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(The Week)   How Sabremetrics, aka "Moneyball" killed the stolen base in baseball   (theweek.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, stolen base, Rickey Henderson, slugging percentage, Ryan Ludwick, Moneyball, Jay Bruce, Baseball America, break even point  
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4076 clicks; posted to Sports » on 20 Mar 2013 at 12:42 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-20 11:59:52 AM  
Yes... coaching staff's got smart enough to realize that a stolen base attempt, unless someone is extremely good at it (as stated, 80+% success rate), isn't worth the risk.

So?
 
2013-03-20 12:27:02 PM  
No, steroids killed the stolen base.
 
2013-03-20 12:45:28 PM  
This gets a "lol."

Check out stolen bases from the 40s.  Joe DiMaggio was super-crazy-lightning fast, and he stole 30 bases in his career.
 
2013-03-20 12:47:57 PM  
GOOD.

/and I mean it. So sick of pitchers chucking it to first over and over and over again...the guy isn't going to run, ok?
 
2013-03-20 12:48:10 PM  
I stopped reading at "Sabremetrics." I don't have time to deal with the French today.
 
2013-03-20 12:50:02 PM  
I miss watching J.Reyes and his base-running exploits as a Met.
 
2013-03-20 12:54:44 PM  

Curt Blizzah: I miss watching J.Reyes and his base-running exploits as a Met.


Heck, at this point I'll settle for Frank Taveras.
 
2013-03-20 12:55:25 PM  
Actually, I will say this: I follow a ton of baseball folks on twitter. Most (but not all) are stats guys like me. I'm pretty sure every person I follow is in love with both Mike Trout & Billy Hamilton.

Furthermore, I've seen a ton of acclaim on twitter today for this article: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9072118/jonah-keri-art-stealing-b a ses

So....
 
2013-03-20 12:56:46 PM  

dletter: Yes... coaching staff's got smart enough to realize that a stolen base attempt, unless someone is extremely good at it (as stated, 80+% success rate), isn't worth the risk.

So?


Is your "So?" directed toward the article, which highlights a strategy change in a game that seems to be extremely resistant to change, or the trolololo headline that is trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads?
 
2013-03-20 01:00:06 PM  

roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads


I have things to do today, you know.
 
2013-03-20 01:03:38 PM  
Just a quick glance at baseball reference shows

NL - Most Stolen Bases per team since 1999, significantly lower than average of 1976 - 1999, but higher than previous eras

AL - Less Stole Bases than 2011, roughly same as 2010, about even with 1974 - 1999 which was higher than previous eras

There is no reason to think that "Moneyball" had anything to do with this. Without doing the anlysis, i would think the drop in steals has far more to do with the rise in batting success (Batting Average, OPS, Slugging, whatever you want to use). Batters are less likely to get out, so the need to steal bases and "manufacture a run" decreases.
 
2013-03-20 01:04:05 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Actually, I will say this: I follow a ton of baseball folks on twitter. Most (but not all) are stats guys like me. I'm pretty sure every person I follow is in love with both Mike Trout & Billy Hamilton.

Furthermore, I've seen a ton of acclaim on twitter today for this article: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9072118/jonah-keri-art-stealing-b a ses

So....


Good article, but as a fan of a team that recently had Russell Branyan on the roster, I have to disagree with the premise that there is anything more aesthetically pleasing than the Three True Outcomes.
 
2013-03-20 01:05:11 PM  
Psssh, moneyball nothing.  People aren't stealing bases anymore because RICKY STOLE THEM ALL!!!!

/Fact.
 
2013-03-20 01:05:24 PM  

DeWayne Mann: roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads

I have things to do today, you know.


No you don't.  Even if you did, it would not be nearly as entertaining nor important.
 
2013-03-20 01:09:12 PM  

roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads?


Those were a joy. I have nothing against the Detroit Tigers, but between some of their fans on here blasting anyone even making a case for Trout, and then hammering Yankee fans in the playoff threads for simply daring to state the obvious (being that their team absolutely sucked in that series) without also giving effusive, extended praise for the sheer majesty of, say, Phil Coke, wow...fun times.

/I got a kick out of the Yankees playing like dog sh*t too, but good god, the city of New York doesn't owe Detroit a handjob.
 
2013-03-20 01:13:56 PM  

Curt Blizzah: I miss watching J.Reyes and his base-running exploits as a Met.


Stupid Personal Anecdote Time:

Not long after I moved down here I went to a Durham Bulls game and they were playing the Norfolk Tides, then the Mets AAA team. Reyes was the leadoff hitter and on a 3-2 count in the 1st AB of the game he laces a liner to left center field, dropping in and getting cut off before the wall by the CF. The CF paused for just a second, not quite sure where to throw the ball to, and in that slight pause Reyes put on the afterburners and went to 3B, making it a good second ahead of the ball.

