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  • The "analytics" approach

    This article is interesting, given that the writer is a long-standing supporter of the analytics approach to baseball.

    https://www.mankatofreepress.com/spo...034d75366.html
    Last edited by Nellie Fox; 05-09-2022, 03:03 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Nellie Fox View Post
    This article is interesting, given that the writer is a long-standing supporter of the analytics approach to baseball. https://www.mankatofreepress.com/spo...034d75366.html
    Link isn't working for me.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

      Link isn't working for me.
      Try this
      https://www.mankatofreepress.com/spo...034d75366.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

        Link isn't working for me.
        Thanks. I fixed it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Lowering the Mound after 1968 started the game on this path. Forced Pitchers to throw more breaking stuff which takes its toll on the arm more than fastballs. That's why we will never again see the likes of Tiant, Lolich and the guys for the decades before them who routinely threw complete games and won. Nowadays with the large staff in the Bullpens, teams almost have to make sure they have plenty of Big Boppers in their lineups since there is no room for much of anyone else.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nellie Fox View Post
            This article is interesting, given that the writer is a long-standing supporter of the analytics approach to baseball.

            https://www.mankatofreepress.com/spo...034d75366.html
            True but nothing we don't know.

            The game has changed and I don't care for it much but will continue to be fan as every game is still different and I still love my White Sox.

            I was watching the Rays and Mariners last Sunday, game is in the bottom of the 8th with the M's at bat with the tying run on 3rd and 2 outs, runner on 1st also. Cash has one of his crazy shifts on with 3 infielders to the left of second, Choi is holding the runner on a first, there is a hole as wide as the Grand Canyon between 1st and 2nd and of course the right handed batter is swinging for the fences with no thought of going the other way, a bunt ties the game easily and moves the go ahead run to second. After swinging out of his shoes the batter finally grounds out on a weak comebacker to the pitcher. Someone will say that the pitcher will make pitches hard to hit to the opposite field, didn't happen in that scenario as most of the pitches were on the outside corner. I'm sorry but if I live to be a thousand years old I will never comprehend this kind of thinking in todays game.
            Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 05-11-2022, 06:08 AM.
            Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
              I was watching the Rays and Mariners last Sunday, game is in the bottom of the 8th with the M's at bat with the tying run on 3rd and 2 outs, runner on 1st also. Cash has one of his crazy shifts on with 3 infielders to the left of second, Choi is holding the runner on a first, there is a hole as wide as the Grand Canyon between 1st and 2nd and of course the right handed batter is swinging for the fences with no thought of going the other way, a bunt ties the game easily and moves the go ahead run to second. After swinging out of his shoes the batter finally grounds out on a weak comebacker to the pitcher. Someone will say that the pitcher will make pitches hard to hit to the opposite field, didn't happen in that scenario as most of the pitches were on the outside corner. I'm sorry but if I live to be a thousand years old I will never comprehend this kind of thinking in todays game.
              The situation you describe is certainly an obvious scenario when the batter should try to hit the ball into the hole to score the runner. I’ve been glad to see Grandal and Sheets poke a few singles into the hole vacated by the shortstop so far this year.

              I understand and don’t dispute that trying to optimize one’s exit velocity and launch angle is the most effective way to score the most runs in the aggregate against premium velocity, even if it means less contact and more strikeouts overall. At the same time, there will sometimes be situations - such as you describe - where it is obviously better to deviate from that approach.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
                I understand and don’t dispute that trying to optimize one’s exit velocity and launch angle is the most effective way to score the most runs in the aggregate against premium velocity, even if it means less contact and more strikeouts overall. At the same time, there will sometimes be situations - such as you describe - where it is obviously better to deviate from that approach.
                This is it, in a nutshell.

                I haven't dug into it much, but I suspect that most of the analytic methods that are in vogue around the league are designed to maximize run production. That's seemingly a good idea - offensively your job is to score the most runs, right? So to do that, you teach the skills that, if everyone executed them, would lead to the most runs scored - hitting the ball hard at a slightly elevated launch angle. Exactly how Ted Williams taught it.

                But this mostly ignores situational baseball. Sometimes the goal shouldn't be to maximize the number of runs, it's to push across one run. And when you have players that have been trained to hit a certain way, it's going to be hard for them to adapt to the situation, especially against 98 mph fastballs.

                It's not that "the analytics approach to baseball" is wrong or bad in concept, it's that they're optimizing the wrong loss function. The goal shouldn't be to "maximize run production", it should be to "win the damn game." I suspect that over the next decade or so we'll see a shift and teams will value some aspects of "small ball" more - but maybe I'm just overestimating the ability of teams to make sense out of data.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post

                  The situation you describe is certainly an obvious scenario when the batter should try to hit the ball into the hole to score the runner. I’ve been glad to see Grandal and Sheets poke a few singles into the hole vacated by the shortstop so far this year.

                  I understand and don’t dispute that trying to optimize one’s exit velocity and launch angle is the most effective way to score the most runs in the aggregate against premium velocity, even if it means less contact and more strikeouts overall. At the same time, there will sometimes be situations - such as you describe - where it is obviously better to deviate from that approach.
                  Yep on Grandal, when the Rays played the Sox last month Yaz grounded a ball right in the hole on a Kevin Cash out of whack shift and helped win the game. Sometimes even the Rays TV announcers scratch their heads with some of Cash's shifts.
                  Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

                    Yep on Grandal, when the Rays played the Sox last month Yaz grounded a ball right in the hole on a Kevin Cash out of whack shift and helped win the game. Sometimes even the Rays TV announcers scratch their heads with some of Cash's shifts.
                    He's playing the odds. It looks silly when it doesn't work, but I assume it works more often than not, and it's just not as noticeable when someone gets a hit against a non-shift.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

                      He's playing the odds. It looks silly when it doesn't work, but I assume it works more often than not, and it's just not as noticeable when someone gets a hit against a non-shift.
                      It works more often than not because the hitters aren't trying to beat the shift.
                      Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

                        It works more often than not because the hitters aren't trying to beat the shift.
                        Perhaps that's true. But from the manager's perspective, that's not a reason not to do it.

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