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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sale of Baseball Prospectus

...it is our pleasure to announce that today marks the newest of the many eras of Baseball Prospectus. A group of the site’s senior staff has purchased Baseball Prospectus, effective immediately. For the first time in a long time, BP will be run by BP again. By the people who have worked to make the site what it is.

Over the coming months, we’ll be making general improvements to the site as we refocus our energies on making BP the best it can be. This is an exciting time for us, as we’ll be rolling out new projects that we’ve been working on for some time (hello, DRC!) and add some polish to make the tools we already provide more intuitive and user-friendly (goodbye, legacy stats pages!).

But while we have our own shopping list of improvements, we also want to hear from you, the subscribers and lapsed or prospective subscribers, to hear what you’d like to see us prioritize in the coming months and beyond. For that, we’d like to ask you to take the following survey, and tell us what you want BP to be, in both the short and long term.

Click through to access the survey and tell them what you want from them. Except don’t ask for forums. They’re a non-starter. All cost, no revenue.

villageidiom Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:27 AM | 463 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: above-it-all mien, baseball prospectus, player evaluation, projection

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5787146)
Now that the "buy a nerd site and rebrand it as your own" bubble seems to have burst, can the "we'll rake in 7 billion a year off of local AM radio rights" bubble be far behind?
   2. McCoy Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5787155)
And next month the senior staff will be announcing the closing of the site. I pretty much picture this

Does having the employees buy the enterprise ever really work out? Usually if a bunch of employees can afford to buy the business that means nobody with real money found it to have any value.
   3. McCoy Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5787160)
The announcement of the sale is the first article I have read from BPro in probably 10 years or more. The other day when we were talking about Bill James and his Win Shares I went to BPro to see what they called their Uberstat. That was the first time I went to their site in probably 5 or 6 years and looked at their stats.
   4. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5787163)
I also haven't been a reader for years, but I'll be rooting for them. Hope they can make it work.
   5. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5787171)
Let's see... yeah, I guess it was around 10 years ago when last I read BPro. I guess I left around the time Sheehan did. Not that he was my favorite writer there; Christina Kahrl was.

McCoy (#2) is probably right. What direction can they go? Fangraphs long since comprehensively trounced them on one side of the market, and The Athletic is hopelessly ahead of them on the other.

e: After looking it up, I guess Sheehan was there longer than I remember. Which I guess goes to my point that I wasn't really reading him much.
   6. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5787188)
[Sheehan] The senior staff at BPro are a bunch of economically illiterate *****es. [/Sheehan]
   7. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5787220)
Is there a single name on the BPro staff I would still recognize?

I poked around on the site a bit - but beyond TFA "here's a list of people you used to read here" - I do not recognize a single name. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose... but is there someone at BPro I should be reading?
   8. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5787229)
I've signed up for a month here or there to harvest their scouting reports for my DMB league. Otherwise, I pretty much checked out after they went behind the paywall. The few random articles I've come across have seemed to be of high quality, but Fangraphs scratches the (diminishing) itch I have for daily stathead analysis.
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5787248)
Except don’t ask for forums

How about fora? What if they're sycophant-laden?
   10. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5787252)
I've signed up for a month here or there to harvest their scouting reports for my DMB league. Otherwise, I pretty much checked out after they went behind the paywall. The few random articles I've come across have seemed to be of high quality, but Fangraphs scratches the (diminishing) itch I have for daily stathead analysis.


They don't do stat nerding well enough to distinguish themselves from FanGraphs or other free options. They don't do writing well enough to compete with The Athletic.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5787270)
I pretty much checked out after they went behind the paywall.

#MeToo
   12. Colin Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5787309)
I checked out as their writing became more boring and less fun. Though they used to have a decent balance between playful writing and analysis, but at some point their player comments in the books became mundane and that was it for me.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5787322)
I was never much of a reader, but I checked out after they strong-armed Furtado.
   14. Brian C Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5787333)
I pretty much checked out after they went behind the paywall.

Same here. I don't foresee a site good enough to justify paying for content on the internet. No one's good enough to provide enough value to pay for. I realize this is a major economic problem for writers but that's capitalism for you.

More to the point, BPro did a lot to perpetuate analysis-based sports writing. But in time I also think that their actual level of insights - and that those of the analytics community in general - has been overstated. Basically, we've learned that 1) OBP used to be undervalued, 2) pitchers' stats depend more on their defense than was commonly acknowledged, and 3) players age quicker than people used to think.

That's really about it, big-picture wise. But now that all three are conventional wisdom, I've found that most "analysis"-oriented writing is mostly just a lot of repetition and wheel-spinning, like a dozen competing versions of a WAR-like stat all say essentially the same stuff anyway. I guess what I'm saying is that BPro as a concept just feels outdated. I feel like pretty much every MLB front office now is smarter than the commentariat pontificating about them.

NFL front offices, on the other hand...
   15. Chicago Joe Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5787335)
Hmmm, what if the politics thread bought Think Factory?
   16. Red Voodooin Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5787350)
I was never much of a reader, but I checked out after they strong-armed Furtado.


Was that when we became BBTF instead of Baseball Primer?

Hmmm, what if the politics thread bought Think Factory?


Ha! The new ownership group wouldn't survive the first board meeting.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5787351)
Hmmm, what if the politics thread bought Think Factory?

Too bad Jim didn't think of that before he decided to go the Full Dan Snyder.
   18. Chicago Joe Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5787354)
This’ll kill the softball game, I’d imagine.
   19. base ball chick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5787356)
Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5787270)
I pretty much checked out after they went behind the paywall.

#MeToo


- Me Three

although i would say that for a couple years, i'd go a couple times a year to see if jonah keri had anything free posted - and a couple of others

i wish them good luck, but no i am not paying money to read it

dammm i am getting old and nostalgic for BITGOD which was only

gulp

15 years ago
   20. Master of the Horse Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5787357)
Several posters mentioned Sheehan so I google and I am pretty sure I have the right person but does this person still write for Sports Illustrated? I didn't visit this site until just now but if you look down he's not listed as a MLB writer. His Wikipedia page says he is with this site so what gives?
   21. base ball chick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5787358)
Voodoo Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5787350)

I was never much of a reader, but I checked out after they strong-armed Furtado.



Was that when we became BBTF instead of Baseball Primer?


yes

because jim and sean had already split


Hmmm, what if the politics thread bought Think Factory?



Ha! The new ownership group wouldn't survive the first board meeting.


- oh, i think all yall would be sivilized up just like at the softball game
   22. McCoy Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5787360)
So bPro is on its death bed and now so is BTF. End of an era
   23. Chicago Joe Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5787361)
What did Sean have to do with it?
Never understood how Prospectus was able to take Primer as well...kind of crappy, imo.
   24. Chicago Joe Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5787363)
@McCoy and bbref just added soccer. Adios, America.
   25. Chicago Joe Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5787366)
- oh, i think all yall would be sivilized up just like at the softball game



Yeah, I think Jim just murdered that as well.
   26. Red Voodooin Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5787378)
Yeah, I think Jim just murdered that as well.


How's that? Because of those awful OTP threads?
   27. base ball chick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5787379)
jim and sean forman started primer, then sean split off to do bbref

there really isn't a good place to go to shoot the s**t about baseball no mo. really IS an end of an era.

sigh

   28. base ball chick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5787384)
the OTP threads will not be allowed and i guess jim is gonna shut threads that go into anything political

so the 20 or so people who used to, uh, discuss (ahem) things on that site won't be coming back to any other topic/this site and some of them are the guys that used to go to the softball game

some of the posters there held views that i, um, disagreed with, but i never called anyone names or grabbed my, uh, round things external to the body cavity.
   29. villageidiom Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5787393)
Several posters mentioned Sheehan so I google and I am pretty sure I have the right person but does this person still write for Sports Illustrated? I didn't visit this site until just now but if you look down he's not listed as a MLB writer. His Wikipedia page says he is with this site so what gives?
He still has an author page at SI.com, but (a) they don't link to it on their site as you noticed, and (b) when you go there the most recent article is from August 2017. So, no. That aside, I believe he's at The Athletic now, but Wiki doesn't reflect that.

Which is more pathetic: not having a Wikipedia page, or having a Wikipedia page but nobody is motivated to update it for at least a year after the information is no longer relevant?
This’ll kill the softball game, I’d imagine.
This has no impact on the softball game.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5787399)
If zero people are visiting this website next spring, the softball game may be sadly diminished, unless there's a whole lot of you with friendships that carry on outside of this forum.
   31. formerly dp Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5787404)
Damn I misread this as "the sale of Baseball Primer" and got excited that the site was getting sold to an owner with scruples.
   32. Master of the Horse Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5787416)
29:

This guy is at The Athletic? Didn't notice. But then the old timey writers don't do it for me like the guy with the bowtie or the Jayson dude who has no understanding of how current baseball is played by the pros. The Brewer and A's content is pretty good. But like when there is a baseball at large topic like the woman suing the Mariners for wrongful termination the comments section is like reading the Trump reddit page. Like what decade is it for these people??
   33. The Duke Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5787421)
I still subscribe. Like their prospect reports and there are a couple writers I enjoy. Dont use it for stats anymore. I assume fangraphs will disappear behind a paywall shortly which might bring more readers back to BP. I would if I were them.
   34. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: November 14, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5787425)
friendships that carry on outside of this forum


Is that even legal?
   35. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5787435)
He still has an author page at SI.com, but (a) they don't link to it on their site as you noticed, and (b) when you go there the most recent article is from August 2017. So, no. That aside, I believe he's at The Athletic now, but Wiki doesn't reflect that.

