• Leitch: Yanks Rotation Will Be Their October Downfall

    Posted by on September 6th, 2010 · Comments (90)

    Via Will Leitch:

    But there is trouble brewing, and it’s best described by a quote that [Brian] Cashman might recognize from his old rival across the country in Oakland, Billy Beane. In Moneyball, Beane confesses, “My shit doesn’t work in the playoffs.” What Beane meant was that for all his work at roster construction, once the strange dynamics of October take over—short series where a hot pitcher or a random bounce can prove decisive—winning is a crapshoot. Anything can happen. It’s a lesson Yankees fans should keep in mind, because one can make a strong argument that this team’s postseason prospects are shakier than anyone is willing to admit.

    This season, A. J. Burnett will make more money than Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Robinson Cano. His $16.5 million salary makes him the twentieth-highest-paid player in the game and the sixth-highest-paid pitcher. And he has been terrible. His 5.15 ERA is easily the worst of his career, and he’s compiled a 10-12 record, which, on a team that’s more than 30 games over .500, is difficult to achieve even if you’re trying. Girardi has kept him in the rotation for the same reason Girardi makes most decisions—he has a solid enough lineup, and a big enough cushion in the standings, that he can keep sending Burnett out there and hope he figures it out. In October, he will have no such luxury.

    Burnett is just the highest-profile symptom of the Yankees’ biggest postseason concern. The rotation is springing leaks everywhere. After CC Sabathia, who has been terrific, the Yankees don’t have a single reliable starter. Andy Pettitte hasn’t pitched since mid-July, and it’s far from certain he’ll look like the old Andy when he returns from his left-groin injury. Phil Hughes was the team’s best pitcher the first three months of the season but has cooled off lately (and is nearing his innings limit). Javier Vazquez has vindicated fans who screamed when the Yankees traded for him in the off-season (funny how Game 7 grand slams given up to the Red Sox don’t fade from public consciousness) and was recently plying his trade in the bull pen. Rookie Ivan Nova has been a pleasant surprise, but he’s still a rookie. Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin, and Sergio Mitre are guys you throw in the game in case one of the above pitchers can’t make it out of the second inning.

    And that’s it. That’s all the Yankees have as a rotation. A $213 million payroll, and the Yankees have one reliable postseason starter. So much of October comes down to starting pitching—that and Mariano Rivera have been the constants during every Yankees World Series run—and the Yankees, the vaunted Yankees, have no idea who starts Game 2 of a series. Sure, they’re planning on its being Pettitte, but that’s assuming he’s ready and able. If he’s not, the Yankees are looking at Burnett, Hughes, or Vazquez. Never mind Game 3.

    This ties into what I mentioned a week and a half ago. As I said then: “…the Yankees starting rotation, excluding #52, is a mess. It’s a shame that the Yankees front office has turned a blind eye to this as it has been unfolding. Because, now, it may be too late to do anything about it.”

    There’s no way this rotation carries the Yankees through three rounds of post-season baseball. Maybe, just maybe, it might get them through the LDS – because you only need three wins there. But, come LCS and WS time, it’s going to be a sad time in Yankeeland, should New York make it that far.

    Comments on Leitch: Yanks Rotation Will Be Their October Downfall

    1. INAC
      September 6th, 2010 | 9:38 pm

      But, come LCS and WS time, it’s going to be a sad time in Yankeeland, should New York make it that far.

      Jeff Niemann has looked like shit in his last three starts.

      Texas altogether has looked like shit for a while now, and they’re banged up all across the board.

      Minnesota certainly doesn’t have anyone imposing after Liriano. All those guys are hittable.

      Not to deflect from the point about the Yankees, but it’s certainly not a definite what you’re saying.

    2. September 6th, 2010 | 10:08 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees eliminated in the first round without winning a game. The Yanks hitting is very overrated, this team will struggle to score runs in the postseason and the starting pitching outside of CC appears to be a lost cause. To understand where we are, Nova is now in the discussion of postseason starters.

    3. September 6th, 2010 | 10:16 pm

      We tend to see all the flaws on our team, none on the others. The Rays right now have Price and Garza and thats all. Shields has an ERA close to 5, Davis has struggled and probably wont get a start, and Neimann has been Burnett-like for a month and may still be hurt. Texas has looked pretty bad for a month now and have injuries to Lee and Hamilton. Minnesota just had Baker get hurt, Mourneau has been down, and the Yanks have owned them for years. And does anyone in the NL scare you right now? The NL races are all about who is losing less. Believe me, none of these teams want to play the Yankees.

    4. INAC
      September 6th, 2010 | 10:22 pm

      To wit, look at the ERA’s of Burnett and Pettitte last year going into the playoffs.

      Burnett: 4.04. Pettitte: 4.16.

      Not exactly the numbers you want from your #2 and #3 starters. The Yankee rotation was a concern to many down the stretch, especially the way AJ had been pitching, and compared to a “built-for-the-playoffs” rotation like Boston’s, which had Lester and Beckett sub-4, and Buchholz pitching to a 1.73 in September, and it looked like there were definite problems that could arise in the playoffs too.

      And then the playoffs actually happened, and Pettitte was superb, AJ very good at home (not so much on the road, but in the circumstances that arose, both times they were up 3-1 with games 6 and 7 in NY. Margin for error, no guarantee that’s the case this year, of course).

      What I guess I’m trying to say is that it’s definitely fair to point out rotational concerns that could loom large to this team’s playoff potential, especially Burnett and Hughes since there won’t be the ability to go three-man throughout the entire postseason like they could last year. Rather, I’ll simply see how everything plays out. If Pettitte comes back and pitches well, coupled with C.C., the Yankees already have two guys who they expect to win with. I’ll take my chances with those two pitching well.

      This team just won eight straight games. One small two game skid follows and its gloom and doom around here again. It’s fucking insanity. Do the Yankees have their flaws? Absolutely. So do the other four teams on the AL playoff precipice.

    5. ken
      September 6th, 2010 | 11:10 pm

      IMHO, the best starting rotation is not getting into the playoffs: BOS. Everyone else has good, bad and ugly. I’ll take my chances with what we have.

    6. Evan3457
      September 7th, 2010 | 1:10 am

      Again: who else scares you? The Rays? Maybe. They’re tough, their pitching is pretty sound, and they can field and run. But they can’t hit all that well; they’re life and death to avoid getting 3-hit or worse in too many games.

      The Rangers? Another flawed team. Minnesota? The same team Steve keeps saying doesn’t count because the Yanks “own” them?

      The team that could make the playoffs that might be scary is the White Sox, but they’ll have to get past the Twins first.

      Over in the NL…the Padres and Giants can’t hit either. The Rockies could be a challenge if they can get past the top two, but that isn’t likely. The Reds have one solid starter in Cueto, and maybe another in Arroyo. Maybe. The Cards top 3 is scary, but they’re not likely to catch the Reds.

      So what’s left; the Braves and Phillies, maybe. The Yanks’ll only have to beat one of them, if it happens that they meet.

      ===================================================

      The Yankee rotation has been more or less like this since AJ went down in June, Hughes backslid, and Pettitte got hurt going on 7 weeks ago. You know what their record is since the beginning of June? 55-32? You know what it’s been since Pettitte got hurt? 28-19.

      People think that you need a rotation like Pettitte, Wells, El Duque and Cone to win it all. You don’t, not unless you’re facing Pettitte, Wells, El Duque and Cone.

      You need two good starters and a halfway decent third, if you have a solid bullpen. Right now, the Yanks have a solid bullpen. They can carry 12 pitchers including two long relievers in the post-season if they have to, along with Cervelli, Berkman, Thames, Kearns and Pena.

      In 1987, the Twins won on the “strength” of a rotation of Frank Viola (17-10, 2.90), Bert Blyleven 15-12 (4.01) and Les Straker (8-10, 4.37).

      In 1993, the Jays won it all with this rotation: Juan Guzman (14-3, 3.99), Dave Stewart (12-8, 4.44), Pat Hentgen 19-9 (3.87), and Todd Stottlemyre (11-12, 4.84). Lest you think that was a good rotation in the steroid era, they were 9th in the AL in rotation ERA, 12th in the league in rotation K/BB ratio, and 11th in WHIP.

      In 2006, the Cards rotation that won it all was Carpenter (15-8, 3.09), Weaver (5-4 5.18), Suppan (12-7, 4.12), and Reyes (5-8, 5.06). The Cards starters that year were 12th out of 16 in the NL in ERA, 10th in WHIP, 11th in K/BB ratio, and 14th in HR allowed.

      =================================
      And then of course, there’s last year’s Yankees. The rotation last year was CC, 19-8 3.37; Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16; AJ, 13-9, 4.04, and Joba 9-6. 4.75. Joba, of course, didn’t pitch in the post-season rotation. Thanks largely to Joba’s collapse and the misery in the 5th starter slot until Gaudin took it in late August/Early September, Yankee starters in 2009 were 5th in ERA, 8th in WHIP, 8th in K/BB ratio. They were tied for the league lead in fewest HRs allowed.

      Well, comparing this year to last, the major change is that the 4th starter, presumably Hughes, will have to make one start in the ALCS and World Series, if they get that far. Otherwise, AJ is worse, CC is better, and Andy was better before he got hurt. Right now, the Yanks starters are 7th in ERA, 6th in WHIP, 7th in K/BB ratio. Largely because of Hughes and Vazquez, they’re last in the AL in HR allowed. Vazquez and Hughes are not both starting in the playoffs (unless Andy gets hurt again, and if he does, well, that would finish things for a repeat anyway).

      ======================================
      The Yanks right now have 1 1/2 solid starters in 5. When Andy comes back, that becomes 2 1/2. When the #5 gets dropped, that’s 2 1/2 out of 4. If the hitting and bullpen hold up, they can still win it all, just like that.

      I’m not saying they should be favored. In fact, I think the odds against them winning it all again are at least 4 to 1 against, maybe 5 to 1 against. What I’m saying is that the current state of the rotation is not determinative, 1) because the current state NOW might improve by the start of the post-season, and 2) because it’s possible they can win it all with CC, a solid Pettitte, and either Hughes or AJ stepping forward with one good game out of 3 in the ALCS and World Series, should they get that far.

    7. MJ Recanati
      September 7th, 2010 | 8:51 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees eliminated in the first round without winning a game.

      I’ll take that bet.

    8. MJ Recanati
      September 7th, 2010 | 8:55 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s a shame that the Yankees front office has turned a blind eye to this

      You always level this charge but never back it up with any concrete facts. The Yankees front office has clearly not turned a blind eye to this, in either word or deed.

    9. Raf
      September 7th, 2010 | 9:09 am

      @ Evan3457:
      Stop trying to make sense! ;)

    10. Raf
      September 7th, 2010 | 9:11 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Perhaps it’ll become true if he repeats it enough? :)

    11. Raf
      September 7th, 2010 | 9:16 am

      Yep, with Moose, Duque, Clemens, Pettitte and Wells, those Angels didn’t stand a chance in 2002… Wait, what?

    12. MJ Recanati
      September 7th, 2010 | 10:09 am

      @ Raf:
      Hopefully that’s how it works. In that case…

      “I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…I want a million dollars…”

      Nope…didn’t work… :-D

    13. KPOcala
      September 7th, 2010 | 12:01 pm

      Steve, your right, the Yanks rotation is fair at best, right now. But the Yanks line-up,defense, and over-all bench is still better than any other team in baseball. The Yankees pitching still has time to sort itself out. We tend to forget all the angst over the last 15 years heading into the play-offs, sometimes it’s a bunch of old, hurt players, sometimes it’s the bullpen, sometimes the team has played poorly in Sept. Remember, the Yanks have a lot of players that have been there before (I wouldn’t mind having Matsui/Damon in the DH hole), but no team has everything.

    14. Ricketson
      August 1st, 2013 | 6:47 pm

      “That’s all the Yankees have as a rotation. A $213 million payroll… one reliable postseason starter… So much of October comes down to starting pitching… the Yankees, have no idea who starts Game 2… Never mind Game 3.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      People think that you need a rotation like Pettitte, Wells, El Duque and Cone to win it all. You don’t, not unless you’re facing Pettitte, Wells, El Duque and Cone.

      On vacation and didn’t get a chance to reply in Jul., 2013, so referencing an old thread from 2010 that’s on point. Not disagreeing with your posts on this thread, just following up.
      @ LMJ229:

      IF IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 162 GAMES IN A REGULAR SEASON, THEN IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 152 GAMES IN 24 POSTSEASON SERIES FROM 2005-12.

      In the League Division Series (LDS), the team with a better ERA (starters) has won 57/72 series (79.2%).
      1995-2012:
      ALDS: team with better ERA (starters) won 28/36 series (77.8%).
      NLDS: team with better ERA (starters) won 29/36 series (80.1%).

      The percentages are almost EXACTLY equal.

      In the League Championship Series (LCS), the percentage can be expected to be higher than 79.2% IF the postseason is NOT a crapshoot AND starting pitching is the most significant element of postseason success AND 72 series is a proper sample size BECAUSE the LCS is a best-of-seven series, NOT a best-of-five series like the LDS.
      1995-2012:
      ALCS: team with better ERA (starters) won 15/18 series (83.3%).
      NLCS: team with better ERA (starters) won 15/18 series (83.3%).

      The percentages are EXACTLY equal for each league. The exceptions: 1997 Indians, 1999 Yankees, 2001 Yankees in the AL, and the 1997 Marlins, 2003 Cubs, and the 2008 Phillies in the NL.

      In the World Series (WS), the percentage can be expected to be approx. 83.3% because the WS is a best-of-seven series like the LCS and for the aforementioned reasons. The percentage of teams with better ERAs (starters) that won the WS? EXACTLY 83.3%, or EXACTLY 15/18 series.

      The percentage of teams with better ERAs (starters) that have won EACH LCS series IS EXACTLY EQUAL to the percentage of teams with better ERAs (starters) that have won the WS. The exceptions: 1996 Yankees, 1997 Marlins, and 2003 Marlins.

      Teams have not been losing postseason series because of the failures of their bullpens, yielding unearned runs, other excuses, etc. as much as because their starters have been outperformed by opposing starters (79.4% or 100/126 series).

      Predictability
      It’s more predictable that a team’s starters will outperform an opponent’s starters in some cases than others. And it’s predictable that a team with starters that outperform opposing starters will win a postseason series – it’s not true that the team with starters that outperform opposing starters can be expected to win the series approx. only 50% of the time – closer to 83.3% of the time in a seven-game series based on the results of all of a 54 seven-game postseason series sample since 1995, or 79.4% overall (126 series sample).

      The One Bad Start Argument
      One bad start by a pitcher doesn’t make a postseason series a crapshoot; it makes a postseason series baseball, and no different than a regular season series. Baseball is baseball: IF IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 162 GAMES IN A REGULAR SEASON, THEN IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 152 GAMES IN 24 POSTSEASON SERIES FROM 2005-12.

      John Cashman’s son
      If a team has one of the top nos. 1-3 starters/rotation frontends in MLB over 8-10 years, shouldn’t it be expected to win more than 50% of postseason series played over 8-10 years? Yes.

      The New York Yankees built by Michael and Watson won 14 of 16 postseason series from 1996-2001. Who were the no. 3 starters?

      No 3. Starter (Career AL postseason ERA as of 2001)
      D. Cone (3.71)
      K. Rogers (3.16)
      O. Hernandez (2.45)
      D. Wells (2.74)
      R. Clemens (4.37)
      D. Neagle (4.29)

      The New York Yankees built by Michael, Watson, and unbuilt John Cashman’s son won only 5 of only 11 postseason series from 2005-12. Who were the no. 3 starters?

      No. 3 Starter (Career AL postseason ERA as of 2012)
      R. Johnson (6.92)
      S. Chacon (2.84)
      J. Wright (7.07)
      A. Burnett (5.08)
      P. Hughes (4.54)
      I. Nova (4.32)
      H. Kuroda (2.81)

      To win more than 5/16 postseason series in 8-10 years with $200-30 mil. to spend each year, the place to “start” is with 3 starters capable of pitching to a better ERA in the postseason over 8-10 years. The postseasons from 2005-12 would have been more successful with better no. 3 starters. John Cashman’s son had the money, and he spent it on Burnett, Clemens II, Igawa, and Pavano among others.

      He had the resources to get the team into the postseason with better starters to complement Mussina, Pettitte, Wang, and Sabathia and failed. That’s why the team’s participated in only 11 postseason series since 2005, and won only 5 of them more than any other reason. IF IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 162 GAMES IN A REGULAR SEASON, THEN IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 152 GAMES IN 24 POSTSEASON SERIES FROM 2005-12.

    15. PHMDen
      August 1st, 2013 | 8:52 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Predictability

      Predictability doesn’t have much of a place here. Example: the 2006 St. Louis Cards. It wasn’t known in 2006 that the Cards were throwing one of the best postseason starters in recent history – Carpenter – we learned that about Carpenter later. It was an advantage Las Vegas didn’t know about, and wasn’t reflected in the odds – but it was there. It was real. And it did play out.

    16. Ricketson
      August 1st, 2013 | 9:20 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Predictability doesn’t have much of a place here.

      Agreed. I didn’t bring it up initially. The discussion about what “constitutes the appropriate amount of success” if not 5/11 playoff series wins or 1 pennant since 2005/in the Era of Autonomy has nothing to do with whether the outcome of the 2006 or 2010 World Series was predictable.
      The answer would be “something closer to 79.4% of series won” based on postseason stats since 1995, which would necessarily entail more than 11 series played, and more than 1 pennant won – if you have a true G.M.

    17. Evan3457
      August 1st, 2013 | 10:16 pm

      Saying that the Yankees #3 starters were lousy post-season pitchers because they pitched lousy in the post-season is an analysis that analyzes very little. This is circular logic.

      I don’t know where some of the numbers cited are coming from:

      Kenny Rogers had a post-season ERA over 9 before 2001, not 3.16. He made 3 horrible starts for the Yankees in 1996, who won it all in spite of him.

      Denny Neagle, who Cashman traded for, not Michael or Watson, made 3 starts for the Yankees in the 2000 post-season, all 3 of them mediocre. He wasn’t able to win any of them, and that team went 11-5 in the post-season. He famously wasn’t able to win the 4th game of the World Series, being relieved by an all but washed up Cone to get Piazza and get out of the 5th inning before Neagle could finish it with the lead.

      Clemens was up and down in the post-season, to say the least. Some awesome games, some fearsome beatings. And Cashman traded for him, not Michael or Watson. So pick a side on Clemens.

      Orlando Hernandez was signed in March, 1998…by GM Brian Cashman, not by Michael or Watson.
      ==============================================
      Randy Johnson wasn’t the Yanks #3 starter in 2005; he was their best starter in 2005. The reason why he didn’t start until game 3 in the ALDS was that the Yankees fought the Red Sox for the divisional title and the Indians for the Wild Card until the last Saturday of the season. Johnson pinch the Wild Card clinching game for the Yanks that Saturday, which is why he didn’t start games 1 and 2; he would’ve been pitching on short rest.

      Jaret Wright on the other hand was arguably the Yanks 3rd best starter in 2006. However, in Torre’s judgement, Johnson was better, so he pitched game 3, and Wright pitched game 4. Wright was never the real #3 starter; not in the regular season, not in a post-season series.

      AJ Burnett…reducing his post-season performance with the Yankees to single ERA number is fatuous. His ERA in the 2009 post-season was 5.27, but when broken down by game, he pitched 1 terrible game, 1 so-so game, and 3 excellent games, including the single most important game of that whole post-season, the game 2 victory over Pedro Martinez in the World Series. After that, one more lousy game, and one more excellent game.

      Carl Pavano had an excellent post-season for the Marlins in 2003, including pitching very well against the AL Yankees, who were 3rd that year in the AL in runs scored, and 2nd in OPS. It was his only post-season experience before the Yankees signed him. He pitched 1 good game and 1 bad one after that for the Twins in 2009-2010. He never pitched for the Yankees in the post-season in his four-year deal. Had he been able to do so, he might’ve been a tad better than the guys they did start in some of those series. For whatever reason, he never did/could.

      Igawa never started in the post-season either.

      Roger Clemens II made one poor post-season start. However, it was the only game the Yankees won in that series, so it wasn’t his fault they didn’t win it. The winning pitcher in that game in relief? Phil Hughes.

      ================================
      Basically, your argument about the quality of the #3 starters blows off to this. Gene Michael made a salary dump deal to get David Cone, and signed an in-his-prime David Wells to a free agent deal.

      Cashman signed Hernandez (really George signed El Duque, just as he signed Contreras in 2002, and for the same reasons, and with the same impetus from George, traded for Neagle, traded for Clemens.

      ======================================

      IF IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 162 GAMES IN A REGULAR SEASON, THEN IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 152 GAMES IN 24 POSTSEASON SERIES FROM 2005-12.

      I’m sorry, the two are not remotely comparable. Post-seasons are never anything close to 162 games, and sometimes less than 5 games. There’s no way things can “even out” in a 5-game series. You can’t add up small sample sizes from 60 different teams over 18 years and hold that the results are no less random than one team over one season. No mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with that.

      To me, it seems the entire reasoning behind your position that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot boils down to this: the better post-season teams are the teams that play better in the post-season; the teams with better post-season hitting are teams that hit better in the post-season; the teams with better post-season pitching are teams that pitch better in the post-season.

      This is a classic example of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    18. Raf
      August 1st, 2013 | 10:32 pm

      Raf wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Stop trying to make sense!

    19. Evan3457
      August 1st, 2013 | 10:44 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      @ Evan3457:
      Stop trying to make sense!

      Me sorry. ;)

    20. Raf
      August 1st, 2013 | 11:03 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Predictability doesn’t have much of a place here.

      Ricketson wrote:

      Agreed.

      Dictionary.com wrote:

      Crapshoot: Anything unpredictable…

    21. Ricketson
      August 2nd, 2013 | 6:41 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Saying that the Yankees #3 starters were lousy post-season pitchers because they pitched lousy in the post-season is an analysis that analyzes very little.

      If pitching lousy in the postseason over the course of years doesn’t make a pitcher/staff a lousy postseason pitcher/staff, what does? Conversely, if excellence in the postseason over the course of years doesn’t make a pitcher/staff an excellent postseason pitcher/staff, what does?

      And I didn’t say that the Yankees no. 3 postseason pitching was “lousy,” just not what it should have been with $200-35 mil. to spend each year.

      Igawa ($46.00 mil.) + Pavano ($39.95 mil.) + Clemens ($18.70 mil.) + Burnett ($82.50 mil) = $187.15 mil. spent by John Cashman’s son on ONLY FOUR failed starting pitching signings from 2005-12; $187.15 mil on ONLY FOUR starting pitchers closer to lousiness, than excellence.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Kenny Rogers had a post-season ERA over 9 before 2001, not 3.16.

      Correct. I included Detroit’s numbers by mistake and should not have. I compiled this information manually, so there will be some misplaced decimal points, typos, etc. My apologies.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      [Rogers] made 3 horrible starts for the Yankees in 1996, who won it all in spite of him.

      And the 1996 Yankees were one of the exceptions I mentioned, were they not:
      Ricketson wrote:

      The exceptions: 1996 Yankees, 1997 Marlins, and 2003 Marlins.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Randy Johnson wasn’t the Yanks #3 starter in 2005…

      Incorrect. He was their no. 3 starter in the 2005 postseason behind Mussina and Wang. Chacon was the no. 4 starter.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Igawa never started in the post-season either.

      I believe Cashman’s $46 mil. pitcher made postseason starts for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail-Riders in some seasons from 2005-2011. I did not write that Igawa made a postseason start for N.Y. Cashman’s staff was not THAT bad.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Basically, your argument about the quality of the #3 starters blows off to this.

      It blows off to this:
      Starting pitching is the MOST significant element of postseason success. The Yankees did not participate in more than 11 postseason series since 2005 because their starting pitching did not perform well enough over EIGHT YEARS to get them to more than 11 series, winning ONLY 5, more than any other reason, and certainly “luck” or “randomness.” And Cashman was the G.M. 2005-12.

      There is no randomness here. Teams with starters that outperform opposing starters have won 79.4% of the time (126 series). The other 21.6% of the time can be attributed to a variety of different explanations – including luck, if you want to talk about Jeffrey Maier.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      No mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with that.

      I don’t believe a professional mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with saying the postseason is a crapshoot because… What’s your rationale again? Something about predictability? Las Vegas?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The reason why [ Johnson] didn’t start until game 3 in the ALDS was… [Wright] was arguably the Yanks 3rd best starter in 2006. [I]n Torre’s judgement… [Burnett] pitched 1 terrible game, 1 so-so game, and 3 excellent games… Pavano had an excellent post-season [in 2003], including pitching very well against the AL Yankees, who were 3rd that year in the AL in runs scored, and 2nd in OPS…. It was his only post-season experience before the Yankees signed him. He pitched 1 good game and 1 bad one after that for the Twins in 2009-2010. He never pitched for the Yankees in the post-season in his four-year deal. Had he been able to do so, he might’ve been a tad better than the guys they did start in some of those series. For whatever reason, he never did/could.

      “Facts in search of an argument.” “Rubbish.” “Yawn.” FACT: teams with starters that outperformed opposing starters have won 100/126 postseason series since the inception of LDS competition.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      To me, it seems the entire reasoning behind your position that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot boils down to this: the better post-season teams are the teams that play better in the post-season.

      No. But nice try. I never wrote a that one team was better than another. I wrote that teams with “better” starting pitching can be expected to outperform opponent starters in most series – they’re better, after all.

      But I’m not going to get into whether or not Staff A was better than Staff B, or whether Staff A had a better postseason starter(s) than Staff B, etc., other than to note the 1996-2001 staffs were better than the 2005-12 staffs. I’ll have that discussion, but not one for any postseason matchup because this can go on forever.

      I also wrote that starting pitching is the most significant element of postseason success, and that teams with starting pitching that outperforms an opponents starters can be expected to win a postseason series, as reflected in the FACT that such teams have won 79.4% of all postseason series since 1995. These statistics belie the notion the postseason is a “crapshoot.”

      I’m also not going to get into predictability and Las Vegas, either. The scope of this discussion, as far as I’m concerned, is whether or not it can be demonstrated statistically that the postseason is or is NOT a “crapshoot” with FACTS. Example: that the team with the best regular season record in baseball has won the World Series only 3 times since 1995 does not support an argument the postseason is a crapshoot.

      Question:
      If N.Y. plays Bos. in a 3-game series in the third week of Sep. with N.Y. in first place by 3 games over Bos, and a 4-game series in the fourth week of Sep., and one team win comes away with 4 wins. Was it a “crapshoot?” No it was a baseball series. Why does it become a “crapshoot” 2 weeks later in Oct.?

      Question:
      Why has no one ever referred to the 1978 “Boston Massacre” as the Yankees having won a “crapshoot?”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m sorry, the two are not remotely comparable.

      The sample sizes are in terms of number of games played, or that might have been played if the Yankees had won all postseason series since 1995.
      The line was highlighted and capitalized to emphasize the point that we’re not talking about ONE postseason series OR ONE postseason, but EIGHT postseasons from 2005-12 – a point that is conveniently passed over and that I knew I was going to have to repeat over and over again, as I patiently have.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Post-seasons are never anything close to 162 games, and sometimes less than 5 games.

      It wasn’t written that a postseason is ever close to 162 games. That 8 postseasons can be close to 152 games is a reminder that we’re discussing 2005-12, not one series in 2005 – again.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      You can’t add up small sample sizes from 60 different teams over 18 years and hold that the results are no less random than one team over one season.

      I didn’t.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      This is a classic example of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      “Classic example?” This is a logical fallacy involving causality. Where have I written something that implies “causality?” Where have I used the words “cause,” “caused,” etc.? Where did I write that Team A was better than Team B because Team B lost a postseason series, or the loss of a postseason series caused Team A to be a better team than Team B?

      We refer to the 2012 San Francisco Giants as world champions because we consider them to have performed better than the National League Champions in the World Series. We consider them to have performed better because they scored more runs, or gave up fewer runs in more games, than the National League Champions. They gave up fewer runs in more games than the National League Champions because their starting pitching pitched better than Detroit’s, as reflected in its 1.42 ERA compared to Detroit’s 4.24 ERA, more than any other reason.

      That S.F. outperformed Det. in the area most significant to postseason success in baseball – starting pitching, did not “cause” the Giants to be a “better” team or have “better” starting pitching, it was simply the reason the team won the series more than any other, and belies the notion the postseason is a crapshoot.

      Again, if the Giants defeat a division rival in two series Sep., one three games, and the other four games, why do we not refer to that series as a “crapshoot,” but if the two teams meet in a series two weeks later, some refer to it as a “crapshoot?”

      Because it’s someone’s OPINION what constitutes the BETTER or BEST team, that the 2010 or 2012 Giants were OR were not the BETTER or BEST team, or that the 2010 or 2012 Giants starting pitching SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT have performed better than an opponent in their OPINION are not very strong arguments the postseason is a crapshoot.

      And the 2010 S.F. Giants are not a very good example of a team that would not have won but for a crapshoot playoff system.

      S.F. defeated Atl. in the N.L.D.S. with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 0.93 compared to Atl.’s 2.78. S.F. defeated Phi. in the N.L.C.S. with its starters posting a better E.R.A. by 0.50. Finally, S.F. defeated Tex. in the World Series with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 2.25 compared to Tex.’s 4.60.

      To further demonstrate 2010 wasn’t a fluke, S.F. defeated StL. in the 2012 N.L.C.S. with its starters posting an E.R.A. of 3.05 compared to StL.’s 4.50. S.F. defeated Det. in the 2012 WS with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 1.42 (DET.: 4.24). With the exception of the 2012 NLDS, SF starters outperformed opposing starters in ALL postseason series in 2010 and 2012 and won 2 titles.

      2010-12 NLDS Starters ERA (Record: 2-0)
      S.F.: 2.79
      OPP.: 3.66

      2010-12 NLCS Starters ERA (Record: 2-0)
      S.F.: 3.03
      OPP.: 3.69

      2010-12 WS Cumulative ERA (Record: 2-0)
      S.F.: 1.91
      OPP.: 4.44

      SF’s postseason statistics for 2010-12 certainly indicate 2010 wasn’t a fluke. FACTS. I did not write that the 2010 or 2012 Giants were a “better” team or had a “better” starting pitching than their opponents. I wrote the FACT that their starting pitching outperformed opponents does not support the position the postseason is a crapshoot, AND the FACTS that their starting pitching outperformed opponents AND they won the series is consistent with postseason statistics since 1995 belie the notion the postseason is a crapshoot.

      N.Y.’s postseason statistics for 2005-12 certainly indicate that it was no fluke Cashman’s team with $200-30 mil. payroll in each year participated in ONLY 11 postseason series, and won ONLY 5. It participated in ONLY 11 series, and won ONLY five because its starters were outperformed in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. NOT because the team was unlucky in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, or 2012.

      If the $187.15 million ALONE had been spent more intelligently than on Burnett, Clemens II, Igawa, and Pavano ALONE, then the starting pitching would have been stronger. That’s just 4 contracts alone. The staff could have been stronger given the money spent. Much stronger in an abbreviated postseason series. Are you suggesting these 4 pitchers were the best that $187.5 million could buy? And I’m not even getting into all of the other bad moves Cashman made. A stronger staff would have performed better. Staff that perform better than opponents in the postseason – you know the rest.

      What’s been written is an OPINION of what constitutes a better team, which team or starting staff was better based on an OPINION of what statistics indicate a team or starting staff is better, an OPINION of which performance SHOULD have resulted in a postseason series win, and Las Vegas odds. And because that team lost a series, it’s “evidence” the M.L.B. postseason is a “crapshoot.”
      The FACTS, on the other hand, indicate that the team that performs better in the area MOST significant to postseason success – starting pitching, can be expected to win that series approx. 79.4% of the time based on a sample of 126 series going back to 1995. These FACTS belie the notion the postseason is a “crapshoot.”

      Not going to discuss $187.15 mil. could NOT have been better spent. Not going to discuss stronger nos. 1-3 should NOT NECESSARILY perform better. Not going to get into predictability or Las Vegas.
      Any FACTS that demonstrate the postseason is or is not random – fine. Going back-and-forth on whether or not something not perfectly-worded might or might not be a logical fallacy might be fun for some, but what are the FACTS that indicate the postseason is a crapshoot?
      Raf wrote:

      Yep, with Moose, Duque, Clemens, Pettitte and Wells, those Angels didn’t stand a chance in 2002… Wait, what?

      Anaheim starters pitched to a 6.40 E.R.A.; N.Y. starters: 10.39 E.R.A. Anaheim won a series in which its starters outperformed opponent starters as has been the case in 15/18 A.L.D.S. series since 1995. NOT a crapshoot.

    22. PHMDen
      August 2nd, 2013 | 8:50 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This is circular logic.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      No mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with that.

      All you’ve seemed to provide here is a criticism of someone’s writing, or picking apart of someone’s words. Do you have actual facts to support an actual position?
      @ Raf:
      No inning, game, series, season, or postseason series is completely predictable. But that doesn’t make every inning, game, series, season, or postseason unpredictable.

      If Clayton Kershaw retires a side in order, unpredictable? If he wins a game, unpredictable? If he finishes a season leading a league in ERA, unpredictable? If he wins 2-3 games in a postseason series, unpredictable? If the Dodgers win a postseason series with Kershaw dominating, unpredictable? Predictability might not always be this obvious, but that doesn’t mean its not there.

      Teams that pitch better win in October. The more innings you throw better October pitchers out there, and the better they are, the better your chances of winning. I haven’t heard one good argument the playoffs are random.

    23. PHMDen
      August 2nd, 2013 | 9:15 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You need two good starters and a halfway decent third, if you have a solid bullpen.

      The Yankees had enough $. What happened? My guess is those other teams had better than halfway decent thirds.

      Kevin Brown in 2004? Did not fare well in Game 3. Randy Johnson in 2005? Did not fare in Game 3. Johnson in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 3. Wright in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 4.

      I think I’ve spotted a trend here.

      Phil Hughes in 2010? Did not fare well in Game 2. Freddy Garcia in 2011? Did not fare well in Game 2.

    24. Kamieniecki
      August 3rd, 2013 | 12:30 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Saying that the Yankees #3 starters were lousy post-season pitchers because they pitched lousy in the post-season is an analysis that analyzes very little. This is circular logic.

      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason,” would be circular logic.
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters were lousy postseason pitchers,” isn’t circular logic. The 2 are different.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Clemens was up and down in the post-season, to say the least.

      Acquired by Cashman in an unnecessary trade for Wells, a pitcher who was exceptional in the ALDS and ALCS in his career. A trade that was a harbinger of things to come.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Orlando Hernandez was signed in March, 1998…by GM Brian Cashman, not by Michael or Watson.

      Cashman became GM in Feb. Hard to believe this deal was not in the works before then.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Jaret Wright on the other hand was arguably the Yanks 3rd best starter in 2006.

      That might have been the point in itself. Why was Jaret Wright the 3rd best starter on this team? The 3rd best starters were better before Cashman took over.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Cashman signed Hernandez (really George signed El Duque.

      Hernandez was signed when Cashman was GM for a month. That doesn’t necessarily mean Cashman even had anything to do with it. It might have been in the works for over a year. If George Steinbrenner signed him, then George Steinbrenner signed him. Why bring up Cashman?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      To me, it seems the entire reasoning behind your position that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot boils down to this: the better post-season teams are the teams that play better in the post-season; the teams with better post-season hitting are teams that hit better in the post-season; the teams with better post-season pitching are teams that pitch better in the post-season.

