Rob Neyer (born June 22, 1966) is a baseball writer known for his use of statistical analysis or sabermetrics. He started his career working for Bill James and STATS and then joined ESPN.com as a columnist and blogger from 1996 to 2011. He was National Baseball Editor for SB Nation from 2011 to 2014, and Senior Baseball Editor for FoxSports.com in 2015 and '16.
|Born||June 22, 1966|
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Kansas|
|Employer||SB Nation (February 2011 - January 2014)|
Rob Neyer lived in the Kansas City area as a child and attended the University of Kansas  After dropping out of college, he was soon hired as a research assistant by Bill James. After four years with James, Neyer took a job at STATS, before joining ESPNet SportsZone, ESPN.com's forerunner, in 1996. Since May 2018, Neyer has served as Commissioner of the West Coast League, a collegiate summer baseball league based in the Pacific Northwest.
Neyer wrote for ESPN for 15 years from 1996 to January 2011. He joined SB Nation as its National Baseball Editor in February 2011 and worked there for three years. From February 2014 to January 2016, he was part of Fox Sports' baseball writing team. Within the baseball writing community, Neyer is a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and the voting panel for the Fielding Bible Awards.
He is the author or co-author of seven books: Baseball Dynasties (2000) with Eddie Epstein, Feeding the Green Monster (2001), Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups (2003), The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (2004) with Bill James, Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders (2006), Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends (2008), and Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, which won the 2018 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. His baseball writing is known for its use of historical and statistical analysis.
Ball Four is a book written by former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Bouton in 1970. The book is a diary of Bouton's 1969 season, spent with the Seattle Pilots (during the club's only year in existence) and then the Houston Astros following a late-season trade. In it Bouton also recounts much of his baseball career, spent mainly with the New York Yankees.
Despite its controversy at the time, with baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn's attempts to discredit it and label it as detrimental to the sport, it is considered to be one of the most important sports books ever written and the only sports-themed book to make the New York Public Library's 1996 list of Books of the Century. It also is listed in Time magazine's 100 greatest non-fiction books of all time.Baseball Dynasties
Baseball Dynasties: The Greatest Teams of All Time is a non-fiction baseball book, co-written by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein. It was published in April 2000 by Norton, W.W. & Company, Inc.Bill James
George William James (born October 5, 1949) is an American baseball writer, historian, and statistician whose work has been widely influential. Since 1977, James has written more than two dozen books devoted to baseball history and statistics. His approach, which he termed sabermetrics in reference to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), scientifically analyzes and studies baseball, often through the use of statistical data, in an attempt to determine why teams win and lose.
In 2006, Time named him in the Time 100 as one of the most influential people in the world. He is a senior advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox.Carson Cistulli
Carson Cistulli (born December 23, 1979) is an American poet, Wikipedia editor, essayist and sabermetrician. His works of poetry include Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated, Assorted Fictions, and A Century of Enthusiasm.Eddie Epstein
Eddie Epstein is one of the pioneers of the modern age of baseball analysis, or Sabermetrics. He was Director of Research and Statistics for the Baltimore Orioles from 1988 to 1994 and Director of Baseball Operations for the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 1999. He was President of his own baseball consulting company, EBC, Inc., from 2000 to 2011 and in that role consulted on baseball operations and player personnel matters for several major league teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's, and Tampa Bay Rays. He wrote the 1995 STATS Minor League Scouting Notebook, co-authored Baseball Dynasties with Rob Neyer, and wrote Dominance---the subject of which was the greatest NFL teams since 1950. The Wall Street Journal review of Dominance claimed that the book was, "Without a doubt the best book on pro football analysis ever written."Eppa Rixey
Eppa Rixey Jr. (May 3, 1891 – February 28, 1963), nicknamed "Jephtha", was an American left-handed pitcher who played 21 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball from 1912 to 1933. Rixey was best known as the National League's leader in career victories for a left-hander with 266 wins until Warren Spahn surpassed his total in 1959.
Rixey attended the University of Virginia where he was a star pitcher. He was discovered by umpire Cy Rigler, who convinced him to sign directly with the Phillies, bypassing minor league baseball entirely. His time with the Phillies was marked by inconsistency. He won 22 games in 1916, but also led the league in losses twice. In 1915, the Phillies played in the World Series, and Rixey lost in his only appearance. After being traded to the Reds prior to the 1921 season, he won 20 or more games in a season three times, including a league-leading 25 in 1922, and posted eight consecutive winning seasons. His skills were declining by the 1929 season, when his record was 10–13 with a 4.16 earned run average. He pitched another four seasons before retiring after the 1933 season.
An intellectual who taught high school Latin during the off-season, earning the nickname "Jephtha" for his southern drawl, Rixey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963 but died a month after his election.Fielding Bible Award
A Fielding Bible Award recognizes the best defensive player for each fielding position in Major League Baseball (MLB) based on statistical analysis. John Dewan and Baseball Info Solutions conduct the annual selection process, which commenced in 2006. The awards are voted on by 10 sabermetrically inclined journalists and bloggers including Dewan, sabermetric pioneer Bill James, and writers such as Peter Gammons, NBC Sports' Joe Posnanski, SB Nation editor Rob Neyer, and ESPN analyst Doug Glanville. The awards have historically been announced before the Gold Glove Awards, the traditional measurement of fielding excellence. Dewan wrote that this award cannot equal the prestige of the Gold Glove, which started 50 years earlier, but it provides an alternative.Fred McMullin
Fred Drury McMullin (October 13, 1891 – November 20, 1952) was an American Major League Baseball third baseman. He is best known for his involvement in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.Ken Raffensberger
Kenneth David Raffensberger (August 8, 1917 – November 10, 2002) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1939 through 1954, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1939), Chicago Cubs (1940–41), Philadelphia Phillies (1943–47), and Cincinnati Reds/Redlegs (1947–54). Raffensberger batted right-handed and threw left-handed. He was born in York, Pennsylvania.List of knuckleball pitchers
Knuckleball pitchers are baseball players who rely on the knuckleball as their primary pitch, or pitch primarily based on their ability to throw a knuckleball. The inventor of the knuckleball has never been established, although several pitchers from the early 20th century have been credited. Baseball statistician and historian Rob Neyer named four individuals in an article he wrote in the 2004 book The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers as potentially deserving credit, any of whom may have originated the pitch in either the 1907 or 1908 seasons. Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn Dodgers came up to the majors in 1907, initially throwing hard stuff but later switching to the knuckleball. A 1908 article credited Lew Moren as the inventor of the pitch. Ed Cicotte earned a full-time spot with the Detroit Tigers in 1908, earning the nickname "Knuckles" for his signature pitch. A picture of Ed Summers showed him gripping what he called a "dry spitter" using a variation of the knuckleball grip using the knuckles of his index and middle fingers.Unlike almost every other pitch in baseball, the knuckleball's erratic trajectory has often required teams to use dedicated catchers, often using specialized mitts, to field the deliveries. Clint Courtney used a specially constructed catcher's mitt, about 50% larger than the conventional mitts used at the time, to catch knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm during a game in May 1960. Umpire Al Smith credited the use of the glove with preventing three or four passed balls in that one game. The lower velocity of the knuckleball is credited with giving some who use it the ability to pitch more often and to sustain pitching careers far longer than those who rely on their fastball to get outs. Tim Wakefield pitched on consecutive days, when most starting pitchers in the 21st century throw after four days of rest. Hoyt Wilhelm pitched until he was almost 50 and Phil Niekro used the pitch until he was 48. Wakefield retired at 45.