It's also confusing because there are two Joe Sheehans who write/wrote about baseball. In fact if you google "Joe Sheehan baseball" the picture that comes up is the "other" Joe Sheehan, who apparently works for the Jays.

The "original" Sheehan was really the worst. When he took over is when I cancelled my BPro subscription. Very much in love with his own words, and the kind of guy who want to punch even when he's saying something you completely agree with.
   36. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5787441)
The "original" Sheehan was really the worst. When he took over is when I cancelled my BPro subscription. Very much in love with his own words, and the kind of guy who want to punch even when he's saying something you completely agree with.

Strong agree. He had this line he thought was very clever whenever he complained about umpires, referring to them as "middle managers." It was not clever, and furthermore didn't make any actual sense. But he used it so much, you could tell he was deeply impressed with himself for coming up with it.
   37. Lassus Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5787445)
As I've stated in another thread, I do wonder what Jim's price for BBTF would be.
   38. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5787449)
Is that even legal?


I had dinner with YR when he was in town a while back, and nobody got stabbed in the neck.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5787450)
the guy with the bowtie or the Jayson dude who has no understanding of how current baseball is played by the pros


Aren't those the same guy?
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5787453)
As I've stated in another thread, I do wonder what Jim's price for BBTF would be.

And I wonder what percentage of that price would reflect financial reality, and what percentage would just reflect vanity / pride of ownership.

Just on the surface, I can't imagine that there'd be much revenue or that many operating expenses. But I can't imagine he'd ever want to have it get into the hands of anyone who doesn't share his political leanings, regardless of any financial considerations.
   41. Master of the Horse Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5787456)
   42. Greg Pope Posted: November 14, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5787501)
I feel like I missed something. Is Jim shutting down?
   43. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5787505)
I feel like I missed something. Is Jim shutting down?

No just closing politics threads on the main site (but not the forums), and he seems to have banned Sam/Rickey.
   44. catomi01 Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5787518)
friendships that carry on outside of this forum


Is that even legal?


Each year after the softball game, I end up facebook friends with at least 2 or 3 more people - which is about as close to real friendship as I get outside of my local softball league. Interestingly, I noticed that one member/softball player is friends with both a guy I went to HS with and a girl I went to college with.
   45. QLE Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5787521)
No just closing politics threads on the main site (but not the forums), and he seems to have banned Sam/Rickey.


Neither of which either 1) strikes me as much of a loss or 2) explains half the posting I've been seeing on this subject....
   46. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5787529)
Neither of which either 1) strikes me as much of a loss or 2) explains half the posting I've been seeing on this subject....

Pretty much same.
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5787530)
I played OF in the 2017 BBTF game in Central Park alongside.... Sean Forman (it was a mashup of SABR being held in Manhattan the same weekend).

as for B-Pro, I used to like the annual book until it became apparent that the staff had a collective zero sense of humor. so sure of themselves, and no interest in self-deprecating humor a year later.
   48. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: November 14, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5787539)
Neither of which either 1) strikes me as much of a loss or 2) explains half the posting I've been seeing on this subject....


I think there's a sense that without the OTP thread driving traffic this place will dry up. I dunno. Probably about half the names I recognize from when I first started posting only show up there anymore. Seems to me this place has been slowing down to some degree or another since ZiPS moved to fangraphs. This can really only accelerate that slowdown, but don't know if I'd go so far as to say that will kill this place. There was something charming, if unsustainable, about this place when a random thread would turn into a several hundred page mostly respectful discussion about whether or not people who recline their seats in airplanes are the worst.
   49. catomi01 Posted: November 14, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5787541)
as for B-Pro, I used to like the annual book until it became apparent that the staff had a collective zero sense of humor. so sure of themselves, and no interest in self-deprecating humor a year later.


The annuals were my gateway into analytics when I was in high school, so BPro will always be a soft spot for me...but its been years since I read it regularly, like most of the rest of you it sounds like.
   50. QLE Posted: November 14, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5787543)
I think there's a sense that without the OTP thread driving traffic this place will dry up.


Thing is, I saw something similar on another site noted for its site discussions, focused on entertainment rather than sports (albeit, in that case, it was a change made from above by site management on the writing staff), and, in that case, it served far more as a sign that the site was dying (for reasons I haven't space enough to adequately explain here) rather than serve as anything to revive it. Is there really any evidence to suggest things will be different in this case?
   51. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 14, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5787549)
I had dinner with YR when he was in town a while back, and nobody got stabbed in the neck.


Did YR pay? We know he's pretty easy going with sharing the cash around....
   52. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: November 14, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5787576)
Thing is, I saw something similar on another site noted for its site discussions, focused on entertainment rather than sports (albeit, in that case, it was a change made from above by site management on the writing staff), and, in that case, it served far more as a sign that the site was dying (for reasons I haven't space enough to adequately explain here) rather than serve as anything to revive it. Is there really any evidence to suggest things will be different in this case?


I could make the argument that the site was, at its peak, a bit of a culture club united by a shared interest in baseball. Half the current sidebar is OT. You can make the argument that getting rid of the OT stuff will bring back the baseball talk, but I'm not seeing it. When a global baseball issue comes up the familiar names come out, repeat their old arguments, and then it falls off the bar. There are a few fan groups that will keep coming back to talk about their teams, but watch the site for a few days and think, if I were a Pirates fan who had been on this site for a while, what would keep me coming back?
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5787596)
Look, the thing is, there’s just not that much to discuss about baseball anymore. We’re almost all on the same page on almost all baseball topics. Other than when an unnamed FLTB pops his head in to troll for a Jack Morris for the HOF, the only disagreements are at the extreme margins. One or two people may say nothing more than “I agree” on a given topic, but ten or twenty people aren’t going to do so.
   54. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5787599)
Did YR pay? We know he's pretty easy going with sharing the cash around...


He did, actually! Very generous of him.
   55. Leroy Kincaid Posted: November 14, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5787613)
Speaking of softball...Isn't it about time to start the thread for next year's game and pin it to the top of the page for 11 months?
   56. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5787617)
Look, the thing is, there’s just not that much to discuss about baseball anymore. We’re almost all on the same page on almost all baseball topics.


That and the research has basically slowed to the point where very little that's new comes out anymore. All the good stuff is kept in house by the clubs.
   57. McCoy Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5787619)
I would disagree. I would say that was is coming out is so technical and or so mathematically advanced that us commonfolk can't really adequately argue about it. I mean it was relatively easy to argue about DIPS because even if you didn't understand the math you could argue about the statement "pitchers have no control over batted balls" and people did do that for years and years. But how do you argue about pitch F/X or spin rates or regression?
   58. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5787629)
But how do you argue about pitch F/X or spin rates or regression?


By pointing to Tyler Chatwood and recognizing that he's more than enough evidence to call it bunk.
   59. Tim M Posted: November 14, 2018 at 09:57 PM (#5787633)
Same as most - when they went paywall I jumped ship.. which is a real dilemma, I understand people need to get paid, but has anyone ever voluntarily clicked on an internet ad? How anyone makes money on web sites I don't understand.

Used to love their SNWL stat, but now that DeGrom can win the CY, that battle is won.

Also used to use their Fantasy projections to consistently win my fantasy league, as you could customize the stats you use, and they would then attach a $$ figure to each player.

Good luck guys, you were true pioneers.
   60. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:06 PM (#5787641)
Also used to use their Fantasy projections to consistently win my fantasy league, as they were the only ones who would attach a $ figure to each player.


$ figures that didn't ####### scale or leave any room to adjust beyond 4X4.

I'm fairly sure that BPro has financial problems and my still-winding-through-the-circuits lawsuits are a big part of that.

I've only NOW gotten out from under Bobby Estella's contract - and somebody's got to pay for that.... ain't gonna be me.
   61. Stormy JE Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5787642)
Speaking of softball...Isn't it about time to start the thread for next year's game and pin it to the top of the page for 11 months?
You got a problem with that, commie?
   62. catomi01 Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5787666)
I just finished 2 games in 32 degree weather...bring on Central Park and 95 degrees please
   63. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5787667)
Look, the thing is, there’s just not that much to discuss about baseball anymore. We’re almost all on the same page on almost all baseball topics. Other than when an unnamed FLTB pops his head in to troll for a Jack Morris for the HOF, the only disagreements are at the extreme margins. One or two people may say nothing more than “I agree” on a given topic, but ten or twenty people aren’t going to do so.


Agreed. I posted prolifically on r.s.bb and various alt team groups for 15 years without saying a word about politics. I just don't see fertile ground for such discussions anymore. Most people here are generally on the same page now with regard to baseball analytics, and even if a bunch of Murray Chass clones started infiltrating the site, that revolution was fought and won almost a generation ago. It's boring now. Nobody wants or needs to re-live it.

We had steroids for a while, and that bled into HOF discussions, but the former issue isn't worth discussing anymore and the latter issue is mostly "60 WAR? Ok, he's a reasonable candidate." I agreed years ago that Ichiro is an ok HOFer. Mostly because I came around to the notion that WAR can adequately measure defense and baserunning over a career, and I had been under-valuing those things.
   64. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5787670)
I loved Baseball Prospectus back in the day, and Sheehan was the major reason. I also liked the Transaction Analysis, and I felt that the player stat pages were indispensable, particularly when Nate was doing the projections. But EqA (though I valued it) never really took off, and VORP got surpassed by WAR. I didn't read most of the other columnists, though I enjoyed when old r.s.bb standbys Gary Huckabay or Christina Kahrl or David Pease chimed in.

Once Sheehan left I simply followed him to his newsletter and that was that. Honestly he's the only one I read anymore, and at that I'm not really plugged in anymore until the playoffs.

But really my interest in reading baseball columnists has dropped off since the stathead revolution ended. I haven't read Neyer in several years, or James. Or Posnanski -- though it was his Paterno nonsense that turned me off to him.
   65. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5787671)
I think we're just old and overly familiar with each other. It's not like it's impossible to talk about a sport with interest even if all concerned share the same biases. Not everything has to be about dueling philosophies or paradigms.
   66. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5787673)
There are certainly still interesting things to discuss about baseball -- I'm fascinated by shifting, for example; the blurring of defensive positions; the blurring of pitcher roles; the steady decrease of singles and steady increase in strikeouts and walks; cyborg relievers; the third time through the order penalty; etc. -- but for the most part they're not all that controversial. Disagreement does help to drive energetic discussions. Otherwise all we're doing is learning something. Blech.
   67. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5787675)
There are certainly still interesting things to discuss about baseball -- I'm fascinated by shifting, for example; the blurring of defensive positions; the blurring of pitcher roles; etc. -- but for the most part they're not all that controversial.


How about catcher throwing lanes?

<ducks>





I kid, I kid
   68. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:26 PM (#5787676)
Agreed. I posted prolifically on r.s.bb and various alt team groups for 15 years without saying a word about politics. I just don't see fertile ground for such discussions anymore. Most people here are generally on the same page now with regard to baseball analytics, and even if a bunch of Murray Chass clones started infiltrating the site, that revolution was fought and won almost a generation ago. It's boring now. Nobody wants or needs to re-live it.


Meh, there's still plenty of good baseball to talk about - even if you accept that true valuation of individual players is more or less settled, within certain margins - there's more than enough snark about various players (and GMs) to keep discussions going.

Individual team discussions still tend to thrive.... I mean, visit Gonfalon sometime. I can go entire pages arguing the relative merits of Logan Watkins vs Chesny Young. And the reality is probably "who cares? Neither will have a career."

So far as politics and why they intrude? There's a one-word answer as to why that is. It's not just here, it's everywhere. New paradigms are new paradigms. And just because they yield more immediate fruit doesn't mean there aren't underbellies that go into the books, too.
   69. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:31 PM (#5787679)
Take the game chatters. I find those interesting. They're ghost towns now. Nobody is discussing games here during the season.
   70. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5787682)
Take the game chatters. I find those interesting. They're ghost towns now. Nobody is discussing games here during the season.


They certainly a lot less robust than they used to be. It's possible that's a side effect from moving the lounge to the forums. There are a ton of people in the lounge who used to post on the mainland, and in particular in the game chatters. But it's not a seamless transition between the two. It's not possible to post there and keep an eye on the hot topics bar and see if another conversation has been added to. That's probably what's going to happen with a lot of OTPers as well.

Again, Jim's site. I think it's a bad move to kill off your largest of a shrinking customer base.
   71. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5787683)
I don’t think the game changers were very robust before getting eliminated. For the last year or two of them it was whatever Red Sox game was going on and Joey posting in the Nationals game thread.
   72. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5787685)
I don’t think the game changers were very robust before getting eliminated. For the last year or two of them it was whatever Red Sox game was going on and Joey posting in the Nationals game thread.


The daily omnichatters were - and still are/would be - fun.

I certainly didn't join every day - or even often - but sure... on occasion when I just sink into the couch, watch a game or two - I'd usually muse/watch/etc whatever might come up in the omnichatter.

Granted, you have to understand that most Cubs fans got over their 2016 hangovers sometime this past August....
   73. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5787686)
It's possible the various OT threads are an offshoot of the fact that baseball isn't as interesting to discuss at this level anymore, in the aftermath of the stathead revolution.

If that's the case then the way of the future for a site like this is indeed for it to be an OT site.

I get that Jim doesn't want to run that site. I don't begrudge him. I wouldn't either.
   74. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 06:35 AM (#5787696)
Jose and VI: Tell the Lounge that I say "hey."
   75. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 06:38 AM (#5787697)
As time has gone by, I have become more into the historical aspect of the game; and that's not as sexy as projections or other aspects of sabermetrics. I've also become more busy, so I'm pretty much an infrequent lurker these days. I have no idea how I was able to spend so much time at work shirking my actual job and posting here, BITD. I blame the Great Recession for putting an end to that.
   76. Lassus Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:22 AM (#5787703)
I apologize for repeating myself from another thread, but it seems more appropriate over here:
[Gonfalon] - It's been more than seven hours since Jacob DeGrom and his 10-9 record won the Cy Young Award, and no thread has been posted yet on BTF's Newsstand. But it's something else that's "killing this website." Uh huh.

[my response] - Right. I looked yesterday and then had to shout it from the rooftops... in zenbitz's thread that has 12 people in in so far.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, Jim wants the site gone. Because the way he's operating it can't be explained any other way.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5787720)
As time has gone by, I have become more into the historical aspect of the game; and that's not as sexy as projections or other aspects of sabermetrics.

My main problem with the sabermetrics-oriented threads is that so often they simply wind up with a bunch of dueling spreadsheets, like a collection of academicians presenting their data-based position papers. I get the strong sense that most of the contributors' knowledge of baseball history comes from visiting Baseball-Reference and very little else. Sad to say, if I want to see writers who take those spreadsheets and know how to weave them into a coherent narrative argument, I usually have to go elsewhere.
   78. Colin Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5787726)
I would disagree. I would say that was is coming out is so technical and or so mathematically advanced that us commonfolk can't really adequately argue about it.

That, and I assume there are diminishing returns at this point. Understanding OBP was a big conceptual step forward from BA and RBI, OPS felt like a big conceptual step, WAR in its various iterations a big conceptual step. But I think most advances taking place now are only making small predictive improvements on those, the kinds of improvements that are important to teams looking for small edges over the span of thousands of on-field events over a season, but not terribly interesting to a casual baseball fan.

That's why the writing at Prospectus was always what was most important to me, and why I left BPro behind when its writing became less fun.
   79. jmurph Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:06 AM (#5787749)
The only solution to the lack of interesting links is to submit more interesting links. GGC wants to talk history, post a new thread that's a peg for that. I'm embarrassingly captivated by sports card news, I should post a thread that I come across. Etc and etc.
   80. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5787752)
That, and I assume there are diminishing returns at this point. Understanding OBP was a big conceptual step forward from BA and RBI, OPS felt like a big conceptual step, WAR in its various iterations a big conceptual step. But I think most advances taking place now are only making small predictive improvements on those, the kinds of improvements that are important to teams looking for small edges over the span of thousands of on-field events over a season, but not terribly interesting to a casual baseball fan.

That's why the writing at Prospectus was always what was most important to me, and why I left BPro behind when its writing became less fun.


I think if all of those little advances didn't require a large amount of computer programming skills and mathematical degrees we'd be right there arguing about them. Back in the day if you wanted to argue about the stats you basically only needed Excel and the ability to use Google. Sure it would be helpful to know more but with just those two things you could wade into the discussion, you could explore on your own, you could create on your own. Now though it is virtually impossible for a baseball at home who has limited computer knowledge to come up with something that would be relevant to the discussion.
   81. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5787758)
I think there's a sense that without the OTP thread driving traffic this place will dry up. I dunno. Probably about half the names I recognize from when I first started posting only show up there anymore. Seems to me this place has been slowing down to some degree or another since ZiPS moved to fangraphs. This can really only accelerate that slowdown, but don't know if I'd go so far as to say that will kill this place. There was something charming, if unsustainable, about this place when a random thread would turn into a several hundred page mostly respectful discussion about whether or not people who recline their seats in airplanes are the worst.


I dunno if the Lounge counts as traffic for the advertisers, but that's pretty active.

Not only did this site lose Dan, it lost Repoz. I didn't care for his linking to Murray Chass or others to show how much smarter we are than them. Nor did I care when he got too overtly political. But I used to love his lead-ins and his occasional posts. The humor and wordplay were top-notch. I guess that I can read him on Twitter, but I don't do much on social media.

A lot has changed from the days where I thought that I could write about sports to make some additional money.

BTW, the original name of this site was Baseball Think Factory. I'm not sure when it turned to Primer, but I think you can still find articles with a little professor icon about eXtraploated Runs (XR.)

jmurph:

It so happens that our workflow software is down today so I have some time to reply. I'm one of those folks who still follows an old netiquette rule of monitoring a thread after you post in it in case someone replies to your question or point so that I can respond in a timely matter. I don't have much time for that these days and I used to fear that I was missing out. That fear has subsided.
   82. villageidiom Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5787759)
I think we're just old and overly familiar with each other.
The solution to that is for new, unfamiliar people to join in the conversation. Hard to welcome people into the dining room and break bread while so many people insist on shitting there, or taking umbrage when Jim points them to the restroom.
It's been more than seven hours since Jacob DeGrom and his 10-9 record won the Cy Young Award, and no thread has been posted yet on BTF's Newsstand.
There's a link to submit threads. It takes only slightly more effort to submit a thread than it does to complain about the lack of such a thread - and less effort than complaining about the lack of such a thread in multiple other threads. I'm looking at the queue of recently-submitted threads, back to late October, and none are in "pending" status (i.e. waiting for an editor to publish). The last 10 submissions were by Jim. The only ones that were rejected since late October were duplicates. (e.g. Several threads were submitted on Willie McCovey's passing, but only one is published.)

This site is what we make of it. As jmurph says in #79, the only solution is to submit stuff, and to comment on what's been submitted. Repoz isn't walking through that door and turning on the thread fire-hose from which to drink. If we're all too busy to contribute in that way now, so be it; but then the flow of thread submissions has to come from new folk. And that means we need new folk to want to be here.

Y'all haven't left, so clearly you are either getting something out of this place, or care enough about it that you're compelled to discuss it further. That's a great start. Let's go the next step.

Jose and VI: Tell the Lounge that I say "hey."
Will do, but it would mean more coming directly from you.
   83. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5787761)
I think if all of those little advances didn't require a large amount of computer programming skills and mathematical degrees we'd be right there arguing about them. Back in the day if you wanted to argue about the stats you basically only needed Excel and the ability to use Google. Sure it would be helpful to know more but with just those two things you could wade into the discussion, you could explore on your own, you could create on your own. Now though it is virtually impossible for a baseball at home who has limited computer knowledge to come up with something that would be relevant to the discussion.


Bill James did it and I started to play around with that stuff in the 1980s, but my lack of database skills put me at a disadvantage. When I do have some free time, there are two projects I have in mind.

1.) Looking at baseball and rail travel. I met a few railfans at church and I may get more into that (in addition to my highway roadgeekery.)

2.)Expanding of John Thorn's work and diving deeper into baseball during the Federal Era. I have some theories about bow the game made it to the Berkshires before 1800.
   84. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5787762)
BTW, the original name of this site was Baseball Think Factory. I'm not sure when it turned to Primer, but I think you can still find articles with a little professor icon about eXtraploated Runs

Other way around. I think around 2002 or so. You could probably do a search on cease and desist and prospectus and find when it happened.
   85. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5787765)
I think it was called BTF in the 1990s when it had some articles and before the Newsstand became a thing.
   86. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5787766)
The solution to that is for new, unfamiliar people to join in the conversation. Hard to welcome people into the dining room and break bread while so many people insist on shitting there, or taking umbrage when Jim points them to the restroom.

I think you're missing the forest from the trees. If you wish to view the OTP and what goes on their as "shvtting" then where that is happening isn't in the dining room but in an extra upstairs bedroom. The key to getting new members isn't to make sure that extra bedroom is spic and span but that your lawn and outside decor is top notch, well kept, and pleasing to the eye. Your front porch is in good order and welcoming and your living room and main floor is all of those things as well. This site has failed miserably at those things over the last decade or so. Why would new people come and stay on this site when the front lawn looks like a junkyard and the living room looks like your dead great grandmothers living room? Back in the day the site creators and managers would throw up dozens of articles, they fostered an area where people could put up their own original work, and they occasionally did repairs.

There's a link to submit threads. It takes only slightly more effort to submit a thread than it does to complain about the lack of such a thread - and less effort than complaining about the lack of such a thread in multiple other threads. I'm looking at the queue of recently-submitted threads, back to late October, and none are in "pending" status (i.e. waiting for an editor to publish). The last 10 submissions were by Jim. The only ones that were rejected since late October were duplicates. (e.g. Several threads were submitted on Willie McCovey's passing, but only one is published.)

This site is what we make of it.


No this site is what Jim makes of it. It isn't ours and never has been. It wasn't us throwing up thousands of articles each year that was the site. What you're asking us the customers to be is the managers of this site. A)Jim hasn't asked us to do that and B)that's a horrible business model and site management philosophy.
   87. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5787768)
This site is what we make of it. As jmurph says in #79, the only solution is to submit stuff, and to comment on what's been submitted.


This is absolutely true, and you don't even need to submit threads to talk about whatever you want to talk about. Dan Lee does a marvelous job of submitting a Dugout every day, which gives people the opportunity to bring up any topic under the sun. I am mostly interested these days in the Rockies and baseball history, but I find when I bring these things up, I'll at least get puck or Perry or a few other people to chime in.

My suggestion is this: Next time you want to complain about the site, instead stop and write a thoughtful post about something that interests you but hasn't been discussed much here.
   88. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5787769)
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/scholars/furtado/articles/IntroducingXR.htm
   89. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5787770)

Bill James did it and I started to play around with that stuff in the 1980s, but my lack of database skills put me at a disadvantage. When I do have some free time, there are two projects I have in mind.

1.) Looking at baseball and rail travel. I met a few railfans at church and I may get more into that (in addition to my highway roadgeekery.)

