CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

Articles Tagged Errors 

Search BP Articles

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives
<< Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries

Events that have happened already this season after not happening for all of 2011 help explain why we're still hooked on baseball.

There were 2429 major-league games played last season.* Most of the things that can happen in a baseball game happened in one of those. With a few exceptions, teams and players will do all of the same things in 2012 that they did in 2011—they’ll just do them in a difference sequence and more, or less, frequently than they did before. When and how often they do those nearly identical things will determine which teams win divisions and which players win awards. We’re suckers for those things, so another season of the same, reshuffled, is enough to suck us in. But we're not completely content with repetition. We also watch in hopes of seeing something we didn’t see the season before.

*There would have been 2430, but no one felt like seeing another Dodgers-Nationals game in September. That missed game may have deprived us of history: Matt Kemp finished the season one home run away from 40 home runs, and Dee Gordon finished the season one home run away from one home run. For the alternate-history buffs: the man who would have started that game against the Dodgers, had it been played, was Tom Milone. Milone had the fifth-lowest home run rate among Triple-A starters last season, so that extra game might not have made Matt Kemp baseball’s fifth 40-40 man. Then again, that home run rate might not have meant much, since there weren’t many Matt Kemps in the International League. More on Milone a little later.

Read the full article...

Before you yell at the umpire, consider making a few adjustments to your dataset.

After the last two postseasons, most baseball fans are familiar with the strike zone location graphic known as PitchTrax. Here’s an example from Game One of the 2010 American League Championship Series:

Read the full article...

It's the latest installment of our continuing turn-back-the-clock exercise, as we bring back past articles and arguments to remind you and us of what's changed, and what hasn't.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

Nearly seven years after it originally ran on April 8, 2004, Michael Wolverton's well-reasoned anti-earned-run diatribe remains persuasive. Stay tuned for our unveiling of a reworked pitching stat that should make Michael happy...

Read the full article...

Revisiting a conversation with the long-time official scorer in Boston.

Chaz Scoggins has been the primary official scorer at Fenway Park for over 30 years. A long-time sportswriter for The Lowell Sun and a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Scoggins sat down for this interview in December 2004.

Read the full article...

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

May 3, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Hummingbirds and Sloths

0

Dan Fox

Do pitchers who work quickly have an advantage? Dan tracks the evolution of game time through two kinds of mound creatures.

"Baseball's poetic and lyrical celebrants are fond of pointing out that baseball is the only major team sport without a clock. What these people don't understand is that, until about 1945, baseball did a have clock. It was called the sun."
--Bill James in The New Historical Baseball Abstract


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!

September 21, 2006 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: On Scorers and Scoring

0

Dan Fox

If you're scoring this at home, runs are runs, but what about hits and errors?

--Hall of Famer turned announcer Tom Seaver

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!

March 13, 2006 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Upton Further Review

0

Steven Goldman

Steven returns to Tampa prospect B.J. Upton for some additional thoughts on defensively-challenged shortstop prospects.

With readers continuing to express interest in B.J. Upton, we're going to take one last look at the issue of defensive growth among minor league shortstops with high error rates. This is the third and emphatically last column on the topic lest we be forced to re-title this feature "You Could Look It Upton."

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!

February 24, 2006 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Position Changes

0

Steven Goldman

The Devil Rays face a critical decision that may determine just how much they get from a talented player.

B.J. Upton is an old book with a new cover. The Jeter-worshipping athlete very much wants to make it as a major-league shortstop. He has the bat, as his minor-league career rates of .304/.396/.474 attest. His weighted-mean PECOTA projection for 2006 is .270/.348/.425. These aren't All-Star numbers, not yet, but Upton is just 21 years old, so they'll do for now. Upton also has great speed and should be a successful basestealer in the majors. With a good enough knowledge of the strike zone to take an above-average number of walks, Upton may prove to be the rare young player with leadoff skills who can actually function as a leadoff hitter.

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!

May 6, 2004 12:00 am

Not Earning Its Keep, Part II

0

Michael Wolverton

One big issue I didn't address when I wrote about the wrong-headedness of the earned run rule last month is the idea that, while the rule may have outlived its usefulness today, it was necessary and meaningful in the error-filled early days of baseball. An old friend, Steve Thornton, put the argument well in a recent letter: Your article on UERA, and the follow-up piece in Mailbag, are interesting. While I agree with you that the current system hasn't made a lot of sense for the past 50 years or so, I think you're missing, or glossing over, the history of the earned run.

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

We at Baseball Prospectus occasionally hear the complaint that we make the game too complicated, with all the numbers and bizarre acronyms we throw around. So today I'm going to do my part to simplify the game. I'm here to suggest that baseball and its fans would be better off without one of its most fundamental, and most complicated, scoring rules. It's time to ditch the "earned" run. The earned-run rule is widely accepted, or at least tolerated, throughout the baseball world, even in sabermetric circles. There are several reasons for that. For one thing, there's 116 years' worth of tradition behind the rule. I learned the rule because my dad learned the rule because his dad learned the rule, etc. ERA is on the back of every pitcher's baseball card, and it pops up in nearly every baseball-related article or news report you'll see. For another thing, believing in "earned" and "unearned" runs isn't nearly as harmful as, say, believing that RBI are meaningful for evaluating hitting. You have to pick your battles, and in the big scheme of things, this one may not be a battle worth fighting. Perhaps most importantly, the earned-run rule might have gotten a pass because it's designed to achieve what everyone agrees is a noble goal: separating pitching from fielding. But good intentions aren't enough. The earned-run rule is a lame and counterproductive attempt at solving the pitching/fielding conundrum, one that deserves to be put out of its (and our) misery.

The earned-run rule is widely accepted, or at least tolerated, throughout the baseball world, even in sabermetric circles. There are several reasons for that. For one thing, there's 116 years' worth of tradition behind the rule. I learned the rule because my dad learned the rule because his dad learned the rule, etc. ERA is on the back of every pitcher's baseball card, and it pops up in nearly every baseball-related article or news report you'll see. For another thing, believing in "earned" and "unearned" runs isn't nearly as harmful as, say, believing that RBI are meaningful for evaluating hitting. You have to pick your battles, and in the big scheme of things, this one may not be a battle worth fighting.

Perhaps most importantly, the earned-run rule might have gotten a pass because it's designed to achieve what everyone agrees is a noble goal: separating pitching from fielding. But good intentions aren't enough. The earned-run rule is a lame and counterproductive attempt at solving the pitching/fielding conundrum, one that deserves to be put out of its (and our) misery.

Read the full article...

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

March 4, 2003 12:00 am

Breaking Balls: Getting Defensive: The Basics

0

Derek Zumsteg

The greatest change in baseball thought over the past 20 years has been the shift of focus from one offensive statistic (number of hits / number of times to plate that did not result in a walk) to a better one (number of times reached base / number of times at the plate). Granted, I realize that I'm omitting sacrifice flies and catcher interferences there, but that's the essence of batting average and on-base percentage. If you only knew on-base percentage, you'd do pretty well comparing players. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this with fielding statistics--a fact that results in a disagreement between our eyes, instincts, and what we read. I've been trying to educate myself on fielding statistics for the last couple years, and I want to admit up front that I have not been able to reconcile them with my own evaluation. When I see Mike Cameron rated as a slightly above-average center fielder last year, I roll my eyes, because I have in my head a mental image of how far he can go to get a ball--a massive expanse few visiting outfielders can cover. The issue, though, is that it's not an accurate picture or particularly useful in evaluation.

The greatest change in baseball thought over the past 20 years has been the shift of focus from one offensive statistic (number of hits / number of times to plate that did not result in a walk) to a better one (number of times reached base / number of times at the plate). Granted, I realize that I'm omitting sacrifice flies and catcher interferences there, but that's the essence of batting average and on-base percentage. If you only knew on-base percentage, you'd do pretty well comparing players.

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

By far the most common point made by readers was that I neglected to consider handedness when I presented the list of best and worst ROE%. T. M. was the first to write in on this issue:

Read the full article...

<< Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries