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Jose Mota on the "Contact Play"


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About an hour ago (almost exactly word-for-word, from my memory)

 

"If you're a manager using the contact play, you've got to convince your players that, if you get thrown out on it, it's okay. If you get doubled off third on a line drive, it's okay! You see this play sometimes three or four times a week and it goes bad, but it's okay."

 

 

 

Now my feeling is, it's NOT okay!!

 

 

 

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Mota went through the whole  "Nobody does the contact play as often, or as well, as these Angels" "Some people don't like it, but the fact is, it works" a couple games ago. Then later in the game, it didn't work...and Mota blamed the guy on third for not doing it right.

 

I know Jose comes here, and is gracious enough to post here now and then, and that is appreciated....But I respectfully disagree with both him and Scioscia when it comes to the contact play. It is over-used by the Angels to the point where it isn't effective.

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Mota went through the whole  "Nobody does the contact play as often, or as well, as these Angels" "Some people don't like it, but the fact is, it works" a couple games ago. Then later in the game, it didn't work...and Mota blamed the guy on third for not doing it right.

 

I know Jose comes here, and is gracious enough to post here now and then, and that is appreciated....But I respectfully disagree with both him and Scioscia when it comes to the contact play. It is over-used by the Angels to the point where it isn't effective.

Jose Mota posts here? I'd love that! I think you're thinking of Rojas. Mota has never posted here (unless "Halo Thunder" is really Jose Mota).

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Jose talked about "playing the percentages", but I've never once seen the numbers that prove this play is effective more often than not. If anyone can find some solid statistical proof that this is a good strategy, please post it.

Like most of baseball, too many variables to work the play out statistically.

Score of the game, inning, who is coming up in he next AB.. and has the team been scoring runs or struggling to get guys home..

Just way too many things to consider, to ever say whether it is a good play or not.

Scioscia is addicted to it in every situation, and for that reason alone, teams know it is coming.

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Would be nice to know how many times the contact play works.

That would seem to be more important than excusing all the times it fails, and probably a bigger selling point to the fan base, not to mention the players.

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Like most of baseball, too many variables to work the play out statistically.

Score of the game, inning, who is coming up in he next AB.. and has the team been scoring runs or struggling to get guys home..

Just way too many things to consider, to ever say whether it is a good play or not.

Scioscia is addicted to it in every situation, and for that reason alone, teams know it is coming.

 

A very generic way to look at it...if you don't do ROC with 1 out, that means to drive in the run you most likely need a hit by the next batter (passed ball, balk, etc. would work as well...but statistically that wouldn't move the needle much)...so, in essence you need a base hit. If you say the average occurrence of a base hit is .300...that means ROC needs to work approximately 3 out of 10 times to break even.

 

So, let's be generous...let's say it needs to work 4 out of 10 times to be considered "successful", and then you take in to consideration that if the runner gets thrown out at home...but stays alive long enough to let the hitter advance to scoring position, a scenario in which a base hit more often than not scores the runner (obviously not as much as from 3rd base, but I'm guessing it's a fairly high ratio).

 

So, back of the napkin...it's really not a huge statistical risk and I'm guessing depending on the general speed of the team it might make the the team more likely to score that inning, and because it doesn't change the number of outs, doesn't have a significant impact on limiting the "big inning".

 

As for why Scioscia has "fallen in love with it". Much like Black Jack...the best way to play the odds is play it consistently. If you are going to buy insurance, you always buy it, or you always don't. If a team "knows it's coming", it doesn't really make any difference, they still have to execute.

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The problem I have with the "Contact" play...is having a runner go on any contact. The guy on 3rd should be able to decide.

If the ball is grounded to the right side of 2nd..it is a decent play. (again depending on the score, who is on deck, etc)

A ground ball to short or 3rd is almost always a sitting duck situation.

To me, (and this is clearly IMO), the total "contact play"...meaning the player goes home on any contact...is a bad play. No better than a squeeze, and "probability" wise, worse.

One of my biggest beefs with Scioscia is, and always has been, his tendency to play for ONE run.

Look at this new lineup. This is a power style AL lineup.

My opinion is, with this team, unless you are trying to TIE a game in the late innings, and you are playing at home and have a bunch of slumping players coming to bat next, and have nobody on the bench that can get the ball out of the infield....

The contact play is a chump bet.

It is a low percentage, 1 run, desperation move, IMO equal to a squeeze bunt.

NOT something that should even be considered before the 7th or 8th inning.

My problem with the way Scioscia uses it, is he uses it in early and middle innings.

Scioscia needs to stay out of this 2013 Angel team's way, and let them play for big innings....not micro-manage to manufacture single runs.

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A very generic way to look at it...if you don't do ROC with 1 out, that means to drive in the run you most likely need a hit by the next batter (passed ball, balk, etc. would work as well...but statistically that wouldn't move the needle much)...so, in essence you need a base hit. If you say the average occurrence of a base hit is .300...that means ROC needs to work approximately 3 out of 10 times to break even.

 

So, let's be generous...let's say it needs to work 4 out of 10 times to be considered "successful", and then you take in to consideration that if the runner gets thrown out at home...but stays alive long enough to let the hitter advance to scoring position, a scenario in which a base hit more often than not scores the runner (obviously not as much as from 3rd base, but I'm guessing it's a fairly high ratio).

 

So, back of the napkin...it's really not a huge statistical risk and I'm guessing depending on the general speed of the team it might make the the team more likely to score that inning, and because it doesn't change the number of outs, doesn't have a significant impact on limiting the "big inning".

 

As for why Scioscia has "fallen in love with it". Much like Black Jack...the best way to play the odds is play it consistently. If you are going to buy insurance, you always buy it, or you always don't. If a team "knows it's coming", it doesn't really make any difference, they still have to execute.

Are you suggesting that the average chance of getting a hit is 300?  Hell are everyone all stars?

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The problem I have with the "Contact" play...is having a runner go on any contact. The guy on 3rd should be able to decide.

If the ball is grounded to the right side of 2nd..it is a decent play. (again depending on the score, who is on deck, etc)

A ground ball to short or 3rd is almost always a sitting duck situation.

To me, (and this is clearly IMO), the total "contact play"...meaning the player goes home on any contact...is a bad play. No better than a squeeze, and "probability" wise, worse.

One of my biggest beefs with Scioscia is, and always has been, his tendency to play for ONE run.

Look at this new lineup. This is a power style AL lineup.

My opinion is, with this team, unless you are trying to TIE a game in the late innings, and you are playing at home and have a bunch of slumping players coming to bat next, and have nobody on the bench that can get the ball out of the infield....

The contact play is a chump bet.

It is a low percentage, 1 run, desperation move, IMO equal to a squeeze bunt.

NOT something that should even be considered before the 7th or 8th inning.

My problem with the way Scioscia uses it, is he uses it in early and middle innings.

Scioscia needs to stay out of this 2013 Angel team's way, and let them play for big innings....not micro-manage to manufacture single runs.

 

The contact play, with 1 out, has no impact whatsoever on playing for the big inning or not. If the runner stays at 3rd, most likely the batter is out and you have two outs. If the contact play fails...you have two outs. In either scenario the common denominator would be...two outs.

 

I'm guessing it's no lower percentage move than having the runner stay at 3rd and trying to drive him in with a basehit with 2 outs. If it works 3 times out of ten, it provides odds on par with relying on a base hit for the next batter to bring the run home.

 

If he's running the contact play with a runner on 3rd and nobody out every time...than you can start yelling at him.

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Are you suggesting that the average chance of getting a hit is 300?  Hell are everyone all stars?

 

It was easier than looking up league average....which is probably in the .270 range give or take?

 

Gist of it is, the contact play doesn't have to work every time...hell...even half the time...to be statistically the right move. But maybe I'm missing something.

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The contact play, with 1 out, has no impact whatsoever on playing for the big inning or not. If the runner stays at 3rd, most likely the batter is out and you have two outs. If the contact play fails...you have two outs. In either scenario the common denominator would be...two outs.>>>

 

Which is better?

2 outs with a runner @ 1st, or 2 outs with a runner @ 3rd?

The annoying ATT commercial.

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The assumption made about the 1-out contact play is it should allow the hitter to get to second while the play happens at the plate or the runner at third is in a run down. Thereby a runner at second with 2 outs isn't much worse than a runner at third, minus the infield hit.

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