Monday, November 19, 2007

Hard Stats on Small Ball Fredi

Bill James Handbook 2008 is out. It's a great read, stuffed with details, including the performance on managers. How’s Fredi compare? Let’s look at two small ball categories – sacrifice bunts attempted and intentional walks. That means giving up outs to make runs and putting opponent runners on base to, um, prevent runs. Guess what? Fredi is an ultra-activist, near the top of the league in both categories. Surprised? Not if you're a true Marlins fan.

Only Clint Hurdle (Rockies!?) and Willie Randolph attempted more sacrifice bunts in the Major Leagues last year, Bill James reports. Hurdle had 112, Willie had had 97, Fredi had 91. Bob Melvin, NL manager of the year, was far down the list with 74. (Far down for the NL, that is. The AL rarely walks people.)

Intentional walks? Fredi’s mentor, Bobby Cox, led the league with 89, and Fredi just had a hard time catching up, issuing 60. Bob Geren of the A’s also gave up 60. Clint Hurdle 61 (small ball advocate at Coors Field? What’s he trying to do? Mess up RW’s theories of evil Rockies?). Charlie Manuel did 62.

Now, James goes a step farther. He has a category called “Bomb” under intentional walks. That’s when more than one run scores in an inning after an intentional walk. And here Fredi tied for the ML league – with 16 Bombs during the season. Here, he showed that he wasn’t up to Bobby Cox speed: Cox intentionally walked 89 hitters and had 16 Bombs. Fredi walked 60 to produce his 16.

Make of this what you will. I personally hate giving up outs to score runs and putting runners on base to prevent runs. Melvin, NL manager of the year, by the way, issued a mere 38 intentional passes, which resulted in four Bombs.


Anonymous said...

But what about Joe Torre?

Anonymous said...

Good point. I hated seeing Fredi give away outs late in tight games last year. Most every time, it cost us -- we gave away precious outs, but never cashed in. In '08, I say, let 'em swing! Play to win, not to tie. Good things happen when you do. -- Ronnie