Tag Archives: bill james

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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Vote for Biggio

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The list for the Hall of Fame is out. This list is a veritable who’s who of baseball from the ’90s. Two of the “Killer B’s” are on the list, and the scuttlebutt is that Craig Biggio will not have enough votes to make it this year, after falling short last year. I am so mad right now, I am wearing my Astros hat. Why are we having this conversation? Why is it not just a given? So let me refresh the BBWAA minds of who Craig Biggio is. I could say something simple: 3,000 hits. That should be enough to get someone who hasn’t cheated into the Hall of Fame, But apparently, the BBWAA needs more, so let’s look at something I hold near and dear to my heart. He stayed with one team his whole career. 291 home runs, an All-Star and in the ’90s, a force to be reckoned with. In the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, page 315, he says Craig Biggio is the BEST UNRECOGNIZED PLAYER. He also lists Biggio as number 35 of the 100 GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME, which you can read about on page 162. I will summarize for you. Biggio is better than Ken Griffey Jr., other than home runs. I am not someone who is an expert in baseball, but Bill James is, and to quote:

“Look, I’m not knocking Ken Griffey. Ken Griffey Jr. is a great ballplayer. Craig Biggio is better. The fact that nobody seems to realize this, well that’s not my problem. I’m not going to rate players by how many Nike commercials they do.” (Page 362 if you want to read the whole summary yourself).

I am done with my rant, but there is a real injustice in baseball. Craig Biggio needs to be in the Hall of Fame, and he needs to be in NOW!