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Unfrozen Caveman Saberist (Tango)

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A nice little shortcut for calculating wOBA based on player's day at the plate. Tango says: Instead of "1" for a walk or hit batter, think "0.7". Instead of "1" for a single or reaching on error, think "0.9". Instead of "1" for a double or triple, think "1.3". Instead of "1" for a HR, think "2.0".

Tom Tango Needs Your Help - 2010 Fan Projection Surveys for Playing Time

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Take five minutes and tell Tom Tango how much playing time you think each of our beloved Mariners will get. It's a nice little way of saying "thank you" to Tango, who, as Dave said, invented half the cool stuff at FanGraphs and, as a consultant to the M's, helped create our new statistical analysis office. For some extra motivation, Royals Review is beating us 20-1 in submitted surveys right now. This will not stand.

BREAKING: Santa is from Finland

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And we've got his address.

Bobek Article in New York Daily News

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Here's a feature on recently arrested Nicole Bobek from the New York Daily News. I actually learned from the article that Bobek was in the 2006 movie, "All the King's Men." And she performed an...

Cup of China Pairs Free Skate Recap

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I didn't get a chance to see the Pairs short programs at Cup of China, but here is a recap of the top performances in the free skate. Home team Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang won the event with a 115.10...

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: The 2009 Fans' Scouting Report is Here

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Everyone who watches lots of baseball games should participate. It's something that helps all of us out, and also allows you to register your own scouting opinion on the defensive abilities of the players on the teams you watch the most. This is especially important for those of you who don't "trust" defensive stats. As Tango puts it: And, most importantly, do not, absolutely do not, look at any numbers. Don't look at his fielding percentage, range factor, zone rating, UZR, or anything else that someone else is telling you. I just want you to rely on your eyes. You are the scout. I need you to rely completely on your own observations. We know the fans know what they are talking about. We know they know how to observe good and bad fielding. Now, I just want to know what the fans know. And, hopefully, so do you. So remember to read the instructions carefully and go show those nerds just how Yuniesky Betancourt's awesomeness just can't be evaluated by defensive stats!

Introducing: Batting Assists and Batting Blocks

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It’s very simple: record the number of times that a batter moved a runner over who will eventually score, but that he did not get credit for an RBI. The leader in 2008 is: Justin Morneau, with 73 Batting Assists. (Can you guys think of a better name?) There were 65 runners that he moved into scoring position (by hit or out) that scored in a subsequent at bat. And there were 8 runners that scored while he was batting (by out), of which he did not get an RBI. How about if a batter does NOT advance a runner even one base (or worse, gets him doubled off)? The MLB leader in 2008 was: Jeff Francoeur with 319 runners who were blocked. I’ll call these Batting Blocks. Finally, the leaders in the ratio between Batting Assists to Batting Blocks is: Joe Mauer. The league average ratio is 1 assist per 5 blocks. Mauer had 69 assists and 170 blocks. In "Linear Weights speak", he was +29, followed by Ichiro and Carlos Guillen at +22. On the bottom side, we have Francoeur and Corey Hart at -21. Since 1993: the leader is Barry Bonds at +258 and Derek Jeter at +231. At the bottom of the pile is Tony Batista at -128.

Do speedy outfielders (and those with good arms) save extra-base hits?

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By mgl, 03:12 AM I’m talking about by cutting off hits in the gap (or wherever) and by the threat of a strong and/or accurate arm. As far as I know, none of the defensive systems takes this into consideration. UZR and my "arm lwts" do not. ... The final result and answer is that yes, speed in the OF results in fewer extra base hits, but not by a whole lot. If I break it down by field: LF Difference between fast and slow players (the 20% fastest and 20% slowest) is around 2 runs. CF 3.9 runs RF 2.4 runs If I isolate the fastest and slowest 5%, the difference is around 4.8 runs in CF, 2.7 in LF, and 3.6 in RF. So I think it is fair to say that the difference between the fastest and slowest players in terms of cutting off extra base hits in the gaps is plus or minus 3 runs per 150 in CF, and plus or minus 1.5 to 2 runs at the corners, which isn’t wood I guess. ... What about the same thing using "arms?" Players with better arms should be able to hold players to fewer extra base hits. Again, my "outfield arm linear weights" does not keep track of this, only of "holds" and "kills." For the best and worst 8% of the arms in CF, the difference is 1 run (per 150 games). In LF, it is also 1 run. In RF, it is 2.4 runs. Again those are differences between the best and worst 8% in "arm". So, in CF and RF, it is plus or minus .5 run per 150, and in RF, it is plus or minus 1.2 runs per 150.

Josh Kalk: Fastball speed and age

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Tango: Fascinating work by Josh Kalk. Fastball speeds increases by about 0.4% per year until age 29, then decreases by about 0.8% after age 29. You may also be interested in the work I did on pitching aging using the same delta process Josh is using, but focusing only on performance results. Next up for Josh is: amount of movement on fastball speeds, where in the strike zone is the pitcher pitching (preferably by count), and how effective he is, all from an aging perspective.

Tango: IBB to load the bases

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"I was watching the Tigers, White Sox game tonight and with the Tigers down a couple of runs in the 6th, I think, they issued an IBB to AJ what’s his name to load the bases with 1 out. In The Book, we suggest that it is generally not a good idea to load the bases with an IBB, even with 1 out. Obviously the decision is a complex one. To take a page out of the crazy BTF thread about the Justice post, I’ll say again that there is no human being on earth (unless there is some savant that can do it) that can figure out if that was the correct move or not, let alone a baseball manager. If the correct answer were a matter of life and death, he (Leyland) would have to hire a number cruncher to figure it out, and even then, hope that the number cruncher got it right, given all the variables that go into the equation. Of course, if the person offering the "life and death test" (let’s say GOD, because only he knows the 100% correct answer) was at least a little bit generous, he would offer Leyland and the number cruncher some "slop." If the decision were "don’t walk him", but by a hair, and the number cruncher says "walk him, but it is close," then Leyland lives. If the number cruncher says, "Walk him, and it ain’t even close," then Leyland bites the dust. If God tells us that the correct answer is "walk him and it’s not close," and the number cruncher says, "Don’t walk him," the Tigers’ skipper gets axed (literally). Get it? Obviously a guess (or whatever you want to call what a manager does when he makes these decisions) is going to be "right" a good portion of the time, but that is obviously not what I am talking about. I am talking about whether the manager, in any close situation (I am assuming that this and similar situations are close) like this, can KNOW that he is reducing the other team’s WE by walking the batter (whether he knows what that means or not). How would he do/know that? NO close and complex decisions can be figured out by intuition or experience. That just doesn’t make any sense."

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