Sports Reference Blog

Baseball Reference is sunsetting the Oracle of Baseball

Posted by sean on May 28, 2024

We have decided to turn off the Oracle of Baseball for good. There are a couple of reasons for this which I'll get into below. This feature was launched in 2002 or so, so this isn't a decision we take lightly. We know there are a number of users who will be sad to see this tool go, but in order for us to update the sites in a number of important ways we will be making this change.

  • The Oracle of Baseball only gets about 10,000 user sessions per year which makes it very hard to prioritize work to improve or modify it.
  • Related to the above, the Oracle data hasn't been updated since 2021. Due to some underlying data changes it became difficult for us to keep the data generated and up to date. As I said above, it's hard to prioritize a multi-day project to update the tool when it won't pay off for decades at current usage rates.
  • We are working on a major upgrade to our operating system on the sites' servers. The Oracle is a custom built app that runs as a daemon in the background on the servers and porting this over to our new infrastructure would be a difficult process even for a tool that was generating a lot of revenue.

All three together mean we can't make a business case (or even a user-based case given the opportunity cost of this work) to continue supporting this feature. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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