      I didn’t read anything about hitting. I read the postseason isn’t a crapshoot because the team that executes the most important part of the game, starting pitching, over the course of a series wins about 80% of the time. That also tells me something about the bullpens on these teams – they tend to hold the leads the starters turn over.

    25. Ricketson
      August 3rd, 2013 | 12:53 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      “Classic example?” This is a logical fallacy involving causality. Where have I written something that implies “causality?”

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason,” would be circular logic.
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters were lousy postseason pitchers,” isn’t circular logic. The 2 are different.

      @ Evan3457:
      0-for-2.

    26. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 1:21 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      This is circular logic.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      post hoc ergo propter hoc.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      No mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with that.
      All you’ve seemed to provide here is a criticism of someone’s writing, or picking apart of someone’s words. Do you have actual facts to support an actual position?

      Really? Those 3 sentences are ALL that I wrote in my reply?
      Try again.
      @ Raf:
      No inning, game, series, season, or postseason series is completely predictable. But that doesn’t make every inning, game, series, season, or postseason unpredictable.
      If Clayton Kershaw retires a side in order, unpredictable? If he wins a game, unpredictable? If he finishes a season leading a league in ERA, unpredictable? If he wins 2-3 games in a postseason series, unpredictable? If the Dodgers win a postseason series with Kershaw dominating, unpredictable? Predictability might not always be this obvious, but that doesn’t mean its not there.
      Teams that pitch better win in October. The more innings you throw better October pitchers out there, and the better they are, the better your chances of winning. I haven’t heard one good argument the playoffs are random.

      We’ve made a number of good arguments that the playoffs are largely a crapshoot in other threads; sorry you missed them. If you are, in fact, a new poster, and not a name change.

    27. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 1:23 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      You need two good starters and a halfway decent third, if you have a solid bullpen.
      The Yankees had enough $.

      Oh, so you have been here before.

      OK, The Yanks had enough $. Says who?

      What happened? My guess is those other teams had better than halfway decent thirds.
      Kevin Brown in 2004? Did not fare well in Game 3. Randy Johnson in 2005? Did not fare in Game 3. Johnson in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 3. Wright in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 4.
      I think I’ve spotted a trend here.
      Phil Hughes in 2010? Did not fare well in Game 2. Freddy Garcia in 2011? Did not fare well in Game 2.

      OK, so now, we move the goal posts to game 2. Nifty.

    28. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 1:26 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Ricketson wrote:
      “Classic example?” This is a logical fallacy involving causality. Where have I written something that implies “causality?”

      You imply causality after the fact when you say the results prove the evaluation.
      1-1
      Kamieniecki wrote:
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason,” would be circular logic.
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters were lousy postseason pitchers,” isn’t circular logic. The 2 are different.
      @ Evan3457:
      0-for-2.

      But some of them aren’t/weren’t, at least, not all the time.
      2-2.

    29. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 2:59 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Saying that the Yankees #3 starters were lousy post-season pitchers because they pitched lousy in the post-season is an analysis that analyzes very little.
      If pitching lousy in the postseason over the course of years doesn’t make a pitcher/staff a lousy postseason pitcher/staff, what does? Conversely, if excellence in the postseason over the course of years doesn’t make a pitcher/staff an excellent postseason pitcher/staff, what does?

      And which pitching staffs showed excellence in the post-season over the course of years? The Braves? Not enough to win World Series, they didn’t.

      And I didn’t say that the Yankees no. 3 postseason pitching was “lousy,” just not what it should have been with $200-35 mil. to spend each year.

      Why?

      Igawa ($46.00 mil.) + Pavano ($39.95 mil.) + Clemens ($18.70 mil.) + Burnett ($82.50 mil) = $187.15 mil. spent by John Cashman’s son on ONLY FOUR failed starting pitching signings from 2005-12; $187.15 mil on ONLY FOUR starting pitchers closer to lousiness, than excellence.

      Burnett was not a failure.
      Clemens was one year, and one post-season game.
      Pavano was never healthy for a post-season.
      Igawa was horrible.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Randy Johnson wasn’t the Yanks #3 starter in 2005…
      Incorrect. He was their no. 3 starter in the 2005 postseason behind Mussina and Wang. Chacon was the no. 4 starter.

      Obviously wrong. Being the starter of game 3 doesn’t make Johnson the #3 starter. If you look at the numbers for that season, he was the best starter they had that year. He started game 3 because, as I mentioned, the Yanks were in a 3-way fight with the Red Sox and Indians for two playoff spots right until the last Saturday of the season, when Johnson shut the Red Sox down to clinch the Yanks’ playoff spot. He was thus unavaialable to start Game 1 or Game 2 which were on the following Tuesday and Wednesday.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Igawa never started in the post-season either.
      I believe Cashman’s $46 mil. pitcher made postseason starts for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail-Riders in some seasons from 2005-2011. I did not write that Igawa made a postseason start for N.Y. Cashman’s staff was not THAT bad.

      Then why bring up a pitcher who was never supposed to be more than their #5 starter, and who, in the actual event, was really their #8 starter, in a discussion of #3 starters?

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Basically, your argument about the quality of the #3 starters blows off to this.
      It blows off to this:
      Starting pitching is the MOST significant element of postseason success.

      Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. The hitting of one team in a series and the pitching of the other are two halves of the same coin.

      You can make the same argument about teams’ hitting and runs scored in playoff series, like this…

      It’s probably not exactly equal, but I bet the team that scored more runs won about 79% of the LDS, and about 83% of the LCS.

      Prove to me that it’s the pitching, and not the hitting, which determines who wins. So far, all those stats haven’t accomplished that.

      The Yankees did not participate in more than 11 postseason series since 2005 because their starting pitching did not perform well enough over EIGHT YEARS to get them to more than 11 series, winning ONLY 5, more than any other reason, and certainly “luck” or “randomness.” And Cashman was the G.M. 2005-12.

      That’s funny; because it looked to me like their poor hitting, especially in key spots, doomed them in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 (against the Rangers), 2011, and 2012.

      There is no randomness here. Teams with starters that outperform opposing starters have won 79.4% of the time (126 series).

      Again, this is post hoc ergo propter hoc. Either that, or your stating a tautology: the team that plays better in the series wins the series.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      No mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with that.
      I don’t believe a professional mathematician or logician would ever try to get away with saying the postseason is a crapshoot because… What’s your rationale again? Something about predictability? Las Vegas?

      On the contrary, using probability would be one of the obvious ways to try to demonstrate the randomness of post-season outcomes.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The reason why [ Johnson] didn’t start until game 3 in the ALDS was… [Wright] was arguably the Yanks 3rd best starter in 2006. [I]n Torre’s judgement… [Burnett] pitched 1 terrible game, 1 so-so game, and 3 excellent games… Pavano had an excellent post-season [in 2003], including pitching very well against the AL Yankees, who were 3rd that year in the AL in runs scored, and 2nd in OPS…. It was his only post-season experience before the Yankees signed him. He pitched 1 good game and 1 bad one after that for the Twins in 2009-2010. He never pitched for the Yankees in the post-season in his four-year deal. Had he been able to do so, he might’ve been a tad better than the guys they did start in some of those series. For whatever reason, he never did/could.
      “Facts in search of an argument.” “Rubbish.” “Yawn.”

      No, that’s called counter-argument with factual support. Try to keep up.

      FACT: teams with starters that outperformed opposing starters have won 100/126 postseason series since the inception of LDS competition.

      SUPPOSITION: I bet the teams that scored more runs probably did about as well. I’m willing to bet real money on my supposition.

      I wrote that teams with “better” starting pitching can be expected to outperform opponent starters in most series – they’re better, after all.

      But your definition of “better” post-season pitching is based on the results of that series. So it is not well predictable before hand. Hence, crapshoot.

      But I’m not going to get into whether or not Staff A was better than Staff B, or whether Staff A had a better postseason starter(s) than Staff B, etc., other than to note the 1996-2001 staffs were better than the 2005-12 staffs. I’ll have that discussion, but not one for any postseason matchup because this can go on forever.

      Well, that’s true, the 1996-2001 staffs were better, as a whole, than the 2005-2012 staffs. Especially 2005-2007.

      I also wrote that starting pitching is the most significant element of postseason success, and that teams with starting pitching that outperforms an opponents starters can be expected to win a postseason series, as reflected in the FACT that such teams have won 79.4% of all postseason series since 1995.

      “can be expected”?
      “can be expected”?
      Nope, sorry, that’s fallacious. Because your definition of the “better” staff is based on the RESULT of the series. Nothing “can be expected” once the series is OVER.

      These statistics belie the notion the postseason is a “crapshoot.”

      Yes, in HINDSIGHT, after the series is over, it’s very obvious, in most cases, which staff is better.

      In this context, however, “crapshoot” means what can be expected going into the post-season, based on an evaluation of the teams before hand. If your going to use the results of an event to evaluate the randomness of an event, well then, by that analysis, even an actual crapshoot isn’t a crapshoot.

      Example: that the team with the best regular season record in baseball has won the World Series only 3 times since 1995 does not support an argument the postseason is a crapshoot.

      Yes, actually it does support that argument. It’s not a terribly strong support, but it’s a valid one.

      Question:
      If N.Y. plays Bos. in a 3-game series in the third week of Sep. with N.Y. in first place by 3 games over Bos, and a 4-game series in the fourth week of Sep., and one team win comes away with 4 wins. Was it a “crapshoot?” No it was a baseball series. Why does it become a “crapshoot” 2 weeks later in Oct.?

      The answer is simple: ANY short series in baseball IS a crapshoot, whether it takes place in April, September or October. It doesn’t become one in October. And the proof of this is the large number of series EVERY YEAR where teams under .500 beat teams over .500. Of course, the number of series where the reverse is true is much larger, and that’s what is meant when people say that over 162 games, things tend to “even out”, certainly much more than they do in a short post-season series.

      Every short series is a crapshoot. In the regular season, there are more and larger mismatches (i.e., series in which there is a much larger disparity in team quality) than in the post-season. This supports the arguement that the regular season is much less a crapshoot than the post-season, and therefore, conversely, the post-season is much more of a crapshoot than the regular season.

      To sum up those two points: the regular season is less of a crapshoot and the post-season is more of a crapshoot mostly for two reasons:

      1) The regular season is much, much longer.
      2) The competitive level in the regular season has many more mismatch series, and ability difference is, on average, larger.

      Why has no one ever referred to the 1978 “Boston Massacre” as the Yankees having won a “crapshoot?”

      After it’s over and the Yankees swept in dominant fashion, nobody. But before it happened? The Yanks had come in red-hot, 23-7 in their last 30. The Sox had come in losing 5 of 7 after a 6-game winning streak. So it seemed the Yanks were ready to make a real challenge.

      But nobody, and I mean nobody, thought the Yanks were going to sweep that series before it was played. Anyone can look at the results afterward, and say, oh, yeah, that had to happen. It was obvious and destined. But nobody was saying it before.

      The sample sizes are in terms of number of games played, or that might have been played if the Yankees had won all postseason series since 1995.

      They are similar in number, but completely dissimilar in kind.

      The line was highlighted and capitalized to emphasize the point that we’re not talking about ONE postseason series OR ONE postseason, but EIGHT postseasons from 2005-12 – a point that is conveniently passed over and that I knew I was going to have to repeat over and over again, as I patiently have.

      You can repeat it a million times, and it’s still not terribly relevant, if at all.

      It wasn’t written that a postseason is ever close to 162 games. That 8 postseasons can be close to 152 games is a reminder that we’re discussing 2005-12, not one series in 2005 – again.

      Completely missing the point.

      You can’t add up small sample sizes from 60 different teams over 18 years and hold that the results are no less random than one team over one season.
      I didn’t.

      No, that’s EXACTLY what you did.

      “Classic example?” This is a logical fallacy involving causality.

      Exactly.

      Where have I written something that implies “causality?” Where have I used the words “cause,” “caused,” etc.? Where did I write that Team A was better than Team B because Team B lost a postseason series, or the loss of a postseason series caused Team A to be a better team than Team B?

      OK, let’s review here.
      Your either making one of two points:
      1) The Yankees have had lousy #3 starters over the years, and this is proven because their #3 starters have pitched lousy in game 3′s in the post-season. This is post hoc ergo propter hoc
      or
      2) The Yanks #3 starting in the post-season is lousy because their #3 starters pitched lousy.
      This is a tautology.

      Either way, it’s not terribly significant, either as proof the post-season is or isn’t a crapshoot.

      We refer to the 2012 San Francisco Giants as world champions because we consider them to have performed better than the National League Champions in the World Series.

      No, we consider them to be the 2012 world champions because they won the 2012 World Series, 4 games to none.

      We consider them to have performed better because they scored more runs, or gave up fewer runs in more games, than the National League Champions. They gave up fewer runs in more games than the National League Champions because their starting pitching pitched better than Detroit’s, as reflected in its 1.42 ERA compared to Detroit’s 4.24 ERA, more than any other reason.

      Well then, let’s retroactively consider the 1960 Yankees to be the 1960 World Champions then. (Oh, and by the way, the 1960 World Series is a classic example of why short post-season series ARE crapshoots. One of the best examples, in fact.)

      That S.F. outperformed Det. in the area most significant to postseason success in baseball – starting pitching, did not “cause” the Giants to be a “better” team or have “better” starting pitching, it was simply the reason the team won the series more than any other, and belies the notion the postseason is a crapshoot.

      Again, reasoning from the result.
      The Giants also outhit the Tigers .242 to .159, and outscored them 16-6.
      Same thing as your argument, just the other side of the pitching/hitting coin.

      “Good pitching stops good hitting” is a long-standing baseball bromide. But it’s really “good pitching stops good hitting, except when it doesn’t.”

      Again, if the Giants defeat a division rival in two series Sep., one three games, and the other four games, why do we not refer to that series as a “crapshoot,” but if the two teams meet in a series two weeks later, some refer to it as a “crapshoot?”

      Each individual short series during the long regular season is more of a crapshoot, depending on the quality of the opposition. For example.

      Did you know that in Sept. 2012, the Giants lost a 3 game series to the 81-81 Diamondbacks? In late July-early August, they lose 3 out of 4 to the 74-88 Mets? At home?

      The World Champion Giants also lost series during the regular season to the Marlins, the Mariners and the Pirates; all of them below .500 teams, and the Marlins and Mariners way under .500 teams. In fact, the Giants lost BOTH series against the Marlins, losing 5 of 7 to a team that finished in last place, 24 games under, and 29 games out of 1st. If that alone doesn’t convince you that individual regular season series are a crapshoot, then there’s nothing left to say. It’s blindingly obvious.

      Because it’s someone’s OPINION what constitutes the BETTER or BEST team, that the 2010 or 2012 Giants were OR were not the BETTER or BEST team, or that the 2010 or 2012 Giants starting pitching SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT have performed better than an opponent in their OPINION are not very strong arguments the postseason is a crapshoot.

      I would agree with that, but I’m not making that argument.

      And the 2010 S.F. Giants are not a very good example of a team that would not have won but for a crapshoot playoff system.

      They may not be the best example, but they are a decent example.

      Had the NL been organized as it was from 1903-1968, the Giants would’ve finished tied for 3rd in the NL, and never gotten anywhere near the post-season.

      Had the NL been organized as it was 1969-1993, the Giants would’ve lost the NL West to the Cincinnati Reds, and once again, not have gotten even a sniff of the post-season.

      So the Giants, being beneficiaries of the three-division Wild Card system, also the beneficiaries of the Cardinals knocking off two teams that won 94 and 98 games before they even got to play in the NLCS, are most definitely a decent example of the post-season being a crapshoot. Far from the best example, but still a decent one.

      S.F. defeated Atl. in the N.L.D.S. with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 0.93 compared to Atl.’s 2.78. S.F. defeated Phi. in the N.L.C.S. with its starters posting a better E.R.A. by 0.50. Finally, S.F. defeated Tex. in the World Series with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 2.25 compared to Tex.’s 4.60.

      Again, can cite their hitting stats in showing the converse.

      To further demonstrate 2010 wasn’t a fluke, S.F. defeated StL. in the 2012 N.L.C.S. with its starters posting an E.R.A. of 3.05 compared to StL.’s 4.50. S.F. defeated Det. in the 2012 WS with its starters posting an E.R.A. of ONLY 1.42 (DET.: 4.24). With the exception of the 2012 NLDS, SF starters outperformed opposing starters in ALL postseason series in 2010 and 2012 and won 2 titles.

      SF’s postseason statistics for 2010-12 certainly indicate 2010 wasn’t a fluke. FACTS. I did not write that the 2010 or 2012 Giants were a “better” team or had a “better” starting pitching than their opponents. I wrote the FACT that their starting pitching outperformed opponents does not support the position the postseason is a crapshoot, AND the FACTS that their starting pitching outperformed opponents AND they won the series is consistent with postseason statistics since 1995 belie the notion the postseason is a crapshoot.

      And the Giants, this season, returning with the exact same starting rotation, are apparently headed for oblivion. If their performance is destined, why isn’t it repeating this season?

      So once again, your argument is either post hoc ergo propter hoc, or it’s a tautology.

      N.Y.’s postseason statistics for 2005-12 certainly indicate that it was no fluke Cashman’s team with $200-30 mil. payroll in each year participated in ONLY 11 postseason series, and won ONLY 5. It participated in ONLY 11 series, and won ONLY five because its starters were outperformed in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. NOT because the team was unlucky in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, or 2012.

      Already answered above.

      Are you suggesting these 4 pitchers were the best that $187.5 million could buy?

      Pavano and Burnett were market value, so yes on those two. Clemens was a desperation move at the time. Igawa was a disaster.

      What’s been written is an OPINION of what constitutes a better team, which team or starting staff was better based on an OPINION of what statistics indicate a team or starting staff is better, an OPINION of which performance SHOULD have resulted in a postseason series win, and Las Vegas odds.

