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

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Book Blog: Tango: Do you like Fangraphs?

Nicked from the Grosnick thread…

Fangraphs is really two sites in one: the stats site, which would be in the ballpark of BR.com, and the articles site, would would be in the ballpark of BPro’s meat-and-potatoes.

So, my first question:

1. Are some people so turned off by the content of the articles, that they can’t get past that, and go straight to their stats pages?

2. Don’t people see that both sites (Fangraphs and BR.com) offer major advantages over the other, that you could conceivably spend quite a bit of time on each?  Fangraphs has the Dashboard and the “my team”, so you can actually get very personalized stat packages.

From my standpoint, having both Forman and Appelman as stewards of sabermetrics is the best thing we could have hoped to have.  They are very accessible, accommodating, and have fantastic sites to navigate.  They make the data exportable.  Choosing one over the other invariably makes the person become political, talking about the virtues of one and the deficiencies of the other.

3. Both sites offer WPA and Leverage stats.  How does this somehow hurt one more than the other?

Repoz Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:37 AM | 73 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. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 06:26 AM (#4237689)
Are some people so turned off by the content of the articles, that they can’t get past that, and go straight to their stats pages?


Yes. Anything with Dave Cameron's name on it is a total boner-killer for me.
   2. Greg K Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:19 AM (#4237708)
I find baseball-reference easier to navigate. On the other hand fangraphs seems to provide easier access to more obscure stuff.

I use bb-ref 95% of the time, and fangraphs when I want to know how fast someone's fastball is or something like that.
   3. shoewizard Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4237715)
Yes. Anything with Dave Cameron's name on it is a total boner-killer for me.


Well, I guess thats better than anything with his name on it giving you a boner.
   4. Greg K Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4237718)
Well, I guess thats better than anything with his name on it giving you a boner.

That's more of a David Cameron thing.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4237725)
I find baseball-reference easier to navigate. On the other hand fangraphs seems to provide easier access to more obscure stuff.

I use bb-ref 95% of the time, and fangraphs when I want to know how fast someone's fastball is or something like that.


This is pretty much where I come down. I find the FG articles are usually interesting enough that they often send me hunting for information. I don't get too bothered if I disagree with them. The comments sections are usually painful though.
   6. deputydrew Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4237729)

Well, I guess thats better than anything with his name on it giving you a boner.


I actually think this is way out of line and appears (on the assumption that most readers here are male) to be homophobic.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4237732)
the dave cameron podcast is pretty interesting save for when castulli insists on trying to be funny.

what a goofball
   8. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4237735)
1. The content of a bunch of Fangraphs articles is impossibly specific. They seem to be, take a player, take some of his data, and write about it. It's not research, it's not (really) statistics, it's just an info dump. Right now, for example, there are articles on the year of Ryan Ludwick and the weekend of Jake McGee (full of annoying GIFs).

2. I've never read the Daily Notes before, but I just clicked on the newest one. I made it about halfway down the page before there were three paragraphs about why the writer is calling the Yankees "Yankers".

3. Their comment section is awful. Full of people who will attack anyone who disagrees with the author. And they downvote people's comments; which is about the worst thing a forum can have.

4. I still use their stats whenever BBRef doesn't have what I'm looking for.
   9. McCoy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4237739)
I actually think this is way out of line and appears (on the assumption that most readers here are male) to be homophobic.

Oh yeah, that is way over the BTF line. He should have his kids taken away and given to a gay couple to raise.
   10. Austin Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4237749)
It seems I helped touch off quite a debate... there are a LOT of comments on Tango's post. I wrote a lengthy response there, but I'll just post a short version here. I said that the statistics pages are really good, significantly better IMO than B-R as long as you don't despise pitcher fWAR and don't spend most of your database-querying time doing historical comparisons. The quality of the writing has also taken a significant step forward in the past year or so. While somewhere around 30-60% of the content is filler, that represents an improvement over the previous state of affairs, and the non-filler content (e.g. Sullivan, Petti, Laurila, Remington, Thurm, and the occasional Swartz and Wolfersberger, plus Cistulli if you like his style) is now very, very good. That said, some weaknesses remain readily apparent: there's still a desperate shortage of genuine analytical research, for example, and you should almost never read the comments on any article.

