Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't Fuck With Marty

Would you insult this man's baseball intelligence? You probably should, but that's not why we're here today. We're here to ask why he is such a d-bag in responding to mailbag questions that even hint at using stats as a way of looking at players.

I understand that 99.99999% of the emails that this guy receives are something along the lines of "Yo Marty, you think the Mets can trade Schneider and Pelfrey to the Tribe for C.C. and Victor Martinez - Love, Sal from Brooklyn," but Marty seems to be getting a tad feisty these past couple of mailbags.

In his latest mailbag, Marty Noble graces our feeble minds with his heightened baseball knowledge by tossing this "answer" out there.

Brian Schneider's statistics suggest he has a strong preference against batting eighth in the order. Between 2005-07, Schneider has batted .279 (.768 OPS) in 559 at-bats in the seven-hole but only .220 (.598 OPS) in 409 at-bats batting eighth.

To put it in perspective, that is the difference between Brian McCann and Jason Kendall. The trend holds for each of the past three years; Schneider's OPS has been at least 140 points higher in the seven-hole each year. Any chance the Mets bat Schneider higher due to his history of not producing at the bottom of the order?
-- Kevin K., Washington. D.C.

Put away the calculator for a moment and understand that a batter's place in the order is at least partially a function of what other players do well and poorly. Schneider is not going to bat first, third, fourth or fifth for the Mets. The more plate appearances available to players with higher on-base percentages, the more often the batting order turns over and the more scoring opportunities develop. And Schenider isn't an on-base guy no matter where he bats.

That said and with all due respect to the your number crunching, how many players do you suppose would hit more productively batting eighth with the pitcher behind them than batting elsewhere? And do you suppose the player the Mets would bat eighth in place of Schneider wouldn't be similarly affected?

Yes Kevin K, put away the calculator. Such machines frighten and confuse Marty. Notice the "I'm Marty Noble, bitch!" attitude in such phrases as: "With all due respect to your number crunching" and "do you suppose..."

I also didn't see where Kevin suggested that Schneider bat 1st, 3rd, 4th, or 5th. I only see where he suggested 7th. Based on the numbers Kevin K threw out there, this wasn't a suggestion that necessitated the holier than thou response of the great Marty Noble. A simple look at Schneider's BaseballReference page would have let Marty respond rationally by telling Kevin K that over the course of his career Schneider's splits in the 7th v. 8th hole are only .265/.244 and .725/.702 (BA and OPS). His marginally increased production could be attributed to many things, but the key point to understand is this: he can't hit either way.

I can imagine Marty on the phone dictating this acerbic response to his editor with the same smug grin on his face as in the above picture while the editor is still trying to understand why this guy doesn't just buy a goddamn computer.

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