Friday, June 05, 2009

Ask Sports Sturm - Baseball Items

fenway20park20tapestryToday's feature is all baseball related, and I believe the final item in particular will be very useful for most fans to clip and save if you believe in doing that sort of thing...

Item #1: Hey Bob, you mentioned your trip to Fenway, and I was curious which parks you have been to and what was your favorite? - Tommy

Tommy, I am just the kind of guy to remember every park I have ever been to, I believe, so let me list them in the order I attended them - as memory serves: 1) Country Stadium, Milwaukee, 2) Metrodome - Minneapolis 3) Busch Stadium - St Louis, 4) Royals Stadium - Kansas City, 5) New Comiskey, Chicago, 6) Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7) Fulton-County Stadium, Atlanta, 8 ) Yankees Stadium, New York, 9) Ballpark in Arlington - Texas, 10) Wrigley Field, Chicago, 11) Coors Field, Denver, 12) Pac-Bell Park, San Francisco, 13) Miller Park, Milwaukee 14) Minute Maid Park, Houston, 15) Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, 16) Angels Stadium, Anaheim, 17) Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, 18) Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego.

So 19 is tomorrow. And more importantly, with Dan McDowell stuck at 17, I open up a big 2-stadium lead.

My Favorite? How about top 5 in no particular order: Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, Dodgers Stadium, Pac-Bell Park, and Wrigley Field. But the Padres and Rockies experiences were awesome, too.

The true test for favorite stadium experience will be this weekend, when I finally get to Fenway, and can cross that off my sports-dork bucket list.

Item #2: This one is from me as I was watching the Elvis Andrus show on Wednesday night - Hey Bob (and sports intern TC) has a rookie Shortstop every won a gold glove? What about rookies in general and the gold glove? - Love, Bob

From TC:
No rookie shortstop has ever won a Gold Glove.

Nine rookies, however, have won a Gold Glove at another position. Ichiro did it in his rookie season, and every year after. Despite being what looks like a September call-up every year from 1962 to 1965, Tommie Agee's rookie season technically was 1966, and he won both Rookie of the Year and the Gold Glove for the White Sox. Outfielder Fred Lynn was Ichiro of 1974 for the Red Sox, winning the Rookie of the Year, AL MVP, and Gold Glove in his first full year. Third baseman Frank Malzone, also for the Red Sox, had his rookie year at age 27 and won the Gold Glove that year (1957). Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk,and Sandy Alomar each won the Rookie of the Year and Gold Glove as a catcher in 1968, 1972, and 1990, respectively. Charlie Johnson won the Gold Glove as a catcher in 1995 for the upstart Marlins. Ken Hubbs only played two full years for the Cubs before dying in a plane crash, but in one of those years, 1962, he won Rookie of the Year and the Gold Glove at second base.

Genius! I am not sure he can win it, but he seems to be showing everyone how good he is, and now you know he could be the first Shortstop to ever do it.

Item #3: When crunching numbers, you need to know the average. If you just landed on earth from a galaxy far, far away, and the first human you saw was Yao Ming, you may not have a good reference for the average height of a human.

If the first house you see is owned by Tom Hicks, that may confuse your idea of what a house looks like.

And the same is true when looking at baseball statistics. Most people know that hitting .300 is great, hitting .200 is awful, and hitting .400 is the eternal dream. But, what means better-than-average?

So, when reviewing My most recent stat breakdown of Rangers pitching, it did occur to me that it might be helpful for most to understand what the average is across baseball when it comes to certain stats.

The last time I did this, a full statistical average study was April, 2008 , so we need to add some information to our findings.

2009 Stats are nice, but we don't have a complete body of work to use, so they can be misleading with 66% of the schedule yet to be played.

But, here are the league averages for 4 very key numbers in baseball, so when you hear that someone has a OBP of .370, or an ERA of 3.94, you know just how good that really is:


Table Tutorial

And then here is the last full season we have, 2008:

Table Tutorial

So, to review, the major league average in 2008 for batting average was .264-
The league average for on base percentage was .333-
And, the league average for slugging percentage was .416-
That would make the league average OPS (OBP + Slugging) .749

2008: .264/.333/.416
2007: .268/.336/.423
2006: .269/.337/.432
2005: .264/.330/.419
2004: .266/.335/.428
2003: .264/.333/.422
2002: .261/.331/.417
2001: .264/.332/.427
2000: .270/.345/.437
1999: .271/.345/.434
1998: .266/.335/.420
1997: .267/.337/.419
1996: .270/.340/.427
1995: .267/.338/.417
1994: .270/.339/.424
1993: .265/.332/.403

So, hopefully, this will help you the next time you examine someone's stats.

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