Following is a list of questions you might be asking yourself about The Hardball Times. Such as…
What is The Hardball Times?
The Hardball Times is a bunch of people who like to write about baseball. The site was founded in the early spring of 2004 by Aaron Gleeman and Matthew Namee (Bill James’ research assistant at the time). Aaron and Matthew also recruited Dave Studeman (from Baseball Graphs) to help create and maintain the site.
The fundamental idea was for The Hardball Times (we usually just refer to it as THT) to be a robust baseball website, featuring outstanding commentary, analysis and research. It was not conceived as a blog but an edited online magazine, with in-depth articles each day. Aaron, Matthew and Dave were among the ten founding writers. Here’s a link to our very first article. We have published over 15,000 articles since.
Very impressive. So what’s happening now?
A couple of years ago, we decided that it would be easier to work with another site than continue to go it alone. So we combined resources with FanGraphs, a great baseball stats and content site. Now, THT features one really good article a day while FanGraphs covers the newsworthy items, fantasy baseball and other baseball topics.
That one good, in-depth article a day is meant to be interesting, insightful and fun. We feature analysis, commentary, economics, historical research, fiction, poetry and just about anything else that might tickle your fancy. And by going in-depth on just one subject a day, we effectively complement FanGraphs’ many newsworthy articles and reports.
Starting in early 2014, the site was overhauled to reflect this singular focus and around this time, Dave Studeman passed the site’s reins to Paul Swydan.
Are you guys any good?
We like to think so. Our work has been cited by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated, among other mainstream media types. We’ve been leaders in sabermetric, PITCHf/x and fantasy baseball analysis. Our historical writers, such as Steve Treder and Shane Tourtellotte, have done amazing things re-imagining baseball’s past.
A number of our writers have been hired away by baseball teams and mainstream media. Aaron and Craig Calcaterra both write for NBC Sports. Carlos Gomez used to write about pitching mechanics on our site; now he’s a minor league coach for the Diamondbacks. Josh Kalk was one of the early Pitchf/x analysts and was hired by a major league team based on the exposure he got here. Mike Fast now works for the Houston Astros. Several of our writers have also consulted for major league teams. Studeman even won a SABR Research Award for his article about the most Critical At-Bats of All Time, and the site’s writers are regularly nominated for SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards.
A few years ago, the TV show NUMB3RS ran a show about a baseball geek who used a mathematical formula to prove that a certain baseball player was using steroids. The geek (who was a dead ringer for David Gassko) wrote for a site called “The Boxscore Times.” Mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
Forget the Internet. I’d rather read a book.
You’re in the minority on that one, but we’re also lovers of the printed-on-paper word. In fact, The Hardball Times has been publishing a baseball Annual since its very first year. We self-published the first Annual in 2004 and ACTA Sports liked it so much that they published our Annual from 2006 to 2012. A couple of years ago, we decided to self-publish the Annual again, and we’re happy to say that it continues to be a big success.
We have followed the same format each year. First there is a section that reviews the previous season division-by-division. Then there is a commentary section, featuring lots of thoughts and commentary on the season just past or baseball in general. Third is a relatively short history section, in which featured writers revisit some key events, teams and players from baseball’s glorious past. And finally, we have the sabermetric/analytic section with the latest and best mathematical and statistical trends and findings.
There is terrific content in every THT Annual. You can backorder them from our bookstore.
The Hardball Times only collects information from you necessary to make the site work. We only store basic information in our database, such as your name and email address, and we don’t store sensitive info, such as your credit card number. We will never, ever share this information with anyone else.
Can we talk?
Sure, if you’d like, email managing editor Paul Swydan here.