I’ve investigated the impact of managers on balls and strikes Questec and non-Questec parks a little further. In my earlier post, I looked at the effect only on the pitching side. Now, I want to report what I found for hitters. I used the same methodology (switching the relevant control variables from pitchers to hitters) to examine the managerial impact on the strikeout-to-walk ratio for hitters. If a manager has influence over ball and strike calls in a way that helps his hitters, then I would expect the K/BB to be higher in Questec parks than non-Questec parks (the opposite of what it was for pitchers). The results below are regression coefficients estimating the impact of managers in Questec parks. I re-report the managerial impact on K/BB for pitchers for comparison purposes.
Manager Hitting Pitching Hal McRae 1.468 -0.487 Bruce Bochy 0.741 -0.409 Frank Robinson 0.472 0.271 Ken Macha 0.457 -0.967 Felipe Alou 0.456 -0.085 Luis Pujols 0.403 0.428 Jerry Narron 0.319 -0.283 Bobby Cox 0.239 -0.275 Jeff Torborg 0.140 -0.084 Jimy Williams 0.073 -0.584 Lloyd McClendon 0.015 -0.406 Jack McKeon 0.000 -0.255 Tony Pena -0.039 0.215 Jim Tracy -0.083 -0.869 Clint Hurdle -0.099 -0.494 Alan Trammell -0.139 0.289 Mike Scioscia -0.162 -0.453 Jerry Royster -0.200 0.000 Bob Boone -0.202 -1.017 Tony LaRussa -0.204 -0.966 Ron Gardenhire -0.311 0.749 Joe Torre -0.329 -0.639 Carlos Tosca -0.362 -0.024 Mike Hargrove -0.376 0.348 Lou Piniella -0.379 -0.230 Bob Melvin -0.493 -0.114 Jerry Manuel -0.497 -0.156 Grady Little -0.536 0.197 Buck Showalter -0.558 0.483 Eric Wedge -0.623 0.369 Dusty Baker -0.641 0.024 Art Howe -0.646 0.160 Larry Bowa -0.693 -0.743 Bobby Valentine -0.862 -0.387 Bob Brenly -0.996 0.771 Ned Yost -1.920 0.113 Bold: statistically significant at the 5% level
Hal McRae seems to lose the most from his hitters when playing in a Questec park, which suggests he may be the best arguing balls and strikes for his hitters. However, the estimate is not statistically significant, so it’s unclear it the effect is real. Only Ned Yost has a statistically significant impact, in a way he might prefer not to, as his hitters seem to do much better in Questec parks. Bob Brenly is having trouble again. Maybe he’s just used to managing in a Questec park in Arizona, and therefore gets taken by other managers on both sides of the ball. Or it may be that the team assembled under him was just well-accustomed to Questec calls and played poorly when out of that environment. The only problem with this explanation is that other managers with Questec home parks don’t seem to show the same tendency. But, we must remember that the results is not statistically significant, so it’s probably not worth thinking about too hard. While the “best” estimates of Brenly show him not doing well, they are not statistically different from no effect given the standard error. Overall, it looks like most managers seems to have little impact over balls and strikes called for his hitters.
There’s one other interesting test I did, which was to compare the estimated impact for both hitting and pitching. If a manager raises the K/BB for his pitchers does he then cost his hitters and vice versa? Or, if he’s good at working the umps is he able to help pitchers and hitters at the same time. A simple correlation between the impacts generates a correlation coefficient of -0.28, which is statistically significant at about the 10% level. This gives some support to the idea that managers may have some ability to influence umpires on both sides of the ball. That is, a manager that is able to raise the K/BB for his pitchers is associated with lowering it for his hitters. In the end, in most casese I don’t think managers are influencing balls and strikes when they argue, but it’s possible that Questec just isn’t changing any impact they have. Given all of the complaining by the umpires, I tend to believe the former is true.