Comments on: Did the Giants’ Front Office Make the NL West Race Closer Than it Needed to Be? This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: FutureDaydream Sun, 19 Sep 2010 20:07:24 +0000 Also he didn't become a catcher until his JR year(?). There would need to be some conditioning involved in order to ensure he can endure an entire season.

By: Neil L Sun, 19 Sep 2010 19:59:28 +0000 Actually, Future, I HAD forgotten that pitch-calling doesn't actually start until the minors in reading the posts in here. Another reason why a rookie needs more seasoning.

By: FutureDaydream Sun, 19 Sep 2010 18:52:01 +0000 Everyone seems to forget that college catchers do not call games. That is one aspect of the game that they have to learn how to do in the minors. What use is a rookie catcher to a MLB team if he can't call a game?

By: Did the Giants’ Front Office Make the NL West Race Closer Than it Needed to Be? | Baseball Bloggers Alliance Sun, 19 Sep 2010 17:20:26 +0000 [...] Did the Giants’ Front Office Make the NL West Race Closer Than it Needed to Be? This is the question that Neil Paine asks at Baseball-Reference. [...]

By: Raker Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:09:49 +0000 I don't understand how anyone (Zachary) could take offense about debating WAR's accuracy when it's the center piece of an article's claim, specifically that the Giants would have 2 more wins if Posey was catching instead of Benji Molina.

I wrote earlier that "I realize that errors are imperfect but to make only 3 in 140 plus games is pretty damn impressive", and I stand by that. As imperfect as errors are, thats amazing to me. It's easy to make an obvious error. 3 means a guy is making all the routine plays, day after day, and any manager would take that.

Everyone knows that score keepers vary and range varies but you can't eliminate how many times a player screws up and replace it with how many times he would theoretically get to a ball and THEN translate that into how many WINS that means to his team and not expect some people to question it, IMO.

Personally, I think it's highly possible that the Giants would have had a worse April than 13-9 with a rookie catcher instead of one of the Fabulous Molina Brothers.

By: John Autin Sun, 19 Sep 2010 04:31:48 +0000 JDMC @35 -- Good point about their hiring/spending habits.
Neil L. @46 -- Thank you for expressing more or less how I feel about WAR right now: I *do* want to hear about it (including the debate over which method to adopt). But I can't yet have a discussion built on the assumption that measures of individual WAR can be added and subtracted to prove that the underlying performances accounted for any specific number of wins or losses.

By: Neil L Sat, 18 Sep 2010 23:03:25 +0000 @45
Zachary, agreed about not letting other discussion forums degenerate into WAR debates!

However, that being said, WAR "disciples" who have "seen the light" should not marginalize the reluctance of others to embrace it. By calling WAR and this "the internet's premier baseball statistics site" you are implying a superiority that puts others on the defensive. See the 2nd paragraph of #33.

WAR is relatively recent.... if it is as great as it cracked up to be it will be appreciated in time. No need to attack people who are still coming to grips with it. Respectful dialogue will lead to WAR's accceptance by all.

By: Zachary Sat, 18 Sep 2010 20:59:56 +0000 This thread just makes me sad. I liked the blog post's bit - it was reasonable and looked at two interesting questions, and simply assessed their impact without making a judgment as to ultimately which was right and which was wrong. It deserved some commenting on which decision was better, and not attacks on the methodology. It shouldn't have been turned into yet ANOTHER debate on WAR and defense.

I'm sorry, but this is the internet's premier baseball statistics site. WAR is probably the most sophisticated cumulative stat out there, so of course it's going to get used. It doesn't get everything right, but it comes a hell of a lot closer than anything else and has a very solid mathematical and real-world basis. If you don't like WAR, fine, but don't criticize it unless you have a specific objection to one of the calculations. Just quit coming after people who do understand its usefulness and know how to contextualize it.

As far as defense goes, errors don't tell you jack from squat. Luis Aparicio once committed the third most errors in all of baseball and still finished with the highest Fielding Percentage among shortstops and won the Gold Glove. Why? He put himself in position to make many more plays, and that's reflected by his great Range Factor rating. Defensive Sabermetrics are meant to provide that information directly, rather than making you look up multiple stats and put things together yourself. If you don't like them, fine, but explain why in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the intentions.

In regards to the actual topic, I think SF probably made the right move from a financial perspective, but I like Atlanta's willingness to make a run this year. It probably helped that it was Cox's last year, but I think it was mostly that they realized that they had a team that could contend with a little spark from Heyward.

By: Lee Sat, 18 Sep 2010 17:25:24 +0000 @43

The Yankees are 21-10 in the games Sabathia has started. The Yankees have average 5.82 runs in the games he has pitched in. Do you think their record would be worse than 15-16 if Sabathia didn't pitch in those games? Here are the other 4 starters with their team's record and run support:

Burnett 13-17 4.35
Hughes 18-9 6.79
Vazquez 13-12 4.12
Pettitte 15-3 6.13

Vazquez has been a replacement level pitcher this year, and the team is basically .500 in his starts, though they've scored about 1.5 runs less in his starts than in Sabathia's. I don't think the Yankees would be much below .500 in Sabathia's starts if a rep. level starter had to replace C.C.

By: Fireworks Sat, 18 Sep 2010 15:34:42 +0000 I've posted twice without addressing your post, Neil.

I agree with some of the respondents who argue that the Giants thought Molina would be better and that they held back Posey primarily because of their concerns about his ability to be adequate defensively and to call the game/handle pitchers.

Neil, I disagree with your statement about how if the Friars finish less than 3 games ahead of the Gigantes it is directly attributable to Posey being held back. Personally I don't think WAR should be used that concretely as it relates to team wins. Take Sabathia, for instance. He is worth what, about five and a half WAR right now? Let's call it six. In the case of Sabathia, I think if he were replaced with a replacement pitcher, the Yanks would be significantly worse off than six games. And I am unlikely to believe that if you replaced Sabathia with a pitcher who had 3 WAR that the difference would be merely three games. I hate to say this, wow, I really hate when people say this, because they say things like this and then never follow up, but anyway, I think there are INTANGIBLES. I think, in New York, on the Yankees, Sabathia's presence this season has been tremendous and while I dislike a lot of the things the traditional analysts on TV say when they get into talking about the intangible benefits of player X or player Y, I absolutely agree with the idea that CC has been the most valuable pitcher in the AL, hell, in all of baseball. Between Tattoo Man, HYUSE, and Javy at times struggling or outright sucking, and Pettitte's long absence, Sabathia has been a constant and it takes pressure off the other starters and even the offense, knowing that whether or not CC is sharp you look up and he's pitched seven and you have a chance to win the game. He is solidly dependable even when he isn't dominant, and I know it lessens the concerns of fans and media. I'm pretty certain it must have that effect on the players too.

I can't believe I just talked about intangibles. I'm disgusted with myself.