December 4, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Stats .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/17/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Baileyby Bruce Markusen
10/18/2013: The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WARby James Gentile
10/18/2013: The best rookies of the ‘60sby Chad Dotson
10/17/2013: The Screwball: What about Bob Lemon?by Azure Texan
10/17/2013: WPS Recap: LCS, 10/16/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: WPS recap: LCS, 10/15/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: How much do we know about pitcher value?by Jason Linden
10/16/2013: 10th anniversary: the Aaron Boone Gameby Chris Jaffe
10/16/2013: BOB: Attendance and ratingsby Brian Borawski
10/16/2013: The most exciting games of 2013, part twoby Shane Tourtellotte
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April 11, 2013
Hawk Harrelson’s pearls of wisdomJust a little while ago, in the White Sox versus Nationals game, Chicago announcer Ken Harrelson talked a bit about what he felt was the most overrated thing that has come into baseball in the past 10 years.
Yes, I know what you're thinking—he was talking about the closer role. You know, the fact that guys get huge contracts because they have a history of pitching one half-way decent inning at the end of a game in which that player's team is ahead between one and three runs.
No, it wasn't the closer's role.
And it was not an overrated statistic. Don't start thinking it was something like Runs Batted In for a hitter or Wins for a pitcher. No, he didn't rail against those as being an incomplete way to judge a player because they rely too much on variables that are outside the player's control.
Remember, it was a concept, not a player. So, those of you screaming, "Joba Chamberlain", or "Phil Hughes" can calm down. (And, stop screaming stuff at your computer.)
No, it was a broad concept. It was something that "Hawk" sees as a waste of time that many in baseball are overvaluing like crazy right now.
Sabermetrics is the most overrated thing in baseball according to Harrelson.
He made his observation after the Nationals had their pitcher bunt the runner on first over to second. With that sacrifice bunt by the pitcher, an ode to bygone days of baseball, a time when men were men and they chewed tobacco instead of sunflower seeds, Harrelson was reminded of all that is bad in baseball right now and said of sabermetrics, "...it's gotten a lot of people fired, because it didn't work."
His color man, Steve Stone, noted that while maybe some people have been fired, a lot of people right now—people currently working in baseball—actually have their jobs because of their ability to understand sabermetrics. Harrelson conceded a little and said that sabermetrics could be an "element" that could be used in the game. Then he went on to tell us, in so many words, that you're much better off just looking for guys who want to win baseball games, an idea he says that our infatuation with numbers has obscured.
So from that, one might be tempted to look at a team like the White Sox and conclude that if they go on to have a sub-.500 record this season, it won't be due to any lack of talent that, based on past performance, projection systems like PECOTA could see coming. No. According to Harrelson, a below average season would be due to an overabundance of players who don't really want to win.
Now, if the White Sox beat PECOTA's expectations? It won't be because of Alex Rios having one of his every-other-year- career years which could flip their record by eight games all by itself. It won't be because they all stay relatively healthy and exceed expectations. No, it will be because they want to win more than the teams they play against.
With it being that simple, I have just finished applying for the head scouting position of every team in baseball. Surely one will see that my resume, which consists only of one sentence, makes me worthy of a job over some sabermetric dweeb. The resume simply states that, "I will find players who say they really, really want to win and our team will be the pants off everyone else and you should really hire me because this will work and using stuff like statistics to evaluate players is the most overrated thing in baseball in past decade."*
It's only a matter of time before the phone rings.
Click for more...
Posted by: David Wade
September 21, 2012
The “value” of holdsThursday morning, an Adam Hayes-penned an article appeared here at The Hardball Times regarding relievers and the shortcomings of the mainstream stats used to evaluate them.
Thursday evening, the Pirates lost their game against the Brewers to fall below .500 on the year as Pittsburgh continues to do a nifty imitation of last year's collapse.
These two items are related because of the box score that game produced.
After climbing out of an early 4-0 hole to take a 7-4 lead, the Buccos coughed up their late lead and fell by a score of 9-7. One of the pitchers most responsible for this loss was Chad Qualls, who surrendered three runs on three hits while retiring a single batter.
Qualls was credited with a hold.
Chris Resop came in next and gave up a run on two hits and a walk while recording two outs.
Resop took the loss.
Obviously, neither hurler pitched well, but Qualls clearly was worse. It is absurd for him to receive positive credit for his "contribution" while Resop was on the hook for the loss.
