- --- In APBR_analysis@y..., "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@o...> wrote:
> Yup, that adds a whole new wrinkle -- to look at, not just theFunny, I've never seen the studies, but I've reached that conclusion on my own.
> on-the-floor stuff, but also the costs, revenues, and profits.
> Economists, not surprisingly, often do look at this stuff, usually at the
> expense of paying more attention to the on-the-floor stuff. E.g. what
> gives a bigger boost to attendance: winning 10 more games per year, or
> winning a championship? Not surprisingly, winning a championship provides
> a bigger boost than all but the biggest win increases. But this can
> produce some interesting non-convexities into the profit-maximization
> problem. One obvious and easy-to-understand example: you typically don't
> want to follow a strategy of trying to win as many games as possible every
> year. Better to rebuild for a few years and make a major push for a
> championship and the resulting profit windfall. Then rebuild again.
>Interesting that you raise this example. It was the example I used in
> Calculating total or average value for basketball players is beset by
> similar philosophical conundrums. What is Duncan's value to the Spurs?
> Who is responsible for how much of their success? Who's responsible for
> say the latest drunk-driving accident -- the driver who got drunk? But
> maybe the other driver could have driven more defensively and avoided the
> accident. Maybe the bartender shouldn't have sold that last drink. Maybe
> alcohol manufacturers shouldn't be selling their dangerous products
> (that's what's going on with these lawsuits against cigarette
> manufacturers). Maybe the automobile manufacturer should have put
> anti-lock brakes, airbags, roll bars, leakproof fuel tanks, etc. into the
> cars it sells. Maybe the highway dept. should have built a divided
> highway with a barrier in the middle and installed better street lighting.
> Etc. etc.
proposing a PhD topic in environmental policy many years ago. How do you
assign/credit blame for things? I came up with a probabilitistic model
that I'll explain briefly with the 2 person example -- the drunk driver and
the guy who got hit. On a normal night, let's say that there is a 0.01%
chance of getting hit by a drunk driver. In that case, the drunk driver is
99.99% to blame for the accident. Let's say it's a night of a big win by
the home football team, so the chances of getting hit by a drunk driver are
now, say, 5%. Then the drunk is only 95% to blame for the accident. The
concept gets more complicated, involving trees of decision, as you have
more parties involved (yes, the car is necessary, the bartender is
necessary, etc.). But the thought was that such a dynamic credit/blame
system could make for the simple optimization of events. If you wanted to
maximize the probability of an event, this system helps get there. If you
want to minimize, it does the same thing. I don't remember all the details
and I frankly stopped a couple months into it when my advisor got the
boot. I ended up doing something much less controversial, something more
esoteric, but it got me through in a hurry. And I actually use the basics
of the technique in working on basketball.
The method is somewhat flawed. It doesn't get used, for instance, in
litigation much. Allocation of blame often comes down to legal "gore
factors", which are basically subjective factors. Not only was it a death
by a drunk, the drunk also beats his wife, so it clearly is his
fault. Kinda weird. More legitimately, there is matter of
intent. Sometimes people intend to do wrong. My method assumes people
want to win, want to accomplish something good for the team.
> > Ahh, yes, the differences between basketball and baseball. Roleplayer in
> > basketball is so different from a role player in baseball. The only"role
> > player" in baseball I can think of that is considered to be all thatSo I think you're saying that James' analysis really is a marginal
> > valuable is a relief pitcher. But utility infielder, platoon player, or
> > pinch hitter means you're not good enough to be a starter. Role players
> > start in the NBA. They can be very valuable. As you say, you can't just
> > plug them in anywhere and expect a constant number of wins/losses from
> > them. You actually have to think a lot harder about them.
> Yup, marginal value analysis becomes a lot simpler, and more valid, when
> the factors in question are more like replaceable commodities. When they
> are unique, such as Tim Duncan, then calculating the marginal value
> becomes beset by the very problems identified by KevinP.
analysis. Baseball really is a bunch of guys working at the margin. They
can't really influence other players on their team too much. There is some
base-stealing interplay with batters, but it's pretty small. It's not like
the interplay in basketball. Well, that would explain why I had to abandon
most Jamesian like approaches to basketball back in '86.
> > Speaking of baseball, I sat in Borders today and read James' section onabout
> > win-shares. I've got gift certificates to Barnes and Noble, so I'll wait
> > to find one of those before I buy it. But has anyone thought deeply
> > James' win-share concept?Is there a Win-shares book? I only read that part of his abstract.
> I haven't read his win-shares book, only his new Historical Abstract. My
>Actually, James handled this. He made some comparison of Dimaggio to Rusty
> So, when comparing players' careers, the long-lasting non-spectacular
> player will have too much of an advantage over the
> shorter-lasting-but-better player. This is precisely where value over
> replacement player comes in so handy.
Staub. The two have similar career numbers of win-shares, but Dimaggio had
higher numbers at every age of his career, missing time due to the war and
having a shorter career. So James did something like summing the
win-shares over 5 consecutive years or adding the top 3 season
values. It's a sensible but not unique way to handle it.
>I saw that quick explanation he did with teams. I filed it away to be
> The bits of the formula for win shares that he reveals in the Historical
> Abstract look rather weird, some stuff about counting marginal
> contributions (he does use the word "marginal") but he defines marginal in
> some weird way, something like only counting runs above half the mean or
> something bizarre like that.
thought of later. I slept on it and I'm pretty sure I know what he did. I
think that counting runs above half the mean works out to be something
close to a Taylor series approximation to his Pythagorean formula. That
would make some sense. It would also explain why it doesn't work at all in
basketball. You'd have to count runs above 15/16th of the mean in (NBA,
different in college, womens, HS, etc.) basketball to get something that
worked approximately right. Actually, I'm pretty sure that the factor of a
half would have to be era adjusted, though he doesn't admit to it. Oh
well. He does generally know what he's doing.
