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Jerkface
May 21, 2001


"HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE POOR, MOTHERFUCKER?

Nodoze posted:

Jays were 9th in MLB in runs, that isn't bad

They didn't score as many runs as they should have given their HR rate is what I meant. Easily led the league in HRs and only had 755 runs. The Yankees suck if they score that many runs.

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purkey
Dec 5, 2003

I hate the 90s


Corked bats don't help hitters.

Some Jerk
May 6, 2010


ManifunkDestiny posted:

Here are some vids that help explain how luck plays a part in baseball

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VC73LP037o

Here is the first thing any new baseball fan should learn: gently caress the yankees.

Nodoze
Aug 17, 2006



Scoobi posted:

They didn't score as many runs as they should have given their HR rate is what I meant. Easily led the league in HRs and only had 755 runs. The Yankees suck if they score that many runs.

I know I just wanted to be a jerk

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


bigwave posted:

So at the end of the day. Are steroids going to make you instantly a great hitter? Not at all, there's SOOO much more to it. But, at the highest level where guys cork their bats for the slightest advantage - steroids are almost mandatory.

Your post is fairly reasonable, although most people here will disagree with it. However, the bat corking reference really kind of unwinds your whole argument because bat corking doesn't do anything good for a hitter, and if anything that demonstrates that myths and superstitions about things that make you better are widespread enough for it to be plausible that steroids aren't the big deal people make them out to be.

However, I'm firmly in the camp of not giving a poo poo whether steroids help or not, because I see no moral difference between using a drug to help build your body and doing it the natural way. One is more efficient, so what?

Hand Knit
Oct 24, 2005

Beer Loses more than a game Sunday ...
We lost our Captain, our Teammate, our Friend Kelly Calabro...
Rest in Peace my friend you will be greatly missed..


Scoobi posted:

Citoball = gently caress walks swing first pitch all the time.

Basically the Jays were incredibly aggressive guys who marked out on fastballs all the time. Consequently, they hit a poo poo ton of HRs but didn't score that many runs and struck out alot.

This isn't strictly true. Cito had a philosophy that players should always have a definitive plan - usually sit fastball - and then swing really hard. The low OBP wasn't a function of 'Citoball' so much as it was having a large group of players (Wells, Gonzalez, Buck, etc) who don't historically walk very much.

And to that the fact that Skydome played great for right-handed pull hitters last year and you get this:



'Citoball' in its purest form is just DINGERS to the exclusion of everything else. Walk rate really doesn't factor into it.

Power of Pecota
Aug 3, 2007

It is not that bad, there is hope, there is charity, there is compassion blah blah blah Charles Dickens three ghosts visit Scrooge and he wakes up to life blah blah blah


Read up on these: http://www.sportsargumentwiki.com/i...juries/Baseball

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


A drat FOG posted:

However, the bat corking reference really kind of unwinds your whole argument because bat corking doesn't do anything good for a hitter

I only mention it as an example of what lengths baseball player's go to get "an edge". I suppose it's out of place. Regardless, steroids will always push you past your god-given genetic strength level. That's a given. And if strength doesn't play a part in hitting a baseball, why does every single team down to high school have a strength program?

I really don't care if every player takes steroids. But it's stupid, in my opinion, to say that there is no advantage in it.

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


bigwave posted:

I only mention it as an example of what lengths baseball player's go to get "an edge".

I understand that but I didn't really get the relevance. Are you arguing about the physiological effects of steroids or the morality or..?

I agree that steroids probably provide a benefit. I don't agree with definitively saying it's a "huge" benefit, and I don't agree with distinguishing it ethically from any of the other many things players, as you said, do to get an edge in sports.

CanadianJericholeaf
Jun 9, 2004

by Lowtax


bigwave posted:

I've never understood why people believe this. Sure, there are specific cases where steroids may not "do much for you" i.e. a guy who's already reached his peak natural strength level. But, IN GENERAL, the advantages of taking steroids are huge - even for hitting.

While you claim most power comes from upper legs and core... I'd add that your upper-body still has a tremendous amount to do with it. Did you ever see McGwire's forearms? Or Brady Anderson's that one year he hit 50? Those things were MONSTROUS, dude. You ever hear the stories about the Babe's wrists? Sure, benching 500 pounds isn't going to make you hit bombs, but it certainly doesn't hurt (unless you're so inflexible you can't take a proper swing).

