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Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


tadashi posted:

Here's a question I have trouble with: At what point is a guy who can steal bases more valuable than a guy who doesn't steal bases but gets on base more? So is there a formula or general rule of thumb? That is, if I can't get to the internet and see offensive WAR?

How much is "more"? You can't steal a base unless you're already on base. The increased run expectancy for a man on first vs a man on second no matter how many outs there are is magnitudes lower than a man on first vs an out.

It is rare that players actually add more than miniscule value for stealing bases.

e: Baseball Prospectus' Run Expectancy Matrix for 2005. The values themselves have probably changed slightly, but the difference between values has likely not changed significantly.

pre:
           OUTS
RUNNERS       0       1       2
    ---  0.5165  0.2796  0.1075
    1--  0.8968  0.5487  0.2370
    -2-  1.1385  0.6911  0.3502
    12-  1.4693  0.9143  0.4433
    --3  1.5120  0.9795  0.3718
    1-3  1.8228  1.1830  0.4931
    -23  2.0363  1.4144  0.6073
    123  2.3109  1.5279  0.7485
So .8968 runs per inning are expected with a man on first and no outs, vs .2796 for no on and one out.
1.1385 runs are expected for a man on second and no outs.

In this matrix, getting from first to second is worth a quarter more of an expected run with no outs. Getting to first instead of making the first out is worth .62 expected runs.

Badfinger fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2011 around 20:44

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tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



Badfinger posted:

How much is "more"? You can't steal a base unless you're already on base. The increased run expectancy for a man on first vs a man on second no matter how many outs there are is magnitudes lower than a man on first vs an out.

It is rare that players actually add more than miniscule value for stealing bases.

I guess that's what I'm looking for. I guess if you were to look at on base % for one player versus the other and then look at the minuscule value of the stolen base, you'd be able to figure out the run expectancy of one player hitting versus the other. Even at Bourn '09 level of success I guess a higher OBP player is always the choice.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Run expectancy tables are ever so slightly flawed in that they tell you the overall expected number of runs for a given game state. However, there are situations where you can do something that decreases your overall expected number of runs while increasing the probability that you score one run, hence why very very occasionally the sac bunt is a good decision.

Typically expected runs scored is fine, but things are different when you work in to down by one run/tie situations late in games.

Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


^^^ Oh hey what's up close and late playing for one run with bunts.

tadashi posted:

I guess that's what I'm looking for. I guess if you were to look at on base % for one player versus the other and then look at the minuscule value of the stolen base, you'd be able to figure out the run expectancy of one player hitting versus the other. Even at Bourn '09 level of success I guess a higher OBP player is always the choice.

That's pretty much it. Stolen bases above 75% are just a bonus.

Which is not to say in specific situations a stolen base isn't extremely valuable, just like not every single bunt ever is bad. But evaluating players broadly over the course of a season, you'd take the OBP guy.

DrGonzo90
Sep 13, 2010


CountingCrows posted:

Are there any other super rare rules that get called like once a season that I should look out for? Are there any really funny rules/situations that get called?

There are some weird equipment rules. You can't use your hat or a catcher's mask or anything else to play a ball, only your glove or hands. Alex Avila of the Tigers got called for this last year, the ball rolled away from him and he used his mask to nudge it back toward him. The runner was awarded an extra base (home, in this case).

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7617425

There's also the George Brett Pine Tar Incident, which is interesting in and of itself but also involves Billy Martin being his normal crazy self which makes it even better. (It also happened the day before I was born, but nobody cares about that but me).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Tar_Incident

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

Hitters do not normally skip AAA completely, the type of pitchers there are different from your AA prospects generally and it's good to get exposure to ~~crafty lefties~~ and all that poo poo before you go to MLB and suddenly have an Andy Pettitte type vet throwing seventeen million different good pitches at you in bizarre sequences.

It's not uncommon for pitchers to skip AAA or spend zero time there if their stuff/control/etc is all ready to go.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



DrGonzo90 posted:

There are some weird equipment rules. You can't use your hat or a catcher's mask or anything else to play a ball, only your glove or hands. Alex Avila of the Tigers got called for this last year, the ball rolled away from him and he used his mask to nudge it back toward him. The runner was awarded an extra base (home, in this case).

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7617425

There's also the George Brett Pine Tar Incident, which is interesting in and of itself but also involves Billy Martin being his normal crazy self which makes it even better. (It also happened the day before I was born, but nobody cares about that but me).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Tar_Incident

What is badass about the George Brett incident is that Billy Martin waited all season for the perfect moment to say something. That's just mean.

the popes toes
Oct 10, 2004

10 bucks says I'm safe

Notice the run expectancy for a man on 3rd with 2 outs is very similar with a man on 2nd and 2 outs - so similar it doesn't much matter.

