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“It sucks having to rotate the tires on my Lamborghini”

Jun 29, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

Phillies starting pitcher Lee delivers a pitch to the Dodgers during the second inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia

That was the very self-aware quote from Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley when he was called out on Twitter a few minutes ago for picking some serious nits in the otherworldly performance of Cliff lately.

Not that he’s at all wrong with anything in his post.  It’s easy to go rah-rah-Cliffy right now, especially if you’re a Phillies fan like Bill.  It takes a clear thinker to realize that, in all of these shutouts, there is something, well, if not exactly troubling, certainly curious about Cliff Lee‘s performance. I won’t tell you what it is. Bill put a lot of work into that post — and will likely take a bunch of crap for pointing out as big a first world problem as “my team’s supremely dominant ace isn’t completely perfect” — so he deserves your page views.

But hey, we all have problems. This caviar I’ve been eating all morning is so filling. And my servants just don’t know how to get the right shine on my marble floors.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Ok, here’s my last self-congratulating quote of…myself from yesterday afternoon. I can smell a good performance a mile away or maybe I just know that Cliff Lee is a good pitcher…

    “Lee has allowed one earned run in June. No pitcher has been better than Lee in June. For what it’s worth, I predict Lee will dominate again tonight and the Phils will win. Beckett will be an afterthought to Lee’s dominant evening.”

    As far as K’s go, I think he’s doing just fine. He would not have pulled off 3 CG SOs in a row if he struck out more dudes b/c his pitch counts would have been clearly higher. He already was up there in all three appearances. Nothing to worry about, clearly, unless you’re the opposing batter.

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      Wow, you predicted that Cliff Lee would pitch a good game?

      A regular Carnac, you are. :)

      • Old Gator - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Karnac, you illiterate owf.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        No, I said he’d dominate (twice). I said he had the best June out of anyone, which has been solidified. By the way, look at Verlander and Shields’ June production…to think Lee topped even these two is incredible. Just sayin’…I’m like awesome and stuff brah.

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Hold on a sec, Gator…

        I know you fancy yourself the spelling-grammar-and-literature conscience of the boards here, but Wikipedia (admittedly, not ALWAYS 100% accurate) lists the characters as CARNAC the Magnificent:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnac_the_Magnificent

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        If you check the referenced articles/books on the wiki page, it is shown with a “C”. I didn’t even know who the bleep you were talking about so I didn’t bother to look it up until now. I guess I’m the young one of this bunch…reference something from Powerpuff Girls and I’ll get it…wait, no I won’t b/c I was stoned all through college.

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Hey, I’m only 32…Carnac should be common pop culture knowledge!

        Either that, or I have WAAAAY too much time on my hands.

        Yeah, could be that.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        I’m 29, so I’m going with my “stoned” excuse…

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Babies….. You two are…

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        Jonny,

        “Babies….. You two are…”

        Who do you think you are, Yoda?

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        No, not at all. I just dig the accent. What is that guy eastern European or what?

      • cur68 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        I’m older than all of you except Gator. I don’t always make predictions but when I do I prefer ‘Karnac’. Its the French spelling, you see.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        I took Gator’s entry as a joke–Cliff Lee striking dudes out, K’s, Carnac = Karnac. He’s probably amused by the chain of responses it touched off too.

        Used to love watching Carson & “Carnac” was his best character–especially loved that turban.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Is it possible that teams know all of Cliff’s pitches are going to eventually be in or near the zone, so they are swinging more? Taking pitches against Lee is generally a recipe for disaster, so I wonder if hitters are just shortening up trying to make contact knowing that a strike will be coming, and making less hard contact as a result.

    Has Cliph been throwing fewer pitches out of the zone than usual? (I don’t really know where to find these advanced stats unless I read about them in a blog somewhere, so this is all speculative).

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Was wondering the same, but Bill makes the point:

      (It hasn’t worked as his five June starts rank in the top-eight in terms of average pitches per batter faced.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Cliff Lee, no matter his current impressive streak, will never replace the great Grover Cleveland Alexander in my mind. Think he had a 4.36 SPQR and 17.81 RSVP’s in ’14.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      I don’t know what 4.36 SPQR and 17.81 RSVP’s means. That shit is Klingon to me.

