The Week in Mariners

DMZ · June 12, 2006 at 1:43 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Woo-whee. WWWL,WWW. That’s how you set the ‘snooze’ button on the fire Hargrove alarm. What’s to say, really? The pitching’s been fantastic (well, except Pineiro)(and Green)(okay, Moyer wasn’t fantastic, exactly).

Ichiro! hit .559.


His OBP was .571.
His slugging % was .794.


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this lately, but Ichiro! can hit a little.

Among all major leaguers, there’s only a handful who had better weeks (and Ichiro! has more plate appearances than any of these): Joe Mauer, who feasted on M’s pitching, Jason Bay, Hafrner, some Griffey kid, Beltran, Victor Martinez… Berkman… who cares. The point is Ichiro! is absolutely on fire.

It’s a shame that he got off to a slow start. Digging himself out of this hole has made people overlook his excellence this year. Ichiro’s on the leaderboards for park-adjusted hitting: by EQA, he’s the most valuable right fielder in baseball right now. I understand he plays some defense, too.

Man that dude is good. Quick, ask your local columnist to write about how he can’t sustain this success and will inevitably “regress to the mean” or some such thing.

Also, Johjima’s off his torrid pace, Sexson’s still sucking, Beltre had an overall off week despite seeming to take well to the lineup switch, and C-Rex was just baaaaaaaaad.


237 Responses to “The Week in Mariners”

  1. Dave on June 14th, 2006 12:39 pm

    Hits (per season) do matter. Hits often result in runs-scored. Your argument would mean that walks don’t matter either, yet that’s one of the marks of Rickey’s greatness. Ichiro is one of the most amazing singles hitters to play the game. It’s absurdly evident. It’s worth something (quite a bit, I would argue), just as walks are for the very reason that they increase scoring chances. Stolen bases are worthwhile for the same reason (in addition to disrupting a pitcher’s approach to the hitter who is up while you are on-base).

    Hits per season is the equivalent of taking a donkey to work. It might get you where you want to go if it doesn’t throw you off a canyon first, and you could argue that it’s a reasonable mode of transportation, considering people used to ride donkeys around many years ago.

    But why on earth would you ride a donkey when you have a car in your driveway?

    Hits, walks, extra base hits, these can all be accounted for more accurately in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. If you concede that getting on base is what really matters for a leadoff hitter, why ignore on base percentage?

    Hits per season is an obsolete statistic. Just like riding a donkey is an obsolete mode of transportation.

    You also leave out any mention of defense, which figures into that “all-around” analysis.

    Ichiro’s defense is generally worth 10-15 runs per season. You don’t have to believe me – buy a copy of The Fielding Bible. You’ll enjoy it.

    Our discussion comes down to an assumption on your part that Ichiro is having his career years now, and is not really in the early middle of his career.

    Well, I’d argue that the discussion comes down to the fact that you’re using esoteric measures of value that wildly underrate Rickey Henderson, and you don’t realize just how good he really was.

    My whole argument is actually based on this: Ichiro in his first 5 years (even excluding this one) is better than Rickey in his first 6.

    Value wise, they’re basically even. BP has Ichiro at 39 wins in his first 5 years (this includes defense, by the way), and Rickey at 37. Well within any reasonable margin for error.

    And, again, you’re ignoring age, which is just crazy.

    That’s worthy of comment –right now– about where he might end up. If Ichiro continues to maintain something close to (not even greater than) Rickey’s career averages until he’s done, then the two can be mentioned in the same breath career-wise.

    Right – if Ichiro never declines at all and plays until he’s 45, you have a point. Right now, you don’t. Becuase that’s not happening.

  2. Dave on June 14th, 2006 12:40 pm

    198/Dave: do you mean a) if the rest of the players are equals, or b) if the rest of the hitters on the team are of the caliber of Ichiro and Rickey?

    I meant B. My team full of Rickey’s would beat the tar out of a team full of Ichiro’s.

  3. tangotiger on June 14th, 2006 1:11 pm

    202/Dave: I think Rickey would get upset with Rickey, when Rickey tries to steal when Rickey is trying to bat. Interestingly, the real Rickey talks like this, even though there’s only one of them. Trying to speculate on nine Rickeys like this is a sure-fire way to blow-up a team. I’d rather have 9 Tim Raines’, but I’m biased.

  4. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 14th, 2006 1:25 pm



    Rickey- .336; .399; .437; .382; .421; .458
    Ichiro- .457; .425; .436; .455; .436;


    Rickey – .274; .303; .319; .267; .292; .293;
    Ichiro – .350; .321; .312; .372; .303


    Rickey – .338; .420; .408; .398; .414; .399
    Ichiro – .381; .388; .352; .414; .350


    Rickey – 40; 99; 76; 81; 89; 91
    Ichiro – 119; 106; 103; 132; 103

    5 gold gloves to 1.

    It’s not as close as BP indicates. This is not a margin of error comparison at this stage.

    BP figures in defense how? I like BP for shorthand in a lot of things, but defensive ability is rarely factored in properly in any formula (any place) given the intangibles that are evident to even a casual fan watching the game. I know it is anathema to say it, but not all player qualities can be captured in a formula successfully. Baseball by the numbers is an imprecise art that is still evolving, however cool it is along the way. For example, how would BP quantify unwillingness of runners to advance due to strength/accuracy of fielder’s arm (from third to home even). With Ichiro, I saw it at least once last night, and at least once in previous series, I believe.

  5. Dave on June 14th, 2006 1:43 pm

    It is as close as BP indicates. They are adjusting for league and era contexts, you are not.

    BP probably overrates Ichiro’s defense, by the way. I agree, their defensive numbers aren’t great, but their defensive numbers LOVE Ichiro.

    And you really need to read The Fielding Bible.

  6. taro on June 14th, 2006 2:57 pm

    It depends on whos pitching.

    If we have two Joel Pineiros pitching your Rickey nine would probably kill my Ichiro nine. If we have two Johan Santanas pitching, I bet my Ichiro nine beats your Rickey nine.

    I’m not saying Ichiro is the better overall hitter, he clearly isn’t. If it were nine Ichiros and nine Rickeys vs. the American league over a 160 game season, your Rickeys would win out. What I’m saying is that Ichiro has the ability hit the pitcher’s pitch better than Rickey did. You can’t draw walks and your not going to get a hitter’s pitch when a good pitcher is painting – your going to have to hit a tough pitch to earn your way on. Ichiro is the more valuable player in a pitcher’s duel – which is why I’d be more likely to pick him in a playoff series.

  7. tangotiger on June 14th, 2006 3:00 pm

    Ichiro was born in 1973, and his first season was 2001. His hitting is about 3 wins above average per season. And I’d give his fielding 1.5 wins above average.

    Rickey was born in 1958, so his starting season should be 1986. From 1986-1990, he was 4.5 wins above average, and I’d give his fielding 0.5 wins above average. Rickey did this while playing 20 less games per season than Ichiro.

    On a playing level, Rickey is about 1 to 1.5 wins better than Ichiro. If you want to include that Rickey was not playing the full-season that Ichiro was, Rickey is about a hair ahead of Ichiro.

    Rickey followed that up with 3 typical Rickey seasons. And he preceded 1986 with lots of great seasons too.

  8. Dave on June 14th, 2006 3:08 pm

    Of course, Taro, there’s zero evidence to support anything you’re saying.

  9. taro on June 14th, 2006 3:21 pm

    Yes but intuitively you know that it is true. Unless someone can find a way of accumulating their career rate stats when a pitcher is painting (which is close to impossible).

    Richie Sexson is a more valuable overall hitter than both Ichiro and Rickey in their primes. But who would you have rather had at the plate last night against Huston Street with the bases loaded: Ichiro? or Richie Sexson?

