Thursday, August 2, 2007

someone please slap dayn perry

and not just for the way he spells his first name. i'm more referring to reasons like what he says in his latest article (in which he proposes a new triple crown for baseball):

As you know, a hitter wins the Triple Crown when he leads his league in batting average, home runs and RBIs. But there are serious problems with two of these measures. To wit, batting average makes no account for power or reaching base by means other than a hit, and RBI as a stat is so context-dependent that it's all but useless. Fortunately, there is a better way.

What you need in a Triple Crown are three measures that demonstrate a player's efficiency at the plate, his power and his prowess in terms of getting on base. You also need some built-in indication of playing time. In light of those standards, a new and improved Triple Crown — using only traditional measures of offensive performance — might include OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage), total bases and times on base.

that's right. the new triple crown consists of something that's extremely strongly correlated with slugging percentage, something that's extremely strongly correlated with on base percentage, and something that you get by adding on base percentage and slugging percentage together. this is like saying the NBA should have a "triple crown of rebounding", with the three categories in question being rebounds per game, total defensive rebounds, and total offensive rebounds. brilliant, dayn. brilliant. why would he choose these 3 pretty much equivalent categories?

With that in mind, let's take a look at our chances of seeing the NITC achieved in 2007. In the NL, there's no one with any serious designs on the honor. In the AL, however, we might be in business: at this writing, Alex Rodriguez paces the junior circuit in OPS and total bases, and he's tied with teammate Derek Jeter for the lead in times on base. So he's got a very real shot at winning the NITC.

oh. well that explains it. how convenient that dayn came up with this dumb idea, and it just so happens that a guy who's a media lightning rod (no pun intended) just happens to be having a season that coincides nicely with said idea. hey, i've got a great idea for another NITC: you can win this one by having the most home runs in your league as a rookie shortstop, turning the most unassisted triple plays, and having the most home runs in road games that put your team ahead in the 7th inning or later but in games your team ended up losing. well looky here. with 12, 1, and 3 of those (respectively), my boy troy tulowitzki of the colorado rockies is on the verge of winning it! it's baseball history in the making, folks.


Chris Hart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Hart said...

Actually Larry, stop being so dumb. RBIs are a joke. I laugh so hard whenever I hear idiots on TV or radio even mention it. People like that are so ignorant. Batting average? HA! I don't want my players to hit. I want them to get on base. Situational hitting is something made up to trick fools into thinking they know baseball. I don't care if the guy hits a 2-out RBI single. Where's the power? The triple crown should be made up of WARP3 (WARP1 is for 2nd graders), FRAR2, and some other stat nobody else has ever fucking heard about. Better yet, make that last stat be something about how close the player came to reaching his projections... no, that won't do, PECOTA is always +/- 93.4% right (btw, Tulowitzki's triple play projection has those stats coming down, so don't get too excited).


larry b said...

whoa whoa whoa. easy there. this could get ugly... what does pnoles have to say?

Chris W said...

for pitchers, I would propose a triple crown that would be made up of:

Lowest ERA, Most Innings Pitched, and Least Earned Runs Given Up.


Wins, Most Games Pitched in Which Your Team Wins, Best Run Support/Runs Given Up Ratio

pnoles said...

I think Chris Hart should be hired by!

Actually, in all seriousness, here's my response.

Chris Hart,

I'll spare you the sarcasm. I see where you're coming from, believe it or not. I'm probably the most SABR-obsessed of the writers here, but I still understand the problem that most people have with sabermetrics. They aren't familiar and easy to understand, coupled with the fact that most people see no problem with the straightforward stats like BA and RBI.

Truth be told, there isn't anything wrong with batting average, RBIs, HR totals, walk totals, or stolen base totals. Each of these things tell you something important about a player, and there is no reason to just dismiss them as useless.

Sabermetrics merely build off of these numbers and go a step further. Stats like EqA simply encompass all those different aspects of a player's offense into one convenient number that represents "total offensive production per out recorded". VORP uses these familiar statistics to approximate how many runs a player is worth to his team over what the average AAA guy that could fill his defensive position is worth. And WARPs do the same for wins, including defense.

The purpose of sabermetrics is not to get familiar stats out of the game, it's more to provide a good way to compare how valuable different players are. For example, sabermetrics explain why batting average / on base machine Derek Jeter was a better MVP choice than power-hitter Justin Morneau was last season.

