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JuliusO1274

The stats behind "Never Bunt"

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There’s too many variables in the game for “absolutes” like this. A manager needs to weigh those variables and make a decision. Some managers are better at it than others. 

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4 minutes ago, Blackout Friday said:

There’s too many variables in the game for “absolutes” like this. A manager needs to weigh those variables and make a decision. Some managers are better at it than others. 

I don't think anyone is going to be mad over 2 or 3 sacrifice bunts a year in the AL if that's  what the manager thinks gives him the best shot in a handful of games, taking into account the hitters that are on deck, the pitcher, and so forth. But for most teams that's a drop of like 80-90%, and it would never happen early in games.

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Of the 10,386 statistics that baseball likes to keep, is one of them "% successful on sacrifice hits (sacrifice bunts)?  It would be interesting to see where the Sox rank.

Regarding bunting in general, I think the consensus of the group appears to be that it does have a place in the game in the appropriate game situation.  Just not all the damn time like Renteria likes to do.

 

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The Toronto broadcaster had a good explanation of today's safety squeeze with runners on first and third.  He made it sound like good strategy, as long as you don't bunt it straight back to the pitcher

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9 hours ago, oldsox said:

The Toronto broadcaster had a good explanation of today's safety squeeze with runners on first and third.  He made it sound like good strategy, as long as you don't bunt it straight back to the pitcher

When moves the manager makes do work...it was obvious and when it doesn't he is pretty much clueless.  Not an easy job.  Like some others have said...he does it more and in situations that I don't like.  I've brought it up before that Earl Weaver was criticized for his distain of the bunt by some.  If you have to choose a manager type on this subject I prefer Weaver's of..."you only get 27 outs-don't waste them."

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22 hours ago, Texsox said:

Be predictable and always follow the best odds. We really do not need managers anymore, just plug the scenario into the computer and follow the odds. Why do managers overly complicate this? They start looking at the match up. They start thinking about how the players have performed recently. How they do in this stadium, etc. Are they hurting. Is the wind blowing and what direction. Pure stupidity. Millions of data points have already made the decision. 

 

You can reduce baseball to a video game and then there would be no need for  fans to watch. They did bunt a run in Saturday but the silliest thing is when your batter is not good at bunting and is told to bunt. 

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20 hours ago, Jose Abreu said:

Would you mind sharing a link to where you saw that?

And does that take attempted sac bunts into account, or is it just successful sacrifices? If it's solely the latter, then the data is skewed and does not accurately reflect the White Sox affinity for sac bunts. 

I used ESPN stats which reflects successful SH and SF. Not sure it would be skewed too much since most AL teams should be pretty close.  I don't know where you would find missed attempts since it would fall into another category. But some stat geek might have it. 

There is also the times where a batter hits to the right side to advance a runner from 2nd to 3rd. That also is pretty much the equivalent of a bunt.  

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On 5/11/2019 at 6:37 AM, ScooterMcGee said:

Sure, the hitter after that is hot too. Didn't take into account the IBB.

Point is, there are situations where it is acceptable, strategic, and even necessary.

You had to invent a situation of various extremes to make bunting even a remotely viable option, and so in the process you have inadvertently proved the case against bunting. If an idea necessitates such an extraordinary amount of theoretical gimmickry, it is probably garbage.

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3 hours ago, Flythesock said:

You had to invent a situation of various extremes to make bunting even a remotely viable option, and so in the process you have inadvertently proved the case against bunting. If an idea necessitates such an extraordinary amount of theoretical gimmickry, it is probably garbage.

Ah but you’re now doing a similar thing my friend.  You’re using his extreme example as license to lump all theories that support bunting as dumps placed in pretty little boxes marked guaranteed.  

The only example that needs to be given is one run game, later innings.  

Edited by Jerksticks

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1 hour ago, Jerksticks said:

Ah but you’re now doing a similar thing my friend.  You’re using his extreme example as license to lump all theories that support bunting as dumps placed in pretty little boxes marked guaranteed.  

The only example that needs to be given is one run game, later innings.  

Just don't ask a player to bunt who can't.

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57 minutes ago, poppysox said:

Just don't ask a player to bunt who can't.

For those who watch college baseball, do teams ever bunt?

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Just now, SCCWS said:

For those who watch college baseball, do teams ever bunt?

Yes, a ridiculous amount

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1 hour ago, poppysox said:

Just don't ask a player to bunt who can't.

I agree. Watching a hitter waste two strikes with feeble bunt attempts is like watching baseball in slow motion. All players should be able to bunt; but many can't. Don't put a player in a no-win situation. 

 

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9 hours ago, Flythesock said:

You had to invent a situation of various extremes to make bunting even a remotely viable option, and so in the process you have inadvertently proved the case against bunting. If an idea necessitates such an extraordinary amount of theoretical gimmickry, it is probably garbage.

That was one scenario. I was trying to make the point that plugging things into a computer doesn't solve the problem. You need managers to think about things that computers wouldn't be able to (at least right now) to make a decision.

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If you play to score one run, you'll score one run.  Just an absolutely clueless strategy to be bunting of any sort -- sac or squeeze -- in anything other than a one run game late.

 

1 hour ago, ScooterMcGee said:

That was one scenario. I was trying to make the point that plugging things into a computer doesn't solve the problem. You need managers to think about things that computers wouldn't be able to (at least right now) to make a decision.

Eh, it's a discrete game.  You got outs, the score, and literally tens of thousands of data points with the same variables.  Sure the "computer doesn't know" that the third baseman stinks or that the guy at the plate can't bunt to save his life but that stuff doesn't really matter for the most part.

And that said, Rickie is not the manager to out think the odds.  

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16 hours ago, Jerksticks said:

Ah but you’re now doing a similar thing my friend.  You’re using his extreme example as license to lump all theories that support bunting as dumps placed in pretty little boxes marked guaranteed.  

The only example that needs to be given is one run game, later innings.  

All bunting does there is slightly increase your chance of tying the game, but it does not meaningfully increase your chance of winning the game bc You just put a bullet in the belly of your chance to score multiple runs. And that’s with a successful bunt. 99% of major-league players have no business trying to lay down a bunt at all. Quite frankly we should see players bunting as often as we see a straight steal of home. That’s how rare it is for the stars to align making it the best strategy available.

Edited by Flythesock
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In poker, we talk a lot about "game theory optimal" vs "exploitative" play. Optimal (GTO) play involves playing a mathematical strategy that will win over time and overcome variance. Exploitative play is about reading the opponent and basing play off the ability to exploit weaker players and situations. In the end, both theories work depending on the situation. 

Over time, bunting is probably statistically stupid. However, there are situations where it's the optimal play. Defining those situations is up to a good coaching staff. There's no right or wrong. 

Edited by TaylorStSox

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On 5/11/2019 at 7:44 AM, fathom said:

So you bunt the runners over, and now you’ve taken the bat out of the hands of your hottest hitter who will surely be walked to set up another double play situation

This reminds me of a scene in the movie Little Big League

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I don't find that analysis to be very compelling. It's clear you shouldn't be bunting every time you get a guy on, yes. But as another poster said, it also doesn't deal with whether bunting increases your chances of scoring *a* run, which sometimes is the more pertinent question (and I don't know, maybe it doesn't increase them!). You also have to consider several other factors:

  • How good the hitter is
  • Qualities of the upcoming hitters
  • Quality of the opposing pitcher
  • What other things might happen besides a sacrifice bunt when you try to sacrifice: The bunt fails and you get the lead runner out, the batter fails and strikes out, the batter walks, the batter gets a hit, the fielders commit an error, etc.

Those things may very well generally combine to advise against bunting. But just looking at the aggregate run expectancy statistics is not convincing to me as an overall indictment on bunting.

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At the game tonight. All you bunt haters can stfu lol...that Cordell squeeze was epic

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23 minutes ago, ScooterMcGee said:

At the game tonight. All you bunt haters can stfu lol...that Cordell squeeze was epic

Good call Scooter!

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1 hour ago, ScooterMcGee said:

At the game tonight. All you bunt haters can stfu lol...that Cordell squeeze was epic

Epically fast pitch softball

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A decision working out doesn't mean it was the most favorable strategy 

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I believe the stats, but I also believe that stranded leadoff doubles are one of the most frustrating things in baseball...that and a reliever who comes in and walks the first batter he faces. 

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