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  • Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

    The Sac Bunt and NPB

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 19日 Thursday

    Another great article on the Tokyo Yakult Swallows blog where I wrote a rather lengthy comment, so I’ll post that here too.

    I previously did some NPB v MLB offensive numbers comparisons here for 2005-07 and PL teams bunt just as often as CL teams (and way more than MLB teams).

    Now, I don’t think the sac bunt is completely useless, but NPB teams overuse it to the point of being detrimental to their offense. Then again, Trey Hillman’s Fighters repeated as PL champs and they bunted often. Hillman noted the psychologically calming effect that bunting has on Japanese players (because it’s ingrained in Japanese baseball culture), which leads to better performance. Pull up various Hillman interviews and you’ll find him saying that.

    But in general, I think the optimal strategy is to go for the big innings early in the game (ie. don’t sac bunt). But if it’s late in the game and 1 run would tie or bring a lead to the team, then I think sac bunts are valid (especially against tough pitchers where chances of big innings is very low, which is not unusual in closely fought games).

    Actually, bunting early in the game might even be justifiable when facing true aces like Darvish (especially with the low scoring Fighters lineup), as every run is precious and chances scoring 3-4 runs off of him in an inning is very slim. Then again, this may just be a truism, teams don’t tend to have big innings against aces because they bunt early and often. Hmm…?

    Anyways, I think MLB teams bunt more often in the postseason (don’t have stats with me though) when the opposing pitchers are often ace quality, both starters and relievers, instead of the dreg that they often get to face during the regular season.

    Of course, pitchers should bunt with the runner on first, this is the same in the NL, unless you’re Micah Owings or Carlos Zambrano.

    This whole thing is similar to why NFL teams shouldn’t kick until late in the game, because the rewards of a TD (equivalent to a big inning in baseball) is often greater than the higher percentage 3 points from a FG or better field position gained from punts, even with the probability of TD is not as high as FG.

    I might’ve forgot something, but that’s more or less my thoughts on bunting and NPB.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, football, MLB, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    NBA trades

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 22日 Friday

    I don’t follow basketball or NBA, but this was just too good to pass up. The “soft cap” system NBA has just makes many of their trades stranger than fiction. Here’s something from Slate:

    After all the foolishness that went into making this trade happen, it’s easy to forget that Jason Kidd is going to Dallas to try to win a championship. The big winner here, though, is Keith Van Horn. Once he goes through the motions of practicing with the Nets, he’ll likely by waived and sent back home. For his trouble, he will be paid $4.3 million. The crowning irony here is that a retired player is getting a fat load of free money because of the NBA’s strict rules to control how much gets spent on salaries. Sure, that makes absolutely no sense—but this is the NBA, where backward logic rules. Now, I wonder who the Lakers could get for Karl Malone …

    If NPB or MLB is ever going to implement a salary cap system, make sure to model it after the NFL or NHL systems and not the NBA absurdity (though, the NFL one produces massive multiyear deals that never materialize, could the NHL possibly have the most sensible salary cap amongst the major sports?)

    Posted in 02_English, NFL, NHL, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »