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Speaking our Piece About Jack Morris

Posted by admin on December 5, 2013

I don't think it's a secret that the sabermetric case for Jack Morris is an especially thin one.  A ranking using WAR has him about the 25th best player on the ballot.  But we hear all of these stats about how much of a workhorse Morris was.  Here is an example from Tom Verducci.  Now it's true that Morris pitched into the 8th the most of his era, but when he did he was actually way below average among of group of pitchers who pitched 100+ outings of that length.

Morris worked deep in the games, but it was largely due to usage rather than effectiveness.   When he went 8 innings he was league average, when he went five innings he was league average.  The chart below shows the number of innings completed by the starter per start.  So the "0" row is not all first innings, but just the games they didn't make it out of the first inning.  Their complete games would be in the 9 row.  Now there is a value to pitching late into games and Morris should be credited by that value, but it certainly looks to me that a big reason Morris went late into games was the astronomical run support he was getting not because he was pitching so much better than the average pitcher.  Note that for outings last one inning or longer Morris' RA is WORSE than league average for every single outing length.

All AL SP's 1975-1997 Jack Morris Frank Tanana (1975 on)
completed innings % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS % of all GS W-L% RA tmAvgRS
0 1.3 0.000 89.23 4.86 0.6 0.000 64.80 5.67 1.5 0.000 83.45 5.38
1 2.7 0.000 29.29 4.61 1.1 0.000 33.48 4.33 2.0 0.000 31.30 4.73
2 4.2 0.000 18.00 4.62 2.5 0.000 20.90 4.00 3.6 0.000 19.13 4.10
3 5.9 0.000 13.06 4.60 3.2 0.000 13.81 5.24 3.6 0.000 13.23 4.60
4 8.0 0.001 10.00 4.52 6.3 0.000 12.39 4.58 5.1 0.000 9.80 4.61
5 14.0 0.412 6.45 4.94 5.7 0.375 8.79 4.50 9.9 0.324 6.91 4.94
6 18.4 0.504 4.78 4.62 12.3 0.540 5.78 5.80 17.2 0.500 4.95 4.78
7 18.4 0.637 3.43 4.51 21.3 0.730 3.94 5.88 21.9 0.633 3.51 4.70
8 12.3 0.545 2.93 3.75 19.5 0.413 3.86 3.83 15.1 0.368 3.00 2.86
9 14.1 0.842 1.68 4.91 26.0 0.867 1.77 4.53 18.8 0.880 1.48 4.97
10 0.5 0.713 1.88 2.76 1.3 0.250 2.44 2.14 0.4 0.000 0.90 0.50
11 0.1 0.667 1.63 2.54 0.2 1.64 3.00 0.4 1.000 0.82 2.50
12 0.0 0.667 1.59 2.75 0.2 3.00 5.00
13 0.0 0.59 2.57 0.4 0.00 1.50
14 0.0 0.750 1.77 4.25

 

It seems to me if the basis of your argument for Morris in the HOF was that he pitched deep into a lot of games (and was about avg in those outings) then you have a pretty weak argument.  The summary of our view is that Morris was a pretty good pitcher on very good teams, but really is not a whole lot better than someone like David Wells or Frank Tanana.  And certainly not better than Mike Mussina or Kevin Brown.

95 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame, Stat Questions, Statgeekery

Historical Western Conference vs Eastern Conference Disparity

Posted by Neil on December 5, 2013

In light of the Eastern Conference's "embarrassing" showing in games against the West so far this year, here's a rundown of how each conference has fared against the other for every year since 1951 (before 1971, the NBA had Eastern and Western "divisions" which were de facto conferences):

+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    2014 |    118 |    155 | 43.2%     |    157 |    120 | 56.7%     |     26 |     63 | 29.2% | 70.8% |
|    2013 |    577 |    651 | 47.0%     |    652 |    578 | 53.0%     |    188 |    262 | 41.8% | 58.2% |
|    2012 |    474 |    516 | 47.9%     |    516 |    474 | 52.1%     |    114 |    156 | 42.2% | 57.8% |
|    2011 |    579 |    651 | 47.1%     |    651 |    579 | 52.9%     |    189 |    261 | 42.0% | 58.0% |
|    2010 |    594 |    636 | 48.3%     |    636 |    594 | 51.7%     |    204 |    246 | 45.3% | 54.7% |
|    2009 |    621 |    609 | 50.5%     |    609 |    621 | 49.5%     |    231 |    219 | 51.3% | 48.7% |
|    2008 |    582 |    648 | 47.3%     |    648 |    582 | 52.7%     |    192 |    258 | 42.7% | 57.3% |
|    2007 |    583 |    647 | 47.4%     |    647 |    583 | 52.6%     |    193 |    257 | 42.9% | 57.1% |
|    2006 |    588 |    642 | 47.8%     |    642 |    588 | 52.2%     |    198 |    252 | 44.0% | 56.0% |
|    2005 |    584 |    646 | 47.5%     |    646 |    584 | 52.5%     |    194 |    256 | 43.1% | 56.9% |
|    2004 |    559 |    671 | 45.4%     |    630 |    518 | 54.9%     |    154 |    266 | 36.7% | 63.3% |
|    2003 |    575 |    655 | 46.7%     |    614 |    534 | 53.5%     |    170 |    250 | 40.5% | 59.5% |
|    2002 |    593 |    637 | 48.2%     |    596 |    552 | 51.9%     |    188 |    232 | 44.8% | 55.2% |
|    2001 |    566 |    664 | 46.0%     |    623 |    525 | 54.3%     |    161 |    259 | 38.3% | 61.7% |
|    2000 |    598 |    632 | 48.6%     |    591 |    557 | 51.5%     |    193 |    227 | 46.0% | 54.0% |
|    1999 |    379 |    371 | 50.5%     |    346 |    354 | 49.4%     |     46 |     38 | 54.8% | 45.2% |
|    1998 |    648 |    582 | 52.7%     |    541 |    607 | 47.1%     |    243 |    177 | 57.9% | 42.1% |
|    1997 |    647 |    583 | 52.6%     |    542 |    606 | 47.2%     |    242 |    178 | 57.6% | 42.4% |
|    1996 |    619 |    611 | 50.3%     |    570 |    578 | 49.7%     |    214 |    206 | 51.0% | 49.0% |
|    1995 |    550 |    598 | 47.9%     |    557 |    509 | 52.3%     |    158 |    206 | 43.4% | 56.6% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1994 |    562 |    586 | 49.0%     |    545 |    521 | 51.1%     |    170 |    194 | 46.7% | 53.3% |
|    1993 |    583 |    565 | 50.8%     |    524 |    542 | 49.2%     |    191 |    173 | 52.5% | 47.5% |
|    1992 |    573 |    575 | 49.9%     |    534 |    532 | 50.1%     |    181 |    183 | 49.7% | 50.3% |
|    1991 |    521 |    545 | 48.9%     |    586 |    562 | 51.0%     |    170 |    194 | 46.7% | 53.3% |
|    1990 |    517 |    549 | 48.5%     |    590 |    558 | 51.4%     |    166 |    198 | 45.6% | 54.4% |
|    1989 |    522 |    462 | 53.0%     |    503 |    563 | 47.2%     |    186 |    126 | 59.6% | 40.4% |
|    1988 |    464 |    438 | 51.4%     |    479 |    505 | 48.7%     |    145 |    119 | 54.9% | 45.1% |
|    1987 |    465 |    437 | 51.6%     |    478 |    506 | 48.6%     |    146 |    118 | 55.3% | 44.7% |
|    1986 |    460 |    442 | 51.0%     |    483 |    501 | 49.1%     |    141 |    123 | 53.4% | 46.6% |
|    1985 |    462 |    440 | 51.2%     |    481 |    503 | 48.9%     |    143 |    121 | 54.2% | 45.8% |
|    1984 |    461 |    441 | 51.1%     |    482 |    502 | 49.0%     |    142 |    122 | 53.8% | 46.2% |
|    1983 |    458 |    444 | 50.8%     |    485 |    499 | 49.3%     |    139 |    125 | 52.7% | 47.3% |
|    1982 |    461 |    441 | 51.1%     |    482 |    502 | 49.0%     |    142 |    122 | 53.8% | 46.2% |
|    1981 |    466 |    436 | 51.7%     |    477 |    507 | 48.5%     |    147 |    117 | 55.7% | 44.3% |
|    1980 |    454 |    448 | 50.3%     |    448 |    454 | 49.7%     |    124 |    118 | 51.2% | 48.8% |
|    1979 |    425 |    477 | 47.1%     |    477 |    425 | 52.9%     |    205 |    257 | 44.4% | 55.6% |
|    1978 |    428 |    474 | 47.5%     |    474 |    428 | 52.5%     |    208 |    254 | 45.0% | 55.0% |
|    1977 |    436 |    466 | 48.3%     |    466 |    436 | 51.7%     |    216 |    246 | 46.8% | 53.2% |
|    1976 |    388 |    350 | 52.6%     |    350 |    388 | 47.4%     |    181 |    143 | 55.9% | 44.1% |
|    1975 |    378 |    360 | 51.2%     |    360 |    378 | 48.8%     |    171 |    153 | 52.8% | 47.2% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1974 |    315 |    341 | 48.0%     |    382 |    356 | 51.8%     |    131 |    157 | 45.5% | 54.5% |
|    1973 |    318 |    338 | 48.5%     |    379 |    359 | 51.4%     |    134 |    154 | 46.5% | 53.5% |
|    1972 |    283 |    373 | 43.1%     |    414 |    324 | 56.1%     |    125 |    215 | 36.8% | 63.2% |
|    1971 |    291 |    365 | 44.4%     |    406 |    332 | 55.0%     |    139 |    213 | 39.5% | 60.5% |
|    1970 |    309 |    265 | 53.8%     |    265 |    309 | 46.2%     |    169 |    125 | 57.5% | 42.5% |
|    1969 |    314 |    260 | 54.7%     |    260 |    314 | 45.3%     |    176 |    122 | 59.1% | 40.9% |
|    1968 |    274 |    218 | 55.7%     |    218 |    274 | 44.3%     |    154 |     98 | 61.1% | 38.9% |
|    1967 |    223 |    182 | 55.1%     |    182 |    223 | 44.9%     |    133 |     92 | 59.1% | 40.9% |
|    1966 |    184 |    136 | 57.5%     |    176 |    224 | 44.0%     |    124 |     76 | 62.0% | 38.0% |
|    1965 |    181 |    139 | 56.6%     |    179 |    221 | 44.8%     |    121 |     79 | 60.5% | 39.5% |
|    1964 |    170 |    150 | 53.1%     |    190 |    210 | 47.5%     |     98 |     78 | 55.7% | 44.3% |
|    1963 |    169 |    151 | 52.8%     |    191 |    209 | 47.8%     |     97 |     79 | 55.1% | 44.9% |
|    1962 |    179 |    141 | 55.9%     |    181 |    219 | 45.3%     |    107 |     69 | 60.8% | 39.2% |
|    1961 |    162 |    154 | 51.3%     |    154 |    162 | 48.7%     |     84 |     76 | 52.5% | 47.5% |
|    1960 |    180 |    120 | 60.0%     |    120 |    180 | 40.0%     |    102 |     42 | 70.8% | 29.2% |
|    1959 |    159 |    129 | 55.2%     |    129 |    159 | 44.8%     |     87 |     57 | 60.4% | 39.6% |
|    1958 |    162 |    126 | 56.3%     |    126 |    162 | 43.8%     |     90 |     54 | 62.5% | 37.5% |
|    1957 |    155 |    133 | 53.8%     |    133 |    155 | 46.2%     |     83 |     61 | 57.6% | 42.4% |
|    1956 |    154 |    134 | 53.5%     |    134 |    154 | 46.5%     |     82 |     62 | 56.9% | 43.1% |
|    1955 |    150 |    138 | 52.1%     |    138 |    150 | 47.9%     |     78 |     66 | 54.2% | 45.8% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1954 |    173 |    187 | 48.1%     |    151 |    137 | 52.4%     |     73 |     87 | 45.6% | 54.4% |
|    1953 |    168 |    183 | 47.9%     |    183 |    168 | 52.1%     |     67 |     82 | 45.0% | 55.0% |
|    1952 |    169 |    161 | 51.2%     |    161 |    169 | 48.8%     |     79 |     71 | 52.7% | 47.3% |
|    1951 |    181 |    187 | 49.2%     |    173 |    167 | 50.9%     |     80 |     86 | 48.2% | 51.8% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+

In the early stages of 2013-14, we are indeed seeing an historic level of inter-conference imbalance. The West's 70.8% winning percentage vs. the East is tied for the highest by one conference/division vs the other, matching the mark set by the Eastern Division in 1960.

Powered by the transcendent 59-16 Celtics (who won 10 more games than any other team), the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors, and the 45-30 Syracuse Nationals, the East dominated a Western Division that boasted only one team -- the 46-29 St. Louis Hawks -- with a record anywhere near .500. (Aside from St. Louis, the other West teams had a combined 74-151 record that season.)

10 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, History, Trivia

Filter Searches By Favorites

Posted by Mike on December 3, 2013
search_favorites

Building on the user favorites feature, we've introduced the ability to filter by your favorite players in player season finder and player game finder searches. If you're logged in, you should see a "Search only across your favorites" checkbox above the "Get Results" button on these searches. Selecting this option will restrict the search to only players in your favorites list. Maybe you could add your favorite quarterbacks to your list and see where they compare on AY/A, or follow some favorite fantasy backs and see who has the best yards per attempt figure in 2013.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Flags for Country of Birth – Hockey-Reference.com

Posted by admin on November 27, 2013

Just a small add to the player pages, but we now show a flag on the player pages representing the country of birth for the players.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Hockey-Reference.com

2014 Official Hall of Fame Ballot w/ Stats & JAWS measures

Posted by admin on November 26, 2013

2014 Official Hall of Fame Ballot w/ Stats & JAWS Measures.

Just a one-stop area for your HOF ballot needs. Thanks to Jay Jaffe of SI.com for the use of his JAWS numbers on our site.

14 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com

Stat Leaders Rewind

Posted by Mike on November 26, 2013

Rolled out a quick update - now every single season leader page has a box on the right, with which you can select a year & rewind back to see what the single season leaders were for that stat at that time. For instance, Drew Brees currently holds the single season pass completion record with 468, but if we go back 25 years to 1988 you can see that at that time, Dan Marino held the record of 378 (a mark that is currently the 26th best, highlighting just how much passing has blown up recently).

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

New College Basketball Features: Season-by-Season Coach Pages & 2-Point Shooting Stats

Posted by Neil on November 25, 2013

For the 2013-14 College Basketball season, we've added a few new features:

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Features

Announcing Favorites

Posted by Mike on November 19, 2013


favorites
With today's updates, we've pushed out a new addition to the site -- Favorites. If you are logged in, you'll now see a Favorites button in the top right corner of most pages. If you have favorite pages, mousing over this button will show you recent statistics or bookmarks to favorite pages and Play Index searches. To add a page to your favorites, simply click the + symbol on that button (and to remove a favorite, click the -). Active players will show fantasy points for the current week, active teams will show you their most recent game and their record so you can get access to your favorites' stats instantly. Click on the Favorites button to get a more detailed view of player stats and recent news items about your favorites players.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Sports Reference Welcomes David Corby and Hans Van Slooten to Our Staff

Posted by admin on November 7, 2013

Sports Reference has hired two new web developers/engineers/programmers to their burgeoning staff of now five.

David Corby joined us the last week of October and thus far has been shepherding the NBA and College Basketball sites. (Yes, we did give him a lot of time to get settled.) He is a UVA grad who worked in commercial operations at JetBlue. He's a largely self-taught developer with a wide range of development work. David once played against David Wright in a HS baseball game, and he went 4-4 with 4 doubles (Wright did, that is). He is largely a New York fan -- especially a Yankees fan, which proves we stand by our company policy that we don't discriminate on the basis of sports franchise affinity.

Hans Van Slooten (@cantpitch) will be joining us in December, working out of our newly-established Minneapolis branch, coincidentally located in Hans' home (note we do not offer company tours at this branch). Hans will be working on the hockey site and number of new projects/items from our wish list that we previously haven't had the bandwidth to work on. He joins us from OLSON (where he was a technical director) and, previous to that, comScore. He's a Twins and Vikings fan and will also help me source locally produced lefse and lutefisk for the Sports-Reference Christmas party.

5 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Expire30d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Win Probability Calculator

Posted by Mike on November 6, 2013

By now you've likely seen our win probability tweets or the graphs on box score pages. Today I've pushed out a win probability calculator into which you can put any game situation & get a corresponding win probability. For instance, say it's the 4th quarter and you're trailing by 2 with the ball on your own 20 at 2nd & 10 and 29 seconds remaining, the calculator says you have a 3.8% probability of winning (don't tell the Jets that, though).

Looking at this weekend's Bears-Packers game, we can figure out the risk the Bears took in going for it on 4th and 1 on their own 32 in the 4th quarter. If they fail and the Packers take over at that spot, Green Bay will have a 55.9% win probability (ignoring that our model knows nothing about Aaron Rodgers' injury, of course). However, by succeeding Chicago raised their own win probability to 80.6%.

11 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

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