      But, yeah, I agree. As much as I like Cliff Lee, Grover Cleveland Alexander had unbelievable stats and is a Hall of Famer. No comparison.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        You must have missed the memo while otherwise engaged in the waters and beverages of the concrete-sand paradise of Sea Isle. Every 4th Tuesday is HBT Talk like a Klingon Day.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    In the words of paperbag…it’s a small sample size man. His Ks have gone down the last few games, but it’s only a minor blip in the sample size and not indicative of anything long-term.

    • paperlions - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Yep.

  5. Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    The First World Problems Rap.

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Heh, I saw this last week. Pretty good parody.

  6. halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    I clicked on this Bill Baer article and see it’s written by another nitwit sabermatician trying to put Cliff’s performance in terms of some DIP “shit” therory which tries to quantify a pitcher’s effectiveness independent of fielding, etc.

    Trying to put a pitcher like Cliff Lee into some sabermetric equation is degrading and insulting him and his teammates.

    Bill Baer, you owe Cliff Lee an apology. Take you DIP Theory and shove it.

    • Alex K - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      Why is it “degrading and insulting” to anyone? He didn’t say a bad word about Cliff Lee or his teammates.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        He insults his teammates by bringing in this DIP theory nonsense. It was a team effort last night. Not only did Cliff pitch a great game last night, but Howard, Rollins and Polanco made some great plays in the field.

        That’s why I hate this sabermetric BS. Trying to quantify what can be easily said as a great game all around. Give me Cliff’s ERA in the month of June and call it a day.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        He insults his teammates by bringing in this DIP theory nonsense. It was a team effort last night.

        These two statements pretty much prove you don’t know wtf you are talking about. Well done

      • Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        “Trying to quantify what can be easily said as a great game all around. Give me Cliff’s ERA in the month of June and call it a day.”

        You do realize that ERA not only is, in fact, an attempt to quantify, but a) a poor one, and b) actually MORE complicated than looking at what the pitcher has control over, right?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      I’m glad you didn’t leave your hater commentary at the Shore last week. Some would say it’s good to have you back. I say boooooooooo! Putting Cliff and his amazing stats into new and alternate types of analyses is great stuff, not sure why you hate on it. Plugging Cliff’s numbers in to any equation should show what a great pitcher would look like in the equation’s result. In other words, pitchers like Cliff set the high bar in most pitching analyses, which can show how useful the analysis is in the first place and also show how other, lesser pitchers stack up. Learn to love a little, even Spock reached into his love chest once in awhile.

      PS. why is “analyses” showing up as misspelled in my browser? How does it think analysis is pluralized?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        Like I said above:

        He insults his teammates by bringing in this DIP theory nonsense. It was a team effort last night. Not only did Cliff pitch a great game last night, but Howard, Rollins and Polanco made some great plays in the field.

        That’s why I hate this sabermetric BS. Trying to quantify what can be easily said as a great game all around. Give me Cliff’s ERA in the month of June and call it a day.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        I read it above, no need to cut and paste. Now I wasted 8 seconds of my life reading your redonk comment twice….

        Trying to quantify a great game all around is precisely what every baseball analyst should do. That’s how you know what a great game looks like on paper and then have something to compare lesser games to…again the “high bar”. You HATED math in school didn’t you?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        El Bravo,

        Actually, I was and am very good at math. I was a chemistry major in college and took up to Calc 3.

        I don’t like it in my baseball, however.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        My nerd brain is currently erupting and nearly explosive….how can you, A, like baseball and, B, know some advanced math and not come to the conclusion, C, that the two f’ing things are made for each other!!! Hello, no other sport has sample sizes for increasing accurate analyses than baseball. Why would you not marry the two in your mind the second you learned baseball and math?!?!?!?!?!?! BAHGHAJGKLHKLSHJKLFA

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        El Bravo,

        Baeball is like fishing and art. You sit back, relax and enjoy it.

        If I want to employ advanced mathematics, I go to work and earn a buck for my trouble.

        I don’t need to stress over baseball.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        Fartsy was a given, Bicepts, but I didn’t know you were so artsy.

      • Andrew - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:48 PM

        “Actually, I was and am very good at math. I was a chemistry major in college and took up to Calc 3.”

        Calc 3 was a class I took my freshman year.

        /pwned

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Man, halladaybicepts, you just keep topping yourself!

      I’m getting a good chuckle out of you complaining about “degrading and insulting” words.

      This is akin to Himmler complaining to Hitler about rampant Antisemitism amongst the ranks of Nazi Party hierarchy.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        Sabermetrics=maddness=Klingon.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        mothers against drunk driving-ness?

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        Sabermetrics is Klingon?

        That’s a new one, but I’ll go with it.

  7. Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    I tend to think it’s part fluke and part batters swinging more and making contact at pitches on the edges of the plate. You can’t just look at strikes like lots of guys did beginning the season so now they’re swinging more. I haven’t looked at the pitch charts yet , but I’d bet good money that Lee has been flirting with the corners much more now than he was to kick off the season. Guys still hit them, but to much less success. With that said, Bill Baer is whiz at this stuff, I’m not.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      I think he was flirting with the corners all season, but a few of those games he flirted on the wrong side of the zone, making walks. He’s tighten up his control, is what I think the pitch charts would say….let’s just keep speculating and no one actually look this up. It’s more fun that way!

      • bigxrob - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        Just ask Mr. bicepts what he sees, that should be enough for everyone.

        (I wish I could remember his list for evaluating players)

    • Kevin S. - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      I said more or less the exact same thing over at Crashburn. His swinging strike rate is still high, it’s just a small run of batters making weak contact instead of striking out. How insulting a thing to suggest.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        It makes sense.

  8. Kevin S. - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Somebody shouldn’t have told bicepts about the thumbs up/down system. He’s gone to the chrisny3 school of voter popularity.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      (1) I told everyone about the thumbs up/thumbs down system and how to manipulate it through your browser. Ask anyone on this board.

      (2) It’s not me. I am not thumbing up my own comments and thumbing down other peoples comments. If you recall, I could care less about the thumb up/thumb down nonsense.

      Someone else on the board is doing it. It’s not me.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        Sounds like a good use of time for that person or those persons.

  9. metalhead65 - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    there is no other reason for a old timer like me to hate these new stats you geeks make up every day than this article. a guy who pitches as well as Lee has and it’s not good enough because he does not have enough strikeouts to satisfy some stupid geek stat? I should stop using that term as it is an insult to geeks. the bottom line is anybody in their right mind would take him and his complete game shutouts low strike outs and all as the ace of their staff. I know as a reds fan we would take him and his low k’s over the over the 4 innings and near 6 ERA our supposed staff ace Volquez gives every start any day! can’t wait for you people to come up with the stats to show he is not as bad as looks every time we fans watch him put the reds in hole before first inning is over.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Exactly. You have hit the nail on the head perfectly.

      All I need to know about a pitcher is his ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and complete games to know whether or not he’s a stud.

      What’s next? the APBW stat? APBW = After pitcher breaks wind.

      • bigxrob - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Are the following the stats of a pitcher you would call a “stud”:

        2.09 ERA, 77 innings pitched, 63 SO, 1 CG

      • sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        All I need to know about a pitcher is his ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and complete games

        you are ruining baseball with your attempts to numerate every little outcome! IP? That’s going to be like a huge number and who knows if they counted right! ERA????? YOU HAVE TO DIVIDE BY NINE, I’m not f**cking Pythagoras. Numbers are RUINING the game. Just give me a picture of the pitcher so I can assess his winning smile and also a bottle of air collected from the surface of his skin after a long outing on a hot day so I can verify the vitality of his pitching musk.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        I’ll bite, Rob. Who’s that?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        bigxrob,

        “Are the following the stats of a pitcher you would call a “stud”:

        2.09 ERA, 77 innings pitched, 63 SO, 1 CG”

        The answer is yes. Who’s stats are they? I’m sure you will tell me and make some point to counter what I said.

      • bigxrob - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        Ari, it is Ryan Vogelsong (may not be spelled right)

        Pretty good for year so far for him.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        The Giants seem to have collected quite a collection of rookie pitching talent. The BASTARDS!

    • seanmk - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      i imagine you’ve played baseball before. now when you swing you can control how you swing such as hitting the ball to go the other way or pulling the ball. if i asked you to hit the ball directly at third base bag, could you hit it AT the bag or just in the area of the bag? Do you always square up the hit so that it’s a line drive and it goes where you want it to go exactly? probably not.

      no matter how great you are at baseball you can’t fully control where the ball you hit goes, justt he general direction, unless you hit it out of the park in which case it’s a home run. so why is it such a hard concept to understand that a pitcher can’t control where the hitter hits the ball. sometimes a dribbler has eyes and get past the fielders. sometimes it’s a line drive that’s scalded but RIGHT at a fielder and it’s an out. This is DIPS

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        Exactly. I’ve read up on it. You have just stated what I understand. It’s BS because you can’t quantify this. That’s also why they call it a THEORY. It’s not a real stat.

