Laynce Nix against right-handers: .256/.310/.506.

Jonny Gomes against left-handers: .360/.407/.620.

Why can’t we see these two guys in a strict platoon in left field? It just makes too much sense.

(Of course, Gomes is hitting .250/.391/.500 vs. right-handers, too. Small sample sizes all.)

55 Responses

  1. Steve

    Well, as you are well aware, that’s a rhetorical question.

    Now that it is so obvious that Chris Dickerson is a better outfielder than Willy Taveras both in the field and at the plate, the way Baker has decided to deal with it is to confuse the issue by playing both.

    So your post is spot-on. The trade off has now become Taveras costing the playing time of the Nix/Gomes platoon.

    This will get really sticky if the Reds make a trade for an OF, which is what Jocketty recently said we are shopping to acquire.

    It’s too bad that Baker and Jocketty are so unwilling to admit they made a mistake in signing Taveras. It’s partially forgivable since no one could have foreseen the emergence of Dickerson, Nix and Gomes. But now it is just a matter of CYA and stubbornness.

    All the while, hurting the Reds. We are so close to being in serious contention that the playing of WT in June and July has likely been enough of a factor to cost the team first place.

  2. Mr. Redlegs

    “It’s too bad that Baker and Jocketty are so unwilling to admit they made a mistake in signing Taveras. ”

    Huh? Have you EVER heard of a GM or manager come out publicly admit they made a mistake with a plyer they have under contract at such money for another year and a half? That’s not the real world.

    “We are so close to being in serious contention that the playing of WT in June and July has likely been enough of a factor to cost the team first place.”

    This is a joke, right? Taveras has single-handedly cost the Reds first place? Are you the same guy who said Baker’s managing has cost them 11.5 games–in the first half?!?!

    Seriously.

  3. John

    But…where would Jerry Hairston, Jr. play? Your plan does not include him…

    (because we have to find a spot for Hairston…)

  4. Steve

    I’m not saying they need to come out publicly and admit it was a mistake. I just want them to play Chris Dickerson ahead of Willy Taveras.

    I wasn’t the person who said anything about 11.5 games. I do think that playing Willy Taveras through the entire months of June and July probably cost us several games in the end, given the number of close games we’ve had.

    That’s all I was saying.

    Are you implying that playing Taveras hasn’t cost us any games?

  5. Kenny

    Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Mr. R! How dare you question Mr. Redlegs! Don’t you know that he knows EVERYTHING?

    Mr. Redlegs is a troll, and one best ignored. He drops in occasionally to try to convince us how superior his intellect is. He always fails miserably and makes himself look like an a$$ in the process.

    Everytime he drops in, his entire argument is “You’re wrong!” Never any counter-argument, never any discussion. Just “You’re an idiot.”

    I tire of his nonsense.

  6. Steve

    @Kenny – thanks for the heads up. Troll duly noted. 🙂

  7. BigRedMike

    Good point Kenny. Mr. R. knows all.

    There is not much doubt that Dusty continues to play Taveras because he is stubborn and does not want to look like he was wrong for getting Willy to the Reds. Based on his performance, I cannot think of one reason why Taveras is on the 40 man roster.

  8. Dan

    I agree.

    Also, while Dickerson is a good hitter, he is not a great hitter. He’s probably right around average (I would guess) for a CF, but he’s definitely below average for a corner LF/RF guy.

    Nix/Gomes has turned out quite nicely, by the way. I like them. I’d like to get Gomes every start vs. LHP’s in LF, and a smattering of other starts here and there. He deserves it. He just flat hits.

  9. Matt Steele

    maybe we can trade Taveras to the Royals, believe it or not but they just gave up two prospects (one of them pretty decent) to get a worse hitter than Taveras is this year and he’s a worse fielder!

    Someone call up Dayton Moore quick!

  10. Mark in CC

    We seem to leave right field out of the equation. If Bruce continues to struggle in the second half I am not sure he might not need a little AAA time to regain confidence in or find his stroke. Other than his first few weeks in the big leagues he has hit under .220 for a full season now. He has power and throwing defense but his base running and hitting for average are not big leagye at this point. He has the potential to have five tools but right now only 2 appear ready.

  11. Mark T

    Bruce tore ’em up in AAA – any further development I think has to come at this level. The letters “AAAA” keeping popping into my head.

  12. Dan

    The difference with Bruce (while, yes, he has been very bad this year) is that it is not at all crazy to think that he could turn it around and become a very good player, and it might even start tonight, or next week. .260/.320/.480 is very realistic for him the rest of the way. .290/.350/.520 is not a crazy thought. These things are conceivable. Bruce is only 22. You improve a LOT at that age.

    With Taveras, you already know what you’ve got. He could bounce back, sure — he’s never been THIS bad before — but he’s 27 and he’s established career marks now of .275/.325/.332 — and that includes playing 2 years in Colorado — and that is not a good player! That gives you a career OPS+ of 70. That is BAD!!

