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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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Talking offense here is a great piece on the 'hit and run:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15713

Cholly really dislikes it (remember him saying as much a few different times) and has averaged only 20 Hit and Runs during his tenure here as a Phils' manager.

LaRussa loved it and averaged 59 times a year from 2003-11 (data sample) as the Cards' manager.

Conclusion

"The hit-and-run is far from the worst play in baseball. For a small-ball tactic, it has been quite successful over the past nine seasons, increasing scoring by .06 runs per attempt on average. The value of the hole in the infield defense is real, adding about 27 points to the batting average of the hitter. The double plays avoided by executing the hit-and-run offset the runners caught stealing on the play, and the extra bases gained by the runner when the ball is put in play are enough to move the play into the plus column overall.

However, there are some situations where the hit-and-run attempt made less sense and was a barely positive or even a net negative play—with the fourth and fifth hitters in the lineup up, with one out, or in the popular ball-strike count of 2-1."

I really wouldn't mind see the Phils use a little more Hit & Run/Run & Hit especially earlier in the season when Howard is out if they have a good contact hitter (Polanco, Utley, Chooch) with somebody with relatively decent speed on.

Phils and stankees hardest on 19 yr old Cuban

Charlie says hit and run is a crime and you gotta holler fer the sheriff if you see it.

AWH~ Yes they outscored the Giants and Cards & lost.

But 11 runs in the game 1 aginst the Cards skews that. They got outscored the rest of the series.

And the declining power numbers play a big part in that. You've still got to hit to win. I've said it all off-season long. Amaro really uograded his bench and that's great.

The only player they got this offseason to help with the small-ball theory is Pierre.

They're not getting new consistant power from anyone, because no one was brought in. Yes some guys will put up decent numbers, but as a whole I believe the offense was not improved and we will see that. It's not that our guys can't and won't perform. It's that the offensive philosophy has to change and I don't see that happening.

The days of Jimmy hittin 30, Utley 30-35, and 45 from Howard are long gone. Chooch and Polly provide little power. Pence and Maybeery should do well. Vic should hit 15. Anything we get from Brown will be a bonus if he's on the ML roster. We don't have Werth & Raul anymore, which also hurt the power numbers. And as I said, I don't see the leopard changing its spots.

They'll win the division. Anything else is gravy.

I like to rip the manager and the GM and, I'll p!ss and moan with the best of you. I think Manuel and Amaro provide ample ammunition for it. But, the G.D. team won 102 games last year. The roster is stocked with big contract guys who earned big contracts. Consider the alternative. The rotation is populated with 3 legit cy young contenders. Admittedly, that's a downgrade fom 2011. Sure, they could bring in more firepower. Maybe Aramis Ramirez could come here and get drunk and get laid like a rock star while making big money. Definitely, Papelbon is a premium hire with opportunity cost. Ain't no claiming that the team hasn't stockpiled proven players. I just can't fathom the angst some have about this team in 2012. These old farts are the envy of the National League. They're still the team to beat. The wheels might fall off but, there are a lot of wheels that need to run flat before this team is not a legit contender for a world series title. Get some fargin perspective, iceholes.

"But 11 runs in the game 1 aginst the Cards skews that. They got outscored the rest of the series."

Patrone- it's a five game sample size and you're throwing away one game like it doesn't count. Do you realize how stupid that is?

Iceman - It's almost as if he's saying that anything can happen in a 5 game series. But wait, I've been told by the moroncracy that all that mattered was those 5 games. Hmm, something doesn't make sense here...

Redburb- this is the most fun I've had with math since college. We're being told that the statistical significance of 162 games vs 5-7 games is irrelevant, and in a five game sample size it is acceptable to throw out 20% of the results just for the hell of it.

I wish this class would have been offered at my school- "Insane Statistics with RK and DPatrone."

Three days, boys, three days.

