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Job: User Affairs Coordinator @ Sports Reference

Posted by sean on January 6, 2014

User Affairs Coordinator @ Sports Reference.

Yes, we'll pay you money to spend all day answering questions about sports. Please pass along this job ad to anyone you might think would be interested.

5 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, 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, Statgeekery, Tips and Tricks, WAR

Neil Paine Joining FiveThirtyEight

Posted by sean on December 19, 2013

As Nate Silver tweeted out earlier today, Neil Paine is leaving Sports Reference early next month to join Nate's new FiveThirtyEight.com. I know I speak for everyone here at SR when I say I'm feeling a mix of sadness that on a daily basis we won't get to tap Neil's encyclopedic knowledge of European NBA players, his knowledge of pretty much every sabermetric study ever done, his patience dealing with every kind of user complaint, and his wit, pluck, and genuine enthusiasm for his work. But also happiness for Neil that his writing and thinking is getting the platform it justly deserves. I know someday we'll be bragging that we knew Neil Paine before he was a bigshot. :)

I'll be anticipating his articles and I suggest you search them out as well when the site launches in early 2014.

7 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, Uncategorized

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

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

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

Stat Questions: What’s Up With Those “vs Starter” Platoon Splits?

Posted by Neil on October 18, 2013

Here's another question I get pretty regularly when answering our bug reports: what's the deal with those "vs LH/RH Starter" platoon splits? To wit:

"How can Reed Johnson hit 32 HR's off of LH Starters when he hit 27 vs LHP?"

At a glance, it seems like we're saying "this is the player's stat line just against the opposing starter, broken down by that starter's handedness." In which case it would seem to be a bug when a guy has bigger totals against, say, lefty starters than against lefties in total.

Except that the definition I just wrote is not at all what that split is measuring. Instead, the "vs LH/RH Starter" split adds up all stats accumulated in games where the opposing starter was of a certain handedness, INCLUDING STATS ACCUMULATED LATER IN THE GAME WHEN THE STARTER IS PULLED, REGARDLESS OF THE RELIEF PITCHER(S)' HANDEDNESS.

Despite bolding, italicizing, and going all-caps, I still don't think I emphasized that enough. I realize the description of the split seems like it's talking only about stats accumulated against the starters, but it's really just counting up all stats in games where the opposing starter threw a certain way -- a BIG difference. If you want to know about performance against just starters of a given handedness... well, that's a double split, so we can't answer that right now. But we do hope to add the capacity for double splits in the future.

Anyway, now you might be saying, OK, well what's the point of that split, then? It seems pretty useless. And in some ways it is, for recent seasons at least -- but it's the only way we can approximate platoon splits for pre-PBP era players (1940s and before). Even going back to 1916, we at least know who started each game and their handedness, which usually is good enough to get platoon data on the majority of PAs (especially before managers started aggressively using relievers).

So that's why that split is there, even if it's not especially useful for 2013 players. And now you know what that split means, even if it seems like it should mean that other thing (which it DOESN'T).

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Stat Questions

Grand Slams with 4 Pitchers Receiving Earned Runs

Posted by admin on October 14, 2013

Last night's Ortiz Grand Slam was the first in the postseason and 8th time in the RetroSheet canon (but probably overall) that four pitchers received earned runs on one play.

| game_id      | result_batter | batting_team_id | pitching_team_id | event_text           | home      | first     | second    | third     |
+--------------+---------------+-----------------+------------------+----------------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+
| BOS201310130 | ortizda01     | BOS             | DET              | HR/9/L9D.3-H;2-H;1-H | benoijo01 | albural01 | smylydr01 | verasjo01 |
+--------------+---------------+-----------------+------------------+----------------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+
+--------------+---------------+-----------------+------------------+-------------------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+
| game_id      | result_batter | batting_team_id | pitching_team_id | event_text              | home      | first     | second    | third     |
+--------------+---------------+-----------------+------------------+-------------------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+
| MIN196107041 | becquju01     | MIN             | CHW              | HR/9D.3-H;2-H;1-H       | hackewa02 | baumafr01 | kemmeru01 | piercbi02 |
| SEA198208060 | jacksre01     | CAL             | SEA              | HR/9.3-H;2-H;1-H        | vandeed01 | stantmi01 | anderla02 | bannifl01 |
| DET198307100 | parrila02     | DET             | OAK              | HR/7.3-H(UR);2-H;1-H    | jonesje01 | beardda01 | burgmto01 | codirch01 |
| SFN198709200 | esaskni01     | CIN             | SFG              | HR/7D.3-H;2-H;1-H       | perlmjo01 | leffecr01 | downske01 | robindo01 |
| SEA198805060 | sheripa01     | DET             | SEA              | HR/9.3-H;2-H;1-H        | jacksmi02 | solanju01 | powelde01 | mooremi01 |
| SDN200109010 | lankfra01     | SDP             | ARI              | HR/89.3-H;2-H;1-H       | kimby01   | sabeler01 | knotter01 | batismi01 |
| LAN200410020 | finlest01     | LAD             | SFG              | HR/89/F.3-H;2-H(UR);1-H | frankwa01 | hergema01 | chrisja01 | hermadu01 |

6 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, History, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Trivia

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