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There are three relevant rules, two of which could be interpreted as the fielder must tag the base before the runner touches it, and one that could be interpreted the other way:
(Note one of the links in this article is to a Baseball Prospectus interview with umpire Jim Evans.)
As I understand it, umpires are taught that there are no ties: they must decide who reached the bag first and make the call accordingly. (In essence, their decision defines who was there first.)
Small clarification: Rogers' sports channel, Sportsnet, is more like Fox Sports, as Sportsnet consists of four regional networks (Fox had a minority ownership stake, though I'm not sure if it still does). The previous majority owner of Sportsnet, CTV, now owns TSN, which is the equivalent of ESPN, both in terms of its national network coverage and popularity (ESPN has a minority share in TSN).
A small clarification: the previous Expos ownership group, under general partner Claude Brochu, had stated the need for a new ballpark in order for the Expos to succeed. Brochu initiated plans for a downtown stadium, lined up a company to sign up for the naming rights, and gotten the federal and provincial government levels to start nodding in the right directions (the plan was for the land to be provided by the federal government at a heavily discounted price, and provincial tax revenue from player salaries to be used to pay the interest on the park construction loan).
Loria, however, decided to reset the ballpark plans, breaking off the team's agreement with the naming sponsor, and subsequently failing to close an agreement with the provincial government.
Regarding the English radio and TV deals, this was not directly tied to the progress of the ballpark plans, as the gap in coverage occurred in Loria's first year of ownership. Reportedly the Expos had been paying for their English broadcast deals, rather than receiving revenue for them, and Loria wanted to at least break even. Unfortunately, there were no takers, and with the team not relenting, the Expos stayed off the public airwaves in English during 2000. (In later seasons, the team found specific sponsors to fund the radio broadcasts.) They were trailblazers in a sense, becoming the first MLB team to broadcast their games on the Internet, and in today's world of ubiquitous Internet access this approach might be moderately successful, at least at putting some pressure on the traditional broadcasters. It was too ahead of its time for then, though, and unfortunately the recent Ford C. Frick winner Dave Van Horne left after the 2000 season.
Note in this particular study, since top 3 was determined by actual performance, being injured (or otherwise losing a key contributor) was not a factor in the resulting team winning percentage. Of course, unless your top 3 are hitting home runs all the time, they need the help of others to generate runs, and so spreading the talent a bit is needed.
Carter embodied the "joie de vivre" spirit of Montreal--his love of playing truly made the game a more enjoyable one for the fans. Seeing current-day photos of his daughter reminds me of when she sang the National Anthem at Olympic Stadium as a little girl. I wish the Carter family may take solace in his achievements both on and off the field that have affected the lives of many.
Charles Bronfman had, with Carter's long-term contract, helped usher in the era of salary inflation combined with multi-year deals in the 1980s. This would eventually lead to his disenchantment with professional baseball, and his sale of the Expos, which was the beginning of the team's decline (after that, the team's owners were very wary of gambling on the future by committing long-term money to a player). If I recall correctly, Bill James wrote in one of the Baseball Abstracts regarding the Carter trade (or it might have been the Raines trade) that when a team fails to live up to its promise, after a while, its management and fans start focusing on what its key players aren't doing, rather than what they are contributing. Arguably, of course, the "sell high" approach may have been the right philosophy given the circumstances; unfortunately, it didn't pan out as well for the Expos as it did for the Mets.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum indeed comprises a museum on the history of baseball, a research library, and the Hall of Fame gallery. The first two do an excellent job of cataloging the sport and its well-known players; it isn't necessary for the Hall of Fame gallery to depict the game's popular players, rather than its best.
I rather enjoyed The Rookie, with its great storybook ending of Jim Morris getting to pitch in Texas in front of his hometown supporters. I realize, like most "based on a true story" movies, that liberties were taken to make the plot more dramatic, but the real-life emotional essence was effectively conveyed.
My votes for Montreal delicacies to return to a ballpark near you are Montreal-style smoked meat, and Montreal-style bagels. Just marvelous eating...
Though Mauch was the Expos's first skipper, Felipe Alou would be my pick for the team's iconic manager, with more games managed and wins than any other in the team's history, and a personality that made him a fan favourite and a media darling (in spite of his at-times abrasiveness towards reporters).
Regarding frustrating players, I think there's a bit of a love-hate answer: Yes, highly competitive players may have a problem with not committing to their current team's success, but with the ultimate prize being making the big show (and the huge disparity in fame and fortune that comes with it), I believe the vast majority of them channel their competitive drive towards this goal.
For someone making a career of it, the extra size may be a strain on the knees of the player (Bill James wrote about this theory many years ago; not sure if it has been studied), but as long as Worf has the necessary agility to play catcher, his size wouldn't be an impediment for this one-time game.
From what I understand, Bill James didn't take any advanced statistics classes in university and so he generally hasn't employed the types of techniques you cite (parameter estimation, Markov chains), and he generally hasn't written about the research of others.
Regarding secondary average, James knew it didn't express anything that isn't already covered by on-base percentage and slugging average; he was just looking for a short-hand way to explain, to the non-SABR crowd, a player's value beyond batting average. Now that the virtues of OBP and SLG are much more widely known, secondary average is no longer needed as a proxy.
Having a play-in game makes winning the league more desirable, or (assuming the special rule on who the wild card team faces is kept), if the wild card round victor is in the same division as the league leader, the division leader with the second-best record. However, it doesn't make the lives of the other two division winners particularly easier: they both get an extra day to set up their rotation. Since the additional edge is only given to one team anyway, it might be better to drop the divisions and use overall league standings, with the top five teams getting in, and the top team in the league gaining the advantage of facing an opponent who had to jump another hurdle to make the second round.
If a salary cap is put in place, I'm confident that the Steinbrenners and Cashmans of the world will find another way to make use of their revenue advantage. For example, let's say a team has followed up on Matt Swartz's research on the home field advantage and determines that travel fatigue is a significant factor. It could use its financial surplus to maintain luxury apartments in every city and use spacious private jets to fly the team between cities. Or say a team decides it wants to become the healthiest team in MLB. It could hire a slew of trainers and medical personnel to keep its players in tip-top condition. Or a team could expand its scouting staff, or (heaven forbid) its sabermetric analysis team. Limiting salary costs will not put teams on an equal footing.
To those who listened to Duke during Expos broadcasts, he was indeed engaging, with a great mellow voice. His second career in the booth was very successful, and I'm saddened to learn of his passing. Here's to one of the gentlemen of the game!
Duke was wonderful broadcaster for the Expos, telling great stories as a colour commentator, and fully capable of handling play-by-play (the Expos broadcast always had Duke doing a portion solo). He typically ended his praise for someone with the phrase "... and that's not too shabby," a nice familiar touch that underlined his warmth. I'm glad so many will remember him fondly and wish his family the best.
Second that -- I was impressed by the insight of the other charts, but when I got to the Ichiro chart, it blew me away.
Simple answer for pitching coaches who have managerial ambitions (well, simple to say, harder to implement): make sure you recruit an assistant with the skills to replace you!
I can't remember if other teams did it when Gary Carter played for the Expos, but the Expos did an extreme shift when Carter came to bat against them, with three infielders patrolling the left side of the diamond.
See http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4700 for more information on optional assignments.
Hopefully the new turf, which comes in large rolls rather than the many trays of the previous FieldTurf installation, has improved the visual appearance of the field (I haven't caught any highlights yet from Rogers Centre).
Thanks for the insight that all of the MLB teams look at PECOTA!
Comprehensive Health And Recovery Time report (CHART)
35: Number of former Expos still playing in the Major Leagues.
Another idea for a study on familiarity that Bill James proposed is the differences between a player's first year at a new park versus subsequent years.
The Jays do indeed use variable pricing, with nearly all weekend games labelled as Premium, and Yankee and Red Sox games labelled as Super Premium. (See the Jays schedule on their MLB web site for more details.)
There is an implicit acknowledgement of the small sample size problem in traditional lore when, as you noted in an earlier article, a win in April is not treated as seriously as a win in August. (Though of course it would be better to look at factors such as strength of schedule when deciding if a team's April record is indicative of a sustainable level of play rather than just dismissing it entirely.)
One key problem with repeating yourself ad nauseum is that after a while, I tend to skip over articles that seem to cover the same old ground, and can easily miss any new aspects contained within. I'd rather you work more on fleshing out new points of discussion, rather than go over what I've read many times before (in the same month, to make it worse).
My preferred scoresheet is Alex Reiser's -- it is based on Project Scoresheet's version, but with a mini diamond on which the positions of the runners before and after the play are shown, making it easier to see the current situation at a glance. He now sells scorebooks, but you can still download a sample sheet from his web site: http://www.alexreisner.com/baseball/scorekeeping/#reisner
Not sure if I favour a shorter window for the first selection period, as I feel the cutoff is arbitrary. I do appreciate the point about not keep players on perpetual tenterhooks, but this can still occur now with the second selection period. However, if a shorter window is chosen, then it becomes even more important for the number of selections per voter to be made proportionate to the number of candidates. As Bill James discussed in The Politics of Glory, a glut of good candidates can lead to a deadlock situation where support is spread too thinly for anyone to be elected. A small selection period exacerbates this problem, unless voters can vote for more candidates when the ballot is larger.
If your source is this posting, see the Editor\'s note at the bottom, stating that the post is satire: