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.[1]

Early history

Henry Chadwick, a sportswriter in New York, developed the box score in 1858.[2] This was the first way statisticians were able to describe the sport of baseball.[2] The creation of the box score has given baseball statisticians a summary of the individual and team performances for a given game.[3]

Sabermetrics research began in the middle of the 20th century. Earnshaw Cook was one of the earliest researchers who contributed to this idea. Cook gathered the majority of his research into his 1964 book, Percentage Baseball. The book was the first of its kind to gain national media attention,[4] although it was widely criticized and not accepted by most baseball organizations. The idea of advanced baseball statistics did not become prominent in the baseball community until Bill James began writing his annual Baseball Abstracts in 1977.[5][6]

Bill James believed that people misunderstood how the game of baseball was played, claiming that it is actually defined by the conditions under which the sport is played.[2] Sabermetricians, sometimes considered baseball statisticians, began trying to replace the longtime favorite statistic known as the batting average.[7][8] It has been claimed that team batting average provides a relatively poor fit for team runs scored.[7] Sabermetric reasoning would say that runs win ballgames, and that a good measure of a player's worth is his ability to help his team score more runs than the opposing team.

Before Bill James made the concept of sabermetrics known, Davey Johnson used an IBM System/360 at team owner Jerold Hoffberger's brewery to write a FORTRAN baseball computer simulation while playing for the Baltimore Orioles in the early 1970s. He used his results in an unsuccessful attempt to promote the idea that he should bat second in the lineup to his manager Earl Weaver. He wrote IBM BASIC programs to help him manage the Tidewater Tides, and after becoming manager of the New York Mets in 1984, he arranged for a team employee to write a dBASE II application to compile and store advanced metrics on team statistics.[9] Craig R. Wright was another employee in Major League Baseball, working with the Texas Rangers in the early 1980s. During his time with the Rangers, he became known as the first front office employee in MLB history to work under the title Sabermetrician.[10][11]

David Smith founded Retrosheet in 1989, with the objective of computerizing the box score of every major league baseball game ever played, in order to more accurately collect and compare the statistics of the game.

The Oakland Athletics began to use a more quantitative approach to baseball by focusing on sabermetric principles in the 1990s. This initially began with Sandy Alderson as the former general manager of the team when he used the principles toward obtaining relatively undervalued players.[1] His ideas were continued when Billy Beane took over as general manager in 1997, a job he held until 2015, and hired his assistant Paul DePodesta.[8] Through the statistical analysis done by Beane and DePodesta in the 2002 season, the Oakland A's went on to win 20 games in a row. This was a historic moment for the franchise, in which the 20th game was played at the Alameda County Coliseum.[12] His approaches to baseball soon gained national recognition when Michael Lewis published Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game in 2003 to detail Beane's use of Sabermetrics. In 2011, a film based on Lewis' book also called Moneyball was released to further provide insight into the techniques used in the Oakland Athletics' front office.

Traditional measurements

Sabermetrics was created in an attempt for baseball fans to learn about the sport through objective evidence. This is performed by evaluating players in every aspect of the game, specifically batting, pitching, and fielding. These evaluation measures are usually phrased in terms of either runs or team wins as older statistics were deemed ineffective.

Batting measurements

The traditional measure of batting performance is considered to be the batting average. To calculate the batting average, the number of base hits was divided by the total number of at-bats.[13] Bill James, along with other fathers of sabermetrics, proved this measure to be flawed as it ignores any other way a batter can reach base besides a hit.[14] This led to the creation of the On-base percentage, which takes walks and hit-by-pitches into consideration. To calculate the On-Base percentage, the total number of hits + bases on balls + hit by pitch are divided by plate appearances.[13]

Another flaw with the traditional measure of the batting average is that it does not distinguish between hits (i.e., singles, doubles, triples, and home runs) and gives each hit equal value.[14] Thus, a measure that differentiates between these four hit outcomes, the slugging percentage, was created. To calculate the slugging percentage, the total number of bases of all hits is divided by the total numbers of time at bat. Stephen Jay Gould proposed that the disappearance of .400 batting average is actually a sign of general improvement in batting.[15][16] This is because, in the modern era, players are becoming more focused on hitting for power than for average.[16] Therefore, it has become more valuable to compare players using the slugging percentage and on-base percentage over the batting average.[15]

These two improved sabermetric measures are important skills to measure in a batter and have been combined to create the modern statistic OPS. On-base plus slugging is the sum of the on-base percentage and the slugging percentage. This modern statistic has become useful in comparing players and is a powerful method of predicting runs scored from a certain player.[17]

Some of the other statistics that sabermetricians use to evaluate batting performance are weighted on-base average, secondary average, runs created, and equivalent average.

