Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mother of Mercy, has Ma Boone slipped his binders???

Fred Kerber in the Post yesterday with a very telling little piece on how Ma Boone did NOT start Neil Walker against Lance Lynn on Wednesday, even though the binders show that Walker was sporting a .375 lifetime average against Lynn, with three home runs.

Could it be that Boone was doing something as crazily retro as starting Tyler Austin because, well, he had "the hot hand"?

Oh, no, of course not, nothing like that.

Boone had to go on and on about how old Neil was a tad "banged up," with "a little hip stuff," and anyway, what if Austin's suspension came down, that would mean he'd have to play Walker in all these games in a row, and anyway, it was a really tough decision for him, and he "grinded over it" all day.

Uh-huh. Curfew, time of night and all...

Ma's gotta say what Ma's gotta say lest the Lord High Poobah of Analytics get in a snit. But the fact is that he played the hot hand, and Tyler Austin came through brilliantly.

Meanwhile, both Walker and Boone were saying that Neil would surely get going, and it was just a case of adjusting to all these new, AL pitchers.

Like Lance Lynn, just over from the Cardinals?

Walker had better do something spectacular when Austin is out with that suspension. Hmm, think we could get Matt Harvey for him?


Anonymous said...

Dear Resident Dunce HC66: An individual batter's numbers against an individual pitcher represent too small a sample to be meaningful and are not given credence by people who take advanced analysis seriously.

Now tell us--you've had forty years to read a book on this subject. Can you name one that you've read, or do you just blow hot air out of your ass on this subject nearly every day?

HoraceClarke66 said...

So, here's a tip, Bitter Guy: try actually reading the post.

In it, discerning reader that you are, you will soon discover that I am actually PRAISING our manager for going with the hot hand, and not worrying about his hitter's past at-bats against this one pitcher.

And speaking of missed assignments, I asked YOU, quite sincerely, what you would do with Brandon Drury. answer. I guess I am forced to conclude that you are incapable of any creative suggestions, just bitter strings of invective.

Anonymous said...

I READ the post, and your clear implication is that going to the "binders" is an obession with sabremetrics, whereas people well versed in advanced baseball analysis know that there is not value in the tiny samples of most individual pitcher-batter matchups. You are simply engaging in the usual philistine smearing of sabremetrics based on ignorance . . . ignorance born of not having actually read a single book on this subject.

Can't name on you've read, right?

What would I do with Brandon Drury? I would use him as a utility player or test his trade value. It was dopey to acquire him in the first place--Cashman's typical reflex of distrust in young talent vs. established mediocrities from other teams.

OK--name a book on sabremetric analysis that you've read.

Anonymous said...

And Boone has not been playing Austin over Walker (for the most part) because he is a "hot hand," which is just so much rear-view mirror voodoo, as though you can divine states of mind like a carnival clairvoyant. He's been playing him because he is obviously the better overall player. Walker is not a "cold hand." He's a washed up mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

And why do you assume that calling out ignorance, pretension, and ineptitude--your blog calling cards--is a sign of bitterness? I think of it rather as a public service.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It's the constant streams of invective that made me think of "bitter."

And...a real suggestion! We are in accord on Mr. Drury.

Going with "the hot hand" may or may not be superstition, but having watched the game for over half a century, I have to say that there IS something to players getting in a groove...and also, players who have not played in some time going cold. In such an intricate and finally tuned game, why would this not be the case?

(Although, yes, such a situation could easily be a self-fulfilling prophecy—you don't play a guy for some time, he loses his timing, and then one says, 'Hey, he can't hit.')

As for reading an entire book on sabremetrics, alone: nope, never have.

BUT I HAVE read every word of Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract, which has plenty of sabremetrics, as well as numerous books and articles by James, Allen Barra, Steven Goldman, Rob Neyer, and others, that rely heavily on sabremetrics.

Hey, I don't doubt the science behind most of it. I think the game was way overdue for a new way to look at it, and I think the sabremetricians are right most of the time.

But I'm never going to accept these or any other statistics on faith alone. A good argument, statistical or otherwise, will stand up to questioning.

Also, I agree that Neil Walker is a washed-up mediocrity. Nice of Cashman to give him $4 million to start his retirement fund.

Anonymous said...

Bill James's Baseball Abstract is a historical examination of the game, not a systematic work of analysis. So you've really read nothing in this field aside from a few articles--you still can't name a book you've read--just enough of a dribble to make you feel confident spewing ignorant invective about something you know little to nothing about--claiming that an obsession with small-sample individual matchups is "sabremetrics," when it is really nothing of the kind.

It's simply prejudicial blather to talk about relying "statistics alone." It's a matter of WHICH statistics--outmoded, misleading ones like BA and RBI or more refined tools that yield deeper insights--not omniscience, to be sure--into what kinds of players and skills contribute to winning baseball.