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Old 12-10-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
ForeverRoyalKC
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Stolen bases not like the old days

I am a huge baseball fan, but I admit, I am not well versed in the deepness of analysis and stats like a lot of others. I would like to ask you all...why do we not see huge base stealing numbers anymore? I dont get why that number is so far down. No one steals 108 bases or 124 bases like Rickey, Willie Wilson and the like.
Why is base stealing not a big deal anymore??
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:49 PM   #2
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Because you have to steal at a very high percentage to break even in adding runs created to your team.
In today's run scoring environment where the home run is so important you need to score at close to an 80% success rate in order to even break even.

Lets say a modern player goes crazy and steals 140 bases in a season at a 82% success rate.
All of that running make look impressive but they would be adding just over 5 runs created to their offensive total.


Stealing bases just does not get you a lot unless you can do it at such a high rate that your almost guaranteed to never be thrown out.

Here is a good article from 2011 for various stealing scenarios.
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/breaking...k-even-points/
In the 8 years since the %s have climbed to 80% for almost every situation.
Giving away outs is just not a very smart move in modern offenses.
It is why the smarter teams do not do things like sacrifice bunt or other such nonsense. You only get 27 outs per game and they are way too valuable to give up.
Even more so when all nine guys in your lineup are capable of hitting 15 HRs a year.

The three true outcomes style of modern offense may be boring to watch but smart people in front offices have figured out the most efficient ways of scoring runs.
A strikeout is the same kind of out as a popout or a groundout to second. So might as well swing hard and increase your chances at a EBH.
And it is drilled into every batter from HS level on up to work the count and try and get on base via BB. Many still cant do it but more can do it now than in the past.

Once you get on, even the fastest players add very little via base stealing and most actually hurt their teams run creation chances by getting picked off or thrown out.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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Rudel pretty much covered it

The main thing is that when there are more homeruns, you 1) don't want to get thrown out in the bases and 2) don't need to be in scoring position to score
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:33 AM   #4
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Which is unfortunate because that is an exciting part of the game IMO.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #5
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Which is unfortunate because that is an exciting part of the game IMO.
Yep. Especially if you grew up enjoying the game during the times of Davey Lopes, Joe Morgan, Willie Wilson, Mikey Rivers, Frank Taveras, Ron LeFlore, Omar Moreno, Tim Raines, Rudy Law... dudes like that...
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #6
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Which is unfortunate because that is an exciting part of the game IMO.
It was my favorite part of the game back in the 80s, at least watching in person. Use to love watching The Ricky swipe bags.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:45 PM   #7
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I think stolen bases will again become a part of the game . Don't see the "Ricky" days returning . But as strikeouts and double plays increase , the base stealer will be needed. It also disrupts the pitcher thought process. It will change the defensive shifts . And show again the importance in pitching of movement and location OVER power .
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:04 PM   #8
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I think stolen bases will again become a part of the game . Don't see the "Ricky" days returning . But as strikeouts and double plays increase , the base stealer will be needed. It also disrupts the pitcher thought process. It will change the defensive shifts . And show again the importance in pitching of movement and location OVER power .
Yep, the game will continue to evolve.

Look at the HR & SB leaders from the 50's and compare to this decade. Even fewer steals back than, and around the same # of dingers...

It probably won't be long before some organization realizes that among its top prospects are a few guys that can flat out fly and can handle the stick. And they will bunt, slap balls against the shift, and manufacture runs on the bases. But maybe they will also have a guy who can blast 50 moonshots out of the park. So they will adjust and take less base-running chances when their masher is due up. Who knows?
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #9
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It's why I liked 80's baseball so much, you got the best of both worlds.

You had Whitey Herzog in St. Louis who loved to manufacture runs with walks/stolen bases/infield singles/ - the key being speed.

Then you had Earl Weaver in Baltimore who lived by the 3 run homer.

A great decade to be a baseball fan.

I always use 1985 for my settings in OOTP, regardless of what year I'm actually playing.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:09 PM   #10
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Whitey Herzog would dominate today's game because he understood the flaws in analytics. He knew that stats would tell you Cal Ripken was a "better" hitter than Vince Coleman, but he also knew that an offense of nine Vince Colemans would score many more runs than an offense of nine Cal Ripkens.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
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Whitey Herzog would dominate today's game because he understood the flaws in analytics. He knew that stats would tell you Cal Ripken was a "better" hitter than Vince Coleman, but he also knew that an offense of nine Vince Colemans would score many more runs than an offense of nine Cal Ripkens.
Possibly, if the vince coleman offense gets 5 outs an inning
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:53 PM   #12
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Whitey Herzog would dominate today's game because he understood the flaws in analytics. He knew that stats would tell you Cal Ripken was a "better" hitter than Vince Coleman, but he also knew that an offense of nine Vince Colemans would score many more runs than an offense of nine Cal Ripkens.
I would take an offense of 5 Cal Ripkens over 9 Vince Colemans.

