Five Links: April 24, 2015

Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • How To Design A Modern Box Score (Baseball Prospectus) – I don’t completely understand Jesse Krailler’s model, but I love the thought process. You can see more of his stuff here. And because I geek out big time on keeping score, here’s a fun Jim Caple article from a couple years ago that’s also worth perusing.
  • Sol White’s Family, Lost and Found (Our Game) – MLB official historian John Thorn published this in May 2014, but I’m only discovering it now. White was a 19th century ballplayer, manager, and baseball historian. As the article notes, “Sol White’s History of Colored Baseball, published in 1907, is the starting point for black baseball scholars following his path.” The rest of the story unfolded in January 2015: “He spent his last years warehoused in a New York state mental hospital. He was buried in an unmarked grave until the Society for American Baseball Research’s Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project provided a headstone in May 2014.” This is why I’m proud to be a SABR member.
  • The San Diego Hedgehogs? (Baseball Prospectus) – Jeff Quinton wonders whether A.J. Preller rebuilt the Padres using “fox-thinking” (dealing with situations as they arise; dynamic) or “hedgehog-thinking” (having an overarching strategy independent of surroundings; static). Quinton offers several hypotheses at the end. The most likely to me are Hypotheses C (the new front office went out and acquired “their players”) and E (make the team not boring), but we have no way of knowing for sure. Related, Jon Heyman also has an article on Preller’s antics that is worth reading.
  • The Physics of Baseball in Super Slow Motion (Hardball Times) – This piece from Steve Kagan is beautiful. Come for the pretty pictures, stay for the lucid explanations: “When the ball is hit on the ‘sweet spot’ there are few vibrations in the bat. So, no energy is spent on vibration, leaving more available to speed the ball on its journey to the cheap seats.”
  • Myers working hard to prove doubters wrong (Padres.com) – As Tracy Ringolsby discovered, new Padres center fielder Wil Myers isn’t shy about discussing his former team: “I am playing with a chip on my shoulder. Last year was the first bad year I had in my pro career. When Tampa traded me away, I felt they had given up on me.” Chips are good, right? I like mine with pico de gallo.

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