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Where to find help with baseball statistics: a collaborative guide

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  • Where to find help with baseball statistics: a collaborative guide

    We have a sticky devoted to where to find data, but I thought it would be helpful to have a thread about where to get help with statistics: formulas, explanatory articles, glossaries, and other definitions, guides to use, and so forth. There is so much experience and knowledge among the readers of this site, let's see if we can put some of it together for our own and others' benefit. This could also help us with the Stats Primer.

    Here are a few places for people getting started to look. Please join in with your suggestions, linking to the specific page or guidance section if possible, since some of the sites are easy to get lost in.

    Right here is a good place to start: Some people report trouble with the search engine. I just use google and include site:baseball-fever.com with the search topic. e.g “xfip site:baseball-fever.com”

    This is good because it helps you find people as well as topics.

    Continuing to state the obvious, Wikipedia has some very good articles on advanced baseball stats, often by the designer, or at least links to such an authority.

    Probably everyone knows about Baseball Reference's incredibly rich mine of data, but for some reason, the explanations of all the arcane abbreviations and acronyms are hard to find. If you've ever been puzzled why total WAR doesn't equal Offensive WAR + Defensive WAR, look here:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/about

    This opens a page full of links to glossaries and blog pieces with reader comments raise pertinent questions, patiently answered. You could spend days here.

    Oh, and I know this is not supposed to be a data resource guide, but please check out the little tab-lettes near the Batting, Pitching, and Fielding tabs on the player page.

    Fangraphs, http://www.fangraphs.com , is a competitive/complementary site with its own cryptic stat language. Their information start page is

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/

    They also have a Q and A tab on their home page with a list of answered questions.


    There are many useful resources at the MLB site, but an essential one is the rulebook:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y20...ball_Rules.pdf
    See chapter 10 for definitions of things like on base and slugging percentages. Sometimes researchers will use modified versions because of data unavailability or simplicity, but here are the official ones.

    Here are a few from the sticky LOOKING FOR DATA on the baseball-fever stat page:

    The Hardball Times has all kinds of good stuff. Their stat definitions are here:

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/statpages/glossary/

    Here is the glossary for Baseball Prospectus, a subscription outfit but with a free section
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/gl...&category=true

    Tom Tango, who started that thread, is the co-author of a groundbreaking statistics work, The Book, and has a site www.tangotiger.net with a wiki section here:

    www.tangotiger.net/wiki/

    Caution: A lot of the discussion assumes a good bit of prior knowledge and can be concise to the point of terseness.

    There are also links to the Society of American Baseball Research, Retrosheet, and many more in the data sticky thread, but I don't know the specific reference pages, so I'll leave them for others or for later.

    So if you have a favorite site that has cleared away the fog for you, or if you are searching for any particular kind of information, please add to this meagre but hopeful start. Thanks.
    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
    Not a website, but Lee Panas' Beyond Batting Average really helped me understand sabermetrics, especially linear weights.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
      Not a website, but Lee Panas' Beyond Batting Average really helped me understand sabermetrics, especially linear weights.
      BEST BUY! $4.00

      This got a good review in the BB REF blog and the ebook is available at lulu.com for $4.00. Amazon has the hard copy for between $12 and $13. The review specifically mentioned its suitability as an introduction.

      I agree with Ty; it's very clear, not at all patronising, with no particular axe to grind. i can't think of a better place to start, especially for the money.
      Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 12-06-2012, 05:35 PM.
      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


      • #4
        http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/1...rs-of-giants-a
        So while bored today, not being clever enough to do my own analysis, I created sort of a sabermetric almanac, or whatever you'd like to call it, on a Word document and decided to post it here for everyone's perusal. Either way it covers a whole host of concepts through links to various articles I've found enjoyable and instructive over the years on Tom Tango's blog, Fangraphs, The Hardball Times, etc. I've organized it thematically, and I'll be the first to admit that its not exhaustive by any means and that perhaps it should be structured differently, or different articles should be under different headings, etc. Some of the articles are redundant in areas but they are each unique. Either way I think it's a good primer for the uninitiated and a good set of references and maybe some new information for everyone else. Enjoy:

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