This community seems to have experienced some groupthink with respect to the quality of the site. If you're used to B-R, you probably will find aspects of the FanGraphs appearance and interface quite disagreeable, but there are numerous uses for which FG's statistics pages are inarguably superior. And if you come in with the preconception that the writing is worthless, it's very easy to find evidence that supports your viewpoint. That's exacerbated by the fact that Dave Cameron is both the most visible and the most polarizing staff member, which I think causes some people to unfairly project his attitude onto the other FG writers. But if you can train yourself to look at their content with fresh eyes, there's a good chance you'll find a portion of it that you'll like.
   11. Esoteric Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4237758)
Fangraphs may have Dave Cameron, but it also now has Jeff Sullivan writing regularly. There are very, very, very few baseball writers that I enjoy reading more -- just for the pleasure of their funny, unique prose style -- than Sullivan.

It's a major get for Fangraphs, as I had pretty much written off the rest of the writing staff there. But I will make it a point to read his articles.

I agree that the comment section is truly terrible, though. Bunch of zombies congratulating one another on being 'enlightened' about sabermetrics and engaging in weird Kos-style groupthink behavior.
   12. Boxkutter Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4237783)
I use Fangraphs more than BR, but I think as Austin referred to up there, BR seems to be used more by people looking to make historical comparisons. I use Fangraphs more because I am looking at stats that can tell me what a player is more likely to do in the future. I don't read many of the articles though because I have found the editing of them to be quite poor. Shoddy grammar, weak spelling, poor sentence structure, and repetitive ideas stated over and over in different ways. Some of the articles themselves are pretty crappy, but an equal number are quite good. Most fall somewhere in the middle with them highlighting some random stat about some player "Player X has the highest swinging strike percentage outside the strike zone against left-handed pitching!"

Either way, I love Fangraphs and it is my go-to site for all my stat needs. Rarely do I go anywhere else, unless I am on ESPN.com checking box scores and just want to click on a player's name for quick and dirty stats.
   13. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4237785)
B-ref v. FG: They're both great. All things equal, I tend toward b-ref, because of habit and the far cleaner presentation - but it really depends on what I'm trying to look for. Historical questions, almost always use b-ref. For projection questions, I tend to search FG (and not just because they've got projections on site).

The writing:
Cameron: I'm turned off by his self-assurance, but that's a stylistic preference on my part, not a dig against him. (I like wordy, mealy mouth types - understandably not everyone's druthers.)
Sullivan's great, one of the treasures of the internet. Cistulli is funny, when I'm not too lost in what he's doing. They've got some other solid dudes too (many already mentioned).
That said, there's enough filler / info dumps that I go there less often than I otherwise might. Not really a feature or a flaw, it just is.
   14. shoewizard Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4237813)
Oh yeah, that is way over the BTF line. He should have his kids taken away and given to a gay couple to raise.


If they'll pay for college for my last one, I'm all in.
   15. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4237821)
Oh yeah, that is way over the BTF line. He should have his kids taken away and given to a gay couple to raise.


People who overreact should be stabbed in the neck.
   16. DKDC Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4237827)
With the exception of three writers, I find the writing on Fangraphs to be weak pretty much across-the-board: poor choice of topic, poor analysis, poor writing, and poor editing.

Cistulli definitely offers something different, but I completely don’t get it. Whatever it is, it just does not appeal to my sense of humor at all.

Cameron is far-and-away the best writer on the site, but his ego often leads him astray.

I have enjoyed Sullivan’s writing elsewhere, but the few articles I’ve read on Fangraphs so far haven’t been his best stuff.

So, I use Fangraphs mostly for their stats. They offer quite a bit that BB-Ref doesn’t offer, and it’s presented very well. For stats, I’m probably about 60/40 BB-Ref/Fangraphs, and my choice depends on what I want to look up.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4237829)
I find baseball-reference easier to navigate. On the other hand fangraphs seems to provide easier access to more obscure stuff.

I use bb-ref 95% of the time, and fangraphs when I want to know how fast someone's fastball is or something like that.


This. I prefer Fangraph's WAR too.

The only articles I read at Fangraphs are ones by a few friends of mine that write there.

But I'm certainly glad both exist.
   18. Shredder Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4237831)
the dave cameron podcast is pretty interesting save for when castulli insists on trying to be funny.
Harvey, you must just not Carson's Wisconsin sense of humor.
   19. Olaf Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4237837)
Dayn Perry is very good. But all the rest of those guys are all wankers. (Oops, meant "yankers." Oh dear, there's no getting out of this one alive.)
   20. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4237846)
I actually subscribe to the Fangraphs feed on my RSS reader, so I've read or at least seen every single article of theirs for the last five months ago.

Cistulli: Is worthless. It's this same overly cute, pretending to be stupid style. He also introduces a ton of shitty stats. Like, in his notes column for today, he introduces some stat called SCOUT + or SCOUT -. I frequently simply skip his articles when I see his byline, as I've yet to read anything worthwhile from him.

Cameron: Can occasionally be interesting, but is generally such a contrarian he can be hard to read. If it's about the Mariners, I just skip.

The Q&A's are interesting, and they get good responses from MLBers. Not sure if those are their own interviews, or if they're compilations. If they're not their own interviews, then I feel they're slightly unethical, as they never indicate that it's a compilation.

Everyone else: sort of bland. I generally read around half the article until I see where it's going and then I just skip. Lower than ESPN levels of insight in general. Dayn Perry was good for the brief period he was writing for them. I read all of Dayn's stuff. Don't notice a difference between the other guys.

Stats pages: I don't like their L&F, but the info is legitimately great, especially for pitchers. Frequently, I've been looking up a guy on both places and I wonder to myself why I use BBREF, because Fangraphs has better info. It comes back to design and accessibility. BBREF has a search plugin for Chrome, which is really nice.

   21. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4237855)
Dayn's still there - isn't he? I feel like I read one of his notgraphs bits not long ago. (I like your stuff, Dayn - if you're lurking. Or if you're not.)
   22. Randy Jones Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4237860)
The stats on Fangraphs' are fine. The look and feel and functionality of the stat pages are terrible. Just awful, especially in comparison to BB-Ref. And the Fangraphs pages are still slow as #### to load, even though they are very basic pages with little functionality. I avoid them solely because of that.

The writing on Fangraphs...well, the less said the better. There is some good stuff there, but a whole lot of garbage as well.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4237874)
Do you like Fangraphs?
"Check yes or no and pass this note back to me."
   24. The_Ex Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4237883)
I noticed over the past year that sites like Fangraphs are getting way too micro for me. Hey, Bryce Harper went 4-4 over the weekend, here is every other teenager who went 4-4. Hey, pitcher X just struck out ten guys in a row, here is every other pitcher who did that. Basically if something barely-notable happens someone will write about it. We have gone from a 5 second mention on SportCenter to a full written review.

For me it's too much. I have become very selective in which of their articles that come through my feed that I read.
   25. Steve N Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4237890)
I seldom use Fangraphs stats. A couple of years ago I loved the articles. The subjects have become more obscure and, to me, less informative. Their annual player review, forget the title, also seems to be more filler. I will give it one more chance, I think. At least its cheap.
   26. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4237897)
One of FG's problems is that its writers (with the exception of Dayn Perry) aren't particularly good at writing. It's not necessarily that these people write poorly; it's that their writing is not compelling. Their voices (with the exception of Cistulli, who doesn't really offer anything of substance) are pretty indistinguishable. There's no writer there that I really want to read -- not even Dave Cameron. This is a bad contrast with BPro, whose quality has gotten both better and more interesting. When you're reading something by Sam Miller or Jason Parks, for instance, you know you're reading something by Sam Miller or Jason Parks.

(I realize that FG and BPro aren't precisely comparable, given BPro is a subscription site -- I don't subscribe, but I've reconsidered the idea lately.)
   27. Austin Posted: September 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4237923)
I'd just like to point out that if Tango were in this thread, he'd be screaming "summary opinion with no evidence" in response to a lot of these comments.
   28. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4237957)
I'd just like to point out that if Tango were in this thread, he'd be screaming "summary opinion with no evidence" in response to a lot of these comments.


If I wanted to give a good, close textual criticism it would:
a. take more of my time than I care to spend
b. not be very interesting to most of the posters on this board
c. be comprised of cherry-picked examples to make Fangraphs look bad because that's my original opinion

When talking about something subjective, specific and pointed feedback is not really necessary unless you're working for Fangraphs.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4237962)
I'd just like to point out that if Tango were in this thread, he'd be screaming "summary opinion with no evidence" in response to a lot of these comments.


He's coming down quite hard on the issue of absent proofreading/copyediting. I don't get why anyone would defend sloppiness that much.
   30. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4237967)
Yes. Anything with Dave Cameron's name on it is a total boner-killer for me.

Well, I guess thats better than anything with his name on it giving you a boner.

I actually think this is way out of line and appears (on the assumption that most readers here are male) to be homophobic.


Actually, it's an attack on anyone who is aroused by the written word.

It's lexophiliaphobic!
   31. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4237979)
I very much like the live-updated win expectancy graph scoreboard on Fangraphs. That's the only thing that I use it for, though.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4237991)
Their voices ... are pretty indistinguishable.


The truth is that since Baseball Prospectus went behind the pay wall, I have not regularly read any stathead baseball blogs, and I was slowing down even then. 80% of what I come across is, well, something that I (or most anyone from this site) could have produced given the time and inclination. Part of it is the same issue that we have with the baseball columnists that we hate: it just isn't easy to produce vital content so frequently.

Cistulli: Is worthless. It's this same overly cute, pretending to be stupid style. He also introduces a ton of shitty stats. Like, in his notes column for today, he introduces some stat called SCOUT + or SCOUT -. I frequently simply skip his articles when I see his byline, as I've yet to read anything worthwhile from him.


Cistulli is basically the McSweeney's brand of humor brought to the stathead world, right?
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: September 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4238013)
He's coming down quite hard on the issue of absent proofreading/copyediting. I don't get why anyone would defend sloppiness that much.


He doesn't care about typos or grammatical errors, so damn it no one else should either.

   34. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4238037)


I use bb-ref 90% of the time, but find Fangraphs very useful for fantasy purposes. Fangraphs shows, minor- and major-league stats, ZIPS, and some luck stats (like FIP, xFIP, etc.) all on the same page.
   35. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 17, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4238054)
I haven't read it much lately, but Alex Remington's stuff was good when I read it. I'm more of a Notgraphs guy, or Dayn Perry guy; esp when he'd insert Dick Allen's name into various works of literature. Back in 2009 and 2010 when I was blogging regularly, I thought that my stuff might fit in a Notgraphs, but it didn't happen. C'est la vie. I've been more interested in US history and theology lately thanks to the Red Sox return to the Butch Hobson Era of Excellence.

On an unrelated note, in the Book thread fols say that Fangraphs takes longer for them to load than bbref. I have the opposite problem. I use an old second iBook as my main computer and it takes forever for bbref's pages to load unless I go to their mobile site.
   36. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: September 17, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4238061)
Is Szym going to be writing there now that he's not with BTF? ZIPS are there and he does chats but he doesn't write for them.
   37. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4238079)
Szym is at ESPN. Dunno if they let their guys write elsewhere.
   38. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4238091)
Is Szym going to be writing there now that he's not with BTF?

Wait. What?
   39. Zach Posted: September 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4238094)
I don't really care one way or the other about Fangraphs. Some of the stat pages are very nice, but the BBref pages are so much cleaner that it's my go-to site.

What does kind of piss me off (and for some reason I associate it with Fangraphs) is the tendency to replace all sabermetric insight or thinking with a simpleminded reference to WAR. More WAR good. Less WAR bad. Defensive WAR! WAR to three decimal places! All hail Fangraphs, god of WAR!

It's only a matter of time before WAR breaks into drivetime sports talk shows. It's the RBI of the new generation.
   40. DKDC Posted: September 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4238165)
Wait. What?


You must have missed the infamous Dan S meltdown and denunciation of BBTF.

   41. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4238183)
Tango seems angry that people are complaining about a free site. And that doesn't seem fair, since he asked people for their opinions. I'm not crazy about Fangraphs, but I don't go around complaining about it; I just don't go there. But if someone comes up to me and solicits my thoughts, I'm going to provide them, you know?
   42. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 17, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4238186)
The look and feel and functionality of the stat pages are terrible. Just awful, especially in comparison to BB-Ref. And the Fangraphs pages are still slow as #### to load, even though they are very basic pages with little functionality. I avoid them solely because of that.
This is exactly opposite from my experience.
On an unrelated note, in the Book thread fols say that Fangraphs takes longer for them to load than bbref. I have the opposite problem. I use an old second iBook as my main computer and it takes forever for bbref's pages to load unless I go to their mobile site.
This is more like it. Occasionally, I'll get a script for an ad that will take forever to load. This happens both at work and at home. Honestly, I'm very close to the point of using fangraphs as the go-to site for stats because of it, even though I think bbref is easier to read and usually has more of the type of stats I'm looking for.
   43. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4238208)
Szym is at ESPN. Dunno if they let their guys write elsewhere.

Technically speaking, I'm not exclusive, but ESPN gets first dibs on my time and energy. So in the end, it comes out as being mostly exclusive, I enjoy working for ESPN and they let me get my fingers in all sorts of pies.
   44. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4238218)
(puts DKDC on his list, underlines the name)
***
Which site is faster depends on the machine I'm on / browser I use. Just tried in IE through my employer - b-ref won, 8 sec to 13.
   45. geonose Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4238281)
Yes. Anything with Dave Cameron's name on it is a total boner-killer for me.

Agreed. And I like FanGraphs. It's gotten so I just skip anything with Cameron's byline. I find the dogmatic, holier-than-thou, narcissistic air of superiority tiresome and aggravating.
   46. Danny Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4238308)
I'd just like to point out that if Tango were in this thread, he'd be screaming "summary opinion with no evidence" in response to a lot of these comments.

Good lord. That only reinforces my opinion that Tango is more insufferable than MGL ever was.
   47. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4238309)
It's gotten so I just skip anything with Cameron's byline. I find the dogmatic, holier-than-thou, narcissistic air of superiority tiresome and aggravating.

Ahh, how far saber has come. It seems like only yesterday that these were the absolutely essential traits for writing on any saber-related site.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4238322)
seems like a lively discussion to me

i like both sites.

my only quibble with tango is the statement that because the site is free the writer is free of any obligation to use good grammar. that's silly. if you are communicating you should work to communicate effectively. poor grammar can and often does confuse the message. and that leads to misunderstandings. which could have been avoided via good grammar

this post is free so i am allowed to write, 'ryan braun good player he is'?

no.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4238323)
Good lord. That only reinforces my opinion that Tango is more insufferable than MGL ever was


Big fan of Tango, but that second link/comment was on par with some of the stupider things ever said on the internet(ok, not nearly as stupid as someone claiming leaving Chris Carpenter to pitch the ninth is an example of the worse managing in history, but nearly that bad).
Why we as readers would “demand” something since we don’t pay anything is silly.


Beyond stupid comment. Readers not only should demand something, it's expected that they demand something. It's supply and demand in every sense of the expression.

Which is funny because later in the same thread Tango says

Criticizing BR.com for this can lead to a simple change on the site owner. It doesn’t require extra effort on some little-to-no-paid writer.


I don't know if he realizes the hypocrisy of those two statements, or if he thinks that criticizing with the hope of getting something added, is more than semantically different than "demanding" for something.


this post is free so i am allowed to write, 'ryan braun good player he is'?

no.


Yes, that seems to be one of his points...because he's edited in the past and it's a headache, so expecting other sites to have some semblance of competent editing is asking to much from a free site. Just ask them to run it through word spell check at least before submitting the article.
   50. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4238329)
My problem with the articles at fangraphs is its top-to-bottom mediocre. I don't think it's editing or sloppiness, but just, these are guys who are not very good writers and don't have much to say. Theyre no different from you or I in that regard, but we're not holding ourselves out as baseball writers.

I find the stats pages slower and less well-designed than bbref; that gap has closed over recent years as bbref has begun to, how to say, fully monetize the eyeballs. There is some info fangraphs has that is nowhere else - I use it for that.
   51. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4238336)
Yes, that seems to be one of his points...because he's edited in the past and it's a headache, so expecting other sites to have some semblance of competent editing is asking to much from a free site. Just ask them to run it through word spell check at least before submitting the article.


Yeah, I think he took the editing process really personally, when you really shouldn't do that. Editing is about making the final product as good as it can possibly be. It's not anything about the writer. It's about improving the copy, and it's certainly not nit-picky to use better style.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4238345)
as bbref has begun to, how to say, fully monetize the eyeballs. There is some info fangraphs has that is nowhere else - I use it for that.


Between the damn videos that run constantly and the pop up adds IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE....bb-ref is becoming something that I sometimes regret having to visit... I mean I have headphones on, listening to music on the computer and happen to scroll past something or leave one of my 3-8 open bb-ref page and you get a trumpet blaring or some Talking head chatting up about something that happened in the red sox/yankee game last night that I just don't care about. BB-Ref is an essential site, so you have to live with the annoyances that make it exist, but it's still frustrating.


As to why people might not like Fangraphs. I've mentioned it before, they have a superior smug attitude when it comes to their stats and in their articles they act like their stats were handed from the almighty themselves..... For the record, You guys use WPA as an actual stat.... you have nothing to feel superior about, I haven't figured out which is a more useless stat, WPA or Productive outs. The fact that Fangraph writers think it should be listed in nearly every article is reason enough not to visit....And that is before the silliness of Fip being used as a tool to write articles in support of a candidate for a season award.
   53. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4238362)
(reads the second link from 46)
I like Tango and have some sympathy for his position but...

using FG is not being invited to a party, it's using a website - and not the only game in town. If someone doesn't use their stats because they don't like the articles there (be it for the subject matters, quality and professionalism of writing, whatever), that's a little weird to me - but not a case of holding one site to a higher standard than the other, it's reacting to something that turns them off. Which is totally legit - you should vote with your eyeballs online, it's why I rarely click on links that I think will annoy me or for entities that I realy don't want to get my business.

There's nothing wrong with not liking something. (cue Smitty)
   54. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4238374)
For the record, You guys use WPA as an actual stat.... you have nothing to feel superior about, I haven't figured out which is a more useless stat, WPA or Productive outs.


WPA is not a stat that should be used to measure the value of players, but it perfectly encapsulates what it's supposed to be. It's useful to tell the story of how the game went.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4238377)
WPA is not a stat that should be used to measure the value of players, but it perfectly encapsulates what it's supposed to be. It's useful to tell the story of how the game went.


Correct and productive outs tells what it is supposed to also, it doesn't make it useful. WPA is a story telling tool that tells you the high and low emotional impact of a fan on a particular game. Beyond that it has no value, and pretending that player A is more valuable than player B because he has a higher wpa should be grounds for a shunning by all thinking baseball fans.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4238381)
I think WPA is neat.
   57. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4238386)
productive outs tells what it is supposed to also


Only literally. It's supposed to be a measure of what contributes to run production and it certainly is not that.
   58. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4238396)
I like cfb's stance on K/27, but I also like WPA. Sure, like any bit of information it can be misused. It definitely isn't a leading indicator.
   59. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4238422)
Fangraphs today put up an article about why a 27-year old Christian Garcia is the next K-Rod (circa 2002). I guess he's an hispanic reliever with a good 6-innings, but that's still a gargantuan stretch.
   60. vivaelpujols Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4238508)
To cardsfanboy. If you don't like the ads on BBREF, I'm not sure why you don't just use FanGraphs. Their stat pages are top notch - at least as good as BBREF's. It's seems like your just playing favoritism, which is fine I guess, but you're shooting yourself in the foot and I'm not sure why anyone should listen to you. I agree that the articles are mostly poor and can be downright terrible at times, but that's irrelevent to the stats portion of the site.

Secondly, WPA certainly can be used as a measurement of value. It's essentially just linear weights adjusted for leverage. If you want to included clutch performance in your definition of value, using WPA in place of WRAA (batting runs above average) in the WAR calculation is perfectly defensible. The problem with WPA on it's own is that it's baselined to league average instead of replacement level (meaning it doesn't properly account for playing time) and obviously your leverage is dependent on the guys in front of you. On the other hand, you have no problem using ERA instead of FIP even though ERA is heavily dependent on your teammates as well. So #### it, I'm not sure what your general philosophy is.
   61. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4238514)
So #### it, I'm not sure what your general philosophy is.

Say what you want about the tenets of cardsfanboyism, but at least it is an ethos.
   62. bjhanke Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4238689)
tshpman (#51) brings up a very interesting point. There are three things that an editor is supposed to do when confronting a submission: proofreading, copy editing, and editing. Proofreading is just checking for obvious typos and basic adherence to style. Copy editing includes proofreading and also involves things like full adherence to style sheets and checking for virtually duplicate passages and such. Editing, however, involves questioning the content, especially if the content seems ambiguous or just plain hard to understand. It also involves fact checking. Writers do take editing personally, especially when the editor questions whether your content could pass a good stiff fact check. The other two - copy editing and proofreading - are things that no writer should ever object to. Essentially, they amount to just applying a second set of eyes. It's easy for a writer to skip over a typo; in fact, every writer I've ever seen, including me, has a few specific typos that they always seem to miss. If you're a writer complaining about "editing", you need to make clear whether you're complaining about full editing or copy editing.

