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Thread: Baseball Myths

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    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/
    you have to understand, i'm not a big proponent of the idea of protection myself. but i do get irked by people who try to dehumanize athletes. they are prone to normal human responses and tendencies like you and i.

    but i think if you are comparing Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder you are missing the point. both are outstanding hitters. most people that are arguing for the existence of "protection" would probably want to see the difference between Martinez/Fielder and say, J.P. Arencibia.
    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...

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiecballer View Post
    you have to understand, i'm not a big proponent of the idea of protection myself. but i do get irked by people who try to dehumanize athletes. they are prone to normal human responses and tendencies like you and i.

    but i think if you are comparing Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder you are missing the point. both are outstanding hitters. most people that are arguing for the existence of "protection" would probably want to see the difference between Martinez/Fielder and say, J.P. Arencibia.
    It's not a dehumanization.

    The game of baseball is sometimes a little misunderstood or compared to other sports which makes theories and assertions come to fruition that don't actually fit in baseball.

    When people discuss the existence of protection, it completely 100% ignores the mental aspect of the pitcher and the defense. Why? Why is that ignored?


    Baseball is a 1 vs 9 game that cycles. When a pitcher gets someone out, it's a huge plus. You get an additional out toward your necessary three, and you avoid a man on base which could lead to a run or multiple runs.

    As a hitter, your job is to reach base. To not make an out. It's two-fold. You get on base, it moves the order along, and you didn't create an out, and are now closer to creating an additional run. It ripples in baseball.

    Sometimes this is forgotten. While baseball is a team game in the aspect that you are constantly passing the buck on offense, and on defense you need assistance. But it's also completely an individual game. Your results as a hitter are yours. You are the only one at the plate. It's your job to beat that pitcher and his 8 team mates. It's you vs 9 others.

    Somehow, this is forgotten. Lineup protection is an example of that. It doesn't just cycle all the way through consistently. It's one, then one, then one, then one.


    As for an extreme difference....I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that has someone so bad consistently behind them that is a much better hitter. Lineups are not assembled like that for that to happen.

  3. #243
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    if everything in baseball could be put into a statistic, things would be different. but not everything can be put into numbers. the same as not every pitcher out there is the same.
    not every pitcher is going to have the same approach/thoughts based on the batter and whoever may be on deck. you can't put a number on all the different thoughts going through the minds of all the different pitchers.
    I don't need to look at a study to know that one pitcher could be effected differently based on whether a good hitter could be up next or a weak hitter could be up next. especially when there are so many different situations that it could depend on.
    it's easy to SAY that the pitcher would only care about the batter at the plate, but when you're talking about actual people it's not that easy.

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  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    if everything in baseball could be put into a statistic, things would be different. but not everything can be put into numbers. the same as not every pitcher out there is the same.
    not every pitcher is going to have the same approach/thoughts based on the batter and whoever may be on deck. you can't put a number on all the different thoughts going through the minds of all the different pitchers.
    I don't need to look at a study to know that one pitcher could be effected differently based on whether a good hitter could be up next or a weak hitter could be up next. especially when there are so many different situations that it could depend on.
    it's easy to SAY that the pitcher would only care about the batter at the plate, but when you're talking about actual people it's not that easy.
    That's fine.

    But how does that prove that protection has an effect?

  5. #245
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    it's not about, not making an out. it's about scoring runs. sometimes making an out can lead to scoring a run. sure you want to not make an out, but a fly out sacrifice fly that scores a run can be more effective than not making an out.

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  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    if everything in baseball could be put into a statistic, things would be different. but not everything can be put into numbers. the same as not every pitcher out there is the same.
    not every pitcher is going to have the same approach/thoughts based on the batter and whoever may be on deck. you can't put a number on all the different thoughts going through the minds of all the different pitchers.
    I don't need to look at a study to know that one pitcher could be effected differently based on whether a good hitter could be up next or a weak hitter could be up next. especially when there are so many different situations that it could depend on.
    it's easy to SAY that the pitcher would only care about the batter at the plate, but when you're talking about actual people it's not that easy.
    This would be true if you could quantify tendencies in certain situations, which you can.

  7. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    it's not about, not making an out. it's about scoring runs. sometimes making an out can lead to scoring a run. sure you want to not make an out, but a fly out sacrifice fly that scores a run can be more effective than not making an out.
    We know how to quantify productive outs and sacrifices.

    Situational statistics help with this as well.

    We know all of this.

    This is no where close to showing how lineup protection has an effect (assuming that is what you are still arguing, correct?)


    We know there are mental and psychological points to the game. They are human. But the fact that we can measure the results because it's a sport into wins and loses, runs and runs allowed and the movement of 1,2, and 3 outs and four bases to score a run. It allows these things to be measurable.

    So a player can have 'all the heart' and 'grit' in the world and be great. That heart and grit leads to results. Which could be runs, or wins, or some level of the creation of success. If it doesn't, then those intangibles are worthless, because it isn't helping the performance and it isn't helping the goal (to win).


    If anything, you need that 'heart' and 'grit' and intangibles to create the results that we have. The problem isn't the results. It's that the results are measurable and people don't like that.



