M's Learning How to Win under DiPoto and Servais
Bet you there's something succulent just over that rise ...


Bill James is still only $3 per month for a site, and a person, who won't be around forever.  Getcher Red Hots!  Getcher Red Hots!

:- )

For those who just joined us, Bill told us that he's perfectly fine with our excerpting his material in the way that we do.  Dr. D approves of this.  The other extreme ... Bill was talking about some curmudgeonly author who wanted his books out of public libraries, that being unfair to him, in terms of short-term financial gain.  There was a time, too, when pop singers wanted their songs kept off the radio ....


Of those BJOL readers who overemphasize Pythag -- about 10% of that lobby -- some take it to the way, WAY extreme.  For them it's unspeakably naive to think that a 7-game series is worth ANYTHING.  And that only the Great Unwashed Masses would dream of holding a large parade in celebration of it.  

Some of these amigos see the playoffs as a cynical manipulation by MLB(TM) ... no, if you want cynical manipulations, you're going to need to head down the hall and turn left.  It's called the NBA Playoffs... 

At this point it would be easy enough to insert a "Hard Work" parable from Bennett's Moral Compass, but we're already cutting-and-pasting this post, so ...



In a previous question (paraphrasing) you asked if given 2 teams with same runs scored and and runs allowed but one of the teams won 10 more games - would a person say the teams were equal or the team that won more was games better? At first I thought that I'd say the teams were equal but one was unlucky.
However in '49 Boston R = 896, RA = 667  and '49 NYY R = 829, RA = 637 .....  '51 Brk R = 855, RA = 672 and '51 NYG R=781, RA = 641. In each case the team with worst Pythogorean projection went on to win the pennant by beating the other team listed in last games of the season.
So, now I would argue that '49 NYY better than '49 Bost and '51 Gints better than '51 Bums because, in the end, they won the pennant in head-to-head competition. I don't know if this issue can ever be resolved but if they played same season schedule, I'm going with the pennant winner. But it does lead to great bar debates: even more so when you look at '87 Twinkies - champs with weak record.
Asked by: FrankD

Answered: 7/15/2016
 Well, I would agree, basically.   The winner is the winner.   Run ratios are interesting and instructive, but. . .the winner is the winner.  - Bill



You said: "The winner is the winner.   Run ratios are interesting and instructive, but. . .the winner is the winner. "  
I agree, but aren't these 2 separate questions: who is the winner, and who is the better team?
Asked by: wwiyw

Answered: 7/15/2016
 No one has asked who was the better team.   It's not relevant to the discussion that we've been having.  - Bill



Three thoughts here, since we've made 9,000 already in times past :- )

What's a "better team?"  How do you want to define THAT, if you're going to turn away from real W/L records and use stats to determine the "best" team?  As so often, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  If you know Pythag, you've got on one more light bulb than Soccer Mom next to you.  But!

The 2015 Dodgers and Mets -- vying for #2 NL "best roster" behind the 102-Pythag Cardinals -- had exactly the same Pythagorean expectation:  89 wins.  (While we're here, are we going to use 89.3 and 89.4 Pythag wins to raise the roof for the Dodgers?)

More importantly!  Would it matter if the Mets were better earlier, and the Dodgers better later?  The math-major amigo has assumed that 89 Pythags in sustained play over 162 games is the "scientific" way to look at baseball competition.  But!  What if our paradigm is "who can build towards playing with the most efficiency at the end of the game?

Is it okay if we believe that to be part of the pennant race - that if you have a #5 SP using 90 pitches for 3 innings, that you can implement a repair, and that this is an important part of building towards October?

Sigh.  As you know, Dr. D's theme here is recurrent.  When I took some classes at the UW, and learned how to design a controlled study, and how to calculate a P / .0003 equation, it didn't mean my Mom was wrong about everything.   You feel me?



There's a big difference between "I like our team," as Kyle SEAger put it during the break here, and --- > KNOWING that you can win.  Personally, I think that the 2016 first half in Seattle was a superb illustration of this.

If so, that would make it entirely feasible for the M's to "learn how to win" very soon here.   The M's learned how to Control the Zone very quickly, so ...



Jerry DiPoto holds it as a Grand Theme that --- > if you aren't Dellin Betances, and you are a reliever, then you are fungible.  

That belief, in Dr. D's judgment, is more right than wrong.  It so happened it cost the M's 10, 15 games here already.*  If the M's actually had Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman, during the first half ... they'd be at least 55-34 rather than 45-44.


James talks about the 12 Big Decisions that will define a GM's results in an individual season.  Of course "Controlling the Zone" would be worth the investment even if it didn't pay off in a single season, which it of course has.

One of DiPoto's 12 Big Decisions this year was to swap out Edwin Diaz for a star reliever, and to get his nalgos to the Safeco bullpen muy pronto.  Only one way to review this one:  Great Move.

Hope he pitches TONIGHT!  :- )





PS Bat571, I've tried to fix size and font issues in this one.  Lemme know ami-Go.


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