If you don't want to think of the game and evaluate players in terms of sabermetrics, that's just fine. I can almost guarantee you that a triple crown winner will be at the top of the charts in EqA as well. Conventional stats and sabermetric stats are two steps to telling the same story. The former answers "what has this guy done?", the latter answers "how valuable is what this guy has done?" I don't have a problem with people who don't embrace sabermetrics. I have a problem with people who dismiss them as stupid and useless. In the future, please be careful, else you will start to sound a lot like this douchebag

larry b said...

pnoles, don't act like jeter was a clear cut mvp choice over morneau. it's certainly up for debate. i personally think the voters got it right.

Chris W said...

morneau was a joke as an mvp.

even if you look at his traditional statistics, he didn't have great numbers.

plus even if you look at it from a purely anecdotal "how important was he to his team", morneau was probably the 4th or 5th most important member of the twins behind

1.) santana
2.) liriano
3.) mauer
4.) debatably joe nathan

jeter singlehandedly carried the yankees to contention through much of last year....

pnoles said...

Larry....not even sure if you're joking or not. I'll quote this directly from Baseball Prospectus 2007, under the description of "Justin Morneau"

"Look, it's not his fault the voters got it wrong."

Probably the biggest thing Jeter had going for him was that he was putting up that kind of offensive production as a shortstop, rather than a 1B. In addition to playing a tougher defensive position, Jeter was a better fielder relative to other SS than Morneau was relative to other 1B.

Chris W said...

jeter hit .343 at SHORTSTOP

he had 14 HR at SHORTSTOP

larry b said...

keep in mind, we're just talking about the 2006 AL MVP here. if we're talking about which twin i would start a team with i go with mauer or maybe liriano. but we're talking about the award, and unlike you guys, i tend to take a pretty antiquated view of it. i think usually it should go to a guy with good power/rbi numbers on a team that either makes the playoffs or barely misses them. it's silly, i know... but when i think "MVP", that's what i think. additionally, except in very rare circumstances, i also don't think pitchers should win it. santana was amazing last year... but not like ridiuclously amazing (like pedro martinez in 1998). so him and liriano and nathan are out. that just leave him and mauer, and that's where my prehistoric bias towards big power numbers comes in. so that settles him being the most valuable twin (as the "MVP" criteria in my brain dictate it). then, comparing him against jeter... i mean, what chris w says about jeter "carrying the team" is certainly hyperbole. that lineup was amazing. they scored 930 runs. every regular except andy phillips OPS+ed 100 or above. arod was at 140. cano was at 130something. giambi was at 154. abreu in limited action was ridiculous. everyone in that lineup mashed. meanwhile, while morneau's numbers werent really super duper spectacular by "traditional" MVP standards, "only" 34 bombs and 130 something RBI, i feel like without him the twins would have suffered much more than the yankees would have suffered wihtout jeter. look at that twins lineup- only mauer, morneau, hunter, and cuddyer OPS+ed over 100. they really depended on him as a big hitter. it's all cliches, it's all coming straight out of my ass, and its mostly dependant on "antiquated" thinking about player value (more HR = better!). but for whatever reason, and maybe its related to the fact that i picked him up in early june and he carried my fantasy team to a league title, i gotta say, i'm a morneau supporter. call it what you will. i'm going to lunch.

ps if jeter got AIDS, id throw 2 parades (from a song written by chris hart)

Chris W said...

so essentially your argument for morneau is

a.) the twins made the playoffs
b.) morneau had all right rbi and power numbers
c.) morneau had an all right BA
d.) santana, despite being more valuable to his team than morneau, is a pitcher and therefore can't win unless he's amazing
e.) santana wasn't amazing
f.) mauer, despite being much better at a much difficult position didn't have the power numbers

therefore, somehow, morneau deserves the mvp :rolleyes:

I hate Jeter, but he, Ortiz, or even Manny deserved the MVP last year.

Chris W said...

furthermore my comment about him carrying it was deliberately anecdotal, but if you remember the early part of last season, Jeter was absolutely the only player hitting well.

They turned it on as a team in the second half...but they wouldn't have been in first place at that point if Jeter hadn't played so consistently well all year.

That is completely anecdotal, but I'm acknowledging the three schools of thought on the MVP (one of which being anecdotal "most valuable to his team" bullshit)and claiming that not under any of the qualifications was Morneau more valuable.

