Checking the 2012 annual for potential new additions to the baseball dictionary.
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Cecilia Tan is the Publications Director for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), where she edits the Baseball Research Journal. Her next project after Baseball Prospectus 2012is launching a new digital magazine, Yankees Yearly: An Annual Look at the New York Yankees.
A writer who never saw Jack Morris pitch watches him in action for the first time and comes away even less convinced that the traditionalist case for his candidacy should earn him a call to Cooperstown.
With a week's worth of shows in the can, has MLB Network's "Clubhouse Confidential" been the coming-out party sabermetricians have been hoping for?
Last Monday in this space, I interviewed Brian Kenny, host of MLB Network’s newest show, “Clubhouse Confidential,”in advance of the show’s premiere. If you haven’t heard of it yet, “Clubhouse Confidential” is a first-of-its-kind show that puts advanced statistics in the spotlight. Gone are the days of analyzing players using batting average and ERA, at least in MLBN’s 5:30 p.m. EST timeslot. With a week of shows in the books, I thought I’d take today to talk about what the show offers, what it lacks, and whether it’s worth your time to watch.
As I’m sure many people were, I was a little skeptical about how advanced analytics would translate from writing to television. While certainly possible, it needs to be done right in order to hold an audience’s attention—especially since on television, much of that audience is going to be unfamiliar with many of the stats and concepts. Kenny seems to be aware of this, since he makes sure to point out that “this isn’t math class” at the start of each show. Like he said in our interview, we’re still dealing with baseball, and it’s supposed to be fun. Intentions and reality are often two different things, but in this case, Kenny manages to it pull off, keeping the show light and fun while still engaging in intelligent analysis.
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 good chunk of what passes as mainstream baseball analysis is actually a mish-mosh of half-true folk wisdom, overly-romantic ideas stolen from Hollywood, and (most grating to my ears) really bad amateur psychology. How's that for a thesis statement?
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