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

Statistics Newsbeat

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

True Blue LA: Stop stat abuse

As much as people try to tell you otherwise, stats don’t lie. “Jack Morris would have one of the highest ERAs in the Hall of Fame” is not something up for debate as much as some would like to think otherwise. However, translating those numbers into something that predicts human behavior is damn near impossible. ESPN’s 2014 MLB preview brings us their new chemistry score. Through some simple inputs ESPN’s crack team is able to determine how much people like each other4. Not only that they’ve managed to turn compatibility into wins.

Unfortunately, part of this algorithm actually involves grading a team on racial purity. This leads to someone saying the difference in the AL West could be that “Dominican reliever Fernando Abad is the only nonwhite pitcher on the [Athletics] projected roster”, and the Dodgers will suffer because Hyun-jin Ryu and Kenley Jansen are the only people from their respective countries on the roster. Suggesting that the Dodgers would be better off if they managed to trade Ryu and Jansen for their white guy equivalents would look horribly racist 25 years ago, let alone today. However, because “it’s based on real math” there will be some people out there that take this seriously and argue the Dodgers should deal Ryu for Mike Minor.

This isn’t the last we’re going to see of this either. Baseball Prospectus suggests that we have the potential to use the new field f/x data to look into a players mental state and see if he’s depressed. This is incredibly dangerous. Being able to measure every single thing a player does means you can certainly find a smoking gun somewhere to prove whatever it is you want to, and making a leap from “this guys first step is slower” to “he’s suffering from mental illness” is hugely irresponsible. Again because it’s backed up with “evidence” people are going to take opinions like that much more seriously.

Tripon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:21 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: abe attell, abominations, about damned time, absurd, sabrmetrics, statistics, wtf

Monday, March 17, 2014

fivethirtyeight.com: Silver: What the Fox Knows

Nate Silver and the launch of the FiveThirtyEight website.

Guapo Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics

Monday, March 03, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 2/27/14 - 3/2/14

Don Coffin was originally intended to manage Kane the Undertaker.

Hey, Bill, would you agree with me that HOF voters have spent a lot of time debating Jack Morris’ candidacy to the Hall and because of that they have overlooked more qualified candidates?  I am talking about Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Alan Trammell or Edgar Martinez. Look, I don’t believe that Morris belongs to the HOF, but who am I? Fact is, I have read every argument on behalf of Morris while I haven’t heard the bandwagon for more legitamate candidates. And when Jim Kaat or Tommy John were in the ballot, I didn’t felt the same passion in the arguments of their supporters…

The arguments about Morris are fueled by the other side, and we can’t do anything about it if they keep pouring gasoline on the fire. They have the right to do so. Traditionalists have come to see Jack Morris as “their” guy, who is being kept out of the Hall of Fame by us people over here. We’d like the discussion to move on, yes, but what are you going to do?

In 1956, every National League team had an outfielder of historic greatness on the team, ranging from among the best ever to the merely stellar. Let me lay it out: Giants - Mays, Dodgers - Snider, Braves - Aaron, Reds - Robinson, Pirates - Clemente, Cardinals - Musial, Phillies - Ashburn, Cubs - Monte Irvin. Was this a unique occurrence (the AL that year, for example, had only 3 outfielders who had top flight careers)? Is it something that has become more difficult to sustain as the number of teams have grown?

Are you saying that Bob Cerv is not a player of historic stature? Pretty interesting. I would think it was historically unique, but. . who knows?

Hey, bill. For something I’m working on, I noticed that the rate of hit batters per game (per team) in MLB is now about 0.35—one hit batter per team every three games, roughly. As recently as 1980, it was 0.14, or one every 7 games. The last time the rate of hit batters was this high was in 1910. (Data from Baseball Reference.) Is this something we should be more worried about than we apparently are? (I’ll admit it worries me.)

I hadn’t looked at it in a few years. It’s related to the increase in strikeouts. If you’re trying to hit homers—and EVERYBODY now is trying to hit homers—one of the things you do is crowd the plate to increase your pull zone. One of the things that could (and probably should) be done to reduce homers is to move the hitters off the plate an inch or two.

Hey, Bill- Am I right to recall that you once questioned whether athletes who are represented by agents should also be able to form a union? If not, I apologize for the misattribution. But if so, I was hoping you could elaborate some on that. I applaud the work unions have done to by and large improve the work conditions for athletes, notably the MLBPA under Marvin Miller. But is this form of dual representation still a good idea? It seems like they can work at cross-purposes, in that what individual agents seek for their players can be hampered by membership in a union that includes both, e.g., Mike Trout and 12-year journeymen—and vice versa. Anyhow, I don’t have any strong views on the issue, but just note that it seems like an odd arrangement, and one that is only prevalent in sports and entertainment (SAG vs. the William Morris Agency, e.g.). Thanks.

Yes, it is my opinion that dual representation by an agent and a union is. . ..an odd situation presenting some issues about what is appropriate. I don’t know that I want to elaborate on it. MAYBE it’s appropriate; I just have some questions about it.


Friday, January 03, 2014

What big data can teach us about our favorite sports

thought the article was worth reading

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, basketballsucks, bigdata, football, statistics

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Zolecki (MLB.com) -  New hire to help Phils better utilize advanced stats

The Phils’ front office believes it took a step in the right direction recently when it hired Scott Freedman from Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations Department, where he has worked on salary arbitration cases, provided financial guidance to teams and gained a deep knowledge of advanced metrics.

“He’s going to help us explore more thoroughly what the options are for using these metrics,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Tuesday. “We’re looking at them to compliment the opinions of our scouts.”

