The below article lamenting the loss of the fake to third, throw to first pitcher gambit caught my eye back in Feb, so I made a note to check back in June on whether it mattered. It looks like it has. Below are the SB_attempts per 1000 (this is SB+CS) when runners are on first and third. The numbers have actually gone up a bit this year and then SB_success rate which I computed as (SB + Def Indiff + Adv on Pickoff error)/(SB+CS+DefIndiff+Pickoffs + pickoff errors). Essentially advances over attempts to advance to put out the runner.
Today, we added a new feature to our popular Approximate Value metric on the site -- AV totals for kickers and punters. (Don't worry, we've warned Doug Drinen, and he hasn't suffered any adverse health side-effects that we know of.)
The methodology is described in tortuous detail on the AV formula page, but we basically looked at salary data to calibrate kicker and punter AV against our existing AV data, and used some simple metrics (kicking points added above average using distance data; punting gross yards per attempt w/ an adjustment for blocks) to measure kicking/punting performance. The best career AVs in each category are as follows:
We're still working out some AV kinks (particularly in terms of All-Pro bonuses) with certain players who played both kicker/punter and another position -- think Lou Groza -- but for the most part we're happy with the results, and we thought it was time special-teamers got their AV due.
It's the Finals, so that means it's time for a reminder to check out the Basketball-Reference Play Index. In case you don't already know about the PI, 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. With the PI, you can:
Use the Player Season Finder to search through all NBA, ABA, & BAA players' regular season and playoff statistics for performances that match your criteria.
Use the Player Game Finder to search through NBA players' regular season and playoff game logs (since 1985-86) for games matching your criteria.
Use the Head-to-Head Finder to search for games in which two selected players played against each other.
Search for player and team consecutive-game streaks that match your criteria using the Streak Finders.
Also, take a look at the Play Index Plus for even more data-searching goodness. The PI+ lets you sift through the play-by-play data of every game since 2001, making it possible to look for specific events, lineup data, and shooting stats (including clutch shots and shot breakdowns by distance).
Best of all, these features are 100% free to use! So go ahead, give them a try, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.