The prevalence of the knuckleballer has varied over time. The 1945 Washington Senators finished 1½ games out of first place with a starting pitching staff that almost exclusively used the pitch, with four knuckleballers in the rotation. That season, the team's three catchers — regular catcher Rick Ferrell and backups Al Evans and Mike Guerra — combined for 40 passed balls, more than double that of any other team in the league.Baseball funnyman Bob Uecker, who was Phil Niekro's personal catcher with the Braves in 1967, has been quoted as saying "The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling, then go pick it up."Wilbur Wood, Joe Niekro, and R.A. Dickey have won The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. In 2012, Dickey became the only knuckleballer to have won the Cy Young Award. Phil Niekro is the only knuckleball pitcher to win 300 games.Luis Tiant Sr.
Luis Eleuterio Tiant Bravo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis ˈtjant]) (August 27, 1906 – December 10, 1976) was a pitcher in Negro league baseball, as well as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. He also performed with barnstorming teams.
Tiant's career extended from 1926 through 1948. In the Negro Leagues, he played for the Havana Red Sox, Cuban Stars West and New York Cubans, between 1928 and 1947.Tiant featured a screwball. Bill James and Rob Neyer ranked it the seventh-best screwball of all time.Tiant's son, Luis Clemente Tiant, was a major league starting pitcher from 1964 to 1982. In August 1975, the elder Tiant and his wife were granted permission by Cuban leader Fidel Castro to visit the United States, so they could watch their son pitch in the major leagues. The Tiants' visit to the US is featured in the 2009 documentary film about their son, The Lost Son of Havana. The Tiants remained in the US, and the elder Luis Tiant died 16 months later in Milton, Massachusetts. He was often referred to as "Luis Tiant Sr." by contemporary press to differentiate him from his son.NERD (sabermetrics)
In baseball statistics, NERD (a wink towards the mnemonic "Narration, Exposition, Reflection, Description") is a quantitative measure of expected aesthetic value. NERD was originally created by Carson Cistulli and is part of his project of exploring the "art" of sabermetric research. The original NERD formula only took into account the pitcher's expected performance while the current model factors in the entire team's performance.Sabermetrics
Sabermetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity.
Sabermetricians collect and summarize the relevant data from this in-game activity to answer specific questions. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research, founded in 1971. The term "sabermetrics" was coined by Bill James, who is one of its pioneers and is often considered its most prominent advocate and public face.Society for American Baseball Research
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a membership organization dedicated to fostering the research and dissemination of the history and record of baseball. Established in Cooperstown, New York, in August 1971 by sportswriter Bob Davids, it is based in Phoenix, Arizona.The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers
The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (ISBN 0-7432-6158-5) is a non-fiction baseball reference book, written by Rob Neyer and Bill James and published by Simon & Schuster in June 2004. In the text on its dust jacket, it bills itself as a "comprehensive guide" to "pitchers, the pitches they throw, and how they throw them".The V Show with Bob Valvano
The V Show with Bob Valvano is a sports talk radio show hosted by Bob Valvano and broadcast on ESPN Radio. Normally, the show is heard Saturdays and Sundays from 1am ET to 5am ET; however, in 2009, his Friday night shows were pre-empted, and his Saturday shows shortened by one hour, during football season, mainly by Mike Tirico's Weekend Blitz and Chris Mortensen's The Mort Report. Valvano has been on the same post since he joined ESPN Radio in December 1998. During the college basketball season he broadcasts from a different location almost every week, because he does a game for ESPN2 every Saturday night during the regular season. Two personalities that often replaced him were Jeff Rickard and Amy Lawrence, both were regulars on GameNight and ESPN Radio.
The ESPN Radio SportsCenter update anchor is Neil Jackson or as Bob calls him Neil "Action" Jackson. Jackson helps with trivia challenges, highlights and phone calls. Regular guests on the show include Rob Neyer of SB Nation, Ric Bucher of ESPN.com, Len Pasquarelli also of ESPN.com and "The Professor", John Clayton.Voros McCracken
Robert "Voros" McCracken (born August 17, 1971, Chicago) is an American baseball sabermetrician. "Voros" is a nickname from his partial Hungarian heritage. He is widely recognized for his pioneering work on Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS).