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RedSoxtober
01-22-2016, 11:30 AM
ESPN is running a series on potential innovations in MLB that would change the game. This one suggests banning the save. Skipping the justification part (see here (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14603397/reimagining-baseball-ban-save)), here's a potential replacement that balances high-leverage situations with getting the last three outs. Thoughts?


RELIEF POINTS

Now, we can call it something else if you want. Bullpen Bullets. Marianos. I don't care what the heck you call it. But here's a rough design of how it might work:

What does a reliever get if he enters a three-run game, collects the last three outs and his team wins? Not a save. How about one relief point.

Two points if it's a two-run game when he enters and doesn't give up the lead.

Three points if it's a one-run game.

And one extra point for every out beyond three if the tying run is at the plate or on base when he enters.

Hopefully, that would keep the closer happy. But there's more to the brilliant relief points system than just rewards for the closer. Guess what? The "setup men" would get points, too. And those points would be just as meaningful. How 'bout that crazy talk? Here goes:

A point for every out, at any juncture in the last three innings, in a one-run or tie game as long as he doesn't allow a run.

A point for every out, at any juncture in the last three innings, if the tying run is at the plate or on base when a pitcher enters and he keeps the lead.

There are more potential tweaks to deal with stuff like extra innings. I'm open to suggestions. But does anyone out there think we're onto something? You're welcome.

All right, here's an example of how my revolutionary relief points invention could, well, "save" baseball. Let's take you back to April 19, 2015. New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays.

Seventh inning. One out. Yankees leading 5-3. But the Rays had a runner on second, so the tying run was at the plate. In came Dellin Betances.

He went: strikeout, groundout, end of seventh. He then threw a scoreless eighth. Next, Andrew Miller marched in to get the last three outs. Shake hands. Drive home safely.

Under the current rules, Miller got one of those almighty saves, even though he came in to face the No. 8 hitter. All Betances got was a hold, maybe the least-cared about stat in any sport, even though he faced the 2-3-4-5-6-7 hitters, four of them with the tying run at the plate.

Not fair. But ho-hum. We're all used to that injustice. Except now consider what they each would have gotten under the relief points system.

For Miller? Two points. Got the last three outs in a two-run game.

But Betances? FIVE points. Got five outs, in the seventh and eighth innings, and the tying run was at the plate when he entered.

CleanDC4
01-23-2016, 11:47 PM
Sounds pretty redundant to me. I think the system is fine the way it is. If anything consider changing it from a three run lead to a two run lead to earn a save.

Sure the current system benefits the "closer" more than a setup man as far as stats, but in my opinion the if the setup man out performs the closer then you usually have a change in roles there.

I personally think that the "closer" is used wrong across all of baseball to begin with, to me if he is your most effective reliever then he should come into the game at the point when Betances entered the game in your senecio.

MasterWok
01-24-2016, 01:42 PM
Or we could simply keep the record books in tact and not create new stats just for the hell of it. Believe it or not, not every part of the game has to be micromanaged through stats.

If were gonna do this, if a team is facing a bad pitcher, lets only count their hits as half. So a homerun is a double, etc.

Nonsensical. Let the historians have their old statistics and let the new crowd have theirs. It's that simple. I'm not sure there is a reason to get rid of any stat. No one outside of forums like this and the stat guys teams hire actually care about all that extra rubbish. The average baseball fan wants to know a guys batting average, how many hrs and how many rbi, etc. He doesn't want to sit at a ball game with a calculator and a dictionary trying to figure out what the hell these stats mean and how they get the numbers.

I have respect for the folks who compute the numbers and put them out for everyone to see. The ones who post on forums and use particular stats as concrete fact, just senseless folks.

bagwell368
01-25-2016, 01:30 PM
Sounds pretty redundant to me. I think the system is fine the way it is. If anything consider changing it from a three run lead to a two run lead to earn a save.

Sure the current system benefits the "closer" more than a setup man as far as stats, but in my opinion the if the setup man out performs the closer then you usually have a change in roles there.

I personally think that the "closer" is used wrong across all of baseball to begin with, to me if he is your most effective reliever then he should come into the game at the point when Betances entered the game in your senecio.

Not redundant at all.

Until 1987 relief aces worked much as you mentioned. A lot of them worked 100-120+ IP per season at 70+ appearances and were soon gone with bad arms.

The simplification of concentrating on the 9th saved arms, popularized saves - a stat that existed for some time, but elevated it to the point AS games rosters would carrry 5 9th inning closers, and no set-up guys, or one as a sop.

A few years back the Sox tried that closer-less bullpen with a weak staff and set the cause back years.