Pitching measurements

The traditional measure of pitching performance is considered to be the earned run average. It is calculated by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine because of the nine innings. This statistic provides the number of runs that a pitcher allows per game. It has proven to be flawed as it does not separate the ability of the pitcher from the abilities of the fielders that he plays with.[18] Another classic measure for pitching is a pitcher's winning percentage. Winning percentage is calculated by dividing wins by the number of decisions (wins plus losses). This statistic can also be flawed as it is dependent on the pitcher's teammates' performances at the plate and in the field.

Sabermetricians have attempted to find different measures of pitching performance that does not include the performances of the fielders involved. This led to the creation of defense independent pitching statistics (DIPS) system. Voros McCracken has been credited with the development of this system in 1999.[19] Through his research, McCracken was able to show that there is little to no difference between pitchers in the amount of hits they allow, regardless of their skill level.[20] Some examples of these statistics are defense-independent ERA, fielding independent pitching, and defense-independent component ERA. Other sabermetricians have furthered the work in DIPS, such as Tom Tango who runs the Tango on Baseball sabermetrics website.

Baseball Prospectus created another statistics called the peripheral ERA. This measure of a pitcher's performance takes hits, walks, home runs allowed, and strikeouts while adjusting for ballpark factors.[18] Each ballpark has different dimensions when it comes to the outfield wall so a pitcher should not be measured the same for each of these parks.[21]

Batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is another useful measurement for determining pitcher's performance.[20] When a pitcher has a high BABIP, they will often show improvements in the following season, while a pitcher with low BABIP will often show a decline in the following season.[20] This is based on the statistical concept of regression to the mean. Others have created various means of attempting to quantify individual pitches based on characteristics of the pitch, as opposed to runs earned or balls hit.

Higher mathematics

Value over replacement player (VORP) is considered a popular sabermetric statistic. This statistic demonstrates how much a player contributes to his team in comparison to a fake replacement player that performs below average. This measurement was founded by Keith Woolner, a former writer for the sabermetric group/website Baseball Prospectus.

Wins above replacement (WAR) is another popular sabermetric statistic that will evaluate a player's contributions to his team.[22] Similar to VORP, WAR compares a certain player to a replacement-level player in order to determine the number of additional wins the player has provided to his team.[23] WAR values vary with hitting positions and are largely determined by a player's successful performance and their amount of playing time.[23]

Quantitative analysis in baseball

Many traditional and modern statistics, such as ERA and Wins Shared, don't give a full understanding of what is taking place on the field.[24] Simple ratios are not sufficient to understand the statistical data of baseball. Structured quantitative analysis is capable of explaining many aspects of the game, for example, to examine how often a team should attempt to steal.[25]

Related rates in baseball

Related rates can be used in baseball to give exact calculations of different plays in a game. For example, if a runner is being sent home from third, related rates can be used to show if a throw from the outfield would have been on time or if it was correctly cut off before the plate.[24] Related rates also can aid in determining how fast a player can get around the bases after a batted ball, information that helps in the development of scouting reports and individual player development.

Momentum and force

Momentum and force is a similar application of calculus in baseball. Particularly, the average force on a bat while hitting a ball can be calculated by combining different concepts within applied calculus. First, the change in the ball's momentum by the external force F(t) must be calculated. The momentum can be found by multiplying the mass and velocity. The external force F(t) is a continuous function of time.

Applications

Sabermetrics can be used for multiple purposes, but the most common are evaluating past performance and predicting future performance to determine a player's contributions to his team.[17] These may be useful when determining who should win end-of-the-season awards such as MVP and when determining the value of making a certain trade.

Most baseball players tend to play a few years in the minor leagues before they are called up to the major league. The competitive differences coupled with ballpark effects make the exact comparison of a player's statistics a problem. Sabermetricians have been able to clear this problem by adjusting the player's minor league statistics, also known as the Minor-League Equivalency (MLE).[17] Through these adjustments, teams are able to look at a player's performance in both AA and AAA to determine if he is fit to be called up to the majors.

Applied statistics

Sabermetrics methods are generally used for three purposes:

1. To compare key performances among certain specific players under realistic data conditions. The evaluation of past performance of a player enables an analytic overview. The comparison of this data between players can help one understand key points such as their market values. In that way, the role and the salary that should be given to that player can be defined.

2. To provide prediction of future performance of a given player or a team. When past data is available about the performance of a team or a specific player, Sabermetrics can be used to predict the average future performances for the next season. Thus, a prediction can be made with a certain probability about the number of wins and loses.

3. To provide a useful function of the player's contributions to his team. When analyzing data, one is able to understand the contributions a player makes to the success/failure of his team. Given that correlation, we can sign or release players with certain characteristics.

Machine learning for predicting game outcome

A machine learning model can be built using data sets available at sources such as baseball-reference. This model will give probability estimates for the outcome of specific games or the performance of particular players. These estimates are increasingly accurate when applied to a large number of events over a long term. The game outcome (win/lose) is treated as having a binomial distribution. Predictions can be made using a logistic regression model with explanatory variables including:

  • Opponents runs scored,
  • Runs scored,
  • Shutouts,
  • Time at bat,
  • Winning rate.

Recent advances

Many sabermetricians are still working hard to contribute to the field through creating new measures and asking new questions. Bill James' two Historical Baseball Abstract editions and Win Shares book have continued to advance the field of sabermetrics, 25 years after he helped start the movement.[26] His former assistant Rob Neyer, who is now a senior writer at ESPN.com and national baseball editor of SBNation, also worked on popularizing sabermetrics since the mid-1980s.[27]

Nate Silver, a former writer and managing partner of Baseball Prospectus, invented PECOTA. This acronym stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm,[28] and is a sabermetric system for forecasting Major League Baseball player performance. This system has been owned by Baseball Prospectus since 2003 and helps the website's authors invent or improve widely relied upon sabermetric measures and techniques.[29]

Beginning in the 2007 baseball season, the MLB started looking at technology to record detailed information regarding each pitch that is thrown in a game.[14] This became known as the PITCHf/x system which is able to record the speed of the pitch, at its release point and as it crossed the plate, as well as the location and angle of the break of certain pitches through video cameras.[14] FanGraphs is a website that favors this system as well as the analysis of play-by-play data. The website also specializes in publishing advanced baseball statistics as well as graphics that evaluate and track the performance of players and teams.