This is getting tired, I never said there is no statistical difffernce on the contrary I pointed out that it is a crapshoot, being hot and lucky helps in a crapshoot. All I said is that sometimes people make their on luck. You have to prepare for each situation. CM does not change anything he sticks with what he knows. In other words he does not recognize the difference between 162 games and a short series--too bad.
Again look at the data that counts most titles. In each succeeding year since teh WS in 2008 this team has finished worse than the year before.

Can the Phils pull off hit and run on a consistent basis. Polly and Utey are the best contact hitters on this squad. Rollins and Vic are the only speedsters somewhat on this squad.

If all that matters is titles, then isn't it binary? Either won or didn't? What difference would it matter to you if the Phils lose to the Yanks in a heartbreaking WS or the Cards in a heartbreaking DS?

Well, it looks like my last post disappeared, so I'll keep this one short.

RK, you would actually make sense if you didn't contradict yourself.

Go back and look at your post and think really hard about it. Maybe you'll se where you did it.

"CM does not change anything he sticks with what he knows. In other words he does not recognize the difference between 162 games and a short series--too bad."

And yet, as manager of the Phillies, Manuel is 6-4 in playoff series - an apparent inconsistency.

There is only one possible explanation: sometime between October 2007 and October 2008, Charlie Manuel learned how to get hot and make his own luck. Using this knowledge, along with the youth of his players, he won 5 straight playoff series. Sometime between the end of the 2009 NLCS and the start of the 2009 WS, the ability to manufacture runs and get the most out of his players abandoned him, irretrievably. Now, he has to stick with what he knows (which isn't much - he can't tell whether he is managing a regular season game or a playoff game).

It's all in the data. You can't deny the trend.

awh,
I do like your push for 'specific' GM moves. However, trying to guess on 'value' for certain players is quite difficult; especially with prospects. I thought the Phillies won the Lee deadline deal and will regret the Pence deal.

I would trade with Orioles for Mark Reynolds. I wanted him at last year's deadline (along with Uehara for something like Kendrick, Stutes, and Cosart).

I'd trade Polanco and Stutes (or some young reliever) for Reynolds and Andino. Reynolds would bring more power and OBP. However, he K's more than Howard and is certainly below average in the field (not sure how bad he really is). Andino just replaces Valdez but had a tiny bit of speed. Orioles need a 2B with Roberts questionable and are going with young unknowns at 3B.

...fans who disengaged in October...

Hi honeys, I'm home!

Good Morning.

phaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargo!

Welcome back!

How's the weather up there?

Again, RK has a point:

All I said is that sometimes people make their on [sic] luck. You have to prepare for each situation. CM does not change anything he sticks with what he knows. In other words he does not recognize the difference between 162 games and a short series--too bad.
Again look at the data that counts most titles. In each succeeding year since teh
[sic] WS in 2008 this team has finished worse than the year before.

We follow a very deeply flawed sport if a bunch of lucky clowns and losers who "stumble" into a playoff spot are instantly on equal footing with the very best team(s) in the league.

I refuse to believe this inane "playoff = crapshoot" folly. This is just a guess, but it appears that a tireless and unrelenting starting 8 augmented by a wily and determined manager wins a playoff series every time.

I’d love to see Sabermetric analysis of common characteristics of teams who win out in the MLB playoff system. Clearly a one-game “playoff” (is this a valid concept in the sport of baseball?) affords too small a sample size, but I'm not aware of any quantification of playoff-specific statistics. Not being a student of Sabermetrics, maybe such analysis does exist, and I’m just not aware of it.

Regardless, perhaps we should take a hard look at our team, and evaluate if our players and manager are up to the rigors of playoff baseball. Since the 2008 season, evidence points to no.

Mark Reynolds has some things going for him -- he's young (28), and he's a pretty good hitter, projecting to OPS in the low .800s and wOBA around .350.

But both FanGraphs and BB-Ref agree that calling his defense "below average" is being kind.

He's going to make $7.5 this year ($2 more than Polanco), and then has a team option for $11 mil in 2013.

Overall he's not going to be any better than Polanco has been (even in 2012), as his extra offense will be offset on the defensive end. But he is less likely to spend considerable time on the DL.

And agree that Andino would be nice upgrade to Martinez although slighly more expensive at $1.3 this year.

"We follow a very deeply flawed sport if a bunch of lucky clowns and losers who "stumble" into a playoff spot are instantly on equal footing with the very best team(s) in the league."
---
Yes. Yes, we do.

I'll amend that slightly -- not exactly equal footing, but 5 or 7 games is not enough time to always allow the better team to win, no matter how tireless, unrelenting, wily, and determined they are.

Cespedes must have read this article:

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-most-miserable-cities-2012.html;_ylt=AqNpqg5Tc3gu6XvcsrrfgsHT4JF4


Who'd want to move to Miami in it's current state? Interesting that there are a lot of town in FL and MI on the list.

Baseball Prospectus used to defend a "secret sauce" (high K SP, lock-down closer, great defense) for playoff success but they have since relented.

Yeah, that's it. Manuel isn't wily and determined enough.

"I refuse to believe this inane "playoff = crapshoot" folly. This is just a guess, but it appears that a tireless and unrelenting starting 8 augmented by a wily and determined manager wins a playoff series every time."

This might be one of the most insane statements I have ever read. You aren't serious when you write things like this are you?

Patrone- it's a five game sample size and you're throwing away one game like it doesn't count. Do you realize how stupid that is?


Iceman - As stupid as throwing away all of the 2011 season "before Utley got back"?

Andy, are you saying we should ignore the increased offensive production from the 2011 Phillies after Utley returned to the lineup?

Andy -

The reason to "throw away" the games before Utley came back is that there was a huge difference between the AAAA guys and Utley, who played like a 6-WAR player when he was in the lineup, and was the 3rd best hitting 2B-man in the league. It was the lineup with Utley that they took into the playoffs, and it's that lineup that we expect to see in 2012 for much more than 100 starts. Will it be 150 or 160? No. But it should be 130-140.

Granted there are other changes -- Howard won't be in the lineup to start, but they will also have Pence for the full year, left field should give you more than a .707 OPS, and the bench is better.

Now about the playoffs...

The Phillies scored 11 in 1 game, and 10 in the other 4 (2.50 per game)
The Cardinals scored 6 in 1 game, and 13 in the other 4 (3.25 per game)

I don’t see a big difference in those other four games. And people complain about the Phillies’ consistency, but in the WS St. Louis scored 26 in 2 games, and 12 in the other 5 (2.4 per game).

The point is that as bad as Phillies’ hitting was, the Cardinals’ wasn’t much better.

Just on Utley last year, he started 100 of the 116 once he returned, which extrapolates to 139.7 out of 162.

Sophist - Yeah that was Nate Silver's work while he was at Baseball Prospectus. It hasn't faired as well in recent years though if I recall correctly and been little better than random chance with know real predictive power.

AWH: Fla isn't high on my list, but if I was signing a $36million dollar contract, the woes of foreclosures wouldn't be something worrying me (yet). I'd be living it up in South Beach.

BedBeard, me too. I was just taking a cheap shot at Miami and the Fish. :)

I have often felt that the playoff system is very unfair to the teams who have consistently played well as opposed to the hot teams in September. So for example the Phils for all their flaws won 102 games last year and deserved a better fate than a first round bounce. Since we are on the topic of playoffs and I know MLB is considering changing it and increasing the number of teams. I think it would be much more fair if the season ended on labor day and a new season would start with a single league for the NL and another for the AL of all the teams that played above 500 ball. They would all player each other in 3 game series and the winner would play in the WS. The advantage to this in my opinion is to iron out the inherent match up mismatches between teams and cut down on the hot ones as well as the disadvantage of being in a strong or weak division.
So last year the playoffs would have been as follows:
NL
Philadelphia
Atlanta
Milwaukee
St. Louis
Arizona
SF

AL
NY
Boston
TB
Detroit
CSOx
Cleveland
Texas
LAA

MG - Secret sauce was right 54% of the time from 06-09 and, so BP decided to "retire" it since it was little better than a coin flip. Seems like a funny reason to toss it, poor performance over a 4 year period, but that was at least the pretext.

