"Moneyball" versus the "Big 4" theory.
- From: montygraham <monty1945@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:19:32 -0800 (PST)
For those who lack the ability to understand what this represents, it
is my opinion, and nobody is going to force you to agree with it, so
"chill out" and just make your case if you have a different opinion:
I hope Sandy isn't thinking of trying to make the Mets into a
"moneyball" team (8 guys who bat .270 and hit 10 HR per year, in the
crudest form). The reason is that it relies on statistics too much
and ignores what even a "casual viewer" can see. And that is what I
call the "Big 4" theory of how to create a successful MLB lineup.
Look at Wright's statistics with a healthy Delgado in the lineup
versus since Delgado has been gone, for example. It doesn't matter if
your "Big 4" is batting cleanup all the time, just so long as he's
somewhere in the 3-5 range, depending upon who else is on the team.
It's much easier to figure out how to put a team together when you
have a guy like that on the team.
Having a "Big 4" player will cause most opposing pitchers to think
differently about how they pitch everyone else in the lineup, other
than less common situations, such as the 5 spot leading off (if your
Big 4 guy is batting third or fourth). And think of the teams that
have won the World Series in recent years. Boston had two Big 4 type
players (whether steroids were involved is irrelevant because the
effect on the opposing pitcher is at least as strong), St. Louis had
Pujols, etc. Even the mid/late 90s Yankees sought out guys like
Fielder, Chili Davis, and Strawberry despite how much talent they
already had in that lineup. Why? They didn't have a Big 4.
Now let's turn to the Mets of today. They have a guy who has failed
to be a Big 4 (Wright), though that's what he seems to have been
trying to do since Delgado was no longer able to play (and he is now
so predictable that he is easy to pitch to, and has to rely on
mistakes and "meatballers" to pad his statistics). They have a guy
who might be able to be a Big 4 for home games if the Mets played
their home games at Fenway (Bay). And they have a couple of guys who
could be like that at some point in the future (Ike and Duda), but
also may never even be 5-6 spot type players. Clearly, this lineup
does not frighten any pitcher at this point. What can be done?
If they had made Citi Field as small as possible, we would know by now
whether or not it would have the desired effect on opposing pitchers,
because most pitchers would fear the 4 or 5 hitters (when Beltran was
there) who could just tap the ball and hit a HR. If this worked, the
GM would then seek out pitchers for the team who could deal with
having higher ERAs and hang in there to win 8-7 type games. They need
not be "aces" (guys with attitudes like Dickey, and reasonable talent,
for example, are ones to seek out). This is a strategy to get a team
to the playoffs. Once there, it can become difficult because the
caliber of pitching will likely be much higher (and they will "bring
their A games"), but for a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since
2006, despite the payroll and all the "stars," it would likely satisfy
the fans for quite a while.