Category Archives: General baseball

Everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

WPA: A stat for everyone (except Francisco Cordero)

I understand a lot of the resistance from old-school baseball people and fans to advanced stats. I really do. Advanced stats can be confusing and, because of both their naming and the math that goes into them, intimidating. There’s also the problem that, dammit, I just want to talk baseball and not what somebody might theoretically do over the next so many years, especially considering this or that park factor.

Can’t we just talk about what happened last night?

Can’t we just talk about where our team is in the standings and how they got there?

If the above describes how you feel, I sympathize. I’m not in total agreement, but I do share your feelings to a certain degree. And I have good news — if you’re like me and seeking a middle ground, at least — there is an advanced stat just for you! Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

Baseball at the top of the world

Baseball caps spotted over the course of a week in Iceland

New York Yankees: 3

Two obviously worn by tourists, one by a man who seemed to be local.

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates: 1

Spotted at the airport. Guy was getting off the plane from Toronto, so I can only assume he was a tourist.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: 1

Worn by a man who was unloading baggage from the plane. I can only assume he was local.

 

 

Minnesota Twins: 1

Man wearing this hat was definitely on vacation.

 

Salt Lake Bees: 1

Definite tourist.

Number of times reacted to my Blue Jays cap: 1

“Go Jays!” he said.

“Go Jays!” I said, before asking if he was from Toronto.

“Of course,” the guy responded. “Do you think there are Jays fans anywhere else?”

1 Comment

Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

New-fan week: We’re all trying to hit .300

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here. The third piece, a new fan’s perspective on why the game is great, can be found here. The fourth instalment, a player’s perspective on the game, can be read here.

Today we feature a guest post from Navin Vaswani. You can find his work at NotGraphs and, occasionally, at the definitely-worth-adding-to-your-RSS-feed Sports and the City. If you’re on Twitter and you’re not following him already, shame on you.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’vaswani_’]

*   *   *

When Chris asked me to write a guest post for Infield Fly on why I enjoy baseball, he noted that I could bring a unique perspective to this week’s series because I’ve been to 30 Major League ballparks, all of them except for the Marlins’s new home. He’s right that I have been to all those parks. I did it a couple of years ago. Thirty-one ballparks in 55 days. The Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime, as I called it, one I didn’t finish writing about after being diagnosed with depression. But I don’t think that my trip — my insane trip — has given me any special insight into baseball, into the game, and why one likes it, and watches it. I think I learned more about America, backpacking through the country, than I did about baseball. Let’s face it: You’re going to love baseball, whether you’re a new fan, or someone returning to the game, because you love baseball. Not because of what you read here, or anywhere else, for that matter. I think what I’ve learned over the past few years, as I’ve become more of a baseball enthusiast, as compared to any other sport, is that baseball isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

New-fan week: Prep your baseball mind, appreciate baseball emotion

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here. The third piece, a new fan’s perspective on why the game is great, can be found here.

Today an Infield Fly regular, Cole, looks at his experiences coaching and playing and shares what makes the game so special to him. Cole currently plays in the Southern New Brunswick Baseball League, a men’s wood bat league, and has coached in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League, which has alumni such as former major leaguers Matt Stairs and Jason Dickson. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

New-fan week: Baseball is boring. Baseball is not boring.

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here.

Today, we have a guest post from Ruhee Dewji of Double Switching. She’s been a ball fan for just over a year now and she’s sharing what she loves about the game and why she’s hooked. If you’re on the Twitter, give her a follow. She’s cool beans. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

New-fan week: How to enjoy watching baseball

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here.

Today, I, Chris, go over a few basic things the new fan should do to gain an appreciation for the game.

OK, so you want to be a baseball fan. Good choice! Baseball can be a very rewarding sport, but it’s not an easy one for newcomers. You’ve got a lot to learn, so, rather than overburden you with explanations, here are three simple steps to get into the game. Complete these three and you’ll still have a lot to learn about the sport, but you should come away with an appreciation for the game and a willingness to keep watching. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

New-Fan Week: In Baseball, the Numbers Don’t Stop

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Today, resident stats guru coolhead2011 goes over the basic stats and numbers needed to understand the game.

Baseball players do not, in fact, carry calculators around in their back pockets. In fact, most players, when interviewed about a streak they are on, or counting stat they’ve accumulated, will claim they don’t pay attention to that sort of thing at all. I assume some of them are lying, because many players are also fans of the game, and when talking about the game, it often comes down to comparing players to one another. The baseball gods have given us a game from which we can draw so many numbers, and the discussions based on those numbers never end.

So, let’s start with the numbers a new fan needs to understand, just to know what’s happening on the field, and then we’ll look deeper into how those numbers have grown into a way to evaluate players. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

Brett Lawrie deserves to be suspended

“I didn’t mean to hit him, your honour; I just meant to fire a warning shot.”

At some point, likely today, Brett Lawrie will be suspended for his actions during the ninth inning of last night’s loss to the Tamp Bay Rays. Lawrie deserves whatever sort of punishment MLB metes out and, unless the punishment is harsh, he probably deserves more than he gets.

Lawrie says he didn’t mean to hit the ump with his helmet. I believe him. But intent only matters up to a certain point.

Hitting an umpire — even if unintentional, even if the ump just called you out on two borderline pitches you thought should be balls — is completely inexcusable.

Lawrie must pay for his actions and he should do whatever he can to make good with the umps so that any lingering anger isn’t taken out on his teammates in the form of questionable calls going against them.

GIF courtesy of Ian, the Blue Jay Hunter.

Leave a Comment

Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

The man, the legend, Jose Canseco

You know how Jose Canseco gets on Twitter and is all like “I’m the best at everything. I challenge you to challenge me”? Or, in the man’s own words:

Well, a guy in Ottawa took Canseco up on his offer to challenge him and this past weekend, Canseco was in Ottawa to take part in a home-run derby with Evan Malamud, appliance salesman.

Canseco lost the derby.

In fairness, Canseco had to hit baseballs out of the park and Malamud had to hit softballs over a much shorter softball fence. But still, Canseco lost.

I was unable to find video of the derby itself, but I did find this gem: Canseco’s media scrum. He says some interesting-in-a-crazy-way things: Twitter is like acting (presumably implying that he’s not really crazy); he believes he could still lead the majors in home runs if some team would just give him a chance already; and he’s developed an anti-aging drink that really works, you guys.

Without further ado, the man himself:

4 Comments

Filed under General baseball

Hack, hack, hack

For all the consternation in Toronto about Jose Bautista’s slow start to the 2012 season, baseball fans in Orange County have much bigger worries. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays