Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Killer Silliness

針對近來所發生的一些狀況,可以給予 Dodger Fans 另一個 evaluate management 的機會 -- 不只是他們的新科 manager,也包括不管是職位或 "蠢度" 都更勝一籌的 Ned Colletti。

◎ Rafael Furcal on DL

雖然我們不清楚 Furcal 在 08 年究竟還可以火熱多久,但他上到 DL 之後對 Dodgers 的確是相當的損失,就另一方面來看,這個發生在 contract year 的傷勢也可能對他未來的價碼有一定程度的影響。

當 Furcal 還在陣中的時候,Torre 尚且不時讓 Pierre 坐坐板凳,然而自 Furcal 缺陣後,Pierre 不僅場場先發,還場場 batting lead-off。

也不要以為 Pierre 的近況很好,雖然 Pierre 在 05/14 擊出了關鍵的一擊讓 Dodgers 不致於陷入 6 連敗,但在先前的 5 連敗裡,Pierre 交出的 line 是 .111/.200/.111,LA local media 認為 "Pierre saved the day",卻忘了 "How much Pierre had cost the Dodgers",這就是 Torre 口中 "比 NY 專業的 LA 媒體" 的代表作,看來在 Torre 的眼裡,只要不修理他的媒體就是好媒體。

到現在為止,Torre 仍然沒有捨棄以 Pierre 打 lead-off 的 idea 的意思。當然,該不該排 Pierre 上場是一回事,但 排上場還把一場比賽最多的 PAs 給予一個沒有長打能力的自動出局機,這只顯示了 Torre 並不是被台灣媒體捧得高高的英明教練 (not even close ...),而是和那些該走入歷史山洞的 old school managers 一樣平庸而已。


◎ Luis Maza ... who?

就在 Furcal day-to-day 的時候,個人其實心裡有另一個 called-up 的名字,但無論如何不是 Luis Maza -- 這位已經 27 歲卻還沒接觸到 ML level 的 quadruple-A player。然而在 40-man roster 上沒有多餘的 spot 的情況下,Maza 的 contract purchased 讓 Tony Abreu 從 15-day DL 移到 60-day DL。

其實 Abreu 在 DL 上的轉移對 Dodgers 或他本人都沒有太大的衝擊,就算是在 opening day 才上到 DL,以打到現在還沒有看到 rehab assignment 的前提下,上到 60-day DL 對也不影響到未來 probably eligible for activating 的期限,因此個人認為 Torre 如何在 Hu 和 Maza 之間做選擇才是觀察的重點。

個人對 minor leaguer 的看法是:在 triple-A or lower 的 "經驗" 無法 translate 成 ML-level 的 performance!也就是說不管一個球員在 minor 打多久,來到 ML-level,經驗就是歸零,具體的說:minor 是磨球技而不是增加經驗的地方,所以不管 Maza 在 Vegas 打出什麼成績,他的 "經驗" 不是需要期待的東西,而如果他有 stuff 卻被冷落這麼久也是怪事。然而在經過於 Miller Park 那場 Game-3 的觀察,Maza 也許有不差的 foot & glove work,但那個 "always with some gravity" 的 arm strength -- 看起來就很像是 Juan Pierre 用右手在傳球 ...

這樣問題就很清楚了:如果 stuff 不值得期待,那麼就應該以 defense 來決定由誰先發,在這個點上 -- 也許 Maza 的守備並不像他 ML debut 裡所見到的那麼差,但個人也相信大多數 scouts 對 Hu 的守備品質的 guarantee,也就是說在 Furcal 歸隊前,Hu 在 SS 的 "排名" 應該在 Maza 之前。Moreover,與 Maza 相比,Hu 在未來對 LA 的意義也比 Maza 重大,Dodgers 沒有必要用 Maza 來浪費 Hu 得到的磨鍊機會。

話雖如此,連續兩場排上 Maza 的行為尚不致讓我們做出 "Torre puts Hu in his sh*t list" 的結論,只不過如果 Torre 安排 Maza 的理由是 "Hu 的守備好,所以應該在 late-inning 上來鞏固防線" 的話,那 ... 個人就找不到合適的形容詞來形容他的腦袋了。


◎ Third Base Enigma

這件事原本在 05/15 的比賽結束時就想寫,不過想想還是延一天看看情況,因為我在等 Andy LaRoche 的消息。

在對上 Brewers 的 Game 3 之前,Blake DeWitt 的背傷加劇,讓 Torre 在賽前一個小時把他移出 starting lineup,於是 Russell 'Stud' Martin 只好又去客串 3B -- 個人已經不敢去算他的連續出賽數了,看起來 2nd half collapse 似乎有向 Martin 招手的味道 ...

