Saturday, July 28, 2007

A quick question to ponder...

I know this has nothing to do with sports journalism, but I want to ask a question to fjm readers (all 5 of you). Seeing as Barry Bonds is on the verge of matching Hammerin' Hank's 755 HRs, the old question pops back up "why don't you just walk the guy every time he comes up?"

His season OPS is 1.073. Walking him every single time he comes up assures you an OPS of 1.000. He's a below average baserunner, and a massive threat as slugger. Aren't you as a manager, decreasing risk from Bonds by just walking him, even with the bases loaded? OPS seems to say that for every time he shows up at the plate, he's worth more than a single base; this advantage is furthered, one would think, by the fact that walking Bonds can only move baserunners up by one base at most. This contrasts with the multiple bases earned by most baserunners on a good majority of singles. I'm not suggesting a conclusion either way, it's just something that I'm curious what serious Baseball statheads think.

edit: just to clarify, I do realize his eqa would be at least a dumbfounding 1.500 (higher if he sucessfully steals bases)

8 comments:

pnoles said...

Nope...I disagree. And here's why.

OPS doesn't merely add walks to total bases and divide by plate appearances. If the portion of OBP that was represented by walks/HBP was isolated, and added to SLG, and that number turned out to be greater than 1.000, then you would be right.

The problem is that OPS is on-base percentage plus slugging percentage. All base hits are counted twice in this formula (a single boosts your total bases AND the amount of times you reach base by one) Therefore, saying that he has an OPS greater than 1.000 is not the same as saying "he averages more than one base per plate appearance"

Right now, Bonds has 245 total bases and 349 plate appearances. So he's worth like 0.7 bases per plate appearance. Walking him every time would increase his production, even given the weakness of the rest of the Giants' lineup.

This however, was a good illustration of a major flaw of OPS in evaluating the productivity of a hitter (although it's way better than most everything the mainstream uses)

eriz said...

aha... yeah that makes perfect sense. I still think it would be super cool if everybody just walked him out of principal, because he is a giant douche.

larry b said...

eriz, i think you mean "principle." the one you used is the term to describe the person who runs a elementary, middle, or high school in the united states. remember, spell that one principal because they're your "pal"! just wanted to point out that i remember that stupidass distinction.

Chris W said...

larrence:

i bet you were sent to the principal's office a lot as a child because your principles held you to be a huge douchebag

eriz said...

your a jerk larry

eriz said...

and yes that mistake was on puropse mr. smartypants'

eriz said...

if people actually start reading this site, they'll be all like "gosh, i hate firejaymariotti.blogspot.com. there really dumb over they're. They don't even know how to right."

dan-bob said...

Fuck this discussion.

- English teacher