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Subscribe to the Play Index!

Posted by Neil on October 1, 2012

In case you don't already know about Baseball-Reference's Play Index, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. Using the PI, you can:

  • Search full-season or multi-year totals to find your own custom leaderboards - Look at the entire history of baseball from 1871-2012 with every year, team, and position available, or filter the results in a vast number of ways: by specific years, by age, by first six seasons or last ten seasons, by American League only, by Cubs only, by switch-hitters, by catchers, by outfielder or infielder, by year of debut, but active or retired, by Hall of Famer, by height and weight, by living or deceased, or by a range of common statistical categories. Then sort the results by any common statistic, by the teams with the most players matching that category, by players with the most seasons matching that category, or by most recent, youngest, oldest, final year, or year of debut, and others.
  • Search player game totals - Filtering on any of a dozen or more choices, search for games on a single player level, or on any batter from 1918-2012, or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Totals.
  • Search player games looking for the most consecutive games matching a particular set of criteria - This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter in the last 95 years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Streaks.
  • Search the records of a specific player - Output a detailed summary and play-by-play list of all events of a specific type from a single year or an entire career. For example, you can see all of Harmon Killebrew's triples or even his outs to the second baseman.
  • Search Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups - This tool presents a complete sortable list of batter or pitcher with totals for every opponent they faced by career or by year. Clicking on the player's name will lead you to a detailed output of their head-to-head plate appearances.
  • ...And more!

Personal Subscriptions to the Play Index still cost just $36 for a year, $6 for a month, or $2 for 24 hours. Subscriptions may only be used by a single user, and there are discounts for users sponsoring at least $35 in pages.

Organizational Subscriptions can be set up for either an unlimited number of users ($600/year), or for up to five users ($125/year).

There are Two Steps to Subscribe to the Play Index:

  1. Login to or create a Sports-Reference.com account (the same account used to sponsor pages).
  2. Already logged in (or just created an account)? Go to our subscription page to sign up.

Our Always-Available Free Trial: Non-subscribers can use the PI's features as much as you like. However, your outputs will be restricted to a limited number of results.

The Play Index comes with a money back guarantee. We will gladly return the unused portion of any Play Index Subscription should you be dissatisfied with the Play Index.

So go ahead, give the Play Index a try -- we're confident that once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Comments Off on Subscribe to the Play Index! | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

How Many Baseball Writers Have Called or E-mailed to Talk to Me About What Goes Into WAR? Zero.

Posted by admin on September 30, 2012

You may have heard that the AL MVP is between a player who may win the Triple Crown and a player who most (if not all) of the stathead-friendly sites say is the best player in the league this year. There have been a number of articles being written by veteran writers about how stupid WAR is--complaining it's incomprehensible, stupid, meaningless, dumb, formulas are different, etc. etc.

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

How I Think We’ll Handle Melky and the Batting Title

Posted by admin on September 24, 2012

I admit I'm not a big fan of the decision to withdraw Cabrera from the batting title consideration. He has the highest average based on the rules and regardless of what he was using those hits occurred on the field. Since Baseball-Reference.com is pretty much all about what happens on the field, it puts us in a bit of a bind as Cabrera irrefutably (at least as it stands now) has the highest batting average in the league, but the league will not recognize him as the batting champion.

Looking to historical precedent, it's clear to me that we should now and should continue to list Cabrera with the highest batting average in the 2012. However, it shouldn't surprise you that there have been many other cases, though none recently, where the batting titleist at the time and person we currently recognize with the highest batting average don't match up.

The most "recent" case is 1910 where Lajoie had a higher batting average than Cobb, but due to various shenanigans Cobb was given the batting title (though both got the winner's promised automobile).

Likewise in 1902, we list Lajoie ahead of Ed Delahanty. The issues are even larger on the pitching side as the requirements have shifted around before settling on 1 IP per scheduled game (I've seen books citing minimum 10 complete games or 45 innings pitched). Even the 1IP/Gm can cause issues as in 1981 Steve McCatty was the recognized ERA Champion, even though in our opinion Sammy Stewart and Dave Righetti had better ERA's.

To handle this, we've decided to list ERA Leaders and BA leaders as they currently are in the leaderboard pages. These will be updated and change as new data becomes available and we will be apolitical as much as possible in how we draw these leaderboards. This is essentially the status quo.

In addition, though, we will add as awards the Batting Champion and Pitching Champion which will represent the player recognized at the end of the year as the top hitter and top pitcher. And we will strive to denote on each when the winners of the two do not match up.

This way folks can see who was best on the field and who was recognized as such at the time when the season ended.

96 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com

Minor League Section

Posted by Neil on September 24, 2012

Comments Off on Minor League Section | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features

PI Inning Summary

Posted by Neil on September 13, 2012

Comments Off on PI Inning Summary | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

Oracle of Baseball

Posted by Neil on September 4, 2012

Want to find a chain of teammates between any two players in MLB history, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style? Then check out our Oracle of Baseball, which can help you find things like this:

Chain from Mickey Mantle to Mike Trout

Mickey Mantle played with Bobby Murcer for the 1965 New York Yankees
Bobby Murcer played with Otis Nixon for the 1983 New York Yankees
Otis Nixon played with Torii Hunter for the 1998 Minnesota Twins
Torii Hunter played with Mike Trout for the 2011 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Comments Off on Oracle of Baseball | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features

The Stumble to 500,000 MLB Errors

Posted by admin on August 30, 2012

This is utterly random, completely meaningless and less than 100% accurate, but earlier this summer I noticed, that MLB was nearing 500,000 errors since 1876. We track all all-time stats on our seasons index. So as the half million mark approached, I decided to add a counter to the front page of the site. We'll also try to pinpoint the offending player on the day the milestone is broken.

Are we 100% certain this will actually be the true, honest-to-god, real 500,000th error since 1876? No, it undoubtedly isn't as there are lots of accounting discrepancies in the "official" record, especially in the fielding stats. I'm sure Elias has a different number and in our case our player-by-player and team stats don't even match up on error, putout or assist totals. For pre-1970's results, fielding records were mostly an afterthought and no effort was made to make sure they balanced at the end of the season. But it's a fun milestone, so we're going to track it.

UPDATE: One other issue that may affect things is that some errors are overturned at a later date, so even on the night we deign an error the 500,000th it may actually move up or down the last next week when mlb reviews borderline scoring calls.

So always remember this milestone is for fun and is accurate to the best of our ability, but in no way 100% accurate.

12 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Expire30d

The Relationship between WAR and Team Wins

Posted by admin on August 8, 2012

This question came up on the SABR-L newsgroup for SABR members.

I'm almost reluctant to ask this seemingly obvious question, but I'm puzzled:

What does Wins Above Replacement Value mean in terms of team success? Or put another way, if a team consists of nothing but replacement players, or -0- value WAR players, how many games does that theoretical team win? Surely not -0- games. Nor 81.

Here was my reply:

We have a pretty exhaustive intro to the metric here.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained.shtml

A replacement level team is set on our site to win 52 games in the year, so there are about 30*162 * (.500-.320) = 875 wins above replacement available for the league as a whole.

Here is an example conversion of WAR to team wins.  

The Phillies batters have 9.8 WAR, pitchers 6.1 WAR, and they've played 110 games.  A replacement team would win 110*.320 = 35.2 of those games.  Using WAR, we estimate the Phillies to have 9.8 (WAR batting) + 6.1 (WAR pitching) + 35.2 = 51.1 wins compared to their 50 actual wins.  51.1 is right in between their actual 50 and their pythagorean 52 wins.

Using a team playing well, Texas has played 109 games, so the replacement team is at 109 * .320 = 34.9 wins.  They have 13.7 batting WAR and 14.7 pitching WAR or an estimate of 34.9+13.7+14.7 = 63.3 wins.  They actually have 64 with a pythag of 62.

Cumulative Team WAR is not constrained to match up with team wins and losses, but it definitely should match up to team wins and losses and team pythagorean wins and losses.

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

How To “SHARE” S-R Stats

Posted by Neil on August 8, 2012

If you've spent any time at our sites, you've probably seen the "SHARE" command in red text above a table of stats... but maybe you didn't know what that did, or have forgotten how to use it. No worries -- here's a quick rundown of the features you can access by clicking "SHARE":

  • Customize rows & columns - Sharing lets you delete certain rows/columns that you don't want to include in your table. Just click the round 'x' button to delete a specific row/column, or the arrow 'x' to get rid of everything to the right (columns) or directly below (rows) the row/column in question.
  • Export as an HTML table - Clicking 'html
    ' gives you code to embed the table onto your site (you can even choose to keep S-R's inline style formatting).
  • Get a link - Choosing Link URL creates an SR tiny URL specifically for the table you created, which can easily be sent to others via twitter or directly linked at your blog.
  • Export as bbcode - This option lets you copy-and-paste the table into most bulletin board formats.
  • Export into a javascript widget - This will give you code to embed the static table on your site via a js widget. (Note: The 'Embed' option next to 'SHARE' allows you to do this as well, but as a constantly-updated table instead of a static one.)
  • Export as an iframe - For those who prefer to embed the table within an inline frame.
  • Export into preformatted text or CSV
  • Convert table to Wiki formatting - This will turn the table into a format suitable for sites like Wikipedia.

These features are currently active at all Sports-Reference sites except Hockey-Reference, which will be updated either this week or next. Happy sharing!

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com

Olympics at Sports-Reference

Posted by Neil on July 31, 2012

Just a friendly reminder to check out our Olympics site, which is being updated daily throughout the London games.

Comments Off on Olympics at Sports-Reference | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com

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