Another player who should have won:


Chris W said...

one more thing larry:


One more time


pnoles said...

Pronk was absolutely amazing last year. He was so good that I'll say that it was only the September injury, not the fact that the Indians sucked, that he did not legitimately deserve the award.

Oh yeah, and another thing Larry. Derek Jeter was on your fantasy team last year, and I'll just about guarantee that he did as much, if not more for your fantasy team than Morneau did (even IF only for the reason he was on it all year)

larry b said...

chris- yes, re: your letterized list of my logic, that is how i think. but once more just to clarify- that is how i think when you ask me who i think the "MVP" should be. furthermore, re: jeter and his "consistent, calm-eyed" year long performance, go here and check out the yankees' month by month splits. they were pretty consistent, offensively, throughout. go look at individual players if you want- giambi had a ridiuclous april (1.400 OPS), arod had a huge may. nothing ive seen supports your assertion that jeter carried the team. in fact, he was very pedestrian in may (.730 OPS). so- drop your anecdote. it sucks.

pnoles- the thing about morneau was that i got him as a free agent, like, THE day he started mashing. and jeter was my 5th or 6th round draft choice. so while the captain was a big contributor, i had to pay to get him. the canadian (that's morneau's new nickname, he won it off eric gagne in an ice fishing contest) was free.

larry b said...

also, re hafner and ortiz, i am biased against DHs. just another little agonizing part of my stupid "MVP" criteria. what can i say. although i wouldnt have liked hafner as a candidate even if he played 1B because of the injury. ortiz is a different story, but, like i said... you don't play the field, it's a much tougher sell.

Chris W said...

so playing a meaningless position poorly is the difference, huh

since morneau plays a position a monkey can play and he does it well below league average, that gives him the edge over people putting up vastly superior #'s?

larry b said...

you're right, it is a meaningless position, which is why it matters less if you're bad at it. being a below average SS (like jeter) means something. being a below average 1B means much less. the fact is, morneau isn't a butcher to the point that they have to relegate him to the DH spot. this gives them some flexibility; should they have a guy come through their farm system who really is a true DH like hafner or ortiz, they won't have to figure out what to do with him. and even if they don't, it gives them flexibility on a day-to-day basis in drawing up the lineup. if mauer or hunter need a day off from playing the field, they can still bat. it really is a boost for the team.

Chris W said...

except that Jeter DIDN'T play a below-average SS.

Plus just because a player is a DH doesn't mean that it's because he's any worse a fielder than a player who plays 1B for another team. It may just mean that they

a.) have a better option at 1B (which the Twins do not--they barely have anyone to fill the 9 non-dh positions)

b.) feel the player is so valuable that they don't want to risk injury

c.) find that he is the best at playing DH on the team--many players find playing DH difficult because it forces you to dwell on mistakes--strike outs, mishit balls, etc.

Even though Frank Thomas performed well at DH, his #'s were much better when he was actually playing 1B and he actually begged to play. He never did because his tricep tear rendered his already weak throwing arm useless, but still--the point remains...DH isn't a position everyone will excel at.

pnoles said...

Agreed with Chris W. Jeter used to be a dismal defensive shortstop, but he's improved a lot, and from 2005 on, his glove has been more of an asset than a liability, sitting at +22 FRAA over 2005-2007. +22 FRAA at shortstop is has Juan Uribe beat by 9 over that time span, a player who is still in the major leagues because the White Sox are obsessed with his glovework.

Chris W said...

but to be fair juribe's zone rating's better than Jeter's. I don't quite buy's very hard to accurately gauge

Chris W said...

^^^i realize the last phrase of that sentence makes no sense.

What I mean is I think the amount of runs "prevented" isn't as easy to establish as FRAA makes it out to be.

pnoles said...

Yeah, fielding stats are sketchy at best. I've seen a rough formula for FRAA and it seems overly dependent on how many balls get hit to a specific player. Infielders with a pitching staff that get more ground balls are likely to have their FRAA boosted, which might have people misconstrue just how good they are.

Still, here are Jeter's FRAA since 1999, in order.

-16, -21, -20, -21, -20, -5, 11, 7, 4

I think we all can agree that he's stepped up his defensive game a lot.

eriz said...

if I'm peter king, I'm really craving a FRAApacinno right now. A low fat, caramel, no whip one at that

pnoles said...