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Thread: Baseball Myths

  1. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by utahjazzno12fan View Post
    Having a batter behind you "protecting" you doesn't change the approach every at bat. It does in some though, helping that batter. If you have a guy batting that makes Randy Johnson look good at the plate, he is going to get less to hit. 8 hitters do get less good pitches. I coach at the high school level. I have attended coaching clinics, etc. That is just good baseball. We see it in baseball at the MLB level often in the NL. An 8 hitter is not protected. He is the most walked batter with IBB. It may not be huge, but it is there to change statistics. That data also shows that the 8th hitter is not walked as often in the AL as the NL. The value may be overstated, but it is there.
    All of that is known.

    It was discussed a few pages ago now. Lineup protection not existing but acknowledging the use of and frequency of intentional walks and their increase with a bad hitter behind them.

    When you remove the IBB, the hitters placement in the lineup doesn't matter to their performance.

  2. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by jej View Post
    Exactly. So answer the question: what do you do with things we do not know about? I don't get what you want.
    just because you don't know what pitcher X is thinking, doesn't mean it doesn't effect the way he pitches.

    any evidence for or against protection for any one player is a small sample size. once you start comparing different players, then you're comparing them facing different pitchers. what some pitchers would do is not the same as what some other pitchers would do. different pitchers throw different types of pitches. some batters do differently against different types of pitches. there are so many variables that any evidence out there isn't going to be accurate. it would be like comparing apples to oranges to pears to grapes to many other different things. not everything fits into the same criteria to come up with a set of numbers.

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  3. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    All of that is known.

    It was discussed a few pages ago now. Lineup protection not existing but acknowledging the use of and frequency of intentional walks and their increase with a bad hitter behind them.

    When you remove the IBB, the hitters placement in the lineup doesn't matter to their performance.
    how can you just take out the intentional walks?

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  4. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post

    any evidence for or against protection for any one player is a small sample size. once you start comparing different players
    That is completely not true.

    Players bat next to each other for years often times. There is plenty of data

    Just because they face different pitchers doesn't change anything. That's the game. In the theory that is stated 'lineup protection will help player X' is it not completely obvious and a 'known' that he will face various pitchers?

    Obviously he will face different pitchers. There are 30 teams, 15 in each league. They aren't going to face the same pitcher every single time.

    Stating that the sample size doesn't matter because they face different pitchers doesn't help your case. It's a known they will face different pitchers when people state 'lineup protection will help player X'.

  5. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    how can you just take out the intentional walks?
    You subtract them from the data and the PA. Not hard.


    Most advanced offensive stats don't even have IBB in them to begin with.

  6. #291
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    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...s_mlb&c_id=mlb
    When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly looks at Andre Ethier batting behind Matt Kemp every day, he sees protection. Kemp is going to be more productive, the traditional line of thinking goes, because Ethier's presence means opposing pitchers can't avoid him.

    "Matt doesn't have any intentional walks. That tells you they respect 'Dre," Mattingly said before Kemp was intentionally walked twice in Wednesday's game against the Rockies. "The guy behind is so important."

    That baseball truism has come into question in recent years: Is the guy batting behind you really that important? Does lineup protection really matter? Does it even exist?

    James Click, a former Baseball Prospectus writer and currently the Rays director of baseball research and development, analyzed the question in the 2006 book "Baseball Between the Numbers" and came to a definite conclusion.

    "Protection is overrated," Click wrote. "There's no evidence that having a superior batter behind another batter provides the initial batter with better pitches to hit; if it does, those batters see no improvement as a result."

    If an opposing manager or pitcher does take protection into account and walks a batter to get to the next one, Click wrote, it's almost always the wrong choice.

    Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena would largely agree with Click's thoughts, calling the idea of lineup protection a "pretty good theory." Joe Maddon, Pena's manager and arguably the most analytic skippers in the Majors, would mostly disagree.

    If anything, the fact that it's a question worth asking is perhaps the strongest evidence that it exists.

    "There's still the human element involved regardless of all the data that's there. It's about buying in with whomever's using it," Maddon said. "Some people believe it more than others; some people don't believe it hardly at all.

    "At the end of the day, when you're the pitcher out there, and so-and-so is hitting with so-and-so on deck, regardless of what you know numerically, a lot of times you're still going to go with what's in your heart or in your gut."

    That could be what makes the Kemp-Ethier pairing, to use one example, so important. Pitchers don't want to pitch to Kemp, knowing that if they do, there's always a realistic risk of turning around to see their offerings land somewhere in the bleachers. But they can't simply walk him on sight, because Ethier is more than capable of driving in Kemp and setting up a big inning -- often a worse outcome than Kemp hitting a homer or recording an extra-base hit.

