Andrea and I went to see the Alaska Goldpanners again last night. As we were leaving the house, it started to lightly drizzle, and after the first inning of play, it started raining at the ballpark. We didn’t wind up staying for the whole game (the Goldpanners won 8—3): we left after our pitcher threw two wild pitches over the catcher to score two Anchorage Bucs runs because he couldn’t get a good grip on the wet ball.
For more than an inning, there was a spectacular triple rainbow. One of the great things about baseball: you never know what you're going to see, on and off the field!
If you’re in Fairbanks this summer, you owe it to yourself to come out to the ballpark at least once. It’s a cheap evening, is often a more interesting game than the brand of baseball you see in the Major Leagues, it’s great to be outside watching the next generation of baseball players, and the Goldpanners could really use the support. They had to drop out of the Alaska Baseball League this summer, and are playing an abbreviated season, but hopefully if they get enough fan support, they’ll play a full season next year. The link in the first paragraph takes you to the schedule.
I hope to see you at the ballpark!
Yesterday A’s closer Brian Fuentes said some unfortunate things about his manager (Bob Geren) in frustration over when he was sent out to pitch in relief yesterday. Here’s what A’s closer (2005—2008) Huston Street had to say about his former manager today:
My least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27.
Think about that for a minute. Ever encountered!? To quote my nephew, “Daaaang!” How can the A’s keep Geren around when he’s clearly despised by the players he’s managing?
June 9, 2011, Update: Geren fired! Bob Melvin hired as Interim Manager.
Yesterday was opening day in Major League Baseball. Yahoo!
I watched bits of Tigers v. Yankees, Padres v. Cardinals, and much of the Giants v. Dodgers game, all on my iPhone. I haven’t subscribed to MLB.tv, but yesterday’s games were sponsored by Volvo, so anyone with the MLB 11 app could watch for free. The quality is reasonable, and the app seems smart about not consuming all the available bandwidth.
I root for the A’s, Giants and Phillies (and favor the Tigers and Cubs when there are no other rooting interests). All three are pretty good teams, and all of them have the starting pitching to contend, but may have trouble scoring runs. The A’s have no power threat and a cadre of fragile, replacement-level position players, the Giants need a good season from Posey, Sandoval and rookie Brandon Belt, and the Phillies are hurting without Werth and Utley. But however it turns out, it’s great to have baseball back.
Well, however it turns out as long as the Yankees, Angels, Braves and Dodgers don’t wind up in the World Series…
I recently saw a pair of blog posts showing how to make heatmaps with straight R and with ggplot2. Basketball doesn’t really interest me, so I figured I’d attempt to do the same thing for the 2010 Oakland Athletics 40-man roster. Results are at the bottom of the post.
First, I needed to get the 40-man roster:
Then trim it down so it’s just a listing of the player’s names.
Next, get the baseball data bank (BDB) database from http://baseball-databank.org/, convert and insert it into a PostgreSQL database using mysql2pgsql.perl.
A Python script reads the names from the roster, and dumps a CSV file of the batting and pitching data for the past two seasons for the players passed in.
The batting data looks like this:
I’ve used the counting stats in the BDB to calculate batting average (ba), on-base percentage (obp), slugging percentage (slg), OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage), runs created (rc), home run rate (hrr), strikeout rate (kr) and walks rate (bbr).
And the pitching data:
Here I’ve calculated innings pitched (ip), winning percentage (wp), losing percentage (lp), win frequency (wf), earned run average (era), strikeouts per nine innings (k9), walks per nine (bb9), and home runs given up per nine innings (hr9). All these stats are for the last two Major League seasons.
Finally, generate the heat maps in R. For batting statistics:
Pitching statistics are the same, except the third line (where I order the data frame) is:
You have to keep the number of games (or innings pitched for pitchers) in mind when you look at these charts. I don’t even know who some of those guys are, probably because they’ve only barely played in the majors. It might make some sense to split the pitching plot into plots for starters and relievers, but I’d need a good way to determine a pitcher’s status (innings pitched divided by games beyond some threshold, perhaps?).
As for the A’s, I like their pitching, but have serious doubts about their offense. I sure hope some of the younger guys on this chart start reaching their power potential because having Jack Cust as your only offensive weapon doesn’t bode well for the team scoring runs.
Major League Baseball is doing it’s best to ruin my baseball experience this season. I finally gave up on Gameday Audio after all my struggles trying to get it to play smoothly on my MacBook Pro (Windows Media format might work well on Windows, but it frigging sucks everywhere else). Once the piteous spectacle of the NFL started, my local AM radio station stopped broadcasting Sunday Night Baseball (and all the baseball playoff games this Sunday), which was the only opportunity I had to listen to games. And, the first round of the playoffs and half of the second round aren’t on regular television anymore (they’re on TBS).
Turns out that TBS is broadcast over the air on channel 28, but as you can see from the image, it doesn’t come in very well at our house. Despite all that, though, I’m watching and scoring the game. MLB hasn’t completely lost me yet.