        This is why I think these made up stats are ridiculous. They don’t take into account many factors that make a pitcher great, such as a great defense behind them, which can save alot of runs, hits, etc. It’s nonsense.

      • seanmk - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        but i just quantified it…but it’s not a stat to begin with.

        to your point on stats, all that stats are made up, ERA, AVG, saves, if you want to just enjoy what you’re watch by all means do so, but don’t berate people for wanting more.

        how do you know what is a good defense?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        I just don’t understand making up more stats than there are. Baseball has plenty of them. Don’t make it a math test. I went through 16 years of school and don’t need someone making up meaningless stats besides the one’s I grew up with for 40 years, which were plentiful and more than any other sport.

        “how do you know what is a good defense?”

        I watch the team for some games and see what their glove and range is like. It’s pretty simple after watching a team play to know whether or not they have a good defense.

  10. sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Give me Cliff’s ERA in the month of June and call it a day.

    STOP TRYING TO QUANTIFY THINGS HALLADAYSBICEPTS[sic] YOU ARE RUINING MY PURE-HEARTED SUNNY AFTERNOON BASEBALL IMMERSION

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      Lol!!!! You pegged me. Preach on, brother.

  11. sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    please help tech support I am trying to change my name to HamelsPectoralts

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      Just create another login, brother. Phillies nation will welcome you with open arms.

  12. Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    He’s not picking nits if you actually read the article. He’s saying that the balls won’t keep ALL landing in fielders’ gloves, so he needs to get back to striking people out to get to Hershiser territory. But that he’s likely to do just that.

    The only math in the article is his stikeout rate. And I guess how many balls in play have found fielders’ gloves. This is complicated stuff?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      stop bringing logic in here! I want read more about bicepts blasting DIPS theory as idiotic and then proving it in the same sentence.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        My logic in without error, as my opinions, which are fact.

        DIPS is not logical because it try’s to factor the pitcher solely without accounting for anything outside the pitcher’s control (i.e. defense).

        Well, that’s part of baseball and you can’t factor it out. Having a good defense behind you makes a good pitcher great.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        DIPS is not logical because it try’s to factor the pitcher solely without accounting for anything outside the pitcher’s control (i.e. defense).

        Keep talking, i don’t think it’s possible for you to be any more wrong.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged,

        Define DIPS for me and tell me where it factors in the team’s defense?

      • sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:48 PM

        he is right!! baseball is an emergent Aristotilean whole that cannot be callously diced into its component parts by your crazy math minds

        many like to unceremoniously wedge arbitrary divides such as top and bottom innings but this is a violation of something sacred beyond your understanding; when I consume baseball I DVR the entire game and play it back at 32x speed and just kind of press my face against the screen

        I think maybe halladaysbicepqs and I have more in common than I thought, I misjudged you halladaysbicepks. I also appreciate your bold new experimental way of expressing the word “tries”

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        it doesn’t, so why you keep bringing it up is beyond me. Also, why a pitcher should get credit for something his teammates do is idiotic. I’m a Yankees fan, you know how many times I saw great pitching performances go to shit because, in the mid ’00s, our team defense was abysmal? Was it Wang/Mussina/Pettitte’s fault that they did all that they could, but the statue formerly known as Derek Jeter can’t range more than 3′ to his left to stop a grounder?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        sometimesphylan,

        You reek of sarcasm, my ill-informed verbal-masturbator.

        Sabermatician, be gone! The devil is within you. Exercise those demons. Be gone, math demons!

      • sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        before anyone can take this DIPS garbage seriously I think it should also factor in offense. like if your cleanup hitter is all mashing dingers when your starter is not pitching, that is important for the pitcher. it should also not use arabic numerals or any arithmetic developed since the Ishango bone

      • sometimesphylan - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        halladaysbicepjs why are you not acceptin’g my olive branch <—– see how I added an apostrophe to a verb for decoration? I am trying to emulate you halladaysbicepws don't be mean to me

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        sometimesphylan,

        I apparently read you wrong and apologize. Reading your previous posts I thought you were making fun of my line of thinking. It was a type sarcasm that I did not sense.

        Carry on, my disciple. May the Bicepts be with you.

