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March 7, 2005 12:00 am

Fantasy Focus: Fantasy Feng-Shui

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Erik Siegrist

Taking park factors to the next level.

But a player's home ballpark only applies to half their games. What about the other half? Road games never enter into the equation. Conventional wisdom says that a team's away games are fairly evenly distributed, and the aggregate impact of all those different road parks will even out.

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March 4, 2005 12:00 am

Fantasy Focus: NL West Busts

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Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson points out that it's not only who you draft that helps you win, but who you don't. Today: who to avoid in the NL West.

Level I - Useable players that will be overpriced/overvalued on Draft Day. I wouldn't be opposed to owning them, just not at their going rate in most leagues.

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February 10, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: More Time in the Park

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James Click

Two hypotheses down, one to go: James Click tries again to divine truth from park factors.

Last week was spent checking to see if groundball pitchers were less affected by park factors than flyball pitchers are, a theory based on the assumption that park factors are based largely on outfield dimensions. This turned out not to be the case. Months before that was a little foray into park factors and baserunning attempt and success rates, checking to see if perhaps home teams got some of their inherent advantage from knowing how the ball bounces in their yard better than their visiting opponents do. Again, the theory did not pan out.

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November 9, 2004 12:00 am

Time to Get PADE Again

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James Click

An improved version of last winter's attempt to adjust Defensive Efficiency for park effects yields some interesting results.

Now that baseball’s coaches and managers have weighed in on their favorite defensive players, and Clay Davenport has unveiled his champion glovemen of 2004, I though I’d bring back an old friend for a fresh look at this year’s defensive performances.

Last year, I introduced some changes to Bill James’ Defensive Efficiency, a metric that measures the percentage of balls in play that the defense converts into outs. While it eventually ended in a measure intended to be free of both park and pitching factors called Team Adjusted Defense (TAD), I’m uncomfortable with the process of removing pitching from the operation, so for now I’ll stick to the original update: Park Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (PADE).

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August 16, 2004 12:00 am

How Parks Affect Baserunning

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James Click

Baseball teams show a consistent home-field advantage each season, with homer teams playing about .540 ball. Is that edge due to home teams doing a better job of taking the extra base thanks to familiarity with their environment? James Click breaks it down.

The source of this advantage is unknown. It's been suggested that local knowledge, how to hit or pitch better in a team's more familiar home park, is the key. Perhaps some of the home team's advantage lies in knowing the nuances of their particular ballpark, but applied in a different area. It's possible that home teams may be better baserunners, knowing better than their opponents which balls will allow them to take the extra base.

Before getting into whether or not a baserunning advantage is the result of a particular park, it's important to first establish that parks do affect the baserunning in a consistent manner from year to year. To determine if park factors for baserunning do exist, I'll look at three typical baserunning situations where the runner is faced with the choice to take the extra base or not: a runner on first during a single, a runner on first during a double, and a runner on second during a single. There are three possible outcomes to each baserunning event: the runner can take the base he's supposed to, the runner can take the extra base or the runner can be thrown out.

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June 21, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Petco Party

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Joe Sheehan

"It's pretty." So says Sophia about Petco Park, which we both visited for the first time on Saturday night. The park is located in downtown San Diego, and very much a part of the area. In fact, before the game we traipsed over to Seaport Village and walked around, and the post-game options for attendees make it possible to make a night out of a day at the ballpark. The most significant impression the park made on me was the size of the outfield. Seeing it on television just doesn't do it justice. If Petco Park doesn't have the most actual acreage between the infield and the fences--I guess the really deep center field in some parks could give them more square footage--the 400-foot distances to left-center and right-center fields make the outfield look vast, almost as if a fourth outfielder would be needed to cover the ground. The way in which Petco's huge outfield affects the game was a big topic of conversation on Saturday. Padres GM Kevin Towers, addressing an audience of nearly 100 BP readers before the game, referenced the park's dimensions and their effects on game play and team construction frequently in an hour-long session. Towers was enthusiastic, forthright and informative, exactly what you'd hope for from a speaker. His turn at the mike made the Ballpark Feed a success.

So says Sophia about Petco Park, which we both visited for the first time on Saturday night. The park is located in downtown San Diego, and very much a part of the area. In fact, before the game we traipsed over to Seaport Village and walked around, and the post-game options for attendees make it possible to make a night out of a day at the ballpark.

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