Assorted Baseball Thoughts

  • One of the craziest things I've ever experienced in a fantasy league happened to me today in CardRunners:

    We have a rule that you can play a player out of position, and his stats will count for you so long as he qualifies there eventually. For example, if you wanted to use Jake Fox at catcher in April, you could have even though he didn't qualify there at the start of the year. As long as he eventually got 10 games at catcher (he has 13), then the stats you got from him in April count for your team. If he never did make it to 10, you would get zeroes there. This rule has two benefits: (1) You don't have to wait 10 games for someone like Fox, or for Carlos Guillen to qualify at 2B, for example; and (2) instead of rostering a second scrub catcher (the league is AL only), you can use the roster space as an extra bench spot, so to speak, and take the zero on purpose.

    That part of it, I was aware of. What I didn't know was that for rookies, they don't have positions initially, and wind up qualifying somewhere only if they eventually get to 10 games there, or barring that, whatever position they play the most. I had just assumed that rookies qualified wherever they played the most in the minors. Not the case. So when Chris Carter got called up from the A's, I put him at first base, in place of Justin Morneau. Carter was sent to the outfield where he played all six games before being demoted yesterday. He was also 0-for-19.

    So imagine my surprise when I find out today that Carter was actually playing OUT OF POSITION! That means that unless he gets called up in September and plays first base for either 10 games, or more games than he plays in the outfield, his stats for that week are null and void. Considering I'm in a fight in batting average, that was pretty great news. But the kicker is that I've had Matt LaPorta in my outfield the entire time, and he qualifies both at 1B and OF! In other words, this never should have been an issue in the first place, and had I known I would certainly have switched the two and been stuck with the 0-for-19.

    While I typically run lucky, this is taking it to a whole new level.

  • Who's the most important Yankee since 1996 - Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera? Joe Posnanski poses the question (entire column is worth a read - h/t Chris Ferro) and settles on Jeter. I'd probably vote for Rivera as I indicated to the friend who sent me the article in an email:

    Jeter has been well above average with a much bigger role. Rivera has been the greatest ever in a smaller one. The total net above average definitely goes to Jeter, but with the Yanks and their payroll, the average should be a lot higher. So Jeter's advantage shrinks in larger proportion than Rivera's. There have been plenty of closers as good as Rivera for one year (Lidge, Putz, Papelbon, etc.), but it's easy to say that after the fact. Beforehand, there's no way to know what you'd get and hence no way for the Yanks or anyone else to acquire one. I'd say Rivera is more important, but Jeter has done more. Rivera's postseason stats by the way are retarded. (0.74 ERA, 0.77 WHIP in 133.1 IP). And of course, Posada's per-at-bat stats (.857 OPS) are arguably better than Jeter's (.840 OPS) and a good deal better when adjusted for position. But like Rivera, Jeter outdoes him on volume.

    Plus I'd lay 20 to 1 that I could beat Posada in a footrace after drinking 8 beers.

  • Rays playoff rotation - I posed this question to Joe Sheehan today on the Sirius XM show. Assuming the Rays make the playoffs, who are their top three starters? If the playoffs started today, and I were the Rays, I'd have to go David Price, Matt Garza, Jeremy Hellickson with Jeff Niemann or James Shields in that one-start-per-series No. 4 role.

    This made me think the Rays would have to keep Hellickson stretched out the rest of the way - after all, how could you possibly mess him up down the stretch if you need him to be one of your frontline guys in the playoffs. Sheehan agreed to an extent but said they might very well go six starters in September (solves that problem as well as cutting down on Price's and Davis' innings counts). But Sheehan also suggested that basic clubhouse morale might be a big issue for Joe Maddon if he kicked his former ace to the curb for rookie with a handful of career starts. And that given Shields' excellent peripherals (and ostensibly bad luck), the difference between Hellickson and him didn't warrant opening that can of worms.

