FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Whitey Ball One More Time

Reader Guy Molyneux makes three excellent points on my Whitey Ball article that I didn't think of.

1) The Cardinals in 1985 hit into only 91 double plays. That's 17 fewer than any other team in the NL and around 30 fewer than average. Clearly, their team speed had an impact on the low total. The difference between the Cardinals and an average team is probably around 10 runs or one additional win.

2) The Cardinals in 1985 had a higher BABIP than average by around 18 points. It's probable that at least some of that difference can be attributed to Cardinals hitters beating out infield hits. Unfortunately, the 1985 retrosheet data doesn't have enough location data on balls fielded to really know however. But clearly, this could be worth a few additional runs.

3) The Cardinals in 1985 led the league in non-homerun extra base hits. Some of this is certainly related to their team speed while some is related to the big alleys and astroturf in Busch Stadium at the time.

I certainly agree with all three points, especially the first, and should have noted them in my original article. So rather than 3 additional wins from their speed one might speculate that the total was more like 5 or 6 wins.

No comments: