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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:37 am 
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Great explanation Bucfan. I agree.

(Edit: sorry I quoted wrong post. Just deleted it).


Last edited by Mayor Mystery on Thu May 01, 2008 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:39 am 
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Mayor Mystery wrote:
Willton wrote:
By the way, Bertie, I'm not the author of that quote. nad69dan is.


Great explanation Bucfan. I agree.


I'm confused? :|


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 12:31 pm 
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BBF wrote:
Mayor Mystery wrote:
Willton wrote:
By the way, Bertie, I'm not the author of that quote. nad69dan is.


Great explanation Bucfan. I agree.


I'm confused? :|


Apparently there are good know-it-alls-who-never-admit-they're-wrong, and bad ones. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 1:49 pm 
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ERA stands for "Earned Run Average." Under the examples used by Bucfan, did the hitting team "earn" those runs? The simple answer is "no." The runs were not earned; the runs were "given" to the other team as a result of a defensive miscue or miscues.

It is unworkable to suggest that if a runner reaches first after an error with two outs and a home run follows that the run should be considered an "earned" run because the hitter may have hit a home run in the following inning. That is pure speculation. The notion that a pitcher who gives up a home run to a hitter after an error and two outs would give up a homer to that same hitter leading off the following inning simply doesn't make any sense to me. The glaring difference would be that in the first example the pitcher is throwing from the stretch. In the second example, he would likely be winding up. Also, the pitcher may be better rested with the first hitter of the inning versus the fourth (or more) hitter in the inning.

I'm not going to enter the debate as to what is the best measure of a pitcher ERA or RA factoring in Defensive Efficiency. However, I did laugh out loud when I read Willton/Econo ridiculing the whims of an official scorekeeper (who, based upon the reference to Doritos, he thinks must be fat). When I think of those Sabrmatricians sitting in front of their computers trying to outdo one another with their formulation of defensive matrices, I don't picture guys who are the epitome of fitness and good health. If anything, I picture lots of empty Coca-Cola cans and crumpled up bags of cheese puffs. Sort of like a mechanical engineer making fun of a chemical engineer for being a "geek."

My apologies to any engineers on the Board. I lived with 2 engineering student for 3 years during my undergradate years and they were great guys. However, after attending many "engineering" parties, one must admit that there are a large number of individuals who . . . how shall I say this . . . won't be working in public relations.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:13 pm 
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No, no, no. Feel free to make fun of engineers. As a geologist, its considered a national pastime! :D

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 3:57 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
ERA stands for "Earned Run Average." Under the examples used by Bucfan, did the hitting team "earn" those runs? The simple answer is "no." The runs were not earned; the runs were "given" to the other team as a result of a defensive miscue or miscues.

First, Earned Run Average was not designed to be a measure of offense; it was designed to separate pitching from fielding. Hence, talking about whether the opposing offense "earned" a run obfuscates the goal of the stat in the first place.

Second, focusing on whether the offense "earned" a run or was "given" a run is far too subjective of a test. If a hitter hits a ball into play and the fielders do not reach the ball in time to turn it into an out, we can certainly speculate as to whether the fielder put forth enough effort to get the ball and the hitter really deserved to get the hit. Did the hitter "earn" the hit, and then "earn" a run scoring as a result from that hit? Also, some say that players who are really fast have the tendency to force errors from the defense. If such an event occurs, does that mean that the fast runner did not "earn" his base-hit, even though he was so fast that he forced the error from the fielder? This is also confusing when we speak in terms of pitchers "giving up homeruns."

Let's try and maintain some focus. ERA was supposed to be about pitchers, not hitters. Confusing the issue does not make the stat better.

No. 9 wrote:
It is unworkable to suggest that if a runner reaches first after an error with two outs and a home run follows that the run should be considered an "earned" run because the hitter may have hit a home run in the following inning. That is pure speculation. The notion that a pitcher who gives up a home run to a hitter after an error and two outs would give up a homer to that same hitter leading off the following inning simply doesn't make any sense to me. The glaring difference would be that in the first example the pitcher is throwing from the stretch. In the second example, he would likely be winding up. Also, the pitcher may be better rested with the first hitter of the inning versus the fourth (or more) hitter in the inning.