Yet you will see managers call a 2 out 3B steal even though the data tells them, "you don't have to steal here" as the run expectancy increase isn't worth the potential cost of ending the inning.

Odds are your manager will do this sometine during the year. Join us in excoriating him.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



the popes toes posted:

Notice the run expectancy for a man on 3rd with 2 outs is very similar with a man on 2nd and 2 outs - so similar it doesn't much matter.

Yet you will see managers call a 2 out 3B steal even though the data tells them, "you don't have to steal here" as the run expectancy increase isn't worth the potential cost of ending the inning.

Odds are your manager will do this sometine during the year. Join us in excoriating him.

When i was 10 my dad told me: Never make the first out at home and never make the third out at third. It has held up for 20 years.

The Pussy Boss
Nov 2, 2004



I expect some of the value of base stealing doesn't come from the steals themselves but from distracting the pitcher and catcher, making the pitcher from the stretch and throw over a lot, infielders moving out of position to cover 2nd, etc. Or are those just baseball cliches?

Groucho Marxist
Dec 9, 2005

Here stands baseball's perfect warrior.

Here stands baseball's perfect knight.


leokitty posted:

Hitters do not normally skip AAA completely, the type of pitchers there are different from your AA prospects generally and it's good to get exposure to ~~crafty lefties~~ and all that poo poo before you go to MLB and suddenly have an Andy Pettitte type vet throwing seventeen million different good pitches at you in bizarre sequences.

It's not uncommon for pitchers to skip AAA or spend zero time there if their stuff/control/etc is all ready to go.

Yeah this is what I was thinking but with all good prospects instead of good pitching prospects.

OdinsBeard
Jul 12, 2003

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


The Pussy Boss posted:

I expect some of the value of base stealing doesn't come from the steals themselves but from distracting the pitcher and catcher, making the pitcher from the stretch and throw over a lot, infielders moving out of position to cover 2nd, etc. Or are those just baseball cliches?

yes. Statistically, batters do worse in ABs when there was a stolen base attempt during the AB. I read this somewhere but I do not have the source, unfortunately.

Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


The Pussy Boss posted:

I expect some of the value of base stealing doesn't come from the steals themselves but from distracting the pitcher and catcher, making the pitcher from the stretch and throw over a lot, infielders moving out of position to cover 2nd, etc. Or are those just baseball cliches?

Maybe? But if the dude is dancing around and tries to steal and there's a foul ball, then on the next pitch the pitcher hangs a slider and the batter hits a double can you really attribute the pitcher's bad location to "being distracted"? The pitcher will be throwing from the stretch just by virtue of having a runner on base. The problem is that unless there's something like a hit and run and the batter puts the ball where the fielders were and gets a hit, there's no way to attribute the impact of the at bat to the baserunner.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



The Pussy Boss posted:

I expect some of the value of base stealing doesn't come from the steals themselves but from distracting the pitcher and catcher, making the pitcher from the stretch and throw over a lot, infielders moving out of position to cover 2nd, etc. Or are those just baseball cliches?

Distraction would come more from the threat of the steal than the steal itself. Of course you must actually execute now and again in order for it to be beneficial, if in fact a benefit from distracting people exists.

Medical Sword
May 23, 2005

Goghing, Goghing, gone


tadashi posted:

And learning this lesson will make you squirm every time you hear a manager say: We're going to steal more. As though he can just will his players to be better at it.

I was watching a Cubs ST game and apparently Mike Quade has talked about running "smarter" and being more efficient on the bases, which seemed impressive given how most baseball fans/people seem to think break even is 1 SB = 1 CS.

OdinsBeard posted:

yes. Statistically, batters do worse in ABs when there was a stolen base attempt during the AB. I read this somewhere but I do not have the source, unfortunately.
I know you said ABs and not pitches, but wouldn't it still be skewed by hit-and-runs and other cases where the batter swings while the runner is going? The main thing I would get out of that is that, as we all know, hit-and-runs are loving stupid.

Aetilus
May 8, 2005

by Lowtax


tadashi posted:

What is badass about the George Brett incident is that Billy Martin waited all season for the perfect moment to say something. That's just mean.

what's hilarious is that Tim McClellan was a rookie ump in that game is still making terrible decisions all these years later.

OdinsBeard
Jul 12, 2003

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


A drat FOG posted:

I was watching a Cubs ST game and apparently Mike Quade has talked about running "smarter" and being more efficient on the bases, which seemed impressive given how most baseball fans/people seem to think break even is 1 SB = 1 CS.
I know you said ABs and not pitches, but wouldn't it still be skewed by hit-and-runs and other cases where the batter swings while the runner is going? The main thing I would get out of that is that, as we all know, hit-and-runs are loving stupid.

Good question. I want to say that when 'stolen base attempt' means that a runner stole a base or was caught stealing during the AB but since I don't have a source, I don't know.

TUS
Feb 19, 2003

I'm going to stab you. Offline. With a real knife.


I went to buy The Extra 2% at my local Borders here in backwoods bumfuck New Hampshire AND LOW AND BEHOLD IT WASN'T IN STOCK so to amazon I go. But I want to throw a couple more books in there. I have and have read Moneyball, Ball Four gets mentioned a lot here, so I'm interested in that... what would be the other big 2 or 3 books on baseball to get (all topics open)

stuart scott irl
Mar 9, 2007



KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

Run expectancy tables are ever so slightly flawed in that they tell you the overall expected number of runs for a given game state. However, there are situations where you can do something that decreases your overall expected number of runs while increasing the probability that you score one run, hence why very very occasionally the sac bunt is a good decision.

This is where it's good to look at win probability tables too

Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


TUS posted:

I went to buy The Extra 2% at my local Borders here in backwoods bumfuck New Hampshire AND LOW AND BEHOLD IT WASN'T IN STOCK so to amazon I go. But I want to throw a couple more books in there. I have and have read Moneyball, Ball Four gets mentioned a lot here, so I'm interested in that... what would be the other big 2 or 3 books on baseball to get (all topics open)

Baseball: Between the Numbers is a pretty good read if you're interested in more in-depth statistical analysis. Especially if you're new to it, it's a great primer and explains a lot of stuff that's cool to know. It can be a bit dense at times though as they get a lot into mathematics and stuff, but it posits things in a cool way. For instance, to discuss WAR and what it means, the chapter is about "Who was better? Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds?" and it adds a lot of meaningful background to the questions and concepts rather than just throwing ideas at you and being a statistical dictionary.

I just read "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood" which was really interesting, though also incredibly depressing. It sheds light on just how destructive Mantle was to himself.

Spaceman Future!
Feb 9, 2007

slurp


Is there a single broadcast in the MLB that regularly uses advanced stats? FSN listed OPS like twice last year, and each time they spent like 10 minutes trying to explain the stat like it was some sort of complex algorithm.

I find this really confusing, because stats like OPS and OPS+ can be a lot more reliable than the traditional stats, and you don't need to understand the math at all to see GOOD number BAD number. Is this like a traditionalism thing or just a dumbing it down thing?

trillocity
Apr 16, 2008


Why does the AL West only have 4 teams, while the NL Central has 6? I realize that the divisions have to be close geographically, given how often teams travel for baseball, but wouldn't it make more sense for each division to have 5 teams?

BIZORT
Jan 24, 2003



People are used to one set of numbers and fear/hate anything new

The one thing I hate most about baseball is when a commentator or ex-player says something like "There's just something about that last inning!" when referring to CLOSERS and how valuable they are

Gee Wizard posted:

Why does the AL West only have 4 teams, while the NL Central has 6? I realize that the divisions have to be close geographically, given how often teams travel for baseball, but wouldn't it make more sense for each division to have 5 teams?

NL has 16 teams, AL has 14. They have to be even numbered or else at least one team will always have a day off and just prolong the season even more

Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


Gee Wizard posted:

Why does the AL West only have 4 teams, while the NL Central has 6? I realize that the divisions have to be close geographically, given how often teams travel for baseball, but wouldn't it make more sense for each division to have 5 teams?

When baseball expanded to 30 teams, it would've made 15/15 divisions and an odd number which means either a) interleague all the time or b) one team is not playing for an extended amount of time. It ends up being a scheduling nightmare, so the Brewers moved from the AL to the NL and now it's 16NL/14AL.

e: beaten

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Spaceman Future! posted:

Is there a single broadcast in the MLB that regularly uses advanced stats? FSN listed OPS like twice last year, and each time they spent like 10 minutes trying to explain the stat like it was some sort of complex algorithm.

I find this really confusing, because stats like OPS and OPS+ can be a lot more reliable than the traditional stats, and you don't need to understand the math at all to see GOOD number BAD number. Is this like a traditionalism thing or just a dumbing it down thing?

NESN does pretty well. They show OPS a fair amount of the time. Remy actually had a pretty good quick overview "It's on base plus slugging. It gives you an idea of how good a player is. 770 (or whatever it is) is league average. Anything above 900 is really good. [proceeds to make some point using it which I forget]" Pretty non-controversial.

Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


There has been some progress made with various broadcasting groups. There was that picture of one ballpark (Royals? Cleveland?) whose scoreboard showed things like OPS and stuff I think, but I may be wrong.. Last year, YES revamped their scoreboard overlay to show pitch count. Most front offices employ a statistics group. It's gaining ground, but it's moving very slowly. Fenway had a lot of advanced stuff on their scoreboard last year, I remember; the Red Sox organization in general is pretty accepting of the stats.

trillocity
Apr 16, 2008


Haud posted:

When baseball expanded to 30 teams, it would've made 15/15 divisions and an odd number which means either a) interleague all the time or b) one team is not playing for an extended amount of time. It ends up being a scheduling nightmare, so the Brewers moved from the AL to the NL and now it's 16NL/14AL.

e: beaten

Why is this a bad option? I understand that interleague play is special, due to the differences in rules, but wouldn't baseball benefit from more interleague games?

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

Gee Wizard posted:

Why is this a bad option? I understand that interleague play is special, due to the differences in rules, but wouldn't baseball benefit from more interleague games?

Interleague is special because it's rare, if you do it all the time you lose the (usually small) boost you get from it.

stuart scott irl
Mar 9, 2007



Haud posted:

Last year, YES revamped their scoreboard overlay to show pitch count.

I so badly want this for every network, it doesn't take much room to display and it's pretty important. I don't understand why we have to rely on the announcers mentioning it every 3 innings

Jerkface
May 21, 2001


"HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE POOR, MOTHERFUCKER?

They should get rid of interleague entirely.

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

stuart scott irl posted:

I so badly want this for every network, it doesn't take much room to display and it's pretty important. I don't understand why we have to rely on the announcers mentioning it every 3 innings

The way YES does it is that it takes the place of the radar gun measurement between pitches so it doesn't take up any extra space at all, even.


Scoobi posted:

They should get rid of interleague entirely.

No because they would turn that into more Yanks/Sox somehow

Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


Yeah, interleague has already worn out "rivalry weekend". At first it was cool seeing the Yankees play the Mets, but 6 games each year for the last decade+ and I really couldn't care less. But it gets ratings, so they'll keep doing it. I'd much prefer to just paly the Mets once every 3 years like the current interleague schedule permits, but that's another discussion.

stuart scott irl posted:

I so badly want this for every network, it doesn't take much room to display and it's pretty important. I don't understand why we have to rely on the announcers mentioning it every 3 innings

It was one of the best things YES has done. NESN soon followed suit, and they have it too. I think ESPN even does it now, but it's not a permanent fixture; it just pops up over like the inning or something for a second or two after each pitch is thrown.

Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


ESPN actually uses OPS right on their infographic. They are surprisingly decent at using more modern stats. Their announcers just suck at it.

Gee Wizard posted:

Why is this a bad option? I understand that interleague play is special, due to the differences in rules, but wouldn't baseball benefit from more interleague games?

Old fogies.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004


Haud posted:

Yeah, interleague has already worn out "rivalry weekend". At first it was cool seeing the Yankees play the Mets, but 6 games each year for the last decade+ and I really couldn't care less. But it gets ratings, so they'll keep doing it. I'd much prefer to just paly the Mets once every 3 years like the current interleague schedule permits, but that's another discussion.

I enjoy the Cubs/Sox series, but Cubs and Sox fans, on the whole, tend to be so insufferably moronic about this meaningless rivalry that it makes it less fun.

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..


The best part of rivalry weekend is seeing who the Jays get matched up in for the non-Phillies one. I think that last year it was Arizona.

Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


I hate how MLB tries to force rivalries with it. Haven't they been trying to push Boston/Phillie for years now?

Nodoze
Aug 17, 2006



In addition to pitch count, YES also has been showing OBP on their player marquee when they come up to bat for like 3 years. Not very advanced, but more than what other broadcasts do. NESN has it too, and they adopted the pitch count thing after a couple weeks of play last year.

Of course both those things are negated by having to listen to Michael Kay but oh well

I CHALLENGE THEE
Aug 25, 2005

kirk gibson is a piece of shit


Interleague is cool when it's rivalry teams. When you get Washington vs. Seattle, that's when it gets lame as hell

Oodles of Wootles
Nov 8, 2008

safe

Haud posted:

I hate how MLB tries to force rivalries with it. Haven't they been trying to push Boston/Phillie for years now?

The Tigers are matched up with the DBacks for some stupid reason

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Haud
Dec 6, 2007

World's Worst Interview


Nodoze posted:

In addition to pitch count, YES also has been showing OBP on their player marquee when they come up to bat for like 3 years. Not very advanced, but more than what other broadcasts do. NESN has it too, and they adopted the pitch count thing after a couple weeks of play last year.

Of course both those things are negated by having to listen to Michael Kay but oh well

"Say what you will, but Phil Hughes just wins ball games." -Michael Kay 2011

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