Dude was even faster before all those hamstring/leg injuries.

/CSB
 
2013-03-20 01:17:20 PM  

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Psssh, moneyball nothing.  People aren't stealing bases anymore because RICKY STOLE THEM ALL!!!!

/Fact.


Ricky holding the base in the air was the biggest ruining of a great sports moment ever. I frowned upon it. It ground my gears, it did.
 
2013-03-20 01:30:08 PM  

roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads?


I'm looking forward to MLBN's new show "MLB Now" (daily debate show between Harold Reynolds and Brian Kenny) just to see if it'll turn out like how I imagine a "Fark thread on TV" would play out.
 
2013-03-20 01:30:59 PM  
Sabermetrics might have killed the stolen base, but that was only possible because Earl Weaver choked it into submission with a tomato plant first.

/Damn but Earl hated giving up outs
//If you were going to steal a base w/Earl as your manager, you'd best not fail
 
2013-03-20 01:33:12 PM  
Killer Cars: roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads?

Those were a joy. I have nothing against the Detroit Tigers, but between some of their fans on here blasting anyone even making a case for Trout, and then hammering Yankee fans in the playoff threads for simply daring to state the obvious (being that their team absolutely sucked in that series) without also giving effusive, extended praise for the sheer majesty of, say, Phil Coke, wow...fun times.


That was even better than the Cola Wars.  In one thread I learned that numbers are racist, good times.

/I got a kick out of the Yankees playing like dog sh*t too, but good god, the city of New York doesn't owe Detroit a handjob.

That is an extremely disconcerting mental image.
 
2013-03-20 01:35:35 PM  

Decillion: Ricky holding the base


my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: RICKY STOLE THEM ALL


Rickey. Pet peeve.
 
2013-03-20 01:40:22 PM  
Looking forward to having Lawrie and Reyes as a possible 1, 2 in the Blue Jays' lineup this year.  We might make people think we're actually trying to get to 2nd before Bautista or Edwin belt one.
 
2013-03-20 01:40:56 PM  

DeWayne Mann: I stopped reading at "Sabremetrics." I don't have time to deal with the French today.


I learned from DWM that is there is an offensive metric that includes hitting and baserunning and a metric that measures baserunning standalone.  I don't know what they are called, but I believe DWM named those last fall.  It boggles the mind that there wouldn't be any metric for baserunning.
 
2013-03-20 01:42:41 PM  
Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.
 
2013-03-20 01:43:07 PM  

The Bestest: roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads?

I'm looking forward to MLBN's new show "MLB Now" (daily debate show between Harold Reynolds and Brian Kenny) just to see if it'll turn out like how I imagine a "Fark thread on TV" would play out.


We already have supporting evidence of what a shiatshow a Fark thread would be on TV. It's called First Take.
 
2013-03-20 01:44:09 PM  
SABRmetrics and Moneyball aren't the same thing, dammit.
 
2013-03-20 01:45:14 PM  

ongbok: Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.


Pulling this out of my ass but maybe it's all the band box stadia that teams have built. Why risk the out.
 
2013-03-20 01:48:04 PM  
Total SB, MLB, Past 10 seasons:

2012:  3229
2011:  3279
2010:  2959
2009:  2970
2008:  2919
2007:  2918
2006:  2767
2005:  2565
2004:  2589
2003:  2573

If abandoning means "increasing the amount of" then yeah, I see it...
 
2013-03-20 01:48:10 PM  
Sabremetrics, aka "Moneyball"

No.
 
2013-03-20 01:57:25 PM  

JayCab: SABRmetrics and Moneyball aren't the same thing, dammit.


Rex_Banner: Sabremetrics, aka "Moneyball"

No.


Well, scratch two names off the "might be Joe Morgan's fark handle" list.
 
2013-03-20 01:58:36 PM  

ongbok: Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.


Actually, it's gotten worse. Here's the percentage of times the runner was caught stealing for the past 10 years for all MLB:

2012:  35%
2011:  38%
2010:  38%
2009:  38%
2008:  35%
2007:  34%
2006:  40%
2005:  42%
2004:  42%
2003:  44%
 
2013-03-20 01:58:36 PM  

roc6783: DeWayne Mann: roc6783: trying to rekindle the Cabrera vs. Trout threads

I have things to do today, you know.

No you don't.  Even if you did, it would not be nearly as entertaining nor important.


Entertaining? No. But not failing my midterm tomorrow PROBABLY qualifies as "important."

Killer Cars: Those were a joy.


