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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baseball Reference: The Stumble to 500,000 MLB Errors

To honor those that have come before…

jj

This is utterly random, completely meaningless and less than 100% accurate, but earlier this summer I noticed, that MLB was nearing 500,000 errors since 1876. We track all all-time stats on our seasons index. So as the half million mark approached, I decided to add a counter to the front page of the site. We’ll also try to pinpoint the offending player on the day the milestone is broken.

Are we 100% certain this will actually be the true, honest-to-god, real 500,000th error since 1876? No, it undoubtedly isn’t as there are lots of accounting discrepancies in the “official” record, especially in the fielding stats. I’m sure Elias has a different number and in our case our player-by-player and team stats don’t even match up on error, putout or assist totals. For pre-1970’s results, fielding records were mostly an afterthought and no effort was made to make sure they balanced at the end of the season. But it’s a fun milestone, so we’re going to track it.

Repoz Posted: August 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. depletion Posted: August 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4222591)
This is great.
Errors are vital to our continued fake existance. Without impurities in semiconductors, we would still be living in caves, grunting, staring out at the rain. There would be no p-type, no n-type, no depletion region!
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 30, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4222602)
The 100,000th recorded HBP will be next year.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 30, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4222607)
What do we win for successfully predicting the perpetrator of this epochal error?

I hope it's something good because my pick is Pedro Alvarez.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4222635)
I thought this was a bio of Jose Offerman.
   5. UCCF Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4222675)
Will we see players benching themselves when it gets to 499,999? Jeter, unwilling to play short lest he tarnish his legacy, etc.?
   6. TomH Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4222682)
not as exciting as the millionth run.
   7. TomH Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4222688)
bb-ref uses 1871 for career totals, not 1876. Maybe we should ask the database be configurable. Do you want to credit Cap Anson with 2000 RBI or not?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4222690)

Will we see players benching themselves when it gets to 499,999? Jeter, unwilling to play short lest he tarnish his legacy, etc.?


Maybe we'll see guys racing to be the lucky 500,000th, like they did when baseball was approching 1 million runs. Shortstops kicking grounders or throwing it over the first baseman's head on purpose.

   9. boteman Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4222733)
How long after #500,000 is recorded do we wait to see if it will be changed to a hit?
   10. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4222770)
bb-ref uses 1871 for career totals, not 1876. Maybe we should ask the database be configurable. Do you want to credit Cap Anson with 2000 RBI or not?


With an 1871 start, the 500,000th error would have been the 1124th of the 2990 errors in 2007.
   11. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4222829)
They project it'll happen in 16 days, September 14. That's a Saturday so everyone will be playing.

My money is on Trevor Plouffe. In the first part of the season it looked like his career was going down the toilet. He had a huge June to turn it around, but then he got hurt. He's been sort of scuffling and treading water since he got back from the DL. So now he's nervous. Plus, they'll be playing the White Sox and he'll be worried about botching a play at third with Ventura watching him. Grasshopper doesn't want to screw up in front of the Master. So, yeah, Trevor Plouffe. I say he'll muff a chopper hit to his left.
   12. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4222843)
My money is on Darwin Barney. Make your first error in a ton of games count for something! Make this a record-breaking season in two ways!
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4222845)
I'll take a known defensive wiz to be the one to make the error. I'll go with McCutchen cementing his MVP ballot.
   14. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4222851)
Contrary to popular opinion Lonnie Smith made only 42% of those half million errors.

My error candidate is : A pitcher. I'll take Valverde.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4222864)
The Rockies lead the NL in errors.
On Sept. 14 they play at San Diego, which is second in errors committed, so they must have a scorekeeper who isn't afraid of jotting down "E."
Willin Rosario already has 12 errors.
San Diego is second in the NL in stolen bases.
Thus: Rosario is charged with an E when he airmails a throw into centerfield, allowing Cameron Maybin to advance to third on his stolen base attempt.

   16. asinwreck Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4222870)
Is Jose Offerman going to join Roger Clemens in indie ball in hopes of making it back for this milestone?
   17. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4222873)
This season? Gotta be the Red Sox. Jose Iglesias.
   18. God Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4222913)
James Loney.
   19. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4222942)
True, it is fun, everyone loves errors and absolutely everyone is not faultless, so here are my candidates for this "E"lection... I elect the following :
Brandon Crawford SF ... like him and he does pull off great plays, E´s though !!
Zack Cozart CIN ... kinda sounds like Mozart, wouldn´t that be perfectly orchestrated ??
Chase Headley SD ... everytime, EVERYTIME he kicks our Giants A***s and thereforE votE !
sidenote... glad Jeters career didn´t end with a HBP !!!
   20. PS is probably a high functioning idiot Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4222944)
Dan Uggla.
   21. phredbird Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4223004)
this won't feel right unless its a dodger and vin scully makes the call.
   22. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4223007)
Brooks Conrad.
   23. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4223013)
this won't feel right unless its a dodger and vin scully makes the call.

Particularly since he called the first.
   24. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4223047)
Particularly since he called the first.

Which was committed by Julio Franco.

Since I'll actually be attending a game at Wrigley around this time, I'll hope for Starlin Castro with me in the crowd.
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4223077)
Starlin will probably be on the field, but maybe his mom will be with you in the crowd.
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4223085)
500,000th error

And as far as the accuracy of the fielding metrics are concerned, STILL not a large enough sample size!
   27. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4223124)
Starlin will probably be on the field, but maybe his mom will be with you in the crowd.

Heh. Commas: More important that I apparently remembered while typing that post.
   28. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4235880)
We're 499,965 errors. D-Day will probably be this weekend.
   29. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4235885)
Edwin Encarnacion, overthrowing 2nd base on a 3-6-3 double play attempt.
   30. The District Attorney Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4235913)
deleted; misunderstood prior post
   31. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4235923)
We're 499,965 errors. D-Day will probably be this weekend.


seriously? i'm going to be at the dodgers/cards game in LA on saturday. how can i check to see where we are on this?
   32. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4235933)
oop. nevermind. i see it on the front page of bbref. hm, 35 errors to go. 15 games in the majors tonight? what's the rate per game? somewhere between 1 and 2?

i might not get my wish.
   33. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 14, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4235943)
Oh awesome! I'm going to have to keep track of this.
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4236761)
It was at 499,982 before today's games and there have been 12 so far today.
   35. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4236774)
It's unlikely that Jeter will have the honor of committing the 500,000th error, the Yankees game is over despite Soriano's efforts.
   36. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4236784)
499,995 Boscan, WAS
   37. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4236827)
499,996 Eaton ARI
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4236829)
Angels/Royals starts soon, this has Frenchy written all over it.
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4236835)
Not Frenchy but close:
499,997 Giavotella, KC
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4236841)
The Department of History Revisionism have erased Eaton's error.
So the last one is 499,996 Giavotella, KC
   41. Monty Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4236865)
The countdown has gone into reverse! Just 136 years until there aren't any errors!
   42. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4236866)
499,997 Frandsen, PHI
499,998 Cingrani, CIN
   43. Monty Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4236870)
Well, I still stand by my joke, even though it stopped making sense less than a minute after I made it.
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4236871)
C'mon Frenchy!
   45. Jittery McFrog Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4236872)
Frenchy just had one clank in and out of his glove that was scored a hit. Even closer!
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4236878)
499,999 Arias, SF
   47. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4236879)
500,000 Reyes, MIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   48. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4236882)
Jose Reyes!!!
   49. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4236887)
Of course we'll have to wait a couple days to make sure no other errors are created, or eliminated, by official scorers.

But for now, congratulations Jose! This kind of milestone perfectly complements the team success of the new-look Marlins.
   50. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4236891)
Of course we'll have to wait a couple days to make sure no other errors are created, or eliminated, by official scorers.


So you're saying Frency still has a chance?
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4236897)
If they reinstate Adam Eaton II's error, and give Francœur one too, he's 500000!
   52. Swedish Chef Posted: September 15, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4236898)
   53. AJMcCringleberry Posted: September 16, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4237090)
This kind of milestone perfectly complements the team success of the new-look Marlins.

Having watched many Marlins games over the years, it was probably even money a Marlin would commit the error.

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