Author Topic: Baseball 2018  (Read 7409 times)

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #150 on: July 20, 2019, 04:03:34 PM »
True but they're also paying for a guy who has already had a 9.3 WAR season and is still only 26. His floor is 3.0 WAR.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #151 on: July 20, 2019, 07:17:50 PM »
True but they're also paying for a guy who has already had a 9.3 WAR season and is still only 26. His floor is 3.0 WAR.

Well, his floor is 1.1 WAR in 2014 (safely below replacement level). Randall fucking Grichuk will get you that. Bryce also hit a mighty 1.5 WAR the year directly after his big arrival year.

Here are his career WAR numbers since his rookie year, with the mental 10.0 WAR 2015 removed.

5.2 (great)
3.7 (good)
1.1 (very bad)
1.5 (bad)
4.6 (good)
1.3 (very bad)
1.7 (so far, on track for 3 WAR which would be pretty poor considering his contract)

He reminds me of a Blake Snell kind of guy - a good player, no question, but with one absolute career year where everything broke the right way and that will never be repeated. He managed to keep a .369 BABIP for the entirety of the 2015 which is just unsustainable. Once pitchers figured out his weaknesses, he’s been shown up for being a good player (but not exceptional) and unwilling or unable to make adjustments. Pitch him up and away, fellas! Your boy can’t do shit with that.

He’ll never have a 7+ WAR season again. If he does, I’ll donate $20 to a charity of your choice. I doubt you (or anyone!) would take the under on that. For a $330m player, that is very poor. He’s no Trout or Betts (or Bellinger/Yelich on their league minimum contracts...), and that’s what the Phillies paid ~$30m a year for. That was my point. You could have 60 Acuña Jrs for that.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #152 on: August 07, 2019, 11:16:20 PM »
Question posed:

Does having the same stats recorded in the same level of detail make it different from any other sport? Surely we  know how many runs Ian Offside scored for Tranmere Crickets in 1920 or how what footballs tally Ian Wicket racked up for Manchester Footie from 1912-1918.

Need to go for a wee but will type up a response shortly (spoiler: yes, it does make a difference compared to other sports).

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #153 on: August 07, 2019, 11:30:13 PM »
Whats this baseball chat elsewhere?

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #154 on: August 07, 2019, 11:40:43 PM »
Yes, it matters because offensive and defensive contributions are all taken into account so the stats that are collected are much more descriptive about the player and their contribution as a whole. With a sport like football and (I assume?) cricket, you just get the scores you see on the table. How many runs did player X get? Ok... so I guess they will get the same next year? Who knows

In baseball, there are a few key differences.

First - everyone plays the “same” position. What do I mean by that? Well, say you have the greatest heading striker in the world, but he plays for arsenal and they think he is better operating as a number 10 or a false 9 and doesn’t get a lot of balls whipped in from set pieces. He wouldn’t score a lot and would be underrated until West brom bought him and started trying to win corners. Which means the zippy striker they have would go without service and wouldn’t score a lot and would be undervalued etc etc etc

In baseball, a shortstop is a shortstop. If a groundball is driven into the alley between 3rd and short, the shortstop would grab it and flip to second if there was a runner at first (and the second baseman would run there to receive it), or just to first if not. And everyone would know what they were supposed to do. There’s no tactics - good baseball is good baseball. No “stick it in the mixah”, no “long ball merchants”. All the teams play the same game in the same way. That means if you’re good at playing the right way, we’ll know. If you aren’t, it will be obvious. Nowhere to hide a shit performance.

Second - the statistics are more detailed, and give a far more complete picture of a player’s value. Stats like WAR or UZR/DRS are miles ahead of even newer soccer stats like xG. You can define what bits of a player’s game are of value, and to what extent they are of value. You can check dWAR vs fWAR if you want, or Pythagorean win probability. It’s all out there.

Also baseball has 9 innings in each 162 game season: there’s no way a defensive weakness won’t be exposed. Can’t field a chopper to second? Everyone will be pulling balls up the middle after 5 games. Whereas in 90 minutes of football you might see a fluke ball fly by a centre half and think they’re shit in the air. They might be - there’s not enough data to prove either way.

But Ferris, this is dull so why do I care?

Good question! For the sake of argument, if someone says that Harry Kane is a better striker than Geoff Hurst, we don’t really have a way to compare them. You could look at goals scored per season. You could even look at assists or something if you wanted. But a very boring goal-poacher player like Van Bronkhurst for united scored a shitload of goals, and he was a dirt footballer. But if you just go by the stats, he would be elite - so why does that feel wrong? It’s because the stats you are using are only indirectly indicative of value added. Not so with baseball. I can tell you the defensive value of an elite centre fielder, and the offensive value of an elite batter

A guy like Babe Ruth (who sparked all this) has numbers way above what was expected of an elite hitter. To use a poor comparison, it is like someone scoring 35 goals a season as their 22 year career average (ie some seasons they scored a lot more). You could say “ooh but goalies weren’t as good back then” and you’d probably be right but a) there’s no way to test that, and b) even if they were, it’s still an incredible achievement.

Edit: I forgot to mention BABIP*, but there’s no other stat I know of in other sports that (essentially) measures luck. Say a striker scored 25 goals in a season by having them bounce off his arse or hit him in the face and go in - you'd have to say they were elite based on the stats. Baseball, I can check a player’s BABIP and tell you whether they were likely to regress or if their current stats were unsustainable. Marvellous.

*Batting Average on Balls In Play. Say you took a hack at a ball and sent it to the first baseman who should tag you out, but he’s an idiot so he falls over and you score a hit. Say that happened 100 times in a year. You’d have an average BA by your BABIP would start to be higher than ~.300 which is what we expect. If someone has a high hitstreak but with a BABIP over .400 then they are due to break that any time soon. It’s why xWOBA is such a comparably more valuable stat.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 11:59:28 PM by FerriswheelBueller »

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #155 on: August 07, 2019, 11:42:03 PM »
I also see Bryce Harper is in line with my predictions. It’s almost as if the stats have value.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #156 on: August 07, 2019, 11:44:47 PM »
Whats this baseball chat elsewhere?

When you are a tiresome baseball bore (as I am), all of your discussions break down into explanations of BABIP or a passionate tirade on why UZR is overrated for infielders. You should see me buying groceries - shambles.

touchingcloth

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #157 on: August 08, 2019, 12:08:04 AM »
I'd be lying if I said you didn't lose me at "false 9". Actually, no I wouldn't - it was at "heading striker".

To read between the lines as best I can (I don't follow the foots ball, so "fluke ball fly by a centre half" may as well be from off of Brass Eye) - a not insignificant amount of the appeal of baseball is less the action on the field, more the post hoc bean counting?

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #158 on: August 08, 2019, 07:09:42 AM »
I'd be lying if I said you didn't lose me at "false 9". Actually, no I wouldn't - it was at "heading striker".

To read between the lines as best I can (I don't follow the foots ball, so "fluke ball fly by a centre half" may as well be from off of Brass Eye) - a not insignificant amount of the appeal of baseball is less the action on the field, more the post hoc bean counting?

Oh sorry, that might not have been super approachable then.

Put it this way - baseball has much better and more complete statistics, in a much more useful and descriptive manner. It also doesn’t allow for people to be lucky or to play to their strengths to achieve good numbers because everyone has to play the same way.

The post hoc bean counting is fun for nerds like me, but baseball is a series of little moments that build into a mosaic and form the narrative of the game. It’s like poker, sort of - lots of small things that may or may not happen (and usually don’t), pressure and tension builds and builds until one side breaks through. That’s where the fun is - it is genuinely terrific to watch if you chance on a good game. The numbers just allow me to describe what is happening in a more precise way, and I can rank contributions from players in a more objective manner.