Further, baseball is a griiiind. Not sure if you've ever played a full season, (I never even played 162 games), but it's tough to recover everyday and take the 100s of swings necessary to be an elite hitter. Steroids help tremendously in muscle recovery. In a sport where the slightest soreness can throw off your swing this is another big advantage day-in and day-out.

You ever see that football movie (The Program?) with the 'roid rage guy doing 400lb power cleans between 2-a-day practices? Slight exaggeration... but seriously steroids do make a marked difference.

And lastly, steroids not helping with upper leg/core muscle mass? Not sure where you get that idea. The biggest muscles in the human body are in your legs. Consequently, they reap the greatest benefits from steroids. The explosive compound movements in hitting are all a product of fast twitch muscle fibers that can be GREATLY enhanced through strength training and the proper PED cocktail.

So at the end of the day. Are steroids going to make you instantly a great hitter? Not at all, there's SOOO much more to it. But, at the highest level where guys cork their bats for the slightest advantage - steroids are almost mandatory.
I never thought about it this way, steroids actually do help hitters because anecdote anecdote anecdote reference to a movie (what the gently caress?) anecdote vague allusion to playing.

We get that a lot of these guys will try dumb stuff because they're dumb. As for everything else, I'm having a lot of trouble following your attempts at logic. Upper arm strength is forgotten in hitting but the legs benefit the most from performance enhancers. I'm having a really difficult time parsing through whatever you're attempting to convey.

CanadianJericholeaf fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 04:48

Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


bigwave posted:

I've never understood why people believe this. Sure, there are specific cases where steroids may not "do much for you" i.e. a guy who's already reached his peak natural strength level. But, IN GENERAL, the advantages of taking steroids are huge - even for hitting.

While you claim most power comes from upper legs and core... I'd add that your upper-body still has a tremendous amount to do with it. Did you ever see McGwire's forearms? Or Brady Anderson's that one year he hit 50? Those things were MONSTROUS, dude. You ever hear the stories about the Babe's wrists? Sure, benching 500 pounds isn't going to make you hit bombs, but it certainly doesn't hurt (unless you're so inflexible you can't take a proper swing).

Further, baseball is a griiiind. Not sure if you've ever played a full season, (I never even played 162 games), but it's tough to recover everyday and take the 100s of swings necessary to be an elite hitter. Steroids help tremendously in muscle recovery. In a sport where the slightest soreness can throw off your swing this is another big advantage day-in and day-out.

You ever see that football movie (The Program?) with the 'roid rage guy doing 400lb power cleans between 2-a-day practices? Slight exaggeration... but seriously steroids do make a marked difference.

And lastly, steroids not helping with upper leg/core muscle mass? Not sure where you get that idea. The biggest muscles in the human body are in your legs. Consequently, they reap the greatest benefits from steroids. The explosive compound movements in hitting are all a product of fast twitch muscle fibers that can be GREATLY enhanced through strength training and the proper PED cocktail.

So at the end of the day. Are steroids going to make you instantly a great hitter? Not at all, there's SOOO much more to it. But, at the highest level where guys cork their bats for the slightest advantage - steroids are almost mandatory.

I highly suggest checking this website out.

http://steroids-and-baseball.com/

The anabolic steroids generally used for strength training are massively predisposed to building muscle mass from the chest up. You know why Jim Thome can mash taters? It's not exactly because he looks like Atlas, and it's not because he was a corn-fed country boy who grew up right. It's because he has legs the size of tree trunks. The VAST majority of a hitter's power is generated through bat speed, and that comes from your core and leg muscles. Wrists and forearms help guide the bat through the zone on the correct plane so you connect and make solid contact.

Yes, being nice and muscly is helpful. In the narrow slice of playing baseball I addressed, ie the act of being a hitter, I am claiming steroids are mostly unhelpful. Not workout recovery, not strength training, not the grind of a season. Seeing a ball, and hitting it.

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


I think what I was trying to communicate is that corking your bat, albeit commonly accepted not to much good, is frowned upon and considered cheating. However, steroids which are medically proven to improve muscle mass are considered by some to just be "meh". It's just silly to me that some people would yell at Sosa for corking his bat but not for taking steroids.

