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Jeff Manto on On-Base Percentage

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Pirates hitting coach Jeff Manto:

For starters, Manto is no fan of on-base percentage, partly because he believes its emphasis on walks does not take into account that a base-on-balls is not always a desired or productive result.

While dismissing runs created, Manto offered his own statistical category: "runs produced" -- measured by adding runs and RBI, subtracting home runs from that total and dividing that number by games played.

Manto is like a guy who tries to make a building out of tin foil, then mocks the discipline of architecture after the building falls apart.

UPDATE: Here's Van Slyke ripping Manto for this. I was considering actually making an argument about this the way Van Slyke does, but I figured that, while that's fun and I'm glad Pat did it, it probably isn't worth the effort. The absurdity of Manto's position is already perfectly clear. It reminds me of when I spent a couple hours making a post ripping the Pirates for batting Tike Redman third. Sometimes I wonder if blogs about the Pirates are even necessary - nearly everything they do and say is ridiculous almost on its face, and you certainly don't need me to tell you that.

UPDATE II: Actually, I'll add a little more here, because I don't want to alienate readers who are new to baseball statistics or are old-school in their approach. Like Pat says, Manto's idea for a statistic rewards a player for two things he's only vaguely in control of (runs scored and RBIs) while reducing the importance of something he's obviously in control of (homers). It counts an RBI single the same thing as a homer, and counts a single that moves a runner from first to third as nothing at all, even if the runner on third ends up scoring.

Meanwhile, nearly every year, the Pirates are among the worst teams in baseball at getting on base and hitting for power, and it is blindingly clear that there is an extremely strong relationship between doing those things and scoring runs. Contrary to Manto's assertions, on-base percentage is important whether or not the batter ends up scoring, because of the value of not making an out. I am merely a fan, and this is as clear to me as it is to the executives from other teams whose offenses actually aren't horrible.