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Archive for November, 2010

My head just exploded…

Posted by Andy on November 9, 2010

...because Derek Jeter won another Gold Glove award.

EDIT: of the 47 shortstops who get a fielding runs number in the PI in 2010, Jeter has the 46th-best total. Yeah, 45 shortstops generated better fielding run totals than he did. This excludes guys who changed teams mid-season, due to a PI bug that I am alerting Sean to.

139 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Options for the Automatic Player Linker – Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by Sean Forman on November 9, 2010

Automatic Player Linker / Add your site to our newsfeeds

I've added some customizations to the automatic player linker. Previously, there were no options and it would only search players active since 2006, both majors and minors, and would add a bold face to each link we found.

I've now tweaked this, so you can create your own bookmarklet that allows you to select any first year (for example 1871-2010) for the majors and back to 2006 for the minors.

I've also allowed you to turn off minors linking completely and turn off the bold face added to the links.

Enjoy and I'll certainly consider any additional feature requests.

Note that if you run a blog and use the linker already, it will continue to work as previously designed, so there is no requirement to update the code.

3 Comments | Posted in Announcements

Derek Jeter has the Yankees over a barrel

Posted by Andy on November 9, 2010

Derek Jeter is going to get grossly overpaid by the Yankees. Multiple reports suggest that Jeter will receive a 3-year contract for $15 to $20 million per season. That would put him among the highest-paid players in MLB despite being worth just about 1 win above replacement last year. In each of the 3 previous years, he was worth an average of about 4 wins above replacement, still putting him well below to top echelon of players. (Albert Pujols has been worth about double that, for example.)

However, the Yankees don't have any other good options, other than bringing back Jeter on a big-money, multi-year deal. In brief, here are the reasons:

  • He is the face of the franchise. He is the captain and the symbol of all of their success since 1996. Jeter makes more money in endorsements than any other athlete and his image cannot easily be replaced. Jorge Posada is already too old and ineffective as a player. Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera don't have enough face time on camera. Alex Rodriguez is not likable enough and has too much controversy. Mark Teixeira has been in the background to this point and didn't play well enough this season. Robinson Cano has a very low profile. C.C. Sabathia only plays every 5 days. If they lose the face of their franchise, ticket sales will absolutely go down, as will revenue associated with merchandising (Jeter jerseys, etc.) The Yankees will lose far more than $20 million per year if they don't bring Jeter back. Eventually, someone will replace him as the face of the franchise, but since there is no heir apparent, it would be better for Jeter's departure to happen via retirement than walking as a free agent.
  • There are no star shortstops available on the free agent market. If the Yankees were replacing Jeter with someone like Hanley Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki, their fans would be much more receptive to Jeter's departure, viewing the move as a necessity given the circumstances. But if they now brought in Edgar Renteria or Cesar Izturis to replace Jeter--well that ain't gonna fly.
  • Jeter is going to reach 3,000 hits, almost certainly in 2011 barring a significant injury. (He's currently 74 hits shy.) The Yankees want to take advantage of this event and the corresponding bump in TV ratings and merchandise revenue, rather than having him go to some other team to achieve the feat. Remember, no Yankee has 3,000 hits. Jeter is going to be the first.

So, you better believe it--Jeter will be back and will be grossly overpaid. Hopefully (for him and his team) 2010 was a bit of an aberration and he hasn't fallen quite that far just yet. In 2011, he has a decent shot to post another 3 WAR or so, get 3,000 hits, and then think about moving to left field.

65 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Japanese Born Pitchers Who Played In MLB

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 8, 2010

The Oakland A's have won the rights to sign Hisashi Iwakuma to a contract.

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Very Brief Survey On Site Changes

Posted by Sean Forman on November 8, 2010

16 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Subscribe to the Play Index!

Posted by Neil Paine on November 8, 2010

The World Series is over, but Baseball-Reference's Play Index is never out of season. In case you don't already know about the PI, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. Using the PI, you can:

  • Search full-season or multi-year totals to find your own custom leaderboards - Look at the entire history of baseball from 1871-2010 with every year, team, and position available, or filter the results in a vast number of ways: by specific years, by age, by first six seasons or last ten seasons, by American League only, by Cubs only, by switch-hitters, by catchers, by outfielder or infielder, by year of debut, but active or retired, by Hall of Famer, by height and weight, by living or deceased, or by a range of common statistical categories. Then sort the results by any common statistic, by the teams with the most players matching that category, by players with the most seasons matching that category, or by most recent, youngest, oldest, final year, or year of debut, and others. You can now isolate 2010-11 free agents in your searches as well.
  • Search player game totals - Filtering on any of a dozen or more choices, search for games on a single player level, or on any batter from 1920-2010, or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Totals.
  • Search player games looking for the most consecutive games matching a particular set of criteria - This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter in the last ninety years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Streaks.
  • Search the records of a specific player - Output a detailed summary and play-by-play list of all events of a specific type from a single year or an entire career. For example, you can see all of Harmon Killebrew's triples or even his outs to the second baseman.
  • Search Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups - This tool presents a complete sortable list of batter or pitcher with totals for every opponent they faced by career or by year. Clicking on the player's name will lead you to a detailed output of their head-to-head plate appearances.
  • ...And more!

Personal Subscriptions to the Play Index cost $36 for a year, $6 for a month, or $2 for 24 hours. Subscriptions may only be used by a single user, and there are discounts for users sponsoring at least $35 in pages.

Organizational Subscriptions can be set up for either an unlimited number of users ($600/year, this includes three hours of custom programming and reporting to be used at your discretion), or for up to five users ($125/year, this includes one hour of custom programming and reporting to be used at your discretion).

There are Two Steps to Subscribe to the Play Index:

  1. Login to or create a Sports-Reference.com account (the same account used to sponsor pages).
  2. Already logged in (or just created an account)? Go to our subscription page to sign up.

Our Always-Available Free Trial: Non-subscribers can use the PI's features as much as you like. However, your outputs will be restricted to a limited number of results.

The Play Index comes with a money back guarantee. We will gladly return the unused portion of any Play Index Subscription should you be dissatisfied with the Play Index.

So go ahead, give the Play Index a try -- we're confident that once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

3 Comments | Posted in Administration, Announcements, Play Index, Site Features

Formula Predicts Value of Baseball Free Agents – NYTimes.com

Posted by Sean Forman on November 8, 2010

Formula Predicts Value of Baseball Free Agents - NYTimes.com.

A very basic look at what some of the free agents might get on the open market and a look at who might be the most valuable.

7 Comments | Posted in NYTimes

Hit By Pitch vs Home Runs

Posted by Andy on November 8, 2010

It turns out that there is a fairly strong correlation between HBP rates and HR rates.

I guess this isn't entirely surprising. A fair fraction of hit-by-pitches occur after one or more home runs, so when there are more homers, there are more batters getting hit by pitches.

Click through to look in more detail at the data.

12 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

.300/.400/.500 Catchers

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 7, 2010

I was just thumbing through an old STATS Inc. Baseball Scoreboard book - from 1994. (It's the green one.) Gosh, I miss those books. I have everyone from 1992 through 2001. Anywho, I was reading the section about Chris Hoiles season in '93 where he went .300/.400/.500 in BA/OBP/SLG. And, the question was "Is this the Golden Age For Catchers?" looking at the seasons posted in 1993 for Hoiles, Dutch Dalton, Chad Kreuter, Mike Piazza, Mike Stanley and Rick Wilkins.

28 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Post-season pinch-hit triples

Posted by Andy on November 7, 2010

Reader Kahuna Tuna brought this to my attention. There have been just 16 times that a player entered a post-season game as a pinch-hitter and hit a triple:

Rk Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO WPA BOP Pos. Summary
1 Aaron Rowand 2010-10-28 WS 2 SFG TEX W 9-0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0.002 9 PH
2 Brendan Harris 2009-10-09 ALDS 2 MIN NYY L 3-4 4 4 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.005 8 PH 3B
3 Ruben Sierra 2003-10-22 WS 4 NYY FLA L 3-4 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0.403 7 PH
4 Tom Goodwin 2003-10-10 NLCS 3 CHC FLA W 5-4 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.169 8 PH
5 Doug Glanville 2003-10-10 NLCS 3 CHC FLA W 5-4 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.380 2 PH LF
6 Pedro Feliz 2003-10-01 NLDS 2 SFG FLA L 5-9 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.126 9 PH
7 Al Martin 2001-10-20 ALCS 3 SEA NYY W 14-3 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.000 4 PH DH
8 John Vander Wal 1998-10-04 NLDS 4 SDP HOU W 6-1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0.069 5 PH
9 Dmitri Young 1996-10-13 NLCS 4 STL ATL W 4-3 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0.217 8 PH
10 Lonnie Smith 1992-10-11 NLCS 5 ATL PIT L 1-7 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.004 9 PH
11 Candy Maldonado 1989-10-28 WS 4 SFG OAK L 6-9 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.031 9 PH
12 Lenny Dykstra 1986-10-15 NLCS 6 NYM HOU W 7-6 5 4 1 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 -0.016 9 PH CF
13 Lynn Jones 1985-10-19 WS 1 KCR STL L 1-3 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.060 8 PH
14 Ty Cline 1970-10-03 NLCS 1 CIN PIT W 3-0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.286 9 PH LF
15 Andy Carey 1955-09-30 WS 3 NYY BRO L 3-8 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.046 9 PH
16 Gene Woodling 1952-10-01 WS 1 NYY BRO L 2-4 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.121 9 PH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/7/2010.

Brendan Harris entered his game as a pinch-hitter in the 6th and indeed tripled immediately, driving in the first run of the game. This was the game that later featured a 2-run HR by A-Rod in the bottom of the 9th and a walk-off homer by Mark Teixeira in the 11th.

Lenny Dykstra also tripled in his first PA, coming in the top of the 9th of his game. The Mets rallied for 3 runs that inning, sending the game to extra innings. Many of you will remember this epic playoff game that went 16 innings in the end.

Notice that as rare an event as a post-season pinch-hit triple is, it still happened twice in the same game when speedsters Tom Goodwin and Doug Glanville both did it for the Cubs in 2003 against the Marlins. That was Game 3 of the NLCS, a few games before Steve Bartman became famous.

Of the 6 pinch-hit triples to come in the World Series, Aaron Rowand's this year was the first time it actually helped the team win the game. All of the previous ones came in losses.

Thanks to reader Kahuna Tuna for emailing me the post idea and most of the analysis too.

8 Comments | Posted in Game Finders, Postseason

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