Monday, February 4, 2019

Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame Vote Totals increase by 10% from 2018 to 2019.

Apparently it may take a few years to get raise awareness about how unfair OPS is, and for MLB to do the right thing and create an OPSsc (speed contact) stat that will prove Omar Vizquel's .688 OPS does not fairly represent his true offensive contributions.
This blog's estimates that if Omar Vizquel were properly credited for every runner he ever moved over, OBP credited for getting on base via an error (but not batting average credited), and if four sacrifices were equivalent to getting on base once, Omar's career OPS would rise from .688 to around .725.

A .725 OPSsc is respectable when combined with 11 Gold Gloves whereas the outdated .688 OPs has caused some HOF voters to say no way on their Hall of Fame Balloting. 

Here's hoping Major League Baseball will recognize that any runner moved over, and getting on base even via an error should count for something when calculating OPSsc.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Major League Baseball needs an OPSsc (Speed/Contact) Statistic to Balance out Skewed OPS Statistic.


        
Omar Vizquel has a .725 Career OPSsc masquerading as a .688 OPS, and it may cost him a chance to be voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

An OPSsc (speed contact) stat would allow the speed contact hitters to have their own version of OPS. OPSsc would also show how much closer a speed contact hitter is to a slow footed Power hitter when speed and contact is credited on productive outs. 

I am going to list all aspects of OPS statistics that need to be re examined and adjusted going as far back as MLB stats can allow.

1. Multiple Sacrifices in an at bat. If a batter moves three runners over with a productive out, they should get credit for 3 sacrifices, not one. 
2. If a batter moves two runners over, they should get credit for two sacrifices, not one. 
3. If a batter tries to get a hit the opposite way with the intent of also moving the runner over a base, the batter should be given credit for a sacrifice. 
4. If a batter moves two runners over while trying to get an opposite field hit, the batter should get credit for 2 sacrifices.
5. A deep fly ball that scores a run should automatically be ruled a sacrifice, even if the runner was trying for a hit.
6. A fly ball that advances three runners should be credited as 3 sacrifices.
7. A fly ball that advances two runners should be credited as 2 sacrifices.
8. Speed causes errors. A high percentage of a batters safe by way of an error plays are caused because of the batter's speed. The idea that a slow footed baserunner could shuffle to first so slowly that a ball that is bobbled and bounces away from a third baseman a few feet, yet the third baseman can retrieve the ball and throw the runner out at first, is treated statistically identical to a fast runner who beats out a grounder that is barely bobbled and caught before it touches the ground and is fired to first base, is beyond comprehension. Speed induced errors should be credited as getting on base, even if it is not counted as hit, it should be counted as a walk or something that is credited towards the On Base Percentage.
9. GIDPs should result in a SUBTRACTION of some amount since before the batter batted there was an extra runner on base. Power hitters hit into more double plays than speed contact hitters and are not penalized in any way.
10. A comparison between a fast runner on first base and a slower runner on first base should be considered. Besides stolen base percentage, does the next batter see more fastballs or a more predictable pitch selection because a fast runner is on first base? Is the open space between first and second, or shortstop and second base wider when a fast runner is on base because the interior defensemen have to shade closer to the second base bag in case of a stolen base attempt? Does the first baseman hold at first base longer for a speed threat on first versus a non stealing threat?

None of these ten scenarios by themselves constitute much of a difference. It's when we combine and define all ten that suddenly we might see a noticeable increase in OPSsc for the faster contact runners and a slight decrease in OPSsc for slower runners.

Sacrifices need to have some type of value attributed to them. The argument that a runner on first base with no outs scores more often than a runner on second base with one out is a stat that has not been fully analyzed. There may be a 5% differential edge to a runner on first base and no outs versus a runner on second base and one out, but the overall statistical advantage differential may manifest itself moreso because of a high scoring one sided game versus a low scoring, close game. While big innings are more likely to occur by not bunting, A big inning in a 13-4 victory creates a false narrative when it is bundled into the total runs scored stat when comparing overall runs scored from first with no outs versus from second with one out.

Moving a runner over is always better than a non productive out, and productive outs should be a part of OPSsc. If a batter can hit .272 AND have a significant amount of productive outs, then lets not bury the player as being a weakstick just because he did not hit a lot of home runs.

How do we determine how much a sacrifice is "worth"? Clearly one or two sacrifices is not worth a hit. I would suggest that five sacrifices is the equivalent of a single. I think that is a very generous estimate. An argument could be made that 4 or 4.5 sacrifices equal a hit, but to play it conservative, I will say 5 sacrifices equals one hit. It means a batter moved runners over five times while making an out, and in some scenarios could have moved over multiple runners with just one out. Anytime a runner moves just one base, it means the runner is  now in scoring position or has scored. So creating five scoring chances via a sacrifice that will then only require a single for the runner to score seems an overly fair exchange when valuing moving one runner over. I think an argument could be made that four sacrifices is equivalent to either a single, or the equivalent of a walk for OBP purposes when calculating OPS or OPSsc.

If we add OPSsc value of 1/5th of a hit for every time a batter moves any runner over a base, over the course of a season we could be seeing a batter being credited for an extra 30/5 productive outs, or the equivalent of 6 hits. Six hits can add 15 points to a batting average. If we estimate 3 speed induced errors as being like a walk, that adds another 7 1/2 points to the OPSsc. If we subtract GIDP/OBP from the power hitters (using 20 GIDP in a season as their average while speed hitters would be around 10) their OPSsc would drop around 12 to 25 points. Suddenly we are looking at 22.5 plus for the Speed Contact hitters and a minus of around 18 points for slower power hitter. This is suddenly a 40 Point OPSsc differential versus the standard, power hitting favored OPS stat. 


And we have not even valued in if there is a difference when a fast runner is on first base versus a slower runner. 


Omar Vizquel, aka the Sultan of Sacrifice, is the Modern Era leader in Combo sac hits and sac flies with 350, and he only struck out about 60 times a year, meaning anywhere from 25 to 80 extra non strike out contact at bat outs versus the conventional power hitter. Add in Vizquel's ability to move runners over even with a ground out probably  means  Omar's .688 OPS is closer to a .720 to .725 OPSsc range, while the vaunted power hitter drops 18 OPSsc points closer to Vizquel because of GIDP's. Omar Vizquel may have been one of the best Productive Outs hitters the Modern Era has ever seen, so if the average fast contact hitter added 22.5 points to their OPS, Omar Viquel could easily be at 30 to 40 points.

Too many Baseball Hall of Fame voters who never saw Omar Vizquel hit are being overly influenced by a non representative, significantly inaccurate OPS statistic. Instead of comparing a .688 OPS versus an .800 OPS, we could be comparing a .725 OPSsc versus a .782 OPSsc. While still a noticeable difference, 11 Gold Gloves for Omar Viquel would suddenly make for a convincing case for the Baseball Hall of Fame when combined with a .725 OPSsc. Otherwise, Omar Vizquel could have had a .300 batting average under the present OPS system to reach a .725 OPS. A .300 batting average would have ensured Omar Vizquel a Hall of Fame spot, but a .300 batting average may be only marginally better statistically than a .272 batting average if the .272 batter has mastered making productive outs with minimal strike outs, as Omar Vizquel most definitely did. 

Closing the overall power biased OPS gap by use of a Productive Out OPSsc stat is the right thing to do because it more accurately and fairly represents the overall OPS value between the speed contact hitter and power hitter.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

How OPS unfairly helps the Power Hitter and unfairly punishes the Finesse Contact Hitters.