    Realistically, with that in mind, the pitcher would be better served to take his chances with Kemp then do the same with Ethier with a man on base. But if the pitcher and catcher are worried enough about Ethier in the on-deck circle while Kemp is in the batter's box, Maddon would argue that all the run-expectancy charts and data don't mean anything. Kemp will see better pitches because Ethier is in the pitcher's head.

    "Absolutely -- or even the manager's head, or even the pitching coach's head or even whomever's head," Maddon said. "Everyone talks about the data and how wonderful it is, and I'm truly a believer, but there's also the buy-in component also. Unless you have total buy-in from everybody involved, it doesn't necessarily have the same impact."


    But the amount of data now available makes lineup protection seemingly less important than how it's been perceived.

    Each at-bat has become more of a nuanced chess match, with pitchers receiving highly detailed scouting reports about how to attack each hitter in which count with which pitch and so on. Pitchers, catchers and managers are more aware than ever of hitters' weaknesses, meaning they can almost pitch around a batter by simply pitching to him the "right" way -- using their strengths to exploit his weaknesses.

    "In the long run, it may make a difference, but the game right now is so advanced that I'd say it's not as big of a deal as it used to be," Pena said. "With scouting today, pitchers are still able to go to work on a hitter unless they're really behind [in the count]."

    It used to be more of an issue, Pena admitted, and it probably still is at levels of the game where the scouting reports and data aren't so meticulously prepared. That's true in several ways regarding how pitchers attack batters, as Pena pointed to the idea that a player is going to see a lot more fastballs when leading off an inning.

    "That's not true. If I'm batting leadoff, they'll just say, 'I'm not going to pitch to his strength,'" Pena said. "I don't care whether he's ninth, fourth or leadoff. I'm still going to try to get him out. Pitchers are no longer saying, 'Oh, that's the leadoff hitter, maybe I should get ahead, here's a fastball.' If I'm hitting leadoff, they're not going to do that."

    In other words, the days of essentially pitching around elite hitters might be a thing of the past. Perhaps they should be, if the information at clubs' fingertips is properly utilized and the strategy gleaned from that data is properly executed.

    "Things have changed. Pitchers are more prepared with the scouting they're getting," Pena said. "The reports are so extensive that it could really go a long way."

    At the end of his analysis, Click explained that the "conventional wisdom has become self-fulfilling prophecy -- batting order is important because everybody thinks it's important."

    In other words, as Maddon said, lineup protection will exist so long as the people on the mound, behind the plate and in the dugout believe it's important.
    even if it's not now what it used to be, you're still dealing with humans. not all pitchers have the ability to just completely forget about the big hitting threat on deck, even if they want to.

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  7. #292
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    just because you don't know what pitcher X is thinking, doesn't mean it doesn't effect the way he pitches.

    any evidence for or against protection for any one player is a small sample size. once you start comparing different players, then you're comparing them facing different pitchers. what some pitchers would do is not the same as what some other pitchers would do. different pitchers throw different types of pitches. some batters do differently against different types of pitches. there are so many variables that any evidence out there isn't going to be accurate. it would be like comparing apples to oranges to pears to grapes to many other different things. not everything fits into the same criteria to come up with a set of numbers.
    You could say that about anything. No guys face the same person. That's a moot point.

    You still didnt answer the question. How do we handle intangible things? And why do act as tho the sample siZes we provide are too small, yet it's perfectly justified for you to have ZERO evidence and act like your point still stands?
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  8. #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...s_mlb&c_id=mlb


    even if it's not now what it used to be, you're still dealing with humans. not all pitchers have the ability to just completely forget about the big hitting threat on deck, even if they want to.
    But any affect that has will be reflected in the stats. You are just ignoring every thing we are saying
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  9. #294
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    it would be very difficult to come up with evidence in favor of lineup protection, because how often does a good/great player not get followed in the batting order by someone good?
    and if you take 1 player from one season to the next season with a new player behind him, then it's a different season, facing different pitchers and different situations. so you can't compare them the same.

    Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers gets used as an example with Prince Fielder this season and without him last season. Cabrera is an elite hitter, and can be an elite hitter regardless.

    I don't think you can just throw out walks like they don't matter.
    Jose Bautista. he broke out in 2010. that season he had a walk percent of 14.6%. the following season also putting up monster numbers his walk percent jumped to 20.6% (1st in baseball that season). that is an awfully big jump. in 2011 Bautista hit only in the 3 spot. for 119 games he had Adam Lind hitting behind him. would Bautista have been walked the same if he had someone better hitting behind him? don't know because for most of the season there was no one else. who else hit behind Bautista in 2011? with Lind you also have to factor in whether the pitcher was left handed, because a left handed pitcher could much rather want to walk Bautista and face Lind since in 2011 Lind was .243/.275/.364/.639 vs LHP.
    what would/could Bautista have done if he had a better hitter behind him, so that pitchers couldn't walk him 20.6% of the time. if you take away those walks, you can't just say his line would be the same.

