An Introduction: Site Philosophy, Direction, and Focus

Greg Fiume - Getty Images

Welcome to Beyond the Box Score. Here's what we're about.

The introduction below was originally published almost exactly 2 years ago on November 5th, 2010. Much has changed since then -- I'm an assignment editor for SBNation.com and now also manage MLB Daily Dish; I've brought on at least two dozen writers and have seen most of them hired, graduated, promoted, paid, and otherwise sent onward and upward; the baseball landscape is at least somewhat different: the Orioles, A's, and Pirates all had legitimate shots at the post-season this year but the Royals are still the Royals; Rob Neyer (ROB NEYER!) writes for Baseball Nation; and finally, sabermetrics is more or less mainstream and is featured in movies, politics, actually gets people hired, and holds a serious place in nearly every discussion worth having about baseball these days.

And yet, our philosophy at Beyond the Box Score is the same. Here's what I said those two years ago when Eric Simon brought me on to run the joint, with some edits to reflect our new place in the world, some new faces, and helpful hints about our site-wide makeover, United:

Many thanks to all for the warmest of welcomes, not the least of which include SBNation's Tyler Bleszinski and Eric Simon, our great writers, and most especially, our community. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the giants upon which I currently perch, including Marc Normandin, RJ Anderson, Sky Kalkman, Tommy Bennett, and Jeff Sullivan. To them I am most indebted for building Beyond the Box Score into its current stature, and to Sky I am most especially grateful for giving me my first real shot. Thank you, Sky. It won't be forgotten.

Philosophy

Sabermetrics is the tool, not the topic. Baseball is the topic. (or) We're a Saber-Slanted Baseball Community, not a Baseball-Slanted Saber Community.

Baseball is an intellectually, spiritually, artistically beautiful sport. It captures the imagination of the world because it represents overcoming obstacles, beating the odds, and triumphing in individual battles versus both yourself and your opponent. And sabermetrics makes it more beautiful, captivating, and compelling.

This is not a blog about sabermetrics. This is a blog about understanding and analyzing baseball through the sabermetric lens. At Beyond the Box Score, our goal is to build the community of baseball enthusiasts that understand and appreciate the game with an analytical eye. Show, rather than tell. Teach, rather than preach. We'll do that by building the bridge between the part of our community that wants to understand and analyze baseball through sabermetrics, and the part of our community that wants to expand the horizons of sabermetric research and the frontiers of sabermetric thought.

Direction & Focus

In the coming days and weeks, we look to both expand and focus our sabermetric attention. We are expanding coverage through daily columns devoted to specific aspects of baseball.

If you look to the masthead, you'll notice our many great writers are in two columns: Columnists and Featured Writers. While our featured writers are working on pushing the boundaries of sabermetric research, our columnists will be providing you with new and interesting sabermetric content on a daily basis.

You'll also hopefully notice a significant focus on trying to get you, our readers, to comment. We'll be running at least one daily community-oriented post, whether it's a poll or off-topic or get-to-know-us/you nonsense. Remember what I said above. We're a Saber-Slanted Baseball Community. I want and need to hear from you, and you're the reason we're all here in the first place. So jump right in and let us know what you think.

Here's our current staff:

Justin Bopp - Pretender to the Throne, Kansas City Enthusiast

Bryan Grosnick - Editor, Columnist, Twitter Helper

James Gentile - Editor, Columnist

Julian Levine - Editor, Columnist

Adam Darowski - Senior SaberGraphic Editor

Glenn DuPaul - Daily Sabersphere Links, Featured Writer

Lewie Pollis - Featured Writer

Nathaniel Stoltz - Featured Writer

Blake Murphy - Featured Writer

Spencer Schneier - Featured Writer

Alex Kienholz - Featured Writer

David Fung - SaberGraphics

Jacob Peterson - SaberGraphics

We'll supplement our daily sabermetric columns with our featured writers' research results and commentary; reaction to our favorite articles, quotes, tweets, and activity around the sabersphere; and with content submitted by you, our audience.

Many of our writers started out as commenters, and if you're interested, that could be you as well. Simply look to the sidebar (fanposts) and start submitting! The articles that receive the most recs and comments will be posted right to our front page.

Onward & Upward, United

Over the years we've built a decently dedicated following, if I say so myself. We've seen our community wax and wane, and wax again. Or something. And we've seen a complete site overhaul under the banner of SB Nation United. If you're only now realizing this, go read Tyler's introduction.

If you don't want to read, you're in the wrong place anyway, but I'll give you some hints. At the top (old newspaper chaps would call it "above the fold" while old internet chaps would call it the "splash."), you'll see a cover populated with stories that are most relevant or I deem most worthy of your attention. Most of the time they'll just be the most recent awesome stuff we've posted. You'll notice in at least one of those corners I'm saving a space for Rob Neyer's latest, or will as long as it's appropriate to this audience.

Then there's the standard navigation bar, which is where you can find our full archive, our full fanpost and fanshot sections (the rails are still there on the front page and I strongly recommend watching them to see the next generation of sabermetric writers), and then links to our sabermetric graphics and our ever-important saber toolbox.

The rest is up to you. You'll find everything in a standard reverse-chron below the cover, save a couple strategically-placed groups and sub-sections I want you to see.

We're fully aware that some stuff will work, and some won't. Some parts of our columns will evolve into something totally different, while others refine their focus and move around. Your feedback, comments, insults, ideas, suggestions, and general dialogue are all welcome and wanted at all times.

It is with you in mind that we move forward. Again, thank you all.

(Again - 10/01/12).

Justin Bopp
Manager | Beyond The Box Score

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