所以 05/15 的比賽讓 Martin 站 3B 是突發事件,但回到 Orange County 的 Angel Stadium 還讓 Martin 站 3B 是什麼意思?

在沒有球員下放 DL 的前提下,Andy LaRoche 在 05/15 其實已經可以被 activated 了 (optional assignment 後 10 天的期限已過),更何況 Rafael Furcal 的 DL trip 可以讓 Andy 提前回到 LA,所以 Dodger management 等於把他們最好的 3B 給忘掉了。

Blake DeWitt 其實不是不好,甚至可以說他是 08 年 Dodgers 最驚喜的誤算,如果 DeWitt 沒有 "bats over his head",Dodgers 的戰績鐵定會比現在更慘!問題就在於 DeWitt 不會比 Andy LaRoche 好,如果不是有什麼 physical problem,Dodgers 根本沒有理由不把 Andy 給 called up。

在 3B 與 C 的組合,Dodger Fans 希望看到的是 Andy LaRoche + Russell Martin 還是 Russell Martin + Gary Bennett?答案應該很明顯才對。

假使 Andy 本人沒有什麼別的 issues 而 Ned Colletti 卻不考慮讓他上來,shame on Colletti;如果 Ned Colletti 認為 Andy 可以 called-up 但 Torre 認為不需要,shame on Torre!

No matter what it is, that's killer silliness for both of them ...

※※※※※※※※

在某個 forum 上,有位朋友提到 Torre 將出一本有關 Yankees 管理學的書,也許這不值得訝異,畢竟 "管理" 一向被世論視為是 Torre 的強項,只是這件事有點奇怪 -- Torre 在季初那段 談話,讓個人不認為懂得 "Winning creates chemistry" 的人會突然想用 "管理學" 為題出一本書。

在 "博客來" 搜尋了一下,找到了這本書:

賽局贏家:托瑞的洋基管理學

抱著懷疑的心情,個人又到 Amazon.com 搜尋,結果:

Joe Torre's Ground Rules for Winners

看到出版的日期與作者,個人突然明白:原來這是 8 年前 Yankees 正值 WS 3 連霸、Torre 的聲望如日中天時所出的書。當然,個人也懷疑這兩本書並不是同一本的可能性,幸虧個人的同事 -- 或者說,長官 -- 有這本書,所以把它借來翻了一下,現在個人大概是 99.9% 的確定:除了中文的 "序",其它的內容都已經念小學二年級了 ...

在那個 BABIP 還沒有現身、一切由 conventional wisdom 說了算的年代,這其實只是一本軼事或小道消息的總集編,對於有心從事 "Modern Baseball" 的研究者來說,誠摯的奉勸您:別在乎誰推薦了這本書,重點在於它沒有存在的價值。

19 comments:

大胖 said...

也許是胡金龍前陣子的 slumped 而使得 Torre "暫時" 啟用 Maza 吧!?我想或許還得觀察一下。

至於貴隊 manager 放 Martin 在 3B 以為那就是休息就真的…

Morikawa said...

大胖兄,

我個人也不肯定 Maza 是不是已經位列 Hu 之前,大概有些 "推論" 會說 "Maza 從 Vegas 上來時每天打球,Hu 則是打一休四,所以 Maza 的手感比較好一點" 之類的吧?

不過覺得 Hu 那個也不算什麼 slump,應該是單純的欠磨而已啦!

更爆的消息應該是 Nomar 最近在練游擊 ...

Martin 的事我比較不解,硬要用他守 3B 卻不肯給 Andy LaRoche 機會,而且整個 LA 最近一點 Andy 的消息都沒有還真的很不尋常。

dorasaga said...

mori,

i was look'n for laroche news, instead, i found Piazza retiring!

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-piazzaretires&prov=ap&type=lgns

and good job beating me at Doli,

dorasaga said...

my recent pc system problem had prevented me from typing anything, not even the newsletter...

well, i hope u didn't miss it.

two things i really wanted to discuss:

the Tigers are biting,

dorasaga said...

good batters w'll come bak... hot /cold streaks,

and more about Wainwr'ght, pitcher batt'ng,

and how rotat'on works.

alr'ght, b4 my pc crashes again, i need to get to some election news ...

obama or cl'nton?

Morikawa said...

Dora,

I have no comment about winning or getting beaten by someone's team in our Fantasy League. To me, there's still a lot differences between the reality and FB. I mean 'luck' plays a very important role in FB. I'm sure that you've found something not so right in Doli, for instance, when you win one category, you may win another 2 or 3 additionally and each category should not be taken the same weight.

Make things worse, we can control no playing time of our players, but we are not as silly as those real managers do.

Speaking of hot/cold streak, you know, randomness leads the way. It's sort of like tossing a fair coin, sometimes you have consecutive heads show up and sometimes the tails do. That's similar to the hot/cold streak. Nevertheless, after a lot of trials, the mean 'regresses' to 0.5. Simply put, a .300 hitter doesn't mean he would hit 3 hits every 10 at bats.

BTW, my opinion of the US president election doesn't count, so never mind ...

dorasaga said...

Mori,

it's good to be skeptical, but i want to look at these problems (if there's a problem).

one very big problem for u was walks. I found out you had the worse walk ratio for the week against my Cubbies. but ur Blues didnt have the worst OBPa and the ERA, in fact, far from the worst.

Walk constitutes part of OBPa and ERA, a few %. Not decisive, though. Like singles inflate SLG, hits are big part of OBPa, and BABIP affects the same-season ERA.

dorasaga said...

streak, didnt Tango looked at it in "The Book"? streak exists, not something we can predict, but when it happens, we can expect a game or two left in the bag for the hitter(or was it 3? the Book is not beside me). (pitcher, we know it's not, both experience and stat-wise.)

fantasy doesn't work real all the way, but i believe i tried my best to balance the stat... get to that later.

let's look at ERA. I was at 1st surprised that u beat me though i had the better pitching. but it makes sense.

i read it on the Prospectus, if an ace pitcher wins a shutout half the time but loses 5 runs the other halt, he still has a chance (avg run production per game around 4.8, rt?)

So, my Cubbies had a 2.07 ERA, and your Blues 3.61. Imagine if this is a 7-game series,

dorasaga said...

let's assume that in six games the Cubbies surrendered 1-3 runs.

but in 3 games the Blues had a shutout, while the other 6 runs. u won 3 and loses 3.

but in the seventh game, the Blues had another shutout, but the Cubbies surrendered 1. It doesnt reflect on the ERA, but the Blues have better hitters (OPS explains).

see how this makes sense?

Fantasy helps us see how a team run saved-created puts wins-loss at stake.

i'm not giving up. there's ways to attack the gameplan. the "bad managing" part affects little as well. on field, good players r good players no matter how u play them. we learned that from several studies already.

if there's a next season, i'll need to adjust something, like, taking off BB/9 because in reality it correlates less to ER. maybe i'll replace K9 with the simple K. the latter directly takes away the "time" of opponent to score. batters, too...

anyway, the point is EXACTLY like u said: i'm trying to show some friends who 's playing with us that what stats affects directly with the other.

OBPa=BABIP<-->ERA<-->K/BB/HR=DIPS

that's the "chemistry"
;-)

Morikawa said...

Dora,

I don't think you have to change the rule of FB, let alone in the middle of the season. But let's think about this:

---------

I have Mark DeRosa & Carlos Guillen, where should I play them?

From the point of sabermetrics, the best option is DeRosa for 2B and Guillen for SS since both of them are well-above average but neither is corner-power caliber.

But Leyland plays Guillen 1B or 3B, Pinella plays DeRosa ... say ... almost everywhere.

So if I insist to play DeRosa second and Guillen shortstop -- which is the best solution sabermetrics say, what will that cost me in our FB league?

The "A" (assist) column. So I have to take where those silly managers play them into account or I would start the game 0:1 every week.

Moreover, "A" is taken the same weight as other categories. As you know, OBP is the most important stat speaking of a team's offense. Playing DeRosa second & Guillen short may help my OBP but the edge is evened by ... "A" ... total assistant count? This is a very bad joke in sabermetrics.

How about SB%? How if my team didn't steal any bases in one week but the opposed team steal ... say 1 out of 4 -- a very bad successful rate because of the bad manager decision? The answer is: I would have another 0:1.

---------

If I don't have many HR hitters, what will that cost me?

I might start a week 0:2 since HR total plays a large part of SLG. It's very difficult for each one who loses his HR total but wins in SLG, and vice versa.

It's very much unlike the situation of BB & OBP. High BB doesn't directly indicate high OBP because of BABIP, let alone in a short 7-day duration, a lot of uncertainties are in.

Remember, if we are translating run scored, the weight of OBP is 1.7 times of SLG. So this is another reason I don't think sbaermetrics can be well applied in our FB league.

---------

Since you're talking about removing BB/9 of a pitcher, I guess I have to find some extra time to show you how important K & BB are for a pitcher. Moreover, I don't think you can find a way to well connect BB and ERA since ERA itself doesn't make much sense for a team's winning -- especially those RPs'.

---------

I'm certain I can feed you a lot more than this. But I'm not going to do this because:

1. Time is the luxury I don't have.
2. Sabermetric is good, but not as good as bible.

Guess what? I try to fight back in our FB league as possible as I can ... without too many sabermetric-oriented ideas. That might be the reason you're beaten by my team last week since I probably become smarter than I did when we started. Most important, my players played for me last week.

---------

I don't think you can count the violation of "5 LFs guideline" on my team. The only inherent LF I have is Manny Ramirez. Others are all swing man, let alone when the season started, neither Ryan Braun & Milton Bradley were LF eligible.

I plan to have 14 fielders on my active roster. Excluding Braun and DeRosa, I have 5 inherent OFs. It's every aspect reasonable.

My RF J.D. Drew was day-to-day several days ago. At that moment, DeRosa was not RF eligible so picking up another RF became the only option for me. I took Ethier and he just happened to be LF eligible ...

BTW, picking Ethier up didn't workout eventually because Joe 'clueless' Torre benched him for a long while. So I still lost my RF Drew, some extra BBs and some OBP.

---------

I still have an empty roster spot, Actually, I want to add a 2B but cannot find a suitable one ...

Starberry said...

My 2 cents on the Det line-up.

Cut Sheffield
Let one of Cabrera/Guillen play 1B
Play Inge (GG calibre defense) at 3B

DONE

Cheers,

Wilson

Morikawa said...

Wilson,

It seems the two most famous a**holes in the Big (Sheffield & Kent) play awfully bad this season. Can't blame you wanna remove Chef from Tiger's lineup.

Nevertheless, does Inge deserve to play 3B? With his catcher-power caliber bat?

dorasaga said...

mori,

Fantasy is full of flaws. What I did is exactly like you said, in fact, I used the method of negative adds negative becomes positive.

SB% + NSB = SB is self-destructive.

Let's talk about something else.

Granted, OPS is the King of run-production, but there's also the prince and princess on the field that helps real-life RC. We should take into account of speed and fielding.

Speed is misleading; what I really want to say is good baserunning. NSB (that deducts caught-stealing) is a minor part of it. Curtis Granderson didn't steal much in 2006, but he's one of the best base-runner in baseball, and his 20+ NSB in 2007 shows what he can do. But any basestealing is risky.

An out on second or third base is unacceptable, especially in late innnings and your slugger is at the plate, but I still believe there's merit in successful basestealing (78-83% according to context).

dorasaga said...

Let's talk about something else.

Why is Inge a good 3B? Defense. He has a good step, strong arm, and quick release that compensates his mediocre (average) range.

Why Miguel Cabrera is fielding 1B now? He cannot handle Detroit's turf (natural grass) at 3B. These are new grass that models after artificial turf and ball rolls much faster there than Dolphin Stadium (Miami). And Miggy was never a good fielder. He's costing the team a lot when he's bat isn't hot.