I guess where I disagree is your statement that steroids "probably" provide a benefit. I don't see how there is any ambiguity. Yes, hitting requires hand-eye and other non-muscular coordination. But, strength is obviously a very, very important part of hitting. Couple that with the fact steroids make you unnaturally strong and able to recover quicker in a sport predicated on physical activity leads me the undeniable conclusion that steroids are definitely an advantage.

Whereas corking a bat or stealing signs "might" give you a leg-up. Steroids, to me, definitely do.

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


bigwave posted:

I don't see how there is any ambiguity.

Because hitting is a complicated science with a lot of variables involved and I'm neither a sports trainer nor a nutritionist/fitness expert or whatever, and even those who are sometimes seem to disagree. If you want to boil it down to its most basic components and say it provides a benefit to being able to hit balls far when you make contact, fine, but I don't consider that analogous to an automatic increase in general offensive skill as a baseball player--as if it's a video game and pressing the steroid button gives you PLUS FIVE POWER.

BIZORT
Jan 24, 2003



Didn't someone do a study on whether corking your bat helps or not and found that it actually slows your bat down enough that it hurts you as a hitter? I want to say it was on Myth Busters or something like that.

Unless you use marbles like Chris Sabo

Abel Wingnut
Dec 23, 2002



Let's look at the physics of hitting a baseball.

Ignoring the angle of impact and environmental variables for the moment, the distance a baseball travels depends on the bat's weight and velocity. Anything else?

Steroids help build muscles, which would allow a hitter to use a weightier bat. Would the added weight slow the bat down enough to diminish any effect of the added weight? Not sure. I guess if the hitter builds enough muscle then they could compensate. I have no idea how much muscle is required to do such a thing, or if I'm even on the right track.

Furthermore, I don't even know if steroids would allow you to uncoil quicker, even with a lighter bat.

Then there's the fact that a different physique would result in a different swing. That can be positive or negative, I suppose.

Just thinking 'out loud', so to speak. Hoping someone can negate or continue the physics of it all.

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


BIZORT posted:

Didn't someone do a study on whether corking your bat helps or not and found that it actually slows your bat down enough that it hurts you as a hitter? I want to say it was on Myth Busters or something like that.

Unless you use marbles like Chris Sabo

I thought it was that the bat actually becomes slightly faster but loses power, but I'm going off a hazy memory of some article on the back page of the Trib seven years ago.

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004



bigwave posted:

I think what I was trying to communicate is that corking your bat, albeit commonly accepted not to much good, is frowned upon and considered cheating. However, steroids which are medically proven to improve muscle mass are considered by some to just be "meh". It's just silly to me that some people would yell at Sosa for corking his bat but not for taking steroids.

I guess where I disagree is your statement that steroids "probably" provide a benefit. I don't see how there is any ambiguity. Yes, hitting requires hand-eye and other non-muscular coordination. But, strength is obviously a very, very important part of hitting. Couple that with the fact steroids make you unnaturally strong and able to recover quicker in a sport predicated on physical activity leads me the undeniable conclusion that steroids are definitely an advantage.

Whereas corking a bat or stealing signs "might" give you a leg-up. Steroids, to me, definitely do.

There is a ton of ambiguity and assumptions in your argument, is the big problem. The science of hitting is extremely complex, involving a vast number of factors. You can state that steroids offer an advantage - and you're probably correct in the most basic sense - but the real question is "how much of an advantage do they offer?" The answer to that question is generally assumed to be "probably nowhere near as much as most people think".

And strength is a "very, very important part of hitting"? I think this might be an overstatement, and certainly an oversimplification. Again, as has been stated, hitting a baseball really far has a great deal more to do with timing, bat speed, and mechanics, rather than raw strength. The thing is, every single MLB hitter has generally maximized their strength to optimal levels for their body to the extent that increased muscle mass will probably not have a huge effect on stuff like power numbers. In fact, I've never seen any data whatsoever that leads to the conclusion that making yourself stronger and stronger makes a player a better hitter. It's just not that simple, quite frankly.

OdinsBeard
Jul 12, 2003

Type 'iddqd' into the console to enable Beast Mode.


Badfinger posted:

I highly suggest checking this website out.

http://steroids-and-baseball.com/

The anabolic steroids generally used for strength training are massively predisposed to building muscle mass from the chest up. You know why Jim Thome can mash taters? It's not exactly because he looks like Atlas, and it's not because he was a corn-fed country boy who grew up right. It's because he has legs the size of tree trunks. The VAST majority of a hitter's power is generated through bat speed, and that comes from your core and leg muscles. Wrists and forearms help guide the bat through the zone on the correct plane so you connect and make solid contact.

