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High Heat Stats

Posted by Andy on November 3, 2011

I'm happy to announce a new blog, High Heat Stats.

This blog will pick up where we left off here. I'm administering and authoring, plus John Autin and Raphy have agreed to write there as well.

Please come visit, subscribe to our RSS feed, comment, and contribute.

20 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Farewell and thanks

Posted by Andy on November 1, 2011

As the blog draws to a close, there are so many people I wish to thank:

  • First and foremost is, of course, Sean Forman. has been (and undoubtedly will continue to be) so influential, and four years ago I jumped at the chance to scribble on a tiny little corner of the massive colorful canvas he has so wonderfully painted. Sean is a credit to the sports community and has forever changed the way stats are developed, accessed, and utilized.
  • Neil Paine has been an excellent boss and sounding board for many of my ideas here, and I know has assisted Sean with many developing efforts over the last few years. He adds a lot of strength to the Sports-Reference team and will undoubtedly be a major part of accomplishments over the next few years.
  • I very much appreciate the contributions of the other authors here, but none more than Raphy. His writing style is quiet, but there is a big intellect and a very friendly guy behind those posts. Raphy developed numerous uses of the PI that nobody else seems to have thought of and taught me a lot over the last several years. We also engaged in countless interesting and useful baseball discussions.
  • Finally, there are of course all of you readers out there, without whom this blog would have been pointless. Your contributions are nearly beyond measure, and I have very much enjoyed developing virtual relationships with many of you over the past several years. There are too many of you to name individually, but I really appreciated the different perspectives from our group.

So I find myself without a baseball home on the internet. If you might be interested in having me contribute content, or if you just think I should check out some other site out there, please don't hesitate to drop me an email at andy ( at ) baseball ( dash )  reference ( dot ) com

Farewell and thanks!

60 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

B-R Blog End of Season

Posted by Sean Forman on November 1, 2011

One of the tough parts of running a business is deciding when to put more effort into something and when to not. After a lot of internal debate, we've decided to stop posting editorial content on the B-R blog.

This obviously has nothing to do with the quality of the content produced by our writers (Andy, Steve, Raphy, John, or Neil or any of the guest writers). Their posts were phenomenal. I always looked forward to their posts and know you did to. A big thanks to them for making this such a vital place for baseball discussion and analysis. As a small company, focus is vital for our success, and we are choosing to focus our energy on pumping out as much statistical baseball data as possible and that means cutting back in other areas.

None of the existing content is going to go away. We'll keep it up here for as long as the site is open (which we intend to be a very long time). If our writers should end up writing at new venues, we'll certainly post links to their new addresses here.

As best I can tell we've had a blog in one form or the other for eleven years now dating back nearly as far as weblogs as a form and the website itself (see outside the box on the front page from Dec. 2, 2000, First post on A-Rod signing with Texas). It's been a tough decision, but we really like baseball data and want to focus ourselves more there.

Lastly, thank you most of all for your patronage as our readers.

203 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Tony LaRussa retires

Posted by Andy on October 31, 2011

I hope we can all be half as successful as Tony LaRussa, who just announced his intent to retire.

He won 3 World Series championships and 3 more pennants and he managed in every single season from 1979 to 2011.

It's certainly interesting--LaRussa got a lot of heat this post-season for some gaffes (most notably having the wrong guy warming in the bullpen)--and I suppose it makes a lot of sense for him to go out on top.

Congrats, Tony, to a wonderful career!

Now here's an interesting thought--if you are a prime managerial candidate, are you more interested in Boston, St. Louis, or Chicago Cubs (if they replace Quade)?

92 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Andy on October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween to those of you celebrating today.

Some associations:

Orange and black



Trick or treat








and, of course, everybody's favorite:

Young, Frank, and Stynes (Reds' starting outfield)

I'm sure you can come up with some more, right?

70 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Most anticipated off-season issues

Posted by Andy on October 29, 2011

Well, well, well....another season has come and gone. Congrats to the Cardinals, the one team I said we couldn't make an excellent argument for winning the World Series. Right again.

As we head into the off-season, I'm curious to hear what issues you are most interested in.

Here are a few possibilities:

  • Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder: two big first basemen who may be switching teams. There were a lot of rumors about Pujols going to the Cubs, and with all the changes in that organization, I wouldn't be surprised to see them make a big splash of that type. It's hard to imagine Phat Albert wearing blue, though.
  • Playoffs: it seems likely that a second wild-card playoff spot will be added, and perhaps the leagues will be re-aligned (although the re-alignment part definitely cannot happen for 2012 since there's not enough time to re-work the schedule.)
  • Jamie Moyer: he turns 49 next month and is rehabbing to attempt to return to the majors. Will he do it, with the Phillies or at all?
  • Who might retire this off-season? Newly-crowned champion Arthur Rhodes? Other possibilities include Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Tim Wakefield, Omar Vizquel, and Jim Thome if he can't find a team.
  • What will happen with the Red Sox? Right now they seem like a team in turmoil, but in truth they were a team with high expectations in 2011 that missed the playoffs by one game. I'm not sure that all the rumored stuff--beer & chicken in the clubhouse, a manager with marital and substance abuse issues, some players that aren't gamers, a back-stabbing ownership--aren't quite common with most teams. With John Lackey out of the picture for 2012, it may just be a quiet winter for this team once they hire a new manager.
  • CC Sabathia: he'll almost certainly opt out of his contract. If he leaves, the Yankees' rotation is in shambles. Last year they got huge surprise contributions from Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon--that cannot be expected again. That leaves them with Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, and...? I hear the Red Sox are in the market for a starter, and CC didn't look slim in those pinstripes.

What else is going on this off-season? Which big issues are most interesting to you? If you are a fan of a particular team, I'd like to hear about your particular concerns for that team.

76 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

David Freese breaks the all-time single-season post-season RBI record

Posted by Andy on October 28, 2011

With his 2-run double in the 1st inning of Game 7 tonight, David Freese now has 21 RBI this post-season, an all-time record. This particular stat of course favors players on good teams from the wild card era, who tend to have more games each post-season.

Before tonight's games, here were the all-time leaders:

Rk Player Year RBI ▾
1 Scott Spiezio 2002 19
2 David Freese 2011 19
3 Sandy Alomar 1997 19
4 David Ortiz 2004 19
5 Alex Rodriguez 2009 18
6 Ivan Rodriguez 2003 17
7 Ryan Howard 2009 17
8 Rich Aurilia 2002 17
9 John Valentin 1999 17
10 Barry Bonds 2002 16
11 Manny Ramirez 2007 16
12 B.J. Upton 2008 16
13 Fred McGriff 1996 16
14 Benito Santiago 2002 16
15 Nelson Cruz 2011 16
16 Albert Pujols 2011 16
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/28/2011.

23 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Live Tweeting the World Series

Posted by Sean Forman on October 28, 2011

Baseball Reference (baseball_ref) on Twitter.

We've been live tweeting the World Series games this year and will be wrapping up our coverage tonight.  See our timeline (linked above) for some of the notes we pulled from our databases for last night's game.

5 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

David Freese: now THAT was the best World Series performance in history

Posted by Andy on October 28, 2011

Forget Pujols' 3 homers already. Last night, David Freese put together the greatest single-game offensive performance in World Series (and all post-season) history:

Rk Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 David Freese 2011-10-27 WS 6 STL TEX W 10-9 6 5 1 2 0 1 1 3 1 0 1 0.969 3.117 2.306 6 3B
2 Kirk Gibson 1988-10-15 WS 1 LAD OAK W 5-4 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0.870 1.796 4.830 9 PH
3 Steve Garvey 1984-10-06 NLCS 4 SDP CHC W 7-5 5 5 1 4 1 0 1 5 0 0 0 0.854 4.682 1.814 3 1B
4 Lance Berkman 2011-10-27 WS 6 STL TEX W 10-9 6 5 4 3 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 0.832 3.655 2.546 4 RF
5 Charlie Keller 1941-10-05 WS 4 NYY BRO W 7-4 5 5 1 4 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 0.826 3.545 2.234 5 LF
6 Cookie Lavagetto 1947-10-03 WS 4 BRO NYY W 3-2 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.822 1.881 6.750 1 PH
7 Michael Tucker 1998-10-12 NLCS 5 ATL SDP W 7-6 5 5 1 3 0 0 1 5 0 0 1 0.812 4.119 1.760 8 RF
8 Brian Jordan 1999-10-08 NLDS 3 ATL HOU W 5-3 6 5 1 3 1 0 1 5 1 0 0 0.806 4.271 2.742 4 RF
9 Stan Hack 1945-10-08 WS 6 CHC DET W 8-7 7 5 1 4 1 0 0 3 2 0 0 0.806 3.905 1.551 1 3B
10 Jimmy Rollins 2009-10-19 NLCS 4 PHI LAD W 5-4 5 5 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.754 1.635 2.368 1 SS
11 Francisco Cabrera 1992-10-14 NLCS 7 ATL PIT W 3-2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.737 1.674 10.750 9 PH
12 Gary Carter 1988-10-04 NLCS 1 NYM LAD W 3-2 4 4 0 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0.724 2.042 2.020 7 C
13 Devon White 1993-10-20 WS 4 TOR PHI W 15-14 6 5 2 3 1 1 0 4 1 0 1 0.719 4.189 1.767 2 CF
14 Thurman Munson 1978-10-06 ALCS 3 NYY KCR W 6-5 4 4 2 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0.718 2.719 1.582 3 C
15 Ivan Rodriguez 2003-10-03 NLDS 3 FLA SFG W 4-3 6 5 1 2 0 0 1 4 1 0 1 0.717 2.463 3.302 3 C
16 Gonzalo Marquez 1972-10-07 ALCS 1 OAK DET W 3-2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.710 1.646 6.990 8 PH
17 Dave Henderson 1986-10-12 ALCS 5 BOS CAL W 7-6 3 2 1 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 0.703 1.208 2.480 8 CF
18 Erubiel Durazo 2003-10-01 ALDS 1 OAK BOS W 5-4 6 4 1 2 1 0 0 3 2 0 0 0.701 2.659 2.837 2 DH
19 Lenny Dykstra 1986-10-11 NLCS 3 NYM HOU W 6-5 2 2 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0.685 1.382 3.380 9 PH CF
20 Alex Rodriguez 2004-10-06 ALDS 2 NYY MIN W 7-6 6 6 2 4 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0.684 3.182 2.105 2 3B
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/28/2011.

Move over, Kirk Gibson. Freese now has the highest single-game Win Probability Added in any post-season game.

By the way, Lance Berkman himself made #4 on that list, also from last night's game.

I don't know what will happen in the rest of Freese's career, but he has etched himself quite a place in the baseball history books. His totals so far this post-season: 17 games, 5 homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.235 OPS. Simply incredible.

97 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Roy Smalley Jr.

Posted by Andy on October 27, 2011

I was stunned to see on our front page that Roy Smalley Jr. had died, but it turns out that I was just confused.

I know that both Roy Smalley and his father of the same name played in the majors, and I always assumed that Roy Smalley Jr. was the decent-hitting middle infielder who played mainly for the Twins in the 1970s and 1980s. This Smalley (who, incidentally, is Roy Smalley III, not Roy Smalley Jr.) just turned 59 two days ago and is certainly way too young to have passed away (and thankfully he has not.)

It's Smalley's father who is Roy Smalley Jr. He was a light-hitting shortstop for mainly the Cubs and Phillies in the late 1940s and 1950s, and he died a few days ago at the age of 85.

Anyway, it's a shame that it took Mr. Smalley's death for me to correctly figure out who was who, but I'm glad that I finally did.

Roy Smalley Jr.'s 1950 season was quite interesting. He had career highs in HR, RBI, SLG, and a few other categories, and most by a large margin. He also had a career high in strikeouts and even led the league in that category. He had good power for a shortstop from that era, averaging 11 homers per 162 games for his career.

On a separate note, I will be live tweeting Game 6 of the World Series tonight. You can subscribe to my feed @AndyBBREF. This is sort of an experiment---not sure whether I will continue tweeting after tonight, but at least tonight you can get real-time stat updates during the game.

23 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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