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The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

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Old 03-06-2008, 04:20 AM   #17
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This is one of the reasons I love the game of baseball. We can debate endlessly about the "art" of making a lineup. Most have differing opinions. There is no cut and dry answer! I love it!
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:20 AM   #18
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Re: The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

Someone PLEASE read "Historical Baseball Abstact". It's quite clear only a handful of people understand what stats are important in baseball.

1st: Highest OBP player who hits fewer than 25 HR a year. HR hitters should be deeper in the lineup (will likely have more men on base when they go deep).

Speed is welcomed, but the ability to get on base comes first. You can't steal if you can't get on base. Look at Juan Pierre, who got a $40 million contract based on his speed, yet he doesn't get on base enough to help his team win. He'll get 40+ SB this year though, and apparently, thats all that counts.

2nd: Second best OBP non HR threat on team. Same reasoning as above

3rd: Best all-around hitter

4th-5th: Top power hitters, preferably a lefty/righty combo.

6th: Think Jorge Posada through most of his carrer. .270 with 20+ HR's every year.

7th-8th: fill in based on above and below hitters in lineup

9th: pitcher/speedy runner with low on-base-percentage (especially if your leadoff man has speed). This creates problems when he does happen to get on base, as the other hitters will likely score him on any hit to the outfield.


Remember, the only stats that matter are OBP and OPS. (On-base-percentage, and on-base-plus-slugging). Artificial stats like RBI's, HR's, and Runs scored do not and should not be a factor (yet, Tejada got an MVP based on 150 RBI, which is a function of how other players get on base...). HR's are influenced by league and ballpark, RBI's are based on overall team OBP, and Runs is based on how good the batters behind you are.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:09 AM   #19
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Gamer - just because somebody put it into a book doesn't mean we should take every single thing they say and hold it as gospel.

I lot of what James and others say rings true, but in my opinion they often take things too far and get too focused in on numbers taking the human out of the equation.

For instance, saying RBI guys are just a product of team OBP. That completely negates the fact that certain players raise their game in situations where a runner is in scoring position - take Manny Ramirez as an example.

Another hallmark of SABR folks is there's no such thing as a clutch hitter. Most folks with an eye for the game will argue that tooth and nail.

I a lot of cases what you say is in the article. Take your explaination of the first hitter. Here is one of the paragraphs I wrote ...

Quote:
One mistake people make, however (including pro managers) is forcing a speedy player into this spot despite the fact he doesnít get on base enough. You can be a spark plug if you arenít standing on first base, so OBP and average really are your first concerns here.
Doesn't that address your concern about Pierre? And another way of saying OBP is saying "get on base."
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:24 AM   #20
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wat

Last season Manny went .296/.388/.493.

With RISP he posted .276/.386/.448.

So how is that raising his game, when on average a player is likely to have better stats with RISP (since what would be a long fly out turns into a sac fly, which doesn't count against you)?

I have no clue what you were trying to say about Pierre.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:40 AM   #21
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Re: The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

Futhermore, let's take everyone's posterboy for clutch, David Ortiz.

His career OPS is a very nice .943.

With RISP, this drops to .923.

With 2 outs and RISP, it is .921.

In the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, .887.

In the ninth inning only, .774.

Clutch is a product of sportscenter highlights and remembering what you want to remember.

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #22
Have you seen my baseball
 
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Re: The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

did i say last year? you see baseball has these things called seasons. they play more than one of them.

Manny career overall: .313 average, 1.002 OPS
Manny No Runners on: .297 average, .953 OPS
Manny Men On Total: .330 average, 1.052 OPS
Manny RISP: .328 average, 1.056 OPS

here is my favorite ...

Manny runners on 2nd and 3rd: .356 average, 1.274 OPS
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:54 AM   #23
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Re: The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

So a player can be clutch one season and not the next? It's just an on/off switch?

Where does the clutch go?

Does David Eckstein steal it?

Show me someone who consistently, year in and year out produces significantly better and you have an argument.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:55 AM   #24
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Re: The Art of Constructing a Baseball Lineup

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkgojackets
Futhermore, let's take everyone's posterboy for clutch, David Ortiz.

His career OPS is a very nice .943.

With RISP, this drops to .923.

With 2 outs and RISP, it is .921.

In the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, .887.

In the ninth inning only, .774.

Clutch is a product of sportscenter highlights and remembering what you want to remember.
So over a span of two years in 2004 and 2005, Ortiz having something like 25 game winning hits in the 9th inning or extra innings, including several in the postseason, should just be ignored?

Here is the biggest problem with SABR folks I have, and your argument is a perfect example. They take all stats and put them on a platform where you have to consider all things are equal.

Comparing the 9th inning to other innings is flawed in and of itself, simply because if its a close game you are facing a teams closer. Hitting .300 with a 1.000 OPS against Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning isn't the same as doing it for a season.

Your stats above also take all 9th innings and put them together as if always hitting in the 9th inning requires clutch hitting. I'm sure some of those ninth inning stats are from games that are already over.

Find me the following and we can talk about Ortiz ...

- 9th inning or extra innings in a situation where one swing can mean the difference and his stats in those situations.

- The rest of the leagues stats in that same situation (after all clutch is coming through when most people don't - that's why you want Ortiz there and not say A-Rod, because Ortiz is going to come through more times).

(btw Ortiz before 2003 or 2004 isn't the same as Ortiz after that - in this arguement I wouldn't consider anything he did in Minnesota to be part of the argument because frankly he's not the same player now as he was then).

To me this is a classic case of SABR folks talking themselves out of something any 8 year old kid can notice while watching a game - that there are certain players you want up in certain situations over other players.

Like many things in life all baseball answers aren't strictly old school thinking or SABR thinking - they lie some place in the middle. And in a lot of ways the whole SABR thing is still evolving. To me this is a classic argument example - just because you can't accurately measure it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Last edited by BlyGilmore; 03-06-2008 at 11:57 AM.
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