"Sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things". -Marvin Heemeyer

When does a stat become meaningful?

 50 PA: Swing %
100 PA: Contact Rate
150 PA: Strikeout Rate, Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA
200 PA: Walk Rate, Groundball Rate, GB/FB
250 PA: Flyball Rate
300 PA: Home Run Rate, HR/FB
500 PA: OBP, SLG, OPS, 1B Rate, Popup Rate
550 PA: ISO

150 BF – K/PA, grounder rate, line drive rate
200 BF – flyball rate, GB/FB
500 BF – K/BB, pop up rate
550 BF – BB/PA

Workout day. I run back in from the field to get sunglasses. Locker room completely empty except Ichiro stretching on the floor and his translator sitting on the chair beside him. So we make small talk, and I ask him where he lives in Seattle because I lived in the suburbs.

Well, I had barely got the last word out when Ichiro says something in Japanse. Then his translator turns to me, deadpanned and straight-faced and says, “I’m going to mess with your house.” The way he said it was malicious, and Ichiro is on the floor dying laughing like it was the funniest thing ever. I was just like, “OK, I’ll see you guys out there.” I didn’t know what to say. It was weird.

Jason Bay

tRA is an improvement over FIP, but still not to the level of LIPS, xFIP, or QuikERA. FIP, while very useful and convenient, is flawed in the sense that it doesn’t normalize HR rate. The true peripherals are Ks, BBs, and G/F ratio. Not Ks, BBs, and HRs. The formulas for FIP and xFIP are:

FIP = (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP
xFIP = ((FB*.11)*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP

THT ranked them in the order of xFIP, tRA, FIP, and then ERA when measuring each stat’s predictive power of future ERA.

IMO, here’s how I would rank all of them:


Basically, the difference between LIPS and QuikERA is that BP’s runs created formula undervalues OBP, while LIPS uses the superior BaseRuns formula. The only problem with LIPS is that it is subsequently hard as hell to calculate. I wish Fangraphs would just replace FIP with xFIP since it is superior in every way.

SAS, unknown. Subject: Differences in LIPS, FIPs, and Flips

In the big inning, God created Heaven on Earth. And it was without form, and void. God separated the dirt from the grass. He called the grass Outfield and the dirt He called Infield. God made the Infield a 90-foot square and the Outfield not less than 400 feet to center and 320 feet down the lines. He declared this Fair Territory. All other territory, God then declared, was Foul.

And God divided the players into two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, to play The Game on His field. God called some of these players Pitchers and some of them Hitters. He placed a Pitcher precisely 60 feet 6 inches from a Hitter. Then God commanded that it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the ol’ Ballgame.

And God granted jurisdiction of The Game to lesser Gods, whom He called Umpires. God said the Umpires are infallible, blessed with Heavenly authority, whose judgment is not to be questioned under penalty of expulsion from The Game. And God looked at his creation and He was pleased. Then God created the Infield Fly Rule to confuse nonbelievers.

And God said, Let there be light beer, and there was. And, God said, let there be peanuts and hot dogs and overpriced souvenirs and let there be frosty chocolate malts with little wooden spoons that you can buy nowhere else except at this Heaven, which God called a Ballpark, and there was. God looked at His creation and it was good.

And the Lord God formed, from the dust, a collection of elite players in His own image. The Lord God then breathed the breath of life into His creation. God called this creation the National League.

And God said, It is not good for the National League to be alone. The Lord God shall make it a mate. And thus, while the National League slept, God took several of its top players and created the American League.

And God blessed The Game, saying, Be fruitful and multiply. Put teams in every city with deserving fans, God added, even if this occurs at the expense of starting-pitching depth.

From time to time, God understood, The Game would be corrupted by the Serpent. The Serpent was more cunning than any other beast and he would take many wicked forms: the Black Sox, segregation, the Designated Hitter, the Reserve Clause, dead balls, juiced balls, spit balls, corked bats, George Steinbrenner, AstroTurf, the 1981 strike, collusion, lockouts, Pete Rose, the 1994 strike, greenies, cocaine, HGH, Andro, steroids, $20 parking, corporate mallparks, Scott Boras, Donald Fehr, and Bud Selig.

But, God said, the goodness in The Game shall always prevail. As needed, the Lord shall bestow upon The Game a Savior. And the Savior, like the Serpent, can take many forms. The Savior shall remind Fans how blessed The Game truly is. The Savior shall be called by many names, including Cy, Matty, Honus, Big Train, the Babe, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Lou Gehrig, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, Buck O’Neil, Hank Greenberg, Red Barber, Harry Carey, Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck, Roberto Clemente, Ernie Banks, Hammerin’ Hank, Cool Papa, Dizzy, Lefty, Whitey, Stan the Man, Big Klu, the Say Hey Kid, Campy, Duke, the Mick, the Splendid Splinter, the Gas House Gang, the Big Red Machine, the Damn Yankees, Pudge Fisk, Pudge Rodriguez, Yaz, Pops, the Wizard of Oz, Fernando, George Brett, Moonlight Graham, Roy Hobbs, Wild Thing Vaughn, Bingo Long, the Ryan Express, Donnie Baseball, Rickey, Eck, the Big Unit, the Cactus League, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Camden Yards, Rotisserie Drafts, Web Gems, Derek Jeter, Dontrelle Willis, Vlad Guerrero, and, from the Far East, Ichiro. And, God guaranteed, there are many more to come.

God looked upon His creation and He was very pleased. And God spoke, yelling, PLAY BALL!

SAS, unknown. Regularly posted around the start of the season.

No introduction necessary, I remembered you from virtually every class either of us took at LFHS.

Things are super busy here—it’s our last home game today—so I am frantically packing for…well I’m not sure what. Maybe KC, maybe Venezuela (for winter ball), maybe Chicago (which would include trips to Michigan, Alabama, Toronto, and Connecticut) to see friends and family. So, needless to say, it’s been pretty nuts.

Anyways, I haven’t had much of a chance to see what Something Awful is, though I did briefly glance at it and it looks quite funny, but I can say either way, I won’t have much time in the next week or so to post. So, can I defer my decision for a bit? Regardless, I wanted to get back to you now so you knew I got the email and am interested.

It is an unfortunate position to have to censor what I say and am a part of, but I hope you guys all realize it is a fact of life. I will check the site out to see if it’s something I’ll be able to do without getting “fired.” We have countless meeting each year about how the media and the internet are worse foes than the Yankees, so I already feel like I’m toeing the line with my blog. I hope you guys understand either way. I will be in touch and once things slow down here, I will let you know if I feel comfortable having an account on the site.

Thanks for thinking of me and I very much appreciate the offer to set up my account and pay for it, I’m quite flattered.

It was also very nice to get in touch with you again, I hope everything is going well for you!

SAS, Chris “Disco” Hayes on joining SA.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of old baseball lore
While I nodded, nearly sleeping, suddenly there came a beeping,
As of some one gently tweeting, tweeting on my monitor.
‘Thy news comes unasked for,’ I muttered, ‘beeping on my monitor -
Just one look, then nothing more.’

Ah, delicious was the warm thrill of our dominance in April,
For each and every Phil the NL East a group above to soar.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - Halladay could cause no sorrow
Nor his game pitched cause more woe - more woe in Philly’s war -
For the war was fought each day and winner shown in final score -
T’would the East make ‘10 a bore?

And the pulsing ghostly pleading of mozilla’s twitter feed
Thrilled me - filled me with uneasy nerves as such I’d felt before;
So that now, to still the shaking of my hand, I sat repeating
”Tis some baseball score entreating reading on my monitor -
Some late baseball score entreating reading on my monitor; -
That it is, and nothing more,’

Presently my hand grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
‘Sir,’ said I, ‘or Madam, truly your updates I abhor;
For the fact is I was sleeping, and so gently you came tweeting.
And so faintly was the beeping, beeping on my monitor,
That I woke once I had heard it’ - here I clicked to view the score; -
A link was there instead, and more.

Deep into that blue link peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no fan had dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the blue link gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word I swore.
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word I swore.
Merely this, as I read more.

Proving I was not still sleeping, back into mozilla beeping,
Again I heard a tweeting somehow louder than before.
‘Surely,’ said I, ‘surely that is news repeated;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my hand be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
‘Tis but madness, nothing more!’

In dark thoughts my mind now loomed, when startling noise came from my room,
In there stepped Amaro of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obesiance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, came straight through my room’s closed door -
Stood atop old pizza boxes strew about my cluttered floor -
Stood in silence, nothing more.

Then this mortal man beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the goofy stern decorum of the countenance he wore,
‘Though thy team be filled with talent, thou,’ I said, ‘more goof than gallant.
Foolish Rube, thy offer made from wandering on Howard’s floor -
Tell me all thy lordly reasons for making such an offer poor.!’
Quoth Amaro, “Pay him more.”

Much I marveled this ungainly man to hear discourse so plainly,
Though his answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with foolish thoughts and reasoning so poor -
Dead nor living man had led the Phillies whole front office corps,
With such plan as ‘Pay him more.’

But Amaro, sitting lonely on the placid box, spoke only,
That one phrase, as if his soul in that one phrase he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not one syllable he stuttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered ‘Other basemen paid before -
With such skills have aged so poorly, so thy logic must be more.’
Then the Rube said, ‘Pay him more.’

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
‘Doubtless,’ said I, ‘what you utter is your only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom some financial disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his team that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Pay him - Pay him more.”

But Amaro still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled my cushioned seat in front of man and box and door;
Then, upon the carpet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this portly man of lore -
What this glib, ungainly, goofy, garrish, portly man of lore
Meant in croaking ‘Pay him more.’

This I say engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the man whose beady eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s duct taped lining that the light bulb gloated o’er,
Just whose contributions at the plate now cause our runs to score,
His at-bats, ah, pay him more!

Then, mesaw, in future tense, a mighty bat swing for the fences
Swung by Howard whose great strikeouts all mankind had seen before.
‘Wretch,’ I cried, ‘thy God hath lent thee - by some angels he has sent thee
Dingers - dingers and some RBIs from memories of yore!
Rube, this price for RBIs is too high to ignore!
Quoth Amaro, ‘Pay him more.’

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still if man or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this baseball team enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there payroll extra? - tell me - tell me, I implore!’
Quoth Amaro, ‘Pay him more.’

'Prohpet!' Said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if man or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that sport we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant seasons
It shall clasp a great free agent, see waning might restored -
Clasp a rare and prized free agent, see waning might restored?’
Quoth Amaro, ‘Pay him more.’

'Be that phrase our sign of parting, man or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
‘Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Jeterian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of the harm thy soul has spoken!
Leave my championship unbroken! - your decisions I deplore!
Take thy ballpoint from my heart, and take thy form from off my floor!
Quoth Amaro, ‘Pay him more.’

And Amaro, never quitting, still permitting, still permitting
Words of malice and derision to appear upon my monitor;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the thought that was us creaming all the NL is no more;
And my team from out the basement that awaits us in year four
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

SAS, Buane.