Omar Vizquel has become a victim of “Bill James induced” statistical madness and depravity. Vizquel hit .272 and possibly was one of the all time most efficient hitters with his outs. Unfortunately, OPS and WAR don’t tell the story in regards to how well a batter does with the 67% of at bats that generate outs. Don’t be fooled. Vizquel is the Modern Era leader in combo sac flies and sac hits with 350, Ozzie Smith is second with 277. Vizquel maintained an almost 1 to 1 ratio of walks to strikeouts, a feat achieved by only about 10 percent of all hitters.

Most stats that are kept seem to benefit the power hitters. When power hitters strike out a lot, they are credited with causing less GIDP’s because they strike out so much. But when a speed player only strikes out 60 times a year, Statisticians use this stat to LOWER a hitter’s overall contact batting average. This is sheer nonsense. 

There are no stats kept for double and triple sacs for the same at bat, and no sac’s are credited for moving a runner over via a ground ball to the opposite field. Errors are more often than not caused by a runners speed, yet once again, the speedy runners get no credit for causing an error. GIDP’s are not used to subtract OPS from the power hitter even though they typically hit into almost twice as many as a fast runner does. 

When all of these biases are accounted for, it can mean anywhere from a 15 to 40 Point bias in OPS in favor of the power hitters. We haven’t even discussed how a fast runner at first base may positively affect the batter via more fastball pitches. Stats have to be overhauled and reapplied for the last 75 years. Omar Vizquel was never a weak stick at the plate. Other than his meager amount of strikeouts, he was always a pain in the butt for the pitcher.

If OPS were properly calculated, Omar Vizquel would have a .720 to .725 OPS. The OPS power hitter bias is adversely affecting possibly the best modern era hitter when it came to making efficient outs, Omar Vizquel, from making the Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Revisiting how Sacrifices are Unfairly Tabulated.

One of the arguments used to refute the value of a sacrifice is sacrifices are not 100% guaranteed. While it is true that Sacrifices are not 100% guaranteed, what is also true is that hitters only get credited with one sacrifice even if multiple runners are on base and they all advance on the sacrifice.

It is probably a safe bet to make that if players received a sacrifice for every runner they moved over, the total number of runners moved over would probably be enough of an offset versus the missed sacrifice attempts to create a 100% overall success rate (total number of sacrifice at bats divided by total number of baserunners moved over equals 1). 

Sultan of Sacrifice Blog will hopes the Baseball Hall of Fame and their Voters will recognize Omar Vizquel as the Modern Era Leader in Combo Sacrifice Flies and Sacrifice Hits with 350, and that no one else in the Modern Era has even reached 300.

Sultan of Sacrifice Blog would also like MLB Hall of Fame voters to notice Omar Vizquel's virtual 1 to 1 ratio of walks to strikeouts, a noteworthy feat that fewer than 10% of all hitters achieve.

Vizquel's lifetime Batting Average of .272. is ABOVE the Major League Average and should not be used against Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame Chances. When these Offensive facts are combined with Omar Vizquel's 11 Gold Gloves, it should equal a Hall of Fame Enshrinement.

No ballplayer could last 24 seasons if their hitting was not competitive. A competitive offensive career and a stellar defensive career should hopefully equal Hall of Fame Enshrinement for Omar Vizquel.

Sultan of Sacrifice Blog gives props to Baseball Almanac for being the first to reprint Omar Vizquel's Unrecognized Offensive achievements and hopes other sources will follow suit and at the very least post a link to this Blog to help get the word out about Omar Vizquel, "The Sultan of Sacrifice", and at the very most, reprint these offensive statistics that add weight to Omar Vizquel qualifications for Hall of Fame enshrinement.




Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sultan of Sacrifice asks Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Committee to add Omar Vizquel's Modern Era Leading 350 Combo Sacrifices to his Hall of Fame Ballot Biography.

Sultan of Sacrifice blog has asked the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Committee to add Omar Vizquel's Modern Era record of 350 Combo Sacrifice Flies and Sacrifice Hits to his Hall of Fame Profile.

I want to point out another Hall of Fame statistical irony. If Omar Vizquel had had the exact same number of at bats without ever attempting a sacrifice, Vizquel would have probably reached 3,000 hits. Add in 11 gold gloves, highest fielding percentage for shortstops, tied for the record for fewest errors in a season, respectable base running skills and a very respectable walks to strikeouts ratio of almost 1 to 1 should mean induction in the Hall of Fame.

The irony is, if Mr. Vizquel had never been proficient at sacrificing, he probably does not have as long of a playing career. So Vizquel is being punished by Saber Metrics people who place negative value on a sacrifice for doing what Managers knew to be effective, being able to produce a sacrifice when necessary.

Then the Saber Metrics further punish Viquel's Hall of Fame chances by placing no value in being a viable shortstop for 24 years. This is arm chair analysis at it worst and it is harming Mr. Vizquel's chances of being a Hall of Fame Inductee.

Sacrifices are more valuable than an at bat and the level of analysis needed to actually prove this theory wrong is something that has not been done. Simply stating that a runner at first and no outs scores 42% of the time, but a runner at second base and one out scores 40% of the time is just not enough of a thorough analysis regarding how to value a sacrifice.

Here's hoping the Hall of Fame Committee will add Omar Vizquel as the Modern Era leader in combo Sacrifice flies and Sacrifice hits with 350 to his Hall of Fame Resume.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The argument that a Sacrifice is no better than a regular at Bat is Flawed.

The purpose of a sacrifice is to try and get a runner into scoring position. The purpose of not sacrificing is to try and have a big inning. What Saber Meterics has forgotten to do when comparing a runner on first base and no outs to a runner on second base and one out is how many of the runs that scored from first base were not necessary.

As stated during the 2018 MLB playoffs, a runner on first, no outs, scores 42% of the time, a runner on second base, one out, scores 40% of the time. This works out to a 5% differential. However, what Saber metrics did not do was calculate how many of the extra runs were entirely unnecessary, aka stat padding. If at the end of the year we discover that of a team's 700 runs scored, 70 runs were the equivalent of stat padding, then those runs should be removed from the sacrifice versus non sacrifice comparison. If most of those 70 runs were scored without benefit of a sacrifice, then suddenly we would see that sacrifices may produce slightly less overall runs, but the runs that are scored are in close games.

If a team wins a game 15-3 but it is statistically shown that any run over 9 was a wasted run, then why allow those six extra runs to be part of the comparison between a runner at first base and no outs versus a runner on second base and one out?

I think it is entirely plausible that if we removed all the stat padding runs from the comparison between the runner on second one out, and runner on first and no outs, we may find that a runner on second base, one out, actually scores at a higher percentage than a runner on first with no outs, while also discovering that overall a runner on first with no outs scores more overall runs with a certain percentage of those runs being over kill.

As it stands now, the Sabermetric world has not necessarily quantified baseball strategy as in when one run matters more than hit or miss but when one hits more runs are scored.  A manager would probably prefer to win an occasional game by one or two runs then always go for the big inning and then lose an extra game or two by one run because their big inning plans just did not materialize.

Lets not fall into the trap that the highest percentage of runs scored is also the most effective use of total runs scored, especially when the difference is only 5 percent.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

2018 World Series game three between Los Angeles and Boston features runs scored by each team in 13th inning by sacrifices, that were not credited as sacrifices.

In the top of the 13th inning, the Red Sox were able to push home a run on an infield hit that basically was no different than a bunt. However, seeing eye infield hits that act like a bunt are not counted as a sacrifice.

So of course sabermetric statistics on sacrifice bunts are going to produce SLIGHTLY lower runs per innings scored than when a sacrifice is not done because anytime an out is not recorded, the batter is not credited with a sacrifice.

When the Dodgers were able to score specifically because the runner at first base, Max Muncy, was able to advance from first to second base on a tag up when the Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Nunez landed in the stands making a catch on a foul ball, was a sacrifice credited on the play? I just checked the box score and this was not ruled a sacrifice either. Amazing, the next play would have been a game ending play at second base if Muncy had not advanced on the caught foul ball that put Nunez in the stands.

If Box scores are going to ignore plays that mimic exactly what a sacrifice does, and does not give a sacrifice credit when a baserunner advances, then the stats are going to skew towards runner on first base, no outs, as scoring more runs per inning than a runner on second base, one out.

And lets not forget the real comparison is not whether or not a runner on first no outs scores SLIGHTLY more often than a runner on second base with one out, the REAL TEST is does a runner on second base, one out, score more often than a conventional inning. If a runner on second base by way of a sacrifice results in more runs scored than no one on, no one out, then a sacrifice still INCREASES the likelihood of scoring a run, and that is the real test that should be used to valuate a sacrifice. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What all the major Sports Publications should consider before discussing Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame Worthiness.

I am asking that all of the baseball scribes who focus their research to sabermetrics, (which do not necessarily tell the entire statistical story), do the following; Why not discuss Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame eligibility with the actual play by play announcers who saw Omar Vizquel play?

Omar Vizquel played for six different professional baseball teams. There are plenty of television and radio play by play announcers who saw Omar Vizquel play on a day to day basis.

Why not balance out your assessment of Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame chances by talking to the people who watched Omar Vizquel play everyday? And of course, lets not forget that Omar Vizquel is the modern era leader in combo sac hits and sac flies with 350.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Overheard on ESPN Sunday Night Broadcast, September, 23, 2018 game between Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, Sacrifices matter.

AROD made it perfectly clear that the team that can lay down a sacrifice bunt in playoffs when needed is the team most likely to win a World Series. And, that the sacrifices a team executes during the season are the sacrifices that help prepare a team for the playoffs.

I think AROD is right on, and it just goes to show how having 350 combo sacrifice flies and sacrifice hits is something that should not be overlooked when deciding a player's overall offensive skill sets.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Omar Vizquel, the Sultan of Sacrifice, and worthy of the MLB Hall of Fame.

      Babe Ruth is known as the Sultan of Swat. Omar Vizquel should be known as the Sultan of Sacrifice. Omar Vizquel is the Modern Era Leader in Combo Sacrifice Flies and Sacrifice Hits with 350. As far as my research has shown, no other Modern Era player has even reached 300 Combo Sacrifice Flies and Hits. Ozzie Smith is second among modern era players with 277 combo sacrifice flies and sacrifice hits.

     Sabermetricians claim that a sacrifice produces less runs than if a hitter were to simply hit away. Sabermatricians claim that a runner at first base with no outs will produce more runs than a runner at second base with one out. The problem with making such statements is they are most likely devoid of so many of the nuances that are constantly attenuating within the game of baseball.

       Sacrifices are validated through the act of making an out to move a runner over. Yet so many other scenarios can emerge where an out did not occur but the intent to move the runner over was still achieved, therefore numbers just can't be crunched based on pure sacrifices versus hits.


     For instance, if there is a runner at first base who has below average speed, and the batter has a lot of speed but is not known for much power, it might make sense in certain game situations to try a sacrifice because even though an out is given up, either the slower runner is advanced to second base and could possibly score on a single, or, the lead runner is out and the faster runner now replaces the slower runner at first. 

     Is this sacrifice worth an out? Every situation is different and statistics can't always know the answer. If the batter is trying to get on base while also being committed to advancing the runner, that is a metric difficult to evaluate  based on how baseball statistics are recorded and measured. 

     What can be said is that moving a runner over one base, or replacing the slower runner at first base with a faster one, is a better result than hitting a grounder to the shortstop that results in a double play, or popping the ball up, flying out, or striking out, unless the strike out required the pitcher throwing 8 pitches or more, in which case we can assess some value for raising the pitcher's count significantly. The conclusion is there are productive outs and the attempts to quantify a productive out at present time appears to be oversimplified.

    I would also suggest that even when a batter gives themselves up in a sacrifice situation, they still run hard to first base hoping to beat the throw, and this actuality could mess up the comparisons between sacrificing and hitting away. A ballplayer who is trying to get a hit when they sacrifice are not necessarily given credit for a sacrifice if they in fact do get an actual hit as a result of trying to move the runner over. Are ballplayers credited for both a sacrifice and a hit if their sacrifice turns into a hit instead? They should get both, but do they, I don't think they do. Instead, it the sacrifice is called a hit and can then be leveraged as proof that more runs score on hits than on sacrifices.
     
       Not only do sacrifice bunts generate hits, there are scenarios when a batter hits the ball to the right side to get a runner over and instead gets a hit. The batter is not credited for a sacrifice because they got a hit instead, yet the primary intent of the hitter was to move the runner over. So instead the batter gets a hit and therefore it was not a sacrifice, a big inning ensues, and it's not counted as being caused by a sacrifice even though that was the original intent of the batter. What if the batter had tried to muscle the ball and pulled it to the shortstop and it turns into a double play?  

       The point being that a straight comparison of a runner on first base and no outs with a runner on second base and one outs is an oversimplification that denies complex baseball strategy. Lets add another scenario to the mix and then compare all three. What happens if we compare a runner on second base, one out, with no one on, no outs? If no one on, no outs, produces more runs in an inning than a runner on second base and one out, then I would agree that a sacrifice is not batter than an at bat. However, if a runner on second base and one out is better than no one on, no outs, aka the beginning of an inning, then a sacrifice is clearly better than the start of an inning, even if overall it is less effective than a runner on first base and no outs.

       Sacrifice Flies also have not necessarily been measured correctly by statisticians. If a ballplayer is able to sacrifice a runner over but the ball was hit hard and very deep the scorer may assess that the hitter was trying to get a hit, and therefore no sacrifice will be assessed. That seems inequitable. What if a ballplayer comes up with the bases loaded and no outs and hits a deep fly ball and all three runners advance, only one sacrifice is assessed, and that too is inequitable.

       When calculating the runs scored with a runner on first base and no outs, versus a runner on second and one out, is the speed of the baserunner taken into account? Is it possible that the actual players most likely to bunt, the faster runners with less power, may also be tipping the scales against themselves when the one out, runner on second, zero outs runner on first stats, are compared? Clearly a faster runner on first base with no outs may not be bunted over by a power hitter because a faster runner on first base can be driven in by a double, or can get to third base on most singles, whereas a power hitter on first base is less likely to achieve either.

         It is also important to note, as has been mentioned numerous times by numerous baseball announcers and former baseball players as announcers, the sacrifices that are made during the season can position a team to do better at sacrificing in the playoffs in closely, well pitched games where going for one run to get an early lead or late in a game is the right baseball move to make. Situational needs can defy baseball sabermetric logic. What if the opposing pitcher is pitching really well. Suddenly the likelihood of stringing three singles together may actually be statistically unrealistic versus a single, a sacrifice, and a single. Sometimes just getting that early lead, or scoring that one run late in a game is what decides the game. The overall issue of sacrifices producing less overall runs becomes a moot point because of the game situation.

     Ultimately, those who think sacrifice hits and sacrifice flies have an overall negative impact have to also claim that a random at bat is better than a sacrifice when there is a runner at first base, and that is the sweeping type of statistical generalization that does not belong in Baseball.

      Omar Vizquel, with his 11 gold gloves and a virtual one to one walks to strikeouts batting ratio, along with being the modern era leading 350 sacrifice flies and sacrifice hits, matches the overall achievements of at least two Hall of Fame Shortstops, Luis Aparicio, and Walter "Rabbit" Maranville.