Monthly Archives: May 2015

Evie Day

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My favorite manager is Tony La Russa, he and I agree on several points when it comes to baseball. We also agree on something very close to my heart. Homeless pets. I knew about the story and felt bad for the poor kitty, I have worked in a stadium it can be very big and scary and to a cat it is multiplied. I had heard that the kitty went home with La Russa and until today that was all I thought about the cat who later would be named Evie.

I follow Tony on Twitter and I am familiar with ARF. Animal Rescue Foundation.  Today I read the history of ARF. which you can find here: https://www.arflife.org/history

The story goes that the poor kitty ran around the field and was so scared of all the big scary guys trying to catch her. Tony gently coaxed her into the A’s clubhouse and then took her home. He and his wife Elaine made the sad discovery that there were NO no-kill shelters and the kitty who would later be named Evie after the owner of the A’s would be killed. Tony and Elaine found a permanent home for Evie but the experience led them to change.

Less than a year after saving Evie they created ARF, with the goal to save cats and dogs from the high-kill shelters. In the first year they had some office space and saved about 100 cats and dogs. Today they have a 37,700 square foot animal shelter and have rehomed more than 30,000 animals.

Please go to https://www.arflife.org/   and make a donation. Keep animals off the street and the field.

For the love of minor league baseball

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Today I spent my time in the minors, well watching minor league baseball. The Norfolk Tides and Syracuse Chiefs. Very few fans were  at the ballpark for the day game. I was watching in the comfort of my home thanks to milb.tv. While the feed is bad, the sound worse, and sometimes the camera work was fuzzy. The game was still there. There is something almost traditional about minors, it makes me think of how it was in the 20 and 30 before all the technology its a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Minor leagues give you a chance to catch a glimpse of the future of the MLB. Or a flash back to the past, Yes, there was a reason I am watching the Norfolk Tides, my favorite player is on the team. Jayson Nix who I met during his first time in the minors, such a nice guy and after we met I became his fan ever since. Jayson did some great field work as usual and today the bat wasn’t there but he has been improving on that. A solid performance by the whole Tides team and they won 2-1.  While its too far for me to go to a Norfolk game at least I can cheer for them and Jayson.

Lost in Metrics

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Its  Monday and I wanted to start my learning of Sabermetrics. Its a lot of information. Enough to make someone go ACKKK!!!!. But I press on. I have my Baseball Prospectus 2014, there is a forward from Gabe Kapler. (I am on his site, you are going to hear his name a lot)

To quote Kap

“In 2007, just before I embarked on a season as minor league manager in the Red Sox system, Boston General Manager Ben Cheringotn gave me a study on the sacrifice bunt and how it was being misused in the major-league level. I laid down 20 sacrifice bunts in my playing career , my consistent employment as a player I would have been very easy for me to discard Cherington’s information, That would have been ego-driven approach based on the rigid belief that because I played the game at a high level , I had little left to learn.

Many players have chosen that route. Executives in the game (like Cheringotn) have moved from old-school statistics to newer metrics when it comes to player analysis yet most players themselves have not . But that stance would have left me stagnant while more open-minded individuals continued their growth. We shouldn’t want to be left behind and I’m driven not to be In my quest I am led by the ingenuity and substance of publications like the one you hold”

Well you are not holding it I am. I could read Kap all day long. He’s right its time to really look at metrics. I look at this from a fan perspectives we have to understand what management is doing.  This is not going to be an easy subject to learn but its necessary.

Now its time to read, I went to  http://sabr.org/sabermetrics

there I am reading about the basics of metrics, from the site:

First, let’s go over some basics:

  • What is sabermetrics? As originally defined by Bill James in 1980, sabermetrics is “the search for objective knowledge about baseball”. James coined the phrase in part to honor the Society for American Baseball Research. 
  • Who invented sabermetrics? Statistical analysis has been around as long as baseball has been played competitively. Long before Moneyball became a worldwide phenomenon in the 21st century and before Bill James’ baseball writings gained mainstream popularity in the 1980s, Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was using index cards to fine-tune his platooning system and pitching changes with the Baltimore Orioles in the 1960s, while Branch Rickey hired statistician Allan Roth in the 1940s to evaluate player performance with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A generation before that, Baseball Magazine editor F.C. Lane was creating new statistical methods to measure offensive production, culminating in his classic book of essays, Batting. In the mid-19th century, Henry Chadwick is credited with developing the box score and his tabulation of hits, home runs and total bases led to the formulation of metrics such as batting average and slugging percentage.
  • SABR or sabermetrics? With more than 6,000 members around the world, SABR is a membership organization comprised of passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans with a variety of interests — one of them being statistical analysis. SABR members Bill James, Pete Palmer and Dick Cramer co-founded SABR’s Statistical Analysis Committee in 1974 and helped popularize the study of sabermetrics. The phrase “sabermetrics” itself is in the public domain and is generally used to describe any mathematical or statistical study of baseball.

Sabermetric researchers often use statistical analysis to question traditional measures of baseball evaluation such as batting average and pitcher wins. Early on, James’ theories were largely mocked (or ignored) by the baseball establishment, but as Joe Posnanski wrote in “The Ballad of Bill James”, over time his work started to be recognized. Time Magazine once named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. The Boston Red Sox hired him in 2003 and subsequently won two World Series. James is still asking relevant questions today at billjamesonline.com, and so are legions of his disciples such as Rob Neyer, baseball editor at FoxSports.com; Birnbaum; and all the great writers at Baseball Analysts, Baseball Prospectus, Beyond the Box Score, FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and other sites.

Want a primer on sabermetrics? Check out the FanGraphs Library for down-to-earth explanations of advanced metrics such as wOBA (weighted on-base average), FIP (fielding-independent pitching) and WAR (wins above replacement), written by Steve Slowinski. SABR members can also read cutting-edge articles on statistical analysis in every issue of the Baseball Research Journal, such as “The Many Flavors of DIPS: A History and Overview”, by Dan Basco and Michael Davies. We’ve got a full list of resources on our Related Links page at the end of this section.

Be sure to check out the annual SABR Analytics Conference, where we bring together the top minds of the baseball analytic community under one roof to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.

We also have a lot more online tools available for SABR members on our Research Resources page, including Matt Dennewitz’s Saber Archive, an online repository of sabermetric articles.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’d like a refresher course, whether you’re a numbers wizard or you consider yourself math-phobic, we hope you’ll find Phil Birnbaum’s Guide to Sabermetric Research informative and interesting.

Well I have got some reading to do. #StrongMind

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Fun Fact Friday: Miss Baseball’s All Star Ballot

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Well, Its time to Vote for the All Star Game, I am very happy its all online now. This site: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/ballot.jsp

is very user friendly and easy. Here are my choices what are yours?

YOUR AMERICAN LEAGUE SELECTIONS

  • Hosmer, E
  • Pedroia, D
  • Andrus, E
  • Donaldson, J
  • Perez, S
  • Ortiz, D
  • Bautista, J
  • Cain, L
  • Jones, A

YOUR NATIONAL LEAGUE SELECTIONS

  • Gonzalez, A
  • Panik, J
  • Tulowitzki, T
  • Bryant, K
  • Posey, B
  • Aoki, N
  • Crawford, C
  • Cuddyer, M