  13. Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    If you don’t want to think critically about baseball, no one is stopping you. Relax and enjoy the game! We’ll continue to enjoy it as well as think about it critically. Not only does looking deeply into what makes the game tick not stop us from enjoying it, but it doesn’t stop YOU from enjoying it either. If for some reason others enjoying the game from a different angle bothers you (and… why?), you don’t have to read what they have to say.

    Or, you know. You can keep insulting people for trying to figure shit out. Either way.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Ari,

      You miss my point. These stats that Sabermaticians make up are absurd. They are so absurd they should be critisized as such. There are already plenty of statistical categories in baseball (most in all of professional sports) without these ingrates making up even more. It’s ridiculous and anyone who takes them seriously is an idiot. You would be better off playing Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM

        How are those stats any more absurd than assigning the pitcher the entire credit for whether a team won or lost, but only if there was no lead changes after he left the game, regardless of what actually happened? If a pitcher leaves a game up 5-3 after five innings, and his team wins 7-5 because both teams scored two runs in the seventh, he gets the win if he was on the visiting team and they made it 7-3 in the top of the seventh before the home team scored two to make it 7-5, but if he was at home, he’d get a no-decision because the road team made it 5-5 before his team re-took the lead. That makes sense? Or how about ERA, which gives a pitcher full blame for all run-scoring that occurs from batters he faced, even if he allowed a bloop single then a subsequent reliever gave up the last three bases? Or how about fielding, which doesn’t count against the pitcher if a fielder demonstrates great range getting to a ball nobody else would get to and then muffing it, but does count against a pitcher if his left fielder is a fat slob who can’t get to a fly ball 90% of the league could? The old stats made less sense, not more.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        People who think that older stats are better and newer stats are too complex need to read Posnanski:

        “How do we figure batting average? Well, start with a players’ number of plate appearances. That would be the number of times the player comes to the plate.

        Now, subtract the walks. No, seriously, just subtract those. We don’t care about those.

        Now, subtract the hit-by-pitches. Get rid of them.

        Now, subtract the times that the player hit a fly ball that allowed a runner to tag up and score from third base.

        Now, subtract the times the batter bunted a runner from first to second base, or second to third, or third to home but still made an out. Do not subtract the plate appearance if the batter successfully made it to first base. Do not subtract it if he hit a hard smash that accomplished PRECISELY THE SAME THING as a bunt. Do not subtract it if he hit a check-swing dribbler that was KIND OF like a bunt but did not seem from the press box to be a purposeful bunt.

        Remember to include the times he reached base but only because of a defensive blunder.

        OK, you have that number? We call those “at-bats.” Now, what you want to do it take the number of hits and divide those by at-bats. What is a hit? Any time someone hits a ball that allows him to reach base. No, we don’t care what base he reaches. Double … triple … home runs … they’re all just “hits” when it comes to batting average.

        Of course, if the batter gets on base because of a defensive error, that doesn’t count as a hit. That counts as an out. Even though he didn’t make an out. How do we determine if the defensive player made an error? Someone in the press box we call the “official scorer” will watch the game and make the determination based on whatever he happens to be thinking at that moment.

        OK, now you divide the hits by at-bats. And that is your hits percentage. We call it batting average even though it is not an average of anything. And the person with the highest average will be named the batting champion, even if we have to carry out the division to five or six or seven decimal points. The team with the highest batting averages will be listed on top of the charts even if they scored 200 runs less than another team.

        It seems at least possible that there’s a better way.”

      • Ari Collins - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        I didn’t miss your point at all. If you think that keeping records of what the pitcher has control over (DIPS) is absurd and meaningless, then feel free to ignore them. But pretending that they’re in any way impeding someone’s ability to enjoy the game is absurd. As is the idea that this record-keeping and analysis is an insult to the players or the fans or anyone at all. (As opposed to the insults you put in very nearly every post you’ve ever made. Those are actual insults.)

    • seanmk - Jun 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      that’s quite the position bicepts

  14. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Funniest. Comments. Ever. I’m just happy it isn’t me being lambasted by the sabremetric crowd. Not this time boys…not this time….

    NOW GO GET YOUR @%#$#^@%# SHINE BOX…I mean…EXCEL SPREADSHEETS!!!!!!!

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      Chris,

      Yeah, really. Unbelievable with this sabermetric crap.

      I want to clarify something, though. Chris, I guess you are somewhat around my age (40, give or take +/- years). I grew up playing sports everyday of my life. During summers, the only time I came home during the day was to eat lunch and I was back out playing baseball, basketball, football and hockey. That’s all I did as a kid from 6 years old until I was 15 or 16.

      However, at times (usually after dark), I would get on my Commodore 64 (I was one of the few guys in the neighborhood at the time that had a computer; I also had the only primitive internet access for the Commodore 64 known as QLink with a 1200 baud modem) and played roleplaying games like The Bard’s Tale, Ultima series games, Wasteland, etc. I would concern myself with such things such as armor class, spell points, luck, dexterity, strength, etc. It was fun and I was very good at it.

      With all that being said, the roleplaying crowd has decided to take all of these roleplaying formulas and apply them to baseball. I have played and watched baseball my whole life without these fantasy stats being applied to the game and enjoyed it. Baseball doesn’t need this. SABERMATICIANS: WATCH THE GAME. ENJOY IT FOR WHAT IT IS. THE GREATEST GAME INVENTED BY MAN UNDER THE WATCH OF GOD!!!!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        Oh I’m sorry, we would have given you full credit but you forgot Mother’s Basement. Thanks for playing “Tired Cliches used to Fight Straw Man Arguments”. Better luck next time.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        I used to think like that…I truly did. But I came to the realization to “live and let live” as long as it doesn’t affect me.

        My hate for sabremetrics was at its peak when I had a bunch of nitwits tell me that Adrien Gonzalez’s first 4 years were better than Ryan Howard’s. It was then that I realized that the stat WAR is really a stat created by some college drop-out sitting in his mother’s basement in his Spongebob underoos making up #s to fit his argument. Because when a guy has 4 years like Howard had to start his career…not mere mortal year, but IMMORTAL years, and have them be put down because “He only did it because he had the truly best player on the team hitting in front of him”…well, it grated at me.

        But today, I am happy with the notion that my team won the 2008 world series. And they are right now, the best team in baseball by 4 games. They ave 50 wins and the next highest total of wins is 46. So it would take 4 days for someone to get to where the Phillies are. They spanked the team(Red Sox) that spanked the so-called best team in baseball(Yankers).

        So people can whine and cry about injuries to their team, wah wah wah. But at the end of the day, it is the Phillies and not their team, who has the best record in baseball. And it isn’t even close.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Church…I used it so don’t worry about that one ;)

  15. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    My hate for sabremetrics was at its peak when I had a bunch of nitwits tell me that Adrien Gonzalez’s first 4 years were better than Ryan Howard’s. It was then that I realized that the stat WAR is really a stat created by some college drop-out sitting in his mother’s basement in his Spongebob underoos making up #s to fit his argument

    See, this is [sort of] a valid argument. Besides the inherent issues with WAR, a slight advantage of one over the other (for instance, 5.5 vs 5.3) isn’t enough to say, definitively, that one is better than the other. That’s fine, and everyone should agree with it.

    The problem is, as evidenced above by halladaysbicepts, is taking one stat he doesn’t like (DIPS* for instance) and using it to trash all of sabrmetrics is like people up a cheesy romance novel and saying “this medium sucks, fuck you Tolstoy!”.

    *this doesn’t even get into the issue of not understanding what the stat is/says but trashing it anyway. That’s heading down to Joe Morgan/Moneyball territory.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Church, you have said exactly my feelings on the subject 100%. I used to be more in the bicepts camp…hated all stats…hated stat geeks…hated hated hated. But I calmed down one day when I actually did see the relevancy I hated just because…BABIP. See, I used to hate BABIP because I lumped it in with stats like WAR and Dewan and xFIP, which to me are way too subjective. But BABIP is pretty straightforward…the batter hit the ball, it got through, you had bad luck. it got caught, you had good luck. Makes sense. If all other #s are the same, the guy with the better BABIP SHOULD have a better year the next year. To me, that’s common sense.

      • sparky1002 - Jul 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM

        I`ll settle for ERA and OBP.

  16. raysfan1 - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    The title of the article made me laugh and reminded me of a time when I was an intern.

    A surgeon I worked with used to bitch about his car all the time. I knew he drove a Ferrari because I’d seen him in it. One day I got sick of listening to him and offered to trade him straight up because my car never gave me problems. He asked what I drove: “1981 Nissan Sentra!” He never griped about his car in front of me again!

  17. FC - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Oh Man the Lamborghini just crashed into the Alleyway. Hopefully it will be alright after a few days in the shop.

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