all year. Interesting.


I was going to make a comment related to what I just quoted. Stolen bases don't in themselves score runs because you can't steal home. The baserunner is still dependent on the guy at the plate doing something. You could have a team that can steal bases like no other team in history and never get picked off, but if they don't have guys with high OBP or slugging behind those guys, going from first to 2nd means nothing. That is probably why you can see both good and bad teams with high stolen base numbers overall and why you see both good and bad teams with low stolen base numbers. You can score runs without stealing bases. But you can't score runs soley by stealing bases.

Furthermore, I never said you have to steal bases to win. At best I meant "if you CAN steal bases AND have lots of other components in your favor (like high OBP), it can't hurt and probably can only help".

Here's a Bill Jamesian question: I wonder if there is a correlation between stolen bases, OBP, and runs. In other words, if you couple OBP with stolen bases, does that correlate to more runs. How about (OBP+stolen bases) and wins. And I'm not talking about pure straight up steals, but rather the overall effect of stolen base attempts.
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Scott edited this at 04/13/2012 10:18:03 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/13/2012 @ 10:13:09 AM
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In the moneyball spirit, I went on a subject of my own: home runs with runners on base. Here's what I found so far specifically for the Brewers, with a small sample size. JSonline has a home run database that's sortable. So I put it in excel and took the average number of runners on base per home run. Here's the averages for the last 5 years. Note that the years the Brewers had the highest number of runners on base in years that they missed the playoffs. In 2007, 2009, and 2010, the Brewers averaged .59 runners on base for every home run. In 2008 and 2011, years they made the playoffs, they averaged .49 runners on base. Interesting. I'd like more comprehensive data on this. But I'm assuming this too relates to OBP and slugging and that you can score runs without the home run. But just interesting, sort of, to think about what Joe Morgan said about "you can't just wait for the 3 run homer". It seems more that he's putting the cart before the horse, or mixing up the cause or the result or something.

Year// Avg # onbase// year total
2011 0.48 185
2010 0.54 182
2009 0.65 182
2008 0.50 198
2007 0.58 231
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 04/13/2012 10:16:18 am
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
04/13/2012 @ 11:16:00 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 10:01:07 AM
Stolen bases don't in themselves score runs because you can't steal home.


Did I miss a rule change?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/13/2012 @ 11:23:03 AM
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It's within the rules, so you can. But it doesn't work very well, so you can't. You are permitted to hit a homerun everytime you swing the bat, but swinging the bat at every pitch probably won't yield a homerun with every swing. I'm not sure why I just wasted my time responding to that
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Scott edited this at 04/13/2012 11:24:19 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/13/2012 @ 02:52:16 PM
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so I analyzed 2011 stats and found some interesting things about stolen bases, stolen base percent, wins, and runs. I found a very very very slightly positive correlation between stolen bases and runs as well as stolen base percent and runs. However, I found a very very very slightly negative correlation between stolen bases and wins as well as stolen base percentage and wins. So apparently, stolen bases will help you score runs (don't read too much into it), but it will cause you to lose games. But both are probably so marginal that there is probably no noticeable effect:

runs-sb
0.05398141

runs-sb%
0.063366223

sb-wins
-0.061560091

sb%-wins
-0.028080581

Also (and this probably became more prominent wit moneyball), even before the movie), but batting average has a pretty weak correlation with wins, especially compared to slugging, obp, and ops

ba-wins
0.35079332


obp-wins
0.552277772

slg-wins
0.614165906

ops-wins
0.612075018

I guess I'll go on. Sacrifice bunts has a negative correlation with runs, but has a slightly slightly positive correlation with wins. So sacrifice don't hurt the win total overall, apparently. I suppose it makes sense. You are giving up a potential for the big inning, which we learned that in the aggregate, sacrifice outs intentionally for outs hurts your run production. BUT, it doesn't hurt your win total.

runs-sh (sacrifice hits/bunts--not sacrifice flies)
-0.290849591

sh-wins
0.020083763

Sacrifice flies on the other hand, have a moderately positive correlation to runs, but a weak positive correlation to wins

runs-sf
0.413451724

sf-wins
0.085488608

anyway, I saved the spreadsheet, if anyone wants it.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/13/2012 2:57:16 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
04/17/2012 @ 08:46:27 AM
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Since I'm not big on trash talk, I figured I'd get my fantasy baseball gloating out of the while I still am in a position to do so.

I'M WHOOPING ALL Y'ALL!

That is all.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/18/2012 @ 10:36:39 AM
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Regarding all the moneyball stuff we talked about last week, I'll say there is a good reason Billy Beane never watched the A's play: it's nearly impossible to keep your emtions out of the game if you are watching. So all the talk about whether or not bunting CAN be good in certain situations is sort of moot to a certain degree. The point is, once you get into the game, it's hard to sell yourself on the idea that just letting them play will most likely lead to higher runs and wins in the long run. Of course, the lack of correlation as noted above probably means that in the end it all comes out in the wash, so while you might feel like you won a game because of something the manager called, you might have then lost the next one BECAUSE of a similar decision, both of which might have been wins or losses either way anyway, but you'll never know. The images that are burned in your mind are usually things like "we had a runner on third with 1 out and down by one and couldn't get him home"; thinks you forget about are "we scored 6 runs in the fifth that was kicked off by a leadoff triple (and then we didn't bunt him home to make sure that run scored".
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
04/18/2012 @ 06:47:34 PM
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You should throw that excel file on google docs.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/18/2012 @ 08:16:31 PM
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmLSuIhOov9adFJNcnN1dFBqUDFTVVlQdkZQNjQyaWc

Here's the link the spreadsheet of the 2011 baseball season with all the stats I found relevant. I used the =correl() function to compare two different stat categories. All the "results" are along the bottom with the two stats labeled above each result.
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Scott perfected this 4 times, last at 04/18/2012 8:25:11 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
04/18/2012 @ 09:21:51 PM
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http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3584

baseballprospectus was referred to often in the book Moneyball. They make the case that for a below average hitter, the sacrifice bunt might actually be warranted. So while the overall picture of bunting suggests that you reduce your total run expectancy (according to Bill James), his research includes all hitters. A below average hitter produce an out with neither runner advancing 44% of the time. The article refers to bunting early in the game (before the 7th) when the fielding team is "ambivalent about expecting a bunt".

I would imagine that one reason that bunting and stealing has no correlation between wins and runs overall is that these two aspects don't simply "happen" the way that a walk or a hit or an out happen. In attempting a bunt, a person must consciously decide to do something that is essentially out of the ordinary; in other words while hits and walks and outs are a product of a flow of a game, a bunt is someone taking control of what otherwise is somewhat random. I'm not sure how to explain that any other way than saying that bunts don't just "happen", and thus would not necessarily follow the same sort of statistical pattern that other parts of the game would.

The point I am trying to make is that bunts and steals, being outside of the normal, natural flow, are subject to human error, as well as subject to circumstance. According to this article, there are times when bunting is possibly a legitimate move, granted that the current batter is a below average hitter with below average power, and the bunt is performed at a time when the defense may not be expecting a bunt.
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Scott perfected this at 04/18/2012 9:29:42 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
04/18/2012 @ 10:38:10 PM
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Annnnd that's why baseball needs to use replay in more situations.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/18/2012 @ 10:47:25 PM
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I thought he was probably out. Although, the replay isn't clear that the catcher actually made contact with morgan. It probably follows the "if the throw beats the runner and is on target, ump calls him out; if the throw is bad and off target, ump calls him safe" That being said, morgan made probably the worst slide by anyone ever sliding into home to win a game. A competent slide beats that throw by a wide margin.
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Scott messed with this at 04/18/2012 10:48:27 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/18/2012 @ 10:47:51 PM
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And yes, of course, there are going to be circumstances where the sac bunt is the better move. There are many people who only survived car accidents because they weren't wearing their seatbelts. That doesn't disprove the overall notion.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/18/2012 @ 10:54:16 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:47:51 PM
And yes, of course, there are going to be circumstances where the sac bunt is the better move. There are many people who only survived car accidents because they weren't wearing their seatbelts. That doesn't disprove the overall notion.


Sigh. Not wearing your seatbelt generally isn't a strategic decision by the passenger. Is that really the analogy you want to use? Or are just trying to instigate a latenight "i should have been in bed an hour ago and subsequently shouldn't have spent an hour at work compiling a spreadsheet to help muddy the waters even more" debateathon? Sac bunting, can be the higher percentage play, and baseball prospectus actually backs that up. I'm not disputing the overall point. But the overall point of "you have to be good to win games" can be broken down further with other, more in depth statistics sometimes too.
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Scott edited this at 04/18/2012 10:54:38 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
04/18/2012 @ 11:14:42 PM
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Nothing was muddied, other than I'm not even sure what our conversation is at this point. I liked the spreadsheet.

No one claimed there was never any situation where a sac bunt was a favorable strategy. (And certainly not that bunting period has no place, which we've somehow found ourselves at a couple times.) That really doesn't impact the general statement that sac bunting, as a go to, or even secondary/tertiary, strategy, is stupid, (or at least isn't "valid", and certainly not something you "have" to do) anymore than the fact that there exists hundreds of people who would have been killed if they WERE wearing their seatbelt changes the truth of the statement "not wearing your seatbelt is stupid".

Edit: Also, to the extent there's any real "above statistical noise" correlation in those stolen base numbers, you would have to make the correlation = causation leap. The Runs/Wins relationship, for example, is fairly straight forward. The stolen base "relationship" might, in actuality, be explained by something else such as faster teams win more, but they also steal more, which might even be a net negative impact (That's an N.I. Negative Impact.), despite showing a weak positive one overall.

I did find it interesting that the SLG/Wins and OPS/Wins was a higher value than Runs/Wins. (Also, that the Runs/OPS is damn near linear.)
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Jeremy messed with this 6 times, last at 04/19/2012 12:40:32 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/19/2012 @ 07:50:39 AM
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I think my original point was that Carlos Gomez bunted once last week, and that I thought it was a pretty good decision. I'm not saying it's a goto, but when it's there, it's there (even if it's only there 3% of the time). And the baseball prospectus article I linked sort of backs that up.

So after much debate, analysis, and breakdown, we've concluded that which has already been concluded: that bunting shouldn't be overused and generally speaking is likely going to cost you more runs overall that it will produce.

Of course all of these offensive statistical correlations ignore one huge fact: pitching/defense is 50% of the game. Discuss!
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 04/19/2012 8:00:15 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/19/2012 @ 10:56:27 AM
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I'll summarize everything we've discussed so far:

1) Overall, bunting tends to cost teams runs by trading in the higher probability for multiple runs for a single, more assured run. In other words, bunting may guarantee that you score one run, but you're giving up the chance for a big inning, which has a higher probability overall without bunting.

2) certain situational scenarios have shown that sacrificing is warranted. Particularly, when the batter is strikeout prone, followed by other below average hitters

3) There is very little to no correlation between sacrificing and winning. If anything, sacrificing has a very weak negative correlation to runs scored (so it doesn't cost that many runs overall) and has a very weak positive correlation to wins (so it doesn't help that much). BUT, the trap is that sacrificing should not be overused, and much research still needs to be done to determine if, when and where sacrificing can be used for consistent positive effects.

4) Stolen bases appear to be statistical noise, but subjective reasoning would suggest that there has to be SOME correlation between some form of base stealing statistic and overall team success right? What has been calculated is that when stealing second, you must have a success rate of at least 70-75% in order to "break-even" (that percentage goes up to like 90% when stealing third). The reason I think stolen bases is more likely statistical noise and bunting isn't is that stolen bases rarely directly lead to any run production. Bunting actually does often directly lead to a run scoring. AND, there are many ways to score runs, and just because you can move from 1st to 2nd without the ball being put in play, you still have to have guys that can get on base and slug to score runs, so stealing isn't a must to score runs.

5)relating to my last sentence of pointo 4, the one (or two) thing(s) that is/are a requirement is getting on base in the first place. You have to be able to get guys on base at a high percentage, and you have to be able to take advantage of guys on base and get them home. Getting guys on base is where OBP comes in. Taking advantage of guys on base is where slugging comes in. I don't know the math, but you generally can't walk your way to runs. But a walk puts you on base. Combing a high on base percentage with a high slugging percentage and you have a dangerous offensive team. The point moneyball was making is that you can have a player with a high OBP but low slugging, which is still a good trait; and OBP, at least 5-10 years ago, was an oft-overlooked stat that could be acquired far more cheaply than a player with high slugging.

6)watching a game from a moneyball/sabrmetrics view point is not easy. It's hard to keep your emtions out of the game and question why the manager didn't do this or that, or why he did do this or that.

7)the Brewers, based on my comments, may have had a couple of games where they played "small ball" and succeeded, are not a team that practices small ball philosophy. They are second in the NL in slugging percentage as of 4/18, and their run production so far is higher than this point last season (small samplesize alert)

8) if my math teachers taught me math principals using baseball statistics, I would have aced every math test I ever took. I mean, who would have ever thought math could be used for something worthwhile?!
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Scott messed with this 4 times, last at 04/19/2012 1:33:28 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/19/2012 @ 03:10:50 PM
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Also, and I don't know if I've thought through all the implications here as to what would already be accounted for where, but, I'm not so sure small ball would have to be proven "bad" to be proven "stupid."

Let's say for the sake of argument that all the small ball stats come together to have a correlation coefficient of .1 with wins, which is much higher than the findings probably dictate. Even if it's right that doing that will lead to winning, if you're NOT doing something else that will lead to more winning, because you're sacrificing and stealing, then that's a stupid strategy, even if a winning one. OBP is over 5 times higher, so, while being a team that's successful at sacrificing might be a plus, you'd still probably be even better off if even a vast majority of the suck-wads took their roughly 1 in 5 chance at not making an out.

If you look at it like playing a board game, or a card game, you and I might come up with different strategies, and both might be proven to be effective, in that they're better than chance, but I would still be stupid to ignore overwhelming stats that says your method is better, and, in turn, it would be stupid to use my strategy, because it's not just about showing it "works", it's about finding what's "best", especially if you and I are playing against each other in this mystery game.

Also, I agree, there really ought to be Sabermetrics classes. (Not only because it's interesting, but because that's actually a possible avenue for getting a job with a math/stats based degree.)
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Jeremy messed with this 5 times, last at 04/19/2012 3:24:25 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/19/2012 @ 06:57:00 PM
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Ok, so I went a step further with the spreadsheet thing, and took the top 100 or so players in stolen base numbers. So now I'm looking at individual players. So far, steals-runs has a moderate correlation. However, and I was truly shocked about this, stolen base percentage has a weak NEGATIVE correlation with runs. So the higher a player's stolen base percentage, the fewer runs he actually scores. Of course, the stats I'm looking at do nothing to show when such things are taking place (like are guys stealing with two outs and the pitcher isn't paying attention to him because he doesn't really care about the runner?). Still. Thoroughly surprised.

Of course, most of my correlations will probably be a little off, because my criteria for my sample is apparently players with 9 or more stolen bases. But still. Quite interesting.
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Scott perfected this at 04/19/2012 7:00:47 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/19/2012 @ 07:12:07 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:10:50 PM

Let's say for the sake of argument that all the small ball stats come together to have a correlation coefficient of .1 with wins, which is much higher than the findings probably dictate. Even if it's right that doing that will lead to winning, if you're NOT doing something else that will lead to more winning, because you're sacrificing and stealing, then that's a stupid strategy, even if a winning one. OBP is over 5 times higher, so, while being a team that's successful at sacrificing might be a plus, you'd still probably be even better off if even a vast majority of the suck-wads took their roughly 1 in 5 chance at not making an out.

If you look at it like playing a board game, or a card game, you and I might come up with different strategies, and both might be proven to be effective, in that they're better than chance, but I would still be stupid to ignore overwhelming stats that says your method is better, and, in turn, it would be stupid to use my strategy, because it's not just about showing it "works", it's about finding what's "best", especially if you and I are playing against each other in this mystery game.


Ok, I've got a good analogy. Lets say we're playing a board game like Settlers of Catan (ever heard of it?) Anyway, you can acquire a card called an Army card that allows you to rob your opponent of a resource and make one of their resource tiles barren (meaning that can't acquire resources from that resource tile until the "robber" gets moved). But you have to buy the army card. In fact, the army cards are mixed with other development cards, so you don't know what you are going to get when you buy one of those cards. So, you can't make a strategy of playing army cards because they are costly and the benefit isn't always great. BUT, used strategically, these cards can yield good results. However, it has nothing to do with the quantity of Army cards that you use, just that you use them correctly.*

That's what bunting is like. You can use it to your advantage, but you can't rely on it as a holistic gameplan.

*edit: rather, just that if you decide to buy them and use them, use them wisely.
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Scott perfected this at 04/19/2012 8:20:27 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
04/20/2012 @ 01:30:11 PM
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But say in this game it's statistically demonstrated to be a bad idea to by army cards, so I go in with that as my modus operandi, and you know to be weary of them, but strike when "ok", Jon buys them like crazy.

You might win the game only because you bought an army card at the right time, I might lose because I didn't and my strategy backfired, and Jon might even get lucky and wipe us out. But if we played 100's of games, the best strategy* will trump an acceptable, or even "good" strategy.

(Also, again, just to clarify, we're talking about sac bunting, not bunting period.)

*And of course the "best strategy" might include the occasional sac bunt, depending on the circumstances. But it either does, or doesn't. So, going back to your Settlers game, and my "war cards shouldn't be used" strategy, there might be 1 or 2 if this and this and this statistical exceptions to the "never buy War cards" rule, but then THAT is the best strategy. (Rather than your more general/ambiguous "don't rely on them" or "use sparingly" rule of thumb based on your general awareness that they aren't so worth it.) Furthermore, if there aren't exceptions, then there aren't. Regardless of how many games I can point to as losing because you did, or I didn't, or how much it "feels" right in a certain situation, given enough iterations the best statistical approach will win.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 04/20/2012 1:42:00 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
04/20/2012 @ 02:31:28 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:30:11 PM
*And of course the "best strategy" might include the occasional sac bunt, depending on the circumstances. But it either does, or doesn't....Furthermore, if there aren't exceptions, then there aren't.


That's the whole thing I'm saying. I believe there are exceptions, as noted by that baseball prospectus article. It's determining where those exceptions lie that is the ultimate challenge.

And I agree with the sample of 100 showing the trend. BUT, you can break that down further. If you have three categories of "no army cards, occasional army cards, and go nuts on army cards", and "no army cards" seems to trump, "go nuts" usually loses, and "occasional cards" is about 50%, you could conclude that "no army cards" is the best strategy.

No army cards--50 wins
occasional army cards--45
go nuts on army cards--5

But, "occasional cards" might not be the correct classification for the 2nd strategy. Perhaps we do a bunch of research on when cards were bought and used, and we come up with 3 categories within that category (Option 1)"buy when X and Z are present, but not X and Y", Option 2)"buy when Y and Z are present but not X and Z", Option 3)"buy when X and Y are present"). Now we look at the percentage of times each of those "occasional card" subcategories is played, and we see that of the 45 wins when using that strategy, 35 of those wins are when using option 1, 7 of those wins are when using option 2, and 3 of those wins when using option 3. So overall, the "occasional army cards" strategy wins 45% of the time, 78% of those victories were when the patterns of option 1 were used, and then we realize that of the 35 times option 1 actually won, it was only used a total of 40 times; so it won 88% of the times the criteria of option one was used. It would be fair to assume that had that option been known to be so successful, and used properly (paying ever so close attention to when that option applies), the results would likely be different for the next 100 games. (this is all dependent on finding recognizeable patterns, of course)

No army cards--50 wins
occasional army cards--
--option 1--35
--option 2--7
--option 3--3
go nuts on army cards--5

So what I mean by this is that sacrificing bunting might be trumped by not sacrificing overall. However, maybe that's because teams aren't doing it at the correct times. Use breakdowns like baseball prospectus and figure out when it's appropriate, and figure out what criteria would have to be in place to maximize the probably of the possible results.

*also, I'm not concluding that sacrificing is benificial. I'm basically wondering "can sacrificing be benificial?".
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Scott perfected this 7 times, last at 04/20/2012 2:41:08 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/20/2012 @ 02:58:07 PM
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I'm breaking down the sacrificing bunt stat by NL and AL. I can't believe I didn't think of it before, but obviously sacrifice bunting would probably occur a lot more often in the NL than the AL.

Runs-SH
NL 0.166018232
AL -0.161339707

So, there is a higher propensity to score runs in the NL by sacrifice bunting. It's not strong either way, but it is more of a positive correlation in the NL than in the AL.

Wins-SH
NL 0.462162607
AL 0.122629181

There is an even stronger positive correlation in the NL between sacrificing and winning. I would assume that .5 correlation coefficient would be considered "moderate". But it's still there. In the AL, there is a weak positive correlation. On average, NL teams sacrificed 71 times vs the AL's 38 times last season. In fact, the AL team with the highest number of sacrifice bunts (KC) was would be tied for 2nd to last in total sac bunts in the NL. So obviously the NL does it more, and it is certainly influenced by the presence of the pitcher in NL batters boxes. I'd be curious to see these same stats that filter out sacrifices by the pitcher.

Given the whole correlation-causation falicy, the only thing that can positively be concluded is that bunting is more productive in the NL than in the AL.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmLSuIhOov9adFM3ZHJzdV9Hb2V6LWF6YlhNVUtlb3c
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 04/20/2012 3:12:47 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
04/20/2012 @ 08:25:22 PM
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I think the sb percent corrolation being negative can be at least partially explained by the defense. One of the cases against stealing is that in a way you almost want that runner on first. The first baseman holds them on, the pitcher has to be concerned, they might be pitching out, and the 2nd baseman and shortstop generally set up for a double play ball.

On the otherhand, on second, the defenders esssentially ignore the baserunner and put on whatever shifts are ideal for making an out of the batter.
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jon.jpgJon - 1 bajillion posts
04/21/2012 @ 10:36:20 AM
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Wait a second, is it Seafarers or just the regular kind?
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
04/21/2012 @ 03:29:35 PM
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All I know, is that Billy Beane never should have written that book. emoticon
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jon.jpgJon - 2437 Posts
04/21/2012 @ 04:02:02 PM
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http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/12/brewers-fan-sets-his-sights-on-162-games
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2887.gifAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
04/22/2012 @ 12:49:00 AM
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I'd like to do 81+ (playoffs!) home games some year, 162 sounds like a lot of work though
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sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
04/22/2012 @ 08:21:18 AM
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I'd do it (Twins version of course), and it would be an awesome summer!
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/23/2012 @ 03:43:33 PM
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Matt Kemp is on pace for 91 homeruns and 223 RBIs. I really really hope for Braun's sake that Kemp doesn't fail any drug test this year. That would really turn what's left of the not-already-hating-Braun public against him. I mean, it would be bad for Matt Kemp too, don't get me wrong. But I think it would be worse for Braun.
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Scott screwed with this at 04/23/2012 3:43:54 pm
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3598 Posts
04/23/2012 @ 06:42:18 PM
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Against Braun? I don't get it.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
04/23/2012 @ 06:43:02 PM
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why?
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
04/24/2012 @ 10:14:00 PM
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On Saturday (i think) Nori Aoki hit an inside the park home run for the Brewers. Tonight Carlos Gomez hit a regular home run. The point? I'm pretty sure Gomez made it home in less time than it took Aoki to make it to third. I think Gomez was just that excited.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/25/2012 @ 10:05:55 AM
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a couple thoughts about the baseball season so far (brewers and non brewers stuff) gathered from various sources:
The Brewers lead the NL with 24 home runs. They are 0-4 when they don't homer. Maybe if they weren't just waiting around for the 3 run homer, that'd be different, right? right?


Fan graphs defines Isolated Power (ISO) (extra bases / at bats) levels as: Excellent 0.250; Great 0.200; Above Average 0.180; average 0.145; below average 0.120; poor .100; awful .080. So Ryan Braun has an even .250 ISO rating. Clearly he's awesome (or excellent). Matt Kemp? .470. If he didn't admit he was mad about losing the MVP to Braun last year, he's certainly holding a silent grudge into this season.

I'd noticed that when I set my DVR for the Brewers this season it seems to always stop recording before the game is over. Turns out, the Brewers average time of game is 3 hrs 5 mins, the longest in the NL.

John Axford has converted 47 straight save opportunities (regular season) He blew a save last year in the playoffs, but ended up getting the win anyway after coming back for a second inning, went 1-2-3, and the Brewers won it in the bottom of that inning.

Carlos gomez hit a home run last night and proceeded to round the bases in 16.46 secs. So far, that puts him at the fastest trot by more than a full second for 2012 for an out-of-the-park home run. Nori Aoki had an inside the park home run in which he rounded the bases in 15.5 seconds.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 04/25/2012 10:09:28 am
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/25/2012 @ 02:32:28 PM
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Another note, the Brewers are 20-0 at Miller Park in games started by Zack Greinke.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/25/2012 @ 03:20:24 PM
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Wait....someone tracks that? Clearly we have too much time on our hands as a society.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
04/25/2012 @ 03:22:36 PM
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tracks what, home run trot times? Pretty fascinating stuff. I bet that's the next undervalued stat that's going to be exploited and win someone a world series.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
04/25/2012 @ 04:21:20 PM
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Scott Wrote - 04/23/2012 @ 03:43:33 PM
Matt Kemp is on pace for 91 homeruns and 223 RBIs. I really really hope for Braun's sake that Kemp doesn't fail any drug test this year. That would really turn what's left of the not-already-hating-Braun public against him. I mean, it would be bad for Matt Kemp too, don't get me wrong. But I think it would be worse for Braun.


Sarah Wrote - 04/23/2012 @ 06:42:18 PM
Against Braun? I don't get it.

I need answers here!
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
04/25/2012 @ 09:07:09 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 04:21:20 PM
Scott Wrote - 04/23/2012 @ 03:43:33 PM
Matt Kemp is on pace for 91 homeruns and 223 RBIs. I really really hope for Braun's sake that Kemp doesn't fail any drug test this year. That would really turn what's left of the not-already-hating-Braun public against him. I mean, it would be bad for Matt Kemp too, don't get me wrong. But I think it would be worse for Braun.


Sarah Wrote - 04/23/2012 @ 06:42:18 PM
Against Braun? I don't get it.

I need answers here!


I was NutCanThinking out loud (or out text). You know, Kemp's exploding out of the gates, and since everyone outside of Wisconsin seems to think that Braun's entire career is in question let alone the season in which he beat Kemp for the MVP, that it would make that whole notion worse if Kemp somehow failed a drug test and then served a suspension. It would just increase the resentment towards Braun. I was mostly joking about it being worse for Braun then Kemp, but it certainly wouldn't help Braun's public perception.

That being said, MLB will test players more frequently when there are suspicions or when performances stick out. I saw that Jose Bautista said he got tested quite a few times last year when he was busting out. And I can imagine Braun is obviously going to face added scrutiny and tests this year. And then Kemp coming out so hot, he might be subject to added tests as well.
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Scott messed with this at 04/25/2012 9:55:54 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
04/26/2012 @ 10:53:11 AM
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So I've been a bit hard on Gomez in the past. He is off to a pretty good start this season. Coming into this season, struck out on 25% of his at bats. This year, he's striking out only 9% of his at bats.* His OBP has skyrockted so far, up to .389, and with only 1 walk, it seems to mean that he is either just getting luckier, or he is slowing his swing down a bit and making better (if any) contact. His BABIP is up over 100 points from last year (.387 this year vs .273 this year). I've heard that BABIP can be interpreted as a measure of how lucky you are getting, but it at the very least indicates that he is putting the ball in play more often. I know it's early, but Gomez might be starting to figure it out.

gomezkab.JPG
[Click to Enlarge]

gomezobp.JPG
[Click to Enlarge]


*In 2012, the League average is 21.4%; 2011 was 20.8%
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Scott perfected this 4 times, last at 04/26/2012 10:59:38 am
2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
04/26/2012 @ 01:34:53 PM
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It's not that BABIP is completely luck. Some guys are career .300 BABIPers and some are .330 BABIPers. So I believe the consensus is that there's a level of skill involved (maybe speed, quality of contact, not sure if ground ball - line drive - fly ball splits have a correlation?) but for the most part a player is not likely to sustain a huge jump (or drop) in BABIP compared to their career numbers (not to the league average). So on a month to month or year to year basis there's a fair amount of luck involved in BABIP changes for a player.

Gomez has a career .307 BABIP, so he's unlikely to sustain his hot start in that category.

That being said, he's looked from what I've seen. The afore mentioned home run was a nice smooth swing, not a "I'm trying to kill the ball" swing for which is famous.

As far as the strike out % goes, the sample size is pretty small yet. But players that manage to stay in the game do tend to improve their K% as they age, so there could be something to his improvement to date (not that I'm at all hopefull that he'll maintain 9%, but even the high teens would be nice). Although it'd be more convincing if his walk rate went up at the same time, unless his problem has always been that he swung at mostly strikes and just missed, as opposed to swinging at lots of balls instead of laying off. I'm sure that data is out there somewhere but I'm not sure if it's public and free.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/26/2012 @ 01:52:03 PM
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I was looking for this, but couldn't find it initially. His career average for Balls hit in play (not batting average, but just balls hit in play / plate apperances) is 69%. This season, he is putting 84% of his plate apperances in play. So he is making contact at a significantly higher rate so far this season. His gb/fb ratio is much lower this year (meaning his hitting the ball in the air more) and the line drive percentage (% of balls put in play that are line drives) is more than double his career average. So small sample size aside (and obviously it is a small size), he is striking out less, making contact more, and making better contact.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gomezca01-bat.shtml
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/26/2012 @ 02:13:47 PM
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In that Baseball Reference link I just posted, it records a number of stats related to pitches seen and swing rates.

I don't know necessarily how to interpret all these numbers, but here goes. He sees a higher percentage of strikes than the average player, but it's possible that this is because he swings and misses more often. His career average for swinging (and missing) is above the major league average (although so far this year he is below his career average about 10%). He's still swinging at the same percentage of pitches he sees as compared to his career, but his swings at strikes is up quite a bit. He also swings at the first pitch a lot more than the average player.

Regardless of how he compares to the league, he seems to be swinging smarter. He's putting the ball in play 30% more often than his career average and missing on swings less often. Without a stat for "average bat speed" to show that he's showing more control and restraint than in the past, that will have to be left to observation. I'm open to an interpretation of these numbers that differs from mine, as there is probably a small amount of confirmation bias going on here (he's doing better so obviously these stats are good).
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Scott messed with this at 04/26/2012 2:14:52 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/26/2012 @ 03:56:17 PM
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Yeah, it's only luck in so far as how far it deviates from his previous BABIP. He's fast, so his will probably be fairly high, or at least will offset where it might otherwise be. (It also, itself, says nothing about how many balls you've put in play. 1/3, 3/9, 11/33, would all be the same number. )

Also, confirmation bias is only counting, or noticing, what confirms what you already, or want to, believe, and dismissing what doesn't. So, for example, someone might leave a psychic amazed by how many things they got right about their loved one, and totally dismiss the fact that the person was wrong 10 times more than they were right. In the sense that you meant it*, it's not really anything, it's just a small sample size. Though, one of us could claim the numbers you chose to focus on, even if they unarguably make your case, suffer from confirmation bias, because you may have set out to prove what you already thought true, and thus zoomed in on only numbers that made the case**.

*Unless of course you did mean it this way and what you have in parenthesis is an unrelated aside.

**Some people might call this "Cherry picking," but I personally consider Cherry Picking to have a slightly more intentional connotation. I suppose you could say confirmation bias is a type of Cherry Picking, but cherry picking isn't necessarily confirmation bias.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 04/26/2012 3:56:38 pm
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
04/26/2012 @ 09:37:45 PM
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I suppose I wasn't looking for stats to prove my point, but rather looking for stats to explain what I had already discovered: that Gomez seems to be hitting better this year so far. And as far as babip, I didn't really mean total luck and nothing more, but the fact that Gomez has a babip 100 points higher this year than in years past could mean that he is simply getting luckier than usual. Although the line drive percentages would maybe show that it's more than luck.
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
04/27/2012 @ 11:11:20 AM
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http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/7862121/detroit-tigers-delmon-young-faces-hate-crime-charge-new-york
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
04/27/2012 @ 11:38:01 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:37:45 PM
I suppose I wasn't looking for stats to prove my point, but rather looking for stats to explain what I had already discovered: that Gomez seems to be hitting better this year so far. And as far as babip, I didn't really mean total luck and nothing more, but the fact that Gomez has a babip 100 points higher this year than in years past could mean that he is simply getting luckier than usual. Although the line drive percentages would maybe show that it's more than luck.


I think the reason BABIP is sometimes attributed to "luck" is the notion that once the ball leaves the bat, the batter no longer has any control what happens to it (which is true, but incomplete). so a guy could make contact 100% of the time, but be a .250 hitter (giving him a .250 BABIP), while another guy could make contact 50% of the time, being a .250 hitter, but 50% of the time he makes contact he gets a hit, giving him a BABIP of .500. Obviously over a short term a spiked BABIP could be a bit of luck (why did those 10 hits fall and those 10 hits go as outs). But quality of contact and approach at the plate would all be factors that lead to a higher/lower BABIP. Example, Braun could hit a rocket (scorched to all high heavens) right at the left fielder and have it go as an out. But that type of contact (assuming it's not atypical of him to hit the ball hard) will have a tendency to produce more balls put in play that result in hits. I suppose "probability" might be more appropriate than "luck", but over a short stretch, it might appear that a certain player is getting luckier than he usually is. At least that might be what it appears on the surface (which is usually only how far most TV announcers go).
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Scott perfected this at 04/27/2012 11:39:27 am
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
04/27/2012 @ 01:37:18 PM
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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/27/texas-father-says-couple-was-oblivious-to-crying-son-after-foul-ball/

Yet another reason to hate the Yankees, or if not the Yankees, than Yankee fans (and I'm throwing the Yankee's broadcaster in there as well).
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
04/29/2012 @ 08:58:13 AM
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Reportedly in other interviews the mother of the boy has said she didn't even want him the get the/a ball.

She wanted him to learn that not everything is his, and that you don't always get everything you want.
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Jeremy edited this at 04/29/2012 8:58:55 am
jon.jpgJon - 2437 Posts
04/29/2012 @ 10:54:42 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 08:58:13 AM
Reportedly in other interviews the mother of the boy has said she didn't even want him the get the/a ball.

She wanted him to learn that not everything is his, and that you don't always get everything you want.


The Yankees haven't learned that lesson yet. Am I right?!
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/01/2012 @ 08:32:30 AM
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In the last 30 years, Robin yount has the 4th highest single season WAR in all of baseball with 11.5 in 1982, and the highest during that period by any player not named Bonds (bonds 12.5, 2001; 12.4, 2004; 12.2, 2002).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_season.shtml
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 05/01/2012 8:36:25 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/01/2012 @ 02:37:25 PM
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Ryan Braun has a career WAR of 21.8 over 5 seasons (really about 4.75 seasons). Prince Fielder has a career WAR of 19.6 over his first 6 full seasons. Braun: 4.36 WAR per season; Fielder: 3.27 WAR per season. Yet, if they both play out their contracts and then retire, Fielder will have made nearly $100 million more than Braun.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3598 Posts
05/03/2012 @ 12:54:05 AM
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Twins have hit rock bottom and are trying to blow up that boulder to get even lower. Should see some changes after this weekend I hope.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
05/03/2012 @ 08:04:15 AM
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The Brewers got no-hit back in 2007. I wasn't at the game--I was watching it at the time--but at a certain point there's a mutual respect for the opponent even if your team is the victor. And for what it's worth, if Rock Bottom occurs on May 3rd, then the season can't be that bad. It can only go up from here, right?
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
05/03/2012 @ 10:49:40 AM
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In Brewers news: Gamel is out for the season with a torn ACL, Braun hurt his achilles tendon yesterday and came out of the game (no word on severity), and Brewers got shutout by Jeff Suppan of all people yesterday. It's no no-hitter, but things need to start turning around for the Crew.
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2887.gifAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
05/05/2012 @ 10:45:58 AM
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The fun of this exercise is pretty much over, but if I remember correctly from checking on probably Tuesday of this last week Gamel, Ramirez, and Gonzalez had combined for .4 WAR and Fielder, McGehee, and Betancourt were at .5 or .6. And I won't say not having Prince behind him hasn't at all affected Braun, but he's off to a very similar start to last year.

You must have some thoughts on the 1B situation Scott...? I've read a couple different things, but all I'm sure of at this point is that Ishikawa isn't going to cut it.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/09/2012 @ 09:38:33 AM
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I would like to see what Taylor Green can do. How much different is 1b than 3b really? Green is a decent hitter who can get on base at a pretty decent rate, and they aren't going to move ARam from thirdbase short of him getting injured either. Ishikawa isn't doing terrible, but I don't see him as the longterm solution. Ishikawa's poor numbers are little misleading, however, because he has a much higher BA when he is starting versus when he is used as a pinch hitter. in 29 plate appearnces as a starter his line is .269 .321 .577. in 15 PA's as a sub/pinch hitter, its .071 .133 .143. So really, he's not doing all that bad.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
05/09/2012 @ 12:56:52 PM
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Alex Wrote - 05/05/2012 @ 10:45:58 AM
The fun of this exercise is pretty much over, but if I remember correctly from checking on probably Tuesday of this last week Gamel, Ramirez, and Gonzalez had combined for .4 WAR and Fielder, McGehee, and Betancourt were at .5 or .6.


Now the fun is totally over. Does Green play any SS?
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
05/09/2012 @ 01:18:19 PM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-sacrifice-bunt-the-real-rally-killer/
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
05/09/2012 @ 01:56:50 PM
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I hope RRR doesn't ever order a sac bunt with runners on 1 and 2 with no outs with braun on deck. the author still doesn't account for the fact that some of those scenarios he mentioned could still have resulted in double plays or whatever even without the bunts, and the percentage of "scoring at least one run" is probably higher when attempting to bunt in some of those situations than when not. You might not score as many overall, but you're morelikely to score 1. The only "phrase" that at least makes sense is "Just have to execute", because generally the chances of getting a good bunt down are pretty good.


All that being said, manangers do need to be smarter overall about using bunts.
Bunting for a base hit, putting on a well-timed squeeze, beating an overshifted defense, having a pitcher move a runner into scoring position… there’s room for bunting in baseball. The frequency of sacrificing bunting that is prevalent now, though, is simply incorrect strategy, and the sooner it is removed from the sport, the better off Major League teams will be.


The 2nd Dodgers example reminded me of Billie Heywood's "interview" for the twins managerial spot. "you're taking the bat out of 3 and 4 hitters, not exactly a great trip through the heart of our order"
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Scott messed with this at 05/09/2012 2:01:08 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/10/2012 @ 12:13:44 PM
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prior to Braun hurting his achilles, he was batting .283 with an OBP of .333 and slugging .609. In the 5 games that he has had a noticeable limp since hurting his achilles, he's batting .450 (9/20), with an OBP of .500, and slugging% of 1.000. He should hurt himself more often.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 05/10/2012 12:16:59 pm
sarah.jpgSarah - 3598 Posts
05/11/2012 @ 09:45:47 AM
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I retweeted this, but it wouldn't hurt to put it here either. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Minnesota Twins:
http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3uf6ggKgy1r1spdvo2_250.gif
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2939 Posts
05/11/2012 @ 10:19:02 PM
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My favorite part is that at the exact moment the ball drops, you see the Toronto runner enter the frame about to score.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 10:25:02 AM
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Holy Ryan Braun precedent, Batman! Another PED suspension is overturned
...the fact that the league and the union have, according to the article, already changed those old procedures, puts lie to the notion that Braun’s case turned on something unimportant and petty. Everyone — with the exception of people who like to scream about how Braun unfairly benefited from slick lawyering — thinks it was significant.
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Scott messed with this at 05/14/2012 10:25:25 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
05/14/2012 @ 11:22:17 AM
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Precedent is precedent. That's why precedent can be bad/dangerous. All this means is they can't hold other people to a different standard, it's not an admission of anything, necessarily. The MLB would, rightfully, lose every appeal (or potential reappeal) from here on out where the "Braunicality" was relevant. That doesn't necessitate it was the correct call, it just means they're being fair.

And, no kidding they changed the rules/procedures. If it's real they want it fixed, and if not they want the loophole closed.

He's reading way too far into the obvious ramifications of the Braun decision, IMO. Other people were always going to get off on the same thing in the interim, and changes were always inevitable, either way.

Not to mention, the whole argument is sort of silly. Even if Braun's case was a "legit" enough breakdown in the chain of custody, and not the mother of all semantics technicalities, it's still getting off on a procedural technicality. The seals were in tact, the sample didn't degrade. There are backups and safeguards in place. His failed sample STILL needs an explanation.* The public shouldn't rush to judge, perhaps, but at the same time it's perfectly reasonable to have different standards of evidence. The chain of custody is there to ensure, as much as possible, that the testers "know" nothing could have happened to it. That is important. However, even a non-semantics-of-language breakdown in the C.O.C. doesn't change the fact, due to the other safeguards, that it's highly likely that Braun still legitimately failed the test*.
8
It's why I brought up the OJ trail once upon a time. OJ was found not guilty, but that need not be relevant for Jon Q Public. The jury was asked to conclude based on some higher level of evidence (Beyond the shadow of a doubt?) than the public gets to (which is simply what was most likely.) The chain of custody on the glove, and other such issues, is relevant in one context, because you need "certainty", and almost wholly irreverent in another where you only need reasonable likelihood. The glove was found by a "racist" cop. Theoretically speaking he could have gone in oj's house, found a glove, took some blood from oj and the victims', and planted it. But us in the public can reasonably conclude that's a preposterous claim, even if it's legally valid. Legally speaking OJ didn't get off on a technicality either, but it's not "wrong" to colloquially refer to it as that either.

Given that it's still most likely that Braun's sample was a legit fail, and he got off not because they found the test was faulty, but because of handling procedure, even though handling errors can themselves be tested for, it's a little insincere to attempt to imply that anyone that "still" thinks Braun got off on a "technicality" is just a hater. For all intents and purposes until the fail itself is shown to have a reasonable reason to doubt, it's ALL technicality.

*Which isn't to say Braun is obligated to defend his case from that angle, or owes us some explanation, but at the same time lookers on don't have to ignore the fact that no one has questioned the actual test in any scientific way, beyond vague he-couldn't-know-if-he-wanted-to promises that "there was nothing in his system". Legally speaking both are legit ways to get off, but the public can call attacking the legality/language, and not the evidence, what it is and not just be "haters."
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Jeremy messed with this 8 times, last at 05/14/2012 1:52:52 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/14/2012 @ 02:25:12 PM
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Relief pitchers can have good numbers but still be rather ineffective. Case in point: Kameron Loe. His ERA and WHIP are significantly lower than his career averages. However, he has allowed 55% of his intherited runners to score, which is nearly 50% higher than his career average (11 inherited runners, 6 of which scored). So if you add up his inherited runners scored and his earned runs allowed, he has a total ERA of 6.00. I hope her turns it around, because he has been effective in the past (the last two seasons he combined for 35% of his inherited runners scored). This seems to be the case for the Brewers collectively right now. A number of players (Axford, ARam, Loe, KRod, Weeks, etc) are playing well below their career averages.

In fairness, I should point out that 5 of the 6 inherited runs scored came on 2 home runs (a grand slam, and a 3-run homer). So perhaps that's a good sign that these numbers are a product of a small sample size. It could just as easily indicate that he can't help but give up homers in key situations. He's someone to keep an eye on.
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Scott perfected this at 05/14/2012 2:38:39 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
05/14/2012 @ 02:55:12 PM
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Shyam Das fired by MLB. I wonder if the tell-all book deal is forthcoming. Although he's still the arbitor for the NFL.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 05/14/2012 2:56:08 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
05/18/2012 @ 11:47:00 AM
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In 24 at bats, Jonathan Lucroy is batting .542 with runners in scoring position, with an OPS of 1.371. For comparison, Josh Hamilton, who is batting .399 overall, is hitting .394 in 33 at bats with runners in scoring position with a 1.277 OPS. Both have a .75 ratio of rbi/ab with runners in scoring position. That is all.
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Scott edited this at 05/18/2012 11:48:13 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 07:45:48 AM
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Lucroy is now 3 for 3 with the bases loaded, with 9 rbi (including a grand slam).
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Scott perfected this at 05/21/2012 8:39:44 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 08:09:48 AM
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So not that the Twins were necessarily any worse than other teams at hitting Brewer batters, but the Brewers were dealt some cruel irony on Sunday. Brewers hitters have been plunked a NL high 26 times, nearly 60% more than the next closest team, while being near the bottom in doling out hit batsmen. And they had been plunked 3 times by the Twins pitching staff on Sunday. So it was rather interesting that when Tim Dillard threw inside and then behind a Twins hitter, he got ejected. Lucroy admitted (at least according to Carroll who claims to have hear him mumble this) that the "brush backs" were for Nyjer Morgan, who had been beaned earlier in the game. The moral of the story: if you get hit 3 times in a game, it's your own fault. Perhaps the Brewers need to channel their inner Tony "Keeper of baseball etiquette" La Rusa and start paying these things back earlier in the game. There could be some interesting exchanges the next time these two teams meet. But then again, maybe the Twins just suck and can't help but to hit batters.

The interesting thing is that the Twins hit 2 batters in the 7th. The 2nd hit batsman came the batter immediately folloiwng Lucroy's grand slam. Watching the replay of that at bat, it certainly doesn't look like the pitcher was trying to hit Green, but it is interesting that this is the 2nd time in the last week that the Brewers have had a batter hit immediately following a home run (the previous one, against the mets with Braun has the victim, was clearly intentional). The Njyger Morgan HBP, which took place earlier in the 7th, looked a little more malicious. Perhaps if Dillard had hit Carroll with the first pitch and not made two consecutive inside/behind the batter pitchers it would have not been seen as an ejectionable offense. Either way, the Brewers have to start making other teams pay for throwing at them.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 05/21/2012 8:34:57 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 01:44:51 PM
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I don't know if the Brewers are good enough this year to warrant 3 all-star selections, but if they did, here's who I think could represent them:

Ryan Braun
Could be voted in (4 straight starts based on voting); leads all NL outfielders in total bases, 2nd in OPS, 3rd in extra base hits, 4th in average

Jonathan Lucroy
2nd highest BA among NL catchers
2nd highest OPS
2nd highest RBI total
Trails only Carlos Ruiz in several categories (so my guess would be Ruiz would get voted in, based on numbers)

Zack Greinke
3rd highest K totals
fewest home runs allowed among qualified pitchers
tied for 3rd in quality starts
Greinke is a fairly high era of 2.70 (compared to the top NL pitchers)
...not that this should necessarily be scratched from his record for award purposes (or maybe it should), but it is worth noting that if you eliminate an April 12th start in which he gave up 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings, his era is 1.73, which would give him the 2nd lowest ERA of all qualified NL starters.

All that being said, their record will have a lot to do with how many players that aren't voted in will get considered for selection.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 05/21/2012 1:47:19 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 05:07:38 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:44:51 PM
All that being said, their record will have a lot to do with how many players that aren't voted in will get considered for selection.


What? Why would people vote for all stars based on team performance? This isn't the NFL.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 05:27:25 PM
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Well, pitchers don't get voted in, for one. And, I think team performance can play a role. If the Brewers stink, not only will Brewer fans be less likely to vote as often, but then a no name like Lucroy won't get the publicity that he would get with a first place team. Then, if he doesn't get voted in, there would be a decision by the manager of "well, Braun got voted in, and Greinke is good, but lucroy would make 3 players from a bad team." Don't pretend like it's never happened before.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 06:00:09 PM
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90% of fan voting is just who made it last time.
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jon.jpgJon - 2437 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 08:29:15 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 08:09:48 AM
So not that the Twins were necessarily any worse than other teams at hitting Brewer batters, but the Brewers were dealt some cruel irony on Sunday. Brewers hitters have been plunked a NL high 26 times, nearly 60% more than the next closest team, while being near the bottom in doling out hit batsmen. And they had been plunked 3 times by the Twins pitching staff on Sunday. So it was rather interesting that when Tim Dillard threw inside and then behind a Twins hitter, he got ejected. Lucroy admitted (at least according to Carroll who claims to have hear him mumble this) that the "brush backs" were for Nyjer Morgan, who had been beaned earlier in the game. The moral of the story: if you get hit 3 times in a game, it's your own fault. Perhaps the Brewers need to channel their inner Tony "Keeper of baseball etiquette" La Rusa and start paying these things back earlier in the game. There could be some interesting exchanges the next time these two teams meet. But then again, maybe the Twins just suck and can't help but to hit batters.

The interesting thing is that the Twins hit 2 batters in the 7th. The 2nd hit batsman came the batter immediately folloiwng Lucroy's grand slam. Watching the replay of that at bat, it certainly doesn't look like the pitcher was trying to hit Green, but it is interesting that this is the 2nd time in the last week that the Brewers have had a batter hit immediately following a home run (the previous one, against the mets with Braun has the victim, was clearly intentional). The Njyger Morgan HBP, which took place earlier in the 7th, looked a little more malicious. Perhaps if Dillard had hit Carroll with the first pitch and not made two consecutive inside/behind the batter pitchers it would have not been seen as an ejectionable offense. Either way, the Brewers have to start making other teams pay for throwing at them.


Wah.


Also,

Scott Wrote - Today @ 08:09:48 AM
...So it was rather interesting that when Tim Dillard threw inside and then behind a Twins hitter, he got ejected.


Is that interesting? Or is it just normal? I don't have the numbers, but I imagine that a pitch thrown behind someone results in an ejection, or at least a warning, at a pretty high rate. That's generally seen as being caught with your hand directly in the cookie jar.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
05/21/2012 @ 10:40:03 PM
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Toooooo much bunting. emoticon Bunting is definitely a fail when the infielders are way in. Someone needs to tell Roenicke this, apparently.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/21/2012 @ 10:51:19 PM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 08:29:15 PM
Is that interesting? Or is it just normal? I don't have the numbers, but I imagine that a pitch thrown behind someone results in an ejection, or at least a warning, at a pretty high rate. That's generally seen as being caught with your hand directly in the cookie jar.


Really? Because I always thought hitting the guy directly after a grand slam (which made 3 hit batsmen from Twins pitchers) is seen as getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar. And, the Twins did it 3 times and no warning from the umps. The Brewers do it once...aaaaand....gone! FWIW, Dillard's reaction was somewhat of shock as if what he did was just a terrible slip. In other words, he reacted as if "what kind of pitch was that". Had he been throwing at the batter, he probably wouldn't have had to ask his catcher if it was him who had just been ejected.

The ump that ejected Dillard is as much responsible for letting it get to that point. You don't say anything after the Twins plunk the Brewers 3 times (once directly after a grand slam), and then blow up at the Brewers pitcher for being a little wild? Please.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 05/21/2012 10:55:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/21/2012 @ 10:53:10 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 10:40:03 PM
Toooooo much bunting. emoticon Bunting is definitely a fail when the infielders are way in. Someone needs to tell Roenicke this, apparently.

Gomez bunted it straight to the pitcher. anywhere else no matter where the infielders are results in runner on second.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/21/2012 @ 11:20:44 PM
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I thought Gomez had done a nice job this season at cutting back on his "swing like it's the last swing you'll ever take" ferocity. Apparently his stint on the DL and his rehab assignment has completely eliminated the urge to use any control.
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
05/21/2012 @ 11:56:39 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:51:19 PM
Jon Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:29:15 PM
Is that interesting? Or is it just normal? I don't have the numbers, but I imagine that a pitch thrown behind someone results in an ejection, or at least a warning, at a pretty high rate. That's generally seen as being caught with your hand directly in the cookie jar.


Really? Because I always thought hitting the guy directly after a grand slam (which made 3 hit batsmen from Twins pitchers) is seen as getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar. And, the Twins did it 3 times and no warning from the umps. The Brewers do it once...aaaaand....gone! FWIW, Dillard's reaction was somewhat of shock as if what he did was just a terrible slip. In other words, he reacted as if "what kind of pitch was that". Had he been throwing at the batter, he probably wouldn't have had to ask his catcher if it was him who had just been ejected.

The ump that ejected Dillard is as much responsible for letting it get to that point. You don't say anything after the Twins plunk the Brewers 3 times (once directly after a grand slam), and then blow up at the Brewers pitcher for being a little wild? Please.


Well, my first thought is still "Wah." But that's just me being a dork. I don't want any of my players getting hit or ejected, so I get it. Though I still don't find it that odd how it went down. Maybe unfair-ish, but sounds like it's par for the course.

Honestly, I wasn't watching most of the game. (Instead I was watching LeBron James and Dwyane Wade putting on a performance that was probably as good as any I have ever seen.) So, I don't know the specifics. But if the Brewers get hit a lot, they might crowd the plate a lot. Umpires can probably discern this from intentional plunks. Also, the fact that Nyjer Morgan is on your team probably doesn't help keep the Brewers batters safe. (And no, I don't condone it. I honestly would like if no one ever intentionally hit a batter.)
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Jon perfected this at 05/22/2012 12:03:20 am
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
05/22/2012 @ 01:18:01 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:53:10 PM
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:40:03 PM
Toooooo much bunting. emoticon Bunting is definitely a fail when the infielders are way in. Someone needs to tell Roenicke this, apparently.

Gomez bunted it straight to the pitcher. anywhere else no matter where the infielders are results in runner on second.


I completely disagree. Ramirez is as slow as Gomez is fast. Out of the 90 degrees available to bunt into, he had maybe 5 down each line and 5 between each pair of fielders to work with for a 20/90 chance of success. They had an extra inning game a couple weeks ago where they failed on 2 or 3 sac bunts in a similar situation, and so did the other team too. It's bad strategy if the defense is crashing in hard.

Also the Brewers have made the 2nd most outs on the bases so far this year and they're right at the 75% stealing break point (which is not included in the outs on the bases) http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-baserunning-batting.shtml

Here's what I was actually looking for, they're -2 runs from average overall on base running http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-batting.shtml

So the "small ball" isn't working.

Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:20:44 PM
I thought Gomez had done a nice job this season at cutting back on his "swing like it's the last swing you'll ever take" ferocity. Apparently his stint on the DL and his rehab assignment has completely eliminated the urge to use any control.

I have no issues with swinging for the fences in the 13th inning.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 09:17:13 AM
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Gomez fell over in the 6th or 7th inning with a mighty Paul Bunyon-like swing. He wasn't just busting out the "swing like I've never swung before" in the 13th. The control he seemed to display all season lost out to what I can only imagine was his apparent excitement about being back in from the DL.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 09:31:29 AM
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I'm assuming the -2 is from the rBaser stat, and that it should have been a -3 instead. If that's the case, the description of the stat makes it look like this stat only accounts for stolen bases, caught stealing, wild pitch, and fielder indifference. So this doesn't seem to have anything to do with bunting, but now re-reading your comment, you probably were making a separate point about bunting and baserunning. This would add an interesting point to the discussion we had about different stat correlations. I wonder if there is a correlation between rBaser (runs created/lost on baserunning) and wins. I'll add that in some day.

*I did the math (from 2011). The correlation coefficent between rBaser and Wins is .073. That means there is almost no correlation at all between runs created/lost on the base paths and wins for the season.

I also plugged in OOB into my spreadsheet from 2011. The correlation coefficent for OOB-wins is .116 and OOB-Runs is .17. So it isn't strong, but outs on the basepaths isn't a terrible thing, or at least it isn't a "that's why they are losing" thing. It's denying the antecedent or something like that. It probably has as much to do with having runners on more often and so the potential to make outs is greater than a team that doesn't get on base as often. (oob-obp has correlation of .278; not huge, but we're getting into the "reasonably slight" degree of correlation coefficents).
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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 05/22/2012 9:52:28 am
newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
05/22/2012 @ 10:04:05 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:31:29 AM
I'm assuming the -2 is from the rBaser stat, and that it should have been a -3 instead. If that's the case, the description of the stat makes it look like this stat only accounts for stolen bases, caught stealing, wild pitch, and fielder indifference. So this doesn't seem to have anything to do with bunting, but now re-reading your comment, you probably were making a separate point about bunting and baserunning. This would add an interesting point to the discussion we had about different stat correlations. I wonder if there is a correlation between rBaser (runs created/lost on baserunning) and wins. I'll add that in some day.

*I did the math (from 2011). The correlation coefficent between rBaser and Wins is .073. That means there is almost no correlation at all between runs created/lost on the base paths and wins for the season.


The whole point of RAR (which is then converted to WAR) and converting other stats into runs gained or lost is that runs are one of if not the best predictor of wins. So if you found differently you might want to let the saber community know the last 5 years of research is wrong. Runs are runs, doesn't matter if they're from the base paths or not.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 10:07:21 AM
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Ok, I'll tell the Saber community that runs scored on the basepaths had no correlation for how a team did last year, because it's a fact. I don't remember saying anything about about runs not mattering. Can you find where I said that? I'd love to be corrected if I did (which I didn't so i can't be). I can state my findings again if you want. rBaser had virtually no effect on wins last year.

I'll go one step further. The three highest rBaser teams last year were Texas, San Diego, and the Angels. One of those teams made the playoffs. The three worst rBaser teams were Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Atlanta, and 1 of those teams made the playoffs. The Coefficent doesn't lie.
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Scott perfected this 4 times, last at 05/22/2012 10:13:53 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 10:16:33 AM
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Rbaser and Runs is hardly even a relationship (.11 correlation) The correlation of outs on the basepaths and wins is higher than the the correlation between runs on the basepaths and wins. San Diego had the 2nd highest rBaser last year and the third lowest run total. Boston had the 4th lowest rBaser and the highest run total overall. Anything else I stated incorrectly?

The relationship to runs scored on the basepaths and total runs is virtually nothing. You can score runs lots of ways, but how you do it on the basepaths clearly doesn't play a big role if any in your total output.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 05/22/2012 10:18:55 am
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/22/2012 @ 10:26:22 AM
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and if I am reading the WAR type stats correctly, they generally go 10 runs per win right? Correct my premise if I'm wrong, because I might be. But if that's the case, the very best team last year was 15 runs better than average, which theoretically would be a WAR of 1.5. The very worst team in the league last year was -14, which would be a -1.4. Is that a big difference between the very best and the very worst (maybe it is, I'm acutally asking)? But, couple that with the fact that the correlation is non-existant and I don't think rBaser is a very significant stat, because it clearly doesn't lead to more/fewer wins/losses.

But even with all of that, Rbaser doesn't even have anything to do with your total number of runs scored. It just means how much better are you then replacemenet at getting runs from the bases. So to take an extreme, you could score 1000 runs but be a bad baserunning team and have a -15 rbaser. Inversely, you could score 100 runs all season, but could have incredible team baserunning skills and have a +15 rbaser. You don't ever make outs on the base paths and when you have runners on, you score with them every time.

So the premise that "runs are runs" when one of those instances of the word runs is being equated equally to rbaser seems to simply be a faulty premise. Total runs is what's important. Not necessarily how you go about scoring them. rBaser is simply a breakdown of where some of your runs are coming from, or more specifically, how much better or worse you are than an average/replacement level entity.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 05/22/2012 11:44:41 am
newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
05/22/2012 @ 01:52:07 PM
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If you're worse than the average team at base running, either your players just aren't good at base running (which you probably can't do much about) or the team baserunning philosophy might be wrong (which you could do something about).

So the Rbaser range last year was 29 runs. That's a number of runs. For the purpose of this discussion, I don't care how many runs the team actually scored, or how good the hitting was.

The WAR range you list above is a range of 3 (fine, 2.9) wins. That can make a difference. You don't think Atlanta with their -10 Rbaser wishes they could've at least been average and gotten one more win last year?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 02:38:46 PM
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Now that's worth discussing. I realized after I posted those last 3 comments that I was probably over stating rbaser's importance (or in my case, lack of), but understating the micromanagement aspect of it. Possibly minute changes can be made to save you some runs here and there. Your two options (bad base runners; bad baserunning philosophy) can probably be broken down more, but it's probably fairly accurate. It's obviously an efficiency (or defficiency) worth correcting. Texas would be a team to study. They were third in runs and first in Rbaser. But then again, is that a coincidence, or is it correlated. Is there something in their philosophy that makes them supperior? Or is just a case that someone was likely to be high in both aspects.

So here's some info about Texas. They were 5th in stolen bases and 5th in sb%. Seeing this, I ran the correlation between rbaser and sb% and came up with .58, which is the same correlation as obp-wins, which shouldn't be surprising: if you can steal bases successfully, you probably are better than average at producing runs on the base paths. But, total stolen bases (regardless of stolen base percentage) has a pretty similar correlation to rbaser. So that would indicate that the quantity of steals must eventually lead to a higher rbaser number, even if your success rate isn't that high.

For instance, Detroit, with their -10 rbaser, stole only 49 bases all year (30th in the league), and did so at 71% success rate (below the bill james payoff rate). The Angels, on the other hand, stole 135 bases (6th in the league) at a rate of 72%, but their rbaser was 11, or 2.1 games better than Detroit. That's very interesting. All the while, though, Detroit was 4th in the league in total runs while the angels were 17th in the league.

So detroit had a terrible rbaser, extremely low stolen bases, and an extremely high run production, while the Angels had a very good rbaser, very high stolen bases, and a below average run production.

That complicates things since we figured out that stolen bases has has a (slight) negative correlation to wins. Stolen bases obviously isn't the only stat considered for calculating rbaser, but the thing is, you could see a negative rbaser, and think of ways to maximize and improve it, but one of those "options" actually has a tendency to reduce your total number of wins.

I'd be curious to have a fangraphs statistician analyze this particular issue, because my explanation makes sense to me. But I'm completely aware that I don't know what I'm talking about and that I could totally be misinterpretting things.
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Scott messed with this 4 times, last at 05/22/2012 3:10:23 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 08:54:44 PM
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I'm thinking aloud here, but when you factor in everything that goes into stealing/small ball, I'm not so sure it's a good thing....even if it's a good thing. I'll explain:

For starters, if I told you to put up $100 and that I would give you 99% odds to win $102, would you do it? The payout (unless I did it wrong) is actually in your favor, thus in the end you'll probably make out. Yet somehow it doesn't seem worth it. The stake doesn't seem worth the gain even if the risk is low. I'm not sure there's a direct correlation to anything in baseball here, or if that's even logical*, but it seems like that would be a stupid bet. (*Especially when the point is to look at the math, and that you're doing it 10000 times.)

Mainly though, even if there's a positive correlation, and any positive correlation is worth the risk, there's still the opportunity cost of all the things you're not doing, and all the effects of building your roster to play small ball, all the time practicing stealing/sacrificing, etc. A team that benefits from small ball could still benefit MORE from not small ball....right? Especially when you factor in that teams might be better off chasing power instead of speed as far as rounding out the lineup/roster goes.
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Jeremy messed with this 3 times, last at 05/22/2012 9:05:11 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
05/22/2012 @ 09:06:05 PM
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I guess I still don't get why you want to keep bringing total runs scored into it. If you gained 10 runs on the bases, you gained 10 runs on the bases regardless of if you scored 100 or 1000 total on the season. And runs are good, therefore gaining 10 runs on the bases is good. If you only scored 100 total runs all season you probably didn't win many games, but without those 10 from base running you would have only scored 90 and then you probably would have won less.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 02:38:46 PM
That complicates things since we figured out that stolen bases has has a (slight) negative correlation to wins. Stolen bases obviously isn't the only stat considered for calculating rbaser, but the thing is, you could see a negative rbaser, and think of ways to maximize and improve it, but one of those "options" actually has a tendency to reduce your total number of wins.

There's no way that "successfully" stealing bases lowers your chances of winning. It's just a question of what successfully means, which could differ from season to season, team to team, player to player, and situation to situation. But if you could steal every time with no pickoffs, your chances of winning would go up.

Looking at career stats and recent years, Ramirez is a bad base runner according to Rbaser. All the more reason to not try to sac bunt with him on first. Although I did think of one possible explanation. If Ron tried to explain that he called for the bunt knowing that the Giants would get Ramirez at second but Gomez would be safe at first, at least Gomez would be the base runner then. Probably not worth giving away an out, but I don't think I could dismiss that strategy out of hand when that was just the first out.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 09:50:28 PM
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I'm just looking at the data. There is a slight negative correlation between sb% and wins (albeit very weak one). And considering also considering that the worst team in the league cost themselves the WAR equivalent of 1 game over the course of 162 game, I'm not going to get all worried about rbaser, at least from an overall team perspective.

Also, the Brewers suck. No amount of rbaser would make this season any better.
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Scott perfected this at 05/22/2012 10:11:26 pm
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
05/22/2012 @ 09:56:24 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 08:54:44 PM
Mainly though, even if there's a positive correlation, and any positive correlation is worth the risk, there's still the opportunity cost of all the things you're not doing, and all the effects of building your roster to play small ball, all the time practicing stealing/sacrificing, etc. A team that benefits from small ball could still benefit MORE from not small ball....right? Especially when you factor in that teams might be better off chasing power instead of speed as far as rounding out the lineup/roster goes.


This actually makes sense. I think it would be bad management to build a team around a philosophy of small ball. However, I can see the time when chances can be taken and small ball implemented. For one, if your team loses numerous starters to season/long-term injury and you're stuck with a bunch of minor leaguers in your lineup who can't hit, you might change your philosophy a little bit. Or if your team goes through lengthy stretches of being unable to score runs, you may decide the risk is worth it, sense the "normal" approach isn't going in your favorite right now anyway. I think there is a place for it, but not as a holistic approach.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
05/22/2012 @ 11:23:34 PM
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Yeah. I mean, basically, being good at small ball is slightly better than being bad at everything, but as an over arching mindset, you should just be waiting around for that 3 run homer.*

*I imagine, on top of certain circumstances tiling the odds in your favor, a team would have to steal sometimes just to keep the defense honest, pitchers worried about them, etc.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 05/22/2012 11:24:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
05/22/2012 @ 11:28:00 PM
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Right, the reason stealing bases costs you runs is because the defense tries to make it tough on you by holding runners on and pick off attempts. And the reason the defense holds runners on and attempts pickoffs is because otherwise stealing would be too easy and hurt the defense.
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
05/22/2012 @ 11:28:19 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:56:24 PM
Or if your team goes through lengthy stretches of being unable to score runs, you may decide the risk is worth it, sense the "normal" approach isn't going in your favorite right now anyway.


This is actually my guess as to why you might have found negative correlation. Managers think the extra risk, not just of stealing in general, but they try to steal more than they normally would to "make something happen" and all that happens is they end up costing themselves runs.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 08:54:44 PM
I'm thinking aloud here, but when you factor in everything that goes into stealing/small ball, I'm not so sure it's a good thing....even if it's a good thing. I'll explain:

For starters, if I told you to put up $100 and that I would give you 99% odds to win $102, would you do it? The payout (unless I did it wrong) is actually in your favor, thus in the end you'll probably make out. Yet somehow it doesn't seem worth it. The stake doesn't seem worth the gain even if the risk is low. I'm not sure there's a direct correlation to anything in baseball here, or if that's even logical*, but it seems like that would be a stupid bet. (*Especially when the point is to look at the math, and that you're doing it 10000 times.)

Mainly though, even if there's a positive correlation, and any positive correlation is worth the risk, there's still the opportunity cost of all the things you're not doing, and all the effects of building your roster to play small ball, all the time practicing stealing/sacrificing, etc. A team that benefits from small ball could still benefit MORE from not small ball....right? Especially when you factor in that teams might be better off chasing power instead of speed as far as rounding out the lineup/roster goes.


First of all, if you'll give me that bet 10000 times I'll do it. I'd have to risk $1,000,000 total but I should win $1,009,800. $9,800 is decent amount of change. Now if it was 10 cents to win 10.2 cents, you can just keep the $9.80, although I'm not sure if that's the type of not worthwhile you're getting at.

I never meant to argue in favor of small ball over big ball(?) in terms of roster management. I'm just saying if you have a guy who can steal successfully 90% of the time, he should probably steal a lot. If you have a lineup full of 30 HR hitters, then forget about the steals. In other words, I'm looking at it more from the managers perspective of how to get the most out of what he has, as opposed to the GM perspective of weighing differing skill sets when making roster decisions.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:50:28 PM
I'm just looking at the data. There is a slight negative correlation between sb% and wins (albeit very weak one). And considering also considering that the worst team in the league cost themselves the WAR equivalent of 1 game over the course of 162 game, I'm not going to get all worried about rbaser, at least from an overall team perspective.

Also, the Brewers suck. No amount of rbaser would make this season any better.


Yes, well, I've been doing my best to hold back on making that statement but if the cat is out of the bag I think they're about 2-3 weeks away from fire sale mode. KRod, Wolf, Marcum, should be on the table if the price is right and in Wolf's case if anybody is actually interested. And if they're not prepared to make a market offer to Greinke they need to try and swap him for some pieces before the deadline.
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Alex messed with this at 05/22/2012 11:29:22 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/22/2012 @ 11:32:08 PM
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All the players you mentioned I'm on board with (getting rid of at some point, that is--should the season continue to go south). Marcum is too iffy to spend money on. Greinke could be good for a while, and he doesn't lose at home, ever.

Although I'm not giving up the season yet, I'm pretty sure I'm just in denial. The "they aren't this bad" explanation might be accurate, but at some point, they are.
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Scott screwed with this at 05/22/2012 11:33:20 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
05/22/2012 @ 11:56:17 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 11:28:19 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:56:24 PM
Or if your team goes through lengthy stretches of being unable to score runs, you may decide the risk is worth it, sense the "normal" approach isn't going in your favorite right now anyway.


This is actually my guess as to why you might have found negative correlation. Managers think the extra risk, not just of stealing in general, but they try to steal more than they normally would to "make something happen" and all that happens is they end up costing themselves runs.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 08:54:44 PM
I'm thinking aloud here, but when you factor in everything that goes into stealing/small ball, I'm not so sure it's a good thing....even if it's a good thing. I'll explain:

For starters, if I told you to put up $100 and that I would give you 99% odds to win $102, would you do it? The payout (unless I did it wrong) is actually in your favor, thus in the end you'll probably make out. Yet somehow it doesn't seem worth it. The stake doesn't seem worth the gain even if the risk is low. I'm not sure there's a direct correlation to anything in baseball here, or if that's even logical*, but it seems like that would be a stupid bet. (*Especially when the point is to look at the math, and that you're doing it 10000 times.)

Mainly though, even if there's a positive correlation, and any positive correlation is worth the risk, there's still the opportunity cost of all the things you're not doing, and all the effects of building your roster to play small ball, all the time practicing stealing/sacrificing, etc. A team that benefits from small ball could still benefit MORE from not small ball....right? Especially when you factor in that teams might be better off chasing power instead of speed as far as rounding out the lineup/roster goes.


First of all, if you'll give me that bet 10000 times I'll do it. I'd have to risk $1,000,000 total but I should win $1,009,800. $9,800 is decent amount of change. Now if it was 10 cents to win 10.2 cents, you can just keep the $9.80, although I'm not sure if that's the type of not worthwhile you're getting at.

I never meant to argue in favor of small ball over big ball(?) in terms of roster management. I'm just saying if you have a guy who can steal successfully 90% of the time, he should probably steal a lot. If you have a lineup full of 30 HR hitters, then forget about the steals. In other words, I'm looking at it more from the managers perspective of how to get the most out of what he has, as opposed to the GM perspective of weighing differing skill sets when making roster decisions.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:50:28 PM
I'm just looking at the data. There is a slight negative correlation between sb% and wins (albeit very weak one). And considering also considering that the worst team in the league cost themselves the WAR equivalent of 1 game over the course of 162 game, I'm not going to get all worried about rbaser, at least from an overall team perspective.

Also, the Brewers suck. No amount of rbaser would make this season any better.


Yes, well, I've been doing my best to hold back on making that statement but if the cat is out of the bag I think they're about 2-3 weeks away from fire sale mode. KRod, Wolf, Marcum, should be on the table if the price is right and in Wolf's case if anybody is actually interested. And if they're not prepared to make a market offer to Greinke they need to try and swap him for some pieces before the deadline.


I wasn't really even offering a counter to your point. I also wasn't even sure what I was getting at. I guess that, on some level, it's not worth wasting your time, or taking the chance, even on a safe bet if you're putting up so much, for so little. You should come out a head but the slightest run of bad luck would cut so deep. Who knows. It was half a thought, and probably not relevant.

At this rate the Twins will be in the hunt 2 weeks from now. I'll give you guys the rights to Jason Marquis, after he clears wavers, for half a season of Grienke.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
05/23/2012 @ 12:47:31 PM
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the Brewers are up 6-0 today in the first. I changed my mind. They're good again.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
05/23/2012 @ 01:23:15 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:56:17 PM
At this rate the Twins will be in the hunt 2 weeks from now. I'll give you guys the rights to Jason Marquis, after he clears wavers, for half a season of Grienke.


Can he play 1B or SS?
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2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
05/23/2012 @ 01:43:23 PM
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Five who could be traded by July 31 http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/post?id=4076

1. Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin shocked the baseball world back in December 2010 when he acquired Zack Greinke from the Royals in exchange for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. Contract negotiations between the Brewers and Greinke’s agent, Casey Close, have been professional, but there is a significant gap in terms of length and dollars in their talks. If the Brewers aren’t in the pennant race come July, Greinke will be traded.

That doesn’t mean the Brewers won't sign Greinke back as a free agent after he tests the market because he is very happy in Milwaukee, as his home/road splits this year indicate (3-0, 1.30 ERA/2-1, 4.91). The Brewers know they’re not going to get the same level package they gave the Royals in exchange for Greinke, but they will at least get two significant prospects and a throw-in. The only teams that legitimately will be bidding for Greinke will be the Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins and maybe the New York Yankees.
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2887.gifAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
05/23/2012 @ 01:53:09 PM
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Also lets get an update on that trade

Jeffress - in AAA, looking at his stats he appears to have major control issues, here we go "One of the biggest fastballs in the game, Jeffress frequently hits triple digits. But if the 24-year-old’s 5.7 career BB/9 rate doesn’t improve, he’ll never be more than a fourth or fifth reliever"
Jake Odorizzi - He’s back in double-A to begin 2012 and his results so far have been inconsistent in five starts. ... Odorizzi has solid stuff but he’s probably not going to have great results in the Majors unless he finds a way to work down in the zone on a more consistent basis.
Cain - 40 PA for the Royals with a fWAR of -.1, currently injured
Escobar - 3.2 fWAR in 11-12, pretty much all defensive value last year

Greinke - 6.2 fWAR in 11-12
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/23/2012 @ 03:12:19 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:53:09 PM
Also lets get an update on that trade

Jeffress - in AAA, looking at his stats he appears to have major control issues, here we go "One of the biggest fastballs in the game, Jeffress frequently hits triple digits. But if the 24-year-old’s 5.7 career BB/9 rate doesn’t improve, he’ll never be more than a fourth or fifth reliever"


The idea that "hard thrower" is somehow a benchmark for good pitcher is annoying. Show me historical evidence, beit all of baseball, and then that specific pitcher, that would indicate that the ability to hit triple digits equals great potential. Maybe that's not what people are saying, but the MPH that a pitcher can hit seems to be the first thing people look at to determine if a guy is any good or not. I don't know if velocity historically correlates to good pitcher (does it?), but it certainly isn't automatic.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
05/23/2012 @ 04:01:40 PM
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I think the thinking is you can fine tune a "thrower" that can heave it 98mph, you can't teach a guy who only throws 85 to throw 98. Teams like to have late inning set up guys who can just throw it past people.
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jon.jpgJon - 1000000 posts (and counting!)
05/24/2012 @ 02:03:38 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:23:15 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 05/22/2012 @ 11:56:17 PM
At this rate the Twins will be in the hunt 2 weeks from now. I'll give you guys the rights to Jason Marquis, after he clears wavers, for half a season of Grienke.


Can he play 1B or SS?


He can hit.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/24/2012 @ 10:57:56 AM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 02:03:38 AM
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:23:15 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 05/22/2012 @ 11:56:17 PM
At this rate the Twins will be in the hunt 2 weeks from now. I'll give you guys the rights to Jason Marquis, after he clears wavers, for half a season of Grienke.


Can he play 1B or SS?


He can hit.

He's batting a cool .211. He's batting better than Rickie Weeks this season who isn't even batting his weight. Heck, Weeks is barely even batting MY weight this season.
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Scott edited this at 05/24/2012 10:59:03 am
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
05/24/2012 @ 01:04:40 PM
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Well that was confusing. emoticon My comment was about Marquis, which is who I assume Jon referenced, but he has no PAs this year and is a career .197 hitter. .211 appears to be Grienke's season average.

The reason I even cared is because despite Week's batting average I haven't really been able to find a replacement (temporary) in our fantasy league. Weeks wOBA is .265, well above Grienke's .206. And his BABIP is 90 points under his career number, so I fully expect somewhat of Weeks rebound at some point.
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jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
05/25/2012 @ 01:49:56 AM
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Marquis won a Silver Slugger in 2005.
And he has a positive oWAR for his career.

But really I just said that because the way they talked about him on the radio made it seem like he was a good hitter. I guess he looked good in bp. And hey, I learned on RBI baseball that all pitchers hit .150 so .197 is outstanding.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/25/2012 @ 09:37:17 AM
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Oh, I mistakenly thought it was Grienke that the "he can hit" referred to. I messed that one up big time. Although, my stats were dead on emoticon
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:04:40 PM
The reason I even cared is because despite Week's batting average I haven't really been able to find a replacement (temporary) in our fantasy league. Weeks wOBA is .265, well above Grienke's .206. And his BABIP is 90 points under his career number, so I fully expect somewhat of Weeks rebound at some point.


I agree. There is no reasonable explanation for what is hampering Weeks this year. I made the point about his BABIP a while ago. It's just unreal how almost "unlucky" he's getting, or so it would seem. He is walking more, but striking out a lot more. He also seems like a wounded dog out there, or a sad dog, or a kid that lost his dog. He seems to be moping a little bit and just doesn't seem like himself. Maybe I'm inventing issues here, but I say he misses Fielder so much from a personal level that he subconsiously refuses to be good on the field. Although you can only say this for so long, but Weeks is better than his current performance indicates. He was an All-Star last year, for crying out loud. Turn it around already!

Jon Wrote - Today @ 01:49:56 AM
And hey, I learned on RBI baseball

...all that we ever need to know about baseball, am I right? They didn't have the Brewers on the RBI baseball I had, but Paul Molitor was on the AL All Star team, so I played with them and called them the Brewers. I never realized this (looked up the rosters), but the AL Catcher was Bill Schroeder. I didn't realize at the time that he was a Brewer. And Kevin Seitzer was on the roster as well. Maybe I did know they were Brewers, and maybe that's why I only played with the AL crew.
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Scott perfected this 6 times, last at 05/25/2012 9:52:09 am
jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
05/26/2012 @ 03:07:33 AM
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I played mostly with the all star teams. Yes, it's the easy route, but I don't care much. I prefer the National League team. The Twins are actually on the game but I rarely play as them for some reason. I say that in present tense because I will still play this game online from time to time. Actually just played within the last two weeks.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
05/29/2012 @ 08:03:19 AM
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Jonathon Lucroy, who was the Brewers best hitter this year, is out 4-6 weeks after he broke his hand when a suitcase fell on his hand. Oh the delusion of coming off an NLCS season and not being able to admit that your season is over before the "boys of summer" actually reach summer.

So far this year, the Brewers have had two regular shortstops go the the DL at the same time, as well as two regular firstbasemen. One of their catchers, george kottaras, was limping around all day yesterday with a bad foot, but was essentially forced to play when Lucroy hurt himself. Their 5th starting pitcher strained a quad sliding into second base. Their third baseman missed a few games after being beaned on the elbow. And that's not even all of it. This team might as well start wearing their Nashville Sounds jerseys to avoid confusing people.
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Scott perfected this at 05/29/2012 8:08:03 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
05/29/2012 @ 10:14:03 AM
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Now you know our pain from last year, which more or less continues. Although this year it has shifted a tad more from (un)luck to suck.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/29/2012 @ 12:15:56 PM
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This year is a fair amount (un)luck (freak injuries, unexplanable dropoffs in certain player performance compared to career averages, one of the best power hitters in the game leaving for free agency), but there is a lot of suck in there as well. Although it's hard to gauge exactly how bad your team really is when you've had 12 players on the DL (2 lost for the season) before the month of June.
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Scott perfected this at 05/29/2012 12:16:16 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
05/29/2012 @ 01:09:40 PM
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2nd best, Braun has been better.

Weeks and Gallardo are the only two that I would really say are under performing, and there's a lot season yet for them to end up with perfectly normal season totals.

I'm not sure where to find updated numbers, but they've been horrible at close games this year, which is probably just the universe balancing out their above average success in those games last year. Or too many sacrifice bunts.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
05/29/2012 @ 02:53:55 PM
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Braun and Lucroy are virtually tied in terms of "who's a better hitter" so far this season. Braun's line is .309/.388/.600, lucroy is .345/.387/.583. Braun plays everyday, so I can give him the edge.

I'd add KRod and possibly Aramis Ramierez to the list of players underperforming. KRod's era is 3 times what it was last year. ARam has historically been a slow starter, but that doesn't change the fact that he is performing under his career average. Although both ARam has been playing better recently. Either way, even it is just Gallardo and Weeks (and KRod), that's 1 all-star from last season and a 17 game winner. Plus, my point wasn't where these guys would end up in September, but rather that bad performances so far have resulted in a 20-28 record so far. For the Brewers to make the playoffs, let's assume 88 wins is needed. The Brewers would need to go 68-46 from this point on. That record would mean that they would have to duplicate last season's success starting tonight and sustaining it through the rest of the season. I suppose it's possible. But the guys underforming need to get it in gear now.

The Brewers are 7-8 in 1 run games, which might seem horrible considering that last year their were 30-18 in 1 run games. They're actually better in one run games than in other games this season.
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Scott perfected this at 05/29/2012 2:59:52 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/30/2012 @ 08:17:44 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:03:19 AM
Jonathon Lucroy, who was the Brewers best hitter this year, is out 4-6 weeks after he broke his hand when a suitcase fell on his hand. Oh the delusion of coming off an NLCS season and not being able to admit that your season is over before the "boys of summer" actually reach summer.


The Brewers have won back to back games agains the Dodgers. Clearly their problems are solved.

And I'm not sure if I said this in the MLB offseason thread, but after reading moneyball, I went through the Brewers minor league system to find any hidden gems. Mike Fiers stuck out to me. He had better stats than Wily Peralta, including lower ERA, lower WHIP, a better K/BB ratio, and fewer homeruns given up. Yet Peralta was the guy everyone was touting as "their best prospect." Peralta struggled in his call up this year and Fiers shined in his first start last night. It makes you wonder what exactly people are looking at when they judge a prospect.
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Scott perfected this at 05/30/2012 8:19:39 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 09:29:04 AM
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Alex Wrote - 05/29/2012 @ 01:09:40 PM

Weeks and Gallardo are the only two that I would really say are under performing, and there's a lot season yet for them to end up with perfectly normal season totals.


I sort of had a knee jerk reaction to assuming gallardo was having a less than stellar year when I looked at his stats, particularly his 4.22 era. Not that this is a good excuse, but if you eliminate his two starts against the Cardinals, who he has struggled against his entire career, his era is actually very good at 2.47, which would put him in the top 10 in the NL. In 9 starts against teams not named for a red north american bird, Gallardo has 55 strikeouts to 24 walks and has given up only 2 homeruns and 16 earned runs in 58.1 innings. In two starts against the cardinals, he has struck out 6 to his 7 walks, and given up 4 homeruns and 14 earned runs in 5.2 innings, for an ERA in those two games of 22.24. St. Louis has Gallardo's number, but otherwise, Gallardo is actually pitching pretty well this year.
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Scott screwed with this at 05/31/2012 9:41:44 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 09:43:20 AM
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@jp_breen , a blogger for disciplesofuecker.com, must have read my tweet, because about 15 minutes after I wrote this, he tweeted essentially the same thing about gallardo.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
05/31/2012 @ 11:37:52 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:17:44 AM
And I'm not sure if I said this in the MLB offseason thread, but after reading moneyball, I went through the Brewers minor league system to find any hidden gems. Mike Fiers stuck out to me. He had better stats than Wily Peralta, including lower ERA, lower WHIP, a better K/BB ratio, and fewer homeruns given up. Yet Peralta was the guy everyone was touting as "their best prospect." Peralta struggled in his call up this year and Fiers shined in his first start last night. It makes you wonder what exactly people are looking at when they judge a prospect.


You forgot to look at one of the most important statistics when dealing with prospects - their age. Fiers is 26 (soon to be 27), while Peralta just turned 23. Without knowing much about either of them, I'm going to assume the difference in how people see them is that Fiers is currently much closer to his ceiling than Peralta is.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
05/31/2012 @ 11:52:46 AM
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I suppose that is possible. Do pitchers have a ceiling similar to position players? Does fangraphs have an age/performance dropoff like the one alex posted about offensive players?

answer: yes
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/pitcher-aging-curves-introduction/

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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 05/31/2012 12:00:59 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
05/31/2012 @ 12:13:35 PM
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In this case, I meant ceiling more as a developmental ceiling. Think of prospect development as puberty. Feirs is most likely done "growing" as a prospect, while Peralta still has a potential "growth spurt" in him. Right now, Feirs is probably close to pitching at his maximum ability, Peralta probably isn't yet.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
05/31/2012 @ 12:41:15 PM
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ah, i see what you mean.

and before I get lambasted, I'll add this comment about Fiers start: 1 start does not a career make.
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Scott perfected this at 05/31/2012 1:05:30 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 01:10:13 PM
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Right, prospect ratings tend to put more weight on ceiling than current ability. Rankings based more on current (say for the rest of a season) ability will go out their way to point out they're looking at near-term only.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 02:22:02 PM
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Top MLB trade candidates
The list includes Greinke, Marcum, and KRod. Here's my brief opinion, with the assumption that someone gets traded. If someone is going to get traded, I'd rather it be Marcum and/or KRod. KRod could be of some value to a team that needs a closer, and the Brewers could sweeten the deal by covering his salary, or part of it. Marcum still has some value, but I fear a meltdown like he had last season. He already has had tommy john surgery once which was likely caused by his delivery mechanics that have a history of leading to Tommy John surgery (and not to mention fatigue). Greinke is a guy you could build your rotation around. He is molding into somewhat of an ace. Getting rid of Marcum and KRod would free up a lot of space to sign Greinke to the (relatively) big contract that he's probably due. Plus I think Greinke helps the Brewers in the long term moreso than Marcum does.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 05/31/2012 2:23:46 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
05/31/2012 @ 03:29:37 PM
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Are you factoring in the Yankees/Red Sox offering Grienke 2 bajillion dollars over the next 12 years?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 04:26:49 PM
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The yankees and Red Sox want no part of Greinke. and vice versa. He has pretty bad social anxiety disorder, and his handlers and the Sox/Yankees handlers wouldn't allow for it. The Yankees were "in the running" for Greinke back when the Brewers traded for him, but they withdrew their interest upon learning more about Greinke's issues.
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Scott messed with this at 05/31/2012 4:27:24 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 04:28:47 PM
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I agree, a"relatively" big contract for Greinke isn't going to happen. He's getting paid.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/zack-greinke-will-get-paid/
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/what-is-cole-hamels-worth/

"We’ve already determined that based on Greinke’s career numbers, he will probably make somewhere between $140 million to $160 million on the open market."

Let's say it's $140 million for 6 years, and distributed evenly. That's $23.3 million per year.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tz1FL3X6KldYXIoGOHXpv6A&output=html

So $10 million more than he made this year. Marcum and KRod off the books is $15.7 million. The other $5.7 million I'd assume will be soaked up by arbitration raises, long term contract scheduled raises, and minimum salaries for the minor league pitchers that would take those 2 spots over next year. Oops, forgot about Wolf. If they can't trade him they would take the buyout I assume which would save them another $8 million over this year. But Gallardo, Braun, and Ramirez's raises total $9.5 million anyway.

In order to keep Greinke, Marcum, Wolf, and KRod need to be replaced by minor league pitchers and there's no money to sign any free agents. And that's keeping roughly the same salary total, I think they'd like it to go down a bit.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
05/31/2012 @ 04:43:54 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 04:26:49 PM
The yankees and Red Sox want no part of Greinke. and vice versa. He has pretty bad social anxiety disorder, and his handlers and the Sox/Yankees handlers wouldn't allow for it. The Yankees were "in the running" for Greinke back when the Brewers traded for him, but they withdrew their interest upon learning more about Greinke's issues.


Well, they're sort of the "go to" gag. Even if it won't literally be them, someone is going to flash some serious cash. Miami was trying to throw it around this offseason, and then there are the teams that need to catch the Yankees/Sox/Rangers/Angels.
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
05/31/2012 @ 05:03:33 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 04:28:47 PM
In order to keep Greinke, Marcum, Wolf, and KRod need to be replaced by minor league pitchers and there's no money to sign any free agents. And that's keeping roughly the same salary total, I think they'd like it to go down a bit.


For the record, I'm not sure if I'm for or against this option yet. Too soon to tell. Also, I think it was in a previous ESPN.com blurb that possibly the Brewers could trade Greinke in a deadline deal and still have a chance to resign him, if his preference would be to return to Milwaukee. It just would be a little scary to have so much money tied up in Braun and Greinke for the next 6 years.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
05/31/2012 @ 05:16:34 PM
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Well, as much grief as the Twins have gotten for giving about the same money to a (theoretically) everyday player at a premium position, I would think those people would have to be against giving that to a player who only plays 1 of 5 games on a team that wants to cut back to $10 to $20 mil less than the Twins spend on their payroll.

Granted, it's for 2 fewer years, but it's hard to even begin to make a case for it.
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2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
05/31/2012 @ 06:31:57 PM
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2 fewer years isn't nothing in terms of risk management.

I vaguely remember reading something about the "pitchers only pitch every 5th game comparison to value of position players" line of thinking. I'll have to see if I can find again. I think the argument might be that although the pitcher only factors into every 5th game, they are by far the most important player in the games that they play which at least somewhat offsets. Plus if you have a starter that regularly goes 6+, it does affect the bullpen for the next couple games too, although that's a lot harder to measure.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
06/01/2012 @ 11:51:05 AM
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In Defense of bunting
Stop Defending the bunt

a few interesting points about bunting, here's one:

bunting in front of Braun with runners on:
I wasn’t crazy about either move at the time (and said so in the case of the second one) and I’m still really not thrilled, but I do have one question nagging in the back of my mind: is it really such a bad thing to bait another manager into employing a sub optimal strategy of his own? Ron Roenicke had to have known that opening a base for Braun to be placed on was going to entice a manager like Don Mattingly walk him and thus give the Brewers a free base runner in front of Ramirez.
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Scott screwed with this at 06/01/2012 11:53:40 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
06/01/2012 @ 12:14:54 PM
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I can't decide if it matters, or not, for charts like these http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html used as evidence against sacrificing that the data is collected involved sacrifices.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
06/01/2012 @ 12:24:36 PM
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Also, is it sub optimal? The Brewers are using up their 2 best hitters (supposedly) to gain a RE of .077, if there were 1 out after Braun's walk, or -.156 if there were 2 outs. (And that assumes there were 2 runners ahead of Braun in both instances.)

I think I'd take that bet if I were Mattingly.
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Jeremy edited this 3 times, last at 06/01/2012 12:41:10 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
06/01/2012 @ 01:20:56 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:14:54 PM
I can't decide if it matters, or not, for charts like these http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html used as evidence against sacrificing that the data is collected involved sacrifices.


Scoring is down now compared to 99-02 anyway, so presumably these numbers aren't totally applicable.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
06/01/2012 @ 01:45:35 PM
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Probably not, though if you're comparing them I imagine they aren't useless. Though I guess it's not impossible, I doubt any of them drastically changed relative to the others.

It's .075 and -.149 using these slightly more updated, (and backdated) numbers.

http://www.tangotiger.net/re24.html
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Jeremy messed with this at 06/01/2012 1:49:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/03/2012 @ 09:44:15 AM
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2011 Braun vs 2012 Braun
But whatever happened or didn't happen last year after his test came back positive, the facts of 2012 are there for all of us to see. And those facts say this is exactly the same player now as the guy we were watching before that test.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
06/03/2012 @ 11:05:20 AM
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John Axford got off to a slow start this year. Through his first 12 appearances, he amassed an era of 6.10. In his last 9 appearances, he has given up 0 runs. I think he's gotten it figured out.
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sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
06/03/2012 @ 05:22:37 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 11:05:20 AM
John Axford got off to a slow start this year. Through his first 12 appearances, he amassed an era of 6.10. In his last 9 appearances, he has given up 0 runs. I think he's gotten it figured out.

Except he gave up a homerun to the first batter he saw today. What is it with closers and non-save situations? Capps has two losses on the season from when he came in to a tied game in the 9th.
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jon.jpgJon - infinity + 1 posts
06/04/2012 @ 01:35:29 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:44:15 AM
2011 Braun vs 2012 Braun
But whatever happened or didn't happen last year after his test came back positive, the facts of 2012 are there for all of us to see. And those facts say this is exactly the same player now as the guy we were watching before that test.


I believe I've mentioned this before, but I'm pretty sure people turn to PEDs to get/stay healthy and not just for a "boost" in numbers. I put "boost" in quotation marks, because actually even if the player puts up normal numbers, that would still be an upgrade from the zeros and DNPs he'd be getting if he were sitting due to injury.

So his performance this year isn't nothing, but it's not really definitive evidence for his innocence either.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8453 Posts
06/04/2012 @ 10:43:47 AM
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Especially since his defenders have repeatedly reminded us, without any real way of knowing, that since the test came 18 seconds after the conclusion of the season (aka "in the playoffs"), there's a zero percent chance any of the regular season is tainted. At which point you have a sample size of a handful of games.

Not to mention, even if his PEDs were about gaining an edge, that's just what they'd be, an edge. They were never going to be the difference between 55 homeruns and 5. Comparing two 49 game sample sizes as some sort of evidence is silly. If for no other reason than because maybe it was a perceived lackluster start to the season that prompted him to start taking them later.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 06/04/2012 10:58:25 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/04/2012 @ 10:56:22 AM
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I do find this concept interesting, because it's been mentioned a number of times:
The point of this is, none of us have any way of knowing all the details of Braun's case. We know he's been screaming, from the beginning, that he's innocent. We know a bunch of his friends have said stuff to the effect that "If you knew the real story, you'd believe him."

