Post-season Blues and Science of Baseball

Baseball season is officially over and I am already suffering from withdrawals.  Luckily I have a lot to catch up on, like figuring out how MLB transactions work and learning more about the history of the game.  I’m also curious about the zillion (or so) baseball initialisms and acronyms and what they mean.  Most of them represent baseball statistics and come from sabermetrics, the scientific study of baseball.

I did not pay as much attention in my stats course as I should have (sorry Dr. Faber!) so this seems like a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge and to play around with some of the baseball statistics tools that are freely available online.

The first step was to get my hands on historical baseball data.  I downloaded Sean Lahman’s Baseball Database and imported the data into a MySQL server running on my laptop.  I’m used to using Oracle’s SQL Developer IDE, but that seemed like overkill for this endeavor.  Instead, I’m trying out Sequel Pro and it’s been working well so far — the interface is intuitive enough that I haven’t yelled at my computer in frustration (yet).

Now I have access to data from 1871 through 2016! But I’m not sure where to go from here…

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