What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
One more thing:
You're going Full-Ricky-In-Ft-Worth here. You wake up, come on this board, and look for someone to fight with. It has a "Right, now, who want to brawl?" quality to it ("Harrison DOMINATES his critics", for example).
There is no such sport as Competitive Internet Forum Posting, so stop trying to win at it. This board is more like a symposium, where we all try to become smarter baseball viewers. Stop trying to set it up as a who's smartest contest. With guys like utb, RFan, and eric reining in the house, it's unlikely to go well for you.
I should save this one for chuckles:"FIP explains 96% of pitcher results."
Let's be clear people. FIP throws away data...FIP deliberately deletes terabytes of data as irrelevant noise. It doesn't "explain" anything.
FIP says everything in baseball is predictively irrelevant except for strikeouts, home-runs, and walks. That's what Voros McCracken left us. Think about that!
It's Time for a Brave New World.
"OLDGEN Saber has been a crude and blunt instrument. It will soon seem to us as leeching patients and exorcising demons."
Nonsense. They will not seem like absurd superstitions. They will seem like Newtonian physics: Both a GREAT and important advancement in the understanding of the field, and also to this very day a good, quick, shorthand way to get a basic understanding of things, even though Einstein's Theory of Relativity made Newtonian Physics look like child's play, and String Theory has made Relativity look like child's play, and Membrane Theory has made String Theory look like a good-try-but-not-quite, and something else will eventually (and probably sooner rather than later) make M Theory's take on the 12-Dimensional Multiverse look more wrong than right, etc.
It's an Evolution, Shorty, not a Revolution.
"FIP deliberately deletes terabytes of data as irrelevant noise."
Yes. This is the definitive nature of taking data and converting it to information: determining which parts of the data are noise, throwing them out, and finding the pattern in what's left.
New measurement techniques or statistical approaches can, of course, find patterns that were unseen before, thus turning what was previously noise into information. But until that happens, it remains noise.
Finally, go back to my main point. Your ideas are not causing this "fight". It's your ridiculous, belligerent, aggressive, confrontational language. "Dominates" "Some people don't understand" "eric burps" "primi chuckles" "I challenge you" "MrMan burps" and on and on. You're acting like a giant, swollen Dick. You're better than that. Bbtia is better than that. Stop it.
Scooby I grew up with brothers. We were always jawing at each other, teasing each other, and competing in every way possible. But it was also full of good will. At the end of the day we didn't take ourselves or our "battles" very seriously. We loved each other and gawd did we have fun.
I also debated in high school and college.
So yes...damn straight...I want to debate...and I look for challenge. People drawn to my threads are usually of the same ilk. The brighter my opponent the better I like it.
You say there is no such sport as Competitive Internet Forum Posting From my experience that's one of the biggest sports in America. AND I LOVE IT.
I am puzzled why you view the term competitive derisively. I side with Darwin. I say it's the greatest thing in the world.
Competition has its place. But this forum strikes me as being at its best when it is collaborative, not competitive. And certainly civil. I also grew up with a brother and no sisters, and we jawed. But the key phrase is "grew up". Now I prefer grown up conversation. If I want competition, I'll go play pool with the guys, online poker, play a computer game, head to the park for some pickup basketball, etc. This is a place for talking to each other, not past each other, when it is functioning at its best. It's a place for learning. Baseball college. Finding truth matters more than being right. When I post something, I would love for everybody to say "yeah, we all agree with that." You're hoping someone takes the bait and brawls with you.
As for Darwin, to me, being civilized means not living in Darwin's Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw. Progress means the world allows people to live lives where they are less required to compete ruthlessly for every last inch of space. Competition is natural and fun and has its place, it's part of Human Nature. But it's only a part, and people take it too far. Be nice to your fellow man, and all.
I don't get offended by Elvis/ProfarMVP's arrogance or ornate vernacular as some others do. It's all fun and games for the most part. What I do have a problem with is the notion that there's one set of people who consider themselves to be open-minded, and that the other contingent are deemed "closed-minded" simply because they don't agree with the "open-minded" ones. It's like when you're driving home from the market with 3 of your friends in the middle of the afternoon and someone all of a sudden asks, "Who farted?" when the person who says it is just as likely to be the culprit as anyone else. Just because you throw it out there doesn't mean you're exempt.
There's a strong group of forward thinkers on this board, so it's mostly an enjoyable experience to have the potential to get smarter at any given time I visit this site. But like Scoob alluded to, this shouldn't be an "I'm right and you're wrong" board as much as a place we can all coexist and grow as sports fans together.
