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From these very basic categories it appears that stolen bases and good defense, in other words team speed, were indeed keys to their attack, while bunting at least for sacrifices may not have played as big a role as some remembered. Of course, although not shown in the table all three teams also featured good pitching and ranked third, second, and fifth in ERA respectively.
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All the while the Redbirds eschewed the home run, hitting just 87 with only Jack Clark 22 reaching 20 and Van Slyke, McGee, and Darrell Porter in double figures, with Porter topping out at Interestingly, the team was also the youngest in terms of position players in the NL averaging just The club did so in a park that was just under league average in scoring a 99 batter park factor , while the and versions were just above at and respectively.
And lest you imagine that their speed combined with playing on the carpet at Busch Stadium boosted their run scoring, the team scored 4. So did the Cardinals of the mids, and particularly , score all those runs because of their speed and small ball approach, or simply because they got more runners on than other teams, or a combination of both?
To look at this question I ran my base running framework for in order to quantify the contribution of the speed of McGee, Coleman, and company. As a quick reminder, the base running framework takes into consideration plays where there is a runner on first with second base empty and the batter singles, a runner on first with second empty and the batter doubles, and a runner on second with third empty and the batter singles.
The results for the Cardinals are in the following table, where the ExR column is the number of runs the player would be expected to contribute given his opportunities, BRR is the base runner runs the total number of runs to which the runner can be attributed given his actual base running performance in his opportunities , and IR is the difference between ExR and BRR and represents the number of runs the player contributed above what was expected.
As a team the Cardinals ranked third in the National League but were a tenth of a run under what would have been expected given their opportunities as shown in the following table. For example, a steal of second with nobody out yields on average. The same steal of second with two outs only increases run scoring by. The totals for the Cardinals are found in the following table. As it turns out, this accords nicely with the weights Palmer and Thorn assigned to the stolen base and caught stealing when developing their Batting Runs formula.
One factor that plays into the slight difference is that Coleman attempted stealing third base 34 times on the season and was caught only four times, which yielded an additional 4.
As might be expected Coleman contributed almost twice as many runs with his speed and Pendleton, because his poor stolen base percentage 17 stolen bases in 29 attempts nets only 2. Meanwhile Landrum, Nieto, and Clark all sink a little lower because of their combination of poor base running and poor base stealing.
A second issue that one might associate with team speed is the ablity to bunt for hits. Perhaps the Cardinals regularly got runners on via bunt hits before stealing bases to move themselves into scoring position.
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I took a look at this for the club and produced the following table showing the number of bunt hits and bunt hit attempts during the season. One other consequence of team speed that might come to mind is that having such a collection of speedsters on base would serve to distract pitchers and defenders and thereby afford Cardinals hitters a better chance to drive them in. However, by stealing over bases they added around 30 runs or three wins to their total.
For example, the club collected walks, some 60 more than average, while leading the league by hitting at. In When the Writ Hits the Fan, I will explore these issues — the intersection of law, business, criminal activity and ethics: why do some companies violate the law? Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to follow along!
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How timely! These are issues on which we need to reflect; this is the level on which we need to think. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to further explorations of the ethical- legal- corporate governance nexus with you —. Eugenia — Thanks for the endorsement and for ratifying that these issues need to considered and discussed!
Hammers in the Heart: Writ hits the fan
Margaret, love it! I just subscribed. I look forward to learning! February 15, Julie February 28, Eugenia Askren February 28, Margaret Cassidy March 2,