Baseball

Bunting into the Shift

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in Baseball

With more frequent and more extreme shifts appearing every season, I see lefty batters pull the ball right into someone’s glove while the 3B bag sits there, sad and alone. I keep asking myself… Why don’t players bunt into the shift? It seems to me that if players could effectively bunt down the 3B line when there is no third baseman, shifts would disappear, but it rarely happens. Why not?

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What’s a Player Worth?

Posted by on Nov 26, 2018 in Baseball

Spurred on by discussion in my fantasy baseball league (where many of my baseball musings are born) about whether or not the Braves got a good deal on Josh Donaldson with a $23 million 1-year contract, I thought to myself, there must be a quick-and-dirty quantitative way to spit out a number for how much a player is worth based on his recent performance and age.

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My Day at All-Star FanFest 2018

Posted by on Jul 17, 2018 in Baseball

With the MLB All-Star Game here in DC this year, I went to the All-Star FanFest, which MLB proudly calls “the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world”. Yesterday was long but fun day with friends and lots of little moments that made it memorable.

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Managing in MLB

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Baseball

2014: Matt Williams named NL Manager of the Year
October 2015: Nationals fire Matt Williams

2016-2017: Dusty Baker most successful manager in Nationals/Expos franchise history
October 2017: Nationals fire Dusty Baker

Bottom line is that these firings often do not always correspond with a manager’s success on the field. Based on the team performance that we see as fans, these moves are often irrational. Why do they happen? Sometimes, players reveal things to management that none of us see or hear about. Sometimes, teams just need someone to blame. Sometimes, it’s internal politics we know nothing about. So who are the most successful managers ever? Is there a way to look at it sabermetrically? The quick and dirty way to see who the most successful managers have been is to look at simple W-L records of the teams they managed. Even better to include post-season along with their regular season totals. Here are the top 10 MLB managers in career regular and post-season wins:

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Baseball’s Best at Each Position

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Baseball

Adrián Beltré’s recent 3000th career hit kicked off a conversation in my baseball circles about where he ranks in history among the game’s best third basemen. I took a statistical approach, looking at each player’s career WAR and using a positional adjustment for games they have actually played at their position.

For example, through August 2, 2017, Beltré has played 2667, or 96.1%, of his 2774 regular season games at third base. So I take his career WAR, 92.4, and multiplied it by 96.1% to come up with a positionally adjusted WAR of 88.8.

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