    Joe might be right, but if Hellickson pitches lights out, say in a six man rotation the rest of the way, and Shields continues to have bad BABIP, strand and HR/FB luck, it's going to be a tough sell outside of the clubhouse.

  • For those of you who like the White Stripes, you might want to check out this cover (Consider linking this a cheap imitation of DDD's always interesting non-sports links in his blogs).

  • How many games would the Red Sox have won if healthy? Don't get me wrong, I despise the Red Sox, but it's amazing they're still the third-best team in baseball despite losing Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and Victor Martinez for such significant portions of the year. They also had Jason Varitek on the DL (which mattered when Martinez was out) as well as Daisuke Matsuzaka (twice), Mike Lowell and Clay Buchholz.

    Of course, I'm happy this happened, but had it not, the Yanks and Rays might be in a fierce battle for the AL Wildcard spot.

  • For a good discussion on whether BABIP and HR/FB rates for pitchers is just luck, check out this thread on the Hardball Times. Keep in mind the subject was Dan Haren's bad luck, but I wonder if one would make the same case for Aaron Harang or Justin Masterson?

  • Comments

    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 8/17/2010 5:28:00 PM
    I love xFIP. It's a way for otherwise intelligent people to convince themselves that bad pitchers are really not that bad and great pitchers aren't so special. In other words, let's grade on a scale and find a way to bridge the gap between Aaron Harang and Adam Wainwright.

    The best pitchers in baseball consistently beat the league average in HR/FB. Go look it up for yourself.
    By: million_dollar_sleeper
    On: 8/17/2010 6:34:00 PM
    Please don't do another card runners league again, ever. Reading anything about that league is unbearable. Can we just deem xFIP useless? All those FIP, xFIP, tERA, CAPS, LIPS, etc are for lazy people. Derek Carty couldn't forecast his way out of a wet paper bag.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 8/17/2010 8:33:00 PM
    Yeah, the HR/FB regression seems weaker than the BABIP one. But I question even the latter in a lot of cases. As for Carty, he's a sharp guy - and I wouldn't characterize him like that. CardRunners has been an interesting league to say the least - the high stakes and the variety of players make it different. Not sure if it's really advanced the ball on anyone's understanding, though.
    By: jtopper
    On: 8/17/2010 8:38:00 PM
    Hellickson is already at 137.2 minor and major innings in 2010, 23.2 IP more than his 2009 total (114). He could be the magical 40 innings or so over 2009 in two or three starts with three weeks still left in the season. Just some food for thought.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 8/17/2010 8:47:00 PM
    There's no doubt the Rays are aware of that, but I'm not sure the Verducci effect isn't just a bunch of backfitting and correlation like the 370 carry rule. I think a lot depends on how the pitcher is managed start to start, whether he's laboring, etc. Hellickson supposedly has a pretty smooth delivery, and the Rays have gone easy on his pitch counts. It might be a factor, but I wouldn't be surprised if they kept him as part of a six-man rotation to keep options open in the playoffs.
    By: tumanic
    On: 8/18/2010 9:45:00 AM
    Rays have no chance without Helickson this year imho.....He is that good in my book! I would pitch Helickson #2 in the playoffs and next year I would probably draft Helickson ahead of Garza. Love the White Stripes!
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 11:05:00 AM
    Sorry this is such a long response, guys. I'm posting most of it over at CR to make it easier, with the bolded parts only appearing here.

    Scott, I'm not sure if the "otherwise intelligent people" comment was directed at me, but since the conversation has sort of turned that way, I figured I'd jump in. I looked up the HR/FB numbers, as you suggested, and here's what I found:

    From 2004 to 2009, there were 43 pitchers (who spent at least half of their games starting - relievers are a different beast) who posted HR/OF rates below 10% (league average is 11%-ish) in at least 200 IP (one full season-ish). If we require 400 IP, we get 29 pitchers. At 600 IP, we get 22 pitchers. At 800 IP, we?re down to 13. Of course, there's a little bias here, but I think it's a pretty decent argument in favor of regression (if the endless, more rigorous studies aren?t enough). To phrase these results differently, the fewer innings he's pitched, the easier it is for a pitcher to beat a league average HR/FB ? luck! sThe more he pitches, the more he regresses and falls off our list. At the 3-year mark, we only have 5 pitchers below 9% (Cain, Kelvim Escobar, Clemens, Wainwright, and Wang). At the 4-year mark, it's only Cain.

    Regression is real, but that's not to say that xFIP or LIPS or any other ERA estimator is the end all, because it's not. It's a shortcut, a quick way of seeing what a pitcher's peripherals tell us about him for that particular year. It?s not meant to be a forecast. It uses one year of data and implies 100% regression to the mean for BABIP, HR/FB, and LOB%, which is incorrect (but not terribly so for the vast majority of cases, which is why these things are usable if we know what we?re looking at).

    Regression is real, but I think a lot of analysts give us the wrong impression of it. They either (out of laziness or ignorance) assume that every BABIP, HR/FB, LOB% should be league average at all times. That?s not what regression is! Regression means that the player?s numbers should move in the direction of a league or group average ? how far towards that number depends on a number of factors (in some cases it may not move much at all from the player?s actual performance).

    For a guy like Aaron Harang, he has a .310 career BABIP and a .329 or so BABIP over the past three years. For a guy like this, with this much data, it would be foolish to assume he?ll post a .300 BABIP going forward. But it?s also foolish to assume that he?ll post a .329 BABIP going forward as well (in the absence of some other data that says he deserves a high BABIP). If we know something about Aaron Harang from scouting or other means, like I said about Haren, we can say that it?s best to regress Harang to, say a .320 BABIP. But if we don?t have these things, the best we can do is regress to league average (or some group average).

    This doesn?t, however, mean that we assume Harang will have a league average BABIP. That?s not what regression is. It just means our estimate will move some distance toward that number. We take all the data we have on him, and based on that sample size and the league-wide variance in BABIP, we can come up with a good estimation of his BABIP going forward. This will be far more accurate than simply saying, ?For three years in a row, Harang has had a high BABIP and an ERA higher than his xFIP, so xFIP is useless (not just for Harang, but for all players) and we should just use Harang?s ERA or our gut impression of him.?

    So to answer Chris?s question, yes, I would make the exact same case for Harang or Masterson. That is, yes, it?s possible that these guys truly deserve high BABIPs (or HR/FBs or whatever), but unless you have some sort of information that shows me that they should, I?m simply going to take the data I have, and regress the proper amount (and, ideally, treat vs. LHP and vs. RHP separately (but not independently), especially for Masterson). We?re just looking at a different magnitude here. For Haren?s BABIP, it?s one year and will be nearly completely erased when we account for previous seasons and regression. For Harang, it?s several years and will show up somewhat in our projection.

    Just because there are these guys that look like they are ?exceptions? doesn?t mean that they don?t follow the rules of regression. They do ? they just regress less the more data we have on them. And if we have some scouting or other information, they regress to a number other than league average. Everyone regresses, but a lot of people assume that everyone regresses to league average, when in fact they don?t. In fact, very few players regress to league average. Everyone, truly, regresses to their own absolute true talent level (which is unknown), so we do the best we can to estimate that. League average is the bare minimum acceptable guess we can make, but once we know some things about the player, we can regress him to a group of players similar to him (for example, small-framed lefties with underwhelming stuff and a fastball-slider-change repertoire) or to some unique number that better suits him than league average.

    I'm not sure where the animosity for the CR league comes from, although you?re certainly entitled to your opinion. Personally, I have found it to be a nice vehicle to vocalize some of these theoretical issues and have had a lot of fun with it. As to not being able to ?forecast my way out of a paper bag,? I think I?ll leave that alone, except to say that I disagree.