Set-up vs closer is more a mental thing that current pen guys are used to - after all 1987 is 28 years ago. Some set-up guys could be great closers, except for the mental barrier. Making saves reflect the game more might actually help that situation.

bagwell368
01-25-2016, 01:45 PM
Or we could simply keep the record books in tact and not create new stats just for the hell of it. Believe it or not, not every part of the game has to be micromanaged through stats.

If were gonna do this, if a team is facing a bad pitcher, lets only count their hits as half. So a homerun is a double, etc.

Nonsensical. Let the historians have their old statistics and let the new crowd have theirs. It's that simple. I'm not sure there is a reason to get rid of any stat. No one outside of forums like this and the stat guys teams hire actually care about all that extra rubbish. The average baseball fan wants to know a guys batting average, how many hrs and how many rbi, etc. He doesn't want to sit at a ball game with a calculator and a dictionary trying to figure out what the hell these stats mean and how they get the numbers.

I have respect for the folks who compute the numbers and put them out for everyone to see. The ones who post on forums and use particular stats as concrete fact, just senseless folks.

Before the advent of "roto stats" lots of stats were added. You're just used them. OBP, SLG, and others are derived stats - like traditional stats such as BA and ERA.

The idea expressed in the thread starter is a fine one, and reflects the value of what is going on better than what we have now. How could anyone be opposed to that? Oh, afraid of learning a new stats - a counting stat at that.

I consider myself a very serious baseball historian, and I have no fear of stats - new or otherwise. Why would any historian just want to live with box scores and subjectives?

Most baseball fans are quite used to OPS, SLG, OBP - and many see how misleading RBI's and BA actually are. BA correlates poorly to runs scored. RBI's without knowing how many runners were not driven in, the parks played in, team and league averages for RBI/opportunities is setting themselves up to be badly misled.

This site is full of folks that post stats. No avoiding it. In terms of the arguments already held here, the traditional stat set has been badly routed by the modern stat set. I was a traditional stat guy for 25 years before I became a roto guy 24 years ago. More data is better than less data, unless you just want to drink a beer and watch the game and not be bothered. Fine, I won't bother you as long as you don't characterize me as "nonsensical". BTW, nobody that knows modern stats sits around with a dictionary and a calculator during a game unless they are a newbie.

RedSoxtober
01-25-2016, 02:07 PM
Set-up vs closer is more a mental thing that current pen guys are used to - after all 1987 is 28 years ago. Some set-up guys could be great closers, except for the mental barrier. Making saves reflect the game more might actually help that situation.

Taz is a good example. He's been a great setup man but is not comfortable getting the final three outs.


Or we could simply keep the record books in tact and not create new stats just for the hell of it. Believe it or not, not every part of the game has to be micromanaged through stats.

If were gonna do this, if a team is facing a bad pitcher, lets only count their hits as half. So a homerun is a double, etc.


What has this suggestion got to do with micromanaging? The stats are historical and simply provide more context to the game. It would give weight, for example, to the suggestion that Betances was just as valuable to the Yankees 2015 season as Miller even though he had "only" 9 saves to Miller's 36. Miller was certainly not four times more valuable, nor was he four times more effective.

The biggest objection that I have with your counterexample is the idea of discounting performance. Why would you detract from a player's accomplishments? That seems silly. The point of the suggestion is to give credit where it's due... and there's clearly a desire to quantify the contributions of relief pitchers. An evolution in the way we represent the value contributed by RPs might help the average fan have a greater appreciation for their work.

CleanDC4
01-28-2016, 01:04 PM
Not redundant at all.

Until 1987 relief aces worked much as you mentioned. A lot of them worked 100-120+ IP per season at 70+ appearances and were soon gone with bad arms.

The simplification of concentrating on the 9th saved arms, popularized saves - a stat that existed for some time, but elevated it to the point AS games rosters would carrry 5 9th inning closers, and no set-up guys, or one as a sop.

A few years back the Sox tried that closer-less bullpen with a weak staff and set the cause back years.

Set-up vs closer is more a mental thing that current pen guys are used to - after all 1987 is 28 years ago. Some set-up guys could be great closers, except for the mental barrier. Making saves reflect the game more might actually help that situation.

Sorry I probably should a clarified better, What I said does make it sound like how relievers were used years ago.

What I mean by the closer being in the game earlier, I think the "closer" (most cases your ace reliever) should be used in more high leverage situations at whatever point the game requires it. Say it's the 7th inning starter is still in the game, two men on base and heart of the order up, the "closer" should be in the game then. He gets out of the jamb and he is done for the game, he doesn't try to finish the game, you would then turn to your "setup man" and so forth to finish the game.

Completely agree with you though that I think it's a mental thing with the way current bullpen strategies are used.