      Actually, I’ve given no such opinion. I made the mistake of assuming that was your argument. The argument you are making is actual weaker: better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.

      The FACTS, on the other hand, indicate that the team that performs better in the area MOST significant to postseason success – starting pitching, can be expected to win that series approx. 79.4% of the time based on a sample of 126 series going back to 1995.

      The same FACT can be adduced from the hitting side of the coin, but I repeat myself.

      These FACTS belie the notion the postseason is a “crapshoot.”

      No, they don’t. They are, in fact, a complete failure to address the issue.

      Not going to discuss $187.15 mil. could NOT have been better spent. Not going to discuss stronger nos. 1-3 should NOT NECESSARILY perform better. Not going to get into predictability or Las Vegas.
      Any FACTS that demonstrate the postseason is or is not random – fine.

      OK, so you have no useful argument to make, then. Fine with me.

      Going back-and-forth on whether or not something not perfectly-worded might or might not be a logical fallacy might be fun for some, but what are the FACTS that indicate the postseason is a crapshoot?

      The brutal facts that you can’t get away from:

      11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top four teams in MLB, as measured by regular season WPCT. 7 of the 18 were 5th or lower. 3 of the 18 champions had the best record. 3 times, the champion was 9th or lower.

      The fact that you don’t see this as proof that the post-season is more of a crapshoot than not…well, all that means is that you don’t understand what is meant by crapshoot.

      Raf wrote:
      Yep, with Moose, Duque, Clemens, Pettitte and Wells, those Angels didn’t stand a chance in 2002… Wait, what?
      Anaheim starters pitched to a 6.40 E.R.A.; N.Y. starters: 10.39 E.R.A. Anaheim won a series in which its starters outperformed opponent starters as has been the case in 15/18 A.L.D.S. series since 1995. NOT a crapshoot.

      He doesn’t get it. He’ll never get it. It’s been 4 hours. The cows can tape something by now.

    30. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 3:01 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Ricketson wrote:
      Ricketson wrote:
      “Classic example?” This is a logical fallacy involving causality. Where have I written something that implies “causality?”
      You imply causality after the fact when you say the results prove the evaluation.
      1-1
      Kamieniecki wrote:
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason,” would be circular logic.
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters were lousy postseason pitchers,” isn’t circular logic. The 2 are different.
      @ Evan3457:
      0-for-2.
      But some of them aren’t/weren’t, at least, not all the time.
      2-2.

      ==========================
      I read this too quickly. Let me amend…

      As to the second point, if it isn’t post hoc ergo propter hoc, then it’s a tautology. It is because it is.

    31. Raf
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:50 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      We’ve made a number of good arguments that the playoffs are largely a crapshoot in other threads; sorry you missed them.

      http://waswatching.com/2013/07/02/the-only-numbers-that-may-get-yankees-ownership-attention/

    32. Raf
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:57 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      It wasn’t known in 2006 that the Cards were throwing one of the best postseason starters in recent history – Carpenter – we learned that about Carpenter later. It was an advantage Las Vegas didn’t know about, and wasn’t reflected in the odds – but it was there. It was real. And it did play out.

      Kevin Brown in 2004? Did not fare well in Game 3. Randy Johnson in 2005? Did not fare in Game 3. Johnson in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 3. Wright in 2007? Did not fare well in Game 4.

      I think I’ve spotted a trend here.

      Phil Hughes in 2010? Did not fare well in Game 2. Freddy Garcia in 2011? Did not fare well in Game 2.

      Interesting you bring up Carpenter, but ignore the “postseason pedigrees” of Johnson, Brown, Garcia & Wright…

    33. Raf
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:57 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      He doesn’t get it. He’ll never get it.

      “They”, “They’ll”

    34. Ricketson
      August 3rd, 2013 | 6:29 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I should have focused on one point: the postseason is not a crapshoot, rather than two: 1. the postseason is not a crapshoot; and 2. John Cashman’s son’s teams have failed to win more than 05/11 postseason series because these teams did not have better no. 3 starters and should have given the money spent (not because the postseason is a crapshoot).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      We’ve made a number of good arguments that the playoffs are largely a crapshoot in other threads; sorry you missed them.

      Translation: NO argument.

      Question:
      In keeping with topics of the day, was it predictable before the start of the 2009 postseason that Rodriguez’s performance would be enhanced by anabolic steroids? Did oddsmakers in Las Vegas have that information?

      Question:
      Did Rodriguez’s use of anabolic steroids make the outcome of the 2009 postseason more predictable? If it was more predictable, was it less of a crapshoot?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      OK, The Yanks had enough $. Says who?

      John Cashman’s son had $187.15 million to spend on Burnett, Clemens II, Igawa, and Pavano – so obviously he had enough money.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You imply causality after the fact when you say the results prove the evaluation.

      It’s ridiculous to suggest I implied causality by noting that when starting pitching has outperformed its opposition in the postseason, that team has won 100/126 series since 1995. I did not write that the better teams won postseason series 79.4% of the time; I wrote the teams that perform better (starters) have won 79.4% of the time since 1995.

      And I wrote I’m not going to get into a discussion as to what constitutes a “better” team, which of two teams were the “better” team, because that could go on forever.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But some of them aren’t/weren’t, at least, not all the time. 2-2.

      I think you meant 2-4. A professional logician would have been 4-4.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And which pitching staffs showed excellence in the post-season over the course of years? The Braves? Not enough to win World Series, they didn’t.

      In which season should the Braves have beaten an American League Champion in your opinion, just out of curiosity?
      The team that has outperformed its opponent in the most significant part of the game, starting pitching, has won 100/126 postseason series since 1995, so it couldn’t have been that many.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Why?

      John Cashman’s son had $187.15 million to spend on Burnett, Clemens II, Igawa, and Pavano so the organization obviously had the money.
      He also found $161 million to spend when he looked at the back of his baseball cards and saw free agent Sabathia’s stats and had someone in his quant department interpret them for him.

      That John Cashman’s son had the money to spend for a better postseason staff is indisputable.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Burnett was not a failure.

      Not in Florida. Not in Toronto, and he hasn’t been a failure in Pittsburgh where he was sent with $20 million to pitch for a small-market team where he belonged. But he represented a failed allocation of $82.5 million in financial resources in N.Y.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Obviously wrong. Being the starter of game 3 doesn’t make Johnson the #3 starter.

      In 2006, Wang was 19-7. Mussina was the better pitcher than Johnson. That makes Johnson a no. 3 starter in the postseason. Johnson belonged on the above list.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Then why bring up [Igawa] who was never supposed to be more than their #5 starter, and who, in the actual event, was really their #8 starter, in a discussion of #3 starters?

      I didn’t:
      Ricketson wrote:

      No. 3 Starter (Career AL postseason ERA as of 2012)
      R. Johnson (6.92)
      S. Chacon (2.84)
      J. Wright (7.07)
      A. Burnett (5.08)
      P. Hughes (4.54)
      I. Nova (4.32)
      H. Kuroda (2.81)

      I missed the 39-year old Brown on this impressive list by 1 year.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The hitting of one team in a series and the pitching of the other are two halves of the same coin.

      It’s NOT one coin with two halves. STARTING pitching is the most significant part of more than TWO parts (including RELIEF pitching) of the equation.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s probably not exactly equal, but I bet the team that scored more runs won about 79% of the LDS, and about 83% of the LCS.

      THIS is an example of TWO HALVES of the SAME COIN: the team that scores MORE EARNED RUNS against and opponent’s STARTERS NECESSARILY has a lower ERA for its STARTERS.

      If you bet that teams that SCORED MORE EARNED RUNS AGAINST STARTERS than YIELDED BY STARTERS in a series WON APPROX. 80% of those series, AND assert this FACT is DETERMINATIVE OR SIGNIFICANT – which is the LOGICAL EQUIVALENT of what I wrote – you just said the postseason’s NOT a crapshoot.

      If the percentages were in the 40-60% range, you’d have an argument.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But your definition of “better” post-season pitching is based on the results of that series. So it is not well predictable before hand.

      I think you’re so preoccupied with finding logical flaws in arguments, that it affects your comprehension of what others write, and thus you fall short in both.

      I wrote that predictability has no place in the discussion in my opinion and respectfully will decline to get into something that has no relevance.
      I gave an example of the predictability of Rodriguez on anabolic sterioids shelling opposing starters in the 2009 postseason series. As McCarver noted to his audience in 2009, “If [Rodriguez] keeps hitting like this, they will [win a world championship].” STATS ARE STATS.

      I wrote that “better” starting pitching can be expected to pitch better MOST of the time – that is the very definition of the word.

      I wrote that starting pitching is the most significant element of many elements of postseason success.

      I wrote that the team that outperforms the other team in the most significant element of the postseason (starting pitching) can be expected win a postseason series on the basis of results of a complete 126-series sample not 51%, 55%, 60%, or 65%, but 80% of the time.

      “Try to keep up.”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      That’s funny; because it looked to me like their poor hitting, especially in key spots, doomed them in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 (against the Rangers), 2011, and 2012.

      The “other half of the ‘poor-hitting’ coin” is better pitching, or more specifically, better starting pitching. You’re using MY ARGUMENT to show that the postseason IS NOT a crapshoot to assert that it IS (i.e. “it wasn’t strong pitching, it was weak hitting”).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Again, this is post hoc ergo propter hoc. Either that, or your stating a tautology: the team that plays better in the series wins the series.

      Should we make it 0-3?
      First, that is NOT what I wrote; I did not write anything tautological. Second, post hoc ergo propter hoc is “the logical fallacy of believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation,” and I have not written a temporal succession implied a causal relation anywhere. And I have not written anything about causation.

      You have provided NO FACTS of your own. And no arguments of your own. Am I getting close to one?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, in HINDSIGHT, after the series is over, it’s very obvious, in most cases, which staff is better.

      Hindsight is getting into predictability, and I haven’t and won’t get into predictability; it has no relevance as to whether or not the outcome of a postseason series can be attributed to randomness.

      You’re misrepresenting the argument again. I’ll state it another way:

      If the postseason is a crapshoot, then it can be expected that teams that outperform other teams in the most significant part of the game, starting pitching, will NOT NECESSARILY win more than 50% of all postseason series, using 126 series as a sample.

      Did the team that was outperformed by opponent’s starters win more than 60% of the postseason series since 1995? No. 50%? No. 40%? No. 30%? No. 20%? ONLY 21.6% of the time.

      The statistics say, or suggest: 1. that the postseason is NOT a crapshoot; and 2. the starting pitchers were better and pitched better most of the time.
      I’m focusing ONLY ON PART ONE (1) for the purposes of this discussion. I don’t have the time to go pitcher-by-pitcher, team-by-team, series-by-series, and year-by-year for hours each day to discuss which starters were “better,” or which team SHOULD have won or been predicted to win.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In this context, however, “crapshoot” means what can be expected going into the post-season, based on an evaluation of the teams before hand.

      No it doesn’t. It means the OUTCOME of a series can be substantially-attributed to chance or randomness. “Your side” has provided NO FACTS to support a contention that the OUTCOME of postseason series from 1996-2012 can be substantially-attributed to chance or randomness.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The answer is simple: ANY short series in baseball IS a crapshoot, whether it takes place in April, September or October.

      No it’s NOT. At the end of the regular season, and at the eventual culmination of all of these “crapshoots,” we don’t have approx. 30 teams with approx. 81-81 records. Better starting pitchers outperform opponents; better teams outperform lesser teams.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      To sum up those two points: the regular season is less of a crapshoot and the post-season is more of a crapshoot mostly for two reasons:
      1) The regular season is much, much longer.

      As I have said from the beginning: we’re NOT talking about ONE (1) POSTSEASON, we’re talking about EIGHT (8) POSTSEASONS with ONE (1) PENNANT. EIGHT (8) POSTSEASONS with staffs that were TWO (2) , NOT THREE (3), STARTERS DEEP.

      .Evan3457 wrote:

      OK, let’s review here.
      Your either making one of two points:
      1) The Yankees have had lousy #3 starters over the years, and this is proven because their #3 starters have pitched lousy in game 3′s in the post-season. This is post hoc ergo propter hoc
      or
      2) The Yanks #3 starting in the post-season is lousy because their #3 starters pitched lousy.
      This is a tautology.

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason,” would be circular logic.
      “The Yankees #3 starters pitched lousy in the postseason, therefore the Yankees #3 starters were lousy postseason pitchers,” isn’t circular logic. The 2 are different.

      Let’s review here:
      I did not use the word “lousy.” It’s not fallacious to say that a pitcher pitched less effectively than another pitcher (e.g. Wright in comparison to Hernandez) when the pitcher pitched less effectively than the other pitcher or because that pitcher was the lesser pitcher, and that was an important reason why a team lost a postseason series.

      I have provided information that demonstrates the postseason is NOT a crapshoot. It was NOT my INTENTION to PROVE Cashman has sucked at staffing a postseason rotation. That speaks for itself.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      (Oh, and by the way, the 1960 World Series is a classic example of why short post-season series ARE crapshoots. One of the best examples, in fact.)

      You have to go all the way back to 1960 to point to a series should have ended differently in your OPINION? This is almost comical.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Had the NL been organized as it was from 1903-1968, the Giants would’ve finished tied for 3rd in the NL, and never gotten anywhere near the post-season.

      It just became comical.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top four teams in MLB, as measured by regular season WPCT. 7 of the 18 were 5th or lower. 3 of the 18 champions had the best record. 3 times, the champion was 9th or lower.

      FINALLY: an actual FACT. An actual argument.

      Your side is referring to World Series competition only. And regular season winning percentage. Regular season winning percentage does NOT demonstrate who the best team in baseball was. And Even IF it did – to say that the postseason is a crapshoot, you’d have to demonstrate that the best team in baseball outperformed its competition AND lost a certain number of times since 1995.
      In other words, “your side” has no argument at all; you even argued my side in some instances. I suspect that’s why you keep trying to come back to predictability when it has not relevance and doesn’t belong.

      I’m referring to postseason competition as a whole – 126 series, not a subset of it, or 18 series. I am referring to starting pitching – the most significant element to postseason success, not team regular season winning percentage.
      That your side’s “argument” appears on an Internet page doesn’t make it valid, much less substantial. If “your side” can be said to have any argument at all, my argument is orders of magnitude “better,” if not conclusive.

      There’s almost perfect symmetry to the statistics (e;g; ALCS: 83.3%, NLCS: 83.3%, and WS: 83.3%). Why? Because the postseason’s NOT random.

      There’s nothing to support the contention that John Cashman’s son has won only 05/11 postseason series since 2005 because the postseason is a crapshoot; it’s not.
      Beane’s suggestion the postseason is a crapshoot is taken out of context. What Beane meant, in effect, was that all he can do to compete with teams with payrolls 400-500% more is to put together the best nos. 1-3 starters possible, because starting pitching is the most significant element of postseason success, and hope those starters outperform opposing starters in more than 45.4% in the long-term and win a pennant or World Series as John Cashman’s son has failed to do.

      Raf wrote:

      Interesting you bring up Carpenter, but ignore the “postseason pedigrees” of Johnson, Brown, Garcia & Wright…

      Jocketty’s postseason aces, 2004-06:

      Carpenter: age 30-31 from 2005-06.

      John Cashman’s son’s postseason “aces”, 2005-12:

      Johnson: age 40-41 from 2005-06; out of baseball after 2009.
      Brown: age 39 in 2004; out of baseball after 2004.
      Garcia: age 34 in 2011.

    35. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 7:14 pm

      Ricketson:

      You simply don’t understand what is meant by “The post-season is largely a crapshoot”.

      When I, or anyone else, say the post-season is a crapshoot, what we mean is that, going into the post-season, there’s no way to determine who’s going to win, or who’s not going to win. That any of the 8 (now 10) teams in the tournament can win.

      Some teams appear to have a better chance than others at the outset, but there have been so many series upsets and surprise champions that attempting to predict the outcome is a fool’s errand. Predicting that one team isn’t going to win it all is almost no accomplishment whatsoever, because any individual team is going to have at least a 75% chance of not winning it all, and, in some cases, more like 90% chance of not winning it all.

      It does not consist of looking at the results, and saying, well, the team that performs better is the team that wins, and that proves that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot. That statement is utter nonsense. You don’t get to look at the results after the fact and say, oh, yeah, it’s obvious who’s better because their ERA is lower, and then use this to justify the statement that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot.

      That’s like looking at the results of tonight’s Powerball drawing on Sunday morning, and saying, well, if you’d have played the winning numbers, you’d have won, so the Powerball drawing isn’t a crapshoot.

      Well, that’s an overstatement, but not by much. The Powerball drawing is truly random. But the baseball post-season, looked at BEFORE it happens rather than after the results are known, has large random elements, too.

      If you refuse to believe that, I have a very simple test: At the end of this regular season, and before any playoff games are played, tell all of us which team is going to win the whole thing.

      Do that 3 years in a row….heck, do it 3 times in 5 years, and I’ll start to believe that the post-season isn’t a crapshoot. Otherwise, your argument that it isn’t a crapshoot is valueless.

      ===============================
      In light of this, it makes no sense for me to answer your attempt immediately above point-by-point, because the screed is largely irrelevant, and where it isn’t irrelevant, it’s obvious.

    36. Kamieniecki
      August 3rd, 2013 | 8:32 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Did Rodriguez’s use of anabolic steroids make the outcome of the 2009 postseason more predictable? If it was more predictable, was it less of a crapshoot?

      Assuming Rodriguez was juicing at higher levels in the playoffs than the reg. season.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.

      The post-season is all about pitching all the time.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      SUPPOSITION: I bet the teams that scored more runs probably did about as well. I’m willing to bet real money on my supposition.

      This isn’t a tautology: teams that score more runs than their opponents win more often than teams that score more earned runs than their opponents? I’d bet everything I own on that one.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Did you know that in Sept. 2012, the Giants lost a 3 game series to the 81-81 Diamondbacks? In late July-early August, they lose 3 out of 4 to the 74-88 Mets? At home?

      The series might have had different results if everything was on the line in a playoff environment, and the starting pitchers were the top guys in the rotation.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      But your definition of “better” post-season pitching is based on the results of that series.

      I did a word search of “better” for this page, and your’s is the first post that uses the word to describe post-season pitching – “outperform” was used before that.

      A staff that outperforms its competition, of course pitches “better” in that series or competition. What else would “better” be based on, than the results of the competition? I didn’t see anything that said one staff was better than another because it outperformed another in for 5 or 7 games.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.

      Where was that said? Teams with starting pitchers that outperform the other team’s starters in a series win most of the time. Where does it say teams that outperform the other team’s starters in a short series are the better teams? I did a word search and can’t find it.

      Nothing says the team that wins the postseason’s the best team, just that the postseason’s not random.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      OK, so you have no useful argument to make, then. Fine with me.

      If the purpose is to determine whether or not a series won by a team that shouldn’t have won it, then why is it necessary to go back in time to look at what an oddsmaker or prognosticator thought should win it?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The brutal facts that you can’t get away from:
      11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top four teams in MLB, as measured by regular season WPCT. 7 of the 18 were 5th or lower. 3 of the 18 champions had the best record. 3 times, the champion was 9th or lower.

      That’s it? WPCT really doesn’t tell you much about whether or not one team outperformed the other in a playoff series and should have won, does it?
      Ricketson wrote:

      Beane’s suggestion the postseason is a crapshoot is taken out of context.

      Billy Beane was not talking about predictability when he called the playoffs a crapshoot. I can’t find a quote from Beane that mentions predictability, and isn’t he the guy who came up this characterization?

      Ricketson wrote:

      There’s almost perfect symmetry to the statistics (e;g; ALCS: 83.3%, NLCS: 83.3%, and WS: 83.3%). Why? Because the postseason’s NOT random.
      There’s nothing to support the contention that John Cashman’s son has won only 05/11 postseason series since 2005 because the postseason is a crapshoot; it’s not.

      This.

    37. Ricketson
      August 3rd, 2013 | 8:55 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      I didn’t see anything that said one staff was better than another because it outperformed another in for 5 or 7 games.

      That’s because I didn’t write it. Thanks.
      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Nothing says the team that wins the postseason’s the best team, just that the postseason’s not random.

      Thank you again.
      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Billy Beane was not talking about predictability when he called the playoffs a crapshoot.

      “‘My job is to get us to the playoffs. Everything after that is f-ing luck.’” Nothing about “predictability.” And everything else is “f—ing luck’ as far as his team is concerned because all he can hope for is that his Zito, Hudson, and Mulder outperform the starting pitchers of the opposing teams that have $275 million third basemen or $180 million first basemen; or team that have a G.M. that sucks to the extent his can’t put a postseason starting rotation together that’s 3 deep.
      Do you think Beane would have had a better postseason staff than ones with names like Brown, Johnson, Chacon, Wright, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Garcia, etc. with $200-30 mil. to spend, and if he did, he’d have to worry about “luck” in the postseason and would have made this comment?

    38. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 9:36 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.
      The post-season is all about pitching all the time.

      No, it’s not.

      SUPPOSITION: I bet the teams that scored more runs probably did about as well. I’m willing to bet real money on my supposition.
      This isn’t a tautology: teams that score more runs than their opponents win more often than teams that score more earned runs than their opponents? I’d bet everything I own on that one.

      Missed the point. Scoring runs and being allowed runs by the opposition are the same thing. That’s why winning the runs scored battle and winning the earned runs allowed battle should result in high winning percentages very close to one another.

      The series might have had different results if everything was on the line in a playoff environment, and the starting pitchers were the top guys in the rotation.

      Do you really think it’s not possible to find a series…oh, for spit’s sake, of the 5 losses the Giants suffered to the Marlins last year, 3 of them were suffered by Vogelsong, Cain and Bumgarner, the first two in the same series that Marlins swept in SF.

      A staff that outperforms its competition, of course pitches “better” in that series or competition. What else would “better” be based on, than the results of the competition? I didn’t see anything that said one staff was better than another because it outperformed another in for 5 or 7 games.

      Right; this is a tautology. No information gained from this definition.

      better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.
      Where was that said? Teams with starting pitchers that outperform the other team’s starters in a series win most of the time. Where does it say teams that outperform the other team’s starters in a short series are the better teams? I did a word search and can’t find it.

      That’s exactly what you’re saying in the first sentence.

      Nothing says the team that wins the postseason’s the best team, just that the postseason’s not random.

      Not completely random, like rolling dice or spinning a spinner. I’m not making that argument, either.

      OK, so you have no useful argument to make, then. Fine with me.
      If the purpose is to determine whether or not a series won by a team that shouldn’t have won it, then why is it necessary to go back in time to look at what an oddsmaker or prognosticator thought should win it?

      Because there is no scientific way to determine which team is better before the series. The best, professional subjective judgement beforehand carries more weight that amateur judgement. It’s a very imperfect measure, but it’s one of the few available.

      That’s it? WPCT really doesn’t tell you much about whether or not one team outperformed the other in a playoff series and should have won, does it?

      Beats the hell out of attempting to declare “not a crapshoot” beforehand,using results already completed after the fact.

      There’s almost perfect symmetry to the statistics (e;g; ALCS: 83.3%, NLCS: 83.3%, and WS: 83.3%). Why? Because the postseason’s NOT random.
      There’s nothing to support the contention that John Cashman’s son has won only 05/11 postseason series since 2005 because the postseason is a crapshoot; it’s not.
      This.

      …is no proof whatsoever that the post-season isn’t closer to being a crapshoot than it is. It is after the fact rationalization.

    39. Evan3457
      August 3rd, 2013 | 9:44 pm

      Ricketson wrote:
      “‘My job is to get us to the playoffs. Everything after that is f-ing luck.’” Nothing about “predictability.” And everything else is “f—ing luck’

      Billy Beane is agreeing with my side. Doesn’t matter if see it or not; if you agree with it or not. I’d say he’s stating the case too strongly. There is some portion that isn’t luck.

      as far as his team is concerned because all he can hope for is that his Zito, Hudson, and Mulder outperform the starting pitchers of the opposing teams

      His teams in 2001-2003 had better rotations (as measured in regular season performance) and better top 3′s than their opposition; they still lost all 3 series.

      This means one of two things:
      1) Either the post-season is more of a crapshoot than it isn’t, or
      2) The post-season ISN’T about pitching all the time.

      Do you think Beane would have had a better postseason staff than ones with names like Brown, Johnson, Chacon, Wright, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Garcia, etc. with $200-30 mil. to spend, and if he did, he’d have to worry about “luck” in the postseason and would have made this comment?

      Beane did EXACTLY this in 2001-2003, and lost in the 1st round all three years.

    40. PHMDen
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      OK, so now, we move the goal posts to game 2. Nifty.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Being the starter of game 3 doesn’t make Johnson the #3 starter.

      Being the starter of game 2 doesn’t make Garcia or Hughes the #3 starter.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      OK, let’s review here.
      Your either making one of two points:
      1) The Yankees have had lousy #3 starters over the years, and this is proven because their #3 starters have pitched lousy in game 3′s in the post-season. This is post hoc ergo propter hoc
      or
      2) The Yanks #3 starting in the post-season is lousy because their #3 starters pitched lousy.
      This is a tautology.

      Misstate an idea someone else has taken the time to articulate or express in an open discussion that contradicts your position and then label it with a term that is not even applicable to either the original statement or the misstatement. Nifty.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Obviously wrong. Being the starter of game 3 doesn’t make Johnson the #3 starter.

      The #3 starter in the playoffs in ’05 was Wang and the #4 Chacon. Does it really make a difference? Johnson was 40 years old and was worse than Chacon.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      On the contrary, using probability would be one of the obvious ways to try to demonstrate the randomness of post-season outcomes.

      Example?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The argument you are making is actual weaker: better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.

      Misstatement – that wasn’t written. Nifty.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      No, they don’t. They are, in fact, a complete failure to address the issue.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top four teams in MLB, as measured by regular season WPCT. 7 of the 18 were 5th or lower. 3 of the 18 champions had the best record. 3 times, the champion was 9th or lower.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s been 4 hours.

      4 hours, and all of this time for this? 11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top for teams in WPCT…? That’s it????

    41. PHMDen
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:02 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Being the starter of game 2 doesn’t make Garcia or Hughes the #3 starter.

      Typo: Being the starter of game 2 doesn’t make Garcia or Hughes the #2 starter.

    42. Ricketson
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:24 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “‘My job is to get us to the playoffs. Everything after that is f-ing luck.’” Nothing about “predictability.” And everything else is “f—ing luck’
      Billy Beane is agreeing with my side. Doesn’t matter if see it or not; if you agree with it or not. I’d say he’s stating the case too strongly.

      Beane is the guy that called the postseason a crapshoot AND he said nothing about predictability AND his quote is often taken out of context: it’s a crapshoot for HIM because he has only $40-60 mil. and 3 pitchers to work with when going up against the son of one George Steinbrenner’s closest friends with $200-30 mil. to spend in the postseason – it’s not a crapshoot for John Cashman’s son, or shouldn’t be. He’s NOT agreeing with “your side.”

    43. Ricketson
      August 3rd, 2013 | 10:51 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      His teams in 2001-2003 had better rotations (as measured in regular season performance) and better top 3′s than their opposition; they still lost all 3 series.

      His teams had postseason rotations that included Pettitte, who was with the team when Cashman became G.M., Clemens, who was acquired in a trade for Wells, who was with the team when Cashman became, G.M., Mussina who was one of the top free agents of decade, and Hernandez who was signed only one month after Cashman became G.M., so I’m not giving credit to Cashman for Hernandez either.

      Those teams won 4 of 7 postseason series, correct? And 2 pennants, correct?

      How many postseason series have been won in the Era of Autonomy? 5/11, correct? and how many pennants have been won in the Era of Autonomy, 1, correct?

      I’ve written all of this before, so what’s your point?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This means one of two things:
      1) Either the post-season is more of a crapshoot than it isn’t, or

      Logic?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      2) The post-season ISN’T about pitching all the time.

      Logic?

    44. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 12:28 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      Misstate an idea someone else has taken the time to articulate or express in an open discussion that contradicts your position and then label it with a term that is not even applicable to either the original statement or the misstatement. Nifty.

      Bullspit. Nothing was mistated. Nothing was mislabeled.

      On the contrary, using probability would be one of the obvious ways to try to demonstrate the randomness of post-season outcomes.
      Example?

      Already accomplished in other threads.

      It was stated that teams with a .060 advantage in regular season winning percentage vs. that of their opponents had a large advantage (>70%) in winning that series. Theoretically, if a team were to enter the post-season with an advantage of .060 in WPCT over every other team in the playoffs, and even if the .725 number were a valid, confirmed statement of that advantage, the odds of winning 3 such series, and the title, was less than 40%. Meaning such a team would be less likely to win it all than not to win it all. Meaning a team without a .060 advantage over all other playoff teams would be less likely than even that 38% probability.

      Empirically, there have been only two such teams in 18 years. One won it all, one didn’t. So even that overwhelming regular season advantage doesn’t guarantee a title.

      That’s how.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The argument you are making is actual weaker: better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.

      Misstatement – that wasn’t written. Nifty.

      Not in those exact words, but that’s exactly the point that’s being made, whether you think it is or not.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      It’s been 4 hours.
      4 hours, and all of this time for this? 11 of the 18 World Champions were among the top for teams in WPCT…? That’s it????

      Childish failure to address the issue or even make a counter.

    45. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 1:04 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      “‘My job is to get us to the playoffs. Everything after that is f-ing luck.’” Nothing about “predictability.” And everything else is “f—ing luck’
      Billy Beane is agreeing with my side. Doesn’t matter if see it or not; if you agree with it or not. I’d say he’s stating the case too strongly.
      Beane is the guy that called the postseason a crapshoot AND he said nothing about predictability AND his quote is often taken out of context: it’s a crapshoot for HIM because he has only $40-60 mil.

      Bullspit.
      If you find that quote out of context, then find a quote with the complete context.

      Never mind, I’ll do it for you. It’s from p .275 in Moneyball:

      “‘My (stuff) doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is (bleeping) luck.’…Billy’s attitude seems to be, all that management can do is to produce a team good enough to triumph in a long season. There are no secret recipes for the postseason, except maybe having three great starters, and he had that.”

      Let me break that down for you. He doesn’t whine about the unfairness of the payroll disparity in the short series nature of the post-season (where Beane whines about it at all is in the long regular season, but none of you are making that point, or anything like that point. Lewis, who wrote the book, and presumably knows what Beane meant better than any of us here goes on to say that Beane believes there are no secret recipes for the post-season. He then adds three great starters, and puts a MAYBE in front of that. He then adds that Beane did have three great starters in Zito, Mulder and Hudson, which they certainly were in 2001-2003.

      In 2001, all 3 were in the AL top 10 for pitching bWAR, for ERA and ERA+, for wins, and for WHIP. All 3 got votes for the Cy Young or the MVP awards.

      In 2002, Zito and Hudson were in the top 10 for pitching BWAR (Mulder was in a virtual tie with Piniero for 10th), all 3 were top 10 again in ERA (Mulder didn’t make top 10 in ERA+; he was 12th that year). Zito and Mulder were top 10 in wins and in WHIP. Zito won the Cy Young Award.

      In 2003, all 3 were again top 10 in the AL for pitching bWAR, for ERA and ERA+, and top 10 in WHIP. Zito and Mulder made the All-Star team. Hudson didn’t but wound up 4th in the Cy Young voting.

      In spite of this, the team satisfying the “except maybe” 3 great starters got bounced in the 1st round 3 straight years. First, by the Yankees, who had 3 good starters themselves, 2 of them supplied by Cashman, but not as good as the A’s trio that season. Second, by the far inferior Twins’ rotation of Radke, Mays, Reed, and Milton, not one of whom had a year as valuable as any of the three A’s starters in 2002. Third, by the Red Sox, who had Pedro Martinez, still the best pitcher in the game, but the other 3 starters that year were Wakefield, Lowe and Burkett, none of whom where anywhere near as good as the A’s three in 2003.

      And they lost all three series, 3 games to 2. If that doesn’t have crapshoot written all over it, nothing does. Beane wasn’t taken out of context, he was very much in context when he was quoted. And the ALDS of 2001-2003 are overwhelming evidence of that.

      and 3 pitchers to work with when going up against the son of one George Steinbrenner’s closest friends with $200-30 mil. to spend in the postseason – it’s not a crapshoot for John Cashman’s son, or shouldn’t be. He’s NOT agreeing with “your side.”

      Wrong. Completely wrong. 180 degrees wrong, in fact.

    46. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 1:10 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      His teams in 2001-2003 had better rotations

      blah, blah, blah

      I’ve written all of this before, so what’s your point?

      Why do I need to make a point to respond to this collection of denial and rationalization? The barrenness of this is there for all to see and read.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      This means one of two things:
      1) Either the post-season is more of a crapshoot than it isn’t, or
      Logic?
      Evan3457 wrote:
      2) The post-season ISN’T about pitching all the time.
      Logic?

      I’ll answer this at the same intellectual and emotional level it was offered: Asphinktersezwut?

    47. Kamieniecki
      August 4th, 2013 | 12:23 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      This discussion is superfluous. The only purpose it’s served is providing some interesting stats on the postseason to the reader that can be apart of any discussion on the postseason not related to Beane’s comments.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      No, it’s not.

      The post-season is all about pitching. Pitching is the most important part of the game. If your starters don’t out-pitch the other team’s, you’re going to lose 80% of the time, and if your starters + bullpen don’t out-pitch the other team’s starters + bullpen, you’re going to lose closer to 80-90+% of the time.

      You have 2 teams putting everything they have into a best-of-5 or best-of-7 series, often with #1 or #2 starters warming up in the pen in a deciding game. So, a post-season series is more significant than a regular season series revealing the better team in that respect.

      “This isn’t a tautology: teams that score more runs than their opponents win more often than teams that score more earned runs than their opponents? I’d bet everything I own on that one.”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Missed the point. Scoring runs and being allowed runs by the opposition are the same thing. That’s why winning the runs scored battle and winning the earned runs allowed battle should result in high winning percentages very close to one another.

      I don’t understand the point then: If the team that scores more runs in a series wins 80-85% in the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series, how does that argue in your favor the post-season is a crapshoot? Numbers in the 80-85% range suggest non-randomness.

      Teams that allow fewer earned runs (starting pitching) win 83.3% of the time in the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series – if it can be shown teams that score more runs win 80-85% of the time in the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series, how does consistency weaken the argument that the postseason is not random or not a crapshoot? It strengthens it.

      The more I think about it, the more nonsensical this whole crapshoot thing becomes. What exactly are you trying to prove here?

      Take the ’98 Yankees, widely-regarded as one of the best, if not the best, teams of all-time. The statement that the post-season is a crapshoot would imply that a NY loss in the ALDS would not have been atypical or an unusual occurrence statistically.That is complete nonsense.

      Wells, Pettite, and Cone had an ERA of 0.44 in the ALDS, and Stottlemyre, Helling, and Sele had a 4.05 ERA. Is anyone supposed to believe that this team that went 125-50 overall losing the ALDS to Texas would not have be atypical or an unusual occurrence statistically? What made this series a crapshoot, if it was one? The fact that it was not impossible that Texas could win?
      Of what usefulness is the information that is was not impossible that Texas would defeat what might have been the best team of all-time in ’98? How is that information useful?

      “The series might have had different results if everything was on the line in a playoff environment, and the starting pitchers were the top guys in the rotation.”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Do you really think it’s not possible to find a series…oh, for spit’s sake, of the 5 losses the Giants suffered to the Marlins last year, 3 of them were suffered by Vogelsong, Cain and Bumgarner, the first two in the same series that Marlins swept in SF.

      Of course its possible. That means the postseason is a crapshoot? Did anyone inform Vogelsong, Cain, or Bumgarger their team was facing postseason ineligibility if it lost the series? Do you think the games might have been managed or played differently if a postseason, League Championship, or World Series was on the line? Do you think we might have seen Lincecum warming up in the bullpen?
      Of what usefulness is the information the Marlins defeated Vogelsong and Cain in the first two games of a series the Marlins swept in SF? How is that information useful?

      “A staff that outperforms its competition, of course pitches “better” in that series or competition. What else would “better” be based on, than the results of the competition? I didn’t see anything that said one staff was better than another because it outperformed another in for 5 or 7 games.”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      this is a tautology. No information gained from this definition.

      You wrote the sentence: “better teams are better teams because they play better and win short series of games.” No one else wrote that. No information is gained from your posts.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not completely random, like rolling dice or spinning a spinner. I’m not making that argument, either.

      Again, how is this information useful?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because there is no scientific way to determine which team is better before the series. The best, professional subjective judgement beforehand carries more weight that amateur judgement. It’s a very imperfect measure, but it’s one of the few available.

      You’re fixated on “better-ness” and unearthing a logical flaw in something written, so fixated that you’re reading things into posts others have written that are not there. No one said the team that wins a post-season series is or is not the “better” team but you.

      What was said was when starting pitchers performed better than opponents, there is remarkable consistency in postseason play since 1995 horizontally and vertically – that is, in the American and National leagues, and from the ALDS to the World Series – so remarkable that the postseason can not be said to be random given the significance of starting pitching in a best-of-5 or best-of-7 series.

      Better pitching should perform better most of the time by definition. Cone, Pettitte and Wells should have performed better than Stottlemyre, Helling, and Sele because they were better by any objective measure.

      No one said Cone, Pettitte, and Wells were better than Stottlemyre, Helling, and Sele because New York defeated Texas in the ALDS in 1998. You said someone said that.

      To say it was not impossible for Stottlemyre, Helling, and Sele to pitch better is useless information. To say that the postseason is a crapshoot for that reason therefore is also useless information or no information at all.

      Someone said: 1. pitching is the most significant of pitching, offense, defense, etc.; 2. if a starting 3 or 4 is better than an opponent’s by any objective measure, they should be expected to perform better because that’s what “better” means; and 3. data for 126 postseason series going back to 1995 suggest a team with a starting 3 or 4 that should be expected to out-pitch opponents (yield fewer earned runs) can be expected to win a postseason series because 80% of the time the team with the starting pitchers that have out-pitched opponents in a postseason series has won.

      What’s the problem? There’s no need for a “scientific way” to determine which team is “better before a series” to answer the question of whether or not the postseason is random.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Beats the hell out of attempting to declare “not a crapshoot” beforehand,using results already completed after the fact.

      I don’t understand this reply: “beforehand using results already completed after the fact?”
      How is regular season WPCT of 18 world series not results already completed after the fact, if ERA of 126 postseason series are?
      How does “attempting to declare a crapshoot” beforehand by using the results of 18 World Series after the fact “beat the hell” out of “attempting to declare a crapshoot” beforehand by using the results of 126 postseason series after the fact?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      …is no proof whatsoever that the post-season isn’t closer to being a crapshoot than it is. It is after the fact rationalization.

      Your offering is no proof whatsoever. The fact that only 3 teams with the best regular season winning pct. won the World Series since 1995 is useless information or no information at all. Just as to say the postseason’s a crapshoot because its possible for either team to win is useless information, or no information at all. No wonder one was offered to support the other.

    48. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 2:00 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Beane’s teams in 2001-2003 had better rotations (as measured in regular season performance) and better top 3′s than their opposition; they still lost all 3 series.

      THANK YOU for bringing up Beane.

      The ALDS statistics provided did NOT state the “team with better ERA (starters) won 36/36 [ALDS] series (100.0%);” it stated: the “team with better ERA (starters) won 28/36 [ALDS] series (77.8%).”

      In the 2001 ALDS between Oak. and N.Y., Oak. starters had a 2.53 ERA and N.Y. starters had a 2.63 ERA. Oak.’s ERA was 0.10 LOWER than N.Y.’s ERA, and the 2001 A’s are 1 of the 8/36 teams that did NOT win an ALDS having starters outperform opponent starters in ERA.

      Oak.’s starters were Hudson, Mulder and Zito. This exemplifies what Beane seemed to have been attempting to communicate with his quote. He put 3 excellent starters on the field that OUTPERFORMED the opponent’s starters, AND the $40 mil. team he built STILL lost to the $115 mil. team Michael and Watson built.
      The postseason was a “crapshoot” for Beane, not for John Cashman’s son.

      In the 2002 ALDS between Min. and Oak.. Oak. starters had a 3.90 ERA and Min. starters had a 4.61 ERA. Oak.’s ERA was 0.71 LOWER than Min.’s ERA, and the 2002 A’s are 1 of the 8/36 teams that did NOT win an ALDS having starters outperform opponent starters in ERA.

      In the 2003 ALDS between Bos. and , Oak. starters had a 2.42 ERA and Bos. starters had a 3.44 ERA. Oak.’s ERA was 1.02 LOWER than Bos.’s ERA, and the 2003 A’s are 1 of the 8/36 teams that did NOT win an ALDS having starters outperform opponent starters in ERA (Lilly, who Cashman traded for Weaver, pitched NINE SCORELESS INNINGS in the series, by the way).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This means one of two things:
      1) Either the post-season is more of a crapshoot than it isn’t, or
      2) The post-season ISN’T about pitching all the time.

      The postseason is not a crapshoot. And the postseason is about pitching all the time.

      “Let’s review:”
      Since the inception of ALDS competition, the team with starters that have outperformed opponents in ERA have won 28/36 series (77.8%).

      Of the 8/36 teams with starters that have outperformed opponent starters and lost, three (3) of those teams have been the Beane teams you referred to: the 2001-03 Oakland A’s.
      In other words, if you exclude these teams from the calculation, in the ALDS, the teams with starters that have outperformed opponent starters in ERA have won 28/33 series, or 84.8!

      Do you still think Beane was referring to “predictability” in describing winning a postseason series with a $40 mil. payroll as a “crapshoot?” Do you think John Cashman’s son could have fielded teams of the caliber of the 2001-03 Oakland A’s with payrolls of $40-60 mil.?

    49. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 2:49 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “‘My (stuff) doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is (bleeping) luck.’…Billy’s attitude seems to be, all that management can do is to produce a team good enough to triumph in a long season. There are no secret recipes for the postseason, except maybe having three great starters, and he had that.”

      Where is the term “predictability” used?

      “… except having three great starters” – that is what I have been saying from the beginning. “… and he had that” – “Beane had that;” those “three great starters” outperformed opponent starters in each ALDS from 2001-03, and his team lost each ALDS from 2001-03 to teams with HIGHER PAYROLLS than Oak., making those three teams 3 OF ONLY 8 teams (ALMOST HALF) that have lost an ALDS having starters outperform opponent starters.
      ALMOST HALF of the teams that have lost an ALDS in M.L.B. HISTORY with starters having outperformed opposing starters have been Beane teams.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Lewis, who wrote the book, and presumably knows what Beane meant better than any of us here goes on to say that Beane believes there are no secret recipes for the post-season. He then adds three great starters, and puts a MAYBE in front of that.

      “The other half of MAYBE is MAYBE NOT.”
      Still, all you have offered yourself to this point is this: “only 3 teams with the best regular season winning pct. have won the World Series since 1995, therefore the postseason is a crapshoot.” That’s almost no argument at all.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      In spite of this, the team satisfying the “except maybe” 3 great starters got bounced in the 1st round 3 straight years.

      “Bounced” with these pitchers outperforming opposing starters of teams with combined aggregate payrolls of approx. $850-900 million, compared to Oakland’s aggregate payroll of approx. $130-40 million, or by approx. 700% AND becomimg 3 OF ONLY 8 teams in M.L.B. HISTORY to lose an ALDS with starters allowing fewer earned runs than opponent starters.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      the ALDS of 2001-2003 are overwhelming evidence of that.

      Overwhelming evidence the results of the M.L.B. postseason since the inception of the L.D.S. can not be attributed to randomness.

    50. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:32 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      “‘My (stuff) doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is (bleeping) luck.’…Billy’s attitude seems to be, all that management can do is to produce a team good enough to triumph in a long season. There are no secret recipes for the postseason, except maybe having three great starters, and he had that.”
      Where is the term “predictability” used?
      “… except having three great starters” – that is what I have been saying from the beginning. “… and he had that” – “Beane had that;” those “three great starters” outperformed opponent starters in each ALDS from 2001-03, and his team lost each ALDS from 2001-03 to teams with HIGHER PAYROLLS than Oak., making those three teams 3 OF ONLY 8 teams (ALMOST HALF) that have lost an ALDS having starters outperform opponent starters.
      ALMOST HALF of the teams that have lost an ALDS in M.L.B. HISTORY with starters having outperformed opposing starters have been Beane teams.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Lewis, who wrote the book, and presumably knows what Beane meant better than any of us here goes on to say that Beane believes there are no secret recipes for the post-season. He then adds three great starters, and puts a MAYBE in front of that.
      “The other half of MAYBE is MAYBE NOT.”
      Still, all you have offered yourself to this point is this: “only 3 teams with the best regular season winning pct. have won the World Series since 1995, therefore the postseason is a crapshoot.” That’s almost no argument at all.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      In spite of this, the team satisfying the “except maybe” 3 great starters got bounced in the 1st round 3 straight years.
      “Bounced” with these pitchers outperforming opposing starters of teams with combined aggregate payrolls of approx. $850-900 million, compared to Oakland’s aggregate payroll of approx. $130-40 million, or by approx. 700% AND becomimg 3 OF ONLY 8 teams in M.L.B. HISTORY to lose an ALDS with starters allowing fewer earned runs than opponent starters.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      the ALDS of 2001-2003 are overwhelming evidence of that.
      Overwhelming evidence the results of the M.L.B. postseason since the inception of the L.D.S. can not be attributed to randomness.

      There’s nothing new in your last two responses. You keep making the same points. They mean nothing.

      The post-season is a crapshoot, far more than it isn’t.

      What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.
      What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.
      What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.
      What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.

      Repeated four times because:

      1. You keep repeating the same irrelevancies, and
      2. Maybe it will sink in if I repeat it often enough.

    51. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:33 pm

      Oh, I frequently have to repeat my explanations to the slow-track students, too. So you have plenty of company.

    52. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:41 pm

      “Bounced” with these pitchers outperforming opposing starters of teams with combined aggregate payrolls of approx. $850-900 million, compared to Oakland’s aggregate payroll of approx. $130-40 million.

      And now you’re just making shiite up.

      The combined payroll of the three teams that beat the A’s was well under about $250 million combined. The 2002 Twins that beat them in the ALDS had a payroll about $500,000 higher.

    53. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:42 pm

      Oh, and bringing up Beane doesn’t help your case. In fact, it annihilates it.

    54. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:43 pm

      Do you still think Beane was referring to “predictability” in describing winning a postseason series with a $40 mil. payroll as a “crapshoot?”

      It would be quite hysterical to watch try to explain what else he could have meant by that.

    55. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 4:49 pm

      You used to be fond of formal definitions, so here’s one for you:

      crap•shoot (ˈkræpˌʃut)

      n. Informal.
      an unpredictable venture; gamble.

      ========================================

      That’s what a crapshoot is: it’s unpredictable.

      That’s why “predictability” is relevant. It is precisely the unpredictability of the post-season that makes it a crapshoot, regardless of any stats you dig up to analyze the results of one series, or any group of series, AFTER the series are over.

      The results are irrelevant to the predictability, unless you can demonstrate the ability to predict these series, and we can compare your predictions to the results.

      THAT is the one and ONLY way you can prove the post-season isn’t a crapshoot.

    56. PHMDen
      August 4th, 2013 | 5:11 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Bullspit. Nothing was mistated. Nothing was mislabeled.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “Good pitching stops good hitting” is a long-standing baseball bromide. But it’s really “good pitching stops good hitting, except when it doesn’t.”

      Equivocation ((“to call by the same name”) an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). “Good pitching” in the first instance refers to pitching in a general sense, “good pitching” in the second instance refers to one particular staff in one particular outing or series.

      It was never said that a team was “better” because it won a playoff series, or a staff was “better” because it performed better than an opponent in a playoff series, but you keep saying it was. All of this is hard enough to follow to begin with, and you’re not making it any easier.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because your definition of the “better” staff is based on the RESULT of the series.

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      No one said the team that wins a post-season series is or is not the “better” team

      Or that a staff is “better” based on the RESULT of a series.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      It was stated that teams with a .060 advantage in regular season winning percentage vs. that of their opponents had a large advantage (>70%) in winning that series. Theoretically, if a team were to enter the post-season with an advantage of .060 in WPCT over every other team in the playoffs, and even if the .725 number were a valid, confirmed statement of that advantage, the odds of winning 3 such series, and the title, was less than 40%. Meaning such a team would be less likely to win it all than not to win it all. Meaning a team without a .060 advantage over all other playoff teams would be less likely than even that 38% probability.
      Empirically, there have been only two such teams in 18 years. One won it all, one didn’t. So even that overwhelming regular season advantage doesn’t guarantee a title.
      That’s how.

      So one argument is: “in the last 18 yrs., there have been only 2 teams to have a .060 ‘advantage’ in reg. season WPCT over every other playoff team and only 1 won the World Series, and only 3 teams won the Series with the best reg. season WPCT?”

      This ignores the results of 108 playoff series.

      A second argument is that no team has a better than 50% chance of winning the World Series at the start of the playoffs?

      If true, that doesn’t mean no team has a better than 50% chance of winning a playoff series.

      The issue isn’t predictability or probability, the issue is if a team won only 5/11 playoff series in 8 years, was it because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      And they lost all three series, 3 games to 2. If that doesn’t have crapshoot written all over it, nothing does.

      Is this a second or third argument: 3 out of 126 series have “‘crapshoot’ written all over them?”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Every short series is a crapshoot. In the regular season, there are more and larger mismatches (i.e., series in which there is a much larger disparity in team quality) than in the post-season. This supports the arguement that the regular season is much less a crapshoot than the post-season, and therefore, conversely, the post-season is much more of a crapshoot than the regular season.

      A series between a first place team and last place team in June is outside the scope. The nature of the playoffs is not the nature of reg. season play, at least not from April to September and most of the time.

      The issue isn’t predictability or probability, the issue is if a team won only 5/11 playoff series in 8 years, was it because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better? Because teams with the best WPCT won the World Series only 3x in 18 years doesn’t mean the system for determining a league champion and world champion is a crapshoot.

    57. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 5:41 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “‘My (stuff) doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is (bleeping) luck.’

      By the way, where does the word “crapshoot” appear in the above quote?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      “What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.”
      “What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.”
      “What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.”
      “What happens after that is (bleeping) luck”.”
      Repeated four times… maybe it will sink in..

      By the way, where does the word “crapshoot” appear in the above quote?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      [H]ere’s [a definition] for you:
      crap•shoot (ˈkræpˌʃut)
      n. Informal.
      an unpredictable venture; gamble.

      Where does the word “crapshoot” appear in the previous quotes? And where does the word “predictability” appear in the previous quotes? “Luck?” I’ve explained what Beane meant by “luck,” and why HE required it.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Oh, and bringing up Beane doesn’t help your case. In fact, it annihilates it.

      What’s that? 0-4 on logical fallacies, and 0-? on valid arguments? I’ve lost track.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And now you’re just making shiite up.

      The combined payroll of the three teams that beat the A’s was well under about $250 million combined. The 2002 Twins that beat them in the ALDS had a payroll about $500,000 higher.

      The aggregate payroll of the John Cashman’s son’s N.Y. Yankees ALONE for the period 2001-03 was more than $250 million. ?-? on facts? I’ve lost track.

      PHMDen wrote:

      The issue isn’t predictability or probability, the issue is if a team won only 5/11 playoff series in 8 years, was it because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better?

      Choirs sing: “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah…”

    58. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 6:33 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Equivocation ((“to call by the same name”) an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). “Good pitching” in the first instance refers to pitching in a general sense, “good pitching” in the second instance refers to one particular staff in one particular outing or series.

      The only equivocation is in your mind. Pitching of one team, and hitting of the opponent is two halves of the same coin. Always has been, always will be.

      It was never said that a team was “better” because it won a playoff series, or a staff was “better” because it performed better than an opponent in a playoff series, but you keep saying it was. All of this is hard enough to follow to begin with, and you’re not making it any easier.

      If that wasn’t said, then nothing relevant concerning “crapshoot vs. not crapshoot was said.

      No one said the team that wins a post-season series is or is not the “better” team
      Or that a staff is “better” based on the RESULT of a series.

      OK, then, nothing was said. I agree.

      So one argument is: “in the last 18 yrs., there have been only 2 teams to have a .060 ‘advantage’ in reg. season WPCT over every other playoff team and only 1 won the World Series, and only 3 teams won the Series with the best reg. season WPCT?”
      This ignores the results of 108 playoff series.

      The RESULTS of 108 playoffs series, without reference to whatever strength can be estimated going into those series, prove nothing on the subject of “crapshoot vs. not crapshoot”.

      This simple point is what is not being understood. I don’t understand why.

      A second argument is that no team has a better than 50% chance of winning the World Series at the start of the playoffs?
      If true, that doesn’t mean no team has a better than 50% chance of winning a playoff series.

      Absolutely true. Also doesn’t prove “not crapshoot” vs. crapshoot.

      The issue isn’t predictability or probability, the issue is if a team won only 5/11 playoff series in 8 years, was it because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better?

      What it means is that a team that might be expected to win about half of its playoff series, won about half of its playoff series. Shocking.

      And they lost all three series, 3 games to 2. If that doesn’t have crapshoot written all over it, nothing does.
      Is this a second or third argument: 3 out of 126 series have “‘crapshoot’ written all over them?”