I'm always torn on what I thought was the best part: people claiming I was a racist, or the person who claimed I didn't actually enjoy the game. In fairness, the latter person DID apologize.

SlothB77: I learned from DWM that is there is an offensive metric that includes hitting and baserunning and a metric that measures baserunning standalone. I don't know what they are called, but I believe DWM named those last fall. It boggles the mind that there wouldn't be any metric for baserunning.


Huh?

Assuming I'm parsing this correctly, you're trying to talk about how wOBA includes both hitting as well as SB/CS, yet OPS doesn't include SB/CS.

But there are baserunning metrics. SB/CS can be easily looked at in terms of Linear Weights. All other aspects of baserunning (going first to third, for instance) is usually rolled up into "baserunning above average."

JayCab: SABRmetrics and Moneyball aren't the same thing, dammit.


I already made fun of the sabre thing, but can we also not call it SABRmetrics? While sabermetrics was named in honor of the organization SABR, the two actually have very little in common.

Rex_Banner: Sabremetrics, aka "Moneyball"

No.


Well, sabermetrics isn't moneyball, but I guess sabremetrics could be.
 
2013-03-20 02:02:05 PM  

WinoRhino: ongbok: Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.

Actually, it's gotten worse. Here's the percentage of times the runner was caught stealing for the past 10 years for all MLB:

2012:  35%
2011:  38%
2010:  38%
2009:  38%
2008:  35%
2007:  34%
2006:  40%
2005:  42%
2004:  42%
2003:  44%


How many attempts each year?  Are manager just being more careful about who they send?
 
2013-03-20 02:02:49 PM  

WinoRhino: ongbok: Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.

Actually, it's gotten worse. Here's the percentage of times the runner was caught stealing for the past 10 years for all MLB:

2012:  35%
2011:  38%
2010:  38%
2009:  38%
2008:  35%
2007:  34%
2006:  40%
2005:  42%
2004:  42%
2003:  44%


Yeah, I'd argue that, if anything, video makes it easier to steal. If you can pick up something in the pitcher's delivery from video, you don't even need to see him in person.
 
2013-03-20 02:03:27 PM  

skrame: Decillion: Ricky holding the base

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: RICKY STOLE THEM ALL

Rickey. Pet peeve.


He was a young boy, had a heart of stone
Lived 9 to 5
Worked his fingers to the bone!
 
2013-03-20 02:05:09 PM  

skrame: Decillion: Ricky holding the base

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: RICKY STOLE THEM ALL

Rickey. Pet peeve.


NOP_! RICK_Y STOL_ ALL THOS_ TOO!
 
2013-03-20 02:05:16 PM  

tricycleracer: How many attempts each year?  Are manager just being more careful about who they send?


Good thought. Let's check:

2012:  4365
2011:  4540
2010:  4087
2009:  4103
2008:  3954
2007:  3920
2006:  3877
2005:  3634
2004:  3689
2003:  3705

A fairly considerable increase in total attempts.
 
2013-03-20 02:06:46 PM  
Don't worry.  The new balk rules will increase stolen bases enough.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-20 02:06:56 PM  
For a runner on first with no outs, getting caught stealing will lose a team two-thirds of a run, on average, and a successful steal gains a third of a run. So for every three steal attempts, you need to convert at least two, or the only thing you're stealing is runs from your team.

Except that a steal threat on first can make the pitcher and infielders less effective than a guy with his foot glued to the bag. I don't know if that effect is large.
 
2013-03-20 02:09:00 PM  

DeWayne Mann: JayCab: SABRmetrics and Moneyball aren't the same thing, dammit.

I already made fun of the sabre thing, but can we also not call it SABRmetrics? While sabermetrics was named in honor of the organization SABR, the two actually have very little in common.


To be honest, I just couldn't remember if the standard spelling was "saber" or "sabre" and couldn't be bothered to go look it up.
 
2013-03-20 02:09:44 PM  

WinoRhino: ongbok: Or it could be that catchers have gotten much better at throwing guys out, and pitchers, with the help of video to breakdown specific base runners tendencies, have gotten much better at holding runners on. Improvements in these two things will make managers steal a lot less.

Actually, it's gotten worse. Here's the percentage of times the runner was caught stealing for the past 10 years for all MLB:

2012:  35%
2011:  38%
2010:  38%
2009:  38%
2008:  35%
2007:  34%
2006:  40%
2005:  42%
2004:  42%
2003:  44%


And as it has gone down teams have started running again. I wasn't saying that it is the case now, but in past years it was the case. With better scouting now teams know what type of pitching and catching battery they face and what trends are happening and draft to suit those needs. The article was comparing what Henderson and Vince Coleman did in the early and mid eighties to the situation now in baseball. The simple fact is that the catchers have gotten better at throwing runners out and the pitchers have gotten better at holding runners on since then.
 
2013-03-20 02:10:05 PM  

WinoRhino: tricycleracer: How many attempts each year?  Are manager just being more careful about who they send?

Good thought. Let's check:

2012:  4365
2011:  4540
2010:  4087
2009:  4103
2008:  3954
2007:  3920
2006:  3877
2005:  3634
2004:  3689
2003:  3705

A fairly considerable increase in total attempts.


Now to totally geek out, how many unique players completed a steal each year?  I'm just wondering if the %s are up because managers are sending the same high-percentage guys over and over.

My hypothesis is that the pool of players attempting to steal has shrunk while total attempts AND % success has grown.
 
2013-03-20 02:11:12 PM  

ZAZ: For a runner on first with no outs, getting caught stealing will lose a team two-thirds of a run, on average, and a successful steal gains a third of a run. So for every three steal attempts, you need to convert at least two, or the only thing you're stealing is runs from your team.

Except that a steal threat on first can make the pitcher and infielders less effective than a guy with his foot glued to the bag. I don't know if that effect is large.


This. I always thought 90% of base stealing was just to fark with the pitcher.
 
2013-03-20 02:11:38 PM  

ZAZ: For a runner on first with no outs, getting caught stealing will lose a team two-thirds of a run, on average, and a successful steal gains a third of a run. So for every three steal attempts, you need to convert at least two, or the only thing you're stealing is runs from your team.

Except that a steal threat on first can make the pitcher and infielders less effective than a guy with his foot glued to the bag. I don't know if that effect is large.


Well, that's similar to one of the few decent arguments in favor of the sac bunt: if no one ever sac bunted, then the infield wouldn't have to worry about fielding the bunt and could play in a better position.

But that doesn't mean I want my cleanup guy bunting. Similarly, I don't want Yadier Molina stealing, even if that lets the infield position themselves better.
 
2013-03-20 02:12:14 PM  

tricycleracer: Now to totally geek out, how many unique players completed a steal each year?  I'm just wondering if the %s are up because managers are sending the same high-percentage guys over and over.

My hypothesis is that the pool of players attempting to steal has shrunk while total attempts AND % success has grown.


I like where you're head is at, and I am killing time until the end of the work week (what?? WEDNESDAY? Ugh...) so let me take a look at that.... back in a bit.
 
2013-03-20 02:14:08 PM  

JayCab: DeWayne Mann: JayCab: SABRmetrics and Moneyball aren't the same thing, dammit.

I already made fun of the sabre thing, but can we also not call it SABRmetrics? While sabermetrics was named in honor of the organization SABR, the two actually have very little in common.

To be honest, I just couldn't remember if the standard spelling was "saber" or "sabre" and couldn't be bothered to go look it up.


Fair enough. That's just sort of a pet peeve of mine recently, because it leads to terrible articles like this: Angels' Jerry Dipoto speaks to the SABR rattlers

drewogatory: ZAZ: For a runner on first with no outs, getting caught stealing will lose a team two-thirds of a run, on average, and a successful steal gains a third of a run. So for every three steal attempts, you need to convert at least two, or the only thing you're stealing is runs from your team.

Except that a steal threat on first can make the pitcher and infielders less effective than a guy with his foot glued to the bag. I don't know if that effect is large.

This. I always thought 90% of base stealing was just to fark with the pitcher.


If you're willing to make an out just to maybe mess up the opposing pitcher, I'm not sure your priorities are right.
 
2013-03-20 02:15:11 PM  
Waiting for


How Sabremetrics, aka "Moneyball" killed the stolen base in baseball
 
2013-03-20 02:17:29 PM  
Sabre www.thetabarena.com
 
2013-03-20 02:18:41 PM  
i2.cdn.turner.com

This man knew SB's weren't worth it 40 years before you wippersnapper's heathen sabremetrics was even hatched out of some egghead's noodle.
 
2013-03-20 02:19:22 PM  

ongbok: The simple fact is that the catchers have gotten better at throwing runners out and the pitchers have gotten better at holding runners on since then.


No-- they haven't. The stats show it's exactly the opposite. It shows that runners being caught has stayed almost completely flat (around 1100) while their success rate, and attempts, have climbed. The increase in success rate of the runners is a direct result of sending more runners, and catchers ability to catch them remaining exactly the same. Not in a percentage, but as a total number. For example, in 2003, they caught 1132 runners on 3705 total attempts. In 2012, they caught 1136 runners on 4365 attempts. The highest caught in those years was 1261, and the lowest caught was 1002. Compare that to the difference in total attempts: 3634 and 4540 and it shows that the ability to catch runners is completely flat.
 
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