LATEST STORIES FROM BASEBALL REALITY TOUR

Bienvenidos, Javier

We're not sure how long MLB lords allow this video online, ominously dreading that moment, whereas we may auspiciously enjoy this here and now, or, um, after a :03-second Pepsi ad:Welcome to the big leagues, Javier Baez!It says "embed" but it doesn't "embed". The Selig Era.Look at that 80 power!
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August 06, 2014  |  Discuss

Today's Lesson in Volatilty of Pitching

It's been a long night, and just for fun, we checked in on the leaders in Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) metrics at the moment, morning of June 9, 2014. The Top 10 of FIP leaders, with at least 10 innings pitched this season, make up a striking leader board. Among a sprinkling of routinely dominant stars (Kimbrell, Chapman, and Holland), we see rebounding former stars (Soria...
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June 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Poof, It's Gone

Elite pitching with World Class velocity will be short lived. The human arm is not built to accelerate and decelerate at the speeds and angles required to throw a baseball over 90 mph. The risks to ill effects increases the harder each pitcher throws. For pitchers to stay healthy, they need to emulate Greg Maddux more than Pedro Martinez. On the other hand, no-one would kick a...
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May 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Fun With MLB Leaderboards

Some really scary news about Antarctica melting was in the New York Times today. A radical climate shift is most certainly upon us. I'm sitting in a sweltering office in midtown Manhattan. There was snow in these parts less than a month ago, and it's over 85 degrees today.Instead of running for the presumed safety of the Mexican hills, my humanity led me to an easier escape...
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May 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Players of the Fortnight

Lots of changes happening at the HQ of the ol' blog. I quit my job on Friday, which was a unique experience. Saturday, my baby daughter turned one fortnight old, which we celebrated with a brief walk in the park. As we revisit our most frequently used writing device, we get to give awards to the best players of the past 2-weeks. It just happens to be to the best players since...
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May 04, 2014  |  Discuss

On J.P. Arencibia

While considering J.P. Arencibia for my Hacking Mass team on Baseball Prospectus, I wondered how he managed to get 497 plate appearances with a .227 on-base percentage. After a quick spin of the Baseball-Reference Play Index, we find that only one person in baseball history had a season with more plate appearances and a lower on-base percentage than J.P. Arencibia in 2013.That was...
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April 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Mets Legend, Desi Relaford?

This happened yesterday, but in this Mets fan's defense, Desi Relaford's best season was with the Mets.According to Fangraphs, Desi Relaford earned -0.7 WAR over his 11-year career, in spite of 2.0 WAR in his one season with the Mets. Baseball-Reference tells a similar story, with -0.5 WAR for his career in spite of 2.2 WAR with the Mets.
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April 01, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 MLB Season Preview

It's been a brutally cold winter across most of the Northern hemisphere this year, with feeble warmth from the hot stove. We are ready for warm weather and ballgames. At least the ballgames start this week. Let's look forward to the upcoming season with predictions on standings, the postseason, and awards. Please add your predictions to the comments. Enjoy!NL East Predicted...
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March 31, 2014  |  Discuss

Fun with Spring Stats

We like to have fun with all kinds of stats over here. Usually, we look for something more valuable than a minuscule sample size of Spring Training stats that are almost meaningless because of varying competition levels and the uncertainty of some players goals in each plate appearance. Because the outcome of Spring games mean nothing, some pitchers could be looking to work on a...
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March 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Cleveland Indians 2014 Season Preview

Our series of interesting* team preview posts begins on the shores of the Cuyahoga River. In his first season at the helm of the Cleveland clubhouse, Terry Francona exceeded most expectations. The 2012 Indians went 68-94, but they turned things around all the way to 92 wins and an appearance in the AL Wild Card Game last year. This offseason, the front office was challenged with...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Handsy Grandsy

Thanks to our friends at reddit for the GIF.
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March 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Baseball Organizational Replacement Value

As Vince Genarro wrote seven years ago, "A team’s location on the win-curve—their absolute level of wins—has a dramatic impact on the value of a win." Every year, we draw a line for replacement level at each position, usually described as the production of a player who could be signed as a free agent or called up from the minor leagues to replace an injured, traded...
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February 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Who Said Mike Trout's Not Perfect?

A special "thank you" goes out to Sam Miller for mentioning, on Effectively Wild, that he sometimes goes to BrooksBaseball.net for a quick snapshot of a player. Sam is right. It's great. It succinctly tells you a lot about a pitcher's repertoire or a batter's approach at the plate.A typical write-up for a batter will say something like this, from the Hitter...
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February 04, 2014  |  Discuss

How May We Compare Slash Line Trends?

Former Mariners' Prospect, Wladimir Belentien, has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. While reviewing historical free agents available this late in the offseason, I stumbled across his Baseball-Reference page. I was pretty shocked to see such a steep increase in the 3-year trend of Belentien's slash lines from Japanese baseball. A 44-point increase from 2011...
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February 01, 2014  |  Discuss

MLB's Most Underrated Team

In response to Brian Kenny...2013 All-Underrated Team: 1b: Belt 2b: Infante SS: Lowrie 3b: Seager C: Lucroy LF: Nava CF: Rasmus RF: Venable— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) January 27, 2014... below are some thoughts on the 2013 All-Underrated Team:First BaseBrandon Moss, Oakland A'sKenny makes a strong choice with Brandon Belt. It seems like Belt's been a part-time player...
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January 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Yankee Third Base Options

As soon as Alex Rodriguez's 162-game suspension was announced, baseball writers and bloggers speculated as to who'd play 3rd base for the Yankees.Jay Jaffe summarized internal and free agent candidates to replace A-Rod as"a fairly dismal array of options". Including Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan as candidates, Jaffe suggests the Yankees find an upgrade via trade...
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January 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Rambling On, Revisited

Buster Olney reported in his column today that, contrary to trade speculation earlier in the season, David Price will likely stay with the Rays this season. "Ninety percent chance he stays," one rival executive said. "The [trade] market hasn't materialized."AP Photo/Charles KrupaThis makes sense. Most teams have learned from the mistakes of teams like the...
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January 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Walking from Philly to Oakland

Have you ever heard of a ballplayer from the 1920s and '30s named Max Bishop? More than likely, you have heard of the '27 Yankees, with their menacing nickname: Murderers' Row. Max Bishop was not a member of Murderers' Row.Grove, Gehrig, Simmons and CochraneOn the contrary, Max (or "Maxie") Bishop was the Second Baseman for Connie Mack's great Philadelphia...
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January 07, 2014  |  Discuss

Of Win Shares and WAR

Does it mean anything if WAR does not align with Win Shares?Working on a project for another site, had me doing an analysis of Orel Hershiser, Bret Saberhagen, and Steve Garvey.avWAR*Bret Saberhagen 59 (4.6 per 200 IP)Orel Hershiser 49 (3.1 per 200 IP)Steve Garvey 38 (2.6 per 650 PA)*Average of fWAR and rWARCareer Win SharesGarvey 279 (19.2 / 650 PA)Hershiser 210 (13.4 / 200...
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January 03, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Hall of Fame "Ballot"

We began this post a couple of months ago. We've written thousands of words about whom we would, and would not, vote for if we had a Hall of Fame ballot. For the sake of our readership, we've decided to strip this down to the bare minimum. For example, how long would you stay on this site if 3,000 words in, we start getting into why we wouldn't vote for Ray Durham?This...
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December 31, 2013  |  Discuss

2013 Holiday Season "Now Playing" (ranked)

It's been a long time since we've had a not-baseball post.With the best time of the year to go to the movies upon us, below is a humbly ranked list of cinema options this holiday season:American HustleInside Llewyn DavisHerThe Wolf of Wall StreetNebraskaPhilomenaDallas Buyers ClubOut of the FurnaceAnchorman 212 Years a SlaveDelivery ManGrudge MatchThe Book ThiefThe Secret...
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December 21, 2013  |  Discuss

Hall of Fame's Best Outsiders

Earlier this week, I emailed Graham Womack my submission for Baseball: Past and Present's fourth annual "50 Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame" project.Back in the Summer of 2010, we assembled our first occasional (non-annual) non-Hall of Famers squad. At the time, we knew we wouldn't do it every year, and we haven't done it since.Without out further ado,...
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December 14, 2013  |  Discuss

Fangraphs Spray Charts Are Here!

Baseball fans were given a late Hanukkah / early Christmas present today, when David Appelman announced that Fangraphs now has batted ball and fielded ball spray charts for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, courtesy of Inside Edge.As David describes the various Spray Charts:Hang Time: A plot of the bucketed hang time of batted balls. Home runs are broken out separately, but all fly balls...
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December 11, 2013  |  Discuss

Reasons MLB Run Scoring is So Low

AL and NL runs scored/game were both at their lowest level since 1992.— P (@Toirtap) November 19, 2013 People have differing reactions to the statement above.First, some context...Average Runs Scored per Game1919: 3.88 R/G1920: 4.36 R/GBabe Ruth, in 1930, hit 49 home runswith a .493 OBP (Getty Images)1930: 5.55 R/G1940: 4.68 R/G1950: 4.85 R/G1961: 4.53 R/G1969: 4.07 R/G1984: 4...
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November 19, 2013  |  Discuss

3-Year Batting, Pitching and Fielding Stats

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on winning their third World Series in ten years. Narrative and praise can be bestowed upon any player, manager, coach, or executive, for their success the past decade. Many in the media have praised David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes for rallying the team with enthusiasm. Sure, encouraging players to focus and feel good through camaraderie exist...
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November 17, 2013  |  Discuss
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