Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Salivating Statheads Should LOVE This

I've been doing so much work on the home-brewed blog app I plan on implementing at some point for Mariners Morsels, that I almost started to post this over there. Fortunately, I haven't built the thread posting interface yet, otherwise I'd REALLY be confused...

Still, Jim Street put out an article today that talks about the M's focus on "situational hitting," a typical topic of discussion during spring training. Now, I'm just an infant sabermetrician, so I'm not going to go out and do a huge analysis of this. Since it's already been discussed several places, I'd just be sprinkling rain drops into the ocean. I will say, though, that I have been convinced of two things, thanks to delving at least a little bit into sabermetrics:
  • Never judge a pitcher on his win/loss record
  • There's no such thing as a "productive out" -- every single out is precious, and you cannot waste them.
While Street looks at this less from a "productive out" perspective, it's easily implied that he really means the same thing. Evidence, you ask? How about statements like:
A ground ball to the right side of the infield with a runner on second base and none out takes some points off a batting average...
With that in mind, the Mariners hitters are being reminded this spring that giveaway at-bats not only are acceptable in certain situations, but important in the big picture.
I will give him credit for at least recognizing that you can't call a batter-sacrificing out by your middle-of-the-order hitters "productive:"
Boone's primary job is to drive in runners, not hit weak ground balls to the right side. The same goes for new third baseman Adrian Beltre and first baseman Richie Sexson.

No, it doesn't show up in the daily box score, but there are several ways to look at situational hitting. I might get banished forever in the sabermetric community for linking to ESPN's web site, but open this page and scroll to the very bottom table called "By Situation." This may not be a complete list of the proper stats, but, still, it's something that's currently tracked. Obviously, the higher the numbers the better, especially the OBP! That's not too hard to digest -- someone who has a higher on-base percentage (OBP), makes fewer outs. The more guys you have in your lineup that have a higher OBP, regardless of the situation, the better.


At 3/09/2005 3:29 PM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

Nice new home, sir. Found it myself.

At 3/09/2005 8:35 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

I knew I shouldn't've tested those links. DJC -- Keep your hands OFF that wrapping paper :-)


It's completely ugly right now (with the exception of Munchausen's cool logo), since I'm not much of a designer, and I'm focusing on the programming. Definitely still a ways a way from public consumption.

I've got you in moderation cue already, though. If you don't behave, I might have to threaten you with author-level access :-)

At 3/11/2005 9:33 PM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3/11/2005 9:33 PM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3/11/2005 9:34 PM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

What's that supposed to mean?!

At 3/11/2005 9:38 PM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

Fortunately for you I only keep site referrers for my last 100 visitors, and over 100 people have been insane enough to visit a dormant blog since you tested those links. My history automatically clears, along with temps every time I restart, so I have lost your new web address. Just don't click my blog link again... I'll be watching.....

At 3/13/2005 12:38 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

"Oops I did it again..."

Now, about that wrapping paper!


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