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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Who invented WHIP and why?

WHIP = Walks + Hits per IP (innings pitched)

The variables are the same as those for on base percentage (OBP) for batters, which is something that is familiar.  Why not use OBP?  Why dream up something else and put it into a pitcher's context that requires translation to have meaning?

If I say that a batter has an OBP of .375 you know that is good but not great.  If I say that a pitcher allows an OBP of .375 you can infer the same thing in reverse: bad but not terrible.

But what if say that a pitcher has a WHIP of 1.4506?  What the heck is that?

It's career position number 978 and it belongs to active pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.  It is terrible but if someone woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you about it, aside from being upset at being awakened, would you relate to that number?  Probably not.

Plus, WHIP does not add anything to OBP.  We have long had the data to compute OBP for pitchers.  Slugging average is different as we have not had doubles and triples allowed by pitchers.

Should WHIP be adjusted for park and year?  Yes, but so should OBP.

Except for ERA (earned run average) we should use the same equations for pitchers that we use for batters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Super League

I really don't care whether Kansas City has a MLB team.  Nor Toronto.  Nor Pittsburgh.  I'm tired of junk like small market teams and revenue sharing.  There's a reason it's called MAJOR league.  It does not mean that Kansas City cannot have a baseball team.  It means that Kansas City is not entitled to a MAJOR league team, subsidized by fans of the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc.
Why don't those teams drop out of MLB and form a super league of their own?  They could form their own television network and/or cut deals with existing networks.  Ten teams would do  it.  Here are my suggestions:

New York Yankees
New York Mets
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians
St. Louis Cardinals

Five from each of the two current MLB leagues.  All but the Mets are traditional teams that existed long before modern expansion began in 1961.  The Mets would replace the Giants who play in a small market.

Each team would have nine opponents.  They could play each opponent 18 games.  That's what was done after expansion from eight to ten teams in 1961 (AL) and 1962 (NL) before expansion to 12 teams in 1969 and the creation of the first divisions, east and west, and the introduction of a playoff system.

The Super League  (SL) could have a playoff system that is superior to the existing MLB system.  The first four teams would qualify with two best of seven series.  Seeding in the first round would be: one plays four, two plays three.  The higher seed would get home field advantage, i.e., play at home in games one, two, six, seven.

Currently eight of the thirty MLB teams make the playoffs.  That's 27%.  Forty percent of SL teams would make the playoffs.  SL teams would play only among their own.  MLB plays many more games outside of the stupid four or five team divisions, plus stupid interleague play, which is not done fairly because of natural matchups such as those between New York teams and between Chicago teams.  Let the remaining teams go their own way.  Who would care?  Not SL fans.

Strike Outs to Walks Ratio ... for Batters!

If the strike outs to walks ratio provides useful information about pitchers, why not for batters?  For good batters, maybe it should be reversed: the walks to strike outs ratio.

In a previous post I recommended that pitchers be examined on OPS+, a tool to evaluate batters.

To view database work for walks to strike outs ratio for batters click this link: