Posted by Neil Paine on April 6, 2010
I like charts & graphs, and I (obviously) like baseball, so I've been a fan of Craig Robinson's Flip Flop Fly Ball for a while now. It's good to see ESPN getting in on the infographic goodness as well...
"Robinson's graphics have become popular among seamheads, including ESPN.com baseball writer Rob Neyer and Sean Forman, the president of Sports Reference, which produces baseball-reference.com, where Robinson mines most of his data.
Both Forman and Neyer said they appreciate the simplicity of Robinson's work, derived from voluminous statistics.
'I'm not surprised anyone did it, but I'm very impressed with how he did it,' Forman said. 'His graphics are very clever. They present a story in a way that almost beat you over the head with how obvious they are, but you didn't realize it until you see it in graphic form.'
Neyer echoed those sentiments, while also pointing out the Robinson's cerebral approach.
'What I appreciate is thought process behind it,' Neyer said. 'But it's not just the ideas, it's that he has the talent and imagination to show it graphically in a way someone can grasp it immediately. His work almost always has the ability to tell that story in a few seconds, which is what is so compelling.'
One of my favorite features on the site? The "Minipops" -- can you guess who each one is? To me, it's pretty shocking (and awesome) how much of a player's essence he communicates in so few pixels, to the point that most of the minipops are easy to identify, often for reasons you can't put a finger on but you know are there. Craig obviously loves the game a great deal, and we're lucky that this British expatriate has decided to share his passion with fans everywhere.