    Playing Bruce every day is arguable, but it’s sane. Playing Taveras every day (and batting him freakin LEADOFF!!) is stubborn, stupid, closed-minded, and borderline insane.

  13. GregD

    It’s unfortunate in the Rolen rumors that Jocketty says they’re looking more for an outfield bat. A replacement in CF? I doubt it. A replacement in LF is more likely and it will likely not outproduce what is already there.

    Anyone think Derosa would have outplayed a Nix/Gomes platoon?

  14. Dan

    Good question, Greg. I would say no — at least, not by nearly enough to justify giving up the prospects needed to make it happen.

    And by the way, not to state the obvious anything, but haven’t our three worst hitters BY FAR been Taveras, EE, and Gonzo?

    Taveras has an obvious replacement already here — Dickerson — and EE’s replacement ought to be just a better version of himself. But Gonzo doesn’t have any obvious replacement with a decent bat.

    So, if we were to be buyers (which I am not in favor of), wouldn’t SS be the main position of need?

  15. Jose

    Well seeing the fact that DeRosa is hurt
    i’m quite glad we didn’t trade for him

  16. mike

    just a couple quick comments regarding some of the posts

    Re: “It’s partially forgivable since no one could have foreseen the emergence of Dickerson, Nix and Gomes. ”

    I don’t think this is true. I think it’s true for Nix. Who would have thought he could turn his career around? I sure didn’t. I know at least one person who posts to the blog has made some good arguments pointing out Nix’s odd career path, essentially not playing in the bigs since 2005, making him difficult to project but even with that I for sure am not the only one who thought it was a big mistake to even consider Nix.

    Bug Dickerson and Gomes? Those guys have much better understood qualities and performance. Zips projections had him at .745 (.331 OBP), which, combined with his good defense and strong arm and lack of experience and age would be OK for a CF.

    Gomes is even more known. He’s a HITTER. Everyone knew he’s mediocre on defense, has some power, will draw a BB and will K a lot. His projections were among the best of ANY player in training camp. Hell his projections were better than those for Bruce.

    in other words I don’t think Gomes and Dickerson are that big of a surprise.

    I also think Dan makes a VERY important point about Dickerson. I am absolutely fine if Dickerson is the Reds CFer but NOT a corner OF. There is a massive difference in the expected production from those positions.

    but all this doesn’t matter and was the point (I think of the original post). The problem is Taveras and his playing time. He should have never been signed and never been on this roster. He’s been AWFUL and hurt the team in a major way. Even more because of the way he’s being used by Dusty. If he were a bench sitter, with 80 PA, a spot start to rest Dickerson vs a tough lefty and batting 8th I’d have much less of an issue

    Nix is showing signs of what I thought we’d get from him. No on base skills all power
    .299 OBP / .497 SLG

  17. mike

    on DeRosa and if he’d out-produce Nix/Gomes

    Reds Left fielders (including Dickerson) have produced at this rate
    5.44 RC/game (league average, not positional average)

    and get this, DeRosa, while with Cleveland this year produced at this rate
    5.43 RC/game

    here is the breakdown of Reds performance in LF
    RUNS CREATED/GAME DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
    1 Jonny Gomes 3.86 8.85 4.99
    2 Chris Dickerson 0.29 5.29 4.99
    3 Laynce Nix 0.17 5.16 4.99
    4 Darnell McDonald -3.54 1.46 4.99

    would DeRosa out perform Gomes/Nix? Not by any significant margin that’s for sure

    Now, if the Reds wanted DeRosa and wanted it to have a MAJOR, MAJOR impact what they should have done was move Phillips to SS and play DeRosa at 2B. DeRosa/Phillips would out perform whatever we’ve thrown in the SS position BY A MILE. That would have a massive impact on this team

    Dickerson
    DeRosa
    Votto
    Phillips
    Bruce
    Gomes/Nix
    EE
    Hanigan

    but this brings us back to the Reds main problem.
    Taveras being the starting CFer

  18. mike

    how have the Reds been in LF as a team?
    above average/average

    RC/game adjusted for position for LF by team
    RUNS CREATED/GAME DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
    1 Brewers 2.73 8.08 5.35
    2 Nationals 2.67 8.02 5.35
    3 Dodgers 2.64 7.99 5.35
    4 Phillies 2.25 7.59 5.35
    5 Red Sox 1.95 7.42 5.47
    6 Yankees 1.85 7.32 5.47
    7 Rays 1.47 6.94 5.47
    8 Angels 1.19 6.66 5.47
    9 Orioles 0.55 6.01 5.47
    10 Blue Jays 0.44 5.91 5.47
    11 A’s 0.40 5.87 5.47
    12 Rangers 0.24 5.70 5.47
    13 Rockies 0.18 5.53 5.35
    14 Reds 0.10 5.44 5.35
    15 Braves -.15 5.20 5.35

  19. JasonL

    A little troll baiting: I will totally assert that Dusty has cost the Reds 4-5 wins so far this year by playing Taveras, Hernandez, Hairston, and Gonzo too much and filling out his lineup like an idiot. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 10 by the end of the year.

