Sports Reference Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Things I Learned From the New PFR Play Finder: Clutch Receivers

30th August 2012

For the few week or two, I'll be looking at a different example search from the new PFR Play Finder tool. Today's topic: Clutch Receivers...

Who was the best clutch receiver in the game last season? Obviously any definition of "clutch" is going to be pretty arbitrary, but let's use the Play Finder to look at this from a couple of different angles.

First, who were the best receivers in the 4th quarter or OT? Here's who had the most yards:

Player T C Pct Yds TD
Victor Cruz 59 39 0.661 692 6
Larry Fitzgerald 62 32 0.516 682 5
Steve Smith 35 22 0.629 457 0
Calvin Johnson 43 29 0.674 452 5
Wes Welker 43 31 0.721 418 2
Reggie Wayne 47 29 0.617 411 3
Dwayne Bowe 49 27 0.551 393 2
Rob Gronkowski 32 26 0.813 392 4
Jimmy Graham 36 26 0.722 380 2
Pierre Garcon 56 30 0.536 370 2

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Features, Play Index, | 1 Comment »

BBR: “Sticky” Menus on Player, Team, and Season Pages

30th August 2012

I have modified the player, team, and season pages to make it a little easier to navigate the site.

On the player pages there is a gray menu bar that will "stick" to the top of the page as you scroll down. You can use this menu to access the various tables within the page (totals, per game, etc.) and to jump to a player's game logs, splits, shot charts, and finders. I have also added some extra tables to the player pages. Previously there was a basic table with playoff totals & per game stats and an advanced table with advanced playoff stats. Now there are four playoff tables: Totals, Per Game, Per 36 Minutes, and Advanced.

There is also a menu bar on the team pages. From this bar you can jump to a team's roster & stats, schedule & results, transactions, game log, and splits. Also, if you hover over the team name you will see a dropdown list with links to every season in the team's history.

The menu bars on the league and playoff pages contain links to the various season pages (summary, schedule & results, etc.). If you hover your mouse over the league name, you will see a dropdown list with links to every season in the league's history.

Although some may find these menus obtrusive at first, I think that with time you will appreciate the improved functionality, in particular when using the player pages. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions, either here or using the feedback system.

Posted in Announcement, | 16 Comments »

The Stumble to 500,000 MLB Errors

30th August 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.

Posted in Announcement,, Expire30d | 12 Comments »

Introducing the PFR Play Finder!

29th August 2012

Thanks to a lot of hard work by our programmer Mike Kania, Pro-Football-Reference is proud to introduce the PI Play Finder, which allows you to query play-by-play data from every NFL game since 2000. Here are a few of the things you can use this tool for:

...You get the idea. With this feature, you can find events and calculate splits where the only limit is your imagination.

So enjoy the new Play Finder, and as always, let us know via email if you find any bugs or have any suggestions.

Posted in Announcement, Play Index, | 6 Comments »

NBA Referee Pages on BBR

27th August 2012

This is just a short announcement to let you know that I have added a referees section to The main index lists each referee and includes a link to his or her page. Please note that the personal fouls columns on these pages include all fouls, not just fouls called by a particular referee.

Referee data is available for the 1988-89 through 2011-12 seasons. There are 13 games from the 1990-91 season and one game from the 1995-96 season that are missing referees:

  • Jan 15, 1991, CHH at LAL
  • Mar 2, 1991, ORL at DEN
  • Mar 2, 1991, SAC at SEA
  • Mar 23, 1991, MIN at UTA
  • Apr 27, 1991, HOU at LAL
  • Apr 27, 1991, GSW at SAS
  • May 4, 1991, SEA at POR
  • May 10, 1991, LAL at GSW
  • May 11, 1991, BOS at DET
  • May 11, 1991, POR at UTA
  • May 18, 1991, LAL at POR
  • May 25, 1991, CHI at DET
  • May 26, 1991, POR at LAL
  • Dec 19, 1995, POR at SAS

If you can can find a source that lists the referees for any of these games, please let us know in the comments section or by sending us a message through our feedback system.

Posted in Announcement,, Features | Comments Off on NBA Referee Pages on BBR

New Injury Information at PFR

20th August 2012

We're happy to announce that we've added new injury information to Pro-Football-Reference:

  • Current-Season Injuries - The 2012 team pages now have "Current Injuries" tables that pull from the NFL's most recent injury report.
  • Team Injury Grids - Dating back to 2009, we have team injury grids that display the injury-report status for every player on the roster for each week of the season.

Hopefully these will help you in your research and with your fantasy teams!

Posted in Announcement, Features, | 3 Comments »

Added: Bill Simmons’ HoF Pyramid & SLAM Magazine Top 500 to BBR Awards Section

17th August 2012

Just a quick note that we've added two recent "All-Time Greatest" lists to the Awards and Honors section of the site:

Posted in Announcement, | 3 Comments »

NBA Contract Data at Basketball-Reference

15th August 2012

Basketball-Reference is proud to introduce our new NBA contract data, courtesy of's Jeff Kramer.

The main elements we've added are contract tables on player and the team pages, complete with future payroll commitments for future seasons, the amount of guaranteed money each player is owed, and "payroll notes" describing the conditions of each player's deal. (Think of it as Cot's Contracts, but for the NBA.)

Check out the main contracts portal here and be sure to explore your favorite team's financial situation. Have fun!

Posted in Announcement,, Features | 15 Comments »

Hockey-Reference Template Update

13th August 2012

As you might have noticed, we updated the site template at Hockey-Reference over the weekend, bringing it up to code (pun intended) with the rest of the S-R sites.

What does that mean for you? Here's a rundown of the new features we added:

  • Rollover menus in the navbar. Rolling your mouse over the "play index | boxscores | players | etc." menus at the top of pages will now give you more options, including quick access to recent results.
  • Improved table sorting. Now, you can reset tables you sorted (via header clicking) by clicking the header again until the original sorting returns -- the order goes from Default --> Descending --> Ascending --> Default.
  • SHARE stats.You can now use our SHARE capability to customize tables, link to H-R content, and embed stats on your own site.
  • Link to specific tables. Every table has a Link option that lets you send people directly to the table you want.
  • ...and more!

As always, you can report ongoing bugs here:

Posted in Announcement, Expire30d, Features, | Comments Off on Hockey-Reference Template Update

The Relationship between WAR and Team Wins

8th August 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.

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.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, | 50 Comments »