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Friday, February 23, 2007

1000

In September of 2003 I authored my first post on this blog at the urging of my friend and co-worker Jon Box. In that post I noted that I chose the title "Dan Agonistes" in reference to Milton's famous poem Samson Agonistes written in 1671. Agon in Greek means "to struggle" or "wrestle" since this blog was intended to discuss my struggles or wrestling with various issues.

At the time I had intended to write mostly in my field of Information Technology with a fair dose of history, Christianity, natural science, and sports. What I quickly found in my next three posts was that I rather enjoyed writing about baseball (I did start another blog to discuss a service oriented software development project) and although I have from time to time written on other subjects the content has increasingly skewed towards baseball. Writing about the national pastime on this blog certainly helped me hone my writing skills and led directly to first writing for The Hardball Times and now Baseball Prospectus.

Well, this is now the 1,000th post (much to the mortification of my dear wife) and I have to admit that I'm a little surprised I'm still writing. Like many bloggers I think that writing about a topic helps me to think systematically and logically as well as come to opinions or conclusions on various issues. And so contrary to the notion that blogging is all about ego (it certainly is to some degree) I prefer to think that blogging is a form of self education. At least it has been for me.

Over the course of the last three and almost one half years there have been several posts that were my favorites. You'll notice that more than two hundred of those are listed on the right. But there are other posts that clearly the favorites of others, judging from the traffic reports I look at occasionally anyway. Some of those are:

The series of posts I wrote on C.S. Lewis' Miracles

The series of posts on Run Estimation

Sabermetrics 101

What is a Normal Career Trajectory?

Old Pitcher Skills?

Thanks for reading and I hope to keep the conversation going...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A small footnote: In ancient Greek, the word "agon" is a noun. Its 'literal' translations include "struggle" and "contest." The verb is agonizomai, and the noun agonistes means "contender" or "competitor". (It's a generic term and doesn't specifically connote "wrestling" as the form of competition.)

Glad you've chosen to write so much about baseball. Your work is always worth reading.

Guy said...

Dan:
Congrats on reaching this milestone. I notice in your "career trajectory" post you look at hitters but not pitchers. I have seen many studies of hitters' age over the years, yet virtually none of pitchers. Three questions:
1) You mention that pitchers also peak at age 27. Can you provide a citation for that study (and any other pitcher studies you know of)?
2) Any thoughts on why so little work has been done on pitcher aging, as compared to hitters?
3) Any interest in looking at pitcher aging in future BP columns, not just overall ERA but also age trends for Ks, BBs, HR, and BABIP?

JS said...

Grats! Keep on keepin' on. Here's to another 1000...

Dan Agonistes said...

Thanks all for your good wishes.

Guy, as mentioned I used a single aging curve for all players but I'm sure that pitcher aging doesn't follow the exact same curve. I would expect pitchers to peak slightly later but I don't know of a study off-hand that shows that. My guess is that hitting statistics are better understood and easier to manipulate and so that's why it's less explored. It's also probably the case that it's more variable. Good idea for a future column though.

Ron Hostetter said...

Wow... time flies. I remember that first post (as well as Jon Box's persuasions).

Congrats. As always, I enjoy every word you put to (virtual) paper.

Have fun in AZ (jealous!).

Ron