    I’m sure you would have rather had Ichiro (even if Sexson wasn’t in such a slump). Vs Johan Santana on a good night or Pedro Martinez on a good night, would you rather have nine Ichiros or nine Sexsons? My guess is you’d rather have nine Ichiros. Why? Because Sexson is mostly a mistake hitting fastball/changeup hitter, and Ichiro is capable of making good contact with any pitch in any location.

    Sexson is the more valuable hitter over the course of the season, he’ll hit mistake pitches MUCH harder than Ichiro, and he’ll take the walks if the pitchers give it to him. But Ichiro can hit anything anywhere (and that has a lot of hidden value).

  10. chrisisasavage on June 14th, 2006 3:33 pm

    I think Taro is assuming Ichiro would hit the better pitcher because of his hitting style. I agree Rickey would be less likely to hit the “pitchers pitch” (or any other pitch really), because he’d lay off of it and wait for the one he wanted, or quite possibly draw a walk. When he did get his hit it would most likely be (far) more damaging than Ichiro’s hit would be. That doesn’t mean he’d score less runs than Ichiro, just that his strategy for doing so would be different.

  11. Dave on June 14th, 2006 3:33 pm

    Yes but intuitively you know that it is true. Unless someone can find a way of accumulating their career rate stats when a pitcher is painting (which is close to impossible).

    No I don’t. Intuitively, I think its incorrect. And ESPN has Ichiro’s career stats vs every pitcher. Feel free to go through and compile them into a database, run some findings, and let us know how he fares. I’m pretty darn sure you’re going to find that he doesn’t hit good pitchers better than you’d expect, because other people have done significant work on this issue and come to the exact opposite conclusion you’re drawing.

    Richie Sexson is a more valuable overall hitter than both Ichiro and Rickey in their primes.

    No, he’s not, and it’s not even close. Rickey >>>>>>> Sexson.

    But who would you have rather had at the plate last night against Huston Street with the bases loaded: Ichiro? or Richie Sexson?

    Ichiro, because he’s a better hitter.

  12. Dave on June 14th, 2006 3:35 pm

    I think Taro is assuming Ichiro would hit the better pitcher because of his hitting style.

    I think Taro is assuming that good pitchers don’t walk good hitters in the playoffs. That’s what each of his posts about Henderson not being as good against pitchers who throw strikes has implied.

    I know for a fact that assumption is wrong, and it’s one of the main reasons why I’m pretty sure his entire argument is wrong.

  13. Grizz on June 14th, 2006 4:57 pm

    I don’t know, Dave, the All-Ichiros might give the All-Rickeys a better game than you would expect, as the Ichiros might be able to exploit the Rickeys’ all-lefthanded infield defense.

  14. taro on June 14th, 2006 4:59 pm


    Sometimes a Johan Santana or a Mark Buehrle will consistently hit their spots and go 7 innings scorless. And in those games Ichiro is more valuable (because he can hit, not walk, himself on). [Its the type of thing that would be difficult to prove through stats, but if someone is willing that’d be an interesting thing to look at.]

    Once again I’m NOT talking about career value. Rickey, in general, is a patient mistake hitter, and Ichiro, in general, is an agressive contact hitter. Ichiro can hit the pitcher’s pitch better than Rickey and is more valuable when a good pitcher is hitting the mit. Its why Ichiro’s average is so high; he can hit all sorts of pitches (even though he may not be the better overall hitter). Thats the reason I’d pick Ichiro in a playoff series (hes the more valuable leadoff hitter in a pitcher’s duel)- you’d pick Rickey. Okay, you can make a reasonable argument for both.

    As for Rickey vs Sexson, I just threw it out there to make a point. Would you rather have 2005 Sexson or 2006 Ichiro at the plate in that situation then? 2005 Sexson is clearly the better OPS and RBI producer. How about Jay Buhner in his prime vs Ichiro 2006? Buhner has a similar OPB, far better SLG, and is much more likely to hit a homerun. Or heck even Rickey in his prime vs Ichiro?

    Being able to hit anything in any location has value.

  15. Dave on June 14th, 2006 5:05 pm

    You can say it as many times as you want, Taro, but that doesn’t make it true.

  16. taro on June 14th, 2006 7:12 pm


    A .370/.415/.460 hitter is (more or less) the same hitter production wise over the course of the season as a .290/.400/.490 hitter, buy they really couldn’t be any different at the plate. They have different strengths and weaknesses. Ichiro is better at hitting the pitcher’s pitch than Rickey and Rickey is better at punishing pitchers for their mistakes (whether with a walk or an extra base hit).

    Yes, even great pitchers make mistakes, and yes even great pitchers can make mistakes in the playoffs. However, when a pitcher ISN’T making mistakes I’d rather have Ichiro up there because he has the ability to make good contact with difficult pitches in difficult locations. If you disagree that Ichiro is better at hitting the pitcher’s pitch than Rickey, then I’d be interested in your reasoning.

  17. DMZ on June 14th, 2006 7:16 pm

    You keep saying that Ichiro is better than hitting a pitcher’s pitch, and Henderson was a mistake hitter, but assertion is not support. It’s just assertion.

  18. Dave on June 14th, 2006 7:23 pm

    Facts just aren’t on your side, Taro. This issue has been studied multiple times. Read this, for starters. As mentioned, it was also analyzed in The Book, by Tango, Lichtman, and Dolphin.

    It’s a nice theory – it just isn’t true.

  19. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 6:28 am

    And as for the 9 Rickey’s v. 9 ichiro’s playing over the course of the season, I’ll take the Ichiros, because, for at least 20 or so games of the season, the Rickey’s wouldn’t be playing. Ichiro is a more durable player by far. I’m not so amazed that Rickey managed to get his stuff done in less than full seasons. I am more amazed that (except for about a month a year) Ichiro is as consistent as he is.

    We know one thing for sure, though, when in the dugout with his 8 doppelgangers, Rickey would be sure to remember that he played with somebody just like them before.

  20. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 7:18 am

    As to the “clutch hitter” theory, I am satisfied that evidence does exist. The higher averages with runners in scoring position (along with related production stats in those situations like HR and RBI) for certain players are as good a measure as any. Clutch situations are caused by forces outside of the individual player’s control, and are hard to quantify on an individual basis. It is pretty irrelevant who you are facing, and matters more when you are facing them. Limit the stat to the playoffs, or to teams thought to have good pitching staffs, or even individual pitchers and, with a large enough sample of data, you can pretty well tell where a hitter shakes out. As fate would have it, you may play with Tampa Bay your whole career and just not have many clutch situations. Such is life.

    The article you cite Dave is flawed in its analysis, for these reasons:

    They threw out pitchers with fewer than 100 IP and relievers with fewer than 35 IP. Those are probably a significant number of pitchers a hitter will face in a given season, especially against struggling clubs (playing in a bad division makes this huge). It’s also probably the worst of the bad, so why take them out? Take Joel Pineiro for instance. Right now he’s at 83 IP, and looks like he’s going to the bullpen. If the M’s did what they should have earlier in the season, he might have ended up close to 100 innings for the year. Make sense to cut guys like that out of the sample? That’s not only arbitrary, but likely to result in misleading data.

    A few of the “poster boys” for their results had special circumstances in ’91 and ’92 –

    Sanders played 9 games in 1991 and had just came into the league.
    McFarlane played only 84 games in 1991.

    I am not saying their theory doesn’t hold up. I just think it is not as useful to look at the top “good pitcher” hitters from a given year and see how they do some other year. Some guys are likely to be one-hit wonders in a big way. The useful exercise is to review all the data for a hitter you think fits into one mold or the other, and then compare the data to another player (or do it for all players – yikes, you can have that job). The article you linked to really doesn’t prove or disprove Taro’s assertion. You’d have to run the career (or prime) numbers (without limiting the data) for both Rickey and Ichiro and see what you have. You’d also have to agree on the ground rules. Who constitutes a good pitcher, who does not. There’s so many judgment call variables in modern baseball analysis, that I rarely read an essay that doesn’t make me say, “why’d you do that?”. Got some free time, Taro?

  21. DMZ on June 15th, 2006 8:10 am

    Clutch hitter != “mistake hitter”

  22. tangotiger on June 15th, 2006 8:20 am

    Mariner Fan: there’s plenty of good research on the topic of clutch hitting and mistake hitting and “guys who own guys”. You should take the time to read them, and comment on those studies specifically.

  23. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 8:21 am

    The article tries to discuss both “clutch” and “mistake” hitters, and purports to call both a “myth.” I disagree with the clutch hitter being a myth. We may have different definitions of what constitutes a clutch hitter, but we don’t need to get very complex to see that clutch hitting, in the traditional sense, exists.

  24. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 8:22 am

    I commented on the analysis that Dave threw out there.

  25. tangotiger on June 15th, 2006 9:02 am

    Mariner: I’m not just talking about this one article. You are making assertions that are grounded in your intuition. I obviously can’t compete with that. I’m not disagreeing with you (in fact, clutch hitting as a persistent skill, has been proven to exist), but your reasoning is based on opinion not fact.

  26. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 9:48 am

    Tango, I was talking about that one article, because that was what came up in Dave’s comment. So I commented on what I did read because it is seriously flawed. I think the “mistake” hitter is a tougher proposition and have no basis to know whether there is really such a thing. The analysis linked in Dave’s post simply didn’t prove it one way or the other. The “clutch” hitter is a more knowable thing, however.

    What about anything I have said is based on opinion? I am talking about a real stat category (without arguing who is better or worse in them), and saying that it is a good measure of a certain player’s performance in one area.

    What is flawed about the statistics related to performance with runners in scoring position (besides the randomness of when and how often such opportunities come up) as a demonstrative of how good a player is in the clutch? If the hitter is just pulling a Michael Jordan and getting it done when it counts, or just happens to have his hits come at good times, the result is the same. Can it be sustained over a career? I guarantee that some players do it better than others. Studying general baseball trends or small samples of random players doesn’t prove or disprove it.

    The good part about this site is that it is informative and, for the most part, there is substantive dialogue on things. A few on this site have the benefit of going blind on many more statistical studies than I can hope to because I am forced to spend most of my free time going blind on legal ethics opinions. That’s fine, but why not use your superior knowledge in the discussion? So instead of pointing me elsewhere (to spend 18.95 + shipping) why not discuss the non-intuition items that I have asserted and tell me why that’s wrong. I understand if you don’t have time to do it, but if that’s the case I am not sure why you responded.

  27. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 10:04 am

    Please note that I leave aside the Jamesian question of whether we can measure “clutch ability.” I think we cannot, because, if it exists (and I think it does, at least in other sports) it is something of the human spirit and doesn’t admit of clear measure.

  28. tangotiger on June 15th, 2006 10:29 am

    First of all, I didn’t point anybody to spend any money. (The link in my sig is standard, and someone else suggested my book.)

    Available, for free, is this:

    I also gave the recap to my findings of the book regarding “good” and “bad” hitters facing “good” and “bad” pitchers. I found no evidence of mistake hitters. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t exist, but you are on extremely brittle ground if you claim that it does exist, and can also provide identities of players who have such a skill.

    What you’ve been saying is opinion. Just because you look at facts doesn’t mean the conclusion is based on factual evidence. The biggest fact is that random variation overwhelms the data (for the most part).

    As for taking my time to tell you why you are wrong, in my younger days, I would take on all comers (as people who’d read my blog at Baseball Primer or my posts at Fanhome will attest to). Now, I pick and choose my spots how far I wish to take a dialogue. I’m no longer in the business of trying to change someone’s mind. Ask me specific questions, and I’ll give you a specific answer. (The “here’s my assetion, prove me wrong” dialogue is not one I’ll engage in.)

  29. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 11:29 am

    Thanks Tango. Those were helpful. They are all interesting projects. I don’t agree (in these approaches) with all the definitions, limitations and corrections (many of which seem wholly unnecessary, and admit of line-drawing judgments subject to debate), but the results are interesting and worthy of discussion.

    I have never asserted mistake hitters exist. You may have mistaken me for Taro. I have said that I have no way of knowing if they do (having never researched it), and that the linked article from BP didn’t prove or disprove it. That’s all. I am on no ground whatsoever with regard to that point, brittle or otherwise. I’ll give your work on it a look when I can.

    With due respect for your work (probably very difficult work), I am still of the opinion that it is impossible to determine statistically (to any reasonable degree of certainty) when a clutch performance is the result of luck in a given situation or “ability.” We can only view it from the performance perspective. There is just not a sufficient measure, no matter if we correct for pitching or other differences or attempt to assign (somewhat arbitrary) values to results. You’d have to be omniscient, peering deeply into the mind and focus of the players (both pitcher and hitter). Without that, we are making something more than uneducated guesses on this stuff. That’s ok, though, it is probably the best we can do, and we should have no problems admitting the limitations there. The data is still worthwhile. You may say that’s opinion, but numbers in a human construct do not a proven fact make. At least not in all situations.

  30. tangotiger on June 15th, 2006 12:10 pm

    I am still of the opinion that it is impossible to determine statistically (to any reasonable degree of certainty) when a clutch performance is the result of luck in a given situation

    It is in fact quite impossible to determine anything about any signle given situation. Did Ortiz hit that HR in the 9th because he is Ortiz, or because he is ORTIZ, God of all that is clutch? Unanswerable.

    We can only view it from the performance perspective.

    The only thing you can do is take the performance perspective, look at the identities and parks and other “known” parameters, and based on the sample size, you can construct an estimate of a player’s skill in a particular situation (say, high-leverage), with a certain uncertainty level. Because sample size conspires against us, our uncertainty level for any given player is *almost* as wide as the random variation.

    What this means, whether for clutch hitting or DIPS or a few other metrics, is that while you can prove that the performance of the population itself was not due solely to random variation, because it was due *mostly* to random variation, that is very difficult to ascertain who in that population truly has the skill in question.

    What you are left with is to go with your intuition. Which is good for talk, but is impractical for any other purposes.

  31. tangotiger on June 15th, 2006 12:11 pm

    (Ughh… do “quotes” not work? The first and third paragraphs are quotes of 229. If an admin can make that clear in post 230, that’d be great.)

  32. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on June 15th, 2006 12:34 pm

    Sounds like we are pretty much on the same page Tango. I have difficulty with some stat-gurus who insist they can account for the intangibles in their particular approach. You seem to have a reasonable view of it (I may just spend that $18.95 after all).

    BTW, I kind of like debating the unprovable. That’s part of the fun of baseball. Can we really PROVE that great player “A” is better than great player “B” given all of the variables? If they are both really impressive in divergent ways, probably not. At some point it comes down to the same debate over whether you think Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin is better. It’s about what you value in a player and the lens through which you view it.

    Thanks for working through some of it with me.

  33. taro on June 16th, 2006 2:36 am

    OF COURSE there are hitters that are better at hitting tougher pitches than others (putting production aside). I don’t really understanding the assertion that “mistake” hitters don’t exist. My own definition of a mistake hitter is a hitter that will wait for a certain pitch in a certain zone, and will crush the pitcher’s mistake pitches.

    If in one AB Johan Santana hangs a changeup in Richies eyes, thats probably a four-bagger, if he hangs one in Ichiro’s eyes its probably a single (or a hard out). However, if Santana is painting and he throws a changeup on the black Richies got close to no chance, and Ichiro’s liable to line it to left field. Statically Richie wins out if these two ABs are recorded. But the stats were accumulated in two completely different manners.

    Ichiro is just simply fantastic at hitting the pitcher’s pitch because of his hand eye coordination and body control. I don’t understand why that is so debatable. If a pitcher is pitching his game, Ichiro is one of the first hitters I’d want at the plate.

  34. DMZ on June 16th, 2006 8:32 am

    Uh huh. There are many “OF COURSE” statements in baseball lore that have not proven out.

    But this argument’s clearly not going anywhere, and I now abandon you to your belief that Henderson is a “mistake” hitter or whatever it is you wish to believe.

  35. taro on June 16th, 2006 11:42 pm

    There are two false assumptions the author makes in the artice 1) that the concencus among scouts was unanimous the the listed hitters were mistake hitters and the others hit good pitching. There are good scouts and bad scouts (remember 90% of scouts thought Ichiro was a 4th outfielder), just like there are good staticians and bad staticians.

    The second problem, and the more significant problem with the article is that it assumes good pitchers don’t make mistake pitches. They most certainly do over the course of a season (and mistake hitter will punish them more for it);, they just won’t make as many mistakes as bad pitchers. Production doesn’t have anything to do with hitting style. I know it sounds crazy, but you can have all kinds of holes in your swing, you can be a dead mistake hitter, and you can be one of the most valuable players at your positions. Thats why scouting becomes so useless at the Major-league level – its all about production. You can be a dead mistake hitter and hit 40 homers and draw 90 walks with a 900 OPS in a pitchers park – look at Sexson 2004.

    You can be a very productive hitter and be a mistake hitter. Mistake hitters can hit good pitchers when they make mistakes, but they are going to have a difficult time when those pitchers are hitting their spots (pitching towards the holes in their swings).

    The author then continues to make a false logical conclusion(that mistake hitters dont exist) when he finds that there is little difference in the standard deviation of how all of the hitters in baseball hit good pitchers as to how they hit bad pitching(although like BABIP there IS a difference from hitter to hitter). He makes a false logical step by concluding that mistake hitters don’t exist. Production is seperate from “hitting good pitching”

    Ichiro has very few holes in his swing. He is excellent at bisecting any pitch. When a pitcher is hitting his spots (pitching into the hitters cold zones), Ichiro is the most likely to be succesful because he doesn’t have much of a hole in his swing. He can hit anything in any location. And that has hidden value.

    Which is why all of you here would probably rather have Ichiro at the plate than Bone in his prime (even though Bone was by far the more productive hitter over the course of a season) with the bases loaded down 2-0 and Huston Street on the mound. Street could make the perfect pitch and Ichiro may still hit it, Bone couldn’t. Street could also hang a slider in the middle of the plate, but thats far less likely to happen in THIS isolated scenario.

    And DMZ,I don’t think I’ve done anything to be sneered at for. Your reminding me of why I don’t post here often.

  36. DMZ on June 16th, 2006 11:52 pm

    You have. You’ve made continual assertions of fact without any evidence to back them up.

    I can say I saw that 10% of hitters are magical dragons a hundred times, that doesn’t constitute evidence the 100th time any more than it did the 1st time.

  37. eponymous coward on June 17th, 2006 12:56 am

    The author then continues to make a false logical conclusion(that mistake hitters dont exist) when he finds that there is little difference in the standard deviation of how all of the hitters in baseball hit good pitchers as to how they hit bad pitching(although like BABIP there IS a difference from hitter to hitter). He makes a false logical step by concluding that mistake hitters don’t exist.

    So…basically, the author doesn’t find enough data to reject the null hypothesis (mistake hitters do not exist). That’s not necessaarrily a bad thing- it could mean the wrong data’s being looked at, problems with methodolody, and so on. It’s better than blindly asserting data to back up an assertion exists that really doesn’t, no?

    OK, so how would you suggest we find empirical data that confirms your assertion (mistake hitters and generally good hitters exist)? Theoretically, you should be able to find a group of non-mistake prone pitchers and demonstrate Ichiro hits them better than someone like Rickey (after adjusting for the fact that a better pitcher will have better results against ANY hitter), right?

    Oh, FWIW: Ichiro lifetime against Tim Hudson (who probably meets your definition of a pitcher who “hits spots” as well as anyone): .230/.266/.328. Against Pedro? .217/.280/.217. There are aother guys he hits well (Johan Santana and Barry Zito, for example)…but this theory of yours might need some work.

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