Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Meet My Links - Baseball Prospectus

Anyone else remember when "Meet My Links" was actually a weekly feature? Yeah, me neither. Anyways, I hope that my overt pimping and shameless pluggery has led some of you to a few of those links on the right-hand side. They've got you covered from music to movies to TV to…me. But, today, we're speaking about sports.

Yes, again.

Baseball Prospectus

Synopsis: Home to a collection of self-professed "experts", Baseball Prospectus is one of the most unique, interesting and influential baseball sites around. Famous for their heavy emphasis on stats and performance analysis, BP covers the game through new-age measures, but still maintains a focus on the same in-game and historical discussions that have filled smoky bars and ballpark bleachers for generations.

Positives: Joe Sheehan's "Prospectus Today" is probably the most accessible column for both traditional and stathead fans. He'll generally look at an event or aspect that's getting a lot of publicity (the Yankees slow start, por ejemplo) and take an entirely fresh approach to it. Christina Kahrl writes my favorite regular BP feature: "Transaction Analysis". Each week, every deal made (be it big, medium or inconsequentially small) is sorted by team and analyzed. Plus, she's an unabashed A's fan. Finally, there's Will Carroll's "Under the Knife" column, which is something of a "medhead heaven" for fantasy players looking for the latest injury news (and injury translations).

Negatives: This ain't your daddy's baseball think-tank. The writers have created dozens of new stats with wacky acronyms like VORP, EqR and SNWAR that are sure to confuse new readers. For most of us, the baseball learning curve flattened out once someone clearly explained the infield fly rule. Put it this way, if you still think batting average is relevant and "clutch hitting" is a skill, then this isn't the place for you. Another occasional turnoff is the sheer arrogance that some of the writers wield, which is juxtaposed with sheer disdain for those who don't view the game as they do. The best material, unfortunately, is available by subscription only.

One Sentence Summary: Don't let the alphabet soup of acronyms scare you, because the BP team has plenty of sharp, intelligent and against-the-grain writers to make everyone a better baseball fan.

Next: Broken Dial (wait…that's not the one Gloomchen writes for, is it?)

No comments: