Response from Tango about Fielding

January 9, 2023
                Tom Tango’s Response to something I wrote

 

 

 

 

Bill said this:
 
Part of the problem, I believe, comes from trying to measure things from a non-existent center.  I don't believe that we can ever successfully measure the defensive contribution to a team by measuring from the center.  I think it is philosophically problematic, and I think that it functionally doesn't work.  I think that defensive analysis somehow has to establish a "floor" or a "base", and operate from there.  I don't think we will make real progress until we do that. 


 

Bill is wrong on this.  We have indeed made progress.   

 

If you have an average fielding 3B then you have an average fielding 3B.  The center is the average fielding 3B.  The problem is when it comes time to compare the average fielding 3B to the average fielding CF and to the average fielding C. We can get there in multiple steps, just not in one step.

 

We work with what we have, and what we have is in fact an existent center, or 8 centers: the league average at each position.  Once that is done, then we can worry about comparing positions.  There's a few ways to get there.  And indeed, Bill *has* gotten there already with his fielding spectrum.  He jumped there in one step.  The rest of us took two steps instead of one.

 

This is how Bill sees the Defense Spectrum, with "position runs saved" values by position:

42 Catcher

36 SS

32 2B

29 CF

25 3B

20 RF

19 LF

13 1B

0 DH

 

The total for Bill is 216 "runs saved".

 

This is how I apply the Defense Positional Adjustment, using 0 as the center point (DH is an annoyance, which I can discuss later):

+12.5 C

+7.5 SS

+2.5 2B

+2.5 CF

+2.5 3B

-7.5 RF

-7.5 LF

-12.5 1B

-22.5 DH

 

Now, watch what happens if I take my numbers and add 22.5 to each:

35 C

30 SS

25 2B

25 CF

25 3B

15 RF

15 LF

10 1B

0 DH

 

My numbers come out to 180.  In order to get it to 216, I will multiply all those numbers by 1.2.  This is what we get:

42 C

36 SS

30 2B

30 CF

30 3B

18 RF

18 LF

12 1B

0 DH

 

That comes out to 216.  Now that I converted my numbers onto Bill's scale, let's put those numbers side-by-side for comparison, with Bill's number first, and my number in paren:

42 (42) Catcher

36 (36) SS

32 (30) 2B

29 (30) CF

25 (30) 3B

20 (18) RF

19 (18) LF

13 (12) 1B

0 (0) DH

 

That is one heckavu agreement for two systems that have nothing to do with each other.  Especially for something that Bill said is philosophically problematic and functionally doesn't work.  I got to the exact same place that Bill got to by starting with .500 as the centering point.  I just did it in two steps.  The first step is easy, the .500 step, of only looking at performance INTRAposition.  The INTERposition comparison has more art than science to it, and, as you can see above, both Bill and I got to pretty much the same spot anyway. 

 

So, I basically refute Bill's entire thesis, and I have shown that we are actually in agreement on the broad picture. 

 

 

 

 

 
 

COMMENTS (53 Comments, most recent shown first)

hotstatrat
Looking at it another way - hoping this makes clear my point:

In the cases where having a DH allows a team to move their weakest fielder to DH and put in a better defensemen, the DH should therefor be assessed as marginally worse than the worse [i]regular[/i] player on the field. As for the DH who would only be in the line-up as a DH, we don't know how to rate him. He could be only marginally worse than the worse fielder in the line-up - or he could be much worse. Fortunately, he doesn't have to take field and prove it. Yet, he is in the line-up getting his at bats - there's no need to punish him when comparing him to other DHs. Thus all DHs should be considered just marginally worse than the worse [i]regular[/] fielder on an [i]averagae[/i] team.
9:48 AM Jan 28th
 
hotstatrat
Brock -

Yes, the DH takes the bat away from the pitcher and puts it in another hitter's hands. However, that other hitter could just as easily be someone who will play in the field moving a poorer fielder to the DH as it could be just another bat added to the line-up. If it is the former, then having that DH improves that team's defense. If it the latter, there is no effect on the defense. So, why should the penalty be the equivelent of the worse defensive player in the league? Half of the DHs are probably better fielders than a slightly below average first-baseman defensively. They shouldn't be penalized so heavily just because they aren't on the field. They are still in the line-up and in many cases allowing the team to have a better defense.
11:40 AM Jan 26th
 
Brock Hanke
hotstatrat - The issue is not one of DHs not getting opportunities to field. They would not have gotten opportunities to field in the 1960s, either, because they would not have been in the lineup at all! If an individual DH would have been in the lineup because of his bat - David Ortiz might have been the Dick Stuart of his era - the person being deprived of opportunities would have been the weaker-hitting 1B who would have been benched for Ortiz, and that person would have been deprived of opportunities to hit, not field. The DH does deprive one class of players of opportunities - the pitchers. The pitchers are being deprived of opportunities to hit. The DHs are GIVEN those opportunities to hit. They are not being deprived of anything. The whole idea of the DH depriving anyone of opportunities to field is just wrong.
11:47 PM Jan 25th
 
hotstatrat
Furthermore, if David Ortiz played in Dick Stuart's day, he obviously would have played first-base. From the evidence on FanGraphs, for example, Ortiz was probably a significantly better first-baseman. So, if you want to compare how much more valuable to his team was Ortiz vs. Stuart, is it fair to penalize Ortiz just because he rarely played first, while Stuart was a regular at the position during an era when there was no DH? Go ahead and give good fielding first-basemen credit for the runs they saved, but don't over penalize DHs just because they aren't out there getting any opportunities.
5:57 PM Jan 24th
 
hotstatrat
I see Brock and I are arguing for the DH ding be moved in opposite directions. No, you can't penalize DHs more than Dick Stuart. Yes, Stuart made some plays, but so would any DH if given an opportunity. It is because you have play a DH that they shouldn't be overly penalized like that.
4:20 PM Jan 24th
 
hotstatrat
I understand that the DH on the teams with poor fielding first-basemen should be considered at least as unproductive defensively as those poor fielding first-basemen.

But, what about the DHs on teams with good fielding first-basemen? Should they be as penalized as the DHs on those poor fielding first-basemen teams? Arguably, yes, because all DHs should be treated equally - they aren't doing anything on defense.

Yet every team needs a DH. Somebody has to play it. He fills a spot in the line-up. Should all DHs be penalized as much as the ones on teams with poor fielding first-basemen? Or, should the DH be penalized just slightly more than the average worse fielder (or first-baseman)?
4:14 PM Jan 24th
 
tangotiger
Brock: I have no idea how to respond.
3:11 PM Jan 21st
 
Brock Hanke
Um, Tom, things are getting worse here. You did, in fact, answer the specific question I asked, which was how do you determine the defensive value of a DH. You said that a "poor fielding" 1B has the same defensive values a DH. But, but, but - That is obviously and provably false! Even the worst fielding 1B will make SOME plays. I saw Dick Stuart (I started going to baseball games in 1954). He did make SOME plays. He did catch SOME throws. And a DH catches NONE. Makes NO plays. His defensive value is FAR, FAR less than that of even the worst 1B you can imagine. It is ABSOLUTE ZERO. His defensive value is the same as if you did not send anyone out there to play 1B at all. No 1B is anywhere near that bad. My problem is how could you manage to finally ignore this obvious fact. You are obviously not stupid or ignorant. What happened here?
12:47 AM Jan 21st
 
tangotiger
I didn't see that specific question being asked. You don't have to be hostile, just ask the specific question.

My answer:
A poor fielding 1B is 10 runs below the average fielding 1B.

A poor fielding 1B has the same defensive value as a DH.

The average fielding 1B is 12.5 runs below the average fielder at a neutral position.

Therefore, the DH has to come in at -22.5 in order for all the above to be true.
10:10 AM Jan 18th
 
Brock Hanke
I've been putting this off for a few days, to see if the question got answered earlier, but it hasn't, really.

Where did the -22.5 for DH come from?

