What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Last night as we all watched that roller coaster of a frustrating game there was much talk about statistical analysis as applied to the great game of baseball. There were many opinions and some lines drawn in the sand, over all it was entertaining and made me think.
Here I sit a newly converted rabid Rangers Fan. Conversion over from the Dallas Cowboys to the Rangers was slow thing, It all started with catching one of my hand full of games every year last June and all of a sudden I was watching every night. This Rangers team had something, they had good pitching, they played hard, smiled and had fun and won. So I guess I climbed up on the band wagon that would follow the Rangers through to the playoffs to the World Series. The Bankruptcy case was high drama and litigation is side hobby of mine that drew me closer to the team. The tension during the playoffs was addictive to say the least.. Now I am hooked, completely nerding (sp) out on everything baseball.
Now I watch anytime baseball is on and just like finding the Bible a few years ago I now have a thirst for all things baseball and a drive to learn the game. I have invested time in this site and a few others, watched every game the rangers have played on TV and even listened to the Spring Training games that weren't televised. Can I get a "saddle up baseball your going for a ride". That's the back ground for me a newbie of the highest order.
Now enter playing and watching baseball by gut feel. While a novice fan I would watch and hear about ERA, RBI's, Slugging percentages and the such. All fairly easy to understand easily calculated. Then you have visual evidence of what kind of decisions are being made and let me tell you I don't agree with some of Wash's moves but I do agree with how he manages the game. So this brings me to a conundrum. Why does it seem insane to want Nefi to pitch in the starting rotation when the bull pen needs help? Why isn't David Murphy getting more playing time? Why are they letting JB have so many chances when after spring training blemished by the dumb ass errors and then the error on the first fly ball of the season. So many of these seemingly obvious decision points take on a new light when the length and grind of the season start to set in.
Last night as we watch Nefi struggle and blow a save the xFIP and other stats that I have been reading about on this blog made sense for the first time. Josh G., Rangers 100 and Joey have all been preaching fly balls and BB with no strike outs kill. Furthermore these stats predict a fundamental problem with Nefi and Coby and... Finally it all clicked last night for me anyway so I downloaded "The Book" this morning and I will continue my education of the great game. I am interested to see how the authors look at bunting. For instance I know they are going to make the case that bunting is a rally killing play but do they look at the likely hood of low batting average players or slumping players getting a hit vs sac bunt vs sac fly vs GIDP? I don't know but I want to find out.
Finally I will probably post some more on my journey through the book as SABER seems to be polarizing at least to some.Warning this is a first draft and if it sucks then I am sorry but it is what it is.
"Why does it seem insane to want Nefi to pitch in the starting rotation when the bull pen needs help?"
A good starting pitcher is more valuable than a great reliever. That being said, I think that we have missed Ogando and the '10 verison of O'Day in the bullpen this year.
Yes, the numbers v. eye view, can be polarizing. Both are real... to an extent.The Art of the Game, is to visually enjoy and comprehend all, at the same time.I was told many years ago, Baseball: expect the unexpected. I enjoy that facet.
Hero: Harmon Killebrew recently passed. Larger than life, as a baseball player,yet I believe his LT batting average was around .260. With all the variables, duringthat period, known as the "pitchers era", Killebrew~ around .310 in todays standard.Due Facts, make Aaron, Mays, Musial, Mantle, Williams, Banks & F. Robinson~ godlike.By the way; the MLB Player Silhouette? The profile of Harman Killebrew. Very Deserving
Take the numbers for what they're worth, to you personally... but enjoy the NOW, whichany stat can't reflect, until it's PAST. I always liked Ty Cobb's view of "Modern Times, circa 1960". He was asked what he'd hit against these New Pitchers. Without a grin hereplied... (paraphrase)- "Probably around .300... but then again, I am 85 years Old". Variables largely DO apply and make THE game what it is... wonderfully unpredictable.
Enjoy OUR Defending AL Champion Rangers ... onward to Victory 2011
The MLB logo isn't based on Killebrew.
Great stuff, mhilg.
I grew up a Cowboys, Mavs, Stars, Sidekicks, SMU, everything Dallas fan.
I was always a baseball fan, but what really brought me back was the sabermetric revolution and the many really cool observations about randomness and luck in not just baseball, but many other sports as well as many other activities and realities in life. The sabermetric revolution is an amazing story that is literally changing long held beliefs in not just sports management but general business management, behavioral economics, psychology, and other areas of academia as well.
I'm a sports fan so I can get into just about any competition (especially if there's money on the line), but dive deep into what has been learned about baseball over the past decade or two, and you'll see that this game can go places that other sports just simply cannot. Other sports are to baseball what, say, John Grisham is to James Joyce. Is Grisham a great story-teller, solid novelist, etc.? Sure. But he just simply can't go to the depths and many levels that Joyce can. And that's no knock on Grisham... Joyce is one of the most brilliant literary minds in the history of the human species.
Football can't go where baseball can go. Football is a crazy, fun sport... but ultimately just that. It's an action movie, a military history book, etc. Baseball is action and drama as well... but also sophisticated literature, philosophy, etc... all of it layered on top of a deep system of calculus. Think checkers vs. chess.
The Book is a good reference manual, but here are some other sites to frequent and use for checking questions about players, statistics, and other events as they happen during your baseball viewing:
FanGraphis.com. (Make this your site for any stats questions. Any stats there you don't understand, learn them.)HardballTimes.comBeyond The Box ScoreBaseball-Reference (Great for historical stats, events, dates, streaks, etc.)
And if you want a good quick read about arguably the most important finding within the entire world of sports - maybe ever but certainly of the last couple decades - read Jeff Passan's recent article on the story of Voros McCracken. (A fascinating read, imho.)
@Pull TYou can take this however you want.Back when the logo was being implementedthere were three candidates to posture for the logo.1) Musial2) Aaron3) KillebrewMy Grand Father has been a personal friend with Stan.Musial said Harmon's profile was taken over his, because his nose was too big. Aaron & Musial didn't profile correctlywith batting stance in shadow, with their upright bat.MLB may not openly admit Harmon is the silhouette, but he is.I trust the sources. The silhouette is also very obvious Killebrew.
With all due respect to the solidity of your Grandpappy as a source, how about the guy who actually created the logo, who says it isn't so:
Killebrew *IS* the logo for the MLB Players Alumni Association...perhaps that helps to explain you and your Grandpappy's continued belief in this urban legend:
Interesting PT. I did read about the MLB Logo. Mr. Dior, the label designer, has a believable story,yet Killebrew has his own, while sitting with the Commish,Dior penciling, as Killebrew was there in Commish office.Even Dior admits he doesn't recall the influence he used.Mt G. Dad? I chalk it up to an old mans wispy, but vivid dreams.
I prefer to believe it is Killebrew. And at the end of the day it doesn't matter. Great way to honor a legend with no skin off anyone else.
As for pitching stats ... very difficult to view any projection without something outside the pitcher's control from affecting the results ... to some small margin. I actually prefer WHIP which some will say is muddy too because hits depend on fielder not making a play. But I figure any pitcher with a sub 1.3WHIP is suitable for most situations ... and if you get one who is hovering around 1.0 - 1.1 you ought to ride him.
Anything dealing with an average is inaccurate as a projection of future performance ... so its hardly worth looking at anything that has more than one digit to the right of the decimal point. Just doesn't matter unless you are trying to sell a book about it.
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