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« Howard and Delgado in similar spots for MVP nods | Main | Mets struggle again, East lead down to half-game »

Monday, September 15, 2008

Comments

I'm shocked; shocked!

No, I'm not. But it does move Chollie closer to being the worst manager in baseball.

P.S. Didn't Sveum play for the Phillies for a year once?

Wow! The timing of Yosts' departure sure is strange with 2 weeks left of the regular season and the damage already done...the Mutts at least canned Randolph the season after their collapse.

I'm sorry, but my head is still spinning from this by BrianG about Durbin being equal to Lidge: "Lidge has been used in only a very structured one inning role. So as far as measuring actual value up to this point, I'd say it's a near dead heat."

I'm shocked, shocked to see that manager's are getting blamed for ineptitude!

(Though it does mean that Chollie is that much closer to being at the top of the worst manager list.)

Sveum was a Phillie for half a season so he must be good. He was a worse hitter than Bobby Wine.

Okay. Sorry about the semi-double post. My first one didn't show up right away. The second one is better anyway.

I'm not sure anyone was a worse hitter than Bobby Wine. Damn good fielder, though.

The Phils knocked a few people out of a job this year. Beware, ye Inept, your Philly awaits you!

I know we're supposed to think it will be hard to make up 2 games in the loss column to the Mets in 2 weeks, but we've picked up 2 games in the loss column on the Astros since Myers shut down the Brewers.

the Mutts at least canned Randolph the season after their collapse.

Brewers collapsed last year too.

If the Phils continue to play the way they're playing, it won't be difficult to make up 2 games in the loss column against the Mets, declarations of "season over" or "they can't win the WC" notwithstanding.

EF: Yeah. Unfortunately I think the Mets are a much better team than the Astros, but it would be nice for them to lose tonight and pick up a game on them in the loss column.

As a result of today, I'm definitely not worried about the Astros. We have two roads to the playoffs, each competing with one other team. Should be interesting.

GPG - It's a wash. Sveum had one good year, with like 25 HRs which Wino certainly never did. But he (Sveum) also hit under .200 five times (to Wine's 3) including his only half year with the Phils. His OPS+ was about 45 that year. Maybe he was not as bad (certainly he could not have looked as bad. (Heck, even Myers last night looked more comfortable at the plate than Wino ever did.)

Andy: for your amusement:

Dale Sveum, 1992, Philadelphia Phillies:

.178/.261./.252

At least he broke a .500 OPS.... I guess.

And my head is spinning even faster from this by clout about the ability of teams to trade two players already on their roster for each other. "So a trade of Lidge for Durbin straight up would be a good trade, right?"

If we could just knock out a few more managers along the way, we'd be set...

Mets are much better than the Astros?

Astros started today 3 games worse than the Mets. Not that big a difference.

And Astros beat the Mets 5-2 head to head.

And had won 14 out of 15 until the Ike disruption to their season, including sweeps of the Cards and Cubs.

With all that, even they could lose 2 games in a row in the blink of an eye.

EF: The Mets have outscored their opponents by about 100 runs while the Astros have been outscored by 7. Anything can happen, but that's possibly the best predictor for what will happen down the stretch. The Mets' record indicates how good they are while the Astros' indicates they've been pretty lucky.

It's funny. I distinctly remembered Sveum being the Phillies' starting SS for an entire painful season, but his stats tell me that he had just 151 PAs with the team before they traded him away. It just goes to show you that, when a player has left an indelibly negative impression, we tend to remember the moment being longer than it really was. Some day I'll probably recall that Eric Bruntlett was our starting shortstop for 3 full seasons.

Oh, OK. Guess my mistake is watching the Mets' won/loss record too much and not their run differential.

Of course, then Phils should be in first when we switch the standings from W/L to run differentials. Can we do it now?

EF: It's ok. A lot of people made that same mistake about a month ago when they only looked at the Marlins record and not their run differential and predicted they'd be within a few games of the Phillies and Mets for the entire season.

Brian G.: I agree that the Astros are flukey. You need only look at their roster to see that. But, when there are only a handful of games left in a season, projections based on run differential are pretty useless. A much more useful index is how the team is playing right now. Until these last 2 games, Houston had been playing terrific.

Astros did lose to the NL Run diff. leaders, who do get to play the Mets some down the stretch.

Other run differential flukes: Tampa Bay Rays are 3rd best in their division, 5th in the AL, and they have yet to pull a Marlins, though there's still time.

BrianG: Well, in a world where Durbin and Lidge are equal I guess anything is possible. That's not this world, however.

BAP: Agreed. I was just responding to EF's record based argument against the statement that the Mets are a better team than the Astros.
I certainly agree that that Astros had been hot and that even though they've cooled the last two games, pretty much anything can happen in a 12 game stretch.

i'm not surprised Yost lost his job. I'm a little surprised by the timing however.

@JW, buy any space on firenedyost.com :)

Funny that a guy as initially unpopular as Chollie has only ended up getting OPPOSING managers fired!


Wheeler was commenting how mystifying it was that Yost left that situational lefty to face Burrell, who promptly got a run-scoring hit. If Wheeler calls you out, your time in MLB is up.

clout: No said they are "equal" talents, so that world only exists in your imagination. We were talking about value.
So do you disagree that through August, the 2.25 era that Durbin posted in 76 innings was more valuable than the 2.22 era that Lidge posted in 57 innings?

(btw, I'll be shocked if you actually answer the question)

Didn't see this mentioned in the last two threads. Figured it deserved mention.
From Conlin's column today:
"Joe Blanton was OK yesterday after a shaky beginning. The Phillies gave up badly mishandled lefthander Josh Outman and a nobody outfielder to acquire the leviathan righty."
Umm and their best position prospect?

I can imagine the Milwaukee version of Gillick and Jr.:

Brewers GM: "Gee, now we're only tied for the Wild Card."

Brewers Jr. GM: "Let's fire the manager!"

Brewers GM: "Great idea, Junior. Let's do it! This will get us over the hump."

Clout: No one thinks that Durbin and Lidge are equal pitchers. Lidge is far, far better. However, for a lot of this year, Durbin was close to as valuable to the team as Lidge was. Now, Lidge's value goes beyond his numbers because having a dominant closer allows a manager to use his bullpen differently, hopfully putting guys in better positions to succeed. However, the point still remains that Durbin did an incredibly good job for this team. So did Lidge.

The point is not who is a better pitcher going forward. Durbin's season is quite obviously a fluke, while Lidge is quite obviously a great closer (even though you wanted him to be a setup man). The point is that Durbin was nearly as valuable for about 4 and a half months this year. These things happen.

My only Dale Sveum memory: his striking out to end a Sunday afternoon game against the Cubs. I think it was father's day and the promotion was a Thirties era Phils cap.

I was at that Sunday game. My Dad still has the hat. It had a script P on it like Detroit's D.

Yes, it's a handsome hat and naturally "No Luck" Klaus didn't get one, being only 10 at the time.

I am not making this up. I remember being excited when the Phillies got Dale Sveum. Please don't hate me. The therapy is starting to pay dividends.

Klaus - did that Thirties era hat have a texaco logo on the back? I think the Dad and I were at that game.

As your season is about to collapse after losing game one to the Braves, Mets fans try to figure out how many cups you can http://sportscracklepop.com/2008/09/15/how-many-cups-can-you-stack-on-top-of-a-drunk-mets-fan/>stack on a persons head.

Jack: You make my point for me. VORP is being used on here to show that one player is "better" than another. That is what I was objecting to. The Lidge-Durbin comparison is a perfect example of why VORP is a joke when used that way. Obviously, anyone can get hot for a few months and send his VORP to ridiculous heights. That is precisely my point. I was stunned that BrianG would actually defend its use that way by saying Durbin and Lidge were near equals: "So as far as measuring actual value up to this point, I'd say it's a near dead heat."

This is like saying Burrell isn't as good as Feliz because he's been in a cold snap lately.

"Did that Thirties era hat have a texaco logo on the back?"

Yes.

That game was very well attended. In fact I think the Phillies drew pretty well back in those days despite their persistent suckiness. Then the Strike happened and all the buoyancy surrounding the team and the city just...evaporated.

Clout: What in the heck are you talking about? You're just making stuff up now. No one ever used VORP in the context of distinguishing who is "better" than someone else, certainly not me.
You asked.. "Do you think VORP is an accurate measure of diference between Durbin & Lidge? Do you think Lidge is only slightly more valuable?"
Notice the word "valuable", used bc we were discussing value THIS year, and bc, well, VORP stand for VALUE over replacement player. Obviously Lidge is a way more talented pitcher than Durbin and will almost definitely get better results than him in the future, and thus have way more value. But in addressing value provided this year, the results Durbin has gotten (at least until lately) in the situations he got them were possibly more valuable than the same of Lidge. And my response to your question is yes, and VORP reflects that.

