links for 2007-12-03


  1. greg

    December 3, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    In my humble opinion, Sal Baxamusa has a puzzling definition of consistency, for it seems to completely ignore(I read most of it, skimmed a couple parts, so forgive me if I missed something) the flow of time in his analysis. In his model, you could score 0-1 runs 20+ times in April, then in May they score 10+ runs every single game, then in June, they offense could disappear once again, and yet, as long as the run distribution matches his little grid(which ignores time/sequence) at the end of the season, it can be deemed ‘consistent’ somehow. To me, Sal’s model doesn’t address consistency.

    The Tigers I saw last year did were not consistent offensively, IMHO. I don’t have the time to do it right now, but I bet that one could make such a case statistically. The offense seemed to go in a funk after Sheffield’s collision with Polanco in late July(I think that is when that happened). Having a weak Sheffield in the lineup seemed to take the sap out of a lot of bats. I’d be very surprised if one couldn’t find the numbers to back this up.

    btw, no disrespect to the Hardball Times, which is an excellent website/publication.

  2. Kathy

    December 3, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    The next time somebody talks trash about the Tigers I’m going to ask them what their team’s Weibull Distribution is!

  3. salb918

    December 3, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Hi greg,
    My definition of “consistent” is just a toy to illustrate the utility of the Weibull distribution. I can see that we have different definitions of the word, which is fine. But, you are correct in noting that the distribution is not dynamic, it is an aggregate of the whole season. This type of aggregation is typically the best way to analyze a team.

    Just FYI, the tigers runs/game by month:
    Apr 5.1
    May 6.1
    Jun 6.7
    Jul 5.3
    Aug 4.7
    Sep 5.1

    You’re right, the offense did tank w/o Sheffield! But of course, that has nothing to do with consistent, does it? It just tells us that Sheff was a great hitter.

    Thanks for the comments. It would be interesting to see if one could make a dynamic distribution (I would guess not).

  4. Vince in MN

    December 3, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    At one point early in the article Sal Baxamusa mentions “heart” –

    “The second team is a bunch of disrespectful bonus-baby rookies who play with talent but not with heart.”

    When are we going to get a graph of this vital component of the game anyway? Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. greg

    December 4, 2007 at 3:18 am

    Hey Sal,

    Thanks for the post. Given the semantic clarification, seen in this light, it appears that our focus was just a little different.

    you wrote:

    You’re right, the offense did tank w/o Sheffield! But of course, that has nothing to do with consistent, does it? It just tells us that Sheff was a great hitter.


    Well, I’m focusing more on whether or not the Tiger offense maintained a certain level of production throughout the year. Think of it this way…..if I was a pitcher in the AL in 2007, and I was scheduled to pitch against the Tigers in June, I would be pretty worried, but if it was in August, I’d be pretty darn excited, especially if I was in a slump, because in August, the Tigers hitters really seemed to help a lot of struggling pitchers find their way. It wasn’t merely Sheffield’s production no longer being present. It was that, plus the ‘Sheffield effect’ was no longer present. How pitchers approached the entire Tigers lineup changed when a healthy Sheffield was no longer part of the equation. Hackers like Inge and Pudge were often exploited. They saw fewer good pitches to hit. Shef wasn’t in there to run up pitch counts, and overall the Tigers hitters became significantly more impatient, ensuring that opposing starters could pitch longer in the game and thus the Tig’s seldom had the opportunity of exploiting weak bullpens(ie White Sox)

    Anyway, thanks for the response. On a different note, interesting ‘Enhanced Gameday’ stuff over at THT, hope there’s more of that in the future.

  6. ron

    December 4, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Heart and soul, you are the one for me. Great song; they should play it when Sheffield comes up to bat.

  7. ron

    December 4, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Feel your pulse when Gary comes to the plate. That’s heart. Gary can be a hacker too. But his hearts in it- he hits the ball.

  8. ron

    December 4, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Vince, thanks for bringing up heart. We should all show some during this coming season. And dont forget that most heart attacks occur in Dec. and Jan. So go easy on the wining and dining.