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  • Any interest in compiling a statistics primer?

    Some interest in a primer of contemporary baseball statistics surfaced on another thread. I've long wished that we had something like that and have come to realize that it won't just appear. If some others are interested in working on it, in addition to writing some of it, I'd be willing to organize, compile, and edit it.

    I see it as a research project, not a sharing of expertise. The only necessary qualification is a high level of interest. I think anyone who contributes here is qualified to contribute to the project.

    Learners have a hard time getting started because the information is scattered, and they are usually searching for an answer to a particular question, not trying to master an aspect of the field. So I don't think it takes a terribly high level of sophistication or experience to help them with this problem. We know who the reliable authorities are, and we have a good idea--an all too good idea--of what questions are most pressing and whose answers are most elusive.

    So you could help. At any level or degree of commitment you like, from writing the chapter on zone ratings to suggesting some FAQ or glossary topics.

    If we did this, I foresee a huge payoff: Most importantly, our own self-education; almost as important, the education of our colleagues at BBF; thereby raising the level of discussion; reaching out to those who are hostile to modern statistical analysis because it is difficult and, frankly, unwelcoming; and finally, attracting new members who come here in search of the same answers we are looking for.

    How about it? Anyone interested? If so, please respond, either here or by p.m. if you want to talk it over further. And if you've read this far, yes, I mean you, you're one of the people we're looking for.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  • #2
    I am willing to help, Dave.

    We should also provide reasons why certain statistical rates change (why did 1890s have less home runs? Why was pitching dominant in the 1960s?)
    Last edited by Tyrus4189Cobb; 11-23-2012, 01:48 PM.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

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    • #3
      What is a statistics primer?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
        What is a statistics primer?
        What I had in mind was a guide to current baseball statistics that are out of reach without some explanation. The exchange between Ben Grimm and me on the "How to use WAR" thread is kind of an example, only imagine the answer having more research and preparation behind it.

        I was thinking of FAQ, a glossary, critical reference list, and short topic articles arranged in pedagogical order. I'm trying to imagine what would have smoothed my way when I got started, and what I would like to have available to help me now. I suppose other contributors would think of it roughly the same way. It would depend on their interests and strengths, of course.

        It wouldn't be original or argumentative, just make the necessary explanations available all in one place, in an encouraging and easily assimilatable fashion.
        Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
          I am willing to help, Dave.

          We should also provide reasons why certain statistical rates change (why did 1890s have less home runs? Why was pitching dominant in the 1960s?)
          Thank you Ty. Great idea. You did that sabre curriculum, right? I bet there are a lot of things on that which we could use. Any other thoughts from anyone, whether interested in contributing or not, about what should go in?

          I think the reader we should keep in mind is someone who wants to use the internet to do stat research to participate in the discussions here.

          So if someone were to do something with accessing and processing Scoresheet data, they would be blessed by the baseball gods.
          Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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          • #6
            Can't people just search online for this kind of info?

            Are we talking about purely statistics or historical topics too?

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            • #7
              Hey guys, I really appreciate what you're trying to put together. Being one who's trying to learn the ins and outs of advanced metrics, I'm sure I'm not alone in searching endlessly and only coming up with terms that I can't understand or math that's simply beyond my capabilty.

              I for one am totally for doing the math myself once I have a directioin to head to, but I haven't found that one solid answer as of yet online. I find links to alternatives and everything gets more and more vague and complicated.

              I'm not a moron - though I barely made it thru high school . But I'm willing and able to put forth the effort to find answers if I have a consistent avenue in which to follow. That's been my biggest problem - finding that straight line without all the offshoots that come up since so many (not here) chime in with "better options" that take me away from my original problem-solve.

              I know I can't do much in the way of adding advice or such here if this does come about, but I'm a great researcher/gatherer of info and can outline topics and such suitable for submittal to anybody. If i can be of any help in that area, I'd be more than happy to do so.

              But in all, kudos to you guys for looking out for those of us who really want to learn more, but would like to see it in a single area as opposed to endless streams of renundant information that's on the webs.
              "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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              • #8
                Maybe part of the index would be...I dunno, the consensus top 25-50 players, in alphabetical with links as their names. Quick reference with stats and info that you won't find anywhere else (at least all in one place).

                And then some topics like:

                How ballpark dimensions and/or hitter approaches have affected BA over the years

                All-time unbreakable records and reasons why: Era conditions or Just plain difficult

                Deadball era pitchers crossing into liveball: How they adapted

                Biggest myths, historical or statistical

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                  Maybe part of the index would be...I dunno, the consensus top 25-50 players, in alphabetical with links as their names. Quick reference with stats and info that you won't find anywhere else (at least all in one place).

