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Friday, January 08, 2010

Current activities

I finally finished a post at Red Reporter that I've been working on for almost a month (and planning since September). I'm not sure the result is as fabulous as all of that would imply, but it's an investigation of the degree to which the Reds were hurt by playing time shortfalls in it starters compared to simply failing to perform when healthy. Punchline: aside from Volquez (who accounts for 35% of the overall ~7 WAR shortfall), mostly it was simply a failure to perform.

At BtB, I'm managing the Sabermetric Writing Awards. I thought of the basic idea for the awards while working on my baseball class (more on that in a sec). The BtB crew were very enthusiastic about it when I pitched it to them, and in the internal discussion, the idea expanded from ~3 categories to the 7 we are currently running. Nominations are going pretty well, though I think there is a bias toward stuff done over the past few months. Still, I've already seen a bunch of stuff that I had missed, and that's sort of the main point.

The baseball class, which I announced here, starts on Monday. I'm a bit anxious about it, but I think I'm about as well-prepared for it as I can be, and I'm excited to get started. I'm perhaps naively hoping that the students will follow my obsession in player valuation, but we'll see. First thing I'm going to do is have them pick the topics for the semester. It will probably be the case that this class will be the extent of what I can do baseball-wise for at least the first half of the semester. But one of my classes ends at spring break--just as spring training really gets underway--so that should help.

I also wanted to link to my post on the Hall of Fame ballot from December. It's gotten some decent play (Neyer link, for example), and apparently Sky did something similar at ESPN this week. The one guy I left off of my ballot, Dawson, is the guy who got in--but I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is all of the deserving individuals who should have gotten in before Dawson.