On second thought, the universe is doomed

A few days ago, I was hopeful for the universe. Then, I read this interview with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons at Baseball Prospectus. This is one of those subscription-needed pieces. Because of that, I’ll respect BP’s copyright and simply summarize a few observations that I had on the piece.

  • Gibbons identifies Alex Rios as a player who “could steal 30-40 bases.” Yet, Rios has a speed score (the ones I created) of 0.28, which rates him at “a littleabove average” (zero is average). Then, as an afterthought, he mentions Vernon Wells, who actually has a higher speed score (0.45). Now that’s knowing your personnel!
  • Read his answer to the question on whether there is an organizational philosophy on running. Gibbons’ answer is a thing of ugly. If you can make heads or tails out of that paragraph, you win a cookie.
  • He says that he wouldn’t bring his closer into the seventh inning. After all,who will pitch the ninth? (Remember, a closer does the same thing as a middle reliever. He just does it in the ninth inning!)

While I’m in the neighborhood, it looks like the ever-mysteriousPlayer AR struck againlast night in the Yankees-Red Sox game. Bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth, down one run. Pop up to shallow center.

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6 Responses to On second thought, the universe is doomed

  1. Sean Smith says:

    Speed scores measure how a player uses speed in a game, not how fast he actually is. I would be shocked if Vernon Wells was actually faster than Rios. If Rios can learn to use his speed more, and assuming the Jays wanted more of a running game, he might be able to steal that many bags.
    I doubt Wells could do the same, at least at a precentage that is acceptable.

  2. dan says:

    player AR did have a clutch score of 1.48 wins in 2006 (fangraphs), so you were probably cherry picking somewhat.

  3. Pizza Cutter says:

    Sean, those speed scores are very consistent across time. Plus, they’re based mostly on success rates, not raw stats (the ones that I created are, anyway) It’s possible that there are guys who can run like lightning yet don’t get a lot of chances to run, but if that’s the case, it’s generally the case consistently over time. Plus, what’s speed if not to use it?
    I suppose the question could be settled with a stopwatch.
    Rios in 2006 was actually sent more than the average player (green light score of .62), so he’s had plenty of chances to learn to use that speed. Wells was sent less than Rios (green light score of .48) in, although again more than average. The question of Rios stealing 30 is interesting. He’s stolen at about a 75% clip the past two years and stolen 15 bases each season (so far this season). Wells is a career 76% thief. He had 17 SB last year, but only nine this year.

  4. Pizza Cutter says:

    Dan… yes, exactly. My whole point was to show what kind of an argument you can make when you cherry pick like that. It was an April Fools’ joke.

  5. Matt Souders says:

    I remember that post well. 🙂
    I’ve gotta get back to posting here.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Rios is really, really fast. He just has long legs so doesn’t accelerate as well he and doesn’t understand how to steal a base. Apparently this year every time they gave him the green light he went on the first pitch.

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