We know where Bill's DH number of zero came from. A DH contributes zero to his team's defense. Easy, simple, obviously accurate. But why -22.5? The skeptical, and much more hostile than I want it to be, question is - Did the -22.5 come from looking at Bill's results and figuring out that -22.5 for DH would produce a similar set of numbers, after conversions? I can't figure out where it came from, and the hostile question keeps raising its head. Sorry to be hostile. I don't want to be. I really don't think you would stoop to anything like that. But I don't have any other answer to go with.
1:53 AM Jan 18th
 
tangotiger
Look at this section, and add up the numbers from 42 Catcher to 0 DH. You will get 216.

=====================

This is how Bill sees the Defense Spectrum, with "position runs saved" values by position:

42 Catcher
...
0 DH

The total for Bill is 216 "runs saved".
11:27 AM Jan 13th
 
TheRicemanCometh
Please forgive me if this is obvious, but where did the 216 come from? It's not very clear in the article.

Thanks,
-CTR
6:42 AM Jan 13th
 
hotstatrat
OK, here is where we disagree.

1. Major league managers are not perfect. They sometimes put below replacement level players on the field. They think they are better, and even sometimes they really are more skilled, but they just don't perform. Many players play every year below that replacement level.

2. Not all firstbasemen are so bad. Some are much better than a 3. Why should their DHs be penalized at being 15 or 20 runs worse (or 10 runs worse than an average 1b)? We are looking for a reasonable way to compare the value of a DH to guys who get to play every day.

The bottom line is not all DHs are worse than every first-basemen. Likely only the DH on the team with the worse first-baseman is worse defensively than all first-basemen. We are seeking how to rate the value of the average DH. They shouldn't all suffer for the guy expectedly worse defensively of them.
9:27 PM Jan 11th
 
tangotiger
If you count an average 1B as being "3", then a terrible 1B that is 10 runs worse than average will come in at -7. In other words, whereas a DH counts as 0 runs, a terrible fielding 1B comes in at -7.

If that is the case, then why let a terrible fielding 1B on the field? You should make him a DH.

But clearly, if a team has a choice between putting their DH at 1B, and relegating their demonstrably terrible fielding 1B to DH and they STILL choose to keep their 1B as 1B, then the player they have at DH must provide LESS defensive value.

Logically, you can't give the DH more defensive value than the player actually on the field.

5:27 PM Jan 11th
 
hotstatrat
I had to sleep on this.

If I interpret your note correctly, the worse fielders are about 10 runs below average. Yet, firstbaseman are given about a 10 run boost just for being firstbasemen. That implies that a DH is regarded as the worse possible firstbasman. That still seems unfair to me.

Here are some numbers: the five worse OPS+ seasons of 309 PA in the past two seasons (309 chosen to reflect 525 (15x9x3+15x8) regulars of those seasons) averaged 10 runs below replacement level. They averaged 348.6 PA, which considering a player normally gets more PA than there are fielded outs, we probably don't need to fudge those 10 runs much to reflect a full season.

So the degree that there are batters hitting well below replacement level is greater than there are fielders fielding well below replacement level, right? If we are judging offense by their degree below replacement level, shouldn't we do the same for defense?

Even if not, even if that is a separate argument, why should DHs be considered the worse of the worse? As I tried to make the case in an earlier comment, half the teams are going to have an above average first-baseman, so it is possible that any of those teams will have a pretty good fielding DH. The average DH is probably only marginally worse than the average firstbaseman. Perhaps, that's what replacement value is for all fielders: a slightly below average firstbaseman. And that's what a DH should be considered. Yes, they don't field any balls, but they are in the line-up. You have to play a DH. That's the peculiar nature of baseball. Giving a firstbaseman a 10 run boost just for making all the routine plays or so, just isn't fair when comparing his value to a team with a DH.

Thus, I am suggesting giving your first-baseman merely a 3 run boost and adjust the rest of your fielders accordingly (-7 runs from previous calculations).

