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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I personally would stop the ability of the team on defense to disable the opponent's offense by issuing a base on balls -- intentional or not. The fans come to the game to see the star hitters! How does one make sure they get to hit? Well, the team whose player is walked can turn it down. Well, then just walk him again. Well, the second time he gets second base, and the third time third base.

    I mean, give me a break! The best offensive players in the NFL and NBA aren't disabled by "intentional walks." Oh, yeah -- hack-a-Shaq -- but a minor, minor feature of hoops.
    Your idea sounds good, but teams would just go back to the old rule where the pitcher throws 4 balls way outside and then the hitter jogs to first base.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Your idea sounds good, but teams would just go back to the old rule where the pitcher throws 4 balls way outside and then the hitter jogs to first base.
    You may have missed the part in the middle where he gave options for countering this still (regardless of whether or not it was intentional):

    Well, the team whose player is walked can turn it down. Well, then just walk him again. Well, the second time he gets second base, and the third time third base.
    A text without a context is a pretext.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Your idea sounds good, but teams would just go back to the old rule where the pitcher throws 4 balls way outside and then the hitter jogs to first base.
    There’s a story about Don Drysdale (IIRC). The catcher shot out the intentional walk sign, and Big D shook him off. The catcher flashed it again, and again Drysdale shook him off.

    The catcher called time and went out to the mound.

    “The manager wants you to walk this guy,” the catcher explained.

    “Like Hell I will,” Drysdale responded. “I’ll drill the guy in the ribs instead.”

    Next pitch, hit batsman.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    There’s a story about Don Drysdale (IIRC). The catcher shot out the intentional walk sign, and Big D shook him off. The catcher flashed it again, and again Drysdale shook him off.

    The catcher called time and went out to the mound.

    “The manager wants you to walk this guy,” the catcher explained.

    “Like Hell I will,” Drysdale responded. “I’ll drill the guy in the ribs instead.”

    Next pitch, hit batsman.
    That could have been Bob Gibson just as easy.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I personally would stop the ability of the team on defense to disable the opponent's offense by issuing a base on balls -- intentional or not. The fans come to the game to see the star hitters! How does one make sure they get to hit? Well, the team whose player is walked can turn it down. Well, then just walk him again. Well, the second time he gets second base, and the third time third base.

    I mean, give me a break! The best offensive players in the NFL and NBA aren't disabled by "intentional walks." Oh, yeah -- hack-a-Shaq -- but a minor, minor feature of hoops.
    But why would the offensive team turn down a walk? That's a very advantageous thing to receive in just about any situation. Even the best hitters make outs almost 70% of the time. Taking a sure thing of getting onto first base with any forced runners also advancing would be the high percentage play just about every time.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    But why would the offensive team turn down a walk? That's a very advantageous thing to receive in just about any situation. Even the best hitters make outs almost 70% of the time. Taking a sure thing of getting onto first base with any forced runners also advancing would be the high percentage play just about every time.
    Why?

    See: Judge, Aaron

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by acdevil View Post
    Why?

    See: Judge, Aaron
    A great player, obviously, but he also makes an out almost 70% of the time.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    A great player, obviously, but he also makes an out almost 70% of the time.
    Actually, Judge only makes an out roughly 62% of the time. Most of his walks are unintentional. If you throw in the fact that he slugs .622 this season, meaning his OPS is actually over 1.1 this season, that walk (OPS = 1.0) might not be such a huge gift in his particular case. I get what you're saying - that intentional walks are nearly always good for the offense - but Aaron Judge may actually be the exception to that rule this year.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    But why would the offensive team turn down a walk? That's a very advantageous thing to receive in just about any situation. Even the best hitters make outs almost 70% of the time. Taking a sure thing of getting onto first base with any forced runners also advancing would be the high percentage play just about every time.
    Well.

    Walks are usually advantageous to the offense. That's why you very seldom see intentional walks. It's an odd thing that gets attention when it happens.

    But, there are times when walks can be less bad than pitching to a particular player in a particular situation. Managers/coaches know the odds and if the odds favor an intentional walk they may do it. The manager of the batter also knows the odds and if the option were available might accept or decline a walk. The option isn't available at this point.

    Hypothetical: It's the bottom of the ninth the game is tied with one out and men on second and third. The home team's best hitter comes to the plate. The player following him hits 50 points lower and is a slow catcher who strikes out a good bit.
    Would you consider walking the hitter to set up the double play, force at home and increased probability of strikeout?
    Would the coach of the hitting team consider declining the walk if given that option?
    There is no absolutely right answer. The 'best' answer depends on many probabilistic variables. Run the simulation 10,000 times and you may find that the best choice works 53% of the time and fails 47%.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Walks typically may be net positive but they are not always optimal. With men on second and third, I’d rather have a good hitter try to drive both in with a hit instead of walking and setting up the force outs or double plays.

    Heck, a sac fly may be better in that situation than a walk.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Walks typically may be net positive but they are not always optimal. With men on second and third, I’d rather have a good hitter try to drive both in with a hit instead of walking and setting up the force outs or double plays.

    Heck, a sac fly may be better in that situation than a walk.
    If a single run has a high marginal value late in a game, than a sac fly *might* be better than a walk. But most of the time, your expected runs are significantly higher if you take the walk.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    If a single run has a high marginal value late in a game, than a sac fly *might* be better than a walk. But most of the time, your expected runs are significantly higher if you take the walk.
    That’s why most of the time you don’t see intentional walks given. No one is disputing that walks usually are more advantageous to the offense than trying to hit.

    Usually. But not always.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    That’s why most of the time you don’t see intentional walks given. No one is disputing that walks usually are more advantageous to the offense than trying to hit.

    Usually. But not always.
    I was referring to the precise scenario that OPK was contemplating. Hence the quote.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Here, let's just do the math. Here's the expected runs for each situation, and expected runs after a walk v. sacrifice fly:

    Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 0 out: XR=1.99
    After
    Sac Fly: Runner on 2nd, 1 out, 1 in: XR=(1+)0.70=1.70 (Chance of scoreless inning: 0%)
    Walk: Bases Loaded, 0 out: XR=2.32 (Chance of scoreless inning: 32.8%)

    Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out: XR=1.40
    After
    Sac Fly: Runner on 2nd, 2 out, 1 in: XR=(1+)0.33=1.33 (Chance of scoreless inning: 0%)
    Walk: Bases Loaded, 1 out: XR=1.56 (Chance of scoreless inning: 67%)

    So with one out, you are still giving up .21 expected runs by taking the sac fly, and with no outs you're giving up 0.62 expected runs. But, importantly, in both cases you've raised the floor, as well, which is why I included the scoreless inning chances. In situations where a single run is really valuable (e.g. game tied in 7th or later), a sacrifice fly might be objectively better. But it's important to realize that over the long haul, you're giving up something by doing that.

    There are plenty of other caveats, too (caveats I'd like to see a bit more on the basketball topics of this board). For one, these expected values use enormous, baseball-wide data sets. They don't account for things like, is this a flyball or groundball hitter? Is this a flyball or groundball pitcher? Hitter and pitcher tendencies, left v. right? How good is the defensive team in the field? Who are the next couple hitters in the order? Etc., etc. There's no "right or wrong" answer. The numbers are just a tool.

    But the tool says you are giving up total runs in this situation by taking even a "productive" out versus a walk. It might be worth it to do that in certain situations. But most people don't even realize that a sac fly in this particular situation is actually giving something up compared to a walk. That's all I was trying to get at.

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