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View Full Version : Attention Mauer Haters!



Fire Dan Gladden
06-30-2012, 09:15 PM
Joe is now 5th in the AL in batting and 1st in OBP.

He is also 2nd among all catchers in BA, 2B, OBP, and OPS (thanks to the currently godlike Carlos Ruiz). He is 3rd in walks and... wait for it... AB!

C'mon haters, bring it on!

CK
06-30-2012, 09:22 PM
But he makes 23 million and is too laid back.
LOLz. Couldn't kee a straight face. Go, Joe!

greengoblinrulz
06-30-2012, 09:42 PM
not at all a Mauer hater, WAY more of a fan...but cannot stand that he cannot hit for extra base power (NOT homeruns...doubles).
Hard to complain right now, but his ISO of .123 is atrocious.
Stay healthy & catch more. A singles hitting batting champ is something Id give up for an everyday catcher

John Bonnes
06-30-2012, 10:18 PM
Earlier today I tweeted that I'm as optimistic about Mauer as I've been in years. But before we get too carried away...

Those are nice accomplishments. But his overall OPS is 865. That's a nice number, especially for a catcher.
Except that he's not a full time catcher. He has 33 starts there out of 75 games. And he has 31 starts at first base or DH.

The bottom line, I think, is this: for those that want to compare his performance to his $23M price tag, Mauer is never going to be worth it. And that's because he likely is never going to be worth it. Not unless he adds the same power he had in 2009 and gets bionic hips/knees that allow him to catch 125 times per year. If you need him to be the Baby Jesus to enjoy his game, you're going to be disappointed. You can decide if it's his or the Twins or the media's or your fault that you're disappointed.

But for those that can ignore the price tag, he's a hell of a good player most of the time, including right now. And he's also 29. If the Twins can keep him healthy, and if Mauer can keep working on his game, there could be a lot of happy days for him, the Twins and their fans ahead.

IdahoPilgrim
06-30-2012, 10:30 PM
I was driving up to the north shore on Thursday and listening on the radio; there was an interesting discussion with Jim Souhan about Mauer and Morneau, about why Mauer is hated by so many fans and why Morneau has basically gotten a pass, even though based on performance Mauer is far outstripping Morneau. Some of the conclusions/conjectures: The price tag - $14M is easier to swallow than $23M; Morneau gave the appearance of trying harder to get back on the field after injury (I emphasize appearance, not necessarily reality); and Morneau just has a more likeable personality - Mauer is more guarded with the media and just can't win people over with ease like Morneau can.

twinswon1991
06-30-2012, 10:44 PM
[QUOTE=John Bonnes;29545]Those are nice accomplishments. But his overall OPS is 865. That's a nice number, especially for a catcher.
Except that he's not a full time catcher. He has 33 starts there out of 75 games. And he has 31 starts at first base or DH. QUOTE]

Agree 100%.

greengoblinrulz
06-30-2012, 10:49 PM
I want Joe Mauer to catch.....not Mark Grace at 1B/DH----pay is secondary

stringer bell
06-30-2012, 11:05 PM
Yes, it is a conundrum. Mauer is a fine hitter for a catcher. He is merely above average if considered a first baseman/DH. It certainly appears for whatever reason that Mauer won't be able to catch 120+ games this year or in the future. It seems to me that Mauer should catch as much as he can, but he seems to suffer too many dings to catch much more than half time.

Highabove
06-30-2012, 11:21 PM
I do not believe that there are many people who actually hate Mauer. A lot of folks were angry and upset with him last year. There were plenty of reasons to be upset. Mauer is trying very hard to make amends for last year. I believe, most of the public realizes this. Most of the time when I am at Target Field, he is getting a warm reception. Folks such as Phil Mackey and Jim Souhan, will play up the (hate Joe mauer angle) They need a group that they can refer to as being " stupid, crazy and foolish idiots." They get their ammunition mostly from twitter, newspaper comments and supposedly their own emails. These outlets represent a very small portion of the Twins Fan Base.

glunn
07-01-2012, 12:48 AM
I was frustrated by what seemed like a lack of preparation and effort last year. I also would like to see Joe take more of a leadership role. But I have never been a hater.

jokin
07-01-2012, 02:53 AM
I was frustrated by what seemed like a lack of preparation and effort last year. I also would like to see Joe take more of a leadership role. But I have never been a hater.

My sentiments exactly. The catching position is a natural leadership position, unfortunately that just doesn't appear to complement Joe's natural personality, which at times, when dealing with the media, is somewhat reminiscent of the classic literary character from Gone With The Wind, the milquetoast Ashley Wilkes. It just doesn't appear in his nature to do what Puck, and to a lesser extent, Hunter, accepted naturally, ie, the willingness to put the team on his back. He was seemingly unaware that with his new contract now in effect, that more would be asked and expected of him in terms of "preparation and effort".

When he's playing near the top of his game at the plate, he's a marvel with the bat, it is somewhat reminiscent to what Rod Carew could do with the stick, without the bunting. Unfortunately, he's being paid to produce like 2009 is his normal output.

For him to come closer to justifying his contract he must 1) stay healthy, which should limit the batting slumps; 2)continue to reverse his semi-disastrous early-season GB/FB ratio (even now, still ridiculously high at 3.15 vs career 1.89); 3) which in turn, can continue to increase his slugging percentage closer back to career norms (check out Joe's 2010 stats, they almost perfectly match his career norms- 2010: 327/402/469 vs career numbers of 324/404/469), after today, Mauer's slugging % has soared significantly this month to his present season high of 448. 4) Joe has had 3 of 8 years in his career exceeding a 500 SLG %, which was accomplished w/o a drop in BA. I'd gladly trade a few points of OBA for a few more points of SLG for a player making $23 MIL and batting in the 3 spot.

I give the Twins and Mauer credit for effectuating a plan in terms of managing/limiting his catching duties in order to maximize his value at the plate. Joe's current rate of games at the catcher position relative to total games played for 2012 is only 44%. That translates out to only around 72 games at catcher for Mauer in a 162 game season and that probably is what it is for the rest of his career, which changes the valuation metrics on his contract significantly.

ofx1
07-01-2012, 03:04 AM
the bottom line, i think, is this: For those that want to compare his performance to his $23m price tag, mauer is never going to be worth it. And that's because he likely is never going to be worth it.

wtf?

buckninetyone
07-01-2012, 03:43 AM
mauer haters, or hauer maters?

rutger's single, y'all.

FrodaddyG
07-01-2012, 03:49 AM
mauer haters, or hauer maters?

rutger's single, y'all.
Finally, Buck posts. Something to look forward to.

Shane Wahl
07-01-2012, 09:41 AM
I have been ridiculed for thinking that FanGraphs "value" is useful at all, but it is at $10.6 million right now.

Twins Fan From Afar
07-01-2012, 10:37 AM
I have been ridiculed for thinking that FanGraphs "value" is useful at all, but it is at $10.6 million right now.

I have also used that in a couple prior blog posts on Mauer. I don't put much stock in it, but it's just another "tool" in the arsenal to compare players.

woolhouse
07-01-2012, 10:46 AM
Whenever I want to complain about him leading the league in GIDP, I just have to remind myself: so did Kirby Puckett most years.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 10:46 AM
For Mauer to be loved again... All he has to do is
Hit around .330 like he's doing and add about 22 more dingers each year.

Oh yeah... Stay Healthy and if he does get hurt... make sure that everyone can see a big ace bandage wrapped around the injury for the duration. At least limp.

Stop selling Shampoo and only endorse Grain Belt or other truly Minnesota companies.

If Mauer does all of that. He will be loved again.

Seth Stohs
07-01-2012, 10:58 AM
The bottom line, I think, is this: for those that want to compare his performance to his $23M price tag, Mauer is never going to be worth it. And that's because he likely is never going to be worth it. Not unless he adds the same power he had in 2009 and gets bionic hips/knees that allow him to catch 125 times per year. If you need him to be the Baby Jesus to enjoy his game, you're going to be disappointed. You can decide if it's his or the Twins or the media's or your fault that you're disappointed.

But for those that can ignore the price tag, he's a hell of a good player most of the time, including right now. And he's also 29. If the Twins can keep him healthy, and if Mauer can keep working on his game, there could be a lot of happy days for him, the Twins and their fans ahead.

This says it perfectly. I say just enjoy how good he is. The money is spent... It's guaranteed. Just enjoy having one of the greats of the game, rather than always having to put it up against something else.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 11:02 AM
Whenever I want to complain about him leading the league in GIDP, I just have to remind myself: so did Kirby Puckett most years.

I'll probably get blasted for saying this but Joe Mauer is a better baseball player than Kirby Puckett.

He's not a perfect baseball player but it looks like he's turning the corner again and he's not putting the ball on the ground so often in the past six weeks. He'll always GIDP a fair amount because he hits the ball on the ground a lot, he's relatively slow, he makes a ton of contact, and the Twins have decent OBP guys in front of him who don't hit for much power (meaning that if they're on base, it's probably only first base).

I don't care if Joe hits a ton of home runs. His real value is in spraying the ball all over the place and hitting the gaps fairly routinely. He's doing that again which gives me hope for his future level of play.

edit: I thought I better check the splits on this and Joe was killing worms in June. Meh. That's disappointing.

boney
07-01-2012, 11:15 AM
[QUOTE=rocketpig;29622]I'll probably get blasted for saying this but Joe Mauer is a better baseball player than Kirby Puckett.



I'm not the one to blast anyone on here but what do you consider Mauer better at other than career avg.

cr9617
07-01-2012, 11:36 AM
My sentiments exactly. The catching position is a natural leadership position, unfortunately that just doesn't appear to complement Joe's natural personality, which at times, when dealing with the media, is somewhat reminiscent of the classic literary character from Gone With The Wind, the milquetoast Ashley Wilkes. It just doesn't appear in his nature to do what Puck, and to a lesser extent, Hunter, accepted naturally, ie, the willingness to put the team on his back. He was seemingly unaware that with his new contract now in effect, that more would be asked and expected of him in terms of "preparation and effort".

When he's playing near the top of his game at the plate, he's a marvel with the bat, it is somewhat reminiscent to what Rod Carew could do with the stick, without the bunting. Unfortunately, he's being paid to produce like 2009 is his normal output.

For him to come closer to justifying his contract he must 1) stay healthy, which should limit the batting slumps; 2)continue to reverse his semi-disastrous early-season GB/FB ratio (even now, still ridiculously high at 3.15 vs career 1.89); 3) which in turn, can continue to increase his slugging percentage closer back to career norms (check out Joe's 2010 stats, they almost perfectly match his career norms- 2010: 327/402/469 vs career numbers of 324/404/469), after today, Mauer's slugging % has soared significantly this month to his present season high of 448. 4) Joe has had 3 of 8 years in his career exceeding a 500 SLG %, which was accomplished w/o a drop in BA. I'd gladly trade a few points of OBA for a few more points of SLG for a player making $23 MIL and batting in the 3 spot.

I give the Twins and Mauer credit for effectuating a plan in terms of managing/limiting his catching duties in order to maximize his value at the plate. Joe's current rate of games at the catcher position relative to total games played for 2012 is only 44%. That translates out to only around 72 games at catcher for Mauer in a 162 game season and that probably is what it is for the rest of his career, which changes the valuation metrics on his contract significantly.

Right on

I would say the main reason his popularity has taken such a big hit, is this: He and his agent used the Hometown angle to squeeze every nickle out of the Twins that they could. They knew that Twins would face a PR nightmare if he signed elsewhere, and the FO couldn't allow that to happen. While there was no doubt other teams would have offered as much or more for his services, it's pretty clear that Joe could never survive the pressure and media scrutiny that would go along with playing in a place like Boston, NY, or maybe Philly or L.A. I don't think he ever had any intention of playing anywhere other than MN, knowing full well the Twins would be forced into offering a massive contract. Forget about a Hometown Discount, the Twins had to pay a Hometown Premium to keep him here. Even though, i don't think he ever had any desire to play in bigger market with all that pressure and scrutiny.
He's one of us. His agent used that angle and had the Twins over a barrel. Then his production goes down, he starts to transition away from catcher, he shows us how soft he is, how clueless he can be, and how non-exsistent his leadership qualities are. He's the anti-Kirby Puckett.

We all know he's a great hitter. But he's paid like a top 5 player in the game, and he's more like a top 30 player. And some of the fan base feels cheated by one of their own....and he still doesn't quite seem to get it.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 11:40 AM
I'm not the one to blast anyone on here but what do you consider Mauer better at other than career avg.

He takes far more walks than Kirby. He plays catcher, historically the weakest offensive position on the field. His slugging percentage is pretty much the same as Kirby's.

His career OBP is a whopping 40 points higher than Kirby, who never posted an OBP higher than .379. Joe is on his way to cresting a .400 OBP for a fifth time in his career. The only tangible advantage Kirby had over Joe was in stolen bases, which Kirby basically stopped doing in his mid to late 20s.

Kirby Puckett was a very good baseball player. Joe Mauer is a better one.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 11:45 AM
Right on

I would say the main reason his popularity has taken such a big hit, is this: He and his agent used the Hometown angle to squeeze every nickle out of the Twins that they could. They knew that Twins would face a PR nightmare if he signed elsewhere, and the FO couldn't allow that to happen. While there was no doubt other teams would have offered as much or more for his services, it's pretty clear that Joe could never survive the pressure and media scrutiny that would go along with playing in a place like Boston, NY, or maybe Philly or L.A. I don't think he ever had any intention of playing anywhere other than MN, knowing full well the Twins would be forced into offering a massive contract. Forget about a Hometown Discount, the Twins had to pay a Hometown Premium to keep him here. Even though, i don't think he ever had any desire to play in bigger market with all that pressure and scrutiny.
He's one of us. His agent used that angle and had the Twins over a barrel. Then his production goes down, he starts to transition away from catcher, he shows us how soft he is, how clueless he can be, and how non-exsistent his leadership qualities are. He's the anti-Kirby Puckett.

We all know he's a great hitter. But he's paid like a top 5 player in the game, and he's more like a top 30 player. And some of the fan base feels cheated by one of their own....and he still doesn't quite seem to get it.

Joe Mauer would have received more than $181m on the open market. The Yankees, Red Sox, and other large market teams were absolutely clamoring to find a good catcher in 2009. Posada was on his way out. Varitek was 150 years old. Mauer would have received Pujols-type money from one of those teams.

jokin
07-01-2012, 12:11 PM
Joe Mauer would have received more than $181m on the open market. The Yankees, Red Sox, and other large market teams were absolutely clamoring to find a good catcher in 2009. Posada was on his way out. Varitek was 150 years old. Mauer would have received Pujols-type money from one of those teams.

My impression is that he wasn't going anywhere. He's the MLB catcher's version of Greinke. His agent, Ron Shapiro, had to be one of the luckiest men alive back in 09/10, look at the facts on the table:

1) If Mauer really wanted Pujols-type money, he could have waited for FA to bid his value even higher
2) GM Bill Smith
3) Mauer has career year at age 26 in 09
4) Mauer's power production numbers were wildly inflated in a soon-to-be irrelevant stadium
5) Even as he was producing numbers that were ridiculous for a catcher, his full-time catching days were already numbered
6) Mauer was physically breaking down even as his numbers were still on the upswing
7) The Twins couldn't possibly afford the PR disaster of losing the "face of the franchise" during Target Field's marketing stage
8) Did I mention Bill Smith? Oh yeah, Shapiro was "negotiating" with possibly the most unprepared GM in sports history

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-01-2012, 12:16 PM
If Joe Mauer can stay relatively healthy for the next 7 or so years he will goto the hall of fame. Since he already doesn't rely on home runs or speed to obtain his very good .874 Career OPS there is no reason why he can't continue to put up .860-.900 OPS seasons until he is 35 or so.

Just take a look at his top 10 similarity scores through age 28 on Baseball Reference:

1. Mickey Cochrane (Hall of Famer)
2. Bill Dickey (Hall of Famer)
3. Jason Kendall (Kendall was quite good for his first 5-6 years)
4. Yoggi Berra (Hall of Famer)
5. Victor Martinez
6. Jose Vidro
7. Gary Carter (Hall of Famer)
8. Derek Jeter (Future hall of famer)
9. Nomar (Was on his way to a HOF career before he broke down)
10. Charlie Gehringer (hall of famer)

Also, Mauer is putting up very similar numbers as Rod Carew did while he was a Twin (higher OPS, slightly lower OPS+), and he has done all of this playing the most demanding position on the field (the majority of the time), oh and he plays that position extremely well often being cited as one of the best defensive catchers in the game.

Mauer has already placed him self somewhere in the top 5 Twins of all time (I place him above Olivia, and close to equal to Puckett and Carew) and an argument could be made that he will end up the 2nd best Twin of all time by the end of this contract.

So what does all of this suggest?

If you hate Mauer, you are basically a fair weather fan/brain dead moron. Yes, 23MM is a lot of money, it would have been nice if they could have gotten him on board for 18MM-20MM a season, but for hall of fame production I will take that contract any day.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 12:18 PM
My impression is that he wasn't going anywhere. He's the MLB catcher's version of Greinke. His agent, Ron Shapiro, had to be one of the luckiest men alive back in 09/10, look at the facts on the table:

1) If Mauer really wanted Pujols-type money, he could have waited for FA to bid his value even higher
2) GM Bill Smith
3) Mauer has career year at age 26 in 09
4) Mauer's power production numbers were wildly inflated in a soon-to-be irrelevant stadium
5) Even as he was producing numbers that were ridiculous for a catcher, his full-time catching days were already numbered
6) Mauer was physically breaking down even as his numbers were still on the upswing
7) The Twins couldn't possibly afford the PR disaster of losing the "face of the franchise" during Target Field's marketing stage
8) Did I mention Bill Smith? Oh yeah, Shapiro was "negotiating" with possibly the most unprepared GM in sports history

I don't really disagree with anything you're saying except it still doesn't negate the point that if Mauer chose to hit free agency, he gets Pujols-type money. The poster I replied to said Mauer demanded a "hometown premium". That simply wasn't the case. If he plays through 2010 and hits the FA market, he gets over $200m (ie. more than the Twins paid him). Mauer put up an .871 OPS in 2010 in a stadium that plays huge. Teams wouldn't have balked much at his 2010 line when negotiating a contract.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-01-2012, 12:20 PM
I'm not the one to blast anyone on here but what do you consider Mauer better at other than career avg.

Mauer also has a 44 point advantage over Puckett in career OBP, and for people that claim that Mauer is only a singles hitter it should be noted that his .470 career slugging percentage is almost equal to Puckett's .477 career slugging. Mauer's OPS+ also happens to be 11 points higher then Puckett as well.

Both were elite fielders, but I think Mauer gets the slight edge on defensive value since catcher is generally considered the toughest position in baseball followed by SS, 2B and CF. Though some people switch 2B and CF which is fine.

Also it should be noted that I am one of the biggest Kirby Puckett fans/defenders out there.

Curt
07-01-2012, 12:44 PM
This just in... in other news... pepperoni pizza is better than sausage pizza.

Curt
07-01-2012, 12:48 PM
This just in... in other news... pepperoni pizza is better than sausage pizza.

I just realized that if pepperoni pizza cost $23 million I would probably never have it again. :mad:

cr9617
07-01-2012, 12:48 PM
Joe Mauer would have received more than $181m on the open market. The Yankees, Red Sox, and other large market teams were absolutely clamoring to find a good catcher in 2009. Posada was on his way out. Varitek was 150 years old. Mauer would have received Pujols-type money from one of those teams.

Yep, never disagreed with that.
I'm saying it's a mute point. He never intended to leave the Twins, and he wouldn't last 1 day in NY or Boston, and he knows it. He would have been absolutely destroyed last year. He can't even handle the media pressure in the Twin Cities....

jokin
07-01-2012, 12:50 PM
He takes far more walks than Kirby. He plays catcher, historically the weakest offensive position on the field. His slugging percentage is pretty much the same as Kirby's.

His career OBP is a whopping 40 points higher than Kirby, who never posted an OBP higher than .379. Joe is on his way to cresting a .400 OBP for a fifth time in his career. The only tangible advantage Kirby had over Joe was in stolen bases, which Kirby basically stopped doing in his mid to late 20s.

Kirby Puckett was a very good baseball player. Joe Mauer is a better one.

