CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Lewie Pollis 

Search Articles by Lewie Pollis

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives
<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries

The hidden meaning to one of the greatest rock albums ever.

This year marks the 40th birthday of my favorite studio album of all time: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. I know I’ve mentioned my love for The Boss quite often in these pages (almost as much as I’ve tried to find convoluted reasons to plug my senior thesis research); I don’t think any one record fully captures the essence of Springsteen’s musical genius, but Born to Run is as close as you can get short of seeing him in concert, or at least listening to a high-quality live recording.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 7, 2015 6:00 am

Ninety Percent Mental: Are Secret Ballots Ruining Cooperstown?

22

Lewie Pollis

Identifying the discrepancies between public and private ballots from yesterday's vote.

There are a lot of things wrong with the Hall of Fame vote. There’s the fact that the recent bar for enshrinement is set far higher than it’s been in the past (especially for pitchers). There’s the 10-vote-per-ballot limit, even in a year when there are probably 18 candidates I’d vote for if I could. There’s the belated moral panic about PEDs that holds back anyone who is remotely suspected of having used them (no matter how baseless or arbitrary the rumors) even though there are plenty of both dopers and cheaters already in Cooperstown. And then there’s the fact that Kenny Lofton fell off on his first ballot.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

January 6, 2015 6:00 am

Ninety Percent Mental: Fortune Favors The Bold

8

Lewie Pollis

Adding a win affects playoff odds by a higher magnitude than if a win is taken away. Why, and what does it mean for teams?

The first time you find yourself immersed in a group of sabermetricians is a magical experience. For me, it was the SABR Analytics Conference in March 2013. I have vivid memories of just about everything that happened that weekend: the roar of the crowd when the U.S. played Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, the patience of the numerous baseball luminaries who gave me the time of day even after talking to umpteen other kids, how lost I got on the first day when I assumed the streets of Phoenix were laid out in chronological order of the Presidents for which they were named.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

December 24, 2014 6:00 am

Ninety Percent Mental: What's Really Behind Salary Inflation

5

Lewie Pollis

Are market forces causing salaries to go up, or is this just The Human Element?

Nary a year has gone by in recent memory in which I can’t remember people talking about the growth in player salaries. Every offseason, it seems, we expect the free agent market to explode. In years with weak free agent classes we anticipate that the low supply will drive up wages; when there are several premium players available we say that the high talent level will lubricate teams’ wallets, or something. Then, after we see a couple second- or third-tier free agents get significantly more than anyone had expected, there’s a fear that that year’s inflation will be even higher than we’d thought. It’s one of the many cyclical talking points in the community of baseball analysis (I say this with love).

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

A.J. Preller's first winter shouldn't be surprising, if you think about it.

We’re still not even to Christmas, but already several teams have made strong plays for the honor of “most interesting offseason.” You could make a good case for the Dodgers, who gave their front office a potentially highly symbolic reboot before embarking on a spree of high-profile wheeling and dealing. There’s the Marlins, who signed Giancarlo Stanton to the largest contract in the history of professional sports and appear to be making good on their promise to surround him with talent. Either Chicago team would qualify after marquee acquisitions that signal both teams are forcing open their respective windows of contention. And then there’s the Athletics, whose offseason moves would be a fascinating subject even without the inevitable Moneyball-induced paranoia that there’s another side to their deals that no one else sees yet.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

The league might be catching up to the inefficiency in non-player compensation.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write about baseball. I am thrilled to have the chance to post at BP again, and now that I’m back there are quite a few things I’m eager to bore you with my thoughts on. But the thing I’ve been most itching to write about might be a little surprising. It isn’t a new statistical model or a star player or my pride at having said before the playoffs started that the Royals would beat the Orioles in the ALCS. No, I want to talk about Ron Paul.

Read the full article...

June 12, 2014 6:00 am

Model Behavior

9

Lewie Pollis

Why we shouldn't be so quick to assume that statistical principles don't apply to particular players.

When Matt Cain signed his $127.5 million contract extension in April 2012, Colin Wyers memorably tweeted: “If your response to the Matt Cain extension involves xFIP I'll be by later to pour coffee on your keyboard.” As someone who was still relatively new to the field of sabermetrics, seeing that was a watershed moment in that it signaled a substantial retreat from our previous collective understanding that DIPS statistics were unambiguously superior to ERA as measurements of pitching ability.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

May 16, 2014 6:00 am

Front Office Expansion

3

Lewie Pollis

Why a second (or third) video replay analyst might be the best deal in baseball.

I had the honor of having lunch with Dan Brooks last week, and as we ate our sandwiches the conversation turned to my thesis. I mentioned that if I were running a team, I would strongly consider hiring dozens of new front office employees, because their salaries are so cheap compared to those of players that even if only a few of them ended up making substantive contributions, they would more than earn their collective keep.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

April 24, 2014 6:00 am

Explaining Spending

6

Lewie Pollis

Uncoupling the price of a win from its value.

A couple weeks ago, I made the argument that the cost of a win on the free agent market for a given season does not represent a generally homogeneous league-wide conception of what a win is worth. Rather, the more logical explanation is that it reflects the largest amount any team would be willing to pay for the Nth win available after the first N – 1 wins were hypothetically distributed in accordance with who valued each of them most highly. (Economic theory can sound weird when you apply it to real life.)

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

April 10, 2014 6:00 am

Explaining Spending

18

Lewie Pollis

A key to the baseball economy.

This article started with the realization that I had been wrong. Believe it or not, it’s happened before; unlikely as it seems, it may happen again. I think I’ve got it right this time, but in the spirit of intellectual honesty and taking responsibility for my past arguments, I wanted to note that I’ve been down this road before.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Why a dollar might go further in the front office than on the field.

The following is an excerpt from the author’s senior thesis at Brown University. He will be presenting his research at the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference on March 15. The full paper will be made available later this spring.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 11, 2014 6:00 am

Barry Bonds, Race, and Public Perception

54

Lewie Pollis

How much has race influenced public perceptions of baseball's PED poster boy?

Lewie Pollis is a senior at Brown University and a former baseball analytics intern for the Cleveland Indians. He also writes for ESPN Insider. Follow him on Twitter @LewsOnFirst.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Author Entries No More Author Entries