Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What is an out?

According to baseball-reference.com, an out is:

AB-H+CS+GIDP+SH+SF

Fair enough. But notice anything missing?

Non-force baserunning outs, like trying to stretch a single into a double and failing, or trying to go from first to third on a single... or say Jeff Kent is on second and J.D. Drew is on first and Russell Martin hits a single to right and Rich Donnelly is your third base coach and....

Sorry, I got sidetracked there.

It seems that those outs are not counted in the official defintion of individual outs. That means that you can add up the total number of outs "awarded" to individual players and they won't equal the total number of batting innings played by the team.

I understand that's that's the best bb-ref can do, and I get it. Nobody keeps track of baserunning outs and bb-ref tracks every stat by every player in the game. It's not yet feasible, unless, as Sean points out in the comments, he is able to work some magic with Retrosheet.

On the other hand, the OutWatch is tracking only one stat by one player. Because the OutWatch is interested in the record as well as total accuracy, we will Watch all of Juan Pierre's outs.

The Official OutWatch will focus only on the outs that count in the official stat -- his outs as a batter and as a basestealer. As an addendum, we will also track Juan Pierre's running errors.

Of course, if we do this, we must also count non-outs that are otherwise not counted -- that is, reach on error, catcher's interference, etc. Do not let it be said that the OutWatch is not fair to Pierre. We are fair. We just believe that he is a millstone around the neck of our favorite franchise and count the days until he is no longer playing for us. 810 games and counting!

Special thanks to jimbilly4, Bob Timmermann, and sabermetric genius Phil Birnbaum for their help with this question.

This post edited on March 29 to be a little kinder to bb-ref, who provide an invaluable service, and also to be a little kinder to Pierre, by noting that we'll count all his non-outs in the addendum.

5 comments:

troy said...

From one Dodger fan to another let's hope Pierre sets a single season record for outs.

If Pierre comes to bat with game on the line methinks you want him to fail.

Actually, meknows you want him to fail.

Dodger fans. Gotta love 'em.

Sean said...

I'd love to track outs on bases, but they just haven't been available for a long while. Now with retrosheet, I might be able to get them added to the site this year.

Even if we did have them, we would probably get something like 5 for the league leader. It is a rare occurrence.

sean @ bbref.com

Humma Kavula said...

Sean, I've sent you a note. I believe that editing my post may be in order.

Troy, I've been trying to decide whether to feed the troll. Then I decided: this site is a dedication to a celebration of obnoxiousness, so why not?

If (when) Juan Pierre comes to bat with the game on the line, no one will be cheering louder than me.

But I predict that there will be a number of situations this season in which the game will not be on the line because JP made early, critical outs. You can say that about anybody, of course -- I'm saying that JP will do that more than anyone.

There is a difference between rooting for someone to fail and thinking he shouldn't be on the team. Like him or not, we are stuck with Pierre for the next five years. Nothing would make me happier than to be forced to abandon this blog in embarrassment because JP is putting up respectable numbers.

I am not optimistic.

troy said...

If (when) Juan Pierre comes to bat with the game on the line, no one will be cheering louder than me.

Liar.

Nothing would make me happier than to be forced to abandon this blog in embarrassment because JP is putting up respectable numbers.

Liar.

jimbilly4 said...

Take that dear Kavula.

Such a nuanced and reasoned argument will be difficult to follow, but let me be the first to also
call you a Nazi.

And perhaps a Communist.

Yes, you are in fact a lying, communist Nazi. With poop for brains.

Come back from that one, if you can.