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Tenacious D

2019 MLB Hall of Fame

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8 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

IDK, when it comes to relievers if you don't let anyone get on base, you are going to be a pretty good reliever. I think the marginal value/reliability of information beyond WHIP may not be as large as the more complex stats are in other areas of the game. The bigger problem with relievers is just small sample size, and that confounds any statistical measure. We look for the dependable quality of a starting pitcher to emerge over couple of seasons, maybe 300-400 innings. That's half a career for a reliever.

WHIP is not bad unless the hits include a lot of home runs.  I agree that the sample size is the biggest problem with relievers

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2 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

This is apparently not unusual. There seems to be something about working from memory recall (you already know the lines to the song - you aren't formulating them as you sing) which can break a stutter. James Earl Jones was attracted to acting as a youth because acting out lines broke a stutter he suffered with.

I had a similar problem shuddered over certain consonants (W was one of them) but never did it when I was on the air. I usually had a script of osome sort or I general idea of what I wanted to say.

Sometimes it seemed the mouth was working a bit faster than the brain, or just a fear you were going to stammer that brought it on.

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22 minutes ago, CMRivdog said:

Sometimes it seemed the mouth was working a bit faster than the brain, or just a fear you were going to stammer that brought it on.

Yes. It is a thing that can snowball. I don't doubt that for some % of cases there may be some more difficult physical neurological/wiring issue, for others it can be overcome by teaching yourself to mentally 'coordinate' better - whether that means slowing down, breathing discipline, lots of different things work for different people.

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2 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

LOL. I'm sure it's not true in *all* cases (what about human behaviour ever is?) but stress is a factor in stuttering for many - so there is a certain logic there.

He must have gotten through it at some point, was a very smart, creative fella.  Was in the Chess club with him in HS, he was a good player.  Ended up teaching at the University of Copenhagen and is now a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical.   

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1 hour ago, tiger337 said:

But if you fail in those situations, you will be penalized by WPA.   You will never get an RBI subtracted even if you fail.  

Some people like WPA/LI better, but I personally find it so complex even conceptually that I have to spend a couple minutes explaining it to myself any time I want to use it, never mind trying to explain it to somebody else.    

Ultimately, I don't think there is a good go to stat for relief pitchers.  

This is true in theory, but in practice, it’s pretty rare to end up underwater on WPA if you’re a closer. Taking a look at every pitcher with 20 or more saves in the last three years, 65 of them in total, only nine of them were underwater on WPA. So while not a perfect analog for RBI as a counting stat, it’s not a 50-50 positive-negative thing for back of the bullpen talent, either.

I agree there’s no one go to stat, but as an underlying skill set indicator, I like looking at WHIP, xFIP-, and OPS+ against. They’re not perfect stats, either, but what is? I’d be looking for guys who keep hitters off bases, from getting extra base hits, and that filter out the luck of stranding runners or BABIP.

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4 minutes ago, chasfh said:

This is true in theory, but in practice, it’s pretty rare to end up underwater on WPA if you’re a closer. Taking a look at every pitcher with 20 or more saves in the last three years, 65 of them in total, only nine of them were underwater on WPA.

True, but if you only want to compare closers, it works as well as any other stat.  Given how relief roles are so strictly defined now, it makes sense that we separate closers from set up men from longer relievers since they have different roles.   

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56 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

True, but if you only want to compare closers, it works as well as any other stat.  Given how relief roles are so strictly defined now, it makes sense that we separate closers from set up men from longer relievers since they have different roles.   

That's why I like to use those other three stats I mentioned earlier, which can be applied to all pitchers across roles.

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32 minutes ago, chasfh said:

That's why I like to use those other three stats I mentioned earlier, which can be applied to all pitchers across roles.

But I think relievers are unique in that so much of their value is how they perform in high leverage situations.  How well they do in these spots might not be predictive, but it's important to consider in retrospect.  I also think some relievers are indeed better than others at handling the pressure of high leverage situations.  I think that gets exaggerated, but I do believe there is something to it and there has to be a way to get to that in order to get a true measure of both talent and past value.  

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16 hours ago, tiger337 said:

But I think relievers are unique in that so much of their value is how they perform in high leverage situations.  How well they do in these spots might not be predictive, but it's important to consider in retrospect.  I also think some relievers are indeed better than others at handling the pressure of high leverage situations.  I think that gets exaggerated, but I do believe there is something to it and there has to be a way to get to that in order to get a true measure of both talent and past value.  

It does make sense that some relievers handle pressure better than others, since some people handle life pressure better than others. Have there been any stats that can be tied to that? I’m not aware of any.

I do like perusing the performance records of players for its own sake, and I also particularly like trying to figure out, based on the record, how players will do in the upcoming season. I believe front or middle of bullpen guys with better than average performance in terms of WHIP,  FIP, and batting against deserve a shot at back of the bullpen roles, regardless of their WPA, which may be misleading depending on how they’ve been used by the manager to date. Then, if they can’t hack it, move them back out. They’ll never know until they’re tried there.

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

. Then, if they can’t hack it, move them back out. They’ll never know until they’re tried there.

Yup. I would argue that the core of the problem isn't the statistics, it's that the population you want to sample doesn't exist [yet] (i.e. guy X under condition Y). There isn't a whole lot statistical analysis can to to remedy that lack. You shouldn't expect data reduction techniques to yield much if there is no data to begin with.

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A stat I like better than WPA is RE24.  It considers performance in all 24 base/out states (e.g runners at first and second with one out) but doesn't look at score or inning, so it's not going to give such crazy small sample size results as WPA.  I find this useful for relievers although it is probably not predictive.   

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the attempts to measure and assign value to everything that happens in a baseball game is both the most interesting and infuriating thing about baseball.

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1 minute ago, Buddha said:

the attempts to measure and assign value to everything that happens in a baseball game is both the most interesting and infuriating thing about baseball.

I actually agree.  I love all the stats, but I think it can be over done and most of the time simpler is better.  It is over done sometimes by people who blindly use WAR to compare players without really understanding what it measures.  It can also be over done by stat nerds who scold someone for using OPS instead of woba.  I love to engage in discussions about the advantages of advanced stats, but I don't use them every day.  I am mostly happy that most people in my internet travels have abandoned batting average, RBI and pitcher wins as definitive evaluations of players.   

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 2:22 PM, Buddha said:

the attempts to measure and assign value to everything that happens in a baseball game is both the most interesting and infuriating thing about baseball.

Also applies to coaching youth baseball.

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