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BBR: Numerous Additions and Tweaks

Posted by Justin Kubatko on October 5, 2012

Over the last month or so I have made a number of additions and tweaks to Basketball-Reference.com:

  • We now have partial box scores for both the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.
  • Related to the above, we now have partial player game logs and splits for both the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. You may have also noticed that the player's biographical information now appears at the top of both the game logs and splits.
  • On the main player pages, we have split the playoff statistics into four separate tables: totals, per game, per 36 minutes, and advanced.
  • Also on the player pages, the game logs, splits, shooting, and finder links have been moved to the navigation menu that "sticks" to the top of the page as you scroll down. There is also a news link on the navigation menu that leads to an archive of player news. (Note: If you would like to see your blog posts here, please read about how you can add your blog content to our newsfeeds.)
  • An improved navigation menu has been added to the leader pages. This will allow you to quickly switch between season, career, active, yearly, progressive, yearly, and top 10 pages for both the regular season and playoffs for a particular statistic. You can also easily switch statistics by hovering your mouse over the Leader & Records [+] tab and choosing a new statistic.
  • In the playoffs section, partial composite box scores have been added for the 1983 and 1984 playoff series.
  • The All-Star Game section has a new navigation bar on each page. This will allow you to quickly move from box scores to voting results to contest results. We have also added pages with single game and career leaders for the NBA All-Star Game.
  • Although this was announced at the end of August, don't forget that we now have a referees section with referee data for the 1988-89 through 2011-12 seasons.

OK, I think that covers it. As always, please send us your feedback if you have any comments or questions about the site.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features

Walk-Off Plays added to Event Finder

Posted by admin on October 5, 2012

199 2012 Walk-Off PA's

Previously, you could sort of get walk-off plays, but you would also get plays where the game-ended by the pitching team making an out. I've now added a check to make sure that the batting team has won the game. So our Event Finder now lists, go-ahead, game-ending and walkoff all separately.

Note that this will not include the odd baserunning play like a walk-off passed ball, wild pitch, SB, etc.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

Playoff-Related Play Index Tools

Posted by Neil on October 5, 2012

With the playoffs starting today, here's a rundown of the Play Index tools you can use to run playoff-themed searches...

7 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

2012 Baseball-Reference End-of-Year Updates: Sim Scores, Salaries, Batting Titles

Posted by admin on October 4, 2012

A few additions:

  1. We've added a page for Batting Titles and Pitching ERA Titles. These are the title holders as they were named at the time.
  2. These titles are marked on the pitching and batting tables with a golden glimmer. For instance, in 1910 Cobb was credited at the time with the batting title, but later research showed Lajoie ahead, so Cobb gets the gold background and Lajoie the black ink. For the purpose of the black ink test we'll give both of them credit.
  3. This gold styling is also applied to entries in the player stats that correspond to all-time career records, see Barry Bonds.
  4. For the 2012 Melky ruling, we've excluded Melky Cabrera from batting title consideration. I had some concerns about how the rule was implemented, but ultimately I've decided to go along with MLB's ruling in who we recognize as the highest BA. Previously, I had mistakenly thought that the rule waiver was applying to all players like Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton as well.
  5. 2012 Similarity Scores have been updated
  6. 2012 Salaries were finally updated. Salary leaderboards will update tomorrow.
  7. Added Wil Myers as BA minor leaguer of the year on Minors Section

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

CFB Updates

Posted by Neil on October 4, 2012

A quick note about several updates that we added to SR/College Football this week:

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Were Giancarlo Stanton & Joey Votto the NL Slugging and On-base champs this year?

Posted by admin on October 4, 2012

Stanton slugged .608 in 501 PA's (sound familar?). With a hitless AB, he drops to .607 still well ahead of Ryan Braun's .595.

Joey Votto reached base 225 times in 475 PA for a .474 OBP. With 27 hitless AB's added, he drops to .448, still ahead of Buster Posey at .408.

Given MLB suspended the rule for Melky, was it also suspended for Giancarlo and Joey?

Note that rule 10.22 and 10.23 both mention the "Individual Batting and Slugging Champion" And 10.22 lists how to compute percentage records for OBP.

So I ask you, was Giancarlo the NL Slugging Champion for 2012? Should he or Braun get the black ink?

UPDATE: I was wrong as the rule was tweaked only for those suspended due to drug suspensions.
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120921&content_id=38781290&vkey=pr_mlb&c_id=mlb

Apologies for my incorrect reading of the story I saw.

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

Why Can WAR Change From One Year to Next?

Posted by admin on October 4, 2012

One of the unsettling things for fans who are trying to get a grasp on Wins Above Replacement is that the numbers can and have changed over time. Setting aside the 1000's of historical errors in the baseball record book that are being searched out one-by-one, Miguel Cabrera's batting average is and will always be .330. His WAR (for baseball-reference.com) of 6.9 Wins however may change slightly over time.

Why is this? While we want to think of WAR as a statistic like batting average, it is an estimate rather than a precise measurement. Lots of factors are put used in estimating this value and sometimes they change as better estimates become available either due to more advanced research or new data. Now obviously we think it is a pretty good estimate (at least as good as any other measure of player value). Each step has been rigorously researched and justified and is available for you to review and poke holes in (see the link below).

I think an interesting parallel is stock valuation. The techniques used to value stocks in 1980 or even 2005 are different from the techniques used to estimate the value of stocks in 2012. More data is available now, new computing techniques and even newly discovered mathematics. If we were to go back and apply 2012 techniques on 1980 stocks we would have different valuations using 2012 techniques than what we had in 1980 using 1980 techniques, and we'd probably be a lot more accurate.

Another example would be estimates for the size of the earth. This number has been refined and improved over 1000's of years as new techniques for making this estimate have become available. But even now this size is not a direct measurement (there is no measuring tape or scale big enough), but an estimate.

Now the difference is that probably few people care about that difference when it comes to stocks or the size of the earth, but we continue to be fascinated by past baseball seasons. So when we go to a great deal of study to estimate the effect of not having batter strikeout data on the value of outs in early 1900's baseball or the value of an infield single or an IBB in 2005, that affects our view of how valuable that player was in that season. At the time in 2005, we didn't consider IBB's as different from non-IBB's and we didn't differentiate between infield and outfield singles. Now we know the value of those differences and we apply it to our understanding of 2005, 1955 and 1905 baseball.

Previous to this season, we made several large changes to how we calculate player value. They are all listed below in the link, but the major one is the use of Baseball Info Solutions Defensive Runs Saved. Switching from Total Zone to DRS for 2000-present caused some very large swings in defensive value.

Defense is hard to measure as there are dozens of factors that go into its measurement, but we feel confident that their system is the best. They also are continually trying to improve the system. For instance, this past offseason they added batted ball timer data to refine their estimates of player defense. That means every ball in play for a substantial number of years was reviewed and timed (by hand). This then changed the defensive estimates for nearly every player. The stat got better as newer techniques and more data was applied to the question.

And even then if you think all defensive measure are bunk, use oWAR. It is every part of WAR, but assumes everyone is an average defender.

And if you think replacement level is bunk use WAA or wins above average. For single season measures like MVP races it works just as well as WAR. For careers, you'll probably undervalue average players with long careers.

Now could Cabrera and Trout's numbers for 2012 change next year? Yes, park factors are one factor in how batting is considered and we use 3-year park factors, so ideally the 2012 park factor includes 2011, 2012, and 2013, so if Comerica or Anaheim play much differently next year that could cause a change (albeit small--like half a win at most extreme) in their WAR totals.

Let me say one other thing, because of the fuzziness, I would never look at a WAR of 7.6 and a WAR of 6.5 and say the first player is "clearly better than the second". I would say that the first player is "probably or likely better than the second". However in the AL MVP race we have a 4 win difference which as far as WAR goes is huge, so in my opinion (and yours may be different) Trout was clearly a more valuable player than Cabrera this year. And, of course, if playoff appearances to leaderboard troikas are super important for you and overrides whatever else happened in the regular season then WAR isn't really applicable.

WAR fully explained

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

What if I Think Defensive Measures and Replacement Level Measures are Meaningless?

Posted by admin on October 4, 2012

If you think all defensive measure are bunk and no better than random noise, use oWAR. It is every part of WAR, but assumes everyone is an average defender.

You can find all of this on the Player Value Registers.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-batting.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2012-value-pitching.shtml

Here are the MLB top 20 position players by oWAR.

Rk Age Tm oWAR ▾
1 Mike Trout 20 LAA 8.6
2 Miguel Cabrera 29 DET 7.5
3 Andrew McCutchen 25 PIT 7.5
4 Buster Posey 25 SFG 7.1
5 Robinson Cano* 29 NYY 6.7
6 Chase Headley# 28 SDP 6.2
7 Ryan Braun 28 MIL 6.0
8 Adrian Beltre 33 TEX 5.4
9 Adam Jones 26 BAL 5.3
10 Ben Zobrist# 31 TBR 5.2
11 Edwin Encarnacion 29 TOR 5.1
12 Prince Fielder* 28 DET 5.0
13 Austin Jackson 25 DET 4.9
14 Joe Mauer* 29 MIN 4.9
15 Yadier Molina 29 STL 4.9
16 David Wright 29 NYM 4.9
17 Aramis Ramirez 34 MIL 4.8
18 Aaron Hill 30 ARI 4.7
19 Melky Cabrera# 27 SFG 4.6
20 Shin-Soo Choo* 29 CLE 4.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/4/2012.

And if you think replacement level is bunk use WAA or wins above average. For single season measures like MVP races it works just as well as WAR. For careers, you'll probably undervalue average players with long careers.

Here are the top 20 position players by WAA

Rk Age Tm WAA ▾
1 Mike Trout 20 LAA 8.8
2 Robinson Cano* 29 NYY 6.0
3 Buster Posey 25 SFG 5.5
4 Andrew McCutchen 25 PIT 5.2
5 Yadier Molina 29 STL 5.2
6 Ryan Braun 28 MIL 5.0
7 David Wright 29 NYM 4.9
8 Miguel Cabrera 29 DET 4.8
9 Adrian Beltre 33 TEX 4.6
10 Joey Votto* 28 CIN 4.3
11 Chase Headley# 28 SDP 4.2
12 Michael Bourn* 29 ATL 4.1
13 Alex Gordon* 28 KCR 4.0
14 Giancarlo Stanton 22 MIA 4.0
15 Jason Heyward* 22 ATL 3.8
16 Torii Hunter 36 LAA 3.7
17 Aramis Ramirez 34 MIL 3.7
18 Ben Zobrist# 31 TBR 3.6
19 Martin Prado 28 ATL 3.5
20 Bryce Harper* 19 WSN 3.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/4/2012.

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

NFL Records After N Games, Part II

Posted by Neil on October 3, 2012

I posted this a few weeks ago, to answer the basic question of "When an NFL team starts the season with a given record, what winning percentage do they tend to end the season with?":

Longtime S-R friend Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal asked to see those numbers broken out by the frequency of each final record, so I thought I'd put that together for today:

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

Progressive Leaderboards

Posted by Neil on October 2, 2012

Quick note about a feature we have here at Baseball-Reference called Progressive Leaderboards, which lets you see the all-time career & single-season leaders in a given stat (any stat in our Leaders section, actually) after every season, all on one page.

Check it out to see, say, the historical progression of career or season leaders in RBI, or WAR, etc.

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

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