  20. mike

    so Mr Redlegs, since you appear to be so good at math, why don’t you tell us how many games Taveras has cost us?

  21. Kurt Frost

    He won’t come back. He’s like a pigeon…he flies in, craps on everyone and the flies out.

  22. Mr. Redlegs

    Ha, a troll. Funny. You guys are real schweehearts.

    I know EXACTLY how many games Taveras has cost the Reds: ONE. That’s right, only one. That’s the game where his hamstring wasn’t fully healed, he came back too early and he could run down a ball in the gap.

    All your other guessworks and suppositions? They don’t mean boo. You cannot predict an outcome. It’s impossible. It’s a waste of time and common sense. Ifs, And and Buts are B.S. Replacement value analysis? Bunk. I don’t know a single GM who uses that number. Now, you show me actual results of Taveras costing the Reds games. There is one.

    You say Baker has cost the Reds 4-5 games with his lineups? Which ones. You guys always yap about lack of evidence in my statements. That’s hooey. You just choose not to listen, or learn. You can’t show me games that were verifiably lost by the lineups. Where’s the proof?

    Managerial in-game decisions affect the outcome only a handful of times a year, so to say Baker has lost 4-5 games because of lineups? I may not like all his decisions either, but no one can prove that a different lineup would have provided different results.

    That’s because the game is still played by humans, not stat machines.

    And Kurt, really. Every one of my posts are moderated. Yet your daily knuckleheadness gets on live each time. Go figure.

  23. Patrick

    I have actually noticed this Mr.Redlegs on message boards and blogs only saying the “You’re wrong”, stuff. He’s a troll on Red Reporter, the Enquirer blogs, and even Beyond the Boxscore @ SB Nation. And each time, he’s been exposed as not really knowing anything.

    And what GM wouldn’t use replacement player as a base point? ALL of them do (well, maybe not each one, but the goods ones like Beane, Epstein and Cashman definitely do), because most front offices use sabermetrics. Just because you aren’t up to date on evaluation methods doesn’t mean they aren’t incorporated into organizational analysis

  24. mike

    >>All your other guessworks and suppositions? They don’t mean boo.

    sorry dude, I know how to do the math. So it’s not guesswork

    and you are a rude and smug

    and worse you’re math is WRONG

    for someone who is so rude and downright mean to people I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you at least understood what you were talking about.

    I’ve never stated how many games I think Taveras has cost the Reds but at least I know how to figure out out.

  25. Mr. Redlegs

    Not all front offices use sabermetrics as the final factor in their decision-making. In fact, none do. Its part of their evaluation, yes. But not even the Red Sox use it foer the final analysis. In fact, they have cut back on their stat reliance in decision-making toless than 50-50. When the final decision is to be made, they rely on the opinion of the scouting staff. Always.

    If you had access to major league clubhouses and players and front offices, you would know this. But you don’t; I do, and I’ve had this access for 33 years, so I KNOW exactly what they use and what they don’t. And as J.P. Ricciardi said last night in Baltimore, the people who think stats analysis are the tell-all of a player or team never played, and don’t know what they are looking at when they watch a game.

    And he’s a Billy Beane disciple. Some of you guys really, really don’t have a clue how these things work. Not one. But congratulations on your self-assurances that you do.

  26. Dan

    Well, Mr. Redlegs, you could put ME in CF for the Reds and let’s say I’d bat .040/.100/.050. (I have no idea what I’d bat but it would be beyond terrible.)

    But, with Votto and Phillips and all the other guys on the team, we’d still win some games.

    We’d lose a bunch too (far more than the current team has lost), and some would be by one or two runs.

    Which games did I cost the Reds? I don’t know. No one would know (unless I made a bonehead play in the field that let the winning run score, like the Willy play you’re referring to).

    But is there any doubt that I’m costing the Reds games? No, of course not! I’m costing them lots of games! There’s just no way to know which ones.

    So it’s the same for any lousy hitter (like Taveras) — I can’t tell WHICH games he’s costing the Reds. It depends on what his replacement would’ve done in that game, and that’s unknowable.

    But if there’s a worse player playing in place of a better player, over 162 games, that will cost you some wins.

    Right? I mean, isn’t this undeniable?

  27. Mr. Redlegs

    Mike @ 24: I’m still waiting for your game-to-game breakdown on games that Taveras has verifiably cost the Reds a victory. Congratulations on your math skills; now show us the games.

    Hint: You start talking replacement average, I’ll start laughing because it doesn’t guarantee a direct result. But knock yourself out believing otherwise.

  28. Dan

    By the way, before anyone jumps on me, I’m not saying that Taveras is as bad as I am. Of course not. Just exaggerating to make a point. Of course playing some stiff like me would cost the Reds LOTS of games — FAR more than playing Taveras. But playing Taveras is costing them some here and there. Even if you can’t tell which ones, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  29. GregD

    Ironically, claiming that Taveras has only cost the Reds 1 game IS guesswork and predicting an outcome. Just because you choose to select 1 doesn’t make it the correct prediction.

    Redlegs biggest weakness is confusing facts and opinions. Or should I say he assumes that everything he guesses and predicts are facts.

  30. GregD

    How could anyone argue that a leadoff hitter batting .238 and getting on base at a .283 clip is not costing this team runs and wins?

  31. GregD

    Not all front offices use sabermetrics as the final factor in their decision-making. In fact, none do.

    Strawman. No one is arguing that. I’ve yet to meet a sabremetrically inclined person who has said that any front office should rely solely on sabremetrics or use them as a final factor in decision making.

    Nice try, though.

    The more you reveal about yourself, the more you reveal that you aren’t a baseball writer “who’s had access to this stuff for 33 years.” It’s fun to create an online persona, isn’t it?

  32. Mr. Redlegs

    “How could anyone argue that a leadoff hitter batting .238 and getting on base at a .283 clip is not costing this team runs and wins?”

    Simple. You have NOT shown me the facts that he DID cost them games. You’re making a supposition. Prove . . . it.

    At the time Taveras was in his dreadful slump, Votto was not playing. No one was hitting. But you cannot verifiably say that if he’d been on-base 40 percent of the time that he would have actually scored. You can’t prove it. You can’t guarantee a hit or a result, so it’s guesswork. It’s muckety-muck with numbers.

    I did prove my one game, and yet you say I didn’t. Huh? The ball that Taveras had to one-leg to right-center in his first game back from the hamstring actually cost them the game. It’s NOT a prediction. It’s fact. Second game of the St. Louis series, where a 2-2 game was lost when Taveras misplyed the ball and it went for a two-run double in a 5-2 loss.

    What freaking more do you want? Good grief.

  33. Mr. Redlegs

    I love the strawman argument. Always the best you got. Cliched and trite.

    Who cares what a “sabremetrically person” thinks? They don’t run baseball. They don’t work in baseball. The sabr influence isn’t nearly what you want to believe, or think. You ask the baseball people. Real ones, the front office, the scouts and decision-makers. Any front office *should* use them in the final factor of decision-making.

    A non-baseball entity telling baseball professionals what their scouting and evaluation processes *should* entail? That’s your source of credibility? Now that’s a laugher. Go ahead, tell any GM that baloney and see what response you get. There’s a human element of the game that becomes the final say-so, and Pedroia is the guy most often cited these days.

    Tito Francona was making the point a couple of weeks ago in the dugout at Baltimore that based on numbers there’s no way they draft Pedroia in the second round. But his work ethic, pure baseball instincts and little things like hitting behind runners, taking the extra base, forcing defensive mistakes–the immeasurables–were off the charts. Pedroia is quickly becoming the player that other players respect the most for doing so much to win games.

    But of course, I wouldn’t know anything about this stuff, being that I’m big, hairy phony who’s never in the clubhouse with access or insight, such as talking with Scott Rolen last night about the rumors of a Reds trade and what he thought about playing so close to his home in Bloomington. But then, you’d have to read my Tweet or post at Red Letter Daze.

  34. Patrick

    way to change what I said. You made a stupid claim (no FO use replacement player metrics) and then, even when you know you’re wrong, keep on trying to stir up an argument.

    By the way, Ricchardi is no longer a Beane disciple; he stopped making half-rational decisions once he saw how much money the Sox and Yankees spent (ex. the Vernon Wells contract).

    I really don’t care that you had “access”, if you even did. The fact of the matter is, you seem unwilling or incapable (most likely) of talking about anything using facts or even decent opinions, rather than just saying “You’re wrong”. It’s kind of like when on Red Reporter you blasted an article for using UZR, saying that only fielding percentage mattered because “You’re wrong. That’s the only one that matters”, and then ran away without defending yourself. But keep hiding behind the access thing

    Doing simple math using WAR, Taveras has been worth -.007 WAR a game, Dickerson .093. I know Dickerson’s sample size is too small, but if he was in the lineup playing as well as he has rather than Taveras for about 20 games ago (which was close to the point he should have been, even though I always wanted Willy on the bench), we should have won at least two more games (1.86 WAR vs. -.14 WAR). I know you’ll continue to persist and tell me we have no way of knowing how many games Taveras has cost us, but at least it’s better than the “We have no way of knowing, so don’t even try” mentality

  35. Mr. Redlegs

    Patrick, Ricciardi IS a Beane disciple because he was not only a teammate in the Mets’ system, but was Beane’s director of player personnel.

    But Ricciardi, like many front office people, has issues with the “Moneyball” mentality of the stat freaks because the sexy storyline of Beane and his methods are stretched way beyond Beane’s actual beliefs about scouting vs. stats. Front offices don’t give much credibility (if any) to VORP because it doesn’t factor significant real baseball issues such as contracts, character, work ethic and coachability.

    Use Milton Bradley is a an example.

    Your idea of my *opinions* is merely your opinion. Mine are drafted off experience and access, which I’m surmising is substantially more than yours, which appear to be shaped by what people like me write for you in your daily readings.

    Common rant by scouts and GMs on defensive metrics: call us when positioning, instinct and reaction are part of the equation. Until that time, they’ll trust their own eyeballs.

    What’s the point and time of yapping about WAR when you can’t positively quantify its impact? It’s just something for conjecture, or as Tito Francona was saying, “. . . a thing for people who never played the game to get excited about.”

  36. pinson343

    This is the same Mr. Redlegs who said repeatedly that bringing up Jonny Gomes wouldn’t help us. Of course we can’t prove how many games Gomes has won for us so he wasn’t necessarily wrong there.

  37. Mr. Redlegs

    Show me where I exactly said calling up Gomes would or wouldn’t help. I said Gomes isn’t a very good baseball player, and he’s not. He does one thing well: hit left-handed pitching. If you want to base the all-encompassing talent of Jonny Gomes on 86 at-bats this season, knock yourself out. But he’s a part-time DH, exactly as his career track has shown.

    It’s also indicative that Jocketty keeps looking for outfield help, specifically, left field.

  38. Patrick

    Well, let’s see, that’s a blatant lie. Sabermetrics have no influence? Why don’t you ask to 30-50 members of baseball prospectus and fangraphs who have recently been hired by MLB teams? Quite frankly, you have no idea who makes the final decisions (it probably is both), but I do know that scouts and their supporters seem to be the only ones who want the knock something out baseball, sabermetrics, while those in baseball who use sabermetrics seem to want to work together. Face it, it isn’t going away, and as more tools like pitch and hit-f/x become available, scouting is less relevant. It will never be gone (and it shouldn’t be), but to say it’s the most important tool available in every single situation is ridiculous.

    Also, terrible example on Bradley. Maybe the fact that he plays horrible defense and is 36 or 37 turned teams away from him, while comparable players were available at a cheaper price.

  39. Patrick

    One more thing: you know who used scouting the most, targeting players with tools instead of those with skills at the MLB level? Jim Bowden

  40. Mr. Redlegs

    Patrick you have a reading and comprehension problem. I didn’t say sabermetrics had no influence; I said it’s not the influence you believe. And quite frankly, I know EXACTLY who makes the final decisions: the GMs, and when it comes to that final decision on a player, it will be based on the word of their people in the field.

    And no one said sabermetrics were going away. But as most GMs will tell you, the numbers are a piece of the puzzle. Based on your comments and your misconception of the written words here and what actually happens within the front office, you are the kind of stat head that they like to call who “lives in a tower and looks down on the baseball establishment” with no clue whatsoever of how the game works.

    Scouting will never, ever be irrelevant. Wherever you read that, however you drafted that opinion, be prepared to be grossly wrong 100 percent of the time. Two weeks ago at Camden Yards, I had 11 pro level and advance scouts sitting next to me. When it comes to a pro level player they are interested in trading for, the evaluations of their scouts are influence that will make the final decision.

  41. Mr. Redlegs

    Milton Bradley is a PERFECT example of stats being completely useless in the evaluation of the player.

    Stats will tell us the physicality of what he produces (or doesn’t) on the field. But they will not tell us about critical aspects of the player:

    How he gets along with his teammates and coaches;

    How he takes instruction;

    His work ethic;

    His attitude and impact on clubhouse chemistry.

    These are critical, critical aspects of the game, and when teams are building their draft boards, the personality and coachability factors are enormous parts of the evaluation. This is where the regional scout will be instructed to be around the player for weeks to months, interviewing coaches, opponents, teammates, friends, even the kid and his parents, for information on the final evaluation.

    It was the personal contact and interviews that convinced the Red Sox to take Pedroia in the second round. Otherwise, his size and tools had him going much further down. It’s cliche, but true: stats don’t measure a player’s heart an determination. Pedroia on the plus end; Bradley on the negative.

  42. Mr. Redlegs

    Ugh, Patrick. I didn’t mean this: Milton Bradley is a PERFECT example of stats being completely useless in the evaluation of the player.

    What I mean is:

    Milton Bradley is a PERFECT example of stats being completely useless in the personality and coachability evaluation of the player.

    Sorry about that. I’ve popped out my contacts for the day.

  43. Patrick

    I have the reading comprehension problem? You’ve sidetracked countless times this thread, bring up irrelevant points. I never said scouting will ever be gone; in fact, I made a point to say I don’t want it to. All I’ve been saying is that numbers are a piece of the puzzle, like scouting, while you’ve said that scouting is substantially more important than any type of stats.

    In my opinion, stats are great in first deciding who you might want to sign (as in, getting a list of players, which many GM’s do through a system, or something else). Then everything else, including character, health, cost, age, potential and stats, are weighted to make the most logical and rational decision. No GM out there is going, “OK, who exactly will add the most chemistry to my team?”. That’s merely one of the deciding factors once GMs analyze who they should acquire or keep.

    And while Bradley might have the stats, it’s a perfect example of having to analyze the stats, which you apparently don’t think so-called statheads do. Sabermaticians don’t blindly look at a guy’s OPS for one season and end at that, they look for potential flukes and other factors that might drag a player’s performance down. For instance, Bradley’s BABIP from ’08 was not sustainable, and with his age and new park, his HR/FB likely was not either. That, combined with, again, his age and need to play defense and stay healthy made him an unattractive option in my opinion. Also, I can’t remember more than one or two posts by stat-oriented analysts that liked the signing.

  44. Mr. Redlegs

    Dude, I haven’t sidetracked anything. I’ve answered directly and on-subject, but you choose to ignore or not pay attention. Example: Bradley.

    I have clearly said Bradley is one of those players where his stats are not a factor. Can’t say it any clearer. Read Post No. 42. Read it again. For good measure, read it by syllable. But you continue on that same argument about his numbers. Any bonehead can look up his numbers. Bradley’s issues with everyone in baseball is character, personality and chemistry, and those don’t show up in the numbers.

    Underline it; italicize it; bold-face it. Chemistry . . . character . . . personality. That was/is/remains the point. Those critical interpersonal trait can’t be measured by the numbers and require scouting, background and extensive interviewing and research.

    I have not said “scouting is substantially more important” (but it is far more relied upon than the numbers). You interpret it that way because you confuse the actual written word with your own mindset. The actual written word said at Post No. 25:

    “Not all front offices use sabermetrics as the final factor in their decision-making. In fact, none do. It’s part of their evaluation, yes. But not even the Red Sox use it for the final analysis. In fact, they have cut back on their stat reliance in decision-making to less than 50-50. When the final decision is to be made, they rely on the opinion of the scouting staff. Always.”

    Again, that’s fairly clear.

  45. GregD

    Ironically, Redlegs, the supposed writer, is the one with the reading comprehension problem (#32). I never said you didn’t prove your 1 game. I said that you can’t prove that Taveras has only cost the Reds 1 game (#29).

    So, let’s say I did say you couldn’t prove your 1 game. That’s accurate, too. You can’t guarantee that another centerfielder would have properly made that catch or not made an error elsewhere in the game. You can only say another player should have made that catch, and should have played error free defense the rest of the game. aka GUESSWORK!

    Being in the clubhouse doesn’t make you right. Plenty of writers in that boat.

  46. Patrick

    Three examples of sidetracking/lies:

    1- Replacement level is used in front offices is my point; you turn it into a sabermetrics debate while conceding the only point I was making

    2- Your previous statement that fielding % is better than UZR. I said that was ridiculous, you bash all fielding metrics, even though my point wasn’t that UZR is completely reliable, just that it’s a heck of a lot better than what you thought

    3- I said that sabermetrics is a valuable tool along with many others including scouting, you call me a stathead who doesn’t value anything but it

    And again, you have a common misconception about “statheads” when you bring up Bradely. Obviously anyone can look at his basic numbers and see that he was good in Texas. Further analysis though, looking at how he got those numbers and his future projections, along with concerns about how he would react to having to play defense, turned most sabermaticians away from him.

    For the record, if Bradley was batting .300/.395/.580 right now that looked sustainable looking at his more advanced stats, his character isn’t that important. But the thing is, he isn’t, and wasn’t projected to; that’s why he wasn’t signed. You can say his character brings down his numbers and makes him less likely to either sustain or achieve consistent success. But, if he gets those numbers consistently (which again, very few believed he would because of his character AND statistical factors), then his character doesn’t matter a whole lot, and other GM’s would be fine with getting him. You cannot prove to me that poor chemistry brought on by one player who just happens to be a superstar brings down an entire team (ex. The A’s and Yankees teams of the 70’s).

  47. Mr. Redlegs

    Greg @ 45, you are right about your post at 31. I meant to write back late last night after I wrote at 33. I had popped out the ol’ contracts and was working from a laptop so I was skimming and not clearly focused on word by word. Correx noted.

    Well, we’re not agreeing on my sample of a game lost because Taveras’ sore hamstring may or may not have been the difference in him catching the ball, but it was very well the difference in that ball being a single instead of a two-run double, thus the deciding runs.

    It doesn’t matter about Taveras’ mythical a replacement in that situation. That’s a supposition. The mere fact is a.) the player on the field did not b.) make a play he should have because c.) he was physically unable to perform and d.) the winning runs scored.

    You can pull a Hamilton Burger all you want, but that’s a closed case. But I’m sure you’re all on board for Baker’s lineups in the first half costing the Reds a 11.5 games.

  48. Mr. Redlegs

    Patrick, what part of Bradley’s character issue problem don’t you understand? What part of me telling you two or three times now that the thesis isn’t his stats (yet you continue to do so) and how they appear on paper. It’s the character issue. It’s enormous. It’s not measured by anything on a stat sheet (the original point), but it’s the kind of thing that ruins a team if it’s disruptive and poisonous, as it has been throughout his career.

    No, teams don’t overlook it. At all.

    It’s just like with Manny in Boston. Ortiz was talking about it two weeks ago to some guys in the Red Sox clubhouse in Baltimore. Manny didn’t want to be in Boston any more. He didn’t want to play. He alienated everyone. At that point to hell with his numbers. He was a distraction that had to be eliminated. Ortiz signed off on it, Varitek signed off on it, Youk signed off on it. Manny had to go, regardless of numbers.

    I know Gene Tenace. Known him a long time, back to his Cardinals days. So I know those great Oakland teams pretty well. Gene has often said the friction of the A’s in that period never left the clubhouse. When they stepped on the field they were not only consummate professionals, but extraordinarily talented who fit together like a puzzle. With the exception of Billy North and Rick Monday, most of them came up together through the A’s system and already knew each other’s personalities and quirks. They knew how to handle what might be called “family issues” or Reggie’s BS—unlike teams pulled together today by free agency and constant roster turnover

    You keep bringing up this fielding percentage over UZR matter. So what? That’s my opinion, you have yours. Most all front office baseball people bash the fielding measures. Discussion came up Friday night with Ricciardi. He doesn’t like any of them, even fielding percentage. Someone laughed and told him he was like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercials.

    I really don’t give a flying frog whether you agree or disagree, like me or not. But calling me a liar? Dude, don’t address me again.

  49. Dan

    Mr. Redlegs – how about this, though? I brought this up above and I don’t think it got addressed…

    What if I were getting 600 plate appearances a year in CF for the Reds, batting leadoff? Let’s suppose that I never even misplay a flyball allowing the winning runs to score.

    Nonetheless, I would be TERRIBLE — beyond terrible — at the plate. I’d be worse than the worst-hitting pitcher in baseball.

    Even if you could never put your finger on a specific misplay that cost the Reds a game, don’t you think I’d be costing the Reds some wins? Even if we can’t “prove” how many, or which ones?

    Doesn’t that seem right to you?

  50. Mr. Redlegs

    Absolutely, Dan.

    The problem I have is the accuracy of pinning down a specific number. I realize the analytical types (which, hard to believe, I’m sure, includes me) and stats people feel compelled to find that number through whatever mathematical means. But there’s the problem. The factuality (and accuracy) comes down to coulda, woulda, shouldas, along with some Ifs, Ands and Buts.

    I’m not interested in those. Baseball people aren’t interested in those. Guesswork and suppositions without some composition of the exact game detail are conjecture and a waste of time. Interesting? Perhaps. But it has no credibility. Toss it.

    A few seasons ago during all the Adam Dunn debate, an argument came up that sent me back through each of his at-bats, pitch by pitch. Now, I can’t remember now what the debate was all about, but this was necessary for me to find the final thesis to my point. This exact game detail raised some specific marker about Dunn’s offense in certain situations that was not widely known, or even tracked (that I could find).

    That provided real, game-oriented results that were pin-point quantifiable.

  51. Patrick

    “Patrick, what part of Bradley’s character issue problem don’t you understand? What part of me telling you two or three times now that the thesis isn’t his stats (yet you continue to do so) and how they appear on paper. It’s the character issue. It’s enormous. It’s not measured by anything on a stat sheet (the original point), but it’s the kind of thing that ruins a team if it’s disruptive and poisonous, as it has been throughout his career.”

    And why won’t you listen to me when I tell you that you aren’t looking at his stat sheet close enough. His projections alone, which include age and health, would drive me away from him. I’m saying it’s a bad example because you have drawn a false conclusion from looking at his stats, you just assume that they’re very good. His PECOTA projections, including defense, would make him an average player. I get what you mean, but you don’t seem to get that his stats aren’t lying, and he’s a bad example for their limitations. He has negatives in many, many more aspects than his character.

