Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Or maybe not.

See that post below? You can maybe ignore it.

Twice in this game, Juan Pierre swung at the first pitch he saw. The result? A double and a triple.

Congratulations to Juan on what must have been a great game to watch. Me? I was tied up last night. Had to see a movie for work. Tiny violins, begin your sad songs.

1. Fielder's choice, #48.
2. Grounder to pitcher, #49
3. The Double.
4. The Triple.
5. Foul out to first. #50.


joeyp said...

Yesterday sucked. Dodgers win AND Pierre contributed.

Sucky day for us Dodger haters.

Humma Kavula said...

Missed you, joeyp! Kiss, kiss.

jimbilly4 said...

Is it worse to obsess about the poor play of one player to the point you track their outs daily...

Or to dedicate a similar hunk of time to trolling around sarcastically pretending to be exactly what irritates you. Do civil rights leaders run around pretending to be racist just to really get under the skin of skinheads?

Personally, I find this blog an interesting place to consider the notion of the value of counting stats versus percentage stats.
Counting outs is inherently silly. Everyone gets out the majority of the time and if you have the most at bats (Pierre ranks high in that as well) you will have a lot of outs.

However, Pierre is often touted as one of the leading hit getters in the league. Another counting stat. If you value Total hits you can't discount total Outs with the same breath.

Percentages (AVG/OBP/SLG) are seemingly better evaluation tools, as they tell you the value of each at bat, reagardless of how many a player might have.

Of course the counting stats have some value as they are basically a product of the percentages and reliability. On a team without a lot of depth, a mediocre reliable player has a great deal of value. It all depends on the quality of your potential replacement player.

Anyway, there are another dozen arguable points in there (AVG vs. OBP, team depth, availability of replacement level players, etc). Not to mention other issues of salary, defense, stolen bases that also come up when Pierre is involved. I don't hate Juan the man but I find his hiring as a fertile playground to play with many of these hotly contested baseball issues. If by any miracle Juan actually reads this site, I hope he doesn't take it personally.

Kavula may feel differently. He's curmudgeonly.

Humma Kavula said...

I have been accused of many things. Mostly by Mrs. Kavula.

This, however, marks the first time I've been called "curmudgeonly."

I guess there's a first time for everything.

With regard to your point - of course averages and percentages are the best way of judging a ballplayer. That said, there are certain, well, "magic" numbers that carry a lot of cachet. 300 wins is one. 20 wins. 3,000 hits. 300 strikeouts. 50 home runs. 500 home runs. 500 outs in a season is one of those, I think.

This blog's purpose -- to figure out what kind of player Pierre is - goes about its goal in a way that's inherently wrong (though, to me, entertaining). Counting stats don't tell you anything, but if you have more of something than anyone else, that has some meaning. Leading the league in outs is not simply a function of Pierre's place in the batting order, or the fact that he stays healthy. It is also a function of the type of player that he is - that is to say, a free-swinging one without power. He'll only make 500 outs because of where he bats in the lineup, but that said, plenty of guys will bat leadoff or #2 this year, stay healthy, make 750 plate appearances, and not get near 500 outs. Pierre will do it because he's a special player.

And by "special," of course, I mean "shortbus."