Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback



All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Site News Newsbeat

Sunday, April 13, 2014

We’re Moved! (And can bite me!)

Update Tuesday, April 15th at 7:30 PM: Got a bunch of things done today. Except when I hosed the web server for a few minutes, things have gone pretty well. I’m still not happy with the way things are running but my mind is fried so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Thanks again for the donations. It’s very much appreciated. Assuming I get things running a little better tomorrow, I will start setting things up for those of you who donated. Hopefully, you can start viewing the site without ads by the weekend.

Update Tuesday, April 15th at 1 PM: Things seems seem to be running OK after a few tweaks. There is still work to be done squishing a few bugs (redirects are wonky once in a while). The site also needs some more performance tweaking. Those things will have to wait until a little later, however, because I need to get a little sleep before I make a really stupid mistake.

Update Tuesday, April 15th at 7:30 AM: The site is moved over to its new host. I have a lot of work to do getting the servers optimized. Please bear with me.

Update Monday, April 14th at 3:50 PM: I will be taking the old server off-line tonight between 3-4 AM to finish moving things over to the new server. There should be only a few hours of downtime but it might take longer for certain DNS server.

Update Sunday, April 13 at 7:30 PM: New server set up. DNS redundancy added. Extra domains moved over.Tweaking and testing tomorrow. One day ahead of schedule. Beverage time and GOT time.

I am moving the site to a new server host this week. On March 28th my server host,, disconnected my servers from their data center in Scranton PA, put them on truck, and took them to another data center in North Carolina. I was not given any notification prior to the move even though the move was planned in advance. During the downtime they did not reply to any tickets and, instead, provided an automated response that they were migrating servers. At the same time, they have been trying to charge my account for next month’s bill weeks before the due date. (Luckily I only transfer money into this account when I am ready to make a payment.) This simply is not acceptable, so I am moving the site.

I have taken a week’s vacation from my regular job to get this done. The tentative plan is to switch the site over on Tuesday night on April 15th or Wednesday night on April 16th, depending on my progress. Although I’m working to minimize the downtime and prevent avoidable problems, there may be times the site will be down. I will post updates on this thread, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

I apologize for the downtime and the inconvenience.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: site news

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Thorn & Palmer: The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics

From John Thorn: “Thirty years ago this month Pete Palmer and I put out “The Hidden Game of Baseball.” A fine publisher has proposed a reissue for next spring, with a new intro and guest foreword.”

“I wonder whether BBTF readers might comment upon their reactions to the book way back when, or their view of it all these years later. I’ll have to write an intro to the reissue touching upon these themes and, of course, the rise of sabermetrics generally.”


Repoz Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:50 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, site news

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Hazardous duty in Sochi, indeed! As MGL turns Joe Posnanski into Hack Hackworth!

* And why I am getting tired of writers and analysts picking and choosing one or more of a bushel of statistics to make their (often weak) point.

...Speaking of strawmen, before I lambaste Mr. Posnanski, which is the crux of this post, let me start by giving him some major props for pointing out that this article, by the “esteemed” and “venerable” writer Allen Barra, is tripe. That is Pos’ word – not mine. Indeed, the article is garbage, and Barra, at least when writing about anything remotely related to sabermetrics, is a hack. Unfortunately, Posnanski’s article is not much further behind in tripeness.

...Whether you want to include base running on “offense” doesn’t matter. Look at the career batting runs. 369 runs to 124. Seriously, what was Posnanski drinking (aha, that’s it – Russian vodka! – he is in Sochi in case you didn’t klnow) when he wrote an entire article mostly about how similar Trammell and Jeter were, offensively, throughout their careers. And remember, these are linear weights batting runs, which are presented as “runs above or below average” compared to a league-average player. In other words, they are neutralized with respect to the run-scoring environment of the league. Again, with respect to PED use during Jeter’s era, we can make an argument that the gap between them is even larger than that.

So, Posnanski tries to make the argument that, “They are not so far apart offensively as some people might think (yeah, the people who look at their stats on Fangraphs!),” by presenting some “neutralized” OPS stats. (And again, he is claiming that a 37-point difference is “close,” which is eminently debatable.)

Before he even finishes, I can make the exact opposite claim – that they are worlds apart offensively, by presenting their career (similar length careers, by the way, although Jeter did play in 300 more games), league and park adjusted batting runs. They are 245 runs, or 24 wins, apart!

...Yes, it is true that Trammell has not gotten his fair due from the HOF voters, for whatever reasons. But, comparing him to Jeter doesn’t help make his case, in my opinion. Jeter is not going into the HOF because he has X number of career WAR. He is going in because he was clearly a very good or great player, and because of the other dozen or more things he has going for him that the voters (and the fans) include, consciously or not, in terms of their consideration. Even if it could be proven that Jeter and Trammell had the exact same context-neutral statistical value over the course of their careers, Jeter could still be reasonably considered a slam dunk HOF’er and Trammell not worthy of induction (I am not saying that he isn’t worthy). It is still the Hall of Fame (which means many different things to many different people) and not the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Your Context-Neutral Statistical Value.

For the record, I love Posnanski’s work in general, but no one is perfect. I wonder if he knows how bad this article is? I am just curious.

Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Phil Rogers talks HOF voting on MLB Network’s Hot Stove

“What do you think of this collecting Gizmo?”

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2014 at 10:26 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, site news

Friday, December 13, 2013

Craig Calcaterra on Hot Stove

FIRE CRAIG CALCATERRA (ahead of curve here)

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: media, site news

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Rockies trade Dexter Fowler to Astros for Jordan Lyles, Brandon Barnes

The Astros have acquired center fielder Dexter Fowler and a player to be named later from the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes, both teams announced.

Thanks to JJ.

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2013 at 06:20 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rockies, site news

BPP: Vote: The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 4.0

And you don’t need a Masters Degree!

Here we go again… It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year or that this will be our fourth time around, but it’s time to vote for my annual project on the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. Last year’s project was a smashing success, and this year looks to be even better with the ballot fuller than ever. Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas highlight an unusually deep class of newly-eligible players.

Votes for this year’s project can be submitted at this Google form. I’ve also created a reference ballot of 526 players, though as I’ll explain below, anyone who hasn’t played in the majors in five years is eligible here.

I don’t have many guidelines for this project, but here they are:

  -Anyone is welcome to vote, using whatever criteria they like.
  -You must vote for 50 players. Next to each player you select, please put a “Y” or “N” to signify if he belongs in the Hall of Fame. I say this every year, but it bears repeating: This project isn’t about identifying 50 players who must go in Cooperstown tomorrow, but simply designating the 50 best players not enshrined.
  -Any player in baseball history who hasn’t played in five years is eligible. He need not have logged 10 years in the majors or even have played MLB ball. (Last year’s ballot featured a number of Japanese players, and I’d like to keep expanding the international scope of this project.) Write-in votes are of course welcome.
  -All votes are due by December 23 at 9 p.m. PST. No late ballots will be counted. Results will be posted on January 6, two days before the Baseball Writers Association of America reveals the results of its annual Hall of Fame vote.
  -I prefer that votes be submitted through the Google form linked to above, though anyone who has issues with it is welcome to email me their ballot.

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2013 at 11:22 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, site news

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Value Over Replacement Grit: The “Nate Silver Slugger Award”

This almost makes up for Indiana in 08!

It began, as it so often does, with a seemingly innocent tweet, this time from Dan Szymborski of ESPN:

  Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski

  Never been interested in the Silver Slugger award, but I would like to see a Nate Silver Slugger award.

. . .  which begat this:

  Dan Szymborski retweeted

  dianagram @dianagram

  Any player who slugs . 538? RT @DSzymborski: Never been interested in Silver Slugger award, would like to see a Nate Silver Slugger award.

