Through the Years: Greg Maddux

It’s a sad day for Major League Baseball, as Greg Maddux officially announces his retirement (sometime) today. With the “pre-official” announcement he made on Friday, I’ve been reading tributes and reminisces about Mad Dog all weekend, and it’s pretty clear that he made quite an impact on baseball fans across the country. Some remember his […]

Career length of players by position played

Well, I’ll say it: if you aren’t reading Joe Posnanski’s blog every day, or buying his book, then you are missing the best sports writing there is. I don’t think I’m more excited to see a post show up in my RSS reader than I am when I see a new post from Joe. Yesterday, […]

Three Decades of Quality (Dodger) Baseball

One more foray into division predictions from the old preview guides… As I was entering all of the predictions into the database, I noticed pretty early on that the Dodgers seemed to have some high predicted finishes. Looking at the final list, it bears this out: in 30 issues spanning 22 seasons (see the list […]

Minnesota Twins: Consistently Beating Expectations

With the old baseball preview guides catalogued and entered into the database, I’ve been playing with the data to see what trends I could discover. The first thing I did was compare each team’s predicted finish in a given year with their actual finish. However, with 26 to 30 teams and 31 different issues’ worth […]

Baseball in the Year 2000: Predictions from 1981

Well, this isn’t the preview guide analysis that I expected to post tonight, but it seemed too interesting to pass up. This evening, the 1981 Sporting News Baseball Yearbook that I found on ebay was delivered to my house. I was excited to look through it, to see what they had to say about baseball […]

A brief note on Preview Guides

Every February, as pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training, a certain batch of magazines make their way to racks at local stores: the annual baseball preview guides, from publishers like Athlon, Street and Smith’s, and the Sporting News. And, every February for the last ten years (and counting), I go […]

“Baseball’s Best Player”, by Bill James

It’s pretty obvious from the last few posts that I spend a lot of time on Bill James Online. It’s a pay site, but it’s ridiculously affordable (only $3/month) and gives you some interesting things. You get access to a unique stable of Bill James stats (many of which you can only see on his […]

Outlier Seasons

(originally posted on the Bill James Online forums, in response to user evanecurb’s call for player’s who had “great years that came from nowhere and never happened again”) Well, it’s an interesting question to try to quantify. I figured that looking at Win Share discrepancies would do the trick. However, that ends up being a […]

Looking at old preview guides

(originally posted on Bill James Online forums) I don’t know about other people here, but something I’ve always found fascinating is looking through old copies of those “Baseball Preview Guides” that come out at the start of every year. Whether it’s the old Sporting News Baseball Yearbook, or Street & Smith’s, or Athlon, etc, I […]

Evaluating a Player’s Career “Range” (Part II)

My first attempt at evaluating a player’s career “range” can be found in Part I. I had some reservations about the list that that initial attempt generated, so I approached it in a slightly different manner. This is what I came up with on a second look: So, I ran the numbers using 60% of […]

The reason for this blog

Recently, I decided to take the interest I’ve had in baseball statistics for years and years and actually do something about it. I’ve been playing around with the various statistics databases available online and other sources of baseball information (reference books, magazines, preview guides, websites like, etc.) and getting a taste for what the […]

Albert Pujols vs. Frank Thomas

(originally posted on the Bill James Online forums) This is something that I’ve been pondering since the start of this season, and now that Pujols was finally given his second MVP, I figured I might as well share the thought with others. Before I go on, I should state that this comparison was probably most […]

Preview Guides Available Online

It’s sometimes easy to forget just how cool of a world we live in. As I do my best to collect the various annual preview guides, I discover again and again that the internet has me beat by miles (well, in one way… it’s still a thousand times easier and more fun to own and […]