History UsefulNotes / Baseball

22nd Nov '17 7:23:31 AM SuperLurkerGuy
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* Pitcher (1): Responsible for pitching the ball to the batter, and fielding the pitcher's mound, as well as backing up first base on balls hit right. A successful pitcher typically has several pitches in his arsenal; which can be broadly sorted into 3 types, a ''fastball'' (a pitch designed to defeat batter by sheer speed with little to no movement, most commonly the ''four-seam fastball'', which is your vanilla fastball with the maximum speed), a ''changeup'' (a slower pitch thrown with the same delivery as a fastball, intended to confuse the batter), and a ''breaking ball'' (a pitch that changes direction in flight, and notably slower than the fastball, taking advantage of the fact that a baseball ''isn't'' perfectly spherical but rather has seams; these are most commonly ''the slider''--named after its swooping horizontal movement--and ''the curve''--named after its sudden "dropping" movement at the plate). Of course, there are pitches that doesn't fit into either of these 3 categories, namely the spinless ''knuckleball'', which doesn't break in the conventional sense so much as it wobbles, and the ''eephus pitch''--a slow, high arching trick pitch. These two unconventional pitches are even slower than breaking balls, so they are sometimes refered to as "junk pitches" as they are so slow, though it doesn't necessarily make them any easier to hit if pitched at the right time. Generally, pitchers are divided into two categories. Power pitchers succeed by the speed of their pitches and win games by striking out batters, relying heavily on fastballs. Control pitchers win games by preventing solid contact with their pitches and delivering few walks, typically relying more heavily on breaking pitches, changeups, and trick pitches (a pitcher with strong trick pitches is sometimes called a "junk-ball" pitcher). A team's pitching staff can usually be divided up as follows:

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* Pitcher (1): Responsible for pitching the ball to the batter, and fielding the pitcher's mound, as well as backing up first base on balls hit right. A successful pitcher typically has several pitches in his arsenal; which can be broadly sorted into 3 types, a ''fastball'' (a pitch designed to defeat the batter by sheer speed with little to no movement, most commonly the ''four-seam fastball'', which is your vanilla fastball with the maximum speed), a ''changeup'' (a slower pitch thrown with the same delivery as a fastball, intended to confuse a batter into swinging before the batter), pitch arrives), and a ''breaking ball'' (a pitch that changes direction in flight, and notably slower than the fastball, taking advantage of the fact that a baseball ''isn't'' perfectly spherical but rather has seams; these are most commonly ''the slider''--named after its swooping horizontal movement--and ''the curve''--named after its sudden "dropping" movement at the plate). Of course, there are pitches that doesn't fit into either of these 3 categories, namely the spinless ''knuckleball'', which doesn't break in the conventional sense so much as it wobbles, and the ''eephus pitch''--a slow, high arching trick pitch. These two unconventional pitches are even slower than breaking balls, so they are sometimes refered to as "junk pitches" as they are so slow, though it doesn't necessarily make them any easier to hit if pitched at the right time. There were once a wide variety of pitches that involved adulterating the ball's surface (spitballs, cut or emery pitches, shine balls), giving an unpredictable pattern similar to the knuckleball, but these are banned now at all levels of play. Generally, pitchers are divided into two categories. Power pitchers succeed by the speed of their pitches and win games by striking out batters, relying heavily on fastballs. Control pitchers win games by preventing solid contact with their pitches and delivering few walks, typically relying more heavily on breaking pitches, changeups, and trick pitches (a pitcher with strong trick pitches is sometimes called a "junk-ball" pitcher). A team's pitching staff can usually be divided up as follows:
18th Nov '17 10:10:19 PM InfinityPlusTwo
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* The '''Gold Glove Award''' goes to the top defensive players in the game. Unlike the above awards, they are voted on by the managers and coaches in each league as opposed to the baseball writers. Each league awards nine Gold Gloves, one at each fielding position. Since fielding excellence tends to be measured by a lot of intangibles rather than pure statistics, the Gold Gloves frequently spark debate; the most common criticism of the award process is that they are often awarded based on reputation, without regard as to whether the player truly had a better year in the field than his peers. Derek Jeter was one of the more prominent examples of an undeserving Gold Glove winner; though he had a reputation as a great defensive shortstop, advanced fielding statistics generally didn't back up his reputation and few sabermetricians would have considered him remotely Gold Glove worthy (and, during the years when he was teammates with Alex Rodriguez- a legitimately good defensive shortstop before he moved to third base- they would be known to snark that Jeter wasn't even the best shortstop on ''his own team'', let alone the entire American League). Another particularly egregious example was Rafael Palmeiro winning the AL Gold Glove at first base in 1999, despite the fact that he was primarily a designated hitter that year and only played 28 games in the field. More recently, the process has been adjusted for these awards with a sizable portion of the vote now coming from taking several advanced fielding metrics into account, which has started to improve things a bit, though average or even poor defenders still win a Gold Glove from time to time.

