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» 01 January 2011 » In NPB Tracker » Comments Off

Happy New Year!

Not much more to say than that. I hope everyone reading this had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and follows it up with a great 2011.

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Upcoming Schedule

» 29 December 2010 » In NPB Tracker » 5 Comments

Here’s what we have in the works:

  • Another post or two on news and bullet points
  • Japanese participation in Winter Leagues
  • Nishioka’s potential successors at SS for Lotte
  • More on the Chen situation and what it means for NPB teams developing foreign prospects
  • Taking on some of Jim Small’s recent comments

And in January, we’ll be doing a team-by-team breakdown of the player personnel moves that occurred this offseason. Of course if there’s anything you would like to see, I’ll be happy to take it into consideration.

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» 13 September 2010 » In NPB Tracker » Comments Off

As evinced by over a week with no posts, I’ve hit the pause button. The pause will stay down for a couple more weeks, but I’ll be back with content in time for the playoffs and draft.

This break presents an opportunity to point out that there is a large volume of content on Japanese baseball being produced around the web. I chronicled some of my favorites in a post earlier this year.

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Year Two is in The Books

» 16 June 2010 » In NPB Tracker » 12 Comments

Well, that was fast. NPB Tracker has now been online for two years and a day. The anniversary slipped right by me; I only noticed this morning when I was telling an old friend that I’ve had the site for “about two years”.

Though I didn’t publish as much as I did in year one, there where definitely some highlights, listed here in no particular order:

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who reads the site, especially those who take the time to leave comments, for making it fun for me to write. And also thank you to all the other bloggers and journalists out there, who provide inspiration and reference my work. I’m looking forward to seeing what year three brings.

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Congratulations, Ryo!

» 02 June 2010 » In NPB Tracker » 6 Comments

I’d like to extend congratulations Ryo Shinkawa, who earlier this year moved on from NPB Tracker and joined the Boston Red Sox as a team translator. Ryo contributed over 100 posts to the site during 2009, and will be missed.

So Ryo, thanks for your contribution, good luck in your new job, and don’t be a stranger!

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Extrapolating Another New Feature

» 28 May 2010 » In NPB Tracker » Comments Off

One itch leads to another. I took the work I did a couple weeks ago to get Hideaki Wakui’s average velocity and turned it into a new feature for the data site. Each pitcher now has a game log and average velocity plotted for every game I have data for. The ui is still rough, to put it mildly, and the pages are on the slow side, so this is kind of a “minimum viable product”.

And speaking of Wakui, he took things up another notch May 27 against Hanshin. Did anyone see the game?

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Blackhawks Advance and Site Update

» 24 May 2010 » In NPB Tracker, something else » Comments Off

So just as I suspected/feared, the Blackhawks proved to be too much for the Sharks and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. I didn’t see the Hawks sweeping the Sharks though, and had Antti Niemi not played so well they probably wouldn’t have. I was hoping Montreal would take the Eastern Conference, but Chris Pronger has a way of getting to the Finals no matter where he is. So it should be a good series between Chicago and Philly, although I think the Blackhawks would have to be heavily favored.

That’s not why I’m here though. This is just a teaser to say that I’ll have some new content and an update to the data site coming up this week.

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Three Quotes That Changed the Way I Think About Baseball

» 20 April 2010 » In NPB Tracker » 2 Comments

Rather than post something about the news tonight, I thought I’d share a couple of insights that affected my view of baseball. I doubt the audience here will consider these revelations, but maybe they will lend some insight into why I write about what I write about.

1. When I was about 14 or so, my dad repeated to me something he had heard in an interview with Chad Curtis: “in baseball, you have to think about the process”. And I guess that that was a concept I sort of got prior to hearing that, but that was the first time I had heard it articulated so succinctly and it just stuck. Remember I was about 14 when I heard this.

2. A few years later, I was reading the letters section of Baseball America, and someone wrote in calling some prospect a bust. BA’s response was, and I paraphrase, “what do you mean he was a bust? He reached 3A and got hurt.” It dawned on me then that playing 3A is actually a sign of a pretty good playing career.

3. This last one is the only one I don’t have to paraphrase. John Sickels on former Cubs prospect Brooks Kieschnick: “In an alternate universe somewhere, the Cubs let him play in ’96 and ’97 and he ended up having a decent career.” I’ve always enjoyed John’s work, and his prospect retros are an elegant way of pointing out that every player needs a chance in order to be successful.

I’ve spent nearly my entire life to this point learning about baseball, and I think most of the knowledge I have has been accumulated over time. But these three ‘ah-ha’ moments stand out as things that immediately affected the way I look at the game.

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NPB Tracker DATA 日本語版をアップしました

» 09 April 2010 » In NPB Tracker » Comments Offでご覧ください。

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A Brief Commercial Message

» 08 April 2010 » In NPB Tracker » Comments Off

My work on NPB Tracker has afforded me the opportunity to contribute to some top-notch baseball publications. I’d like to take a moment here to plug them:

  • a couple months ago, I mentioned my contribution to Rotowire’s 2010 Fantasy Baseball Guide. I’ve also been providing subscriber-only player updates to for about a year, and this season I have a spot on the Rotosynthesis blog. If you partake in fantasy sports, this is a great resource. My work can be found here.
  • I hope this introduction will be unnecessary, but Fangraphs has become perhaps the top destination for sabermetric analysis on the web. As with Rotowire, I recommend checking out the whole site, but here’s my author page.

It is my great pleasure to contribute to both of these sites, and I hope you’ll make them regular stops on the ‘Net.

We now return to regularly-scheduled programming…

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