Maybe if Vince Coleman could hit or get on base you might make it a game.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:31 PM   #13
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I would take an offense of 5 Cal Ripkens over 9 Vince Colemans.

Maybe if Vince Coleman could hit or get on base you might make it a game.
You act like Ripken's OBP is substantially higher

The Ripkens would ground into 500 double plays per season
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:10 PM   #14
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You act like Ripken's OBP is substantially higher

The Ripkens would ground into 500 double plays per season
Well...
Per 600 PA's
Coleman: 143 hits, 18 2B, 9 3B, 3 HR, 76 SB, 19 CS, 48 BB, 5 DP
Ripken: 148 hits, 29 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 2 SB, 2 CS, 52 BB, 16 DP

So, yeah, each Ripken would hit into 11 more double plays than each Coleman.
*Probably less than that since Ripken hit in the middle of the order with more men on base (more chances to hit into double plays) and Coleman hit at the top of the order with the pitcher and eight hitter in front of him (so, less opportunities to hit into double plays).

But
Each Coleman would get caught stealing 17 more times than each Ripken, basically negating the Ripken double plays.

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Old 12-11-2019, 08:25 PM   #15
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Is this a real argument? Vince Coleman had a career OPS + of 83
Every year except two,1990 and 1992 he hurt his team on offense.
And he had a career DWAR of -5.6
So even though that is a tricky stat, he was a pretty bad fielder as well.

Ripken fell off a cliff after his MVP 1991 season. But from 1982 to 1991 was doing a lot of things to help your club win games.
He was also a terrific defensive shortstop as a young man.
35.7 DWAR is nothing to sneeze at
Even as he played every single game and his body gave out on him in his early 30s he was still a plus to average glove man.

Coleman is the example of someone who probably should of never gotten as much playing time as he did but wowed everyone with his SB but it was the 1980s and baseball had not caught on yet to how many runs they were sacrificing by throwing him out there every day.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:40 PM   #16
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Is this a real argument? Vince Coleman had a career OPS + of 83
Every year except two,1990 and 1992 he hurt his team on offense.
And he had a career DWAR of -5.6
So even though that is a tricky stat, he was a pretty bad fielder as well.
Coleman was a reasonable player during his Cardinal days. And his performance as a Met wasn't terrible - he just wasn't on the field much.

As for hurting his team offensively, I assume you mean he was a below average hitter. Which, he certainly was. But being a below average team isn't necessarily hurting your team offensively. By definition, around half of player performance will be below average offensively.

But, hitting isn't all of offense. Baserunning is part of offense, and Coleman did provide excellent value on the bases. Enough to make him about an average offensive player.

Of course, Ripken was much better than average with the bat, and on the bases

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Old 12-11-2019, 10:35 PM   #17
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Well...
Per 600 PA's
Coleman: 143 hits, 18 2B, 9 3B, 3 HR, 76 SB, 19 CS, 48 BB, 5 DP
Ripken: 148 hits, 29 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 2 SB, 2 CS, 52 BB, 16 DP

So, yeah, each Ripken would hit into 11 more double plays than each Coleman.
*Probably less than that since Ripken hit in the middle of the order with more men on base (more chances to hit into double plays) and Coleman hit at the top of the order with the pitcher and eight hitter in front of him (so, less opportunities to hit into double plays).

But
Each Coleman would get caught stealing 17 more times than each Ripken, basically negating the Ripken double plays.
A CS is less damaging than a DP. Plus the Ripkens' DP total would be even higher because every base runner would be Cal Ripken.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:15 AM   #18
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A CS is less damaging than a DP. Plus the Ripkens' DP total would be even higher because every base runner would be Cal Ripken.
Why is that?

And please don't say "because it's two outs instead of one". Hopefully, you understand why.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:52 PM   #19
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This is one of the main things I try to change in OOTP modern leagues. Smallball is my favorite as well.

Same goes for pitchers going the distance as much as possible.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:20 PM   #20
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Yep, the game will continue to evolve.

Look at the HR & SB leaders from the 50's and compare to this decade. Even fewer steals back than, and around the same # of dingers...
Interestingly if you look back to the 50s when a team might steal only 30 bases for the year most were well under the break even point which I think was just under 70% success at the time.
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