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Tigers Acquire Aubrey Huff

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What is this "Mickey" you keep talking about. I've never heard this phrase before.

"Taking the Mickey" out of someone is an English phrase. It means bringing someone down a peg.

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"Taking the Mickey" out of someone is an English phrase. It means bringing someone down a peg.

See, I can't put you on ignore, tyrus. Look at all the knowledge I'd be missing out on!

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But even within the saber community, there are huge differences of opinion, which suggests to me that stats can be forged, skewed, shaded or manipulated to bolster arguments.

Sure, there is a lot of debate on whether FIP or tRA or tERA or OPS against or whatever is the best pitching stat, or whether OPS or RC or wOBA or whatever is the best offensive stat, but I think sabers are pretty unanimous that any of those stats are better than ERA or W-L or Saves for pitching and RBI and AVG for hitting.

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This I do agree with, that is quite disrespectful.

I honestly think this was the beginning of the fighting. There were, to be sure, a few "trads" who said things like "are you kidding me? How can having a lot of RBI be a bad thing?" But I didn't get the sense they were being smart-alecks, as much as they couldn't believe someone thought RBI were useless.

And, to be fair, the huge majority of "sabers" who responded did so respectfully, at least early on in the thread.

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That logical antecedent is something that does not show up in the RBI stat. Really, RBIs should be a rate stat. A guy on a good offensive team will get more RBIs given exactly the same hitting skills as a guy on a bad offensive team. OPS at least attempts to isolate the player. I don't like OPS because it combines two dissimilar things into one stat, but RBI is a stat that doesn't even measure what it's trying to measure (a player's ability to knock in runs) particularly well.

Here's what I honestly don't understand: RBI are summarily dismissed because the stat is contingent on what other players do.

And yet walks are revered, despite the stat also being contingent on what the pitcher does.

In both cases, it's a matter of the hitter taking advantage of what another player does. With RBI, if someone's on base, the hitter still has to knock him in. And with walks, the pitcher still has to throw the ball out of the strike zone in order for the batter to go to first.

Has there been an effort to quantify walks by the walk rate of pitchers in his league/division, along with the quality of other hitters in the lineup? Seems to me a good hitter on a crappy team in a division where there are a bunch of wild pitchers is going to get more BB than others in different circumstances.

Then there's the x-factor of umpire bias. Sure, Barry Bonds had a great eye -- but how many borderline pitches went his way because of his rep? I know the same held true on the other end of the spectrum with Tom Glavine -- umpires would call strikes on pitches 4-5 inches outside.

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See, I can't put you on ignore, tyrus. Look at all the knowledge I'd be missing out on!

I picked up the "Mickey" phrase from reading about the Beatles. Apparently, John Lennon liked to take the Mickey out of his teachers!

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There are huge differences of opinions amongst people in all professions. That is how you grow as an industry. In a business, the last thing you want is a bunch of "yes" men who agree with everything you say. What you want are people who come from a similar line of thought but still have different opinions with different point of views.

But, supposedly (some say), these statistics are "proof" of a certain opinion. Yet, if that's the case, how can these same stats be cited as "proof" of an opposing opinion?

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Here's what I honestly don't understand: RBI are summarily dismissed because the stat is contingent on what other players do.

And yet walks are revered, despite the stat also being contingent on what the pitcher does.

In both cases, it's a matter of the hitter taking advantage of what another player does. With RBI, if someone's on base, the hitter still has to knock him in. And with walks, the pitcher still has to throw the ball out of the strike zone in order for the batter to go to first.

Has there been an effort to quantify walks by the walk rate of pitchers in his league/division, along with the quality of other hitters in the lineup? Seems to me a good hitter on a crappy team in a division where there are a bunch of wild pitchers is going to get more BB than others in different circumstances.

Then there's the x-factor of umpire bias. Sure, Barry Bonds had a great eye -- but how many borderline pitches went his way because of his rep? I know the same held true on the other end of the spectrum with Tom Glavine -- umpires would call strikes on pitches 4-5 inches outside.

The thing is, something like walk-rate is going to be more consistent over the long run than RBI. It's not that OPS is completely player-skill dependent, and RBI is completely non-player-skill dependent. OPS and walk-rate are just most closely related to a player's innate skill than RBI is.

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I don't see the sabers behaving any worse than the trads in this forum. I think that's a lot of BS. There are a couple of people on both sides who try to bait and flame but overall I think this forum is as civil as you will get for a sports forum. The few problems we have here are usually caused (or made worse) by one person who is a traditionalist.

Edited by tiger337

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Here's what I honestly don't understand: RBI are summarily dismissed because the stat is contingent on what other players do.

And yet walks are revered, despite the stat also being contingent on what the pitcher does.

I can think of a couple of differences:

1. A walk is a walk is a walk. All walks are the same. An RBI is nothing but a hit (or I guess a bases loaded walk) with guys fast enough to score from whatever base they're on. It depends on the situation: are your teammates good at getting on base? Are they fast enough to score? Is your third base coach good enough to recognize when a guy can be sent home to give you the RBI? Is the scorer going to give you credit for it, or because some guy might have had a play, will it go as an error? Walks are simple: 4 balls outside the strikezone and you get a free base. RBIs are dependent on a lot of things.

2. The pitcher is trying to beat the batter. The runner on 2nd is incidental. To me, the largest part of baseball is the pitcher-batter matchup. It's a one-on-one team sport.

Let's say that Adrian Gonzalez is batting third and has horrible on base guys ahead of him in the lineup for a whole year. They only get on base, say, 32% of the time. So Gonzalez doesn't have many opportunities to get RBI because his teammates aren't good at their job. Now say Mark Teixeira is batting third and has two guys who get on base 40% of the time ahead of him in the lineup for a whole year. Tex has lots more opportunities to drive in runs.

Now, let's say Gonzalez finishes the year with 100 RBI, and Teixeira with 120 RBI. Who is the better hitter? The RBI stat suggests Mark. But given his situation, he didn't drive in as many runs per opportunity as Adrian.

The RBI stat doesn't take any of that into account.

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A good start would be avoiding snarky statements like "oh, yeah, he's clutch." Which, going through this thread a second time, seems to have been the flashpoint of all the bickering.

Fair enough.

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It's mob mentality and nobody but a few posters dare to take it on. It's a few people trying to control the thinking of a bigger group. I understand they feel they are challenging the status quo and they have some very interesting points. But it's why I dig in my heels and won't budge. It's not that I have to be right, I just know they aren't as smart as they think they are. As a matter of fact, I was using stats way before most of my peers. And I think they are important. But they can't explain everything that happens on a baseball field.

How do you know they aren't as smart as they think they are, maybe you aren't smart enough to know if they are as smart as they think they are.

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ANALOGY TIME:

I kind of view the SABR/traditionalist dichotomy through a simple poker lens. On one end you need to calculate the odds of hitting the straight or the flush. Maybe a traditionalist just figures I have 2 cards in my hand, there's 4 on the table, so to hit an open-ended flush my odds are 8 in 46. But maybe a SABR is also considering what cards he needs to hit; i.e. if 4 of those cards that he needs are aces, and everybody folded pre-flop, he's probably figuring there's 3 or 4 aces to draw to, and maybe 1 ace max already mucked. So he's figuring his odds at maybe 8 in 40. Or conversely if people were aggressive pre-flop, maybe he's figuring 6 in 40 because the aces are probably gone.

But on the other end, you also have to consider reading your opponent. The traditionalist, if successful, is probably really good at sniffing out bluffs and telling when an opponent is strong, so his reads are certainly going to influence his decision. Maybe the SABR isn't quite as good at the ability to get good reads on people, so he's going to focus more on trying to get better reads at what the odds really are.

The traditionalist will probably look at the SABR and wonder why he's spent so much time and energy crunching numbers when it's obvious the opponent has a hand and you can live to fight another day; the SABR will wonder why the traditionalist folded when there's probably 4 aces in the deck and he's getting proper odds to call. (I'm personally wondering why I bothered to type out this analogy)

Both methods can work, of course, but the best poker player is going to be really good at doing both things.

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In case anyone was wondering Eddie Bonine was just optioned to Toledo to make room for Huff.

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Going with a short pen for a while, I see. I wonder how long that lasts. I hope a while. I'd rather have the extra bench player than the extra arm.

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Going with a short pen for a while, I see. I wonder how long that lasts. I hope a while. I'd rather have the extra bench player than the extra arm.

I don't think they used Bonine during his most recent term as a Tiger so maybe they can get away with it for awhile.

They can always fly out Fien if they run into trouble one night since he has been down 10 days now.

Edited by jaymo

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Huff hits home runs.

Therefore,

Huff is a better hitter than Ichiro.

[/thread]

No, you're doing it all wrong.

Huff walks more.

Therefore,

Huff is a better hitter than Ichiro.

DISCLAIMER: HUFF IS NOT ACTUALLY A BETTER HITTER THAN ICHIRO HE IS MUCH WORSE PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

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Going with a short pen for a while, I see. I wonder how long that lasts. I hope a while. I'd rather have the extra bench player than the extra arm.

We actually have a good pen just looking at it. I haven't crunched the numbers so fangraphs might say that it sucks or whatever. And if the starts give us 6 innings consistently, we probably don't need 12 guys for the next 13 days. But my guess is that we'll have a 12 man bullpen before we head out west.

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In short, folks who sit behind computers crunching numbers should stop pretending they know so much more about baseball than other folks. Because.they.don't.

See, this is the crap that pisses me off. Yes, I watch a game with a laptop. Sometimes I do math. Sometimes I look at historical data. Sometimes I read studies other have done...while I watch a game. The same game that stat-o-phobes watch.

And I do it because like many others I love the game. I love the unscripted drama. I love the little things like Curtis Granderson facing his favorite player, Ken Griffey Jr., for the first time only to see Griffey hit a go ahead grand slam home run...and then have Granderson tie the score with a homer of his own in the bottom of the 9th. I live little story lines like that. I love big story lines like the Yankees in the World Series shortly after 9/11. I love all of it.

And because I love the game I want to learn more about it and the players and what goes into winning and losing. And so I crunch numbers and I look at research others have done and when making broad judgments I tend to favor things that are done in an informed and unbiased way.

So when me and my SABR hat state something with some degree of authority, it is because I've taken the time to either do the work myself or thoroughly understand the work of others. If that comes off as authoritative it's because I've built up some level of expertise around the particular subject. But at the same time I'm willing to listen and try and learn more. I'd just hope that everybody would embrace the opportunity to learn more from an authority - even if they don't agree - rather than knocking it down on principle.

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Tyrus why is it that people who actually make an attempt to study and understand the game don't know much more than someone who doesn't? I don't see why that's an insulting or bad thing. I'm sure a dude who collects rocks knows a lot more about rocks than I do, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good rock now and then.

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This thread gives me a headache.

It's rather simple. People who are sabers know more about the statistics of the game, not the game in general. People who are traditionalists don't.

Not too difficult..

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In case anyone was wondering Eddie Bonine was just optioned to Toledo to make room for Huff.

I don't get it... I have no love for Bonine, but there is no room for Raburn to get ABs anymore.

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