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* The '''Gold Glove Award''' goes to the top defensive players in the game. Unlike the above awards, they are voted on by the managers and coaches in each league as opposed to the baseball writers. Each league awards nine Gold Gloves, one at each fielding position. Since fielding excellence tends to be measured by a lot of intangibles rather than pure statistics, the Gold Gloves frequently spark debate; the most common criticism of the award process is that they are often awarded based on reputation, without regard as to whether the player truly had a better year in the field than his peers. Derek Jeter was one of the more prominent examples of an undeserving Gold Glove winner; though he had a reputation as a great defensive shortstop, advanced fielding statistics generally didn't back up his reputation and few sabermetricians would have considered him remotely Gold Glove worthy (and, during the years when he was teammates with Alex Rodriguez- a legitimately good defensive shortstop before he moved to third base- they would be known to snark that Jeter wasn't even the best shortstop on ''his own team'', let alone the entire American League). Another particularly egregious example was Rafael Palmeiro winning the AL Gold Glove at first base in 1999, despite the fact that he was primarily a designated hitter that year and only played 28 games in the field. More recently, the process has been adjusted for these awards with a sizable portion of the vote now coming from taking several advanced fielding metrics into account, which has started to improve things a bit, though average or even poor defenders still win a Gold Glove from time to time. A current example of this is Eric Hosmer, who has won 4 Gold Gloves at first base in the past 5 years despite advanced statistics being in general agreement that he's at best an average defender and at worst a terrible one.
16th Nov '17 7:08:25 PM KYCubbie
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** ''Most Recent Winner:'' Curtis Granderson, OF, Mets

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** ''Most Recent Winner:'' Curtis Granderson, OF, MetsAnthony Rizzo, [=1B=], Cubs



* '''Little League''' and other youth organizations such as Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball and RBI Baseball are, of course, organized leagues for younger people, basically from as soon as someone is old enough to swing a bat until they are eligible for College (sometimes even longer). Little League itself is the largest youth sports organization in the world, and it's '''Little League World Series''' (which differs from the College and MLB World Series in that it actually has teams from different continents) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania[[note]]actually South Williamsport, which is a separate community[[/note]] draws pretty large crowds, is shown on ESPN and ABC, and has featured many future Major Leaguers back when they were young innocent 12-year-olds. The current champions are the Kitasuna Little League from the UsefulNotes/{{Tokyo}} district of Kōtō.

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* '''Little League''' and other youth organizations such as Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball and RBI Baseball are, of course, organized leagues for younger people, basically from as soon as someone is old enough to swing a bat until they are eligible for College (sometimes even longer). Little League itself is the largest youth sports organization in the world, and it's its '''Little League World Series''' (which differs from the College and MLB World Series in that it actually has teams from different continents) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania[[note]]actually South Williamsport, which is a separate community[[/note]] draws pretty large crowds, is shown on ESPN and ABC, and has featured many future Major Leaguers back when they were young innocent 12-year-olds. The current champions are the Kitasuna Little League from the UsefulNotes/{{Tokyo}} district of Kōtō.
16th Nov '17 6:15:25 PM KYCubbie
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A baseball game is divided into a number of innings; major league games will play at least nine, high school teams may play 5 or 7-inning games. In one inning,[[note]]A note for our friends in Commonwealth countries other than Canada (Canadians should know this already): "inning" is ''singular'' in baseball--none of this "a good innings" grammar-mangling hooey you get in cricket for Americans.[[/note]] both teams will alternate between batting and fielding. Rather than a time or scoring-based system (like most goal sports), possession is determined by "outs"; each batting team has three before switching to field. A batter or runner who is called "out" may not attempt to advance and must return to the dugout, but is not removed from the game. Batters ultimately attempt to advance along the bases and reach home again, at which point their team is credited with a "run". The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. In a tie situation, extra innings are played until there is a winner at the end of an inning. Usually only one or two extra innings are required, but April 29, 2013 saw two particularly long games; the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics played for 19 innings, while on the other coast the New York Mets and Miami Marlins played fifteen innings.

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A baseball game is divided into a number of innings; major league games will play at least nine, high school teams may play 5 or 7-inning games. In one inning,[[note]]A note for our friends in Commonwealth countries other than Canada (Canadians should know this already): "inning" is ''singular'' in baseball--none of this "a good innings" grammar-mangling hooey you get in cricket for Americans.[[/note]] both teams will alternate between batting and fielding. Rather than a time or scoring-based system (like most goal sports), possession is determined by "outs"; each batting team has three before switching to field. A batter or runner who is called "out" may not attempt to advance and must return to the dugout, but is not removed from the game. Batters ultimately attempt to advance along the bases and reach home again, at which point their team is credited with a "run". The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. In a tie situation, extra innings are played until there is a winner at the end of an inning. Usually only one or two extra innings are required, but April 29, 2013 saw two particularly long games; the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics played for 19 innings, while on the other coast the New York Mets and Miami Marlins played fifteen 15 innings.



*** As of 2017, pitches are no longer needed for any intentional walk. Confusingly, while these unthrown balls are excluded from pitch counts on the majors, where the pitched don't actually mean anything, they're still counted in Little League and the WBC, where limited pitch counts are mandatory.

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*** As of 2017, pitches are no longer needed for any intentional walk. Confusingly, while these unthrown balls are excluded from pitch counts on the majors, where the pitched pitches don't actually mean anything, they're still counted in Little League and the WBC, where limited pitch counts are mandatory.



* '''Runs Batted In''' (RBI): The number of runs generated while the player is a batter-runner. Sacrifice plays count. Solo home runs also count, because the player batted himself in. It's one of the three stats of the hitting triple crown, along with Home Runs and Batting Average. Old-School statisticians like this stat a lot, but more modern ones like to point out that it depends heavily on the skill of a player's teammates and where in the batting order they hit (as does Runs Scored, but to a slightly lesser extent). Obviously, it's hard to bat many runs in if your teammates suck and don't get on base much. The players at the top of the batting order tend to have higher OBP's than the players at the bottom, so a player hitting 3rd - 5th will have more opportunities to get RBI's than a player hitting 8th-9th, or even 1st or 2nd.

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* '''Runs Batted In''' (RBI): The number of runs generated while the player is a batter-runner. Sacrifice plays count. Solo home runs also count, because the player batted himself in. It's one of the three stats of the hitting triple crown, along with Home Runs and Batting Average. Old-School Old-school statisticians like this stat a lot, but more modern ones like to point out that it depends heavily on the skill of a player's teammates and where in the batting order they hit (as does Runs Scored, but to a slightly lesser extent). Obviously, it's hard to bat many runs in if your teammates suck and don't get on base much. The players at the top of the batting order tend to have higher OBP's [=OBPs=] than the players at the bottom, so a player hitting 3rd - 5th will have more opportunities to get RBI's than a player hitting 8th-9th, or even 1st or 2nd.



* '''Wins and Losses''' (W-L): Awarded to pitchers, and attempts to credit them with winning or losing the game. A loss is awarded to the pitcher that gives up the run that puts the winning team into lead they hold for the rest of the game, and a Win is awarded to the pitcher that pitched the half-inning before that winning run scored. There are a few exceptions, the most commonly seen being that Starting Pitchers need to pitch at least 5 innings to get a win[[note]]if a starting pitcher fails to pitch five innings in a game in which he would otherwise receive the win, the official scorer awards the win to whatever reliever he feels pitched most effectively[[/note]]. Collectively, Wins and Losses are referred to as "Decisions". If a starter gets neither a win nor a loss, he gets a "No-Decision." Modern statheads consider this stat to be nearly worthless, because of the large number of ways a pitcher can fail to win a game they pitched well or win a game they pitched poorly- namely run support and the skill of the bullpen.
* '''Strikeouts''' (K)[[note]]While "K" is the common denotation among fans at statheads, the official MLB denotation is "SO"[[/note]]: Both a hitting stat and a pitching stat, though the pitching version is much more commonly used. For hitters, it's the number of times they strike out, and for pitchers, it's the number of batters they strike out. It, Wins, and Earned Run Average are the three stats that make up the pitching triple crown. It might be the only stat that old-school and modern statisticians can agree on the usefulness of. (The ability of a pitcher to record an out without having the ball put into play is considered extremely valuable.)[[labelnote:However...]]Strikeouts are beginning to be seen as considerably less negative for hitters, as the odds of advancing a baserunner versus the odds of hitting into a double play are not in the hitter's favor; while definitely not better than actually getting on base, sometimes keeping the ball out of play is a safer option [[/labelnote]] A forward facing '''K''' is for strikeouts where the batter swings and misses on the third strike; for the third strike where the batter doesn't swing, it's noted with a backwards K, or '''K-L''', '''CK''', or '''Kc''' (the 'c' for 'called' strike).

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* '''Wins and Losses''' (W-L): Awarded to pitchers, and attempts to credit them with winning or losing the game. A loss is awarded to the pitcher that gives up the run that puts the winning team into lead they hold for the rest of the game, and a Win is awarded to the pitcher that pitched the half-inning before that winning run scored. There are a few exceptions, the most commonly seen being that Starting Pitchers need to pitch at least 5 innings to get a win[[note]]if a starting pitcher fails to pitch five innings in a game in which he would otherwise receive the win, the official scorer awards the win to whatever reliever he feels pitched most effectively[[/note]]. Collectively, Wins and Losses are referred to as "Decisions". If a starter gets neither a win nor a loss, he gets a "No-Decision." "No-Decision". Modern statheads consider this stat to be nearly worthless, because of the large number of ways a pitcher can fail to win a game they pitched well or win a game they pitched poorly- namely run support and the skill of the bullpen.
* '''Strikeouts''' (K)[[note]]While "K" is the common denotation among fans at and statheads, the official MLB denotation is "SO"[[/note]]: Both a hitting stat and a pitching stat, though the pitching version is much more commonly used. For hitters, it's the number of times they strike out, and for pitchers, it's the number of batters they strike out. It, Wins, and Earned Run Average are the three stats that make up the pitching triple crown. It might be the only stat that old-school and modern statisticians can agree on the usefulness of. (The ability of a pitcher to record an out without having the ball put into play is considered extremely valuable.)[[labelnote:However...]]Strikeouts are beginning to be seen as considerably less negative for hitters, as the odds of advancing a baserunner versus the odds of hitting into a double play are not in the hitter's favor; while definitely not better than actually getting on base, sometimes keeping the ball out of play is a safer option option. [[/labelnote]] A forward facing '''K''' is for strikeouts where the batter swings and misses on the third strike; for the third strike where the batter doesn't swing, it's noted with a backwards K, or '''K-L''', '''CK''', or '''Kc''' (the 'c' for 'called' strike).



* '''Error''' (E): Charged by the official scorer when he or she feels that a fielder misplayed a ball, allowing a batter or runner to advance, when that advance would have been stopped given "ordinary effort." This is a very chancy and subjective statistic for measuring fielding, not in the least that it requires the fielder in question to do something ''right'' (being in position to make an "ordinary effort") in order to do something wrong. Also, the definition of "error" excludes most ''mental'' errors, such as throwing to the wrong base or failing to cover a base.[[note]]Seriously. The official comments on MLB's scoring rules state, "The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise." However, if a player makes a ''physical'' misplay due to a mental error—for example, throwing the ball into the stands in the mistaken belief that the inning is over—the comments call for that to be called as an error.[[/note]]

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* '''Error''' (E): Charged by the official scorer when he or she feels that a fielder misplayed a ball, allowing a batter or runner to advance, when that advance would have been stopped given "ordinary effort." effort". This is a very chancy and subjective statistic for measuring fielding, not in the least that it requires the fielder in question to do something ''right'' (being in position to make an "ordinary effort") in order to do something wrong. Also, the definition of "error" excludes most ''mental'' errors, such as throwing to the wrong base or failing to cover a base.[[note]]Seriously. The official comments on MLB's scoring rules state, "The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise." However, if a player makes a ''physical'' misplay due to a mental error—for example, error (such as throwing the ball into the stands in the mistaken belief that the inning is over—the over), the comments call for that to be called as an error.[[/note]]



* '''Defense-Independent Pitching Statistics''' (DIPS): A catch-all term for a number of different statistics that attempt to calculate what a pitcher's ERA would be if they pitched for a league-average defense. Usually looks most closely and Strikeouts, Walks, and Home Runs, the so-called "Three True Outcomes" that are almost entirely in control of the pitcher and hitter- ignoring the receiving abilities of the catcher and the occasional home run robbed by an outfielder, the defense never touches the ball on any of these plays. The most commonly used is probably Fielding-Independent Pitching (FIP), though all have their strengths and weaknesses (One interesting weakness of FIP is that it can actually be ''negative'' over a sufficiently small span of innings, which is completely illogical.)

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* '''Defense-Independent Pitching Statistics''' (DIPS): A catch-all term for a number of different statistics that attempt to calculate what a pitcher's ERA would be if they pitched for a league-average defense. Usually looks most closely and Strikeouts, Walks, and Home Runs, the so-called "Three True Outcomes" that are almost entirely in control of the pitcher and hitter- ignoring the receiving abilities of the catcher and the occasional home run robbed by an outfielder, the defense never touches the ball on any of these plays. The most commonly used is probably Fielding-Independent Pitching (FIP), though all have their strengths and weaknesses weaknesses. (One interesting weakness of FIP is that it can actually be ''negative'' over a sufficiently small span of innings, which is completely illogical.)



The near-undisputed top professional league in the world is the USA's [[http://mlb.com Major League Baseball]]. With 30 teams (29 in the United States, one in Canada) and players that come from (as of the opening day of the 2009 season) about 16 different countries or territories (sometimes more, sometimes less). Unless you live in Asia or Cuba, this is the level of competition that the average ballplayer is striving for, and it is also known as [[IHaveManyNames MLB, the Major Leagues, the Big Leagues, the Majors, the Bigs, the Show, and sometimes just "Baseball"]].

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The near-undisputed top professional league in the world is the USA's [[http://mlb.com Major League Baseball]]. With 30 teams (29 in the United States, one in Canada) and players that come from (as of the opening day of the 2009 2017 season) about 16 different countries or territories (sometimes more, sometimes less). Unless you live in Asia or Cuba, this is the level of competition that the average ballplayer is striving for, and it is also known as [[IHaveManyNames MLB, the Major Leagues, the Big Leagues, the Majors, the Bigs, the Show, and sometimes just "Baseball"]].
16th Nov '17 6:07:24 PM KYCubbie
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16th Nov '17 6:06:06 PM KYCubbie
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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Mike Trout, CF, Angels (AL); Kris Bryant, IF/OF, Cubs (NL)

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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Mike Trout, CF, Angels José Altuve, [=2B=], Astros (AL); Kris Bryant, IF/OF, Cubs Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins (NL)
15th Nov '17 7:01:01 PM KYCubbie
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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Rick Porcello, Red Sox (AL); Max Scherzer, Nationals (NL)

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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Rick Porcello, Red Sox Corey Kluber, Indians (AL); Max Scherzer, Nationals (NL)
14th Nov '17 7:29:48 PM KYCubbie
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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Terry Francona, Indians (AL); Dave Roberts, Dodgers (NL)

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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Terry Francona, Indians Paul Molitor, Twins (AL); Dave Roberts, Dodgers Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks (NL)
14th Nov '17 3:47:55 AM KYCubbie
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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Michael Fulmer, RHP, Tigers (AL); Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (NL)

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** ''Most Recent Winners:'' Michael Fulmer, RHP, Tigers Aaron Judge, RF, Yankees (AL); Corey Seager, SS, Cody Bellinger, [=1B=], Dodgers (NL)
7th Nov '17 6:09:08 PM KYCubbie
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** Note: Amateur baseball generally allows metal bats, generally made from aluminum. These supposedly allow for faster, farther hits. These bats are also tightly regulated--you see, a certain structure and composition of bat makes the ball fly so fast the pitcher can't avoid injury from the flying ball.

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** Note: Amateur baseball generally allows metal bats, generally made from aluminum.aluminum, and composite bats, typically made of plastic reinforced with carbon fibers but occasionally made of bamboo. These supposedly allow for faster, farther hits. These bats are also tightly regulated--you see, a certain structure and composition of bat makes the ball fly so fast the pitcher can't avoid injury from the flying ball.
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