Why assists? I was thinking range factor enhanced, and the plus/minus.

Assists are part of the above, maybe a third of it. But why just this but not putouts?

Do we value 1B defense more than 2B? 2B even gets more putouts than SS. Do we value SS defensively more than 2B? Of course not, right?

I put down assists in order to add value to good fielding and SS. Assist is done because it issues an out. An outfield assist in a game is as valuable as a SS assist, directly taking time away from your opponent.

So I don't see there's a problem with regression or small sample size of position player's stats (we play each other on a weekly basis, about 170-210 PA).

Some other problems I think are personal, and I'll reply you in an email as soon as possible.

Time to watch some Nickelodeon.
XD

dorasaga said...

A food of thought during CM break:

Reading the Bible is about believing.

Reading sabermetric is about doubting.

We can't research baseball on an objective basis without some skepticism.

And you know, Hu looks like a second instant out after Pierre (at least in Wrigley)... His glove might not justify his failure approaching the plate.

Morikawa said...

Dora,

It's funny for me to know you think 'assists', 'range factor' and 'speed' are worth taking. These are not 'sabermetrics 101' issues, not even close.

I guess I have made my point loud and clear: Sabermetrics is not bible, and I try to fight back in our FB league without to many sabermetrics-oriented ideas. So I guess we don't need no discussion of 'sabermetrics' here anymore.

Speaking of Martin, as long as his defensive skill is not Piazza-caliber, that won't be no issue to me, neither will his calling ability.

Speaking of Hu, at least for now, he is the only SS Dodgers can have and worth having. Truth is talking about Hu's bat is complete out of question to me.

On the contrary, Pierre is not the only OF Dodgers can have. Say, the Cubs can pay Soriano an ARod-money contract and still makes Pierre's the worst signing in the Big.

dorasaga said...

mori,

You are the Maestro, and so I can only bring out questions but not challenge your view. I brought up fielding and speed along sabermetrics simply because folks who study sabermetrics also research and talk about those stuffs.

Now, the Cubs swept the Dodgers (*hurray!@@*), a rare feat in Cubbie history.

Leaving my emotion aside, I really want to ask you again. Are you sure there's no other utility guy out there to replace Hu?

I was watching the game. The Dodgers led until the 9th 1:0. The result you can tell through the box, 1:2.

I was thinking about this when Saitoh missed the zone for his walk to the leadoff man (something rare so far in his career):

What if the Dodgers have some other fielder, not Hu or Pierre? Not someone too spectacular, just some 700 OPS guys who can get on base more regularly, someone you can always call up or pick up in the free agent market.

I would say, then the Dodgers would have won it 3:1 instead of losing 1:2. By the way, how old is Saitoh again?

It's time to fire Colleti.

Morikawa said...

Dora,

The 'Maestro' you mentioned is 20-game below .500. So cut that off.

It's not that speed or defense are totally nonsense. Here are several tips:

1. How much shall we weight defense and speed? Reality or FB, everybody would rather build up a team with solid offense (or pitching) than solid defense (or speed).

2. Does the number itself make sense? To me, for instance, 'assists' is very much like 'whip' or 'RBI' -- none of them can be taken as a proxy of good defense, pitching and offense respectively.

I'm thinking, probably, I should cut things like OPS_Win, EQA or VORP off for a while, take a few steps back to review the flaw of some old-school stats.

-------------

If it's not weekend day, I really don't have much time to watch any games. Box score is all I can have.

Thus, I don't have any idea whether or not Joe Torre had made some wrong decisions caused the Dodgers' wins. But let's take this: as the ball was given to our best RPs and they failed to stop the opponents to take the lead, what else should I blame? The only thing we can (or should) do is to tip caps to our opponents.

-------------

Speaking of Saito ...

His performance surprised me in 2006.
His number surprised me in 2007.
His contract surprised (actually, only a little bit ...) me in 2008.

If I have some extra time, I probably will bring more in upcoming posts.

-------------

I believe Hu is currently the best we can have in the middle. I mean Furcal's absence is a perfect timing for Hu to steel himself. Taking another quadruple-A player to override Hu's chances doesn't look too right to me.

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