Baseball Prospectus: Wikis

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Baseball Prospectus (BP) is an organization that publishes a website, BaseballProspectus.com, devoted to the sabermetric analysis of baseball. BP has a staff of regular columnists and provides advanced statistics as well player and team performance projections on the site. Since 1996 the BP staff has also published a Baseball Prospectus annual as well as several other books devoted to baseball analysis and history.

Baseball Prospectus has fathered several popular new statistical tools which have become hallmarks of baseball analysis. Baseball Prospectus is accredited by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Three of Baseball Prospectus's current regular writers are members of the Baseball Writers Association of America and thus eligible to vote for nominees for Major League Baseball's post-season awards and the Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

Contents

Prospectus Entertainment Ventures, LLC

Baseball Prospectus is formally an entity of Prospectus Entertainment Ventures, LLC, a private corporation that runs websites and publishes books focusing on the statistical analysis of the sports of baseball, basketball, and hockey.

Prospectus Entertainment Ventures (PEV) partners with Football Outsiders for the publication and promotion of Pro Football Prospectus (ISBN 0452288479) – beginning in 2009 renamed Football Outsiders Almanac (ISBN 1448648459).

On October 10, 2007, PEV launched BasketballProspectus.com, a new website for the analysis of men's college and pro basketball, with Joe Sheehan taking the role of Managing Editor and announcing the lineup of principal writer-analysts for the site. Unlike BaseballProspectus.com, this website does not require a subscription for access. BasketballProspectus.com's first annual book, College Basketball Prospectus 2008-2009 (ISBN 0452289874), was published in October 2008. It is releasing Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-10 for purchase online in October 2009.[2]

On March 19, 2008, Imagine Sports announced a strategic partnership with PEV and Baseball Prospectus. Imagine sports owns the baseball simulation engine "Diamond Mind Baseball".[3]

On October 14, 2008, PEV announced the acquisition of Baseball Digest Daily (BDD), an online blog devoted to baseball analysis and statistics. Joe Hamrahi, new Chief Financial Officer of PEV and founder of BDD, reported that "PEV’s decision to acquire Baseball Digest Daily further enhances the content offerings of Baseball Prospectus by adding some of the game’s best analysts as well as over 100 pages of baseball news and original content. In addition, BDD’s player tracker provides a platform for serious fans and fantasy baseball enthusiasts to easily monitor the progress of their teams, allowing users to manipulate and track the progress of an unlimited set of players over a customized period of time".[4]

At the same time, PEV revealed publicly that it "owns a significant interest in 538 (www.fivethirtyeight.com), a political analysis website that generates over 700,000 unique visitors daily".

On February 23, 2009, Prospectus Entertainment Ventures (PEV) launched the website Puck Prospectus[5] with the intent of providing cutting edge analysis of hockey. Will Carroll assumed the role of the Executive Editor, and Andrew Rothstein, the founder of Puck Prospectus, assumed the role of the Managing Editor.[6]

On March 24, 2009, Baseball Prospectus announced that Nate Silver was stepping down as its Managing Partner, and Kevin Goldstein was assuming this role. At the same time, it was announced that BP has a partnership relationship with ESPN.com.[7]

In January 2010, PEV's Managing Partner Kevin Goldstein reported that one of BP's founding members, Joe Sheehan, had departed the organization.[8] He reported that John Perrotto had been elevated to full-time status on the BP staff and would become the new Editor-in-Chief of BaseballProspectus.com, taking over that responsibility from Christina Kahrl. And he reported that Jeff Euston was joining the BP staff and that Euston's Cot's Baseball Contracts website would be joining the Baseball Prospectus family.

In February 2010, BP's "Fantasy Manager" Marc Normandin announced that BP has established a partnership with Heater Magazine.[9]

History of Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus (sometimes referred to as BP) was founded in 1996 by Gary Huckabay, who recruited the initial contributor group of Clay Davenport, Rany Jazayerli, Christina Kahrl, and Joe Sheehan, with the publication of the first annual set of forecasts. "That first year, BP charged $20 for a statistics guide produced on a photocopier. It printed around 300 copies and sold about 170 to fellow statheads, even though the book was missing the St. Louis Cardinals. 'It was terrible,' recalls Kahrl, 'but it nevertheless didn’t discourage us.' Within a few years Brassey’s Inc. published the guide, which grew to about 3,000 copies. By 2007 it reached the New York Times bestseller list, topping 70,000 copies at $21.95 a pop."[10]

The kind of sabermetric approach favored by Baseball Prospectus has gained significant acceptance by the management of many Major League Baseball clubs, notably the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. BP has often been considered the modern successor to Bill James' Baseball Abstract series of books in the 1980s.[11]

Reflecting its legacy as a group of sabermetricians who met over the Internet, BP has no "main office." Working for BP is a second or part-time job for many of the regular staff, who conduct their work for BP in their own home offices.

The website BaseballProspectus.com began in 1997 primarily as a way to present original sabermetric research; publish advanced baseball statistics such as EqA, the Davenport Translations (DT’s), and VORP; and promote sales of the annual book. Beginning in 2003, the site placed most of its new articles, its PECOTA forecasts, and some of its statistical databases in a “premium” section that could be accessed only by subscription.

Until 2007, when the site began to post general advertising, the premium subscriptions and book sales were Baseball Prospectus' main source of revenues. Baseball Prospectus does not publish a financial report or information about its subscriber base, but it appears to be using its income to expand its breadth of coverage to attract new customers,[12] and it has not increased its subscription prices since initiating its premium service. It also offers a subscription to those interested in fantasy baseball, at a lower price than the premium subscriptions and giving access to fewer features and articles.

BaseballProspectus.com has a corps of staff writers who publish articles on a regular (typically weekly) basis under a featured heading (see list of "Regular Writers" below). In addition, occasional articles are published by other BP staff or freelance authors. Some former regular writers no longer appear on the site but are employed on the staffs of major league baseball organizations, including as of 2009 Keith Woolner (Cleveland Indians),[13] James Click (Tampa Bay Rays),[14] and Dan Fox (Pittsburgh Pirates).[15] In addition, Keith Law, now an ESPN columnist, in 2002 moved from Baseball Prospectus to work on player evaluation in the front office of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2009, Nate Silver appeared to be fully engaged with his political statistics site FiveThirtyEight.com, resigned his executive post and handed over management of PECOTA to other BP staff in March 2009, and wrote just a handful of columns for BP.com after that.

Given the competing career opportunities for some of BP's best-known and most statistics-savvy analysts, maintaining a fresh supply of sabermetrically sophisticated writers remains a constant challenge.[16] During the 2009 baseball season, BP ran a multi-week open talent search competition in the spirit of the popular television program American Idol, in which aspiring writers submitted articles for evaluation by BP's staff members, with one contestant a week from among the final ten selected by the staff then voted off by the subscribers. At least three new regular BP writers (winner Ken Funck, Tim Kniker, and Matt Swartz) were discovered through this Prospectus Idol contest.[17] In addition, BP had added Eric Seidman to its staff early in 2009 and then acquired Russell Carleton ("Pizza Cutter") and Colin Wyers in December 2009 to bolster its coverage of technical sabermetric issues. As late as the Fall of 2008, Seidman, Swartz, Carleton, Wyers, Daniel Novick and BP Idol finalist Brian Cartwright made up the entire staff of "Statistically Speaking" aka StatSpeak at MVN.com.[18]

Although the site thus maintains a strong sabermetric core and has expanded its statistical databases (most of which are open to non-subscribers), it now regularly attends to issues such as baseball prospects (the First Year Player Draft and minor league baseball), international baseball, the economics and business of baseball (valuation of players, team and stadium finances, the player marketplace),[19] and fantasy baseball (PECOTA, the "Fantasy Focus" series of articles, forecast manager and other fantasy tools). As BP has begun in addition to publish monographs on specialized topics, it has delved into the application of sabermetric analysis to historical topics – an emphasis clearly seen in Mind Game (2005 – a history of the Boston Red Sox), Baseball Between the Numbers (2006 – which addresses some historical comparisons), and It Ain’t Over 'til It’s Over (2007 – about historical pennant races).

BP products

Baseball Prospectus creates several products:

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Web site

  • The web site BaseballProspectus.com, which contains articles, statistical reports, and fantasy baseball tools. The site contains some free content, although it has become increasingly available only by paid subscription. A dozen authors write regular bylined columns on the site and numerous other writers contribute occasional articles. The site also covers baseball history as well as current issues and events, including games and series, injuries, forecasts, player profiles, baseball finance, and the player marketplace.[20] In December 2006, the site introduced a feature called "Baseball Prospectus: UNFILTERED."

Annual book

  • A best-selling annual book (current edition Baseball Prospectus 2009) that contains statistics and analysis of the past season and forecasts of the upcoming season.

Other books

  • Other baseball-related books, such as Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning (2005) (ISBN 0-7611-4018-2) and Baseball Between the Numbers (2006) (ISBN 0-465-00596-9). The latter was chosen by the editors of Amazon.com as the best book on baseball (and third best on sports in general) published in 2006.[21]

Radio show

  • A syndicated and podcasted radio show, Baseball Prospectus Radio (BPR). In June 2007, the regular weekly programming of BPR ended. However, the site continues to provide podcasts, online audio and video, and to explore how to integrate such features into more of its regular content. As of September 2007, a daily podcast of approximately five minutes was provided, called the Baseball Prospectus Rundown.

Internet Baseball Awards

The annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) started in 1991 and are based on fan voting for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young (pitcher), Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year (added in 1998) in each of the two major leagues.

Lists of the awardees can be found at the following web links:

  • 1991–2008 History of IBA Results[3]
  • 2009 (American League Report)[4]
  • 2009 (National League Report)[5]
  • 2009 (Complete Vote Counts, AL & NL)[6]

Basketball

Basketball Prospectus runs a website, BasketballProspectus.com, and published its first annual book, College Basketball Prospectus in 2008 (ISBN 0452289874).

Ice hockey

Puck Prospectus runs the PuckProspectus.com website, which focuses mainly on the National Hockey League.

Theories

Baseball Prospectus writers promote several theories on proper baseball management and analysis, many of which are contrary to those of conventional baseball wisdom.

Clutch hitting

Baseball Prospectus researchers have concluded that there is no repeatable ability of clutch hitting. As writer Joe Sheehan said, "Over the course of a game, a month, a season or a career, there is virtually no evidence that any player or group of players possesses an ability to outperform his established level of ability in clutch situations, however defined."[22] They cite studies which find that there is insignificant correlation between year-to-year performance in clutch situations.

In an article published in 2006, Nate Silver argued that clutch hitting ability does exist to a degree. He argued that although not as important as traditional baseball analysis would suggest, clutch hitting ability was more significant than other sabermetric studies had shown. The article also found there to be a connection between clutch hitting ability and situational hitting, or the ability to adjust a hitting approach to fit the given situation.[23]

Views on traditional statistics

Baseball Prospectus writers often argue that traditional baseball statistics such as RBIs, wins, and Batting Average are poor reflections of a player's true contributions. For example, they have argued that RBIs are too dependent on factors outside of the player's control, namely the production of other hitters in the lineup.[24][25] They similarly argue that wins are too affected by factors such as the team's offense and bullpen.[26]

Closer usage

Baseball Prospectus writers assert that teams are typically inefficient in their use of their best relievers. Teams typically assign their most effective reliever to the position of closer, using him in only save situations (when the team is leading by fewer than four runs in the 9th inning). According to many Baseball Prospectus writers, a team's best reliever should be used when the opposing team has its best chance at increasing its chances of winning.[27]

Views on sacrifice bunts and stolen bases

Many writers argue that the sacrifice bunt and stolen base are overused in baseball. Teams will often attempt these plays when the score is close. Writers for Baseball Prospectus often argue that teams are, on average, actually lowering their expected number of runs scored. They argue that stolen base attempts are not completed frequently enough for them to be beneficial to the offense.[28] For sacrifice bunts, they argue that the team is giving up more by sacrificing an out than they gain by advancing a runner one base. Their thinking is derived from the grid of expected runs in an inning based on the outs and runner situation, which shows that the sacrifice is detrimental to a team given average players in most of the situations in which it is typically used.[29]

In a series of articles in 2004, James Click argued that sacrifice bunts are beneficial in some situations, dependent on the quality of the batter at the plate and the situation in the game.[30]

Statistical tools

Baseball Prospectus writers use a wide variety of sabermetric tools. Among the major tools that they are credited with inventing are:

  • Value over replacement player (VORP) - a measurement of the number of runs contributed by a player over the expected level of performance the average team can obtain if it needs to replace a starting player at minimal cost.[31]
  • Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) – a measure of the impact of a particular start by a pitcher on his arm, based on pitch count.[32]
  • Equivalent average (EqA) – a combination of various hitting numbers designed to express a player's overall offensive contribution.[33]
  • Peripheral ERA (PERA) – a pitcher's expected ERA based on park-adjusted hits, walks, strikeouts, and home runs allowed.[34]
  • PECOTA - a system of player projection based on similarity to previous player seasons.[35]
  • Equivalent Baserunning Runs (EqBRR) – a statistic indicating a player's rate of run production resulting from his baserunning.[36]

Voros McCracken's pathbreaking article on Defense Independent Pitching Statistics also first appeared on the BP website.[37]

Regular writers

Current (2010)

  • Tommy Bennett – joined BP in November 2009 and was soon given a regular "Expanded Horizons" bylined column. Bennett is a former writer for the sabermetric website "Beyond the Box Score" and a contributor to other baseball blogs.
  • Alex Carnevale – in 2006 took over the "Week in Quotes" column, a collection of quotes from baseball personalities from the previous week.
  • Will Carroll – a Senior Writer for BP who since 2003 has written the "Under The Knife" daily column, a summary of injury news, and is a host of Baseball Prospectus Radio. In the preseason, he writes "Team Health Reports" and "Positional Health Reports." He also has published Saving the Pitcher (ISBN 1-56663-578-0), and The Juice (ISBN 1-56663-668-X), which won the 2005 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. He is a contributor to MLB.com's Fantasy 411 and writes a weekly column on NFL injuries for RotoWire.com. He is Executive Editor of Puck Prospectus. Carroll is a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
  • Russell Carleton – a clinical psychologist who formerly published the blog Baseball Psychologist and developed the blog Statistically Speaking, Carleton is a well-known sabermetrician under the nom de plume "Pizza Cutter" and has contributed to numerous on-line baseball blogs. He claims that sabermetrics saved his dissertation.[38] In December 2009, he inaugurated a "Baseball Therapy" weekly column on BP.
  • Clay Davenport – a co-founder of BP who is responsible for many of the website's behind-the-scenes operations, including its advanced statistics, statistical reports, and play-off odds simulations.[39] Davenport invented Equivalent average, the Pythagenport Formula (a variation on the Pythagorean expectation)[40] and "Davenport Translations" or "DT's", which translate minor league and international baseball statistics into American major league baseball equivalents and place all statistics on the same scale, regardless of era.[41]
  • Jeff Euston – creator of the authoritative[42] Cot's Baseball Contracts website, Euston initiated a regular "Contractual Matters" feature column in January 2010.
  • Ken Funck – winner of the first Prospectus Idol competition,[43] began his feature "Changing Speeds" column in July 2009. Puts his skills in database management to work on a range of sabermetric issues, including creating SOMA ("Shorter Outings, More Appearances"), a proposal for radical change in pitching rotations.[44]
  • Kevin Goldstein – assumed the role of Managing Partner of Baseball Prospectus in March, 2009.[7] Since 2006 he has written multiple-times-per week "Future Shock" columns on high school, college, and minor league player prospects, with an emphasis on scouting rather than sabermetrics. He also covers Winter League baseball, Spring training, the Major League Baseball draft, scouting, personnel development, and the baseball player marketplace. Before joining BP, Goldstein was a writer for Baseball America.
  • Shawn Hoffman – began a regular column, "The Biz Beat," in 2009, later renamed "Squawking Baseball." Shawn also maintains a blog, Squawking Baseball, which provides a "Wall Street Analysis of the Major League Baseball Player Market". He has also published on other baseball related blogs, including The Baseball Analysts.
  • Jay Jaffe – since 2005 has written a weekly "Prospectus Hit List" column, which "power ranks" all major league teams and comments on the rankings. In July 2007, Jaffe debuted a second weekly column, "Prospectus Hit and Run," which took over some of the content that previously was included in the "Hit List," while allowing him to expound his interpretation of trends more fully. Jaffe created the JAWS score for evaluating Baseball Hall of Fame Prospects.[45] He also maintains the Futility Infielder blog.
  • David Laurila – since late 2006 has taken the main responsibility for the "Prospectus Q & A" column, in which he interviews personages from the baseball community: players, managers, and analysts/writers. He is the author of the book Interviews from Red Sox Nation (2006) (ISBN 0977743616).
  • Marc Normandin – joined the BP staff in 2006 and writes the weekly "Player Profile" column in which he analyzes the record and performance of a particular player from a sabermetric perspective. Beginning in Fall 2007 he wrote a twice-weekly "BP Fantasy Beat" column, offering strategic advice to fantasy baseball players. In February 2010 he announced his appointment as BP's Fantasy Manager.[47]
  • Eric Seidman – since 2009 has published a feature column, "Checking the Numbers," in which he applies sabermetric methods to a variety of topics. Eric is also a regular writer for Fangraphs and an occasional writer, director, and producer of films, who has several credits to his name.[48]
  • Matt Swartz – began a regular feature column "Ahead in the Count" in July 2009 after being a finalist in BP's "Prospectus Idol" competition. He is one of the bloglords at The Good Phight, a Philadelphia Phillies blog, and has contributed sabermetrically oriented articles to other online media.
  • Colin Wyers – formerly a writer for The Hardball Times, joined the BP staff in December 2009. A Cubs fan and resident of Davenport, Iowa, Wyers is engaged in developing new defense metrics.[49]

Former

  • Jim Baker – joined BP in 2004 and wrote a "Prospectus Matchups" weekly column through 2008, in which he discussed upcoming series. Baker contributed to the first edition of Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract and has also written for ESPN.com, primarily on ESPN's "Insider" and "Page 2".
  • Maury Brown – debuted with a new column in 2006 called "The Ledger Domain," in which he discusses the business of baseball. Brown is former co-chair of SABR’s Business of Baseball committee and was the creator of the committee's website BusinessOfBaseball.com. He now is the founder and creator of The Business of Sports Network, which includes BizofBaseball.com. Brown wrote an essay outlining the collusion rulings in the '80s in Rob Neyer's "Big Book of Baseball Blunders" and is a former columnist for The Hardball Times. After early 2008, Brown rarely wrote for BP.
  • David Cameron – In 2003 wrote a regular feature, "Prospecting," in which he focused on minor league prospects. Co-author of U.S.S. Mariner blog and editor/owner of the sabermetric website Fangraphs.
  • James Click – Began contributing to BP in 2003 and wrote a featured "Crooked Numbers" column from 2005 to 2006 until he joined the Tampa Bay Rays as "Coordinator of Baseball Operations".
  • Neil deMause – a writer for BP since 2003, contributes occasional articles about stadium building and baseball finance. He is co-author of the 1999 book Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (ISBN 1-56751-138-4). He also maintains his own website and writes for The Village Voice and other publications.
  • Dan Fox – from April 2006 to April 2008, wrote a weekly "Schrödinger's Bat" column, usually employing hard-core quantitative sabermetric techniques. Fox is a former author for The Hardball Times. In addition to innovative analyses of pitch-by-pitch data and creating new metrics accounting for baserunning,[50] he has developed and distributed software for charting the locations of balls in play.[51] He also expounds on sports, technology, history and other curiosities in his blog, Dan Agonistes. On April 17, 2008, in the publication of his 100th "Schrödinger's Bat" column, Fox announced that he was leaving BP to take a position as Director of Player Systems Development in the front office of the Pittsburgh Pirates.[52]
  • Gary Huckabay – founder and former Executive Vice-President of Baseball Prospectus, announced his return as a regular contributor to BaseballProspectus.com with an "Unfiltered" post on August 2, 2007.[53] He resumed his "6-4-3" bylined columns on September 4, 2007. However, this was one of only two such columns contributed during the 2007 season.
  • Derek Jacques – since 2006 has written on a variety of topics including the "Prospectus Game of the Week" feature in 2006, the Caribbean Series, and the "Prospectus Toolbox" series in which he explains advanced sabermetric tools in layman's language.
  • Rany Jazayerli – a co-founder of BP who writes occasional "Doctoring the Numbers" columns for Baseball Prospectus.com. For many years he also compiled BP's annual Top 50 Prospects list and was the inventor of the concept of Pitcher Abuse Points.[32] He also has his own blog, Rany on the Royals.
  • Jonah Keri – wrote on miscellaneous topics on occasion, most involving interviews with baseball administrators and personalities. Edited BP's book Baseball Between the Numbers.
  • Keith Law – a writer for BP from 1997 until 2002 when he joined the Toronto Bluejays organization as a "Consultant to Baseball Operations." Now a writer for ESPN.com and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
  • Dayn Perry – rejoined the BP staff in 2008, resuming his weekly "Can of Corn" column after a two-year hiatus. Author of the book Winners: How Good Baseball Teams Become Great Ones (2006), Perry is also a regular contributor to FoxSports.com. Left the staff again after 2008.
  • David Pinto – joined BP in 2007 and wrote "The Big Picture", a weekly column which presented ideas about the league in general.[54] Pinto is also the writer for Baseball Musings, a general interest baseball blog. On September 26, 2007, Pinto wrote a farewell column and announced that he will become a regular columnist for Sporting News.
  • Joe Sheehan – a co-founder and a BP Senior Writer who discussed an important topic from the previous day's action in the almost-daily "Prospectus Today" column. Sheehan co-edited the first Baseball Prospectus annual volume, which appeared in 1996, as well as several subsequent editions. In October 2007, he assumed an added role as Managing Editor of Basketball Prospectus. In his last BP column, published on December 31, 2009, Sheehan wrote: "This is my last column for Baseball Prospectus. My contract ends today, making me like any number of free agents looking for work. No hard feelings or recriminations, just two entities doing business".[55]
  • Bryan Smith – joined the BP staff in 2007 after merging his Wait 'Til Next Year blog into The Baseball Analysts in 2005. Writes on college baseball, the minor leagues, and major league prospects under the "Wait 'Til Next Year" feature heading. Smith has also written for SI.com, Baseball America, and other media outlets. In May 2008, he left BP to take a position with MLB Advanced Media. In February 2009 Smith rejoined BP and resumed his Wait 'Til Next Year column. As of 2010 he is a writer for Fangraphs.
  • Keith Woolner – began writing for BP in 1999 and in 2001-2007 wrote "Aim For The Head" columns, discussing statistics and how they help to interpret the game. Worked behind the scenes on BP's databases and the "statistics" section of the website. Woolner invented Value over replacement player[60] and a variation on Pitcher Abuse Points.[61] Woolner left BP in May 2007 to join the front office of the Cleveland Indians.[62]
  • Derek Zumsteg – From 2002 to 2007 wrote a feature "Breaking Balls" column for BP. Beginning in 2000 he also wrote numerous other columns, including founding the "Week in Quotes" feature. Co-owner, with David Cameron, of the U.S.S. Mariner blog devoted to the Seattle Mariners.

Criticism

Criticism of methodology

Baseball Prospectus, as well as other sabermetric analysts, are criticized for taking the human aspect out of the game of baseball. For example, Murray Chass of the New York Times wrote in an article that he did not want to hear or read about new-age baseball statistics any more (referencing Value over replacement player specifically), saying:

"I suppose that if stats mongers want to sit at their computers and play with these things all day long, that’s their prerogative. But their attempt to introduce these new-age statistics into the game threatens to undermine most fans’ enjoyment of baseball and the human factor therein. People play baseball. Numbers don’t."[63]

Then BP Managing Partner, Nate Silver responded to this criticism in "An Open Letter to Murray Chass," including offering to meet Chass to watch a ballgame.[64] He expounded on the case for a positive impact of sabermetrics on the game of baseball in an article "How Sabermetrics Helps Build a Better Ballgame," published on Baseball Analysts.com.[65]

Another type of criticism comes from those who believe that by broadening its coverage and audience, Baseball Prospectus is becoming more like the mainstream media and losing what made it unique. In response to a question along this line in an on-line chat, Silver wrote:

From a brand standpoint, we're more concerned about differentiation based on quality than differentiation based on where we fall on sort of the "saberpolitical" spectrum. We brought people like Kevin [Goldstein] and Bryan Smith on because [they're] the absolute best at what they do.[66]

Criticism of journalistic standards

Baseball Prospectus was widely criticized for publishing and aggressively promoting a 2003 story [67] claiming that banished player/manager Pete Rose had reached an agreement to return to baseball. Will Carroll made the rounds on television and radio, claiming to have spoken to unnamed sources who had actually seen the agreement.[68] Spokesmen for both Rose and Major League Baseball refuted the claim,[69][70] but Carroll and his colleagues insisted their reporting was accurate. No other news source confirmed the story. In fact, Rose was not reinstated and remains banned from baseball.[71] Neither Carroll nor Zumsteg ever published a retraction or an explanation for how they got the story wrong.

Books published by Baseball Prospectus

The Annual

  • Baseball Prospectus ’96. Joe Sheehan, Clay Davenport, and Gary Huckabay, Eds. Self-published. 1996.
  • Baseball Prospectus '97. Joe Sheehan, Clay Davenport, and Gary Huckabay, Eds. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 1997. ISBN 0-9655674-0-0.
  • Baseball Prospectus: 1998. Gary Huckabay, Ed. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 1998. ISBN 1-57488-177-9.
  • Baseball Prospectus: 1999. Clay Davenport, Chris Kahrl, Keith Law, Rany Jazayerli, and Joseph Sheehan, Eds. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books Inc. (former Brassey's Inc.), 1999. ISBN 1-57488-192-2.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2000. Chris Kahrl, Clay Davenport, Joseph S,. Sheehan, and Rany Jazayerli, Eds. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 2000. ISBN 1-57488-214-7.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2001. Joseph S. Sheehan, Chris Kahrl, Clay Davenport, Eds. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 2001. ISBN 1-57488-323-2.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2002. Joseph S. Sheehan, Ed. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 2002. ISBN 1-57488-428-X.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2003. Gary Huckabay, Chris Kahrl, Dave Pease, Eds. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc. (former Brassey’s Inc.), 2003. ISBN 1-57488-561-8.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2004. Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts on Baseball Talent. New York: Workman Publishing Co., 2004. ISBN 0-7611-3402-6.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2005. Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts on Baseball Talent. New York: Workman Publishing Co., 2005. ISBN 0-7611-3578-2.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2006. Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl, Eds. New York: Workman Publishing Co., 2006. ISBN 0-7611-3995-8.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2007. Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl, Eds. New York: Penguin (Plume), 2007. ISBN 0-452-28825-8.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2008. Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl, Eds. New York: Penguin (Plume), 2008. ISBN 0-452-28903-3.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2009. Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl, Eds. New York: Penguin (Plume), 2009. ISBN 0-452-29011-2.
  • Baseball Prospectus 2010. Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl, Eds. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. ISBN 0-470-55840-7.

Monographs

  • Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning. Steven Goldman, Ed. New York: Workman Publishing Co., 2005. ISBN 0-7611-4018-2.
  • Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. Jonah Keri, Ed. New York: Basic Books, 2006. ISBN 0-465-00596-9 (hardback) and ISBN 0-465-00547-0 (paperback).
  • It Ain't over 'til It's over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book. Steven Goldman, Ed. New York: Basic Books. Hardback 2007 (ISBN 0-465-00284-6); paperback 2008 (ISBN 0-465-00285-4).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Former BP writer Keith Law, who writes for ESPN.com, is also a member of the BBWAA.
  2. ^ Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle, "Pro Basketball Prospectus, 2009-10: Our Newest Book," BasketballProspectus (September 2, 2009).
  3. ^ Imagine Sports strategic partnership.
  4. ^ Press Release: "Prospectus Entertainment Ventures (Owner of Baseball Prospectus) Announces Acquisition of Baseball Digest Daily (BDD)," by Joe Hamrahi, Tuesday, October 14, 2008 2:11 pm EDT.
  5. ^ http://puckprospectus.com
  6. ^ http://puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4.
  7. ^ a b Nate Silver and Kevin Goldstein, "State of the Prospectus: Spring 2009," BaseballProspectus.com, March 24, 2009.
  8. ^ Kevin Goldstein, "State of the Prospectus: The Year and the Decade to Come," BaseballProspectus.com, January 4, 2010.
  9. ^ Marc Normandin, "The New BP Fantasy," BaseballProspectus.com, February 25, 2010.
  10. ^ Zak Stambor, "Number Cruncher," University of Chicago Magazine, July-August 2008.
  11. ^ See, for example, James Fraser, "'Baseball Prospectus' — Escaping Bill James' Shadow," By the Numbers (Newsletter of the SABR Statistical Analysis Committee) 10, No. 2 (May 2000).
  12. ^ Nate Silver, "The State of the Prospectus: Now Serving Beer . . . and Tacos," BaseballProspectus.com, February 27, 2006; and Nate Silver, "State of the Prospectus: New Features," BaseballProspectus.com, December 1, 2006.
  13. ^ Keith Woolner is Manager of Baseball Research & Analytics for the Indians. From 2001 to 2007 he wrote "Aim For The Head" columns for BP.com. Woolner invented Value over replacement player and a variation on Pitcher Abuse Points. Woolner left BP in May 2007 to join the front office of the Cleveland Indians.
  14. ^ James Click is a Coordinator of Baseball Operations and Chaim Bloom is Assistant Director of Minor League Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  15. ^ Dan Fox joined the Pirates front office in April 2008 to become their Director of Player Systems Development. See Dan Fox, "Schrodinger's Bat: Opus 100," BaseballProspectus.com, April 17, 2008]. As evidece of what Fox is doing for the Pirates, see this article on Fox's MITT.
  16. ^ Josh Levin, "Moneyball's Deep: How Baseball Prospectus is Like the Oakland A's," Deadspin, June 5, 2009.
  17. ^ "Prospectus Idol: Meet the Finalists," BaseballProspectus.com, May 17, 2009.
  18. ^ The MVN.com network went belly up in December 2009 for financial reasons. See Evan Brunell, "The End of the Most Valuable Network, MVN.com," EvanBrunnel.com, December 7, 2009.
  19. ^ This carries on the tradition established by the late Doug Pappas, who wrote regularly for BP from 2001 until his untimely death in 2004.
  20. ^ Tim Lemke, "Baseball Prospectus Finds Niche," The Washington Times (December 10, 2006).
  21. ^ Best Books of 2006: Sports
  22. ^ Sheehan, Joe. "The Concept of Clutch". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2656. 
  23. ^ Silver, Nate (2006). Jonah Keri. ed. Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. New York: Basic Books. pp. 14–34. ISBN 0-465-00596-9. 
  24. ^ Keri, Jonah (2006). Jonah Keri. ed. Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. New York: Basic Books. pp. 1–4. ISBN 0-465-00596-9. 
  25. ^ Perry, Dayn. "Measuring Offense". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2562. 
  26. ^ Perry, Dayn; Woolner, Keith (2006). Jonah Keri. ed. Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. New York: Basic Books. pp. 49–50. ISBN 0-465-00596-9. 
  27. ^ Zumsteg, Derek. "How to Run a Bullpen". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2603. 
  28. ^ Sheehan, Joe. "Stolen Bases and How to Use Them". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2607. 
  29. ^ Run expectancy matrix available here for all users and here for paid subscribers.
  30. ^ Click, James. "When Does it Make Sense to Sacrifice?" (links to part 1 of series). http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2844. 
  31. ^ Keith, Woolner. "Introduction to VORP: Value Over Replacement Player". http://www.stathead.com/bbeng/woolner/vorpdescnew.htm. 
  32. ^ a b Jazayerli, Rany. "How We Measure Pitcher Usage". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2633. 
  33. ^ Davenport, Clay. "About EqA". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2596. 
  34. ^ Baseball Prospectus | Glossary
  35. ^ Silver, Nate. "The Science of Forecasting". Baseball Prospectus Basics. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2659. 
  36. ^ This new statistic was incorporated into BP's regular daily and seasonal statistical reports effective with the 2008 season but also calculated for previous seasons. It has also been incorporated into PECOTA estimates for 2008. The fundamental work on this metric was developed in a series of columns by Dan Fox. See, for example, Dan Fox, Schrodinger's Bat: The Running Man," BaseballProspectus.com, September 7, 2006, "Schrodinger's Bat: The Baserunning Edition," Baseball Prospectus, October 18, 2007, and "A Running Comparison," Baseball Prospectus/Unfiltered, November 14, 2007. Also see Dan Fox, "The Tortoise, the Hare, and Juan Pierre: Translating Baserunning into Runs," in S. Goldman and C. Kahrl, Eds., Baseball Prospectus 2008 (New York: Plume, 2008): 558-563.
  37. ^ Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Pitching and Defense
  38. ^ Pizza Cutter [Russell A. Carleton], "How Sabermetrics Saved My Dissertation," The Hardball Times, November 23, 2009.
  39. ^ Alan Schwarz, "Computers Are a Good Bet on Figuring Playoff Odds," New York Times, August 6, 2006.
  40. ^ Davenport, Clay; Woolner, Keith. "Revisiting the Pythagorean Theorem: Putting Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem to the test". http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=342. 
  41. ^ Davenport, Clay. "DTs vs. MLEs - A Validation Study". http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=49. 
  42. ^ John Donovan, "Cot's is one-stop shopping for contracts info," SportsIllustrated.com, November 28, 2008.
  43. ^ Dave Pease, "Prospectus Idol: We Have a Winner," BaseballProspectus, July 16, 2009.
  44. ^ Ken Funck, "Prospectus Idol Entry: A Brave New World of Pitcher Usage," BaseballProspectus, July 13, 2009.
  45. ^ http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3674 and http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?mode=viewstat&stat=477
  46. ^ Christina Kahrl on Penguin Group (USA)
  47. ^ Marc Normandin, "The New BP Fantasy," BaseballProspectus.com, February 25, 2010.
  48. ^ See Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2159332/
  49. ^ His first BP article on the subject: Colin Wyers, "Getting Out of the Zone: A New Way to Look at Defense," BaseballProspectus.com, January 29, 2010.
  50. ^ Dan Fox, "Schrodinger's Bat: Taking Advantage," BaseballProspectus.com, September 20, 2007.
  51. ^ Dan Fox, "Schrodinger's Bat: Always Increasing, BaseballProspectus.com, November 29, 2007.
  52. ^ Dan Fox, "Schrodinger's Bat: Opus 100," BaseballProspectus.com, April 17, 2008.
  53. ^ Gary Huckabay, "An Unforgiving Foe & Gratitude," BaseballProspectus.com, Aug. 2, 2007.
  54. ^ http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6057
  55. ^ Joe Sheehan, "Prospectus Today: Retrospective on Runs and Records," BaseballProspectus.com, December 31, 2009.
  56. ^ Nate Silver, "Playoff Odds," BaseballProspectus.com, September 27, 2006.
  57. ^ Nate Silver, "A Mulligan on Guzman," BaseballProspectus.com, October 12, 2005.
  58. ^ Elo-Based Post-season odds report
  59. ^ Nate Silver, "We Are Elo?" BaseballProspectus.com, June 28, 2006.
  60. ^ Also see Rob Neyer, "The World According to VORP," ESPN.com (February 2, 2007)[1].
  61. ^ http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1499
  62. ^ Keith Woolner, "Aim for the Head: Aim for the Front Office," BaseballProspectus.com (May 4, 2007).[2]
  63. ^ "As Season Approaches, Some Topics Should Be Off Limits". New York Times. 2007-02-27. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/sports/baseball/27chass.html?ex=1178683200&en=9d1d9a339e780519&ei=5070. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  64. ^ Nate Silver, "An Open Letter to Murray Chass,"BaseballProspectus.com, February 27, 2007.
  65. ^ Nate Silver, "How Sabermetrics Helps Build a Better Ballgame," Baseball Analysts, May 10, 2007.
  66. ^ Nate Silver, "Chat," BaseballProspectus.com, June 27, 2007.
  67. ^ Derek Zumsteg & Will Carroll,"The Return of Pete Rose: Exclusive -- He's Back in Baseball in 2004", August 12, 2003.
  68. ^ King Kaufman, "Sports Daily", August 12, 2003.
  69. ^ ESPN.com, "Report called 'unfounded' and 'irresponsible'", August 12, 2003.
  70. ^ "Baseball Denies Deal with Rose", August 14, 2003.
  71. ^ Baseball Hall of Fame website, "Why isn't Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame?"

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