Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Rob Neyer Newsbeat

Monday, May 01, 2017

Before Baseball-Reference, Statheads Relied On The ‘Big Mac’

For diehard baseball fans, a world without Sean Forman’s Baseball-Reference.com is difficult to imagine. But the site is relatively new; it didn’t grace the Internet until 2000. Before that, for seamheads interested in baseball statistics there was only … print. Print? Yes, print. You remember print.

One of those print compendiums of baseball information was a 6.5-pound behemoth nicknamed “Big Mac,” and it changed how people think about the sport. A world without the Big Mac might not just mean a world without Baseball-Reference.com, it might also mean a world without Bill James, which might mean a world without sabermetrics, a world without “Moneyball,” a world without the analytics that have transformed so many other sports. As John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, says today, “It was a revolution. This was the ‘Moby-Dick’ of baseball statistics, not only for its size, but also for its place in baseball history.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference, rob neyer

Friday, February 24, 2017

Are statheads “pro ownership?”

But, beyond that, something happens when statheads talk about transactions or rule changes in particular. Unwittingly, I think, we ally with ownership. When a player signs a free agent deal, and we talk about whether it’s a “good” or a “bad” deal, we’re framing that in terms of whether it helps the team that the player signs with….

But I don’t think that’s out of some sympathy with owners. Rather, I think that most analysts, whether they’re into analytics or not, are fans first and foremost. Or at least have trouble taking off their fan caps entirely when they do analysis. As fans of teams (or laundry, as Seinfeld once said), we want what’s best for the team or teams we support. We understand each club has a budget, and we want the clubs we root for to not be unduly hamstrung within that restriction by “bad” deals that limit their freedom and flexibility to make other moves. And we know that our readers do too. You are fans of the Cubs, the Giants, the Yankees, and the Rangers far more than you’re fans of Mike Dunn or Edwin Encarnacion. In this, the interests of the owners and the analysts selfishly align, at the expense of the players.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 12:25 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, labor, ownership, rob neyer

Monday, December 05, 2016

Neyer: Today’s game! Catch it!

Neyer submitted this piece prior to Sunday’s announcement.

Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella have their cases, too.

Are there standards for managers? I suppose you could look at career wins, winning percentage, and postseason appearances and cobble together some sort of formula. But if you just eyeball those lists, it’s pretty clear that 2,000 wins or three World Championships gets you in. Piniella’s got just one of the latter, and only 1,835 of the former. Plus, his .517 career winning percentage is nothing special.

Yes, that .517 is actually a bit better than Bruce Bochy’s career percentage, but of course Bochy’s got the three rings. Which is why Bochy’s going into the Hall someday.

Piniella’s record is almost exactly the same as Jim Leyland’s, by the way. Both got just a single championship ring, both won around 1800 games, and both finished just a bit north of .500. The only obvious difference is that Leyland managed in three World Serieses, Piniella just the one. But it seems to me that if Piniella’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Leyland. And if Leyland’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Mike Scioscia. And if Scioscia’s a Hall of Famer, then so is Terry Francona. Toss in Bochy, and then you’d simply have every manager with at least 1400 wins in the Hall of Fame, except for Gene Mauch, Dusty Baker, Ralph Houk, Buck Showalter, and Jimmy Dykes. And Houk’s the only one of those five who won a World Series (so far, anyway; Baker and Showalter still have their shots).

Are we okay with all that? More to the point, does anyone really care? Sometimes I wonder. I suppose if you’re an Angels fan, you really will care if Scioscia’s in the Hall of Fame. I do worry, just a little, that the Hall’s going to wind up with so many managers that we’ll hardly be able to keep track. Especially with so many modern managers sticking around well into their sixties.

Anyway, about Davey Johnson: He does not go into the aforementioned group because he didn’t quite reach 1400 wins: 1,372, to be precise. What he does have is an outstanding .562 winning percentage – ninth best among managers with at least 2,000 games managed – and a unique history of success with four different franchises (his two years with the Dodgers were nothing special). Still, let’s be honest: If Mookie’s grounder doesn’t sneak between Buckner’s wickets, we’re probably not even talking about this. Not as seriously, anyway.

Johnson’s case is probably best compared to Hall of Famer Al Lopez’s. About the same wins, about the same percentage, and both won just one World Series.

Then again, Johnson won more games than Whitey Herzog, with a higher winning percentage. And Herzog’s in the Hall, despite winning just one championship. If you’re going to elect Herzog, it’s not clear (to me) how you don’t elect Johnson.

Personally, I think a Hall of Famer should win a lot of games with a high winning percentage or win multiple World Series. My personal preferences aside, Piniella and Johnson are both borderline candidates, but history suggests they’ll both be elected, either now or later.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: December 05, 2016 at 03:51 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, rob neyer

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost of Sox Fans Past
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 22 May 2017: George W. Bush photobombs a sports reporter
(444 - 3:01pm, May 23)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogCENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA
(167 - 3:00pm, May 23)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-23-2017
(28 - 2:58pm, May 23)
Last: Davoice of Dapeople

NewsblogBobby Grich, Rick Burleson, and Their One Full (Strike-Shortened) Season as a Dominant Double Play Combination
(30 - 2:58pm, May 23)
Last: Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan

NewsblogHow Many More Years? – Joe Blogs – Medium
(20 - 2:55pm, May 23)
Last: AROM

NewsblogFocus on Jeter should inspire memories of Garciaparra’s peak
(49 - 2:54pm, May 23)
Last: Booey

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(4033 - 2:54pm, May 23)
Last: STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel

NewsblogThe name's Chatter... OMNICHATTER, for May 23, 2017
(3 - 2:45pm, May 23)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogTrying times for John Farrell as Boston Red Sox manager | FOX Sports
(11 - 2:44pm, May 23)
Last: bigglou115

NewsblogThe Chicago Cubs’ Circle of Trust - WSJ
(10 - 2:03pm, May 23)
Last: BurlyBuehrle

Newsblog'Loud, Electric, Fun': Carlos Martinez Dominates with 100 MPH Heat, Raw Emotion | Bleacher Report
(1 - 1:04pm, May 23)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Pollo

NewsblogOT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread
(513 - 12:33pm, May 23)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogMatt Harvey studies past success and discovers arm slot issue in recent troubles | Newsday
(6 - 12:24pm, May 23)
Last: zack

NewsblogRangers' Nomar Mazara shares his life story | MLB.com
(1 - 12:22pm, May 23)
Last: AROM

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1978 - 11:21am, May 23)
Last: STIGGLES don't want to talk about cracker barrel

Page rendered in 1.3183 seconds
57 querie(s) executed