Chris Perez cursed out an A's fan. In between swear words, he said some things we can tell were either true or false.
Before Sunday's game, Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez took a break from shagging flies, ambled over to the right-field foul line, and cursed out an A's fan. You'd think Perez would've known that players rarely come out ahead in public player-fan confrontations. Then again, this is only his fifth major-league season, so maybe he's still getting the hang of the whole heckling thing. Here at BP, we don't condone cursing at fans, but we do place a lot of importance on evidence-based arguments. That's why we've decided to evaluate Perez's responses based not on whether he was wise to make them, or even on the quality of his cursing, but on whether his spittle-flecked statements were supported by facts.
A Detroit Tigers pitcher corrects a Detroit Tigers writer on Twitter, because this is the world we live in.
The Tigers are going through a bit of a bullpen crisis, and late Monday night, Detroit News columnist Lynn Henning took to Twitter to speculate that the team might have to make a 40-man move to bring in a fresh arm. According to Henning, the most likely guy to go looks like right-hander Thad Weber, who pitched four innings for the Tigers in April but has otherwise spent the last couple seasons allowing a whole lot of homers for Triple-A Toledo.
How can you compare the AL East teams using nothing but similes?
Humblebrag alert: you don’t really make a lot of money writing about baseball for a living.
I earn my livelihood as the editor of a baseball blog on the website of a national sports network in Toronto, Canada. And while my earnings will never win me a date with the type of woman whose level of desire for a man parallels the amount of money in his bank account, it does occasionally have its perks.
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Is the Phillies' right-hander an undervalued commodity?
From the ashes of the Tweet-pocalypse of rumors that culminated in Cliff Lee’s surprise five-year deal with the Phillies, there arose another batch of rumors about how the Phillies would make room for Lee’s salary. The Phillies are now committed to spend about $163 million in 2011 based on their current roster, which is $21 million more than they spent in 2010. The Phillies have made it known that they are trying to move salary to make this work, and it is no secret that they are trying to move Joe Blanton.
Look at which direction some hitters with high batting averages on balls in play are likely headed in 2011.
Last week, I discussed several pitchers who were pitching well in front of or well behind their peripherals using SIERA. This week, I will discuss several hitters who have particularly high BABIPs, and how much of that performance is skill versus luck.
One of the subjects of the movie 21 discusses his upcoming book, The House Advantage, and incorporating statistics into life.
Jeff Ma is one of the few people who had a movie made about part of his life, and yet remains much more interesting than the character that Hollywood invented. He was one of the "MIT Blackjack Team" portrayed in the movie 21 and in Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down The House. He started ProTrade and Citizen Sports, which was sold to Yahoo last year. Now, he's brought all of his background and love for sports into a new book, The House Advantage.
Here is how we're now figuring the monetary value of individual players.
This article will follow up on the new version of MORP that I introduced yesterday with a more thorough description of my methodology and my reasoning for it. Firstly, I will restate that the definition of MORP (Market value Over Replacement Player) is the marginal cost of acquiring a player’s contribution on the free-agent market. The basic structure that I am using includes adjusting for draft-pick compensation, which adds to the value of free agents by 10-20 percent. It also looks at all players with six years or more of major-league service time, all years of their free-agent contracts, and makes valuations of their performance based on actual performance rather than the projections, which are biased. I am also adjusting MORP so it is linear with respect to WARP. The discussion of linearity and of the decision to use actual rather than projected performance to evaluate contracts has been detailed in earlier articles, and I won’t reiterate them here in the interest of space. The basic reason why linearity is a fair assumption is that teams frequently have enough vacancies that they can add the number of wins they choose without filling them all. There are exceptions like the 2009 Yankees, who added three front-of-the-rotation starters and an elite first baseman in one offseason. However, even the Yankees do this infrequently enough that it does not regularly impact the market, and without two teams bidding for several superstars every offseason, this is not a large issue. The reason that using projection is so problematic was detailed last week, when I showed how free agents who reach the open market are a biased sample and regularly underperform their projections. For more details of these results, please see my previous work. Here are links to my threepartseries as well as my article on free agents underperforming their PECOTA projections. I will introduce some of the newer concepts in this article.
Wrapping up the review of home-field advantages to see if there's anything extra we might be missing.
This is the fifth and final article in this series on home-field advantage. The first four parts of this series have revealed many things. In the first article of this series, we studied what home teams are able to do more frequently than road teams; we learned that they pretty much do everything better, hitting more home runs, reaching base more frequently on balls in play, walking more often, striking out less often, stealing more bases, making fewer errors, and recording more complete-game shutouts. In the second article, we learned that nearly all home teams enjoy relatively similar home-field advantages over time, with the exception of the Rockies, and that the vast majority of year-to-year fluctuations in teams' home-field advantages are random fluctuation. The third time around demonstrated the important role of distance and familiarity in determining home-field advantage, and noted that home-field advantage was much larger in interdivision games than intradivision games, and was especially large in interleague games. We discovered something quirky in the fourth article of this series, that not only was the first game of the series not any more likely to exhibit home-field advantage, but the penultimate game was. More peculiarly, it was statistically significant, indicating that it is not all that likely to be merely noise. I received many e-mails and comments suggesting reasons that this peculiar effect may be real, or expressing skepticism that it is more than merely noise. This indicates that there is probably more to be learned about home-field advantage, and more that is not immediately obvious.
Have some of us been overlooking the obvious when it comes to scoring runs?
If you have ever tried to explain the concept of Pythagorean Record to a baseball novice, you probably have had to answer the following criticism: "That counts the extra runs at the end of a blowout as much as other runs, even though it does not matter whether you win 10-0 or 15-0." The answer that we give to that criticism is that teams that can take advantage of blowouts have better offenses and those type of teams will be more likely to win close games in the future. That is the reason that we have thousand-run estimators that try to approximate how many runs a team will score on average, and why we evaluate players with statistics like VORP-measured in runs over replacement player. Runs are the building blocks of wins, and you win by scoring more runs than your opponent. We cringe when we hear offenses evaluated by batting average because we know that the goal of offenses is to score runs, not get hits.