"Where sabermetrics fails is in the human element of the game."
Since the human element of the game can't be measured and can't be planned for I would say that sabermetrics does not fail in this regard. Since you can't possibly know what kind of emotional response a person is going to have you can't build upon it.
No one suggests that sabermetrics is a 100% lock. What sabermetrics does is put you in the best possible position to win, it increases your odds for success. There will always be variables that you can not measure or control.
The difference is that you don't build around variables, you accept them as things you can't control and build your foundation out of that which you can.
It's entirely possible that a bird might get hit by a fly ball during a game. It doesn't mean you avoid hiring fly ball hitters because a bird might get in the way of a homerun.
Here add these stats to your sabermetrics.
FTB-Forced Throws To BaseWPSOB-Wild Pitch W/ Speed On BaseBSOB-Balks W/ Speed On BaseCESOB-Catcher Errors W/ Speed On Base
oh i forgot to add one more...
BHBFB-Birds Hit By Fly Balls ;)
"It doesn't mean you avoid hiring fly ball hitters because a bird might get in the way of a homerun."
Just like you don't avoid signing a SB threat because sabermetrics says it only produces.3 runs every 10 games.
"Where sabermetrics fails is in the human element of the game.The phsycological advantage of having a guy who can steal on base.Not to mention having two guys on base with speed."
Agreed in full. Fast runners on the base paths get into a pitcher's head big time. They're not only at an increased risk of balking, but it forces them to pay less attention to the batter, and as a result they're more likely to make a mistake that a good hitter will take advantage of.
"Just like you don't avoid signing a SB threat because sabermetrics says it only produces.3 runs every 10 games."
I have nothing against bringing in a SB threat provided his ability to steal a base is a compliment to a far more useful skill. I'm not bringing a guy in just because he can steal bases. If he can swipe a bag from time to time that's sprinkles on the sundae but without contact and OBP/SLG all I'd have is a cup of sprinkles.
"Fast runners on the base paths get into a pitcher's head big time."
You know what else gets into a pitchers head?
Hitting the c$%p out of his pitching and launching a ball off or over the wall.
"You know what else gets into a pitchers head? Hitting the c$%p out of his pitching and launching a ball off or over the wall."
True, but doesn't a pitcher's mistake make that much easier to do? He's so worried about the runner that he throws a batting practice fastball. Otherwise, he has them reaching for outside sliders.
It's so situational though ...
I'm not saying having good baserunning isn't important, of course it is. What I'm saying is that you don't build around the stolen base. It's a nice little compliment to a good offense.
I always hated the idea of throwing the #2 hitter away on letting the lead off hitter steal second. It was such a waste of what could have been a big inning.
We don't have the bullpen to play for close games, we need to let the guys swing the bat and win by putting runs across the plate. The last thing we need is to play for a single run.
"I have nothing against bringing in a SB threat provided his ability to steal a base is a compliment to a far more useful skill. I'm not bringing a guy in just because he can steal bases. If he can swipe a bag from time to time that's sprinkles on the sundae but without contact and OBP/SLG all I'd have is a cup of sprinkles."
Awesome post, couldn't agree more.
"Mitch Williams STILL blames the Joe Carter home run on walking Ricky Henderson"
With excuses like that, maybe that's why so very few people even know who Mitch Williams is.
It's ridiculous to make a blanketed statement like that without quantifying SB success rate % with RISP opportunities and the teams' ability to score runs as a result, not to mention taking the player into account and his ability to get on base. If a guy (like Beltran) is 20 for 20 in SB attempts, for example, but the team is only capable of driving him in 15% of the time, then you might have a point, with only 3 runs scored in total for the season. Likewise, If another player's only 15 for 20 in SB attempts but scores 70% of the time, that's potentially 10 more runs added to final scores that could ultimately impact standings. Reye's 2005 season is a good example of a guy who managed to help manufacture runs (99 scored) thanks to his ability to steal bases 80% of the time. (60 for 75). The 99 runs scored should have been higher, given his league leading 733 PAs, but his OBP was only .300. The fact that he managed to score 99 runs had everything to do with his ability to get in scoring position with the limited chances he had, given his poor OBP. (Once he improved his plate discipline/OBP, the runs scored averaged over 110 for the next 3 seasons a sa result of improved OBP, continued SB ability and getting into scoring position, and the team's ability to drive him in). So it ALL comes down to picking your opportunities and scoring runs in any way possible, and several teams have made the playoffs over the years playing small ball and capitalizing on those opportunities.
It would be curious to see what the typical % of SBs resulting in runs scored amounts to for the top base stealers. I suspect those teams that manage to bring them home and score runs would clearly argue the benefit of the stolen base.
Most of Jose Reyes' runs that year came from the fact that he hit for 48 XBH, I mean he had 17, SEVENTEEN triples. You take away his ability to hit those extra base hits and his SB don't mean much towards those 99 runs. I mean they helped of course, but those 24 doubles, 17 triples, 7 HRs, and a total of 190 hits helped much more. I mean David Wright had 27 HRs and 42 2B that year and also scored 99 runs, and he didn't have 60 SBs.
Even Cliff Floyd who had only 12 SBs scored 85 runs. So again, give me a speedster who can steal AND hit, not some speedster who can only steal.