In popular culture

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b Lewis, Michael M. (2003). Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05765-8.
  2. ^ a b c Puerzer, Richard J. (Fall 2002). "From Scientific Baseball to Sabermetrics: Professional Baseball as a Reflection of Engineering and Management in Society". NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture. 11: 34–48 – via Project Muse.
  3. ^ "BaseballHallofFame.org". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Albert, James; Jay M. Bennett (2001). Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics, and the Role of Chance in the Game. Springer. pp. 170–171. ISBN 0-387-98816-5.
  5. ^ "Bill James, Beyond Baseball". Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg. PBS. June 28, 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  6. ^ Ackman, D. (May 20, 2007). "Sultan of Stats". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Jarvis, J. (2003-09-29). "A Survey of Baseball Player Performance Evaluation Measures". Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  8. ^ a b Kipen, D. (June 1, 2003). "Billy Beane's brand-new ballgame". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  9. ^ Porter, Martin (1984-05-29). "The PC Goes to Bat". PC Magazine. p. 209. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  10. ^ RotoJunkie – Roto 101 – Sabermetric Glossary (powered by evoArticles) Archived 2007-09-10 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ BaseballsPast.com
  12. ^ "Franchise Timeline".
  13. ^ a b Costa, Gabriel. Practicing Sabermetrics: Putting the Science of Baseball Statistics to work. p. 11.
  14. ^ a b c d Albert, Jim (2010). Sabermetrics: The Past, the Present, and the Future (PDF).
  15. ^ a b Gould, Stephen Jay (2003). "Why No One Hits .400 Anymore". Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 151–172. ISBN 0-393-05755-0.
  16. ^ a b Agonistas, Dan (4 August 2004). "Where have the .400 hitters gone?". Retrieved 30 August 2016. ... The discussion revolved around an essay that Gould wrote for Discover magazine in 1986 and that was reprinted both in his 1996 book Full House and in Triumph and Tragedy under the title "Why No One Hits .400 Anymore" ...
  17. ^ a b c Grabiner, David J. "The Sabermetric Manifesto". The Baseball Archive.
  18. ^ a b McCracken, Voros (January 23, 2001). "Pitching and Defense: How Much Control Do Hurlers Have?". Baseball Prospectus.
  19. ^ Basco, Dan; Davies, Michael (Fall 2010). "The Many Flavors of DIPS: A History and an Overview". Baseball Research Journal. 32 (2).
  20. ^ a b c Ball, Andrew (January 17, 2014). "How has sabermetrics changes baseball?". Beyond the Box Score.
  21. ^ Baumer, Benjamin; Zimbalist, Andrew (2014). The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  22. ^ Fangraphs: WAR
  23. ^ a b Schoenfield, David (July 19, 2012). "What we talk about when we talk about WAR". ESPN.com.
  24. ^ a b John T. Saccoman, Gabriel R. Costa, Michael R. Huber (2009). Practicing Sabermetrics: Putting the Science of Baseball Statistics to Work. United States of America: McFarland & Company. pp. 189–198. ISBN 978-0-7864-4177-8.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ "The Changing Caught-Stealing Calculus | FanGraphs Baseball". FanGraphs Baseball. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  26. ^ Neyer, Rob (November 5, 2002). "Red Sox hire James in advisory capacity". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
  27. ^ Jaffe, C. (October 22, 2007). "Rob Neyer Interview". The Hardball Times. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  28. ^ "Baseball Prospectus | Glossary". www.baseballprospectus.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
  29. ^ "Baseball Prospectus". Retrieved 2012-03-04.

External links

Aaron Gleeman

Aaron Gleeman is the Senior Baseball Editor at Baseball Prospectus. He co-hosts Gleeman and the Geek, a Twins Baseball podcast. He was the co-founder and main operator of the baseball statistics website, The Hardball Times before leaving to write for NBC Sports. In 2006, Gleeman was featured in a short profile in Sports Illustrated. He is the author of the book, “The Big 50: Minnesota Twins: The Men and Moments that Made the Minnesota Twins.”

Baseball-Reference.com

Baseball-Reference.com is a website providing baseball statistics for every player in Major League Baseball history. The site is often used by major media organizations and baseball broadcasters as a source for statistics. It offers a variety of advanced baseball sabermetrics in addition to traditional baseball "counting stats".

Baseball-Reference.com is part of Sports Reference, LLC; according to an article in Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, the company's sites have more than 1 million unique users per month.

Baseball Almanac

Baseball Almanac is an interactive baseball encyclopedia with over 500,000 pages of baseball facts, research, awards, records, feats, lists, notable quotations, baseball movie ratings, and statistics. Its goal is to preserve the history of baseball.It serves, in turn, as a source for a number of books and publications about baseball, and/or is mentioned by them as a reference, such as Baseball Digest, Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, and Baseball's Top 100: The Game's Greatest Records. Dan Zachofsky described it in Collecting Baseball Memorabilia: A Handbook as having the most current information regarding members of the Hall of Fame.David Maraniss, author of Clemente, the Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, described it as an absolutely reliable and first-rate bountiful source, that supplied accurate schedules and box scores. Glenn Guzo, in The New Ballgame: Baseball Statistics for the Casual Fan, described it as having a rich supply of contemporary and historic information. Richard Roeper described it in Sox and the City: A Fan's Love Affair with the White Sox from the Heartbreak of '67 to the Wizards of Oz as "one of the beauteous wonders of the Internet". Harvey Frommer, Dartmouth College Professor and sports author, said of Baseball Almanac: "Definitive, vast in its reach and scope, Baseball Almanac is a mother lode of facts, figures, anecdotes, quotations and essays focused on the national pastime.... It has been an indispensable research tool for me."

Billy Beane

William Lamar Beane III (born March 29, 1962) is a former American professional baseball player and current front office executive. He is the executive vice president of baseball operations and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB); he is also minority owner of Barnsley FC of EFL Championship. From 1984 to 1989 he played in MLB as an outfielder for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics. He joined the Athletics' front office as a scout in 1990, was named general manager after the 1997 season, and was promoted to executive vice president after the 2015 season.

A first-round pick in the MLB draft by the Mets, Beane failed to meet the expectations of scouts, who projected him as a star. In his front-office career, Beane has applied statistical analysis (known as sabermetrics) to baseball, which has led teams to reconsider how they evaluate players. He is the subject of Michael Lewis's 2003 book on baseball economics, Moneyball, which was made into a 2011 film starring Brad Pitt as Beane.

Brian Kenny (sportscaster)

Brian Kenny (born October 18, 1963 in New York City) is a studio host for MLB Network and a boxing play by play announcer for DAZN. The television face of sabermetrics and baseball analytics, he is the host of the weekday program "MLB Now," known as “The Show For The Thinking Fan." He previously worked for ESPN, and had his own show on ESPN Radio named The Brian Kenny Show. His first book, Ahead of the Curve; Inside the Baseball Revolution, was published in 2016 by Simon and Schuster , and won the National SABR Research Award in 2017 . One of the most respected baseball historians and broadcasters in the country, he is also the host of the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown, NY .

Moneyball

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game is a book by Michael Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland's small budget. A film based on the book, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, was released in 2011.

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.

Out of zone plays made

Out of zone plays made, known by the acronym OOZ, is a baseball statistic used to measure a baseball player's performance on defense.The sabermetrics statistic is also a component other baseball statistics, including the Zone Rating and Revised Zone Rating (RZR) measures of a baseball player's defensive performance. It was developed by sports statistician John Dewan in the 1980s, and then enhanced by him in 2006.OOZ reflects the number of plays a fielder makes on balls that were hit outside his "zone". A player's "zone", for purposes of the definition, is considered those parts of the field in which on average a fielder is able to convert half of his chances into outs.

Paul DePodesta

Paul DePodesta (born December 16, 1972) is the chief strategy officer for the National Football League (NFL)'s Cleveland Browns.

Formerly a front-office assistant for the Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and most recently the New York Mets, DePodesta was also general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The year after leading the Dodgers to their first playoff win in 16 years, he was fired after the 2005 club finished with its worst record in 11 years. He was the ninth general manager in the club's history since its move to Los Angeles. He is also known for his appearance in the book and movie Moneyball, about his time with the Athletics.

Pete Palmer

Pete Palmer (born January 30, 1938) is an American sports statistician and encyclopedia editor. He is a major contributor to the applied mathematical field referred to as sabermetrics. Along with the Bill James Baseball Abstracts, Palmer's book The Hidden Game of Baseball is often referred to as providing the foundation upon which the field of sabermetrics was built.Palmer began his career as a baseball analyst when he worked for the Raytheon Corporation as a radar systems engineer. At night, after his co-workers had left for the day, Palmer used the company's (at the time) cutting-edge computers to run advanced simulations analyzing historical baseball statistics. In 1982, Palmer gained notoriety when he recognized a scorekeeper's error as he pored over decades-old box scores, discovering that Nap Lajoie's 1910 batting average was several points higher than Ty Cobb's, causing the official Major League Baseball record books to be re-written. Palmer also innovated the Linear Weights method of estimating a player's offensive contributions, an invention that will likely be his lasting legacy. Palmer, with help from Dick Cramer, invented OPS (on-base plus slugging) in 1978, which now is universally accepted as a measure of batting ability.

Many of Palmer's early works were written in partnership with John Thorn, including The Hidden Game of Baseball and Total Baseball; the latter book also featured, in later editions, the contributions of editor Michael Gershman. Palmer edited or served as a consultant for many of the sports reference books produced by Total Sports Publishing. Palmer's most recent work has been in collaboration with Gary Gillette. Since 2003, the pair has produced five editions of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, and several other baseball annuals. In 2010 he was named a charter member of the Henry Chadwick Society by SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) and also received a lifetime achievement award from them in 2018.

Power–speed number

Power–speed number or power/speed number (PSN) is a sabermetrics baseball statistic developed by baseball author and analyst Bill James which combines a player's home run and stolen base numbers into one number.

The formula is:

.

(It is the harmonic mean of the two totals.)

Power–speed number is displayed as a number with one digit after the decimal point.

James introduced the power–speed number in his commentary on Bobby Bonds, writing "it is so crafted that a player who does well in both home runs and stolen bases will rate high, and his rating is determined by the balance of the two as well as by the total."

Rob Neyer

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.

Ron Shandler

In 1986, Ron Shandler began publishing the Baseball Forecaster, an annual publication focused on applying sabermetrics to fantasy baseball, and founder of Baseball HQ, a website with the same focus. Shandler has an MBA from Hofstra University.

Shandler is seen as a revolutionary thinker in both sabermetrics and fantasy baseball. Among his innovations in fantasy baseball are:

LIMA Plan - Which stands for Low Investment Mound Aces, is a draft strategy for traditional 4x4 Rotisserie leagues. LIMA is named after pitcher José Lima, who was exemplified by the strategy. The strategy includes spending a maximum of $60 out of your $260 budget on pitching. No more than $30 on saves. Have your pitchers use as few innings as your league rules allow. Look to buy pitchers with strong strikeout-to-walk ratios, high strikeout per inning ratios and low home run per inning ratios. Spend the rest of your budget on hitting.

Strand Rate - The percentage of baserunners a pitcher allows who fail to score (Baseball Prospectus has a similar statistic, Bequeathed Runs Prevented). Shandler discovered that 72 percent of baserunners on average never cross the plate, so if a pitcher has a higher or lower strand rate there's a chance it will affect his ERA in the opposite direction in the future. The concept of runners being stranded on base was probably not first conceived of by Shandler. Sabermetrician Keith Woolner has been researching support-neutral statistics since at least 1993, and has often discussed concepts similar to Strand Rate (e.g., Bequeathed Runners inherited/stranded).[1] [2]Shandler created Tout Wars in 1997 after being fed up with the lack of promotion USA Today gave its annual LABR fantasy baseball experts league. He also founded the Annual Fantasy Baseball Symposium at the Arizona Fall League, one of the largest gatherings of fantasy baseball players, now in its 16th year.

Shandler's success as a fantasy player includes the most wins in major fantasy baseball expert leagues. He won both the NL and AL Tout Wars competitions in 1998 (being the only time anyone has ever won dual championships in the history of national experts competitions), AL Tout Wars in 2000, NL LABR in 2001, and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association League in 2010. He has contributed columns to the sports section of the Huffington Post, ESPN Magazine, ESPN.com, and USA Today. In 2004, he was selected to help form an advisory board for the St. Louis Cardinals, which he served on for approximately two years.

In 2004, Shandler received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. In 2012, he was inducted into the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame.

On April 30, 2013, Shandler announced he would be stepping down from running Baseball HQ, which he had sold to USA Today five years prior. He will continue to write his weekly columns for BaseballHQ.com and USA Today, contribute to the Baseball Forecaster and will remain active in the fantasy baseball community.

He now runs his own site, RonShandler.com [3] where he promotes his latest innovation: the Broad Assessment Balance Sheet (BABS) approach to fantasy baseball team construction.

Sig Mejdal

Sig Mejdal (born December 31, 1965) is an American sabermetrics analyst for the Baltimore Orioles and a former NASA engineer. He previously helped the St. Louis Cardinals make draft picks. Mejdal turned his personal interest in baseball into a career after being inspired by Moneyball in 2003.

