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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Studeman: It’s the Hardball Times and FanGraphs

Seems every time there’s a booze-fueled convention…something good comes out of it!

We’ve got news for you Internet baseball watchers. The Hardball Times has just been acquired by our old buddy FanGraphs. “Acquisition” is such as bloodless, corporate word; it makes you think of downsizing, Bain Capital and synergies. But that’s not what’s really happening here, except maybe the synergy part.

Simply put, THT and FanGraphs are combining our financial, technical and publishing resources. Nothing much will change on either website. Both sites have their niches and writers and readership. We’ll still publish good stuff every day, as will Fangraphs. We already lean heavily on FanGraphs’ stats, and that certainly won’t change. We both have excellent pools of fantasy writers, and that won’t change either.

...I’m assuming you all know FanGraphs. FanGraphs first hit the tubes back in 2005, I think. Their founder (and my new boss) David Appelman even wrote for us for a while, as a way to publicize his new site. I invented LOB% for David because Ron Shandler wouldn’t let him use Strand Rate for his graphs (now you know how new baseball stats come to be). I’ve always assumed that David chose FanGraphs for the name of his site because I had already taken BaseballGraphs. So we’ve been close allies from the very beginning.

FanGraphs has since become a powerhouse the baseball world, known for its cutting-edge, in-depth baseball stats and lively, timely commentary. David has done a tremendous job of increasing his site’s features and traffic. We’ve continued to work together closely over the years as both sites have evolved. When THT decided to drop our stats, it was a natural to link to Fangraphs’ instead. And now we’ve formalized things.

 

Repoz Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, sabermetrics, site news

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   1. Boxkutter Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4173548)
Does this mean Fangraphs can finally afford to hire an editor to read over the articles that are turned in?
   2. booond Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4173554)
FanGraphs has since become a powerhouse the baseball world, known for its cutting-edge, in-depth baseball stats and lively, timely commentary.


Not if this sentence is an example.
   3. SG Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4173650)
Does this mean Fangraphs can finally afford to hire an editor to read over the articles that are turned in?


Grandpa's rich, but he's not that rich.
   4. DKDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4173673)
An editor would help; but they should at least establish some standards for there authors to adhere too.

I self-edit and re-read every thing I right, and Id be pretty embarrased my writing is as unprofesional as many of the Fangraphs article.
   5. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4173686)
I self-edit and re-read every thing I right


Clearly not.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4173692)
irony meter recalibration--aisle 5
   7. The District Attorney Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4173710)
I self-edit and re-read every thing I right, and Id be pretty embarrased my writing is as unprofesional as many of the Fangraphs article.
You're thinking of Bleacher Report here.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4173757)
Simply put, THT and FanGraphs are combining our financial, technical and publishing resources.

How many layoffs?
   9. phatj Posted: July 05, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4173765)
Seems like it would make sense for FanGraphs to simply drop the writing altogether, eventually, and focus on expanding and improving the stats and graphs.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: July 05, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4173805)
Seems like it would make sense for FanGraphs to simply drop the writing altogether, eventually, and focus on expanding and improving the stats and graphs.


You mean, they could bother creating some mainstream stat that isn't a laughingstock instead of WPA, fWar, etc? Maybe they could find the time to actually bother creating a stolen base WPA stat(one of the few things WPA is good for, and they don't bother to track it)

I didn't know they wrote articles?

Hopefully this means fangraphs will carry THT's database of stats, including(if they still have it) their versions of win shares. Neither site is particularly friendly when it comes to looking for stats, but Fangraphs is slightly better.
   11. madvillain Posted: July 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4173828)
You mean, they could bother creating some mainstream stat that isn't a laughingstock instead of WPA, fWar, etc? Maybe they could find the time to actually bother creating a stolen base WPA stat(one of the few things WPA is good for, and they don't bother to track it)

I didn't know they wrote articles?

Hopefully this means fangraphs will carry THT's database of stats, including(if they still have it) their versions of win shares. Neither site is particularly friendly when it comes to looking for stats, but Fangraphs is slightly better.


WPA is a laughingstock? Huh. Last time I checked it as a fun little thing that had zero predictive value but that showed major momentum shifts in games and the guys responsible.

As for the rest of your post, I just don't agree with any of it. Fangraphs is a great for looking up stats. It's not so great for articles, as most of them are content farm style posts, and not particularly deep digging.
   12. Randy Jones Posted: July 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4173853)
Fangraphs is a great for looking up stats.


Only if you like to pretend that BB-Ref doesn't exist...
   13. madvillain Posted: July 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4173889)
Only if you like to pretend that BB-Ref doesn't exist...


They both are excellent IMO.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: July 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4173935)
Does any site have first-half and second-half splits that actually use halves of the season instead of before and after the All-Star break?
   15. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 05, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4173958)
Hopefully this means fangraphs will carry THT's database of stats, including(if they still have it) their versions of win shares. Neither site is particularly friendly when it comes to looking for stats, but Fangraphs is slightly better.

As noted in the announcement, THT gave up its stats years ago & has been using Fangraphs for that ever since.
   16. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4174074)
How many layoffs?

I know this was a joke, but the problem was actually that THT was short-staffed on technical and publishing people, and can benefit from the Fangraphs people pitching in.
   17. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4174297)
Only if you like to pretend that BB-Ref doesn't exist...

Sure, B-R is more extensive, but at least with Fangraphs I never had the urge to consult an owner's manual.
   18. McCoy Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4174397)
That's because they don't provide one. Their stats page looks like somebody spilled a box of Alpha-bits cereal all over the screen.
   19. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4174425)
Fangraphs is a great for looking up stats.



Only if you like to pretend that BB-Ref doesn't exist...


They're both great, but I use them in different ways. I have found Fangraphs useful because it shows current players major and minor league stats on the same page, along with their ZIPS projections. It's been a nice tool for playing fantasy. BB-Ref is unparalleled for viewing every detail of a player's career, grey and black ink, and digging into batted ball data, etc.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4174476)
Sure, B-R is more extensive, but at least with Fangraphs I never had the urge to consult an owner's manual.


I find B-R easier to use than FanGraphs in that regard. FanGraphs used to have a nice little "glossary" option with their stats and a little pop up would tell you what the abbreviation stood for. Much of their stuff is pretty obvious but for those of us who don't automatically remember what "Z-Swing%" vs. "O-Swing%" is it's nice not to have to look it up every time.
   21. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 06, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4174909)
I have an older computer and Bbref takes a while to load for me. It used to be a lot cleaner back in the old days. So I often use retrosheet for old stuff. Sorry, Sean.
   22. JJ1986 Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4174953)
The only time I use Fangraphs for stats is when I need some sort of DIPS. I wish B-R had one on player pages.
   23. DA Baracus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4174978)
Sure, B-R is more extensive, but at least with Fangraphs I never had the urge to consult an owner's manual.


You've got this backwards. At B-R you can hover your mouse over an abbreviated stat header and it gives you a description of the stat. At Fangraphs it doesn't even tell you the name of the stat. Like, what the hell is, to pick a random metric, Rdrs? With minimal effort at B-R I know it's "BIS Defensive Runs Saved Above Average. The number of runs above or below the average player was worth based on the number of plays made. This number combines the Rpm, Rbdp, Rbof and Rbcatch numbers into a total defensive contribution." At Fangraphs I'm left to look that up on my own.

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