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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

AA: Rob Neyer named commissioner of West Coast League

The primary uniform will not be a blue T-shirt.

Said Neyer: “I’m a passionate, longtime fan of baseball history generally, and Pacific Northwest baseball specifically. So it’s difficult for me to imagine a more exciting opportunity, and I’m honored to be associated with such a fine organization. This summer, as I connect with the owners and visit all the beautiful ballparks, I’ll do everything I can to help this great league become even greater.”

Greg Franklin Posted: May 02, 2018 at 10:42 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: college summer leagues, media, online, rob neyer, sabermetrics

Friday, April 06, 2018

MLB keeps finding new ways to alienate fans

Don’t miss Musnick’s next column on the insanity of the indoor plumbing craze.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2018 at 06:39 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Monday, April 02, 2018

Two Truths and a Lie: The Hidden Forces That Affect How Catchers Perform at the Plate - The Ringer

Tyler Flowers and big questions about catchers.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, sabermetrics

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tangotiger Blog: Shift v NoShift Preliminary Statcast Research

Don’t have time right now to read this right now. It looks interesting, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2018 at 12:01 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Monday, March 12, 2018

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Why Conventionality is a Luxury of the Rich | The Process Report

Some great analysis on a idea that I’ve been a proponent of for a long time. Hopefully the team will get full buy-in from players with the ability to execute the plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2018 at 06:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Friday, March 09, 2018

SABR Analytics: Wins Above Replacement or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love deGrom

My talk on how we formulate WAR on baseball-reference.com.

Sean Forman Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:12 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, stats, war, wins above replacement

Thursday, March 08, 2018

SSAC18: Next Frontier in Baseball Analytics

Some interesting stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2018 at 07:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, sabermetrics, videos

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Where Defensive Opportunities Have Declined Most | FanGraphs Baseball

This needs a larger study before conclusions can be drawn.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Sabermetric Movement’s Forgotten Foremother - The Ringer

Her work was truly ground breaking. I learned about r.s.b in the middle 90’s and was a big fan of Defensive Average. Baseball lost a great mind when her interests and responsibilities took her away from the game.

“I thought DA was a very interesting system that advanced our understanding of defense during that time,” Tippett says via email. Before spending 13 years with the Red Sox, Tippett developed the computer baseball sim Diamond Mind, which relied on Defensive Average ratings for a few years in the early ’90s. Subsequent stats also owe a debt to DA; “Defensive Average was definitely an influence on the development of UZR,” Lichtman says via email. SABR director Chris Dial emails an even more sweeping statement: “Sherri Nichols’s original DA/DR work is the framework for everything.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2018 at 08:07 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Art Vs Science: Using Data to Build A Better Pitching Approach – 216Stitches

Some interesting stuff at this new site.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2018 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Monday, January 15, 2018

Andruw of Center Field

The real issue is that people who see themselves as pro-analytical or post-analytical revolution, people who see themselves as sophisticated consumers of information, are in fact behaving in a manner which is identical to the pre-analytic arguments commonly used before 1975.  They argue that Andruw Jones has 63 WAR or whatever it is and that other players who have 58 WAR are in the Hall of Fame, therefore Andruw should be in the Hall of Fame as well.  This is no different than arguing that Herb Pennock won 240 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Waite Hoyt won 237 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford won 236 games and he is in the Hall of Fame, so David Wells, with 239 wins, obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as well.  It is precisely the same argument; it is just using a “new” statistical category, rather than an old one.  Or, to apply it to a hitter, Yogi Berra drove in 1,430 runs, Charlie Gehringer drove in 1,427 runs, Joe Cronin drove in 1,424, Jim Bottomley drove in 1,422, Robin Yount drove in 1,406 and Ed Delahanty 1,400, and all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so how can you say that Joe Carter shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame when he drove in 1,445 runs, you moron, you.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM | 213 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, bill james, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Tangotiger Blog

I agree 100% with Tangotiger. The quest for one true number is foolhardy. Let’s try to get the best answers for the different questions with metrics specifically designed to answer those questions.

The true answer is ENTIRELY dependent on YOUR question.  You ask the question, then a solution will present itself.  But very few people think like that.

They want “the” number. And so, that’s what we are left with.  We are left with choosing the number.  And once we choose the number, meaning we’ve chosen a solution, a path, then we have to give the user the starting point, the question, and then we can add a provision to our WAR pages to say “only use the WAR on this page if you accept these assumptions as fact”.

And if you use it to answer a different question, then this solution, while it may give you close to the correct answer, might be wildly off in a few cases.

And that’s what Aaron Judge is.  He’s the exception to whatever question you ask.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2017 at 07:02 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Aaron Judge, José Altuve, and the Next Battle in the War Over WAR - The Ringer

Maybe we should stop calling different systems by the same name. We have different abbreviations for BABIP and AVG because, although they are both measuring a player’s ability to get on base by hitting the ball, they are calculated differently and are different metrics. Fangraph’s WAR and Baseball Reference’s WAR are two different calculations. At least Baseball Prospectus calls their version WARP to differentiate their version.

James’ Win Shares is/was a decent concept but its construction was fatally flawed. As Rany mentioned in his article, we now have the ability to make a more nuanced assessment of individual player’s contributions, related to the timing of their performance.

But I think it’s time to do away with half measures, and decide fully what WAR is supposed to represent. If it’s supposed to represent value, then it needs to evolve to account for the fact that all players, not just relievers, can perform in ways that alter the relationship between runs and wins. WAR should reward a hitter who bats .400 with runners in scoring position and penalize one who hits .136 in high-leverage situations. If the day comes when we can evaluate for how a player performs defensively in high-leverage situations, we can account for that too.

Why not develop new metrics which project performance without needing to be tied to the WAR name? In scouting teams often use terms like Overall Future Potential (OFP) and Future Value (FV). Why not tie our statistical assessment to the common scouting lexicon?

We can, and should, have a “predictive” version of WAR that evaluates a player’s performance based on skills that will carry forward into the future. This would not only strip away “clutch” and situational hitting that doesn’t carry over much from one year to the next and strip away luck on batted balls in play, but as our data set improves would also account for Statcast data like launch angle and exit velocity, so that the player who hit a ton of at-’em balls or the pitcher who gave up a lot of windswept home runs into the first row would have a statistic that says, look, this guy might have sucked last year, but if a butterfly had flapped its wings last April he would have been really good. As Nate Silver suggested, maybe we can call it predictive WAR, or pWAR.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Saturday, January 21, 2012

NYT: Q. & A. With Tom Seaver

Q. Ryan has campaigned against pitch counts. Do you agree?

A. There’s nothing wrong with pitch counts. But there’s an addendum to that. I presume Nolan thinks the same way. But it isn’t a blanket pitch count. People say, “I bet the pitch count drives you nuts.” Heck no. I had a pitch count. My pitch count as a general rule was 135. And I knew how many pitches I had when I went to the mound for the last three innings. And I wasn’t going to spend eight pitches on the No. 8 hitter. On the second or third pitch, he should be hitting a ground ball to shortstop. It might not work like that all the time. But theoretically, you have an approach about how you’re spending your bullets.

There’s nothing wrong with pitch counts. But not when it’s spit out by a computer and the computer does not look at an individual’s mechanics. And you can’t look at his genes. It should come from the individual and the pitching coach and the manager.

Q. Will your former manager Gil Hodges, a former Dodger, ever get into the Hall of Fame?

A. I don’t know. Everybody in the New York area wonders why he’s not in. His numbers are high middle. But what else did he do? He was the leader on that ball club that went to the World Series and beat the Yankees. He was the leader of a ball club and franchise that went to the World Series. If you look at his body of work I say yes. Absolutely.

Q. Should steroid users be allowed into the Hall of Fame?

A. The commissioner and baseball has to figure that out. They’re going to have guys that have great numbers not in the Hall of Fame. They have to figure that out.

Thanks to Wrecki.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, sabermetrics

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grantland: Bill James: The 100 Best Pitchers’ Duels of 2011

Bill James sez it all!

My list of the 100 best pitchers’ duels of 2011 is better than your list, for one reason and one reason only.

You don’t have any list.

 

 

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reviews, sabermetrics

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sean Forman to appear on Clubhouse Confidential, MLB Network

As I said yesterday…“The ONLY downside to Clubhouse Confidential is the nightly commercial for Intentional Talk.”

I’ll be appearing on Clubhouse Confidential on the MLB Network. We are taping this afternoon and I’m pretty sure it will be broadcast tonight. The show typically airs 5:30pm and 7:30pm ET and then probably 8 more times after that. We’ll be talking baseball-reference.com and some other stuff.

I’m looking forward to meeting their crew and I’ve been incredibly impressed with how they are promoting sabermetrics on the show. If you are a stathead, it is time well spent.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WalkSaber: 2011 Run Distribution and Win Percentage

Walk Like a Sabermetrician analyses the efficiency of run scoring.

The first breakout is record in blowouts versus non-blowouts. I define a blowout as a margin of five or more runs. This is not really a satisfactory definition of a blowout, as many five-run games are quite competitive—“blowout” is just a convenient label to use, and expresses the point succinctly. I use these two categories with wide ranges rather than more narrow groupings like one-run games because the frequency and results of one-run games are highly biased by the home field advantage. Drawing the focus back a little allows us to identify close games and not so close games with a margin built in to allow a greater chance of capturing the true nature of the game in question rather than a disguised situational effect.

cricketing baseballer Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phil Rogers: Bean-counting GM Beane deserves a better place to work

And furthermore

(bullet) MLB should have a minimum payroll. It would require all teams to at least attempt to be somewhat competitive, and fairness is an issue. For instance, how much of an advantage will the Angels and Rangers have in the wild-card race because they have 19 games each against Oakland?

(bullet) According to Bill James’ projections, the Athletics’ most productive hitter next season will be DH Brandon Allen, with a slash line of .243/.327/.449, 22 home runs and 71 RBIs.

(bullet) Melvin is a major upgrade in the dugout, probably the best manager they’ve had since Tony La Russa (although Art Howe was much better than the movie’s portrayal by Philip Seymour Hoffman suggests).

(bullet) MLB scoffs at Forbes’ projections, but they’re the best available.

(bullet) Wolff is very close to Selig, but so far that does not appear to have gained him any advantages.

(bullitt) There are bad writers and there are good writers - and then there’s Rogers.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

On DVD: Moneyball’s deleted scenes reveal the numbers game

The deleted scene in question features Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) discussing the team’s relief pitchers with field manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two butt heads several times in the film, as Beane recommends fielding undervalued, unorthodox players over the objections of the more conservative Howe.

This time he’s singing the praises of Chad Bradford over Mike Magnante. He concludes his own pitch by telling Howe to bring Bradford out of the bullpen no matter what. “If we’re in, let’s say to make it easier on you, any situation. OK? Righty, lefty, two outs, one out, the umpires want to finish the game throwing darts … Bradford!”

It’s no surprise, however, when Howe does the opposite. Magnante promptly gives up a home run, and the crowd boos lustily. Beane then makes a rare (and illegal) trip to the dugout during the game to tell Howe what a costly f-you that was, and adds: “Those boos; they’re for you. Drink up.”

It’s a clever scene, probably cut only because we see so much sniping between Beane and Howe that their animosity is already clear.

Thanks to Nroll.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, sabermetrics

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fangraphs: Can Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Talents In MLB?

Os as shape-shifter deluxe, Mitch Williams said the other day…“All Yoenis Cespedes does is hit ground balls!”

So although Cespedes was definitely one of the top power hitters in the Cuban League, his exploits are hardly all-world or necessarily the best in his own country. The Cuban parks seem to be very difficult to pitch in. According to Davenport’s translations — which probably have to be taken with a pound of salt given how few players make the transition from Cuban baseball to American professional baseball — Cespedes’s numbers still work out to above-average major league power. I don’t think this is a terribly surprising conclusion — it’s difficult to hit 33 home runs in 350 at-bats in any league. It just doesn’t necessarily mean a 60-homer season is coming in the states.

The next question relates to plate discipline.

...Cespedes has shown remarkable improvement from a hack-tastic first season, all the way to the point where he walked more times than he struck out in 2011. However, there is the question of how many of those walks were intentional — he was in the process of setting a new home run record, after all. Either way, Cespedes made excellent contact in each of the past four seasons and although his strikeouts will undoubtedly rise against the higher talent in the MLB, we shouldn’t expect him to be the next Austin Jackson.

...Just looking at the statistics Cespedes compiled in Cuba, there isn’t a glaring weakness which looks to tank his game upon landing with an American (or Torontonian) squad. He was as complete as a player can be in any league. Much of his value depends on his ability to play center field, of which there seems to be optimism around scouts. His Cuban numbers seem to suggest above-average power for the position already, and with any sort of plate discipline he has the ability to push an All-Star level in MLB. With his power and his superior athleticism and strength, the risk factor for Cespedes seems lower than with other relative unknown players, and the reward if he reaches his potential could be incredible.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international, projections, sabermetrics

Goldman: The Montero-Pineda Trade: Rotation Upgrade at a Sustainable Cost

Or as Barnald points out…“But this is the part of the upgrade that scares me!”

Pineda’s fastball sits around 95 and goes higher, and he has a swing-and-miss slider to go with it. There is also a changeup, but it’s notional and—well, you know all of this stuff if you’ve been on line at all today. Here are the negatives you’re going to hear about:

• He dominated right-handed hitters, but the lack of a good change means that lefties hit, well, still not well, but better.
• His ERA was 2.92 in pitcher-friendly Safeco, 4.40 on the road.
• His first-half ERA was 3.03, his second-half ERA was 5.12.
• He has fly-ball tendencies, which is a problem in Yankee Stadium.
• Batters hit .261 on balls in play, and such things don’t last.
• They could have gotten Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez for him.
• He could get hurt.
• He cost the Yankees Jesus Montero, a very fine young hitter.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 08:24 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Friday, January 13, 2012

BPP: Darowski: The Small Hall (of wWAR)

Erardiabolical!

Joe recently wrote a post called To the BBWAA: Focus on the Great, Not the Very Good. In the post, Joe explains his “small Hall” stance. It’s not a stance I agree with, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a “small Hall” since coming up with my system to rank Hall of Famers (via Weighted WAR and the Hall of wWAR). To get a “small Hall” by wWAR, you just have to pick a higher cutoff than I use for my Hall.

So, let’s see what a Small Hall of wWAR would look like.

Center Field

  Ty Cobb (305.5)
  Willie Mays (298.8)
  Tris Speaker (247.9)
  Mickey Mantle (228.4)
  Joe DiMaggio (145.7)
  Billy Hamilton (118.6)
  Duke Snider (115.0)

There are not very many center fielders in the Hall of wWAR. But gosh is the position top-heavy. Look at that. Four guys above 200 (225, even). And that doesn’t even include Joltin’ Joe and the Duke. Who’s next? There’s a huge 20 wWAR drop-off before we get to Jimmy Wynn (95.1). Then there’s Richie Ashburn (84.8) and 19th century stars George Gore (82.9) and Paul Hines (78.3). Exiting the Hall would be Ashburn, Hugh Duffy, Larry Doby (again, just because this is purely statistical), Earle Combs, Kirby Puckett, Edd Roush, Earl Averill, Hack Wilson, and Lloyd Waner.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

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