Friday, June 27, 2008

Checking in Again

Kind of a slow morning for me at SABR. At 10:30 I saw a presentation about the 3000 hit club. The presenter was nice, but it was pretty basic: a statistical analysis of how long it took the members of the 3000 club to hit various milestones, and some Favorite Toy analysis about who might get there yet. I am by no means a stat guy, but when the presenter insisted on measuring milestones in terms of the at bats it took to achieve them instead of plate appearances, I kind of lost whatever enthusiasm I had for it.

The presentation right after that was about PITCH f/x. I decided to give it a miss because I had some work stuff I had to do (and I had to vent about Gary Carter in the below post), but I feel kind of bad about it now. Again, not a stat guy, but I really should know more about how to use, talk, and think intelligently about PITCH f/x. I'll just treat it like I treated most of college: blow off lecture and make it up with independent study and a healthy amount of bullshit.

In a few minutes I'm going to walk over to the Cleveland Public Library for an Author's Roundtable. The panel includes (1) Charles Alexander, who has written books about Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, John McGraw and others; (2) Tom Swift, a local writer who has recently written a book about Chief Bender; and (3) Rob Neyer, who I understand writes some sort of Internet column for a major media concern.

At 1:30 there's a panel of former Cleveland Indians, including Len Barker, Dave Burba, Joe Charboneau, Vern Fuller, and Ken Rhomberg. I may go to that, but (a) my thirst for interest in any of those guys is modest at best and quenchable from other sources; and (b) McClary and I were really wanting to get some Mexican for lunch at this place we saw over on East 4th Street yesterday.

Tonight is the Reds and Indians game. I may or may not check in to update/blog between now and then. I'll definitely have something either late tonight or tomorrow about the game and other stuff.

1 comment:

Drew said...

As far as Pitch f/x, I get everything I need to know from Josh Kalk, who as far as I know does the most with this stuff right now. Which isn't to say there's no other good research going on, but I love his articles, which I can regularly locate at The Hardball Times.

As far as using AB vs PA for time to 3,000 hits, there are some valid reasons for doing that. If your argument is that being the fastest to 3,000 hits is an impressive accomplishment, then using PA instead of AB is actually penalizing guys for walking, and we all know that's a bad thing. If 2 guys got to 3,000 hits in 12,000 at-bats, but one guy had 12,500 PA, and the other had 15,000 PA, the gut reaction is to say that Mr. 15,000 wasn't as good of a hitter as Mr 12,500, but it's patently absurd to draw that conclusion. Of course, you can just as easily display each guy's batting average, OBP, and SLG when they hit 3,000 and use that as a much better indicator of who had the best career to that point.