While watching a Cubs game
last year ~~and resisting the urge to kill myself~~, I heard Len Kasper make
the comment about Juan Pierre “I wonder how many times he’s dived back to 1

^{st}in his career.” I was intrigued by the statement and had the raw data to answer the question but not the skill to ferret it out. After discovering an equation that I frankly don’t even remotely understand, this chart lists two things:
1. The
number of times from 2010-2012 that a given player broke to steal but didn’t
(it was a fake, foul ball, whatever). This IS NOT reflected in stolen base
attempts.

2. The
number of times a pitcher threw to 1

^{st}, 2^{nd}or 3^{rd}while a given runner was on base.
Both of these are NOT perfect,
but a brief look at the results confirms common sense. I could take the time to
go through 800,000+ lines of data and make things perfect, or I could go with
close enough—close enough wins today. The table follows:

Using Michael Bourn to explain, the

**AttS**column is the number of times he broke to steal and didn’t. The next three columns (**Tt1**…**Tt3**) are throws to 1^{st}, 2^{nd}and 3^{rd}, getting to the heart of Len’s comment. As usual, Len is pretty close, since Pierre is second in this time period in tosses to 1^{st}, but he did that 1,884 plate appearances as opposed to Bourn’s 2,030, or about 146 fewer plate appearances. Nobody on this table should surprise anyone, since they’re the foremost base stealers of today.
What about pitchers—do people
run more on certain pitchers than others? I’ll never understand why common
baseball statistics don’t include stolen base numbers for pitchers as well as
catchers, but I have that data and will show it later. In this case, these are
the pitchers using the same criteria as above. This data is MUCH MORE SOLID for
reasons that will bore almost anyone:

As promised, this is the table of stolen bases by pitcher, sorted by
stolen bases. All numbers are from the 2010-2012 seasons, and some of these
numbers are simply phenomenal. What I find most interesting is the lack of
White Sox pitchers on this list given the woes that A.J. Pierzynski had
throwing out runners in 2011. In his defense, that season wasn’t much out of
the ordinary for him—he threw out 27 of 102 runners in 2010 and 27 of 103 in
2012, compared to 24 of 118, a difference of around 26% vs. 20%--a gap, to be
sure, but not something of significant magnitude.

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