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