One of my pet peeves all year has been how many runners the Spirit lose on the basepaths. It seems to me to be an inordinate amount - far more than I ever remember seeing from any team I've followed.
Interestingly enough, looking at the stolen base figures, we aren't doing THAT badly. Bearing in mind that Baseball Prospectus says stolen bases only give you a statistical advantage if you are successful at least 73% of the time, here's how the teams stack up:
Team: SB/CS/ Pct
New Haven 85/29 77.9%
New Jersey 96/30 76.2%
Grays 90/31 74.3%
Brockton 87/31 73.7%
Atlantic City: 92/33 73.2%
Sussex 48/66 72.7%
Quebec 66/26 71.3%
North Shore: 70/29 70.7%
Worcester: 65/33 64.9%
Nashua: 60/51 59.4%
Focus on the Spirit:
Josue Lopez 1 SB 1 CS
Mike Torres 6 SB 4 CS
A few observations from those stats:
-The Spirit aren't hurting themselves as badly as I thought they were re: steals. 70.3% is statistically not helping you, but it's not hurting you that much, either. 70 successful SB is pretty good considering the fact that this isn't a team laden with speed top-to-bottom. But the fact that Josue Lopez has 2 attempted steals and Mike Torres has 10 is just silly. Those guys shouldn't be stealing. I hope that most of those CS's come from pick-offs. [Not that getting picked off is something to be happy about.]
-As I suspected, CanAm managers are way too over-reliant on trying to steal bases, to the point where it's statistically hurting half of the teams in the league. I'd suspect that sacrifice bunt stats would also show a similar over-reliance - and statistically speaking, bunting helps you even less often than stealing.
-Also, as I suspected, Butch Hobson's managing is terrible. A 59.4% stealing percentage is so bad that it makes serious dents in run totals. There's nothing wrong with trying to steal a lot if you're doing it well (see: Jersey) but continuing to run wildly when you get gunned down so often - for the sole purpose of being 'aggressive' [Nick Lopardo word of the day] - is downright foolish.
So, in looking at the actual numbers, our stolen base ratio isn't killing us, but it's not helping out much either, and we are certainly well within the bottom half of the league in terms of success stealing bases.
I suspect, however, that if I could find statistics about runners being gunned down at the plate, or trying for extra bases, we would probably on the top of that dubious list. If anyone knows where I could find such stats, let me know.