Comments on: The AL/NL gap in hit-by-pitch rates http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Friday Links (19 Nov 10) – Ducksnorts http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-72607 Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:35:56 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-72607 [...] The AL/NL gap in hit-by-pitch rates (Baseball-Reference). From the article: “As you can see, they have tracked fairly closely for most of the last 110 years… But check out what happened in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The AL opened up a gap starting in the early 1970s that lasted until the mid-1990s.” The comments include links to other relevant work. [...]

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By: TheGoof http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71409 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:56:18 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71409 Oh, there it is...
http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/vnVFa

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By: TheGoof http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71408 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:54:42 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71408 Ooops. Can't figure out the new share thing. I don't even see the old share link option.

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By: TheGoof http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71407 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:53:58 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71407 Rk
Player
HBP
PA
From
To
Age
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IBB
SO
SH
SF
GDP
SB
CS
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
Pos
Tm

1
Sandy Alomar
3
5160
1964
1978
20-34
1481
4760
558
1168
126
19
13
282
302
17
482
77
18
58
227
80
.245
.290
.288
.578
*46/537D9
MLN-ATL-TOT-CHW-CAL-NYY-TEX

2
Jerry Mumphrey
4
5545
1974
1988
21-35
1585
4993
660
1442
217
55
70
575
478
49
688
29
41
108
174
80
.289
.349
.396
.745
*879
STL-SDP-NYY-TOT-HOU-CHC

3
Jim Hegan
4
5318
1941
1960
20-39
1666
4772
550
1087
187
46
92
525
456
14
742
72
14
113
15
24
.228
.295
.344
.639
*2
CLE-TOT-CHC

4
Rollie Hemsley
4
5509
1928
1947
21-40
1593
5047
562
1321
257
72
31
555
357
0
395
101
0
54
29
18
.262
.311
.360
.671
*2/738
PIT-TOT-CHC-SLB-CLE-NYY-PHI

5
Jose Cruz
5
5448
1997
2008
23-34
1388
4724
713
1167
252
36
204
624
658
38
1147
23
38
74
113
39
.247
.337
.445
.783
897/D
TOT-TOR-SFG-TBD-LAD-SDP-HOU

6
Otis Nixon
5
5800
1983
1999
24-40
1709
5115
878
1379
142
27
11
318
585
10
694
67
28
72
620
186
.270
.343
.314
.658
*87/9D6
NYY-CLE-MON-ATL-BOS-TEX-TOR-TOT-MIN

7
Gus Mancuso
5
5025
1928
1945
22-39
1460
4505
386
1194
197
16
53
543
418
0
264
97
0
111
8
0
.265
.328
.351
.679
*2
STL-NYG-CHC-BRO-TOT-PHI

8
Sam West
5
6972
1927
1942
22-37
1753
6148
934
1838
347
101
75
838
696
0
540
123
0
6
54
56
.299
.371
.425
.796
*8/793
WSH-SLB-TOT-CHW

9
Granny Hamner
6
6291
1944
1962
17-35
1531
5839
711
1529
272
62
104
708
351
10
432
71
24
173
35
14
.262
.303
.383
.686
*64/51
PHI-TOT-KCA

10
Vern Stephens
6
7240
1941
1955
20-34
1720
6497
1001
1859
307
42
247
1174
692
0
685
37
8
169
25
22
.286
.355
.460
.815
*65/79
SLB-BOS-TOT-BAL

11
Ruben Sierra
7
8782
1986
2006
20-40
2186
8044
1084
2152
428
59
306
1322
610
102
1239
1
120
193
142
52
.268
.315
.450
.765
*9D7/8
TEX-TOT-OAK-CHW-SEA-NYY-MIN

12
Ozzie Guillen
7
7133
1985
2000
21-36
1993
6686
773
1764
275
69
28
619
239
25
511
141
60
114
169
108
.264
.287
.338
.626
*6/5347
CHW-TOT-ATL-TBD

13
Jose Cruz
7
8931
1970
1988
22-40
2353
7917
1036
2251
391
94
165
1077
898
142
1031
27
82
119
317
136
.284
.354
.420
.774
*798/D3
STL-HOU-NYY

14
Garret Anderson
8
9177
1994
2010
22-38
2228
8640
1084
2529
522
36
287
1365
429
104
1224
13
87
197
80
47
.293
.324
.461
.785
*78D9
CAL-ANA-LAA-ATL-LAD
No idea if this will work... but I think it's of interest if it does...

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool UsedGenerated 11/13/2010.

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By: tim http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71377 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 11:09:35 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71377 I remember the Shawn Estes/Roger Clemens thing, but you forgot to mention that Estes later hit a homer off Clemens, so he got even.

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By: dukeofflattbush http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71354 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 06:58:26 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71354 A few ideas...
1. Smaller leagues meant teams faced each other far more times, and before free agency there was far less player turnover, resulting in not just more 1-on-1' match-ups but more team on team matchups/rivalries. So with eight team leagues fielding essentially the same team (+ or -1) for years, the rivalries could of been higher, resulting in more protection for your players.
2. Supposed unwritten/unbroken baseball codes rarely are enforced anymore. Things like talking about other players to the media and closing ranks are generally ignored.
3. Someone mentioned this earlier, but the middle reliever and set-up men (i don't know numbers) rarely ever hit. I wonder if they HBP at a higher rate.
4. Everyone mentioned body armor and crowding the plate, but also the 'opened stance' saw a resurgence in the 90's. I remember Galaraga started opening his stance at Colorado, the year he hit .370, and his HBP went way up. Even though his stance was opened, it forced him to stride into the plate, leaving him virtually no time to dodge the ball.
5. Don't under estimate showboating, The way Bonds and many others stood in the box after connecting started in the late 80's.

A couple of memorable HBP.
Clemens hit Piazza during interleague. I think the Mets had to wait two years to get a crack at Clemens. Shawn Estes was the Mets pitcher, whom wasn't even a a Met during the original beaning. The NYC media talked non-stop about it for weeks. Estes ended up throwing a pitch 3 ft behind Clemens. So much for retaliation.

Another Clemens.
He was asked what he thought about Bond's body armor and volunteered he would hit him if he faced him. He got his wish a few weeks later. Delivered on said promise and wasn't even fined.

In the mid 90's Terry Pendelton walked off the field after a Atlanta reliever failed to 'retaliate' for an earlier HBP. Never saw anything like it.

During the famous Redsox/Yankees fight, where Pedro threw Zimmer to the ground. For all their 'history and tradition' - the Yankees let an old man fight for them and put their tail between their legs

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By: Mike Gaber http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71316 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 01:18:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71316 One of the Reasons for the increased walk Rates prior to the late 1970s might have been because:

For a long time, National League umpires wore relatively small chest protectors underneath their coats, while American League umpires used bulky "balloon-style" protectors. The difference in protector style was supposed to have led to differences in pitch calling. NL umpires, who could crouch lower behind the catcher, were supposed to call more low strikes, while the AL umpires were forced to stand upright and called more high strikes. AL umpires switched to the inside protector in the late 1970s when all new hires in the league were mandated to use the inside protector.

The above is from our favorite Baseball Web Site - BB-Ref.com

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Chest_protector

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By: kds http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71302 Sat, 13 Nov 2010 00:18:54 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71302 JT and The Goof,
I mostly agree with you two, but if you look at the 60 top single season walk numbers, (130 or more). It is almost all sluggers, except for 1945 to 1956. The player showing up the most times then was Eddie Stanky, a National Leaguer.

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By: John Autin http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71270 Fri, 12 Nov 2010 22:15:06 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71270 Tangent: It's funny that Bob Gibson's name always comes up in this type of discussion, even though the statistical record is at odds with his reputation. Meanwhile, one of the foremost practitioners of the purpose pitch (judging by HBP rates) is a Hall of Fame pitcher whose name I don't recall seeing in this context: Jim Bunning.

A quick comparison of the two:
-- Gibson hit 0.65% of all batters faced in his career -- an above-average rate, but below the 70th percentile. He never led the league in HBP, and just once ranked above 4th.
-- Bunning hit 1.02% of all batters faced. He led his league in HBP 4 straight years (1964-67) and ranked 2nd 4 other times; from 1957-67, only once was he notin his league's top 4 in HBP.

Furthermore, Gibby's HBP are arguably more a product of his overall control than are Bunning's. Gibson had a career rate of 3.1 BB per 9 IP, about average for his era; the years when he had a high HBP rate roughly correspond to the years of his highest walk rates. Bunning had outstanding control, 2.4 BB/9, and there is no correlation between the annual changes in his HBP and BB rates. In the 4 years that he led the league in HBP, Bunning averaged a mere 1.8 BB/9.

I have read that Gibson is mystified and irritated by the collective memory that focuses so much attention on his "intimidation" factor. He likes to think that he could pitch a little bit, too.

The HBP rates do not, in an of themselves, prove anything about who did or didn't like to play the ol' chin music. But they're a legitimate part of the picture.

P.S. In 9 WS starts (all CG), Gibson hit just 2 of the 312 batters he faced, both coming in his first 2 WS starts. There was absolutely nothing in the circumstances of either HBP that suggested either intent or indifference on his part; each came with a runner on 1st in a tie game.

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By: Evan http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9079/comment-page-1#comment-71269 Fri, 12 Nov 2010 22:12:13 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=9079#comment-71269 My first thought was that HBP would be influenced more by the pitcher than the batter, after all he is the one throwing the ball. But the more I have thought about it, and especially in light of the studies that some other commenters have referenced there is a lot of reason to think the batter would control this more.

Putting aside retaliatory acts, where the batter sets up in the box, how he approaches the pitched ball (diving over, more neutral) and how willing or able he is to avoid the pitched ball should all influence how likely he is to get hit. On the other hand pitchers pitching inside and those who throw breaking balls that start at the batter and break over the plate (most of the time) are apt to hit more batters as well. The wildness, I think, is a bit of a red herring the more you look at it. It seems unlikely that a pitcher (or a significant number of them) who is so wild that he is hitting enough batters to influence the league average will be able to keep his spot in the big leagues. It is even more unlikely that the wild pitcher will stick around to have a long enough career to influence a year-to-year trend.

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