Categorized | Mark Timmons

Eyes That Do Not See

Eyes That Do Not See
Wolf-Beers

Come back in a few beers...

Sabermetricians seem to be all the rage in baseball.  There’s a stat for practically anything and more are being invented by the minute (maybe second).  It’s no longer ERA, BA, SLG %, OB%, it’s WHIP, OPS, BAbip, OWn%, XBT%, BABIP and on and on it goes.  There are literally HUNDREDS of more statistics that sabermetric nerds pour through on a daily basis, and they even go so far as to look down their noses at fans who don’t share their passion for these stats.    Now, I don’t ignore these stats because they do have a place in baseball.  It’s just that I don’t worship these stats either.   I don’t put my faith in these stats, because the game is played by humans and try as they might the sabermetricians can never capture and measure the power of the human spirit.   Many times statistics confuse us, stress us out and more often than not, are used to deceive.   The plethora of statistics available today were the brainchild of Bill James, a very bright guy, but these stats have also been embraced by the Fantasy Baseballers.  Many of these stats have been  invented for (HELLO) Fantasy Baseball!  (HELLO!)  It’s not real!  That’s why they call it fantasy!  Yet, many sabermetricians post statistics, draw an obvious conclusion and say that if you believe otherwise you are a moron.  When they make those sweeping statistical assumptions, I think we already know who the moron is.

I am going to get real!   I used to call Andre Ethier soft, because he didn’t get key hits.   The Stat Nerd Police accosted me and said “You are wrong!  How can you say that?  He hit .328 with RISP in 2008.”  OK, here’s how:  Here are Andre Ethier’s Batting Averages with RISP since 2006:

  • 2006 – .297
  • 2007 – .286
  • 2008 – .328
  • 2009 – .271

Those stats show he has regressed, but figure lie!  I no longer call Andre Ethier soft, because he is now getting big hits when the game is on the line. The figures show he is not as good with RISP this year, but in reality, he has been great when the game is in the balance.  It used to be he would drive in runs and get hits when we were way ahead or way behind.  Now, he get the hits in the clutch and is one of my favorite players because of how he has transformed his game.  If you say “He’s always done that“, I will ask you why this is is best year in RBI’s already?   Even though his BA with RISP is the lowest of his career, he is much more of a clutch player now.    The Sabermetricians will now come up with a stat to demonstrate that is true, but my point is that if you watch all the Dodger games like I do, YOU CAN SEE IT WITH YOUR EYES!  You can worship your stats but don’t forget to use your brains.

The same with Jon Broxton.  You can post all kinds of stats that show how good he is, but I have eyes.  That tells me all I need to know.  Can he be “fixed?”  I hope, but my gut feeling is that “it is what is is and always will be.”  I hope that JB can turn his scars into stars, just like Andre.  All Dodger fans hold that hope.    Believe 50% of what you see and 10% of all statistics!

Disclaimer:  I am not belittling the use of statistics.  I just believe they are a means to an end, not the end!

Rants & Raves:

  • Sabermetricians lamented the Dodgers signing of Randy Wolf – HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?  Randy Wolf is one of the most dependable pitchers in the league.  The man drove in the runs he needed to win last night and then threw a one-hitter.  He is batting .208 (almost ahead of Raffy) and has a 3.35 ERA!   That’s called “stepping up.”  Measure that Sabermetricians!
  • Randy Wolf is our most consistent pitcher, but he is NOT our ace!  That will be Bills, Kershaw or Kuroda come the playoffs.
  • I was nevrous when JB came in last night, but he acquitted himself very well.  I hope we have seen the worst of him.  Now, let’s see the best!  Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that JB admits that he is physically and mentally tired.  I understand the physical part, but as a professional, he has to develop the mental aspect of his game.  I have always suspected his problems were mental.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.
  • Now, we have more breathing room.  I don’t think we are going to give up 1st place.  In fact, I llok for the rockies to start a huge “free fall.”  Watch and learn!
  • Charlie Haeger goes today – let’s hope “Knuxie” is dancing!  Ausmus is catching. 
  • Will Ohman is heading to ALBQ to pitch.

Minor League Recap – 8/21/09 by Jared at http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque lost 7-3

Chin Lung Hu – 1 for 4, HR (6), RBI, R (.288 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 0 for 4 (.243 BA)
Jamie Hoffman – 0 for 4 (.294 BA)

Josh Lindblom – 2 IP, 3 Hits, ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (2.81 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/n6vqfe
Chattanooga won 5-3

Andrew Lambo – 1 for 3, BB, E (.256 BA)
Lucas May – 3 for 4, 2 R, E (.290 BA)
Trayvon Robinson – 1 for 4, RBI, 2 K’s (.143 BA)

Chris Withrow – 4 IP, 3 Hits, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K’s (5.19 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/mlx9o7
Inland Empire lost 19-4

Scott Van Slyke – 0 for 4 (.288 BA)
Steven Caseres – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.262 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 1 for 2, R, 2 BB (.234 BA)

Tim Sexton – 5 IP, 11 Hits, 6 ER, BB, 4 K’s (3.44 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/lffp7w
Great Lakes lost 4-1

Dee Gordon – 1 for 4, 3B, E (.303 BA)
Kyle Russell – 0 for 3, R, BB, K, SB (.273 BA)
Jerry Sands – 0 for 3, 2 K’s (.268 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 0 for 3 (.278 BA)
Mario Songco – 0 for 2, BB, K (.145 BA)

http://tinyurl.com/lkkbwb
Ogden lost 4-3

BCG – 0 for 3, K, SB (.335 BA)
Nick Akins – 1 for 4, 2 K’s, CS, E (.250 BA)
Kyle Orr – 0 for 3, 3 K’s (.219 BA)
JT Wise – 0 for 1, RBI (.311 BA)

Brett Wallach – 3 IP, 3 Hits, ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (4.43 ERA)

http://tinyurl.com/lqwwpb
AZL was suspended due to rain
Player of the day – Bolivar Medina, LHP

Although the game didn’t end, the stats will become official once the contest is completed. His line: 6 IP, Hit, ER, BB, 8 K’s. The 20 year old Dominican is putting up strong numbers after not pitching last season. He’s averaging almost a strikeout an inning, with less than 3 walks per 9. Hopefully he can stay healthy and continue producing.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

28 Responses to “Eyes That Do Not See”

  1. DRomo says:

    Thank you for taking this side, Mark. I am not a stat guy and have firmly believed for a while that the Sabermetrician way of thinking is no replacement for what you see. Which is another reason I hate fantasy baseball. A scrappy player who knows how to lay down a bunt doesn’t get credit in a sabermetric world nor does a guy who can hit to the right side with a runner on second.Sacrafices and smart baseball wont do much for the almighty OPS! The little things that make baseball GREAT get lost when you are too into stats.

    Vinny always says “Stats are to the truth as a lamp post is to a drunk. They may offer support but not always enlightenment” God Bless Vinny!

    Can Wolf play 1B or LF, we could use his bat!

    Peace fellas

  2. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I agree with you Mark about the stats and lamppost
    analogy, but I love fantasy baseball… the difference
    being I can separate what goes on on my fantasy
    teams and what is happening in real life.

    I disagree with you about who our ace is, though
    Its Randy Wolf. He goes deep in games, keeps
    the team within striking distance and is clutch. He’s
    pitched great the last three games when the team has
    needed him and as you’ve said, been the most consistent
    pitcher all season.

    Just because he didn’t start off as the ace doesn’t
    mean he isn’t the ace now.

    In fact, if Game One of any playoff series started
    tomorrow, I’d start Wolf over anyone else we have.
    You don’t have to throw 95 mph to be an ace, you just
    have to get people out… and that’s Randy Wolf right now
    and from the looks of things, the foreseeable future.

  3. Badger says:

    I agree to a point.

    But, Manny makes $25 million because of the numbers he puts up. That is just a simple fact. The team that scores the most runs (a stat) will usually beat the teams that score the fewest runs (another stat). The pitchers with the best earned run average usually win more games (wins, another stat).

    The things that don’t show up in the stats are small things like moving runners over, and that is obviously important. Sac bunts show up in the stats. Sac flies do. Earned and unearned runs do. In fact, most of baseball does, which makes it such a fascinating game.

    The things that a lot of baseball people look for that don’t show up in the numbers are things like character issues. But then, guys with little character but lots of numbers not only get hired, but make the most money and have teams lining up to give them a contract.

    Can’t get away from it in this game boys. Numbers count.

  4. mark says:

    Like I said, I pay attention to numbers, but I don’t worship them.

  5. A Shot of Haeger says:

    I can’t wait to watch the game today. Hopefully he pitches
    well enough to get more starts.

  6. Ken says:

    An Ace by Default by any other name is still an Ace.

    If you break out Ethier’s BARISP stats by first half and second half of each year I suspect that you will be able to observe an even larger Deviation.

    The analysis of baseball performance statistics through the use of regression analysis, linear regression, least squares, nonlinear regression, etc. leads to a low level of causuality, because homoskedasticity does not exist, that creates a highly rebutable presumption that can be rebutted through the observational results of a wise and experienced scout, coach or manager.

    Therefore, stats that show large fluctuations in Dodger player performance concern me about the players concentration and ability to change as pitchers change as much as I am concerned with the Dodger coaches’ abilities to teach these players and their refusal to rest players.

    Haeger days are here again,
    The skies above are clear again
    Let us sing a song of cheer again —
    Haeger days are here again
    All together, shout it now —
    There’s no one who can doubt it now
    So let’s tell the world about it now
    Haeger days are here again
    Your cares and troubles are gone —
    There’ll be no more from now on!
    Haeger days are here again,

  7. mark says:

    Ken,

    I understand the song, but please speak English in the rest of your post. What is that – Latin or Greek? Yeah, it’s Greek to me…

    ;)

  8. mark says:

    …and under no circumstances, should you use any words which are not Monosyllables.

  9. Badger says:

    Sounds like you have read Introduction to Linear Regression Analysis, 3rd Edition by Montgomery there Ken. In fact, it’s damn near word for word what they say about the book at Amazon.

    Stats drive the game of baseball. And that has been true since Abner Jr. was in diapers.

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    Baseball is stats.

    Stats is not baseball.

  11. A Shot of Haeger says:

    There is no way homoskedacity is a word. You
    can’t make words up Ken to prove your point.

  12. Mark Timmons says:

    Shot,

    That is an ancient snadscrit word meaning “speaker is full of doo-doo”

    Today’s Lineup:

    Furcal, SS

    Pierre, CF

    Manny, LF

    Blake, 3B

    Kemp, RF

    Hudson 2B

    Loretta, 1B

    Ausmus, C

    Haeger, P

  13. A Shot of Haeger says:

    That makes sense

  14. Illini Dodger says:

    I can understand Loney, but why are we benching Ethier today? Is he that bad against lefties or Lilly, neither or both?

  15. Badger says:

    Ethier is coming of the bench late. He is hitting over .400 against the Cubs RH bullpen.

    I made that up.

  16. Ken says:

    I thought that I was just agreeing with DRomo’s quote from Vinny. Stats are good up to a point and then Wisdom, which disapprared from Torre 8 years ago, comes second.

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    Illini,

    Not that stats mean anything, but Ethier is hitting .197 against Lefties.

  18. Badger says:

    But wait, I thought you said stats were….

    nevermind.

    Lilly sure looks hittable. I think I could hit an 82 mph fastball.

  19. Ken says:

    Good news for Haeger the wind is blowing out today. Get a RIGHT hand fireballer up in the bullpen.

  20. Badger says:

    And there is a case of the game being saved in the 8th inning.

    That “hold” by Broxton, against the middle of the Cubs lineup, was huge.

    Still, not much Dodger offense these days.

  21. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Great pitching performance all around!!! My guy Haeger was the bomb and Broxton and Sherill did the job. Hopefully we don’t have to use either one tomorrow…. two days off is very useful right now for our two closers.

  22. lawdog says:

    I had to get out of the computer business alogether and it was about 18 months before I bught a MAC. My Windows systems get developing Maleware despite my 7 protectve programs set up to keep that from happening by an “expert”. Even changed hardrivies and reloaded all the programs to no avail.

    This is he first time the MAC has “frozen” ands it probably has to do with my incompetence in installing the best bubble jet printer on the market. The manuel said it would take longer thn an hour. Took me 12 ours and the SOB still does’ work.’

    Watch out for that dancer our boy Haeger throws tonite. I predict he’ll throw 7 shutout innings, give up 1 walk and 3 hits. He’ll also fan 11 in the process.

    The guy has the best fingernail pitch I;ve seen anywhere. And he can change speeds with a fastball that’s 98-87 pit looks more like 107 to the batter. They say he as a decent, or servicable” curve as well but I haven’t seen him throw it., so he might well be or Wilbur Wood. name winner with a 58mph knuckler as his primary pitch.

    It was Don Sutton who claimed is curve was a “dominant” pitch, because the pitch is dominant if it can’t be hit. Same is true with a truly excellent knuckleball that can’t be it. Eery try to hit one? Talk about a true excerisze in futility.

    Charlie Hough sez Haeger dancer is the best he’s seen, and he devloped by age 25–,ost knuckleballers don’t get it right until they reach their thirtie. Most like Whelym and Phil Niekro )and himself) can throw any othe poitch–100% dancers. Wibur Wood and Joe Niwekro both cold throw two decen t “faster” pitches to use as backwards changeups and win 20 games as starter. That describes our Haeger also. I’ think he’d make a perfect #3 in the middle of our flamethowers.. In fact, he woldn’t need any rest. Let im pitch in the #1 and the %3 slot and watch him win 35 games.

    I’d be willing to return to writing the Minor Leage report. I stopped because I got sick a couple of times and had Browser problem think I was driving Mvoer nuts. He fond another surce for a somewhat snorter report he cold cut and paste with the authors permission. Thruth be tod, I enjoyed writing it. I liked the opportunity to cover kids like Haeger and present the report in a humerous way. So, if the majority wants me back, I have no objection if Mover agrees.

  23. Ken says:

    Wow. Great coaching today bringing Broxton into the game in the 8th to face the middle of the order and Cheryl to close with possibly some left handed batters.

  24. Badger says:

    The Cubs are soft.

    We still need to ignite an offense.

  25. Illini Dodger says:

    Welcome back Lawdog. Some great insight on Haeger. You can say “I told you so” and nobody will mind!! Another GS for Loney vs. Dempster tomorrow?

  26. SpokaneBob says:

    Agree about Heager and think he could be a great relief pitcher as well. He could throw every other day or come in and throw 4 innings if needed.He provides alot of flexibility and depth to the staff.

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