    One thing I want to point out, however, is your inclusion of CAPS in your list of ERA estimators. CAPS is very different and stands for Context Adjusted Pitching Stats. Because I?m the one who came up with it, I?m assuming you read THTF, which leaves me wondering what you don?t like about it. CAPS adjusts for context: things like ballparks and quality of opponent. Are you saying that these effects don?t exist or are unimportant? I can see not liking ERA estimators if you?re using them wrong or don?t fully understand them, but CAPS is pretty straight-forward, at least in its concept.

    Also, Chris, I'm completely with you on the Verducci Effect. Not a fan at all. Also, you?re right about the ?HR/FB regression? being ?weaker than BABIP one.? BABIP takes longer to stabilize than HR/FB, but both still take a long time (if BABIP takes six years ? which I know you?re not a fan of saying, but it?s an easy way to phrase it and makes for easy comparisons ? HR/FB takes four)
    By: Scott Pianowski
    On: 8/18/2010 12:36:00 PM
    My comment wasn't directed at anyone specifically, but I read that with interest, Derek.

    A few months ago I made up an (admittedly subjective) list of the Top 15 starting pitchers in baseball and looked at their career HR/FB rates. Think up your own 15, I bet we have almost exactly the same names. Anyway, 11 had HR/FB rates below the industry average for their careers, one was on the fence, and three were over it (and slightly over it, at that). That's just step one in a journey of 1,000 steps, but I found it interesting.
    By: tumanic
    On: 8/18/2010 1:17:00 PM
    I am not the biggest fan of all the "brainy smurf quantum physics stats"...some are pretty cool, I just prefer to kick it old school. Where do you guys get the time??? :) Reminds me of "system gamblers" for sports gambling.(I would prefer the advice from an ex bookie who is familiar with real life scenarios) To many unknown variables in sports than cards and other games so I am not a huge fan of that. Personal problems like a death, divorce...etc I factor in big time in my fantasy analysis. I don't see any equations for that???? I think your Card Runners League would look more professional if you didn't have trading and shored up some of your goofy rules such as your position eligibility? Just some food for thought....GL!
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 1:50:00 PM
    Thanks, Scott. Glad to hear you found my ramblings interesting :) I may be wrong, but I think one of the problems with picking out a top 15 is that several of the names will be younger guys who haven't been around long enough to really take their HR/FB seriously. On my own list, I might put guys like Lincecum, Liriano, Lester, Nolasco, Greinke, Ubaldo, Hanson, etc. That's enough to fill out half of a list, and that's just off the top of my head. This could provide some results that would seem to prove the point but may be unreliable. Just a thought. I'd also wager that the guys who have been around a while (Santana, Carpenter, Halladay, Felix, etc) may be under league average by a little, but not by a whole lot. I'm not arguing that xFIP is perfect and infallible and always to be trusted, just that it is useful in the right context. Just because it has flaws doesn't mean it's useless - nearly every method has flaws. Our job as analysts is to minimize them.
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 1:51:00 PM
    I don't think anyone would argue that death, divorce, etc don't affect players, it's that they are nearly impossible to quantify. And if we aren't quantifying them, how do we know we're even going in the right direction? If Player A gets a divorce, is he going to play better or worse? Is he going to be so distraught he plays worse, or will he be angry and play better? Or have more time to focus on baseball and play better? These are real things, they're just tough to include, especially when the overall effects may not even be that large or the direction knowable. As to trading, all the big leagues allow it (LABR, Tout, etc), and I'm a fan of the position eligibility rule. It allows you play a guy at a position you know he will eventually qualify for and may in fact be playing in real life but wouldn't otherwise qualify for in fantasy.
    By: tumanic
    On: 8/18/2010 2:20:00 PM
    Sorry I didn't clarify Derek...I assumed it would be obvious. Personal problems is almost always a sign for bad performance. Panda this year, Mags last off top of my head....just my own personal theory. All of the big leagues don't use trading fyi....NFBC for example. LABR and TOUT are tight nit click leagues with industry professionals. Anyways, I doubt any of them have the entry fee that CR does....At least I would think you would have some type of veto policy....No offense but I have seen some fugly deals in that league this year where it would of took me 1.5 seconds to veto a deal...and that is with me giving it deep thought and dropping my mouse on the floor. :) Don't think because you have "professional" people in the league that you won't run across a "win at all costs" scenario. I have seen a lot in 25 years. No offense, I just don't like putting myself in a bad situation. Good chatting.... :)
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 8/18/2010 2:26:00 PM
    Derek, I agree with you, but once you start regressing players like Harang from .329 to .320, then really you're not making the same case for them. You're saying that their career norms fly in the face of the rule, and while even hittable pitchers can be unlucky, there clearly is an element of skill or lack thereof in their deviation from the league norm. Over smaller samples it's harder to say - is Haren a different guy, so that 4 years from now, we'll consider him a Harang? - or is it just a bad luck blip? It's likely it's mostly bad luck, but you see the problem, don't you? We don't know that Harang is simply hittable until it's too late. The question one needs to know prospectively about Haren - or Harang four years ago - is whether he'll regress to .300 or less, or whether he's broken now and hence more hittable than normal, K:BB be damned.
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 2:31:00 PM
    Ok, got it. But how do we know that's the right way to treat personal problems? Like with the divorce example? Either way could be correct, and I'd wager that both ways are indeed correct in some instances. Some players will play better, others worse, because they each have their own unique psychologies. The problem is, because we don't have access to psychological or personality tests like front offices do, we can't say with any certainty which way any individual player will go.

    As to trading, NFBC does it to promote fairness and isn't a strict experts league. It's high stakes, but not expert (and I consider CR more expert than high stakes). Because there are many leagues played out simultaneously and the overall standings get pulled from all leagues, trading promotes imbalance in case some leagues don't have as active traders or weaker players. Because CR is an expert league, I think trading makes sense as every other experts league I've ever seen has it. As to vetoes, that's a long discussion, but I (and most every expert league I've been in) am against them. To sum up my point (partially) about expert league vetoes, aren't we supposed to know what we're doing, as experts, and isn't it possible that one of us knows something the rest don't, leading to the decision to make a particular trade? We're supposed to be the learned minority, processing our thoughts and making decisions independently of conventional wisdom, and independently of each other, for that matter. And as experts, we're also supposed to understand that no one knows what the future holds and that vetoing trades based on the subjective judgment of one or two or three people is a bit ridiculous. If two experts feel that a trade will benefit their teams, shouldn't that be enough? Why does an arbitrary third member of the league get to decide if it does? I agree that some trades have seemed lopsided, but that is just my personal judgment of it. The rule in CR (and most other expert leagues) is that unless there is collusion, trades hold up.
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 3:05:00 PM
    This is exactly what I was getting at in paragraph 9. League average has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's a misconception because it's the easiest and most common thing we regress to (Marcels, FIP, xFIP, etc), but it's not correct. To make my point easier to understand, let's use hitter BABIP. Ichiro Suzuki has posted a well above average BABIP every year of his career (except maybe 2005, which was merely a little above average). Why? Because league average has nothing to do with Ichiro! His BABIP skill is not league average. Instead of regressing Ichiro to league average, we might regress him to “speedy lefty” BABIP average. And we would have done that for his rookie year too.

    For Harang, I’m only saying to regress him to .320 (or whatever number we arrive at *IF* we have evidence to suggest that this is where he should be. Otherwise, we would regress him to his group’s average (maybe big righties with above average stuff and a fastball-change-slider-curve repertoire). This group’s BABIP mean is nearly identical to league average, I’d imagine, which is why regressing to league average gives us a 'good enough' answer, doesn't draw suspicion, and why most people simply regress to league average. But if we throw “has mechanical flaws” or “tips pitches” or whatever into the mix (so it'd be big righties with above average stuff and a fastball-change-slider-curve repertoire who tip their pitches), then that group would likely look very different. That’s where the .320 BABIP would come in.

    I absolutely agree that we can’t know for certainty beforehand, that we only know after the fact, and that Haren could end up like Harang, but that’s exactly it – we can’t know with any certainty! I can’t, and you can’t. So we regress to whatever group we have Harang in given the data that we have. Regression removes the proper amount of this uncertainty, and that's the best we can do absent more information.

    To get even more technical, if I haven’t scared enough people away yet, regression to the mean is a shortcut for Bayesian statistics. Bayesian statistics basically says “what’s the chance that a guy with a true .250 BABIP posts a .317 career BABIP like Harang did,” then “what’s the chance that a guy with a true .255 BABIP posts a .317 career BABIP like Harang did,” then “what’s the chance that a guy with a true .260 BABIP posts a .317 career BABIP like Harang did,” etc. It does that for as many possibilities as we choose and then takes the weighted average to arrive at the most likely BABIP for Harang (I imagine your brain algorithm does something similar). Regression to the mean simplifies this process, but it’s really the same thing. Maybe that makes it easier to understand.
    By: tumanic
    On: 8/18/2010 3:41:00 PM
    I guess I disagree with how you qualify "expert"? I thought CR was half industry honks and half gamblers to be blunt. :) The size of the league fee does matter to me as I would think most others too. LABR/Tout are all pretty familiar with each other unlike your CR league. Big difference there! While trading is fun it is almost always the cause for b.s. in leagues....No offense, but I think a lot of serous players(I wanted to say real men), non industry honks, play in no trade leagues with bigger stakes... :) Maybe you should try it before you knock it, there is a method to the madness...if LABR and TOUT decide to jump off a bridge, are you going to follow as well?? lol I think "no trade leagues" are a better test of proving fantasy skill with no b.s. drama. 25 years of beta testing has qualified this theory. :) "Don't put yourself in a bad situation" good one liner to remember....Obviously, you have never had a bad experience regarding "bad deals/collusion". If you ever do, you might understand my point. :) To each their own....
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 8/18/2010 3:41:00 PM
    Yes, I agree with all of that, Derek. But the whole question then is what group does he really belong to, the one with the .300 BABIP or the one with the .320 BABIP. Because it might not be big righties, it might be extreme strike throwers that include small lefties and exclude many big righties (Zambrano e.g.) , too. So I think putting him in a group begs the question, so to speak. What group is Haren in? Did he belong to one group last year and now a different one this year and going forward?
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 4:02:00 PM
    Yes, picking the group can be somewhat subjective (using similarity scores can help make it less so), but you essentially pick the group that fits him the best with whatever data we have on him. Again, it's about getting as close as we can. No method is perfect. Or, if you find that you're getting into too much detail (32 year old, 6 foot 7 inch, extreme strike-throwing, right-handed pitchers with above average stuff, a four-pitch repertoire, who are former 6th round draft picks) then you can break it up and regress to multiple means. Do "big righties with above average stuff" and do "big, extreme strike-throwing righties." Sure, maybe there are some small lefties who are extreme strike-throwers, but those guys don't tell us much about Harang because they're so different. Their only similarity is the strike-throwing (which, again, we can use sim scores to account for this if we need to). Yes, players can change which group they belong to, but we're not going to change the group based on BABIP or other fickle, numerical data. Haren would belong to almost exactly the same group, I'd imagine. He's the same guy with the same pedigree and the same stuff who's a year older. Unless you have other data that says differently.
    By: million_dollar_sleeper
    On: 8/18/2010 8:26:00 PM
    You can't slap a label on any single person. Labels are for simple minded people. Every player should be looked at separately. Therefore, your Albert Einstein wanna be formulas are useless. Common sense trumps formulas.
    By: million_dollar_sleeper
    On: 8/18/2010 8:27:00 PM
    Anyone who tells you the cardrunners league is interesting is just paying you lip service. Nobody cares about poker players making prop bets involving fantasy baseball. They make stupid bets all the time and you treat this as the coolest thing ever. It's not. It's lame.
    By: DerekCarty
    On: 8/18/2010 8:31:00 PM
    So what do you recommend, million_dollar_sleeper? What constitutes "common sense"? What does common sense tell you about Haren or Harang? Or if you don't like either of those guys, choose your own example and explain your process for evaluating them as individuals.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 8/18/2010 8:50:00 PM
    I don't endorse MDS' tone, but I agree with him that players aren't similar enough or to the extent they are similar we really aren't very good at saying in which ways their similarity is relevant, i.e., what traits or combinations of traits portend similar outcomes and which ones just appear similar, but have little relevance when predicting future performance. I remember when David Ortiz was struggling at the beginning of last year, and everyone compared him to Mo Vaughn - big heavy-set left-handed black dude at Fenway who was a monster for a few years, but was in a huge slump - surely Ortiz was finished. Of course, it simply wasn't the case. Things like ligament strength which is largely genetic might be the difference in whether Player A's knees hold up and Player B's don't even if they're both the same build, left-handed and have similar stats. Or maybe it's work ethic that matters more to stay healthy as one ages. Or maybe the work ethic only matters a lot for certain body types and not others. It's complex, and while I'm not claiming the grouping of players will never bear fruit, for now I think it's better to trust one's overall observations and sense as to whether (or to what extent) Haren is becoming Harang, or just unlucky. I don't really know, so I'll price those pitchers somewhere in between, with some very close to a luck-neutral number and others at a deep discount (Harang, David Bush, Justin Masterson (for now)).
    By: jdredd
    On: 8/18/2010 10:16:00 PM
    MDS- for someone who claims to believe you have to look at things separately and evaluate their merits on a case by case basis, you make a stunning number of blanket statements and generalizations.

    By: tumanic
    On: 8/19/2010 11:04:00 AM
    I think what MDS was trying to say is analyzing numbers/saber metrics is half the battle and the other half falls under common sense skills like analyzing off the field issues, injuries, contract...whatever. If that is what he meant...I agree with that. Derek you seem to want an x+y=z conclusion for everything and sometimes things fall into the gray zone where formulas will do you no good. Saying you don't understand why a death in the family can't be equally good as it is bad is rather frivolous. My research says it is a good the way local newspapers is a good form to attain such info instead of stat services. MDS was wrong about labels though....sometimes labels are right on...ex. Chipper = Gimp :)
    By: jdredd
    On: 8/19/2010 3:04:00 PM
    I'd also note that this statement "Common sense trumps formulas" is patently wrong in a vast array of fields. Areas where I would agree with that sentence don't readily leap to mind either. That doesn't necessarily mean its wrong here, but it is incredibly suspicious.

    I'd give you a more convincing proof, but I don't really need too since my common sense tells my you're super wrong.
    By: million_dollar_sleeper
    On: 8/19/2010 3:58:00 PM
    common sense (and a grasp of sabre stats). I thought that part was common sense, I don't need to publish 10,000 words about why formulas to the nth degree are a waste of time. Give me fangraphs and a scouting report and I'll shove your formulas where they belong. Of course when I refer to common sense, I'm talking about my common sense... which is quite uncommon.

    I'm not here to get into a pissing contest. Nothing is going to be accomplished when three ego maniacs butt heads. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, that's why I beat everyone. Liss can keep asking his army of ass kissers to bow before him, Carty can go back to thinking he's the love child of Phil Helmuth and Albert Einstein and I'll just keep beating people. I'm happy.
    By: jdredd
    On: 8/19/2010 4:27:00 PM
    Hah! Undeserved insults aside, I have to give you at least partial props for that response.
    By: tumanic
    On: 8/20/2010 1:40:00 PM
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