Thursday, January 20, 2011

Graphs Gone Wild: Part 2

It's been awhile, but long-time readers may remember this post from 3 years ago.

Since it was done using a somewhat arbitrary 3-year period, I thought, 3 years later, it was an appropriate time for an update. Here's it is:

(click image to enlarge)

To review what this is all about:

  • The on-field performance* and annual salary** of select Dodgers*** are plotted along the horizontal and vertical axes, respectively.
  • Blue is for hitters, red for pitchers.
  • The players' 2010 performance/salary is represented by the larger, shaded circle.
  • The players' 2007 performance/salary is marked by the smaller, white circle.
  • In a few cases, if the player was a Dodger in '04 (i.e., Lowe, Hendrickson, Pierre), the player's 2004 performance/ caller is marked smallest white circle.
  • In some cases, the player was not on the Dodgers in 2010 (Pierre, Lowe, Penny, Saito, Hendrickson). These players' '10 names are written in grey.
  • The size of the circle corresponds to the age of the player.
  • The players' 3-Year Trendlines ('07-'10 and if the player was an '04 Dodger than '04-'07 as well) is marked by the arrows connecting the dot(s) and the circle.

*Measured by OPS for hitters and ERA for pitchers.
**From http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/salaries/_/name/lad/los-angeles-dodgers.
***Main but not necessarily exclusive criteria was if the player was a Dodger in two of the three plotted years ('04, '07, and '10)

There are four primary quadrants, into one of which each player falls, as follows:

  • Upper-right quadrant (Stars) - This represents players who are paid well and perform accordingly. Of the players plotted, Furcal is the only '10 Dodger.
  • Lower-right quadrant (Bargains) - These guys have a relatively low salary yet put up strong numbers. Ethier and Bills (even at his new salary).
  • Lower-left quadrant (Role Players) - This quadrant is where 2nd-tier players with 2nd-tier salaries land. Although I don't really think of Broxton, Kemp, Loney, and Martin as 'role players,' in '10 their salaries were relatively low and their performance, sadly, was not as good as in previous years (more on trending later).
  • Upper-left quadrant (Busts) - These guys signed handsome contracts yet aren't getting it done on the field. Surprisingly none of the plotted players fell into this quadrant in '10 (if we had graphed Ted Lilly's full season, he would have barely made it into bust territory).

The direction of the players' 3-Year Trendlines also might provide some insight. Again, there are roughly four categories (let's focus only on the '07-'10 trendlines. The '04-'07 ones that are included are just for fun):

  • Up and to the Right (Approaching Prime) - Presumably players approaching or in their prime who show on-field improvement and receive a corresponding improvement in salary. Basically Ethier.
  • Down and to the Left (Past Prime) - Theoretically, a trendline in this direction would represent a player past their prime - i.e., one who is showing a decline in both output and salary. The two guys in this category were non-Dodgers in '10: Penny and Hendrickson.
  • Down and to the Right (Players Getting Screwed by Their Ballclubs) - These players are getting a raw deal salary-wise from their team, as they are being paid less over the years despite putting up better numbers. Furcal is the only '10 Dodger in this group, but since he fell into the 'bust' quadrant in '07, one could argue that rather than getting screwed, he's just reverting to what he merits. Regardless, his performance improvement pushed him from 'bust' to 'star' over the 3 years.
  • Up and to the Left (Players Screwing Their Ballclubs) - Players who have managed to get larger contracts from their current ballclub despite performance decreases. Alas, the difference between 2007 promise and 2010 disappointment is reflected in the size and youth of this club: Loney, Martin, Kemp, Bills, and Brox. Most tellingly, all these guys went from 'Bargains' in '07 to 'Busts' in '10. Yikes.

There you have it. Obviously lots of flaws and the scale/quadrant borders could use some work (most notably I think the salary dividing line is too high), but I think the general framework is quite interesting. Thoughts, criticisms, or additional river puns are always welcome!

16 comments:

MeanieBreanie said...

Thanks EK, I'm now dizzy after looking at the thing.

Jason said...

Some guy named Jeter appears to set the bar for "bust" status in 2010.

Eric Karros said...

Hey, look at the 3rd word in the comment at 2:34pm in the original post. A harbinger of things to come!

Orel said...

Smonkstakes thread just got another 300 comments.

Spank said...

In Layman's terms: The Dodger's suck.

Spank said...

@ Orel

It's 301 comments now,fruit pie.

Orel said...

Mmmm...floor pie.

Spank said...

Mmmmmm...Moon pie

Mr. Customer said...

Goddamn, there's more left arrows on that graph than on I-95 through Boca.

(cries)

Spank said...

Eric Chavez worked out for the Doyers today supposedly.

Mr. Customer said...

I wonder if his breath managed to fog the mirror.

karina said...

I love you, Eric Karros! this graph just gave me the stamina for the long assignment I have for tomorrow.

did I say I love you?

Spank said...

^NERD^

Eric Karros said...

Karina, thank you for sticking with us since that 3-years-ago post (and previously). The love is mucilage.

(^weak attempts at starting a glue pun war)

Mr. Customer said...

^Nah, nothing puns well with "Cyanacrylate"

karina said...

@Spank you know I like to live on the edge! ;)

@Eric Karros I'm pretty much adhered to the Sons' writing and bonded with your graphs.

^too weak, right?