Monday, April 6, 2009

Hey, it's Opening Day

This was going on outside when I woke up:
... and this season's Opening Day is happening almost a week later than usual! (Retractable roofs, please!)

Yesterday when I was driving back to Michigan from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana I caught a sports show on a radio station out of Cincinnati. The host (Allen/Alan something) spent about 6 minutes talking about how STUPID it is to have Willy Taveras lead off because his OBP is so low and more importantly, how it doesn't matter what the leadoff hitter's
batting averge is so long as he's getting on base. He went on to say he knows that Dusty Baker is a scribbler so SURELY he has scribbled out a lineup that has Willy T hitting somewhere other than first. (The only place he SHOULD be hitting is 8th, unless you're a manager named Tony La Russa.)

Then he went on to talk about, like, football or some shit so I tuned out. And the station got fuzzy anyway and the only thing I could get to come in on AM was some financial show out of Detroit.

I just realized that I'm watching the Reds right now, and ... Taveras isn't even playing. And oh shit, the guy who is not Steve Phillips is talking about how teams are trying to quantify defense! This will be good!

And Phillips is talking about how all of these people working on it are making judgment calls about how hard balls are hit and that means it's flawed. "Because the statistics don't match what my eyes say, it makes me doubt the veracity of the statistic." I'm pretty damn sure he actually said what his eyes SAY. (That was after talking about how one metric came out and said that Jeter's the worst defensive shortstop and Chase Utley's the best at second, neither of which he agrees with.)

I .... don't even know what to say. Hahaha.


Goose said...

So he doesn't trust defensive statistics because they come from judgment calls? Um, aren't scouts making judgment calls when they evaluate defense? Contradiction, ftl!

Grif said...

I would normally say the pitcher is the one who should hit 8th.

But with Taveras, I could be persuaded to change my mind.

Grif said...

I'm bored, so I thought I'd do some line up messery. I used the PECOTA projections for the Reds plus Baseball Musing's line-up toy and plugged in what seems to be Dusty's intended every day lineup. The BM toy doesn't consider handedness, which is meaningful but w/e.

Dusty's line-up's projected runs per game: 4.496

BM's Optimal Lineup:
Edwin Encarnacion
Joey Votto
Ramon Hernandez
Jay Bruce
Brandon Phillips
Alex Gonzalez
Chris Dickerson
Willy Taveras

That lineup gets 4.754 runs per game. I would probably want Taveras ahead of the pitcher (Dickerson 9th?) so he could steal bases in front of a hitter who can't advance him otherwise. We learn a couple things here.

1) Dusty Baker is pretty crazy.

2) Batting order doesn't matter much, though. Not that it's not fun to make fun of Dusty Baker for refusing to make it as strong as he can.