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Monday, August 27, 2012

THE SABERLEADERS EXPERIMENT

Shades of Jeff Angus (minus the usual Ramsay Ames references, of course)!

The creation of the first Sabermetric application that charts the BBWAA awards - all of them, outside of Manager of the Year) - in one spot, on a daily basis.  Two new categories are being created; Defensive Player of the Year (“The Ozzie Smith”) as well as the FANGRAPHS RELIEVER OF THE YEAR, which utilizes SHUTDOWN/MELTDOWN as the primary metric.  I can’t stress enough that this is simply an experiment, a statistical test kitchen, a space to question freely, make mistakes and bring forth something definitive, while ultimately drawing more old-school fans to Sabermetrics that wouldn’t normally play around with it.

...If 2012 isn’t the year WAR (“Wins Above Replacement”) goes mainstream, then 2013 will certainly enjoy that distinction and will alter the conversation of baseball statisitcs and awards. It’s been in the works on a niche level for a few decades now, from the personal desk of Bill James and the birth of Sabermetrics, the dawn of Rotesserie/Fantasy Baseball & Rob Neyer’s legendary ESPN column, to the 21st century bust-out of wonderful sites like David Appelman’s Fangraphs and Sean Forman’s Baseball-Reference.com, which reads as an encyclopedia of every baseball “counting stat” imaginable. Tom Tango,Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin created The Book, which moved the statistical dialogue forward and Baseball Between the Numbers, published in 2005 and edited by Jonah Keri, answers in essay form nearly every question you may have wondered about the National Pastime if you really thought about it.

• Do Players Perform Better in Contract Years? It’s in there.
• Do high salaries lead to higher ticket prices? It’s in there.
• Is there such a thing as a AAAA-player? It’s in there.
• Are new stadiums a good deal for municipalities? Derek Jeter’s gold glove? Why can’t Billy Beane get to the World Series? In there, in there and in there, too.

...I’m speaking to you, the overly-nostalgic one trapped in that time machine of your own device, stubbornly insisting “The Wind Cries Mary” on vinyl trumps CDs, iTunes or Spotify; passing on Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn for the old-school Jiffy Pop experience over the stove; proudly accepting designation as the last quasi-responsible father in America who keeps TANG in the pantry. I still love my sluggers driving in 100 ribbies. Still want my starters winning 20. Still love quality clutch hitting from scrappy underachievers.

All that said…it’s time we joined the rest of the group, people. Let’s evolve together.

djordan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4219654)
passing on Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn for the old-school Jiffy Pop experience over the stove


I'll pass on Jiffy pop, thanks, but I can't be the only one who finds Trader Joe's food to be hugely overrated.
   2. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4219674)
I can't be the only one who finds Trader Joe's food to be hugely overrated.
I don't rate Trader Joe's food.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4219711)

The Consumer Reports blind-taste testers seem to like some Trader Joe's stuff, fwiw

granting that they are unable to properly deduct for trendiness, many would say

   4. djordan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4219724)
I love it. 2990 words on the next step in analyzing the BBWAA awards and the conversation revolves around popcorn. I should've included the Orville Redenbacher haiku I cut at the last minute. :) Seriously though, guys, thanks for reading. I tried to go all out on this one.
   5. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4219727)
I don't rate Trader Joe's food.

Well, that's odd. Didn't you once write a cookbook for TJ's?
   6. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4219732)
It. Never. Happened.
   7. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4219736)
Tj: depends on the item in question; they're hit and miss...
   8. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4219757)
Tj: depends on the item in question; they're hit and miss...


Trader Joe's doesn't make food, they buy it and put their own label on it. They sell a cider beer that tastes almost exactly like Woodchuck, for instance -- and coincidentally is brewed in the same town as Woodchuck. By coincidentally I mean it says "BOTTLED BY AMERICAN HARD CIDER CO." right on the label.

Most of what you buy in Trader Joe's is name brand food in different labels. The mac and cheese is probably Annie's, from what I can tell. The canned pasta comes from Full Circle, I think. It's just cheaper than buying the name brand equivalents. In most senses it's very similar to Aldi's, which shouldn't be surprising since they're both owned by the same family (the founder of Aldi's in Germany split the company in half when he died so each of his sons would have a company to run; one of them gets to use the Aldi's trade name in the US and the other operates under Trader Joe's.)
   9. AndrewJ Posted: August 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4219977)
Trader Joe's is nice, but I'm a Wegmans man.
   10. McCoy Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4220033)
I haven't really found a grocery store in DC that I really like. I have a Harris Teeter's and a Safeway by me but both have severe limitations. Safeway's deli section and meats section is pretty weak. HT is supposed to be big in the fresh prepared food category but the store by me is very disappointing in that regard. Space issues also play a part in both stores having a much smaller list of goods than I'm used to having.
   11. Cris E Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4220079)
I don't like Trader Joes because it's Excellent, I like that it's pretty good and cheaper than the Annie's and Woodchucks and whatever other name it displaces on my wife's unnecessarily expensive shopping list. If she goes to TJ's and then finishes up at the usual places it saves me money and the quality is close enough. I'm happy to spend on food, but man, she can find ways around common sense sometimes...
   12. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4220108)
8: Right.
Never tried Aldi's, incidentally, until recently. I've been very picky in what I'm willing to buy from there, but so far, so good.
As for "BOTTLED BY AMERICAN HARD CIDER CO." - I thought their vendor agreements precluded that from being on the label?

10: Have you tried Wegman's? That's the grocer of choice for my DC buddies.
HT is big time overrated, IMO.
   13. McCoy Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4220112)
There isn't a Wegman's near me.
   14. BDC Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4220118)
There's no Trader Joe's near me, but I've shopped at Aldi in Arlington TX since it opened a couple of years ago. Excellent wine, coffee, cereal, dark chocolate, paper products, and other staples, very cheap. "Picky" is indeed the best advice: you can't get everything you need there. But I shop every day, and often at different places, so the occasional Aldi run suits me just fine.

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