clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Today's Detroit News column: On Gene Lamont

Gene Lamont doesn't just high five, he wind mills too.
Gene Lamont doesn't just high five, he wind mills too.

This week for the News I wrote about Gene Lamont's decision Saturday.

With the game freshly tied in the ninth inning in Baltimore Saturday, the Tigers third-base coach waved home Brennan Boesch on a single to shallow left field. Unfortunately, the ball was already in left fielder Endy Chavez's hand before Boesch reached third base. I said at the time on Twitter something like "Oh, Gene." You could just tell Boesch was going to be out unless Chavez completely screwed up the throw. Tigers manager Jim Leyland later backed his coach's decision.

So I decided to explore it a little more in depth. At times I was pretty convinced Lamont made the right move no matter what. If the Angels are aggressive, we talk about their aggressiveness. If the Tigers are aggressive, we parody the Human Windmill coaching the final bag. In most cases with two outs, if the play is going to be close, I have 100 percent agreement that you send the runner.

But in watching the replay several times more, I still felt like I did immediately after the play: Boesch had little chance on a play that shallow. So while I usually do not criticize decisions to send the runner home, I had to in this case.

So go read the whole column and see what you think!

Bonus: I used a stat saying Lamont had to be about 45 percent certain that Boesch would score. So he didn't even need a 50-50 proposition. This comes from the theory of weighting different "states" of the game by their possible run values. It has a long history but Tom Tango gets a lot of credit for work done in the field.

Anyway, Jeff Morford (HighOPS here and on Twitter) provided an easy formula for calculating the confidence level needed to send the runner based on expected runs if the runner goes home and expected runs if he stays at third. That was from a post on Lamont last year, actually. Lamontroversies never end!