Yes, being nice and muscly is helpful. In the narrow slice of playing baseball I addressed, ie the act of being a hitter, I am claiming steroids are mostly unhelpful. Not workout recovery, not strength training, not the grind of a season. Seeing a ball, and hitting it.

The physics calculations in this webpage (well, I skimmed it, correct me if I'm wrong on this) either use zero mass calculations or do not factor in bat weight, which will definitely have an effect on ball speed off the bat.

A drat FOG posted:

Because hitting is a complicated science with a lot of variables involved and I'm neither a sports trainer nor a nutritionist/fitness expert or whatever, and even those who are sometimes seem to disagree. If you want to boil it down to its most basic components and say it provides a benefit to being able to hit balls far when you make contact, fine, but I don't consider that analogous to an automatic increase in general offensive skill as a baseball player--as if it's a video game and pressing the steroid button gives you PLUS FIVE POWER.

Also this, a thousand times. It's possible there are players who benefited from steroids, but it's hard to isolate those cases, if it's even possible. Unless someone does a study on this (very unlikely), we'll probably never really know the effect of steroids, but most evidence points to it being minimal in generality.

OdinsBeard fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 05:10

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


This is just the way I see it.

Strength is proportional to power hitting. There are many, many, many other factors I agree. But, when you consider how much more difficult it is to increase a major leaguer's hand-eye, or brain capacity, or vision - PED's and steroids seem like the only way to "unnaturally" adjust your physical ability to hit a ball.

I agree there is no golden quantifiable rule that steroids gives you +XXX power. But my argument is logically there's no denying they have an affect. We can all disagree on how much so. Given some guys remarkable rise to power hitters and their massive physical transformations I tend to think it's a pretty powerful advantage.

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004



bigwave posted:

Strength is proportional to power hitting.

That's your problem, right there. This is quite simply not true. It's not even a little true. It's a misconception people have, probably involving the word "power" or something. I'm not entirely sure. Yes, power hitters tend to be large, muscular guys. This in no way implies that making themselves stronger - whether it's through regular weight training or PED use - correlates to an increase in their power numbers.

Deathlove
Feb 20, 2003

Here comes the hook.


bigwave posted:

Strength is proportional to power hitting.

Counterpoint:


Hitting always has been, and always will be, technique over anything else.

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


kaworu posted:

And strength is a "very, very important part of hitting"? I think this might be an overstatement, and certainly an oversimplification.

Maybe this is my own experience, but when I went from high school baseball to college the average size of player went up dramatically. I did a quick check on MLB and there was only one player under 200 pounds in the top 10 of homeruns last year (Bautista @ 195lbs). Why don't we see a bunch of 150 lb soccer players in the MLB?

OdinsBeard
Jul 12, 2003

Type 'iddqd' into the console to enable Beast Mode.


Deathlove posted:

Counterpoint:


Hitting always has been, and always will be, technique over anything else.

Hammerin' Hank wasn't a big dude, but he had pretty strong wrists and legs. I bet he was a pretty strong dude in a functional sense, he just didn't look like a linebacker.

I do agree that there is a lot of technique involved.

MODS CURE JOKES
Nov 11, 2009

OFFICIAL SAS 90s REMEMBERER


bigwave posted:

Why don't we see a bunch of 150 lb soccer players in the MLB?

Because they're probably not very good at baseball?

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


I can point out skinny guys like Alfonso Soriano who hit bombs too. But, how can there be no correlation between strength and power? Seriously? Given the same skill set is bambi going to hit as many homeruns as godzilla? Really??

gyroball
Jul 29, 2003

Fortunately, the people found a mighty Rosenthal, called Trevor.


bigwave posted:

This is just the way I see it.

Strength is proportional to power hitting. There are many, many, many other factors I agree. But, when you consider how much more difficult it is to increase a major leaguer's hand-eye, or brain capacity, or vision - PED's and steroids seem like the only way to "unnaturally" adjust your physical ability to hit a ball.

I agree there is no golden quantifiable rule that steroids gives you +XXX power. But my argument is logically there's no denying they have an affect. We can all disagree on how much so. Given some guys remarkable rise to power hitters and their massive physical transformations I tend to think it's a pretty powerful advantage.

There are a lot of other factors that contributed to this. Modern medicine, the acceptance of weight training for baseball players, lighter bats, smaller strike zones... So many things happened with baseball that its impossible to single out steroids.

That's not to say that I don't think steroids had an effect. I don't know if they did. I can see how they would. The mechanism of action makes sense. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) it's impossible to know just how all of these things aligned in the 90s/early 00s.

As an aside, I would really caution everyone about being too aggressive towards newbies about steroids. The topic has been discussed to death here and we've reached something of a consensus, sure. But I think there is perfectly good reason for the casual baseball fan to have certain views on steroids.

For better or for worse, three of the most prominent players who came to define power hitting in the last decade and a half--Bonds and McGwire and Rodriguez--are proven PED users. It is ENTIRELY reasonable for a fan who hasn't done much research/reading on the subject to correlate PED use and power hitting. It's not fair, but it's reality.

There's no reason to demean or condesend anyone who makes that correlation because (and this IS unfortunate) those three players have made it really easy for the casual fan to associate success and PEDs.

ManifunkDestiny
Aug 2, 2005

King


bigwave posted:

I can point out skinny guys like Alfonso Soriano who hit bombs too. But, how can there be no correlation between strength and power? Seriously? Given the same skill set is bambi going to hit as many homeruns as godzilla? Really??

but Babe Ruth hit MORE homers than Hideki Matsui?

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004



bigwave posted:

Maybe this is my own experience, but when I went from high school baseball to college the average size of player went up dramatically. I did a quick check on MLB and there was only one player under 200 pounds in the top 10 of homeruns last year (Bautista @ 195lbs). Why don't we see a bunch of 150 lb soccer players in the MLB?

Well, if you look later in the same post, I said: "every single MLB hitter has generally maximized their strength to optimal levels for their body to the extent that increased muscle mass will probably not have a huge effect on stuff like power numbers."

Basically, strength is a given once you get to the MLB levels. Teams spend vast sums of money training and working with their players to get them into the best shape they can possibly be in to maximize their abilities. And of course, some players (like Soriano) are just naturally smaller, and yet will have amazing power because they're very good at the other factors involved in hitting. I'm not at all saying a 150-pound soccer player could be a great power hitter. What I'm saying is that power hitting and raw strength are not directly proportional, and that an already-strong MLB hitter is not necessarily going to become a better hitter because he takes steroids to make himself even stronger than he already is.

(note: I hope I'm not being rude or condescending in this discussion, I'm just trying to reasonably explain a point of view )

bigwave
Jun 21, 2006


I'm sorry if this has been rehashed to death. I may not have posted in MLB threads - but I'm certainly not a casual baseball fan.

Every book on hitting I've read starts almost the same way, "A baseball training program should incorporate a strength training component. Strength is crucial for baseball success. The two primary reasons for this are to develop explosive power and to protect against injury (especially arm injuries)."

Edit. Exactly my point! If a player reaches his sticking point in strength the most efficient way to get stronger is to take steroids, HGH, etc. Since strength is in some degree important to baseball (and hitting) and steroids aid one in this pursuit, I see it as a pretty plain issue. I'll also shut up at this point as to prevent redundancy. Thanks all for the intelligent discussion!

bigwave fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 05:29

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


bigwave posted:

I'm sorry if this has been rehashed to death. I may not have posted in MLB threads - but I'm certainly not a casual baseball fan.

Every book on hitting I've read starts almost the same way, "A baseball training program should incorporate a strength training component. Strength is crucial for baseball success. The two primary reasons for this are to develop explosive power and to protect against injury (especially arm injuries)."

It's cool, it is a pretty tired subject for most of us but it's not really your fault if you don't know that. It's not like there's a rule against steroid chat.

Politicalrancor
Jan 29, 2008



My advice to newbies and lurkers is try and stay away from steroid chat because it a boring and tired argument where no one will come to a consensus with you. I personally don't believe that steroids do much of anything beneficial for you. If you do, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but i would rather another thread with promise not be derailed yet again by steroid chat.

Monkey Wrangler
Jun 1, 2003
Shark Week Victim #79!

Steroids chat, lame.