It is hard to describe, and if you don’t know what you are looking for it can appear that not much is going on, which (alas) has caused the the head of Major League Baseball to desperately try to alter the game to be more instantly appealing to casual fans. This is an error and I cannot condemn it enough.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #159 on: August 08, 2019, 07:15:23 AM »
This should be a weekly column in an esoteric, nay occult, magazine. Fortean Times: Notes from the Bull Pen with Ferris Wheel Snr.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #160 on: August 08, 2019, 07:19:02 AM »
It doesn’t get more occult or esoteric than advanced sabermetrics. I doubt anyone is bothering to read all these but I get so much enjoyment from tapping them out it’s sort of irrelevant.

As I get increasingly older and more jaded, baseball is one of the few things I am still passionate about*.

I can’t get excited about politics anymore (for example), but show me a second baseman with an SLG over .550 and I am fascinated and will spend my free time watching their highlight reels and probably dig up an old game for their team and watch it. Having passion for things (for me, anyway) means I want to share them with other people so they can enjoy it as well. Part of that is explaining why I enjoy it. This rarely works, but it won’t stop me trying.

*See also: homebrewing, rifle shooting, travel, the Mountain Goats.

touchingcloth

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #161 on: August 09, 2019, 08:31:35 AM »
My brother lives in the US with his American wife now, and has been to some games of baseball. Is any of this what he says true? “People don’t show up at the start of the match. They are about 59 hours long so they just turn up a few hours in, stay for a couple of hours and then leave before the end. A lot of people show up to watch the game in the stadium, but instead of going into the stands to actually watch it they sit in one of the bars watching on a screen while they drink beer and eat wings.”

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #162 on: August 09, 2019, 08:34:28 AM »
My brother lives in the US with his American wife now, and has been to some games of baseball. Is any of this what he says true? “People don’t show up at the start of the match. They are about 59 hours long so they just turn up a few hours in, stay for a couple of hours and then leave before the end. A lot of people show up to watch the game in the stadium, but instead of going into the stands to actually watch it they sit in one of the bars watching on a screen while they drink beer and eat wings.”

From what i saw it happens but proper humans dont do that and revel in the action on the field, all the while hoping a foul ball flies to you in the upper tier

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #163 on: August 09, 2019, 05:28:44 PM »
From what i saw it happens but proper humans dont do that and revel in the action on the field, all the while hoping a foul ball flies to you in the upper tier

As usual, Blodwyn is on the money here.

Left to my own devices, I turn up to games during batting practice to snag a foul ball (never worked yet) but I’m taking Ferris Jr to his first game in September and he’s so cute people will be giving him (or rather, me) foul balls faster than you can say “dinger”

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #164 on: August 09, 2019, 11:56:28 PM »
My brother lives in the US with his American wife now, and has been to some games of baseball. Is any of this what he says true? “People don’t show up at the start of the match. They are about 59 hours long so they just turn up a few hours in, stay for a couple of hours and then leave before the end. A lot of people show up to watch the game in the stadium, but instead of going into the stands to actually watch it they sit in one of the bars watching on a screen while they drink beer and eat wings.”

Wings at a baseball stadium? For fucks sake. FAKE.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #165 on: August 11, 2019, 02:38:54 PM »
I live in St Louis these days, and the first year I lived here I must have gone to 30 games. $3 ticket off Seatgeek, ballpark was in walking distance, nice. Since, I've been to one game a season because (I think?) fewer people are buying tickets in advance and then trying to sell them on. Just had a quick look for the 21st, which is Star Trek Night at Busch, and the cheapest is $20 - but I do get a sweet Star Trek hat. Hmmm.

I don't go early because I can't stand the enforced patriotism before games - National Anthem, God Bless America if they're feeling spicy, all that bollocks. So that's a perfectly valid reason to miss the first half an inning or whatever.