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…

Blogging is hard.

Especially in the midst of the MLB post-season when your new city’s team is in the playoffs and you discover that you love baseball because

  1. There are lots and lots of rules.
  2. You can have cotton candy delivered right to your seat.
  3. So many stats and formulas.

And by “you” I clearly mean me.



Website migration is hard.

I spent the day migrating my website off of Wix and onto WordPress.  It’s been something I’ve out off since leaving my job at PIFSC and moving to Houston.  I have to admit that Wix has some really beautiful themes, but it’s hard to justify the cost when there are lots of other alternatives.  After trying out several web hosting services and seeing their interfaces and features, good old WordPress won out.

By the way, Halloween is a mere 29 days away!