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  #1  
Old 10-11-2019, 09:01 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

I have no idea if this subject has been talked about before....so, here I go.

Back in the 1970's I was the Manager/player of our workplace Softball team. I named our team the "DingBats" (of Archie Bunker fame). It was apropo, for when I joined this team
it was in last place in our Division. Dealing with Bell Labs Engineers, Scientists, and Management types was a big challenge for me out there on the ball field. We loved to play the
game. And all of us wanted to be winners.
So, how did I get this team from the bottom to 1st place in our Division that first year of my leadership ? From the data on my scorecard, I developed a statistic which I refer to as
RUNS PRODUCED INDEX (RPI). I applied this stat in order to determine who was going to be the starting players in each game of our 14-game schedule that season.
Sure, I was confronted by those I didn't start with...."why aren't you playing me today ?" Or...."my BA is over .300, but you're benching me", etc. Eventually, every one got to play.
I'll tell you I took this stat seriously, so by playing the guys who showed a tendency to produce the most RUNS in a given game worked beautifully. The DingBats won the 1st place
trophy from 1975 to 1980, consecutively. So, here is my simple formula for the RPI factor......

RPI = actual At Bats / Runs + RBI - HR

If you do the math, both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have an RPI factor of 2.8 to 2.9 (obviously, the lower this number is, the more productive the hitter is).

Therefore, they produce a RUN for every 2.85 times At Bat. And, I think they may be the Major League leaders in this stat.


TED Z

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Last edited by tedzan; 10-13-2019 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Added information.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:18 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
I have no idea if this subject has been talked about before....so, here I go.

Back in the 1970's I was the Manager/player of our workplace Softball team. I named our team the "DingBats" (of Archie Bunker fame). It was apropo, for when I joined this team
it was in last place in our Division. Dealing with Bell Labs Engineers, Scientists, and Management types was a big challenge for me out there on the ball field. We loved to play the
game. And, most of all, we wanted to be winners.
So, how did I get this team from the bottom to 1st place in our Division that first year of my leadership ? From the data on my scorecard, I developed a statistic which I refer to as
RUNS PRODUCED INDEX (RPI). I applied this stat to determine who were the starting players each game of our 14-game schedule that season. Sure, I was confronted with...."why
aren't you playing me today ?" Or...."my BA is over .300, but you're benching me"....etc., etc.
I'll tell you I took this stat seriously, so by playing the guys who showed a tendency to produce the most RUNS in a given game worked beautifully. The DingBats won the 1st place
trophy from 1975 to 1980. So, here is my simple formula for the RPI factor......

RPI = actual At Bats / Runs + RBI - HR

If you do the math, both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have an RPI factor of 2.8 to 2.9 (obviously, the lower this number is, the more productive the hitter is).

Therefore, they produce a RUN for every 2.85 times At Bat. And, I think they may be the Major League leaders in this stat.


TED Z

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That's pretty interesting.

I'm puzzled that it actually works, mostly because to score runs someone hitting after you has to hit well.
And to have RBI, the person ahead of you has to hit well.

Maybe it's more of an indicator of how someone bats in a lineup. I know I batted differently if the bases were empty than if there were runners on.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:55 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index indicative of a players value to a winning team

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
That's pretty interesting.

I'm puzzled that it actually works, mostly because to score runs someone hitting after you has to hit well.
And to have RBI, the person ahead of you has to hit well.

Maybe it's more of an indicator of how someone bats in a lineup. I know I batted differently if the bases were empty than if there were runners on.

Hi Steve

First, let me state that this RPI strategy was not the only factor in my team's successive 6-year success. However, it was an important factor. Of the 10 players that I had as regulars
in the line-up, 5 (or 6) of them were amazingly great at scoring or driving in RUNS.

Of course there were a number of other strategies I employed to win games with. I was tough on these guys (they referred to me as "Billy Martin" of our Softball League). Especially,
if the opposing team had a fast-ball pitcher. I would have my guys laying off swinging at first pitches, be deliberate at the plate which would usually affect that pitcher's timing, etc.

Those were really fun days back then.


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  #4  
Old 10-12-2019, 01:42 AM
Ronnie73 Ronnie73 is offline
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Sounds like the Moneyball movie.
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:30 AM
JackW JackW is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie73 View Post
Sounds like the Moneyball movie.
This is what I was thinking. Ted was using analytics decades before MLB did. Groundbreaking ideas. To do it without a computer (I assume) is what's really amazing. "Beautiful mind" stuff.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:35 AM
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frankbmd frankbmd is offline
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Bill James got the Runs Created formula from Ted.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:15 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackW View Post
This is what I was thinking. Ted was using analytics decades before MLB did. Groundbreaking ideas. To do it without a computer (I assume) is what's really amazing. "Beautiful mind" stuff.

Hi Jack

I'm overwhelmed by your complimentary words. I really appreciate them. We were in a very competitive Softball league composed of a mix of medium-fast & fast pitch.
And, in order to compete, I would utilize whatever game plan I felt would win. Our division was composed of 8 teams. We played each one of them twice every season.

Each team required a different strategy to beat them, but the one constant winning formula was my RPI. And, you are correct, I did it without the benefit of a computer.
Our best season was 1977 when we won 13 games and lost only one.

Oh, and the "icing on the cake" back then was after each game, when we all met at our favorite watering-hole....The Red Roof in Holmdel, NJ.


TED Z

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  #8  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:42 PM
Rich Falvo Rich Falvo is offline
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Cool stuff, Ted. I've seen the Runs Produced stat, which is basically the denominator part of your stat (R+RBI-HR) without the at bats figured in. Factoring in at bats like you did would favor players who produced a lot of R and RBI without a lot of at bats or without a lot of Home Runs. I looked at the top 20 or so in Runs Produced and re-ranked them using your stat and came up with the below top 10:


Ruth
Gehrig
Williams
Anson
Foxx
Cobb
Bonds
Ott
Speaker
A-Rod
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2019, 06:55 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Falvo View Post
Cool stuff, Ted. I've seen the Runs Produced stat, which is basically the denominator part of your stat (R+RBI-HR) without the at bats figured in. Factoring in at bats like you did would favor players who produced a lot of R and RBI without a lot of at bats or without a lot of Home Runs. I looked at the top 20 or so in Runs Produced and re-ranked them using your stat and came up with the below top 10:


Ruth
Gehrig
Williams
Anson
Foxx
Cobb
Bonds
Ott
Speaker
A-Rod

Hi Rich

Thanks for your post, and taking the time in computing the ML leaders of this stat....and posting the top 10.

As I noted in my first post here, I figured Ruth and Gehrig were most likely the top leaders in the RPI factor.



TED Z

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  #10  
Old 10-15-2019, 06:42 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Hi, the first thing that popped into my head while reading this was, how many guys did you have on your team? Usually men's leagues have just enough players to field a team, or maybe one extra guy. Weren't all the guys going to be playing regardless?
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:51 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

Hi Brian

The Bell Labs facility we worked at had 2000+ employees. There were 4 Softball fields on the property. Our team roster consisted of 20 guys.
Twenty was the League limit. And, once we became a winning team, every one wanted to join the DingBats.

Furthermore, 20 was a good number, because at any given week, as many as 5 guys could be away on business trips.

Our Softball League had 3 divisions.....

"A" division (4 teams) was the super-fast pitch guys

"B" division (8 teams) was a mix of medium-fast to fast pitch guys (our division)

"C" division (6 teams) was the slow pitch guys


TED Z

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  #12  
Old 10-15-2019, 09:22 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
Hi Brian

The Bell Labs facility we worked at had 2000+ employees. There were 4 Softball fields on the property. Our team roster consisted of 20 guys.
Twenty was the League limit. And, once we became a winning team, every one wanted to join the DingBats.

Furthermore, 20 was a good number, because at any given week, as many as 5 guys could be away on business trips.