Is this making any sense?
3:12 PM Jan 11th
 
tangotiger
The WAR framework allows for a dynamic replacement level. The reality is that (a) it's alot of work and (b) most people don't care. So, there is a path to get there.
10:03 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Thanks, very much.

With broken colour barriers, improved minor league farming, greater reach for Major League talent, greater training and health knowledge, but also changes in culture, that is to sum up various changes in depth of Major League talent - and also roster make-up changes - have there been significant changes in what replacement value is? And how does WAR cope with it?
9:42 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
Bill uses ~12, I use 10, and you say 8.

Nathaniel Lowe this season was the league-worst fielder at -8 runs in 1327 IP, which works out to annualized -9 runs. In 2021, Dalbec was -8 annualized. In 2019: Hosmer -9. In 2018, the bottom 2 were Cards 1B, who each played half the time, so combined were -12.

That sounds like reasonable agreement to me between the three of us, and consistent with the data.

If you have a specific question, I'd be happy to answer it.
9:26 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Here's why 12 or 13 runs seems too high to me. To make a starting line-up, one player would be only marginally better than another. Why do you jump from 0 to 12 going from DH to 1B just because the 1B is out there making plays? The average DH could be out there saving 9 or 10 runs. You quantify batter's contributions by their marginal differences with Mr. Replacement, why not measure a fielder's contribution over that of a DH?

And, an additional point I was trying to make, don't compare the shortstop to the DH directly, compare him to the overall team defensive depreciation with the DH moving the previous DH to his best position and others moving around to miminize the impact of that shortstop coming out of the line-up (or compare him to a utility infielder, I guess, which is probably roughly what you do.)


9:23 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
didn't see your last post -

Fair enough, I don't know. 12 or 13 runs over what? a whole season? - that seems a little high, I guessed 8, but I'm sure you've done serious research in that matter, so I won't argue about that. My argument is that it seems conceptually wrong to subtract from a DH's offensive contribution. If you aren't doing that, my apologies.

No fielder should have negative defensive numbers unless they were on the field letting runs in like crazy. . . Just like no batter should have a negative WAR unless he was making more outs with less production than a .300 W-L pct. call-up.
9:10 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
You have to give me a number, and not english words that are ambiguous.
9:09 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
(continued) A moderately bad 1B contributes more than a DH on a bad defensive team, but most DHs have better fielding first-basemen. Most of those DHs would be interchangeable with that not-so-good first-baseman. Figuring all DHs should be treated equally, I figure they should all be treated about as equally as that slightly below average 1B.

The rest of the positions should be treated upwards from the run saving capabilities of that a little below average first-baseman.


9:02 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
Ok, so we agree conceptually, and now the argument is the breakeven point as to how much the defensive contribution of a below average fielding 1B equals that of a DH, correct?

So, give me that number. How many runs below average is that number?
8:57 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Of course. And the average 1B contributes more than a DH, but I'm not convinced that a moderately below average 1B contributes more defensively than a DH.

8:51 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
The average fielding SS contributes more defensively than an average fielding 1B.

Do you follow why that is the case?
8:10 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Thanks, Tom,

So - I'm suggesting that defensive contribution to WAR should be calculated such that being DH doesn't take away from those contributions. Does it?
7:31 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"are Offensive contributions to WAR are calculated the same for all batters or is it based on their position?"

It's the same for all batters. A catcher, SS, and 1B going 2-4 with a single and HR will count the same.
7:19 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Oh, so oWAR and dWAR are not components of WAR? I guess I have to go back to WAR 101.

Let me ask: are Offensive contributions to WAR are calculated the same for all batters or is it based on their position?

Whichever it is, the way defensive contribution is calculated, I think should be done is a similar way as much as possible.


6:34 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"The point being is: oWAR measures all batters against a singular replacement level of hitting. Why shouldn't dWAR?"

oWAR shouldn't be used, and dWAR should be used even less.

I'm sorry, I didn't read the rest of what you said, if it requires my acceptance of oWAR and dWAR.​
5:31 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
To suggest anything regarding measures of defense that hasn't already been considered by Bill, you, or others in the Sabermetric community is mountainous, indeed. No doubt you already have considered what I'm trying to point out.

The point being is: oWAR measures all batters against a singular replacement level of hitting. Why shouldn't dWAR? DHs are penalized from that their total WAR for merely being a DH. That is unfair. The are a part of the line-up just as much as the other 8 batters, if not a tiny bit more. Defensive WAR should only be negative if the defensive contributions are worse than what would occur if a typical DH had to play in the line-up instead - not necessarily at that players position, but somewhere which may or may not involve the some other players shifting to a more demanding position. A slightly below average shortstop would still be contributing i.e. saving more runs than an average first-baseman, but I don't think it would be the full difference between what that first-baseman would do if he were playing shortstop and that below average shortstop. Players move around to miminize others shortcomings.

Likewise an outstanding shortstop or centerfielder would still make a bigger difference than an outstanding thirdbaseman, I would think, because they are involved in far more plays. But many plays are rountine. Yes, errors occur, but there's an expected amount of errors players make at each position. It doesn't mean we have to penalize DHs for not being on the field making all those routine plays. We need to find a replacement level for each position that makes sense given the nature of baseball: every batter but the DH has to play somewhere.

Teams instinctively know this. I don't know what the stats are now, but I do recall at one point DHs were the most highly paid position. Yes, that had much to do with it being generally an older player's position, but still - having a good bat in the line-up shouldn't be quite so negated because he happens to be the DH.

It seems to me the distribution of positive and negative dWARs should be similar to oWARs. The positives of dWAR should probably be much less than the positives of oWAR because you can't field an un-home run (well, outfielders can to a very small degree). Also, there are fewer fielding plays than batting opportunities.

Anyway, I hope I'm not wasting anyone's time. This is my view. I don't think I'm a genius, but I'm not stupid.
4:45 PM Jan 10th
 
jgf704
For some reason or other, BJOL software removes the colon from the link text (even though it shows up in the text you see). So if you just click the link, you'll need to put the colon in yourself after the https but before the slash-slash.
4:31 PM Jan 10th
 
jgf704
When trying to assess fielding via BB-Ref, I prefer to look at Rfield (fielding runs) instead of dWAR. As Tom mentions, dWAR includes performance against the center, plus the positional adjustment. Rfield is simply performance compared the the center for the position (or combination of positions for multi-positional players). Players like Mattingly and Tino Martinez show up as negative because of the position adjustment for 1B.

Here's a ranking of 1B only (75%+ games) by Rfield:

https://stathead.com/tiny/QL8Wq

Some familiar names are at the top, e.g. Keith Hernandez +117 runs.
4:28 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"I noticed the bWAR fielding for..."

This is really an issue of scale. It combines the fielding performance against the positional center, plus adds the positional adjustment.

So, it's really more a question of education and perspective than anything else.
3:10 PM Jan 10th
 
abiggoof
To be clear, Tom, Bill and everyone else working on these issues deserve praise — we’re still far ahead of where we were a few decades ago. And I think it says more about the problem than the researchers.​
2:51 PM Jan 10th
 
abiggoof
I noticed the bWAR fielding for Speaker (2.5) and Cobb (-10.8) and Puckett (-.3) and Kaline (2.9) and Mantle (-9.6) and wonder why. Even with the position adjustment, they are no better than average fielders? Mattingly and Tino Martinez, both highly rated in WS, also have poor defensive WAR. I know some players have bloated reputations and there are always exceptions, but I suspect we are far from a good place still with defensive analysis, WS included, and WAR especially seems off. While overall WS and WAR totals generally pass the smell test, players best known for good defense are hard to compare to others right now with any degree of certainty. And I wonder if the defensive spectrum is part of that.
2:49 PM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
When a gold glove catcher bats as a DH because they want to give him half-a-day off, he bats as a DH with no defensive impact whatsoever on that day.

When Frank Thomas bats as a DH it's because he's a DH.

If you want to suggest that we value their DEFENSIVE impact differently, because one is a true-DH and the other is not, then you are going to have a mountain to climb to make your argument.


