Friday, May 13, 2011

Beyond the Boxscore

Another announcement! Thanks to Justin Bopp and the crew at Beyond the Boxscore, I will be regularly contributing over there. So far, I have only re-posted my look at when the standings matter, but should begin adding new material next week. As such, my ground-breaking posts (/sarcasm) here will diminish in order to publish to a wider audience at BtB. I will post links to my stories here and will probably post new things here that don't fit into the stories over there. I'm excited for the new opportunity and hopefully I take full advantage of it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When Do the Standings Matter?

Vin Scully likes to repeat a quote from a well-known former Major League manager, "Give me 50 games and I'll know what kind of team I have." I don't remember who said it, or what the exact quote is, but that's the gist of it. Just for reference, 50 games into the MLB season usually lands around the end of May. I wanted to test this out and see how quickly we know how good a team actually is, so I did what any regular baseball fan would do: I went to and grabbed the record at the end of each month for every team since 1998 (expansion). Then, I looked at the end of month winning percentage and compared it to the end of season win total, using a linear regression. I also split each month up into bins of team winning percentage. Each bin contains about 65 teams.

Teams are all over the place at the end of April. Sure, the 43-119 2003 Tigers looked terrible, but so did the 102-60 2001 Oakland Athletics (end of April WP of .320). There is a definite pattern, but not enough to say who is good or bad with any certainty.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Full On Double Wildcard: What Does This Mean?

According to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, another wild card spot in each league will be added to MLB's playoff system. However, Michael Weiner - head of the Player's Association - says talks are still in negotiation, though he doesn't seem opposed to the idea. I'm sure there is a lot of politicking taking place, something I don't much care for. So instead, I ask the question: what is the difference in adding a second playoff team? I decided to take a look at each season since the wildcard was introduced in 1995 and find out for myself.

I took the record for each playoff team since 1996 and this is what I found:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Retrosheet MySQL Queries

Here are a few Retrosheet queries I have found helpful. You can download Retrosheet using the steps outlined here. These queries assume you followed those exact steps. If your columns are named something different, you'll have to change that part of the code a bit. All of this was done by trial and error, so there may be a better way to do the code.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Albuquerque Isotopes vs. Omaha Storm Chasers 4/9/11

The only professional baseball anywhere near me is the Dodgers AAA affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes. They played the Kansas City Royals AAA Affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers this past weekend, so naturally, I went to watch it. I got seats just to the 1st base side of home plate, 4 rows back. I took some video on a few of the prospects there that I would like to share. I took the video on my phone, so I apologize for any poor quality. Also, you can right click and watch on Youtube for a larger size. I haven't been able to figure out how to make it bigger on this page.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Process Report

The fine folks at The Process Report (R.J. Anderson, Tommy Rancel, Heath Baywood and Nicolas Maculuso) have decided to give me a shot. The Process Report is "an electronic publication centered on the Tampa Bay Rays - using advanced statistics and progressive analysis." I have been helping them a little on some data gathering stuff and they have returned the favor by giving me a place to write (about the Rays) when I feel so inclined! My reaction? "Thanks guys. Leave it to a Rays blog to take a chance on an unproven commodity." R.J. Anderson's response? "I just hope you bring back a great package when we trade you in a few years before you get expensive." I think I'll like it there. 

Meanwhile, I'll still be writing here when I can't find a way to squeeze a Rays reference into a post.

Oh, and here's my first post there. It's about the steal of home. Of course.