Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Sox - a lot of bad luck so far

Hey, kudos to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, who has produced a statistically literate, relevant and useful article on the Red Sox early season troubles:
On both halves of the BABIP - batting average of balls in play - the Sox have been on the wrong side of the tracks.

BABIP, the newfangled metric, is a gauge on what happens to a ball when contact is made that results in a plate appearance. Home runs are taken out of the equation, so what a defender does, or does not do, with a ball hit to him is taken into account. With a typical BABIP of .290, the higher it is, the luckier the batter is and unluckier the pitcher is.

BABiP is something that I invented1 several years ago, in order to look at defense. It has now been around enough for people to recognize it and understand what it is and how it works. But I wouldn't have expected to see it in the mainstream press yet. So that's a good job by Silverman.

1 - OK, I probably didn't invent it. And Silverman certainly didn't get it from me. I probably had seen someone do that, or something like that, at some time previously. But I don't remember having seen it before I first derived it.

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