If it is not fair to speculate that a homerun hit after a 2-out error would have occured in the following inning but for the error, why is it fair to assume that the homerun would not have occurred at all but for the error? Such a proposition does not pass the straight-face test. Why does it make sense to absolve the pitcher of all responsibility for any runs, particularly homeruns, that occur after an error has been made? Why is it fair to hypothetically reconstruct the inning and pretend that those runs did not happen while the pitcher was pitching?

No. 9 wrote:
]I'm not going to enter the debate as to what is the best measure of a pitcher ERA or RA factoring in Defensive Efficiency. However, I did laugh out loud when I read Willton/Econo ridiculing the whims of an official scorekeeper (who, based upon the reference to Doritos, he thinks must be fat). When I think of those Sabrmatricians sitting in front of their computers trying to outdo one another with their formulation of defensive matrices, I don't picture guys who are the epitome of fitness and good health. If anything, I picture lots of empty Coca-Cola cans and crumpled up bags of cheese puffs. Sort of like a mechanical engineer making fun of a chemical engineer for being a "geek."

Yes, and I'm sure you envision all those sabremetricians blogging about this stuff from their mothers' basements. Like Keith Woolner of the Cleveland Indians. Or Bill James of the Boston Red Sox. Or Dan Fox of the Pittsburgh Pirates. You know, those people.

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Willton wrote:
First, Earned Run Average was not designed to be a measure of offense; it was designed to separate pitching from fielding. Hence, talking about whether the opposing offense "earned" a run obfuscates the goal of the stat in the first place.

Let's try and maintain some focus. ERA was supposed to be about pitchers, not hitters. Confusing the issue does not make the stat better.


ERA is a measure for a pitcher. However, the use of the term "earned" necessarily reflects that it is designed to measure what the opposing offense has "earned" from that particular pitcher. Pitching and defense cannot "earn" runs; offenses "earn" runs. Thus, the stat and opposing offenses are inextricably intertwined.

We get it. You don't like the stat. But to dig in your heels and refuse to acknowledge a term that is integral with the statistic (ie; "earned") reflects bullheadedness and a lack of objectivity. As I put in my initial post, I'm not entering the fray as to what is a better reflection of a pitcher's effectiveness. I'm not trying to trumpet ERA as the "be all/end all" by any means and I also wouldn't trumpet RA coupled with Defensive Effectiveness as the "be all/end all" either. I simply pointed out that Earned Run Average is a measure of what an opposing offense has earned against the pitcher as opposed to being the beneficiary of defensive gifts.

As for accusations regarding "maintaining focus" and accusations of "confusing the issue," I'll follow Bertie's advice and bite my tongue.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 6:26 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
ERA is a measure for a pitcher. However, the use of the term "earned" necessarily reflects that it is designed to measure what the opposing offense has "earned" from that particular pitcher. Pitching and defense cannot "earn" runs; offenses "earn" runs. Thus, the stat and opposing offenses are inextricably intertwined.

We get it. You don't like the stat. But to dig in your heels and refuse to acknowledge a term that is integral with the statistic (ie; "earned") reflects bullheadedness and a lack of objectivity. As I put in my initial post, I'm not entering the fray as to what is a better reflection of a pitcher's effectiveness. I'm not trying to trumpet ERA as the "be all/end all" by any means and I also wouldn't trumpet RA coupled with Defensive Effectiveness as the "be all/end all" either. I simply pointed out that Earned Run Average is a measure of what an opposing offense has earned against the pitcher as opposed to being the beneficiary of defensive gifts.

I was always under the impression that the runs were "earned" by the pitcher, just in a negative way. That's why the pitcher gets the stat attached to him: he's the one that earns the runs. If that's wrong and it's about the offense earning runs as opposed to being gifted runs, fine. I'll concede that.

However, a measurement based upon that premise is (1) too subjective, and (2) doesn't understand that pitching and fielding are not so easily divisible. If such an idea was offered nowadays as opposed to 100 years ago, it would be dismissed out of hand.

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 8:37 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
It is unworkable to suggest that if a runner reaches first after an error with two outs and a home run follows that the run should be considered an "earned" run because the hitter may have hit a home run in the following inning. That is pure speculation.


Agreed. What we can say, for sure, is that the pitcher should not still be on the mound - he did his job. The defense did not.

The idea that the pitcher should be dunned for not getting four or five outs is really odd to me. The point behind sabremetrics and related fields was to give greater context to offensive production. Too be more accurate.

Dunning the pitcher because the fielders cannot field is not an accurate measurement.

No. 9 wrote:
However, I did laugh out loud when I read Willton/Econo ridiculing the whims of an official scorekeeper (who, based upon the reference to Doritos, he thinks must be fat). When I think of those Sabrmatricians sitting in front of their computers trying to outdo one another with their formulation of defensive matrices, I don't picture guys who are the epitome of fitness and good health. If anything, I picture lots of empty Coca-Cola cans and crumpled up bags of cheese puffs. Sort of like a mechanical engineer making fun of a chemical engineer for being a "geek."


That is pretty funny, since I had the same thought.

And one final point - Sisy and Econo probably did not pitch, and see some pretty bad defensive efforts behind them. The psychological toll is high, particularly the error on a ball that should have ended the inning.

It takes a lot of effort, energy, focus, etc. to keep pitching when you should be on the bench or hitting. This purely mathematical view of judging pitching does not do justice to what a pitcher may have done. ERA is not perfect, for heaven's sake, but at least it does not smack the pitcher for failing to get four or five outs.


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 8:40 pm 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
Apparently there are good know-it-alls-who-never-admit-they're-wrong, and bad ones. ;)



So where does this have to do with my name being mentioned about the prior quote, not being Wilton's?

Am I a know it all?

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 9:21 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
So where does this have to do with my name being mentioned about the prior quote, not being Wilton's?

Am I a know it all?

You misread.

My line referred to how MM indiscriminately sides with Bucfan in any argument just because he doesn't like Willton and Sisyphus. That is all.

Then again, I don't know: ARE you a know-it-all? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 9:35 pm 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
My line referred to how MM indiscriminately sides with Bucfan in any argument just because he doesn't like Willton and Sisyphus. That is all.


MM, Bucfan, Sisy, Willton, and Elmer need to broaden their approach, much like I have. I side with everyone who doesn't like BH. I get along with EVERYBODY!!!! 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
It is unworkable to suggest that if a runner reaches first after an error with two outs and a home run follows that the run should be considered an "earned" run because the hitter may have hit a home run in the following inning. That is pure speculation.


Agreed. What we can say, for sure, is that the pitcher should not still be on the mound - he did his job. The defense did not.

The idea that the pitcher should be dunned for not getting four or five outs is really odd to me. The point behind sabremetrics and related fields was to give greater context to offensive production. Too be more accurate.

Dunning the pitcher because the fielders cannot field is not an accurate measurement.

It's not "dunning" the pitcher (whatever that means); it's recording the facts. The fact of the matter is that the run scored while the pitcher was on the mound, and pretending that it did not because a fielder (even the pitcher) misplayed a batted ball clouds the facts.

You talk of the pitcher "getting four or five outs" as being improper. But the thing is, unless he gets a strikeout, the pitcher himself does not really get any outs; it's the defense that gets the out after the pitcher gives up a batted ball. The pitcher does not work alone, so he's not the one expected to get outs; it's the entire defense, pitcher included, that's expected to get outs. And the entire defense's job is not done in an inning until all 3 outs are recorded. Hence, a pitcher's job, as part of a defense, is not over once an error has been made.

The whole premise behind the earned run rule is flawed. The earned run rule does not logically flow from the error rule; it is a monster unto itself. It's partly built on errors, sure, but it's also built on this philosophy that one can remove the effect of an error by hypothetically reconstructing the inning and pretending as if the error never happened. That is not accuracy; that's fantasy.

Bucfan wrote:
And one final point - Sisy and Econo probably did not pitch, and see some pretty bad defensive efforts behind them. The psychological toll is high, particularly the error on a ball that should have ended the inning.

I'm sure that's the case, but I don't see how that has any relevance on how to record events occuring after an error.

Bucfan wrote:
It takes a lot of effort, energy, focus, etc. to keep pitching when you should be on the bench or hitting. This purely mathematical view of judging pitching does not do justice to what a pitcher may have done. ERA is not perfect, for heaven's sake, but at least it does not smack the pitcher for failing to get four or five outs.

Actually, yes it does. As I said earlier, a good pitcher is capable of preventing unearned runs from occurring more than a bad pitcher is. Yet removing these unearned runs from the equation marginalizes the value of these good pitchers while inflating the value of bad pitchers. It obscures the reality that errors will always happen, and some pitchers are better than others at minimizing the damage that occurs as a result of them. So yes, ERA does "smack" the pitcher, or at least the good ones. It also makes the bad pitchers look better than they really are.

Stats are about recording facts. They should not be about assigning blame. The sooner one realizes this, the sooner one understands how ill-conceived the earned-unearned distinction is.

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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:40 am 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
So where does this have to do with my name being mentioned about the prior quote, not being Wilton's?

Am I a know it all?

You misread.

My line referred to how MM indiscriminately sides with Bucfan in any argument just because he doesn't like Willton and Sisyphus. That is all.

Then again, I don't know: ARE you a know-it-all? ;)


That's not true ... I happen to agree with a lot of Bucfan's points. The heat between Willton/Sisyphus stems from disagreements on certain points. It only makes sense that I would agree with a poster who also disagrees with them on certain points.


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 Post subject: Re: April 30, 2008 Pirates at New York Mets
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 5:04 pm 
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This thread has gone in a lot of different directions, and I have a few different comments, though none are insightful enough (are they ever?) to merit separate posts, so I will just lump them in here:

First of all, as to the meaning of the word "earned", as a pitcher, I was always taught/under the impression that they were earned by the pitcher, not by the offense, much in the same way a whooping is "earned" by a child drinking bleach under the sink. As Econo said before (sorry dude, I can't identify you as Willton), they are "earned" in a negative way.

Also, having been a pitcher through high school, I would dispute the claim that the psychological burden of having an inning extended makes one more likely to give up a homer to a hitter (though not something that can really be debated, I suppose). Other things cited, such as pitching from the stretch, fatigue from a long inning, etc. are all relevant, but why is it *better* to assume that the pitcher WOULDN'T give up that homerun in the following inning, as ERA does?

I was also interested to read someone's question of what if the offense "forces" an error. I think the idea of a speedy runner forcing an error, thereby technically *earning* a shot to score is an interesting point of view. Not entirely sure I agree with it, but the premise upon which that statement is drawn has some merit.

Ironically, I always pictured sabrematicians to be skinny geeky guys and scouts to be the overweight baseball player wannabe's, living out of a suitcase, shoving Doritos in their face while they smoke a cheap cigar and watch Skinamax on the hotel TV.

Finally, I still don't see how ERA is a better measure of how good a pitcher is than RA. Are there great pitchers who had good ERA's and poor RA's? Bad pitchers with good RA's but poor ERA's? It seems that ERA was devised to try to separate pitching from defense. The thing is, there really is no way to separate those two factors, as you position defenders based on how you pitch guys, etc. Aside from that, we have good defensive-independent stats: HR rate, strikeout rate, and walk rate, that give you a good picture of how good a pitcher is.


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