I remember the first time I heard about Sam and Ben's project of running the Sonoma Stompers' analytics department. I immediately thought back to the last time I was in Sonoma, which was actually last summer, because my cousin was getting married there. I remember the car ride in from San Francisco and seeing the rolling hills that line the road inland, and seeing cows standing on those hills. I thought, "Man, it would be really funny if those cows would lose their footing and just roll down those hills," and at that moment, my mind made the connection to why bovine (and other types of) animals probably have hooves: So they can get better footing and don't roll down hills and become material for widely circulated GIFs.
When I was interviewing a high school baseball coach earlier this week, he told me that a leadoff walk comes around to score 88 percent of the time. That's wrong! That's so very, incredibly wrong. I'll tell you who really needs to read this and learn a little something: It's [REDACTED] of [REDACTED] High School in [REDACTED], Missouri. Stop spreading baseball misinformation to impressionable minds!
On hard slides, hard-hit balls, scorer bias, Barry Bonds, and Ian's dishwasher.
Earlier this week, I moved into a new apartment. It's much better than my old one: It has a couch, a better kitchen with a dishwasher and a roommate who's not a slob. I also bought a new TV and a PlayStation 4. I learned that having nice things is better than not having nice things! So, party at my place, and you're all invited. We'll watch MLB.tv and debate the existence and merits of lineup protection and talk about what else we did or could have learned.
On clutch hitting, the physics of radar guns, cutters, batted ball velocity, and more.
What did you do this week? I determined, by a completely objective analysis, that Mexican food is the best type of food there is. It covers a wide range of flavors, textures and preferences: Sweet to savory, cool to crazy spicy, crunchy to smooth, vegetarian to carnivore. It's usually affordable, can be eaten in casual or formal settings, and is widely available all across the United States. Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, and I have little respect for your opinion. Other thing I did this week: Learned all this stuff.
On prospecting with stats, beating the shift, measuring the economics of DH, and studying concussions.
I walked out of my last college class yesterday. Since I'm now basically finished with higher education, I don't plan on reading or writing ever again. So this week's articles were dictated to me by my computer's text-to-speech software, and I had my mother type up this post. Thanks mom, love ya!
On eye color, time-of-day effects, and projecting breakouts.
DRA has changed everything for me. Before its release on Wednesday, I lived in a run-down house with two filthy roommates, my car was a rusty mess with a broken driver-side mirror, and I was a senior in college set to graduate into a weak job market with nothing but a journalism degree.
The Nationals did something amazing two nights ago. Matt Williams already had a better story to tell, though.
The Nationals’ comeback against the Braves Tuesday night will be remembered as a turning point in their season, if their season ends up being worth remembering. They entered the night at 7-13, and with their ace sidelined by a thumb injury, they asked rookie A.J. Cole to begin the process of turning things around. Cole got shelled, surrendering nine hits and nine runs in two innings of work, a mess that got worse than it needed to be because of Cole’s own error in the field. Atlanta led 9-1 after two innings and 10-2 after four. The Nationals stormed back. A fielding error opened the door to a four-run fifth inning, and ultimately, Washington chased Braves ace Julio Teheran with two outs in the sixth inning, down by the more manageable score of 10-7. The Braves led 12-10 after eight, but Dan Uggla—facing the team who pays the bulk of his salary, the team who cut him outright last summer—came up with a second huge hit (a three-run homer), and Drew Storen bravely held off Atlanta in the bottom of the ninth.
Just growing a list of every team's emergency catcher.
Help us crowd-source this. If you know one, leave it in the comments, email me by clicking the button at the bottom of this post, or tweet me @sammillerbp. Citations preferred, but not necessary. Current emergency catchers only, please.
On the 2015 strike zone, the poorly defined "cutter", the value of backspin and much more.
Boy, you kids don't know how easy you have it these days, with your roundup blog posts and whatnot. Back in my day, when we wanted to get a digest of the week's baseball research and analysis, we had to look for a tiny ad in the classified section of Popular Mechanics, cut it out and mail it to the Polo Grounds in New York. When it got there, an old man named Elroy would look at your address, tie a roll of ticker tape to a carrier pigeon and send it out to your house. And those pigeons got hit by cars a lot, so there were plenty of weeks where we just didn't know a dang thing about baseball.