- Yeah, these are things to keep in mind as we try to zero
in on the replacement level. Some so-called replacement
level players are clearly better than others. Are they
thus truly "freely available"? There's only one Rod
Strickland; once he's signed, it's not possible for any
other team to go out and sign him. On the other hand,
he was in a sense available to any team that wanted him.
I suspect we'll want to look at a bunch of players
identified as replacement level and find their average value,
to even out the occasional Strickland who brings up the
average and the occasional Oakley or whoever who brings down
In other words, something more akin to KevinP's look at the
average performance of free agents, instead of the 290th
man approach. Although it turns out that they yielded
very similar values.
From: John Hollinger [mailto:alleyoop2@...]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 8:20 AM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: - wins/Tendex replacement
I think at this time of year there's also multiple levels of "freely
available" -- Level 1 is the guys who get waived in March (Dion
Glover, Rod Strickland, etc.) so they can sign with a playoff
contender. Level 2 is the guys the bad teams sign to replace them
(Britton Johnsen, Josh Davis, etc.).... and Level 5,831 is Charles
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
> -----Original Message-----times,
> From: Kevin Pelton [mailto:kpelton08@h...]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 11:45 AM
> >> > I'm not sure it will be easy to identify a replacement level.
> >> Wouldn't be easy, but I'd try various techniques: WAG (wild a**
> >> guessing: what number seems reasonable?); looking at actual
> >> transactions of players cut and added, especially those on 10-day
> >> contracts; actual statistics of actual 12th men, etc. These
> >> different techqniques would undoubtedly lead to different
> >> definitions of what the replacement level is, but now at
> >> least the range has been narrowed down.
> >MikeT, I know you've mentioned this kind of study a number of
> >and since I probably make more use of replacement level thananyone
> >else here (Dan being the possible exception), I've wanted to do itwas
> >for a long time and finally got around to it:
> That's really good stuff, exactly the sort of empirical study that
> needed. And I think we've got a good estimate of replacementlevel,
> at least as measured by your efficiency statistic.is a
> The point about in-season vs truly "freely available" free agents
> good one, and your stats show the importance of the distinction.You
> seem to be saying, and I agree, that the higher level, out-of-season,
> freely available free agent replacement level is the better one touse.
> At least for making long run, multiple-season, comparisons ofplayers.
> Teams in the short run may end up with less-than-replacement-levelrun.
> players due to contract restrictions, salary caps, or what not, but
> those conditions will not or at least need not persist in the long
> I think your .425 or .430 estimate of the replacement level is
> a good one, maybe it won't turn out to be 100% accurate but I'llbet it's
> reasonably close to whatever the true figure is. Because you'veused
> multiple techniques to arrive at the same estimate: the 10th playerIntuitively,
> technique, and the free agents' stats technique.
> There is a subtle problem however with the 10th player technique.
> one would think that the 12th player would be a better measure ofthe replacement
> level player. But the stats of these 12th players might actuallybe poor
> measures; they might be BELOW replacement value, and are only onthe roster
> due to guaranteed contracts or what not. Or they might be an 18-year old kid
> being stashed on the roster but not expected to contribute yet. Orthey might
> just have turned out to have a bad year, with horrendous stats thatplummet
> them to 12th.a good
> So those are good reasons why the 12th men's stats are perhaps not
> measure, they're likely to give us a figure that's belowreplacement level.
> So taking the 10th man's stats, or more precisely the stats of the290th
> guy in the league, might lead to better estimates.deck
> The subtle problem with all this is that your technique stacked the
> against the 12th men from the beginning, because you order theplayers
> by efficiency. So the 12th men are guaranteed to have the verylowest
> efficiencies on your rosters, and thus have stats that are likely tohave to
> be below replacement level.
> And thus to come up with a figure that is a better estimate, you
> "move up" the roster to the 10th position.impossible to
> A theoretically better technique (but one that is perhaps
> actually execute) would be to look at the stats of players who weidentify
> as the 12th man *a priori*, i.e. before looking at their stats.Some of
> these 12th men will be the Brian Cardinal types, with some decentstats.
> Some of them will be the Ansu Sesay types, basic deadwood there tofill
> the roster, literal replacement level players. Averaged together,their
> efficiency will be higher than the average efficiency of the 12thman
> calculated by looking at their actual stats and ordering them ("aposteriori"
> stats rather than "a priori"). Indeed, if done correctly, I'dexpect these
> 12th men to have stats slightly above the replacement level, simplybecause
> they were the 12th guys and not the 13th guys, the ones who trulywill be
> the replacements.before
> The trouble with my a priori idea of course is how do we know,
> looking at the stats, who the 12th man is? For some teams, it'sfairly
> easy to identify, but for others, not. Probably we'd have to picka couple
> of players from each team, and estimate the stats of the 11th-12thmen
> collectively.high. It's
> There's another reason why the .425/.430 might be just a little
> possible that the off-season pickups might not be as freelyavailable as
> we might think -- though undrafted, there might be a few teamswilling to
> snatch up these players, for their low cost, low risk, andpotential
> contributions. I.e. there may be some semi-decent free agents outthere,
> whose stats bring up the average, but who weren't really freelyavailable
> because other teams went after them and signed them. They were abit better
> than the truly freely available replacement players.suggests that
> However, you've got a great quote from Brian Cardinal which
> this is not the case.getting us into
> Bottom line: I think this is a good estimate which likely is
> the neighborhood of the replacement level. My guess is that if itturns out
> not to be the correct value, it's because it's a shade high.Yahoo! Groups Links