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Gabe Kapler Newsbeat

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Neyer: The Power of JABO

JABO might be able to do the hully-gully, but unfortunately they can’t imitate Vin Scully.

A few months ago we launched a new microsite, Just a Bit Outside (JABO). Now we’re gearing up for a grand experiment: Game 1 of the NLCS, powered by JABO, and broadcast on FOX Sports 1 on October 11 at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.

Of course, FOX will provide the traditional broadcast, featuring Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci in the booth, Ken Rosenthal and Erin Andrews on the field. Meanwhile, over on FS1 – and by the way, here’s an easy way to find FS1 on your cable or satellite packageNLCS on FOX Sports 1 Powered by JABO will focus on statistics, sabermetrics, and graphics, with plenty of debate and conversation while the action plays out on the field. We’ll utilize a double-box format, with the live game action in one box, and our studio hosts and guests in another, along with a constant flow of graphics.

FOX’s Kevin Burkhardt will host the show, and he’ll be joined at the big desk by JABO stalwarts Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. I’ll also be tossing in the occasional observation and opinion, and interacting with viewers via social media. And finally, we’re working very hard to line up some very special guests.

The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: c.j. nitkowski, gabe kapler, rob neyer, television

Monday, September 15, 2014

MLB announces postseason plans, with various notable points

Here is where you can find the games no one will watch.

-No World Series games will be going head to head with either Monday or Thursday Night Football. If the series isn’t a sweep, Game 5 will go head to head with the Packers and Saints on Sunday Night Football….

-Five networks will be airing Postseason games this year. The two Wild Card games will air on TBS (AL) and ESPN (NL), while the entire ALDS and ALCS air on TBS. The NLDS will air on Fox Sports 1, though two of those games will show up on MLB Network. As for the NLCS, both game one and game six (if necessary) will air on Fox. The other five possible games air on Fox Sports 1, and the entire World Series airs on Fox.

-Speaking of Fox Sports 1, they’re taking a page out of ESPN’s book for Game 1 of the NLCS. While the game airs on Fox, they’ll be airing a second-screen experience fueled by their new baseball portal, Just A Bit Outside. The broadcast will be branded “JABO presents: NLCS on FOXSPORTS1″, and will be hosted by Kevin Burkhardt. The alternate feed will focus on statistic and sabermetrics, and feature Rob Neyer, Gabe Kapler, and C.J. Nitkowski, among others.

-Fox Sports 1 is also going all-in with ancillary shows, and is providing more than 60 hours of pre, post, and mid-game coverage, including 90 minute episodes of America’s Pregame.

-Keith Olbermann will not return to anchor TBS’s studio coverage of the MLB Playoffs because of scheduling issues. The studio show will instead be anchored by MLB Network Radio host Casey Stern, and feature Gary Sheffield and the long-awaited return of Pedro Martinez as analysts.

 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kapler: Baseball’s next big competitive edge

Really terrific piece. No snark.

However, we are now more than a decade past the publication of Moneyball, and, to put it bluntly, the days of simply adding an analytical genius to the front office and expecting him to tip the scales are over. There’s simply too much information-sharing in today’s world for any club to gain a lasting structural informational edge over their competitors. Proprietary information is becoming harder and harder to come by. While there are certainly frontiers of data not yet fully explored, I believe the next real advantage will come not from which team can acquire the most information, but from which team can best put that information into practice. How efficiently and successfully information is shared with managers, coaches and players will equal wins now and going forward.

Herein lies one of the great challenges of implementing winning, but unconventional, techniques. Players are resistant to change; managers are disinclined to upset habits. Think about the eye-rolls whenever a team says, “We’re going closer by committee.”

A slightly more extreme example came up in conversation last night. Former first-round pick and MLB veteran C.J. Nitkowski alerted me to a piece written by our FanGraphs colleague, Eno Sarris. I had not yet read the article and asked C.J. for an overview.

“Essentially, Eno thinks we should be moving guys around in the outfield during the game based on defensive strength. Crazy! Can you imagine how the weaker outfielder would feel?”

C.J.’s half right. I can think of two dozen major-league outfielders who might have bruised egos, but I can also think of a dozen who’d be cool with it. The difference isn’t (just) player makeup, its institutional buy-in.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, just a bit outside, sabermetrics

Monday, August 18, 2014

Kapler: 75% of the time, line-drive percentage works 100% of the time

And apparently 67% of the time, you’ll get hurt and look like making you that rich was a mistake…

I’m dubbing Nick Castellanos Kid Linea.

“Linea” is Spanish for line. More relevantly, it’s how you’ll hear line drives described in the dugout vernacular. Unless you’re facing Kershaw, an inning won’t pass on the bench without someone uttering, “That was an f’ing linea.”...

“A line drive won’t necessarily be the hardest balls in play, but they do end up being hits at a lofty 75% clip,” according to sportingcharts.com.

In short, line-drive percentage matters. Kid Linea leads the American League as a rookie at 27.3 percent. Of course, this is a small sample size. Those players who have put up top numbers year after year have been amply rewarded by their teams. Since 2010, MLB’s three leaders in line-drive percentage are Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto and Joe Mauer. Those guys are really, really rich.

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:52 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, nick castellanos, tigers

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Neyer: Get ready for Just A Bit Outside ... FOXSports.com’s new baseball destination

The future in sports journalism here - flannel-based reporting!

Welcome to Just a Bit Outside, coming to FOXSports.com on Wednesday. I’ve been doing this “work” for a long time now, and over the last 70-some years I’ve developed some pretty strong opinions when it comes to covering baseball on the Ultranet. You know, I was there at the beginning, covering such luminaries as Gus “No Shoulders” Wagner and Dale “Murderer” Sisler for the website of the Baltimore Picayune-Democrat, and I’ve seen it all. Having strong opinions is both a blessing (confidence!) and a curse (intolerance!). But it’s difficult to edit a website if you don’t know what you like….

What will you see here? You’ll see some familiar names and faces. Mine, of course. More than you would like, maybe (can’t complain about the price, though). But also two of the game’s top reporters, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. And two of our smartest former players, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. We’ll be featuring, nearly every day, the best work of our partners at FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. And we’ll have some surprises, too. You’ll notice that our masthead includes Jeff Garlin, a brilliantly talented actor, comedian, and filmmaker ... who also happens to love baseball as much as anyone you’ll meet. Jeff’s going to be contributing regularly to this page, and I just can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

I’ve grown tired of the term long-form ... isn’t that just the hipster’s way of saying good, well-developed story? But I’ll tell you right now, Just a Bit Outside is going to feature some really terrific stories in the next few months. I mean, I know it’s best to under-promise and over-deliver ... but damn if I’m not really excited about some of the stuff you’re going to see.

 


 

 

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