I saw a pretty cool documentary on Steroids called "Bigger, Stronger, Faster." It's on Netflix and full of a bunch of anecdotal poo poo about steroids, but its best point is that since they're banned it's hard to get really good data on any side effects they have on people. They were more focused on the health issue rather than the obvious muscle building benefits, but it does point out that with the law being what it is, it's gonna be hard to figure out what they do at all.

Anyway, didn't Keith Law, venerated scouter of prospects and hater of ribbies, say that power had more to do with the path the bat takes through the zone, rather than anything else? This GQ article here talks about how similar the swings of some of the best batters ever are once they enter the strike zone.

Also let's never talk about steroids again. It's stupid and doesn't/shouldn't change your opinion of baseball anyway.

Monkey Wrangler fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 06:14

Pumpkin McPastry
Mar 8, 2004

What else do I have to do to impress you people?


Let's look at the All Time Home Run Leaders.

Bonds
Aaron
Ruth
Mays
Griffey

Aaron was 6'0'' 180
Mays was 5'11'' 170
Griffey was 6'2'' 230

E: But yeah, this probably isn't helping newbies learn anything.

\/\/\/\/ I think I saw somewhere that OPS correlates like .97 or something to wOBA so I wouldn't worry about it. I mean, TAV from BP is really good but OPS+ for quick and dirty is pretty great.

Pumpkin McPastry fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 06:21

Monkey Wrangler
Jun 1, 2003
Shark Week Victim #79!

Let's shift topics.

I'm not a super newbie to the statistical revolution but you guys are way ahead of where I am. Is there a generally agreed upon stat for various portions of the game?

Like, I generally use BBR's OPS+ to determine how good a guy's season was relative to an average player. But then I read about wOBA and O/D WAR and now I'm a bit confused. You guys also mentioned OOPS as opposed to WHIP.

What's the preferred stat to generally explain how good a guy is at offense, defense or pitching? (Yes I realize I'm kinda opening a can of worms here but after three pages of steroids chat I'll take anything.)

Monkey Wrangler fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 06:20

Politicalrancor
Jan 29, 2008



Are reports that Ted Williams was pretty bad in the field true?

Jerkface
May 21, 2001


"HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE POOR, MOTHERFUCKER?

Politicalrancor posted:

Are reports that Ted Williams was pretty bad in the field true?

He was a lazy poo poo.

Dr. Kyle Farnsworth
Apr 23, 2004

"He's a great baker. He's Betty Crocker. He makes the best peanut butter cookies ever."

While we're sharing newbie tips, Baseball Between The Numbers will help you talk with some of the advanced nerds in here and is an interesting read all the same. I haven't seen a lot of Scorecasting chat, but it's also got some pretty interesting sections that are baseball specific. I also suggest picking up the latest Baseball Prospectus, their writers write about players and teams and whatnot in a fun, approachable way. Like a normal sportswriter might say "Soandso is a great young pitcher wow look at that grit and determination" while a BP preview would say something like "Soandso was a starter in high school and shows flashes of brilliance but a low-90s fastball and no out pitch isn't going to be enough to make the rotation." They're pretty good at getting into the why side of things. Plus getting into your team's prospects and watching them bloom can be a really fun part of following the sport, especially if you live by a minor league team. I used to live in Durham and can remember heckling various now-famous players while watching Bulls games.

Biggest thing in the N/V threads is there's usually several layers of relatively good-natured bullshit/sarcasm flying around at any given time.

Dr. Kyle Farnsworth fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 06:48

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


Monkey Wrangler posted:

Let's shift topics.

I'm not a super newbie to the statistical revolution but you guys are way ahead of where I am. Is there a generally agreed upon stat for various portions of the game?

Like, I generally use BBR's OPS+ to determine how good a guy's season was relative to an average player. But then I read about wOBA and O/D WAR and now I'm a bit confused. You guys also mentioned OOPS as opposed to WHIP.

What's the preferred stat to generally explain how good a guy is at offense, defense or pitching? (Yes I realize I'm kinda opening a can of worms here but after three pages of steroids chat I'll take anything.)

wOBA is a linear weights metric which means it tries to incorporate the objective value of every single offensive event, so no problems like walks counting the same as hits toward OBA and also accounting for minutiae like stolen bases and double plays. Linear weights formulas can be slightly different depending on the person who makes them but all basically share that trait of trying to be a sort of offensive singularity based on run values (I might even be getting some of this wrong, I'm not a super expert).

Lots of people here use wOBA and wRC+ (basically the + version of wOBA), but not everyone. I generally think it's a pretty good thing to look at but not better than OPS/OPS+ by a factor large enough to justify how complex and arcane it is. Most of the time I use OPS/OPS+ and I think even a lot of people who are into advanced metrics would probably admit the same.

Offense is by far the simplest because offensive run values are easy as heck to calculate and BABIP/LD% give us a passable ability to adjust for luck and variance. Pitching is trickier because people tend to disagree on lots of little factors like a) whether a pitcher can control BABIP and home run rates, b) how much precedence should be given to peripherals (K/BB/HR) as opposed to general hit/run results, etc., and then there are other oddball things like how team defense factors into pitching. ERA+ is not a terrible stat to use for starters if you're looking for direct comparisons. FIP (peripherals scaled roughly to ERA) and xFIP (FIP adjusted to league average home run rates) are useful, especially for relievers, but are very exclusive of a lot of factors and should be used with caution. There is also super advanced stuff out there like tERA which is based partly on batted ball data and I don't really understand or trust but someone could teach you about them if you wanted. Just anecdotally it seems like tERA in particular was "in" for a while and then people stopped talking about it--although it may be an availability problem.

Defense is a fairly big crapshoot still. Logic says that you can never trust your eyes, and I agree with that--imagine if you had to trust your eyes for a player's batting or pitching skill for a whole season, do you think you would get their stats right? You might get close if you watched 162 games, but you wouldn't pinpoint much. So that said, defensive metrics are tricky and sometimes disagree. I'm not going to go into individual stats because frankly I don't know a ton about them and I don't care much about them, but my general rule for defensive stats is "if a guy scores really well or really poorly in several different metrics, it's safe to say he's good/bad, everything else is a push." Not everyone agrees with that, but there you go. It's why I prefer o(ffensive)WAR over WAR.

Finally, I think an important attitude to have is rejecting the singularity--not rejecting any individual stat, just the usage of one to evaluate players. I disagree with the way some people here throw around WAR. When you add up more and more components, the level of uncertainty in each of those components is factored against itself and you have something that seems shiny and nice but ultimately just tricks you into thinking you've found the statistical Holy Grail. I find myself falling back on it sometimes, but I don't care for WAR conceptually and I think it's intellectually less lazy and more productive to examine components individually.

Medical Sword fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 06:53

THE RED MENACE
Jul 24, 2007

Shots ring out from the center of an empty field.
Torii's in the tall grass.
He's a beautiful mental jukebox, a sailboat explosion.
A snap of electric whipcrack.


Scoobi posted:

He was a lazy poo poo.

Hey man Williams was a good player. Let's save that lazy descriptor for negros players like Milton Bradley.

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Apr 29, 2009


Dr. Kyle Farnsworth posted:

While we're sharing newbie tips, Baseball Between The Numbers will help you talk with some of the advanced nerds in here and is an interesting read all the same. I haven't seen a lot of Scorecasting chat, but it's also got some pretty interesting sections that are baseball specific. I also suggest picking up the latest Baseball Prospectus, their writers write about players and teams and whatnot in a fun, approachable way. Like a normal sportswriter might say "Soandso is a great young pitcher wow look at that grit and determination" while a BP preview would say something like "Soandso was a starter in high school and shows flashes of brilliance but a low-90s fastball and no out pitch isn't going to be enough to make the rotation." They're pretty good at getting into the why side of things. Plus getting into your team's prospects and watching them bloom can be a really fun part of following the sport, especially if you live by a minor league team. I used to live in Durham and can remember heckling various now-famous players while watching Bulls games.

Biggest thing in the N/V threads is there's usually several layers of relatively good-natured bullshit/sarcasm flying around at any given time.

Yeah I live in Columbus and will have several days off during the week in the summer, which makes it much easier to go to Clippers' games than Indians' games, and I would imagine actually knowing about a guy and what he might develop into for the Indians before going to a game would make it much more enjoyable.

And holy crap, I had been thinking of picking up the 2011 Baseball Prospectus but until now I didn't even think of looking up how much it costs because I figured it was dozens of dollars for whatever reason, but I can get it at Walmart for 16 bucks, awesome.

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