12/5/16

Richard Herr - So Whaddya Think 4

4 comments

Averages & Percentages
“So Whaddya think?”
“Whaddya mean, what do I think?”
“Whaddya think the Mets need to do to improve their average for runners in scoring position?”
“They need to be at RISP.”
“Is that a joke?”
“Not a good one, but it’s hard to come up with good jokes when you’re as thirsty as I am. I’m about a pint low.”
“I’m going to see if I can do the impossible: get you back to the topic. Tell me about RISP.”
“It’s all about averages and percentages.”
“I know that. It’s average with Runners In Scoring Position.”
“That is correct. You win the prize which happens to be the right to buy the next round before Percy dies of old age behind the bar.”
“Your comment is noted, and has been sent to the Finance Committee, which has final say in the matter.”
“That’s good.”
“So you were saying averages and percentages.”
“You gotta think of those things when you’re trying to get to a good RISP.”
“That means what?”
“That means there’s all sorts of averages and percentages involved.”
“How’s that.”
“Okay, let’s say one of the Mets’ many left-handed batters is at the plate.”
“Do I get to choose which one?”
“Right now, that’s subject to change. One of them’s about to get traded away. For my purposes they’re interchangeable. They’re all coached by Kevin Long.”
“That makes them all the same?”
“No, but there’s a tendency. So let’s get this guy to the plate before he’s hit with a delay of game penalty.”
“I’ll say it’s Grandy.”
“Not a bad choice. What do you see out in the field?”
“Nine guys.”
“Yeah, and where do you see a greater proportion of them?”
“In a shift.”
“Bingo. There’s a whole bunch of them gathered on the right side of the field because their manager is playing the--get this--percentages that he’ll hit over there. Which he will probably do. Now why, may I ask you, is he going to hit to the right side?”
“He likes to.”
“That’s one way of phrasing it. It’s because he hits the ball harder that way, and will probably have a better batting--her we go again--average by hitting that way.”
“So?”
“Now let me pose you a question. What would happen if there were twelve guys out on the field instead of nine?”
“More balls’d be caught.”
“Right, and he’d have a lower batting average than with the number of players that Abner Doubleday originally came up with. Well isn’t that kind of the same situation you have when you’re trying to hit into a pull side with a majority of the fielders playing on that side?”
“You could say that.”
“It’s a free country, so I will. Now, he says, wouldn’t you be able to hit for a higher average by shooting some balls to the left side which is manned by a Lonely Guy with a glove?”
“Yeah.”
“The problem is you’re going to hit a lower percentage of home runs going that way because the swing is stronger to the pull side.”
“Are we getting somewhere?”
“You bet, and here’s what I’m getting at. Take this situation. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, tie game, guy on third. Do you need a home run, or do you need a single?”
“A single wins the game.”
“And guys hit a higher percentage of singles than home runs.”
“Your point is?”
“My point is that you’ll have a better batting average with RISP if you look at the percentages in the situation and sacrifice your home run swing for a secondary skill of being able to take the ball the other way. It doesn’t get you as many home runs, but it brings in more guys from second. Add that second swing to your batting repertoire.”
“You finally got there!”
“Of course I got there. Now the question is when do you suppose Percy is going to make his way down to this end of the bar?”
“I think he stays where he is because he gets a better percentage of tips from the guys down there.”
“Smart ass.”

Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.


You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.

4 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

Some guys, I would rather see less emphasis on RISP than long balls. Duda is one. His goal should be 40 and 110, and whatever RISP comes with it.

Mack Ade said...

Tom likes RIDP... runners in dugout position.

I know this answer will sound stupid, but you get more runners in scoring position if you get more runners on base.

Raise the walks and hits and you solve this problem (now you just have to knock them in).

Reese Kaplan said...

In Duda's first season he hit .290 with a bit less power. I'd rather see that.

Thomas Brennan said...

Duda let himself get deep into counts the least in the year he hit .292. I think he could hit much higher this year with a lot of power if he can avoid getting deep so often. It seemed for years he focused too much on OBP to his overall detriment.

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