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Ruben Amaro appears not to understand how walks affect at bat totals

Jun 13, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Last year Ruben Amaro said he didn’t care about walks, he cared about production. Maybe his apparent indifference to them is based on his failure to understand how they work.

That’s the takeaway from an appearance he made on the air during yesterday’s Phillies game. He was talking about how Jimmy Rollins is about to pass Mike Schmidt as the all-time Phillies hit leader. Amaro noted that Schmidt had nearly 900 more plate appearances than Rollins yet, magically, their batting averages aren’t very different despite the identical hit totals. The transcript of his comments via Crossing Broad:

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

One would think that how walks, plate appearances and at bats interact would some something within the comprehension of a major league general manager, but maybe Amaro is more of a big picture guy and he leaves that complex stuff to subordinates.

In reality: I fail to believe that a major league GM doesn’t understand how walks affect at bat totals. I TOTALLY believe that Amaro would say such a thing to drive Phillies fans crazy, though. He’s the GM most likely to troll people, and it’s not even close.

Anyway, here’s the audio. Listen to the commentary added by Kyle from Crossing Broad at the end:

 

  1. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    You really believe he doesn’t know that? You really believe that to be the case? You truly believe it wasn’t a brain fart, or something he later thought back on and said – “Oh, right!”.

    Good work cracking the case – I guess we now know all your screw ups were proof positive of a lack of knowledge

    • itsbenfeldman - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      Oh don’t be ridiculous.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        heh-heh….well, I guess Craig did later clarify that he didn’t really believe it…..I only read headlines :)

        I was mostly having fun in my over the top retort anyway

    • rustystubz - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      Did you really read the article? I mean really read the whole thing? Or maybe just the headline? Maybe you would have read the part that starts with “in reality” and realized that the author doesn’t believe Ruben doesn’t know how walks work.

      Good work reading the article – I guess we now know that all your comments are about the headline and you didn’t actually read any of the article.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        De-caf brother, read my 2nd post.

        I like getting cheeky, but have many times acknowledged that my cheekiness sometimes comes off as angry.

        I do see Craigs semi-walk back, as I later said

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        De-caf brother, read my 2nd post.

        I like getting cheeky, but have many times acknowledged that my cheekiness sometimes comes off as angry.

        Problem is there are a few (used to be a lot more) Phans that would write the same thing and be absolutely serious. It’s unfortunately, guilt by association.

      • dan1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        The problem isn’t guilt by association. If you say dumb things, people don’t like that. They also don’t know when you are secretly not being serious.

      • dluxxx - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        That’s why the sarcasm font was invented.
        /s

      • dan1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        @dluxxx, are you being sarcastic, or are you just demonstrating what the sarcasm font is? I have no idea how to interpret your comment.

    • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      You got trolled by Craig’s classic bait n switch. Gotta read the whole article or you will fall into his trap rook.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Trolled I don’t dispute – but I ain’t no rook ;)

      • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        lol

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        So you’re not a rook…? Are you a bishop? Queen? Oh, never mind…. x)

  2. tysonpunchinguterus - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    That explains a lot.

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    This proves it! Craig is secretly funneling Whiskey and Batman comics to Ruben Amaro in return for these planted quotes in a thinly veiled attempt to increase click counts….And it’s WORKING! I smell a conspiracy afoot!

  4. Ari Collins - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Walks! Walks, you dope! WALKS!

  5. mikhelb - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Not only that, Schmidt also had about 40% more HBP+Sac flys+Sacrifice hits than Rollins.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      I’m convinced: Mike Schmidt was better than Jimmy Rollins.
      :)

      • gloccamorra - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        I agree, but Rollins has the numbers to be considered for the HOF. What if they’re both in? Does that make them equals?

      • 18thstreet - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        What numbers make Rollins a Hall of Famer?

        I mean, here’s a list of the best 10 shortstops of the last 50 years: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=1964&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

        Unless you can make a plausible case that Rollins is BETTER than Trammel, I don’t see how you can say he’s worthy.

      • gloccamorra - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        I didn’t say he has the number to BE a HOFer, he has the number to be CONSIDERED. A majority of players don’t even get on the ballot, but Rollins will, and then it’s up to 700-800 baseball writers, half of whom don’t follow baseball regularly. The fact Trammel isn’t already in should tell you all you need to know about those “voters”.