Obviously, nothing can be concluded from this without knowing what they know, but still, it makes you wonder what "the real story" is that makes people that "know" it claim to "believe him".
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Scott perfected this at 06/04/2012 10:56:59 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
06/04/2012 @ 10:59:31 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:43:47 AM
Especially since his defenders have repeatedly reminded us, without any real way of knowing, that since the test came 18 seconds after the conclusion of the season (aka "in the playoffs"), there's a zero percent chance any of the regular season is tainted. At which point you have a sample size of a handful of games.


Also, this is Jayson Stark talking, not the loads of defenders. So that point isn't necessarily valid when looking at the perspective of Jayson Stark (specfically, this article). He isn't really "defending" anything or anyone. He's simply pointing out a statistical observation, not taking any speculative and unsubstantiated claims into consideration.

He's basically just saying this: Braun was suspected of taking peds last year, but this (supposedly clean) year his performance is very similar. So his supposed "dirty" 2011 year is similar to his supposed "clean" 2012. That is all

But to that point, a defender saying that since the test took place in October that you can't/shouldn't assume that anything that took place during the regular season are no less wrong or invalid than someone arguing that his MVP was indeed tainted. Since neither side knows any better, the "default" conclusion has to start somewhere, doesn't it? I say err on the side of not guilty, since you can't prove the guilt.

I will, concede, however, that Jon's point is a valid one. There have been some past cases (high profile cases even) of players getting busted and the claim was they tried to promote healing (Andy Pettitte, anyone?). Braun was dealing with some injuries towards the end last season, so that opens up the suspicion/possibility.
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Scott screwed with this 5 times, last at 06/04/2012 11:10:43 am
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
06/04/2012 @ 11:14:42 AM
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Sarah Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:22:37 PM
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:05:20 AM
John Axford got off to a slow start this year. Through his first 12 appearances, he amassed an era of 6.10. In his last 9 appearances, he has given up 0 runs. I think he's gotten it figured out.

Except he gave up a homerun to the first batter he saw today. What is it with closers and non-save situations? Capps has two losses on the season from when he came in to a tied game in the 9th.


It's probably because I pointed it out to him. First rule of a 9 inning scoreless streak; don't talk about the 9 inning scoreless streak. 2nd rule of the 9 inning scoreless streak.....
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
06/07/2012 @ 02:59:04 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - 06/01/2012 @ 01:45:35 PM
Probably not, though if you're comparing them I imagine they aren't useless. Though I guess it's not impossible, I doubt any of them drastically changed relative to the others.

It's .075 and -.149 using these slightly more updated, (and backdated) numbers.

http://www.tangotiger.net/re24.html


What kind of variances exists when you factor in team batting average, or the upcoming batting averages of a particular inning? The RE with runners on 1b and 2b and no outs would be different if you had the 3, 4, 5 hitters for the Dodgers compared to the 7, 8, 9 hitters for the Cubs, or at least I would venture to guess that it would be.
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Scott screwed with this at 06/07/2012 2:59:40 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
06/07/2012 @ 03:22:48 PM
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Well, that's just it. Those numbers essentially have to wash to average batter and average speed on the bases. So, best case scenario (assuming there were no outs), you're taking the bat out of the hands of a supposedly good batter, and the reigning MVP*, to gain, what was derived from averages, a .075 gain in runs.

Were I Mattingly I'd bet that Braun batting making the killer hit, vs the guy behind him, is worth the minuscule gain in average RE.

Using the other table, the run/odds one, the Brewers used 2 of their best hitters to make scoring any runs at all 3% more likely. I don't know if I'd call that forcing Mattingly into a bad strategy. The drop off from Braun to not Braun, and certainly Braun to MLB average, has to be more than 3%.

Edit: And actually, if you look at it as disjointed which it would be from the Dodgers POV, instead of one strategy, which it is from the Brewers side; The Brewers chances of scoring any runs actually go down by "making" Mattingly walk the bases full. Second and 3rd 1 out will score a run 69.8% of the time. Bases loaded and 1 one is only 67.9%. So, as a whole Mattingly gets to bypass Braun in exchange for a tiny gain in total runs expected, but walking him there actually LOWERS the chances of the Brewers scoring anything. (Presumably because the double play to 2nd is now set up.)
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Jeremy messed with this 5 times, last at 06/07/2012 3:40:36 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
06/08/2012 @ 08:46:50 PM
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I double dog dare anyone to try and justify that one. Just totally ridiculous. 1st and 3rd with one out, Gomez bunts too hard and Weeks gets caught of 3rd base. emoticon
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Alex messed with this at 06/08/2012 8:47:02 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
06/08/2012 @ 09:17:43 PM
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I figured heads were exploding on that one. Although they're about 8 of 10 on the season on squeeze plays, for whatever that's worth; so you can't necessarily judge it based on this one result. Either it's a bad philosophy overall no matter the results (even on the successful attempts) or you take some failed attempts every once in a while along with a high percentage of successes.

Also, we've had this debate above. When you've got poor hitters coming up (which the Brewers did), a sacrifice might actually be the higher percentage play.
Scott Wrote - 04/18/2012 @ 09:21:51 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3584

baseballprospectus was referred to often in the book Moneyball. They make the case that for a below average hitter, the sacrifice bunt might actually be warranted.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 06/08/2012 9:23:05 pm
2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
06/09/2012 @ 11:51:59 PM
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Gomez seems pretty good at hitting fly balls, I'm 100% ok with a sacrifice fly in that scenario.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
06/11/2012 @ 12:35:43 PM
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So I did some analysis of the Brewers run 1 games and bunting. I only counted bunt attempts with men on base. They are 10-9 in one run games. In their 9 games that they lost, they only attempted 2 sacrifice bunts. In their 10 wins, they attempted 12 sacrifice bunts.

Their 2 bunts in losses:
1. runner on 1st, 1 out, Izturis bunted; result was infield single, 7th inning down 1 run
2. runner on 1st, 0 out, gomez bunted, resulted in fielder choice, 11th inning, tie game

Of their 12 sac bunt attempts in their 10 wins, 5 were in one home game, 2 of which were after the 9th inning of a tie game, another was by the pitcher.

Note that I am presenting these stats without comment. In their one run games, they have 10 wins with 12 sacrifice bunt attempts and 9 losses with 2 sac bunt attempts.

I can breakdown the items individually if anyone is interested. I have it on paper right now.
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Scott messed with this at 06/11/2012 12:37:34 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
06/11/2012 @ 01:23:03 PM
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This is the game with 5 right?
http://espn.go.com/mlb/playbyplay?gameId=320511108
Wolf in the 5th inning with 1 on, no outs, acceptable
Maybe Green's bunt in the 6th with 1 on and 1 out was meant to be a sac even though he reached? But sac bunting with Izturis on deck seems pretty stupid...
Bottom of 8th, up 1 with runner on 1st and no outs, Ishikawa bunts Izturis over to 2nd. That allowed the legendary Brooks Conrad, sporting an 0-6 on the season, to fly out and Weeks to strike out. This bunt decision I don't like. Swing away and play for a bigger inning.
Bottom of 10th, tied with runner on 1st and no outs, Ishikawa bunts Izturis over to 2nd. This makes more sense because 1 run at that point would have won the game, acceptable.
Izturis failed attempt in the 12th with 1 on no outs, acceptable

So if I have the correct 5, I'm good with 3 of them. And they scored 0 runs in all the innings with a bunt, so that the fact that they still managed to win the game is completely irrelevant.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
06/11/2012 @ 01:28:38 PM
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You have the correct game. I'm not commenting on the relevance of whether or not bunting won or lost the game. Of their 10 one-run wins, they attempted a sacrifice in 60 % of those games. In their 9 one-run loses, they attempted sacrifice bunts in 22% of those games. The only comment I might note from this is that bunting isn't hurting. When they lose close games*, it isn't because they are bunting too much. (I could over-reach inappropriately and say that it looks like they aren't bunting enough in close games in which they lose, but I also don't know if they were losing early or if they lost late leads, so I won't even go there).

Or to put it another way, they are 6-2 (.750) in 1 run games that feature at least 1 sacrifice bunt attempt.
So in reality:
Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:23:03 PM
the fact that they still managed to win the game is completely irrelevant.

is actually irrelevant. At worst, they are still winning close games that include bunting in spite of bunting being stupid. My whole point isn't that bunting is wonderful. It's more so that it's not nearly as bad as to warrant the energy output from the haters (for lack of a better term)

*there might be differences if I included 2 run games, but you have to pay extra for that kind of analysis.
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Scott screwed with this 5 times, last at 06/11/2012 2:14:15 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2437 Posts
06/11/2012 @ 09:04:25 PM
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So, bunt if you want to win by only one run or swing away if you want to win by more than one run?

Or do you bunt when you're already ahead by 3 in order to make it likely that you'll only win by one run?

I don't really have a dog in this fight, I just don't think the numbers really show a case for or against bunting. Though I appreciate the work it took to organize them.

Also, I rarely find any use for stats that limit data to one run games. Or games decided by x number of points in other sports.

For just one reason why, let's say, on average, bunting at some point in a game gives you a 10% chance of winning by more than a run, a 35% chance of winning by one run, a 20% chance of losing by a run, and a 35% chance of losing by more than a run. To make things easy, we'll say the team ends up bunting in 100 games on the season. We look at games where they bunted that were decided by one run, and we'd expect to see they'd win about 64% of those games (35 wins to 20 losses). But overall, if we looked at all the games they bunted, we'd see that they ended up winning only 45% of those games (45 wins to 55 losses).
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
06/11/2012 @ 09:23:09 PM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 09:04:25 PM
I just don't think the numbers really show a case for or against bunting.

I agree. I'm not making a case in favor of bunting. I'm also not really making a case. I did some research on a data set and came to the conclusion (which wasn't that bunting wins you close games, but that it doesn't seem to be the cause of losing close games). I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of bunting. I just don't think it's as much a scourge to waste much energy being upset about.

And really, the main reason I didn't want to go through every game they played this season and determine what their record was in every game in which a sacrifice bunt occurred. And since the Brewers are 10-9 in one run games, I figured the win/loss of the variables might be telling since the "control" was the wins and losses. And in doing so, I found that the Brewers don't lose close games due to too much bunting. At the current time, I'm making no conclusion about other data sets.

Also, I acknowledged that things might be different if I included all games in which a bunt occurred. Which I might go ahead with right now.

But here's a question, if you aren't a fan of looking at stats based on x run games, or whatever, what kinds of things do you think are legitimate ways to breakdown stats? Or is there none? Should stats always be taken as a complete whole?

I've also, as of late, gotten less on hypotheticals and more on actual results, which is what I attempted to do with my analysis of one run games.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
06/11/2012 @ 09:54:30 PM
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Also, the larger the gap in runs of a win or loss could be significant in determining if bunting is good or bad. If a sacrificing an out for a run is only reducing your RE by .3 runs, then a sacrifice in a game lost by 4 runs likely had no effect on the outcome of the game.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/11/2012 @ 10:05:47 PM
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Ok, Here are my preliminary findings as I am through the month of April. The Brewers were 11-12 in the Month of April. They had 15 sacrifice bunt attempts in 10 games. In those 10 games they won 8 and lost 2. One of those losses was by 2 runs, the other by 4 runs. Both had 2 sacrifice attempts. In both losses, one of the the 2 sacrifice attempts was by the pitcher.

So in April games that the Brewers had at least one bunt attempt, they won 8 and lost 2.

Again, I'm not advocating bunting, just that bunting isn't killing their chances of winning.

On to May.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/11/2012 @ 10:44:12 PM
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In May, the Brewers were 7-8 in games in which they had at least one sacrifice attempt. So through April and May, there were 15-10 in games with at least one sacrifice. In may, their loses in games with a sacrifice were by 2, 3, 1, 6, 2, 4, 1, and 3. So just at face value, at the very very most, the theory of RE might show that the sacrifice attempts cost them 2 of those games.
In one of the one run games that they lost, they had an inning with a botched sacrifice attempt, they went from runner on first with 0 outs to a runner on first with 1 out. the RE dropped from .941 to .562. So the one event cost them a theoretical .379 runs.

In their other 1 run loss, they had a sacrifice attempt to resulted in an infield single, so it actually helped. So from an RE standpoint, the bunt attempts likely didn't do much to affect the theoretical run expectancy enough to alter the result of the game.

And now that I have a log of all the games that they have sacrificed, I could probably go through and calculate the RE change in their losses to see if what I am suspecting is true, though I'll withhold my judgement until I know for sure.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/14/2012 @ 02:43:18 PM
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R.A. Dickey gets a bad close call that goes against him that resulted in the only hit he gave up in the entire game. In a related story, virtually the same thing happened to CC Sabathia when he was playing for the Brewers back in 2008. The Brewers appealed that decision back then and were denied. The Mets are appealing this decision now. I'm guessing it gets denied as well. At least it should. Even David Wright admits that he wouldn't have made the play if he tried to glove the ball. So he had to go with his bare hand, and it's hard to give a guy an error when his only option was barehanding a short hopper and making a perfect throw.
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Scott messed with this 3 times, last at 06/14/2012 2:56:58 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/15/2012 @ 07:59:03 AM
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I can't figure Rickie Weeks out. What do you do with a guy who has a $10mil contract for the 3 years minimum who is batting .164 and his babip is 80 points lower than his career average. He leads the league in strikeouts despite seeing a smaller percentage of strikes compared to his career average. He's walking more than usual, swinging less, looking at more strikes. He is hitting fewer line drives, his groundball/flyball ratio is leaning towards more fly balls, yet his HR/FB ratio is nearly half of his average over the past 3 years. So he's swinging less, swinging worse, and looking more, all resulting in a player who is already more than a game worse than a replacement level player; which is fitting, because the Brewers have 3 guys on their roster that play regularly that are exactly the replacement players that the WAR is supposed to theoretically measure against (I'm talking about the 3 guys on their current roster who started the season in the minors, and weren't called up becaues of oustanding minor league performances).

Oh, and the Brewers suck again. I'm not sure if I can ever remember two more gut wrenching losses that happened on back to back nights. 2 nights ago, Axford blows a run run lead in the ninth, and then the brewers walk maybe 3 guys in the 11th including walking in the winning run. The next night, axford starts the 9th off (in a one run lead) by striking out the first guy but throwing a wild pitch allowing the batter to reach. Then, gives up a doubled later in the inning that scores the tying run; on the play, the winning run had stopped at third, but Weeks bobbles the relay throw to second, the runner on third takes off, and weeks gets off a horrible throw to home and the winning run scores*. They had two games that should have/could have gotten them back into a rhythm, but rather they blew them horribly, and are now 7 games under .500 when they could have/should have been 3 games under.

*did I mention that the Royals hadn't come from behind after 8 innings all year?
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Scott messed with this 3 times, last at 06/15/2012 8:17:29 am
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
06/15/2012 @ 10:14:17 AM
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Keep playing Weeks and hope he figures it out.

Closers can't give up walks. Mariano Rivera has a career 2.04 BB/9. Axford managed 3.05 last year, but is 4.12 for his career and 6.29 this season.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/15/2012 @ 11:08:50 AM
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Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy responded to someone last week that wanted to bench rickie or send him to minors with something to the extent of: a)who would replace him, and b) the Brewers don't win unless he figures it out, and he can't figure it out unless he plays. Neither choice is all that promising. My comment was mostly rhetorical anyway. Obviously, you can't send him to the minors for numerous reasons. Not the least of which is who indeed would you replace him with? They already have half of the Nashville Sounds roster up in the majors as it is (or so it seems). Regarding reason B, the Brewers certainly need Weeks to figure it out. But we are beyond the point of "it's early" and have jumped into the realm of "something might actually be wrong". It might be his vision, it might be mechanical, it might be his approach, it might be that he can't bring himself to play good baseball since Fielder is gone. Either way, it's becoming much more of a trend than a fleeting occurance. "Hope" is probably the key word, because it doesn't seem like there's any indications that he's suddenly going to start hitting the ball hard again.
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Scott screwed with this at 06/15/2012 11:09:46 am
jon.jpgJon - many posts
06/15/2012 @ 11:47:59 PM
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I didn't watch the game, but heard some postgame radio. What are yall's thoughts on Weeks not bunting in the 9th?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/16/2012 @ 08:09:05 AM
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he only has 2 sacrifice bunt attempts in the last 5 years? And bunting is stupid (but not soo stupid as to get angry over).
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Scott perfected this at 06/16/2012 8:09:29 am
newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
06/16/2012 @ 10:02:33 AM
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Bunting with no outs and a runner on 2nd? I don't think so.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3598 Posts
06/16/2012 @ 12:19:21 PM
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Capps is the sux in non-save situations. Everyone saw that coming. 3 non-save situations, 3 losses. Kudos.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
06/18/2012 @ 01:17:16 PM
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Ryan Braun has as many or more homeruns at Target Field this season than all but 2 players on the Twins roster.
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
06/18/2012 @ 01:54:48 PM
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Brewers' playoff odds between 10 and 14%

http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2012&i=1
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/

Get your oven mitts ready for the fire sale, everyone who's last name isn't Braun is available for the right price. And Gallardo, really can't see him being traded given his reasonable contract and the possibility of losing the other 3 of the top 4 starters. And probably not Lucroy.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
06/18/2012 @ 02:18:06 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:54:48 PM
Brewers' playoff odds between 10 and 14% .



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Scott messed with this 4 times, last at 06/18/2012 2:19:56 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
06/18/2012 @ 02:31:55 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:54:48 PM
Get your oven mitts ready for the fire sale, everyone who's last name isn't Braun is available for the right price. And Gallardo, really can't see him being traded given his reasonable contract and the possibility of losing the other 3 of the top 4 starters. And probably not Lucroy.


I think Greinke's gone. With the contract that he's likely due in the offseason, he's not an option anymore really for possible resigning. The only possibility would be to keep him, offer him arbitration, and take the draft picks that you get when he signs elsewhere, but I don't see that happening. (on the flip-side, this guy wonders how much value a right-handed starter has on the trade market)

With Greinke gone, I sort of hope they decide pursue Marcum. He's been pretty good, and because of his shakiness might be reasonably priced, but correct me if I'm wrong. (is it ok if I think the Brewers should pursue I guy because he's generally pretty good but not TOO good?)

KRod could be traded as well, but he's got a high price tag right now. The Brewers would seemingly have to retain a decent percentage of his contract (which I believe is just one year anyway) to make him more attractive to potential buyers.

Other than that, I don't see a whole lot.
Weeks has a pretty big contract for a guy hitting .170; I don't see any team wanting to trade for him.

Gallardo is signed for a while, and like you said, his contract is pretty reasonable so that Brewers probably want to stick with what they know at a reasonable price.

Lucroy just signed a 5 year deal, so I don't think he's going anywhere.

I could see Kottaras getting dealt once he's active again, but again, where's the value?. He's got an .OBP of .444 this year, but other than that, I'm not sure what else they could bring in for him. But with Maldanado being the 3rd catcher right now (and playing well as the starter), you gotta find room for him somewhere.

Corey Hart is a FA after next year, but without him they may be dead in the water at first base, and then your outfield would consist of Braun, Aoki, Morgan, and Gomez, and the later two should make any team shudder a little bit. Gomez still might be young enough to attract some buyers, even if his defensive abilities have taken a significant hit this year.

But I think you are right, other than Braun, Gallardo, and Lucroy, I don't think anything should come as a surprise.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 06/18/2012 2:39:53 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
06/18/2012 @ 03:26:16 PM
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Although, regarding Corey Hart and being SOL at first base, it's not like Hart's bringing much to the table over there at first. He's a below average right fielder in terms of range factor, and so far he's even worse at first base. You'd assume that the more he plays there the better he'd get, but still, he's not exactly a great defensive player.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 06/18/2012 3:28:04 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
06/18/2012 @ 05:56:50 PM
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Well, just because I'd make everyone else available doesn't mean I'd expect interest in everybody. I'm sure no one is banging down the door with blockbuster offers for Weeks.

Greinke has to go.

The problem with Marcum is he's a somewhat high injury risk. He was one of 5 guys pictured in a The Mag article awhile back about poor form, something about an upside down W from hand to elbow to neck to other elbow to hand when the front foot comes down and how that leads to TJ surgery. But beyond that, no it's not wrong to be looking at signing "second tier" free agents when it comes to the Brewers. Most teams won't be in the Grienke/Hamels sweepstakes in the offseason.

Get whatever they can for KRod, he'll be gone next year anyway.

Kottaras has value in that he has 3 years of arb left. Unless Maldanado is just playing above his head right now, it's starting to look like they have a little bit of a surplus between the 3 catchers. I don't think they HAVE to trade one of the backups, but certainly they could if they get a decent offer.

Besides the starting pitchers, Hart is probably the most interesting case. I'll have to think about him some more, but I'm thinking they should shop him pretty hard.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
06/18/2012 @ 08:55:48 PM
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I didn't mean to imply that you thought everyone was going to go for a premium price. I just took your comment and decided to have a thought experiment on what possibilities existed.

Hart's the only "established" player that isn't currently committed to a period of time most would consider "long term". And he does have SOME value. What he lacks in defense, he makes up for in offense.
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Scott messed with this at 06/18/2012 9:18:39 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/18/2012 @ 09:45:43 PM
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of course, as soon as I call Corey Hart a poor defensive player who's playing "even worse" at first, he comes up with 2 gems at first in one inning.
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Scott edited this at 06/18/2012 10:04:38 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/19/2012 @ 08:34:33 AM
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I think this is more a result of coincidental circumstance relating to the timing of an injury rather than the team selling the season and bringing up their future, but Tyler Thornburg will make his major league debut for the Brewers tonight. He will be starting in place of Shawn Marcum who is sidelined from some tightness in his throwing arm.

Thornburg this season has been decent in his first season in AA. He is 8-1 with an ERA of 3.00, striking out 71 while walking 24 in 75 innings. That's 8.5k/9, and a 3.13 K/BB ratio. His WHIP is 1.08. He's also holding batters to a .212 batting average. 6 of his last 8 starts would qualify as quality starts.

So for what it's worth, add Thornburg to the growing list of characters that are coming up from the minors to play a role on the Brewers roster this season. This is their second pitcher to come up from the minors to make a start, and it's not even July yet.
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Scott perfected this at 06/19/2012 11:21:29 am
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
06/19/2012 @ 11:35:49 AM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:56:50 PM
The problem with Marcum is he's a somewhat high injury risk. He was one of 5 guys pictured in a The Mag article awhile back about poor form, something about an upside down W from hand to elbow to neck to other elbow to hand when the front foot comes down and how that leads to TJ surgery. .


Here's the link to the story about pitching mechanics that lead to Tommy John Surgery. Marcum is literally one of the posterchildren for it.

Scott Wrote - 03/23/2012 @ 02:56:39 PM
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7712916/tommy-john-surgery-keeps-
pitchers-game-address-underlying-biomechanical-flaw-espn-magazine Here's a concept that is in the spirit of Moneyball: using science to predict pitching injuries. And here's a quote epitimizes the feeling that people already "know" everything there is to know; "I'm not going to let new-school ways get in the way of my old-school thinking. I don't need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look." -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper And here is a frame by frame breakdown of a near perfect delivery compared to a flawed delivery.
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2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
06/19/2012 @ 01:23:07 PM
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Scott Wrote - 06/15/2012 @ 07:59:03 AM
I can't figure Rickie Weeks out.


It seems the key is that as soon as I pick up another 2B on my fantasy team Weeks starts heating up and then when I drop that 2B Weeks goes ice cold.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/19/2012 @ 01:25:24 PM
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he's 7-14 in his last 3 games.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
06/19/2012 @ 01:31:06 PM
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Oh, and I saw a tweet from @DKnobler from CBSSports that said: "Brewers people telling other teams that decision on sell/not sell will rest totally with owner. They think Grinke least likely to be moved."
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Scott edited this at 06/19/2012 1:31:19 pm
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
06/22/2012 @ 01:58:29 PM
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Brewers to sign Livan Hernandez

Good luck with that!
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
06/27/2012 @ 11:04:01 AM
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Check out the guy's beer gut. He'll fit right in.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
06/27/2012 @ 08:37:14 PM
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Honestly I haven't been watching the Brewers a ton lately, but I've the game on for 10 minutes today and I'm greeted with Morgan bunting with 1st and 2nd no outs and Grienke gets thrown out at 3rd on a bunt to the 3rd base side of the pitcher. That's a giant WTF right? Or is it just me? Luckily Aoki then got thrown out stealing third and Ramirez dutifully grounded out quick before Morgan could do anything else stupid. And I just realized it's a replay and at least they still managed to win today.
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sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
07/01/2012 @ 10:45:04 AM
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Not sure if this has been played a lot yet, since I didn't have access to a TV yesterday, but this might be the weirdest play of the season. Scored us a run too! The whole stadium couldn't believe their eyes.
http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/6/30/3128656/rbi-hit-of-the-year

This is a better link:
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22734353&topic_id=11493214&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_22734353&v=3
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Sarah edited this at 07/01/2012 10:50:23 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
07/01/2012 @ 12:15:57 PM
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matt kemp has played in 45% of the Dodgers games this seasons. of course he's an All-Star starter. No homers over in that neck of the woods, only Brewer fans vote for their undeserving favorites. Although Braun will most likely be starting anyway, since Matt Kemp has been on the DL for about 396 innings this season.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3598 Posts
07/01/2012 @ 07:13:36 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 12:15:57 PM
matt kemp has played in 45% of the Dodgers games this seasons. of course he's an All-Star starter. No homers over in that neck of the woods, only Brewer fans vote for their undeserving favorites. Although Braun will most likely be starting anyway, since Matt Kemp has been on the DL for about 396 innings this season.


Haven't people said that voting in All Stars encompasses the current year play of players as well as the prior year after last year's All Star game?
Matt Kemp is a great player and should be an All Star, even though he has missed a good portion of the season. He did, after all, get jobbed out of the NL MVP last year, it's the least he deserves. emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
07/01/2012 @ 07:48:37 PM
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I'll concede that kemp deserves to be aN all-star starter if you conced that Braun deserved the MVP ;)
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
07/03/2012 @ 09:02:38 AM
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The NL homerun leader is left off the homerun derby.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
07/03/2012 @ 11:52:33 AM
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The main flaw with all star voting, and the probable reason Kemp got in, if it was a flawed reason at all, isn't necessarily "homers." It's the fact that the other 95% of the country doesn't follow many teams very closely, but just know Matt Kemp "is awesome." For the most part, people just vote names, not numbers, and once you're in you're in.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
07/04/2012 @ 07:31:01 AM
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The comforting thing about the Brewers is that it's now pretty easy to pinpoint where the majority of their woes are coming from: the bullpen. The starting pitchers have been pretty rock solid over the last month or so (with some exceptions), and the offense and defense has improved and is more consistent. What has plagued them all season, and has never gotten better, is their bullpen, which highlighted themselves by nearly blowing a 7 run lead, only to be be saved by Aramis Ramirez's walkoff home run in the 10th, after they had fallen behind in the top of the 10th. If they can find a way to fix that aspect, beit with the guys they have, calling up some minor league starters, or finding guys to trade for, I think the Brewers could make a decent run of things.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
07/04/2012 @ 07:51:07 AM
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I also think the Brewers need to make Carlos Gomez their regular centerfielder and let Nyjer Morgan be a bench player (or trade him). Gomez isn't great by any means, and he will indeed struggle, but he isn't making the boneheaded plays that Morgan seems to be making on a fairly regular basis.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
07/04/2012 @ 12:44:58 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:51:07 AM
I also think the Brewers need to make Carlos Gomez their regular centerfielder and let Nyjer Morgan be a bench player (or trade him). Gomez isn't great by any means, and he will indeed struggle, but he isn't making the boneheaded plays that Morgan seems to be making on a fairly regular basis.


Agreed. I doubt there's much of a market for him though and if Hart is full time at 1B they only have 4 OFs on the 40 man. Stash him on the bench and use him to give Braun/Gomez/Aoki an occasional day off. And I'd like to say as a pinch runner, but not the way he's been running lately.

Wait what!? The Pirates are in first place on July 4th? I guess it is the end of the world.
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
07/04/2012 @ 02:26:02 PM
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They should figure out some sort of platoon with Morgan and his various personalities emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
07/05/2012 @ 08:57:35 AM
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Trust me, if they could channel "Tony Clutch" at will, I'm sure they would. Alas, I'm afraid they're stuck with Tony Clutz.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
07/05/2012 @ 09:06:27 AM
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And now a word about Mike Fiers. I made some comments earlier about Fiers being a good player and a good prospect, and it's seemingly coming into fruition. Because of his age, his good performance might be short lived, but for now he's acting as an anchor in the Brewers starting rotation. Here are some stats
K/bb: 5.1; K/9: 9.4; average innings per start: 6.39 (he's gone 7 or more innings 3 of his 6 starts); WHIP: 1.07; BAA: .228; and to me the most remarkable stat of all, HomeRuns allowed: 2. And both of those home runs game in the one game. His last 3 starts he has given up only 1 run. And he currently gone 18 1/3 innings without giving up a run. Maybe he's a flash in the pan, maybe he'll have a few good years, or maybe he's simply benefitting from hitters seeing him for the first time. Whatever the case, he's been impressive thus far.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
07/06/2012 @ 09:08:43 AM
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Aoki needs to at least be in the ROY discussion
Offensive numbers for NL Rookies

Aoki leads NL rookies in Average, OBP, stolen bases, and HBP (clearly the most telling stat). Not to take anything away from any other NL rookie, but Aoki at the very least deserves to be mentioned. Bryce Harper may be impressive and a good story because he's 19, but he's certainly not a runaway winner, even at the half way point. From an offensive rookie standpoint, the race is pretty even and it so far is pretty much a two horse race between Harper and Aoki.
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Scott messed with this at 07/06/2012 9:13:48 am
newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
07/06/2012 @ 01:38:30 PM
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Aoki shouldn't even be eligible.

Brewers down to 6% playoff odds. I'm almost hoping for a sweep by the Astros to seal the deal. Unless the Brewers can pull off a 10 game winning streak.

Weeks gets the LVP, which seems a bit harsh.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/conversations/_/id/8134086/handing-baseball-midseason-awards

Err, I take that back. 9 other qualified position players have a worse fWAR, but then I realized only 3 of them are in the NL. And Week's year to year fWAR drop is by far the largest of those 4 players. So I guess he probably deserves this award.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
07/09/2012 @ 07:53:56 AM
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Twins first half ends....with a bang? Watch the players scurry after the sonic boom.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
07/09/2012 @ 11:41:33 AM
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I wonder if Matt kemp a) was instructed by MLB to keep Braun out of the HR Derby tonight, b) still holds a grudge from last year, c) talked with Braun and the two agreed that Braun would be better off not participating, d) took it upon himself to leave Braun off for no reason other than to save Braun and Baseball from the added scrutiny of having to talk about the drug test fiasco the entire time braun is mashing taters, or e) thought that it was Braun (not fielder) that left the Brewers for Detroit in the offseason. Not that I'm complaining, given the circumstances, but it is interesting that Braun isn't participating given that he leads the NL in homeruns by a pretty big margin and has been passed over first in the initial selection and secondly when McCutchen was named to replace Giancarlo Stanton. It is probably better for everyone that this year Braun doesn't participate. For his part, Braun refuses to really address the alleged "snub" by basically just saying "I'm excited to watch". Clearly that means he's innocent, right?
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 07/09/2012 3:23:05 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
07/09/2012 @ 03:19:36 PM
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@adammccalvy reports that Kemp says he never even asked braun about the derby. "heard through the grapevine Braun wanted to sit out." #mysterysolved
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