Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Bruce Miles: No longer wonky, Baseball Prospectus way cool these days

Why Everything You Know About Propeller-Heads Is Wrong.

Silver was a former Baseball Prospectus author and the driving force behind the PECOTA forecasting system that makes up the heart of the book.

Now he’s a rock star.

“Well, it’s hard to make sabermetrics any more cool than it already is — after all, millions of American teenagers use a picture of Bill James in Terminator shades as their smartphone wallpaper — but I think Nate may have managed it,” Ken Funck, a current BP author, related to me in an email interview. “I think his success, and the attention it received, went a long way towards demonstrating the validity of using statistical methods to forecast results.

“Baseball results are harder to forecast than election results — which is, of course, a large part of its appeal — so I hope no one expects me to predict every team exactly right this year.”

...“Any baseball fan who pays attention to something like a PECOTA projection is most likely quite passionate about the game, and one of the great things about baseball is its ability to spawn discussion and disagreement,” Funck said. “We’ve all sat on bleachers, couches or barstools arguing with our friends over whether the White Sox can compete with the Tigers this year, or how good Anthony Rizzo will be.

“PECOTA also has an ‘opinion’ on those topics, but unlike our friends, PECOTA is impersonal and dispassionate. Merely reading a PECOTA projection, especially one that you don’t agree with, doesn’t make you feel like you’re having a conversation. Instead, you can feel like you’re being lectured by some know-it-all blowhard, especially if you buy into the stereotype of baseball analysts as math geeks with spreadsheets who’ve never played and rarely watch the game.

“... That’s why I try to make the point in most conversations I have about PECOTA, or about baseball metrics in general, that they are not the end of the discussion. They’re really the beginning of the discussion.”

...“Our authors and editors do their best each year to make the Annual not just an invaluable reference, but an entertaining read,” Funck said. “Can that help debunk the propeller-head stereotype? Sure it can, and I think it does for most people that read our books or our website, or who meet us in person. No one who listened to the “Up and In” podcast would have ever confused Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks for humorless stat-heads. I’d be shocked if anyone that met me described me that way.”

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2013 at 10:20 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: March 03, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4379693)
millions of American teenagers use a picture of Bill James in Terminator shades as their smartphone wallpaper

ROFL.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4379868)
Bill James in Terminator shades
Someone please photoshop this.
   3. I Am Not a Number Posted: March 03, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4379887)
Silver was a former Baseball Prospectus author

He still is a former Baseball Prospectus author.
   4. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: March 03, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4379893)
Bill James in Terminator shades

Someone please photoshop this.

It's a handle waiting to happen!
   5. SG Posted: March 03, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4379896)
Someone please photoshop this.


Here you go.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4379902)
amazing
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 03, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4379908)
#5....Awesome...to the power of like a billion.

millions of American teenagers use a picture of Bill James


Eh, I'm so old that millions of teenagers used the picture of Farrah Fawcett...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogArthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown
(55 - 6:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ’n’ Roll, Baseball and Poetry
(2566 - 6:31pm, Aug 19)
Last: DavidFoss

NewsblogRed Sox want to do away with 'racist' legacy of famed Yawkey Way
(105 - 6:27pm, Aug 19)
Last: DavidFoss

NewsblogAin't no WEEKEND OMNICHATTER until someone gets punched in the face, for August 19-20, 2017
(29 - 6:23pm, Aug 19)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogSkunk in the Outfield
(27 - 6:21pm, Aug 19)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

Gonfalon CubsNow or Never
(99 - 5:15pm, Aug 19)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist

NewsblogMLBTR: Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson
(8 - 5:04pm, Aug 19)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(151 - 3:39pm, Aug 19)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1808 - 2:28pm, Aug 19)
Last: 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em

NewsblogMLB.com: O's/Angels hit 10 home runs; Manny caps it off with Walk-Off Grand Slam
(1 - 2:19pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogTwins Byron Buxton evolving as a hitter | MLB.com
(24 - 1:59pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogSummer Top-100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball
(24 - 1:41pm, Aug 19)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogOMNICHATTER eats punks like you for breakfast, for August 18, 2017
(123 - 1:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Sox TherapyThe Gauntlet
(68 - 9:55am, Aug 19)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2017
(6 - 8:35am, Aug 19)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

Page rendered in 0.1439 seconds
47 querie(s) executed