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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Chicago Joe
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog8-28-15 OMNICHATTER
(79 - 11:17pm, Aug 28)
Last: Roger McDowell spit on me!

NewsblogIts OK to have the hots for baseball players: A Manifesto
(29 - 11:07pm, Aug 28)
Last: Darren

NewsblogDan Shaughnessy: With Don Orsillo news, Red Sox drop the ball again - The Boston Globe
(5 - 11:02pm, Aug 28)
Last: Darren

NewsblogJON HEYMAN: MLB prevails over Barry Bonds in collusion case over his career ending
(37 - 10:56pm, Aug 28)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogSB Nation: Pirates outfielder may have made the most chill out in MLB history
(52 - 10:52pm, Aug 28)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogLos Angeles Dodgers can hit and get on base -- so why can't they score? | FOX Sports
(10 - 10:52pm, Aug 28)
Last: Darren

NewsblogMariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik
(47 - 10:47pm, Aug 28)
Last: Nathaniel Dawson

NewsblogOT: Soccer August 2015
(487 - 10:45pm, Aug 28)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogThe Pyramid Rating System: JAWS on a Career Scale – The Hardball Times
(98 - 9:22pm, Aug 28)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogOTP - August 2015: Meet the … Baseball Owner Funding the 2016 Campaign ...
(4639 - 8:33pm, Aug 28)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1902 - 8:09pm, Aug 28)
Last: Manny Coon

NewsblogMartino: Mets should use Steven Matz out of pen in playoffs - NY Daily News
(17 - 7:05pm, Aug 28)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogSI: Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik
(7 - 6:59pm, Aug 28)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogInside Baseball: Keys to Cubs' success, plus more MLB news and notes - CBSSports.com
(9 - 6:54pm, Aug 28)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogEach season has an autopsy. Here’s an early version for the Nationals. - The Washington Post
(17 - 6:13pm, Aug 28)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.1744 seconds
44 querie(s) executed