Kirby's approach at the plate was "the anti-Joe Mauer". I don't know if there are splits for Puckett, but he was a very good "bad ball" hitter. When asked what his hitting philosophy was, he stated that he didn't have a philosophy, "I just go up there hackin'". His BB% is close to Ben Revere's.

You are largely correct about tangibles, although the last 10 years of Puck's career, when he converted himself to a power player, he averaged 20.3 HRs/YR-- Most players develop more power over time, not less-- Joe has done it once, and will likely never come close to that number again. The RBI stat has largely been discounted by modern day stat-hounds as a statistic of random/lucky opportunities, I still don't think it properly accounts for "timely hitting"- IE, Puck averaged 96 RBI/yr for his career on many more bad teams and bad hitters batting in front of him, Mauer has averaged only 69 RBI/yr, with some very good plate protection behind him. Runs scored is valued by stat-hounds, Kirby averaged 89/year, Mauer has averaged only 75/year. Career SLG%: Puck-477/Mauer-469.

And that gets me to the intangible advantages, and Puck proved in his career that he was ready and willing to be the team leader- still waiting for Joe to step up to the plate, I hope it happens, but I remain doubtful.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-01-2012, 12:57 PM
Kirby's approach at the plate was "the anti-Joe Mauer". I don't know if there are splits for Puckett, but he was a very good "bad ball" hitter. When asked what his hitting philosophy was, he stated that he didn't have a philosophy, "I just go up there hackin'". His BB% is close to Ben Revere's.

You are largely correct about tangibles, although the last 10 years of Puck's career, when he converted himself to a power player, he averaged 20.3 HRs/YR-- Most players develop more power over time, not less-- Joe has done it once, and will likely never come close to that number again. The RBI stat has largely been discounted by modern day stat-hounds as a statistic of random/lucky opportunities, I still don't think it properly accounts for "timely hitting"- IE, Puck averaged 96 RBI/yr for his career on many more bad teams and bad hitters batting in front of him, Mauer has averaged only 69 RBI/yr, with some very good plate protection behind him. Runs scored is valued by stat-hounds, Kirby averaged 89/year, Mauer has averaged only 75/year.

And that gets me to the intangible advantages, and Puck proved in his career that he was ready and willing to be the team leader- still waiting for Joe to step up to the plate, I hope it happens, but I remain doubtful.
Did you really bring RBI's and Runs into this conversation?

"Runs scored" is not valued by stat hounds because it is mostly dependent on what your teammates do, just like RBIs. you might be thinking of weighted runs created (or wRC+) in that case Mauer in fact leads Puckett with a 133 to 122 score.

cr9617
07-01-2012, 12:58 PM
If Joe Mauer can stay relatively healthy for the next 7 or so years he will goto the hall of fame. Since he already doesn't rely on home runs or speed to obtain his very good .874 Career OPS there is no reason why he can't continue to put up .860-.900 OPS seasons until he is 35 or so.

Just take a look at his top 10 similarity scores through age 28 on Baseball Reference:

1. Mickey Cochrane (Hall of Famer)
2. Bill Dickey (Hall of Famer)
3. Jason Kendall (Kendall was quite good for his first 5-6 years)
4. Yoggi Berra (Hall of Famer)
5. Victor Martinez
6. Jose Vidro
7. Gary Carter (Hall of Famer)
8. Derek Jeter (Future hall of famer)
9. Nomar (Was on his way to a HOF career before he broke down)
10. Charlie Gehringer (hall of famer)

Also, Mauer is putting up very similar numbers as Rod Carew did while he was a Twin (higher OPS, slightly lower OPS+), and he has done all of this playing the most demanding position on the field (the majority of the time), oh and he plays that position extremely well often being cited as one of the best defensive catchers in the game.

Mauer has already placed him self somewhere in the top 5 Twins of all time (I place him above Olivia, and close to equal to Puckett and Carew) and an argument could be made that he will end up the 2nd best Twin of all time by the end of this contract.

So what does all of this suggest?

If you hate Mauer, you are basically a fair weather fan/brain dead moron. Yes, 23MM is a lot of money, it would have been nice if they could have gotten him on board for 18MM-20MM a season, but for hall of fame production I will take that contract any day.

If you mindlessly protect Joe Mauer at every turn, you are basically a Sid Hartman simpleton type that can't think on his own.

BTW..I don't hate Joe Mauer. I just hate everything he represents, that's all. He just isn't worth anything near 23 mill per year for 8 years. There are a lot of guys in the league that can a game with one swing of the bat, and he's not one of them.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 12:58 PM
Bill Smith: Ron, Good to see you... I'm looking forward to getting a deal done right now. Our people have spent a lot of time looking at the situation and we love Joe and want to see him in a Twins Uniform for a long time. I have prepared a very generous offer for you to take a look at. (slides piece of paper across the desk)

Ron Shapiro: This says... 8 Years at 10 million per? He's the American League MVP! This is the offer?

Bill Smith: Well... I know our scouts and evaluators have always projected that Joe will someday become a power hitter capable of 20 plus homers a year and I know he hit 28 in the past year despite missing all of April.

Ron Shapiro... Don't forget his OPS over one thousand.

Bill Smith: I'm not sure what you mean by that Ron... It's impossible to bat over one thousand... Joe hit .365... So let's keep the discussion grounded in reality. (Ron Shapiro just stares... not sure what to say)

Ron Shapiro: Bill... It's a combination of... (Bill Cuts him off)

Bill Smith: Ron... I know our scouts have projected Joe to be a bigger power hitter and it looks like that is coming true... However, Michael J. Fox has come back from the future and presented us with an evaluation from Fan Graphs that says Joe is going to be worth 10 Million a year in 2012.

Ron Shapiro: Fan Graphs?

Bill Smith: Yeah... I don't know what Fan Graphs is either but Michael J. Fox was pretty excited about it. He's was shaking in excitement. Could barely get the words out.

Ron Shapiro: I'll take this to Joe but I should say that we are under the impression that he will be paid a lot more by other clubs when his contract expires next year. I'm not sure that 10 million for that period of time makes sense.

Bill Smith: You gotta consider the hometown discount thing-a-ma-job... Don't ya... Joe does want to stay in Minnesota.

Ron Shapiro: He does... This is home... He wants to be a Twin for life... However, the Players Association will throw watermelons at him if he signs under value to this degree.

Bill Smith: How far off are we?

Ron Shapiro: Well the Yankees paid Teixeira 180 million for 8 years.

Bill Smith: We are not the Yankees!

Ron Shapiro: Yeah but the Yankees are the Yankees and they have my phone number.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 01:00 PM
Kirby's approach at the plate was "the anti-Joe Mauer". I don't know if there are splits for Puckett, but he was a very good "bad ball" hitter. When asked what his hitting philosophy was, he stated that he didn't have a philosophy, "I just go up there hackin'". His BB% is close to Ben Revere's.

You are largely correct about tangibles, although the last 10 years of Puck's career, when he converted himself to a power player, he averaged 20.3 HRs/YR-- Most players develop more power over time, not less-- Joe has done it once, and will likely never come close to that number again. The RBI stat has largely been discounted by modern day stat-hounds as a statistic of random/lucky opportunities, I still don't think it properly accounts for "timely hitting"- IE, Puck averaged 96 RBI/yr for his career on many more bad teams and bad hitters batting in front of him, Mauer has averaged only 69 RBI/yr, with some very good plate protection behind him. Runs scored is valued by stat-hounds, Kirby averaged 89/year, Mauer has averaged only 75/year.

And that gets me to the intangible advantages, and Puck proved in his career that he was ready and willing to be the team leader- still waiting for Joe to step up to the plate, I hope it happens, but I remain doubtful.

Runs scored aren't valued by stat hounds. They're the other side of the RBI coin, largely dependent on what others do behind you and little to do with your own play past "you got on base". Mauer is quite a bit better at getting on base than Puckett. It's not his fault the guys behind him aren't driving him home.

As for RBIs, well... You're just wrong on that account. Here are the career splits for Mauer and Puckett.

Mauer:
RISP: .953 OPS
Men On: .917 OPS

Puckett:
RISP: 879 OPS
Men On: .874 OPS

Naturally, Mauer also has a much better OBP in those situations.

As for "team leaders", I don't buy into that very much (or at all, really). A single player can only do so much. Puckett had great playoff moments for sure but so much of that is luck and timing in a SSS that I can't put much weight in it (and it's not as if Mauer hasn't had his shining moments in critical situations).

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-01-2012, 01:01 PM
If you mindlessly protect Joe Mauer at every turn, you are basically a Sid Hartman simpleton type that can't think on his own.

BTW..I don't hate Joe Mauer. I just hate everything he represents, that's all. He just isn't worth anything near 23 mill per year for 8 years. There are a lot of guys in the league that can a game with one swing of the bat, and he's not one of them.

So I point out statistical evidence stating that Mauer is one of the best 5 players in the history of the franchise, and that if he stays healthy he will be a hall of famer, you rebuttal with calling me Sid Hartman and claim since Mauer is not a home run hitter he is not a good ball player and I am the simpleton?

Neat.

old nurse
07-01-2012, 01:02 PM
I think if the Twins had a decent pitching staff and were in contention nobody would care what his salary was nor that he sold shampoo and beer on the side. Winning cures a lot grumbling. As a career his splits would indicate he is about the same home or away so you can't really say 6 years of the Metrodome inflated his numbers.
y

Direct Link (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=mauerjo01&year=Career&t=b#hmvis) Glossary SHARE Embed CSV PRE LINK (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=mauerjo01&year=Career&t=b#hmvis::27) ?



I
Split
G
GS
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
TB
GDP
HBP
SH
SF
IBB
ROE
BAbip ▾
tOPS+



Away
478
457
2096
1819
289
590
129
8
49
277
22
1
253
221
.324
.405
.485
.890
882
49
5
1
18
49
16
.345
103



Home
509
483
2108
1821
293
588
104
9
39
261
16
11
251
203
.323
.404
.454
.858
827
72
11
2
23
42
15
.343
97


No one ball player is ever worth a quarter of the team's payroll unless the farm system is cranking out two decent players a year. The Twins are not doing the latter.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 01:03 PM
If you mindlessly protect Joe Mauer at every turn, you are basically a Sid Hartman simpleton type that can't think on his own.

BTW..I don't hate Joe Mauer. I just hate everything he represents, that's all. He just isn't worth anything near 23 mill per year for 8 years. There are a lot of guys in the league that can a game with one swing of the bat, and he's not one of them.

Riiiiiight. We're "mindlessly protecting" Joe by saying that he's a very, very good baseball player and backing that up with statistics and player comps that show he is, in fact, a very, very good baseball player.

Objectively looking at the situation, I'd say Dave and I are doing the exact opposite of what you just said.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 01:17 PM
BTW..I don't hate Joe Mauer. I just hate everything he represents, that's all. He just isn't worth anything near 23 mill per year for 8 years. There are a lot of guys in the league that can a game with one swing of the bat, and he's not one of them.

But he was worth that type of Money at the time. The Twins didn't set the pay scale. The Yankees and the Red Sox and the teams that shop Free Agent's R Us set the pay scale.

Mauer was Worth 23 Million at the time... Do you really expect Joe Mauer to settle for a lower figure to stay in Minnesota? That would be stupid?

The only thing the Twins could have done differently is wait until the end of his contract to negotiate a contract and maybe his 2010 year would have brought the value down but that's a real big maybe.

2009 was a huge year and if he repeats it in 2010. That 23 Million becomes much larger and now you have to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox to retain him.

I think it's possible that Bill Smith made some mistakes during his regime. Joe Mauer's Contract was pretty much a no brainer at the time. It only looks bad using that 20-20 hindsight thing.

Don't hate Mauer... Hate the Yankees... That's what I do... and it feels much better to hate the Yankees BTW.

The Yankees are perhaps the most obvious example of why salaries are where they are. They out bid teams for the services of players and that drives the prices up.

darin617
07-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Joe is now 5th in the AL in batting and 1st in OBP.

He is also 2nd among all catchers in BA, 2B, OBP, and OPS (thanks to the currently godlike Carlos Ruiz). He is 3rd in walks and... wait for it... AB!

C'mon haters, bring it on!

Don't forget the 4 Home runs. Yea take that all you haters, now would someone please get him a refill of whatever he took in 2009 so he can at least get to double figures in HR's this season.

jokin
07-01-2012, 01:45 PM
Runs scored aren't valued by stat hounds. They're the other side of the RBI coin, largely dependent on what others do behind you and little to do with your own play past "you got on base". Mauer is quite a bit better at getting on base than Puckett. It's not his fault the guys behind him aren't driving him home.

As for RBIs, well... You're just wrong on that account. Here are the career splits for Mauer and Puckett.

Mauer:
RISP: .953 OPS
Men On: .917 OPS

Puckett:
RISP: 879 OPS
Men On: .874 OPS

Naturally, Mauer also has a much better OBP in those situations.

As for "team leaders", I don't buy into that very much (or at all, really). A single player can only do so much. Puckett had great playoff moments for sure but so much of that is luck and timing in a SSS that I can't put much weight in it (and it's not as if Mauer hasn't had his shining moments in critical situations).

Runs scored is partly a reflection on what you do once you're on base (advancing via steal, hit, "taking the extra base", WP/PB, etc.), and partly by how many HRs you hit, as well as who is hitting behind you, and Mauer has had a series of great hitters behind him, probably who hit at a higher level than those behind Puck, so yes, it is partly Mauer's fault and to Puck's credit.

Regarding RBIs/RISP-- Fine, I am aware of this stat as it is front and center regarding Mauer's performance all the time- this is what is so confounding about Mauer's RISP numbers while batting in the 3 spot. Crunch the numbers around the league who bat #3 which is a premier RBI spot in the order, and year after year Mauer is in the bottom half for RBI. There are many factors that come into play, but you can't simply say it was because Puckett played in more games that he has . Both batted largely in the same spot in the order, Puck averaged 149 games/yr and Mauer averaged 134 games/yr with that huge differential in average RBI/yr, far greater than the 15 less games played. This suggests there are other factors with RISP that have to account for this difference- IE, how many of Joe's hits with RISP actually drive in a runner, and what is the SLG% for both with RISP? Plus, what is the value of Runs Created when not in RISP situations?

jokin
07-01-2012, 01:52 PM
Riiiiiight. We're "mindlessly protecting" Joe by saying that he's a very, very good baseball player and backing that up with statistics and player comps that show he is, in fact, a very, very good baseball player.

Objectively looking at the situation, I'd say Dave and I are doing the exact opposite of what you just said.

On this basic fact, I am in full agreement.

I think where some of the disagreement comes is that I would proffer that all Twins fans have an investment in seeing that this contract "investment" made by the Twins gets a maximum return on capital- on Joe- and what and how his role on the team best benefits the Twins in getting back to making serious runs at the Series on an annual basis.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 01:54 PM
In Comparison with production around the league... His numbers are not worth 23 million a year. In Comparison... If Mike Trout is worth what he is making... Albert Pujols is worth less!

He is being paid 23 million a year because he was worth probably more than 23 million a year when he signed the contract and that value was set by what the Market will pay him and the Market would have paid him!

Comparing him to #3 hitters around the league should have nothing to do with anything! Comparing his numbers to 1st basemen or Catchers and saying his position determines his value and then trying to determine the value of his contract in retrospect has nothing to do with anything!

The Twins paid him 23 million and once that is done. He bats where he bats in the context of his team and he plays whatever position he plays in the context of his team!

John Bonnes
07-01-2012, 01:56 PM
Joe Mauer would have received more than $181m on the open market. The Yankees, Red Sox, and other large market teams were absolutely clamoring to find a good catcher in 2009. Posada was on his way out. Varitek was 150 years old. Mauer would have received Pujols-type money from one of those teams.

My best guess is that he might have cleared over $181M, but I think it would have been in the ballpark. $23M/year IS right around Pujolsish money at the time, and that long of a deal (which extended onto his earlier deal, not ripping up the last year) was a very long deal for a catcher.

The other issue is that he would have been a free agent after 2010, not 2009. He didn't have as great a year in 2010 and he ended the season really hurt. There's no way to replay 2010 if he's in a contract year, and he may not have ended up the season hurt, but he still would have played it in Target Field.

I guess my point is that there was very little hometown discount, if any applied, and I said so at the time (http://twinsgeek.blogspot.com/2010/03/joes-contract-twins-future.html). That doesn't mean he's a bad guy, just a shrewd negotiator (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/86334817.html?elr=KArks47cQiU17cQiU47cQUU). If he would have given a big home town discount - say $20M/year instead of $23M - I'm not sure people would be any less critical right now.

And there is a reason for that. This winner's curse for this sort of a deal necessitates: you're overpaying. There are 30 teams that are determining your value, but your value isn't the average of what they come up with. It's the value that the most desperate of them comes up with. You can argue whether it is an error giving enormous money to a superstar. But the bigger error is in thinking that a deal like that - and this includes all the talk about the contract Hamels or Grienke is going to get - is EVER going to be worth what is being paid. It's not going to, almost by design.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 01:57 PM
Runs scored is partly a reflection on what you do once you're on base (advancing via steal, hit, "taking the extra base", WP/PB, etc.), and partly by how many HRs you hit, as well as who is hitting behind you, and Mauer has had a series of great hitters behind him, probably who hit at a higher level than those behind Puck, so yes, it is partly Mauer's fault and to Puck's credit.

Regarding RBIs/RISP-- Fine, I am aware of this stat as it is front and center regarding Mauer's performance all the time- this is what is so confounding about Mauer's RISP numbers while batting in the 3 spot. Crunch the numbers around the league who bat #3 which is a premier RBI spot in the order, and year after year Mauer is in the bottom half for RBI. There are many factors that come into play, but you can't simply say it was because Puckett played in more games that he has . Both batted largely in the same spot in the order, Puck averaged 149 games/yr and Mauer averaged 134 games/yr with that huge differential in average RBI/yr, far greater than the 15 less games played. This suggests there are other factors with RISP that have to account for this difference- IE, how many of Joe's hits with RISP actually drive in a runner, and what is the SLG% for both with RISP?

His SLG is on par with Puckett, a bit higher IIRC without looking at the stats again.

As for runs scored, people really underrate what Kent Hrbek brought with the stick behind Puckett. Kent was essentially a healthier version of Justin Morneau who hit behind Puckett for Kirby's entire career.

Is Joe a little slower than Puckett and therefore doesn't go first-to-third as often, doesn't score from second as often,etc? I think that's a fair assumption.

On the other hand, Joe gets on base 4% more often than Kirby. That more than offsets the speed difference between the players.

boney
07-01-2012, 02:57 PM
I'm not a stat guy by any means but I did do a seasonal comparison between the two not including Mauer's #s this year.
Kirby's averages are BA-318, HR-17, Doubles-34, RBI-90 and Hits-192
Mauer's averages are BA-324. HR-10, Doubles-27, RBI-66 and Hits-137

I know these aren't per ab #s but you can also throw in Kirby's leadership, durability and two rings. I like Joe but (IMO) he's got a long way to go to be put in Kirby's league. jmo

gunnarthor
07-01-2012, 03:29 PM
My best guess is that he might have cleared over $181M, but I think it would have been in the ballpark. $23M/year IS right around Pujolsish money at the time, and that long of a deal (which extended onto his earlier deal, not ripping up the last year) was a very long deal for a catcher.

The other issue is that he would have been a free agent after 2010, not 2009. He didn't have as great a year in 2010 and he ended the season really hurt. There's no way to replay 2010 if he's in a contract year, and he may not have ended up the season hurt, but he still would have played it in Target Field.

Gotta disagree with you John. He had a solid 2010 season, not as good as 2009 but still very good - arguably his second or third best year. For comparison, while it was a viewed as a down year, he still had a higer OPS+ that year than the Teixeira, ARod, David Ortiz, Pedroia etc. And that doesn't even attempt to consider his defensive value. That offseason saw Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth get stupid money. Yanks, Tigers and Red Sox were all looking for a catcher. (As an aside, can you imagine Mauer playing fulltime at Fenway? His inside outside swing would pepper the monster and all those outs would be base hits there). One of those three teams (or the Nats or someone else) would've flown over the 8/200 mark for him.

And I still think people underestimate his offense. He's a great hitter, even for a first baseman. His career OPS+ (only an offensive stat) is highter than Teixeira, Morneau, David Wright, HanRam, Youk etc. While we are mentioning that he is playing more 1B/DH this year, he's usually playing them when he's banged up a bit. If he was a fulltime 1B or DH, I'd expect his OPS+ to increase with the decrease of his catching duties.

cr9617
07-01-2012, 03:54 PM
So I point out statistical evidence stating that Mauer is one of the best 5 players in the history of the franchise, and that if he stays healthy he will be a hall of famer, you rebuttal with calling me Sid Hartman and claim since Mauer is not a home run hitter he is not a good ball player and I am the simpleton?

Neat.

I didn't call you Sid Hartman.

I compared your statement about Mauer haters to those who refuse to criticize him, regardless of how much he gets paid, what position he plays, how soft he is, or how much of a clubhouse guy he isn't.

Maybe I should have rephrased my point.

one_eyed_jack
07-01-2012, 04:01 PM
There's too much hand-wringing over Mauer's contract. Is he worth $23 million? No, put paying him what he's worth was never an option. The Twins had 3 choices:

1) Overpay him - it's a fantasy to think we could have signed him for much less than we did. A player of that caliber hits the open market, someone will give him stupid money.
2) Trade him after '09 (a la Santana)
3) Let him walk after '10 (a la Hunter)

2 and 3 were simply not realistic options given circumstances with Joe's popularity and the pending move to Target Field, so we went with 1, which, ironically, was the exact type of move Twins fans spent years about the team not making.

Joe will probably never lead the league in home runs.

And while I'm not close enough to the situation to really question his leadership, he does come across as a guy who's a sheep, not a shepherd.

But the guy can do some things that very few others can, and has a good chance of ending up in Cooperstown one day. The 'fans' who do nothing but rip on him would be wise to try and enjoy him for what he is instead of always lamenting what he isn't, because he's a special player, and you don't see many like him.

CDog
07-01-2012, 05:10 PM
I didn't call you Sid Hartman.

I compared your statement about Mauer haters to those who refuse to criticize him, regardless of how much he gets paid, what position he plays, how soft he is, or how much of a clubhouse guy he isn't.

Maybe I should have rephrased my point.

Or you shouldn't use 50% categories to criticize that are you simply basing on things in your imagination. Perhaps we should compare to Roy Hobbs' stats?

Curt
07-01-2012, 05:53 PM
Everyone does realize that Puck signed a three year deal for $9 million, he was the most expensive player in history at that point. Mauer not.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
07-01-2012, 06:16 PM
If Mauer continues what he does best and can break 10HRs I will be completely satisfied.

twinzgrl
07-01-2012, 06:18 PM
It's great to see Joe in the top five BA's again. I'd put money on him to win another batting title. I'm glad he's a Twin and an All-Star. Go Joe!

fatbeer
07-01-2012, 06:27 PM
In Mauers defense Wade Boggs Ichiro and Tony Gwynn have combined for 1 20+ HR season

mnfireman
07-01-2012, 07:01 PM
BTW, Mauer homered today.

Bark's Lounge
07-01-2012, 07:19 PM
BTW, Mauer homered today.

nope... yesterday

Bark's Lounge
07-01-2012, 07:39 PM
In Mauers defense Wade Boggs Ichiro and Tony Gwynn have combined for 1 20+ HR season

Good comparison. All HOFer's except for Ichiro who is a shoe in when his time comes.

FDG opened up a can of worms when he started this thread.

The Mauer contract/production talk is old, stale and boring.

It seems apparent that he has to have a 2009 season every year for people to pause their mob mentality and quench their thirst for his blood.

This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again.....

MWLFan
07-01-2012, 08:00 PM
Yawn...when is the next Promote Sano thread? I miss those thrilling discussions. With you Barks.

CDog
07-01-2012, 08:56 PM
If you hate Mauer, you are basically a fair weather fan/brain dead moron.

This sentence got me thinking about something I once pondered probably entirely too much once upon a time. And that's the psychology of the fan that loves to bag on the superstar athlete. I never could understand why a person who purports to be a fan of a game and even a particular team would go on and on and on at times about how much they despise someone who is fantastic at that game (and often for their team) for no apparent reason. During the time I really gave this a lot of consideration, I tried to notice what it was people had to say. The overwhelming thing I kept seeing and hearing and reading was essentially an attempt to inflate themselves in the way of the, "Back in my day..." personality. The "I'd be so much tougher/better/etc" if I were him or the "my expectations are so high" to imply that they're somehow morally superior. Naturally, they don't often quite phrase it exactly that way, but the motivation appeared the same an awful lot.

I guess you may be putting that in the brain dead moron category.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 09:05 PM
This sentence got me thinking about something I once pondered probably entirely too much once upon a time. And that's the psychology of the fan that loves to bag on the superstar athlete. I never could understand why a person who purports to be a fan of a game and even a particular team would go on and on and on at times about how much they despise someone who is fantastic at that game (and often for their team) for no apparent reason. During the time I really gave this a lot of consideration, I tried to notice what it was people had to say. The overwhelming thing I kept seeing and hearing and reading was essentially an attempt to inflate themselves in the way of the, "Back in my day..." personality. The "I'd be so much tougher/better/etc" if I were him or the "my expectations are so high" to imply that they're somehow morally superior. Naturally, they don't often quite phrase it exactly that way, but the motivation appeared the same an awful lot.

I guess you may be putting that in the brain dead moron category.

I think people expect perfection out of everyone other than themselves.

I don't know... But it's all over the place. Like the fenced in backyard of a dog daycare.

mnfireman
07-01-2012, 09:10 PM
nope... yesterday

Yeah,my bad. Busy weekend. Couldn't watch any games, so I read the box scores at the same sitting. Or maybe I confused Mauer with our other HOF catcher who homered today.:cool:

TheLeviathan
07-01-2012, 11:22 PM
Yawn...when is the next Promote Sano thread? I miss those thrilling discussions. With you Barks.

Well, Twins aren't contending this year. Why not just call him up and let him figure out at the big league level? Seems to be fool-proof logic these days.....

glunn
07-01-2012, 11:26 PM
Don't hate Mauer... Hate the Yankees... That's what I do... and it feels much better to hate the Yankees BTW.

The Yankees are perhaps the most obvious example of why salaries are where they are. They out bid teams for the services of players and that drives the prices up.

Good one Brian. I think that you have hit the nail on the head here.

Kobs
07-01-2012, 11:37 PM
Runs scored is partly a reflection on what you do once you're on base (advancing via steal, hit, "taking the extra base", WP/PB, etc.), and partly by how many HRs you hit, as well as who is hitting behind you, and Mauer has had a series of great hitters behind him, probably who hit at a higher level than those behind Puck, so yes, it is partly Mauer's fault and to Puck's credit.

Regarding RBIs/RISP-- Fine, I am aware of this stat as it is front and center regarding Mauer's performance all the time- this is what is so confounding about Mauer's RISP numbers while batting in the 3 spot. Crunch the numbers around the league who bat #3 which is a premier RBI spot in the order, and year after year Mauer is in the bottom half for RBI. There are many factors that come into play, but you can't simply say it was because Puckett played in more games that he has . Both batted largely in the same spot in the order, Puck averaged 149 games/yr and Mauer averaged 134 games/yr with that huge differential in average RBI/yr, far greater than the 15 less games played. This suggests there are other factors with RISP that have to account for this difference- IE, how many of Joe's hits with RISP actually drive in a runner, and what is the SLG% for both with RISP? Plus, what is the value of Runs Created when not in RISP situations?

He doesn't hit home runs. Mystery solved.

jokin
07-01-2012, 11:48 PM
Runs scored aren't valued by stat hounds. They're the other side of the RBI coin, largely dependent on what others do behind you and little to do with your own play past "you got on base". Mauer is quite a bit better at getting on base than Puckett. It's not his fault the guys behind him aren't driving him home.

As for RBIs, well... You're just wrong on that account. Here are the career splits for Mauer and Puckett.

Mauer:
RISP: .953 OPS
Men On: .917 OPS

Puckett:
RISP: 879 OPS
Men On: .874 OPS

Naturally, Mauer also has a much better OBP in those situations.

As for "team leaders", I don't buy into that very much (or at all, really). A single player can only do so much. Puckett had great playoff moments for sure but so much of that is luck and timing in a SSS that I can't put much weight in it (and it's not as if Mauer hasn't had his shining moments in critical situations).


SSS as it may be...

Kirby Puckett postseason record slash line: 309/362/536/898
Joe Mauer postseason record slash line: 286/359/314/673

Kirby got lucky in his 2 post-seasons with: 10XBH/5 Home Runs/16 RBI
Mauer was unlucky in his 3 post-seasons: 1XBH/0 Home Runs/1 RBI

jokin
07-01-2012, 11:54 PM
He doesn't hit home runs. Mystery solved.

Mystery further solved and further support on why Puckett is more valuable (particularly in the 3 spot):

Kirby's power production in his 10 seasons as a power player, average XBH/season: Doubles-37.3/yr Triples 4.0/yr Homers 20.3/yr

Mauer's power production (while throwing out his short rookie year and this year): Doubles-29.7/yr Triples 2.1/yr Homers 11.1/yr

Kobs
07-01-2012, 11:58 PM
Mystery further solved and further support on why Puckett is more valuable (particularly in the 3 spot):

Kirby's power production in his 10 seasons as a power player, average XBH/season: Doubles-37.3/yr Triples 4.0/yr Homers 20.3/yr

Mauer's power production (while throwing out his short rookie year and this year): Doubles-29.7/yr Triples 2.1/yr Homers 11.1/yr

Is Power Player a new position?

jokin
07-02-2012, 12:16 AM
Is Power Player a new position?

No, but are you possibly too young to remember Puck's first two years with the Twins? His SLG% in those two years were a paltry .336 and .385. With his diminutive and somewhat unusual body shape, there weren't many people who predicted the type of "Power Player" that he would morph into. In the last 10 years of his career, his SLG% was over 500 five times and he only had one season under .460 (.446 in 1990), as you can see, a totally different player from years one and two.

frightwig
07-02-2012, 01:42 AM
OK, so Mauer is no longer a full-time Catcher. He's a half-time Catcher, who plays the rest of his games at 1B/DH. Which means that instead of him playing 110-120 games behind the plate, plus a handful of games at DH, and needing a bunch of days off to rest his aching legs (particularly as he ages), we get him for ~80 games behind the plate plus another 65+ games with him in the lineup at 1B/DH, and maybe his legs hold up better as the years go by. I'll take that.

And, even as he's been splitting time between Catcher and the 1B/DH role, he's still been worth 2.5 fWAR through the first 3 months of the season. That not only makes him the most valuable "Catcher" in the league, but--get this--it makes him the most valuable "1st baseman" in the AL to this point, too. If he keeps it up, he ought to wind up the season worth 5-5.5 fWAR. Even at a cost of $23M/yr., I don't think the front office could reasonably expect a guy to be better than that; any value above that level should be considered a special bonus. (Fwiw, FanGraphs says that anything above 5 WAR is well worth $23M.)

jokin
07-02-2012, 02:18 AM
OK, so Mauer is no longer a full-time Catcher. He's a half-time Catcher, who plays the rest of his games at 1B/DH. Which means that instead of him playing 110-120 games behind the plate, plus a handful of games at DH, and needing a bunch of days off to rest his aching legs (particularly as he ages), we get him for ~80 games behind the plate plus another 65+ games with him in the lineup at 1B/DH, and maybe his legs hold up better as the years go by. I'll take that.

And, even as he's been splitting time between Catcher and the 1B/DH role, he's still been worth 2.5 fWAR through the first 3 months of the season. That not only makes him the most valuable "Catcher" in the league, but--get this--it makes him the most valuable "1st baseman" in the AL to this point, too. If he keeps it up, he ought to wind up the season worth 5-5.5 fWAR. Even at a cost of $23M/yr., I don't think the front office could reasonably expect a guy to be better than that; any value above that level should be considered a special bonus. (Fwiw, FanGraphs says that anything above 5 WAR is well worth $23M.)

As of today, Mauer is on pace to catch only 72 games.

Doesn't the positional adjustment score skew the WAR number for C relative to 1B? Konerko and Encarnacion are having monster years at the plate and Mauer's offensive numbers are best when he's playing catcher, not so much at 1B/DH.

See below:

Here are the full FanGraphs positional adjustments used in WAR:
Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

As noted above, these values are calculated on a per 162 defensive game basis, and players receive weighted credit for each position that they play.

biggentleben
07-02-2012, 02:55 AM
As of today, Mauer is on pace to catch only 72 games.

Doesn't the positional adjustment score skew the WAR number for C relative to 1B? Konerko and Encarnacion are having monster years at the plate and Mauer's offensive numbers are best when he's playing catcher, not so much at 1B/DH.

See below:

Here are the full FanGraphs positional adjustments used in WAR:
Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

As noted above, these values are calculated on a per 162 defensive game basis, and players receive weighted credit for each position that they play.

But his games at C are always going to be worth more than a 1B, and he's better than Encarnacion by 0.2 WAR and Konerko by 0.3 WAR at this time with C value included. Value is very dependent on position, not just offensive numbers. When he's healthy, Mauer is a very good catcher defensively, so not only does he get positional value, but he gets above average value for that position.

snepp
07-02-2012, 06:51 AM
If you're going to use WAR, please don't cite decimal places. If you do, certainly don't accompany them with statements like "better than by."

biggentleben
07-02-2012, 07:01 AM
If you're going to use WAR, please don't cite decimal places. If you do, certainly don't accompany them with statements like "better than by."

You'd rather round all your statistics, huh?

Fire Dan Gladden
07-02-2012, 07:06 AM
Good comparison. All HOFer's except for Ichiro who is a shoe in when his time comes.

FDG opened up a can of worms when he started this thread.

The Mauer contract/production talk is old, stale and boring.

It seems apparent that he has to have a 2009 season every year for people to pause their mob mentality and quench their thirst for his blood.

This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again. This subject is a dead horse that will be beaten, get up again, and be beaten again.....

The Minnesota bi-polar will never ever allow this argument to die. 30 years from now Mauer will be retired, in the HOF, and people will still be talking about how his contract was terrible. It really doesn't matter how well he plays. Their will always be crackpots out there who can never let it go.

BTW - To everybody complaining about how Mauer is paid too much and didn't give a hometown discount, remember this. If you, average joe, were asked to give a hometown discount in your job would you? Would you in Mauer's shoes? Would you turn down millions of dollars if it was available to you? If you said yes, you are not being honest with us or yourself.

snepp
07-02-2012, 08:01 AM
You'd rather round all your statistics, huh?

Uhhh, yeah, that's exactly what I said. Congrats on completely missing what should have been a pretty obvious point.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 08:06 AM
You'd rather round all your statistics, huh?

I think he's saying that when referencing WAR, it's best to say things like "Player A has a WAR of 2.3 while Player B has a WAR of 2.5". That's a significant difference from "Player A has a WAR of 0.3 while Player B has a WAR of 0.5", even though the difference between the players is the same.

biggentleben
07-02-2012, 08:48 AM
Oy, I guess I'll put in a "/sarcasm" tag on each such post in the future. I understood why snepp said what he said, I just attempted some sarcastic snarkiness. It just went woosh, I guess.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 08:55 AM
SSS as it may be...

Kirby Puckett postseason record slash line: 309/362/536/898
Joe Mauer postseason record slash line: 286/359/314/673

Kirby got lucky in his 2 post-seasons with: 10XBH/5 Home Runs/16 RBI
Mauer was unlucky in his 3 post-seasons: 1XBH/0 Home Runs/1 RBI

Kirby was huge in the postseason, without a doubt. He led the Twins to two championships.

That doesn't negate luck. In any SSS, players can look horrible or world-beating with just a few swings of the bat. Give Joe and Kirby more playoff ABs and they both progress/regress to their personal (regular season) mean.

1987 and 1991 were great. Puckett was fantastic. That doesn't mean I'm going to bash Joe because he struggled in 40 postseason ABs when he's a better player than Kirby in the regular season.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 08:56 AM
Oy, I guess I'll put in a "/sarcasm" tag on each such post in the future. I understood why snepp said what he said, I just attempted some sarcastic snarkiness. It just went woosh, I guess.

Meh. I expect a three page apology on my desk by noon.

biggentleben
07-02-2012, 09:17 AM
Meh. I expect a three page apology on my desk by noon.

I went above and beyond, only because the copy machine accidentally made 4 copies while I was sitting on it.

Boom Boom
07-02-2012, 09:38 AM
Runs scored aren't valued by stat hounds. They're the other side of the RBI coin, largely dependent on what others do behind you and little to do with your own play past "you got on base". Mauer is quite a bit better at getting on base than Puckett. It's not his fault the guys behind him aren't driving him home.

As for RBIs, well... You're just wrong on that account. Here are the career splits for Mauer and Puckett.

Mauer:
RISP: .953 OPS
Men On: .917 OPS

Puckett:
RISP: 879 OPS
Men On: .874 OPS

Naturally, Mauer also has a much better OBP in those situations.

As for "team leaders", I don't buy into that very much (or at all, really). A single player can only do so much. Puckett had great playoff moments for sure but so much of that is luck and timing in a SSS that I can't put much weight in it (and it's not as if Mauer hasn't had his shining moments in critical situations).

Just a nitpick here, but personally I'm not a fan of using OPS as an indicator of success with RISP.

If there's a runner on 3rd, or a runner on 2nd, or runners on 2nd and 3rd, I don't want the best hitter on my team trying to work a walk. I want him to get a hit. This also eliminates intentional walks in those situations.

Career with RISP
Mauer BA .339 SLG .497
Puckett BA .322 SLG .496

So if you eliminate OBP with RISP, Mauer is still slightly better with RISP than Puckett was.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 10:02 AM
Just a nitpick here, but personally I'm not a fan of using OPS as an indicator of success with RISP.

If there's a runner on 3rd, or a runner on 2nd, or runners on 2nd and 3rd, I don't want the best hitter on my team trying to work a walk. I want him to get a hit. This also eliminates intentional walks in those situations.

Career with RISP
Mauer BA .339 SLG .497
Puckett BA .322 SLG .496

So if you eliminate OBP with RISP, Mauer is still slightly better with RISP than Puckett was.

Personally, I believe that a hitter is a hitter. He shouldn't change his approach based on the plate appearance. If he's an OBP guy and runners are on, he's an OBP guy and should take the walk if given it.

To top it off, he's a #3 hitter. Taking a walk just puts another guy on base for cleanup duties.

Also, RISP doesn't mean only "second base". If there are guys on first and second, a walk advances the runners and adds another guy on the paths. If the bases are loaded, a walk drives in a run.

While I can understand not putting as much weight in OBP as SLG with RISP, let's not pretend that it doesn't matter, either. It's still important.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-02-2012, 12:16 PM
Off Topic: I still think they should move Mauer up in the lineup to give him more at bats.
Span
Mauer
Willingham
Plouffe
Morneau
Doumit
Revere

That is a pretty damn solid 1-7.

jokin
07-02-2012, 12:26 PM
Kirby was huge in the postseason, without a doubt. He led the Twins to two championships.

That doesn't negate luck. In any SSS, players can look horrible or world-beating with just a few swings of the bat. Give Joe and Kirby more playoff ABs and they both progress/regress to their personal (regular season) mean.

1987 and 1991 were great. Puckett was fantastic. That doesn't mean I'm going to bash Joe because he struggled in 40 postseason ABs when he's a better player than Kirby in the regular season.

I've played on a multiple-national-championship college team and coached multiple state and national champion high school age teams. My best teams were with players who, at their own particular level, had what Kirby had, what Jack Morris had, what Koufax had, what Bob Gibson had, what Larry Bird had in basketball....as great as they were as regular season all-time greats, they routinely progressed away from the mean at playoff time. I definitely don't want to be characterized as a basher, the numbers are what they are, and I look forward to the day that Mauer gets his next chance to step up to the opportunity.

jokin
07-02-2012, 12:28 PM
Off Topic: I still think they should move Mauer up in the lineup to give him more at bats.
Span
Mauer
Willingham
Plouffe
Morneau
Doumit
Revere

That is a pretty damn solid 1-7.

I love it and have advocated for Mauer at the 2 spot from the time he got here. The only possible variation where I differ is having Revere in the 9 spot to have him only 1 away from Mauer's spot, with Carroll/Casilla in the 8 and Dozier in the 7.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 12:47 PM
I've played on a multiple-national-championship college team and coached multiple state and national champion high school age teams. My best teams were with players who, at their own particular level, had what Kirby had, what Jack Morris had, what Koufax had, what Bob Gibson had, what Larry Bird had in basketball....as great as they were as regular season all-time greats, they routinely progressed away from the mean at playoff time. I definitely don't want to be characterized as a basher, the numbers are what they are, and I look forward to the day that Mauer gets his next chance to step up to the opportunity.

Jack Morris was basically the same player in the playoffs that he was in the rest of his career. Did he have an amazing game seven in 1991? Yes, he did. But he also had his fair share of playoff clunkers. Derek Jeter is basically the same player in the playoffs that he has been in the regular season. Sandy Koufax was a monster in the playoffs but that's most due to the fact that he was a monster pitcher, period. His playoff ERA, while ridiculous, isn't that much better than his regular season ERA during his dominant seasons in the early 60s. The same applies to Bob Gibson. Lengthy studies have been done on this subject and in baseball, players have clutch moments. But there is no discernable proof that particular players are consistently clutch.

As humans, we have a tendency to remember good moments and discard mediocre ones. We remember Mr. November but don't remember the two times Jeter may have weakly popped out earlier in the game. Some players, through SSS, have amazing postseason numbers. But as those players get more playoff exposure, they tend to regress to their mean or in cases like Barry Bonds, progress back up to their mean (Bonds' playoff stats are still below his career norms but after his 2002 playoff run, they climbed relatively close to his career average).

The great thing about baseball is that we have a wealth of numbers to look at and break down the game; far more than any other sport. If Derek Jeter truly was "clutch", wouldn't he perform just as well in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth in June as he would in the playoffs? The game is on the line and if he could simply flip a switch into "clutch mode", he would do it all the time, all season long. The numbers show that this simply isn't the case and if a player can't deliver the "clutch" goods in June, what makes anyone think he'd be able to do it in October? Because the game is even more on the line? That doesn't pass any kind of critical thinking test. Derek Jeter is a very good baseball player whose "game on the line" stats are the same as his "all other times" stats. Why? Because, if given enough playoff opportunities, every player ends up that way. If there truly was a clutch hitter, we'd be able to identify them easily based on their regular season performances. We can't because they just don't exist.

Here is a great article on the subject:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2656

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-02-2012, 12:56 PM
I love it and have advocated for Mauer at the 2 spot from the time he got here. The only possible variation where I differ is having Revere in the 9 spot to have him only 1 away from Mauer's spot, with Carroll/Casilla in the 8 and Dozier in the 7.

I'm wondering if they do it if/when Span is traded.

A lineup of:
Revere
Mauer
Willingham
Plouffe
Morneau
Doumit
Parmelee
Dozier
Caroll/whoever

would prob make the most sense no?

jokin
07-02-2012, 01:16 PM
Jack Morris was basically the same player in the playoffs that he was in the rest of his career. Did he have an amazing game seven in 1991? Yes, he did. But he also had his fair share of playoff clunkers. Derek Jeter is basically the same player in the playoffs that he has been in the regular season. Sandy Koufax was a monster in the playoffs but that's most due to the fact that he was a monster pitcher, period. His playoff ERA, while ridiculous, isn't that much better than his regular season ERA during his dominant seasons in the early 60s. The same applies to Bob Gibson. Lengthy studies have been done on this subject and in baseball, players have clutch moments. But there is no discernable proof that particular players are consistently clutch.

As humans, we have a tendency to remember good moments and discard mediocre ones. We remember Mr. November but don't remember the two times Jeter may have weakly popped out earlier in the game. Some players, through SSS, have amazing postseason numbers. But as those players get more playoff exposure, they tend to regress to their mean or in cases like Barry Bonds, progress back up to their mean (Bonds' playoff stats are still below his career norms but after his 2002 playoff run, they climbed relatively close to his career average).

Here is a great article on the subject:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2656

I didn't bring up Bonds or Jeter for a reason. How about Reggie Jackson and Michael Jordan? I have to disagree with your suppostion, as I have personally discerned the difference firsthand on numerous occasions. There is just something different in the psychological profile in players like these. You looked at the numbers, which are the averages for the regular season, playing the KC Athletics/Royals, Chicago Cubs, St Louis Browns, and the other all-too-numerous typical bottom dwellers of their eras. These players are not just meeting, but exceeding their average numbers, ......and doing it against the best teams in MLB/NBA.......who all have the chance to run saturation study/scout profiles over 7 game series to attack any weak tendencies......playing in front of packed houses.......in front of 10s of Millions in the Mass Media..... and under severe scrutiny from gonzo journalists and crazed fans.

Jack Morris did not regress. Michael Jordan did not regress. Kirby did not regress. Koufax did not regress. I hope Joe gets many more chances to regress!

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 01:21 PM
I didn't bring up Bonds or Jeter for a reason. How about Reggie Jackson and Michael Jordan? I have to disagree with your suppostion, as I have personally discerned the difference firsthand on numerous occasions. There is just something different in the psychological profile in players like these. You looked at the numbers, which are the averages for the regular season, playing the KC Athletics/Royals, Chicago Cubs, St Louis Browns, and the other all-too-numerous typical bottom dwellers of their eras. These players are not just meeting, but exceeding their average numbers, ......and doing it against the best teams in MLB/NBA.......who all have the chance to run saturation study/scout profiles over 7 game series to attack any weak tendencies......playing in front of packed houses.......in front of 10s of Millions in the Mass Media..... and under severe scrutiny from gonzo journalists and crazed fans.

Jack Morris did not regress. Michael Jordan did not regress. Kirby did not regress. Koufax did not regress. I hope Joe gets many more chances to regress!

I was editing my post while you typed this.

The great thing about baseball is that we have a wealth of numbers to look at and break down the game; far more than any other sport. If Derek Jeter truly was "clutch", wouldn't he perform just as well in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth in June as he would in the playoffs? The game is on the line and if he could simply flip a switch into "clutch mode", he would do it all the time, all season long. The numbers show that this simply isn't the case and if a player can't deliver the "clutch" goods in June, what makes anyone think he'd be able to do it in October? Because the game is even more on the line? That doesn't pass any kind of critical thinking test. Derek Jeter is a very good baseball player whose "game on the line" stats are the same as his "all other times" stats. Why? Because, if given enough playoff opportunities, every player ends up that way. If there truly was a clutch hitter, we'd be able to identify them easily based on their regular season performances. We can't because they just don't exist.

Again, first hand experience means nothing. The human mind plays tricks on everyone. You remember a clutch hit but you won't remember the strikeout in the sixth that could have started a rally had he hit a double. You don't remember Jeter striking out to end game six when he could have hit a single to win the game. But you do remember his game seven shot the next night. Did Jeter not want to win that game six? Do you honestly believe that to be the case? What about that all-important game in mid-September when the game was tied in the eighth and he grounded into a double play? Did he only fail because he didn't want to win badly enough? That doesn't make any sense.

We have mountains of statistics to show that clutch players do not exist. These are professionals who want to win and if it was as easy as just "trying harder" or "focusing more", we'd see clutch players perform throughout the regular season.

PS. Reggie Jackson's playoff performances are entirely in line with his regular season play. He played the most playoff games during his prime and in ~320 playoff ABs, OPSed at .880. His career OPS was .845. Pretty much what you'd expect considering that when he played most of his playoff games, he was routinely OPSing at .900+ during the regular season.

jokin
07-02-2012, 01:22 PM
I'm wondering if they do it if/when Span is traded.

A lineup of:
Revere
Mauer
Willingham
Plouffe
Morneau
Doumit
Parmelee
Dozier
Caroll/whoever

would prob make the most sense no?

Dave, stop making so much sense. It only irritates Gardy. Do you think Parmelee gets the automatic nod in RF, or does he try to mix in Mastro on some type of platoon situation? If Mastro gets more PT, he would be my choice down in the 9 spot. Sadly, if Span is dealt, Gardy still writes Mauer's name in the 3 hole and he likely moves Carroll up to 2.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-02-2012, 01:29 PM
Dave, stop making so much sense. It only irritates Gardy. Do you think Parmelee gets the automatic nod in RF, or does he try to mix in Mastro on some type of platoon situation? If Mastro gets more PT, he would be my choice down in the 9 spot. Sadly, if Span is dealt, Gardy still writes Mauer's name in the 3 hole and he likely moves Carroll up to 2.

I think Mastro ultimately becomes the 4th OF/late defensive replacement/PR option off the bench. I hope he isn't being counted on to platoon with Parmelee or something off the bat, though he does have a nice OPS against LHP (SSS)

jokin
07-02-2012, 01:31 PM
I was editing my post while you typed this.

The great thing about baseball is that we have a wealth of numbers to look at and break down the game; far more than any other sport. If Derek Jeter truly was "clutch", wouldn't he perform just as well in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth in June as he would in the playoffs? The game is on the line and if he could simply flip a switch into "clutch mode", he would do it all the time, all season long. The numbers show that this simply isn't the case and if a player can't deliver the "clutch" goods in June, what makes anyone think he'd be able to do it in October? Because the game is even more on the line? That doesn't pass any kind of critical thinking test. Derek Jeter is a very good baseball player whose "game on the line" stats are the same as his "all other times" stats. Why? Because, if given enough playoff opportunities, every player ends up that way. If there truly was a clutch hitter, we'd be able to identify them easily based on their regular season performances. We can't because they just don't exist.

Again, first hand experience means nothing. The human mind plays tricks on everyone. You remember a clutch hit but you won't remember the strikeout in the sixth that could have started a rally had he hit a double. You don't remember Jeter striking out to end game six when he could have hit a single to win the game. But you do remember his game seven shot the next night. Did Jeter not want to win that game six? Do you honestly believe that to be the case? What about that all-important game in mid-September when the game was tied in the eighth and he grounded into a double play? Did he only fail because he didn't want to win badly enough? That doesn't make any sense.

We have mountains of statistics to show that clutch players do not exist. These are professionals who want to win and if it was as easy as just "trying harder" or "focusing more", we'd see clutch players perform throughout the regular season.

You keep bringing up Jeter. He's not my idea of the best clutch player and why I didn't bring him up. I coached guys that were, repeatedly. Some guys I had coaching and/or played with were so-so players, until the games really mattered. It was a transformative thing, it was not a mirage, you could see it in real time, and it happened again, and again. That's a real-time critical thinking test that I saw repeated time and time again. Having said that, statistics bind athletic performance to something less than all-worldliness. Of course, no one has ever been able to deliver in every single pressure situation, what doesn't make sense is dismissively thinking that players with this particular personality profile don't exist. They do.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 01:35 PM
You keep bringing up Jeter. He's not my idea of the best clutch player and why I didn't bring him up. I coached guys that were, repeatedly. Some guys I had coaching and/or played with were so-so players, until the games really mattered. It was a transformative thing, it was not a mirage, you could see it in real time, and it happened again, and again. That's a real-time critical thinking test that I saw repeated time and time again. Having said that, statistics bind athletic performance to something less than all-worldliness. Of course, no one has ever been able to deliver in every single pressure situation, what doesn't make sense is dismissively thinking that players with this particular personality profile don't exist. They do.

I bring up Jeter for a few reasons:

1. He's the posterboy for Clutchiness
2. He has a billion playoff ABs
3. He's a good player

So you're telling me that professionals don't really try until the games really super-duper for-realsies matter? That Reggie Jackson didn't try as hard in a tie game in September that could decide home field advantage as he did in October? That Jack Morris didn't think a game in June against a division rival didn't really matter? That Kirby didn't really think the series against the A's in 1992 was a big deal so he didn't really try? Continue ad nauseum...

I'm sorry but that doesn't make a lick of sense. None.

jokin
07-02-2012, 01:38 PM
I think Mastro ultimately becomes the 4th OF/late defensive replacement/PR option off the bench. I hope he isn't being counted on to platoon with Parmelee or something off the bat, though he does have a nice OPS against LHP (SSS)

I brought that up due to the recent line-up shuffles with the DH and all, Mastro appears to be getting some extra looks lately, are they in the midst of making a "big decision", based on impending developments, on which direction to take, ala Dozier/Valencia? The MO for the manager has been to throw one guy in there and see how he reacts. Parmelee failed the first test in April, have they so soon dismissed that, or is his AAA performance and his recent HR enough to give him another clear shot at the job?

There certainly is little to suggest Mastro should merit such consideration long-term, although I don't mind him at all in the role you described for him.

jokin
07-02-2012, 01:41 PM
I bring up Jeter for a few reasons:

1. He's the posterboy for Clutchiness
2. He has a billion playoff ABs
3. He's a good player

So you're telling me that professionals don't really try until the games really super-duper for-realsies matter? That Reggie Jackson didn't try as hard in a tie game in September that could decide home field advantage as he did in October? That Jack Morris didn't think a game in June against a division rival didn't really matter? That Kirby didn't really think the series against the A's in 1992 was a big deal so he didn't really try? Continue ad nauseum...

I'm sorry but that doesn't make a lick of sense. None.

It isn't about trying, and it does make sense if you've actually seen it happening. Of course they "try" every time, but isn't it possible to see the concept that some games "matter more" than others? That the stakes are different? It's a whole different concept, rising above, taking your game to a higher level...... I know you've heard the term: "No guts. No glory." It is said for a reason.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-02-2012, 01:47 PM
I brought that up due to the recent line-up shuffles with the DH and all, Mastro appears to be getting some extra looks lately, are they in the midst of making a "big decision", based on impending developments, on which direction to take, ala Dozier/Valencia? The MO for the manager has been to throw one guy in there and see how he reacts. Parmelee failed the first test in April, have they so soon dismissed that, or is his AAA performance and his recent HR enough to give him another clear shot at the job?

There certainly is little to suggest Mastro should merit such consideration long-term, although I don't mind him at all in the role you described for him.
I have been thinking the same thing in regards to Mastro, they have been playing him almost every day which tends to make me think they either are:

Making sure he is good enough to keep around as the 4th OF if Span is traded or They are deciding whether to even keep him on the roster at all.

Long term Mastro is nothing more than orgainzational filler, but it is nice that he has shown an ability to play solid defense and steal a few bases.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 01:48 PM
It isn't about trying, and it does make sense if you've actually seen it happening. Of course they "try" every time, but isn't possible to see the concept that some games "matter more" than others? That the stakes are different? It's a whole different concept, rising above, taking your game to a higher level...... I know you've heard the term: "No guts. No glory." It is said for a reason.

It's said because people have a disjointed association with reality. Perception does not equal truth.

If guys could flip a switch and go into "wolfpack mode", we'd see it on a regular basis. It wouldn't be this mystical, unquantifiable object that only appears when somebody has less than 50 ABs (because when you look at players with more ABs than that, they almost always perform to their career mean) in games that register an "11" on the Really Matters Scale. We'd see it in games that register an 8 on the Really Matters Scale. We would have seen it in 92 when the Twins were destroyed by the As. We would have seen Jeter do it innumerable times as his Yankees were booted from the playoffs. We'd see it almost every day.

But we don't.

I've said all I can on this topic. I'm not going to keep running around in circles about this.

CDog
07-02-2012, 02:27 PM
I've said all I can on this topic. I'm not going to keep running around in circles about this.

Not to stick my nose in (haha...obviously not entirely true), but hey it's a public forum right?.... But the reason for the circular conversation (I think) is that you're almost saying the same thing. Clearly teams/players that have had success in short series (like baseball and basketball and other sports playoff systems) tend to have players perform above their expected level. That's WHY they have success. One of you is saying that those increases from expectation are part of the natural variation of things. One of you believes that it's something innate that has caused the increase. That becomes more of a faith-based area when you're talking about the causation of the increase from the mean, so there really isn't going to be any convincing of anyone. Probably.

jokin
07-02-2012, 02:33 PM
It's said because people have a disjointed association with reality. Perception does not equal truth.

If guys could flip a switch and go into "wolfpack mode", we'd see it on a regular basis. It wouldn't be this mystical, unquantifiable object that only appears when somebody has less than 50 ABs (because when you look at players with more ABs than that, they almost always perform to their career mean) in games that register an "11" on the Really Matters Scale. We'd see it in games that register an 8 on the Really Matters Scale. We would have seen it in 92 when the Twins were destroyed by the As. We would have seen Jeter do it innumerable times as his Yankees were booted from the playoffs. We'd see it almost every day.

But we don't.

I've said all I can on this topic. I'm not going to keep running around in circles about this.

Perception does not equal truth, but reality equals truth, when "winners" repeatedly win and regularly perform at high levels in pressure situations far greater than those they see in the typical regular season game , perception equals reality- which equals truth.

That we don't see it on a regular basis is the point. Have you played or been involved with teams expected to perform on the highest levels relative to their age/skill level? The trait is rare and obviously exists on a sliding scale of effectiveness- this isn't the all-or-none proposition that you proffer, notwithstanding your "almost always" demurral, this is the key to the discussion, you admit the exceptions exist, which goes to supporting my point. There is a litany of evidence that some great athletes absolutely choke up in big moments, until this year LeBron James was the poster boy for choke artistry. A good coach/ scout easily recognizes who is a crunch time, and who is a choke time player when he sees them. Those who possess it are coveted immediately for one's roster upon discovery of the trait and in turn, must be accounted for if you have to go up against them. That doesn't mean the Mr October players bat .850 and get the winning homer every single time in the bottom of the 9th, down 2, with 2 on and 2 out and 2 strikes, but at least the coach knows his odds for a successful outcome are the best/worst that they are going to be.

Thank you for an interesting and challenging discussion. You imposing and powerful points and counterpoints were undoubtedly the reason you were chosen MVP of your college Debate Team.

fetch
07-02-2012, 02:39 PM
It's said because people have a disjointed association with reality. Perception does not equal truth.

If guys could flip a switch and go into "wolfpack mode", we'd see it on a regular basis. It wouldn't be this mystical, unquantifiable object that only appears when somebody has less than 50 ABs (because when you look at players with more ABs than that, they almost always perform to their career mean) in games that register an "11" on the Really Matters Scale. We'd see it in games that register an 8 on the Really Matters Scale. We would have seen it in 92 when the Twins were destroyed by the As. We would have seen Jeter do it innumerable times as his Yankees were booted from the playoffs. We'd see it almost every day.

But we don't.

I've said all I can on this topic. I'm not going to keep running around in circles about this.

You would think this point would be easy enough to understand

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 02:45 PM
The trait is rare and obviously exists on a sliding scale of effectiveness- this isn't the all-or-none proposition that you proffer, notwithstanding your "almost always" demurral, this is the key to the discussion, you admit the exceptions exist, which goes to supporting my point.

Okay, last response. You're missing my point. "Almost always" means that performances are skewed based on the size of the data pool. Given an infinite number of ABs or IP, the player will perform at their regular talent level in clutch situations.

That isn't merely supposition or conjecture. It has been proven over and over and over again. There are outliers, yes. But those outliers almost entirely consist of players with such a small data pool as to be unreliable, the same way you don't look outside today, see a 100 degree temperature, and then declare that every day in Minnesota is 100 degrees. That doesn't mean it wasn't 100 degrees, that only means that your data pool is too small to predict or declare something as truth. As those players age and that data pool swells, their clutchiness goes away. Some players never get more opportunities and that's where this myth is born.

PS. I'm not talking about other sports. I am limiting this conversation entirely to baseball. I am an avid baseball fan while only a passing fan of other sports. I don't pretend to know enough about playoff clutchiness in other sports to begin to form an opinion on it.

Paul
07-02-2012, 02:47 PM
Rocketpig and Jokin, I'd like to offer my take on the "No guts. No glory." thing. I think it's a real thing. With real viewed results like jokin has seen. But the cause is misunderstood. And rocketpig is correct. This is no superhuman feat by guys like Jeter. What I see is the ability to confront the situation without whithering. And act. With no back down. With no backoff. This coupled with the slight whithering of other competitors, in high pressure situations, results in what is viewed "stepping up" rather than the reality of not stepping back.

jokin
07-02-2012, 02:52 PM
Not to stick my nose in (haha...obviously not entirely true), but hey it's a public forum right?.... But the reason for the circular conversation (I think) is that you're almost saying the same thing. Clearly teams/players that have had success in short series (like baseball and basketball and other sports playoff systems) tend to have players perform above their expected level. That's WHY they have success. One of you is saying that those increases from expectation are part of the natural variation of things. One of you believes that it's something innate that has caused the increase. That becomes more of a faith-based area when you're talking about the causation of the increase from the mean, so there really isn't going to be any convincing of anyone. Probably.

Not faith-based on my part. I saw it first-hand as a player. My college team won 3 NCAA titles and we had "regular guys" that stepped up to different, previously unrecognizable levels during our title runs, while a couple of the guys that ended up playing professionally didn't end up being the key guys in crunch time, repeatedly. One example, my college later on had a lefty who ended up pitching for the Giants, he was never on anyone's radar because he never treated his regular season's seriously. No one predicted that he would pitch professionally He had a couple great games in the playoffs, got an invite to a tryout camp, where there is very real, absolute pressure coming in as a complete unknown amongst 100+ other guys. Of course, with the cameras whirring, every eye on the Giants scouting staff watching and the radar gun flashing red on every one of his pitches, he wowed the Giants, who signed him on the spot. Never saw him pitch like that until that college playoff run, his approach and personality completely changed when the pressure increased. As a coach and recruiter, where the difference between the best and second best being such a small fractional value, a top priority was recruiting guys that could repeatedly and demonstrably raise their level in crunch time over the guys with obvious superior athletic talent, skill and size.

jokin
07-02-2012, 02:54 PM
Rocketpig and Jokin, I'd like to offer my take on the "No guts. No glory." thing. I think it's a real thing. With real viewed results like jokin has seen. But the cause is misunderstood. And rocketpig is correct. This is no superhuman feat by guys like Jeter. What I see is the ability to confront the situation without whithering. And act. With no back down. With no backoff. This coupled with the slight whithering of other competitors, in high pressure situations, results in what is viewed "stepping up" rather than the reality of not stepping back.

Well said. I heartily concur. My expertise is in another sport, but I think it does translate to all of the major sports. IE, Mauer definitely did it to Chapman.

jokin
07-02-2012, 03:01 PM
Okay, last response. You're missing my point. "Almost always" means that performances are skewed based on the size of the data pool. Given an infinite number of ABs or IP, the player will perform at their regular talent level in clutch situations.

That isn't merely supposition or conjecture. It has been proven over and over and over again. There are outliers, yes. But those outliers almost entirely consist of players with such a small data pool as to be unreliable, the same way you don't look outside today, see a 100 degree temperature, and then declare that every day in Minnesota is 100 degrees. That doesn't mean it wasn't 100 degrees, that only means that your data pool is too small to predict or declare something as truth. As those players age and that data pool swells, their clutchiness goes away. Some players never get more opportunities and that's where this myth is born.

PS. I'm not talking about other sports. I am limiting this conversation entirely to baseball. I am an avid baseball fan while only a passing fan of other sports. I don't pretend to know enough about playoff clutchiness in other sports to begin to form an opinion on it.


Again, "regular talent level" takes into account games against the St Louis Browns as a means to gathering your statistical sample. The best have consistently produced numbers at or above their seasonal averages against the very best teams under the extreme pressure spotlight, take that plus add all the advantages that the other team in a 7 game series has to focus their entire intellectual effort to scout/study/profile them in probing for weakensses. Those that exceed their norms are outliers for a reason, they are special. If you watched Kirby in 87 and 91 both on the field and in his interactions with the media, you knew, win or lose, he was in the midst of raising his game, this guy was one of the special ones.

TwinsFanInPhilly
07-02-2012, 03:14 PM
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

CDog
07-02-2012, 03:15 PM
Not faith-based on my part. .

Then we're in a semantics debate. You have more than once given a detailed list of things that are "your proof" of one thing. RP has given, several times, a detailed list of things that are "his proof" of another thing. Nobody is discounting the facts presented by either, simply their meaning and interpretation. And yet different conclusions are reached. That's because you both BELIEVE something different is that causation and there can really be no facts that convince the other because it's your belief. Faith-based. Maybe a poor choice of terms because it conjures up notions of fairy-tales and make-believe. That's not how I meant it.

twinswon1991
07-02-2012, 03:31 PM
Nice to see Iron Joe toughing out another game at catcher tonight! Instead of being an all star catcher we get to watch replacent level DH production earning 23 mil.......at least his replacement is not Butera where we suffer thru hole in the lineup while Joe jokes around on the bench.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-02-2012, 04:08 PM
Nice to see Iron Joe toughing out another game at catcher tonight! Instead of being an all star catcher we get to watch replacent level DH production earning 23 mil.......at least his replacement is not Butera where we suffer thru hole in the lineup while Joe jokes around on the bench.
I give this post a 0/10.

Troll harder/faster/better next time.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 04:14 PM
Instead of being an all star catcher we get to watch replacent level DH production earning 23 mil

Average AL DH OPS: .770
Joe Mauer OPS: .859

Try again.

jokin
07-02-2012, 04:15 PM
Then we're in a semantics debate. You have more than once given a detailed list of things that are "your proof" of one thing. RP has given, several times, a detailed list of things that are "his proof" of another thing. Nobody is discounting the facts presented by either, simply their meaning and interpretation. And yet different conclusions are reached. That's because you both BELIEVE something different is that causation and there can really be no facts that convince the other because it's your belief. Faith-based. Maybe a poor choice of terms because it conjures up notions of fairy-tales and make-believe. That's not how I meant it.

Except in my case, it's not a belief, but a formula, for proven, repeatable success.

jokin
07-02-2012, 04:16 PM
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

Did TR crib that from Grantland Rice?

twinswon1991
07-02-2012, 04:23 PM
Average AL DH OPS: .770
Joe Mauer OPS: .859

Try again.

Average DH probably makes 5 mil. Glad that .7 of OPS is worth 18 mil. What is the combined ops for Butera/Mauer compared to ave C + DH? Ill even let you use Buteras lucky 2012 numbers. One of these days you will realize Joe is killing this franchise.

fetch
07-02-2012, 04:28 PM
Average DH probably makes 5 mil. Glad that .7 of OPS is worth 18 mil. What is the combined ops for Butera/Mauer compared to ave C + DH? Ill even let you use Buteras lucky 2012 numbers. One of these days you will realize Joe is killing this franchise.

Well there aren't many full time DHes (including Mauer) so that's a pretty stupid argument. Using OPS is stupid too.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 04:34 PM
Average DH probably makes 5 mil. Glad that .7 of OPS is worth 18 mil. What is the combined ops for Butera/Mauer compared to ave C + DH? Ill even let you use Buteras lucky 2012 numbers. One of these days you will realize Joe is killing this franchise.

Albert Pujols is OPSing under .800.

Angels fans should lynch the bastard.

PS. A ".7" OPS over league average would be pretty kick-ass and would absolutely be worth $18m.

jm3319
07-02-2012, 04:34 PM
Average DH probably makes 5 mil. Glad that .7 of OPS is worth 18 mil. What is the combined ops for Butera/Mauer compared to ave C + DH? Ill even let you use Buteras lucky 2012 numbers. One of these days you will realize Joe is killing this franchise.


Killing the franchise? So, you're thinking that because Joe makes 23M a year it means the other 77M can't be spent on anything useful? The Twins have won the division with a total payroll of 55M before. Quit using his contract as an excuse for the rest of the team, mainly the pitching, (okay, pretty much just the pitching) being awful. One bad contract doesn't kill a team, 4-5 terrible starting pitchers does. (some flashes of respectability in there, but obviously still the reason for the Twins sucking this year)

one_eyed_jack
07-02-2012, 04:44 PM
If I may stick my nose in as well, I actually agree with a lot of what both RP and jokin have to say here.

Certainly, as jokin said, some guys just seem to have that knack for playing their best when the stakes are highest. The only quibble I have, and maybe I'm picking nits here, is calling it a "trait" - that makes it sounds like an "either you were born with it or you weren't" kind of thing, and I'm not sure it's an either/or. It may come more naturally to some guys than others, but it's not like guys who have never displayed it will never have it. Isn't it something guys can improve on with experience? To take an example from another sport - look at Steve Yzerman. For much of his early career, he was maligned as a guy who put up big numbers in the regular season but disappeared in the playoffs and failed to lead his team when it mattered most. He was almost traded because of this. But several years and 3 Stanley Cups later, his ability to step up in crunch time was beyond question, and the idea that he lacked guts seems ludicrous.

But like RP said, I also think that the whole "clutch player" thing can be overblown, and guys get lauded as "clutch" or branded as "choke artists" when there is little behind those labels besides the national media's desire to manufacture a story.

Anyway, I'm hoping Mauer gets another shot soon, and buries this debate over this just the way Stevie Y did.

Fire Dan Gladden
07-02-2012, 05:06 PM
Not getting too far into this discussion, but didn't the guys over at ESPN dig into this clutch notion during one of the last two postseasons and found that guys pretty much performed to their regular season standard (be it good or bad) during the postseason? I believe they focused on the Yankees, and found that as their opportunities increased (ie more playoff games) players came around to their usual numbers.

Brock Beauchamp
07-02-2012, 05:39 PM
Not getting too far into this discussion, but didn't the guys over at ESPN dig into this clutch notion during one of the last two postseasons and found that guys pretty much performed to their regular season standard (be it good or bad) during the postseason? I believe they focused on the Yankees, and found that as their opportunities increased (ie more playoff games) players came around to their usual numbers.

Yep. Studies have been done for almost 20 years on the subject, I believe.

What you said is basically my entire point.

mnfireman
07-02-2012, 05:48 PM
These same guys would bash Carew, Boggs, and Gwynn, to name a few, because they would have gotten "Mauer Money" if they played today but "don't hit for power." Pretty sure their career OPS's were above league average over their careers.

jokin
07-02-2012, 05:50 PM
If I may stick my nose in as well, I actually agree with a lot of what both RP and jokin have to say here.

Certainly, as jokin said, some guys just seem to have that knack for playing their best when the stakes are highest. The only quibble I have, and maybe I'm picking nits here, is calling it a "trait" - that makes it sounds like an "either you were born with it or you weren't" kind of thing, and I'm not sure it's an either/or. It may come more naturally to some guys than others, but it's not like guys who have never displayed it will never have it. Isn't it something guys can improve on with experience? To take an example from another sport - look at Steve Yzerman. For much of his early career, he was maligned as a guy who put up big numbers in the regular season but disappeared in the playoffs and failed to lead his team when it mattered most. He was almost traded because of this. But several years and 3 Stanley Cups later, his ability to step up in crunch time was beyond question, and the idea that he lacked guts seems ludicrous.

But like RP said, I also think that the whole "clutch player" thing can be overblown, and guys get lauded as "clutch" or branded as "choke artists" when there is little behind those labels besides the national media's desire to manufacture a story.

Anyway, I'm hoping Mauer gets another shot soon, and buries this debate over this just the way Stevie Y did.

Thanks for adding in another sport, I knew there were like-performers in other sports, couldn't come up with the perfect example, fortunately, you did, because I think it isn't sport specific! A more mental game like golf brings up Greg Norman, all the tools, always highly ranked, and the long-time sufferer in being branded by the media as a choker. Cliches like " he must have ice water in his veins" are usually originally grounded in some element of the truth. Terry Bradshow probably had it, he definitely wasn't the best athlete at his position, played at an obscure D-1AA school in Louisiana, but his coaches and teammates soon knew what their leader was capable of doing when big games were on the line. Like LeBron James, and Michael Jordan early in his career, their experience and confidence level grew as they progressed through their careers until they got to the point that they finally answered the question about being able to come through time after time on the biggest stage, so yes, I think it is something they can improve on when it doesn't come as naturally. Few people know how much time Jordan and Mauer spend on honing and refining their skills to make it look so effortless in front of 100 Million people.

It may surpirse some, but I wholly agree with you on the "clutch" thing, too, which is why I am not overly enamored with the Jeter media phenomenon. A lot of performance and overperformance appears to be based on motivation levels, which may, or may not be, "clutch". In his autobiography, Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics talked about his legendary battles with Wilt Chamberlain (who was ridiculously tall, strong, agile, skilled, talented and utterly dominating). Russell said the reason the Celtics won all those titles was in how he and the Celtics prepared for Wilt. They made certain to never make him mad or give him any reason to "raise his level of play", something that he was fully capable of doing on any given night. He went on to describe Wilt as usually perfectly happy if his team lost, as long as he got something around his personal averages for the game. He then went on to describe the incredible performances Wilt had when someone or something made him mad. Roger Clemens and Ty Cobb come to mind in that regard, the madder they got, the better they got. Great performances, but not necessarily clutch. My impression is that some guys are just more internally motivated to thrive more when the stakes are higher, not nearly as focused when the stakes are lower and most importantly, less intimidated at the thought of possible failure as the games get more important.

70charger
07-02-2012, 05:58 PM
The "clutch" conversation is conditional confusion.

If a team did well in a pressure situation, then a player must have come through in the clutch. Don't confuse that which is required for that which is merely sufficient.

jokin
07-02-2012, 05:59 PM
Not getting too far into this discussion, but didn't the guys over at ESPN dig into this clutch notion during one of the last two postseasons and found that guys pretty much performed to their regular season standard (be it good or bad) during the postseason? I believe they focused on the Yankees, and found that as their opportunities increased (ie more playoff games) players came around to their usual numbers.

"opportunties increased" also implies valuable experience gained for the next opportunity. There is also the question of the winning mind-set instilled within the Yankee culture, which certainly could be argued is learned expectations and resulting behavior, because if you don't pick up on that, you're gone (ask Carl Pavano).

jokin
07-02-2012, 06:03 PM
These same guys would bash Carew, Boggs, and Gwynn, to name a few, because they would have gotten "Mauer Money" if they played today but "don't hit for power." Pretty sure their career OPS's were above league average over their careers.

The only problem with that is that those types of hitters don't get "Mauer Money" Off the top of my head, Ichiro makes only $18 Mil, and part of that is derived from the dollars he generates from his Japanese fan base. Power is worth more $$s.

fetch
07-02-2012, 06:03 PM
laughing ridiculously hard at winning mindset

jokin
07-02-2012, 06:28 PM
laughing ridiculously hard at winning mindset

...because that isn't what the Yankees expectation is, year-in, year-out? Why do you think they have already publicly hinted that they are taking a pass on Greinke?

PseudoSABR
07-02-2012, 07:20 PM
I wonder if we might get somewhere more profitable if we redefined terms. I think clutchiness is too slippery and something evaluators of talent wouldn't know how to identify within the player, but rather clutchiness is created out of specific conditions, conditions so rare that any data set seems untrustiworthy. But with that said, I can completely relate to the notion that what we know about the human condition suggests that there's certainly an element of grace under pressure in all human activities--we can all admit that such notions are abstract and ultimately judged just as abstractly with our intuition rather than our rationale. What I'm wondering precisely, is that rather than argue over the existence of clutchiness, we find common ground, in another abstract concept but one that I believe scouts actually look for. Poise. I think we can agree the concept is easily associated with pitchers. An old Baseball Think Factory article*, lists it among attributes that a pitcher is judged by (including some other slippery concepts like baseball instinct and aggressiveness). I think there's a hitter's counterpart for such a concept that everyone can admit probably affects how a hitter performs. In any case, such attributes are going to be mutable and dictated by conditions larger than the in-the-game situation.

While sample size and quantification problems prohibit anyone from "proving" or "establishing" abstract characteristics like poise and clutchiness, I think it's just as silly to assert that such qualities don't exist (or don't affect baseball outcomes) because of they are irreducible and unfungible.

*http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/primate_studies/discussion/mckarmey_2003-07-28_0/ (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/primate_studies/discussion/mckarmey_2003-07-28_0/) "
Pitchers are graded for fastball velocity, fastball movement, control, curveball, slider, change of pace, "other" pitch, mechanics, poise, baseball instinct, and aggressiveness"

PseudoSABR
07-02-2012, 07:33 PM
...because that isn't what the Yankees expectation is, year-in, year-out? Why do you think they have already publicly hinted that they are taking a pass on Greinke?
Look, no one's going to take "winning mindset" as a serious characteristic that people actually possess. I think everyone can agree psychology affects baseball (how could it not?), but you can be much more precise in how you go about identifying such elements. Of course people are going to cynical of concepts that can't be quantified, so you're going to have to be far more convincing than glibly mentioning the Yankees.

diehardtwinsfan
07-02-2012, 08:07 PM
Okay, last response. You're missing my point. "Almost always" means that performances are skewed based on the size of the data pool. Given an infinite number of ABs or IP, the player will perform at their regular talent level in clutch situations.

That isn't merely supposition or conjecture. It has been proven over and over and over again. There are outliers, yes. But those outliers almost entirely consist of players with such a small data pool as to be unreliable, the same way you don't look outside today, see a 100 degree temperature, and then declare that every day in Minnesota is 100 degrees. That doesn't mean it wasn't 100 degrees, that only means that your data pool is too small to predict or declare something as truth. As those players age and that data pool swells, their clutchiness goes away. Some players never get more opportunities and that's where this myth is born.

PS. I'm not talking about other sports. I am limiting this conversation entirely to baseball. I am an avid baseball fan while only a passing fan of other sports. I don't pretend to know enough about playoff clutchiness in other sports to begin to form an opinion on it.


pretty much this, though I think you can make a case for people choking in the clutch.

USAFChief
07-02-2012, 09:47 PM
I wonder if we might get somewhere more profitable if we redefined terms. I think clutchiness is too slippery and something evaluators of talent wouldn't know how to identify within the player, but rather clutchiness is created out of specific conditions, conditions so rare that any data set seems untrustiworthy. But with that said, I can completely relate to the notion that what we know about the human condition suggests that there's certainly an element of grace under pressure in all human activities--we can all admit that such notions are abstract and ultimately judged just as abstractly with our intuition rather than our rationale. What I'm wondering precisely, is that rather than argue over the existence of clutchiness, we find common ground, in another abstract concept but one that I believe scouts actually look for. Poise. I think we can agree the concept is easily associated with pitchers. An old Baseball Think Factory article*, lists it among attributes that a pitcher is judged by (including some other slippery concepts like baseball instinct and aggressiveness). I think there's a hitter's counterpart for such a concept that everyone can admit probably affects how a hitter performs. In any case, such attributes are going to be mutable and dictated by conditions larger than the in-the-game situation.

While sample size and quantification problems prohibit anyone from "proving" or "establishing" abstract characteristics like poise and clutchiness, I think it's just as silly to assert that such qualities don't exist (or don't affect baseball outcomes) because of they are irreducible and unfungible.

*http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/primate_studies/discussion/mckarmey_2003-07-28_0/ (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/primate_studies/discussion/mckarmey_2003-07-28_0/) "
Pitchers are graded for fastball velocity, fastball movement, control, curveball, slider, change of pace, "other" pitch, mechanics, poise, baseball instinct, and aggressiveness"



Nice post, Pseudo.

fetch
07-02-2012, 10:02 PM
Look, no one's going to take "winning mindset" as a serious characteristic that people actually possess. I think everyone can agree psychology affects baseball (how could it not?), but you can be much more precise in how you go about identifying such elements. Of course people are going to cynical of concepts that can't be quantified, so you're going to have to be far more convincing than glibly mentioning the Yankees.

Plus most people who can't respond to a high pressure situation are weeded out far before they make the major leagues.

CDog
07-02-2012, 10:08 PM
Except in my case, it's not a belief, but a formula, for proven, repeatable success.

Oh. I see.

CDog
07-02-2012, 10:13 PM
Did TR crib that from Grantland Rice?

Could be the other way around. The bulk of Rice's work came after Teddy shot off that gem.

Bark's Lounge
07-02-2012, 10:27 PM
Average DH probably makes 5 mil. Glad that .7 of OPS is worth 18 mil. What is the combined ops for Butera/Mauer compared to ave C + DH? Ill even let you use Buteras lucky 2012 numbers. One of these days you will realize Joe is killing this franchise.

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Bark's Lounge
07-02-2012, 10:32 PM
As of today, Mauer is on pace to catch only 72 games.

Doesn't the positional adjustment score skew the WAR number for C relative to 1B? Konerko and Encarnacion are having monster years at the plate and Mauer's offensive numbers are best when he's playing catcher, not so much at 1B/DH.

See below:

Here are the full FanGraphs positional adjustments used in WAR:
Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

As noted above, these values are calculated on a per 162 defensive game basis, and players receive weighted credit for each position that they play.

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Bark's Lounge
07-02-2012, 10:37 PM
Nice to see Iron Joe toughing out another game at catcher tonight! Instead of being an all star catcher we get to watch replacent level DH production earning 23 mil.......at least his replacement is not Butera where we suffer thru hole in the lineup while Joe jokes around on the bench.

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Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 12:00 AM
Off Topic: I still think they should move Mauer up in the lineup to give him more at bats.
Span
Mauer
Willingham
Plouffe
Morneau
Doumit
Revere

That is a pretty damn solid 1-7.

Mauer would be a perfect 2... I'd move Revere down to the 9 spot to feed the turnaround.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 12:35 AM
I've been coaching awhile myself and you see exactly what Jokin is talking about in players. When the situation gets tighter. Some players are going to keep their composure and perform more like themselves or elevate. Some players are going to press and change what they normally do or they can't slow down the game because of nerves. It's not a numbers thing to be quantified. It's about good swings and good pitches. Keeping it together to increase your odds. A good swing can be caught and a bad swing can bloop one in. the odds are with the guy who can keep his mechanics or keep his head when every fiber of his being is praying for a hit.

With more playoff or pressure experience... More at bats or pitches thrown in pressure situations... In my opinion it would become more routine and less pressure filled as it goes. This is why playoff experience can be valuable and is sought after.

fetch
07-03-2012, 12:46 AM
I've been coaching awhile myself and you see exactly what Jokin is talking about in players. When the situation gets tighter. Some players are going to keep their composure and perform more like themselves or elevate. Some players are going to press and change what they normally do or they can't slow down the game because of nerves. It's not a numbers thing to be quantified. It's about good swings and good pitches. Keeping it together to increase your odds. A good swing can be caught and a bad swing can bloop one in. the odds are with the guy who can keep his mechanics or keep his head when every fiber of his being is praying for a hit.



That's all well and good, but this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 12:58 AM
That's all well and good, but this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever

Pressure is Pressure. High school pitcher talent faces high school batter talent. Professional faces professional. It's all the same.

It could... And I'm saying could... explain Plouffes performance with Runners on base for example. He could be changing his approach or mindset with the RBI in front of him and he could do it without realizing it and press and he changes his odds with early or late swings or mechanical errors.

Overtime he could become more comfortable in his baseball skin and stop pressing in those situations. If thats what he's actually doing.

I also do not discount in the case of Plouffe that his solo homer descepency is just coincidence.

fetch
07-03-2012, 01:05 AM
Pressure is Pressure.

If a player is THAT affected by pressure to where you change your mechanics and stuff he wouldn't be in the major leagues. It's total nonsense to give that kind of thinking any credibility

USAFChief
07-03-2012, 01:14 AM
If a player is THAT affected by pressure to where you change your mechanics and stuff he wouldn't be in the major leagues. It's total nonsense to give that kind of thinking any credibility

I think it's total nonsense to assume that reaching the major leagues makes you immune to pressure. Could be, but they'd be probably the only people in the world, in any profession, immune to pressure.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 01:22 AM
If a player is THAT affected by pressure to where you change your mechanics and stuff he wouldn't be in the major leagues. It's total nonsense to give that kind of thinking any credibility

Players change mechanics without knowing it in times of no pressure. They can all of a sudden start swinging at pitches they had no problem laying off before. A swing can get just a tad slow or a tad faster. It can be just another Sunday during a road trip in May without a care in the world when something is different. It's a game of timing... Timing can and does get disrupted and then hopefully they find it again.

Pressure would be like a concentrated dose of these routine breakdowns or for some its the moment they were built for and they become more in tune.

I believe it's real. Doesn't mean I'm right but yeah some players seem to thrive and other don't and it has very little to do with ability in my opinion.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 01:35 AM
If a player is THAT affected by pressure to where you change your mechanics and stuff he wouldn't be in the major leagues. It's total nonsense to give that kind of thinking any credibility

Another thing to consider is this. Players reach the major leagues because of their skills. They can choke in the state championship and still be drafted in the first round because the scouts rate their power at a 70 and arm strength at a 65.

Those players can also be moved up the ladder based upon potential and good numbers put up during routine baseball games. That can all change when they face Kershaw for the first time or it can all change when they face the 10th round pick out of Baylor in rookie ball. Or it can change when game is on the line. Self doubt or pressing to be the guy can change what you do.

In my opinion it's why some first rounders don't pan out. I could be wrong but I believe it.

Its a game of timing and repeating that timing against what your head can do to you is a challenge.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 06:15 AM
I think it's total nonsense to assume that reaching the major leagues makes you immune to pressure. Could be, but they'd be probably the only people in the world, in any profession, immune to pressure.

We're talking about the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1% here. Guys who have spent their entire lives in "pressure situations".

If pressure got to them in any real way, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place. Do a few guys wilt under pressure? Sure, I'd buy into that. But it's a small portion of MLB players. Most of the delicate flowers were weeded out long before they made it to a playoff game in MLB.

Fire Dan Gladden
07-03-2012, 08:25 AM
I have coached multiple levels of little league and elementry school baseball. Now that you know my vast experience on this subject, my opinion trumps whatever opinion you feel you need to write. All bow down to me!

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 09:45 AM
We're talking about the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1% here. Guys who have spent their entire lives in "pressure situations".

If pressure got to them in any real way, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place. Do a few guys wilt under pressure? Sure, I'd buy into that. But it's a small portion of MLB players. Most of the delicate flowers were weeded out long before they made it to a playoff game in MLB.

I'm not saying I'm right... I'm saying I believe it.

In my opinion... These guys haven't spent their entire lives in pressure situations. There is such a thing as a routine baseball game and routine at bat or routine pitch that you've made a 1,000 times before and those moments far out pace the pressure filled moment. It's a mental game and your head can do some things to you. It's impossible to quantify so I have no chance but I'm just saying that I believe it.

powrwrap
07-03-2012, 09:48 AM
If a player is THAT affected by pressure to where you change your mechanics and stuff he wouldn't be in the major leagues.

Yet, major league players and major league coaches and major league managers say that it happens.



It's total nonsense to give that kind of thinking any credibility

Because we all know that major league players are gods...

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 10:01 AM
I have coached multiple levels of little league and elementry school baseball. Now that you know my vast experience on this subject, my opinion trumps whatever opinion you feel you need to write. All bow down to me!

I'm not sure where to put that one but I assume it was directed at me. I know that I'm wrong frequently but like everyone else who is also wrong frequently... I'm not going to recognize when I am. I apologize if I've crossed some line in this discussion by saying that I believe it and part of that reason is based on playing and coaching.

Paul
07-03-2012, 10:23 AM
"That's all well and good, but this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever"

I used to play with a guy who roomed with Bret Saberhagen in AAA. I recall a conversation we had where I asked him about the mental aspect of the game at that level. I was curious as all the witness I had borne indicated that the higher you go the greater the impact of the mental aspect. His opinion was at the ML level that's all there is. That's the one variable you work on to control. We're talkin bout focus, composure, poise (great word), control of emotion, work ethic, durability, etc. The handling of pressure situations and the attendant endocrinological (sorry bout this word but it's the only one that fits) issues most certainly falls under this heading. After all "this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever". In the ML everybody throws hard and straight and can catch a ball, and runs fast and hits hard. Harnessing the mind separates one from competitors.

So I guess in my final analysis most of "the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1%" have the same human frailties as us lesser beings.

Paul
07-03-2012, 10:32 AM
Brian, I know this is not my business but, why do you apologize to someone who attacks you? Your comment added to and furthered the discussion. There was absolutely nothing positive in his comment.

jokin
07-03-2012, 10:35 AM
"That's all well and good, but this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever"

I used to play with a guy who roomed with Bret Saberhagen in AAA. I recall a conversation we had where I asked him about the mental aspect of the game at that level. I was curious as all the witness I had borne indicated that the higher you go the greater the impact of the mental aspect. His opinion was at the ML level that's all there is. That's the one variable you work on to control. We're talkin bout focus, composure, poise (great word), control of emotion, work ethic, durability, etc. The handling of pressure situations and the attendant endocrinological (sorry bout this word but it's the only one that fits) issues most certainly falls under this heading. After all "this isn't little league or high school baseball or whatever". In the ML everybody throws hard and straight and can catch a ball, and runs fast and hits hard. Harnessing the mind separates one from competitors.

So I guess in my final analysis most of "the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1%" have the same human frailties as us lesser beings.

Well said. As I stated before, the difference in ability between the top players is 1 or 2%, at most. A lot of opinions being thrown out in this thread with little understanding of the importance of this aspect.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 10:44 AM
Brian, I know this is not my business but, why do you apologize to someone who attacks you? Your comment added to and furthered the discussion. There was absolutely nothing positive in his comment.

You are right Paul... I don't know why I did... I guess over the past couple of days I've been pretty strong on my feelings about quotes and unnecessary attacks on players and realize that I probably came on too strong even though I still fully believe what I typed. I don't want to be heated in discussion anymore... I want to get back to plain ol' discussion and I probably just threw fuel on another fire I'd just as soon not be lit.

I guess I just wanted to clarify that no matter what. My opinion is still only my opinion and it's the same for everyone here even those I disagree with. I'd still buy everyone a beer. Well not everyone cause I don't have that much money. You Paul... I'd find a way to buy ya a beer.

jokin
07-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Mauer would be a perfect 2... I'd move Revere down to the 9 spot to feed the turnaround.


Wish I'd said that....oh, I did. (Check the next post in thread).

Paul
07-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Thank you, jokin.
I was thinkin the same thing... "A lot of opinions being thrown out in this thread with little understanding of the importance of this aspect."
I'm thinkin I could pick out the guys that laced 'em up.

biggentleben
07-03-2012, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure where to put that one but I assume it was directed at me. I know that I'm wrong frequently but like everyone else who is also wrong frequently... I'm not going to recognize when I am. I apologize if I've crossed some line in this discussion by saying that I believe it and part of that reason is based on playing and coaching.

No, pretty sure it was directed at the gentleman who has asserted that his previous experience has made him an expert on whether it is a conditional thing or a permanent state of being.

fetch
07-03-2012, 10:50 AM
Thank you, jokin.
I was thinkin the same thing... "A lot of opinions being thrown out in this thread with little understanding of the importance of this aspect."
I'm thinkin I could pick out the guys that laced 'em up.

I doubt it.

Also I'm not saying pressure doesn't exist or whatever. But I am saying that if a player is that affected by pressure, especially after being in hundreds of pressure situations in high school/college, the minors, etc. they're probably not making it to the majors.

biggentleben
07-03-2012, 10:57 AM
Thank you, jokin.
I was thinkin the same thing... "A lot of opinions being thrown out in this thread with little understanding of the importance of this aspect."
I'm thinkin I could pick out the guys that laced 'em up.

I also think this opinion is bull, and I'm one who "laced 'em up" at a pretty high level in another sport (only because there was no baseball option for me after little league). To assume anyone who's played the game believes in "clutch" being a permanent state of being is ridiculous, just as it would be to have someone state that there is no such thing as "clutch". There are absolutely clutch moments where someone steps up, but human perception is to recall the things that match our preset notions and neglect and even dismiss those that do not match up to this perception. Clutch can happen, sure, but it's not an inherent trait and is not an ability.

If I believe there is no such thing as clutch, I'll notice every time a "clutch" player by reputation strikes out with runners in scoring position. If I believe that clutch is a quality that is permanent in a person, then I'll notice every time the same player hits a two-run double in that situation and conveniently forget (often not even intentionally) any time the player struck out. It's basic confirmation bias from a psychological sense, and any personality disorder loses their filter for one half of this, but the average person often finds beliefs (often of a religious or political backing, but sometimes along the lines of a sports argument) that they develop a similarly one-sided confirmation bias.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 11:00 AM
Wish I'd said that....oh, I did. (Check the next post in thread).

lol... Great minds think a like... (sometimes obviously)... I noticed that you posted it after I posted. Was reading chronologically and responded and returned to read the rest and there you were.

It's funny how many people believe Mauer should be in the 2 hole. More At Bats... Good spot for his patience and contact and power of lack of.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:13 AM
It's funny how many people believe Mauer should be in the 2 hole. More At Bats... Good spot for his patience and contact and power of lack of.

Most of BYTO was howling to put Mauer in the 2 spot back in 2006 or 2007. It just makes too much sense not to do it, especially if the Twins trade Span and lose part of the top of their lineup.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:17 AM
Thank you, jokin.
I was thinkin the same thing... "A lot of opinions being thrown out in this thread with little understanding of the importance of this aspect."
I'm thinkin I could pick out the guys that laced 'em up.

Obviously, Billy Beane never "laced 'em up" quite like you did.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:20 AM
If I believe there is no such thing as clutch, I'll notice every time a "clutch" player by reputation strikes out with runners in scoring position. If I believe that clutch is a quality that is permanent in a person, then I'll notice every time the same player hits a two-run double in that situation and conveniently forget (often not even intentionally) any time the player struck out. It's basic confirmation bias from a psychological sense, and any personality disorder loses their filter for one half of this, but the average person often finds beliefs (often of a religious or political backing, but sometimes along the lines of a sports argument) that they develop a similarly one-sided confirmation bias.

Yep. Basic Psychology 101.

Which is why we have statistics and numbers to sort truth from perception. In the case of baseball, we have piles and piles of statistics...

jokin
07-03-2012, 11:20 AM
Look, no one's going to take "winning mindset" as a serious characteristic that people actually possess. I think everyone can agree psychology affects baseball (how could it not?), but you can be much more precise in how you go about identifying such elements. Of course people are going to cynical of concepts that can't be quantified, so you're going to have to be far more convincing than glibly mentioning the Yankees.

"No one", just because you said so? I don't think so. Just because something is admittedly difficult to quantiy, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Since Steinbrenner awoke the Yankees from their slumber years with CBS, the year-to-year expectations are simple- winning the World Series. These are expectations that were built into the culture of the organization. Their actions, in turn awoke the Red Sox from their slumber. In terms of the psychology of the breeding of the expectations of this culture, ie, a "winning mindset", this is called operant conditioning (OC). OC works through a set of reinforcers- stimuli that increase and/or strengthen the likelihood of the desired response. There are 4 types of reinforcement, they are all used by the Yankees to get that desired response: Positive and Negative Reinforcement, Punishment and Extinction. For Mariano Rivera, Positive Reinforcement was all that was needed, for Kyle Farnsworth (who had all the tools that Rivera had), none of them worked, up to and including the possibility of Extinction- he was gone.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 11:20 AM
I also think this opinion is bull, and I'm one who "laced 'em up" at a pretty high level in another sport (only because there was no baseball option for me after little league). To assume anyone who's played the game believes in "clutch" being a permanent state of being is ridiculous, just as it would be to have someone state that there is no such thing as "clutch". There are absolutely clutch moments where someone steps up, but human perception is to recall the things that match our preset notions and neglect and even dismiss those that do not match up to this perception. Clutch can happen, sure, but it's not an inherent trait and is not an ability.

If I believe there is no such thing as clutch, I'll notice every time a "clutch" player by reputation strikes out with runners in scoring position. If I believe that clutch is a quality that is permanent in a person, then I'll notice every time the same player hits a two-run double in that situation and conveniently forget (often not even intentionally) any time the player struck out. It's basic confirmation bias from a psychological sense, and any personality disorder loses their filter for one half of this, but the average person often finds beliefs (often of a religious or political backing, but sometimes along the lines of a sports argument) that they develop a similarly one-sided confirmation bias.

I agree with everything you say... We all have our own perceptions on players that are hard to shake. Now factor in the opponent. Moments in pressure for a hitter could also be moments of pressure for a pitcher and he's battling his own demons.

Basically, I'm saying that I believe that moments of pressure come and they can make a hitter grip the bat too tight and cause a pitcher to open his shoulders and over stride when the chips are down. The hitter that keeps his head can still strikeout to a pitcher that has kept his head or he can rope a line drive to Centerfielder for an out and the pitcher can make a great pitch that gets golfed out of the park by a guy who is shaking in his boots.

It's impossible to quantify because there are so many factors but in the end we are talking about the decrease and increase of odds from a mental standpoint and I believe it.

powrwrap
07-03-2012, 11:24 AM
Basically, I'm saying that I believe that moments of pressure come and they can make a hitter grip the bat too tight and cause a pitcher to open his shoulders and over stride when the chips are down. The hitter that keeps his head can still strikeout to a pitcher that has kept his head or he can rope a line drive to Centerfielder for an out and the pitcher can make a great pitch that gets golfed out of the park by a guy who is shaking in his boots.

It's impossible to quantify because there are so many factors but in the end we are talking about the decrease and increase of odds from a mental standpoint and I believe it.

Yep, and major league players and major league coaches and major league managers say that it happens.

Paul
07-03-2012, 11:24 AM
I also think this opinion is bull, and I'm one who "laced 'em up" at a pretty high level in another sport (only because there was no baseball option for me after little league). To assume anyone who's played the game believes in "clutch" being a permanent state of being is ridiculous, just as it would be to have someone state that there is no such thing as "clutch". There are absolutely clutch moments where someone steps up, but human perception is to recall the things that match our preset notions and neglect and even dismiss those that do not match up to this perception. Clutch can happen, sure, but it's not an inherent trait and is not an ability.

If I believe there is no such thing as clutch, I'll notice every time a "clutch" player by reputation strikes out with runners in scoring position. If I believe that clutch is a quality that is permanent in a person, then I'll notice every time the same player hits a two-run double in that situation and conveniently forget (often not even intentionally) any time the player struck out. It's basic confirmation bias from a psychological sense, and any personality disorder loses their filter for one half of this, but the average person often finds beliefs (often of a religious or political backing, but sometimes along the lines of a sports argument) that they develop a similarly one-sided confirmation bias.

I'm not sure what opinion you feel is bull. The aspect referred to in the comment you cited was the mental aspect. Do you believe applying your mind to baseball is bull? Do you believe all ML players handle stress/pressure the same?

I agree with you about clutch as I've commented earlier in this thread. To save you any searching I'll paraphrase what I said earlier. I believe what people see as clutch is the ability to confront a high pressure situation without whithering. Without back down. Without backoff. However frequently or infrequently. While the competition whithers to a degree. What is mistakenly seen as "stepping up" is in reality "not stepping back" with the competition.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:27 AM
I agree with everything you say... We all have our own perceptions on players that are hard to shake. Now factor in the opponent. Moments in pressure for a hitter could also be moments of pressure for a pitcher and he's battling his own demons.

Basically, I'm saying that I believe that moments of pressure come and they can make a hitter grip the bat too tight and cause a pitcher to open his shoulders and over stride when the chips are down. The hitter that keeps his head can still strikeout to a pitcher that has kept his head or he can rope a line drive to Centerfielder for an out and the pitcher can make a great pitch that gets golfed out of the park by a guy who is shaking in his boots.

It's impossible to quantify because there are so many factors but in the end we are talking about the decrease and increase of odds from a mental standpoint and I believe it.

The only way to overcome something with a lot of factors (such as this) is through raw data and lots of it. The thing is that baseball has that in spades.

I'm not pretending that baseball players are robots. But this isn't the NBA where a pissed off Patrick Ewing can dominate a game through sheer physicality. This isn't football where Lawrence Taylor can turn into The Terminator and literally beat up the opposition.

No, this is baseball. A cold, calculating game where the goal is to remove emotion from the moment, not feed on it. The more amped up a player gets, the worse they will probably perform at the plate or on the mound. Batters will grip the bat too tightly and swing at pitches they normally wouldn't swing at, pitchers will wind up and overthrow the ball.

Which is why I'll buy into the "some players at better at calming themselves down" arguments. But even then, does that make a huge difference? Unlikely, because calming down simply means that they become the player they are in a random June baseball game, not some superhuman powerhouse of baseball. Baseball is a sport of failure, probably the only sport of its kind where failure plays such a prominent role in the game. And statistics don't support that some guys are better at failing less under pressure.

Again, this isn't conjecture. This has been shown time and time again across the history of the sport by people who know a hell of a lot more about math than anyone on this board.

biggentleben
07-03-2012, 11:32 AM
I'm not sure what opinion you feel is bull. The aspect referred to in the comment you cited was the mental aspect. Do you believe applying your mind to baseball is bull? Do you believe all ML players handle stress/pressure the same?

I apologize for not being more clear. I do not believe that one must play an organized sport to a high level to understand basic human psychology as it applies to sports, and I struggle with those who insist that there *must* be something outside of that psychology that an athlete possesses.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 11:33 AM
Let me ask everyone this question. In the Major Leagues... Forget about any other level... In the Major Leagues...

Let's say Game 162 of the year... A win gets you into the playoffs... A loss and you are out. Down by one run.... Bottom of the ninth... Two Outs Runners on 1st and 2nd.

Does anyone believe that there are players who are absolutely thrilled to draw a walk in that situation?

Does anyone believe that there are players who are pissed that they drew a walk?

Yes and Yes is my answer.

jokin
07-03-2012, 11:36 AM
Obviously, Billy Beane never "laced 'em up" quite like you did.

That's the usual response from someone who didn't.

fetch
07-03-2012, 11:36 AM
Let me ask everyone this question. In the Major Leagues... Forget about any other level... In the Major Leagues...

Let's say Game 162 of the year... A win gets you into the playoffs... A loss and you are out. Down by one run.... Bottom of the ninth... Two Outs Runners on 1st and 2nd.

Does anyone believe that there are players who are absolutely thrilled to draw a walk in that situation?

Does anyone believe that there are players who are pissed that they drew a walk?

Yes and Yes is my answer.

Probably, but I doubt that says anything about how good of a player he is. I'm sure there are a lot of players of the Albert Pujols ilk who would be happy with a walk and players like Jeff Francoeur who would be pissed.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 11:42 AM
The only way to overcome something with a lot of factors (such as this) is through raw data and lots of it. The thing is that baseball has that in spades.

I'm not pretending that baseball players are robots. But this isn't the NBA where a pissed off Patrick Ewing can dominate a game through sheer physicality. This isn't football where Lawrence Taylor can turn into The Terminator and literally beat up the opposition.

No, this is baseball. A cold, calculating game where the goal is to remove emotion from the moment, not feed on it. The more amped up a player gets, the worse they will probably perform at the plate or on the mound. Batters will grip the bat too tightly and swing at pitches they normally wouldn't swing at, pitchers will wind up and overthrow the ball.

Which is why I'll buy into the "some players at better at calming themselves down" arguments. But even then, does that make a huge difference? Unlikely, because calming down simply means that they become the player they are in a random June baseball game, not some superhuman powerhouse of baseball. Baseball is a sport of failure, probably the only sport of its kind where failure plays such a prominent role in the game. And statistics don't support that some guys are better at failing less under pressure.

Again, this isn't conjecture. This has been shown time and time again across the history of the sport by people who know a hell of a lot more about math than anyone on this board.

To me... This is the essence of my problem with the sole use of statistics. Too much human element in the game of baseball to be quantified accurately. Trevor Plouffe can't be explained with stats... His stats alone would normally get him cut. He got hot... Why... In my opinion... He was able to stop pressing and started swinging at better pitches to hit and he started to hit and it snowballed. Let's see what happen when his timing gets off again.

Baseball is exactly what you say... It's a game of failure and dealing with that failure is the issue. Stats can't quantify when players press or don't press. They can't quantify when they step in the bucket or pull off the ball. They can only quantify how they have done so far and if a player gets it all put together. The old stats don't really mean much at all. It's a whole new ball game.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:45 AM
That's the usual response from someone who didn't.

It's a strawman argument. Psychology is not unique to sports and the mysticism that you have to "lace 'em up" to know what pressure feels like is ridiculous. Stage performers feel pressure. Members of the military feel pressure of the worst sort. Almost everybody feels "pressure" in their day-to-day lives at some point.

Pyschology and pressure and the human mind is not unique to the sports world.

Paul
07-03-2012, 11:51 AM
Ben, you took issue with my "lace 'em up" jab. Sorry. Didn't mean to insult anyone. But if you want to find out about making bread you ask the baker. Not the bakery's accountant.

And I don't consider this "outside of that psychology", but some players handle pressure/stress better than other players.

diehardtwinsfan
07-03-2012, 11:53 AM
Again, I don't get this whole "elevate" thing. If the fastest a person can run is a 4.4 40 and then they suddenly turn in a 3.9 in the clutch, you may have a point, but they are naturally limited to what their skill level can provide. Jeter is a great player, but Mr. November is a joke, because while Jeter can come through in the clutch, he fails too, we just don't remember the failures. No one remembers Puckets other at bats in game 6 of the 1991 world series, but every single person who watched that game remembers his final one. Does that make Puckett clutch? I don't think so...

What I do think, however, is that while people cannot play beyond their skill level, they can certainly play below it. Francisco Liriano is a perfect example of that. He's got the skill level to be a perennial cy young contender, but you never know from start to start whether or not he needs his head screwed on tigher or not. He chokes. I'd bet that a lot of players do this from time to time...

jokin
07-03-2012, 11:53 AM
To me... This is the essence of my problem with the sole use of statistics. Too much human element in the game of baseball to be quantified accurately. Trevor Plouffe can't be explained with stats... His stats alone would normally get him cut. He got hot... Why... In my opinion... He was able to stop pressing and started swinging at better pitches to hit and he started to hit and it snowballed. Let's see what happen when his timing gets off again.

Baseball is exactly what you say... It's a game of failure and dealing with that failure is the issue. Stats can't quantify when players press or don't press. They can't quantify when they step in the bucket or pull off the ball. They can only quantify how they have done so far and if a player gets it all put together. The old stats don't really mean much at all. It's a whole new ball game.

Finally, a voice of reason. What's that they say about lies, damned lies and statistics? Our human survival is set up on the concept that perfect uniformity and efficiency is a bad thing through the value of DNA recombination, wherein the more random the gene rearrangement, the stronger the offspring, and in turn, the species, are against biological and environmental threats.

jokin
07-03-2012, 11:54 AM
Most of BYTO was howling to put Mauer in the 2 spot back in 2006 or 2007. It just makes too much sense not to do it, especially if the Twins trade Span and lose part of the top of their lineup.

I believe Mauer was biologically pre-determined to bat in the 2 spot.

jokin
07-03-2012, 11:58 AM
It's a strawman argument. Psychology is not unique to sports and the mysticism that you have to "lace 'em up" to know what pressure feels like is ridiculous. Stage performers feel pressure. Members of the military feel pressure of the worst sort. Almost everybody feels "pressure" in their day-to-day lives at some point.

Pyschology and pressure and the human mind is not unique to the sports world.

No one said anything about uniqueness to sport, quite the opposite. It's a trait that has survival value.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 11:59 AM
No one said anything about uniqueness to sport, quite the opposite. It's a trait that has survival value.

Then why defend the "lace 'em up" argument? If it's not a unique trait then the point is moot and more than a little condescending.

snepp
07-03-2012, 12:06 PM
That's the usual response from someone who didn't.

No, it's the kind of response you get from someone calling out bull**** for what it is.

jokin
07-03-2012, 12:16 PM
Then why defend the "lace 'em up" argument? If it's not a unique trait then the point is moot and more than a little condescending.

Sorry if that's what you inferred, it was not the intention. Having said that, if I am living in 50000 BC, I will probably consult the mammoth and sabre-tooth tiger hunters on successful techniques and strategies for staying alive before I will the tribal cook or storage clerk.

jokin
07-03-2012, 12:17 PM
No, it's the kind of response you get from someone calling out bull**** for what it is.


Because you said so....OK then! Helpful response to the discussion...or not.....

kydoty
07-03-2012, 12:20 PM
This thread needs more Dan.

powrwrap
07-03-2012, 12:23 PM
The only way to overcome something with a lot of factors (such as this) is through raw data and lots of it. The thing is that baseball has that in spades.

Again, this isn't conjecture. This has been shown time and time again across the history of the sport by people who know a hell of a lot more about math than anyone on this board.

Players and coaches and managers all say that pressure exists in MLB and that players sometimes react to it, some altering their game for better results some altering it for worse results. This is not going to be shown via statistics.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 12:26 PM
Sorry if that's what you inferred, it was not the intention. Having said that, if I am living in 50000 BC, I will probably consult the mammoth and sabre-tooth tiger hunters on successful techniques and strategies for staying alive before I will the tribal cook or storage clerk.

If you want to kill a specific mammoth, yes. But what if you want to understand the migration patterns and behavior of mammoths as a species? Do you really want to rely solely on the information supplied by one hunter and his personal experiences?

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 12:40 PM
"No one", just because you said so? I don't think so. Just because something is admittedly difficult to quantiy, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Since Steinbrenner awoke the Yankees from their slumber years with CBS, the year-to-year expectations are simple- winning the World Series. These are expectations that were built into the culture of the organization. Their actions, in turn awoke the Red Sox from their slumber. In terms of the psychology of the breeding of the expectations of this culture, ie, a "winning mindset", this is called operant conditioning (OC). OC works through a set of reinforcers- stimuli that increase and/or strengthen the likelihood of the desired response. There are 4 types of reinforcement, they are all used by the Yankees to get that desired response: Positive and Negative Reinforcement, Punishment and Extinction. For Mariano Rivera, Positive Reinforcement was all that was needed, for Kyle Farnsworth (who had all the tools that Rivera had), none of them worked, up to and including the possibility of Extinction- he was gone.
Look, in my prior post to the one responding to yours I state myself that being unable to quantify a factor doesn't forbid its existence. But this post is again glib and even patronizing. If you have no desire to be taken seriously, continue right ahead. But I'd recommend picking your battles. It's perfectly fair for people to scoff at "winning attitude" and "clutchiness" because really they are likely made out of baser attributes, like poise, as I've mentioned. Meet the postivistic posters half way by getting them to agree to some abstract attributes, rather than inventing ones like "capacity to find the silver lining in bad inning," or "ability to handle booing during an at bat."

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 12:46 PM
We're talking about the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1% here. Guys who have spent their entire lives in "pressure situations".

If pressure got to them in any real way, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place. Do a few guys wilt under pressure? Sure, I'd buy into that. But it's a small portion of MLB players. Most of the delicate flowers were weeded out long before they made it to a playoff game in MLB.
I think you're pigheadedness on this point is only saved by the unquantifiableness of abstract human characteristics. Because you really can't say what percentage of baseball players are actually affected by pressure or perform with excellence in spite of it; we have no one way of knowing, right? Jokin suggests lots of players are affected by pressure you say .001 percent, you're both just guessing. Look, I'm not arguing in favor of clutchiness but you're being awfully stubborn about admitting there might be something to pressure/poise/whatever, in spite of the fact we can't really measure it.

TheLeviathan
07-03-2012, 12:46 PM
This is an excellent demonstration on the role of data really. I think everyone can acknowledge the human element of the game, the problem is that data is far less transferable, reliable, or comparable as a means of evaluation. The weaknesses and strengths are purely subjective in anecdotal and isolated data.

That doesn't mean statistics are the game or the only viable source of information, but they are a far more robust and reliable form of data. Resorting to "if you didn't lace em up you don't understand" arguments sounds like one step short of threatening the size of one's father. It's pretty friggin stupid.

powrwrap
07-03-2012, 12:54 PM
This is an excellent demonstration on the role of data really. I think everyone can acknowledge the human element of the game, the problem is that data is far less transferable, reliable, or comparable as a means of evaluation. The weaknesses and strengths are purely subjective in anecdotal and isolated data.

That doesn't mean statistics are the game or the only viable source of information, but they are a far more robust and reliable form of data.

Good points.


Resorting to "if you didn't lace em up you don't understand" arguments sounds like one step short of threatening the size of one's father. It's pretty friggin stupid.

It's not stupid in this discussion. Someone that has never played competitive baseball, even as low as the high school level, simply does not personally know the effects that pressure situations can have on a player's performance. To say that there isn't any because statistics don't bear it out, is "friggin' stupid." [and I know you are not saying that.]

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-03-2012, 12:54 PM
No one remembers Puckets other at bats in game 6 of the 1991 world series, but every single person who watched that game remembers his final one. Does that make Puckett clutch? I don't think so...



I remember his other at bats that game because he ended up only a double short of the cycle. It was truly an amazing game, however the first five games of the series Puckett was pretty medicore hitting only 3 of 18 with 1 RBI and 5 k's. Nobody remembers that I imagine.

jokin
07-03-2012, 12:55 PM
If you want to kill a specific mammoth, yes. But what if you want to understand the migration patterns and behavior of mammoths as a species? Do you really want to rely solely on the information supplied by one hunter and his personal experiences?

Absolutish and missing-the-point arguments.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 12:57 PM
I think you're pigheadedness on this point is only saved by the unquantifiableness of abstract human characteristics. Because you really can't say what percentage of baseball players are actually affected by pressure or perform with excellence in spite of it; we have no one way of knowing, right? Jokin suggests lots of players are affected by pressure you say .001 percent, you're both just guessing. Look, I'm not arguing in favor of clutchiness but you're being awfully stubborn about admitting there might be something to pressure/poise/whatever, in spite of the fact we can't really measure it.

I wasn't guessing. I was illustrating the levels of screening that these players go under before even reaching the majors. Is it 1%? .1%? I don't know and I really don't care. My only point is that it's a damned small percentage because just to make it to the MLB level and succeed for any amount of time, a player will have to be somewhat immune to the ups and downs of professional play (ie. "pressure"). Are rookies more susceptible to such a thing? Sure, I'd agree with that, just as stepping into any new role is a little unsettling for a person.

Anyway, this was never my point in the first place. My argument rests mainly in the belief that players can play above their normal level of play, not that they can play below it. Failing is easy. Succeeding is far more difficult.

TheLeviathan
07-03-2012, 12:57 PM
It's not stupid in this discussion. Someone that has never played competitive baseball, even as low as the high school level, simply does not personally know the effects that pressure situations can have on a player's performance. To say that there isn't any because statistics don't bear it out, is "friggin' stupid." [and I know you are not saying that.]

It's a cop-out answer. It's like seeing someone abuse their child and saying "That's not ok" only for them to retort that you've never been a parent so who are you to tell them it's not ok. It's an automatic fail argument and it sounds really juvenile and stupid.

Even in the context of this argument there were far better ways to acknowledge the human element.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-03-2012, 01:01 PM
Anyways back to Mauer...

Over his past 42 games Mauer has put up the following numbers:
.362/.446/.500

He obviously had a bit of a slow start to the season, but that can be expected since he more or less missed all of last season (and when he played he was clearly not healthy)

I don't care what position you play, or how many games you have to DH, give me a .946 OPS for ANY salary. There is no reason not to think Mauer can't/won't continue to keep this up. (Though the batting average will prob come down a bit)

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 01:04 PM
Anyways back to Mauer...

Over his past 42 games Mauer has put up the following numbers:
.362/.446/.500

He obviously had a bit of a slow start to the season, but that can be expected since he more or less missed all of last season (and when he played he was clearly not healthy)

I don't care what position you play, or how many games you have to DH, give me a .946 OPS for ANY salary. There is no reason not to think Mauer can't/won't continue to keep this up. (Though the batting average will prob come down a bit)

I keep complaining about his groundball rate but it should be concerning.

But I'd be lying if those numbers didn't give me a lot of hope for the future.

jokin
07-03-2012, 01:06 PM
Look, in my prior post to the one responding to yours I state myself that being unable to quantify a factor doesn't forbid its existence. But this post is again glib and even patronizing. If you have no desire to be taken seriously, continue right ahead. But I'd recommend picking your battles. It's perfectly fair for people to scoff at "winning attitude" and "clutchiness" because really they are likely made out of baser attributes, like poise, as I've mentioned. Meet the postivistic posters half way by getting them to agree to some abstract attributes, rather than inventing ones like "capacity to find the silver lining in bad inning," or "ability to handle booing during an at bat."

Wow. Using the true Father of Psychology(it certainly wasn't the non-scientific Sigmund Freud), BF Skinner, to outline how certain stimuli are used to build, strengthen and maintain a desired outcome (call it poise if you're more comfortable with that, the Yankess used "winning attitude") and still "patronizing" and not "taken seriously". Okay.....

I don't recall where I used either of the quotes you attribute to me, as neither of those quotes have anything to do with my point. Having said that in regards at meeting the other side half way, I am fully in favor of using statistical analysis, it is a tool but it just shouldn't be a bible. Human behavior can never likely be fully quantified.

jokin
07-03-2012, 01:16 PM
Anyways back to Mauer...

Over his past 42 games Mauer has put up the following numbers:
.362/.446/.500

He obviously had a bit of a slow start to the season, but that can be expected since he more or less missed all of last season (and when he played he was clearly not healthy)

I don't care what position you play, or how many games you have to DH, give me a .946 OPS for ANY salary. There is no reason not to think Mauer can't/won't continue to keep this up. (Though the batting average will prob come down a bit)

Why does the BA have to come down? If he increases his LD% closer to career norms I think his average can go higher. But there are 2 reasons why he couldn't keep it up- his health and a possible reconfiguration of the roster (ie, trading of Span and/or someone else, Mauer failing to adjust when moved to the 2 hole where he historically hasn't hit as well, Revere falling into a slump like last year, prolonged slumps or injuries by whoever else bats in front of, or behind him in the order). That's the glass half empty perspective anyway.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 01:23 PM
Why does the BA have to come down? If he increases his LD% closer to career norms I think his average can go higher. But there are 2 reasons why he couldn't keep it up- his health and a possible reconfiguration of the roster (ie, trading of Span and/or someone else, Mauer failing to adjust when moved to the 2 hole where he historically hasn't hit as well, Revere falling into a slump like last year, prolonged slumps or injuries by whoever else bats in front of, or behind him in the order). That's the glass half empty perspective anyway.

Mauer has the identical OPS in the two spot that he does hitting third.

But I see no reason for his BA to fall. His BABIP is a little high but not really that high for Joe Mauer.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 01:26 PM
Again, I don't get this whole "elevate" thing. If the fastest a person can run is a 4.4 40 and then they suddenly turn in a 3.9 in the clutch, you may have a point, but they are naturally limited to what their skill level can provide. Jeter is a great player, but Mr. November is a joke, because while Jeter can come through in the clutch, he fails too, we just don't remember the failures. No one remembers Puckets other at bats in game 6 of the 1991 world series, but every single person who watched that game remembers his final one. Does that make Puckett clutch? I don't think so...

What I do think, however, is that while people cannot play beyond their skill level, they can certainly play below it. Francisco Liriano is a perfect example of that. He's got the skill level to be a perennial cy young contender, but you never know from start to start whether or not he needs his head screwed on tigher or not. He chokes. I'd bet that a lot of players do this from time to time...

Think of the Movie Swordfish... Take the scene where the computer hacker meets the Travolta character for the first time.

Now Remove the Gun and the Girl but Leave the Pressure. OK... Leave the girl if it makes you feel good.

I know it's the movies but that's an example of someone elevating his game.

Also consider that the same computer hacker could be hitting some golf balls off his roof and decide to go back in his trailer and make a routine hack job for small stakes and screw it up because it was just another routine day.

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 01:27 PM
Wow. Using the true Father of Psychology(it certainly wasn't the non-scientific Sigmund Freud), BF Skinner, to outline how certain stimuli are used to build, strengthen and maintain a desired outcome (call it poise if you're more comfortable with that, the Yankess used "winning attitude") and still "patronizing" and not "taken seriously". Okay.....This whole paragraph is patronizing (The "true Father," for example). You're not the only one whose taken a handful of psychology classes or read a book. BF Skinner and his behaviorists are looked at with total suspicion these days, but I'm sure you know that. BF Skinner is about as 'scientific' as aromatherapy, in any case there's nothing in your post that evidences your points about baseball, you're merely educating us on points most of us are pretty familiar with.


I don't recall where I used either of the quotes you attribute to me, as neither of those quotes have anything to do with my point. Having said that in regards at meeting the other side half way, I am fully in favor of using statistical analysis, it is a tool but it just shouldn't be a bible. Human behavior can never likely be fully quantified.You didn't use those quotes, I'm making fun of you to show the ridiculous slippery slope you've created. And it's obvious to so many here (again, hence why you are patronizing) that human behavior can't be quantified.

Look, you'll get a lot further in discussions if you stop assuming that the other posters here aren't as well-read and smart as you. Heck, I'm probably on your side in this argument (at least in spirit), but you're posts are so sloppy and disingenuous that it makes my skin curdle.

jokin
07-03-2012, 01:28 PM
I keep complaining about his groundball rate but it should be concerning.

But I'd be lying if those numbers didn't give me a lot of hope for the future.


