WPA: A stat for everyone (except Francisco Cordero)

I understand a lot of the resistance from old-school baseball people and fans to advanced stats. I really do. Advanced stats can be confusing and, because of both their naming and the math that goes into them, intimidating. There’s also the problem that, dammit, I just want to talk baseball and not what somebody might theoretically do over the next so many years, especially considering this or that park factor.

Can’t we just talk about what happened last night?

Can’t we just talk about where our team is in the standings and how they got there?

If the above describes how you feel, I sympathize. I’m not in total agreement, but I do share your feelings to a certain degree. And I have good news — if you’re like me and seeking a middle ground, at least — there is an advanced stat just for you! Continue reading

About these ads

Wayne Gretzky loves Brett Lawrie’s enthusiasm

Video

I like Ron MacLean, but sometimes he leads things off the rails a bit. During the second intermission of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, MacLean managed to ask Wayne Gretzky a question that prompted a strange response.

Apparently The Great One loves Brett Lawrie’s enthusiasm and making mistakes is what sport is about. Or something. I don’t know.

Baseball at the top of the world

Baseball caps spotted over the course of a week in Iceland

New York Yankees: 3

Two obviously worn by tourists, one by a man who seemed to be local.

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates: 1

Spotted at the airport. Guy was getting off the plane from Toronto, so I can only assume he was a tourist.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: 1

Worn by a man who was unloading baggage from the plane. I can only assume he was local.

 

 

Minnesota Twins: 1

Man wearing this hat was definitely on vacation.

 

Salt Lake Bees: 1

Definite tourist.

Number of times reacted to my Blue Jays cap: 1

“Go Jays!” he said.

“Go Jays!” I said, before asking if he was from Toronto.

“Of course,” the guy responded. “Do you think there are Jays fans anywhere else?”

New-fan week: We’re all trying to hit .300

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here. The third piece, a new fan’s perspective on why the game is great, can be found here. The fourth instalment, a player’s perspective on the game, can be read here.

Today we feature a guest post from Navin Vaswani. You can find his work at NotGraphs and, occasionally, at the definitely-worth-adding-to-your-RSS-feed Sports and the City. If you’re on Twitter and you’re not following him already, shame on you.

*   *   *

When Chris asked me to write a guest post for Infield Fly on why I enjoy baseball, he noted that I could bring a unique perspective to this week’s series because I’ve been to 30 Major League ballparks, all of them except for the Marlins’s new home. He’s right that I have been to all those parks. I did it a couple of years ago. Thirty-one ballparks in 55 days. The Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime, as I called it, one I didn’t finish writing about after being diagnosed with depression. But I don’t think that my trip — my insane trip — has given me any special insight into baseball, into the game, and why one likes it, and watches it. I think I learned more about America, backpacking through the country, than I did about baseball. Let’s face it: You’re going to love baseball, whether you’re a new fan, or someone returning to the game, because you love baseball. Not because of what you read here, or anywhere else, for that matter. I think what I’ve learned over the past few years, as I’ve become more of a baseball enthusiast, as compared to any other sport, is that baseball isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK. Continue reading

New-fan week: Baseball is boring. Baseball is not boring.

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here.

Today, we have a guest post from Ruhee Dewji of Double Switching. She’s been a ball fan for just over a year now and she’s sharing what she loves about the game and why she’s hooked. If you’re on the Twitter, give her a follow. She’s cool beans. Continue reading