Box score of http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI199206210.shtml>that game.

@klaus your memory is pretty good. 53K in the ball park. (Sunday give away days always did well even in lean years) Sveum strikes out to end the game. WITH THE BASES LOADED, Phillies down 3, after Hollins hit a 2 run homer earlier in the inning to put the first runs on the board.
The night before featured Terry Mullholland out pitch Greg Maddux.

Love the historical box scores.

Wait, did Clout just employ a strawman? Shocking.

I'm not surprised the PhillR has yet to defend Aubrey Huff as the AL MVP runner-up this year.

VORP as the sole indicator of a player's value is stupid.

BrianG: Wrong, as always. Look at the thread (it was about phillR's Howard posts). My post was in response to using VORP as a comparison of which player is better.

And if you think Durbin has been more valuable to the Phillies than Lidge, you are clueless beyond even my expectations.

Rob Neyer writes regarding Yost's firing:

"In 1983, Phillies general manager Paul Owens fired manager Pat Corrales on July 18. The Phillies were in first place at the time, but with a rather unimpressive 43-42 record. The new manager? Paul Owens. Under Owens, the Phillies won 20 of their next 31 games before losing nine of 10. But the so-called "Wheeze Kids" finished brilliantly, going 26-9 the rest of the way to win the National League East going away (they lost the World Series to the Orioles)."

CJ: "VORP as the sole indicator of a player's value is stupid."

Exactly right. I'mn still waiting for PhillR to explain why the major league HR and RBI leader shouldn't be in the top 20 of MVP voting.

So I bore witness to the great Kyle Abbott along his way to historical heights of horribleness? Thank you cunningham that made my evening.

"This is like saying Burrell isn't as good as Feliz because he's been in a cold snap lately."

Well compare their Vorps and see if the analogy holds.

"My post was in response to using VORP as a comparison of which player is better."

But the issue is the MVP award, which goes not to the best player in the game over the course of years but to the most valuable player playing in that particular year. So far as VORP can give a snapshot of a player's relative value in a particular year than by all means it deserves consideration in any MVP discussion.

love these arguments where people don't go back and read how the discussions started, to recap:
@dave x brought up WPA in relation to the MVP argument, where berkman was the leader. @Sophist as is his way, showed the VORP leaders calling the statistic "nebulous". He added pitchers for good measure. PhillR said that Delgado and Howard shouldn't even be in the top 20 in voting. @CJ calls him out, looking for a list of 20 better players. @PhillR brings back the VORP list as his answer. @clout -- uses Sophists stats to indicate why VORP is not a meaningful stat in his creative argument style. Which caused @Jack and @Brian G to go after clout because I assume they have @clout alert system. As they all argued the same point, not realizing they were actually agreeing and not realizing that @clout was really just shooting @PhillR's argument that VORP is a credible indicator of a player's worth by using the Durbin-Lidge comparison.

I love winning streak off days. The days beerleaguers attack each other. :)

"I'm not surprised the PhillR has yet to defend Aubrey Huff as the AL MVP runner-up this year.

VORP as the sole indicator of a player's value is stupid."

Check the last thread. As I have said twice now, I would adjust or pull a few guys off that list. Its like run differential, damn good but not perfect.

And the assertion that there are 20 guys higher in value then Delgado and Howard, on that list I link to, remains valid. In fact I listed 20 of them in the prior thread.

Clout:

(1)RBIs as a measure of a players value are pretty damn meaningless. No one should consider them. Its like Ws for the Cy Young, just stupid.

(2) With regards to considering the HR leader, Ryan Howard plays 1B and was for most of the season at OPS+ of about 110. I don't care how many HR that guy has, I expect more offense out of a MVP 1B then a .330ish OBP and a .530ish SLG. ALOT more.

This isn't like SS were you can say offense at the position is scarce. MVP 1B should be an offensive machine, and howard was just above average.

HR are just one factor. Thats why one should use a composite stat that includes most if not all offensive metrics, one that contextualizes these metrics against a given position.

Where would we find a stat like that?

Ah... so now VORP is not how we pick the MVP. Now we're supposed to guess which 20 players remain ahead of Delgado and Howard and which don't.

PhillR: You made the claim... I'd love to hear which 20 players make the list.

@klaus -- no problem. And I learned the great Bob Ayrault's, who also pitched in that game for the Phillies, middle name is Cunningham. And his baseball card from 1993 features Ayrault wearing a throwback uniform, similar to the current http://www.checkoutmycards.com/CardImages/Cards/008/298/09F.jpg>day game alternaties.

Here's hoping this pic is somehow used by Jason for a gameday logo someday.

It seems to me that some measure of Delgado's value can be adduced from the fact that his fortunes roughly mirror the fortunes of his team. And the fact that Delgado spent several months mired in sheer awfulness probably serves as a drag on his VORP, making the statistic qua Delgado a bit suspect in my mind.

Pujols should win the MVP--no bloody question. But a vote or two for Delgado is hardly a ludicrous thing.

mike cunningham: This analysis is 100% correct:

"@dave x brought up WPA in relation to the MVP argument, where berkman was the leader. @Sophist as is his way, showed the VORP leaders calling the statistic "nebulous". He added pitchers for good measure. PhillR said that Delgado and Howard shouldn't even be in the top 20 in voting. @CJ calls him out, looking for a list of 20 better players. @PhillR brings back the VORP list as his answer. @clout -- uses Sophists stats to indicate why VORP is not a meaningful stat in his creative argument style. Which caused @Jack and @Brian G to go after clout because I assume they have @clout alert system. As they all argued the same point, not realizing they were actually agreeing and not realizing that @clout was really just shooting @PhillR's argument that VORP is a credible indicator of a player's worth by using the Durbin-Lidge comparison."


mike c: Clout asked if Lidge was only slightly more valuable than Durbin. I responded to that by saying I thought this year that has been the case, and therefore that isn't a good example of why something is wrong with VORP. I thought it was an interesting discussion to have until what you defend as clout's "creative argument style"(and other people call being completely disingenuous) derailed the discussion.
Still waiting to hear an argument as to why Durbin, before the mid-August wall he hit, was less valuable than Lidge during that time.

Brian G; VORP stands for nothing. How exactly do you describe "value" as a unit? The first thing taught in high school science classes is that the outcome of your equation must be in units, for example, meters per second. VORP does not provide units; it is simply an arbitrary number based upon arbitrary constants.

Also, VORP (like many other composite stats, such as Win Shares, WPA, WARP, etc.) is based on "runs created," a fake stat. Rather than rely upon a player's actual run production, these stats recreate a player's season based upon arbitrary constants. Thus, Ryan Howard's 133 RBIs don't exist; rather, a formula is derived (based upon regressing the whole league's runs versus the whole league's hits, walks, doubles, HRs, ABs, PAs, etc.) to revalue a player's actual stats in those categories, and then those constants are applied to the player's basic stats. This is complete nonsense, based not upon the games actually played (which should determine a player's real value during the season), but based upon a fantasy season in which the player did not participate! RC, in fact, tries to determine how many runs a lineup consisting entirely of one player would score in a season, then reduces it to runs per 27 (or 25, in some formulations) outs.

The people who promote this approach to evaluating players obviously don't understand that no team is made up of 9 Albert Pujolses, or 9 Ryan Howards, etc. The writers who vote for MVP base their votes upon (among other things, I'd expect) actual production, which means that RBIs are taken quite seriously by those voters.

"CJ: "VORP as the sole indicator of a player's value is stupid."

Exactly right. I'm still waiting for PhillR to explain why the major league HR and RBI leader shouldn't be in the top 20 of MVP voting."

This is hysterical. You criticize the use of a single stat as criteria, then suggest we use HR and RBI. Which is it- should we include all facets of the game, or just 1 or 2 like HR and RBI?

If it's the former, then we should use VORP. If it's the later, then you are a moron.


PEOPLE- VORP is not a single thing. It is an amalgamation of all facets of a players offensive game INCLUDING HR (via TB/AB, its a rate thing).

Wouldn't you agree we should include a players total offensive worth when determining value? Don't you think that value is largely influenced by depth at a position?

Or should we use HR/RBI?

PhillR: I went back and looked... and I'm really not even sure where to start.

Andre Ethier? He's had 100 fewer at bats than Howard because for much of the season, he wasn't even a starting OF for the Dodgers.

Pat Burrell? I love the guy... but it's not even close anymore.

And you know what... it's not even worth running down your list. I mean, when Nate McClouth gets a mention...

PhillR: RBIs reflect actual production during actual games. VORP reflects some MIT math major's recreation of a player's season based upon a regression of basic stats (H, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, etc) from past seasons and an assumption that the player occupies all nine spots in the lineup. Which should we take more seriously? Nobody's VORP ever won a game for his team, but I am quite sure that many players' RBIs won games for their teams.

@clout -- man I hope that doesn't make me one of your minions again?

They're saying the Yost decision was the owners'. With CC and Sheets headed out the door after this season the window seems to be closing fast.

clout: I found the answer to your question. In 1951, Guz Zernial (who was traded in mid-season) led the American League with 33 homeruns and 129 RBIs. He finished 20th in the MVP voting.

@jhs -- thanks for the best argument against the new stats, especially RC. Although, I liked Sophist calling them nebulous.

@brian g -- i'm pretty sure when I said "creative argument style" wasn't necessarily defending but trying to be tactful, noting how some people feel about it. :)

Oh, and another question for PhillR. I saw on one of these threads that Pujols has a VORP of 91. My question: 91 what? Is that 91 wins, or 91 runs, or 91 ground balls to shortstop? What is the unit behind that 91?

Brian G: If you don't understand why a closer is more valuable than a middle reliever, it's too late for you. But then I already knew that.

jhs: "VORP does not provide units; it is simply an arbitrary number based upon arbitrary constants"

This is incorrect. There is nothing arbitrary about it. The basic constant is the replacement level value for a given position. This changes year to year, and VORP is itself a relative stat.

"The first thing taught in high school science classes is that the outcome of your equation must be in units, for example, meters per second"

Fascinating. I guess you went to a pretty mediocre HS. Relative measurements, then much of calculus and physics is going to fall apart. Good luck comparing various infinities your way.

"Also, VORP (like many other composite stats, such as Win Shares, WPA, WARP, etc.) is based on "runs created," a fake stat. Rather than rely upon a player's actual run production"

A fake stat? Whats a real stat? Saves? Wins? RBIs? Please, all stats are fake, they were all at some point invented by baseball fans. Some are just better the others.

The notion that RBIs measure a players performance is insane. The majority of a players RBIs are derived from his teams lineup. With so much of it a result of OTHER peoples performance, how can anyone take the stat seriously as a measure of an individuals performance?

"The writers who vote for MVP base their votes upon (among other things, I'd expect) actual production, which means that RBIs are taken quite seriously by those voters."

Most sports journalists are morons.

jhs: I used the 'value' part of VORP regarding the semantics of the discussion (ie to make the point that I didn't say "better").

But thank you..I honestly have no idea if what you said was accruate, but that was the first substantive and therefore most interesting criticism anyone has made of VORP yet on this discussion.

But most sports journalists wouldn't vote Andre Ethier ahead of Carlos Delgado and Ryan Howard in the MVP race.

Who's the moron?

"RBIs as a measure of a players value are pretty damn meaningless. No one should consider them. Its like Ws for the Cy Young, just stupid."

I don't want to get into the silly new-fangled stat-bashing, but I will say that RBI's are nothing like wins. With a little bit of context added in (how many men on base in front of a batter), RBI's tell you a lot. Wins tell you nothing.

"Oh, and another question for PhillR. I saw on one of these threads that Pujols has a VORP of 91. My question: 91 what? Is that 91 wins, or 91 runs, or 91 ground balls to shortstop? What is the unit behind that 91?"

I am sorry you can't understand or use relative values for comparison. Whats a dollar? 100 pennies. Whats a penny? Something we use to measure value. Huh.

Nats lead 1-0.

Tray: With a little bit of context added to RBIs, you might get a stat worth something.

Nats up 1-0 over Mets

CJ: I never said who I thought would win. I was arguing who should win. If I had the inclination to be a sports journalist, it wouldn't be hard to accomplish. However I don't find the idea of being a broke slob who makes his money off of trite cliches and platitudes to be appealing.

clout: Once again you've added nothing intelligent to the discussion. Just more political campaign style attack ads. Then again, I already knew you would do that.

Closers are usually more valuable than middle relievers bc generally they're much better pitchers. But many smart baseball analysts have said saving your best pitcher only for 1-3 run games in the ninth inning and thus only 70 innings a year is a waste of their talents, and that they'd be better served using them as firemen in crucial situations. Durbin served that role for the first three quarters of the season and pitched phenomenally well in that role. So a stat that says his value to the team was equal to that of a very good closer isn't necessarily flawed.

BAP: That means he's still in the top 20. But didn't finish in the top 10. And he didn't lead the major leagues in HR, just the AL. And the A's really sucked that year. Berra was the MVP, although Williams had a better year, but the Sox didn't make postseason.

Pedro had to throw 23 pitches in the first inning, could have been more had Zimmerman not grounded into a DP.

Right, PhillR, and such stats exist. I would like, though, to debunk this silly argument:

"Nobody's VORP ever won a game for his team, but I am quite sure that many players' RBIs won games for their teams."

We could also say, nobody's batting average ever won a game for his team, but we're quite sure that many hits have won games for their teams. Which should we take more seriously? By your logic, hits. But the right answer is batting average. Since some people have way more at-bats than others, just counting up hits doesn't tell you anything. Of course, we should take on-base percentage even more seriously. And we should take stats that put together on-base percentage with other things more seriously still. All the while getting farther and farther away from anything that actually wins baseball games in a concrete sense - yet, getting closer and closer to an accurate measure of who contributes more to winning baseball games.

repeating a post from a couple of days ago:

I'm so glad we can finally stop talking how great Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Cap Anson, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Murray, Willie Mays were. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/RBI_career.shtml>whew.

Lannan with 3 SO through 2 innings, nice!

mike c: I'm willing to bet that those guys had really good OPS+'s as well. And that's kind of the point.

That said, in an argument about value, I believe RBIs have to hold weight. Howard this year is an extreme example. His RISP splits are ridiculous. Is that luck? Maybe. But luck or not it certainly means he's provided more value to the Phillies this year than a guy who has the same OPS but more even splits.

clout: OK, I guess I had forgotten the criterion. I was only looking at league leaders, not major league leaders -- and I thought you said top 10.

I too would be very surprised if someone has ever led the majors in homeruns & RBIs and not finished in the top 10 in MVP voting. How many people have EVER led the majors in both categories to begin with? I'd guess maybe only 25 or 30.

PhillR: I'm going to address this in parts:

Me: "VORP does not provide units; it is simply an arbitrary number based upon arbitrary constants"

You: "This is incorrect. There is nothing arbitrary about it. The basic constant is the replacement level value for a given position. This changes year to year, and VORP is itself a relative stat."

Actually, "replacement value" is calculated as 75-85% of the average player's RC value (by position) year to year (depending upon position). Source: Wikipedia. This is completely arbitrary.

In addition, the basic currency of a player's offensive value, runs vs. outs, is also based upon an arbitrary formula. According to Wikipedia's description: "[t]he currency of baseball is the out. There is a finite number of outs that a team can make in one game, and it is almost always 27 (or 3 outs/inning * 9 innings/game). A player consumes these outs to create runs, and at the simplest level, runs and outs are the only truly meaningful stats in baseball. Outs are calculated by simply taking at-bats and subtracting hits, then adding in various outs that don't count toward at-bats: caught stealing, sacrifices, etc. Runs may be estimated by one of many run-approximation methods: Bill James' runs created, Pete Palmer's linear weights, BaseRuns, etc.; Baseball Prospectus author Keith Woolner, who invented VORP, prefers to use Clay Davenport's Equivalent Runs in the calculation of VORP. Armed with runs and outs (for the player and that player's league), one can finally calculate VORP."

Thus, VORP does not even designate which "runs" formula rules it; one thing is for sure: it does not base its valuation upon actual run production in actual games. It is a recreation based upon some person's formula for converting base stats into theoretical "runs."


For PhillR again:

Me: "The first thing taught in high school science classes is that the outcome of your equation must be in units, for example, meters per second"

You: "Fascinating. I guess you went to a pretty mediocre HS. Relative measurements, then much of calculus and physics is going to fall apart. Good luck comparing various infinities your way."

Want to give me an accepted equation in physics that dispenses with units? I took quantum mechanics and classical E&M in college, among others, and we always made sure the units were correct.

1-1 Mets tie it on Reyes RBI groundout

For PhillR:

Me: "Also, VORP (like many other composite stats, such as Win Shares, WPA, WARP, etc.) is based on "runs created," a fake stat. Rather than rely upon a player's actual run production"

You: "A fake stat? Whats a real stat? Saves? Wins? RBIs? Please, all stats are fake, they were all at some point invented by baseball fans. Some are just better the others."

Um, wins, RBIs, and saves all reflect something that happened in a game. Runs created reflects something that happened in a math formula. There is a difference. Bill James' original RC formula simply multiplied OBP times TB and estimated the runs scored by a team. This happened to be an accurate estimate at the time he first formulated it. The fallacy is called "post hoc ergo propter hoc" (correlation not causation); later, he revised his formula at least three times (because it stopped working after a while, and then the revision stopped working, ad nauseum). These math formulae are only valid for the seasons from which they were calculated; as the game changes, they lose validity, and new formulae are calculated (after the fact). So, yes, they are fake stats.

VORP is based upon some past RC calculation. It may or may not have value for a present season. It is a fake stat, as it does not reflect what actually happened during this season, but is only a projection based upon regressions from composite stats from years past.

Ryan Howard's 133 RBIs this year, on the other hand, are a real stat. Those RBIs did in fact happen this year. No Bill James analysis will take them away from Ryan.

Brian G: "Closers are usually more valuable than middle relievers bc generally they're much better pitchers."

You're getting warm! Nice to see a learning curve.

PhillR: "The notion that RBIs measure a players performance is insane. The majority of a players RBIs are derived from his teams lineup. With so much of it a result of OTHER peoples performance, how can anyone take the stat seriously as a measure of an individuals performance?"

Um. because, during a game, when you come to the plate with runners on base, your job is to drive them home. This is why players overwhelmingly consider RBI to be the most important stat.


For PhillR:

Me:"Oh, and another question for PhillR. I saw on one of these threads that Pujols has a VORP of 91. My question: 91 what? Is that 91 wins, or 91 runs, or 91 ground balls to shortstop? What is the unit behind that 91?"

You: "I am sorry you can't understand or use relative values for comparison. Whats a dollar? 100 pennies. Whats a penny? Something we use to measure value. Huh."

I know what a dollar will buy. I don't know what a point of VORP means for a major league team. Your flip comment is very uninformative, Perhaps you can expand upon it?

Beerleaguer: The only baseball blog where you can find a discussion of quantum mechanics. I await PhillR's take on string theory.

WPA isn't based on runs created. It measures the impact of a player on a game... so that Howard's 7 HR and 27 RBI when the the team is up or down by 5+ runs is worth less than his 4 HR and 11 RBI in close and late situations.

Another SO for John Lannan, he's gotten Wright twice tonight

5 SO Lannan gets Delgado for Second Time.

Tray:

Right, PhillR, and such stats exist. I would like, though, to debunk this silly argument:

"Nobody's VORP ever won a game for his team, but I am quite sure that many players' RBIs won games for their teams."

We could also say, nobody's batting average ever won a game for his team, but we're quite sure that many hits have won games for their teams. Which should we take more seriously? By your logic, hits. But the right answer is batting average. Since some people have way more at-bats than others, just counting up hits doesn't tell you anything. Of course, we should take on-base percentage even more seriously. And we should take stats that put together on-base percentage with other things more seriously still. All the while getting farther and farther away from anything that actually wins baseball games in a concrete sense - yet, getting closer and closer to an accurate measure of who contributes more to winning baseball games.

Batting average measures something concrete: hit/ABs. VORP does not do so - it is a unitless measure of a player's superiority in an arbitrarily-derived statistic (runs created based upon one of several different arbitrary formulae) over an arbitrarily-derived floor (75-85% of the average player). In order to support your argument, you should find out (1) which RC formula was used to derive VORP; (2) what percentage of an "average" player (based upon RC) was used to determine the "replacement player"; (3) whether the RC formula has any relationship to reality; (4) if so, whether the percentage for replacement player has any relationship to reality; and (5) whether any of this has any real relationship to the player in question's success.

I doubt that you will make that effort, and I expect that nobody who advocates for composite stats such as VORP bothers to do so either.

Thanks for your insights.

IN my reponse to Tray, I should I enclosed the fourth (second large) paragraph in quotation marks). Sorry.

2-1 Nats thank you Aaron Boone

Dave X: "WPA isn't based on runs created. It measures the impact of a player on a game... so that Howard's 7 HR and 27 RBI when the the team is up or down by 5+ runs is worth less than his 4 HR and 11 RBI in close and late situations."

Sorry, you're right.

2-1 Nats Thanks Aaron Boone

Nats take lead again 2-1 on Boone single, but he's out trying to stretch to a double. They are the worst baserunners. Ugh.

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EST. 2005

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