2.)Expanding of John Thorn's work and diving deeper into baseball during the Federal Era. I have some theories about bow the game made it to the Berkshires before 1800


Same with me. I came across Neyer's work in the summer of 1998 and got into baseball stats and such hardcore in 2001. Round about 2002 I got pretty competent at what was at the time viewed as advanced stat work. At the time I thought of a career change but when I really thought through it all and asked myself what did I have and how could I be an asset I quickly realized that despite having a leg up on most baseball fans when it came to baseball stats and spreadsheets I wasn't even close to having the necessary skills to take the topic further and that there would be people who did have those skills and they would be brought to bear soon. So I stayed cooking steaks and watched the sabermetric world pass me by.
   90. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5787771)
I was wrong about the logo. I thought it was a little dude in mortarboard, but it's actually a book and a quill pen over a baseball diamond.

I sometimes like the Dugout, but it occasionally gets swamped by trivia.
   91. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5787774)
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/scholars/furtado/articles/IntroducingXR.htm


Wasn't there always a part of Primer that was labeled as BTF? Of course that could simply be that I discovered the site after they had changed the name to Primer but I remember that page style on Primer.
   92. GGC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5787776)
Workflow system is back up. Wrt BPro, I remember seeing their books in B&N around 1998 and was glad that someone was continuing B James's work. I think the last book by him prior to that was three years old (I think that it was EVALUATING MANAGERS.)
   93. jmurph Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5787779)
jmurph:

It so happens that our workflow software is down today so I have some time to reply. I'm one of those folks who still follows an old netiquette rule of monitoring a thread after you post in it in case someone replies to your question or point so that I can respond in a timely matter. I don't have much time for that these days and I used to fear that I was missing out. That fear has subsided.


GGC, to be clear in case it wasn't, I'm not judging or anything. I also don't submit threads. But VI, I think it was, made this point a while ago and I think it's the correct one, and we should try to follow it more. I've probably submitted like 3 threads in a decade. (Okay now I'm curious, so I'm checking: 6, in 11+ years! Shameful.)
   94. McCoy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5787781)
Is it channel entries? If so I'm at 83 with my last one two years ago.
   95. Nasty Nate Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5787790)
I'm looking at the queue of recently-submitted threads, back to late October, and none are in "pending" status
If there is a thread in pending status for hours, is it poor form to post a comment to it so it goes to Hot Topics?

I'd like to help the vitality of the site, but I don't know if that is against site etiquette?
   96. SoSH U at work Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5787796)
If there is a thread in pending status for hours, is it poor form to post a comment to it so it goes to Hot Topics?


I'm going to speak out of turn and say, no, that's not poor form.
   97. DJS Holiday-Related Pun Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5787824)
I didn't care for his linking to Murray Chass or others to show how much smarter we are than them.

I think there should always be an exception for ragging on Chass!

I'm going to speak out of turn and say, no, that's not poor form.

I never considered that poor form. It would only be if you were linking to yourself and nobody talked about it so you wanted to bump it.
   98. Lassus Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5787859)
I would like to commend McCoy for his #86, which I think is dead-on.
   99. villageidiom Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5787880)
If there is a thread in pending status for hours, is it poor form to post a comment to it so it goes to Hot Topics?
"Pending" status is not published, so there's no ability to comment. I assume what you're talking about are threads that have been published but have 0 comments. Hot Topics is fueled by recency of last comment, so anything newly-published won't show up there until someone comments.

I don't think it's poor form to make a comment just to get a thread noticed by people who only look at the Hot Topics board. It's probably poor form to repeatedly comment in order to keep it there.

I think you're missing the forest from the trees.
The front porch was never what got people to the site. It was always what was inside.

Nearly EVERYTHING inside this site that you ever liked has likely been provided by someone who isn't Jim. This has been a volunteer-run community probably a decade back before you were telling people that Theo Epstein was not building the next great Cubs team. Jim built this house, keeps the lights on, and occasionally he buys some groceries or makes a meal or takes out the trash. Everything else is us. The conditions here are a reflection of us.

It is easy to complain about the problems outside our control. We all do it, and oftentimes those complaints are valid. But it's damned pathetic to pretend that those are the only problems, that one's plight is exclusively someone else's problem to solve. If I wanted to hang around with people who adamantly believe such things... Well, I'd have been in OTP a lot more.

In the time that we've been discussing this, Votto has already submitted a thread and gotten it published. Clearly he's part of the solution.
   100. . Posted: November 15, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5787890)
Other than when an unnamed FLTB pops his head in to troll for a Jack Morris for the HOF, the only disagreements are at the extreme margins.


Nah -- the same kind of groupthink, intransigence, unknowing knowingness, and misanthropic assholetry (*) that blocked a certain niche from even dipping their toes into engaging with (now Hall of Famer Jack) Morris's case was a precursor to what eventually became things like Trump Derangement Syndrome and what ultimately led to what appears to be the site's demise.

It's a direct line.

(*) The anti-Morris fanatics are such raging a$sholes that they don't even understand that they lost the argument. He's in the Hall of Fame. That they can't begin to fathom why is *their* defect, not the defect of the wide majority that voted him in. That's always been the case. They're the actual "trolls."
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