The GB% number really stands out like a potential sore thumb. It is so far off his career norm, it's surprising more teams aren't putting on the Blue Jays-style shift for him. If more teams would do it, that might force Mauer to address this situation more readily. His current BABIP is 373 versus a career BABIP of 344. How many of Mauer's seeing-eye 5 bounce singles will begin to be fielded when more teams study Mauer's batting chart? His lucky BABIP should begin to regress back. Time for more line drives....the very recent eye test suggests that the LD rate is going up, or at least his swing is at a slightly higher trajectory. His strikeout rate is also going up even as his BA and OPS continue to climb, which hopefully indicates a more agressive approach than earlier in the season. I hope these are indicators for a glass half full scenario.

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 01:32 PM
I wasn't guessing. I was illustrating the levels of screening that these players go under before even reaching the majors. Is it 1%? .1%? I don't know and I really don't care. My only point is that it's a damned small percentage because just to make it to the MLB level and succeed for any amount of time, a player will have to be somewhat immune to the ups and downs of professional play (ie. "pressure"). Are rookies more susceptible to such a thing? Sure, I'd agree with that, just as stepping into any new role is a little unsettling for a person.Well, the attribute's value would be relative to the rest of population of baseball players, so whatever minimal percentage you want to assign, it should still have a tangible affect in even an elite population. Pardon the glib example: If everyone has 99 Poise, the guy with 98 Poise is the ****ty non clutchy guy, right?


Anyway, this was never my point in the first place. My argument rests mainly in the belief that players can play above their normal level of play, not that they can play below it. Failing is easy. Succeeding is far more difficult.I totally agree, hence my evoking (or failing to) the word 'poise' into the conversation. No one's going to get better under pressure, they will simply maintain their poise. I think we're on the same page, mostly.

jokin
07-03-2012, 01:45 PM
This whole paragraph is patronizing (The "true Father," for example). You're not the only one whose taken a handful of psychology classes or read a book. BF Skinner and his behaviorists are looked at with total suspicion these days, but I'm sure you know that. BF Skinner is about as 'scientific' as aromatherapy, in any case there's nothing in your post that evidences your points about baseball, you're merely educating us on points most of us are pretty familiar with.

You didn't use those quotes, I'm making fun of you to show the ridiculous slippery slope you've created. And it's obvious to so many here (again, hence why you are patronizing) that human behavior can't be quantified.

Look, you'll get a lot further in discussions if you stop assuming that the other posters here aren't as well-read and smart as you. Heck, I'm probably on your side in this argument (at least in spirit), but you're posts are so sloppy and disingenuous that it makes my skin curdle.

Sorry for the skin-curdling. I have a strong feeling that you get "patronized" easily and enjoy back-patronization immensely.

That BF Skinner did not revolutionize how the "science" of psychology is regarded, that today's psychologists haven't built the discipline on some of the foundations he established, to deny that many of those foundations are still the central focus of the discipline in college textbooks and to somehow suggest that Skinner is merely an aromatherapist is pure poppycock, and I think you know it ( probably more of your "making fun of me" by concocting ridiculous quotes that had no relevance to what I had said- yeah, solid evidence there, too). I guess it's official now, you've officially stated that the basic tenets of learning theory must all be thrown out because the discipline has evolved. And calling prose "sloppy and disingenuous" without evidence is, what would you call it, again? Disingenuous and sloppy.

TheLeviathan
07-03-2012, 01:51 PM
I think I heard Pseudo's head explode reading that.....

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 01:54 PM
Sorry for the skin-curdling. I have a strong feeling that you get "patronized" easily and enjoy back-patronization immensely.

That BF Skinner did not revolutionize how the "science" of psychology is regarded, that today's psychologists haven't built the discipline on some of the foundations he established, to deny that many of those foundations are still the central focus of the discipline in college textbooks and to somehow suggest that Skinner is merely an aromatherapist is pure poppycock, and I think you know it ( probably more of your "making fun of me" by concocting ridiculous quotes that had no relevance to what I had said- yeah, solid evidence there, too). I guess it's official now, you've officially stated that the basic tenets of learning theory must all be thrown out because the discipline has evolved. And calling prose "sloppy and disingenuous" without evidence is, what would you call it, again? Disingenuous and sloppy.I'm not denying Skinner's influence on psychology; I'm denying his applicability to the argument and that behaviorism is something new to anyone here. I wonder what Lacan or Irigaray would say about the yips (or rather, who cares).

I'll stop now. Apologies to the non-snark crowd. :D

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 01:54 PM
Probably, but I doubt that says anything about how good of a player he is. I'm sure there are a lot of players of the Albert Pujols ilk who would be happy with a walk and players like Jeff Francoeur who would be pissed.

Agreed... It has nothing to do with Talent level in my opinion and it could be Pujols and Francoeur as examples. But this is the starting point in my opinion of determining the make up of a player.

After that... you factor in the "When does a player feel that pressure and it's different for everyone and it can't be quantified.

Then Factor in: Even if Francouer wants that job... Will he be confident and put a good swing on the ball or will he get over aggressive and wave at 3 pitchers around his eyeballs.


I think the only way to overcome this pressure thing is to put yourself under it all the time. Treat every game during the season and every at bat like it's the 7th game of the World Series. Think of it as training yourself for the moment.

It's easy to say and nearly impossible to implement. 162 games in a year... Complacent Play, Self Doubt, Over Confidence and dealing with failure more often then success is a major part of the game.

Paul
07-03-2012, 02:02 PM
...I'll stop now. Apologies to the non-snark crowd. :D

The non-snark crowd? Where do they hang out?

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-03-2012, 02:09 PM
Mauer has the identical OPS in the two spot that he does hitting third.

But I see no reason for his BA to fall. His BABIP is a little high but not really that high for Joe Mauer.

I'm talking about his .363 BA over the past 42 games, it's pretty hard to maintain an average that high for that long of a period, and his BABIP in June and July have been rather high thus far.

The thought that Mauer's numbers would somehow worsen if he was moved to the 2 hole is laughable. If anything he may see more walks if everyone else suddenly starts to suck.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 02:13 PM
I'm talking about his .363 BA over the past 42 games, it's pretty hard to maintain an average that high for that long of a period, and his BABIP in June and July have been rather high thus far.

The thought that Mauer's numbers would somehow worsen if he was moved to the 2 hole is laughable. If anything he may see more walks if everyone else suddenly starts to suck.

Ah, yes. That .363 BA will probably drop.

PseudoSABR
07-03-2012, 02:14 PM
The non-snark crowd? Where do they hang out?
Well, my sarcasm has been lost on at least one poster ;).

Paul
07-03-2012, 02:20 PM
Well, my sarcasm has been lost on at least one poster ;).

I know how you feel ;)

CDog
07-03-2012, 03:08 PM
Why does the BA have to come down? If he increases his LD% closer to career norms I think his average can go higher. But there are 2 reasons why he couldn't keep it up- his health and a possible reconfiguration of the roster (ie, trading of Span and/or someone else, Mauer failing to adjust when moved to the 2 hole where he historically hasn't hit as well, Revere falling into a slump like last year, prolonged slumps or injuries by whoever else bats in front of, or behind him in the order). That's the glass half empty perspective anyway.

His LD% has been at (and even just slightly--probably not significantly differently--above) his career level all year (and also his "glory" years). The change has been the increased GB% at the expense of the FB% coming down.

As pointed out (sorta), over the last 4 full seasons (this year he has only 3 ABs in the 2-slot) his OPS in the second spot is higher than his overall. Although he only has about a third of a season's worth of work there.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 03:16 PM
His LD% has been at (and even just slightly--probably not significantly differently--above) his career level all year (and also his "glory" years). The change has been the increased GB% at the expense of the FB% coming down.

As pointed out (sorta), over the last 4 full seasons (this year he has only 3 ABs in the 2-slot) his OPS in the second spot is higher than his overall. Although he only has about a third of a season's worth of work there.

Does anyone think that Joe Mauer would change his approach at the plate if slotted #2. It would be crazy if he would cuz his approach while batting in the #3 is about what you look for in a #2.

I'm not talking about individual at-bats to different situations. I'm talking overall.

Joe in the #2... Just makes sense... Even if the only reason is that he will see 15 more at-bats hitting #2 as compared to #3 and everyone else can move up one spot in the order.

CDog
07-03-2012, 03:16 PM
I'm talking about his .363 BA over the past 42 games, it's pretty hard to maintain an average that high for that long of a period, and his BABIP in June and July have been rather high thus far.

How filthy ridiculous is it that he hit that for an entire season!?!

Without checking, the thing that strikes me about the last few weeks is that Mauer's gotten back to something I've mentioned elsewhere on this site. What I've always been amazed by and enjoyed watching over the years is that almost every single at-bat results in a ball hit squarely. Outs or hits or fly-balls or grounders or line drives, he would work the pitcher until he scaled one somewhere. That had been much less the case last year when he was clearly not healthy and still not quite like the days up through 2010 at the start of this year. Lately it feels like (yes, I hate that phrase usually, too) he's gotten back closer to that. Work, work, work, work, SMACK the ball somewhere.

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 03:21 PM
How filthy ridiculous is it that he hit that for an entire season!?!

Without checking, the thing that strikes me about the last few weeks is that Mauer's gotten back to something I've mentioned elsewhere on this site. What I've always been amazed by and enjoyed watching over the years is that almost every single at-bat results in a ball hit squarely. Outs or hits or fly-balls or grounders or line drives, he would work the pitcher until he scaled one somewhere. That had been much less the case last year when he was clearly not healthy and still not quite like the days up through 2010 at the start of this year. Lately it feels like (yes, I hate that phrase usually, too) he's gotten back closer to that. Work, work, work, work, SMACK the ball somewhere.

It's not a term you'll see me throw around often because of its non-sabrness but Joe has a brilliant "baseball mind" and the skills to back it up. He goes to the plate with a methodical approach and thanks to his ability, can sit there and annoy the pitcher into giving him what he wants. His AB against Chapman in the ninth was a perfect example of that ability.

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 03:27 PM
It's not a term you'll see me throw around often because of its non-sabrness but Joe has a brilliant "baseball mind" and the skills to back it up. He goes to the plate with a methodical approach and thanks to his ability, can sit there and annoy the pitcher into giving him what he wants. His AB against Chapman in the ninth was a perfect example of that ability.

When I think of Joe... I think of the Sweet Swing... Flawless... Best in baseball... Or at least that I've seen.

When it comes to Joe and his power. I still believe that's it's possible to see it again. He hit's the ball hard enough. So we are talking about a slight adjustment to the angle of his swing. I don't think it's a leg strength issue.

SwainZag
07-03-2012, 03:39 PM
This thread needs more Dan.

Speaking of Dan, he still hates Mauer.

Check out the little twitter convo he had with Rhett Bollinger today.

https://twitter.com/Coulrophobia7/status/220236611957424128

Brock Beauchamp
07-03-2012, 04:02 PM
Speaking of Dan, he still hates Mauer.

Check out the little twitter convo he had with Rhett Bollinger today.

https://twitter.com/Coulrophobia7/status/220236611957424128

I miss our favorite St Cloud hockey blogger and part-time Winger roadie.

Someone should invite him over here.

Or not.

FrodaddyG
07-03-2012, 04:24 PM
I miss our favorite St Cloud hockey blogger and part-time Winger roadie.

Someone should invite him over here.

Or not.
I think you mean "NHL '08 Franchise" blogger. I miss him in the same way I miss that pain sensation you get when you floss your teeth until your gums bleed.

Fire Dan Gladden
07-03-2012, 04:26 PM
I'm not sure where to put that one but I assume it was directed at me. I know that I'm wrong frequently but like everyone else who is also wrong frequently... I'm not going to recognize when I am. I apologize if I've crossed some line in this discussion by saying that I believe it and part of that reason is based on playing and coaching.

Actually, this quote wasn't aimed at you specifically, rather at everybody who feels they need to qualify their comments with some semblance of name dropping. Because of how this forum works, anybody could drop this type of statement in their comment and nobody would be the wiser. I just don't feel it is an effective route to use to make your argument, rather it can come across as annoying.

For the record, I have played multiple sports at high levels (higher than most) competing for championships. I have also been a collegiate coach. I understand the discussion of "clutch". I have "laced em' up" and been in those positions. But I do not agree with much of what is being thrown around in this thread. People are who they are. All things being equal, people tend to perform at the level they are accustomed to. Statistical reports have shown that given enough opportunities, numbers will move to individual averages (up or down). Sure there are people that "want the ball", but that doesn't necessarily make them better at crunch time. I have also seen individuals who perform excellently in high stress situations, but will not publicly announce it (ie demand the ball). That is a personality trait. Just because you are willing to take the risk doesn't mean you should be there.

Clutch is a pipe dream. It is a word used to describe somebody who was able to get a positive result more often than not for being in the right place at the right time. Was Scott Brosius clutch? How long did he last? Jack Morris, a decent but not overly exceptional pitcher, has almost parlayed one well pitched World Series game into a nod for the Hall. He wouldn't even be in the discussion if Erickson pitched that game. Let's take it another route. If Jeter was drafted by the Royals, how would he be perceived today? Good, but not godlike. Think Craig Biggio. What if the roles were reversed and Biggio played for the Yankees? Look at the "closer" role. Matt Capps is a league average reliever, who happens to have experience coming in with a 3 run lead in the 9th inning. Last year and this year, the Twins have sent Glen Perkins out in high leverage situation after high leverage situation. He was almost always successful. Who was more clutch? Who gets the accolades and the bigger contract? Truthfully, who would you rather have up in the 9th inning: Craig Counsell or Alex Rodriguez? It's all right place/right time.

Another issue that nobody is discussing is political aspect of this. When Kevin Garnett played for the Wolves, he always got the ball at the top of the key for the last shot of a close game. Never mind that it was about the worst offensive move he had in his repertoire. He always missed. The political fallout for not doing this would have been outrageous, even though the team probably would have won more games if they went a different route. The media would destroy the coaching staff. Kobe Bryant is horrible at the end of games, but if he isn't shooting the last shot, heads will roll.

Look at the Mauer fallout. The Twins are nursing Mauer along to keep his bat in the lineup. Never mind how spectacular his offensive numbers are. People say he isn't worth the contract because he isn't hitting 50 HRs a year. It's ignorance and stupidity. People are saying that he isn't worth it because he isn't catching every day. You can usually count on one hand the number of catchers that catch more than 125 games in a year. If Mauer ends up with 90-100 games caught this year, people will complain. People aren't talking about how in the years prior to Mauer signing his contract, he was worth about $30 mil per year while getting paid $8-10 mil. Now he makes $23 mil, and is producing what? $10-12 mil? That's strictly numbers. Nobody talks about his impact on television revenue, gate receipts, memorabilia, advertising, being the face of the franchise, etc. (Oh, and we do have a new stadium by the way.) Still don't think he is worth that contract to the state of Minnesota? Ask the Angels about their Pujols contract and his impact on the Latino community out there. If you don't think Mauer is having that type of impact here, you are nuts.

ofx1
07-03-2012, 04:30 PM
That's the usual response from someone who didn't.

Have you ever been paid to play baseball? Player of the month trophy from a JuCo doesn't count.

biggentleben
07-03-2012, 05:10 PM
When I think of Joe... I think of the Sweet Swing... Flawless... Best in baseball... Or at least that I've seen.

When it comes to Joe and his power. I still believe that's it's possible to see it again. He hit's the ball hard enough. So we are talking about a slight adjustment to the angle of his swing. I don't think it's a leg strength issue.

Griffey's swing is perhaps the only one I'd counter with. His or Ted Williams'.

powrwrap
07-03-2012, 05:24 PM
Griffey's swing is perhaps the only one I'd counter with. His or Ted Williams'.

http://i45.tinypic.com/10qcjm1.gif

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Actually, this quote wasn't aimed at you specifically, rather at everybody who feels they need to qualify their comments with some semblance of name dropping. Because of how this forum works, anybody could drop this type of statement in their comment and nobody would be the wiser. I just don't feel it is an effective route to use to make your argument, rather it can come across as annoying.

For the record, I have played multiple sports at high levels (higher than most) competing for championships. I have also been a collegiate coach. I understand the discussion of "clutch". I have "laced em' up" and been in those positions. But I do not agree with much of what is being thrown around in this thread. People are who they are. All things being equal, people tend to perform at the level they are accustomed to. Statistical reports have shown that given enough opportunities, numbers will move to individual averages (up or down). Sure there are people that "want the ball", but that doesn't necessarily make them better at crunch time. I have also seen individuals who perform excellently in high stress situations, but will not publicly announce it (ie demand the ball). That is a personality trait. Just because you are willing to take the risk doesn't mean you should be there.

Clutch is a pipe dream. It is a word used to describe somebody who was able to get a positive result more often than not for being in the right place at the right time. Was Scott Brosius clutch? How long did he last? Jack Morris, a decent but not overly exceptional pitcher, has almost parlayed one well pitched World Series game into a nod for the Hall. He wouldn't even be in the discussion if Erickson pitched that game. Let's take it another route. If Jeter was drafted by the Royals, how would he be perceived today? Good, but not godlike. Think Craig Biggio. What if the roles were reversed and Biggio played for the Yankees? Look at the "closer" role. Matt Capps is a league average reliever, who happens to have experience coming in with a 3 run lead in the 9th inning. Last year and this year, the Twins have sent Glen Perkins out in high leverage situation after high leverage situation. He was almost always successful. Who was more clutch? Who gets the accolades and the bigger contract? Truthfully, who would you rather have up in the 9th inning: Craig Counsell or Alex Rodriguez? It's all right place/right time.

Another issue that nobody is discussing is political aspect of this. When Kevin Garnett played for the Wolves, he always got the ball at the top of the key for the last shot of a close game. Never mind that it was about the worst offensive move he had in his repertoire. He always missed. The political fallout for not doing this would have been outrageous, even though the team probably would have won more games if they went a different route. The media would destroy the coaching staff. Kobe Bryant is horrible at the end of games, but if he isn't shooting the last shot, heads will roll.

Look at the Mauer fallout. The Twins are nursing Mauer along to keep his bat in the lineup. Never mind how spectacular his offensive numbers are. People say he isn't worth the contract because he isn't hitting 50 HRs a year. It's ignorance and stupidity. People are saying that he isn't worth it because he isn't catching every day. You can usually count on one hand the number of catchers that catch more than 125 games in a year. If Mauer ends up with 90-100 games caught this year, people will complain. People aren't talking about how in the years prior to Mauer signing his contract, he was worth about $30 mil per year while getting paid $8-10 mil. Now he makes $23 mil, and is producing what? $10-12 mil? That's strictly numbers. Nobody talks about his impact on television revenue, gate receipts, memorabilia, advertising, being the face of the franchise, etc. (Oh, and we do have a new stadium by the way.) Still don't think he is worth that contract to the state of Minnesota? Ask the Angels about their Pujols contract and his impact on the Latino community out there. If you don't think Mauer is having that type of impact here, you are nuts.

No Biggie.

This whole side discussion in my mind is a thin branch for anyone to climb on. Myself included! However, it's an interesting thin branch to be on in my opinion.

I don't think Clutch is the right word that I'm searching for. The Problem is that I'm still searching for that concise description of what I consider to be an extremely complicated thing.

My thing I guess can be stripped down to "odds of success increase with good swings and good swings can be mental in nature."

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 05:41 PM
http://i45.tinypic.com/10qcjm1.gif

Where's Mauer in this? Can't you make a third one? lol

Kobs
07-03-2012, 06:42 PM
Think of the Movie Swordfish... Take the scene where the computer hacker meets the Travolta character for the first time.

Now Remove the Gun and the Girl but Leave the Pressure. OK... Leave the girl if it makes you feel good.

I know it's the movies but that's an example of someone elevating his game.

Also consider that the same computer hacker could be hitting some golf balls off his roof and decide to go back in his trailer and make a routine hack job for small stakes and screw it up because it was just another routine day.

That Rocky sure was clutch too!

Riverbrian
07-03-2012, 07:12 PM
That Rocky sure was clutch too!

He sure was. But no Halle Barry.

CDog
07-03-2012, 07:35 PM
To bring this back closer to the original topic (but more closely the one that got the tangent going)...The claim is made that you could even tell in the moment how Kirby was raising his game and putting the team on his back and doing all that tough guy stuff that he did in '91. There's also a story I've heard many times that before he went up to the plate in what became probably the most iconic plate appearance in Twins history, that he told Chili Davis he was going to go up and bunt to get aboard for the Chili Dog to drive him in and win Game 6. Davis basically told him not to. Regardless if the story is true or not, what if that story had been told about Joe Mauer? Try to be honest when you think about your reactions...