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Preventative Measures

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"That's something that doesn't show up in the boxscores, but . . ."

Steve Phillips just uttered those typically-hackneyed words on the ESPN-TV broadcast of the St. Louis-San Diego (no-)contest. But don't groan; I think the proviso actually has some merit this time.

Okay, here's the situation: Jim Edmonds' parents went away on a week's vacation, and they left the keys to the brand new Porsche . . . Uh, sorry; I'm currently being treated for spasmic 1980s references, so please accept my apologies.

Like I was saying, the situation involved Jim Edmonds. The Padres had runners on first and second, and some guy hit a liner to center for a clean single. Faster than you can say "Otsuka," the Pads' third base coach shot up a frantic Stop sign.

The replay revealed that Edmonds charged the ball aggressively and quickly unloaded a one-hop throw home. I'm not sure if the third base coach would have waved around the runner had Edmonds played it five- or ten-percent more slowly, but that's sort of beside the point, I guess. Edmonds played the ball well enough, and the coach had no designs of sending the runner.

All of this makes me think that Phillips cited a legitimate "doesn't show up in the boxscore" argument. Is there any way to measure "Bases Discouraged"? (Or "Bases Thwarted" or "Bases Prevented," if you want to be a little more presumptuous about it.) There's this kind of thing, of course, but the study in the linked article isn't even on point with what I'm asking.

I don't at all presume to be asking an original question; of course, the consideration is anything but original. But I'm wondering if there's any way to measure "Bases Discouraged." Insofar as it is necessarily a subjective consideration---at least to a vast extent, as Phillips' analysis accentuated---I'm not sure how one could devise such a measure with confidence.

So, maybe it truly doesn't show up in the boxscore . . .