Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

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e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

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A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
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Signature Content
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Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

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Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

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It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

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When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

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Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever |
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
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Sabermetrician or Traditionalist?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

    I like this post. Though Will and I are mostly on opposite sides of this issue, his criticisms are serious and stated very clearly.

    Yes, that happens, but on the other hand, the arguments of traditionalists never end. For example, everyone has a different opinion of how players rank, so there’s never a final list agreed upon by everyone. The lists never stop. Now if people enjoy making these lists, fine, but one advantage of having an objective measurement is that once a list is made, we can move on to other issues. We might at some later point discover some new factor that results in a modification of the list, but until that happens, we don’t have to argue endlessly over whether player A was better than player B.

    Yes, defense is difficult to evaluate. But is the eye test better, particularly with players whom few if anyone alive today ever saw play? At least we have some data from a century or longer ago to work with. With the eye test, all we have is what somebody said about somebody else, maybe as quoted by a third party.

    Sabers understand that defensive value is not as reliable as offensive value, and always emphasize it. That’s a major reason why for any given season, WAR values are considered only good to plus or minus one WAR or so. Also note that while the Gold Gloves now include saber data, they still count for less than half of the total assessment.

    These are not subjective judgments. They aren’t perfect evaluations, but they are based on the best data available. Replacement players are those who move into and out of the big leagues, not good enough to stay, not poor enough not to be called up when an immediate replacement is necessary. Of course we have statistics on their performance, which can be used to compare that of other players.

    With regard to positional values, there are two general approaches. One is to compare the average offensive performance of players at one position with that of players at another performance. The other is to look at the change in defensive runs saved when a player at one position moves to another (e.g., CF to corner OF or corner OF to 1B).

    League quality I agree is difficult to estimate if one is comparing different eras, but in practice its used mostly to compare AL with NL. Since there are so many interleague games now, there are lots of data that can go into this comparison.

    I don’t entirely disagree with you here, but there are two counters to your point. First, you’re cherry-picking. You pick the one park that has by far the biggest offensive advantage, and one very good player who played there for much though by no means all of his career, and from this you generalize. Just because one or a few players don’t seem to fit what anal ytics concludes about their value, it doesn’t justify throwing out the approach entirely.

    Second, ask yourself why Walker is such an exception, why he had such big home/road splits. Park factors are based on an enormous amount of data comparing how players produce in that park with how they produce in other parks. They are an average, and as with any average, some players are above the average, and some below it. Why was Walker above it? Though there are several possible explanations, probably at least part of the reason was that he was able to take even more advantage of Coors than other Rockies players. How or why we don’t know, but the question is, why shouldn’t he be given credit for doing that?

    Imagine a left-handed batter in Fenway, who learns to hit to the opposite field to take advantage of the Green Monster. As a result, he may produce more at home than the park factors indicate he should. Is that a reason for doing away with the park factors? Or look at Ichiro, and all the infield hits he’s accumulated. That’s supposed to be more difficult for left-handed batters, because they tend to pull the ball to the right side, where there is a shorter throw to first. Should Ichiro not be given credit for being able to slap the ball to the left side?

    The people making the advances in saber aren’t really concerned with these things, either. They don’t spend much time speculating how well Ruth would have performed today, or how many RBI Trout would have in a stronger lineup, or Kershaw’s numbers if he pitched for the Cubs. It’s possible to run thought experiments like these, but very few people seem to care.

    The runs and wins generally add up, i.e., if you total the individual WAR of all the players on a team at the end of the season, the result agrees closely with how many wins the team had. But if it’s any consolation to you, Bill James, as you may know, has made a similar criticism. I really don’t understand why you think having higher traditional stats in a high offensive era is better than having the same relative stats in a weaker offensive era.

    If you’re interested in contact ability, why not use the data that directly determine that, rather than BA?

    As far as the hypothetical comparisons you make, I have very little argument with you. The first comparison you make is logical, and any saber would agree, because given the same OPS+ and the same OBP, the player with the higher BA has more hits, which are more valuable than walks. This would be reflected in a higher wRC+, which is a better indicator of offensive performance than OPS+.

    The second and third comparisons are also not particularly controversial, taken at face value. If two players have identical batting stats except one has more RBI, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go with that. The player with fewer RBI may have played in a weaker lineup and had fewer RBI opportunities, or he may just have had bad luck when batting with runners on base—or maybe even clutch is involved. But without knowing these other factors, it’s at least reasonable to conclude that the second batter was not better than he first, and might very well have been somewhat worse. The same with the two pitchers. The pitcher with the poorer W-L record may have received less offensive support from his team, or just experienced bad luck, but without knowing more, we’re basically flipping a coin.

    That said, though, more information is available. For example, suppose the player with more RBI did play in a stronger lineup. You should want to compare his RBI opportunities with those of the player in a weaker lineup. Maybe the second player actually drove in more baserunners. Still another relevant factor is that the player in the stronger lineup will probably have more PA, because his team is getting more men on base and scoring. The increased PA will also result in more RBI opportunities.

    Finally, since you’re so interested in what actually happened on the field, you should want to examine how often each player drove in runs in games that his team won. Because every time a player’s team doesn’t win, his RBI don’t contribute anything to the team. It might turn out that the player with fewer RBI actually helped his team win more games.

    I think it is more impressive to have the same relative rates in a high scoring era simply because it is safer to assume the great hitters would still put up great numbers in a low scoring setting, but not vice versa. I used the Steve Garvey example. If we neutralize his stats to a 1999 Dodger setting he comes out looking like a first ballot HOFer (162 game avg: 199 H 21 107 .315). Same thing if we neutralize a Jim Rice to a 1999 Fenway setting (162 game avg: 205 H 32 127 .314). Pretty much any good player in a low scoring environment is going to look like a HOFer when adjusted to a high scoring one. I think it's better to give credit for the guys who actually put up the great numbers, rather than those who MIGHT have.
    Last edited by willshad; 04-30-2018, 08:06 PM.


    • #32
      Originally posted by LanceRoten View Post
      Whichever suits my purpose.
      I like an honest man.
      1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

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      1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015

      The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
      The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History


      • #33
        Originally posted by willshad View Post

        I think it is more impressive to have the same relative rates in a high scoring era simply because it is safer to assume the great hitters would still put up great numbers in a low scoring setting, but not vice versa. I used the Steve Garvey example. If we neutralize his stats to a 1999 Dodger setting he comes out looking like a first ballot HOFer (162 game avg: 199 H 21 107 .315). Same thing if we neutralize a Jim Rice to a 1999 Fenway setting (162 game avg: 205 H 32 127 .314). Pretty much any good player in a low scoring environment is going to look like a HOFer when adjusted to a high scoring one. I think it's better to give credit for the guys who actually put up the great numbers, rather than those who MIGHT have.
        but then high relative (OPS+...) numbers would be more rare in high scoring era's but the opposite is true, most 200+ OPS+ seasons are from high scoring eras. of course a lot of that is skewed by the "big 3" (bonds, williams, ruth) but also most other high relative stats hitters (gehrig, mantle, hornsby, foxx) are from high scoring eras. if it was harder to stand out in high scoring eras we would have seen more high relative stat seasons in low scoring eras but in fact even the greatest low scoring era hitters except for cobb have topped out around 180 OPS+ (mays, aaron).
        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.


        • #34
          Originally posted by willshad View Post
          Pretty much any good player in a low scoring environment is going to look like a HOFer when adjusted to a high scoring one. I think it's better to give credit for the guys who actually put up the great numbers, rather than those who MIGHT have.
          Like Dante Bichette? In 1999: .298, 34 HR, 133 RBI, but only a league average 100 wRC+. In 1996: .313, 31 HR, 141 RBI, wRC+ 108.

          If a player is a more or less average hitter, his raw stats are going to look better in a higher offensive environment, regardless of whether he actually played in a low offensive environment and his numbers are adjusted to the high offense era, or whether he actually played in that latter environment. That's why stats like OPS+ and wRC+ are so useful. It allows us to appreciate that.


          • #35
            I'm a longtime member of SABR from when it was headquartered here in Cleveland. At that point it was a good mix of history/research and the numbers/sabermetrics folks. It, like our culture, has changed since then. There certainly seems to be more emphasis on the analytics/new statistics/Jamesian side of things with SABR now as they become more and more of a stats service and analytics based organization while the historical research and local chapter based side is secondary. Like our society there's a good deal of polarization there now, like you have to pick one or the other. Anywhere in the middle ends up irritating both sides somewhat. So...
            For me, I favor the traditionalist side of things but recognize that sabermetrics is/can be an effective tool to either bring light to things previously not seen or to confirm what has been known. It is also, in my opinion, about as exciting as doing your taxes. Listening to or reading sabermetric discussions is like going to accountants meetings- just not for me. I MUCH prefer to discuss the game with traditionalists as they are generally more open-minded, entertaining and informed of the context of the times the game was played in; and they understand that not everything can be quantified.
            The battle between the two sides, even reading it here, is sure a part of what keeps some folks from taking part in discussions. Too much snark, not enough 'listen'.
            And, yes, I do understand WAR, etc. but as a long-time baseball pro told me..."for the most part, that stuff just gives names and numbers to what people in the game already know."


            • #36
              I am at a lost as to how to vote in this poll. My vote would be more like this choice: "I realize that baseball analysis goes back to the infancy of the game, because even in the 19th century, baseball officials tried to mathematically rate the players. That is why we have so many statistics going back to the National Association. In 1870, the simple stats printed in the New York newspapers and then in the Reach Guides were their attempt at being primitive Bill James'.

              Obviously, I am a math and statistics nerd. I was all about math from about 1954 or 1955 on. I anxiously awaited the Saturday morning newspaper with the Major League Dope, the batting averages, homers, wins and losses, and ERAs of the teams in the Major Leagues, Pacific Coast League, and California League when we lived in LA, or the Majors and the Southern Association when we lived in Nashville.

              I cut the weekly dope out of the paper and kept it in a folder, as well as the standings on the 1st and 15th of each month. I was too young to appreciate the Rickey-Roth article in the magazine, but I later got a photocopy of that article. I did meet Earnshaw Cook when he wrote his book, and I remembered that he fashioned himself as baseball's version of William F. Buckley, even trying to speak with a fake "uppity" accent.

              It's because of all the great historical stats that makes the Hot Stove League so much fun, in some cases more entertaining than the real product today. Thanks to great statistical records, we can play the 1906 Cubs against the 1912 Red Sox, or the 1927 Yankees against the 1929 Athletics, or even the 1939 Yankees against the 1998 Yankees.


              • #37
                I can admire sabermetrics' attempt to look deeper into the game in order to quantify it better. However, i think there is a fine line between looking deeper into something, and over thinking it or over complicating it. Sabermetrics has already crossed that line IMO.

                You are starting on a slippery slope when you stop trying to quantify what happens on the field, and instead quantify what MIGHT have happened in different circumstances.