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Article: Gleeman and the Geek, Ep 87: Opening Day

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...a-Twins-Podcast

#2 daryl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:19 AM

John,

Regarding the batting order, I think you're getting caught up in the numbers and missing the main point. By getting an extra 15-20 at bats for everyone hitting ahead of Dozier there are likely to be several clutch situations for each of those hitters. The better hitters are more likely to come through in those situations.

Sabermetrically, the number of runs or wins that this would produce is simply a projection to reflect that reality. It gets back to your concession to do this because it makes sense not because of some number of runs or wins. It's the same point - more at bats for better hitters is the right thing to do.

It's why pinch hitting for a bad hitter makes sense. Over one game it may not matter but over the course of 100 at-bats you are bound to have better results.

#3 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:25 AM

I agree, you missed the boat on the batting order John.
However, you nailed it on the pinch hitting, and on Burton.

With the bases loaded and 2 outs, in a 1 run game, I can't fathom why/how Gardy thinks Ramirez is a better option there than Carroll. Ramirez is an out machine.

And I literally thought that maybe Burton wasn't available in the 8th inning, it made zero sense that he wasn't in there.

#4 YLT

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

Agreed, it was a bit frustrating to understand the point you were trying to make. Aaron was not arguing sabermetrics - he was simply stating that Dozier getting less at bats is good. There is no simpler way to increase potential run production than that move alone. I don't even know what point you were arguing (fluctuations in the sabermetric unknown?), you weren't even going for devil's advocate, it seemed to be just baying about sabermetrics in general - which was never the point. Better hitters should hit higher in the order and if that's something as simple as Gardy writing it down on the lineup card every day - why not do it? No calculation required.

#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:52 AM

It was 3-0 when they pinch hit Ramirez for Florimon. One run came in on a wild pitch in the at bat. Clearly, Gardy was thinking SLUGGING and not simply getting a run or two by batting someone who has a better average.

#6 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:00 AM

I am not sure how there is this "down a run" idea here. They weren't.

Gardenhire wouldn't have pinch hit if he didn't have BOTH Carroll and Florimon, I think.

Not sure why there is so much animosity towards Ramirez. He had a good at bat there and almost beat the throw.

Seriously I am listening to this: and minutes into this part of the conversation, finally John corrects the notion that it wasn't a one-run game. They were down THREE when Gardenhire made the decision to pinch hit Ramirez for Florimon. With Hicks on deck.

#7 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

Also, it is conceivable that the wild pitch would have never occurred if Carroll were batting (different pitches thrown, Carroll puts it in play earlier, etc.).

#8 YLT

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

Also, it is conceivable that the wild pitch would have never occurred if Carroll were batting (different pitches thrown, Carroll puts it in play earlier, etc.).


I doubt Carroll would've put it in play early - he's nothing if not Mauer-esque in his patience and plate discipline.

#9 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

Batting order optimization is, correctly, probably 1.5-2 wins. If that is ALL one does to optimize the team, then certainly it doesn't matter all that much. But if a manager optimizes other areas like bullpen, rotation, platoons, etc. then it adds up to 5-8 wins. And that's just due to roster management.

Not sure what the point is at all that John is making.

#10 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

I doubt Carroll would've put it in play early - he's nothing if not Mauer-esque in his patience and plate discipline.


Well the WP came in the 5th or 6th pitch of the plate appearance. And, again, it is likely that Smyly will be throwing different pitches to Carroll than to Ramirez anyway.

#11 tmerrickkeller

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:22 AM

Haven't listened to the podcast yet, but can folks weigh in on where to go to get the best price on tickets/selection? I saw a reference to Ticket King in the description, and the Twins push you to StubHub a lot, but wondered if there were other alternatives to search and compare...thanks.

#12 ThePuck

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:24 AM

Haven't listened to the podcast yet, but can folks weigh in on where to go to get the best price on tickets/selection? I saw a reference to Ticket King in the description, and the Twins push you to StubHub a lot, but wondered if there were other alternatives to search and compare...thanks.


The MLB Twins site...

#13 sorney

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:24 AM

Tough to rip Gardy on opening day...when it's 30 some degrees out. They aren't playing in optimal conditions obviously, and even though they are professionals, it's tougher to predict what's going to happen when it's that cold. Whose to say it might take Burton longer to warm up in the cold?!?!? All in all, I was happy it was a decent game. The way it started I thought it would be a 10-0 blowout. In a rebuilding year, close entertaining games are always two thumbs up

#14 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:29 AM

I have to wonder if this whole terrible argument would be different if we think about the impact of 1-2 wins for a 90 or 91.5 win team? That could mean the difference between not being a wild card or being one. Or being a wild card or being a division winner. Or being a division winner and having home field advantage. ETC. ETC. ETC.

#15 sorney

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:31 AM

I have to wonder if this whole terrible argument would be different if we think about the impact of 1-2 wins for a 90 or 91.5 win team? That could mean the difference between not being a wild card or being one. Or being a wild card or being a division winner. Or being a division winner and having home field advantage. ETC. ETC. ETC.



Yup. It's about expectations. Realistically, there is no way the Twins are competing for the playoffs this year.

#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:35 AM

Yup. It's about expectations. Realistically, there is no way the Twins are competing for the playoffs this year.


But John's point seemed to be context-less. Like batting order optimization isn't a big deal at all. I cannot fathom how anyone actually argues against adding 1.5 wins, even one win. Note my post above about batting order optimization being only one part of the manager equation in terms of adding wins aside from what the players actually add.

#17 sorney

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:38 AM

But John's point seemed to be context-less. Like batting order optimization isn't a big deal at all. I cannot fathom how anyone actually argues against adding 1.5 wins, even one win. Note my post above about batting order optimization being only one part of the manager equation in terms of adding wins aside from what the players actually add.



Gotcha. I was just saying in general.
Yup, adding to the win total by batting order optimization is a no-brainer in my book.

#18 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:42 AM

The Twins could surprise, certainly. I think 70 wins is my over/under. That's a four-game improvement from last season. Health plus an improved rotation could push that further to 72+.

#19 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:34 PM

I appreciated the increase in baseball discussion and content. Taking specific events in the game (batting order, bullpen use, pinch hitting...) and expanding them to the general kept me listening. I hope this is a direction that will continue.

... but "Progression to the mean" ... c'mon

Regression to the Mean | FanGraphs Sabermetrics Library

#20 Alex

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

Classic Gleeman and the Geek:

@27:15 John starts asking, "What is the sabermetric impact, though, of having ....Dozier take those at bats...." Then @ 27:40 "Do we have any idea what the number of runs and or wins on this?" Keep this in mind when John goes on his monologue around 39:00.

You can't script this stuff!

#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:49 PM

I appreciated the increase in baseball discussion and content. Taking specific events in the game (batting order, bullpen use, pinch hitting...) and expanding them to the general kept me listening. I hope this is a direction that will continue.

... but "Progression to the mean" ... c'mon

Regression to the Mean | FanGraphs Sabermetrics Library


Well, John can be technically right here and he can also be technically wrong. Regression is nothing more than the return to a former state.

In the case of Willingham, he is likely to regress toward his mean, meaning his stats will go into decline. On the other hand, 2011 Mauer was also likely to regress to the mean and improve his stats based on previous season performances.

Whereas it could be considering that Dozier, having never posted good Major League stats but performing under his supposed capabilities, could progress to his mean (ie. his expected performance level that he has yet to achieve).

#22 SDTwinkie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

Regarding the “discussion” at about 30 minutes into the podcast: I really get tired of so-called sabremetricians taking a stronger “I know more about this so I am the smarter baseball fan” attitude than they should. In reality, smart baseball fans THINK CRITICALLY and thoughtfully digest different lines of baseball thought. Anyone who largely sees every run and every at bat as equally important across a season (i.e., the Pythagorean) has decreased credibility with me. A two run go-ahead single in the top of the 8th is just not equivalent to a single in a 12-2 game. If you argue that with me I might have to start “checking my email.” Let’s not forget that the pythag is based on CORRELATION, not causation. That is, there is a RELATIONSHIP between runs scored/given up and wins—that not all that surprising if you think about it. There is also a relationship between ice cream sales and temperature—does that mean if people would have bought more ice cream in Minneapolis we could’ve had a warmer opening day?

To overemphasize the “hard core smart person” side of sabremetrics and de-emphasize its correlational nature that inherently includes varying levels of imprecision (i.e., the third place Angels had the highest WAR in their division last year) signals a higher level of critical thought is needed. Make no mistake sabremetric analysis contributes to our knowledge of the great game, but I would appreciate it if some people could broaden their perspective and reduce their sabremetric elitism. Blast away all of you that are smarter than me.

#23 SDTwinkie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:48 PM

(Edited and Deleted this Post)

#24 SDTwinkie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

Sorry everyone, that last post came off a little more half-cocked than I intended. I am just arguing for a little more perspective and balance than a strict adherence to a "this many runs equals this many wins", especially since this is theoretical and cannot be played out in real life. The Twins had a higher team WAR than the Orioles last year---in light of this variability in the accuracy of WAR I find it hard to get too worked up about the theoretical discussion about how many runs it is costing us to have Mauer bat 2nd or 3rd. Critical, game determining at-bats happen at all points of the batting lineup throughout a season (e.g.., Parmalee's at bat yesterday). FWIW, I would've rather had Mauer batting in Parmalee's slot yesterday.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:58 PM

But you can't move Mauer around based on every at bat......so the goal is to get him the most at bats in each game as possible. Not sure how that is even up for debate, really. It just seems obvious on its face, let alone when you look at the math*

*math is for predicting the likely future, not the certain future, of course it does not always work, again, not sure how that is up for debate either.
Lighten up Francis....

#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

*math is for predicting the likely future, not the certain future, of course it does not always work, again, not sure how that is up for debate either.


This is the key. You can't predict aberrant behavior. You can only take the information you have on hand and make the best decisions using that information.

And really, that's all sabermetrics are... I've never seen anyone claim them to be infallible. All they are is a tool to improve the mean and maximize the talent you have available as a team.

#27 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:04 PM

Regarding the “discussion” at about 30 minutes into the podcast: I really get tired of so-called sabremetricians taking a stronger “I know more about this so I am the smarter baseball fan” attitude than they should. In reality, smart baseball fans THINK CRITICALLY and thoughtfully digest different lines of baseball thought. Anyone who largely sees every run and every at bat as equally important across a season (i.e., the Pythagorean) has decreased credibility with me. A two run go-ahead single in the top of the 8th is just not equivalent to a single in a 12-2 game. If you argue that with me I might have to start “checking my email.” Let’s not forget that the pythag is based on CORRELATION, not causation. That is, there is a RELATIONSHIP between runs scored/given up and wins—that not all that surprising if you think about it. There is also a relationship between ice cream sales and temperature—does that mean if people would have bought more ice cream in Minneapolis we could’ve had a warmer opening day?

To overemphasize the “hard core smart person” side of sabremetrics and de-emphasize its correlational nature that inherently includes varying levels of imprecision (i.e., the third place Angels had the highest WAR in their division last year) signals a higher level of critical thought is needed. Make no mistake sabremetric analysis contributes to our knowledge of the great game, but I would appreciate it if some people could broaden their perspective and reduce their sabremetric elitism. Blast away all of you that are smarter than me.


Stating that having your better hitters get more AB's than your worse hitters should lead to more runs and more wins isn't really sabermetrics, its common sense.

#28 SDTwinkie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

"Stating that having your better hitters get more AB's than your worse hitters should lead to more runs and more wins isn't really sabermetrics, its common sense."

Completely agree.

#29 SDTwinkie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:17 PM

And really, that's all sabermetrics are... I've never seen anyone claim them to be infallible. All they are is a tool to improve the mean and maximize the talent you have available as a team.[/QUOTE]

This is my perspective as well--one that we can all agree upon. It is overemphasis and dismissiveness that I have a problem with.

#30 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:20 PM

This is the key. You can't predict aberrant behavior. You can only take the information you have on hand and make the best decisions using that information.

And really, that's all sabermetrics are... I've never seen anyone claim them to be infallible. All they are is a tool to improve the mean and maximize the talent you have available as a team.


Exactly. I like to equate sabermetrics to poker hands.

AA is going to win more hands than 72o. But, this does not guarantee you are going to win a single hand, or even a series of hands, with AA vs 72o.
All you can do is know that you are getting your money in with the best of it, and over a large enough sample size you are going to win money, while the guy going in with 72o is going to lose money.
Sometimes it takes a REALLY LARGE sample size though.

Bottom line: Playing the odds will never guarantee success, but it's hard to see how it can even be disputed that it gives you a better chance than not playing the odds.