“I don’t know if it’s going to change the way we do business, necessarily,” Amaro said recently. “We still plan to be a scouting and player development organization, but I think it’s important to get all the information and analyze not just what we’re doing, but how other clubs are evaluating players.”

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 06, 2013 at 03:02 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ruben amaro jr., statistics, stats

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Posnanski: Statistics in Broadcasting

Carpenter 3rd on my imaginary MVP ballot, FWIW.

During Monday’s game, St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter led off the game. They showed a graphic about Carpenter and talked about it for a few seconds. The graphic showed this:.

Matt Carpenter in first 8 postseason games: .100 average.
Matt Carpenter in last 7 postseason games: .300 average.

The idea was to point out — I guess — that Carpenter was hitting better in his last seven games than his first eight. Like a light turned on or something. But of course it actually meant almost nothing. What is eight games? What is seven? This is the ebb and flow of baseball. not any kind of trend, everybody knows that. And the numbers are so small, they bend to the slightest touch…

It feels to me that the broadcasts are overloaded with such needless minutia. You know, Matt Carpenter is the son of a high school baseball coach. He was a high school teammate of James Loney. He had some pretty serious injuries in college. He was a 13th round pick and was signed for $1,000. He was widely viewed as a non-prospect because of his lack of speed and lack of power. He might have been the best player on the St. Louis Cardinals this year.

Seriously … talk about THAT rather than giving us these dreary, pointless, meaningless, dreadful statistics. Talk about how good Matt Carpenter was this year; I don’t think that casual baseball fans know that he should be a legitimate MVP candidate. Or talk about how the Cardinals, after losing the great Albert Pujols in 2011 (just after the Cardinals won the World Series) they went into their farm system and major league bench and pulled out an eighth-round pick (Allen Craig), a 13-round pick (Carpenter), a 23rd-round pick (Matt Adams) and this year scored 21 MORE runs than the did that year.

But no. Instead it’s breaking down Matt Carpenter’s postseason into meaningless bite-sized portions…

And what bothers me most is that I think this is exactly why some people are anti-baseball stats. Heck, when you’re getting those distracting and often misleading stats jabbed in your face nonstop you should be anti-baseball stats. I think that’s why whenever you hear someone doing a satirical baseball statistic to prove what nerds we all are, they will say something like: “Oh, look, David Ortiz is hitting .293 on Tuesday day games against right-handed pitchers when the dew point is 60 degrees or lower and the defending American Idol winner has a T in his or her name.” That’s the cliche. But truth is that nobody who loves baseball stats cares about ANY of that stuff, even Ortiz’s batting average.That just matches the needless stuff they will say on television…

At some point during Game 5, David Ortiz reached base for the ninth consecutive time, tying a World Series record. I will admit that I wasn’t listening too carefully, but I thought I heard Joe Buck twice refer to the record without actually saying who held the record. Maybe he did mention that it was Billy Hatcher’s record, but I didn’t hear him do so. I certainly did not hear him expound on it. Maybe I missed it.

And that gets to the heart of things. The fact that David Ortiz tied the World Series record for consecutive times reaching base means almost nothing to me. I already use up way too many gigabytes in my brain remembering goofy baseball records — there’s no room in there for the “most times reaching base consecutively in a World Series” record. BUT I care that he tied Billy Hatcher. Just seeing that name takes me back to 1990 and one of the most preposterous World Series ever… Stop giving me statistics. Stop weighing the game down with numbers. Show me something. Tell me something. Take me somewhere. Big Papi has been absurd this World Series. He reached base nine times in a row. Incredible. Has that ever happened before? Yes. Was it a superstar like Papi who did it? No. It was a little baseball journeyman named Billy Hatcher who played for seven teams in 12 years and, for two glorious games in October, was about as good as a player can be. That’s what October can be. That’s what baseball can be.

The District Attorney Posted: October 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: joe posnanski, statistics, television

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogConnie Marrero, oldest Major Leaguer, dies at 102
(24 - 11:34pm, Apr 24)
Last: DanG

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(528 - 11:32pm, Apr 24)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogToronto Star: Blue Jays pave way for grass at the Rogers Centre
(20 - 11:26pm, Apr 24)
Last: Boileryard

NewsblogJonah Keri Extended Interview | Video | Late Night with Seth Meyers | NBC
(15 - 11:24pm, Apr 24)
Last: Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for 4-24-2014
(60 - 10:59pm, Apr 24)
Last: Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes

NewsblogMichael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after pine tar discovered on neck
(126 - 10:33pm, Apr 24)
Last: AJMcCringleberry

NewsblogJosh Lueke Is A Rapist, You Say? Keep Saying It.
(260 - 10:13pm, Apr 24)
Last: CrosbyBird

NewsblogColiseum Authority accuses Athletics of not paying rent
(28 - 10:08pm, Apr 24)
Last: bobm

NewsblogIndians Usher Says He Was Fired for Refusing to Wear Pro-Sin Tax Sticker
(25 - 10:05pm, Apr 24)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(2653 - 9:55pm, Apr 24)
Last: CrosbyBird

NewsblogNY Times: The Upshot: Up Close on Baseball’s Borders
(58 - 9:22pm, Apr 24)
Last: Esoteric

NewsblogMatt Williams: No problem with Harper's two-strike bunting
(29 - 9:19pm, Apr 24)
Last: boteman digs the circuit clout

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(234 - 8:44pm, Apr 24)
Last: zack

NewsblogCalcaterra: Blogger Murray Chass attacks me for bad reporting, ignores quotes, evidence in doing so
(38 - 8:41pm, Apr 24)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

NewsblogThe Five “Acts” of Ike Davis’s Career, and Why Trading Ike Was a Mistake
(68 - 8:24pm, Apr 24)
Last: Walt Davis

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.5068 seconds
67 querie(s) executed