      • cohnjusack - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Yeah, but the gap between Trammel and Rollins is rather enormous.

        Jimmy is much closer to the likes of Bert Campaneris, Toby Harrah and Tony Fernandez than he is Alan Trammel.

  6. binarymath - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    So many punch lines, so little time…

  7. sportsdrenched - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Having another front office say something weird is kind of like winning the World Series to Royals fans.

  8. gte838e - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Where did my comment go? You suck, Craig.

  9. tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    I watched the movie For Love of the Game with my sister and she asked “How can he have a no hitter when all those guys keep hitting the ball” and I explained that it wasn’t a hit unless a player reached base.

    My sister knows more about baseball than Ruben.

    • infieldhit - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Yeah, baseball terminology can be weird for newbies. You can hit the ball, and not get a hit, and if you throw a ball in the strike zone, it’s not a ball.

  10. [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    [ugh gonna defend RAJ for a second here]

    Schmidt – 8352 AB, 2234 H
    Rollins – 8323 AB, 2233 H

    Now Craig’s point still stands about value, and RAJ is still a moron.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      How is that defending him? Of course if they have basically the same number or hits and ABs they are going to have pretty much the same batting average.

      He said there’s a difference of 1000 in Plate Appearances.

      Schmidt: 10062
      Rollins: 9172

      Which accounts for the difference in OBP (.380 – .328). The point being that the general manager of a major league team, that lags wildly behind the rest of the league in embracing advanced metrics, doesn’t even understand the difference between a PA and an AB and BA and OBP or how those numbers correlate to each other.

      Which is actually a very basic concept.

      It’s like saying “They have the same batting average but 100 point difference in slugging percentage. I don’t understand that.”

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        With the obvious caveat that I’m not listening to anything by Crossing Broad (their position on upskirt pictures is deplorable, so I’m not giving them the clicks); so it might have been brought up.

        And I probably should have worded it differently, but Craig seems to be making the point that OBP has a correlation with BA. Does it? I honestly don’t know.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        I’m not sure what you mean. Where he says “One would think that how walks, plate appearances and at bats interact would some something within the comprehension of a major league general manager”?

        Because those things do interact. Plate appearances – walks (and HBP) = At Bats.

        Amaro seems to be making the point that batting average correlates directly to plate appearances, when it doesn’t. It correlates directly to OBP.

        And, as mentioned numerous times, Amaro has stated before he doesn’t care about walks. He doesn’t seem to understand how they affect stats.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        I phrased that poorly. Plate appearances correlate directly to OBP.

        The way that read to me upon rereading it is that I’m saying BA correlates to OBP (it does contribute, obviously)

  11. eagles512 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    He also doesn’t understand how despised he is on Philly.

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Neither does Dave Montgomery…so it’s a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top.

  12. andreweac - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Might be a decade or more until the Phillies are relevant again. Time to sign Tim Tebow as a LOOGY and double down on tWtW.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      A decade? Look how fast the Marlins have rebuilt! Just trade your washed up stars for other teams’ better prospects, especially pitching. And you can feel like they’re down to earth kids, since they’re making the minimum, only ten times what you make.

  13. Utley's Hair - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Based on most of his moves, the jury’s still out on whether he knows anything about baseball at all.

  14. 12strikes2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    “He’s the GM most likely to troll people, and it’s not even close.”

    Craig talking about someone ELSE trolling Phillies fans….

    Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

  15. thetoolsofignorance - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    IANAS and even I know that a PA is used for OBP and walks are subtracted from PA to determine AB. AB’s are then used to calculate BA. Perhaps this is TMI for Mr. Amaro? IIRC he seems unwilling to embrace ‘the new math’ but it seems he never troubled to understand the old math either

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      In his defense, he’s using Common Core, and nobody knows what the hell is going on there.

  16. aphillieated - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    I said the same thing.

  17. yahmule - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    This guy went to Stanford.

  18. sportsfan18 - Jun 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Phillies fans should care that he learns about making trades… and making contract offers…

    Who cares if he doesn’t know how walks affect plate appearances vs. at bats…

    It’s his trades and contract signings that are killing the Phils…

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