Ohayo Gozaimasu, Ohio

Translation: Good morning.  Or in this case, Wake up! No, this is not a complaint that the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians failed to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Yes, this is a wake-up call to the Ohio-based baseball clubs that the 2014 season is approaching rapidly, and neither squad has done anything significant so far this […]

A Tribute to Jim Fregosi

When we were growing up in the early 1970s, we had fun saying Jim Fregosi’s name. It rhymed with Bela Lugosi, one of my favorite stars of the horror genre. Fregosi and Lugosi. We rhymed those names so often that other kids, the ones who didn’t follow baseball, must have thought it was Lugosi who […]

Vote for the SABR Research Awards

Here’s your chance to vote for the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards winners. The SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards will recognize baseball researchers who have completed the best work of original analysis or commentary during the preceding calendar year. Nominations were solicited by representatives from SABR, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, and Beyond […]

Ooooh, Piece of Candy!

Over the weekend, a link was passed around on the interwebs, and before it gets lost in the ether, I wanted to post it here, because it sounds pretty exciting: The Journal of Sports Analytics The roster the journal is boasting is quite impressive. These are some of the best and brightest minds the game […]

The Physics of the Pitcher’s Padded Cap

The history of head injuries to pitchers is pretty gruesome.  Despite this long record, it was not until recently that MLB approved optional padded cap for pitchers.  It isn’t rocket science, so it would not surprise me to learn that even our ancient simian relatives knew that padding reduces injuries.  However, the fundamental physics of […]

Feedback / “When The Sparrow Sings”

So, the site has been live for a little bit now. We think it came off pretty well, but podody’s nerfect, and we know that there are things that will change. So we want to make sure we keep hearing from you. We are hearing from you in the intro post, but it will continue […]

It’s Game Time

Baseball is unusual as team sports go.  For example, the limit lines are in play, not out of bounds.  The defense, not the offense, has the ball.  Finally, and in my view, the most distinguishing feature is the lack of a clock.  Some claim that baseball is freed from the tyranny of time, yet from […]

Larry Rocca’s conflict of interest

Larry Rocca is currently the Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Georgetown Prep in Washington D.C., which seems like a very rewarding job since he gets to give back to his alma mater. He used to cover the Mets for the Star-Ledger (and briefly the Yankees for Newsday) from 1997-2004. Before that he was […]

Me vs. reality, 2014

The Cooperstown election results came out today, so it’s time to compare my predictions with reality. Here is how I stacked up: Player Me Reality Greg Maddux 99 97 Tom Glavine 94 92 Frank Thomas 85 84 Craig Biggio 76 74.8 Mike Piazza 71 62 Jack Morris 70 62 Jeff Bagwell 62 54 Tim Raines […]

Remembering the wizardry of Paul Blair

I’ve seen Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, Devon White, Cesar Geronimo and even Willie Mays at the tail end of his career, but I can’t consider any of them the best defensive center fielder I’ve watched. That honor still belongs to Paul Blair, who died last week from a heart attack. When it comes to center […]

Trevor Bauer’s pitch design

Trevor Bauer uploaded a video talking about his pitch design, including a ton of high-speed video focusing on how he actually releases the ball: The overlay video at the end is especially cool, with this map of his intended destinations for all of his pitches: His pitches in question are: {exp:list_maker}Four-seam fastball Two-seam fastball Cut […]

Leverage Index by inning

Here’s a little something you may not have known: on average, games get less critical as the game progresses. In other words, on average for all games, the ninth inning is actually less critical and tense than the first when measured correctly. To illustrate the point, here is a table of the average Leverage Index […]

Three underrated acquisitions

We’ve heard the sexier names that have gone off the board this offseason: Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran. But in the midst of these bigger transactions, lesser-known players are still garnering major league contracts. Here’s some analysis on three major league acquisitions you may have missed that could have impact in 2014: 1) Giants […]

Nationals make great deal for Fister

On Monday night, news broke that the Tigers had traded starting pitcher Doug Fister to the the Washington Nationals for utility man Steve Lombardozzi, reliever Ian Krol, and pitching prospect Robbie Ray, according to Chris Cotillo. This one raised many eyebrows because it came out of nowhere and also because of the seemingly small return […]

Let’s discuss the THT Annual

This is the place to leave your questions, comments and complaints about the THT Annual. We’ll try to answer all questions as quickly as possible though we just might ignore your complaints. You can read about the Annual, including an abbreviated table of contents, in this post. You can purchase the Annual at Amazon as […]

10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski trade

10 years ago today a trade happened that really, truly, madly, deeply helped one team more than the other. This trade was special. Many trades are debacles on the field, but this one happened to be a debacle on and off the field. In fact, it’s arguable that the off-the-field stuff is what really makes […]

25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letter

Today marks a rather strange anniversary. For most of the baseball world, it doesn’t mean a thing. It had nothing to do with any game being played. (Who plays games in November anyway?) It wasn’t any transaction or front officer maneuvering. It was one guy who was underemployed writing a letter to another guy who […]

It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014

The 10th Hardball Times Annual is now available at your local online bookstore. I know it’s hard to believe, but we’ve done this thing 10 times now. I’m proud to say that I think this one is the equal of any of the others. Like most of the other Annuals, this one includes a recap […]