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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I came about 1 ft away from catching a McGwire HR ball back during his 70 HR season. We were seated in LF at the Vet in the front row above the concourse and the ball was tracking right towards my glove...literally didnt have to move an inch...then it glanced off that wire mesh overhang that comes down from the upper deck seats and went just out of reach onto the concourse below where about 50 fans beat the piss out of each other to get it. I could have done an atomic pile driver over the railing to get the ball but at that point I just let it go.

So damn close to getting a HR ball...literally just out of reach from my outstretched glove over the railing...oh well.

Phlipper, no one who understands BAbip attributes it solely to "luck".

This is a very good article addressing that exact response:

I would group the high SO/9 guy with the guy or women who would give the kid the ball and the contact pitcher with the ball keepers and the crying kid. Less hassle and more efficient with the former and way too much trouble with the latter.

"Which is why no matter what sabermetricians might say, when a pitcher gets hammered (gives up a lot of hard hit balls), saying that the resultant BABIP is merely a matter of luck will never be sufficient explanation. Thus, working backwards, determining "luck" by virtue of an unqualified extrapolation from BABIP (as we saw with Hamels a couple of years back), seems ill-advised.

"The batters single most operative goal is to hit the ball hard. Not necessarily for a homer, but to make solid contact. Of course, it doesn't stand out as the only goal - placement is also a goal, as would sometimes simply making contact, or fouling a pitch off, etc. Any analysis of a pitcher w/o measuring the ratio of how many times that pitcher gives up a hard hit ball - independent of the actual outcome (base hit, caught liner, etc.) is lacking."

Phlipper - Amen.

Not that I want to perpetuate the discussion but, it bears noting that the ball in question was not a foul ball caught by the alleged 'worst person in the world'. It was tossed into the stands by a player, who presumably preferred it go to a kid or a hottie, and not the overgrown juvenile at issue.

Phlipper right that such a measurement is lacking, and once the measurement that fully accounts for how hard balls are hit is available, we'll have to do with what we have.

The question then becomes, of the measurement currently available, which is the least lacking. DIPs theory measurement are far better than ERA and the like for predictive value. ERa is sufficient enough for descriptive value.

Fata - Hasn't Tom Tango shown that RA is just as effective a predictor as DIPS?

"Strikeouts are very important when judging a pitcher."

Evaluating past performance or predicting future performance? We must remember they are two different things.

Hugh: I've seen Victorino at least once or twice throw a ball into the stands, have it snatched by an adult, and then signal to the guy to give it to a kid.

clout: I think your Ludwick/Howard point is very disingenuous. The year Ludwick hit 37 HR with a .375 OBP was a total anomaly in the context of his career, but you would agree he was very valuable that year, right?

WAR does not say Ryan Ludwick is better than Ryan Howard, it says Ryan Ludwick's '08 season was better than Ryan Howard's '08 season.

Yo, new thread

Yo, new thread.

DH Phils - Victorino rolled a ball to my daughter after the game on Easter. Since she ignored it, I grabbed it for her while she went on about ice cream or something. He didn't respond to my request that the team win the series in Pittsburgh next year.

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