GatewayRedbirds.com

A Message Board Dedicated to Discussing St. Louis Cardinals Baseball!
It is currently November 19 18, 10:14 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 76 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: May 11 06, 1:36 am 
Offline
has a link from 538 to share
User avatar

Joined: December 31 69, 6:00 pm
Posts: 34435
Location: Chicago, IL
Mitchel Lichtman has graciously agreed to answer questions from GR posters!

Mitchel has worked as the Cardinals statistical advisor since 2004. He's also the co author of "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball". It has received glowing reviews and has been touted by people like Rob Neyer (ESPN.com) as a must read baseball sabermetric book. It's along the same lines as "The Hidden Game of Baseball," a seminal sabermetric work of course. The research and topics covered in "The Book" are more varied and more in depth. One of the authors of "The Hidden Game," Pete Palmer, wrote the foreward for their book.

The following are book excepts from "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball":

Relievers and the Three Run Lead on Sports Illustrated

Pitching Around Batters on Hardball Times


Keep in mind Mitchel is not privy to much of what goes on in the front office. His speciality is general sabermetric questions and\or questions relating specifically to the Cardinals at the major league level. This session will be coordinated in accordance with the Q & A Guidelines.

Thank you to Mitchel for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us on such an up close and personal level. I would also like to thank all of you for making GR such a great place to discuss Cardinal baseball!

-Michael


Last edited by Michael on May 15 06, 8:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 5:29 am 
Offline
All-Star
User avatar

Joined: April 18 06, 11:01 am
Posts: 2014
Location: Hick-a-hassee FLA
Hi. Thanks for taking our questions. Here are a couple:

1. What stats do you use for a quick look at a player's performance? That is, if you wanted a fast, accurate, but not necessarily precise, picture of how a player is performing, what stats would you look to?

2. Throughout baseball history, there are many examples of baseball writers, fans, general managers, etc using advanced statistical techniques and placing emphasis on less-heralded statistics to evaluate past player accomplishments and predict future performance. There are a myriad of people thinking about and writing about and using professionally these kinds of techniques today. However, these methods are still not incorporated into mainstream baseball. For example, it's only been in the last 4 or 5 years or so that something as simple and intuitive as OBP has been flashed on the televesion screen when a player comes to bat and it is rare to read in a newspaper about a player's OPS or WHIP. Analysts, writers and fans still use statistics such as RBIs or Wins to compare hitters or pitchers. Do you find the pace that the public and those professionally associated with baseball accept and embrace these methods frustrating and what do you think could be done to improve that situation?


Last edited by Grammar_Police on May 11 06, 8:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 6:18 am 
Online
GRB's most intelligent & humble poster
User avatar

Joined: April 17 06, 11:25 am
Posts: 26313
I didn't see any exerpts to the side about defense.

1.) Do you think we will ever see the day when there are great defensive statistics? For an aspect of the game that is so important, it remains so subjective.

2.) Staying on the defense topic, did you consider adding a chapter to "The Book" about defensive alignments and their success/failure rate?

Thanks,

--P--


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 6:29 am 
Offline
Veteran Player

Joined: April 21 06, 2:49 pm
Posts: 648
Mitchel,

Thanks for dropping by and taking some questions! Below are some of the things I wonder about.

1. How would you rank the defensive positions in terms of importance for an average team. How much does that change depending on the pitching staff, GB:FB ratio, etc? Would you care to add color to the traditional thoughts on the defensive impact of Catchers and 1Bs?

2. How would you characterize the Cardinals' organization's ability/willingness to adopt to sabermetric thinking.

3. Many people have raved about the Cards' '05 draft. In your opinion is it more likely that was a lucky one-time shot or should we expect to see the Cards draft class to perform similarly in the future?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 6:49 am 
Online
GRB's most intelligent & humble poster
User avatar

Joined: April 17 06, 11:25 am
Posts: 26313
I'll add another one.

3.) A lot of sabermetricians seem to have a love-hate relationship with Tony LaRussa. They love that he bases a lot of decisions on stats, but they hate that he seems to make moves that defy their logic. So when it comes down to it, who do you put the stock in? Sabermetricians, who are only crunching what numbers they have at their disposal, or LaRussa, who not only can sit and crunch the numbers, but also has the ability to talk to the players to see if they are really comfortable facing the pitcher, etc. or not?

--P--


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 8:34 am 
Offline
Perennial All-Star
User avatar

Joined: April 18 06, 7:12 pm
Posts: 6344
Location: The Hub
A long time ago, Pete Palmer suggested that baseball is 50% hitting, 44% pitching, and 6% defense.

Does this balance seem about right to you? In building a team, what do you see as the ideal balance in emphasis between pitching, defense, and hitting?

Recognizing that different teams have different needs, in general, is a top-20% defensive catcher or shortstop with an OPS+ of 75 preferable over a bottom-20% defensive catcher or shortstop with an OPS+ of 100-110?

Is a team with a deep lineup and strong defense at every position, but solid, unspectacular starters 1-5, equivalent to a team with a dominant pitcher or two and overall great rotation, but lineup and defense with multiple holes?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 8:40 am 
Offline
has a link from 538 to share
User avatar

Joined: December 31 69, 6:00 pm
Posts: 34435
Location: Chicago, IL
Mitchel,
Thanks for taking the time to answer questions for us.

1) How did start your baseball career?
2) What type of work did the Cardinal organization ask you to do? Player valuation? Defensive metrics?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 9:01 am 
Offline
NPR & THT Contributor
User avatar

Joined: April 18 06, 7:44 am
Posts: 36122
Location: Chocolate City
Mitchel-

Thank you for taking our questions. We all appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.

-What was the thought process that went into the Eckstein acquisition following Edgar Renteria's departure? Did any of your metrics allay concerns within the front office about a potential dropoff, defensively, from Renteria to Eckstein?

-How do you view pitchers with high groundball ratios? Your affiliation with the team coincided pretty strongly with a switch from pitchers with mild to heavy flyball tendencies (Garret Stephenson, Brett Tomko, Jeff Fassero) to pitchers with mild to heavy groundball tendencies (Suppan, Marquis, Tavarez, Mulder). Can you explain some of the in-depth logic on your end that went into that thought process, if indeed it was a conscious decision to chase groundball pitchers?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 12:07 pm 
Offline
Perennial All-Star
User avatar

Joined: April 18 06, 7:05 am
Posts: 4849
Location: Minneapolis
What stats are the best indication of a minor league hitter carrying success to the major league level? I know Billy Beane's theory, but wonder yours. Who currently in the Cards Minor League organization bests illustrates those numbers?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 11 06, 12:15 pm 
Offline
http://tinyurl.com/2e4x5hy

Joined: April 15 06, 6:25 pm
Posts: 24797
Location: St. Louis
Hi Mitchel,

What a pleasure!

When weighting a player's potential based on their body of work, do you weight most recent 3 yr. averages, their career body of work, or their most recent year more heavily?

I think we realize it was slim pickings in RF free agent market last year. Can you tell us what stood out about Encarnacion above what the other candidates offered (i.e. Jones, Burnitz, Sanders, Wilson)?

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 76 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group