Our Softball League had 3 divisions.....

"A" division (4 teams) was the super-fast pitch guys

"B" division (8 teams) was a mix of medium-fast to fast pitch guys (our division)

"C" division (6 teams) was the slow pitch guys


TED Z

T206 Reference
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That's got me curious.

Was it fast pitch just with pitchers who weren't all that fast? Or What I played that was called "modified pitch" - No windmill deliveries like fast pitch, and also nothing above I think 6 feet of arc where slow pitch starts.

It's a fun game, more like baseball than the others. We had a fairly quick pitcher who could get into probably the 50's when he was trying. But we also had old guys in the infield and younger quick guys in the outfield so our "strategy" was to sort of lob it in and let the fast kids chase it down.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:30 PM
HistoricNewspapers HistoricNewspapers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
Hi Brian

The Bell Labs facility we worked at had 2000+ employees. There were 4 Softball fields on the property. Our team roster consisted of 20 guys.
Twenty was the League limit. And, once we became a winning team, every one wanted to join the DingBats.

Furthermore, 20 was a good number, because at any given week, as many as 5 guys could be away on business trips.

Our Softball League had 3 divisions.....

"A" division (4 teams) was the super-fast pitch guys

"B" division (8 teams) was a mix of medium-fast to fast pitch guys (our division)

"C" division (6 teams) was the slow pitch guys


TED Z

T206 Reference
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Sounds like a nice venture....and by the way you talk about it, it left a lasting impression on you. Thats pretty cool.

Last edited by HistoricNewspapers; 10-16-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:41 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

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Originally Posted by HistoricNewspapers View Post
Sounds like a nice venture....and by the way you talk about it, it left a lasting impression on you. Thats pretty cool.

Hi Brian

Our Laboratory was developing new Hi-speed series of Modems. We put in many overtime hours. So, once a week going out to the ball field
and playing some serious Softball was great relief....and, a lot of fun.
When we Won 13 games (Lost only 1) in 1977, our Softball League voted to upgrade us into the "A" division. The guys were all excited over
this move. I was NOT ! I asked my team members if... "they enjoyed being 1st place winners and getting trophies each year ?"
I insisted that we stay where we are. After some thought, and a beer (or two) at the Red Roof, the majority of guys agreed with me.

The 2nd place team in 1977 (the Yannigans) were switched to the "A" division (super-fast pitch). In 1978, the Yannigans had a 0-12 record.
And, we continued to lead the "B" division.

Check-out my "GOLDEN GLOVE" award (from my team) in this photo (on the shelf next to my left shoulder)





TED Z

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Old Today, 12:01 PM
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Fred Fred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
Hi Brian

Our Laboratory was developing new Hi-speed series of Modems. We put in many overtime hours. So, once a week going out to the ball field
and playing some serious Softball was great relief....and, a lot of fun.
When we Won 13 games (Lost only 1) in 1977, our Softball League voted to upgrade us into the "A" division. The guys were all excited over
this move. I was NOT ! I asked my team members if...… "they enjoyed being 1st place winners and getting trophies each year ?"
I insisted that we stay where we are. After some thought, and a beer (or two) at the Red Roof, the majority of guys agreed with me.

The 2nd place team in 1977 (the Yannigans) were switched to the "A" division (super-fast pitch). In 1978, the Yannigans had a 0-12 record.
And, we continued to lead the "B" division.

Check-out my "GOLDEN GLOVE" award (from my team) in this photo (on the shelf next to my left shoulder)





TED Z

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Ted,

I have to ask - how fast were those modems back then?
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Old Today, 03:09 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
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Default Runs Produced Index (RPI) indicative of a players value to a winning team

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Ted,

I have to ask - how fast were those modems back then?
Hi Fred

How fast you ask ?

Data transmission over the DDD (regular analog voiceband) two-wire lines was 9.6 Kilobits/sec.

Data transmission over Private lines 64 Kilobits/sec (and on specially conditioned lines, 128 Kilobits/sec.).


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