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Monday, February 08, 2010


Funny, for a team that supposedly doesn't value SABRmetrics, they sure seem to make decisions like they do. Almost like our FO sometimes plays dumb about such things. Maybe the idiots on Fangraphs will shut up...though they bash VORP consistently since their own WAR is clearly vastly superior...or just proprietary. I can't recall which.

From the last thread: "
Pitchers and catchers will report someday. It just won't be in our lifetimes, apparently.

Posted by: aksmith"

You were SO close. Try this:

pitchers and catchers
a pre-season may arrive soon
not in our lifetimes

Clout - it was sad to watch the puppy bowl without Harry Kalas, wasn't it?

NEPP: VORP and WAR aren't really comparable. VORP only considers offense, while WAR considers offense and defense.

I'm not sure what you have against Fangraphs, but I think it's a pretty fantastic cite considering all of the content is free.

My only issue with fangraphs is that a sizeable portion of their contributors/posters refuse to even consider that WAR and UZR have any shortcomings whatsoever. They also refuse any thought that either could be mistaken ever. Despite the fact that a good portion of UZR is determined by a HUMAN scorer at a game.

Using SABR tools is great and it has been a wonderful boon for the game. Refusing to consider it as just a tool and not the end all, be all of judging a player is a mistake.

NEPP: True, but I think most people have recognized that while UZR probably isn't perfect, it's a pretty useful stat, especially when you combine it with +/- and scouting reputations to get a full view of a player's defense.

I'm not sure we can ever know EXACTLY how many runs a player saves (or gives up) with his defense, but we can make pretty reasonable estimations based on the stats we now have. UZR has the same correlation year-to-year as OPS does, so it's not as fluctuating and unreliable as people seem to think it is.

Did the Japanese players get a look at our weather on Saturday and the forecast for Wednesday and change their minds?

Jack, I'm not familiar with the study you mentioned about UZR having a similar statistical correlation as OPS did. What was UZR correlated with, and similar question for OPS.

MadMax: I can't find it right now, but I believe there was an article on Fangraphs which showed that, in response to claims that UZR was too fluctuating to take seriously.

I believe they showed it had the same correlation year-to-year as most of the established offensive stats, but I could be wrong. If anyone has the time to find it, I would greatly appreciate it. If it doesn't exist, then I made it up, and I apologize.

Like I said, I try and evaluate defense by coming to a common-sense conclusion based on UZR, +/-, scouting reputation, and my own eyes. I think you can come to a reasonable estimation of a guy's defensive value that way.

Jack I agree that its a useful tool. I just tend to think its best used when its COMBINED with scouting reports and first hand observation, not in lieu of both of those other options.

NEPP - Your right about Fan Graphs. Most of their writers/posters have a slavish devotion to all things statistical and don't put much merit in actual observation.

Going to steal one from tommymvp - even in this advanced day and age with all kind of advanced stats and video, there is a good reason why you have advance scouts/minor league scouts who are road warriors watching inordinate amounts of baseball.

Consider myself a fairly well-educated fan of baseball but there are always things that a family friend who is a semi-retired scout for a living always points out to me that I am like "wow I really didn't notice that." Subtle nuances about where the catcher is positioning himself and the defenders in general, pitcher's mechanics/arm slot, etc. He has just watched so much baseball over the years that he can see things that he usually just confirms later on video if he needs to.

The only point I would disagree with is that you "need to have played professionally" to evaluate the game as Morgan and others asset. That is a pile of bunk.

Jack: Pick out 5 players at random and look at their UZRs and then look at their OPS. Your notion that UZR fluctuates no more than OPS is ridiculous.

Rodeo: Yes, that was a blow. My scouting reports on the huskie were bad, which is why I lost.

Clout: Like I said, I don't have the study, but I thought that I had read it.

But your idea won't be relevant, because you have to adjust for the amount of chances. A player usually has close to twice as many Plate Appearances in a season as fielding chances. So you should really be looking over a 2-3 year sample for UZR in order to make it even, in terms of sample-size, as OPS.

Again, it's pretty easy to come to a reasonable estimation of a player's defensive value by looking at UZR, +/-, scouting reputation, and your own common sense. That was my only point.

And plenty of teams have their own advanced proprietary systems which allow them to evaluate defensive value. Clout may not believe in defensive statistics, but a lot of people who have a lot of money invested in baseball certainly do.

