Comments on: I didn’t embarass myself as much as I had feared http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: caribbean ships http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-142535 Mon, 29 Aug 2011 12:21:00 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-142535 Okay, I just came back from a cruise and was wondering if anyone else just went on a royal caribbean cruise to alaska (radiance of the seas) from july 16-23..........me and my questions.

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By: Michael E Sullivan http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138939 Sat, 20 Aug 2011 14:58:21 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138939 O really Tim? JT is one of the names I scan for when I don't have time to read a whole comment thread. You on the otherhand -- if this site had a killfile, you'd probably be in it.

JT@75: I agree it could be plausible to level this charge at somebody who was a real hacker, but it's not like Howard never draws walks. He's got an average OBP, just not really strong outside his best years.

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By: Timothy P. http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138668 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 19:14:35 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138668 Nobody is listening to you Twisto. I'm taking a fiber therapy laxitive.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138431 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:30:50 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138431 The one thing I didn't like about Sean's first take here after writing the article is the idea that Ryan is an "RBI hog". There is no such thing. being a hog means you take things that you should have left for other people to do. The implication of even creating a category of "RBI hog" is that you somehow should leave runners on base rather than drive them in, or hit doubles or triples instead of home runs so as to leave yourself on base for the next guy. Dunno, that sounds like being an RBI hog would be a good thing.?

What I would consider an RBI hog is a guy who is swinging at bad pitches in an attempt to drive in the run, rather than taking a walk if he doesn't see any good pitches. Trying to pump up his own numbers even if it is worse for the team. If he sees 30 PA of bad pitches, maybe he gets 5 hits and RBIs, but also 25 weak outs. Whereas another batter might not get any RBI but gives the following hitters more chances to drive in more runners.

That said, I don't think Howard does this (though I don't see him that much).

One can argue about whether batters should expand their strike zones in particular situations. It's a valid argument. But in the major leagues, a cleanup hitter should have some good hitters behind him. Usually it will be a net negative to chase bad pitches because you don't think the guys behind you can get the job done.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138424 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:13:25 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138424 It's an interesting thing about Howard. If he is so easily (relatively speaking) defended with the bases empty, but much more effective with runners on base, he becomes a more valuable player by virtue of playing for a team which gives him so many runners. On a weaker offense, his own numbers would probably decline (I'm talking about his numbers like BA, SLG, HR, which are theoretically more independent, not just RBI which are teammate dependent). And he'd appear to have become a worse player when really he was just hitting in fewer situations he could take advantage of.

I suppose this is true -- to an extent -- for most players, but it seems Howard might be an extreme example.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138421 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:07:29 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138421 I don't like how SABRmetrics punishes a guy

It doesn't do that. That's a patently absurd statement. Please stop repeating it.

If you have an issue with someone unfairly denigrating a particular player, take it up with that person. It has nothing to do with newstats. They are tools, they have no opinions.

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By: Michael E Sullivan http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138158 Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:21:45 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138158 The only thing Ryan Howard is "guilty" of is being a very good baseball player in a context that gives him more opportunities than anybody else to rack up RBIs. The media, and fans who think RBIs are a good player performance metric, are who is guilty of making him overrated.

The one thing I didn't like about Sean's first take here after writing the article is the idea that Ryan is an "RBI hog". There is no such thing. being a hog means you take things that you should have left for other people to do. The implication of even creating a category of "RBI hog" is that you somehow should leave runners on base rather than drive them in, or hit doubles or triples instead of home runs so as to leave yourself on base for the next guy. Dunno, that sounds like being an RBI hog would be a good thing.

Oh, please don't throw me into that Briar Patch!

What Howard does that limits his value with the bat is to strikeout too much and walk too little. It's true that if he could adopt a strategy that gave him more walks and fewer strikeouts, it could make him better even if it meant giving up a few hits as well. It's possible that adopting such a strategy would lower his RBI totals even as it helped his team, but it's also quite possible that he is already using a strategy that gets the most out of his body and brain, and that approaching his PAs more like, say, Jim Thome would just make him stink, rather than turning him into a better hitter.

Unless you've got excellent evidence that it would make him better and not worse, the idea that he is an RBI hog is ridiculous. It's not like the guy plays like Ichiro or Guerrero, hacking at everything, the kind of style that is *obviously* bad unless you have the combination of speed and bat dexterity to turn it into a .300+ average.

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By: mosc http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138138 Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:44:31 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138138 I want to add, RE24 takes into account the value of situational hitting to a much larger extent than just straight baserunners. Puhols didn't hit in the high-rbi situations as much. You can't assume he would produce at the same level. Hitters are pitched to very differently given the 24 different base/out situations.

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By: mosc http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138137 Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:40:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138137 @66 you are basically going beyond neutralizing the number of runs based on situation. You are also neutralizing them based on baserunners as well. Why penalize a hitter for having runners on when he comes up? He still has to drive them in. He still drove in more in those situations than you'd expect an average player to do by a huge margin. You have to be careful not to double account for things like you are doing. Puhols had fewer RBI situations, sure, but Howard did exceedingly well in those situations.

What you're doing is like a messed up obp where you basically correct batting average by number of plate appearances without adding in the walks. Basically dropping a guy's batting average as an added out every time they walk. If you want obp, you add walks. If you want run production, you include all situations the batter faced and look at how well they did in those situations. Correcting the situations themselves is a double correction.

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By: Mike Felber http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/14108/comment-page-1#comment-138093 Thu, 18 Aug 2011 09:05:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=14108#comment-138093 SM usually corrects for incorrect assessments of relative value. HRs are very valuable, RBIs are gaudy & have little to do with just how good you are in neutral contexts. We should adjust Howard downward relative to many elite & near elite hitters, when looking at the total game/contributions a player makes.

To say Howard had a great year in '06, but several were better in overall value, is eminently fair.

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