Sunday, January 26, 2020

MLB says it cannot prove any one game was won or lost due to the Astros' sign-stealing. What a joke

MLB says it cannot conclusively say the outcome of any single game was decided by the Astros' illegal sign-stealing. Basically, the Commissioner is saying, "What's done is done... please, go away and let us count our money in peace..." 

And he's right, sorta. Short of a deathbed confession, nobody will ever be able to prove that Jose Altuve's game-winning playoff hits were the results of stolen signs. The mere suggestion is an affront, an insult, to the scrappy-yet-adorable little lumpkin. 

But since the scandal broke, several pitchers have suggested that this explains how Houston batters were so adept at laying off on quality pitches. Marcus Stroman, now of the Mets, couldn't figure out why the Astros didn't bite at his sliders in the dirt. Now, he knows, sorta. So the question isn't whether one swing of the bat came from a telegraphed pitch, but how the did the leverage change if a batter knew enough to lay off just one pitch? 

Let's look at Altuve, the cuddly role model and endorsement magnet. Here are his career batting stats, based on the batting  count. And let's say that one pitch in an at-bat might be affected.

The first pitch, for example, is a curve in the dirt. If Altuve swings and misses, it's strike one. Over his career, down 0-1 in the count, Altuve is a .302 hitter.

But if he lays off, because the sound of a trash can told him it would be a curve,  it's ball one. Over his career, when ahead 1-0, Altuve bats .378.

From the variation on one pitch, he goes from Andrew Benintendi to Ted Williams.

Look at the incredible differences, statistically, if Altuve simply turns one strike into a ball.

2-0 count: .439
1-1 count: .349
0-2 count: .253


3-0 count: .385
2-1 count: .361

1-2 count: .268

One pitch turns a .253 hitter into Superman. 

How many at bats turned on one pitch, because Astro batters simply knew enough not to chase breaking balls in the dirt?

MLB says it cannot prove that any single outcome hinged on stolen signs. That's pretty convenient. But the more you think about it, the overall magnitude of this scandal is breathtaking.  

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is perhaps the most cogent analysis of the effect of the sign-stealing racket perpetrated by the Astros yet written. Well played Sir.

Anonymous said...

P.S., I will steal it and use it as my own.

el duque said...

The ultimate tribute: A post-stealing scandal!

Go for it.

TheWinWarblist said...

So endeth the JuJu.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, great work, Duque! This is it in a nutshell.

And to say that they don't know for certain that any game was changed by cheating...

Then why is anybody being suspended for roids? After all, we don't know FOR CERTAIN if the PEDs helped them do anything.

JM said...

Good point, Hoss.

Oddly, the mighty midget hits better on the road than at home, sometimes a lot better. If home is where the theft is, I would've thought that would be reversed.

Weird. Though I do think his home OBP tends to be definitively higher, if I remember the webpage I just looked at two minutes ago and am completely forgetting already.

smurfy said...

Indeed, elDuque, cheers on the idea. Gee, you oughta spin those calculators for a second warning. (overkill redundancy risk.)

dave from berdoo said...

I am new to this forum but wanted to add a few comments to current MLB shitshow.

Firstly, kudos to elDuque on a terrific article. Amazing stat analysis on the frigging cheater Altuve.

No doubt many teams were involved in their own sign-stealing chicanery prior to Sept 2017. But then the Commish spelled out that use of electronics in stealing and transmission was illegal and punishable. I think at this point most team backed off, but not Houston or Boston. As a Yankees fan I will be very disappointed if it comes out that they were involved in electronically aided sign stealing post Sept 2017.

Knowing what pitch is coming even if it as simple as fastball/no fastball is a huge advantage as spelled out by the Altuve at bats. And I don’t think it would be all that difficult for MLB to review every pitch thrown in the 2017-2019 post-season games involving Houston and Boston (with enhanced sound) for an impartial panel to figure out if Houston or Boston batters benefitted from illegal sign stealing.

The Jessica Mendoza/Dallas Keuchel take on Mike Fiers completely sucks. Mike Fiers is a hero and the Astros are cheating dirt-bags, full stop. The Astros scheme put in jeopardy pitcher, catcher and manager careers. And of course the Houston pitchers benefitted from extra run support.

I want to hear Nolan Ryan’s take on this mess.

At spring training, as a beat reporter I would ask Altuve, Bregman, Springer, Correa, Gurriel et al., was it your mother or father that instilled in you your disregard for fair play?

And there is a distinction in my mind about steroid use, in that if users include both pitchers and hitters, and assume that the distribution of users was distributed evenly throughout baseball, then no particular team enjoyed the same advantage as did Houston in 2017 and perhaps beyond.

Fuck Crane, Hinch, Luhnow, Beltran, the Astros, Keuchel, Mendoza, Cora and the Red Sox.

Alphonso said...

I hope they place an electronic magnet in Altuve's cheekbone.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Alphonso. Every pitcher should throw at Altuve's head at least once in every game for the entire 2020 season. For that matter, every hitter on the Astros should get the same treatment. If MLB won't enforce its rules properly, it will be up to every opposing pitcher in baseball to do so.

The MLB idea that it cannot prove that any particular game was won or lost because of this electronic cheating is bull shit. Why did Michael Pineda get a suspension when he got caught using pine tar on the ball against the Red Sox? No one can prove that his use of pine tar affected any single game's outcome. What a fucking joke. If MLB doesn't want to punish any players, let it keep it's sweet little mouth shut. It shouldn't come out and say stupid bull shit that shows how much of a joke MLB really is.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Hammer,

They should give CC a one game contract. You know he would do it.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

Altuve is gonna lead the league in HBPs this year. Hopefully more than Ron Hunt.

bas said...

I read an article on another Yankee blog site about CC's reaction to Verlander's joking about this at the BBWAA dinner over the weekend, I think the Yankees should sign him for the limited purpose of having him pitch during the Asstro's visit to YS in August. We'll see how funny they think it is then.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Welcome, Dave, and I'm disappointed to hear that Jessica Mendoza feels that way.

It's not right for other players to condemn the whistleblower, but at least a little understandable. But for a broadcaster?

As a commentator, aren't you supposed to be for truth, fairness, and the American way? Or at least something like that?

You're not supposed to be on the side of cheating. I fear this is a stupid ploy to give herself more locker room cred.

Anonymous said...

Masterful work, Duque. And a great PEDs comment from Hoss.

Brett

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Brett!

Anonymous said...

@ Doug K. yeah, I'm all for it.

But seriously, what a freaking disgrace those Astros cheaters are. Astros and Red Sox. They get the Gold medal for disgraceful punks. And MLB itself is right behind with the Silver medal. Makes you want to stop watching baseball. Might as well watch professional wrestling. At least they aren't hypocrites.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

BOTTOM LINE?

THE CHEATING WAS SO OUT OF HAND, EVEN DALLAS KUECHEL HAD TO APOLOGIZE.

...AND HE ISN'T EVEN ON THE ASTROS ANYMORE!

IF THAT ISN'T TELLING, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS...

...AND DON'T FORGET THOSE ROTTEN RED SOX TOO.

I BET THEIR CHEATING WAS JUST AS BAD AS THE ASTROS, IF NOT WORSE AS WE KEPT TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY SEVY KEPT GETTING BELTED BY THEM.

ibusuchi said...

KARNA RASA HATI YANG GEMBIRA BERKAT BANTUAN AKI SOLEH
MAKANYA SENGAJA NAMA BELIAU SAYA CANTUNKAN DI INTERNET !!!

assalamualaikum wr, wb, saya IBU SUCHI saya Mengucapkan banyak2
Terima kasih kepada: AKI SOLEH
atas nomor togelnya yang kemarin AKI berikan "4D"
alhamdulillah ternyata itu benar2 tembus AKI
dan berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH saya bisa melunasi semua hutan2…
orang tua saya yang ada di BANK BRI dan bukan hanya itu AKI alhamdulillah,
sekarang saya sudah bisa bermodal sedikit untuk mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya sehari2.
Itu semua berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH sekali lagi makasih banyak ya, AKI
yang ingin merubah nasib
seperti saya...?
SILAHKAN GABUNG SAMA AKI SOLEH No; { 082-313-336-747 }

Sebelum Gabung Sama AKI Baca Duluh Kata2 Yang Dibawah Ini
Apakah anda termasuk dalam kategori di bawah ini...!!
1: Di kejar2 tagihan hutang..
2: Selaluh kalah dalam bermain togel
3: Barang berharga sudah
terjual buat judi togel..
4: Sudah kemana2 tapi tidak
menghasilkan, solusi yang tepat..!
5: Sudah banyak dukun ditempati minta angka ritual blom dapat juga,
satu jalan menyelesaikan masalah anda..
Dijamin anda akan berhasil
silahkan buktikan sendiri
Atau Chat/Tlpn di WhatsApp (WA)
No WA Aki : 082313336747

TERIMA KASIH YANG PUNYA
ROOM ATAS TUMPANGANYA SALAM KOMPAK SELALU

"KLIK DISINI BOCORAN TOGEL SGP HK SDY DAN DLL"

ibusuchi said...

KARNA RASA HATI YANG GEMBIRA BERKAT BANTUAN AKI SOLEH
MAKANYA SENGAJA NAMA BELIAU SAYA CANTUNKAN DI INTERNET !!!

assalamualaikum wr, wb, saya IBU SUCHI saya Mengucapkan banyak2
Terima kasih kepada: AKI SOLEH
atas nomor togelnya yang kemarin AKI berikan "4D"
alhamdulillah ternyata itu benar2 tembus AKI
dan berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH saya bisa melunasi semua hutan2…
orang tua saya yang ada di BANK BRI dan bukan hanya itu AKI alhamdulillah,
sekarang saya sudah bisa bermodal sedikit untuk mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya sehari2.
Itu semua berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH sekali lagi makasih banyak ya, AKI
yang ingin merubah nasib
seperti saya...?
SILAHKAN GABUNG SAMA AKI SOLEH No; { 082-313-336-747 }

Sebelum Gabung Sama AKI Baca Duluh Kata2 Yang Dibawah Ini
Apakah anda termasuk dalam kategori di bawah ini...!!
1: Di kejar2 tagihan hutang..
2: Selaluh kalah dalam bermain togel
3: Barang berharga sudah
terjual buat judi togel..
4: Sudah kemana2 tapi tidak
menghasilkan, solusi yang tepat..!
5: Sudah banyak dukun ditempati minta angka ritual blom dapat juga,
satu jalan menyelesaikan masalah anda..
Dijamin anda akan berhasil
silahkan buktikan sendiri
Atau Chat/Tlpn di WhatsApp (WA)
No WA Aki : 082313336747

TERIMA KASIH YANG PUNYA
ROOM ATAS TUMPANGANYA SALAM KOMPAK SELALU

"KLIK DISINI BOCORAN TOGEL SGP HK SDY DAN DLL"