    It’s funny how you’ve talked about proof this entire thread. You cannot prove to me that chemistry ruins a team. I can prove to you that if he gets a .390 wOBA with plus defense (which he obviously isn’t and won’t) he’ll be contributing towards scoring and preventing runs. I know you’ll come back with the, “But that’s what teams believe” type of line, but don’t bother, because you clearly believe it as well, and quite frankly, you haven’t been in 30 GM offices during trade and free agent talks. Front offices and their planted sources lie to the press all the time to get an advantage. It’s not like in not deciding to sign Milton they’ll be spreading the word that they’ve projected him to fall off considerably because of some hidden statistical fluke they’ve found, they’ll just come up with the obvious and convenient reason and spread it around.

    “It’s just like with Manny in Boston. Ortiz was talking about it two weeks ago to some guys in the Red Sox clubhouse in Baltimore. Manny didn’t want to be in Boston any more. He didn’t want to play. He alienated everyone. At that point to hell with his numbers. He was a distraction that had to be eliminated. Ortiz signed off on it, Varitek signed off on it, Youk signed off on it. Manny had to go, regardless of numbers.”

    But with this example, you have to consider that Manny was most likely not going to put up good numbers because he didn’t really want to, if he even played. Epstein saw this plus a chance to get younger, cheaper and more stable while basically replacing Manny’s production (which Bay’s defense did, even though his bat is worse), and he did it. Most main-stream analysts didn’t see it this way, but the trade was more than just Ramirez being a cancer, that was only a part of it.

    “You keep bringing up this fielding percentage over UZR matter. So what? That’s my opinion, you have yours. Most all front office baseball people bash the fielding measures. Discussion came up Friday night with Ricciardi. He doesn’t like any of them, even fielding percentage. Someone laughed and told him he was like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercials.

    I really don’t give a flying frog whether you agree or disagree, like me or not. But calling me a liar? Dude, don’t address me again.”

    I know about the fielding metrics thing, but that wasn’t the point; it’s really not even debatable that fielding% is worse than UZR, which was the only point I was making; you kind of turned it into something else. Luckily, the new batted-ball technology used in golf and hit/fx are coming to parks, which will let us factor in positioning and how hard balls are hit. But just because UZR isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it isn’t usable and on the same level as metrics we know are horrible.

    You really need to calm down, it’s a blog. You constantly insult people all over the internet, usually on SB Nation. Really, get over yourself, because you clearly feel that you’re too prominent to get challenged or insulted a little.

  52. Steve Price

    Interesting two pieces in Rob Neyer’s Monday blog entries about Milton Bradley and the Cubs, about the use of sabermetrics in clubhouses (Seattle and Chicago), and the balance between scouts and mathematical study. (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/sweetspot).

    Also…Bill James, I suppose the king of this sabermetric, thing is now an executive with the Boston Red Sox.

    The Reds were known to be leaning heavily toward using sabermetrics a few years ago, but those guys have been mostly chased off. One of the said reasons for Walt Jocketty leaving St. Louis was his refusal to use sabermetic study (I guess the Cardinals now use it), so we know the Reds aren’t heavy into this kind of study now.

    I have to say, though…the Cardinals and Red Sox seem to do pretty well…but, they do have a huge fan bases that buy tickets, too.

  53. GregD

    But there’s the problem. The factuality (and accuracy) comes down to coulda, woulda, shouldas, along with some Ifs, Ands and Buts. I’m not interested in those. Baseball people aren’t interested in those. Guesswork and suppositions without some composition of the exact game detail are conjecture and a waste of time. Interesting? Perhaps. But it has no credibility. Toss it.

    You couldn’t be further from the truth. Steve’s provided excellent examples. GM’s are projecting what their players can do in the next year(s), whether they are projecting them sabremetrically or scoutremetrically.

    As far as pinning down an exact number, sure no one can guarantee the exact number of games that Taveras has cost the Reds (and no where did I, nor did I see anyone else argue 11.5 games…where did you come up with that number??) but how can you make the argument that Taveras’s offense (and defense) hasn’t cost them any games?

    I guess the Natinals aught to just retain their whole team for next year since singling out the folks costing them games is just suppositions and guesswork. How does anyone in any front office make any decisions?

  54. pinson343

    Mr. Redlegs (37) you didn’t just say that Johnny Gomes isn’t a very good baseball player. When the Reds had D. McDonald on the Opening Day roster, upsetting some of us, you said we were overreacting, that the opening day roster is unimportant, and who needs Jonny Gomes anyway. Then when D. McDonald was around for 6 weeks, you argued that Norris Hopper would be a more suitable replacement than Gomes. You added that Gomes would need to be removed from a game as soon as a left hander (you meant right hander) was brought into the game.

    “It’s also indicative that Jocketty keeps looking for outfield help, specifically, left field.”

    Jocketty keeps looking for outfield help ! Gee, that’s a shock. I’ve BTW posted mutiple comments of late that this is the weakest Reds offensive OF in the last 50 years, with the exception of 1982. Mike has done statistical analyses to support my hypothesis.

    As for my finding your statements that say the above, I don’t have time. As you like to say, knock yourself out, you find them.