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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tony La Russa: you hit one of ours, we hit two of yours. Really? No.

During the recent unpleasantness between the Yankees and Rays, Yankee announcer Micheal Kay again stated something attributed to Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa: you hit one of ours, we hit two of yours.

Tony La Russa April 1, 2007 by shgmom56, Barbara Moore
via Wikimedia Commons
It sounds ominous and unlikely to be correct.  So, I checked for the years that La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals in the National Conference, which still has that quaint old rule requiring the pitchers to bat.  The numbers are below but the average is that Cardinal pitchers hit opposing batters about 6.2% more than Cardinal batters were hit.  I didn't expect it to be two to one but 6.2% is pretty slim.  This is a very simple look and does not consider percent of plate appearances nor the critical relationship between Bases on Balls (BB) and Hit By Pitch (HBP), which I call the meanness factor.  I looked at the meanness factor several years ago and concluded:
1. pitchers do not throw at each other
2. there are reputations that are backwards; for instance, Early Wynn was nice, not mean, and probably would not knock down his mother
3. the three meanest post World War II pitchers are Pedro Martinez, Don Drysdale and Jim Bunning.
4. there is probably a bias against sidearm pitchers.
5. there is probably a bias against right handed pitchers; recent evidence suggests that pitchers tend to hit batters of the same handedness more often; see previous post.

Meanness Factor: how to determine if HBP is intentional.  Saturday, August 20, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals:
yearBatPitP-Byear(P-B)/B
19964435-91996-20.45%
1997425917199740.48%
1998425412199828.57%
1999516312199923.53%
20008462-222000-26.19%
200165727200110.77%
20026760-72002-10.45%
20037365-82003-10.96%
2004516716200431.37%
20056260-22005-3.23%
2006618019200631.15%
2007547319200735.19%
200842519200821.43%
20096153-82009-13.11%
20105048-22010-4.00%
20114446220114.55%
tot893948556.16%

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