A bored camera man watches women's wrestling while David Price warms up.
We know from pastexperience that camera men spend a lot of their down time during games scanning the stands for attractive female fans. To be fair, this isn’t necessarily any different from what every other guy at the ballpark is doing. It's just that camera guys are the only ones whose wandering eyes preserve everything they see in a format that's saved, stored, and sometimes shared with the entire internet. Think about how terrible life would be if someone were recording everything you looked at. It’s tough to be a camera guy.
I have seen the future, and its name is FIELDf/x. OK, so we kind of knew that. But today, FIELDf/x started to seem a lot more real, and even more exciting than I’d imagined. You may have noticed that BP had a man on the scene at Sportvision’s PITCHf/x summit whose liveblog was actually live. So why am I doing this, when Colin already did? Well, for one thing, Colin arrived fashionably late, and I was all over those first 14 minutes that he missed. For another, his computer died before a lot of the fun started. And for still another (this is a third reason, now), I thought it might be fun to do a Simmons-style quasi-liveblog (written live, published later) that would free me from worries about frequent updates, and allow me to write at length. Most likely that length turned out to be a good deal longer than anyone has any interest in reading, but if you’re determined to catch up on the day’s intriguing events without sitting through eight hours of archived video, you’re welcome to peruse what lies below. If you’d like to follow along, here’s an agenda, and here’s where you should be able to find downloadable presentations in the near future.
Here we are in sunny California, home of the cutest girls in the world, if the Beach Boys are to be believed (I gather there’s also a more recent chart-topper that expresses a similar view). Okay, so by “we,” I mean the attendees at the 3rd (annual?) Sportvision PITCHf/x summit, held at the Westin San Francisco in—you guessed it—San Francisco. I, on the other hand, am watching from the other end of the continent, via a webcast that dubiously claims to be “hi-res,” despite being blurry enough to make deciphering text an adventure (I guess “hi-res” is relative, in the sense that there are even lower resolutions at which it could’ve been streamed). And sure, maybe the Beach Boys weren’t thinking of this particular gathering when they extolled the virtues of California’s beach bunnies. But never mind that—it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in New York, and how better to spend it than to watch a video of some fellow nerds talk about baseball in a dark room some 3,000 miles away? Well, to describe the experience at the same time, of course. Let’s get this quasi-liveblog started.
A developer tells how advanced metrics help shape his company's video game.
Baseball video games have come a long way from the early days of arcade-style gameplay. Today, with franchise modes and career progression, the need for additional data is apparent. Throw in the fact that you have a more informed audience—and as a baseball audience, a very fickle one—and you realize how important it is to get your team and player ratings right, or else it may not matter how well your product plays. The developers from Sony Computer Entertainment San Diego are aware of this, and they use some of today's most advanced data in order to craft an authentic baseball experience for you in your living room. Jason Villa, a producer on MLB 10: The Show, spoke to us about how they do this.
ESPN's Jon Sciambi has some ideas on how sabermetrics can be introduced to all fans during telecasts.
Jon Sciambi, who does play-by-play of Major League Baseball games for ESPN, has been kind enough to grace the Baseball Prospectus site with a guest column.
Let me tell you about an argument I had with Chipper Jones. Last year, I came across an interesting nugget on Fangraphs while doing pre-game prep: Besides Albert Pujols, Chipper sees the fewest first-pitch strikes in the majors.
Chivalry rules as participants practice bowing in and out of the Teixeira sweepstakes, the new Phillies outfielder is the little train who thinks he can, and the Rangers prepare for a deadly experiment.
THE GREATEST TRICK THE DEVIL EVER PULLED WAS LYING ABOUT AN UNDISCLOSED OFFER FROM A MYSTERY TEAM
Yesterday's action delivered a pair of upsets, but that's not why Derek's upset with himself.
My wife traveled with me to the Dominican Republic, just as she did to Puerto Rico with me last year. We work together at my other, non-BP job, and we're lucky enough that our business isn't usually tied to any one place, geographically. This enables us to distress, blur, and perhaps someday completely erase the line between work and vacation.
My wife's a gamer. For most of the time that I've been in the press box, working on creating content for all of you to read, she's been back in Puerto Plata, working and hitting the beach. So she decides to take a few days off from the working vacation, and simply vacation. Yesterday, she came with me to the game, so she got to participate in all sorts of fun activities, like "sit here for two hours before the game while I answer questions on the internet." Not that I phrased it that way, but you get the idea.
Jay suffers the exquisite torture of a Jeff Weaver-Kenny Rogers duel in Game Two of the World Series. Go along for a sometimes rocky but always informative ride.
From the second inning through the eighth, Anthony Reyes faced just one hitter over the minimum (a seventh-inning single by Carlos Guillen), retiring 17 batters in order and finishing the frame in 10 pitches or less five times. Ten of those 22 plate appearances ran just one or two pitches, and overall, Tiger hitters saw just 3.14 pitches per plate appearance against him. That's not a recipe for a productive approach at the plate. A simple matter of rust, or a reversion to the team's hacktastic regular-season approach? Tonight should provide us with more insight into that. It also, of course, provides us with an even more compelling storyline, what this Yankee fan will call the I [Heart] NY matchup between two Bronx busts, Kenny Rogers and Jeff Weaver.
Jonah Keri debuts his new Prospectus Game of the Week column with a trip to Arizona for an A's-Angels spring training tilt.
Now, I'm trying something new. This marks the debut of Prospectus Game of the Week. Starting the first week of the regular season and running through to season's end, I'll be highlighting one game a week. Big pitching match-ups, hot-button topics and random asides will come together to reveal the game behind the game, the bigger stakes beyond a single win or loss.
Overwhelmed by the groundswell of warm, reminiscing letters from Expos fans, Jonah Keri shares the best reader recollections, plus two more of his own.
There was one major benefit from all of it, though: The avalanche of e-mails I received, from BP readers, old friends, family, everyone who felt the pain of losing the Expos as much as I did. There were even well-wishers with no attachment to the Expos writing in with encouraging words. The letters I received made me smile, even laugh. For that, I offer my sincere thanks.
In fact, I'm going to go one better. After reading my Expos flashbacks, a slew of readers chimed in with recollections of their own, games, moments and players that left indelible marks, some from 20, 30 years ago. With their permission, I'm going to run those reminiscences here, for other readers to enjoy.