Baseball fandom is a many-splintered thing. As the season moves into a complex of motivations, biases and burdens, you just might wish for simplicity again.
We all know the outlines of the tall tale … baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. To this day, people argue over the true origins of the game. Some trace its roots to the late 1700s in New England, while others claim it is a variation of the British […]
Sunday’s getaway-day game between the San Francisco Giants and the host Atlanta Braves featured a play we don’t see too often, and a choice we see even less often. Buster Posey was awarded first base on catcher’s interference by Braves backstop Evan Gattis, but manager Bruce Bochy waved off the award. If Posey had gotten […]
We used to have this really cool thing on the old Hardball Times website. It was called the WPA Inquirer and it allowed you to look up the Win Expectancy and Leverage Index of any situation, compare it to another and then calculate the difference between the two. We call that last thing Win Probability […]
Breaking down a new page to be housed at THT, plus a week full of posts spawned from its creation.
The runner at second has a modest lead as the batter strokes a single through the right side. The hard-charging outfielder scoops up the ball and unleashes a cannon shot. The runner has turned third and is digging for home. A smile comes to the face of the batter as he rounds first to see […]
Everyone thinks Anna Karenina ends with the title character throwing herself under a train, finally destroyed by a passionate but ill-advised love affair. Sometime in the middle of spring training, I was talking with a friend and he mentioned how the Reds were about to break his heart for six months (we are both Reds fans). Nearly […]
The Stealing Home podcast comes to The Hardball Times.
It’s not news to anyone that Clayton Kershaw’s spring has been disastrous – it’s on ESPN, SportsCenter, blogs, news sites, and everything in-between. Those who remember 2013 will also recall that Kershaw had a poor spring then, but it was nothing like it was in 2014 – his ERA is more than twice what it was last […]
The name “John Curtis” has entered my consciousness on two occasions. One of them dates back to the old television show, The Waltons. Do you remember when Mary Ellen Walton, the eldest daughter to John and Oliva Walton, gave birth to a boy? He was given the name of John-Curtis Walton. The name of John […]
I’ll admit it; there are perks that come with working at the Hall of Fame. One of those benefits involves the occasional visit from a retired major leaguer. We had one just last week, when former Kansas City and Oakland A’s second baseman Dick Green came to Cooperstown. Accompanied by his wife, Lia, Green got […]
The charm of the National Pastime is in part due to the myths it inspires, from the creation story of Abner Doubleday, to the beginnings of the curveball and William Cummings. “Candy” Cummings claimed to have invented the curve in 1863 after noticing thrown clam shells bobbed and dipped in flight. What a delightful story! […]
Last week, Baseball America reported that someone in the Philadelphia Phillies organization contacted the NCAA about potential infractions involving the Phils’ fifth and sixth round draft picks, Ben Wetzler and Jason Monda respectively. Reports indicated that someone with organizational ties told the collegiate governing body that the two college juniors broke rules by using an […]
2/26 Update/Correction: The total number of shifts presented yesterday were wrong. In the database we were using, some of the records were duplicated. The duplicate records have been removed and the data should now be correct. You can find an updated Google doc with the updated data here. Sheet 1 has the player data, and […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
A death puts us in mind of mortality, and the days inside it.
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 […]