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Posts posted by Frobby

  1. Nice article about how the Diamondbacks are 20 games over .500 despite being outscored by their opponents.


    So, there's this guy, name of Pythagoras, who's been going around bad-mouthing the Arizona Diamondbacks. Says they're a fluke, that they should have a losing record -- that, matter of fact, they should be scratching and clawing just to stay out of last place, instead of preparing to clinch the National League West title. Well, word has gotten back to the Diamondbacks about this character, and let's just say if they came across him, they'd be liable to punch him in the hypotenuse.

    "Pythagoras?" said rookie center fielder Chris Young, when apprised of the verbal potshots. At age 23, Young is not that far removed from 10th-grade algebra. "You mean like the Pythagorean Theorem?"

    Precisely. That's the guy.

    Now, if you're getting confused as to what Pythagoras, a sixth-century B.C. Greek philosopher best known for inventing the theorem showing the relationship between the lengths of the sides of a triangle, has to do with the Diamondbacks, follow along closely:

    Several years ago, Bill James, the noted statistician and founder of the modern sabermetric movement, developed a formula showing the correlation between a team's winning percentage and its ratio of runs scored to runs allowed. Because it involved math similar to that of Pythagoras's formula, he dubbed the product the "Pythagorean winning percentage" -- which, in a nutshell, equals a team's runs squared divided by the square of its runs plus the square of its runs allowed.

    And because the Diamondbacks, despite being 20 games above .500 (88-68) entering Tuesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, actually have been outscored by their opponents by 14 runs this season -- for reasons we will attempt to explain later -- their Pythagorean winning percentage (.487) and their actual winning percentage (.564) are at odds with each other in a way rarely seen in history.

    "It just shows," Young said, "you can't put this game into a math equation."

  2. I absolutely have considered your question about the last 9 outs in Yankee Stadium being the toughest in baseball.

    Here are the possible explanations I have come up with:

    * The Yankees have more talented players than their opponents.

    * The Yankees have more experienced players that handle the pressure better than their opponents.

    * The Yankees have more patient hitters that work the count and control the strikezone as well as anyone.

    * The Yankees have a stadium that is always full, and fans that are raucous, placing even greater pressure on the visiting team while fiing up the home team.

    * The Yankees have one of the best managers in the game.

    I also considered your explanation:

    * The umpires want the Yankees to win.

    I like any/all of mine better.

    First of all, all the reasons you gave are completely legitimate.

    However, I think you mischaracterize the other reason. It's not that the umps want the Yankees to win, it's that hitters who have a longstanding reputation of being patient tend to get the borderline calls, and the environment you describe in Yankee Stadium also influences the umpires on the borderline calls. It's nothing nefarious, it is human nature and it goes on in every sport.

  3. Look behind Moose, and you'll see there aren't many 250-game winners coming down the pike. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/W_active.shtml

    Although there are some others who have a shot at it, it isn't far-fetched to say that it could be 10 years before anyone else reaches 250. The best candidates out there are probably Moyer (229 wins at age 44), Pedro Martinez (209 wins at age 35), and Andy Pettitte (200 wins at age 35). Any of them could make it, but none of them are a sure thing.

  4. I never said anything personal about anyone. I am just wondering where this justification of wins or not quitting comes from. I don't think a few wins this week changes anything about the team quitting. They've obviously fallen off the cliff and have become the same pitiful season-ending team they've always been.

    To say they haven't quit is also another unsubstantiated claim. We don't know whats going on in the clubhouse but reading headlines from different sources, it sounds like a lot of negative stuff is happening. As for last night, even bad teams are going to get wins every now and then, especially when they come against mediocre/bad teams like the Blue Jays and Rangers.

    The O's could win the rest of their games and they would still have a horrible record since the 30-3 loss. That to me says they've quit as a team. There are going to be times they get some wins. Even the 2002 team managed to scrape out 4 wins out of their final 36.

    I am sorry I can't be a positive person when talking about anything that doesn't have to do with the future.

    No, you didn't say anything personal about anyone. This thread (and my earlier comment) wasn't directed at you, but at other posters who launched into diatribes about how the whole team had quit or how certain players had quit.

    However, the comments above indicate that you do believe that the team has quit since the 30-3 loss. And I simply disagree. The team's terrible record since then is, in my opinion, largely due to a string of injuries to the pitching staff, poor performance by their replacements, and the fact that the team is devoting at least some of its AB's to players it wants to look at next year. It is not because the players aren't trying as hard as they can. In my opinion, if anything I see too many players pressing, not the opposite.

    I understand your point about the future being the most important thing; in fact, I agree with it wholeheartedly. But when I am watching as baseball game, I'm still rooting for my team to win. That's the way I'm wired.

  5. But whats the point of saying the team hasn't quit?

    The point is, I don't like it when people make personal accusations that are not justified, whether those accusations are leveled at me personally or at someone else. This has nothing to do with getting the no. 1 pick, or how good or bad the team is. When someone says the team (or a certain player) has quit, in my opinion that's a very serious charge.

  6. You have a pretty loose definition of "meaningless," by the way. So any win that doesn't vault the team into pennant contention is "meaningless"? Tell that to fans that buy tickets to see the game. Tell that to fans who spend 3 hours watching the game. Tell them it's "meaningless." If people are going to spend time watching a game, they want to see a win.

    It's easy for someone who doesn't follow the team except through box scores to call wins "meaningless," but there are many, many O's fans who aren't as detached from the team as you are.

    I understand NMS's point, I just don't like the way he expresses it. I think we'd all agree that we'd rather have the number 1 pick than have 1 or 2 extra wins. But that doesn't mean that we can sit there and watch our team play and root for them to lose. Or at least, I can't. And I certainly don't want to see players who aren't trying to win.

  7. This has to be a joke. One fluke inning and they havent quit? They still want to get hits, pad their stats, etc.

    Frobby, after that Yankee series you come with this?

    So let me see, the O's lose three road games to a vastly superior team, which is trying to win its 10th consecutive division title and has won 12 of its last 14 games, and from that I am suppposed to draw the conclusion that the O's have quit?

    Anybody who watched the opening game of that series knows the Orioles haven't quit. They got way behind early but kept scratching and clawing to try to get back in that game, getting the game to within 8-5 and leaving the bases loaded three times in the 6th, 7th and 9th.

    They have won 4 of their last 8 games, 7 of which were on the road. They most definitely have not quit.

    They just aren't a very good team, especially with Bedard, Guthrie and several other pitchers out.

  8. If you are willing to concede and accept an umpire accuracy rate below 100%, then this is precisely the type of call you should expect will occasionally be missed.

    I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone here.

    I have gone back to look at the play again after reading your post. I do think that the perception that Roberts was past the bag is an illusion, caused by the angle of ARod's throw and the fact that Mentkiewicz was stretched far to the home plate side of 1B. It was a closer play than it appeared at first. Nevertheless, I still don't judge this to be as close a play as you do. I'd say umps get this one right 19 times out of 20.

  9. Past the base? Seriously?

    You must be looking at a different play. The one I saw was as close as can be, and you'd have to see the thing a few times just to be convinced Roberts actually was safe. And he most certainly was not "past the base" when the ball arrived. That's flat out ludicrous.

    Well, you can see the play right here on this thread. I didn't see the game last night, but the ump's call was clearly wrong, and it wasn't particularly close. "As close as can be?" Not hardly. "Past the base" might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure doesn't take super slo-mo to see the runner was safe.

  10. The fans have every right.

    Sure they do. It doesn't mean they will accomplish anything positive by exercising that right.

    Last year's protest, IMO, served a purpose. I don't think this one does. But if some fans want to protest, they certainly are entitled to do so.

  11. This time I have to say -- what's the point?

    The team increased payroll by $15-20 mm last year. They've hired a new GM who, it appears, will have more independence than the old regime.

    I don't see what a protest is going to accomplish other than to give fans an opportunity to vent. But more likely its just going to create more negative impressions that will serve no one.

  12. Now do the park adjustment. Look at what Pedroia does at home and away. The difference is huge. .756 OPS away from home. Fenway is a huge part of his game. Now put Roberts in Fenway. If we are doing comparisons, you have to take that into account. The only reason these to players look close is between Fenway boosts Pedroia numbers greatly.

    You are overrating the imporatance of Fenway. Pedroia has an OPS+ (which is park-adjusted ) of 116, while Roberts is at 115.

    Now do the "age 23 adjustment." Brian was 23 in 2001, when he hit .253/.284/.341 in 273 AB, an OPS+ of 70. He never put up even a .756 OPS (Pedroia's away number), or had an OPS+ over 100, until he was 27 years old. Chances are pretty good that Pedroia is going to be better than Roberts.

  13. Just to look at the offensive numbers and say Boston is so much greater ignores the all around games of Roberts and Miggy.

    Miggy is far better than Lugo, but Roberts has not been far better than ROY candidate Pedroia.

    Roberts: .291/.379/.436

    Pedroia: .322/.385/.443

    Roberts: .990 fielding %, .820 ZR

    Pedroia: .990 fielding %, .833 ZR

    Brian has the edge, for now, because he has stolen 44 bases to Pedroia's 6. But Pedroia just turned 24 last month, and he is just going to get better with experience.

  14. This may be the best thing said in this long thread. The reality is that they are all tools to be used to evaluate a prospect in the hopes that he will perform in the big leagues to as close as possible to his expectations.

    Well, there is an interesting philosophical question here that underlies many, many discussions we have on this board: are you better off just playing the statistical odds as you see them, or are you better off trying to distinguish the exceptions.

    Let me explain. Assume there are two players. One falls into a series of statistical categorties that, without any other input, would lead you to believe that he has a 65% chance of being a successful major leaguer. The other fits into a series of categories that, without more, would lead you to believe that he has only a 35% chance of success.

    One school of thought says, always prefer Player 1 to Player 2. In the long run, you will make mistakes, but you will be right more often than you will be wrong. You will get more hits than misses.

    The other school of thought says, look at other stuff and try to sort the 65% of Type A who will be successful from the 35 % who won't be. And try to pick out the 35% of Type B who will be successful and give them a shot.

    I would say the Orioles are definitely in the second school of thought. A lot of the critics on this board are in the first school. Which is better? Well, let's just say that whatever the Orioles have been doing, it hasn't been working.

  15. This team already has the star players.

    No we don't.

    Boston has 4 players who have a higher OPS than anyone on the Orioles. New York has 3. Toronto has 3. Even Tampa has 2.

    We can expect Markakis to continue to improve and that's about it.

    To be competitive in the AL East, your top 3 players had better average around .900 OPS, not .825 like the Orioles.

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