Sydney Blue Sox

The Sydney Blue Sox are a professional baseball team, and one of eight foundation teams in the re-formed Australian Baseball League (ABL). The team plays their home games at Blacktown International Sportspark (BISS), one of the two venues used for baseball at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when it was known as Blacktown Olympic Park. The Blue Sox hosted the league's Opening Day for the inaugural season on 6 November 2010, when they played against the Canberra Cavalry, and won the game 1–0. The Blue Sox are the only team in the Australian Baseball League to implement sabermetrics as a way to run their team with volunteer statistician, Anthony Rescan.Fan response was very positive for the Blue Sox in the lead up to their inaugural season. As the sole team in New South Wales, they attracted interest beyond the Sydney metropolitan region; as far north as Newcastle, which hosted the former ABL franchise Hunter Eagles throughout the 1990s. Five hundred season tickets were allocated for the 2010–11 season, which sold out two months prior to the season's start; a waiting list for 2011–12 season tickets was soon created. Such was the demand to see professional baseball return to Sydney, several games had sold out well in advance of their scheduled dates, including the season opener.

Theorycraft

Theorycraft (or theorycrafting) is the mathematical analysis of game mechanics, usually in video games, to discover optimal strategies and tactics. Theorycraft often involves analyzing hidden systems or underlying game code in order to glean information that is not apparent during normal gameplay. The term has been said to come from Starcraft players as a portmanteau of "game theory" and "StarCraft". Theorycraft is similar to analyses performed in sports or other games, such as baseball's sabermetrics.

Theorycraft is prominent in multiplayer games, where players attempt to gain competitive advantage by analyzing game systems. As a result, theorycraft can lower barriers between players and game designers. Game designers must consider that players will have a comprehensive understanding of game systems; and players can influence design by exploiting game systems and discovering dominant or unintended strategies.The way players theorycraft varies from game to game, but often games under the same genres (e.g. collectable card games, MMORPG’s, turn-based strategy) will have similar theorycrafting methods. Communities develop standardized ways to communicate their findings, including use of specialized tools to measure and record game data, and terminology and simulations to represent certain data. Theorycrafts proven potent usually find inclusion in the metagame. Knowledge from theorycrafts are often communicated through blogs, community forums, or game guides.

Tom Tango

Tom Tango and "TangoTiger" are aliases used online by a baseball sabermetrics and ice hockey statistics analyst. He runs the Tango on Baseball sabermetrics website and is also a contributor to ESPN's baseball blog TMI (The Max Info). Tango is currently the Senior Database Architect of Stats for MLB Advanced Media.In 2006, Tango's book The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, which was co-written with Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin, was published featuring a foreword by Pete Palmer. In The Book he and his coauthors analyzed many advanced baseball questions, like how to optimize a lineup or when to issue an intentional base on balls. They also introduced the wOBA metric to measure overall offensive contributions.Tango maintains the "Marcel the Monkey Forecasting System," a player projection system which uses three years of weighted player statistics with statistical regression and player age adjustment.He is best known for developing the FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) statistic, which attempts to more accurately assess the quality of a pitcher's performance than other statistics, such as ERA. 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke specifically mentioned FIP as his favorite statistic. "That's pretty much how I pitch, to try to keep my FIP as low as possible".Tango works as a consultant for several National Hockey League teams, and has worked for Major League Baseball. Tango has worked for the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays as a statistical analysis consultant. He worked exclusively for the Chicago Cubs in a similar role.Born and raised in Canada, he resides in New Jersey with his family and has insisted on keeping his true name secret.

WOBA

In baseball, wOBA (/wʌ-bɑː/, or weighted on-base average) is a statistic, based on linear weights, designed to measure a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. It is formed from taking the observed run values of various offensive events, dividing by a player's plate appearances, and scaling the result to be on the same scale as on-base percentage. Unlike statistics like OPS, wOBA attempts to assign the proper value for each type of hitting event. It was created by Tom Tango and his coauthors for The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball.

Win Shares

Win Shares is a book about baseball written by Bill James and Jim Henzler, published by STATS, Inc. in 2002. The book explains how to apply the concept of sabermetrics to assess the impact of player performance in a combination of several areas, including offensive, defensive, and pitching, to the overall performance of their team. The resulting "Win Share" also takes into account factors such as the era in which the player was active to allow easy comparisons between players from different eras. The book focuses primarily on the many formulae involved in computing the final number of win shares accumulated, as well as presenting lists of players ranked in various ways using the rating.

Win Shares Digital Update, a companion volume of tables and statistics through the 2001 season, was subsequently published in PDF form by STATS, Inc.

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