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Today's daily dose of sabermetric links includes no-hitter heat maps, Ryan Howard's toe and more..
The Baseball Analytics Blog provides us with heat maps from every no hitter thrown this season, including the latest thrown by Homer Bailey: Comparing 2012's No-Hitters - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics
Here's a look at the pitch frequency heat maps, pitch mix and pitch location for all of 2012's no-hitters. These guys dominated with drastically diverging styles. Bailey emphasized his heater, but Felix Hernandez and Phil Humber relied more on breaking and off-speed stuff. While Jered Weaver challenged hitters high in the zone, Felix, Johan Santana, six Mariners pitchers who threw a combined no-no, and Matt Cain kept the ball low. Humber hammered the strike zone. Johan rarely put anything over the plate. All had different approaches, and all had historic days.
Eno Sarris of FanGraphs has an interesting take on Ryan Howard's broken toe: The Meaning of Ryan Howard’s Toe | FanGraphs Baseball
Swinging with weights is more like long-toss: some pitchers swear by it, but if a team has research suggests that it hurts pitchers, it’s well within their rights to ban it from their organization. And many teams do have long toss policies. It’s a ritual that some pitchers do, and they think it helps them, and there looks to be research that says it’s bad for them, so it’s banned in some cases. Plug in ‘swinging with a doughnut on the bat,’ and you’ve got an analogous situation, really.
Shane Sanders and Adam Winn write about how different events affect wOBA and OPS for the Hardball TImes: Comparing marginal effects of offensive events upon wOBA and OPS
The OPS measure (and weighted OPS measure) is popular because it explains much of the variation in runs scored when plugged into a regression. However, it does not perform as well as wOBA in this regard. The reason for this difference is likely to be substantial internal biases within the OPS accounting methodology. Moreover, it is possible for these biases to influence individual offensive productivity estimates a great deal more than they influence a single parameter measuring the performance of aggregated runs scored regressions.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports shows us that the mainstream media does have an understanding of WAR, and realizes who the real AL MVP is: 10 Degrees: Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown push is overshadowing true AL MVP Mike Trout - Yahoo! Sports
This. Is. Not. About. WAR. This. Is. Not. About. The. Triple. Crown. No matter what side you're on, please, for the sake of those of us who want fair debate about this award, don't boil it down to either of those things. It is so intellectually dishonest and mendacious, and it serves no other purpose than to denigrate people who are trying to bring into baseball analysis a sense of objectivity.