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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I Almost Played Baseball for the USC Trojans

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Baseball, Stories

Like any kid, I wanted to be a major league baseball player.

I played baseball in high school, but having spent most of my grade school years up in Canada, I was a little behind most of my American peers when I moved back down to the US for 11th grade. A birthday on the wrong side of the cut-off date for grade placement didn’t help things, making me almost a year younger than most of my peers. I wasn’t very good and spent most of the time riding the bench.

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Rediscovering Baseball from the 80’s

Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Baseball

So I was chatting with a buddy about some baseball stuff, specifically how public perception of Barry Bonds has changed over the years.

I described to him how I remember that Bonds was generally well-liked in the early 90’s. Around that time, it was like “Holy shit, with all these metrics coming out now, is Bonds really the best player in baseball? And has he been for several years now?” Sabergeeks were loving him more and more as analysis gained momentum. His prickly personality was maybe not so prickly yet and certainly wasn’t well-known.

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Baseball, Drugs, and the Hall of Fame

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Baseball

Leaving performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) out of the equation for a moment, and looking at the raw numbers alone, here’s a list of eligible players sorted by career WAR (I also looked at the trendy JAWS but didn’t like it).

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