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Thread: Baseball Myths

  1. #226
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    The count has percentages associated with it. A 2-0 count is about the best count to look for something hard and over the plate. Smart baseball players understand the count and adjust.

    If you have bases loaded, you know you are going to get a steady diet of fastballs over the plate. That helps stats.

    If I am an 8-hole hitter with a pitcher behind me I am not going to get much to hit. If I am hitting 3rd with Pujols behind me, I am going to get better pitches to hit. Who is behind you does protect you.

    The team I coach improved when I got a hitter to protect my better hitter. He saw many more pitches which helped.

  2. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    Exactly on all three, but the main point is letter B.

    If these intangibles exist and they can affect performance. Then they would be reflective in the players performances.

    The examples that have been mentioned do not have a large enough sample size to say definitively, but there has to be some explanation. It would be interesting if we could somehow manufacture these conditions in a lab setting. I'm fascinated by these intangibles because I believe they do exist, but we do not have enough data to support any theory at this point.

  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    That's all I wanted to know. I think that's nuts, FWIW.
    Do you feel that he would hit more home runs? Drive more doubles? Have more singles get through the infield?

    We know that hitters are not pitched differently regardless of who is behind them outside of intentional walk situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hickenlooper View Post
    If you question someone's authority on a given subject (cough, cough), it seems you are far more likely to be disciplined for your independent thinking.
    How the hell would someone be disciplined over his above claim?

    It isn't post-padding, but he is welcomed to believe whatever he believes.

    Quote Originally Posted by utahjazzno12fan View Post
    The count has percentages associated with it. A 2-0 count is about the best count to look for something hard and over the plate. Smart baseball players understand the count and adjust.

    If you have bases loaded, you know you are going to get a steady diet of fastballs over the plate. That helps stats.

    If I am an 8-hole hitter with a pitcher behind me I am not going to get much to hit. If I am hitting 3rd with Pujols behind me, I am going to get better pitches to hit. Who is behind you does protect you.

    The team I coach improved when I got a hitter to protect my better hitter. He saw many more pitches which helped.
    The problem is that you are making assumptions here.

    This hasn't been shown to be true in the data. It makes sense that these things would happen, but they don't actually happen. That's why it's a myth. People have for years just assumed that this happens in these situations. But the data says otherwise.

    A pitcher doesn't change his approach against a hitter dependent on who is in the batters box. Every pitchers job is to get the hitter out that is at the plate, not the guy on deck. Bonds didn't protect Rich Aurilla for example. Aurilla still get the same pitch selection regardless of where he was in the lineup and if Bonds was hitting behind him or not. The same pitches, the same frequency of strikes, the same everything. The pitcher is trying to get Aurilla out. It doesn't change based on who is on deck.


    The 8 hitter in the NL does get unintentionally intentionally walked several times throughout a year. But it's not a ton that is worth discussing.

  4. #229
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    I would think it's common sense that there is protection with batters in the order. it's beyond numbers that can be calculated. the pitcher knows who would be coming up, it changes his thought process. in the pitchers mind, he knows whether there would be a good hitter, or a batter who is an easier out. or also whether it's a player in a slump or not.

    it's also a myth that everything in baseball can be put into numbers. but don't tell that to some who want to have a formula for everything.
    Last edited by SpecialFNK; 01-29-2013 at 03:19 PM.

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  5. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    I would think it's common sense that there is protection with batters in the order. it's beyond numbers that can be calculated. the pitcher knows who would be coming up, it changes his thought process. in the pitchers mind, he knows whether there would be a good hitter, or a batter who is an easier out. or also whether it's a player in a slump or not.

    it's also a myth that everything in baseball can be put into numbers. but don't tell that to some who want to have a formula for everything.
    Why would it change anything?

    Just because the guy on deck is Albert Pujols or Ronny Cedeno doesn't change how he has to attack the current hitter.

    What is the difference who is on deck?


    The numbers are there to confirm or disprove our theories. That's how you evaluate theories. The information that is factually there.

  6. #231
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    if the batter at the plate is on a hot streak, but the batter on deck is slumping and more likely to make an out.. who should the pitcher want to face? no way he wants to face the hitter on a hot streak. now maybe he isn't going to intentionally walk the batter, but he's not going to pitch to him the same way he normally would. this is especially the case if 1st base is open. why make a mistake to a hitter who is hot and hitting everything, when the batter on deck is much more likely to make an out?

    if the Tigers changed the lineup so that Fielder wasn't hitting behind Cabrera, and instead put Jhonny Peralta there.. the pitcher is going to pitch to Cabrera the same? I doubt it. the pitcher doesn't have to worry about walking Cabrera if Peralta is hitting behind him, because Peralta is morel likely to make an out than someone like Fielder.
    the pitcher still would prefer to get Cabrera out, but he can pitch to Cabrera differently based on whether it's another great hitter like Fielder who would be up next or someone like Peralta.

    or it can be the opposite. weak hitter at the plate with 2 out and a great hitter on deck. a pitcher can go after the batter more because he doesn't want to walk him and have the great hitter come to the plate.

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  7. #232
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    FNK; Studies have been done, repeatedly, based on actual baseball games.
    Protection exists only in the minds of those who still cling to old ideas simply because they are used to them.

    Baseball, like anything else in life, requires study of both methodology and mechanics to properly understand.

    Person 1's Claim: I think protection is a factor in baseball.
    Person 2's Claim: According to extensive statistical research line-up order has no significant bearing on a hitter's performance.

    One is a reasoned and substantiated piece of data, the other is an opinion.

    Baseball Myth? An individual's "feelings" about statistics actually has a bearing on their validity.

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    Why would it change anything?

    Just because the guy on deck is Albert Pujols or Ronny Cedeno doesn't change how he has to attack the current hitter.

    What is the difference who is on deck?
    your strategy might not change based on who is on deck but your ability to execute could if you were pre-occupied by the looming threat.
    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    well unfortunately it looks like you were right about Bargs...

    but hopefully we can use his expiring, if not at least we unloaded Novak's deal...

  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiecballer View Post
    your strategy might not change based on who is on deck but your ability to execute could if you were pre-occupied by the looming threat.
    Most major league pitchers are focused on their current job, getting a hitter out.

    Fans respect the reputation of the guy on deck and seem to forget about the ego of the guy on the mound.

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceHawk-181 View Post
    Most major league pitchers are focused on their current job, getting a hitter out.

    Fans respect the reputation of the guy on deck and seem to forget about the ego of the guy on the mound.
    that doesn't make major league pitchers immune to distraction. despite making them out to be gods they actually have the same biology as you and i.
    Last edited by Jamiecballer; 01-29-2013 at 04:13 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    well unfortunately it looks like you were right about Bargs...

    but hopefully we can use his expiring, if not at least we unloaded Novak's deal...

  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiecballer View Post
    your strategy might not change based on who is on deck but your ability to execute could if you were pre-occupied by the looming threat.
    So the idea of protection is based on the idea of a distraction?

    Not trying to run off on that tangent. But why would the guy on deck be any bigger of a distraction than all the other potential distractions happening at any moment in a baseball game?


    Protection is one those things that makes sense in theory but there is no evidence of data to support it's existence.

    Let's look at Miguel Cabrera the last two years


    In 2011 with Victor Martinez batting behind Cabrera 140 times on the season, Cabrera saw
    59.6% fastballs, 15.6% sliders, 6.9% cutters, 7.1% curveballs, 9.2% changeups

    In 2012, with Prince Fielder behind.
    Cabrera saw 59.2% fastballs, 15.4% sliders, 6.2% cutters, 9.6% curveballs, 7.7% changeups.

    So the only variation really was more curveballs and less changeups, and that's only to the tune of 2%, which most likely has nothing to do with Fielder.

    This is only one example, but every example fits. You don't get pitched differently based on who is on deck.


    Here is a decent and recent fangraphs submission on the topic that was quite good analyzing Fielder and Cabrera.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...ion-look-like/
    Last edited by Jeffy25; 01-29-2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: made a typing mistake

  12. #237
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    people can do all the studies they want. not everything can be studied. you can't study what goes through the mind of all the different pitchers out there.
    some pitchers may be able to totally block out who is on deck and give 100% concentration to the batter, but other pitchers are just going to know who is on deck, especially if it's one of the top hitters in the game. naturally the pitcher still wants to get the batter out, but in his mind he still knows who is on deck, and that can effect how he pitches.

    it would take years and years and years to go through all the data in any study they would do. any study ever done is like a small sample size based on the research it would take.
    there are also way too many different variables. not just who would be the player hitting or the player on deck, but also the many different pitchers out there.

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  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post

    Let's look at Miguel Cabrera the last two years 59.6% fastballs, 15.6% sliders, 6.9% cutters, 7.1% curveballs, 9.2% changeups

    In 2012, with Prince Fielder behind.
    Cabrera saw 59.2% fastballs, 15.4% sliders, 6.2% cutters, 9.6% curveballs, 7.7% changeups.
    did Cabrera face all the same pitchers?
    no. I'm sure he face many different pitchers from one season to the next, many who use better pitches differently.
    if it was always the same pitchers, then you could use those type of numbers.

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  14. #239
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    When the response to statistical proof is the phrase, "I do not believe this can be studied," the proper response is:

    Concession of the Argument Accepted

    And move on.

  15. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    did Cabrera face all the same pitchers?
    no. I'm sure he face many different pitchers from one season to the next, many who use better pitches differently.
    if it was always the same pitchers, then you could use those type of numbers.
    So then where is the protection effect?

    If people want to make the claim that lineup protection exists, then we need to see some evidence that say it exists. It's a completely quantifiable act. You can see how many strikes a hitter gets, you can see in heat maps where pitchers throw them, you can see the kinds of pitches a hitter gets, you can see the performance a hitter creates.

    The theory is that a hitter will do better with lineup protection. But I have never seen any data to support that theory and a ton of data that disproves it.

    So it's going to be very difficult for me to take your word based on the opinions that you (and others) have.


    It makes sense that a hitter would do better having a great hitter behind them. But it doesn't actually happen. Baseball is an individual game mixed in a team sport. When you are the plate, you are an individual. It's you vs the opposing teams pitcher and 8 other defensive players. The guy on deck is not on the field. He doesn't change anything, hell he may never even come to the plate in that inning. The pitchers job, and his defense, is to find a way to get the current batter out.

    In baseball as a pitcher, you are working toward 3 outs. That's the constant goal. As a hitter, the constant goal is to not make an out. To get on base, to do something productive. The pitcher wants outs....in order preferably. That means getting the man at the plate out. The guy on deck....you will deal with him when you face him. It won't make you change your 3-1 pitch because you still have to get the guy at the plate out. If you walk him you open up the potential for a big inning, if you get him out then you have a greater possibility of getting through the inning.


    It makes sense in theory that you might approach someone differently at the plate because an iconic hitter is on deck. But there is no evidence of this existing. It doesn't happen.

    If lineup protection exists. Then where does it exist? Where is the effect? Where has it actually happened over a decent sample size of data? It hasn't.


    Saying it can't be studied means the results do not exist, so the theory can not exist. You have to have something to support the assertion for the assertion to have merit.

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