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February 14, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Irredeemable Perfectionists: Player Forecast Manager and Depth Charts Delayed

by Steven Goldman

In Billy Wilder's classic The Lost Weekend, Ray Milland is always making plans and promises to his girlfriend, his brother, the B-girl at his favorite bar, even his bartender, but he always has one more thing to do before he can follow through: take another drink--or ten. As you might have guessed, Milland's character was an irredeemable alcoholic. At BP, we always have to do one more thing as well, because we are irredeemable perfectionists. In this case, the one more thing is an effort to make our projected Depth Charts and Player Forecast Manager as accurate, bug-free, and innocent as a newborn babe. We're not quite there yet; having changed a great deal behind the scenes, we need a little more time to check through and make sure everything and everyone is where they are supposed to be--it wouldn't do to have Wee Willie Keeler popping up and trying to claim Nick Markakis's playing time. Although, you never know, Orioles fans--he might be an upgrade.

We hope to release both products to beta testers today and have a full roll-out on Wednesday. We appreciate your patience as we get the DC and PFM up to our standards, and yours. 

Steven Goldman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Steven's other articles. You can contact Steven by clicking here

59 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

rfhp

Thanks, Steven. Appreciate you letting us know.

Feb 14, 2011 03:14 AM
rating: 2
 
dREaDS Fan

Surely you didn't get to 6am on the day of the previously announced rollout and then make the decision to delay it? Could you have perhaps given us a bit more heads up? (I have told many a fantasy league owner over the weekend that I'd respond to their trade offers ... on Monday when my PFM-reliant spreadsheet is up & running.)

Feb 14, 2011 03:29 AM
rating: 3
 
jeremyarak

Thanks for keeping us posted-- open communication is the way to go!

Feb 14, 2011 05:08 AM
rating: 1
 
hessshaun

If you need any beta help.....

Feb 14, 2011 06:42 AM
rating: 2
 
Rick Lopez

"Player Forecast Manager and Depth Charts Delayed by Steven Goldman"

So *you* did it? It's *your* fault???

(Thanks for the notice.)

Feb 14, 2011 06:51 AM
rating: 5
 
Michael
(736)

Thanks for keeping us informed. Sounds like the right call.

Feb 14, 2011 06:55 AM
rating: 1
 
sldeck

Thanks for your perfectionism.
Will Minnesota's Tsuyoshi Nishioka be included in the depth charts or the PFM? He seems to be missing from PECOTA.

Thanks!

Feb 14, 2011 06:59 AM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

He is indeed included in the depth charts, and therefore the PFM.

Feb 14, 2011 15:18 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

Sorta what dREaDS Fan said. Probably best to give us a schedule of inputs and tell us where you are regarding that, rather than even half-promising that you'll get to the end result by such-and-such a time.

Feb 14, 2011 08:34 AM
rating: 2
 
JimmyJack

This is Emma Span's fault, isn't it?

Feb 14, 2011 08:41 AM
rating: 13
 
ScottyB

This reminds me of the classic job interview question- "So, tell me what is your greatest weakness?" Everyone always answers some version of I care too much or I'm too much of a perfectionist or I work too hard.

Feb 14, 2011 09:19 AM
rating: 3
 
Brian Kopec

My answer to that question is always, "I spend half the work day reading Baseball Prospectus."

Feb 15, 2011 05:17 AM
rating: 6
 
dbiester

I love the products when they work, but I wish I could work in a profession where you can give yourself a deadline, make it public, then give yourself an extension and the response is largely "thanks for the heads up."

Feb 14, 2011 09:26 AM
rating: 11
 
BurrRutledge

I am happy to be working in an industry where when something gets f'ed up, I can rest easy knowing the mistake probably didn't kill anybody.

Feb 14, 2011 09:56 AM
rating: 4
 
Brian Cartwright

I used to spend most of my work days mapping landfills, and could use the same argument. Now I'm the airport guy at the company, collecting vertical obstructions for airports around the country, so that the pilot knows what to not run into. At least, compared to the air traffic controller, I can take extra time to get it right.

Feb 15, 2011 20:17 PM
rating: 1
 
evo34

Well said. The next time I postpone something on the very day I had promised it, I am going to avoid using the words "apologize" and "sorry" -- opting instead for "irredeemable perfectionist." I might throw in a few really obscure, off-topic references just to add to the smokescreen effect.

Presumably, you've been working on this for 10 months now. To let it get down to the last day like this is just poor planning. There have been major missed deadlines for each of the past five years. To continue the [bizarre] alcoholism parallel that Goldman leads with...the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have it. The "problem" in this case is not an individual error or technical issue; it is a poor process for planning, managing, and controlling quality.

Feb 14, 2011 17:30 PM
rating: 2
 
BurrRutledge

Go ahead an minus this. Call me an apologist or whathaveyou. Go ahead, I can take it. The fact is, I've been (nicely) asking for the PECOTA and PFM for the past couple of weeks. Nobody "promised" you, me, or any other subscriber that everything would be up and running today. Not ten months ago, and not ten days ago. A week ago, they issued the PECOTA spreadsheet, and Colin told us that "the plan" was to have it out today. No promises, just letting us know "the plan."

So, note to Colin and everybody else at BP: you can't win.

Feb 14, 2011 19:41 PM
rating: 6
 
evo34

I don't know you and certainly haven't called you anything. I am pointing out the long-standing pattern of missed deadlines/promises/indications/randomly-generated-dates that has plagued BP for years now. I would love to think they have acknowledged and fixed the core problem. I have yet to see an acknowledgement, and if this particular instance is any indication, the issues remain to be fixed.

"Winning" would include: acknowledging the causes of issues in the past, detailing what has been done to fix them, and then delivering products on time.

Feb 15, 2011 21:33 PM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

Not it off already. They are here.

Feb 16, 2011 04:25 AM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

Knock it off....

Feb 16, 2011 04:25 AM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

Aaaaaaaannnnnnd....never mind

Feb 16, 2011 04:27 AM
rating: 0
 
entpcat

First time PECOTA user. Looking at the 2011 spreadsheet, why are the projections so low this year - no pitcher with over 15 wins, only 1 or 2 hitters with over 110 rbi, etc? Is that normal, are they still developing, or what's up?

Feb 14, 2011 10:25 AM
rating: -1
 
ScottyB

PECOTA tends to hedge its bets and rarely projects outstanding performances. Thus, it hits its mean projections very well, at the expense of missing outliers.

Feb 14, 2011 17:42 PM
rating: 5
 
briant1
(778)

Wow. You'd think he'd posted that everyone's insulin supply would be delayed a week.

I guess there's nothing in the world that can't be complained about.

Feb 14, 2011 10:29 AM
rating: 1
 
Mike

BPro is lucky to have such fiercely loyal fan boys, who not only stand by, but defend them against the paying customer who calls them out when they miss deadlines.

Without that loyalty they might be forced to respond to economic intensives to make deadlines, or else risk giving away a lot of product for free and/or have customers switch to one of the other sites with a cheaper product that's available earlier and preforms better against Marcel.

Just to clarify, I am not as annoyed with BPro missing the deadline as I am with those of you flaming the people who are annoyed.

Feb 14, 2011 12:00 PM
rating: 5
 
briant1
(778)

Sure Mike. I really lit into them there didn't I? It certainly proves my "fierce loyalty". I'm a real "fan boy".

Clearly, that's the only conclusion that can be reached because people are freaking out that they are going to get their fantasy predictions closer to February 20 than February 10.

Feb 14, 2011 12:49 PM
rating: 0
 
Mike

Brian, Oliver was available Dec. 20th (at half the price), Last Player Picked (free) had CAIRO up in Jan. and Marcel up Feb. 3rd. I think it's fair to start getting antsy when every other forecast tool has had there stuff out for weeks, months...

Many subscribers have to declare keepers or respond to trades around this time of year and they have strict deadlines... the kind that can't be pushed back... so it baffles me when paying customers get mad that things are delayed that they are met with smarmy comments and their posts get negative feedback from the BP Defenders.

Feb 14, 2011 14:11 PM
rating: 11
 
evo34

It's not the two days that even matters. It's the blatant spinning of this as some sort of evidence of BP's commitment to excellence that leaves a bad taste. I don't think even Microsoft would dare use "Irredeemable Perfectionists" as the title of what amounts to a bug report and release delay.

Feb 14, 2011 17:40 PM
rating: 10
 
dbiester

I don't feel flamed. I am not insulin dependent. I am not an alcoholic, though I understand that perfectionism can have negative impact ultimately.

As I noted at the start of my comment above, I love the product when it works. But perhaps the "real journalists" would take you more seriously if you actually HAD to meet deadlines. My recollection (I don't actually care enough to go back and pull the reference) is that when the PECOTA spreadsheets came out, the PFM release was set for 2/14 with the implication that it might come sooner. My assumption is the server upgrades over the weekend and other "issues" got in the way. I'd be happier if I could be using the PFM instead of whining about not having it, which I suspect we all have in common.

