Posted by sean on April 1, 2018
I've been at this for 18 years now. Baseball-Reference.com launched in early April of 2000, and 18 years is a long time. We've gone from pre-formatted plain text tables to html tables, through various logos, and several redesigns involving mobile designs. Along the way, the only consideration has been what would work best for the user. That's why, after months of extensive research, I'm very pleased to announce:
We're Pivoting to Video. This isn't a decision we made lightly, however, we can't help but notice the universal acclaim that has been showered on other websites that made a similar pivot. We see that users prefer short 2-3 minutes videos they can consume both at home and on the run, as mobile phones and tablets have turned things like "reading" into a relic of the past. You'll also notice that's the perfect length for commercial breaks during sporting events. This isn't a coincidence; our studies have found users like to look up stats on the site during games. This way, you'll still be able to do that, but rather than going through the difficulty of reading the page to find the number you need, you'll be able to sit back and watch a video read every single stat to you, until arriving at the one you need.
There will inevitably be a few people out there who will accuse us of doing this simply because we can monetize these videos easily. However, once you experience the ease, convenience, extremely high production values and pulse-pounding excitement contained in these videos, we think you'll agree that this is the future of sports stats. Unfortunately, we haven't yet figured out how to get the videos to play automatically for you or how to make them loud enough for everyone in the room to hear them easily, but rest assured we are working on that. Also making these videos is kind of a pain, so we've only switched over two pages to the new format so far, but you can see them on the site today.
Here is our new Mike Trout Page:
That's what the basic page will look like. However, we're also adding the option to include filters. These filters will allow us to connect with younger users by presenting the stats in a exciting and new ways that can be personalized, shared, Snapped, and Instagrammed. To see how this works, here's Michael Jordan's new page, with a demonstration of just a few of the filters we have in development:
We hope you enjoy our new direction, which we believe will guarantee we'll be here another 18 years.