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Old 04-23-2018, 03:38 AM
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Default Learning Sabermetrics

Hey guys,

When we get into statistical discussions of baseball players, I always feel that I could use a better grasp of Sabermetrics. I have some of the basics down, and I understand the theory behind the advanced study. Where have you guys learned the ins and outs? I've looked at the SABR website, and I've purchased The New Bill James Historical Abstract (the 2003 version, iirc). What are other resources I should be focusing on. I want to delve deeply into the math. Book suggestions would be great.

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:51 AM
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Try "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball".

It's examples are a bit old, but the theory is all there. Tango and Litchman are two of the biggest figures in the field, and, I believe, now both have gigs with big league clubs. Tango also runs a blog which sometimes has really good discussions of sabermetric stuff, but it's probably best to get your feet wet with the book first.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:28 AM
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As posted above I agree starting with "The Book". Being fairly basic and over 10 years old it is certainly not cutting edge. However, it is very good at introducing examples that clarify the concepts of the sabermetric approach including the statistical meaning of expectant and retrieved "value" and leverage. Chapter 1 of that book is probably the best 35 pages you could read on sabermetrics.

I also liked "Baseball Between the Numbers". Not all of the sections of that book were not convincing or interesting but overall it also provides some helpful examples and terms.

Probably not considered a modern "sabermetric" analysis, but I found the 1980s book "The Hidden Game of Baseball" by Thorn and Palmer intriguing in showing how the sabermetric thinking developed when smart people were looking for better ways to evaluate true player value.

I know Bill James is a great pioneer in this field, but personally I always struggled with his writing style--others love his books.

Not an expert by any means myself, I'm sure there are many more up to date books and websites but the books listed above would be useful for 'sabermetric thinking" and some key terms.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:13 PM
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I suppose it depends on what background you've got. My wife and I joined SABR, mostly for the magazine which is really good. I gravitated more towards the stories and bios, but did read some of the math stuff. Not having a sound base in statistics didn't help me much.

We went to the meeting where some more involved stuff was presented, and since the presenters had a bit more time to explain it was a bit easier, but mot by much. The presentations on research methods especially one on the reliability of what should be a primary source - the player themselves- was especially interesting. (Basically they went over a few pretty well known stories told by players, and explained how the facts don't support the stories, as good as they are. )

But still join for the magazine, it's really good.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:39 PM
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go to fangraphs.com and read everything, the glossary especially
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:11 AM
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Thanks, everybody. I've downloaded a sample of The Book from Amazon to my Kindle Paperwhite. I'm going to look it over tomorrow to see how clearly the tables will display. If there's any issue at all, I'll just order the hard copy.
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Great transactions with: piedmont150, Cardboard Junkie, z28jd, t206blogcom, tinkertoeverstochance, trobba, Texxxx, marcdelpercio, t206hound, zachs, tolstoi, IronHorse 2130, AndyG09, BBT206, jtschantz, lug-nut, leaflover, Abravefan11, mpemulis, btcarfagno, BlueSky, and Frankbmd.
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Old 04-25-2018, 09:43 AM
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