Greetings Sports Fans I'm Sean Forman the creator of Baseball-REference.com. Welcome to the third in our series of very occasional videos outlining features on Baseball-Reference.com.
It's April 1st 2009, and with this video, I'm going to introduce you to some of the features on the redesigned baseball-reference.com.
B-R was launched in early 2000, back when dialup internet was the norm and web design looked much, much different than it does today.
We didn't take the decision to redesign lightly. We've built up a lot of good will and a significant fanbase with the old site, so we didn't want to throw any of that away, but we felt the site was in need of an update for a couple of reasons.
In 2007, B-R merged with Basketball-Reference and Pro Football Reference to form the creatively named Sports Reference LLC. We've since launched Hockey Reference and Olympics @ sports reference. These sites were either built or rebuilt with a new infrastructure and a new style developed by BBR creator Justin Kubatko and myself. As a company we need a consistent look and feel and codebase for all of the sites. This make it easier for users to move from site to site and also makes it much easier for us to handle the construction and maintenance of the sites.
Second a lot of new tools and techniques have become available on the internet and we want to utilize them as much as possible, and I'll highlight some of those new features now.
Starting at our front page, you'll see many of the same components as before with some new twists.
First off, you'll notice our new logo designed by Hartwell Studio Works. We still have the quick index and the You are here navigation bars, and we've added a more box within the quick index to handle some of the site features that didn't make it onto the quick index.
We now have a box highlighting some of our blog content, the major site areas down the left hand side, the standings, today in baseball history and the Sporting News news feed.
The standings point out one of the major new features we've added to the site. Almost all tables are now sortable. Clicking on the header sorts the table by that column.
You still have the basic batting, pitching, and fielding stats on the primary player pages, (notice that thanks to Sean Smith, we've add total zone rating to fielding which converts a player's fielding stats into runs saved making for easy comparisons between players).
Again all of these tables are now sortable.
You can hide or show partial seasons when a player changed teams.
You can even convert the table to a csv format for easy importation into excel or pre-formatted text if that works better for e-mail and web forums.
One other feature we've added is that nearly all player tables now have easy row summation. Watch the cursor. When I click on one row it becomes highlighted. Clicking on another row selects the span and our server then computes the sum, yearly average and per 162 game average of that selected span. This feature works on full season and gamelog tables and we'll look to expand it to other tables as warranted. You can even get a permanent link if you want to e-mail your custom span to a friend.
In addition to new features we've added new data. Thanks to the good folks at retrosheet, we now have play-by-play data back to the 1954 season to go with hit location and pitch-by-pitch data back to the 1988 season.
We've always had a lot of play-by-play data, but now we have added a tremendous amount of summary data based on this play-by-play data to the player pages. That has required us to break up the player pages somewhat, so we've added detailed outputs for the retrosheet years for every player. To access this data each player page now has a navigation bar above the player's name which links to the detailed outputs for this player, and you can also reach them below the table headers which also link to the gamelogs, splits and more.
For batters we've added things like detailed baserunning, ratio batting, and situational hitting.
For fielding, We now report just about every fielding stat you can imagine, including detailed catcher baserunning
For pitchers we have items like starting pitching, relief pitching, and batting against. All of these tables are summable, sortable, and exportable.
But with all of this new data it isn't always clear what a particular column is, and going back and forth from the glossary can be awfully tedious.
So for each column, we have added tooltips to explain that column. All you have to do it just hold your mouse (w/o clicking) over a stat header and a description of the stat with pop up, with what we hope is useful description of the statistic.
These features likewise carry over to our team and league pages.
On our team pages, we have the standard stats on the front page with detailed pages for batting, pitching and fielding linked from a navigation bar just below the page sponsorship.
All of the options for a particular team/year appear there.
Team pages can still sort. For large tables we add a Ranking in the first column that gives the rank of the player in a particular stat.
And notice we have a checkbox which will exclude players for statistics where a minimum number of PA's or Innings are required like batting average or earned run average.
League pages have a similar setup with the standard stats on the front page and then detailed pages available via a navigation bar just below the horizontal ad on the page.
We begin with the basic standings and stats, but go much more detailed from there.
League registers and splits.
You can see we have registers for each of the stat outputs you saw on the player and team pages. For instance here is the ratio batting output. First is the team summary for this output and next is the player register. We can also sort these, for example if we wanted to know which players had the highest percentage of plate appearances that ended with a ball in play. Click on IP% and the page will be sorted showing those with 502 PA's. Keep in mind that for large tables such as this, some sorts can be really slow depending on your computer and your browser, so some patience may be warranted.
Just to highlight one other feature, we still have full league splits on the site. For instance here are the batting splits for the 1971 AL. You'll notice that the split names are red text. Red Text typically indicates that clicking the text will cause either a table to sort or some sort of window to open, not a popup but a window within the existing browser window. Here when we click on the split name for the league splits, we get a list of all of the teams' results for that split sorted by OPS, on-base plus slugging. Clicking on the permanent link, then opens a new page that is now sortable and shareable. And clicking on the team name in this new page will now show you all of the players on that team for that split.
Just one other feature I want to highlight
Minor league pages
Here we have the front page for our minor league section.
One other major data set we've added thanks to an agreement with the Society for American Baseball Research is a database of minor league statistics. This database has records for over 175,000 people and 4,000 major, minor and foreign leagues. Not all of the data is complete and there are important columns of data missing, but regardless this is a big leap forward in the amount of minor league data available to the public.
For example, we have Lefty Grove's minor league stats. Searching for Grove brings you to his major league page, but then clicking on Minors in his navigation bar will bring us to his minor league page.
For foreign players like Ichiro Suzuki, we are able to show the Japanese League teams he played on and for many years the rosters of those teams. We expect to continue expanding this section of the site over the next few years.
These are just the highlights of what we've added to the site. Be sure to delve in as there are many more new things we have added to the site.
Also please feel free to drop us a line via our feedback form on the site. Positive or negative we read it all and try to incorporate good suggestions whenever possible. Thank you for taking the time to watch this video and I hope you enjoy the upcoming baseball season.