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April 9, 2012

Baseball Prospectus News

Introducing BP's Daily Content for 2012

by Ben Lindbergh

Things at BP have never been busier. We hope you’re enjoying the increased content on the site these days and that your workplace productivity has suffered accordingly. We also hope you enjoy setting aside some time to dig into our in-depth opinions and analysis. However, we know not all of you have hours to read about baseball every morning, and we still want to give you a way to digest the day’s most important developments quickly.

That’s where our new daily content comes in. We initiated this change last Friday; we’ll now be running three new or reworked columns every morning from Monday through Friday: the “Daily Hit List,” “What You Need to Know,” and “Collateral Damage Daily.” Below, you’ll find descriptions of what you can expect from each one.

Daily Hit List
We gave this column a September callup last season, and it earned a starting role. The "Daily Hit List" is equal parts power rankings, summaries of where each team stands on the season, and recaps of the previous night’s games. Every weekday morning, we’ll rank all 30 teams according to our Adjusted Hit List Factor, a league-adjusted version of the Hit List Factor that we calculate by averaging a team’s actual winning percentage with its three Pythagenpat winning percentages from our Adjusted Standings Report.

The rankings, as well as the team win totals, playoff odds, and playoff odds changes over time, give you a good sense of baseball’s balance of power at a glance. The meat of the column, though, can be found in the accompanying comments. Those will be written by Matthew Kory, the author of “Out of Left Field,” who’ll bring his unique blend of analysis and humor to bear in discussing the previous night’s action, as well as any notable ongoing stories or statistical performances. You can read the season's second edition of the Daily Hit List here. Hey, would you look at that: Matt's beloved Red Sox are at the bottom. This could get fun. 

(Note: We're still tinkering with the Daily Hit List layout. A comments section and some other layout and readability enhancements are in the works.)  

What You Need to Know
Daniel Rathman has written “The BP First Take” almost every weekday since last November, but we’re tweaking the First Take’s format for the season to produce each weekday morning’s “What You Need to Know.” “What You Need to Know” will consist of two sections: a significant takeaway from the previous night’s action, and three to five things to watch for in the current day’s games. Today's edition discusses the Red Sox' ominous start to the season. You can read today's edition of “What You Need to Know” here.

Collateral Damage Daily
Corey Dawkins has provided both his comprehensive injury database and his informative, in-depth injury coverage at BP since February of 2010, and that’s not about to change. In fact, you’re going to be getting even more up-to-date information and expertise courtesy of Corey—the only thing that’s changing is the way in which it will be presented. Rather than making you wait two days for the next article of injury updates or forcing you to hunt through our archives to find the most recent item Corey wrote about an injured player, we’re going to give you all of our latest injury information in one convenient location.

Corey will continue to write occasional lengthy articles about season-altering injuries to prominent players. However, his focus will be on “Collateral Damage Daily.” “Collateral Damage Daily” is a list, much like the "Daily Hit List." However, it’s not a list of teams—it’s a list of players. Injured players, to be specific. When a player is injured—whether he’s classified as day-to-day or on the 60-day DL—he’ll appear in CDD. Along with each player’s name, team, position, injury date, roster status, and diagnosis, Corey will include several crucial pieces of information you’ll have a hard time finding concentrated in any other location: an estimate of the number of days the player will miss, his expected return date, the projected impact on his performance after his return, and his risk of recurrence.

In addition, Corey will include a buy/sell/hold recommendation for fantasy owners who need an up-to-date prognosis for their players, plus a comment containing any other relevant information. By default, the list will be ordered by expected return date, so the players who are coming back soon will appear at the top, and the ones who are out for the season will stay at the bottom. However, all of the columns will be sortable, so if you want to sort by position, roster status, or anything else, you’ll be able to do that. In the future, we’ll add even more cool stuff, like expected player and team WARP lost and projected replacement players.

Every weekday morning, we’ll publish the list as a new “Collateral Damage Daily” article. At the top of each edition, Corey will include bullet-point lists of additions to and subtractions from the list. For the additions, he’ll provide a brief blurb about the injury that put them on the list, and for the subtractions, he’ll recap what kept them out and tell you what to expect of them in the future. Those two sections will keep you apprised of the latest injuries and recoveries and let you know where on the list to look for updates.

Until now, when you’ve wanted to find out about injuries affecting major-league teams (and by extension, your fantasy teams), you’ve had to do a lot of Googling—and even after that Googling, you weren’t guaranteed to come away with accurate information. We hope “Collateral Damage Daily” will supply all the injury information you need in one frequently-updated column and that you’ll come to regard it as both a valuable baseball resource and a regular destination during your daily BP browsing. You can read today's edition of "Collateral Damage Daily" here.

(Note: "Collateral Damage Daily" is still in Beta. Not every player has an estimate for days lost and return date, since the values in those fields are the result of automated processes that we're still refining. This should be working smoothly soon, but for now, you can see most of what's in store.)

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

MichavdB

Very nice! As an added bonus, by renaming 'The BP First Take' to 'What you need to know' you won't be reading comments about how the First Take occasionally got posted last.

Apr 06, 2012 12:54 PM
rating: 2
 
goldenyeti

Daily Hit List layout could use more contrast...not a fan of the gray-on-white scheme.

Apr 06, 2012 13:31 PM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Yes, that's definitely on the to-do list. We're going to make the headers and numbers more prominent.

Apr 06, 2012 13:42 PM
 
Juris

Yes, it's really hard on these old eyes to focus on the text.

Apr 07, 2012 07:54 AM
rating: 0
 
sensij

Collateral Damage Daily is a beautiful thing. Thanks for all the hard work!

Apr 06, 2012 13:37 PM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Corey Dawkins
BP staff

I think I had the easiest part of it all. Thanks for the praise.

Apr 06, 2012 18:15 PM
 
Ric Size

Great job on Collateral Damage! BP keeps getting better!

Apr 08, 2012 07:48 AM
rating: 1
 
Dodger300

I'm sure that somewhere there must be a key to explain what all of those columns on the Daily Hit List represent, but I rummaged around BP a bit and can't seem to find it. Can anyone help me out?

Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to put the key at the bottom of the page so that unfamiliar readers can figure what the numbers mean?

Apr 06, 2012 13:58 PM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Yes, we're going to add mouseover popups for all of the column headers. For now, though, you should be able to find everything in our glossary. HLF and AHLF are linked and explained in the announcement article above--the different win totals represent actual win totals as well as first-, second-, and third-order wins (search for W1, W2, and W3 in the glossary, or check out the Adjusted Standings). Other than that, it's just playoff odds and playoff odds changes over time.

Apr 06, 2012 14:04 PM
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Or you can just look at the mouseover popups in my comment!

Apr 06, 2012 14:05 PM
 
Dave Holgado

Ben, speaking as one of the old guard who consistently bemoans any kind of change at BP, I just want to say that you really seem to embody the spirit of the founding fathers and I feel the franchise is in very good hands with you at the helm. Keep up the great work!

Apr 06, 2012 18:14 PM
rating: 8
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

I really appreciate that. Thank you. Hope to run into you at another concert sometime so I can collect on that drink.

Apr 06, 2012 18:17 PM
 
fawcettb
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

More data, less creative writing.

Apr 06, 2012 19:39 PM
rating: -4
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Is that a request or an observation? Either way, "more of both" is the way we've been heading.

Apr 06, 2012 19:43 PM
 
Agent007

Collateral Damage has been one of my favorite columns. I hope what it did best -- to describe the nature of various injuries -- will not be lost in what appears to be a conversion of the column to serve fantasy leaguers (as it appears today). Some of us are just interested in baseball and want to understand the nature of various injuries.

Apr 06, 2012 20:22 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

CDD is being provided on a daily basis for a lot more than fantasy purposes. We're publishing it so that readers get regular, daily information on injuries to all players around the league. That way, we can provide snapshots of who got hurt, what the injury is, and how long it is expected the player will be out.

As Ben mentioned above, "Corey will continue to write occasional lengthy articles about season-altering injuries to prominent players." Those articles will detail specific injuries to prominent players, what they mean, and how they affect a player in the short-term and long-term. Those articles will provide more medical descriptions and analysis as Corey has done in the past.

Apr 06, 2012 23:32 PM
 
BP staff member Corey Dawkins
BP staff

Yup, I am going to continue to provide detailed injury information in the description section and when there is a big injury to a big time player, I'm going to write a more detailed article.

Apr 07, 2012 18:10 PM
 
R.A.Wagman

I like the ideas behind the new additions. The formatting always takes some getting used to, but I have two small requests that I think might help.
1) Add the actual rank numbers to the immediate left of the team name in the Daily Hit List. That way, I don't need to manually count the order of a mid-pack team.
2) Put a player's position to the immeidate right of his name in the Collateral Damage Daily. Just is more natural to associate position with player.
Thanks.

Apr 07, 2012 07:36 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Thanks, we'll add that to the list.

Apr 08, 2012 11:45 AM
 
Sean

Looks like there's a bug in CDD -- sort by AGL, which I assume is Average Games Lost. Burnett, Crawford and Howard all have totals (and thus return dates) that are way off according to their comments.

Apr 07, 2012 17:54 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Collateral Damage: I think this is all fine as long as the entries in the individual player cards are kept up to date.

Apr 08, 2012 11:32 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

They will be. The same automated processes update both the cards and the Collateral Damage Daily articles.

Apr 08, 2012 11:44 AM
 
BuzzingThalami
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

"Corey Dawkins has provided both his comprehensive injury database..."

Bull CRAP he has. I see mentions of it (CHIPPER) all over the site, but I can't FIND the actual projections anywhere. I see "Team Injury Projections" links that lead to... team projections for 2011. Well, isn't that nostalgic. The little skull and crossbones symbols have even disappeared off of the PECOTA cards. I see "coming soon" on another page... and all the teams are "still to come". I have two roto drafts this week. There is nothing I can use here, except for players already injured discussed in the CD column.

Maybe they're here somewhere? Would could know? The site is even more disorganized than it ever was. Which is saying something. Am I blind?? I've spent 20 minutes now looking all over. Even google can't find them using a site tag.

Apr 08, 2012 21:17 PM
rating: -4
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

I'm really sorry that you feel that way. The injury database is still online and lists comprehensive injury details on each player's card.

You can't find actual projections for this year because we didn't publish them. I'm not sure where you're seeing CHIPPER all over the site, but we felt that we needed to devote more research and development into those forecasts before publishing new information we could confidently stand behind.

Apr 09, 2012 08:34 AM
 
david88

Great stuff. The CDD is a little overwhelming to look at and figure out what is going on initially. Maybe colorize every other player to help differentiate what goes with what.

Otherwise, once again this is great stuff and will become a daily read for myself.

Apr 09, 2012 09:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BuzzingThalami

Since my above objection to the naked emperor's wonderful clothing was censored, allow me to put it more delicately. Your paragraph above implies (to any longtime user who's come to expect it) that individual injury projections that have for so long set BP apart from the many sites offering performance projections could still be found on the site. That, in fact, after an exhaustive search of the site, turns out not to be the case.

I get that you want to reassess your methodology rather than put out token projections that may not be of much value. I guess I would have appreciated a little more candor in the article, explaining for example that "although we no longer have the resources/confidence to offer individual injury projections, we do still list a prosaic history of past injuries for the player on his PECOTA card". It would have kept me from pulling my hair out fruitlessly sifting through the labyrinthine spaghetti that is the BP site looking for individual projections.

Apr 09, 2012 09:53 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

Ok, I understand your point, and I'm sorry if the message came across that way. If you ever have any direct question you feel is unanswered, please feel free to email customer service. You can also email me directly at jhamrahi at baseballprospectus.com. I'll be happy to answer any and all questions.

Apr 09, 2012 10:45 AM
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

hi, just to follow up on what Joe said, the readers of this site vote comments up and down. I think censorship implies that BP had something to do with the comment ratings on this (or any) comment and want to make sure people know that this is not the case.

We are doing research on a better way to express the injury projections and consider it an important feature. Thanks.

Apr 09, 2012 11:18 AM
 
BuzzingThalami

I realize it was readership that likely objected to my strong language, and I guess I should apologize for that. It was in the wake of a frustrating and often circular search for something I had come to value on this site, and it looked this article was alluding to being here still.

I can appreciate that you all have the integrity to remove a feature if you feel like it needs reassessing. Better that than present empty ratings just to look like you're offering something, I guess. I suppose injury projection is still a combination of art and science.

Apr 09, 2012 14:15 PM
rating: 1
 
pobothecat

Enthusiastic thumbs-up for upping the daily usefulness of BP. Nothing in the world wrong with giving readers a reason to check-in every day. Good for advertisers, good for readers, good for BP.

Apr 09, 2012 10:41 AM
rating: 1
 
PeterBNYC

Somehow managed not to visit BP over the weekend- I was too busy watching ACTUAL BASEBALL- well, on TV, you know. This is a terrific set of new features! Any method of reviving The Hit List is welcome. Thanks!

Apr 09, 2012 13:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BrewersTT

Thanks for the improvements and the explanation. A couple of possible tweaks to Collateral Damage Daily:

1) The players do not appear to be in any particular order. I suggest presenting them alphabetically by team, but other options would include alphabetically by name or in order of projected return date

2) There doesn't appear to be a way to comment.

3) Some of the return dates do not match the text notes below them, but this probably has to do with the wrinkles you mention you are ironing out.

Apr 09, 2012 20:15 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

Thank you! Yes, we are working on those and a few other tweaks so that the page is not just informative, but very clean as well. We should have some updates soon. Thanks again.

Apr 09, 2012 21:33 PM
 
BrewersTT

Thanks. It looks good now and should really be something to look forward to every day.

Apr 10, 2012 12:40 PM
rating: 0
 
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