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I've been thinking about all of this park effects home/away split business so suddenly popular in the forum. I'm generally very impressed with this analysis and it is generally valid. Is it possible we can improve on it though?
This is my question. If we are going to introduce all manner of home/away split information we need a better control for our observations.
Can anyone present a conglomeration of all home numbers of all hitters versus all away numbers of all hitters? In other words, to control for effects not having to do with park and other effects we need to know how hitters in general do at home as opposed to away. It seems to me a big reason why guys do worse on the road is because they don't have the comforts of home which has nothing to do with park effects. Further, it could also have to do with knowing your park better and how to play to its strengths. In other words, while it would be great to have a guy who performs as well on the road as he does at home, a lot of home/away statistical divergence may just be based upon the home field advantage which, at least in some aspects, is more intangible than park effects.
Anyways, maybe none of this is new, and the stat brains have already thought of this. So anyways, could someone give us the numbers so we can factor a control into all of this home/away statistical analysis. Of course, if the numbers I suggested show no divergence than the original observations are even more valid.
I thought of another problem. A conglomerate number may not be of tremendous help if there are a lot more hitter friendly parks than there are pitcher friendly parks or vice versa. If the respective numbers of each type are about the same the numbers would increase in validity. Or, you have to find out a way to isolate the home field advantage factor from the park effects factor, which a mathematician would be able to do by taking all of the home numbers and all of the away numbers for each park, adjusting them to account for the park effects of each park, thus creating a home field advantage number for each park, and finally averaging that number for each park to come up with a generalized home field advantage metric for each baseball season. If the number shows significant home field advantage in spite of park effects than it would behoove GM's to adjust their park effect observations by looking at the home field advantage metric if in fact it is isolatable. For example, you would look at a players home and away splits for different ball parks while taking into account generalized home advantage divergence to further legitimize park effects observations. In short, if the average player, taking park effects into account, plays better at home than on the road, then this will effect the way we look at park effect observations.
The best way to do this would probably be to measure by team, and do a weighted average of players every year. Probably not too hard to do, just look at yearly stats at home and on the road, and then see how a player does in comparison to those team average stats.
Not perfect, but my first idea.
Something I came up with for the year 2012.
What this does is take Player Home vs. Away Splits for some of the main categories, and compare them to what the whole team had as splits for the year 2012. So, if Josh Hamilton has a .850 OPS at home and a .700 OPS on the road, compared to the Rangers as a whole with a .750 OPS at home and a .725 OPS on the road, he would be assigned a value of .125 for OPS.
I came up with this quick, so if anyone wants to let me know the fallacies behind it, post away.
Also, how can this be made better? Include more years? Give some ideas. I like this topic obviously.
"Can anyone present a conglomeration of all home numbers of all hitters versus all away numbers of all hitters?"
I posted this in another forum. But in case you missed it: In the AL in 2012, wOBA for the avg. player was 5% better at home than on the road. Since this includes all players and all parks, the home-away split isn't due to park factors. So regardless of park, the comforts of home seem to increase hitting ability.
That said, some players (e.g., Kinsler and Upton) have huge home-away splits much greater than 5%. Some of that is due to park factors. Both RBIA and Chase Field are generous to righty hitters. But the splits are so large that it can't all be due to park factors.
Our pitchers perpetually fare better on the road versus at home. Think about that! Despite the inherit advantages of the home fans and the home cooking and the home bed...our pitchers have been far better when on the road. (It wasn't as pronounced in 2012 with the mild summer)
AND IT'S DRAMATIC!
Did you know that in 2011 the Rangers posted one of the best road ERA's of any team in the MLB...over the past 10 years!!!! When they weren't having to deal with the furnace they thrived. They dominated. They were elite. Meanwhile our home ERA compared to other team's home ERA in 2011 was (if I remember correctly) only 21st.
Now, it's also only fair to point out that the 3 other teams in the AL West all feature run suppressive parks and have also had some good pitching. So you've got to factor that in as well.
But in general our pitchers will almost always go under-appreciated...and our hitters will almost always be over-rated.
And one needs to factor park effects into how you build this team. For example...1. No young dominant free agent pitcher in their right mind will ever sign a contract to come to Arlington. Plan accordingly.2. It makes little sense for Texas to build a small ball lineup...when you often need 6, 7 (or more) runs to win there.3. We require more pitching depth than most teams...with the heat + the extra innings.
Profar, the heat here is the pink elephant in the room that no one ever bothers to take into account when we try to sign free agents. All things being equal, when it comes time for a free agent to come here or go somewhere else, unless we offer more money, they allways go somewhere else. It has been this way for 40 years. The players are not shy about telling you that the heat is a major reason. But really, who would take the same money and go to work in a furnace with temps regularly over 100 degrees at game time? Versus playing in a park with temps in the 70's or 80's at game time?
I also might add that the Rangers have been famous for flopping in the second half after good first halves. Last year was nothing more than the heat taking it's toll again. For some reason the owners of the Rangers haven't got it through their thick heads that we need an indoor stadium with a retractable roof for good days. I for one refuse to go to a game and sit in the sun. It just is not fun(there ARE good places to sit).
The heat is just a really bad excuse that fans and writers stumbled upon.
My point was that f there are significantly more parks that are pitcher friendly than there are parks that are hitter friendly or vice versa a generalized number like "the average player does five percent better at home than on the road" suffers in validity. For example, if there are more hitter friendly parks than pitcher friendly parks the 5 percent number could be inflated because more teams are getting an offensive advantage at home than teams that are getting a pitcher advantage at home. That is why I suggested attempting to isolate the park effects from the home field advantage by looking at each individual park's home and away splits, adjusting the numbers based on park effects, and then averaging them to come up with a better home field advantage number that when looked at in concert with existing park effects numbers, would further legitimize those observations.
Anyways, the 5 percent number is very useful and my little idea, if it even makes sense, which I am not entirely sure that it does, would not necessarily provide meaningful divergence from the 5 percent number. One would have to do the math which, while I maybe could, would take way to much time for me. My bro in law could probably work it up in five minutes being the math genius that he is but I don't think he has interest in these things.
That is pretty cool. Can you do it for Upton and the Diamondbacks?
Another factor to take in consideration, is the simple physical drain on traveling weighed by itself. So you may have to weigh that in, distance away from home park. May even help account for the challenges faced by the MARINERS. Another way to look at this is see what the splits are between the Cubs and Brewers, Dodgers and Padres, and soon-to-be Astros and Rangers, which we can already measure the 6 games a season over several years of each teams batting stats splits.
Upton is in there. Should be able to control F in the google doc. He is one of the tops. I sorted them by OPS, highest to lowest. It works just like an Excel spreadsheet.
I'm adding pitcher factors as well, minimum 40 IP to qualify, so just starters. Also throwing team home/away splits in as well.
The Rangers are up there, but not overwhelmingly.
Why is the heat considered an advantage in a physical game like football and a disadvantage in a finesse sport like baseball? If we have 81 home games not more than 30-40 would be in hot weather. Thats 3 hours of mostly sitting and standing in the heat by young, well conditioned, professional athletes. Also with an air conditioned clubhouse in between innings how bad can it be? Shouldn't we be used to the heat while the visiting team simply melts in it? Bottom line is the heat is an excuse pure and simple. When the Rangers have faltered it's typically been due to pitching depth rather than rising temps.
Gary, the Rangers play more than 30-40 games in the heat. They play about 50 games in temps over 90. And in day games it's likely about 125 degrees on the field.
Procurion is right. Heat is an issue. Especially for pitchers.
Listen I've played 18 holes of golf when it's 98 degrees (when I lived in Texas). I still enjoyed myself but it beats you down. The heat was a big reason I moved out of Texas.
As per heat being an "advantage" in football? I've never heard anyone say that!!!!!!
Heat is not an issue. It may beat you down like you said, but it has no effect on throwing motion, hitting, etc.
Fatigue is not much of an issue anymore with advances in medicine.
I coach football and during two a days/games we don't see any slowing down. We also don't see more injuries.
If anything I would expect more injuries and game performance affected by cold weather.
Many times during the early season a football team will come to Texas worried about heat and cramping. They bring things like pickle juice to ward off cramping. It is considered an advantage for the home team because they are "used to it."Why is that different in a non physical sport like baseball? Heat is not a factor here in April, May, and usually June here. July and August are different stories but these are " professional athletes" not weekend warriors. To me the heat is used as an excuse instead of saying it's an advantage because we are used to it.
@Ilovetrades.....you should not expose yourself to such a transparently fake position. What you speak of is quite apparently absolute bullshit. I have never called anyone out specifically here on the forums but truly that is absolutely not only false, but someone who reads this could wind up causing damage to their child because you post something and they believe it is true because of your purported "experience". Are you not aware of the releases and multiple warnings that parents must sign off on so that their kids can participate in practices during May, June, July, August and September? Are you not aware that kids DO die each year? Are you aware that the body cannot replace eletrolytes as fast as they are depleted in even one hour of 105 degree heat. I apologize to all that understand this and did not need to see this repeated but to even say this negates your "qualifications"...not to mention the FACT that it did not need affect a players choice on signing here. I can post at least 20 quotes from major attempts to acquire big names where they cite the heat as a "no go".
I hate to say "cool story, bro," but cool story, bro. Heat is overrated.
I'm from Southern California, so most of our July-September is a DRY HEAT, between 95 and 110 degrees -- but it's not as big of a deal as a lot of people make it up to be. I used to play catcher over the summers, in various leagues, and it was more than manageable. I was sweating like a pig behind the plate, and my dugout came equipped with Snickers bars and Gatorade.
Snickers bars. And Gatorade.
Major League baseball has anything we would have had, plus fluid injections (also called IV's, I believe), and the games last a whopping 3 hours. It's not anything crazy. It's not anything they haven't done as kids, and it's nothing they haven't prepared for in desolate low-A cities across this great the country. We're talking about grown men who are being paid multiple millions of dollars, and are doing so playing for one of the most well-equipped Major League franchises -- a franchise that has dealt with THE HEAT since its inception.
Medical fact, "bro"....not a matter of conditioning. Most importantly when a body with 20% water that has come into the park with the Rangers having played even one or two games at home and being near 10% has a HUGE advantage. Don't ask me or even give me credence.....heck I am just a biologist, I would not know.
Exactly. We are talking about professional athletes.
Like I said we have never had injuries or someone's play affected by heat.
Have we had players have heat exhaustion and need breaks? Sure, but the kids get back out and can still go. No performance affected. We give our players constant rehydration throughout a practice/game, just like an MLB team would.
Bottom line, heat does not affect how you throw a ball or swing a bat. You may get tired and uncomfortable, but all athletes do.
There has been some discussion of the Rangers adopting a more aggressive base running style to help compensate the loss of power. While O like to watch this brand of ball, the Rangers are not particularly good on the SB aspect of the game. Removing the stats for Josh, Nap and MY, the Rangers successfully completed 68 percent of their steal attempts (111 SBs, 38 CS). The MLB average is 74%. What they did in 2012 was not very good and if it is not improved then more SB attempts will yield insignificant run improvements.
More Gentry may be a little more help, as in 2012 he successfully stole at a 65% rate, but lifetime his ratio is 82%. It makes you wonder why 2012 was so poor, as in 2011 he was successful in all 13 attempts.
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