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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A couple of interesting baseball comparisons (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

LobowolfXXX
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A couple of interesting head-to-head comparisons that came up in two different conversations. First, if you asked me who was a better hitter, Steve Garvey or Jim Rice, I would have said off the top of my head, Jim Rice hands down. Probably not all that close. What I found out when I looked into it was that they were remarkably similar; Rice just benefits in the conversation from the fact that Garvey played in a pitchers' park and Rice didn't. Here are the head-to-head stats of their career ROAD games - that is, take Rice out of Fenway and take Garvey out of Dodger Stadium.

Rice: 1041 games, 568 runs, 1148 hits, 166 doubles, 174 home runs, 649 RBI, 322 walks, 732 strikeouts, .277 batting average, 159 grounded into double play
Garvey: 1159 games, 572 runs, 1299 hits, 238 doubles, 121 home runs, 636 RBI, 234 walks, 495 strikeouts, .290 batting average, 132 grounded into double play

For the more sabermetrically minded, Garvey's OPS (On-Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage; considered one of the more relevant figures today) in neutral parks was .759; Rice's was .789. The reason we (I) think (thought) that Rice was so much better is that his OPS at Fenway Park was .920(!!!)



Here's one more...Mark McGwire had a reputation as a home run-or-strikeout kind of guy, especially early in his career. Let's say you're down a lot of runs, two outs in the bottom of the ninth. You don't need a home run, but you need to keep the rally alive. In other words, the guy you're sending up can't make an out. Who do you want at the plate...Mark McGwire, or Willie Mays? I know, you think I'm kidding, right?

Mays's career on-base percentage: .384
McGwire's career on-base percentage: .394

Yup...in a random at-bat, Willie Mays was more likely to make an out than Mark McGwire. The difference between the two is, Mays drew a walk about 11.7% of the time he went up to bad, and McGwire drew one about 17.2% of the time he did.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

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R.S.
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Interesting stuff - thanks Lobo!

Rice was my favorite player back in the day.

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2012-08-09 15:57, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Yup...in a random at-bat, Willie Mays was more likely to make an out than Mark McGwire. The difference between the two is, Mays drew a walk about 11.7% of the time he went up to bad, and McGwire drew one about 17.2% of the time he did.


I suppose I could also put in pitch runners. Otherwise, wouldn't Mays be a LOT more valuable once on base?
motown
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Yes, but it's all about what you do in a clutch situation.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
LobowolfXXX
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On 2012-08-09 20:08, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-08-09 15:57, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Yup...in a random at-bat, Willie Mays was more likely to make an out than Mark McGwire. The difference between the two is, Mays drew a walk about 11.7% of the time he went up to bad, and McGwire drew one about 17.2% of the time he did.


I suppose I could also put in pitch runners. Otherwise, wouldn't Mays be a LOT more valuable once on base?


Well, if they both hit singles, then yeah, you'd rather have Mays on first than McGwire. On the other hand, McGwire was a lot more likely to hit a home ruch.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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To a large extent, "clutch hitting" has been shown to be a bit of a myth, or at the very least, vastly overrated. To the extent that it exists, Mays didn't seem to have exhibited much of it. His post-season batting average was .247, with 1 home run in 99 plate appearances. He hit .290 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position (career batting average: .302); he hit .305 in the late innings of close games; he hit .294 when the game was tied; .292 when the game was within a run, and .297 when the game was within two runs.

There are certainly individuals who over the short term seem to excel in "clutch" situations, but the number of such individuals is pretty well consistent with what you'd expect by chance, and it exists as a recognized-after-the-fact thing. The fact that someone's done it in the past doesn't make that person particularly likely to do it in the future.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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