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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Secret and Soggy Formulas

I know this has been talked about in several forums already but I'm late to the party in noting that The Science Channel will air a program titled "Baseball's Secret Formula" starting tomorrow that will supposedly talk about Bill James and sabermetrics. In fact, in the program guide on my cable system it actually uses the word "sabermetrics" in the description - perhaps the first time I've seen that.

While the Science Channel web site doesn't have much info there is a commerical they're running that goes like this:

"See how a simple set of equations is revolutionizing Americas past-time the use of mathematics is changing the way baseball is played. There's only so much you can do with statistics about put outs, assist and errors. These guys know how to spot talent but now the secret is out, the Science Channel steps up to the plate and reveals how one team went from cursed to first"

Jason Varitek, "You have to utilize all the information you have to formulate the best plan you can" Quoted while showing a computer screen inputing statistical data.

Terry Francona BoSox manager, "You here a lot of older baseball people say this is crazy"
I've got it setup to record and it'll be interesting to see how performance analysis is spun.

In other news I spent a soggy afternoon at Coors Field. We've had rain in Colorado Springs the last five or six days and today it was misting as I entered the ballpark at 11:45AM and it continued to do so throughout the entire game. I've never attended a game where it rained the entire time and yet there was no delay. The grounds crew just kept pouring that quick dry compound on the field between innings and luckily I was able to sit under the first deck and kept dry (but not really warm - it was about 60 degrees at game time and got colder as we went).

The game was also disappointing as the Rockies bullpen again imploded. In the 7th inning Aaron Cook went out and after getting Orlando Hudson to line out to center gave up line drive singles to Chris Snyder and Jeff DaVanon. Clint Hurdle then brought in Tom Martin (L) to pitch to Craig Counsell (L) who also singled. Then Hurdle brought in Scott Dohmann (R) to pitch to Eric Byrnes (R) who walked. Then Hurdle brought in Ray King (L) to pitch to Chad Tracy (L) who also singled. Then Hurdle brought in Jose Mesa (R) to pitch to Connor Jackson (R). Jackson hit a fly ball to left which Matt Holliday promptly dropped allowing in the tying and what turned out to be the winning run in an 8-5 loss. At least Hurdle's "playing the percentages". Right. For those of you scoring at home that's five consecutive hitters facing five different pitchers. I wonder how often that's been done before?

Last night of course the Rox bullpen gave up seven runs in the top of the ninth to give the Diamondbacks an 8-1 lead before the Rockies scored 6 runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose 8-7 and in the process setting a record for most runs scored in the ninth inning when beginning the inning tied 1-1. So now the Rockies limp into the break having been swept and just a game over .500. It is however, only the fourth time in their fourteen year history that they've reached the break with better than a .500 record.


Anonymous said...

Dan- just wondering what your take is on the Science Channel's program?

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