Holds, saves, wins, losses, blown saves—these traditional counting stats we attribute to pitcher performances simply don't do a sufficient job of assigning credit and blame. Yes, those with a sabermetric bent are well aware of this, so situations like this simply serve to provide more ammunition in the assault on these stats and the significance many fans—and mainstream media—attribute to them.
Posted by: Greg Simons
September 17, 2012
Upcoming all-time statistical milestonesOn Saturday night, as you may have heard, a bit of odd baseball history was made when Marlins infielder Jose Reyes muffed a play for the 500,000th recorded error in baseball history. It wasn’t that long ago that baseball had its 250,000th home run (Gary Sheffield hit it on Sept. 8, 2008). Last year on Independence Day, baseball had its 200,000th game.
So now that the quest for the 500,000th error is over, what’s the next upcoming all-time milestone to get its countdown?
First, let me preface this by saying none of the info is exact or official. (In fact, the 500,000th error isn’t really official either. Baseball-Reference.com founder/guru Sean Forman began his countdown to 500,000 noting that his info might be off due to occasional discrepancies in the historical record.
This info also comes from B-Ref, so the same caveat applies. Actually, it’s far, far stronger. I copied the data down years ago (and have updated it ever since), and there have to be some extra errors I made along the way. (And that’s even before you get into the fact that many of these stats haven’t even been recorded for all of baseball history.) Still, it should work out in general.
Finally, I ignore the National Association from 1871-75. I just plain don’t consider that to be a real major league. Some of the other countdown sites (all of them?) include it, though.
Anyhow, here are the countdowns upon us from most recent onward:
70,000 (known) intentional walks: early 2013: The stat only began to be kept in the 1950s, but we topped 69,000 earlier this year. The season should end at 69,800 or so intentional free passes. It looks like early May or so of next year we’ll get to 70,000.
14,000 balks: early 2013. We began this season with 13,797 balks by my count. We’ve had 145 so far this year. We should get another 15 or so. Thus, around the quarter the way through next year, MLB will hit 14,000.
100,000 hit-by-pitch: 2013: By my reckoning, we’re on the verge of our 99,000th sore rib. There were over 1,500 last year, and there are already over 1,300 this year. This one will definitely fall in 2013.
14,000,000 at-bats: very end of 2013 or very early 2014: From 1876-2011, I tally 13,672,838 at-bats. There were 165,705 in all major league baseball last year, so at that pace No. 14,000,000 will happen when some team plays its 159th game in 2013. Then again, if offensive levels fall a bit, it might not happen until 2014.
1,300,000th walk: early 2014: Based on my data and current rates, this should happen in April of 2014.
220,000th sacrifice hit: early 2014: It’s been recorded since 1894, and this should happen early in 2014.
11,000,000th putout: 2014: I can only assume this one has a pretty steady per-game rate. Expect this level to happen a third of the way through 2014.
600,000th relief pitcher: 2014: If anyone cares, it took until 1952 that baseball called on its 100,000th reliever. In a sign of how times have changed, we hit the half-million mark in 2007 and should make the next 100,000 marker just seven years later.
220,000 grounded into double play: 2014: This one isn’t such a big deal. There were over 3,500 last year, so the next 10,000 level should occur every three years for this stat, which has only been kept by both leagues since the 1950s. Around 2034 or so we’ll have No. 300,000.
130,000th triple: late 2014 : There were 898 last year and have been over 830 so far this year. Baseball topped 129,000 this year, so it should get there next year, maybe in August. (On a complete side note, let’s pause to acknowledge that last year someone belted the 600,000th double, unloved and unrecorded).
2,000,000th strikeout: late 2014: It took until 1976 for 1,000,000 strikeouts to happen, but the pace has picked up since then. (In a quirk, because some leagues didn’t used to record batter strikeouts, we won’t have our 2,000,000 whiff in hitter stats until 2017 or so).
16,000,000th plate appearance: 2015: Due to expansion and the 162-game schedule, we get over 180,000 of these a year. The 15-million marker apparently fell around 2010, and 16 million should come up around 2015.
70,000th sacrifice fly: mid-2015: This stat has only been around since the middle of last century. There are apparently over 1,000 of these per year.
300,000th stolen base: late 2015 or early 2016: This stat also wasn’t kept back in the 19th century, but we’re a little over three years from there given recent trends.
140,000th complete game: late 2016 or early 2017: There have been over 139,000, but the way the game goes these days, it’ll take several years to finish off the last 1,000.
100,000th known caught stealing: late 2018 or early 2019: In reality, there have been far, far more than 100,000 caught stealings already. But this is one of those stats that wasn’t officially recorded for a while.
70,000th save: late 2018 or early 2019: Who knew it would take so long for the save milestone to be reached? About half of all games have a save now, and it’s hard to have a higher percentage than that, so this rate isn’t likely to rise. We just had No, 60,000 back in 2011, so it’ll take several years to get to the next level.
300,000th home run: 2019: There are well over 4,000 a year, so it shouldn’t take the game that long to go from 250,000 to 300,000.
5,000,000th assist: 2020: Here’s a stat no one pays any attention to, but there are nearly 50,000 per season.
2,000,000th run: late 2020 or early 2021: The millionth run was scored by Bob Watson in 1975, and that was a big news item at the time, so I can only assume people will pay attention to this one when it comes around.
4,000,000th hit: late 2020 or early 2021: Wouldn’t it be something if the 4,000,000th hit drove in the 2,000,000th run? It’ll never happen, but one can always dream.
6,000,000th total base: 2023: Yeah, it’ll take a while.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
July 26, 2012
The TTO kingsThis morning, in my Currently HIstoric column, a commenter wondered who had the TTO (as in Three True Outcomes—homers, walks and strikeouts record (Adam Dunn is currently on pace to finish with 424).
I gave the information I had on hand, but I hadn't finished looking into it, and I was sure I was missing something. Time for some methodical research. What you will see below is a list of the top 20 TTO seasons ever. I am reasonably certain this is correct, though I may have missed one or two.
1. Mark McGwire, 1998 - 387
2. Ryan Howard, 2007 - 353
3. Adam Dunn, 2004 - 349
4. Ryan Howard, 2006 - 347
5. Adam Dunn, 2006 - 345
6. Jim Thome, 2001 - 345
7. Barry Bonds, 2001 - 343
8. Jack Cust, 2008 - 341
9. Jim Thome, 2003 - 340
10. Mark McGwire, 1999 - 339
11. Sammy Sosa, 2001 - 333
12T. Jim Thome, 1999 - 331
12T. Adam Dunn, 2009 - 331
14. Ryan Howard, 2008 - 328
15T. Jim Thome, 2000 - 326
15T. Adam Dunn, 2008 - 326
17. Adam Dunn, 2002 - 324
18. Adam Dunn, 2005 - 322
19. Mike Schmidt, 1975 - 319
20T. Barry Bonds, 2004 - 318
20T. Mark McGwire, 1997 - 318
20T. Jeff Bagwell, 1999 - 318
You'll notice that several players appear multiple times, with Dunn dominating the list. He has six of the top 20 seasons right now, and will make that seven before the year is over. Also, if he stays on his current pace, he will have moved the TTO game to a new level.
Also of interest, though these numbers are mostly the product of the modern era, Mike Schmidt does slide in at number 19 with his 1975 season. He also has another season with 316 TTOs. Babe Ruth also has a season over 300, so these kinds of seasons weren't unheard of before the late 1990s, but they were much rarer. This is mostly due to the baseball-wide increase in strikeouts (in Ruth's on
Posted by: Jason Linden
October 27, 2011
How good has Mike Napoli’s World Series been?With the World Series having shifted to St. Louis for good, we won't be able to hear the catchy "Na-Po-Li!" chant echo throughout Arlington anymore. However, Texas' catcher will still be heard and felt in a big way for the rest of the series and will likely be named series MVP if the Rangers close out their first world championship.
Mike Napoli has been so strong offensively in the eighth spot in the Rangers lineup that he's outperformed every player in this series except, perhaps, Cardinals hitter Albert Pujols. Even Pujols' batting average, RBI and slugging percentage don't match up to Napoli's production over the first five World Series games. In fact, if we look back at the cleanup hitters in the past five Fall Classics, it seems like Napoli has out-produced them all.
Slash Line HR RBI R XBH Napoli 2011 .308/.389/.846 2 9 2 3 C. Ross 2010 .235/.381/.471 1 2 5 2 Guerrero 2010 .071/.125/.071 0 2 0 0 A-Rod 2009 .250/.423/.550 1 6 5 4 Howard 2009 .174/.240/.391 1 3 3 3 Howard 2008 .286/.375/.762 3 6 3 4 C. Pena 2008 .118/.250/.176 0 2 1 1 M. Ramirez 2007 .250/.333/.313 0 2 3 1 M. Holliday 2007.294/.294/.471 1 3 1 1
Posted by: Shlomo Sprung
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