The White Sox unretired Aparicio's 11 for Vizquel.... I wonder if the Phillies could've raised some additional revenues from the local Jewish community by unretiring Lefty's #32 for Doc Halladay? As Triumph would say... I keed.

Jack: UZR jumps around like crazy from year to year, OPS usually doesn't. Again, just look at some random players.

I think defensive stats have their place, but unlike you, I don't think UZR is the final word on a player's defense. Too much noise, too many outside factors.

just cause the Phillies may not have signed these guys and none of us know anything about them or much about the level that they competed at last year, that doesn't mean you all can't debate their value to the Phillies. Carry on.

Clout: Wow. Please explain how you got from this (which I've repeated multiple times just in the last few hours)...

"Again, it's pretty easy to come to a reasonable estimation of a player's defensive value by looking at UZR, +/-, scouting reputation, and your own common sense. That was my only point."

... to saying I believe UZR is the "final word on a player's defense."

You either purposefully misconstrued what I was saying, or you have the single worst reading comprehension I've ever seen.

Which one was it?

I am one loyal BLer that really enjoyed yesterday's Super Bowl. All I can say today is: Who Dat?

I suppose that's what Rube said when told that news reports were staing that the Phillies had reached agreements with Japanese relievers Shigetoshi Yamakita and Naoyo Okamoto. Rube said, "Who Dat?"

Slowest BL ever...

It's Monday on the island
The lines have all gone dead
All the juicy news is history
I guess everything's been said

Apologies to Jimmy Buffet
& you are correct Fred it was a good superbowl. Who Dat indeed.

Meh, I'm happy for the Saints and their fans (albeit, begrudgingly so), but that damn phrase needs to go the way of the DoDo. I feel almost as much disdain for it as I do for Reggie Bush. I love that the Saints were able to win the game without a career night from him. I think NO fans are just happy he didn't screw up.

i always thought "who dat" started out as a cincinatti thing. did i miss something?

As a born and bred Philadelphian, I gravitate to underdogs by nature.I always cheer for the Eagles (as is my birthright) but I adopted the Saints as my personal favorite team when I was very young because they always had poor records and great personalities and they were perenial losers like my Fightin' Phils. What the hell should I do now that the Phils won two W F-ing S in my lifetime (a feat not many can claim) and the Saints have won the Super Bowl? My son is not even two and he is personally responsible I believe (that and two straight snowy winters).
I know I should not look forward to the Eagles winning one as this will be the sign of the Apocalypse.

Went to the local tavern for lunch and on one of the TVs was a Phils-Dodgers game from the Schmidt-Bowa-Cey-Lopes era. In these days of incessant snow and cold weather, and non-stop Super Bowl fever, it seemed like a mirage in the desert.

Do pitchers and catchers really report soon, or is that just a mirage in the distance?

Jack: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. This from someone who wrote "Clout may not believe in defensive statistics.."

Purposely misconstrued, indeed.

You are really quite a hoot.

doubleh, thanks. Living in New Orleans since 1978, I gradually changed from an Iggles fan to a Saints fan. My first Saints game was against the Eagles in the Dome. I wore my green and white Philly gear and enjoyed an Eagles victory. Over time, I started to feel sorry for Archie and his star crossed team. It was probably during the Bum era that my feelings for the two teams evened. With ex USFL Philly coach Jim Mora, I finally crossed over into Saintly leanings. This town's only major pro team was the Saints. These fans have suffered through bad ownership and management. Talent evaluation and game decisions were killers to the Saints. We are very lucky right now and we realize that it might just be this one wonderful season. Just like the WFC season, as a fan of these teams, the Phillies and the Saints, one can never "expect" the team to win a championship, only enjoy it if it ever comes.

I agree about "Who Dat?" being stupid, but it does get the fans excited. The Cincy Bengals use the more gramatically correct (or incorrect) "Who Dey?"

Who Dey is worse than Who Dat, especially when combined with those Bengals uniforms. Only good thing ever to come from the Bengals was Bill Bergey.

Bill Bergey is a fondly remebered name.

just looked on for shits and giggles... what I saw did make me chuckle. The fan confidence chart shows a large jump to about 30 percent in January, only to dip do 11% currently. I guess they where excited that they signed Bay, but the realization that their team will be taking the field soon immediately dropped their confidence? haha.

Honestly, I don't think the Mets will be that bad, but I find the general "miserableness" of their fans entertaining. I guess it's only fair considering for the greater portion of my life, Philly fans have been 'those' fans.

Hmm...its up to 11% again. Good for them.

To the patient hoss goes the feeeeeed. I am just here waiting boys. First crack of leather in Clearwater and I will be back on this blog in force. Let's not forget the racial barriers I broke last season. I made this Blog accountable for it's own unknowing bigotry. Clout you suck, props to Jack. ZEEEEEEZ

Via ESPN, Cliff Lee has minor foot surgery on a bone spur that broke loose and is expected to be limited when they report.

Zeez: Keep fighting the good fight bro. Nice to see you posting on here during the offseason. This is the time for the most diehard of us--like Halladay being in Clearwater weeks early to get his workouts in.

Once ST games begin, we'll be flooded by posters trying to get the Elite analysis of the 5th starter competition and who gets the last bullpen spot.

For right now though, the lucky few get to watch posters like Clout and myself get our practice reps in against each other.

Looks like zeez is working on his knuckle curve.

Here's the article Jack mentioned about UZR correlating to itself as well as OPS (actually wOBA).

And here's the kicker from Tom Tango, one of the true SABR ninjas out there (located in the comments):

"When I’ve done the correlation, I get r=.50 for UZR at a mean of around 100 games. (And, as I said about 50 games for wOBA.)

That’s the equivalency that I’ve always been using."

So it would seem it takes about twice as many games to get a read on defense (measured by UZR/150) as opposed to wOBA. That would mean that for most starters, one season's of UZR will correlate to the next season's as well as wOBA. So clout appears to be off in his statement "UZR jumps around like crazy from year to year, OPS usually doesn't. Again, just look at some random players."

Of course, the point is not necessarily that UZR is all that good of a predictor, but perhaps that wOBA, and by extension OPS*, is not as good as we tend to think.

*I understand that wOBA is not OPS, but I'm willing to wager that wOBA has a higher correlation to itself, year-to-year, than OPS, or even OPS+. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for noticing Hugh. Bro, let's just say there is a whole hell of a lot more from where that came from, with the permission of the BL Elites of course. Bro, you gotta pay your dues on this board. I think of myself as something of a mentor to the young guns on this board, you know, bro? I have been working on my Polanco impression all winter and I expect it to be quite a hit at the Hooters in Clearwater. I have had a tab there for 14 years, nobody ever has asked me to pay. You know why? Because they know I will be back. That's how much I love the Phils. Anyway, thanks for listening Hugh.

Hah, what a bum. That Cliff Lee went and had foot surgery and will miss some time.

Boy, I'm sure glad the Phillies don't have him anymore.

Yeah, Cliff Lee sucks.

Now that the Twins have Orlando Hudson for 2B, will Nick Punto be strictly a backup or split time at third? Would he fit as inf backup for the Phillies? Can he be pried loose from Minnesota? Is he appreciably better than Castro?

BTY, yes, yes, no, yes.

Phillies Red: The key to me in that study is that it takes twice as many games to get a read on defense using UZR as it does to get a read on offense using wOBA. But in any event, I'm talking about UZR and OPS, not wOBA.

Maybe I'm not reading the stats right, but please glance at 10 players randomly and tell me UZR is as consistent as OPS. I just picked two Phillies.

Even then, just a cursory glance shows big jumps. Take Pedro Feliz: His UZR the past 4 seasons is 14.7, 20.8, 7.2 and 5.3. What am I missing here? Is that a pretty big variation? His OPS is .709, .708, .705, .694. Fairly stready, no? Are you saying Feliz is an exception?

How about Chase Utley? UZR: 9.3, 15.7, 20.2, 10.8. OPS: .906, .976, .915, .905.

Clearly I'm seeing this wrong somehow and I'd love for someone to set me straight.

Phillies Red, here's more: Victorino UZR (just 3 years because 4 years ago he was almost exclusively in RF).

UZR: 10.7, 6.5, -4.1. That's not a big variation?

Rollins UZR: 6.6, 12.8, 2.7.

Ibanez UZR: -5.8, -20.5, -12.1, 8.

Please tell me how that is not a big fluctuation. Also tell me how Ibanez went from a terrible UZR to a very good UZR if it didn't have anything to do with the stadium and who was playing alongside of him.

Obviously I am not seeing what you and Jack are seeing and I'd love to be educated on this.


No we did not sign any Jap pitchers! We don’t even have a scout in Japan!

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