[quote=“buwhite”]Scorekeeper, much of your calculations etc. are so far above the average baseball players/parents/coaches taught process that it makes it very difficult to follow. Not saying that these things can’t improve a players understanding of baseball but many people need a bit smaller, baby steps to truly make it valuable to them. I read all your posts and even then some go above my head quickly.
just a comment since I would love to see this site continue to grow with lots of active members.[/quote]
I’ve gotta be careful here because I surely don’t want to offend anyone, nor do I want to come off a condescending. So bear with me, and try to understand that this is more a statement about the state of general understanding of regular old everyday baseball numbers than the state of arithmetic expertise.
I know it sounds trite, but the truth is, the base of most of the metrics I do now, I used to do when I was less than 10 years old, and so did most other kids I knew who played baseball where I grew up. We had to play games that actually required basic math skills. Most kids around me had some kind of baseball game that was played with spinning dials, dice, or something else, that allowed kids to simulate a ball game.
This was mine. http://baseballgames.dreamhosters.com/CadacoASB.htm We’d play seasons, meticulously keeping score and updating stats on everything from hitting, to fielding, to pitching, to base running. Although they usually supplied a graphic calculator to figure many of the things, most the kids I knew did what I did and just did the division or multiplication on the fly with a pencil and paper.
Many of us also dug a little bit, and did some of the things the big boys were doing. I’ll bet I sent 20 letters to Baseball Almanac, asking what numbers I should keep and how to compute the things they did. I also learned to use the library digging that stuff out. But I wasn’t alone! Like I said, it was “normal” for kids to know how those numbers on the back of baseball cards were figured, and normal to memorize them as well, and dig the numbers out of the box scores to update their favorite ML players.
However, those days are definitely a thing of the past. This generation of baseball players and most of their parents are generally so woefully ignorant about even something as simple as keeping score and the rules of the game, its unbelievable. Heck, in more than 10 years of scoring HS games, I haven’t found more than a handful of kids, and not many parents who could score a game. When I find parents that can do it, they’re either very close to my age, or they’d kept score for their kid sometime in the past.
But I know its not a matter of intelligence because every season I teach at least one 6 or 7 YO to keep score, along with any player who’s interested. And it doesn’t take long either. But the thing is, in my time we had no choice but to learn to do it ourselves, and it was just the “normal” thing to do.
Take for instance strike percentage. Every kid growing up when I did knew that if a batter swung at a ball, it was a strike. How much deep thinking does it take to know if the count is 0-0 and a player hits a foul ball it’s a strike, so therefore it’s a strike anytime. The difference is, a foul ball can’t be a strikeout unless it was an attempted bunt, but every kid also understood that a bunt is not a swing. So strike percentages are simple arithmetic. The number of strikes divided by the number of pitches, and its been that way as long as I can remember. Why so many people don’t understand that is beyond me. Heck, there’s a rule in OBR, 10.21, titled “Determining Percentage Records” for those who don’t know how MLB’s things are done.
What happens with a lot of the things I do, is that without the basic knowledge of scoring rules, and the knowledge of what common metrics in use today are, people get snowed. But there’s no reason for that because every single thing comes directly out of a scorebook. Its just how those numbers are manipulated that sometimes gets crazy, but except for some of the more wild things the Sabermaticians do, they’re all very simple things.
On my web site, www.infosports.com/scorekeeper I make almost all of the things I do available to everyone. For those who don’t understand some of the acronyms, I have a glossary available over on the left side of the page. But what happens a lot, is that people go to something like the combined pitching stats, and there’s so many different ones, and so many pages of them, they don’t even try to figure them out.
Tell ya what. You go there and pick any pitching stat you want, look at it for a few minutes, and if you can’t understand every single thing on it, either choose the Contact Scorekeeper link to send me an e-mail, or ask what you want here, and if I can’t explain it so that you can completely understand it, I’ll remove it from the metrics I do. How’s that for an offer? Heck, I’ll even go one better. I’ll bet if your boy doesn’t understand it just by looking at it, and I can’t get him to completely understand it, I do the same and remove it.