Sports Reference Blog

What Would It Take For a Kicker or Punter To Be Worth the #1 Pick?

Posted by Jonah Gardner on August 25, 2016

I feel awful for Roberto Aguayo. In a decision that could be charitably described as "off-beat," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Aguayo, a kicker, with the 59th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Aguayo isn't the first kicker to be taken that high -- as recently as 2005, the New York Jets took Mike Nugent in the second round, while Sebastian Janikowski was drafted in the first round in 2000 -- but between the Internet, the rise of advanced statistics, and the proliferation of fantasy football, we know a lot more about kickers. Mainly, we know it's not worthwhile spending a lot of resources, in terms of salary cap space or draft capital, in order to get one, because you can usually find a decent one pretty easily and results can fluctuate widely from year-to-year because of the small sample size. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

Find Your Own Dang Fantasy Football Sleepers!

Posted by Jonah Gardner on August 18, 2016

Have you heard about Kevin White? The 2nd-year wide receiver for the Chicago Bears who's basically a rookie? The 6'3, 210 lb physical pass catcher who's poised for a breakout in a Chicago offense that needs a second option besides Alshon Jeffery?

If you play fantasy football, the answer is probably yes. That's because just about every fantasy expert has cited Kevin White as one of this year's best fantasy football sleeper picks. The sleeper is a time-honored fantasy tradition; everyone who's played in a fantasy league has a story about a 15th round running back or waiver wire flyer who ended up swinging an entire season. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Fantasy, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

How Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez Changed Baseball

Posted by Jonah Gardner on August 12, 2016

We like to think of it as slow and incremental, but change tends to happen pretty fast. The game may have been shifting over the last few years, but it's hard not to have whiplash from the events of the last seven days. In rapid succession, Mark Teixeira and Prince Fielder announced their retirement from baseball, while the Yankees cut Alex Rodriguez, in a transaction that also seemed like it could signal the end of A-Rod's career.

In their prime, all three players were superstars who came to define their era. And it's hard not to see this moment as something of a paradigm shift. Over the last few years, there's been a dramatic shift in our understanding of the game, and you'd have a hard time finding three players closer to the center of it than Fielder, Teixeira, and A-Rod. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 8 Comments »

NHL Rookies of the Month Added Back to 1983-84

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 11, 2016

In January, we added NHL Rookies of the Month back to the 2005-06 season. We've recently made some additions and now have the award listed back to 1983-84.

There are a few holes in the data, however. If anyone has the October 1987, November 1989 or December 1990 winners, please let us know.

We hope you enjoy this addition to our NHL Awards section.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, History, Hockey-Reference.com | No Comments »

Inside the (Underrated?) Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Posted by Jonah Gardner on August 4, 2016

There's no shortage of big names in the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class, as legends like Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, and Tony Dungy head to Canton. But despite the star power, statistically and historically, this year's crop of Hall of Famers can seem a little lacking.

Favre's best season was 60th all-time in passing yards, behind predecessors like Dan Marino, contemporaries like Drew Bledsoe, and, of course, the next generation of star quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Harrison's game lacked the electricity of Randy Moss or the showmanship of Terrell Owens. Dungy always seemed to be outfoxed by his rival, Bill Belichick. Since 1990, 40 defensive players have made more All-Pro First Teams than Kevin Greene.

The game has changed at such a rapid pace that it's diminished some of the raw statistics by this year's Hall of Fame class. But make no mistake, these are some of the greatest players of all-time. Perhaps even better than you remember. Let's take a look. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Hall of Fame, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

The Trade Deadline Matchmaker

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 28, 2016

There's a few days that every baseball fan has saved in her Google Calendar. Opening Day, the All-Star Game, and Game 1 of the World Series all loom large, but another highlight of every year is the Trade Deadline.

This year's Trade Deadline looks like it could be a little slower and less star-packed than last year's, when stars like David Price, Cole Hamels, and Troy Tulowitzki were on the move. However, four of the six division leaders have a team within 4 games of them, and both Wild Card races are still wide opening, meaning a lot of teams are incentivized to make a deal. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, WAR | 5 Comments »

Remembering Mike Piazza’s 8 Amazing Days with the Florida Marlins

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 21, 2016

With the announcement of Mike Piazza's induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, everyone's attention turned to one question: What logo would appear on Piazza's cap on his plaque? Would he select the team that famously drafted him in the 62nd round, the Los Angeles Dodgers? Or would it be the team he went to in 1998 and led to the 2000 World Series, the New York Mets?

One team that likely did not receive consideration: the then-Florida Marlins. While the idea of Piazza wearing a Marlins logo in the Hall may seem as outlandish as him in a Braves or Phillies cap, it wasn't totally out of the realm of possibility. That's because, for eight glorious days in 1998, Mike Piazza was a member of the Marlins, playing 5 games before moving on to the Mets. Though it's now a largely forgotten mini-chapter in his Hall of Fame career, Piazza may never have been a Met were it not for the Marlins.  Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame | 2 Comments »

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Tim Duncan

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 14, 2016

The writing was on the wall for the San Antonio Spurs. At the end of the third quarter of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, they trailed the Oklahoma City Thunder by 26 points. They had lost three of their last four games vs OKC and found themselves overwhelmed by the size and physicality of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and, most surprisingly, Enes Kanter.

On the San Antonio bench, Tim Duncan pulled Gregg Popovich aside for a quick conversation. After the conversation, Duncan played the entire fourth quarter. Even as the game entered clear garbage time and Andre Miller and Kyle Anderson replaced Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, Duncan stayed on the floor. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, History | 7 Comments »

Sports Reference to Launch Redesigned Sites this Summer

Posted by sean on July 10, 2016

If you follow me on twitter, you know that this work has been a long time coming. Starting last summer, Adam Wodon, Adam Darowski, and I started throwing around ideas for a more mobile-friendly version of our sites. Our mobile experience is probably charitably described as limited and functional and with now over 2/3rd's of our visits coming from handheld devices, we clearly needed to up our game there.

This led to complete review of what we have on our sites and how we present that data on desktop and how we can make that usable on a small screen. It's not easy and after months of design, user testing and work, we have an approach that we believe will serve both desktop and mobile users better than they are now. This is the first in a series of posts we'll publish about our redesign.
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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 27 Comments »

Three Big Questions After NBA Free Agency

Posted by Jonah Gardner on July 8, 2016

The hype entering the 2016 NBA Free Agency period suggested that this would be the wildest one in league history. An unprecedented salary cap spike gave essentially every team in the league enough financial leeway to aggressively pursue ways of improving their team.

At the same time, while many of the league's best players were set to become free agents, there were few true superstars in the market. On paper, it seemed extremely unlikely that either of the best players on the market this year - Kevin Durant or LeBron James - would leave teams that at least made the Conference Finals and, in LeBron's case, hoisted the trophy as winners of the 2016 NBA Finals. As basketball fans prepared for nuttiness, it seemed just as possible that this year's feeding frenzy would be a little more laid-back than we expected.
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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com | No Comments »