I meant to say 3 game series in each home.

Iceman~ It's not stupid when the statement is made that outscored the Cards in the series and lost. That's a fact yes. but it points out they didn't do enough hitting ourside of the first 2 games to win the series. It dosen't matter how small the sample size is. Lots of teams get outscored in series and lose. You could win game 1 13-2, and the lose the next 3 games 3-2. You score 19-runs anveraging almost 5 runs per game in a 4 games, but you don't win.

Why is this so hard for any of you who criticize me to understand? The bottom line is they got 2 years in a row by teams that had no business beating them, regardless of how it happened.

Amaro said they have to have a different approach and I agree, but did nothing to offer a different offensive approach.

DPatrone, what I dont' understand is what you mean by teams that "had no business beating them."

Is it that unusual for the worse team to win a 3 or 4-game series?

Why would it be so surprising in a 5 or 7-game series?

Especially when the "worse" team is, after all, good enough to win 85-90 games and get to the postseason.

"it's a five game sample size and you're throwing away one game like it doesn't count."

On substantive grounds, I cannot defend any argument that uses a 4-game sample size as its point of reference. On procedural grounds, I offer these 2 defenses of DPatrone's argument. First, he wasn't offering the 4-game sample size as proof that the Cardinals are better than the Phillies. He was responding to awh's argument that the Phillies out-scored both the Giants & Cardinals in their playoff series.

Second -- and this is the more important point -- there is this stat called "median" that we all learned about in, oh, maybe 5th or 6th grade. Most stats people (and I have a whole family of them) seem to think that it's often a more reliable indicator than mean (average). Why is it that all we ever hear about on Beerleaguer is average, and we never, ever hear the term "median?" My strong suspicion is that it's because: (1) median is a pain in the ass to figure out; you actually have to go back and count up all the data; and (2) median is more diffficult to manipulate than mean. For instance, if you use median, you are stuck with the fact that the Phillies finished 7th in the league in runs scored last year, or that the Cardinals scored a median of 5 runs per game in the NLDS, while the Phillies scored only 3.

RK: The fairest system was the one in use before 1969: 2 leagues, no divisions. The World Series pitted the 2 teams who finished with the best regular season record in each league. That, of course, will never happen again because the more playoff series there are, the more money MLB (and the individual teams) can make. And, in truth, there IS something to be said about the excitement of October baseball.

My own preference would be to go back to the pre-Wild Card system, where there were 4 divisions and 4 playoff teams. That system, in my opinion, struck the perfect balance between fairness and the excitement of having more playoff series. Although it still resulted in the occasional flukey winner (like the 1973 NL champion Mets, who were barely a .500 team), the flukes were a lot less frequent than under today's system.

DPat - Both of those teams went on to win the World Series though. I don't know how you can say they had no business beating the Phils. They obviously did what they had to do to win, and beat other very good teams in the process. Give credit where credit is due.

The problem with your line of thinking regarding the "offensive adjustments" is that you contradict yourself. You say that they didn't do much outside of those first two games, but the fact remains that their offense was better than each of their opponents. If "offensive adjustments" need to be made, what exactly are they? Over a 5/6 game span they outscored the Cardinals and the Giants. You can't teach situational hitting. You can't teach how to dink and dunk on Cliff Lee. The only thing you can do is load up and hope for the best in the postseason. The Phils have done this for 5 straight years now.

The formula is just to get to the darn postseason. No amount of adjustments can be made to guarantee victory in the postseason. That's why you have David Freese winning a WS MVP or Cody Ross taking Doc deep twice.

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