Daily Archives: March 25, 2017
I feel fortunate to have made some connections with ex-Brewers in the past two years. Not everyone wants to talk of course, and some guys say the number games they played combined with the passage of time make their memories not reliable enough to share. Others have been very giving with their time and memories. One such connection I made is with 1970 cup of coffee pitcher Ray Peters.
In the latest episode of The Teams That Should Have Won, I cover the Oakland A’s.
There are a lot of A’s teams that frustrated their fan base over the years. But only the 2002 A’s could have given their fans a Hollywood Ending… literally!
Cue “The Show” on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
For better or worse, statistics are the lingua franca of baseball, the language (and lifeblood) of the game.
We say “better or worse,” because as we all know, statistics can be misinterpreted or manipulated to support specious arguments (“Juan Gonzalez deserved the 1996 MVP because…RBI”), create divisions amongst fans (“old school” vs “sabermetrics”), confound or clarify (WAR and its components, particularly defensive metrics prior to the StatCast era).
But stats are also something else: A way to keep score, of course. A way to rate and rank our favorite players and teams. A favorite diversion (one that transcends mediums, from baseball cards to baseball-reference.com).
And, as Kevin Reavy and Ryan Spaeder, authors of “Incredible Baseball Stats: The Coolest, Strangest Stats and Facts in Baseball History” know, stats are just plain fun. So fun, in fact, that they can make the annual fool’s errand known as predicting the division races for the coming year a worthwhile exercise.
Here then, a list of cool, strange, illuminating and just plain fun statistical nuggets discovered or uncovered by Reavy and Spaeder – one per team, in predicted order of 2017 finish. For much, much more you’ll want to check out their book (really, the best ones are still there to be discovered by the reader). As they write in their introduction, “there’s a monstrous pile of data and satiating sabermetric goodies in this book…. But also, there are some really incredible stories.”