Why is an error in baseball counted as an at bat?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Andy T., Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    I think the dumbest stat in baseball is when a guy gets on base from an error, they treat it as an out - he is 0 for 1. What's up with that? It's not his fault they made an error. They should treat it as a walk - 0 for 0.

    Another dumb stat - if a reliever comes in and it is not a save situation (say they are up by 5 runs), and the reliever blows it, it is not counted as a blown save, since it was not a save situation to begin with! Hooey - if the reliever gives up enough runs to where it becomes a save situation, then he's blown the save, period!

    O.k., enough of my trivial venting.
     
  2. KenH

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    If the error had not been made then the batter would have been out.
     
  3. Alcott

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    Nonsense. The batter would have been out if not for the error. He hit a ball by which he made it to first base only because a fielder flubbed it. You don't just negate the at bat becaue of a fielder's mistake, any more than because the fielder threw out a baserunner instead [fielder's choice].

    That's not wise either. There does need to be a specific definiton of a save situation. Anyway, if the pitcher came in with a 5-run lead with at least 3 innings remaining, it would be a blown save if he was charged with 5 or more runs. Regardless, he would be credited with the loss if he gave up enough runs to fall behind if his team never caught up again.

    Baseball isn't perfect in how it compiles statistics, but the stats do have to be defined technically to have meaning. If there is one I disagree with, it would be the sacrifice fly rule. A batter is not charged with an at-bat if he hits a fly ball that is caught and by which a runner scores. This does not apply if he runner only advances but does not score; and also no such rule applies if the batter hits a ground ball by which a runner scores. I do agree with the sacrifice hit rules, because it only applies if the batter's obvious objective is to bunt and move the runner(s). But a fly ball is just one type of out which a batter would not commit as opposed to scoring a runner by a hit.
     
    #3 Alcott, Jul 16, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2006
  4. KenH

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    I disagree. Batters do intentionally hit fly balls in order to score a runner from third base. They may hope that is goes farther but they do want to put the ball in the air.
     
  5. Dave

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    Errors are counted against the batter because he presumably would have been out, otherwise no error would be charged to the fielder.

    Save situations I think the rule works. If a team is 10 runs ahead and the releif pitcher comes in and gives up a few runs but not enough to lose, then he should not get any credit for a save, because the game was not realisically on the line. What I dislike is when a relief pitcher gives up enough runs to create a save situation for someone, but not much you can do about that aspect.

    Sacrifice fly I agree with Ken. The batter will often intentionally hit the ball in the air, even when his better chance of a hit might be a grounder. This should be counted as a sacrifice the same way a bunt is.

    Now, if you want to talk about crazy rules, let's try the balk rule that seems extremely open to interpretation by some umpires :(

    Dave
     
  6. Alcott

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    2 questions shoud follow that. Should it be a sacrifice fly only if the runner scores (as it is now), or should be a SF if a runner is just advanced? And second, if there is a runner on 3rd base with less than 2 outs, should it a sacrifice to score him on any ground ball not a hit? That makes as much sense as the current sac-fly rule.
     
  7. Andy T.

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    I understand the reasoning behind the error that the batter would have been out. But the fact is, no out was made, so the batter should not be charged with making an out in his batting average. A walk can be seen as an "error" by the pitcher - it's not the batter's fault that he walked, so we give him 0 for 0. The same principle should apply to errors.

    And I tend to agree on the Sac Fly rule - to be consistent, the batter should be charged with an 0 for 1 with an RBI. After all, he made an out. 0 for 0 indicates that no out was made, which is false.

    And I still maintain that if a reliever lets a game come into a save situation when it was not previously, and then blows that lead, that it should count as a blown save.
     
  8. ChurchBoy

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    The point is that an out should have been made. To give the hitter no charged at bat, in essence keep his batting average up, because of the failure of the defensive player doesn't make any sense at all. Walks are not errors by the pitcher. Is a hit an error be the pitcher as well? Drawing wallks is skill like hitting for a high batting average is a skill.
     
  9. Andy T.

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    Getting base hits are not always skill. There is a little bit of luck involved. Granted, the luck tends to even out over 162 games, but players get hits by hitting grounders past slow infielders that 95% of other infielders would have caught. Same thing in hits to the outfield - guys get hits past slow, inept outfielders. We don't punish the batter for those - we give him 1 for 1. All I'm asking is that we don't punish a batter for a fielder's ineptness. I'm not saying give him 1 for 1, just give him 0 for 0. Just as we don't punish a batter for slow fielders that should get to balls, we should not punish them for fielders that bobble the ball or throw wild. And what about guys that misjudge a fly? They almost always give the batter a hit. What's up with that? We've "inflated" his batting average because some outfielder misplayed an easy fly that he has caught thousands of times before.
     
  10. Andy T.

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    One other thing to mention, I'm mostly a traditionalist when it comes to baseball. I've raised this question before (errors counting as an at bat) to other traditionalists, and they almost always take the party line that there is nothing wrong with it. Traditionalists hate to admit that something might be wrong with the "way it's always been done." Well, this traditionalist thinks that the baseball forefathers got it wrong on this issue.
     
  11. Andy T.

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    And drawing a walk is not always skill. Even free-swingers draw walks from pitchers who are throwing wild. We don't punish the batter for the pitcher's ineptness. We give him 0 for 0. The same should be done for errors.
     
    #11 Andy T., Jul 17, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2006
  12. TomVols

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    Relief pitchers are now sometimes judge by the statistic "holds." If your team's lead is held firm, you get credit for a hold. I don't know what the opposite is, or what the nuances of the rule is, or even if this is in any way official. You have to have some way to evaluate your long relievers or middle relievers.
     
  13. Andy T.

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    I'm not sure but I think a reliever can only be credited with a "hold" if there is later a "save" credited to the closer. Not sure, though. If that's the case, then it still does not address the issue I've raised.
     
  14. ChurchBoy

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    Yes, getting hits and drawing walks are not 100% skills but in general they are a good indicator of a player's batting eye and contol of the strike zone. Why do players like Alfonso Soriano have trouble getting even 40 walks a year while guys like Bobby Abreu and Brian Giles draw over 100 walks ever year?
     
  15. Alcott

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    [qb]We don't punish the batter for the pitcher's ineptness.[/qb]

    Nor do we reward the batter for the fielder's ineptness; hence, the answer to your original question.
     
  16. Andy T.

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    No, giving a guy 0 for 0 is not rewarding him. Giving him 1 for 1 would be rewarding him, and that's not what I propose. All I'm proposing is that we do not punish the batter for a fielder's ineptness by giving him an 0 for 1; give him an 0 for 0.
     
  17. PastorSBC1303

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    If MLB would change the call from 0 for 1 to 0 for O then would that not affect batting records from the past?
     
  18. ccrobinson

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    How is giving the batter an 0 for 1 punishing him? The 0 for 1 is noting that he should have made an out. The fact that he didn't was not of his own merit, but because the fielder made a bad throw, didn't field the ball correctly, etc. If you give the batter a 0 for 0 for an error, that is rewarding him with something that he did not earn.
     
  19. Andy T.

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    Yes, it would be a sticky situation to change it going forward. It would be hard to compare prior batting averages with current ones. My initial post was to discuss how the baseball forefathers got it wrong. I think they got it wrong. Giving a guy 0 for 0 is not rewarding him.

    Another related question that I'm not sure about: When a guy gets on with an error, what do they give him for on-base average? Do they give him a 1 for 1 or an 0 for 1?
     
  20. ccrobinson

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    ???

    :confused:

    An 0 for 1 at-bat always lowers batting average.
    A 0 for 0 at-bat never lowers batting average.

    The batter would have made an out. Giving him an 0 for 0 means his batting average doesn't change, even though he should have made an out. How is that not a reward?


    Isn't this the question the OP is about?

    The batter who reaches base by error is charged an at-bat. He goes 0 for 1 on that at-bat.
     

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