Scooby, I'd save my breath if I were you. He isn't interested in an exchange of ideas and learning anything. As an example, if you look back at his posts on the Harrison thread, you'll see that he frequently cited Dave Cameron's article on fielding dependent pitching metrics in support of his argument that pitcher analysis is all about results on balls in play. Then I pointed out to him that Cameron specifically says in that article that FIP explains 96% of pitcher performance over large samples and that the fielding dependent pitching metrics (one of which relates to results on balls in play) only explain 4%. His response is that he "chuckles" at Cameron's statement as if he knows more about fielding dependent pitching than the guy who invented the metrics. His M.O. is to give a reason why Matt Harrison is an ace and then when someone like me points out that the reason he gives doesn't support the conclusion, he gives another reason. He keeps recycling arguments that I and others have already debunked again and again. It's pointless to try to persuade him. I suspect he still won't be persuaded 5 seasons from now when we look back and see that Matt Harrison was in fact unable to sustain a 3.25 ERA.
By the way, for anyone who wants to know whether the fielding dependent pitching (which basically means results on balls in play and success in stranding runners) is more important that FIP, here's the quote from Dave Cameron (the guy who helped invent the new FDP metrics at Fangraphs). FYI, the new metrics are called RA9 wins, BIP wins, and LOB wins:
"In fact, those longer periods of time actually show just how effective FIP is as a measurement of pitching skill. In looking at all 3,951 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings in the majors since 1963, the correlation between the FIP-based WAR and RA9-wins is .96. For most pitchers with long careers, a WAR based on FIP and a WAR based on runs allowed is going to bring you to the same conclusion."
If Profar/ElvisMVP were serious about a debate, then he would address this statement by Cameron that FIP is an "effective . . . measurement of pitching skill" that explains 96% of RA9 wins (i.e., pitcher results) over large samples. Profar/ElvisMVP hasn't addressed this point, which shows that he's not interested in an enlightening discussion.
If fielding dependent pitching is so much more important than FIP, then why does the inventor of the FDP metrics clearly state in his article on the subject that the FDP metrics are generally of relatively minor importance in explaining pitcher results? Is Dave Cameron misguided? Does Profar/ElvisMVP know more about FDP than Dave Cameron? Give me a break.
RFan, I never said...nor never would say that FDP is more important than FIP. I'm saying that NEXTGEN will be.
You repeatedly misrepresent or falsify my position. Stop it.
No one is arguing for FIP. The saber-heads on here are already 2 generations beyond FIP (first xFIP, now, as I've already pointed out twice, SIERA). SIERA is not entirely Fielding Independent, so we're clearly not talking about a group of people married to the idea that K/9, BB/9, and HR/FB or HR/9 are the only things that a pitcher can have input to.
The idea that we're all going to be blown out of the water and have our minds blown by "NEXTGEN" is silly. All the saber-heads on here know that first WIns were replaced by ERA, then ERA by FIP, then FIP by xFIP, then xFIP by SIERA, and eventually SIERA by something else, that something else by another thing, and that other thing by something totally new, until the end of baseball. Furthermore, since your prescious NEXTGEN is not actually an Advanced Metric, but rather a nebulous concept (Advanced Metrics using batted ball measurements), it is all but certain that, indeed, eventually we will have some very useful Advanced Metrics that fall under that broad heading. No one disputes this. None of it.
What is in dispute is whether there is any usefulness to any of this RIGHT NOW. And the answer is no. The best we have are SIERA, xFIP, and FIP, at the moment. These 3 measurements tell more of the pitching story than any other measurement that is out there, so for RIGHT NOW, they are what we should focus on. Arguing for a particular pitcher because your GUT tells you that once Hit F/X measurements become available, are whittled down to a useful stat which is tested and applied to all ML pitchers that this pitcher will perform well under that Metric is not thoughtful, or supported by anything in the Fangraphs or BP links you provided, because we don't have any Hit F/X data yet, and none of the guys "in the know" has figured things out to a degree they could stand behind yet.
And this is my point about your approach. There really is not a lot of disagreement between you and the other posters, who will all happily acknowledge the value of new Advanced Metrics once they are proven and established. It SEEMS like there is a big disagreement BECAUSE YOU ARE LOOKING TO FIGHT, and so the points of broad agreement are washed out and the mole hills of disagreement become mountains.
"Scooby, I'd save my breath if I were you. He isn't interested in an exchange of ideas and learning anything. As an example, if you look back at his posts on the Harrison thread, you'll see that he frequently cited Dave Cameron's article on fielding dependent pitching metrics in support of his argument that pitcher analysis is all about results on balls in play."
Yeah, I checked out of that thread about post #5, and I'm not going to fight through 15 pages of it.
Welcome to an election year! Vote Rfan because his party enjoys .96 correlation!. He's a family man, he loves his country...but must importantly...he correlates!
Isn't that a good score!? .96! That sounds like e an A or almost an A+ on a test. It must be good. Who could beat a .96?! Go
Laugh. Out. Loud.
Let me debunk this for you for those following along at home. The WAR that is used at FanGraphs is based on FIP. The WAR that is employed at Baseball Reference is based on Runs Allowed (9). All Cameron is saying is that in the big ocean...they don't land too far apart. That's all he is saying. That's the meaning of the .96.
Individual instances are another story entirely...and Cameron has no problem conceding FanGraphs WAR is wonky-wrong with some pitchers. He's conceded he wants the metrics fixed...FDP might likely play a part in that soon. (Though that's a temporary bandaid)
Here's the big story:Individual instances DON'T correlate very well.FanGraphs WAR...Examples:
FanGraph WAR (FIP based)Matt Harrison 2012... 3.7Scott Feldman 2012...2.2
Base-Ball Reference WAR (nonFIP)Matt Harrison 2012... 5.5Scott Feldman 2012...-.4
I ask you dear reader, which WAR tells the correct story? This is exactly the wonky stuff Cameron is embarrassed about. He wants to make FanGraphs better.
So individual variances as we see can be substantial...The .96 correlation sounds important. It really isn't. But hey, this is pretty boring stuff...Time to talk about NEXTGEN!
Welcome to an election year! Vote Rfan because his party enjoys .96 correlation! He's a family man, he loves his country...but must importantly...he and his party correlates!
Isn't that a good score!? .96! That sounds like e an A or almost an A+ on a test. It must be good. Who could beat a .96?!
Individual instances are another story entirely...and Cameron has no problem conceding FanGraphs WAR is wonky-wrong with some pitchers. He's conceded he wants the metrics fixed...FDP might likely play a part in that soon. (Though this will all be superseded by NEXTGEN)
Now here's the more meaningful story:Individual instances DON'T correlate very well....and here are two close-to-home examples:
So individual variances can be substantial...The .96 correlation sounds important. It really isn't. But hey, this is pretty boring stuff...Time to talk about NEXTGEN!
You did cite Dave Cameron's article on FDP numerous times. You're apparently now reversing course and abandoning reliance on that article.
If you're interested in a discussion, let's have one. Why specifically do you think that "NEXTGEN" supports your claim that Matt Harrison is an ace pitcher? My understanding is that you think that Harrison has some special ability to achieve good results on balls in play. If that's your position, then here's my response.
If Harrison had some special ability to initiate weak contact, that would be reflected in 3 metrics. The first metric is his HR/FB rate. Harrison did have a low HR/FB rate last year. But his HR/FB rate this year is nothing special. It's just slightly above avg. The second metric is BABIP. Harrison's BABIP this year is normal. The third metric is Fangraphs new stat BIP wins. That stat gives the pitcher credit for suppressing runs due to good results on balls in play. Yet Matt Harrison has only 0.3 BIP wins this season. So Matt Harrison apparently doesn't have some special ability to initiate weak contact that allows him to excel on balls in play. You keep citing Joey's claim that according to ESPN.com, Harrison doesn't allow many hard hit balls. Ok. But if that affected his results (runs allowed), then it would show up in his HR/FB rate, his BABIP, and/or his BIP wins. It doesn't, so it's apparently not true, or at least it isn't affecting his results.
The fact is that the reason that Harrison is outperforming his FIP this season is not success on balls in play. It's his success in stranding runners. That success is reflected in his high strand rate and in the new Fangraphs stat LOB wins, which measures success in stranding runners. As I've pointed out numerous times, a high strand rate and positive LOB wins is meaningful only if the pitcher can sustain them over a long period. There are many examples of pitchers who had a high strand rate or positive LOB wins for one or even 2 seasons, but then failed to sustain that over a long period. That's b/c over small samples success with runners on base can be largely due to luck and not pitcher skill. It's onlly if the pitcher can sustain that success over a large sample (multiple seasons) that we can conclude that he has special skills that allow him to strand runners better than the avg. pitcher. And the fact is that Matt Harrison does not have a history of successfully stranding runners better than the avg. pitcher. He has a high strand rate and positive LOB wins for this season only. That's just not meaningful in terms of predicting future performance.
I've taken your arguments seriously. I've responded to your specific points. If you're interested in a discussion and not just grandstanding, then I'd ask that you take my arguments just as seriously. Explain to me why I should conclude that Matt Harrison has special skills at initiating weak contact when that's not reflected in his HR/FB rate, his BABIP, or his BIP wins. And why should I believe that Harrison will continue to be amazingly successful at stranding runners when he's never had that success in the past and no pitcher with his peripherals has ever sustained similar success.
Scooby I always...ALWAYS enjoy your posts. Hell, I even got tickled with your "Shorty." But as per the FIP comparison to Newtonian physics...wow.
I do understand what you mean about it being a good-but-limited model that will be iteratively improved upon and supplanted....
But I don't view FIP as much more than a clever cheat. This?HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP
Truly, Voros was insightful enough to win the day for a few generations...I envy the smarts he showed to develop a stunning little shorthand you can take to Vegas, and win with ...for a long time.
But now we enter the twilight hour for fipscentricity. We are nearing the time to say,Good night, Mr. McCracken.
Eric...I don't mind your arrogance either. It makes lancing holes in your arguments all the sweeter!
Very nice post RFan...for the most part. But I don't want to make this another Harrison thread. So I'll be honored to respond to your questions/arguments...over on that thread.
I'd like to focus this thread on PitchF/X and HitF/X and what it will mean for the science of baseball.
Very nice post RFan...for the most part. But I don't want to see this become another Harrison thread. So I'll be honored to respond to your questions/arguments...over on that thread...much later this evening.
You don't lance holes in my arguments. You misinterpret the words I post and use that as your basis of discrediting whatever it is I'm saying. Like how you tried to further your NEXTGEN points by saying I have "Blind faith" in something "I don't understand," when talking about the metrics. Even you know that's a sophomoric way to go about this. I don't believe in anything I can't see, and I have my own troubles with people exercising blind faith without a solid foundation. This is a progressive website that manipulates advanced concepts, but we're not reckless. Like that John Wooden line: Be quick but don't hurry. Most of us are waiting until the NEXTGEN is proven. Q.E.D.
As for this thread, the main point I have to contribute -- and I'm pretty sure RFan said this in some form -- is even with FDP, Matt Harrison isn't fooling the metrics. He's had a more than solid fWAR over the last two seasons, even with a league-average FIP/xFIP/SIERA. He excels to the limit of his skill set. But the fact of the matter is, Harry isn't a strikeout pitcher. That's been my sticking point as to why I don't see him outperforming his xFIP or SIERA as time moves forward. He's a dominant 4, a strong 3, but that's about as far is it goes. I still like Yu and Derek as my #1 and 2 come playoff time, and I know I'm in the minority in saying that. Over large samples the strikeout potential wins out, and I tend to value that in a short series as well.
Eric. I'm a UCLA grad...so don't even think about trotting out John Wooden lines when dishing with me. I own that shit.
NEXTGEN already has validated something that is HUGE and that is NOW: It has knocked FIP to it's proverbial knees in demonstrating that pitchers have a LOT of influence on both the trajectory and the speed of struck balls.
Chew that gum for awhile. Let the protein go deep.
As per pitcher seeding...we aren't too far off. As I mentioned in last night's game chat I go:Yu-Harry-Holland
You don't fuck with a bowling Jesus and you don't fuck with the Japanese Jesushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6z0Zay9itkandhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IONyLZn0pLI
"But I don't view FIP as much more than a clever cheat."
This is silly given that Dave Cameron has shown that over large samples, FIP explains 96% of pitcher results. What exactly do you think is flawed about Cameron's analysis? We are talking about 1 metric (FIP) that explains nearly everything you'd want to know about pitcher performance. Their are only a handful of pitchers out their for whom the new FDP metrics are relevant in evaluating their performance. Yet you're acting as if FIP is some minor metric like batting avg. It's nonsense.
How can you keep complaining about a metric that explains 96% of pitcher results? What more do you want from a single metric?
In the past, I've read and enjoyed your posts. You and I have agreed on things like park adjustment factors having limitations. But I think you are doing some damage with your all-out, unwarranted assault on FIP. Fans like me go to great lengths to try to educate people about advanced metrics like FIP. It's hard work, but I do it b/c I think understanding these metrics will increase people's appreciation for and understanding of a game I love. It's also hard work b/c there are so many people out there who are afraid of these stats or don't understand them so they reflexively criticize them. I see it almost daily on this site. I've always viewed you as an ally in the effort to popularize saber. Then for some strange reason, you've started down this strange path of claiming that FIP is outdated, etc. It's not true. It's a baseless claim.
Dave Cameron, who knows more about baseball statistics than either you or I, just wrote an article reaffirming the importance of FIP. I've pointed out to you the exact portions of Cameron's article in which he says that FIP is an effective measure of pitcher performance. He shows that FIP doesn't measure everything, but it goes a long way (96% of the way) toward measuring what's important. You claim you've read that article and that you understand it. Yet you are on here claiming that FIP is outdated or that it's a minor component of pitcher evaluation. What do you know that Dave Cameron doesn't? Your claim is disingenuous and it does harm to the movement to popularize saber on sites like BBTIA. My hope is that I've made this clear to objective observers, so that people who are new to saber on this site don't start heading down the wrong path.
Bottom line: FIP explains nearly all pitching results over large samples. For a few pitchers, Fangraphs new FDP metrics capture something important that isn't reflected in FIP. But for the vast majority of pitchers (including Matt Harrison) the FDP metrics are superfluous and add nothing important. Dave Cameron says this in his article, and I'd hope that people on this site will take Cameron's word over yours.
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