Open to all BP staff, Between the Numbers is about sabermetrics, performance analysis, baseball and data, and anything remotely referring to the subjects of statistical information, its applications and interpretation.
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.
Various people throughout baseball talk about the importance of the Tigers' long-running double play duo.
“Tram” and “Sweet Lou." The longest-running double-play combination in baseball history, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker played 1,918 games together from 1977-95, the most ever for American League teammates. During that time they combined for 11 All-Star berths, seven Gold Gloves, seven Silver Slugger awards, 4,734 hits, and 429 home runs. They were, quite simply, the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers for nearly two full decades.
Plus Ivy on the Tribe and way too much thought on three-catcher situations in the Bronx and Tampa Bay.
In moments of peril, our nation's history of turning to the Ivy Leagues has produced all sorts of historic results, not all of them regrettable. So with their bullpen desperately bad again, as they've fallen to employing the league's worst relief corps after consecutive 12th-place finishes the previous two seasons, the Tribe's called up Mr. Man, to translate his name from German.
Triple-A Oklahoma's slugging first baseman interprets some classic quotes.
Chris Davis can usually be counted on for a few good quotes, and he also knows how to respond to them. The Rangers were at Fenway Park last week, and their articulate, albeit struggling (.188/.264/.292 before a Friday demotion to Triple-A Oklahoma) first baseman sat down with Baseball Prospectus to do just that.
NL players to watch in spring training, Tony Blengino dishes on the Mariners' statistical approach, and other news and notes from around the majors.
Punxsutawney Phil be damned, spring is officially here. At least, for those who are involved in Major League Baseball or are fans of the game. That's because pitchers and catchers start reporting to outposts in Florida and Arizona today. Spring training workouts for many begin Thursday morning.
A conversation with the Mariners' GM about drawing info from multiple sources, elite scouting, and turning the ship around in Seattle.
He has only recently become a household name, but people within the game have known Jack Zduriencik for quite some time. Long regarded as one of baseball's best talent evaluators, the personable "Jack Z" started out as an area scout in 1983 and since that time has worn multiple hats for five different organizations, most notably the Brewers from 1999-2008. Named as the eighth general manager in Seattle Mariners' history in October, 2008, the 59-year-old native of New Castle, Pennsylvania has wasted little time in turning a seemingly backwards-thinking franchise into one that deftly melds old-school scouting and statistical analysis. From rebuilding the organization's infrastructure to executing an array of trades and free-agent signings, Zduriencik has been more than a little busy. The result is music to the ears of Mariners fans: In just 15 months, Jack Z has built a contender.
The Cubs outfielder discusses using advanced statistics as a hitter, baseball's economic state, steroids, and the playoffs.
To quote a well-know Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Sam Fuld is smarter than the average bear. The Cubs' outfielder not only holds an economics degree from Stanford, he also thinks about the game of baseball analytically. A 10th-round pick in the 2004 draft, the 27-year-old Fuld certainly made the grade this season after earning a mid-season call-up, displaying excellent plate discipline while hitting .299/.409/.412 in 115 plate appearances over 65 big league games. Prior to joining Cub's outfield mix, the left-handed swinger hit .284/.358/.415 with 10 triples and 23 stolen bases at Triple-A Iowa. Fuld recently got together with BP to share his views on advanced stats, baseball's salary structure, the PED scandal, and the 2009 postseason.
The South Side slugger drops by to talk about his time with the Sox, the power hitters he's played with, and more.
Paul Konerko has somewhat quietly established himself as one the most prolific sluggers in White Sox history. The humble first sacker has never put up the gaudy numbers of a Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, or Magglio Ordonez-players who have overshadowed him in his 11 seasons on the South Side-but he has consistently helped to put runs on the board. A 1994 first-round pick by the Dodgers who came to Chicago via Cincinnati, Konerko currently ranks second in ChiSox history in home runs, and is third in RBI, total bases, and extra-base hits. As of mid-September, the 33-year-old Konerko's career numbers were a workmanlike .278/.352/.491 with 324 round trippers.