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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

WSJ: Bialik: Is Baseball’s Odometer Nearing a Milestone?

Put a milometer on him!

Major League Baseball is approaching an arbitrary but fun milestone: its 200,000th game of all time. Unless it reached that milestone a month ago. Or last October.

The statistical website Baseball-Reference has been counting up to the majors’ 200,000th game. Through Sunday, the tally is 199,254 games, and the site is predicting the milestone will be reached Sept. 24. But there are some uncertainties about the total. Alternate ways of counting lead to the conclusion that the 200,000th game already has happened—on one of two aesthetically pleasing dates.

Baseball-Reference’s count doesn’t include games from the National Association, an early-1870s precursor to the National League that many consider a major league. Include NA games, and the 200,000th game occurred on July 4, between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals.

But this count excludes postseason games, which is understandable but subject to second-guessing. Playoff stats don’t count toward career totals, but playoff games are far more important than the average regular-season game, and therefore could credibly be counted toward the total number of games that have been played in baseball history.

Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:04 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, projections, sabermetrics

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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. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3890844)
Not sure why anyone would include post season games, and I'm not even sure if I would include the NL games prior to the two leagues merging, that seems more likely the best time to include it, if not then you might want to include any "official" Negro League games to the equation.
   2. Mash Wilson Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:46 AM (#3890846)
They're not counting the Union Association, are they?
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:54 AM (#3890849)
I think they are counting the Union Association. Sean doesn't say but in the thread someone seems to think that the UA is being counted.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:10 AM (#3890855)
Not sure why anyone would include post season games

How could you NOT include post-season games, if you're going to talk about the 200,000th major league game of all time? If you want to specify that it's the 200,000th regular season game of all time, knock yourself out.
   5. Mash Wilson Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#3890865)
CFB: Seems pretty ridiculous to call the UA major league.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:32 AM (#3890869)
As long as the 200,000th game involves the Yankees and the Red Sox, America will be satisfied, even if they're forced to cancel a few Astros or Orioles games in order to make it come out right.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3890896)
CFB: Seems pretty ridiculous to call the UA major league.


Someone on the thread says it's based upon MLB standards and they consider the UA to be a major league.

How could you NOT include post-season games, if you're going to talk about the 200,000th major league game of all time? If you want to specify that it's the 200,000th regular season game of all time, knock yourself out.


Post season is effectively exhibition play, the records don't count for an individual players record or a team record, not sure why you count it.

As long as the 200,000th game involves the Yankees and the Red Sox, America will be satisfied, even if they're forced to cancel a few Astros or Orioles games in order to make it come out right.


C'mon it's America's team they will have the Dallas Cowboys suit up against the Braves....
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:11 AM (#3890899)
The game should include Bob Watson and Dave Concepcion in a fight to the death.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:58 AM (#3890911)
The UA was a joke of a "major league."

Fred Dunlap, Pebbly Jack Glasscock for part of the season, Fatty Briody, Dave Rowe, Orator Shafer, Hugh "One Arm" Daily, some Jim McCormick pitching...

lame

The National Association was better.
   10. Don Malcolm Posted: August 02, 2011 at 05:01 AM (#3890912)
Couldn't RTFA, 'cause the WSJ mofos have it under subscriber lockdown...but wondering about the timing of MLB's 100,000th game.

Baseball Almanac says it occurred on September 6, 1963...Cleveland vs. Washington at D.C. Stadium.
   11. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 02, 2011 at 06:23 AM (#3890923)
I never thought about it this way before. Post-season games are exhibitions in that the statistics don't count toward official season and career totals, and so they shouldn't count toward awards or the HOF. But they are official major league games in a way that pre-season exhibition games aren't, since they're played with constrained rosters and are considered to matter very much by the teams playing them. It's possible that they should count for this purpose, though the figure for regular season games is also of interest.
   12. Mash Wilson Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:22 AM (#3890953)
Howie: How dare you forget Germany Smith.
   13. BDC Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:04 PM (#3890970)
I insist we count the Patriot League, the Iowa Baseball Confederacy, and the Universal Baseball Association.
   14. bjhanke Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:28 PM (#3890984)
I consider the National Association as a major league, because when 1876 comes along and brings in the NL, it's the same players. Same players: Same level of play.

I do not consider the UA to be major because it's NOT the same players, and it didn't stick around long enough to build a set of major league quality players.

I do consider the AA as major because, after a couple of weak years, it did go out and find what was clearly major league talent, and then developed teams of such that were competitive at even the highest NL level. The AA also did a much better job of stealing at least a few real NL players, along with some prospects that it was obvious the NL wanted.

I count the Players' League because it has more than enough major league players in it. If anything, it's stronger than any of these other leagues. The AA only matches the PL at the AA's peak period.

I count the Federal League because,even within 2 years, it clearly had enough major league players to have succeeded if there had been only one existing major league. Trying to force yourself into a 3-way playoffs was a horrible stumbling block for the FL.

Counting like this looks like I come up with about the same results as the guy who includes the UA but not the NA. And so, being a Cards fan, I vote for the July 4 game with the Reds. I don't care which leagues you have to include to get there.

- Brock Hanke
   15. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3891006)
Post-season games are exhibitions in that the statistics don't count toward official season and career totals, and so they shouldn't count toward awards or the HOF


The HOF? You're nuts, and you're undeniably, 100%, factually wrong about that. If the HOF doesn't consider post season games, the HOF shouldn't exist.
   16. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:15 PM (#3891012)
Anytime a "record" has been discussed in MLB history it has been assumed to be a "regular season" record unless otherwise specified. I think Sean is right to count just regular season games for purposes of identifying the "200,000th" game.
   17. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3891022)
Anytime a "record" has been discussed in MLB history it has been assumed to be a "regular season" record unless otherwise specified. I think Sean is right to count just regular season games for purposes of identifying the "200,000th" game.


I have no real problem with this. I think it's probably not right, but sure, I can totally understand the logic.
   18. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3891033)
MLB's 200,000th game will happen when b-r.com says it happens. End of discussion.
   19. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: August 02, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3891253)
If (say) the last regular season game happened to be #199,999, would we say "oh, we're only counting regular season games so #200,000 won't be until next year"?
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 02, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3891276)
If (say) the last regular season game happened to be #199,999, would we say "oh, we're only counting regular season games so #200,000 won't be until next year"?


I would. If you're trying to count literally every game then you would include playoffs but that is not the custom. All counting with regards to statistics by MLB has been done with just regular season games included.

Basically calling this "the 200,000th game" is just short hand for "the 200,000th regular season game" and it's a short hand understood (I think) by just about every baseball fan. Hank Aaron has 755, not 761, home runs, Pete Rose has 4,256, not 4,342, hits, etc...
   21. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 02, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3891312)
Post season is effectively exhibition play

Helpful hint: When you start sounding like Ray Diperna, it's time to rethink things.

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