Feb 15, 2011 07:49 AM
rating: 1
 
devine

Grab some popcorn and watch the comments fly by...

Feb 14, 2011 12:27 PM
rating: 0
 
Johnson Magic

W.W.Keeler would be 139 this season. He might have been an upgrade at 3B last year, but he definitely would NOT be an upgrade over Markakis ;-D

Feb 14, 2011 13:02 PM
rating: 1
 
abskippers

Only problem with that is my keeper decisions are due tonight!

Feb 14, 2011 14:21 PM
rating: 4
 
Bob

any idea when upside will arrive?

Feb 15, 2011 04:45 AM
rating: 1
 
philly

The irredeemably perfect time?

Too snarky?

Feb 15, 2011 05:14 AM
rating: 4
 
dianagram

OK everyone, sing it with me ...

"Irredeemable . . . that's what you are . . ."

Feb 15, 2011 05:42 AM
rating: 0
 
Mike

Since I am sitting on a trade, I have to ask. Is there any reason to think the PFM won't be up and running tomorrow? A little heads up might soften the blow.

Feb 15, 2011 15:04 PM
rating: 0
 
jberkon

So, Depth Charts and PFM are listed as having been updated but ... they don't seem to have actually been updated. Anyone else experiencing the same issue?

Feb 16, 2011 06:13 AM
rating: 0
 
zstine1

it says under construction

Feb 16, 2011 06:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Yazbird

I see a note that says "last update 02-16" but I a not seeing the 2011 update anywhere. Is it not happening today or am I just looking in the wrong place? Or both?

Feb 16, 2011 07:11 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Colin Wyers
BP staff

We've got the updated PFM in a "staging area" which we're working on moving to the main site.

Feb 16, 2011 09:21 AM
 
Mike

So I don't have to keep hitting refresh, are we talking minutes, hours or days?

Feb 16, 2011 09:44 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Colin Wyers
BP staff

Minutes or hours. PFM will launch today.

Feb 16, 2011 10:01 AM
 
Mike

Thanks for the prompt response.

Feb 16, 2011 10:06 AM
rating: 0
 
batts40

Excellent, can't wait.

Feb 16, 2011 11:08 AM
rating: 0
 
dREaDS Fan

... & waiting ...

Feb 16, 2011 13:21 PM
rating: 1
 
tommybones

Today is getting late... ;)

Feb 16, 2011 15:22 PM
rating: 1
 
hessshaun

Thank goodness.

Feb 16, 2011 13:05 PM
rating: 0
 
Matthew W

Oh how accurate your metaphor turned out to be...

Feb 16, 2011 14:26 PM
rating: 0
 
saint09

So T minus 3 hours and 19 minutes. Let's hope the perfectionists iron our all the bugs and data released is accurate.

Feb 16, 2011 17:41 PM
rating: 2
 
skaron01

2011 PFM and depth charts - directed by Julie Taymor, Music by Bono and the Edge.

Feb 16, 2011 17:45 PM
rating: 1
 
Richie

Bugs still on the fantasy 'points' side. And I'm sure small ones still elsewhere. For example, PECOTA has Latos throwing only 91 innings, and it looks to me like PFM has him somewhere around 200 IP.

Feb 16, 2011 17:56 PM
rating: 0
 
skaron01

Your Latos discussion doesn't actually jump out as a "bug" to me given the nature of the two products.

Feb 16, 2011 18:05 PM
rating: 0
 
McCaffery

The last couple of comments seem to be discussing the PFM as if it's up and running, but I still get the "Under construction" message. Am I missing something?

Feb 16, 2011 18:13 PM
rating: 0
 
skaron01

I was assuming Richie was one of the beta testers when I replied.

Feb 16, 2011 18:19 PM
rating: 0
 
jberkon

Yeah, me too. I'm still getting the "under construction" sign

Feb 16, 2011 18:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Nailfan

OK, numbers don't make sense yet($26 total budget and PFM suggests I bid $24+ for Hanley Ramirez), but there a really like:
The 'i' information dots are great - thank you
The multiple team entry option on the saved page is also a plus.

Feb 16, 2011 18:29 PM
rating: 0
 
zstine1

with a $26 budget did you set the minimum bid to a dime?

Feb 16, 2011 18:38 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Colin Wyers
BP staff

PFM is up.

Feb 16, 2011 19:02 PM
 
Mike

Thank you.

Feb 16, 2011 19:07 PM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
The Week in Quotes: Fe... (02/14)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: Industr... (02/13)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Derek L... (02/15)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (02/14)

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