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

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOrtiz: Plea to consider 'character' alters Hall of Fame vote | Jose de Jesus Ortiz | stltoday.com
(4 - 9:57am, Nov 24)
Last: Russ

NewsblogOTP 20 November 2017: Sheriff’s official suspended 10 days over Cubs World Series sneak-in
(829 - 9:56am, Nov 24)
Last: dog poop god (SS)

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(45 - 9:56am, Nov 24)
Last: fra paolo

NewsblogHall makes room for an "idiot" on the ballot
(27 - 9:53am, Nov 24)
Last: dlf

NewsblogJoe Morgan Wants To Keep Steroid Cheats Out Of Baseball Hall Of Fame | MLB | NESN.com
(182 - 9:41am, Nov 24)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogA Discussion of WAR Wherein I Ardently Attempt to Avoid any WAR-Related Puns | Sports-Reference.com
(61 - 9:37am, Nov 24)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogChambliss Ready to Part With Bat and Ball That Sent Yankees to World Series
(36 - 8:50am, Nov 24)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogFavorite Thanksgiving recipes from MLB | MLB.com
(5 - 8:06am, Nov 24)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOT - November* 2017 College Football thread
(198 - 12:21am, Nov 24)
Last: Howie Menckel

Gonfalon CubsLooking to next year
(204 - 7:01pm, Nov 23)
Last: Meatwad in mourning

NewsblogFinding the best spot for Giancarlo Stanton
(12 - 4:18pm, Nov 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogSources: MLB hammers Atlanta Braves, declaring 12 minor league players free agents
(95 - 3:55pm, Nov 23)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-22-2017
(11 - 11:01am, Nov 23)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogProspectus Feature: Bill James vs. The Noise - Baseball Prospectus
(13 - 9:39am, Nov 23)
Last: Russ

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1516 - 9:02am, Nov 23)
Last: don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all

Page rendered in 0.2865 seconds
47 querie(s) executed