                  And then some topics like:

                  How ballpark dimensions and/or hitter approaches have affected BA over the years

                  All-time unbreakable records and reasons why: Era conditions or Just plain difficult

                  Deadball era pitchers crossing into liveball: How they adapted

                  Biggest myths, historical or statistical
                  Great ideas, but too deep for some of us. When I talked to Jackaroo Dave, I was hoping for a simple layout as to how WAR and such is brought about. That goes from hitting to fielding and why (as I asked in the thread) they don't equal to the total. I learned basic WAR from an old primer (a step by step progression as to how it's developed) but it's no longer in effect with the recent changes.

                  Here's what I'd like to see (generally)...

                  WAR
                  What is Wins over Replacement and what does it mean.

                  Offensive WAR
                  1 - does OPS+ matter?
                  2 - ballpark effects - do they matter?
                  3 - home/road splits - any consequence?
                  4 -
                  5 -
                  Defensive WAR
                  1 - UZR -how does it work?
                  2 - FLD% - obsolete stat?

                  How WAR is generated between oWAR & dWAR
                  1 -
                  2-

                  and it can go on as more info is put into the thread. Bascially, a simple rundown as to how numbers are crunched for those of us who want to grasp things but maybe can't with all the "speak" on the webs.
                  "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post
                    Great ideas, but too deep for some of us. When I talked to Jackaroo Dave, I was hoping for a simple layout as to how WAR and such is brought about. That goes from hitting to fielding and why (as I asked in the thread) they don't equal to the total. I learned basic WAR from an old primer (a step by step progression as to how it's developed) but it's no longer in effect with the recent changes.

                    Here's what I'd like to see (generally)...

                    WAR
                    What is Wins over Replacement and what does it mean.

                    Offensive WAR
                    1 - does OPS+ matter?
                    2 - ballpark effects - do they matter?
                    3 - home/road splits - any consequence?
                    4 -
                    5 -
                    Defensive WAR
                    1 - UZR -how does it work?
                    2 - FLD% - obsolete stat?

                    How WAR is generated between oWAR & dWAR
                    1 -
                    2-

                    and it can go on as more info is put into the thread. Bascially, a simple rundown as to how numbers are crunched for those of us who want to grasp things but maybe can't with all the "speak" on the webs.
                    Okay Ben, I see where you're going with it.

                    Understand, I come from a traditional/historical reference background, where performing more than two steps on a calculator is the breaking point. People who might be interested in learning about formulas and such, could be intimidated by a purely number driven thread. Just sayin'.

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                    • #11
                      I can absolutely see that as an issue. It's also why it's great that you, Jackaroo and Tyrus are possibly interested in doing this project. Trust me, the simpler the better but I know some things need consistent breakdowns that aren't so simple as adding 2+2. I can get that. But I think you and I are somewhat on the same page as to where we get our ideas from.
                      "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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                      • #12
                        How bout a breakdown of what stats should or can be used to rank players fairly.

                        WAR, EqA, OPS+, Win Shares, Relative Stats, etc...the pros and cons of each.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                          How bout a breakdown of what stats should or can be used to rank players fairly.

                          WAR, EqA, OPS+, Win Shares, Relative Stats, etc...the pros and cons of each.
                          This is good - ranking and comparison. How about also stats that are used for projection? I think stats can essentially fall into those two categories - comparison and projection.

                          Side note - maybe if this "glossary/faq/whatever it morphs into" takes shape someone can ask a moderator to create a sticky for it.
                          My blog - http://sandlotwisdom.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
                            Can't people just search online for this kind of info?

                            Are we talking about purely statistics or historical topics too?
                            Yes, they can search. Whether they can find it or not . . . . No, it IS all out there, so that's why I think almost anyone willing to dig is qualified. But the stuff is all over the place, often in the middle of a blog conversation, and entwined with stuff you don't need, and the one piece you want depends for a key point on some other idea that you never heard of, and so forth.

                            I think historical topics would make great applications and examples. In particular, we'd want to equip readers to research critically, so particular cases where the theory might go wrong or mislead or oversimplify, in addition to general caveats, would be extremely valuable. So if you happen to know anyone, nudge nudge wink wink. . . .
                            Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
                              Yes, they can search. Whether they can find it or not . . . . No, it IS all out there, so that's why I think almost anyone willing to dig is qualified. But the stuff is all over the place, often in the middle of a blog conversation, and entwined with stuff you don't need, and the one piece you want depends for a key point on some other idea that you never heard of, and so forth.

                              I think historical topics would make great applications and examples. In particular, we'd want to equip readers to research critically, so particular cases where the theory might go wrong or mislead or oversimplify, in addition to general caveats, would be extremely valuable. So if you happen to know anyone, nudge nudge wink wink. . . .
                              I understand.

                              So it can be as simple as "How to calculate OPS+"? And even though you can baseball-reference any players OPS+, for any season, people out there still need to know how to calculate it?

                              Maybe we should pick a trial run topic, just to see what we'd be in for. Sorta like we're casing a bank.

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