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Jay is back, and he still hates the teams you root for. Yes, even the Dodgers.

Six weeks ago, when I accepted an offer to start a new blog at Sports Illustrated's website, I was delighted to find that my new employers were willing to allow me to retain some involvement with Baseball Prospectus. Not only did I wish to continue working with this fine staff and its readers in some capacity, but I also really wanted to finish something I'd started—namely, my multi-installment Hate List.

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July 15, 2007 12:00 am

The Answer


Will Carroll and Clay Davenport

Sorting out the all-time achievements of the game's greatest sluggers can give us an answer we can all agree upon.

You're going to have to pick your poison here, old-timers. You can either hate Barry Bonds, or you can hate statheads, but when it comes to solving the "problem" of the all-time home run title, you can't have it both ways. Those that want to place an asterisk on Bonds' achievements have always focused on the question of whether or not he's been cheating, something that remains unproven in the legal if not literal sense. In that argument, you can never win, not until Bonds pumps out a positive steroid test, something that seems pretty unlikely at this late stage of his career. Instead, if you really want to make your point sans the Frickian asterisk, you're going to have to rely on that other thing that baseball purists hate: math.

Over and over, people always bring up that we can't compare Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron to Barry Bonds. To that, we say "nuts." Because we most certainly can. There's some question as to how physical skills might translate, but it's easy enough to translate statistics to adjust for park, league, and era. In fact, it's one of the bedrocks of Baseball Prospectus. Since before its founding, Clay has been making translations available. Translations of player performance aren't that complex on the surface and are easily read, just like a normal stat line. It's behind the scenes where it gets complex, and why Davenport Translations have never been seriously contested. Unlike attempts at the "One True Stat" like VORP, or Runs Created, or WARP, or Win Shares, all with their various degrees success or failure, translations seldom raise any significant argument among serious statheads, and no one has developed a competing system.

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Detroit's still atop the league, but for how long? Is a 3-3 week enough to lift the Royals out of 30th place? How far have the Braves fallen?

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February 21, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Roundtable: Top 50 Prospects, Part I


Baseball Prospectus

In preparing the annual top prospect list for Baseball Prospectus 2004, BP authors participated in the annual extended roundtable discussion of baseball's top prospects. The ranking and review process balanced translated statistics, scouting reports, and injury reports with the strong personal opinions of BP's finest…all with the goal of putting together the "best damn prospect list the world has ever seen." In Part I today we'll listen in on the discussion of the top prospects among pitchers, catchers, first basemen and second basemen. Parts II through IV will run Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We'll also unveil the final list Tuesday, with the Top 50 prospects (we've expanded from prior years' Top 40) revealed. Rany Jazayerli will be along to discuss the Top 50 list and the process that went into compiling it in Tuesday night's Chat.

Baseball Prospectus Top 40 Prospects Roundtables:
2003 Part II
2003 Part I

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On Tuesday, Baseball Prospectus announced its Top 40 Prospects for 2001. The driving force behind that list is Rany Jazayerli, but the good doctor gets input from everyone on the BP staff.

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