Tuesday, June 02, 2015
The Sonoma Stompers, they’re an independent professional baseball team in California’s wine country. Think grape stomping. Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller do a weekly podcast where they said they would love to run a team, and the owners of the Stompers heard this and decided to take them up on it. The two writers are passionate about sabermetrics, the kind of baseball number-crunching made famous in the movie “Moneyball.”
And so, they have more freedom in terms of what they can do, and that’s what appealed to us. Sonoma plays as part of the Pacific Association, which is a California league, relatively new, relatively small. So we’re hoping it’s the perfect place to kind of be a testing ground for some things that might not work as well in the majors.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
You are transported back in time to, say, 1960. You have none of your money or possessions. Assume you luck your way in to an assistant GM position in an MLB front office as a way of making a living. There is no Baseball-Reference. There is no Fangraphs. There is no Excel. How do you go about using your present knowledge of advanced baseball statistics to your advantage? How do you go about getting the GM to heed your advice?
Jeff Sullivan: Well, let’s see. Shifts would be easy enough. Very simple concept to convey
Jeff Sullivan: I might be able to get across the core components of DIPS theory, and I’d talk about the run value of getting on base, no matter how it’s done
Jeff Sullivan: And then we’d eyeball-test the starting pitchers, and we’d talk about fatigue and times through the order. The team would end up being aggressive with its bullpen
Friday, March 06, 2015
As they say: Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a Dennis Lamp post…or something.
Paul Erdős was one of the greatest mathematicians of the last century (famous enough to originate Erdős Numbers), along with being one of its most eccentric. He loved beautiful, simple proofs and talked about God having a book of proofs with all of the best and most direct proofs.
I left math nine years ago, so I probably wouldn’t understand any proofs in THE BOOK, but I would love to see God’s Baseball Encyclopedia™. Close observers of our sites have probably noticed through the years that numbers, even as fundamental as strikeouts, runs batted in and hits, can change from time to time. As fans, reporters or pros, we want the stats to be THE STATS, but even if you exclude uncertainty related to scoring decisions and the like, historical statistics are just estimates (usually very, very good estimates) of what happened on the field.
...So what do we do with these issues. We receive our MLB data from Pete Palmer and Gary Gillette and their view, which I agree with, is to make changes as credible research has been done to verify a necessary change. This then leads to an ongoing trickle of changes and adjustments. Elias, MLB’s official statistician, which doesn’t publish an encyclopedia and is therefore something of a black box with regards to the details of a player’s career, prefers a more absolutist view where changes need to be found and reconciled for all players in a league before correcting individual players. This is a defensible, if in my opinion somewhat extreme, approach to making changes.
No matter which policy you ascribe to, you should never attach absolute permanence to any baseball statistic, because so long as there are baseball researchers there will be changes to baseball’s statistical canon.
Posted: March 06, 2015 at 02:15 PM | 20 comment(s)
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