2:06 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Re: defensive values

I do see DH as no defensive value. I do see that some degree of below averageness first-baseman also brings zero value.

What I am wondering (and, perhaps, it is already worked out near perfectly) is how bad does a first-baseman need to be to be equal to a DH. Both Bill and you see that as about 12 or 13 runs allowed below average by bad fielding over the course of a season, yes?

So, how many regular first-basemen are that bad? I'm thinking that if one tenth of them are that bad, then 90% of the DHs are probably just as good as that 0 valued first-baseman or better. Thus many DHs are getting penalized just because their aren't enough positions available for them to play. Yes, we can't give value to mere potential that isn't earned, but it seems like were are penalizing them unfairly. They are still one ninth of the batting line-up or a little higher if they bat in the top half of the line-up.

Since the average first-baseman is probably capable of saving 12 or 13 runs, then the average DH is probably capable of saving, say, about 8 runs. (Further research required, of course. I'm just presenting an idea.) So is there some way of making that X or 8 runs saved the "replacement" value of all positions and calculating their value from there? Does that make more sense?


12:51 PM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
Re: bigotis49 - number of recent outstanding CFs

Perhaps, modern teams have developed better strategies for covering more ground particularly among centerfielders.
12:26 PM Jan 10th
 
jgf704
bigotis49...

Questions like yours come up in Reader Posts alot. You might consider posting your question there, as it is a much better venue for back-and-forth discussions and the inevitable -- and interesting -- meanderings.
12:24 PM Jan 10th
 
jgf704
Bill said:

Part of the problem, I believe, comes from trying to measure things from a non-existent center. I don't believe that we can ever successfully measure the defensive contribution to a team by measuring from the center.

Actually, the much of the apportionment of win shares (as described in Win Shares) is done using "claim points" across different elements, and these are most certainly anchored to the center. For example, the method for dividing defensive win shares between pitching and fielding (at the team level) is based on claim points for defensive efficiency, BB allowed, HR allowed, errors/passed balls, double plays, and strikeouts (see pp 26-33). Every one of these (except strikeouts) is of the form:

CLAIM POINTS = A + B * (TeamPerformance - LeaguePerformance)

A and B are constants, with different values for the different elements.

It is once again like Tom wrote in his second paragraph: Bill is anchoring things about the center, but then translates to an absolute scale. He does these two things in a single step, whereas WAR does it in two steps.


9:51 AM Jan 10th
 
bigotis49
Not sure this is the right forum, but this is a question I've had for a while. Or maybe it's a comment. Pretty much every year when Andruw Jones is up for Hall consideration. Jones is 22nd overall in dWAR at 24.4, and by far the highest CF. If I read the list correctly, the next highest CF is Blair at 61st at 18.8. Then Mays at 68th at 18.2. Then Kiermaier at 74th at 17.7. Then Cain/Devon White at 85th at 16.8. I didn’t see any other CF in the top 100. I’m not positive those sentences are completely accurate, as I may have missed someone. But for these purposes it’s close enough. So if we believe dWAR: (1) three of the best defensive center fielders ever were in the first 20 years or so of the 21st century, and (2) Jones is substantially better at defense than any other CF in history. Regarding the first point, that Kiermaier thing sticks with me. So in 7,235 defensive innings, he was almost as good as Mays was in 24,525 defensive innings? Maybe someone here can shed some light on dWAR related to centerfielders and how much we can trust it. Is it fair to say it's much more accurate for modern players than older players?
9:35 AM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
I should point out that both Bill and I agree that the DH has zero defensive value, as noted by our two independent scales.

Even though we come at the problem from two very different perspectives, we do agree on that.
9:27 AM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
The best way I like to think about it is to consider Frank Thomas. Frank Thomas provides ZERO defensive value. This is true whether he's a DH or he's "playing" 1B.

If you can see that, then great, join the WAR club. If you are intrigued, I can elaborate. If you don't buy the premise, then this WAR party is not for you.
9:06 AM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
(continued) Sorry, being rushed here ... Why give the firstbaseman even an average firstbaseman so much more credit than the DH when he may only be very marginaly better?
8:57 AM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
One thing doesn't sit right with me about all the defensive analysis we have done so far - that is you've got to play 9 (actually 10) guys. Someone has to be the DH. Why does he get dinged so much just because he doesn't have the opportunity to field the ball?

Perhaps, Bill's point is that you need a replacement value for each position. How much better is Player X at first base than the generic AAA or AA firstbaseman? Why give him a whole bunch of credit for being no better than an average Major League DH?
8:54 AM Jan 10th
 
hotstatrat
One thing doesn't sit right with me about all the defensive analysis we have done so far - that is you've got to play 9 (actually 10) guys. Someone has to be the DH. Why does he get dinged so much just because he doesn't have the opportunity to field the ball?

Perhaps, Bill's point is that you need a replacement value for each position. How much better is Player X at first base than the generic AAA or AA firstbaseman? Why give him a whole bunch of credit for being no better than an average Major League DH?
8:54 AM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"Let's say Bill sees this and agrees he was wrong and this works. Is there some step he can take that he thought he couldn't take?"

Bill has seen it, since I sent it to him, and he published it.

He'll have to answer the rest of your question.

8:51 AM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"If there is an adjustment to be made why does WAR not just add 22.5 to each position"

In point of fact: WAR does do that. It simply does it in a future step. It doesn't really matter where or when it does it, as long as it does it. And it does in fact do it.


8:41 AM Jan 10th
 
tangotiger
"The fundamental flaw in the Tango version in my view is the assumption that an average fielder across all positions has no value."

No, I never said that, nor is any of this implying it. You are subscribing to the Bill James view of the Pete Palmer view that average = 0 = no value.

In no way shape or form do I believe it, nor can it even be possibly true. Teams pay millions of dollars for players who are average hitters and average fielders.

This is why I show the second step of setting the "0" line to the DH having no defensive value.
8:38 AM Jan 10th
 
willibphx
The fundamental flaw in the Tango version in my view is the assumption that an average fielder across all positions has no value. How can you charge a DH with a negative number when he does not enter the field? Would you charge a player a negative value offensively if he never received a PA? If there is an adjustment to be made why does WAR not just add 22.5 to each position and then multiply by 1.2?
5:20 AM Jan 10th
 
wovenstrap
Soooooo. Let's say Bill sees this and agrees he was wrong and this works. Is there some step he can take that he thought he couldn't take?
11:38 PM Jan 9th
 
jgf704
For completeness, here are Bill's Runs Saved (RS) version, Bill's Intrinsic Weights (IW) scaled to 216, and Tango's translated to 0 DH and scaled to 216:

RS / IW / TT
C: 42 / 41 / 42
SS: 36 / 39 / 36
2B: 32 / 35 / 30
CF: 29 / 30 / 30
3B: 25 / 26 / 30
LF: 20 / 16 / 18
RF: 19 / 16 / 18
1B: 13 / 13 / 12
DH: 0 / 0 / 0

4:22 PM Jan 9th
 
jgf704
FWIW, I went through a similar exercise in Reader Posts a while back, but using Bill's "Intrinsic Weights" from pp 67-68 in Win Shares.

https://bit.ly/3XmMpUJ

Repeating here:

1. Converted intrinsic weights to runs via assuming 136.9 fielding runs for average team (0.325 fielding/defense * 0.52 defense/total * 81 wins * 10 runs/win)

2. Translated Tango's weights to 0 by adding 22.5 (sums to 180) and then multiplying by 0.76 (136.9/180).

Numbers were (Bill's first):

C: 26.0 (26.6)
SS: 24.6 (22.8)
2B: 21.9 (19.0)
CF: 19.2 (19.0)
3B: 16.4 (19.0)
RF: 10.3 (11.4)
LF: 10.3 (11.4)
1B: 8.2 (7.6)
DH: 0.0 (0.0)

Similar story.
4:13 PM Jan 9th
 
 
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