City-Data Forum Does baseball really need closers (Orioles, Mets, Phillies, Mariners)
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05-16-2012, 03:20 PM
 Location: Sacramento 13,784 posts, read 23,823,436 times Reputation: 6195

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Grandstander How many marbles are in this jar? NewToCA's Methodology: Well, as I recall I once saw a jar in a store about the same size and it was filled with Skittles and Skittles are, oh, I don't know, about half the size of marbles and it looked to me like there was around a couple of thousand Skittles in that jar, so I'm going to say that there are around 1000 marbles. Sabermetric Methodology: We Could... A) Measure the volume of the jar and the size of one marble, divide the first figure by the second B) Weigh the jar when empty, weigh one marble, weigh the jar when full of marbles, subtract the weight of the jar and divide that figure by the weight of one marble. C) Open the jar and count the marbles. Your error, NewtoCa, is in believing that these are equal methodologies with one as likely to produce an accurate answer as the other.
Kind of a smug and dismissive way to view the contrast there. The level of analysis I provided in my posting has quite a bit of validity in predicting how well a player will perform. Looking at the variances ballplayers experience from year to year, the level of detail explored in sabermetrics can be meaningless.

The Phillies don't find much value in sabermetrics either:

"I honestly can't tell you the last time WAR or VORP or any of those things were brought up in a conversation," assistant GM Scott Proefrock said. "We're aware of them, and we understand what they are. It's just not something we find relevant."

Inside the Phillies: Who needs sabermetrics? - Philly.com

05-16-2012, 05:22 PM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,140 posts, read 18,604,845 times Reputation: 18738
Quote:
 Originally Posted by NewToCA Kind of a smug and dismissive way to view the contrast there. The level of analysis I provided in my posting has quite a bit of validity in predicting how well a player will perform. Looking at the variances ballplayers experience from year to year, the level of detail explored in sabermetrics can be meaningless.
You offered a system based on your perceptions and opinions, unbacked by any sort of verification process. There are levels of analysis which are backed by verification work, are more accurate, bias free and reliable than the data to which you confine yourself, why would you not avail yourself of the superior methodology? Why would you dismiss as "meaningless" that which was designed to extract more meaning from data than that which you are presently getting?

You wish to hold up a stop sign and say that we have everything we need to understand MLB value, so everyone stop trying to improve on those determinations. The problem, or I should say among the numerous problems associated with that mentality, is that it is always exposed as absurd in retrospect.

When pro ball began, the batting champion was whoever had the most hits. Then someone offered the theory that this was misleading because chances to get hits were not distributed equally. Instead, let us divide hits by at bats, produce a batting average, which will be more revealing than just hit totals.

Later someone offered the theory that batting average alone was still unsatisfactory because one fellow might hit .340 and have most of the hits be singles, while another had 75 extra base hits among his total. So, let us add up the total bases produced by the batter and divide that by opportunities and produce a slugging average.

This is the way it has been for all baseball stats...someone thinking up mitigating factors and attempting to solve them using mathematical formulas. It has produced earned run average, fielding percentages, more recently things like WHIP and on base average and on base plus slugging.

Now, if we insert NewtoCa in this process, where would he have applied the brakes and said "We already have enough."

See the problem? The better attitude is the opposite...we will never have enough and we should always look to improve our understandings.

WAR and VORP and Win Shares and FIPS et al, are simply the next generation of understanding, the statistical heirs of batting average and ERAs.

You wish to arrest the process, but you cannot. You can only go with the flow or be left behind.

05-16-2012, 09:13 PM
 Location: Sacramento 13,784 posts, read 23,823,436 times Reputation: 6195
No, I don't "wish to arrest the process", however none of the "new wave" stats gives a significantly different view of what to expect from a player the following season.

The stats give dozens of different and precise ways to view the past, but don't serve to significantly change the rank order of position players as is done through a combination of batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.

05-16-2012, 09:41 PM
 Location: Ohio 19,956 posts, read 14,260,675 times Reputation: 16133
Quote:
 Originally Posted by filihok Does baseball really need closers?
No. Minor League Baseball would do well get genuine pitchers, who really know how to pitch. Pitching is about style, antics, finesse, ball placement, pitch selection, and variation in pitches, not speed.

Once Minor League Baseball does that, and then gets rid of 6 teams and sends those players to the other minor league, it would actually be Major League Baseball, and I might actually watch an entire game for the first time since 1990.

Closing...

Mircea

05-16-2012, 10:38 PM
 Location: Sacramento 13,784 posts, read 23,823,436 times Reputation: 6195
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mircea No. Minor League Baseball would do well get genuine pitchers, who really know how to pitch. Pitching is about style, antics, finesse, ball placement, pitch selection, and variation in pitches, not speed. Once Minor League Baseball does that, and then gets rid of 6 teams and sends those players to the other minor league, it would actually be Major League Baseball, and I might actually watch an entire game for the first time since 1990. Closing... Mircea
Ah, so you want to make it all relief pitchers. You must miss the guys like Warren Spahn, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer and Fergie Jenkins, who could often finish what they start.

05-16-2012, 10:53 PM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,140 posts, read 18,604,845 times Reputation: 18738
Quote:
 Originally Posted by NewToCA The stats give dozens of different and precise ways to view the past, but don't serve to significantly change the rank order of position players as is done through a combination of batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
That just is not true. WAR incorporates all aspects of a player's contribution, batting, baserunning and defense. Are you under the impression that the WAR leaders are not "significantly" different from the OPS leaders, even though OPS takes no account of baserunning,defense or park factors?

Jose Bautista
Miguel Cabrera
Ryan Braun
Matt Kemp
Prince Fielder
Lance Berkman
David Ortiz
Joey Votto
Jacob Ellsbury

The 2011 WAR Leaders (Position Players)
Ben Zobrist
Jacob Ellsbury
Dustin Pedroia
Matt Kemp
Jose Bautista
Ryan Braun
Miguel Cabrera
Alex Gordan
Evan Longoria

By your standards, there is no significant difference between these lists.

Obviously there is a big difference. Four of the ten most valuable players in baseball don't appear on the OPS top ten list. Jacob Ellsbury moves from the tenth best on the OPS list to second best on the WAR list.

But of course you have already informed us that things such as WAR are "meaningless." A stat which incorporates all of the information used in calculating OPS, and goes further to account for venue mitigations, defensive play and baserunning...that is somehow or other "meaningless" to you. Defense and baserunning are meaningless. Whether you play in San Diego or Colorado...meaningless according to you.

Of course you have yet to do as I earlier asked...identify a stat which you claim is meaningless and explain the problem with it that makes it meaningless.

05-16-2012, 11:11 PM
 Location: Sacramento 13,784 posts, read 23,823,436 times Reputation: 6195
OPS doesn't include batting average, it is only on base percentage plus slugging average.

WAR includes fielding stats, not just a batting measure.

Different stats, and neither having to do with what I stated would give you a reasonable view of a postion player (Post #15).

However, since this is supposed to be a pitching thread...we'll just have to call it there and agree to disagree.

Last edited by NewToCA; 05-16-2012 at 11:36 PM..

05-17-2012, 05:12 AM
 Location: Albuquerque, NM 13,293 posts, read 12,807,499 times Reputation: 6637
Quote:
 Originally Posted by NewToCA OPS doesn't include batting average, it is only on base percentage plus slugging average.
OPS actually does include batting average. Twice even. Once in the OBP computation and once in the slugging average computation.

05-17-2012, 07:17 AM
 16,532 posts, read 20,994,530 times Reputation: 47991
Quote:
 Originally Posted by NewToCA You must miss the guys like Warren Spahn, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer and Fergie Jenkins, who could often finish what they start.
NewToCa makes a good point. I remember in the mid 1960's (am thinking 1963) that Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal got together and had a pitching duel for the ages. The two of them pitched shutout baseball for 14 innings until Willie Mays won the game for the SF Giants with a home run in the bottom of the 15th inning. Talk about impressive!

And talk about the ages-Warren Spahn was 42 years old back then. Whew!

05-17-2012, 07:51 AM
 Location: Sacramento 13,784 posts, read 23,823,436 times Reputation: 6195
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DOUBLE H NewToCa makes a good point. I remember in the mid 1960's (am thinking 1963) that Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal got together and had a pitching duel for the ages. The two of them pitched shutout baseball for 14 innings until Willie Mays won the game for the SF Giants with a home run in the bottom of the 15th inning. Talk about impressive! And talk about the ages-Warren Spahn was 42 years old back then. Whew!
Very good, actually the home run was in the 16th inning. Here is the boxscore, notice Spahn's strikeout total.

July 2, 1963 Milwaukee Braves at San Francisco Giants Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
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