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  10. #295
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    If you are going to continue to ignore the facts we present, not answer my question, and repeat the same incorrect information over and over, I think this is over.
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  11. #296
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    it would be very difficult to come up with evidence in favor of lineup protection, because how often does a good/great player not get followed in the batting order by someone good?
    and if you take 1 player from one season to the next season with a new player behind him, then it's a different season, facing different pitchers and different situations. so you can't compare them the same.

    Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers gets used as an example with Prince Fielder this season and without him last season. Cabrera is an elite hitter, and can be an elite hitter regardless.

    I don't think you can just throw out walks like they don't matter.
    Jose Bautista. he broke out in 2010. that season he had a walk percent of 14.6%. the following season also putting up monster numbers his walk percent jumped to 20.6% (1st in baseball that season). that is an awfully big jump. in 2011 Bautista hit only in the 3 spot. for 119 games he had Adam Lind hitting behind him. would Bautista have been walked the same if he had someone better hitting behind him? don't know because for most of the season there was no one else. who else hit behind Bautista in 2011? with Lind you also have to factor in whether the pitcher was left handed, because a left handed pitcher could much rather want to walk Bautista and face Lind since in 2011 Lind was .243/.275/.364/.639 vs LHP.
    what would/could Bautista have done if he had a better hitter behind him, so that pitchers couldn't walk him 20.6% of the time. if you take away those walks, you can't just say his line would be the same.
    Your not taking away walks, just IBB.
    You have no idea how excited I am right now.


  12. #297
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    I'd just like to say I'm a convert to sabermetrics after this thread. They are like 98% accurate and there is nothing that is better. I think the detractors(like me as of 2 days ago and before) maybe don't realize all the different stats out there that account for basically everything.

    There are some obscure scenarios or freak things that might not be shown through saber stats, but there is no other way to quantify them either. They eye test is a thing but you can't watch the vast majority of every team's games so it's useless unless you happen to have seen the two players being compared.

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  13. #298
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialFNK View Post
    it would be very difficult to come up with evidence in favor of lineup protection, because how often does a good/great player not get followed in the batting order by someone good?
    Was said above, did you not read it?

  14. #299
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    Quote Originally Posted by jej View Post
    What are you talking about? We are the ones saying there is no evidence for it. You are the one making the claim without any evidence. You are not being open minded. We are presenting you with facts and evidence, and you are ignoring them.

    As of now, we do not have any evidence that protection has any effect.

    You are making the assertion that protection does have an effect. It's not like you are saying we don't know either. You are saying it does, without any evidence. We are saying the evidence goes against it.
    no you are mistaken. as i told you long ago, this is not about lineup protection anymore. this is about acknowledging that there are things you and i cannot quantify no matter how hard we try. that's why i refuse to make absolute claims about things when both of us are ignorant of some of the factors involved. i have theories about human beings and human behavior that you say don't apply to the game of baseball, despite it being played by humans. you have stats, none of which you have shown up to this point (or if you have, i apologize, i missed the first 10 pages or so of this thread) that you say prove your point beyond a doubt - regardless of what we know about human nature. we disagree and that's fine.
    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...

  15. #300
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    FNK,

    It works like this: No matter what is going on in the "intangibles" department a baseball player's actual performance is 100% quantifiable because his actual effect on the game is measured in hits, walks, runs, HRs, WHIP, K/BB, et al.

    Your argument is that line-up protection, improved performance of hitter x because hitter y is behind him, is real and has an effect on the game.

    That is your posit, therefore the burden of proof is yours.

    You have to this point failed to provide a single piece of evidence in support of your argument, committed numerous logical fallacies in the discussion from ignoring the burden of proof, appeals to authority, goal post shifting, and maintained an overall rejection of the notion of deductive reasoning and rational discussion.

    As to your claim that it cannot be measured; If you cannot measure this effect how do you know it exists?

    You cannot be aware of something that you cannot measure, period.

    These are the actions of an obstinate individual who knows they are wrong and is refusing to accept it.

    There is a simple next step:

    Provide proof for your assertion or concede the argument.

    In truth it is a moot point because a number of individuals have actually proven, with real life gameplay data, your assertion is absolutely baseless. However, I would be interested in what you consider proof.
    Last edited by IceHawk-181; 01-30-2013 at 09:19 AM.

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