Warning: what follows is very nearly about baseball.
December 2, 2010 9:20 PM Subscribe
posted by ORthey (30 comments total)
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"In order to renew my Fangraphs membership, every six months, Dave Cameron flies out to meet me in an unmarked parking garage in Washington DC, where I swear a blood oath by candlelight on a stack of Necronomicons never to write anything complimentary about Derek Jeter’s mobility or range. Cameron’s post about Jeter yesterday was faithful to our sworn mission. The awful secret of Derek Jeter’s fifth Gold Glove requires a little background in a few of the more esoteric domains of human knowledge. This may be the most important blog post I ever write; if it is the last, dear readers, only you will know the truth.
appears to be a geeky site for baseball stat-heads who live in their mothers’ basements, crunch numbers whilst sipping Diet Dr. Pepper, and invent silly acronyms instead of dating girls. But FanGraphs bloggers quite firmly embrace their own nerdiness – even going so far as to create NERD
, the stat, which rates the “watchability” of a team. Furthermore, they so often blend humor, politics, literature, and philosophy into their writings that to shun the site is to deprive yourself of fascinating, scrumptious nuggets of surprisingly accessible, occasionally math-heavy, and nearly always well-written baseball geekery. Would you like to know if better players have more Twitter followers?
Wondered, Is The DH Dying?
Derek Jeter cheated... so what?
How about a lengthy meditation on baseball and the science of happiness?
Though much of the site requires at least a grounding
in the world of advanced statistical analysis - FanGraphs has pioneered a number of influential statistics of its own concoction, after all - it is a place where readers can get lost in the minutiae of the game, pontificate on the place of baseball (and sport) in society, and revel in the joy and beauty of baseball through a lens of numbers.
Why not read about:
- A Critique Of Peter Bourjos’ MLB.com Highlight Reel. The grainy resolution of the video makes it impossible to regard “Basket Catch” as anything but what it is: the early work of a talented, but immature, highlight-maker. By that criteria, however, it’s a success. Even in this first effort, we see a theme that will recur throughout Bourjos’ corpus — namely, his ability to make the difficult appear effortless.
- Proust Probably Wasn't A Baseball Nerd. Were you to comb the annals of world literature in search of little nancy boys, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find anyone nancier than the very nancy Marcel Proust. In the first part of his Swann’s Way (itself only the first of the seven volume Remembrance of Things Past), we see little Prousty: crying at length for his mommy, describing breathlessly the winding paths about his family’s summer home, and (if memory serves) sending away for any number of American Girl dolls. Nancy, indeed.
- Seattle’s Championship Banner. I pose this question to Mariner fans: would you trade that 116 win season for a World Series title? And to fans of the Phillies: would you trade your world title for a 116 win season? Both sides likely reply no. In part because familiarity breeds comfort and most people hate change.
- The old curmudgeons are right: Baseball nicknames useta be way better. If you’re anything like me, you despise the dearth of imagination in the nickname-industrial complex, which nowadays requires that every nicknameless athlete be referred to by their first initial and the first three letters of their last name.
- The Gambler & The Investor: Two Models Of Fandom. Leo’s was a good assessment of how I, too, had approached my baseball fandom — less as an innocent pastime and more as a psychological instrument.
- The Hedonic Value Of Victories And Attending Games. If the goal of attending a game is to enjoy oneself, and we get the most enjoyment from attending victories, then why wouldn’t people regularly attend more games where victory is in higher likelihood?
- Baseball In 3D A Neat Novelty, But Not Quite There Yet.
- The Most Convoluted Statistic: ERA.
- Who were the five most perfectly average players in 2010?
- Why We Watch. Why do we watch? Or, more specifically: all things being equal, what compels us to watch one game and not another?
- "Those are the little things that I don’t think you can see in the boxscore, ever." That’s what Mike Lowell said. Actually, we can put it in. This is what the win expectancy matrix was set up for.
- Should You Boycott The Diamondbacks?
- Which pitchers took the most – and least – time between pitches?
- The Luckiest Man Alive. In a few hours, Livan Hernandez will take the hill against the Mets, and he will look to continue one of the luckiest runs in the history of major league baseball.
- The Little Eckstein That Could. One of the things I remember loving about baseball as I grew up, learning the intricacies of the game, was that a batter who struck out four times in a game was referred to as wearing The Golden Sombrero.
- On Boringness: Soccer Vs. Baseball
- How Stephen Strasburg broke FanGraph’s NERD stat.
- Who is the most predictable pitcher ever?
- TV blackouts really suck
- Collin Ballester: The Man, The Myth The Moustache
- The Most Delusional Man On The Planet. Gary Matthews Jr is not a good baseball player. He’s also completely unaware of this.
- The Long Hello: Some Notes On Luck. Warning: what follows is very nearly about baseball.
- Cody Ross in San Francisco: Nihilism? One of Friedrich Nietzsche’s many frequently quoted lines comes from a posthumously published notebook: “Nihilism stands at the door: whence comes this uncanniest of all guests?” Whatever one makes of this in relation to Nietzsche’s thoughts on modernity, etc., the occasional gloss on the translation of “uncanniest” as “most unwelcome” brings to mind nothing more (for me, at least) than the Giants acquisition of Cody Ross.
- The Worst Baserunning Play Of The Year.
- What You Talk About When You Talk About Live Chats.
- The Dead Who Walk Among Us. A zombie, you see, isn’t just any bad player who just keeps getting jobs for no reason. To be Undead, one must once have had life.
- Harvard Research Study: Baseball Players Are Getting Fatter (But The Study Doesn’t Mention Steroids).
- King Of The Little Things 2009 We often hear that certain hitters “just do the little things” to help their team win. Can these things be quantified?
- Fuentes Debunking Saves Singlehandedly. If you ever need to convince someone of the uselessness of the save statistic, make them watch Brian Fuentes pitch. Fuentes leads the major leagues with 41 saves, and is simultaneously on the verge of losing his job.
- From The Department Of Advanced Statistickery. Stat: Douche Factor. For Short: DF. What it measures: Probable douchey-ness of a player, expressed as a percentage from 0% (very probably NOT a douche) to 100% (almost definitely a douche).