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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

S.I.: Wolff: Political soothsayer Nate Silver shares his musing on sports, stats, more

Silver book is a comin’
Think I’m gonna get on board, oh, yeah…

Having just read Silver’s forthcoming book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t, and followed his political blog FiveThirtyEight for several years, my notebook was groaning as I rode the D train back from the Bronx. Silver may have been sucked into psephology—the study of elections—but he often circles back to the field where he first made his reputation. And so, with a nod to the political season and his book’s publication on Sept. 27, I’m sharing an info dump of Silver on sports.

In baseball, he reports, the nerds have won; GMs, scouts and other “good baseball men” have essentially accepted the Moneyball paradigm. After years in which conventional thinking prized batting average above all, on-base percentage is now the stat most highly correlated with free-agent money.

Silver remembers when it wasn’t that way. A decade ago, attending the Winter Meetings in New Orleans, he could feel the frost from scouts bellied up to the bar, warily eying the recent analytics grads from MIT and Ivy League schools across the lobby as they pressed resumes into the hands of GMs. Now front offices are no longer like high school cafeterias, and Silver believes the game is better for it.

Their détente, he explains in his book, makes perfect sense: Each has data the other lacks, but needs to deliver the best possible forecast. Silver profiles Los Angeles Dodgers scout John Sanders, a former bonus baby whose pedigree might mark him as a Moneyball skeptic. Instead, Sanders charts a middling path between the speed gun and the mainframe.

...Right now Silver’s PECOTA is imperiled by emerging digital programs like Pitch f/x, which can track in three dimensions over time how a pitch moves on its way to the plate—in other words, literally tell you if Tim Lincecum has lost a foot on his fastball. “That was traditionally considered the domain of scouting,” Silver says. “Now it’s another variable that can be placed into a projection system. Someone will come along and figure out how to fuse quantitative and qualitative evaluations.”

Repoz Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:21 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, site news

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. A triple short of the cycle Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4235278)
Silver book is a comin’
Think I’m gonna get on board, oh, yeah…


I can't listen to any Stones after Exile.
   2. asinwreck Posted: September 13, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4235361)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Tuque
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNewsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?
(16 - 3:18am, Sep 03)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(95 - 2:56am, Sep 03)
Last: bobm

NewsblogGleeman: Twins ask fans which brand of luxury car they are
(21 - 2:32am, Sep 03)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-2-2014
(82 - 2:22am, Sep 03)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(14 - 2:21am, Sep 03)
Last: robinred

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Ballot
(12 - 2:16am, Sep 03)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(26 - 2:06am, Sep 03)
Last: Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda.

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(40 - 2:05am, Sep 03)
Last: Mom makes botox doctors furious

NewsblogExpanded Rosters Exacerbate Baseball’s Biggest Issue
(34 - 1:13am, Sep 03)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(324 - 12:45am, Sep 03)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogPassan: 10 Degrees: Cole Hamels' trade value might be Phillies' lone bright spot
(7 - 12:23am, Sep 03)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(128 - 12:21am, Sep 03)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogRule change means more players to choose from for postseason roster
(15 - 11:10pm, Sep 02)
Last: Pirate Joe

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Discussion
(2 - 11:00pm, Sep 02)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
(62 - 10:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Page rendered in 0.1795 seconds
52 querie(s) executed