Category Archives: Statistics

2014 Major League Baseball Postseason Primer

October is (basically) here. The crucible of baseball games pretty much every day for six months has eroded away 67% of the field. Gone (officially) from our everyday baseball musings is the wretched refuse – the teams that make people scream “WHAT ACTUALLY ARE YOU GUYS DOING?!?!” Let’s just cut to the chase – the teams that do things like this:

OK, OK, this was from 2012. True failure is timeless.
OK, OK, this was from 2012. Failure of this magnitude is timeless. It didn’t end there, either…

 

Oh, the Angels made three errors on the same play back in April, you say?

 

The Dodgers threw the ball all around the field during pennant chase in September?

 

Alright, so playoff teams do dumb stuff, too. Actually, they do an awful lot of dumb things when all is said and done. On the balance, however, they do bad things a bit less than do, well, bad teams. Think about it: the teams with the three best records in all of Major League Baseball still spent the equivalent of over two months losing games this year (64 losses for the Angels, 66 for the Orioles and Nationals). The six-month regular season is a matter of surviving the humanity of one’s self and one’s teammates as much as it is surviving the onslaught of one’s opponents.

Six months is also a long time for you, sports fan. We know you have lot pictures of cats to peruse on the internet are busy, we know you have a life, and we know that following even one team everyday for six months can be a challenge. Fear not – we have your back. The dudes will bring you up to speed on the ten teams that managed to survive the summer a little better than the rest – the teams that will wake up on September 30th and still have a mathematically verifiable chance to win the 2014 World Series. We have the Cliff Notes non-trademarked quick summaries, we have the graphs, and we have the punchy tale-of-the-tape numeric profiles that will make you the envy of every water cooler discussion. Then? It is up to you. You won’t find any brackets or World Series picks here – YOU get to fearlessly decide who will be winning it all. Trolls, we give you:

SWEET NOTHINGS AND HARDBALL’S
2014 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
POSTSEASON PRIMER

The American League
The National League

 

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Spring Fling / Give Him a Ring / Leave Him Crying: NL East Edition

Finally. Belatedly. Past-waiver-trade-deadline-ishly. Kinda-sorta-almost-Octobery. We rise from the ooze of June Swoons, the Heart of Hell from which July stabs at thee, and the autumnal sunlight that signals pigskin is here in a meaningful way to pick, from a sample of three, one to ‘Date’, one to ‘Marry’, and one to ‘Kick to the Curb’. The Subjects? All 30 MLB rosters.  The Objective? To provide you with a cursory introduction to some of the players and concepts we value… and hate. You know it. You love it. It’s…

Sweet Nothings and Hardball’s “Spring Summer Fall Fling / Give Him A Ring / Leave Him Crying” Game!


Spring Fling
: Ready to give a season to this player, but for any number of reasons it probably won’t work out long-term.

Give Him a Ring: Ready to commit to this player for at least 3 seasons.

Leave him Crying: Ready to be cold and heartless because sometimes we don’t want to be masochists anymore.

Players must have accrued MLB service time this season to qualify as entrants.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Presented in order of standings on September 23, 2014.

Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies

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Spring Fling / Give Him a Ring / Leave Him Crying: AL East Edition

Can the dudes race against the onset of summer and win? No, probably not. Will the fact that the final edition(s) “Spring Fling / Give Him a Ring / Leave Him Crying” could very well be published in summer matter to someone? Probably. Does that someone read “Sweet Nothings and Hardball?” Math says “no.” Nonetheless, we are committed to bringing you the opportunity to pick, from a sample of three, one to ‘Date’, one to ‘Marry’, and one to ‘Kick to the Curb’. The Subjects? All 30 MLB rosters.  The Objective? To provide you a cursory introduction to some of the players and concepts we value… and hate. You know it. You love it. It’s…

Sweet Nothings and Hardball’s “Spring Fling / Give Him A Ring / Leave Him Crying” Game!


Spring Fling
: Ready to give a season to this player, but for any number of reasons it probably won’t work out long-term.

Give Him a Ring: Ready to commit to this player for at least 3 seasons.

Leave him Crying: Ready to be cold and heartless because sometimes we don’t want to be masochists anymore.

Players must have accrued MLB service time this season to qualify as entrants.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Presented in order of standings on June 15, 2014.

Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays

Wait, so what you are saying is that the AL East is getting yet further coverage? Sadly, it must be so, trolls. Hey, at least its some weird “upside down” AL East though. C’mon – doesn’t some part of you enjoy that this is *almost* a complete inversion of the 2008 standings? Too esoteric? We can’t be friends.

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A little PSA about exciting developments in MLB’s data tracking technologies

- Howard Simmons/New York Daily News
Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

This brief post intends to serve two purposes: 1.) to begin testing the iPad as a blogging tool and 2.) to call your attention to a really exciting development in the collection of advanced data in Major League Baseball. Yahoo Sports’s Jeff Passan outlines the exciting possibilities of this new system in great detail, so I will refer you to his piece if you are curious about the specifics.

Jeff Passan: “Here’s another dose of new technology breaking down Yasiel Puig’s amazing catch and what it means for baseball”

For those who don’t want to read Passan’s excellent article, here is something of a reader’s digest version: Continue reading A little PSA about exciting developments in MLB’s data tracking technologies

Spring Fling / Give Him A Ring / Leave Him Crying: NL Central BONUS Edition

MATT’S BONUS LEFT CRYING

Emilio Bonifacio – 2B/3B/SS/OF

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

Take out a piece of paper and a writing instrument, class; it is time for a brief lesson on Small Sample Size and Ree-ee-gression!

Wait, what? Yes, I suppose the back of the test I just returned to you and your neighbor’s highlighter will do, but please come to class with all of your crap next time.

This was originally going to a bonus second Cubs “Left Crying” in our NL Central Edition of Spring Fling / Give Him A Ring / Leave Him Crying, but it took on a life of its own and became too large to be included in that post. I simply could not pass on the opportunity to briefly celebrate the cruel, heartless bitch that is regression. Of course, real statisticians (and sabremetricians) will consider this concept elementary, but it is nonetheless fun to ponder. I need to preface that I do not really have anything against Emilio Bonfacio – he is somewhat unremarkable and largely inoffensive, though I would never go out of my way to fling with him or present to him a ring (per the paradigm of the larger series of which this post is a rogue offshoot) – the opening to his 2014 campaign has so perfectly encapsulated this statistical concept in which I place a great deal of value that I simply could not pass up the opportunity to use and abuse Bonifacio’s poor little heart for my selfish purposes. Continue reading Spring Fling / Give Him A Ring / Leave Him Crying: NL Central BONUS Edition