. . . which begat this:

...Dan had blessed us with the list of all players who qualified for the batting title AND slugged .538 in that year.  So of course this meant that the VORG had a new annual award to hand out.

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2013 at 10:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: site news

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 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 11:09 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

Monday, January 16, 2012

THT: Jaffe: The possible upcoming Cooperstown ballot apocalypse

What should happen? Well, among non-Bonds/Clements voters, Biggio should get around 85 percent. With the others, he’ll get less in what’s already a crowded ballot for people willing to support PED-rs. I’d guess he gets 65-70 percent of their vote. Maybe less.

Upshot: Biggio has a very good shot to get in. Assuming he gets 85 percent of the non-Bonds/Clemens guys (and he really should, given the clustering of Molitor/Winfield/Murray right at 85 percent), and assuming Bonds and Clemens get about 40 percent of the vote, Biggio needs only 60 percent of the votes from the supporters of Bonds and Clemens. That should happen.

Actually, I find this a bit surprising. A week ago, I assumed that Biggio was doomed on this messy ballot. That would set off the real nightmare, because if everyone from this year’s vote went into next year, it would be that much harder for anyone to rise up.

But Biggio should go in next year. No one else should. If Fisk couldn’t get elected as the fourth-best new guy in 1999, Piazza won’t in 2012. Schilling will finish further down, and Sosa may be under 10 percent. As for the backloggers, Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys. I think he’ll get close but ultimately have to go to the VC.

VC = Viva Caputo!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Or as Rob Neyer just tweeted…“Good news! Still early January, and Don Malcolm’s already gotten in a gratuitous insult. With that out of the way…”

The thought of playing anywhere else probably also influenced Posada. Of all the ballparks in all the major leagues, the one he really didn’t want to walk out of (to rework that Casablanca reference just a bit…) was New Yankee Stadium. The revamped “House That Ruth George Built” proved to be exceptionally cozy for Jorge: in the three years he played there (at the advanced age of 37-39), the park literally kept his career going. He hit .302 there, with an OPS of .938. On the road, those number were considerably more wan—as in .209 and a .665 OPS. In 2011, Posada hit .165 away from the Bronx, with a .524 OPS.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t work in a couple of “midwestern angst” digs into this. First, Rob Neyer’s knee-jerk notion that Posada was held back from enough career games in 1996-99 to cost him a slot in Cooperstown wasn’t really worth the time it took to write the column. (That’s the Damoclean sword of the Internet—it just coerces that empty content out of you…)

There’s a good chance that Jorge will end up in the Hall—but it will be sometime after 2030 or so, when many more things have shaken out. Second, it turns out that Posada’s very favorite place to hit is—you guessed it—Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (.340 BA, 1.011 OPS).

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:32 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, projections, sabermetrics, site news, yankees

Monday, January 09, 2012

Blyleven lobbyist not convinced Morris is worthy of HOF

No jack for The Jack!

Morris will return to the ballot a 14th year, which is how long it took Bert Blyleven to get elected. After his election, Blyleven thanked and credited an investment manager named Rich Lederer for lobbying for him. Lederer used baseball blogging site,, to pump up Blyleven. He also contacted writers with Hall of Fame votes and shared the numbers he crunched on Bert’s behalf.

I talked to Lederer today after Larkin got in and Morris didn’t.

BS: Were you surprised Morris wasn’t elected?

RL: I would have been more surprised if he did get in. That would have required a humongous jump (in percentage of votes). I actually thought Larkin would get in. I have personal favorites. I think Alan Trammell should be in, and Tim Raines. I also would vote for Jeff Bagwell and Edgar Martinez.

BS: Game 7 of the World Series. Both Morris and Blyleven are in their prime and available. Who do you start?

RL: I know a lot of people would take Morris based on what he did in 1991. The one thing I got a kick out of is, the one time they faced each other in the playoffs, Bert won (6-3 in Game 2 of the 1987 ALCS between the Twins and Detroit Tigers). So I think that’s an interesting stat. I think your question would generate a lot of Jack Morris conversation. But when they did face each other, Blyleven won.

Repoz Posted: January 09, 2012 at 08:51 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, site news

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Beyond the Boxscore: Hall of wWAR vs. Hall of Fame vs. Hall of Merit

Damn, zapped by Hall effect…can’t link to way cool interactive blob visualization thingee.

That’s just those who appear in the Top 144 eligible players. Here, I obviously use “eligible” as meaning “retired for five years”. Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson obviously are not eligible for the Hall of Fame.

I just can’t believe we have a Top 50 player who is struggling to get in the Hall of Fame.

One thing that makes me quite happy about this visual is how much more in sync the Hall of wWAR is with the Hall of Merit than it is with the Hall of Fame. For example, the Hall of Merit contains just 26 players who are not in the Hall of wWAR. Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame contains 64 players who are not in the Hall of wWAR. Those two groups have an overlap of 15 players. Five of them (Ralph Kiner, Clark Griffith, Enos Slaughter, Roger Bresnahan, and Sam Thompson) rank among the Top 25 players outside of the Hall of wWAR.

In fact, 49 players appear in the Hall of Fame but not either of the others. Just 11 players appear only in the Hall of Merit while 20 players grace only the Hall of wWAR. That’s a list I’m particularly interested in—the players enshrined by my Hall of wWAR, but not the others.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:40 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, site news

THT: Jaffe: Next week’s Cooperstown election results today

From the Daniel Dunglas Home of predictions…Chris Jaffe produces…

Based on the above criteria and my own semi-informed guesses, here are my predictions alongside last year’s performance to show the predicted change:

Name	      2012	2011
Barry Larkin	82	62
Jack Morris	65	54
Jeff Bagwell	54	42
Lee Smith	52	45
Tim Raines	52	38
Edgar Martinez	39	33
Alan Trammell	32	24
Larry Walker	27	20
Mark McGwire	24	20
Fred McGriff	24	18
Dale Murphy	19	13
Don Mattingly	18	14
Rafael Palmeiro	15	11
Bernie Williams	12	XX
The Rest	 3	XX

That’s 5.18 names per ballot, which would be a clear all-time low – and yet it might still be too high. You’re better taking the under than the over on 5.18 names/ballot.

Good news for Reds fans – Barry Larkin is going in easily. A guy in the low 60s rarely makes the jump over 75 percent like this, but this isn’t a normal year.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 06:22 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

Friday, December 16, 2011

Don Malcolm: HALL OF FAME REDUX: 1936

He thought he had the world by the tail - till it exploded in his face, with a ballot attached!

A couple of years ago we suggested to the folks at the Hall of Merit that they extend their efforts by following the strictures of actual history and select potential Hall of Fame inductees according to the original rules:

—Vote for 10 players;
—75% of the votes produces enshrinement;
—Eligibility rules as in existence for each year in question, with the exception of Gehrig (presumed inducted via special vote in 1939).

So far the Hall of Merit folks have not taken us up on this idea. That’s fair enough: they have their own activities and approaches, and we can all applaud their alternative take on the best ballplayers in baseball history.

But we remain fascinated by the prospect of having a more sabermetrically-engaged membership take on a “Hall of Fame Redux” where the first ballot begins precisely when it did in 1936, using the exact parameters that the BBWAA faced (and continues to face seventy-five years later).

So here’s our pitch. If the good folks at Baseball Think Factory will see fit to link to this post, thus creating a thread where anyone who is interested can vote, we will tabulate the votes after a five-day voting period, announce the results, and continue with weekly posts moving through the years toward the present.

...Here is our vote for the 1936 election (in alphabetical order):

1. Pete Alexander
2. Ty Cobb
3. Eddie Collins
4. Rogers Hornsby
5. Walter Johnson
6. Nap Lajoie
7. Christy Mathewson
8. Babe Ruth
9. Tris Speaker
10. Cy Young

Vote early, vote once only, and let’s see how many players can receive 75% or higher in the vote count. Five players made it in the actual BBWAA election; we’re thinking that it might be possible to elect seven or eight in the Redux version.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:13 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, site news

Monday, December 12, 2011

BPP: The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 2.0

Uh-oh…don’t let Danny Peary see this.

45-Tie. Harold Baines, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 5 yes, 26 no): Guys like Baines illustrated an interesting point for this year’s project, earning far more votes by and large than many of the 19th century greats on the ballot, but with a much lower percentage of their voters saying they belonged in the Hall of Fame. Certainly, I doubt too many people will cry foul about this over Baines, a very good designated hitter for much of his career but no immortal. His 2,886 hits, 384 home runs, and .289 batting average are all respectful but they don’t demand a plaque.

45-Tie. Roger Maris, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 11 yes, 17 no): It’s been 50 years now since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs, and there are those who still consider him the single-season champion. This and his back-to-back MVPs for his 1960 and star-crossed 1961 seasons are the main things he has going for his Hall of Fame candidacy. Given that the museum rarely enshrines players on the strength of short-lived brilliance from Smoky Joe Wood to Lefty O’Doul to Denny McLain and many others, Maris’s chances don’t look great, though he’ll surely live on in the hearts of fans regardless if he ever has a plaque.

45-Tie. John Olerud, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 5 yes, 23 no): Olerud might be Keith Hernandez minus the mustache and the cocaine and with a batting helmet that he wore in the field. Both men were slick fielders and good contact hitters in their prime, and Olerud even got the attention of Ted Williams. “Olerud hits more straightaway than I ever did,” Williams wrote in his 1995 book with Jim Prime, Ted Williams’ Hit List. “He gets the bat on the ball very well. He has a great attitude and always waits for a good ball to hit. But he may lack one key ingredient to make a legitimate run at .400: speed.” Williams was right.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, hall of fame, history, site news

Friday, December 09, 2011

ChicagoSide: New sports website fields strong starting lineup

Borderline Primates unite!

Regardless of how the Cubs and White Sox fare in the coming season, serious Chicago sports fans could finally get what they’ve been waiting for on Opening Day 2012.

That’s when they’ll be introduced to ChicagoSide, which may turn out to be the most game-changing addition to the sports media scene since the Score debuted on radio 20 years ago next month.

“We’re launching the best Chicago sports website the city’s ever seen,” said Jonathan Eig, 47, the veteran reporter, columnist and nationally acclaimed author (Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season, and Get Capone) who’s founder and editor-in-chief of the new venture. “And we’re doing it with an amazingly talented pool of writers and editors who are hungry because they love sports and they love journalism, and there aren’t that many places to write anymore in this city.”

...“We’re going to have the best piece of sports journalism every day in the city of Chicago that you can find . . . at least one piece of original material every day that we’re absolutely confident will get people talking,” Eig said. “Then we’ll also aggregate and link to the best stuff around the web — all on Chicago sports.”

Eig already has assembled a lineup of more than three dozen writers, including newspaper and magazine veterans Lou Carlozo, George Castle, Jim Coffman, Lauren Etter, Elliott Harris, Noah Isackson, Billy Lombardo, Amy Merrick, Joel Reese, Chris Silva and Alan Solomon, along with best-selling authors Joseph Epstein, James Finn Garner and Robert Kurson.

Repoz Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcements, business, media, site news

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BPro: Jay Jaffe: Talkin’ Cooperstown on Clubhouse Confidential

Weee…my “Please Sack Plesac” campaign seems to be working! (Congrats, Jay!)

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ll be debuting on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential on Tuesday at 5:30 PM Eastern. For the uninitiated, Clubhouse Confidential is a cutting-edge attempt to put advanced statistics in the television spotlight, using them not only to analyze the day’s big news but to explore some of the perennial controversies which often pit statheads against the mainstream. The show debuted earlier this month — Derek Carty gave an early review — and from the point of its inception, those of us at Baseball Prospectus had reason to hope we’d get into the mix, particularly since host Brian Kenny regularly featured BP alums Joe Sheehan and Keith Law during his days at ESPN; Sheehan has already become a regular guest on the new show. A couple of weeks ago, their producers reached out, and I auditioned last week. Maybe the tie was the key.

I’ll be discussing the top names on the Hall of Fame’s Golden Era ballot for a “Cooperstown Justice” segment, guys like Ron Santo and Gil Hodges who are staples of my annual JAWS review (see here for my full writeup). The spot should run about four minutes, so I’ll have to work on being concise, something that anyone who has waded through my 3,500-word pieces on the topic knows doesn’t come naturally to me.

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 01:51 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, site news, television

Thursday, October 06, 2011

BBTF Playoff Chats

Just a reminder that BTF’s IRC chat room is open for people who want to live chat during the playoffs.

Dan Werr’s directions after the break.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

S.I.: Sheehan: The Moneyball revolution from someone who helped it happen

Given that, we were taken aback when Federal Express delivered a letter…

The revolution is over. Well, that one, anyway. The new ideas earned a place at the table on merit, by being good ideas that contribute to winning baseball games. While I’m no capital-S stathead, I was fortunate enough to work at Baseball Prospectus for a dozen years alongside some of the best in the field, from Clay Davenport and Gary Huckabay, through Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner, through Dan Fox and Nate Silver.

...All of this probably happens without Prospectus. The ideas were too important and there was too much money to be made for them not to become the way in which baseball teams were run. Nevertheless, Prospectus happened, and became the way in which many people within the industry were introduced to these ideas. Prospectus was, for a time, the center of the stathead world, publishing research that would set the discussion for years to come, that would change the way players were evaluated. Fielding Independent Pitching ERA shows up on the MLB Network. Felix Hernandez is honored with a Cy Young Award with 13 wins. Every team has a Peter Brand or three, collecting, parsing and presenting data, gaining credibility every time a defensive shift or pitch sequence or lineup change puts a W on the board.

Moneyball captures the tipping point in that revolution, when a team embraced something new because it had to, and won a lot of games because of it. I’m proud to have been a part of the history. The smoke has cleared and the guns have been laid down, and I’m excited to see what will come now that so much less energy is being spent drawing lines between two sides that both want the same thing: great baseball.

Repoz Posted: September 24, 2011 at 03:10 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: books, community, history, media, sabermetrics, site news

Friday, September 23, 2011

JFMB: Stat-Geeks are ruining Sports and taking over Mariners Blogosphere

Please Pardon Our Noise, It Is the Sound of Freedom!

I started this Mariners Blog last season as a way to express and share my love for the game of Baseball. Sadly the Mariners have had two terrible seasons despite employing sabermetrics types in the front office,which has made this team tough to follow but my passion for the game seems to drive me on. I guess there is no known advanced metrics formula to measure committment to this game but I suppose I have a high WAR in that area and I have a feeling I will out sit a lot of the Stat-Geeks who seem so cold and unattached to the beauty of this game.

I realize that most of the attention in the Mariners Blogosphere goes to the more established Blogs like USS Mariner, Lookout Landing and Sojo Mojo. And I even read these guys, but my perspective is more old-school in case you haven’t noticed. Perhaps I am part of a dying breed of Baseball Fans like Jason Whitlock from Fox who are trying to hold on to a more colorful and fun era of baseball where everything was not reduced to mathematical calculations. Well so be it, but I am too old to change now and I am not going anywhere for awhile so if any of you Stat-Geeks happen to be offended by my post or the one by Whitlock you may need to go read one of the Blogs that delights in always proving how superior they are with their new calculations and formulas. I love this game too much to reduce it to a mere science.

Repoz Posted: September 23, 2011 at 01:10 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, media, projections, sabermetrics, site news

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BPP: An interview with Dan Szymborski

You can’t spell ZiPS without…Dan!

How long ago did you come up with ZiPS?

Szymborski: The genesis of it was there’s a [person] who contributes to Baseball Think Factory named Chris Dial, and in the late ’90s, they were talking about how someone could make a projection system that’s very basic and get most of the way there, in a way kind of a primordial version of Marcel which is a tabulator.

Before 2002, I was thinking maybe I should try my hand at a projection system. At that time, Voros McCracken’s FIPS research was fairly new, so I wanted to [align my idea.] That’s why I made it rhyme with FIPS, and the Z stands for Szymborski, the second letter of my name. I mean, it’s just a little side thing that started. Then I decided to do hitter projections, because it seemed kind of stupid to do because there were not hitter projections. And then over time, as computers got faster, I could do more things. Over time, it became a pretty complex system… I’m pretty happy with how it’s worked out.

Do you think you have another ZiPS idea in you or do you think that’s going to be your big thing?

Szymborski: I dunno. I always kind of think of myself more as a writer than a statistics developer, but I have more ideas how to use it. I continually refine my aging models and long-term projections and the different things I can do with it. I certainly hope there are other ideas in me, but I don’t have those ideas yet. Hopefully they will develop over the next few years.

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, media, primate meetups, projections, sabermetrics, site news, zips

Monday, September 19, 2011

FanGraphs New York Meetup

Amity Hall? Wuh…you guys too good for John’s Pizza? (chomp…I’ll probably be heading over…chomp)

On Sunday, September 25th, we’ll blow the horn for FanGraphs East and announce happy hour drinks and our own private space for our particular brand of nerdery. Come to Amity Hall any time after one PM eastern, and we’ll be hanging out, talking baseball and enjoying happy hour prices. And there will be a ton of togetherness because really how much can you hate a Mets fan right now. Oh! Also, come downstairs. We’ve got the downstairs bar.

And this is who will be hanging out:

David Appelman, FanGraphs Dark Overlord, so dark
Mike Podhorzer, Serious about (fantasy) baseball, RotoGraphs
Eno Sarris, Fan of Graphs, Fan, Not and Roto
Amanda Rykoff, espnW contributor, beer lover and Yankees fan
James Kannengeiser, professional curmudgeon and Amazin Avenue writer
Chris McShane, Amazin Avenue backbone, ready to dance
Eric Simon, Amazin Avenue head honcho guy, generally nice dude
Mike Axisa, aka “Mike from RAB, FanGraphs & Trade Rumors,” you know, just Mike
Joe Pawlikowski, music lover, FanGraphs escapee and River Avenue Blueser

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcements, community, media, primate meetups, sabermetrics, site news, special topics

Sunday, September 18, 2011

BPro: Carty: Reviewing “Behind the Seams: The Stat Story”

Paging JamesPotocki…

Once we get past this little detour—which is much smaller than I’m sure I’ve made it out to be—“The Stat Story” actually levels off pretty well, attempting to shed a positive light on statistics and telling the story of how statistics have impacted the game of baseball. In fact, after it was all said and done, our Finley/Brock/Lasorda spectacle became much more of an afterthought, almost included to say, “OK, there are still people who don’t agree with all this, but it’s here, it’s undeniable, and here is the impact it’s having on front offices, Hall of Fame and awards voting, and the way fans view the game”. All in all, despite my wariness after the first few minutes, the documentary wound up being fair.

In fact, one of the first such things I noticed and really appreciated was that many of the interviewees were prominent internet writers. Of course there’s excellent work being done behind closed doors in front offices, but much of the modern day sabermetric movement is taking place on the internet at places like Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times, Beyond the Boxscore, etc. I wasn’t sure if this would be acknowledged in the documentary, and while specific mention was scarce, many of their authorities came from our little corner of the internet: former BPers Jonah Keri and Joe Sheehan, SBNation’s Rob Neyer, The Baseball Analysts’ Rich Lederer, FanGraphs’ David Appelman, and Retrosheet’s David Smith.

...One of the biggest things that casual observers of statistics—and, it seems to me, the makers of this documentary—fail to understand is the distinction between statistics and sabermetrics (words which the documentary used fairly interchangeably). Sabermetrics is the search for truth, which isn’t limited to numbers. I’ve long been a supporter of using qualitative information and was both honored and thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend MLB’s Scout School a couple years back. Scouting is a part of sabermetrics. On the quantitative side of the coin, sabermetrics isn’t just about using numbers; it’s about analyzing which numbers are useful and how to properly use them.

Statistics, on the other hand, are composed exclusively of numbers and, in the improper context, can be misconstrued. In this documentary, it mentions how Earl Weaver used batter/pitcher matchup data to set his lineups, with one of the interviewees chiming in, “And it worked!” But batter/pitcher matchup data is essentially useless. Yes, it’s statistics, it’s numbers, and it’s quantifiable… but it’s not sabermetrics.

Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 08:25 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, sabermetrics, site news, television

NYBD: Silva: Why I Applaud Keith Law’s Evolution

Law Abiding Citizen: How do you stop a blogger who is already behind Insider?

I can identify with Law because I see some what he is going through in me. I have grown since I started covering baseball in March of 2007. Before that I was just another fan who watched the game as a fan and listened to talk radio. By no means do I have the front office experience or analytical background of Keith Law, but I think I know baseball pretty well and can hold my own with the big boys, sometimes.That’s not my point. The point is interacting with people from all different backgrounds, experiences, and writing styles has made me well-rounded. It’s made me a better writer, radio host, and analyst of the game. The best part is how the learning process is fluid. I hope to be better at this in 2012 than I am in 2011. I have made mistakes in the past, but does that mean I can’t learn and grow from it? Should I be punished forever due to something I said in 2009? Should Keith Law be punished because of what he thought at age 29 as a new baseball executive?

Law basically did his mea culpa with the scouting community on the ESPN podcast. Assuming it’s a sincere take – and I have no reason not to believe that is isn’t- he should be applauded. I don’t know the guy personally, but by reviewing his evolution it appears he is someone that many in this community- writers, scouts, executives, and coaches- could learn from; both traditional and advanced thinkers alike. I know I just did.

Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 04:14 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, sabermetrics, site news, special topics

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive



BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
Vegas Watch
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogGleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”
(37 - 11:57pm, Apr 16)
Last: boteman digs the circuit clout

NewsblogVerducci: Overuse of young pitchers fueling MLB's Tommy John surgery problem
(41 - 11:56pm, Apr 16)
Last: zachtoma

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(179 - 11:54pm, Apr 16)
Last: Select Storage Device

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(231 - 11:50pm, Apr 16)
Last: Darkness and the howling fantods

Jim's Lab NotesWe're Moved! (And can bite me!)
(95 - 11:42pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogOMNICHATTER: Wednesday April 16, 2014
(99 - 11:31pm, Apr 16)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogNightengale: Pujols nears 500 home runs...and no one seems to care
(65 - 11:30pm, Apr 16)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogPaine: Advanced Stats Love Jackie Robinson
(7 - 11:23pm, Apr 16)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(132 - 10:55pm, Apr 16)
Last: zack

NewsblogExposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A
(6 - 10:50pm, Apr 16)
Last: God

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(52 - 10:46pm, Apr 16)
Last: Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(60 - 10:30pm, Apr 16)
Last: I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1393 - 10:15pm, Apr 16)
Last: Publius Publicola

NewsblogAstros To Promote George Springer
(40 - 9:20pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogGothamist: Yankee Stadium Is Selling Nachos In A Helmet For $20
(72 - 9:04pm, Apr 16)
Last: puck

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats





Page rendered in 1.4129 seconds
143 querie(s) executed