And before anyone brings up the books that I edited back in the 1990s, they are TERRIBLY copy edited. In fact, except for the 1991 book, they are, essentially, not even proofread. The issue was time. I was trying to do too much in too few months, and copy editing and proofreading were what went by the wayside, except in 1991, when I had a little more time than usual. The irony is that, in between technical writing assignments, I proofread, freelance, for a living. So it's not as if I can't do it, or am slow. I just ran out of time. That happens, and a writer has every right to complain if it does. A writer should expect at least a proofreading pass. I failed at that and I feel guilty about it all the time, even two decades later. But my point remains: A writer not only should not complain about copy editing, he should insist on it. Full editing is a different beast. - Brock Hanke
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4238725)
To cardsfanboy. If you don't like the ads on BBREF, I'm not sure why you don't just use FanGraphs. Their stat pages are top notch - at least as good as BBREF's. It's seems like your just playing favoritism, which is fine I guess, but you're shooting yourself in the foot and I'm not sure why anyone should listen to you. I agree that the articles are mostly poor and can be downright terrible at times, but that's irrelevent to the stats portion of the site.


Bb-ref still loads faster, is easier to read, is easier to sort, is easier to use, is easier to convert to txt documents, better and easier to use seasonal data. (Spent the last minute+ trying to figure out where runs scored per game for the team is and still haven't found it nor have I found runs allowed per game...these are basic stats that I look at on a somewhat daily basis) Doesn't have save situation or save opps as a stat which is another stat I use semi-infrequently. (Any time some idiot tv announcer tries to disparage a non-closer in the closer role by pulling out save situation, you need to have holds, saves, blown saves and save situation to accurately calculate true save percentage) Etc....Fangraphs isn't remotely on the same level as bb-ref.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4238732)
Secondly, WPA certainly can be used as a measurement of value. It's essentially just linear weights adjusted for leverage. If you want to included clutch performance in your definition of value, using WPA in place of WRAA (batting runs above average) in the WAR calculation is perfectly defensible. The problem with WPA on it's own is that it's baselined to league average instead of replacement level (meaning it doesn't properly account for playing time) and obviously your leverage is dependent on the guys in front of you. On the other hand, you have no problem using ERA instead of FIP even though ERA is heavily dependent on your teammates as well. So #### it, I'm not sure what your general philosophy is.


It is linear weights ran through a stupid machine.... again, if you hit a solo homerun in a 1-0 game, it has the EXACT SAME VALUE no matter what inning it happens in. WPA on the other hand says "no it doesn't, because I'm a legal retard stat and if you hit that homerun in the top of the 9th inning, it's worth a whole hell of a lot more than it is in the first inning."

ERA is dependent on teamates, but it's at least based upon something that happened, instead of some theory of what should have happened.

Comparing era to wpa is ridiculous. A run allowed in the first inning of a 9 inning performance is the same as one allowed in the 9th inning of the same performance. Theory should never be substituted for reality.
   65. shoewizard Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4238743)
It is linear weights ran through a stupid machine.... again, if you hit a solo homerun in a 1-0 game, it has the EXACT SAME VALUE no matter what inning it happens in. WPA on the other hand says "no it doesn't, because I'm a legal retard stat and if you hit that homerun in the top of the 9th inning, it's worth a whole hell of a lot more than it is in the first inning."


Actually, if it's a 2 run homer, it IS a lot more valuable in the bottom of the 9th, because it ENDS THE GAME. If it happens earlier in the game, there are still outs left for the other team to use up before they don't have a chance to tie or go ahead. The timing of events has no predictive value of future events, but it most certainly DOES have a different value looking backwards. It's the essence of competition with outcomes that result in a win or a loss.
   66. vivaelpujols Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4238757)
Um, what the hell are you talking about? WPA says a two run homerun is worth more than a solo home run. It's literally the exact same idea as ERA, which gives more value to certain events based on their timing. You're getting hung up on the real vs. constructed idea and I can only assume that's because you have zero imagination. If you're trying to accurately value a player you're going to have to go with models, otherwise you're going to have a bunch of #### that doesn't measure what you're trying to measure.

Also, ERA totally is theoretical because it reconstructs the innings based on errors. If you want a stat that's pure results, look at RA/9.
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4238762)
Also, ERA totally is theoretical because it reconstructs the innings based on errors. If you want a stat that's pure results, look at RA/9.


I would prefer for ERA to not include errors and would prefer ra and many times I do the math to include that. But era+ is well within the norm that it's more than good enough. Again, I would prefer to go by a component era that looks at singles, doubles, triples, homeruns and walks and go by runs created and go with that.

Actually, if it's a 2 run homer it IS a lot more valuable in the bottom of the 9th, because it ENDS THE GAME.


I never said anything about a 2 run homerun, but no, a 2 run homerun is worth exactly the same value no matter when it happens. That is the silliness of WPA.

You're getting hung up on the real vs. constructed idea and I can only assume that's because you have zero imagination. If you're trying to accurately value a player you're going to have to go with models, otherwise you're going to have a bunch of #### that doesn't measure what you're trying to measure.


When looking at MVP/Cy Young real is what matters, you can argue luck based upon the order of the events, but you can't just turn a double allowed into nothing because your theory says that double wouldn't have happened in a universe populated with average defensive players.

If I want to evaluate a pitcher who is moving from one team to another team, then FIP is a good tool. If I want to predict a players performance next year even, fip is better than era. But for evaluating past performance, it's not a good tool.
   68. vivaelpujols Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4238787)
Right, but it's also equally unfair to give the pitcher full credit for stuff his defense does. That's why I say go somewhere in between FIP and RA. I actually agree with you about WPA for pitchers. I don't think it matters if the pitcher gives up his runs in the 1st or the 8th. But for hitters WPA totally is meaningful as a measure of value because it accounts for base/out states in a way that wOBA does not.
   69.   Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4238788)
I use B-ref mostly out of habit I suppose, but Fangraphs definitely has lots of great stuff; I love the projections data, the Pitch F/X stuff, and the charts, just to start. Being able to sort pitchers by fastball velocity is a very cool feature. They post articles?
   70. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4238790)
But for hitters WPA totally is meaningful as a measure of value because it accounts for base/out states in a way that wOBA does not.


Use L1 for that, not WPA.
   71. shoewizard Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4238803)
but no, a 2 run homerun is worth exactly the same value no matter when it happens


This is false.

Again, if you are measuring talent, or trying to project future performance, of course the sequence of events does not matter. As I have tried to explain, in REAL LIFE, the order in which things actually happen does indeed create different values to the people who actually have a vested interest in the outcome. Some people think the value of the story is different from the value of the event, but the story IS the value.


   72. vivaelpujols Posted: September 18, 2012 at 04:21 AM (#4238807)
I actually agree with cardsfanboy that the sequencing of events is irrelevant. Think about it, if a team wins 3-2, it doesn't matter whether they score 3 runs in the first or 3 runs in the ninth, the only thing that changes is the perception of the teams chances. That makes WPA a good storytelling stat. It's also good if you believe clutch exists because the leverage is the thing that would make a hitter quaver more in the clutch. So if you like giving a player credit for the intensity of the situation, WPA is good.
   73. Bizarro ARod Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4239155)
If clutch situations didn't exist, then the Red Sox and Orioles would have the same amount of wins this year.

Instead, the Orioles have 16 more wins this year than the Red Sox.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogExpanded Rosters Exacerbate Baseball’s Biggest Issue
(21 - 5:32pm, Sep 02)
Last: Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq.

NewsblogRule change means more players to choose from for postseason roster
(13 - 5:29pm, Sep 02)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(274 - 5:29pm, Sep 02)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(75 - 5:27pm, Sep 02)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: September 2014 College Football thread
(5 - 5:22pm, Sep 02)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-2-2014
(1 - 5:21pm, Sep 02)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-2-2014
(36 - 5:14pm, Sep 02)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(18 - 5:12pm, Sep 02)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogPassan: 10 Degrees: Cole Hamels' trade value might be Phillies' lone bright spot
(2 - 5:12pm, Sep 02)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogSpector: Negative run differential doesn't tell whole story for first-place Cardinals
(4 - 4:56pm, Sep 02)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogNewsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?
(6 - 4:54pm, Sep 02)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogBPP: Why do people still think Jack Morris pitched to the score?
(27 - 4:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogYankees To Sign Chris Young
(3 - 4:47pm, Sep 02)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogGleeman: Twins ask fans which brand of luxury car they are
(9 - 4:46pm, Sep 02)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(1004 - 4:33pm, Sep 02)
Last: ursus arctos

Page rendered in 0.7789 seconds
52 querie(s) executed