    If a player is thinking something, or feeling one way. If it affects his performance, it will be seen because his performance is improving/getting worse. If it doesn't have an affect on his performance, then nobody cares because the results are still there.

    In summation. You can call for the intangibles and what can't be measured all you want. This is a sport and the goal is to win. The focus is on W-L and to focus on that is to focus on runs scored and runs allowed, and to focus on that is to focus on getting on base vs making outs. All of this is 100% tracked and measurable. If the players feelings are affecting the performance then it can be seen. If it isn't affecting his performance, then there is no point in bringing it up.

    It doesn't dehumanize. We are all well aware that these are humans with families and personalities and lives. It's the results that are cared about by the community though. We don't know these people individually so we are allowed the disconnect. If a player has 'great' heart like let's say Derek Jeter, and heart is supposed to be this valuable characteristic. Then it will show up in the performance. Because the only things we care to track are the things that lead to the above dominos. getting on base vs making an out, scoring runs vs preventing runs, winning games vs losing them. If his heart is supposed to be cared about by the fans, then it will show up in the results of this domino. If it doesn't show up, then why should the fans care? Chances are, it probably helps Jeter perform on a daily basis to be the guy that he is. It probably makes it nice to be around him in the clubhouse. Which matters to everybody because of that ultimate goal.....wins. The thing is.......it's measurable. The results that anybody cares about are measurable. We can SEE the results.


    That's why when it comes back to lineup protection. Who cares what's in the pitchers head? Who cares what's going on in the second basemens head? If the pitcher gets the guy out or the second basemen makes the routine play. Then it's successful. Lineup protection has to have an effect for it to exist. It has not shown an effect in the game, so the theory is sort of pointless, and it's a myth to bring up because it has shown it's existence yet, and if it has the sample size has been pointlessly small (i.e. under 300 PA). Get up to 1000 PA/300 IP. And you start to get data you can sink your teeth into.

  8. #248
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    I donít need to look up numbers to tell me that there are pitchers that would pitch differently to Miguel Cabrera based on whether Prince Fielder is on deck, or player X is on deck who is a weak type hitter. I would think that's called protection, since Fielder would be protecting Cabrera better than player X.

    situation A. 1 season of Miguel Cabrera, with Prince Fielder next in the order.
    situation B. 1 season of Miguael Cabrera, with Jhonny Peralta next in the order.
    ..so now someone is going to try and tell me that every pitcher is going to pitch to Cabrera the same in both situations? IMO no way.

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  9. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    I don’t need to look up numbers to tell me that there are pitchers that would pitch differently to Miguel Cabrera based on whether Prince Fielder is on deck, or player X is on deck who is a weak type hitter. I would think that's called protection, since Fielder would be protecting Cabrera better than player X.

    situation A. 1 season of Miguel Cabrera, with Prince Fielder next in the order.
    situation B. 1 season of Miguael Cabrera, with Jhonny Peralta next in the order.
    ..so now someone is going to try and tell me that every pitcher is going to pitch to Cabrera the same in both situations? IMO no way.

    That's the problem. You are continuing to ASSUME because it makes sense to you that it must happen/exist.

    The issue is that it doesn't. You continuing to insist that it exists doesn't make it so.

  10. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    if everything in baseball could be put into a statistic, things would be different. but not everything can be put into numbers. the same as not every pitcher out there is the same.
    not every pitcher is going to have the same approach/thoughts based on the batter and whoever may be on deck. you can't put a number on all the different thoughts going through the minds of all the different pitchers.
    I don't need to look at a study to know that one pitcher could be effected differently based on whether a good hitter could be up next or a weak hitter could be up next. especially when there are so many different situations that it could depend on.
    it's easy to SAY that the pitcher would only care about the batter at the plate, but when you're talking about actual people it's not that easy.
    The thing is, if what the pitcher thought actually had an effect, then we would see it. Thats the point. You can say we dont know what they are thinking about all you want, but the numbers show that it doesnt have an effect.

    This is exactly what we were talking about earlier. If the intangibles and such actual matter, then they will affect the players performance. You can talk about those things all you want, but it comes down to the facts, and the facts in this case show that protection does not have a big effect.

    I am struggling to understand why you dont believe the numbers, or dont think they tell you anything. Isnt your argument that players will see different pitches/approaches depending on who is behind them? Because all of Jeffys posts have disproved that.
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    You continuing to insist that it exists doesn't make it so.

    That would only be true if the burden of proof laid with the individual making the claim...

    oh, wait...

  12. #252
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    Commentators have been referring to a "rising fastball" for years, and I am pretty sure I have seen it happen on TV.

    Baseball Myth: A Fastball Cannot Rise

  13. #253
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    this whole conversation is making my head hurt. i'd like to hear more peoples thoughts on clutch though.
    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...

  14. #254
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    I dont really think it exists. Some people may handle pressure a little better, but I dont see people playing much better/worse in "clutch" situations.
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  15. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    It's not a dehumanization...

    When people discuss the existence of protection, it completely 100% ignores the mental aspect of the pitcher and the defense. Why? Why is that ignored?
    i have no idea what you mean by that. we are taking into account the simple fact that the pitcher is a human organism that is prone to stray thoughts or distractions in the workplace like anyone else.
    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...

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