      No, the specific case of a team with three top starters, the supposed “necessary requirement” for winning in the post-season, proves not guarantee anything at all, not even one series win. That’s the point, and your pseudo-clever quip misses it.

      Because teams with the best WPCT won the World Series only 3x in 18 years doesn’t mean the system for determining a league champion and world champion is a crapshoot.

      Not in and of itself, no, I’d agree. But it is a piece of the puzzles, and all the relevant pieces so far appear to form the same picture: mostly crapshoot, most years.

    59. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 6:35 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Can’t find a quote in which Beane uses the words “crapshoot” and “predictability” in the same sentence, or “predictability” in any sentence for that matter. Do you have one?

    60. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 6:39 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      By the way, where does the word “crapshoot” appear in the above quote?
      Evan3457 wrote:
      [H]ere’s [a definition] for you:
      crap•shoot (ˈkræpˌʃut)
      n. Informal.
      an unpredictable venture; gamble.
      Where does the word “crapshoot” appear in the previous quotes? And where does the word “predictability” appear in the previous quotes? “Luck?”

      You can’t really be this stupid, so I’ll just assume you’re covering up by denying the obvious in lieu of an actual argument.

      I’ve explained what Beane meant by “luck,” and why HE required it.

      And your explanation is wrong, as the passage in context makes plain.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And now you’re just making shiite up.
      The combined payroll of the three teams that beat the A’s was well under about $250 million combined. The 2002 Twins that beat them in the ALDS had a payroll about $500,000 higher.

      The aggregate payroll of the John Cashman’s son’s N.Y. Yankees ALONE for the period 2001-03 was more than $250 million. ?-? on facts? I’ve lost track.

      Hysterically feeble, as the Yanks played the A’s only in 2001, not 2002 or 2003. Again, the Twins payroll was a mere $500 K higher. Didn’t matter, the A’s, with three dominant starters, still lost.

      PHMDen wrote:
      The issue isn’t predictability or probability, the issue is if a team won only 5/11 playoff series in 8 years, was it because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better?
      Choirs sing: “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah…”

      This issue IS predictability, or we aren’t debating crapshoot vs. not.

    61. PHMDen
      August 4th, 2013 | 7:25 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      This issue IS predictability, or we aren’t debating crapshoot vs. not.

      It’s not much of a debate when one side doesn’t have an argument.

      Beane never referred to “predictability,” and you’ve steadfastly refused to address the issue of whether or not a team that won only 5/11 playoff series failed to win more because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better.

      Your entire stance is predicated on predictability, when the issue is not whether or not it predictable that the team would win any of those 11 series, but whether or not it can be said the system is one that allows for reasonable determination an AL, NL or World champion.
      The person responsible for the quote NEVER alluded to “predictability.” Only you have.

      Your response, more often than not, is to say you’re right, but not offer anything else in the process but criticism of an opposing point of view and often a misrepresentation of that view at the same time. And dictionary definitions.
      Another in a litany of examples: “the specific case of a team with three top starters, the supposed “necessary requirement” for winning in the post-season.” No one said that, and necessary and requirement are redund-ant.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      you’re covering up by denying the obvious in lieu of an actual argument.

      Funny you said that, because that’s been my impression of what you’ve been doing. You’ve retreated behind predictability; because you can’t win the argument on its merits, you’ve changed the argument.

      Why is the system for determining a league champion and a world champion inadequate? Because only 3 teams with the highest reg. season WPCT won the Series? That’s not an argument, or to the extent it is, it fails.
      When someone makes a similar argument about 126 postseason series, you call it “hindsight,” which is both incorrect and incompatible with your own argument!

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But it is a piece of the puzzles, and all the relevant pieces so far appear to form the same picture: mostly crapshoot, most years.

      You don’t have all of the “pieces of the puzzle,” just the “relevant” ones? Hint: predictability is not a piece in the puzzle.

    62. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 7:41 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hysterically feeble, as the Yanks played the A’s only in 2001, not 2002 or 2003. Again, the Twins payroll was a mere $500 K higher. Didn’t matter, the A’s, with three dominant starters, still lost.

      You’re right, sorry.
      I knew the 700% seemed high. I was probably laughing too hard at one of the posts. So what are we talking about, approx. $275 mil. to $135 mil.? 200% Who cares? I don’t even take this discussion seriously anymore. You lost it a long time ago.

    63. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 8:20 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      This issue IS predictability, or we aren’t debating crapshoot vs. not.
      It’s not much of a debate when one side doesn’t have an argument.

      I agree; your side doesn’t have an argument, primarily because it doesn’t know the meaning of the word crapshoot.

      Beane never referred to “predictability,”

      When he said “after that, it’s (bleeping) luck”, that’s exactly what he meant. You denial is valueless.

      and you’ve steadfastly refused to address the issue of whether or not a team that won only 5/11 playoff series failed to win more because the team wasn’t better, or because the system for determining a league champion and a world champion wasn’t better.

      Because it isn’t at issue here. The Yanks have won, within reasonable error bars, about as many series as they should have. Maybe one series fewer. There is no failure here. They were what they were, and they performed very close to the way they should’ve given what they were.

      Your entire stance is predicated on predictability, when the issue is not whether or not it predictable that the team would win any of those 11 series

      .
      No, predictability is the practical difference between crapshoot vs. no crapshoot.

      but whether or not it can be said the system is one that allows for reasonable determination an AL, NL or World champion.

      It is a reasonable system for determining a champion. I’ve never argued otherwise. Still a crapshoot, mostly. The NCAA tournament is even more of a crapshoot, the NBA playoffs, less so.

      Your response, more often than not, is to say you’re right,

      Because I am right.

      but not offer anything else in the process but criticism of an opposing point of view and often a misrepresentation of that view at the same time. And dictionary definitions.

      On the contrary, I’ve offered several arguments, in several forms, all with some validity, none refuted.

      Another in a litany of examples: “the specific case of a team with three top starters, the supposed “necessary requirement” for winning in the post-season.”

      I used that example because Lewis cites Beane as believing in that requirement.

      No one said that

      Lewis implies Beane has.

      and necessary and requirement are redund-ant.

      I used necessary there to distinguish it from sufficient.

      You’ve retreated behind predictability; because you can’t win the argument on its merits, you’ve changed the argument.

      We can’t even agree on what the argument is because we don’t agree on what “crapshoot” means. I’ve been trying to point out for the last 10 replies or so is that the defintion of crapshoot you appear to be using is incorrect and irrelevant.

      Why is the system for determining a league champion and a world champion inadequate?

      I’m not making the argument that the MLB playoff system is “inadequate” just because it’s largely a crapshoot. All playoff systems are crapshoots to some extent or other. Some more, some less, depending on the sport, the size of the tournament, etc. This doesn’t mean that they’re “inadequate”.

      Because only 3 teams with the highest reg. season WPCT won the Series? That’s not an argument, or to the extent it is, it fails.
      When someone makes a similar argument about 126 postseason series, you call it “hindsight,” which is both incorrect and incompatible with your own argument!

      Wrong, because the two arguments are not of the same kind. Your argument is looking backwards from results. My argument is looking forward, attempting to use data available from the regular season to try to predict the outcome of the post-season.

      When I say that the post-season is a crapshoot, what I mean is that, looked at before it starts, any team in it can win. Some teams appear to have a better chance than others before it starts, but there are too many upsets in singe round series, and too many surprise title winners for the MLB post-season to be classified as “not a crapshoot”.

      The very defintion of crapshoot includes: an unpredictable venture.
      UNPREDICTABLE. Get it now? If it isn’t predictable, then it’s a crapshoot.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      But it is a piece of the puzzles, and all the relevant pieces so far appear to form the same picture: mostly crapshoot, most years.
      You don’t have all of the “pieces of the puzzle,” just the “relevant” ones? Hint: predictability is not a piece in the puzzle.

      I give up. I can’t explain to those who will not learn.

    64. Evan3457
      August 4th, 2013 | 8:21 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Hysterically feeble, as the Yanks played the A’s only in 2001, not 2002 or 2003. Again, the Twins payroll was a mere $500 K higher. Didn’t matter, the A’s, with three dominant starters, still lost.
      You’re right, sorry.
      I knew the 700% seemed high. I was probably laughing too hard at one of the posts. So what are we talking about, approx. $275 mil. to $135 mil.? 200% Who cares? I don’t even take this discussion seriously anymore. You lost it a long time ago.

      LOL.

      I’ll leave it to those who read to judge who’s the winner of this argument, and who isn’t.

    65. PHMDen
      August 4th, 2013 | 8:53 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      There is no failure here. They were what they were, and they performed very close to the way they should’ve given what they were… It is a reasonable system for determining a champion. I’ve never argued otherwise.

      That’s right. The failure is at the GM level, not on the playing field. And a reasonable system cannot be called a crapshoot; the two assertions cannot be reconciled.

      The system for determination of the AL, NL, and World Series champion worked, and a team that performed very close to the way they should’ve given what they were: division-winning teams not built to win in Oct. in most years, did not advance beyond 11 series over 8 years.

      They weren’t good enough to win, and they didn’t win. The 1996-2001 teams were good enough to win 16/16 series, and won 14/16 series. The primary reason the 2005-12 teams didn’t advance beyond 11 series can be argued to have been inadequate postseason starting rotation depth – and very persuasively.

      An argument the team failed to advance to more than 11 postseason series because the postseason is a crapshoot has no merit. Beane never used the term “predictability” or any related term.

    66. Ricketson
      August 4th, 2013 | 9:06 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Can’t find a quote in which Beane uses the words “crapshoot” and “predictability” in the same sentence, or “predictability” in any sentence for that matter. Do you have one?

      I guess the answer was “no.”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      I give up.

      Now that we’ve settled the fact that the postseason is not a crapshoot, we should move on to arguing about how the Clemens-for-Wells trade was not the best trade in the history of Major League Baseball for the next week, or even a very good one.

    67. Kamieniecki
      August 4th, 2013 | 9:32 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      We can’t even agree on what the argument is because we don’t agree on what “crapshoot” means.

      My final thought on this subject: I don’t think Beane cared whether it was predictable his teams won or not, I think he just cared whether his teams won or not. I don’t know why predictability would be an important issue with Beane; if the comment came from Rose…

    68. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 1:32 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      That’s right. The failure is at the GM level, not on the playing field.

      Unproven assertion.

      And a reasonable system cannot be called a crapshoot; the two assertions cannot be reconciled.

      Idiotic assertion.

      The system for determination of the AL, NL, and World Series champion worked, and a team that performed very close to the way they should’ve given what they were: division-winning teams not built to win in Oct. in most years.

      Unproven, and, in fact, unprovable assertion.

      They weren’t good enough to win, and they didn’t win. The 1996-2001 teams were good enough to win 16/16 series, and won 14/16 series.

      Self-contradictory assertion.

      The primary reason the 2005-12 teams didn’t advance beyond 11 series can be argued to have been inadequate postseason starting rotation depth

      Can be argued, but contradicts with the argument many of the same blockheads were making just a few months ago that the 2012 Yankees were doomed by their not-ready-for-prime-time offense, and by extension, the same for the 2010 and 2011 teams.

      and very persuasively.

      Not so much.

      An argument the team failed to advance to more than 11 postseason series because the postseason is a crapshoot has no merit. Beane never used the term “predictability” or any related term.

      Continued failure to comprehend “crapshoot”; i.e., an unpredictable venture. Beane’s use of the words “(frigging) luck” instead of unpredictable is a distinction without a real difference.

      Thanks for the same nonsense, over and over and over…

    69. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 1:35 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Can’t find a quote in which Beane uses the words “crapshoot” and “predictability” in the same sentence, or “predictability” in any sentence for that matter. Do you have one?
      I guess the answer was “no.”

      Don’t have to; “(frigging) luck) means something very similar, if not the same. I don’t have to find the proof you seek, in the form you seek. My point is already proven.

      Now that we’ve settled the fact that the postseason is not a crapshoot, we should move on to arguing about how the Clemens-for-Wells trade was not the best trade in the history of Major League Baseball for the next week, or even a very good one.

      Now that we’ve settled you don’t understand what crapshoot means, i.e. an unpredictable venture, feel free to move on to anything you want to.

    70. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 1:47 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      We can’t even agree on what the argument is because we don’t agree on what “crapshoot” means.
      My final thought on this subject: I don’t think Beane cared whether it was predictable his teams won or not, I think he just cared whether his teams won or not. I don’t know why predictability would be an important issue with Beane; if the comment came from Rose…

      The exact quote, again, is:
      “My (stuff) doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is (bleeping) luck.”

      (Moneyball, p. 275)

      One place the “crapshoot” commentary about the playoffs come from is Bruce Bochy’s pre-game press conference before game 2 of last year’s NLDS:

      Q. In talking to the Reds, they have pointed to a different between 2010 and this year when they didn’t make it out of the first round as experience being a big thing for them this year. You guys are experienced team having made a World Series run in 2010. So is the lesson that the difference between this year and then is that the playoffs can be a little bit of a crap shoot?

      BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, and you know that going in. You work so hard to get to the playoffs and you understand, especially in the first series, best out of 5, it can become a little bit of a crap shoot when you catch a team, how well they throw, balls falling in, base hits, things like that and they have played very well.

      So one of the best managers in the game and one of the best GM’s in the game agree.

      Now, that’s an appeal to authority, and is often a fallacious form of argument, and if I had good reason to disagree with them, I’d make that case. But as the post-season is obviously much more of a crapshoot (and note, those who accuse me of “weasel wording” in that I’ve tried to state that it’s more of a crapshoot than not, rather than just “crapshoot”, Bochy does the same thing in response to the question’s phrase “a bit of a crap shoot”), there’s no real reason to disagree. It’s obviously true, and there is strong evidence and argument to support it, as I’ve laid out throughout this thread and others.

    71. PHMDen
      August 5th, 2013 | 1:19 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The same FACT can be adduced from the hitting side of the coin, but I repeat myself.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s probably not exactly equal, but I bet the team that scored more runs won about 79% of the LDS, and about 83% of the LCS.

      It’s the same thing, the same coin. That’s why it’s exactly equal: 79.4%.

      To say:
      a team with starters that pitched better than the other teams’s starters measured by giving up fewer earned runs won 79.4% of playoffs series since 1995,

      is the same thing as:

      a team with hitters that hit better than the other team’s hitters measured by scoring more earned runs won 79.4% of playoffs series since 1995.

      Scoring more earned runs from 2005-7 wasn’t the problem, giving up more earned runs was the problem. The Yankees had one of the best offenses in the AL, the starting pitching was not close to one of the best in the AL. If the starting pitching was better and there was more balance with the two, the team would have won more, it can be argued.

      The offense can’t be better than the best, which it was from 2005-7

      It’s not a tautology: no one offered the team that scored the most runs won 100% of the time.

    72. PHMDen
      August 5th, 2013 | 1:46 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Now, that’s an appeal to authority, and is often a fallacious form of argument

      It’s always a fallacious form of argument.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But as the post-season is obviously much more of a crapshoot

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Bochy does the same thing in response to the question’s phrase “a bit of a crap shoot”

      Not only is your third or fourth argument fallacious, but you’re calling the playoffs “much more of a crapshoot” by appealing to the authority of one manager who called the playoffs “a bit of a crapshoot.”

      And, once again, Bochy doesn’t refer to predictability as Beane does not.

      Only you have referred to predictability by predictability into a discussion where the issue is whether or not the system for determining a league champion and world champion in baseball is adequate, and if it is, why did the Yankees win only 5/11 playoff series since 2005?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, and you know that going in….in the first series, best out of 5, it can become a little bit of a crap shoot when you catch a team, how well they throw, balls falling in, base hits, things like that and they have played very well.

      The same can be said of any series, or any 5 games. In any sequence of five games, even across 2 series, the difference between 3 wins and 2 wins can be a “ball falling in” that will look like a “line drive in the box score.”

      “a team with hitters that hit more ‘balls that fell in’ than the other team’s hitters measured by scoring more earned runs off ‘balls that fell in’ won a percentage of playoff series since 1995 that can’t be determined by box scores.”

    73. PHMDen
      August 5th, 2013 | 2:07 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Only you have referred to predictability by predictability into a discussion where the issue is whether or not the system for determining a league champion and world champion in baseball is adequate, and if it is, why did the Yankees win only 5/11 playoff series since 2005?

      “Only you have referred to predictability by introducing predictability into a discussion…”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Idiotic assertion.

      You can’t say the system for determining a league champion and a world champion in Major League Baseball is adequate or reasonable and also say it’s one just as likely or not unlikely to determine the 1998 Texas Rangers were the AL champion and World Champion, and not the 1998 New York Yankees; the two assertions cannot be reconciled.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Thanks for the same nonsense, over and over and over…

      You’re participation in this discussion has been 99% fact-checking/questioning, logical reasoning evaluation, misstatement of what’s been written requiring restatement over and over and over. dictionary definitions, and introducing things such as predictability into the the discussion that have no relevance and cannot be shown to be associated with those to whose authority who’ve appealed to. Nifty.

    74. Ricketson
      August 5th, 2013 | 3:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I give up… I’ll leave it to those who read to judge who’s the winner of this argument, and who isn’t.

      I thought this discussion was over?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      I can’t explain to those who will not learn.

      All seemed to have already learned, or been well-acquainted with, the definition of the words “luck” and “predictability.”
      All seemed to have already learned, or been well-acquainted with, Beane’s quote and the fact that neither he nor Bochy ever referred to the postseason as a “crapshoot” in the context of unpredictability.

      All seemed to understand starting pitchering yielding fewer earned runs than opposing starting pitching is the logical equivalent of starting lineups scoring more earned runs against starting pitching than opposing lineups.

      All seemed to understand citing the results of 126 postseason series is not different from citing 18 World Series except that the former is a more substantial and persuasive sample than the latter.

      And all seemed to understand that a team with the highest payroll in M.L.B. and the best offense in the A.L. for a period of years that had league-average starting pitching and did not win a pennant, did not win a pennant because of a lack of starting pitching depth as one of the most, if not the most, important reason.

      And all seemed to understand it was John Cashman’s son that was responsible for this lack of depth.

    75. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 3:29 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      @
      a team with hitters that hit better than the other team’s hitters measured by scoring more earned runs won 79.4% of playoffs series since 1995.

      Hitters don’t score earned runs; they score runs. But thanks for re-stating my point.

      Scoring more earned runs from 2005-7 wasn’t the problem, giving up more earned runs was the problem.

      That’ll be news to the 2006 Yankees who were held to 6 runs in the last 3 games, all 3 losses.

      The Yankees had one of the best offenses in the AL, the starting pitching was not close to one of the best in the AL. If the starting pitching was better and there was more balance with the two, the team would have won more, it can be argued.

      I’d agree with that, the more things a teams is good at, the better it’s chance of winning; over the long season, or in a short playoff series.

      The offense can’t be better than the best, which it was from 2005-7
      It’s not a tautology: no one offered the team that scored the most runs won 100% of the time.

      Nor does the team that leads the league in runs allowed (or ERA).

    76. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 3:38 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Now, that’s an appeal to authority, and is often a fallacious form of argument
      It’s always a fallacious form of argument.

      No, not if the argument is, in itself, correct, without regard to the authority cited. Or if, in fact, the authority cited has definitive proof of the argument.

      but you’re calling the playoffs “much more of a crapshoot” by appealing to the authority of one manager who called the playoffs “a bit of a crapshoot.”

      As opposed to your side constantly saying “not a crapshoot”, as in 100% non-crapshoot.

      And, once again, Bochy doesn’t refer to predictability as Beane does not.
      No, but he does cite random factors. Again: an unpredictable venture”. That’s one definition of crapshoot. I defy you to find a definition of crapshoot that doesn’t include “unpredictable”, or similar terms such as “random”, “chance” or “luck”.

      Only you have referred to predictability by predictability into a discussion where the issue is whether or not the system for determining a league champion and world champion in baseball is adequate
      I’ve never made the argument that because a playoff system has some “chance” or “luck” elements, the playoff system is inadequate. That’s your interpretation of what I’ve said.

      and if it is

      As I’ve said several time, I don’t think it is inadequate.

      why did the Yankees win only 5/11 playoff series since 2005?

      Because they lost one series in 6 of the 7 seasons. Duh.

      BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, and you know that going in….in the first series, best out of 5, it can become a little bit of a crap shoot when you catch a team, how well they throw, balls falling in, base hits, things like that and they have played very well.
      The same can be said of any series, or any 5 games. In any sequence of five games, even across 2 series, the difference between 3 wins and 2 wins can be a “ball falling in” that will look like a “line drive in the box score.”
      “a team with hitters that hit more ‘balls that fell in’ than the other team’s hitters measured by scoring more earned runs off ‘balls that fell in’ won a percentage of playoff series since 1995 that can’t be determined by box scores.”

      Well, that’s part of my point. There are some random elements in any sports contest. They’re tests of skill, but there’s also good luck and bad luck. That means the better team doesn’t always win, but it also means the team that wins is the winner, regardless of the random elements involved, and it doesn’t mean the playoff system is inadequate just because in some years, the best team doesn’t win.

    77. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 3:45 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      PHMDen wrote:
      Only you have referred to predictability by predictability into a discussion where the issue is whether or not the system for determining a league champion and world champion in baseball is adequate, and if it is, why did the Yankees win only 5/11 playoff series since 2005?
      “Only you have referred to predictability by introducing predictability into a discussion…”
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Verbal white noise.

      You can’t say the system for determining a league champion and a world champion in Major League Baseball is adequate or reasonable and also say it’s one just as likely or not unlikely to determine the 1998 Texas Rangers were the AL champion and World Champion, and not the 1998 New York Yankees; the two assertions cannot be reconciled.

      1) I never said the 1998 Texas Rangers were as likely to win as the 1998 Yankees. I don’t need to assert anything that silly for my overall point to hold.
      2) The two assertions are reconcilable by anyone adult enough to understand that even a logically adequate well-designed playoff system will not elevate the “best team” to the championship every year, and, in fact, even if this were possible, it would still in not be desirable. Any playoff system that predictable would be a bore. Part of the charm of sports are the upset winners, beating the odds.

      By any reasonable measure, the 1969 Orioles were a far better team than the 1969 Mets. The Mets still starched them in 5 games. Same for the 1960 Pirates, who were tremendously outhit and outscored (yes, even in earned runs) and are still the champion. Doesn’t mean the World Series isn’t an adequate playoff format.

      You’re participation in this discussion has been 99% fact-checking/questioning, logical reasoning evaluation, misstatement of what’s been written requiring restatement over and over and over. dictionary definitions, and introducing things such as predictability into the the discussion that have no relevance and cannot be shown to be associated with those to whose authority who’ve appealed to. Nifty.

      crapshoot: an unpredictable venture.
      Thanks for playing.

    78. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2013 | 3:47 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I give up… I’ll leave it to those who read to judge who’s the winner of this argument, and who isn’t.
      I thought this discussion was over?

      Well, when your side admits defeat, I’ll stop for good. But if you keep coming back with different forms of the same nonsense, I’ll refute it.

      All seemed to have already learned, or been well-acquainted with, the definition of the words “luck” and “predictability.”

      Still don’t seem to understand crapshoot: an unpredictable venture, and without understanding that, everything below this point is irrelevant.

    79. PHMDen
      August 5th, 2013 | 4:26 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hitters don’t score earned runs

      What do you call a player that hits a baseball with a bat, draws a walk with a bat in his hands, etc. resulting in a run scored that can be charged to a pitcher? Is “hitter” not an appropriate term?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Nor does the team that leads the league in runs allowed (or ERA).

      Leading the league in Runs (allowed), and leading the league in Earned Run Average are two different things.

      The Yankees were league-average from 2005-7 in ERA. The Yankees were first or second in team average, runs scored, etc. in each year from 2005-7.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      No, not if the argument is, in itself, correct, without regard to the authority cited. Or if, in fact, the authority cited has definitive proof of the argument.

      Appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. You cannot appeal to authority and say was not fallacious to do so because what the authority asserted or claimed was correct. What is the “definitive proof” of either Beane or Bochy that the MLB postseason is a “crapshoot?”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Again: an unpredictable venture”. That’s one definition of crapshoot.

      Thank you; I’m familiar with the term. And for those terms that are unfamiliar to me, there are dictionaries and resources available online to assist me.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      As I’ve said several time, I don’t think it is inadequate.

      If you’re saying the system for determination of a league champion and world champion in Major League baseball is not inadequate, and the New York Yankees failed to win more than 5/11 series from 2005-12 not because of deficiencies in that system but because the team’s starting pitching was outperformed in most or all series as the most significant reason and for lesser reasons, we would seem to agree.

      If you’re saying that teams that are closer to first in offense overall and first in ERA in a league tend to be luckier in the long term than teams that are closer to first in offense overall and seventh in ERA in a league,
      we agree.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, that’s part of my point. There are some random elements in any sports contest.

      We’ve spent hours on this discussion over the course of days to arrive at this “point” (no pun intended)?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      There are some random elements in any sports contest. They’re tests of skill, but there’s also good luck and bad luck. That means the better team doesn’t always win, but it also means the team that wins is the winner, regardless of the random elements involved, and it doesn’t mean the playoff system is inadequate just because in some years, the best team doesn’t win.

      The postseason is not a crapshoot. And predictability has no place in the discussion.

      Ricketson wrote:

      I thought this discussion was over?

      So did I??

    80. Ricketson
      August 5th, 2013 | 4:43 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, when your side admits defeat, I’ll stop for good.

      We haven’t had anyone legendary in the employment of facts and logic declare our argument “kicked to the curb,” so I didn’t think that an admission of defeat was appropriate.

      PHMDen wrote:

      The postseason is not a crapshoot. And predictability has no place in the discussion.

      @ Evan3457:
      You can have the last word.

    81. Kamieniecki
      August 5th, 2013 | 6:12 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Do you even realize you’re arguing the postseason’s unpredictable because it’s unpredictable?

    82. Kamieniecki
      August 5th, 2013 | 7:07 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      By any reasonable measure, the 1969 Orioles were a far better team than the 1969 Mets. The Mets still starched them in 5 games.

      The 69 Mets had four pitchers named Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, and Gary Gentry that pitched to a 1.94 ERA in the series.

      The team that ended the 1998-2000 title run for the Yankees in 2001? Arizona. What did their post-season rotation look like?

      Five-Time Cy Young Award-winner Randy Johnson, including 2001, who led baseball in strikeouts with 372. That’s not a typo: 372 strikeouts in the 2001 season.

      Six-time All-Star Curt Schilling that went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and 293 strikeouts.

      The two had a miniscule 1.36 ERA. The Yankees taking the series to the 9th of Game 7 and within outs of a 4th straight title was a testament to how truly great those teams were.

    83. Ricketson
      August 5th, 2013 | 7:47 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. You cannot appeal to authority and say was not fallacious to do so because what the authority asserted or claimed was correct.

      That John Cashman’s son is great in bed because Louise Meanwell, a psychologically-imbalanced woman he had an extramarital affair with, said so is no more a valid argument than the argument that the postseason is “much more a crapshoot than not” because Bruce Bochy said it is “a bit of a craphsoot,” whether Meanwell or Bochy is correct or not. Mary Bresnan would likely say Cashman is lousy in bed (if she would comment at all on a such a question in an interview), as he is lousy in the general management of a baseball team.

      Any idiot can spend $200-30 mil. and put an offense on the field that is no. 1 or no. 2 in the league with the most three of the most difficult positions to fill (catcher, shortstop, and second base) already in place.

    84. August 5th, 2013 | 9:04 pm

      One more day to get your closing comments in this one, folks. Then, it’s closing time.

    85. Garcia
      August 5th, 2013 | 9:14 pm

      Holy cow! A post from 2010 was just resurrected – this is something my significant other does quite often.

    86. Evan3457
      August 6th, 2013 | 12:48 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Hitters don’t score earned runs
      What do you call a player that hits a baseball with a bat, draws a walk with a bat in his hands, etc. resulting in a run scored that can be charged to a pitcher? Is “hitter” not an appropriate term?

      Hitters score “runs.” That’s what it’s called. There is no earned runs category for hitters.

      The Yankees were league-average from 2005-7 in ERA. The Yankees were first or second in team average, runs scored, etc. in each year from 2005-7.

      And they were well above average in runs allowed (fewer runs than average the last 3 years. 20 runs better in 2010, 60 better in 2011 and 2012.

      Appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. You cannot appeal to authority and say was not fallacious to do so because what the authority asserted or claimed was correct. What is the “definitive proof” of either Beane or Bochy that the MLB postseason is a “crapshoot?”

      If the underlying argument is not fallacious, then it is not fallacious.
      <blockquote
      Again: an unpredictable venture”. That’s one definition of crapshoot.

      Yes, it is. We’re making progress.

      Thank you; I’m familiar with the term. And for those terms that are unfamiliar to me, there are dictionaries and resources available online to assist me.

      Try using one once in a while.

      If you’re saying the system for determination of a league champion and world champion in Major League baseball is not inadequate, and the New York Yankees failed to win more than 5/11 series from 2005-12 not because of deficiencies in that system but because the team’s starting pitching was outperformed in most or all series as the most significant reason and for lesser reasons, we would seem to agree.

      No, that’s not what I’m saying and you know it.

      If you’re saying that teams that are closer to first in offense overall and first in ERA in a league tend to be luckier in the long term than teams that are closer to first in offense overall and seventh in ERA in a league, we agree.

      No, a team first in both categories tends to be better than a team in first in one of them. Doesn’t mean they’ll always win a short post-season series, though.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Well, that’s part of my point. There are some random elements in any sports contest.
      We’ve spent hours on this discussion over the course of days to arrive at this “point” (no pun intended)?

      What part of the word “part” is beyond your comprehension?

      The postseason is not a crapshoot. And predictability has no place in the discussion.

      Back to square one for you.

      Ricketson wrote:
      I thought this discussion was over?
      So did I??

      Apparently, it’s over tomorrow (today). Probably a good idea.

    87. Evan3457
      August 6th, 2013 | 12:49 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Do you even realize you’re arguing the postseason’s unpredictable because it’s unpredictable?

      Exactly. Congratulations. You’re almost there.

      It’s unpredictable. And an unpredictable venture is a….

      ….come one, you can say it. They know…

    88. Evan3457
      August 6th, 2013 | 12:50 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      PHMDen wrote:
      Appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. You cannot appeal to authority and say was not fallacious to do so because what the authority asserted or claimed was correct.
      That John Cashman’s son is great in bed because Louise Meanwell, a psychologically-imbalanced woman he had an extramarital affair with, said so is no more a valid argument than the argument that the postseason is “much more a crapshoot than not” because Bruce Bochy said it is “a bit of a craphsoot,” whether Meanwell or Bochy is correct or not. Mary Bresnan would likely say Cashman is lousy in bed (if she would comment at all on a such a question in an interview), as he is lousy in the general management of a baseball team.
      Any idiot can spend $200-30 mil. and put an offense on the field that is no. 1 or no. 2 in the league with the most three of the most difficult positions to fill (catcher, shortstop, and second base) already in place.

      More white noise.

    89. Evan3457
      August 6th, 2013 | 12:51 am

      @ Steve L.:
      As always, I respect your decision. It seems like a good idea, as there’s no progress being made.

    90. PHMDen
      August 6th, 2013 | 12:46 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hitters score “runs.” That’s what it’s called. There is no earned runs category for hitters.

      Once again, what I wrote was quite clear and self-explanatory, and your response is one that adds nothing to the discussion.
      Earned runs score as a result of hitter action or inaction, or behavior, except in a rare occurrence such as a wild pitch with a runner on third. Your post provides no useful information.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious. You cannot appeal to authority and say was not fallacious to do so because what the authority asserted or claimed was correct. What is the “definitive proof” of either Beane or Bochy that the MLB postseason is a “crapshoot?”
      If the underlying argument is not fallacious, then it is not fallacious.

      WRONG. Appeal to Authority is a valid form of argument in only certain circumstances. Your Appeal to the Authority of Beane as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) is on the basis of 22 words (if I counted correctly).

      Almost your entire argument is that someone you consider to be an SME spoke 22 words that you interpret to assert the Major League Baseball playoffs are a crapshoot because luck is involved. That may not be a completely or perfectly accurate representation of what you’ve written, of all of the re-formulations that you have offered (I’ll get to that in a minute), but I think it is a fair representation of what you’ve written.

      Your argument is also that the playoffs are a crapshoot or “mostly” a crapshoot because someone else you consider to be an SME said the playoffs are “a bit” of a crapshoot. A “crapshoot or mostly a crapshoot” is not the same thing as what your SME said, or “a bit” of a crapshoot. Thus, your Appeal to Authority of two SMEs does not support your argument.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Doesn’t mean they’ll always win a short post-season series, though.

      Ricketson wrote:

      IF IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 162 GAMES IN A REGULAR SEASON, THEN IT’S NOT A CRAPSHOOT OVER 152 GAMES IN 24 POSTSEASON SERIES FROM 2005-12.

      Where does the word “always” appear in the preceding quote.

      I’ve revisited the history of this discussion across at least 3 threads. It appears to have started with one commenters assertion that the team should have won more since 2005. A second commenter replied that all that matters is getting to the playoffs because the playoffs are a “crapshoot.” The first commenter disagreed with the reply of the second commenter and at one point you entered the discussion. At no point had the term “predictability” been used.

      Your first argument was that the postseason is a “crapshoot” because there is less than a 50% probability of winning the World Series. The response to your argument was that the playoffs and the World Series are not necessarily the same thing, and the Yankees still failed to win more than 50% of the SERIES PLAYED since 2005 not because the playoffs are a crapshoot, but because the teams’ starting pitching was not as good as it could have been, with the 1996-2001 teams offered in a comparison.

      At some point, your argument seemed to have become that the results of a playoff series are not predictable and the fact that only 3 teams with the best WPCT for the reg. season have won the World Series since 1995 shows that. And that the argument that in 120 of 126 playoff series since 1995 the team that scored the most earned runs against starting pitching or the team that yielded the fewest earned runs against against starting pitching was somehow fallacious or “hindsight” while your argument relating to WPCT in only 18 playoff series was not fallacious or “hindsight.”

      Finally, you have referred to what you consider to be two SMEs in an Appeal to Authority, and in both cases your argument is not consistent with the assertions of either SME. Beane has not said the playoffs are a crapshoot or mostly a crapshoot because the results of the playoffs cannot be predicted before the playoffs begin, and Bochy did not say the playoffs are a crapshoot or mostly a crapshoot, he essentially has said that some luck is involved.

      Some luck is involved in every inning, game, and series from the first pitch on Opening Day in March or April, to the last pitch of the deciding Game of the World Series in October. Why does the New York Yankees’ run of 14/16 playoff series won, 5 pennants, and 4 World Series titles become something less than what it was to most or more attributable or randomness or luck with 22 words spoken by one GM, Billy Beane?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      By any reasonable measure, the 1969 Orioles were a far better team than the 1969 Mets. The
      Mets still starched them in 5 games.

      You haven’t explained why Major League scouts are not SMEs. Was there a consensus of Major League scouts in 1969 or 1970 that the New York Mets’ victory in the 1969 World Series was not predictable?

      Tom Seaver had one of the best arms of the second half of the Twentieth Century. Jerry Koosman was one of the best pitchers of his day. Nolan Ryan had the best arm of the Twentieth Century.

      Were major league scouts all over the country rushed unconscious to emergency rooms when they watched the final out of the 1969 World Series because they could not have predicted in their wildest imaginations that these 3 pitchers and Gentry would outperform Baltimore’s starting pitching in the most important aspect of playoff competition?